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Trump Speaks Lie on Foreign Policy; ; We Want The World To Be Our Allies; Spend What It Takes To Rebuild Military; Trump Says He Will Always Put America Interests First; Analyzing Trump's Policies. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired April 27, 2016 - 13:00   ET


[13:00:04] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to be smart enough to recognize who those groups are, who those people are and not help them. And we must only be generous to those that prove they are indeed our friends.

We desire to live peacefully. And in friendship with Russia and China, we have serious differences with these two nations and must regard them with open eyes. But we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests.

Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia, from a position of strength only, is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and, ideally, would end soon. Good for both countries.

Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can't make a deal under my administration, a deal that's great, not good, great for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It's as simple as that. We're going to find out. Fixing our relations with China is another important step in really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time.

China respects strength. And by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect. We have a massive trade deficit with China. A deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now.

Look at what China's doing in the South China Sea. They're not supposed to be doing it. No respect for this country or this president. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways. If need be, that's what's going to have to happen.

After I am elected president, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies. And a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges. For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO's outdated mission and structure grown out of the cold war to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism.

I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.

Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction. The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy. With President Obama and Secretary Clinton, we've had the exact opposite, a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy. One that has blazed a path of destruction in its wake.

After losing thousands of lives and spending trillions of dollars, we are in far worse shape in the Middle East than ever, ever, ever before. I challenge anyone to explain the strategic foreign policy vision of Obama-Clinton. It has been a complete and total disaster.

I will also be prepared to deploy America's economic resources. Financial leverage and sanctions can be very, very persuasive. But we need to use them selectively and with total determination.

[13:05:00] Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In Other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand, believe me.

However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A super power understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength.

Although not in government service, I was totally against the war in Iraq, very proudly. Saying for many years that it would destabilize the Middle East. Sadly, I was correct. And the biggest beneficiary has been Iran who has systemically taken over gained access to their very, very rich oil reserves. Something it has wanted to do for decades.

And now, to top it off, we have ISIS. My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That's why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about, except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war.

We have to look to new people. We have to look to new people because many of the old people, frankly, don't know what they're doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in "The New York Times" or being watched on television.

Finally, I will work with our allies to reinvigorate western values and institutions instead of trying to spread universal values that not everybody shares or wants. We should understand that strengthening and promoting western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world than military interventions.

These are my goals as president. I will seek a foreign policy that all Americans, whatever their party, can support, so important, and which our friends and allies will respect and totally welcome. The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends and when old friend become allies. That's what we want. We want them to be our allies. We want the world to be our -- we want to be bring peace to the world.

Too much destruction out there. Too many destructive weapons. The power of weaponry is the single biggest problem that we have today in the world. To achieve these goals, Americans must have confidence in their country and its leadership. Again, many Americans must wonder why our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than in defending their own.

Americans must know that we are putting the American people first again. On trade -- so true. On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, the jobs, incomes, and security of the American worker will always be my first priority.

No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friend and our enemies put their countries above ours. And we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same.

We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down and will never enter -- and under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.

[13:10:13] NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the United States and has emptied our states, literally emptied our states, of our manufacturing and our jobs. And I've just gotten to see it. I've toured Pennsylvania. I've toured New York. I have toured so many of the states. They have been cleaned out. Their manufacturing is gone.

Never again. Only the verse -- and I have to say this strongly, never again, only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. They fire the people. They take advantage of the United States. There will be consequences for those companies.

Never again. Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of a foreign country. I will view, as president, the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America's greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again but we'll, instead, embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.

The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed, humanity itself. But to play that role, we must make America strong again.

And always, always, always, we must make -- and we have to look at it from every angle and we must make America respected again. We must make America truly wealthy again and we must, we have to and we will make America great again. And if we do that, and if we do that, perhaps this century can be the most peaceful and prosperous the world has ever, ever known.

Thank you very much, everybody. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: There he is, Donald Trump, speaking here in Washington, delivering his vision for a foreign policy, if, if he were elected president of the United States. Right now, he is the Republican presidential front-runner.

A blistering attack on the Obama administration's policy but also going back, very critical of the Bush administration policy as well. As far as the Obama administration, saying it's a policy of weakness, confusion, disarray, in his words, a mess. He says U.S. allies no longer respect the United States and rivals don't respect the United States either.

Let's get a quick reaction from all of our analysts and our reporters. Fareed Zakaria, you listened very carefully. He spoke for almost 40 minutes. What did you think?

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": I thought, in the main theme, he really stuck to his guns which was it was populist, nationalist, protectionist. You know, I will look after America first. The trade deals were at the center of it. That was all familiar.

