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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Dan Rather; Writer Talks to Syria's First Lady; Tucson Survivor Runs for Giffords' Seat; Interview with Ivanka Trump
Aired February 9, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: One man has gone head to head with presidents, politicians and scoundrels around the world. Tonight, Dan Rather on the Santorum surge, President Obama and the crisis in the Middle East.
Also inside the mind of a dictator. He's responsible for the slaughter of his own people and what about his British-born wife? I'm going to talk to a woman with unprecedented access to Syria's ruling family.
Plus, an all-American hero. Gabrielle Giffords wants this man to replace her in the House. And he has his own remarkable story.
Plus Ivanka Trump. Her ideas to keeping America great. Some of which may sound familiar.
IVANKA TRUMP: A lot of the trouble we got into was by leveraging up assets and, you know, by just flipping things.
MORGAN: And the burning question I just had to ask about her father.
Now be honest, have you ever had a word with him about his hair?
Also, only in America, could a 6'3" Asian American kid from Harvard, of all places, come off a bench and save a NBA team. Why everyone in New York has Lynn sanity.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. Tonight a country in crisis, a party in turmoil, an American hero and Trump version 2.0. Plus a Cinderella story that could happen only in America. But we begin with presidential politics.
Listen to Rick Santorum today blasting Barack Obama on Middle Eastern policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Imagine a President Obama with four years and no one to be accountable to. Imagine what he can do. Imagine what damage and destruction he can do internationally. To our friend Israel. Who stands and pleads with us to help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Here now to talk about the Republican race and the humanitarian crisis in Syria, a man who's reported from hot spots all over the world. Dan Rather.
Dan, welcome back.
DAN RATHER, HOST, "DAN RATHER REPORTS" HDNET: Glad to be back, Piers.
MORGAN: You're the perfect guy to ask about this. You've covered many presidential races. Put it in some perspective for me. Everyone's saying this is incredible, it's never happened before. People surging here, dropping out here, and so on and so on. Is that really true, or is this like every other presidential race?
RATHER: No, this is not like every other presidential race. This is the fiercest fight for the Republican nomination that I can recall. There's certainly been tough fights before this, Piers. Secondly, this is by far the most expensive campaign already. When we finish this presidential campaign, when all is totaled up, this will be close to a $3 billion presidential campaign.
And what's different about this campaign is the super PAC money. That is to say money that can be given from individuals, from corporations that is not traceable. Much of it is secret and it's pouring into the races. Santorum, since he's had a comeback, a big comeback the other night, with three wins in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, is beginning to get real money.
This translates into a Republican race for the nomination that's likely to go at least until the middle of May, probably to early June, before it's decided, if it's decided then. And there is the possibility of these nominees, these candidates going to the Republican convention in August and still none of them have enough votes to get over the 1144 delegates needed to win.
MORGAN: Now there are two schools of thought about this, Dan. One is that the longer it goes on the better for Barack Obama. It looks like the party can't decide who the opponent should be against him. The other school of thought based, I guess, on what happened to Barack Obama himself, is that actually an elongated battle within your own party to choose a nominee, hardens up the eventual candidate. Which side do you sit on?
RATHER: Well, this is true that Barack Obama has been much more cautious, much more willing to compromise and cut what seemed to be his principles. And this has hurt him, has hurt him within his own party. You can say, well, those in his own party who don't like him aren't going to vote Republican, but they may not go to the polls. And Barack Obama needs to activate his base. He needs to energize his base.
He's been making efforts to do that. An example would be the State of the Union address. But so far he's still got a tough time within his own party. Now, he expected and those at the White House expected that Mitt Romney would be the nominee. I suspect that they still believe Romney is likely to be the eventual nominee. But this has been such a topsy-turvy nomination process on the Republican side that who knows how it's going to turn out?
MORGAN: And I think there's something about Rick Santorum's demeanor at the moment that makes me think, having interviewed him a few times now, he believes he's got a chance, and the reason, I think, is that he suspects that the party isn't as in love with Mitt Romney as it should be, and that they are looking really for a more traditional conservative and the religious aspect, I think, is significant, too.
He went straight into a church yesterday. You know, having a group prayer session for the cameras clearly signaling, I'm a more traditional religious kind of guy.
RATHER: Exactly right. Number one, let me clearly state that if you have to bet the rent money, which I hope you don't, you still have to bet that Mitt Romney is likely to be the Republican nominee. Santorum in my mind is basically running to be the vice presidential nominee. And he's helped himself tremendously in recent days but what you say is true.
