[This interview was recorded on January 26, 2018 in Davos and broadcast on ITV on January 28, 2018. ITV is restricting the streaming to the UK (https://www.itv.com/hub/president-trump-the-piers-morgan-interview/2a5582a0001). As such, we are able to offer the transcript only.] Mr President, how are you? I'm good thank you, Piers. It's been a while! It has, since you became my Champion on the Apprentice. Well that was 10 years ago. Can you believe it? It's a long time but I appreciate all the nice things you've said, and every once in a while a hit, but that's OK. I always say that you don't mind criticism if it's not hysterical. That's true. You don't mind listening to criticism, do you? That's true. No I don't, if it's real. If it's fake, I don't like it. I mean when they give you false stories, and there's so much of it in the media, but you've always been very fair. And you really are a talented guy. Look, you were on the Apprentice, and I wouldn't say you were the most popular person in the sense of the other people liking you, but you were the smartest person and that had something to do with your victory. I actually found the quote that you said to me. This is exactly at the moment you made me your Apprentice. Go ahead. I don't know if you can remember what you said, but you said this. You said 'Piers, you're a vicious guy. I've seen it. You can try and dispute it. You're tough, you're smart, you're probably brilliant... You're certainly not diplomatic, but you did an amazing job, and you beat the hell out of everybody, and you won by far more than anybody'. That's true. Watching your campaign, it looked like you'd stolen my playbook Mr President. Well, it's been an interesting campaign, and you know, often times they say that Hillary was a terrible candidate. They never said I was a great candidate, but we won. It was a convincing win. It was an electoral college -- I guess it was like 223 to 306. You remember that it could never be 270. I'd love to do popular vote, it would be such a thing. I would love to do a popular vote, but it's a much different kind of a contest. I think it would be actually an easier way of doing it, but the electoral college is nice because it gets you into so many different states that you wouldn't see otherwise. But we had a great campaign and we won, and the country is doing fantastically well. Some people think you didn't actually want to win. Well, that's such a false story. That's fake news, that was in that fake book. But that is such a false story. I mean first of all, you know me, and I actually though I was going to win because I'd go to stadiums and we'd have 25,000, 30,000 people in the stadiums. We would have a fever pitch, it was incredible what was happening that last two months of the campaign. And coming into the last month I thought we were going to win. We were getting massive crowds. My opponent was not getting good crowds at all. She was getting, you know, singers and entertainers to fill up the stadiums. They'd finish singing and then everybody would leave and she was left there. So I'm telling you, I really thought I was going to win, and I very much wanted to win. If I didn't win I would have been very disappointed. You've had an extraordinary year. Whether people love you or loathe you, it's been extraordinarily eventful. Depending on who you talk to, you're either delivering on a lot of your promises, beginning to make America great as you vowed, or, and you know the other half of this, you're a raging tweeting wrecking ball who's destroying the country and terrifying the entire planet. How do you plead? I plead not guilty. To all of it? Or the second bit? I think I shakes things up. It had to be shaken up. The country had to be shaken up. We're doing incredibly on an economic basis. Financial -- stock market just hit another new high. We've had 84 -- since the election -- 84 new market highs. Think of that. It's incredible. It's never happened before. It's a record. That in itself is a record. During the course of a little more than a year we've had -- think of it -- 84 stock market records. It's going to go higher. Regulation -- nobody's done anywhere near like I've done. That's also a record, a world record for presidents. But what happened is, we passed a tax bill -- not easy to get. Many people have tried to do it, they weren't able to do it, and this is the biggest one we've ever passed, bigger than the Reagan bill. And it's had a bigger impact than anybody even thought. But I would also say that the tax cuts, added to the regulation cuts, is what made the difference. And people... How significant was the Apple move? Well, I thought it was great, but that was one move. They're going to invest $350 billion, they're going to build plants all over the place, they're going to build a college, they're going to build this incredible campus. They are fantastic. So it's a $350 billion investment, which I guess is probably the largest -- or certainly right up there -- largest ever made by a company. So we're doing very well, people are coming back into the country in droves. One thing very exciting to me is Chrysler -- they're leaving Mexico and they're going back to Michigan. You haven't heard that in a long time. We're doing things that nobody thought possible and the country is becoming very very strong again economically. Unemployment is at record lows. Women unemployment -- 17 years. Think of it, 17 years. Black unemployment -- the best