But he expanded. It was sort of rambling to the point of being incoherent. I mean, he contradicted himself several times, it struck me. He said, we're going to get out of nation-building but we are going to create stability. Well, how do you do that? You get out of nation building in Afghanistan, you'll get more instability. If you got out of nation building in Iraq, you got more instability.

He said the allies can rely on us but be completely unpredictable. He said we will spend what it takes to rebuild the military, but we're going to pay down the debt. We're going to spread western civilization, but we're not going to spread democracy. And he ended with a truly bizarre statement about the greatest problem in the world is that we have too many weapons.

And, once again, a strange place where you might find he and Bernie Sanders are one. So, I thought that when he tried to flesh out an actual foreign policy, it was pretty incoherent. He was very strong on his protectionism, anti-trade, American unilateralism.

[13:15:01] He was very strong on attacking the Obama/Clinton legacy. And as you say, really that's mostly the Bush legacy when he talks about the trillions of dollars spent trying to nation build in the Middle East. That's the Iraq War. That's the Afghanistan War. Both of which were initiated by President Bush.

So I don't know that it's going to convince anyone. Certainly it didn't strike me as a careful analytic laying out of a Trump foreign policy.

Mike Rogers, you're the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. What was your reaction?

MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: A bit of the same. I was not exactly coherent. I think he was trying to go -- do three things in this speech, talk to the establishment national security type Republicans to say, listen, I can be presidential. And then he threw a lot of red meat for the base. He took care of that going into states like Indiana. He threw -- he mentioned Benghazi hit a national foreign policy speech. A little odd.

And then lastly he did a -- in Michigan we'd call it putting bondo on the car, trying to keep that thing together, by repairing I -- and the biggest part I noticed was his NATO -- trying to repair his remarks on NATO about being irrelevant. He was basically going back to what is a common theme of, we need to get all the NATO nations paying at that 2 percent GDP and I'm going to bring them in a room and I'm going to tell them, if they don't, we won't play along. And I think that covered both ends of that spectrum (INAUDIBLE).

BLITZER: He said the NATO mission is outdated, but it does have an opportunity to rethink its mission.

Let's go overseas to London. Nic Robertson, I know people all over the world are watching. They're very anxious to hear what he said. He basically said -- and I want to get your reaction -- that the administration's policy on Egypt, on Syria, on Libya, on Iraq has been a total disaster. Maybe well intentioned, but things turned out to be a disaster.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and I think a lot of what we heard there, generally, you could say painted this with broad brush strokes, will warm him and endear him despite his statement sort of really riled people in the Middle East about not letting Muslims into the United States and casting some of the countries there as sponsors of terrorism, some of the Sunni countries, that is.

I think you will find a warming to a good part of his rhetoric when he talks about Iran taking advantage in Iraq. The need to deal with Iran. This is something that's going to warm him to the Saudis, to their gulf allies. I think when you look at Europe here, however, I think there are things in there that will cause the Europeans to worry, not just that there's going to be a demand that they make that 2 percent GDP spent on NATO and the type of equipment that they need to spend it on, big ticket equipment is what the Obama administration has talked about. So not just that, but the fact that he's talking here about really perhaps looking at the relationship with Russia. What does that mean in Europe? Does that mean he is going to blink and forget about what's happened in Ukraine and what's happened in Crimea? That's what the European nations are going to worry about. But, you know, they see -- they see their alliance with the United State as being critical to their defense there. You have, just in Munich, a few months ago, General Philip Breadlove (ph), the U.S. military commander of NATO, saying that Russia is the biggest threat right now that we see and the United States sees. So the Europeans are going to worry that there might be a shift away from that kind of vision on what the compromises might be. So I think you will see a worry in Europe and perhaps a warming to him, a little, in the Middle east, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, I suspect, though, the Saudis probably were very happy with what he had to say about Iran. I assume the Israelis would also be very happy what he had to say about Iran as well, some of the gulf states, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and some other countries as well.

Nick Paton Walsh, you're there in the Middle East for us. You're joining us now live from Beirut.

Let's talk about what he suggested, that the policies of the Bush administration and now the Obama administration over the past seven and a half years in Iraq, in Syria have basically laid the groundwork for the establishment, the creation of ISIS and this threat that now exists in the region and outside of the region. You cover that story for us. What did you think?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting. I mean his grasp of the Middle East in history seems to sort of stop in about 2000, then pick up again in about 2008. If you'd look at why he thinks ISIS came into being, it's because Obama wasn't strong enough. Yes, there's an argument that perhaps a continued U.S. military investment or presence in Iraq could have helped the country perhaps weather the arrival of ISIS. But, remember, ISIS came into fruition as the Islamic State of Iraq during the insurgency against the American presence, against an American presence that was devised and implemented by George W. Bush, between, as we well know, after 2003 and 2008 when he left the presidency. So there's a great deal of desire to say that it's basically Obama's weakness that has caused us to be in the state where ISIS came into existence, completely failing to look at the fact that actually they sprang out of a Sunni insurgency against the American presence there.