Santorum has the smell of triumph, smell of victory in his nostrils. He believes that as time goes along, Newt Gingrich will be knocked out or made irrelevant, he'd be head to head with Romney, and in the end the party will turn to him as a, quote, "true conservative," and one with the plus that he can take some of the Roman Catholic votes from the industrial northeast with him. And be palatable in the south.
Now you can argue that's a pipe dream for Santorum, that being the vice presidential nominee on the ticket is probably the best he can realistically hope for, but you know we've already seen so many surprises in this nominating process, again, who can say? Who knows? I do say that Romney is still likely to be the Republican nominee. But Santorum is now making his fingernails sweat.
MORGAN: Let's turn to Syria, Dan. Obviously, a hell of a mess there. Media coverage is sporadic because of the nature of so few journalists on the ground. What do you think America should be doing right now about this?
RATHER: Well, it's a real Rubik's cube that what I think America should be doing, not that anybody should care, is, one, it should be increasing the pressure at all ways and anyways possible for diplomatic pressure, for sanctions, for the freezing of assets, the banning of travel, and making it so far as possible Syria an international pariah.
This is not going to be easy to do. And it is true, Piers, as you well know with your contacts, that in Washington in some quarters the war drums are beating. A school of thought that says, listen. It's win or lose. Either Assad is going to stay in power or he isn't, and either the Russian-Iran-Hezbollah support for Syria is going to prevail, or we the United States and our other allies are going to prevail.
However -- and by the way this is one reason that Ron Paul continues to do reasonably well in the Republican race. Ron Paul says this is -- in essence he says, this is madness. We don't need another war. We don't want another war. We can't afford another war. And if you went to war in Syria, if you went with a military option, there's no telling where it would lead.
About that, my own personal opinion is he's probably right. American public opinion is not going to be behind any big military intervention in Syria. So I come back to what can be done. You want to strangle, it maybe slowly, you want to strangle the Assad regime. And the two questions about the Assad regime are as follows. One, can some face-saving exit be arranged for Assad? Will Russia give him exile status? Maybe Iran.
The second question is if, if Assad goes, who and what will come into his place? And that's an unanswerable question. This is a real tough one. It's likely to be an issue insofar as anything concerning foreign policy as an issue in the presidential campaign as we get deeper into the year because this problem is not going to get easier. It is going to get a lot tougher.
MORGAN: And what should the American administration be doing about Russia and China who have acted with pure self interest? They are concerned about similar uprisings, I would imagine, in their own backyards and so they are refusing to go along with what is otherwise a pretty unanimous view from the international coalition. What should America do in relation to those two countries and the position they've taken?
RATHER: Well, two different countries, Russia and China. China has been a little more hesitant, a little more reluctant to get involved in this but they have. They've sided basically with the Assad regime.
With Russia, what needs to be done is needed to be done for a very long time. Is the United States needs to reboot its relationship with Russia. U.S.-Russian relations as my friend and professor Steve Cohen, an expert on Russia, continued to point out, our relations with Russia are very poor, therefore when we try to do business with them on something such as Syria, we get pretty much a blank wall.
But no mistake. Russia and Iran particularly, China, somewhat on the side, are clearly trying to keep Assad in power. The two most important countries and governments for the U.S. to listen to, in my personal opinion -- it's just a personal opinion -- are Turkey and, surprise, Qatar, which used to be called Qatar.
Qatar is a minuscule country but it fights well above its weight class in international terms. And whatever the United States is going to do, vis-a-vis Assad and Syria, needs to be done in very cooperation with the Turks and with the Qatars. MORGAN: Dan Rather, as always, fantastic clarity on a complex situation. I really appreciate you coming back. Come back again soon.
RATHER: Thank you very much, Piers.
MORGAN: Thanks, Dan.
As the Assad regime's brutal crackdown pushes Syria into a humanitarian crisis, the country's British-born first lady has virtually disappeared from the public eye. Her only comment, an e- mail from her office to London's "Times" this week saying, and quote, "The president is the president of Syria, not a faction of Syrians, and the First Lady supports him in that role."
One of the last Western writers to speak to Asma al-Assad is Joan Juliet Buck. She profiled the Syrian president's wife last year for "Vogue" magazine, and she joins me now.
Thank you very much for joining me, Joan. What do you make of what is happening in relation to the first lady popping up now and offering her support in this way?
