Interview: Donald Trump with Balz, Johnson - The Washington Post - 2016


Interview: Donald Trump with Balz, Johnson - The Washington Post - 2016

businessman
New Hampshire
Mexico
Iowa
president
Wisconsin
people
things
turning point
New York
Negative
Jenna Johnson
video
Instagram
Instagram video
Negative
Jenna Johnson
Donald Trump
Jenna Johnson
idea
Neutral
Donald Trump
Jenna Johnson
Neutral
Dan Balz
Positive
Donald Trump
Crosstalk
Negative
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
Donald Trump
process
Negative
Donald Trump
Well, the first turning point was when I decided to do it. I didn't really know for sure until literally a couple of days before because I have to give up a lot. Look, I've always heard that for a very successful person, a very rich person to run for president is something you just don't do. You don't do. And I can see why: because of the falsities, the viciousness, it's beyond anything. I think I'm handling it very nicely and I fight back. When I hear the Washington Post has 20 reporters on me, which is wrong, and very few on Hillary and very few on other candidates actually, very, very few, so the level of hatred is pretty amazing. So I think, number one, when I decided to do it was a big turning point almost because I was really thinking in terms of not doing it. I thought of it before, most particularly during the Romney run. If you look back, you'll see I was doing very well on the polls, really well. In fact, the day I announced that I wouldn't do it, NBC was putting a lot of pressure on to renew The Apprentice, which they did again. Generally, they sat right in that chair, Steve Burke right there and the heads of NBC one year ago, you know, sometime prior to June 16th, two months prior to June 16th. They tried to convince me to do The Apprentice again. As you know, even in the 14th season, it did fantastically well. They wanted me to do it again. I said no. That was a turning point. When I turned down The Apprentice, in a way, was a turning point because you're turning down, not only -- look, it's still a lot of money. I get paid a lot of money. You saw that. Two hundred and thirteen million dollars was reported as of a year ago is what I've made from doing The Apprentice. I also own -- I have a big chunk of it with Mark Burnett. Mark Burnett and I have the power over The Apprentice. And we chose Arnold Schwarzenegger to take my place. That was a little bit of a turning point because you're giving up a primetime show that has done very well for 14 seasons. It was a lot of money I made. It was reported that I made $213 million. It was reported, certified that I made up until that point. Obviously, you get paid a lot of money for doing it. You're also in primetime television between an hour and two hours a week. Some people think it's trivial. It's not trivial at all.
NBC
president
Washington Post
turning point
big turning point
Apprentice
Negative
Donald Trump
Okay, that's such a great question. In 2011, my children were younger, Ivanka, who you know and met. My children were younger. I was doing numerous jobs, many jobs, and I really wanted to wrap them up. Now, I've just finished Doral in Miami and a couple of others. The Old Post Office is the one - because we own 100 percent of that and owned 100 percent of Doral. One of the misconceptions, although it's a great thing, I do licensing deals, but I own a lot of stuff. We have many licensing deals going on all over the world right now. We're going to have hundreds of them all over the world. The Old Post Office is finishing up. In fact, we'll be one year ahead of schedule, which looks awfully good down on the résumé. We're going to be opening that around September 15th. I mean open-open. That's approximately one year ahead of schedule, which is great. That's what I do. I mean, I think building and building on time, on budget, even ahead of schedule is one of my big strengths, which is awfully a good strength to have for infrastructure of this country, where the country is falling apart. When I go back four years, Dan, I had a signed contract with The Apprentice, so I couldn't say I won't do it because I actually had another signed for another year. I'd actually have to go and get my way out of it. The show was doing very well so it wouldn't be that easy. And I had numerous jobs going on. It's hard to say to NBC where they have a very successful show that, would you let me out of a season? I talked about it routinely with them. But they wouldn't have been thrilled. Also, I had numerous jobs. Now, it's four years later. I think in many ways, the country is doing worse from the standpoint of jobs, from the standpoint of anger. I think the Iran deal was an absolute -- the deal they made with Iran was an absolute killer deal. Killer deal. Hillary's in favor it and I'm totally against it. I thought it was a killer deal. Not that I'm against making deals, but they have to be good deals. They can't be incompetent deals. That's an incompetent deal done by incompetent people. I think as I looked at things that were happening, I just said, this is the right time to do it. My children are four years older. I have great executives. I lightened up on the hard jobs, which is the big building developments where there's risk. You want to get them finished, everything else. That would be essentially a turning point. That's why I decided this way.
