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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Donald Trump Makes A Return Visit

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The audio:

08-11hhs-trump

The transcript:

HH: And I’m pleased now to welcome Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

DT: Yes, good morning.

HH: We’re a little bit late, so I hope I get a little reprieve on the time that Hope gave me.

DT: Oh, we’re going to have to do that. I think we’re going to have to do that. I did another show, and they just wouldn’t let me off. As you say, I get the best ratings, or whatever you say.

HH: You’re the best interview. You’re the best interview.

DT: They, Hugh, they would not let me off the show. I should have mentioned your name, okay?

HH: Oh, well, I may do the same. I may have to just hold you hostage here. Okay, Donald Trump, let’s get started. The obviously question, I want you to hit it out of the park again. You did last night. Did you intend to incite violence against Secretary Clinton with your comments on Monday?

DT: No, of course not, and people know that. Rudy Giuliani was there, and being a lawyer, he made a very good case, and actually, a very strong case, but absolutely not. We’re talking about the power of the voter. We’re talking about the tremendous power, and you understand this probably better than anybody, the power behind the 2nd Amendment, the strength behind the 2nd Amendment. And we’re talking about the power of the voter. And the voter does have tremendous power. And the Democrats want to decimate the 2nd Amendment. They want to literally decimate it. And if they get in, they are going to decimate it. But they have to go through various elections, and we’re going to see what happens. But the National Rifle Association, which endorsed me, you know, they’re very concerned about the Supreme Court and many other things. And I think that I can tell you, they endorsed me, I think the earliest endorsement they’ve ever made, and they feel very strongly about it. And they’ve been terrific. And these are great people. These, Wayne and Chris and all of them, they’re great people. These are people that love our country.

HH: Okay.

DT: So we’re talking about the power of the voter.

HH: All right, let me move on, then. Clinton is using against you an ad called Too Dangerous. I’ve seen it. If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it 20 times already. Are you too dangerous to be president, Donald Trump?

DT: No, the opposite. She is. If you look at her, and you listen to the Secret Service agent that wrote the book, she’s a mess, a total mess. And she’ll do an event, and then you don’t hear from her. I think she goes home, she goes to sleep. You do, you follow her, just follow where she goes, and you know, she’ll see, she’ll do an event, she’ll make a short speech off a teleprompter, and then she goes home and goes to sleep. I tell you, she is dangerous. And as far as temperament’s concerned, you know, I’ve always been, I’ve always been, it’s always been stated that I have the great temperament, because I have a winning temperament. I’ve been winning all my life. And that’s what I do, is win. And that’s what we have to do for our country on trade deals. We have to rebuild our military. It’s totally depleted, as you know very well. We have to take care of our vets. We have so many things to do, it’s incredible. And we’re not a respected country. And you look at different countries, Russia hates us, they really dislike Obama so much, and other countries like China taking advantage of us, building a massive fortress in the South China Sea. You take a look at that, and you say how is that happening? And we can solve the problems. We can solve the problems easy. And then you look at the big problem where we have no growth. You look at it, I mean, look at the numbers that just came out. We have no growth. You know, Russia, if they have 7% or 8%, it’s like a national catastrophe. So they devalue and they do lots of other things, and they get back on track, much to our expense, by the way.

HH: All right, now my colleague, this too dangerous attack does stick. It’s what they used against Barry Goldwater. My colleague, Robert O’Brien, argued over at Real Clear Politics this week that the way you blunt that is to name who’s going to be your Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, and O’Brien suggested John Bolton for State and Jim Talent for Defense. Despite what some people say, that’s not illegal. It’s perfectly acceptable. It would help you tremendously. Will you name your SecDef and your Secretary of State?

DT: Well, it is not illegal. It’s seldom done, surprisingly, but it is not illegal by any stretch, and surprisingly seldom done. And it’s one of the things I wonder about. Why is it so little done? And I was actually given a very good answer, because once you name somebody, they attack that person viciously, whereas if you don’t and you win, and then you put the same person in, nobody cares. So if you name, you know, pick a good name and there are plenty of them, we pick a good name, we put them into a position, everybody’s happy, that person for the next 90 days gets attacked viciously. That’s why people haven’t traditionally done that. Does that make sense to you?