JOAN JULIET BUCK, WRITER, EDITOR: It seems incongruous, Piers, and off the mark and the statement doesn't make much sense.
MORGAN: When you interviewed her, but when you interviewed her, what sense did you get about her as a woman and her place in the Syrian hierarchy?
BUCK: What was most interesting is that she was born in Acton. She went to Queens College, she went to Kings College. I grew up in England. She was a very familiar figure. My best friend in school was the daughter of a Syrian stockbroker in London. So she was an English woman. It was an English woman I was talking to who happened to be married to the president of Syria.
And so to -- you know, for us Westerners to look at somebody who's Syrian, say, well, she's really Western, she's Western, she's English. And I think that the regime has been trying to downplay her Englishness. There was a -- they didn't want me to give her English name which was Emma. That's what she was called in school.
And I found her very, very dedicated to these youth centers called Massar which she had started. And she said that they were to teach -- to empower young people to create a civil society themselves in Syria. And she took me to one of the youth centers. Yes.
MORGAN: And you found her genuinely caring when you went with her on these trips, so there's clearly a huge -- a huge conflict between what you saw then with her and what is now happening, and many people say it's a kind of slaughterhouse from her husband to many of the same children.
BUCK: It seems a crazy disconnect. She took me to a -- to one of these Massar centers in Mataki. There were simply teenagers, you know, wearing sweaters. It was a cold December night. Crawling all over her, asking her questions, asking me questions. She was very at ease with them. She really took them on. She got into real conversations with them. And she -- and she said, this is what I care about the most.
And because she's a banker, she talks about the antiquity of Syria being its hardware and the people being its software, and she said what's important here is the software. And these kids are the software. So to go from seeing her with these children, to seeing photos of this Hamsa Ali al-Khatib who was tortured and mutilated and killed, and whose body was given back to his parents in May, you wonder, this is the first lady of a country where this happened?
Where this is happening to teenagers? Where kids are being slaughtered. Where mourners at funerals are being slaughtered? And where the president goes on television and says this isn't really happening?
It's profoundly disturbing to have even been near people who are so disconnected.
MORGAN: You met the president during your interview. What was your take on him personally?
BUCK: What was kind of an inadvertent because I didn't really want to do the piece in the first place because I didn't really want to meet the Assads or go to Syria but when I went she said that she was going to cook lunch for me. And it was at their apartment. And there was Assad. It was Friday which is the Muslim Sunday. And he was wearing a sweater and he kept showing me his cameras and he kept kind of following me around, and I got the feeling that he wanted to be interviewed, as well.
So I wasn't going to ask him any of the questions. I could have asked him because I was in his home, and I wanted to get out of there in one piece. I asked him why he became an eye doctor. And he said that the reason he became an eye doctor was that it was very precise. It was never an emergency. And there was very little blood. And that's the quote that I used in the article. And nothing that he's done since then has proved that he's an eye doctor.
MORGAN: What do you think is likely to happen now? Do you think the Assads can just bat this will out or do you believe that international pressure in the end will lead to them being overthrown?
BUCK: You know, I'm not a political journalist. I told "Vogue" they should send a political journalist. They wanted a cultural piece. I only write about cultural matters. I was trained as an anthropologist. I look at things that are in front of me. I don't draw a big international conclusions about things. I leave that to people who are far more qualified than I am.
I don't know what's going to happen. I cannot believe the bravery of the Syrian people who started rising up in March and who have been consistently being heroic and brave and getting slaughtered at funerals and getting slaughtered in their homes as the regime claims that none of this is happening. And that it's foreign infiltration and armed terrorists from other country that are causing this. I think the fortitude of --
BUCK: Sorry. Sorry.
MORGAN: It's -- it's just completely outrageous. We've run out of time, I'm afraid. But that's been a fascinating insight.
Joan Juliet Buck, thank you very much, indeed.
BUCK: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: When we -- when we come back, an American hero and might just win Gabrielle Giffords' seat in Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS (D), ARIZONA: I will step down this week. I'm getting better. Every day, my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Gabrielle Giffords stepped down from Congress last month amid an emotional scene and an American hero is now entering the race to replace her. Ron Barber was Giffords' district director and was with her on the day she was shot and is wounded himself.
Now he have to carry on her mission. This is only national interview. And Ron Barber joins me now.
Mr. Barber, welcome.
RON BARBER (D), CANDIDATE FOR HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Thank you very much for having me tonight.