the deal
Doral
Old Post Office
numerous jobs
killer deal
Negative
Dan Balz
turning point
Neutral
Donald Trump
One turning point would be some time prior to turning down The Apprentice with the extension for a lot of money, for a long extension, too - a lot of money and a lot of prestige. You have a primetime television show that does very well. The other would be just a day — maybe you could put this in the same category — the day and a few days before I announced. Once I sent out the press release, it's going to be awfully hard. I'll take a very bad day if I turned out the press release and then decided not to. When I put out that release that we're going to meet on June 16th, and that was the famous escalator ride down. Such an interesting question, nobody has asked to do it that way. I think a very important element was the polls have me doing very well on the debates. They do all those online polls. Time magazine does, and then Drudge and all of them. There's about six or seven of them. I seem to have done very well on the debates. That was important because I didn't know. I never did that kind of debating before. I didn't know what that was going to be like. I actually like it. But I didn't know that debating would be good, bad or indifferent. I'm debating against the people that do that professionally. I'm running against 16 very capable people. I feel very good. The first debate, I felt I was hit unfairly, but that's okay. But I came out very good on that debate. Every single online poll -- will you get that information [for] Dan? That and the Facebook stuff and that Google Map, which was crazy. But every single online poll — and I'm saying this as we're recording — of every single debate that I was in - I skipped the one debate because I didn't think I was being treated fairly - but every single online poll of every single debate, I won. I won every one of them. Now, these are hundreds of thousands of people. This isn't like, gee, I'm sending somebody, dial in. After the debate, polls have become much -- I think I made polls more important, to be honest with you, because I talk about polls. The new polls are terrific. The Morning Tracking Poll now, it's like that. We're now exceeding her. Your Washington Post came out with a beauty where we're a couple of points ahead -- strongly, strong trend, too, which is very important. Every single poll had me winning the debates. I didn't know about the debates. But I did know because I've always gotten ratings. NBC always called me the ratings machine, the nickname. You found that out. Of course, the numbers came out and there's 24 million for NBC; a couple of weeks later it was 23.5 million for CNN. One was the highest in the history of cable television. The other one was the highest in the history of CNN. They cover a lot of wars. They cover a lot of interesting stuff. I was less surprised by that, I think, than some other things. I've always gotten very high ratings, which I guess is one of the reasons that television has covered me to that extent perhaps.
press release
NBC
CNN
single online poll
famous escalator ride
Positive
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
No. I know that's the way life works. A lot of times, people ask me, what's the difference between like top business people and politicians? You can't totally generalize, but I would say the business people can be tougher, but the politicians can be much more deceptive. It's a very deceptive group of people. I wouldn't even tell you about the press difference. But there's a big difference there too. I won't discuss it. But I've always found that to be an interesting question. I deal with the top people and there's a certain toughness that they have that's greater than the politicians. But the politicians are far more deceptive, which to me is that's the way it is. That's just my opinion. So I think that New Hampshire was a big moment for me. I'm a pretty political person. I was on the other side giving hundreds -- I guess I gave $350,000 to the RGA, Republican Governors' Association. Historically, I gave always a lot of money to politicians including to New York where I have a lot of stuff and a lot of zoning. I got a city zoned on the West Side of Manhattan from 72nd Street to 59th Street. That was a tremendous success, like a phenomenal success. Nobody writes about my successes. They only talk about, oh, how's your water company doing? My water company's doing great actually. But nobody knows about the water company. I have a water company that does a big business. They talk about my water company. But I said, I wonder, why don't they talk about all of these places all over the country, all over the world that are tremendous successes? They don't want to talk about that. I think that when I came down, when I made the speech and when I won New Hampshire -- New Hampshire was a very important state for me because as a person that was involved in politics but really from the other side — from the donor side I guess you could say, and nobody knows more about the donor side than I do — I think the words, "New Hampshire," meant a lot to me. It's just a very important state politically. I always heard all my whole life, New Hampshire, right? You hear Iowa. You hear New Hampshire. Doing well in Iowa, which I was never given credit for -- I don't know if you remember. When I came in second, it was a strong second. It was a strong second, and I got zero credit, and Rubio came in third. They were talking like he was the next coming. I said, but I beat him by a lot. I beat him. Why aren't they talking about that? So I learned a little bit about lots of things including unfair treatment of the press. But New Hampshire was great because I wasn't expected to win. I would say Bush was probably expected to win. That was going to