record in history, the history of our country. African American unemployment, best. Hispanic unemployment, best in the history of the country. All of the things that I said on the campaign trail coming true, so I'm very happy about it. A lot of people will listen to that -- a lot of people don't want to give you any credit -- but a lot of that is indisputable. The economy is in good shape. The global economy is in good shape. And that's been taking... a lot of the global economy Piers is because of how well we're doing. Most people won't admit that, but we are doing well, that's helping all around the globe. That's a very good thing. Your supporters get frustrated that a lot of the tweeting -- the tweetstorms, the controversies, some of the more outlandish things that you occasionally say -- that they distract from that kind positive message. Do you accept that? Do you care? I don't think it's so many of my supporters. I think a lot of other people, they use that... I don't call it tweeting, I call it social media. And you're a big social media man by the way. you do great with it. And I think you might agree with that statement. I like your tweets. I like the kind of unfettered access to the President's mind in real time. If I wasn't able to do that -- I call it a modern day form of communication, OK -- if I wasn't able to do that, because I get a lot of fake news, I get a lot of news that's very false, very made up. You saw all of the stories that were wrong this year. I mean one of the stories was so wrong it drove the stock market down substantially and it was wrong. They've made a lot of mistakes and lot of them were made on purpose. If I don't have that form of communication, I can't defend myself. Unless I'm going to have a news conference every 15 minutes... Do you actually tweet yourself? I do. I do. I also give it to people and sometimes I'll have -- I had one case where a lawyer did a tweet, you know they'd call it. I have a man, Dan Scavino, and I have people that are with me, you know Hope [Hicks] and you know Sarah [Huckabee Sanders]... The whole world waits for you to wake up, on tenterhooks. ...It's a crazy situation. Are you actually lying in bed with your phone working out how to wind everybody up? Well, perhaps sometimes in bed, perhaps sometimes at breakfast or lunch or whatever. But generally speaking during the early morning or during the evening, I can do that, but I'm very busy during the day -- very long hours, I'm busy -- and sometimes I'll just dictate out something really quickly and they'll give it to one of my people to put it up. There's been a few big events in the last week, one of which was the big Women's March on the first anniversary of your inauguration. The #MeToo and the Time's Up campaigns have really resonated with millions of women. And they partly hold you to blame for a lot of attitude towards women. Do you have a message for them? Because we're a year on from the last time there were all these marches, a lot is happening in that area of sexual harassment and you've seen what's happened in Hollywood and so on. What message could you give these women who are marching that you're for them and not the problem? Well, I am for them and I think a lot of them understand that. You know, I won many categories of women and the women vote in the election, and people were shocked to see it. I was running against a woman and I'm winning all of these categories. You know that better than anybody. And I think I would do even better right now... In fact we've just had polls coming out just a little while ago, just before I walked into the room that are really up tremendously. I think that's maybe because of the economy, but I just said before that women have the best unemployment numbers that they've had in 17 years. And they're doing tremendously in business, they're doing tremendously in so many ways, and people are starting to see that. Now, you're always going to have marches, and I guess the march was a lot smaller than it was last year... But do you agree with their basic principles, which are gender equality and safety. When it comes to safety, women want to feel safe, particularly in the work place. Do you sign up to that? I do, but I also think they want to feel safe at the border. I think they don't want people pouring into their country. I think they want to see our military get much stronger. I mean women, you know, families, they want to see strength at the border. They want to see a strong law enforcement. I'm a very much law and order person and candidate when I ran. The uniformed services, the military -- there's nobody better than me on the military. I've increased the budget, we're going to have a budget, $700 billion this year. The Democrats were not going to have anywhere near that. I think women really like that. I think they want to be safe at home in many different respects... A lot of the women I spoke to about this, they said it would be great to hear the President, given some of the more disrespectful things that have been out there, and the way you've spoken about women, would you acknowledge that you had said things that perhaps you wouldn't say now? That you have also listened -- as many men are listening right now -- that you've changed, you've changed as a man? Well I think we have to evolve. If we don't evolve, there's something missing. But I have tremendous respect for women, and I think you know that very well because you know me, and