[13:20:09] Some other interesting points he had to make too suggesting that, in fact, ISIS in Libya now are, quote, "making millions" by selling oil they've got their hands on to, to part of Libya. Now, that's a huge exaggeration to say the best ISIS' current tactic is to disrupt the Libyan oil system. They've scared some platforms out of existence or operation. They've take control of others. They may be selling some oil on the black market, but it's certainly not a millions strong daily trade. And it's the black market, definitely. It's a concern. But he went on to say that the U.S. is doing nothing about it. Well, that's not true. We do know special forces are getting involved there. We do know there's a lot of surveillance over that country and there have been U.S. strikes there too.

So a great simplification, but also one very dismissive take on the entire Arab Spring, where he basically said that many of the countries involved were countries that, quote, "had no interest in becoming democracies." Well, we saw ourselves the great groundswell of people in the streets demanding change. Yes, it did not turn out the way that people had hoped and perhaps history will say Barack Obama should have been more callous in backing Hosni Mubarak, perhaps in power there. But, frankly, to suggest that people weren't interested in democracy is a slight simplification.

And one other quote really suck out at me, and Fareed's already mentioned it, but to say the power of weaponry is the single biggest problem we have in the world today. Well, that, to some degree, was staggering because you may argue much that the taunt in the world now is because of nuclear weapons held by larger states would halt (ph) series of much smaller weapons around the world, make the world a safer place. It was somewhat confusing and I think somewhat emblematic of the simplification here and really too how we couldn't bridge the contradiction between saying, we're going to be less involved as a power and only fight when we know we can win, victory with a capital v, he said, while at the same time to not necessarily put ourselves out on the front line as much before. So a huge confusion, I thought, between wanting to say America's going to get more involved around the world and bring peace, bring peace to the world, he said, while at the same time, too, not extend itself further than necessarily needs to or perhaps even withdraw at times and get others to do the fighting for it.


BLITZER: Yes, he said the military option would be the last option, the very last option. He would want diplomacy. He'd want economic power. All sorts of things before the U.S. commits troops. He made that point very strongly.

Let's talk about the political fallout right now. Remember, this is in the middle of a political campaign.

Dana, he was clearly appealing to a big chunk, not only of the Republican conservative base, but the American public right now.


BLITZER: Which is sick and tired of the United States going around the world spending, as he says, trillions of dollars losing thousands of lives, building, nation building in parts of the world while so much of the U.S. infrastructure is crumbling.

BASH: All I was thinking about listening to him was the evolution of the Republican Party, if you -- in the form of the standard bearer. Whether it was the Republican president, George W. Bush, who I've covered in the run-up and during the Iraq War, to John McCain, who was the next nominee. Mitt Romney maybe a little bit less, though. But how much things have changed for various reasons with regard to the approach that the Republican base clearly wants its leadership to take.

Because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, obviously, they were all about, as he said, trying to not necessarily nation build but democratize. And they were all about trying to get democracies in the Middle East, insisting that history will prove them right and then maybe it's messy now but in 30 years it will be OK, to where we are now with Donald Trump saying, that's a terrible idea. Who are we to enforce that kind of will and, by the way, instead of spending all that time, money, blood treasure over there, we need to be focusing more on making ourselves great again. And it just, again, just strikes me as, if I had a time machine and put myself back covering the George W. Bush White House in 2002, 2003, you would have been laughed out of --


BASH: You know, of the country basically by anybody who considered themselves a real Republican.

BLITZER: His basic point, though, Gloria, was America first right now.


BLITZER: And that's -- that's the theme.

BORGER: Which he said.

BLITZER: He's laid out his vision and it may not necessarily be attractive to all the think tankers, the elite foreign policy establishment here in Washington, but for the public at large, here in the United States, the vision he laid out is going to resonate.

BASH: Without question.

BORGER: Well, I think the think tankers would agree with America first, it's just that they would engage and describe it differently.