always be his state. He had spent a fortune in New Hampshire. He had spent a fortune on negative ads on me, a fortune. I'm getting hit 15 different ways with the negative ads. Then I won it by a lot easily, so that was a big one. I'd say another one was a great thing that happened to me was in South Carolina. That was going to be a firewall. Cruz has many firewalls, right? That didn't work out too well because I won the South, all of the South. I won in Alabama, in Arkansas on everything. Kentucky, I won. I mean, the state of Florida was an incredible victory. But I won the entire South. I think, Jenna, right? Everything. I mean, I can't think of anything I didn't win there. That was all going to be Cruz's territory, right? We have everything there. That was going to be Cruz's territory. Not only did I win them, but I won them by massive numbers. I got almost 50 percent in the state of Alabama. During a similar time, I won Massachusetts with almost 50 percent. I will tell you that winning very different places like that with tremendous percentages against many people -- you've heard me say this. I've been treated -- I don't know if it's purposely or is it a lack of knowledge by the pundits, but I think it's probably purposely. As you know, we started off with 17 people. So the first place, I had 16. You had to beat -- and I got a lot of people in Iowa, a lot of people in New Hampshire, but I had many, many people. If you start taking that down where you would normally have one or two or three people instead of 16 people, my numbers were enormous, as good as they are now. And the pundits never bring that out. In other words, when I won Massachusetts -- you'll have to check the number but let's say I had five, or seven, or ten people – we had a lot. And yet, I get almost 50 percent. That's a phenomenal thing. I know that, for instance, in watching somebody like a Charles Krauthammer, he was conscious: "He didn't get 50 percent." But I had 12 people. You understand? You can't get 50 percent. I watched Hillary Clinton the other day -- two weeks ago because now, I'm catching up very rapidly. But I broke the alltime record in the history of the Republican Party for the number of votes in the primary. But she said, "I have 1.7 million votes more than Trump." Well, she's had one candidate, whereas, I start
New Hampshire
water company
people
Negative
Donald Trump
courage
Positive
Dan Balz
Positive
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
Dan Balz
Dan Balz
first
Neutral
Jenna Johnson
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
Negative
Dan Balz
Negative
Donald Trump
Dan Balz
politics
Yeah
Positive
Donald Trump
Dan Balz
Dan Balz
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
question
good question
Positive
Dan Balz
Phoenix
Neutral
Jenna Johnson
Jenna Johnson
Dan Balz
Dan Balz
right
Positive
Donald Trump
conversation
Unrelated conversation
interview scheduling
Negative
Dan Balz
Positive
Jenna Johnson
Donald Trump
original
Negative
Jenna Johnson
Positive
Dan Balz
difference
Muslims ban frame
Neutral
Donald Trump
decision
fairly quick decision
No
Positive
Jenna Johnson
Dan Balz
Pearl Harbor Day
Pearl Harbor
time
Neutral
Donald Trump
time
Neutral
Dan Balz
Pearl Harbor
Positive
Jenna Johnson
Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Positive
Donald Trump
Well, I gained that before because I must tell you, I've had good instincts in life, and a lot of this is instinct. You talked about three moments of -- I mean, I could tell you, one was when Charles Krauthammer and others, many others said this is the single most talented field of candidates ever assembled in the history of the Republican Party. They said that. One said since World War II. It's a long time. But they said, literally, there has never been a group of such talented people. This is the single greatest group of people. And I hadn't announced yet. I'm saying what am I doing? These people are saying this group. Why am I doing this? Because I don't know most of these people. But I did it anyway. And now, I say, really? Tell me about it. So you have to go by your own instinct. You can't listen to the pundits. I mean, I watched this poor guy, this poor, sad guy who's on television all the time talking about the party, the magazine. What's his name? Bill Kristol. I watched this poor guy. He's called it wrong for two years. "Trump will never run. He's never going to run. It won't happen. He won't run. He won't run." I'm running. Then, "He'll never file papers. It won't happen. It won't happen. And if he does, he'll ask for two 45-day extensions." I filed my papers. Whereas, guys with a one-day financial page asked for extensions, I didn't and I have over a hundred pages. I watched these people. And they're sad. I mean, he's a sad guy. I watched him the other day on television, "Well, we haven't given up." But here's a guy who has been wrong about me for a-year-and-a-half from before I ever announced. "He'll never announce. It won't happen. He'll never file his papers." Then I filed my papers. My papers are great. By the way, those papers, I filed my new ones and I got pretty rave reviews on that. I have very little debt. I have phenomenal assets. Those are the papers you'll learn something about somebody. You don't learn them from tax returns just so you understand. And I'll file my tax returns when the audits are finished, and they're routine audits. But those are the papers, Dan, that you'll learn something. I filed, I guess, it's over 100 pages - One hundred and four pages of deal after deal after deal. Good ones. They don't even talk about, oh, this one on page 87 maybe wasn't so good. I actually take good deals. I've taken what should be bad deals because the market collapsed and made them great deals, sometimes better than if the market didn't collapse.