HH: But if John Bolton said yes, he would consolidate and telegraph seriousness and expansive knowledge. If Jim Talent said yes, you’d get all of his experience on the Quadrennial Commission/Review Board. I mean, those two guys would make Team Trump look massively experienced right away, and the Too Dangerous argument goes away.

DT: Well, I think that’s true. I think John Bolton’s a good man. I watched him yesterday, actually, and he was very good in defending me in some of my views, and very, very strong. And I’ve always liked John Bolton. Well, we are thinking about it, Hugh. I will say that. We are thinking about it. I mean, the negative is what I told you. But we are seriously thinking about it.

HH: All right, now the NeverTrump movement says, I’ve been writing about how important the Supreme Court is.

DT: Are they still around?

HH: (laughing) Well, I’ve been writing about the Supreme Court a lot, and they keep telling me we can’t trust Trump on his list of 11, and I wrote hey, you don’t have to trust Trump. If he departs from the list, I trust you, by the way, but if he departs, Mitch McConnell can block your nominee. First, can we trust you to live by that list? And second, if you didn’t, would McConnell be justified in blocking your nominee?

DT: Yeah, number one, I’m going to live by that list or very close to it. It is possible there’ll be somebody outside of that list that has very similar principles, and I think you don’t want to totally preclude that. But the answer is yes, I’m living by the list, and yes, he can do whatever he wants, because it’ll be either that list or somebody that is very close to it. In fact, I’m thinking about actually naming four or five more people to the list. You know, we had it vetted from The Federalist Society, and we had, and actually got the names from the Federalist, and that’s considered pretty much the gold standard. We have Jim DeMint and his group…

HH: At Heritage, yeah.

DT: …knows those names and respect those names. I have a lot of respect for Jim DeMint. And we have, you know, we have a great list. It’s a great list of people. Yeah, I mean, if we veered from that, I would say block it, and I would be very happy with that. And I wouldn’t even fight it, because I won’t have to.

HH: Now NeverTrump is still out there. Is it hurting you? Or is it hurting Republicans down the ballot at this point?

DT: Well, I don’t know that it’s hurting me. It’s a very weak movement. It’s a pathetic movement. I mean, if you just, you just mentioned it, the Supreme Court. If I don’t get in, you’re going to have, because they’re being forced so far left by the Bernie Sanders crowd, if I don’t get in, you are going to have, it could be four, it could even be five, there’s a possibility, but let’s say four or three Supreme Court justices named who are going to be super liberal. We’re going to be Venezuela large-scale version. It’s so important, that you would think that everybody should join the wagon.

HH: Yup.

DT: But it looks like that won’t happen, and that’s okay. Don’t forget, when I won, I didn’t have the support of anybody. You know, I ran as an outsider. I happen to think I’m better off running as an outsider here, too. But you know, I’m getting along, and people don’t really, you understand it, but people don’t understand it. I have tremendous support within the party. I have many Senators, most of them, I have most of the Congress. I have tremendous people – Jeff Sessions and so many others. But if we have a rogue, you know, that announces we’re going to not support Trump, that person gets their one day of publicity, but you know, and they don’t write all the other people that are with. But with that being said, you know, I run best as an outsider. And I’ve said it.

HH: True, true.

DT: You know, I don’t…

HH: I just think they’re hurting down ballot races. I don’t know that they’re hurting you. People have their minds made up on you almost certainly. It might change because of stories like yesterday. I want to talk to you now about Gilbert Chagoury. I had never heard this name until yesterday, the Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire that got the Clinton Foundation guy, Band, to call up Huma and email Cheryl Mills. This guy’s a bad guy. He was the aide to the Nigerian dictator. He had to pay $300 million dollars off to Nigeria to get off of charges. And in April of 2009, the Clinton Foundation calls up Hillary Clinton’s staff and gets favors done for this guy. How come that’s not front page everywhere, Donald Trump?