One thing that struck me about Donald Trump was him saying we have to be unpredictable starting right now. And, you know, everybody who runs for president is a reaction to the current president. And the rap (ph) on this president is that he is too predictable because he wants to engage, negotiate, he's talked about constructive engagement since he first ran for the presidency, and, you know, the sense about Barack Obama is that he is too willing to negotiate, not willing enough to walk away from the table as Donald Trump was talking about. So what he is saying is, I'm not going to be predictable. In a way, I understand what he's saying, but that isn't going to give any comfort to your allies who would like somebody they know can be a predictable ally. I get what he's saying, as a negotiator, but as a leader of a country, there's a question about --

[13:25:42] BLITZER: He's made the point, Nia, repeatedly, and he made the point once again today, if the U.S. is going to deploy 50 or 250 or 1,000 troops to Syria or Iraq, don't make big announcements, just do it. Get the job done. Don't give your adversary, don't give your enemy all the information they need to target these American troops. Go ahead and just do it and get the job done. Bring them home as quickly as possible.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, and that's something you have often heard from sort of armchair pundits, talk show hosts and folks in Congress as well. You know, in some ways, I thought much of this speech was sort of boilerplate, you know, put America fist, blaming Obama for being feckless, protecting the veterans. He talked about rebuild -- rebuilding the military, but also wanting to save money while doing it. But there was that moment when he essentially said, to hell with all of you, foreign policy experts in Washington, including you, Mike Rogers.

ROGERS: I felt very hurt by that. I really -- I really did.

HENDERSON: Yes. Yes, that none of you guys have gotten us to where we need to be on the world stage. And we need new voices and we need new vision. And I'm here, Donald Trump, to articulate that. And I think Dana's exactly right. I mean the difference between even Mitt Romney, right, and Donald Trump.

BASH: Exactly.

HENDERSON: Mitt Romney saying the biggest geopolitical faux is Russia.

BASH: Right.

HENDERSON: And Donald Trump here saying, you know, I can work with Russia. In some ways, he is parroting Hillary Clinton. Sort of, you know, let's reset this relationship. So a lot there, I think. A lot to chew on. A lot for people to like.

BLITZER: Let me bring in Fred Pleitgen, one of our senior international correspondents, who was listening very carefully.

Fred, I assume people all over the world were listening. They're intrigued by Donald Trump. And I assume a lot of foreign leaders, international leaders around the world, are beginning to take him much more seriously now, now that he is potentially poised to be the Republican presidential nominee. What's the likely reaction in Moscow, for example, to his reaching out saying, I want to work with the Russians. Also to the Chinese, I want to work with the Chinese, but they're going to have to work with us as well.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's interesting, Wolf. And I think after hearing this speech by Donald Trump, the Russians most likely are going to be almost ecstatic by what they heard because, on the one hand he said, he said, yes, he wants better relations with the Russians. He believes that something like friendship is actually possible. And then on the other hand, he really didn't point out anything that he believes that the Russians need to do to actually get there. Like, for instance, mentioning the situation in eastern Ukraine and possible political movement there, possible movement on the Minsk agreement to try and get things on track there. So certainly no mention of that at all.

And I can tell you, Wolf, I was out earlier today on the streets of Moscow here and I was querying people about the presidential candidates and literally everybody that we spoke to here in Moscow on the streets likes Donald Trump and wants Donald Trump to become president because they believe that Donald Trump would mesh well with Vladimir Putin. Both of them have shown admiration for each other, have made very positive statements about each other. It's interesting, there's a poll that was done of G-20 nations and in every single G-20 nation polled, the people there said that they believe Hillary Clinton would make the best president, except in Russia, where Donald Trump is ahead by a landslide. So he certainly has a lot of admirers here. And statements like the one he made today in that speech will certainly do a lot to fortify that position.

It's one of the things that the Russians have been talking about again and again and again. They feel that they're being singled out by the west. They believe the west should drop their sanctions. They believe the west should work more closely with Russia on foreign policy, specifically on fighting terrorism. And one of the things that Trump said in his speech is he said the Russians themselves have also witnessed the horrors of international terrorism. Therefore, he believes that there could be a mutual understanding there. I think there's going to be a very positive reception to the things that Donald Trump said in his speech about Russia here in Moscow, specifically in the Kremlin tonight, Wolf.

BLITZER: Interesting.

I want to go to CNN's Latin American -- senior Latin American affairs editor, Rafael Romo, who's joining us right now.

Rafael, it was very interesting. He spoke about strengthening the borders. He spoke about immigration. He spoke about making America secure and all of that. Did you hear anything specific about the wall and that Mexico would pay for it?

[13:30:06] RAFAEL ROMO, SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Well, that's the thing, Wolf, for the last few months we've heard Donald Trump talk about building a wall with Mexico, making Mexico pay for the wall,