you've spent a long period of time with me. You see all of the women I have working around me and working with me. Tremendous respect for women. You have a lot of strong women around you. Melania, and your team here, the press team. Do you identify as a feminist? Are you a feminist? No, I wouldn't say I'm a feminist. I think that would be maybe going too far. I'm for women, I'm for men, I'm for everyone. I think people have to go out, they have to go out and really do it and they have to win... And women are doing great. And I'm happy about that. Move to Britain. A lot of stuff has been going on between you and my country, which has been... I think it's good. I think I'm very popular in your country. Let's not be too hasty Mr. President. But I believe that, I really do. I get so much fan mail from people in your country. They love my sense of security. They love what I'm saying about many different things. I have a great... I own the great Turnberry and other things in your country -- Turnberry in Scotland -- and I'm getting tremendous -- I mean we get tremendous support from people in the UK. But there are a lot of politicians, mainly the opposition politicians -- Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader, Sadiq Khan, London Mayor... I don't know the man, I don't know the man. They want you banned. They don't want you to come on any kind of visit, a normal visit, state visit, anything. Well, that's their problem. I mean, if they don't, I could very nicely stay home. But I can tell you I have a very good relationship with your Prime Minister, who I just left. And I think she's been doing a very good job. We actually have a very good relationship, although a lot of people think we don't. I support her. I support a lot of what she does and a lot of what she says and I support you militarily very much. I mean, we will come to your defence if anything should happen, which hopefully will never happen. But I am a tremendous supporter of the UK. Tremendous supporter. There's nobody that believes more strongly. You're half-British right? Well, my mother was born in Scotland, in the Hebrides. That makes you half-British. My mother was born in Stornoway. You know what they call that? Serious Scotland, right? That's serious Scotland. She was born in Stornoway. Do you feel half-British? I sort of do. I love the country. I'm in Aberdeen with a tremendous... I also have a great situation over in Ireland in Doonbeg over there. And of course Turnberry... that's the Mona Lisa, one of the great Mona Lisas of the world in terms of sport and golf, and I own Turnberry. And I love the UK. I have a special -- maybe because it's my mother, who I thought was one of the great people I've ever known... What would she have made of what's happened to you, your mother? She would have... you know she had a great sense of regal. She had a great sense of... She had a love for the Queen. She had a love for the Royal Family. She really respected the Queen. And she loved the pomp and ceremony -- and circumstance -- but she loved the ceremony. The fact is, she loved the UK... She would have loved you to get a state visit, right? Well, she would go back every year to Scotland. She just thought it was incredible. You know, she came over here when she was 19, she came over to the United States when she was 19. She met my father very... it was not a long time. They got married, they were married many many decades and they had a great marriage. You know, she was a terrific woman, and maybe that's... and again she loved Scotland and maybe that's one of the reasons that I feel the same way... Do you feel sad that neither of your parents ever got to see their son become President of the United States? Well, I do, but they're seen me have great success, because I've had great success. And you know, I've been successful even if you talk about, I do a show on television. They always turn out... very rarely does a show become a big hit like I had. I go into that, the real estate... I've had a lot of hits. So they got to see a lot, but there's nothing like what happened here. I mean, the presidency is something special, but more importantly, I'm so happy with the results, because if you look at what's going on, and you look at our country, and you look at the way it's thriving. We're having a stock market like just about they've never had before. Ever before. We've picked up... Piers, we've picked up $8 trillion in value during the course of 12 months... I just want to pick you up on one thing about the reaction in Britain. Because a lot of people don't like you in Britain, fuelled by these politicians, fuelled by some of the more inflammatory things you've said. The one particular thing, because I want to try and just clarify with you -- you retweeted an organisation called Britain First, one of the leaders, three times. And this caused... Well, three times -- boom boom boom. This caused huge anxiety and anger in my country, because Britain First is basically bunch of racists, fascists... Of course, I didn't know that. Well, that's what I wanted to clarify with you. What did you know about them when you did those tweets? Well, I know nothing about them, and I know nothing about them today other than I read a little bit, and I guess -- and again, I'm in the United States, so I don't read as much about it. Perhaps it was a bit story in Britain, perhaps it was a big story in the UK, but in the United States it wasn't a big story. I did