DT: Well, because they cover things that are, that should not be covered. And they seem to like to cover anything I say. They try and dissect the words, and CNN in particular has been incredible in their, you know, they’re trying so hard to get ratings, and it’s not working. But they’ll take something that is a totally, a totally fine statement, and they’ll make it look like oh, gee, let’s analyze it. They’ll analyze it 77 different ways. In the end, it’s fine, and they go onto their next story. And yet a story like you just mentioned, they don’t cover it. It’s incredible.

HH: You ought to be demanding Gilbert Chagoury…

DT: We have a double standard. We have a double standard in the press.

HH: You ought to be using his name every day, Gilbert Chagoury, and making people investigate it, because he’s a…

DT: Yeah, but people don’t cover it. The New York Times won’t cover it, importantly, the various other newspapers won’t cover it. I mean, they’re very dishonest people. The New York Times is a very dishonest newspaper.

HH: No, Chagoury did show up in the New York Times, so I’ll give them that. Let me ask you, by the way, about the media.

DT: I’m not saying that. I’m saying they won’t cover it much.

HH: Right.

DT: It’ll be a one-time hit, because they have an obligation, and then you won’t see it again.

HH: Let me talk to you about the media. You still have the media ban in place. I’d really love for you to get that off of the Post, because it’s the American way. You’ve got nothing to worry about from these guys. They’re going to be against you anyway. Why not let them into the rallies?

DT: It’s something I don’t even think about. You know…

HH: You should let them in.

DT: I don’t even think. I should let others out.

HH: Really, just because…

DT: No, I don’t think about it. I mean, honestly, they are so dishonest that I say yeah, let them get in there. They can come in. By the way, they’re allowed to come in. You know, last night, I had 10,000 people. You probably saw that.

HH: Yeah, I did. I played some of the rally.

DT: The place was packed. And you know, they can come in like everybody else. I’m just, you know, it’s something I’m not, I don’t think about it. But the, when you look at the kind of coverage, everybody admits it’s dishonest. Some people say hey, I’ve been in this business for 25 years. There has never been a pile-on like this. And that’s okay. They’re very dishonest. They’ve very much discredited themselves. People see what’s happening. It’s a pile-on, and I find it interesting. I mean, I’ll talk about it.

HH: Now…

DT: I talk about it. I talk about it at the rallies. But you know, it’s something that is not of great importance.

HH: There was an old Roman ruler named Sulla, and he put on his tomb, “No friend has ever done me a favor, nor enemy an injury that I have not repaid in full.” Is that Donald Trump-like?

DT: Well, look, you know, I feel that if somebody’s mistreating you, or if somebody’s treating you badly, in this case, you know, constantly, I mean, just…you know, I’ll have days where I say wow, did we do good, that speech was great, everything was great, you know, we’re getting accolades all over the place, and then you’ll see negative stories. I’ve seen it. I mean, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it with the debates where I won every single debate and every single poll. I mean, I don’t know if you agree with that, but every single poll, you know, they have Drudge and they have Time and they have Time Magazine, and they have, you know, like six or seven, and I was in 11 debates. And according to the polls, I won them by massive margins – 80%, 75%, and then to have somebody that I know would never give good, and they’ll say, you know, they’ll try and make it look like it wasn’t a victory as opposed to it was. But the people get it. There’s great dishonesty out there, Hugh.

HH: I know, but they’re trying to make you appear dangerous. They’re trying to make people afraid of you and an authoritarian. And the ban on the press, not only is it not in the American tradition, it plays into this, the enemies list. You know, she’s got the enemies list. That’s actually been published. She’s the one who’s vindictive. So I just don’t want you playing into that. We’ve got to…

DT: Look, I understand that, but the press is 100% on her side.

HH: Oh, I agree, well, not this show.

DT: And she’s no good. She’ll be terrible.

HH: Not this show.