MORGAN: I love, I love the inspiration of this story. I love the fact that you just like Gabby Giffords have fought back from this appalling day last January and you're now prepared to put public service ahead of anything that you might otherwise want to do. Tell me about this decision. Why did you come to it?
BARBER: Well, the decision really started when Congresswoman Giffords looked right at me and said, Ron, will you run? And I told her that it was a decision that I really have to think a lot about, a lot of considerations. My family. My own well being in terms of being able to do this and whether it was right for the district.
Very hard to say no to Congresswoman Giffords. I've never said no to her in my life as we worked together over the last five years. But I did go away from that conversation and gave it considerable thought, looked at the pros and cons, and finally I was able to say to her, Congresswoman, I will do that. And I'll be proud to run for the seat that you've vacated.
MORGAN: Tell me about the injuries that you suffered on that awful day.
BARBER: Well, I was shot twice, once in the face, and that bullet went through my cheek, down my cheek inside of it actually, and just came within a millimeter of my carotid artery. Otherwise the hit I wouldn't be here talking to you tonight. The other injury was in my leg, my left leg, a bullet went through my thigh and severed the femoral vein, and so I lost quite a bit of blood there on the ground outside of the safe-way.
I was very fortunate as many of us were that Citizen Heroes, as they call them, came to our rescue and my hero was a woman by the name of Anna Ballis who held her hand -- her hands on the wound and staunched the bleeding. Had she not done that, the doctors say I would have bled out very quickly.
So that's what happened and I've been recovering ever since over the last year and two months, been getting stronger and really ready now to tackle an adventure I never thought I'd be on, quite frankly. I've never been interested in running for office. I'm not a political person. I've really dedicated my life to public service in various ways over the years and certainly in the last five years working for the congresswoman.
But I have decided that to honor her and her legacy and to try to do something for the people of southern Arizona is a right thing to do right now. I feel ready to do it and announced my candidacy today.
MORGAN: What is the spirit of America that you will be pushing to try? I suppose endure is the right word. You know, to keep alive. What is it that you want to bring to the political system that maybe isn't there at the moment in enough quantity?
BARBER: Well, I really feel very strongly that the tone of our political discourse has gotten way out of control. Certainly, we saw that in the 2010 election. And after I was shot and in the ICU with my family, the first thing that came to me was, we have to do something if we can to change the tone.
And so we established the fund for civility, respect and understanding. And we're launching several projects, they're under way. An anti-bullying program and a mental health awareness program, and an effort to bring civility and respect to the political process so if my campaign is going to be about anything, it's going to be about civility and respect.
But also, there's some really serious issues that we need to tackle in our district and in our country, and I want to dedicate myself to working across the aisle with Republicans to do whatever I can to make sure we solve problems. There's been way too much bickering, way too much division and way too much yelling and divisive conduct.
We really need to come together and Congresswoman Giffords, you know, is a great inspiration for that. When she went to the floor in August to cast her vote on the debt ceiling, we saw how people came together. Albeit for a short time. I think her inspiration over the last year has been, America, we can come together, and she said it in her resignation video, together we can solve problems.
And that's the spirit that I want to take forward and she's been a great model for me and many other Americans. I hope I can serve in that way.
MORGAN: Well, she's been an astonishing woman in many ways, I think, and her heroism, her fortitude and the inspiration that she brings has been touching to everyone I think in America. And I'm sure that a lot of this will follow with you because it's such an extraordinary story.
What advice has Gabby Giffords given you about the challenge now facing you in a potential election?
BARBER: I have just lost my microphone or earpiece. I think you're asking what -- I think it's here somewhere. Find it. OK. I'm sorry. I lost the last part of your question.
MORGAN: I was just asking you what advice Gabby Giffords may or may not have given you so far about the election challenge you're facing.
BARBER: Well, you know, the advice that she has given me has been advice that I have gotten from her over the last five years. We always should take the high road. We should always try to find a way to come together and solve problems. She's run and been successful on a very straightforward approach.
Let's find common sense solutions to the problems that face America. Let's stop talking about it. Let's stop bickering about it. Let's just get gown to solutions. And my entire life in public service has been about that, it's solving problems when I worked with people with developmental disabilities, when I worked before that in Head Start and other community programs.
And it's certainly been the pattern that I have tried to follow in working with Congresswoman Giffords. So never get into the gutter. Never try to demonize your opponent. Stick to the issues. And look for issues on which we can come together and solve problems. So I have learned from her tremendous amount over the last five years and hopefully that will stand me in good stead as I go into election campaign.
