Billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump tells Newsmax he is considering a run for president in 2012 because he “hates what is happening to this country.”
In the first part of his wide-ranging interview, Trump ripped China, OPEC, President Obama’s Middle East policies and more. Now he takes aim at the banks, oil prices, Obamacare, the weak dollar and American diplomats, asserts it is “insane” to spend fortunes in other countries when the United States is in dire need of rebuilding, and says if someone is going to take over the oil in Iraq, “maybe it should be us.”
He also predicts gold prices will rise because Americans have no confidence in the president, warns that the United States could become “another Egypt” with riots in the streets over skyrocketing food prices — but insists this is a “great time” for Americans buy a house.
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In his exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV on Friday, Trump was asked about his fellow billionaire George Soros’ warning that economic conditions in the United States are likely to deteriorate.
“I would say that he possibly is right,” Trump says.
“If oil prices are allowed to inflate and keep inflating, if the dollar keeps going down in value, I think there’s a very distinct possibility that things could get worse.”
A weak dollar “is not good because you’re going to pay $25 for a loaf of bread pretty soon. Look at what’s happening with our food prices. They’re going through the roof. We could end up being another Egypt. You could have riots in our streets also.”
But Trump doesn’t think inflation poses the biggest threat to the economy.
“I think the biggest threat is that our jobs are being stolen by other countries. We’re not going to have any jobs here pretty soon.
“Somebody I know very well is buying an airplane and the airplane is being made in Brazil. The reason is he’s getting a big tax credit. The plane’s going to cost $3 million. He’s getting a $1.2 million tax credit in the United States. So he’s buying a plane made in Brazil, with Brazilian workers, because he’s getting a tax credit in the United States. Is it insane?”
Trump rejects the notion that the federal government might bail out financially strapped states.
“The federal government has no money,” he tells Newsmax.
“It’s being taken away between fighting wars and being the policeman for countries that in all fairness we shouldn’t have been in in the first place.
“I’m a very conservative person. I am the world’s greatest hawk. I am a very militant person. I’m a big believer in the military. But we should be rebuilding our own country.
“We go to Afghanistan, we build a road, we build a highway. We build a school at the end of the highway. The school gets blown up, the road gets blown up, and we’re starting all over again. Why aren’t we building roads in Alabama? Why aren’t we building roads in New Jersey coming into Manhattan? You come into Manhattan on roads that look like we’re a Third World country.
“And you think they’re going to have democracy [in Afghanistan]? I don’t think so.
“He adds: “We’ve totally defanged Iraq. As soon as we leave, Iran will come in and take over the oil of Iraq. And frankly, I think if somebody’s going to take over the oil in Iraq, maybe it should be us.
“I would like to rebuild the United States. I go to Abu Dhabi, I go to Qatar and other places. You go to China and they have airports that are so unbelievable, that they are building with our money. China is rebuilding itself.
We are rebuilding China. Then you come into Kennedy International Airport and it’s obsolete. It’s a Third World airport. We have to rebuild ourself.”
Asked where he would begin with rebuilding, Trump responds: “We would have no lack of projects. You do airports, you do road work, you do mass transit, you do a lot of things.
“We’ve spent $1.2 trillion – now that’s what they report — in Iraq and yet we can’t fix New Orleans. We can’t fix our own cities. It’s insane.”
Trump believes that thanks to banking practices, the real estate market could continue to struggle — but he sees a bright spot for some Americans.
“It’s really a mess, the housing market with all this government nonsense and all these subsidies they’re trying to do, which aren’t working. But it’s actually a great time for people to go out and buy houses.
“To those people that are listening — and there are probably quite a few because [Newsmax] is a place that has been built up by [CEO Christopher Ruddy] and everybody — take my word. I can’t guarantee it, but I’m pretty sure this is right now a great time to go out and buy a house. And if you do, in 10 years you’re going to look back and say, ‘You know, I‘m glad I listened to that interview with Donald Trump.’
“The good news is you get a good price. The bad news, the banks aren’t there. The banks have really let us down. Number one, they did some bad things and caused some bad problems. Number two, if you have something that you want to buy, like a house, they’re generally not there for you. So somebody has to get these banks moving.