Republican Party
tax returns
World War II
sad guy
papers
poor guy
Negative
Donald Trump
New Hampshire
No
Neutral
Dan Balz
New Hampshire
Neutral
Donald Trump
Well, I think in my case, it's because number one, I don't believe the numbers. But I think in my case it's because popularity is not important as competence. I believe that as an example, I'm going to do very well with women. You've seen where they voted and you had polls. Look at the women votes like the exit polls, because they want strength, they want strong borders, they want a strong military. They want strength. They want terrorism ended. I do great on all of the military questions, all of the military, all of the security questions. And women want that. They want that. And if you look at the polls, like CNN does these massive polls where they talk about everything, I do the best on military, the best on the borders, the best, all of these things. And I think that far outweighs -- I oftentimes tell the story about a woman that came up to me. She said, "Mr. Trump, I like you so much but you have to be nicer." I said this election has nothing to do with nice. This has to do with competence. And the people are tired of incompetent people. Hillary, essentially, is incompetent. I will say that. She may have experience but you look at her decisions -- and I was totally against the Iraq War. They like to say, well, on Howard Stern -- that was while before the war started. And even then, I was, I don't know. That's the first time I was ever asked the question. Don't forget, I'm a businessman. Nobody is asking me about the Iraq War. But Howard is a friend of mine. If you go back to 2004, I was strongly against that war. And I was against it before it ever started because I said it's going to destabilize the Middle East. And Hillary voted for it. But beyond that -- because maybe she was given bad information. Beyond that -- because I said it was going to destabilize the Middle East. Everything I said was exactly right. Iran will take over Iraq. Everything I said that's happening. You saw the mess two weeks ago when they walked into their halls [sounds like]. I mean, the place is a total mess. And they will take over among the largest oil reserves in the world when they do that. So I think that it's just worked out. And now, if you say, do I think it could have worked out to this extent because this extent has been a big -- this is beyond like winning. I thought I could win by a neck on the last day maybe. I had no idea that I'd be sitting home watching Hillary Clinton fighting for her life.
Iraq
exit polls
Middle East
Iraq War
largest oil reserves
Negative
Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Positive
Dan Balz
night
Positive
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
glimmer
hope
Positive
Dan Balz
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
statement
strong statement
Positive
Donald Trump
Jenna Johnson
Donald Trump
But Jenna, I had an election. I had the Pope coming out. I thought this was not -- so anyway, that was one thing. So I had three things. I had the Pope which worked out fine because just before -- and he came out and released a statement that really brought it down a big notch. Then I made the statement about Bush and I talked about two things. Number one, during the debate I talked -- when he [Jeb] said, "My brother kept us safe." I said, really? What about the World Trade Center coming down? And for some reason, he's been absolved of that. It was like the paperclip. It's very, very simple but only one person made money with it, right? He was always known as the president that kept us safe. And Jeb would hit me at the debates -- two times at the Reagan Library. And again, at the next debate, I said I got to do it. I didn't want to do it. I got to do it. Because he said, "My brother kept us safe." And at the Reagan Library, I said I got to let him get away with it. And you know the funny thing, nobody thinks of that. Nobody even thought of that. And at the debate I said the next time -- he said it two or three times. Then I said I'm sorry. I have to do this. I said what about the World Trade Center? The single greatest tragedy in the history -- attack in the history of this country. Worse than Pearl Harbor because you were attacking civilians? And the whole audience went like, I can't believe it. And I said it. I've tried to give him the benefit but he kept saying it. And I told him backstage once, I said, Jeb, be careful with that because your brother has some issues. And then I talked to him about getting us sent to the wars. I said your brother got us sent to the war in Iraq, one of the worst decisions ever made. That was during South Carolina. Well, that stuff happened: the Pope, the World Trade Center, and the other. Then Nikki Haley wanted this one and they've all taken their candidates. And I had the lieutenant governor, who was fantastic, by the way, for with me. He was really great. He worked hard. That guy was great. But Nikki Haley came out in favor of Marco Rubio. Trey Gowdy came out in favor of Marco Rubio. Rubio was getting tremendous endorsements. And Ted Cruz was expected to win South Carolina. I end up winning in a landslide.
World Trade Center
Reagan Library
South Carolina
Nikki Haley
Negative
Dan Balz
delegate
Neutral
Donald Trump
delegate
single delegate
Neutral
Dan Balz
Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Positive
Dan Balz
Jenna Johnson
Negative
Dan Balz
Dan Balz
Dan Balz
Neutral
Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Jenna Johnson
Yes. Nice
Positive