MORGAN: Well, Ron Barber, it's been a great joy to talk to you, I must say. I think it's an inspiring campaign. I wish you every success with it. And, you know, to many people, you are a true all- American hero. Very much what makes America such a great country. And I appreciate you coming on to tell me your plans and I wish you all the very best.
BARBER: It's very nice of you to have me and going to be hard work, albeit short period of time. Only four and a half months from beginning to end. I hope people will reach out and support me. I have a Web site up and running, www.ronbarberforcongress.com, and I would welcome support from people all across the spectrum. So thank you again for having me tonight.
MORGAN: Well, I reckon you're going to get a few votes. I just got a little inkling, you're going to get a few votes here. And I wish you again the best of luck. Thanks very much for joining me.
BARBER: Thank you. Thank you very much, Piers.
MORGAN: Coming up next, Trump, the next generation. Donald's daughter Ivanka on keeping America great.
MORGAN: You know my next guest as an entrepreneur, a business woman and the daughter of Donald Trump. Of course, I know her as a board room judge on my winning season -- let's say that again -- winning season of "Celebrity Apprentice."
Joining me now is Ivanka Trump, who is executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization. Ivanka, it's so nice to have you on the other side of the desk.
IVANKA TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": I know. I'm horrified.
MORGAN: I must --
TRUMP: I don't like this dynamic at all.
TRUMP: I'm trying to --
MORGAN: -- terrible nightmares of you staring at me in that ice- cold way, trying to work out if I was about to be fired or not by your father.
TRUMP: So what was the meanest thing I said to you? Not too bad. I quite liked you, Piers.
MORGAN: I'm going to play you a couple clips actually later, not really mean, they're just slightly embarrassing fortunately for you, rather than me.
TRUMP: Especially now given the timing, right.
MORGAN: Exactly, exactly. So I was fascinated by the show. And we'll come to "Celebrity Apprentice," the new season, a bit later. But the dynamic between Donald Trump, who I had never met really before this show invited me in, and then his family around him. And I always said to people, whatever you think of Donald Trump, whether you love him or you hate him, what I was struck by was how normal --
TRUMP: Yeah. MORGAN: -- you children were, how well adjusted, how lacking in some -- if you don't mind me saying, some of the traits that your dad plays up to, how much you loved your father and how close the bond was between all of you, and what mutual respect there was. People I don't think give him enough credit for the family that he has around him, or the way that you have all grown up together. Tell me about that.
TRUMP: First of all, I appreciate all of those things. And when you started to say how normal, I thought you were actually going to talk about my father, because I think people don't really always see him for what he is. And he is really a down to Earth person. And I think the "Celebrity Apprentice" has very much humanized him. So you see that other side of him that's funny, that's jocular and --
MORGAN: By the way, so smart.
TRUMP: Very smart.
MORGAN: People say to me, what is he like, Donald Trump, for real? I said, well, on "the Apprentice," these board room scenes could take three hours. And he would play it like a concert violinist, never missing a trick.
TRUMP: It's true.
MORGAN: Never scripted. Just playing the flow, working out all of the ways of getting people to confront each other about the core issues. And in the process working out who was the best business person.
TRUMP: And I think that's why replicas of the show hosted by other people have failed. It's a very unique skill set to be able to do that, and especially to be able to do that with a room of very successful people. So, you know, with -- with "Celebrity Apprentice," for example, everyone in that room had earned the right to be there by having very long and very successful careers in different fields.
But I guess going back to the earlier question about the family, I think, you know, we -- we try not to think about it in this that context. Am I -- would I consider my brother and my lifestyle normal. No. But I do think that --
MORGAN: -- your personalities --
TRUMP: -- a normal way. I think our parents wanted us to feel like we had responsibilities. They wanted us to be grateful for that which we had. They tried to instill us a sense of work ethic. And I think the best way they did that was being passionate about what they were doing. And I think to some degree, that's infectious.
MORGAN: Do you get upset when people lampoon your father or really criticize him? He attracts equal doses of people who love him and people who seem to hate him.
TRUMP: I do get defensive, of course. But I think increasingly less and less. And more because I see things and remarks roll of his shoulders. So he's not somebody who takes himself too seriously, and is not somebody who can't laugh with the best of them.
So, you know, I've taken and I've learned to realize that it's part of the game. He is a very public figure, arguably one of the most recognized brands on the face of the Earth. And there's a personality behind that. So there's -- so people will sometimes say things.
