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The Situation Room
Donald Trump Interview
Aired May 29, 2012 - 16:04 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Joining us now from Las Vegas on the phone is the chairman and the president of Trump Organization, Donald Trump.
Donald, thanks very much for joining us.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: I thought your reporter was very inaccurate in his description. And I thought the introduction was totally inappropriate and was actually very dishonest.
BLITZER: Well, tell us why.
TRUMP: Well, because what he said was wrong and what he said was almost as though President Obama wrote it, but I'm sure he knows that.
And I thought it was a very inappropriate introduction.
But go ahead with your first question.
BLITZER: Well, I don't -- you -- is there a specific issue you want to dispute that he mentioned, because, if you do, I want to give you a chance...
TRUMP: Obama does not like the issue of where he was born. His own publisher, as you know, using his words, said he was born in Kenya and he lived in Indonesia. Of course, now he's denying that, amazingly.
So -- but I'm not here to talk about that. I'm here to talk, as you said you would, jobs, China, what's going on with respect to China and how they're ripping this country, what's going on with respect to OPEC and how the nations of OPEC are laughing at the stupidity of our country. That's what I'm here to talk about.
BLITZER: All right.
TRUMP: You know that's what I'm here to talk about, and I thought your introduction was highly inappropriate. But that's OK, because I have gotten to know you over the years.
BLITZER: Well, I -- well, listen, Donald, first of all, I never said we weren't going talk about the birther issue. We had a conversation earlier today. We didn't discuss at all what we were going to talk about.
TRUMP: It's something that bothers Obama very much.
BLITZER: I don't know why you're...
TRUMP: And I will tell you, it's not an issue that he likes talking about. So what he does is uses reverse psychology on people like you, so that you report like, oh, gee, he's thrilled with it. He does not like that issue because it's hitting very close to home. You know it and he knows it.
BLITZER: I don't know it.
Donald, you and I have known each other for a long time. And I don't understand why you're doubling down on this birther issue after the state of Hawaii formally says this is the legitimate birth certificate. He was born in Hawaii.
Why are you going through all of this, Donald?
TRUMP: Well, a lot of people don't agree with that birth certificate. A lot of people do not think it's authentic.
BLITZER: But if the state of Hawaii authorizes it, if the state of Hawaii says, this is official, he was born in Hawaii on this date, here it is, why do you deny that?
TRUMP: A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate.
BLITZER: How can you say that if the...
TRUMP: Now, you won't report it, Wolf, but many people do not think it was authentic.
His mother was not in the hospital. There are many other things that came out. And, frankly, if you would report it accurately, I think you would probably get better ratings than you're getting, which are pretty small.
BLITZER: Donald, have you seen the actual newspaper announcements within days of his birth in Honolulu, for example, "The Honolulu Star- Bulletin"? We will put it up there. You see the birth announcement back in 1961.
BLITZER: Listen to me, Donald.
BLITZER: Can I ask...
TRUMP: Am I allowed to talk, if you could stop defending Obama?
BLITZER: Donald, Donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you.
TRUMP: No, I think you are, Wolf.
Let me tell you something. I think you sound ridiculous. And if you would ask me a question and let me answer it, instead of making...
BLITZER: Here's the question. Did the conspiracy start in 1961, when "The Honolulu-Star Bulletin" and ""The Honolulu Advertiser" contemporaneously published announcements that he was born in Hawaii?
TRUMP: That's right.
And many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefit of being so-called so-called born in this country. Many people did it. It was something that was done by many people,even if they weren't born in the country. You know it, and so do I. And so do a lot of your viewers.
BLITZER: Donald, explain why -- so why did the state of Hawaii authorize that live birth certificate? Why did they do it? Are they part of this conspiracy as well?
TRUMP: Well, your Democratic governor who was the one that was really leading it, a lot of people say, where did it come from? And they're saying how come he didn't show it to John McCain, Hillary Clinton? It was only Donald Trump that got him to do it.
So, you know that, and I know that. And when you say that Obama doesn't mind this, Obama hates this subject. When his publisher comes out with a statement from him made in the 1990s that he was born in Kenya and that he was raised in Indonesia, and all of a sudden it comes out, I think it's something that he doesn't like at all.
Now, what he says is, oh, we love it, we love it, we love it, because that's...
BLITZER: Donald, let me tell you -- let me tell you who hates this subject. It is Mitt Romney, who totally disagrees with you on this, including today. He issued a statement.
TRUMP: I don't speak to Mitt Romney about it. (CROSSTALK)
BLITZER: Is Mitt Romney a Democrat? Is he an Obama supporter?
TRUMP: Mitt -- what I speak to Mitt Romney about is jobs. What I speak to Mitt Romney about is China, because he's got a great view on China and how they're trying to destroy our country by taking our jobs and making our product and manipulating their currency, so that it makes it almost impossible for our companies to compete.
What I speak to him about is OPEC. I don't speak to him about this. You bring it up because you feel it's probably going to get a few more people watching your station, which, unfortunately, they're not doing.
BLITZER: Here's what Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said today -- today, not yesterday, not last week, not six months ago -- "Governor Romney has said repeatedly that he believes President Obama was born in the United States."
Now, he's not a Democrat.
BLITZER: He's not an Obama supporter. He's Governor Romney, the Republican nominee. He says you're wrong.