DT: There was a story in the Washington Post yesterday that was so bad for her. That was why I was so shocked to see it, because it was in the Washington Post, which you know, doesn’t do that. And it talked about her four years, her first four years as a Senator of New York. The promises she made to get economic development started in upstate New York, and what a disaster it turned out to be, they lost jobs instead of, she was going to create 200,000 jobs. It was a disaster. If anybody reads that story, they can’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

HH: All right, now let me talk to you about the debates. First of all, were you surprised by the meltdown at Fox News?

DT: Well, when you say meltdown, you mean by Roger?

HH: Yes.

DT: Yeah, I was surprised. I was. Look, no matter what you say about him, he built one of the great, he was one of the great pioneers in the history of television. He built…

HH: Agree.

DT: …and incredible network in a relatively short period of time, and I was very surprised to see it, yes.

HH: All right, now to debates, they’re in kind of chaos there, so I’m going to leave Fox out of this for a moment. But if you negotiate hard, you can get Chuck Todd and Lester Holt. I think Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer were fair to you. I think Dana Bash is very fair to you. John Dickerson, Mary Katharine Ham, they did the ABC, I think all those people are fair. Yours truly, I think I was fair. Are you going to do these debates? And should you do more of them and ask for new moderators like the ones I just named?

DT: Well, we don’t know who the moderator is at the first debate. I mean, I have to say, and one of the things, I want to do the debates, as you know, I fully want to do the debates. I think they shouldn’t have them against the NFL games, but you know, I think that’s, I think it’s stupid. Now we’re going to outdraw the NFL. We’re going to outdraw everybody, but why are they giving up 25,000, 25 million viewers? I mean, they’re giving up 25 million viewers, mostly men, by the way. But they’re going to give up a lot of viewers, and they’ll still have this massive show. But why are they putting them, I mean, why aren’t they having it on a non-NFL night?

HH: I agree. They’re stuck in…

DT: Two of the three debates are against, you know, big NFL games.

HH: Yeah, they’re stuck in the past.

DT: So you ask yourself, why would they do that, okay?

HH: They’re stuck in the past, but I think if you got Chuck Todd and Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper and Lester Holt and Dana Bash and Dickerson, new people, Mary Katharine Ham, you could even ask for me. I’d be happy to do it again, even though we have some dust-ups on stage. Don’t you think that you should just name the people you want and throw down on this commission and say bring in the new blood?

DT: I think we can, and I think that will happen, and I think we’ll agree on somebody. I don’t like all of the people that you mentioned, but some of them are good.

HH: Who do you like?

DT: I don’t want to say that now. I’m not looking to insult anybody, but you know, I’m a person that doesn’t like insulting people.

HH: No, but I mean who do you like, not who you don’t like, but who do you like?

DT: I’d rather not say. No, honestly, I’d rather not say at this moment. I’ve given some ideas to the commission. I’ll be, you know, we’ll be making a decision soon, but I do want the debates. Again, I think they should, and this isn’t, you know, a real negotiation, but I think it’s absolutely, it doesn’t make sense to have them against the NFL. They’re losing so many viewers. You’re losing so many viewers, and we’re going to set a record, but you’d set a bigger record if you didn’t do that. It doesn’t make sense.

HH: I’ve got two more questions. Last night, you said the President was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.

DT: No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.

HH: But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.

DT: I don’t care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?

HH: Well, that, you know, I have a saying, Donald Trump, the mnemonic device I use is Every Liberal Really Seems So, So Sad. E is for Egypt, L is for Libya, S is for Syria, R is for Russia reset. They screwed everything up. You don’t get any argument from me. But by using the term founder, they’re hitting with you on this again. Mistake?

DT: No, it’s no mistake. Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it. I give him the most valuable player award. And I give it to him, and I give it to, I gave the co-founder to Hillary. I don’t know if you heard that.

HH: I did. I did. I played it.

DT: I gave her the co-founder.

HH: I know what you’re arguing…

DT: You’re not, and let me ask you, do you not like that?

HH: I don’t. I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS. That’s what I would say.

DT: Well, I disagree.

HH: All right, that’s okay.

DT: I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about.

HH: That’s…

DT: If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS.

HH: That’s true.

DT: Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS.