What upsets me is when they're not based on fact. People have opinions and opinions differ. But I don't like when I see things that are just not based on fact.
MORGAN: How much of the Donald Trump that people know from television and from when he makes his big speeches or does interviews on my show, how much of that is the real him, in terms of the level of bombast, the bluster, the kind of -- I don't think it's arrogance. It's just super self confidence. How much of that is really him?
TRUMP: I think that also comes from a place of honesty. You know, all of us and what we do and what we love doing, and that's primarily in the real estate place, really feel that everything we're doing is the best. I mean, that's what we task ourselves with.
When we build a new building, our objective to is to build something better than that market has ever experienced before. So if we didn't say that, if we didn't believe that, we would have failed at what we do and what we do best.
MORGAN: Is it almost a self fulfilling prophesy, the fact the family now are in the business of driving this real estate global empire, as it's become. And it's all driven from your dad, I guess, and his ethos and his -- the way that he is. But it is self fulfilling, in the sense that the more he goes out and says we're the best at this in the world, the more buildings seem to go up with Trump all over them.
TRUMP: But I don't think they're -- it's related in that way. I think, you know, why you see more and more Trump is because we have a 30-year track record of successful execution in luxury real estate, because we've created tremendous value for people, because people who buy in one building want to buy with us again in another, because we over-deliver.
So you don't see us spend our money in marketing our buildings. We put our money in to the buildings. And I think that all of the platforms available to us we utilize to promote those projects, but we're not spending advertising dollars in "the New York Times" per se.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break and come back and talk about life growing up as a young Trump and life now as a grown-up Trump. Because you're supposed to have had a baby, but you look to be as slim as the last time I saw you. I think it may have been a phantom baby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Well, I think no matter what I hear about my parents, about my family, no matter what I read, the fact is that I'm absolutely, you know, proud to be a Trump.
There's some sort of pride in the fact that people would even take an interest in me just because I'm a part of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was a teenage Ivanka Trump in the 2003 HBO documentary "Born Rich." Look at that hair.
TRUMP: I'm very distracted by the fact that I thought it was good idea to dye my hair black. This was as the black had faded to a very, very dark brown. But yes, that was not -- I was not using great judgment. But you know.
MORGAN: What was life like growing up in the Trump house? Because your mother is also a very strong willed, confident character, I would imagine passionate, could be fiery, very driven. I mean, not dissimilar personalities either of your parents.
TRUMP: They're actually very similar in that regard. They both have an incredible attention to detail, as well. And they both really inspire others. So that's, you know -- and I think you have probably seen this with my father, and my mother is very similar, but the people who work for both of them are so excited to be doing that.
And they find people and they cultivate them. And you know, they grow with the company over decades, in many cases. So, you know, I think that's -- I think that's really one of their special charms.
MORGAN: Be honest, have you ever had a word with him about his hair?
TRUMP: No, I haven't. I haven't. Too many other people have, you know?
MORGAN: I quite like it. It's sort of distinctive.
TRUMP: I'm quite used to it. I actually don't really see anything unusual at all. And in fact, I saw that Bieber himself is now copying the do. I saw a photo of this the other day. And Bieber is never wrong.
MORGAN: So you think Bieber's basically taking the Donald look?
TRUMP: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I didn't even have to say that. Everyone else is.
MORGAN: Let's turn to you and your business empire as part of the whole operation, because you're now traveling around the world all the time. You have this crazy schedule.
TRUMP: Yeah. MORGAN: You pop up in Brazil and Australia and Dubai and so on and so on. You have come out of your shell now to be a proper player at the Trump organization, at a time when America has gone through this kind of cataclysmic financial meltdown. What -- when you look at it, what do you think has gone wrong with the American business model.
TRUMP: Well, I think a lot of has gone wrong, but not just necessarily with the American business model, I think globally. I think there wasn't a lot of restraint that was exercised. Value wasn't necessarily created. A lot of the trouble we got in to was by leveraging up assets and by just flipping things for -- we were looking at a property the other day that zero money had actually been spent on improving the asset and had traded four times over six years, just at higher numbers, increasingly like this, until the music stopped.
So I think -- you know, I think that's what we were seeing domestically and across the world. I actually remember as a kid coming out of Wharton hearing very intelligent, smart economists and professors and business people, as well, saying that the real estate bubble wouldn't burst because, in fact, it wasn't a bubble, and at least domestically, prices would only continue to rise.