TRUMP: You know what?
Everybody is entitled to their opinion, Wolf. You know my opinion. You know his opinion. And that's fine. We're entitled, as he said yesterday in the airplane, we're all entitled to our opinions. And he's entitled to his opinion and I think that's wonderful. I don't happen to share that opinion. And that's wonderful, also.
BLITZER: But the state of Hawaii says it's not an opinion, it's a fact.
TRUMP: No, I don't think so. I think if you look at the birth certificate, take a look and you tell me, really. You analyze the birth certificate. There are many people that don't agree with that birth certificate. They don't think it's authentic, Wolf.
BLITZER: I don't know when you say many people who don't agree...
TRUMP: Many people.
BLITZER: Like who?
TRUMP: There are many people...
BLITZER: Give me an -- give me a name of somebody...
TRUMP: There are many people...
BLITZER: -- in a position of authority...
TRUMP: -- that do not believe...
BLITZER: -- in Hawaii who says -- but give me a name.
TRUMP: There are many people -- I don't give names. There are many people that do not believe that birth certificate is authentic.
BLITZER: Well, you know what...
TRUMP: Many people.
BLITZER: -- let me ask you -- ask you this and -- because you said, when you were thinking about running for the Republican nomination, you had a -- an exchange with Meredith Vieira on "The Today Show."
I'm going to play the little clip, because I want to follow-up on this, because it had -- it got me interested, at the time, and I want to see if there is a follow-up.
But listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)
TRUMP: I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they're finding.
MEREDITH VIEIRA, CO-HOST: You have people now down there searching?
VIEIRA: I mean in Hawaii?
TRUMP: Absolutely. And they cannot believe what they're finding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, tell us what your people who were investigating in Hawaii, what they found.
TRUMP: We don't have to go into old news. That's old news. There's been plenty...
BLITZER: Well, what did they find?
TRUMP: There's been plenty found. You can call many people. You can read many, many articles on the authenticity of the certificate. You can read many articles from just recently as to what the publisher printed in a brochure as to what Obama told him, as to where his place of birth is.
And that's fine, Wolf.
Now, it's appropriate, I think, that we get to the subject of hand, which is -- at hand, which is jobs, which is the economy, which is how our country is not doing well at all under this leadership, which is how are we going to do something about energy, which is really that things that I wanted to talk to you about, but you like to keep going back to the place of birth.
I actually think that's an important subject, but I think we've covered that pretty well now, don't you?
BLITZER: One more point and then we'll move on, Donald.
You know the governor of Hawaii who authorized the release of this birth certificate is not a Democrat, but a Republican.
TRUMP: I know nothing about it. All I know is that there are many, many questions from many different sides as to the authenticity of his birth certificate. And all I know is last week, somebody came out with a very strong statement saying that he stated himself that he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia.
Now, I didn't make that statement. That was made by, I assume, either the publisher or the president himself. And that's the statement. That's a pretty hard statement to refute. That was a statement made prior to somebody knowing that he was going to be running for the presidency.
BLITZER: The -- a lot of conservatives, a lot of Republicans are worried that this whole issue of the birth certificate is going to alienate those undecided Independents out there. And they're worried, frankly, that you're out there, out on the campaign trail right now with Mitt Romney. They want Mitt Romney to be president, but this issue is causing them some -- some concern, including George Will.
And you heard what he said on Sunday.
Let me play the clip for our viewers who didn't.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS," COURTESY ABC)
GEORGE WILL, COLUMNIST: I do not understand the cost-benefit here. The -- the costs are clear. The benefits, what voter is going to vote for him because he's seen with -- with Donald Trump?
WILL: The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh.
WILL: -- is obvious, it seems to me.
WILL: Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: Do you want to respond to George Will?
TRUMP: Well, I've responded to George Will. He's not somebody that I've respected. I don't consider him a very smart person. He was at Mar-a-Lago years ago and totally bombed in front of an important group of people.
And, frankly, I have nothing to say about George Will. I think George Will is somebody that said recently that the Republicans will not lose, as a Republican, that the Republicans will not win the election. I think it was a terrible statement. He's somewhat retracted that now. And I think the polls have retracted it.
So I'm not a fan of George Will. I never have been. And I think that probably he wouldn't like me because of his very, very sorry performance, pathetic performance, at Mar-a-Lago.
BLITZER: Are you going to try to convince Governor Romney tonight that you're right on the birther issue and he's wrong?
TRUMP: Not at all. We talk about jobs. We talk about China. We talk about OPEC. We talk about what many other countries are doing to us. That's the only thing I really have interest in talking to him about, other than I think he's a wonderful man and I think he'll be a wonderful president.
BLITZER: How much money do you think he'll raise tonight?
TRUMP: A lot. They'll have a lot of money.
BLITZER: Give me a...
TRUMP: A lot...
BLITZER: -- have you got a ball park?
TRUMP: -- a lot of people are coming. A lot of money will be raised. A lot of people feel very good about Mitt Romney and I think he's going to do a great job.
BLITZER: All right, Donald.
Anything else you want to say before I let you go?
TRUMP: No, not at all.
BLITZER: Donald Trump joining us from Las Vegas.
I think we're going to disagree on this whole issue, but that, of course, is your right to do so. My right, as well.