HH: And that’s, I’d just use different language to communicate it, but let me close with this, because I know I’m keeping you long, and Hope’s going to kill me.

DT: But they wouldn’t talk about your language, and they do talk about my language, right?

HH: Well, good point. Good point. The stimulus – President Obama spent $831 billion dollars. I asked people what did he build? A Democrat actually told me he built the viewing stand for the dinosaur museum. $831 billion dollars. When you gave your big Trump Tower tax cut speech, I said it’s a tax cut as big as the Trump Tower. What would you do with $831 billion? What could you get built, Donald Trump, with $831 billion?

DT: Oh, so much, so much. And by the way, it’s really not enough to rebuild the infrastructure, but we need our roads, we need our highways, but we need them built, and this is so important, we need them built very rapidly. We need them built now. The roads are a disaster. You know, the trucks, these big trucking companies, they’re losing their trucks because of the potholes and the problems and the roads. We need infrastructure, and it’s got to be given out right. I’ll give you an example. The old Post Office, which I’m building on Pennsylvania Avenue…

HH: Trump International…

DT: It’s ahead of schedule by a year, and it’s under budget. And it’s much better than ever anticipated. In other words, I went even higher end. It’s going to be one of the great hotels of the world. But I’m under budget and I’m ahead of schedule. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could spend money like that?

HH: Do you think any Democrat knows how to actually, you start with the Trump Tower, you end with Trump International in D.C. In between are all these projects. Do you think any Democrat or Hillary actually knows how to build anything, you know, from the design…

DT: No, no.

HH: …from the, just doing the balancing and the grading? I don’t think they understand it.

DT: No, no, they don’t know how to build, they don’t know how to give out a contract, they don’t know how to have no cost overruns. You know, there’s a hospital, a Veterans Administration hospital in a certain place that I was in. I won’t mention them, because they’re great people, and I don’t want to embarrass. They have a $1.2 billion dollar cost overrun on a hospital, not even that big. They have a $1.2 billion, I said you mean million, they said no, no, billion. We have a $1.2 billion dollar cost overrun, and it’s way late, years late, it’s totally out of control. $1.2 billion dollars. That says it all. And everything we build, it’s the same thing.

HH: So you are definitely, let me wrap it up, then. You are definitely going to debate?

DT: Oh, yeah, sure, I’m going to debate, but I want to get the terms so that I’m satisfied with them. No, I want to debate. I want to debate.

HH: All right, so, and when you debate, you don’t care who’s in front of you, but you want new faces? I don’t want the same old faces, Donald Trump, the same old guys. Do you want some new people?

DT: Are you saying that? Are you saying that?

HH: That’s me. I want Chuck Todd and Lester Holt…

DT: All right. Okay, well, look, okay…

HH: …and Jake Tapper…

DT: I think Lester Holt is a good guy. I’m okay with having, to be honest with you, I’m okay with having new faces. I like some of the old faces, too, but I’m okay with having new faces. But I don’t want to have people that are unfair. When you look at what Candy Crowley did with, you know, with Mitt Romney, that was so unfair. And she was wrong on top of everything.

HH: She was wrong. But Chuck Todd won’t do that. Dickerson won’t do that. Jake and Wolf won’t do that. Dana Bash was very fair to you, didn’t you think?

DT: I think she’s had moments of great fairness.

HH: Mary Katharine Ham, very fair to you.

DT: I’ve never gotten along with her, no.

HH: With Mary Katharine?

DT: Never gotten along.

HH: Oh, well, we’ll have to check in on that. Okay.

DT: No, she is not a fan of mine, and I’ve never gotten along with her. So that…

HH: Okay, I’ll ask her about that.

DT: I don’t know her. I don’t know her, but she says only bad things, so let’s cross her name off.

HH: Okay.

DT: No, I do not, I do not.

HH: You can put my name on…

DT: I am not a fan. So listen, take care of yourself, I have to go. Just be good and keep up the good show and I’ll do it again very soon.

HH: Talk to you soon, Donald Trump.

DT: Okay. Thanks a lot.

HH: Thank you.

End of interview.

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