a retweet. You know, a retweet sometimes you do... When you do your own tweeting or you do your own social media, it's fine. When you do those retweets, they can cause problems, because you never know who's doing it to start off with. The way it was interpreted -- you didn't take those down retweets for several weeks -- the way it was interpreted was, you were effectively endorsing this bunch of racists, and that caused a lot of anger. Well, I don't know who they are. I know nothing about them, so I wouldn't be doing that. And I am as I say often, I am the least racist person that anybody's going to meet. And certainly I wasn't endorsing anybody. I knew nothing about them. They had a, I guess, a couple of depictions of radical Islamic terror. Radical Islamic terror, whether you like talking about it or not Piers, is... No, I'm going to come and talk about it. ...Because you look at what's going on, you look at what's going on in the UK, you look at what's going on all over the world... And you're absolutely right about that. So you can try and shield it and say... I'm not shielding anything. I do just want to get one thing out of you. Go ahead. Given the amount of offence it caused, and given that you've now acknowledged that you didn't know who these people were -- they've had their accounts suspended by Twitter -- do you regret now those retweets and do you wish you, with hindsight, hadn't done it? Well, you know, look. It was done because I am a big believer in fighting radical Islamic terror. This was a depiction of radical Islamic terror. They were unverified videos. At least one of them was not what it seemed. But this was... I didn't do it, I didn't go out and... I did a retweet. It was a big story where you are, but it was not a big story where I am. I get that, I get that. So you're telling me something... This is airing in Britain, and I want them to get to the real you. Well, I tell you, the real me is someone who loves Britain, who loves the UK, who loves... I love Scotland. I wish... You know, one of the biggest problems I have in winning -- I won't be able to get back there so often. I would love to go there, as you know before this happened, I would be there a lot. Very special people and a very special place. So I don't want to cause any difficulty for your country, that I can tell you. Can I get an apology out of you just for the retweets of Britain First? If you're telling me they're... I think it would go a long way. Here's what's fair. If you're telling me these are horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologise if you'd like me to do that. I know nothing about them. And you would disavow yourself of people like that? I don't want to be involved with people, but you're telling me about these people, because I know nothing about these people. Thank you Mr. President. Thank you. It means a lot to people in Britain. On the issue of trade, you were very encouraging when you met Theresa May. And Barack Obama came over to Britain just before the EU referendum and said if we voted to Leave, we'd go to the back of the queue. What is your position now? Are we at the front of the queue for a new trade deal with America? So we are going to make a deal with the UK, that will be great. As you know, somewhat restricted. Because of Brexit you have a two year restriction. And when that restriction is up we're going to be your great trading partner. It's a tough restriction to have. You know for a couple of years, you have very strong lack of being able to do things. [How come you called the referendum result correctly?] Because I know the British people and I understand the British people, and the British people wanted to have control over their country. And they don't want to have people coming from all over the world into Britain and they don't know anything about these people. And I said because of immigration, and to a certain extent because of trade, but mostly immigration, I said that Brexit is going to be a big upset and I was right. And now we've seen how it's played out. Do you believe that we're in a good position in Britain? A lot of people are still very nervous, very anxious, but hearing the President of the United States saying 'There's plenty of good trade coming from me' -- that's a big deal to people in Britain. Well, would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn't negotiate the way it was negotiated. But I have a lot of respect for your Prime Minister, and I think they're doing a job. I think I would have negotiated it differently. I would have had a different attitude. What would you have done? I think I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it's supposed to be, and I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out... I have a lot of problems with the European Union. Yeah. You've done business with them. They're very... no, it's not a question of doing business. But I will tell you, representing the United States, it's a very unfair situation. We cannot get our product in. It's very very tough. And yet they send their product to us -- no taxes, very little taxes, it's very unfair. I've had a lot of problems with the European Union, and it may morph into something very big from that standpoint, from a trade standpoint. The European Union has treated the United States very unfairly when it came to trade. They're not the only ones by the way. I could name many countries and places that do. But the European Union has been very