I mean, this is what people were saying, which is shocking, because, obviously, the history of the universe has told us whenever anyone starts to speak like that, it means --
MORGAN: Always. It's the beginning of the end.
TRUMP: The ax is coming. But it was quite incredible.
MORGAN: -- do you think as a family -- was it your father's talking about, about the time that he nearly lost everything in the last really big crash, that it really taught him some proper lessons about business.
MORGAN: And about how to survive periods like that.
TRUMP: I think it's particularly incredible, because many of his peers who learned those same lessons didn't recall them. And you saw that especially in the real estate space, that people who had been through similar hardships in the early '90s -- and basically if you were in the business, if you were in the business of real estate back then, you would have experienced the same thing. They didn't learn this time around.
So I'm amazed. And coming out of school, I was champing at the bit to get going. It was such an exciting time. Everything was so frothy. And he really practiced a lot of restraint. And he said, you know, I'm not a buyer based on where value is, and we focused our attentions elsewhere. And we took a very, very conservative outlook and grew other businesses that didn't expose us in the same way other people were. MORGAN: Right now, what was your sense about the economy, particularly in America? Are you seeing the same green chutes that others are beginning to see?
TRUMP: I think now, for us, it's a really exciting time, because now we're really looking at the opportunity to buy assets, to buy assets that in many cases, you know, could use a lot of enhancements, that were half built.
MORGAN: Much cheaper than they would have been.
TRUMP: Of course, yes. So, you know, ground up construction, you're not seeing a lot of those projects domestically because you can buy things at less than the cost of replacing them. So those are the type of things that excite us. And it's really -- it's a very, very difficult climate to borrow money.
And the people who need to borrow money and don't have the capital find it incredibly difficult to do so. So we're in a very good position. We have, you know, great lenders we work with. And we're in the position to borrow, which in real estate is great.
MORGAN: Are you as looking forward to another four years of Barack Obama, as your father clearly is?
TRUMP: Let's hope not.
MORGAN: Are you a die hard Republican?
TRUMP: I am -- I am vehemently against most of Obama's policies. I'm not a diehard anything. You know, I am -- but I am -- I am fiscally conservative. I'm socially more liberal. So I don't know what that makes me. I'm not a libertarian. But I have, you know -- I really wanted Obama to be successful.
I had doubts, like a lot of people had doubts when he came in to office. But I really wanted him to do a great job. And I think that he hasn't.
MORGAN: Let's take another break and come back and talk a bit of "Celebrity Apprentice." And I want to play you a clip from the finale when I won.
TRUMP: Yes, the finale, I was perfectly nice.
MORGAN: But you began to question me about my bedside manner.
TRUMP: Uh oh.
MORGAN: I'm not sure what you were getting at.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Do you guys have a goal in terms of fund-raising? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we do.
TRUMP: What is it? How much? Come on, somebody has to hold your feet to the fire. You know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least five.
TRUMP: An aggressive one. That's great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: From the new season of "Celebrity Apprentice."
TRUMP: I love Paul.
MORGAN: I've got to say, the lineup this time is so wonderfully dysfunctional.
MORGAN: You have every crack pot in town in that room.
TRUMP: It's a -- it's a very, very, very fun six weeks for me.
MORGAN: Let me ask you a straight question, because there were moment I felt when I did the show when it's draining and so long for us. But for you, who has this incredible business going everywhere else, how often do you think, I really want to be in Dubai now?
TRUMP: You know, it's interesting. This was filmed -- I was looking at myself as you were just showing that clip. It was filmed two and a half months after I gave birth to Arabella. So it was actually very nice that for a period of six weeks, I really couldn't travel.
So you're really on lock down. You're filming six days a week. And we have to be here in New York. So this season, I was very, very thankful of the fact that I wasn't able to go anywhere.
Plus, it's a great excuse. For six weeks, I can get out of any dinner commitment, any obligation. You know, we're filming "The Apprentice" is my answer to everything. It works, except obviously being on your show.
MORGAN: Of course, of course. Now how is motherhood going?
TRUMP: It's incredible.
MORGAN: Where is the Ivanka Trump video for how to get back in shape after a baby coming out?
TRUMP: I thought you were going to ask about a line of baby apparel.
MORGAN: That as well, you. But are you enjoying it? TRUMP: I love it. It's -- I mean, you think that through the pregnancy, it's enough time to actually prepare yourself for what it's going to be like. But it's not, both for the good and for the hard. I think the chaos that ensues, the sense of -- the lack of equilibrium in one's household when you bring this new little creature home is --
MORGAN: How is Grandfather Donald getting on?