“Open up the banks. The banks have been given billions and billions of dollars in subsidies, and yet if you want to go out and buy a house and you go to a bank, you could have good credit ratings but they’re going to loan you very little money if any at all. That’s one of the reasons the housing market collapsed, the fact that the banks aren’t giving you any money.
“So with all the money the banks have taken in, they sit back and they keep their cash. They invest their cash in other things. But they have to invest their money also in people wanting to put money into houses. Otherwise you’re not going to solve the housing problem for a long time.”
Turning to gold prices, Trump tells Newsmax: “I think gold will go up as long as people don’t have confidence in our president and our country. And they don’t have confidence in our president. Look what’s happened with healthcare. I have friends who want to close down their business over this new healthcare, or as we call it, Obamacare.
“So if you look at what’s going on with costs and with healthcare and with lots of other things, gold is going to go up because they don’t have confidence. They don’t have confidence in our negotiators. They have confidence in other countries. Everyone wants to invest in China.
“I’ll say this: I’m not saying I’m running, but there’s a very good chance that I will. If I run, people are going to want to invest in this country.”
Returning to a topic he discussed in the first part of his Newsmax interview, Trump was asked how serious he is about running for president.
“I think you can see that I’m very serious. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Somebody said I’m promoting ‘The Apprentice.’ That’s a lot of nonsense. I don’t need to promote ‘The Apprentice. It’s in its 11th season. It’s done phenomenally. It was actually during many evenings the number one show on television. It’s been a great success.
“I don’t need to do this interview unless I am seriously considering [running], and I am.
“I don’t want to do it. I’m loving my business and having a lot of fun. I hate what’s happening to this country. I hate to see this country ripped off by every other smart nation — China, India, Mexico. You look at the jobs that are pouring into Mexico. We give them incentives to move people out of Iowa. Newton, Iowa, got destroyed by Mexico. They had incentives from this government and they built the plant in Mexico and it wiped out a town called Newton.”
If he does decide to run for president, Trumpssays he would “probably announce sometime in the month of June. You’re not allowed to announce if you’re doing a television show. My show is two hours on Sunday night for 16 weeks, so if I announce everybody else would have to be given two hours of primetime television.”
As for the coming season of “The Apprentice,” which debuts in March, Trump says: “I think it’s one of the best we’ve ever done, if not the best. We have an amazing cast including LaToya Jackson, Meat Loaf. We have an amazing group of people. Gary Busey. This is a real piece of work. He’s a genius but he’s a little messed up. We have them all. It’s going to be a great show.
“The whole ‘Apprentice’ thing has been a great success. Perhaps that’s why I’m sitting here. I was well known before the great success of ‘The Apprentice,’ but now I’m even better known.”
Trump has high praise for one of his former celebrity apprentices, Piers Morgan, who has taken over for Larry King at 9 p.m. on CNN.
Asked if he watches Morgan or prefers Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel at that hour, Trump discloses: “I like Sean Hannity a lot. He’s great. I did his show the other night. I think he’s a great guy.
“The great thing about Tivo and the like is that you can watch everything. But I always watch Sean Hannity.
“I watch Bill O’Reilly. I watch Greta [Van Susteren]. I think they’re just great. I do Neil Cavuto’s show a lot.
“So when you’re talking about Fox, [Fox News Channel President] Roger Ailes has done one of the great jobs in the history of media.”
Finally, Trump reveals what he would say to Obama if he were to meet the president: “You can do better.”
Trump would also tell him he should not hire “diplomats to negotiate with the Red Chinese, because we’re dealing with people who truly are not only smart, they’re great natural negotiators. They’re not our friends. They’re looking to strip us of everything they can strip us of.
“I would say go out and get the great business leaders. We have great business leaders, great minds, tough, smart, brilliant. Use those people to negotiate with these countries. Don’t use a diplomat, whose training is to be a nice person. I don’t want nice people. I want people that are going to bring this country back.
“This country is in serious trouble. It’s not going to be a great country for long. It may not be a great country now. This country has to be brought back. Go out and get the toughest, smartest guys, because that’s what you need if you’re going to beat China and other countries.”
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