very unfair to the United States, and I think it'll turn out to be very much to their detriment. So are we front of the queue? Or are we behind the French? Because we're a bit worried about Emmanuel Macron who's been all over you trying to be your new best friend. No, I like him. He's a friend of mine. Em-man-u-el! He's a great guy, his wife is fantastic. I like him a lot. You know, we had dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Well he rolled out the red carpet!... My irritation with my country. We've given state visits to Bashar al-Assad, to Robert Mugabe, to Vladimir Putin and to President Xi. So the implication from them trying to ban you, is that somehow you're worse than they are. Well I hadn't heard about banning, but I think a lot of the people in your country like what I stand for, they respect what I stand for. And I do stand for tough borders. I'm going to come to that now, but to those who don't, what do you say to them? I don't care, I don't care. It's just one of those things. I don't say anything. You know why? Because I don't care. Let's turn to security, national security. You've been very tough on this. You vowed again, in an interview with Good Morning Britain, you were going to hammer ISIS hard. ISIS is now out of Iraq and Syria. I mean, that's a big double success for you, right? By the way, we would have never been there with the previous administration. Are we winning the war..? And I have to say this. With the economy, had the previous administration in its own form, in a different form, or let's put it, had the Democrats won -- instead of being almost 50% up, they would have been 50% down, because the United States was heading in a very bad direction. Yeah, we've done very well in Iraq, we've done very well in Syria, we've hammered them. But they spread. They go all over. It's not a good situation, and nobody knows it better than the folks in the UK. You've had some tough bouts. A lot of Muslims think you hate them. That you hate Muslims. No, totally false. No, that's false. Clarify what you feel about that. I feel love for all people, but if a person's bad, we've got to do something about it. There's got to be retribution. But I've had great great relationships with Muslims, and I had good support from Muslims during my presidential run. And I think I have good support right now. You know, it's interesting. They want to be safe also, Piers. And they like me because I give them security. I have a great relationship and respect for Muslims. Only 8 people were killed in American by Islamist terrorism in 2017. By comparison, domestic gun violence killed at least 30,000. There was another mass shooting in a school this week in Kentucky -- the 12th this year alone. Two of the worst mass shootings in American history have happened on your watch, in Las Vegas and at the church in Texas. People will be saying you're very tough on security, you want to keep Americans safe, but if you don't do anything about gun violence at all, that seems an irrational position, for somebody who wants to keep America safe. I'm a very big Second Amendment person, as you know very well. But take a look at Paris, where you have very very tough gun controls, take a look at that horrible slaughter that took place at the cafes where so many people were killed. And you had these thugs come in with guns. One by one for a long time, they just killed and hundreds of people wounded to this day still in the hospitals. That was one of the worst. And you've had many of them, where there are no guns except for the bad guys. So the bad guys have the guns, and if you would have had somebody with a gun right here when they walked in so that you could have had bullets going in the other direction, you wouldn't have had hundreds of people killed... By the way, you have many of those. You look at San Bernardino, California. These guys walk in -- the people that they knew -- they walk in and they start one by one shooting them. They had no chance. But here's the difference... Piers, they had no chance. OK, but let me give you the other side of this coin. I come from a country with very few guns. We have 32 deaths a year. In America, every day... You have a lot of terrorism. Right. That's separate to it, but on the gun issue. Let me just put this to you. The Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, he bought 55 guns legally in the year prior to his rampage, including 13 AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, which he then equipped with bump stocks, which effectively converted them into machine guns, which are illegal. And he rained bullets down on 20,000 people in America. I remember it very well. It was terrible. Why has nothing been done to stop somebody doing that again? We do have gun control laws, and this sick person -- he was a sicko. I mean that's the big problem, there's sick people. If he didn't have a gun he would have had a bomb or he would have something else. But he had 55 guns. The point is he would have had 55 bombs. He would have had 55 of something else. Why can't you make it difficult for him? You know, it's an argument that people have... I've heard it every different way and we can go around this argument. I'm a Second Amendment person. I think you need it for security. I think it would be far worse. I think you need it for security. But again, you've had so many attacks where there was only a gun -- a bad person's gun -- going in this direction, and if you