Donald Trump tells Newsmax that with the IRS scandal continuing to resonate, he is suspicious as to why the head of the IRS visited the White House 161 times.
The billionaire mogul also criticizes the Obama administration for not seeking retribution against the "disgusting" people responsible for the Benghazi attacks, and declares that Obama needs to get tough with China because the Chinese "are eating our lunch."
The Trump Organization President and Chairman's top-rated "Celebrity Apprentice" show has just been renewed by NBC and Robb Reports has named Trump's new golf course in Scotland among the best in the world.
Urgent: Did Obama Administration Ask IRS to Target Conservatives?
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday, Trump said the IRS scandal surrounding the Obama presidency is "a mess, there's no question about it, and it's something I guess they wish they weren't involved in. I've never seen one resonate like this with respect to President Obama.
"Benghazi is a disaster and a great man and great people were killed, and they were just brutally killed by disgusting people. Frankly the biggest problem with Benghazi – aside from the obvious – was that they didn't go in and I didn't see any retribution. They know who these people were that did the act and we haven't gone in and gotten them, and we should. They know who did it. But it has never amazingly resonated.
"The AP scandal probably resonated more with the liberal press than any of the three but the IRS is the one that seems to be resonating and it is a tough situation that the president has found himself in."
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President Obama appears to be "isolated" from the scandals and "maybe he's well off being that," Trump observes.
"Very rarely do you see a circumstance where you have three for the price of one. You have three scandals going on and I can't ever remember anything like this.
"In terms of the public, the one that they seem to be most interested in is the IRS. And when I hear that the head of the IRS was in the White House 161 times, that's a little bit hard to explain when your secretary of state and your secretary of defense were there very seldom, and certainly very little by comparison. I'm sure they're going to have answers and hopefully they'll be good answers. We'll see what happens."
As to whether the unfolding scandals will help the GOP in 2014 and 2016, Trump says: "I don't know if it helps. The most important thing is it's bad for the country. It's a very bad thing for the country what's going on.
"The GOP is doing fine. They're looking into something that could be potentially devastating for the country but we'll find out what happens. Over the next two weeks you'll have a lot of answers.
"First of all you have to find out what's going on and whether or not it's real and whether or not [Obama] knew something, at least in terms of a couple of them — whether or not he knew about the IRS and about the people they went after. It could be that he didn't but it could also be that he did.
"I guess a lot of people want to know about 161 visits to the White House by the head of the IRS. What does that represent? What could have been spoken about so often and so much that a man would be there so often? I guess in other administrations the head of the IRS virtually never went to the White House, so why did that take place?
"It's going to be very hard to cover up and they're better off being 100 percent out front and honest, and hopefully they have good answers."
Trump has frequently been critical of China and American policies toward China. Asked what advice he would have for Obama when he has his first summit with new Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week in California, Trump responds: "The president's going to have to get tough with China because they're really eating our lunch.
"What China's been doing to us over the years, I guess it’s been my pet subject. I've been speaking about this for a long period of time and it's resonated with a lot of people and that's why my polls have been always so strong. It's not because they like Donald Trump. In fact, probably some of them don’t like Donald Trump, although I like to think myself as a nice person, but they do like what I say about something that's obvious.
"China and other countries, the OPEC nations and plenty of others, they're just taking advantage of the United States, and one thing that came out on the first page of The New York Times of all places was that China is in Iraq taking a vast, vast majority of the oil.
"We had spent $1.5 trillion in Iraq in a ridiculous situation. By the way, Iraq is absolutely blowing up around us. It's just a mess. There's no country there. But China's in there taking the oil. We spent $1.5 trillion and thousands of lives and we left and we want nothing to do with it and China is in there taking the oil.
"I took a lot of heat three or four years ago when I used to say why are we not taking oil? We're just leaving it I said for Iran, which is already in there also and they're going to take over the country eventually. And people said, oh, that's such a terrible thing to say. Well, we spent trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, and China is in taking over the oil."
Dish TV network has filed suit against the Japanese conglomerate Softbank's bid for Sprint, the third-largest telecommunications carrier in the nation, alleging that Softbank has close ties with Huawei, a Chinese firm that the U.S. government says has been targeting America for cyberattacks.
Trump is concerned. "They're taking our secrets. They're taking our business secrets and our military secrets. And believe me they will be manufacturing what they're stealing.
"The president is going to have some very, very tough talks because we cannot allow this to continue to happen. Whether it's business, whether it's what's going on in other places, whether it's the fact that they manufacture our goods, we've got to stop it. And it wouldn’t be tough to stop. Believe me."
Some media reports have claimed that Trump is considering a presidential run in 2016.
He tells Newsmax: "Well, I look at the country and the country's in such serious trouble. The manufacturing report that just came out today, to me is one of the most important reports that you can have in an economic sense because it shows our manufacturing is doing terribly. That was one of the bad reports that I've seen over the last number of months.
"A lot of people don’t put as much weight in it as I do, but just from a common sense standpoint, it means so much.
Urgent: Did Obama Administration Ask IRS to Target Conservatives?
"Now I look at things and I'll see what happens. I'm a Republican. I'm a very conservative person. I would like to see things happen good for this country. I'll be watching and we'll see what happens."
In his Newsmax interview, Trump also says Hillary Clinton will "absolutely" be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, and he reveals the New Jersey political figure he would like to see appointed to fill Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat.
Editor's Note: See full excerpts of Donald Trump's interview with Newsmax
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