TRUMP: -- so much fun. He's great. I mean, he's sort of -- he's sort of experienced at this point. So my older brother has three. This is the fourth.
MORGAN: No diaper changing, right?
TRUMP: Zero. Zero. My husband has yet to change a diaper.
TRUMP: Which is shocking, because he's very hands on. So he's definitely --
MORGAN: I would have thought you'd be cracking the whip there, Ivanka.
TRUMP: Honestly, it's a source of pride at this point. I can see him. He's like not even against it. He just likes the fact that he can say it. By the third or fourth, I may win that one.
MORGAN: I have a little clip to play for you from the finale when I won "The Apprentice." I want to discuss what was going through your mind here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It would have been a short board room had you had a better bed side manner.
MORGAN: You don't know about my bed side manner, Ivanka.
TRUMP: But you lack -- right here, that's a great example of the tact that you lack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: How did I know this would come back to haunt me?
MORGAN: I loved that moment. Mainly --
TRUMP: -- side table. We had --
MORGAN: You suddenly realized what you had said. But you were determined not to go along with my lewd British humor, whatever it took.
TRUMP: Yes, that's true. Now time has proven me not to have been so wrong. MORGAN: Correct.
TRUMP: As many of your guests realize coming on this show. You do have an interesting bedside manner, but that's why we love you.
MORGAN: It's the British bedside manner, Ivanka.
TRUMP: Well, it made for very compelling television. You were Omarosa-escue. Those fights with Omarosa were legendary.
MORGAN: Well, they were real.
TRUMP: We had some of those this season. I mean, you're sort of like --
MORGAN: You are kind of modern form of torturers, really, because you deprived the -- all the contestants of sleep. You make them work 18 hour days. You pit them again each other. Yet it's all for charity. There's a very good cause going on here, and yet it becomes so much more. Every contestant, as it goes on, becomes desperate to win.
TRUMP: I was with a friend of mine who had a friend on the show. And that celebrity came to him and was trying to raise money and literally started crying in his office about how she was concerned she was going to lose the challenge. That's the kind of intensity that makes the show so great.
Because the people that are on it are so fiercely competitive that yes, it's about charity, but they're just not programmed to lose. And you mingle with that the total lack of a social life outside of being on the show, you know, the incredibly grueling schedule, and it's very interesting.
And it means that people can't be guarded. You know, initially, the first few days, people are on their best behavior. But after a while, that real personality shows in a way you would never see otherwise.
MORGAN: You find out a lot about yourself. This is going to be a great season. I can't wait to watch it. Ivanka, thank you very much. A real pleasure.
TRUMP: Thank you. Good to see you.
MORGAN: Ivanka Trump, the more glamorous end of the Trump market, if you don't mind me saying.
TRUMP: More tact with every passing week.
MORGAN: Just improving my bedside manner.
Coming up, Only in America, why New York basketball fans have a raging case of Lin-sanity.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Now tonight's Only in America. Move over, Tim Tebow. New York has a raging case of Lin-sanity. That's Lin as in Jeremy Lin, the Asian American Harvard grad who just might be the most unlikely ever savior of an NBA team.
It's a remarkable story that transcends sport. Lin was cut by two teams in December, before the Knicks picked him up with what could best be described as very, very low expectations.
Now, the six foot three point guard has, to general astonishment, rampaged through three consecutive 20-point games. And the Knicks are on a fire streak three-game winning run.
As Lin-sanity spreads, the NBA said today its TV partners in Asia will start showing Knicks games. And what is surely the clearest sign that Jeremy Lin has become a global phenomenon, on Monday, he picked up nearly 10,000 followers on his Twitter account, @JLin. So even the man himself seems rather baffled by all this.
Listen to what he said on the MSG Network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY LIN, NEW YORK KNICKS: It just hasn't really sunk in yet, to be honest. It's like I'm still kind of in shock about everything that happened. But, you know, I'm just trying to soak it all in right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Can't blame him, really. He's still sleeping on his friend's couch. I have got just one problem with Mr. Lin, and it's this: his absurd pregame hand shake. Just take a look.
Lin and teammate Landry Fields, himself a Stanford grad, mime paging through a textbook, taking off glasses, and slipping them into the nerdiest of accessories, the pocket protector.
Jeremy, mate, as a Knicks fan, I think you're fantastic. But take a tip from my mother, who has always told me, keep a handshake firm and brief. Anything more is just awkward. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.