had one on the other side -- so many. In fact, that's a very big example. And if they had the bullets going in the opposite direction, you would have saved a lot of lives. So I get what you're saying, but I believe in the Second Amendment. Quick fire -- climate change. For you, is it about the science or is it about the money? The Paris Accords. I think it's about everything and I'm a believer in clean air and clear water. The Paris Accord for us would have been a disaster... Are you completely out of that? I'm completely out of it. No way back? There could be a way back. First of all, it was a terrible deal for the United States. If they made a good deal, like if they made a good deal with TPP -- you know, having to do with trade -- there's always a chance we'd get back, but it was a terrible deal for the United States. It was unfair to the United States. Do you believe in climate change? Do you believe it exists? There is a cooling and there is a heating and I mean, look -- it used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming. Right? Right. That wasn't working too well, because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records, so OK, they're at a record level. There were so many thing happening, Piers. I'll tell you what I believe in. I believe in clear air. I believe in crystal clear beautiful water. I believe in just having good cleanliness in all. Now, that being said, if somebody said go back into the Paris Accord, if we could go back into the Paris Accord, it would have to be a completely different deal because we had a horrible deal, As usual, they took advantage of the United States. We were in a terrible deal. Would I go back in? Yeah, I'd go back in. I like, as you know, I like Emmanuel... No, no, I like Emmanuel, I would love to, but it's got to be a good deal for the United States. Quick question on trophy hunting. You seemed to indicate that you've had a change of mind about this, or you'd like the administration to. I changed it. I didn't want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks bought back into this. And people can talk all they want about preservation and all of the things that they're saying, where money goes toward -- well money in that case was going to a government which was probably taking the money, OK? I do not, I turned that order around. That was an order. I know you did. I was very pleased to see that. I turned that order around. I tweeted to congratulate you. Were you shocked? Were you shocked? I was surprised, but I also said to people you will listen to argument. And my problem with all the hysterical liberals who lie on the floor kicking and screaming all day long about you, if they actually tried to reason with you and argue with you, I noticed on that you indicated you'd changed your mind and you've now said you have... That was done by a very high level government person. As soon as I heard about it, I turned it around. That same day even. Not even a day went by. No, I was not believing in conservation that... People will love to hear that. A question about your health. Everyone was being led to believe that you were insane, and physically incredibly unfit. It turned out from your recent medical that you are 30/30 in your cognitive tests... Which most people are not going to do too well on. Right. You've got to hand it to you. As you said 'stable genius'. Your words. I am a stable genius. And healthy. You've never had a drink, you've never smoked, you've never taken drugs. We do see lots of pictures of you with burgers and Cokes and stuff. It's an unusual diet. Don't want to change that! No, they build that up. I eat fine food, I eat really... some of the finest chefs in the world. I eat healthy food. I also have some of that food on occasion. Sometimes it makes sense. Actually when you're campaigning there's a lot of sense to it because it's boom boom boom. But no, I think I eat actually quite well. Have you got an invite to the royal wedding? Have I? Yeah. Not that I know of. Would you like to go? I want them to be happy. I really want them to be happy. They look like a lovely couple. Meghan Markle did say you were a divisive misogynist. Well, I still hope they're happy. I'm going to make you happy, because your son Barron is a massive fan of my football team in London, Arsenal. That's true! And we saw pictures of him... he's an Arsenal fan. We've been going through a rough patch for a long period of time. People think it's time for a change of leadership at my club. Barron, I'm sure, shares my view, right? I have something for you. I've done -- this is an Arsenal shirt. He'll be so happy. ...'TRUMP 45'. We're looking for a new leader who has an attacking philosophy, who believes in a strong defensive wall and believes in winning at all costs. And only wants big trophies. Well I think that's beautiful. You know I have a son who does love this sport. He loves this sport. And he loves Arsenal, right? And it's growing very rapidly in the United States. Are you an Arsenal fan? Not particularly, no... Don't kill the dream Mr. President! But I have a friend who owns Manchester United so I know exactly what I'm going to do with it. Really? Wow! That will kill our special relationship! Anyway, that's for you, and if you do want to come and manage Arsenal, we would love it. That's great! That's beautiful. We'll do very well! Mr. President, it's been great to catch up with you. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you.