In his first show in front of a live studio audience, Piers Morgan asks real estate mogul & TV personality Donald Trump about running for the U.S. presidency, his role as a father and his older brother who died of alcoholism.
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Full rushed transcript of Trump's interview below. CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" must be credited and the following line included if the full transcript is used:
Piers Morgan Tonight airs daily on CNN at 8pm HKT. For more go to www.piersmorgantonight.com.
**Note: This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: This is a special edition of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT with my first ever live studio audience.
Tonight the one and only Donald Trump, the man who practically invented the art of the deal.
DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESS MAGNATE, AUTHOR AND TV PERSONALITY: It's extremely powerful and I love it.
MORGAN: His name is on some of the most exclusive buildings in New York. He's married a succession of beautiful women and he made me his first celebrity apprentice. So we're talking a pretty smart guy.
But what's next for the man everyone calls the Donald. Is he about to put his famous brand name on the White House?
Tonight, I want to ask what a President Trump would to do revive America's prosperity.
TRUMP: Well, something is wrong. We're not respected throughout the world.
MORGAN: And why he says everybody else is ripping off the United States. Finally, let me just warn you, he never got to fire me but I might fire him tonight.
All next on a live edition of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Good evening. Donald Trump is my special guest tonight in front of our first ever live audience.
Mr. Trump, they've come for you.
TRUMP: Well, that's really nice. Yes.
MORGAN: And thank you at home, too, for joining us. You with tweet me atPiersMorgan or post to our Facebook with your questions.
Mr. Trump, can I call you Donald finally?
TRUMP: You certainly may.
MORGAN: Because I've always had to call you Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: I know. And I've been waiting for this. Donald. Please.
MORGAN: Well, Donald, I'm going to talk to you about everything from your billion-dollar businesses to your possible run for the White House, but definitely about your taste in women.
But we also got breaking political news tonight. A Republican congressman from New York has resigned just three hours after a report surfaced on the Web site Gawker where he sent a shirtless photo of himself to a woman who wasn't his wife.
We'll have much more on this story in just a moment.
But tonight I've got an exclusive interview with the blogger who uncovered that story and I'll have reaction from Donald Trump.
TRUMP: By the way, that's going to be some reaction.
MORGAN: That is going to be some reaction. One we'll all be looking forward to.
TRUMP: He only lasted three hours? That was a quick one.
MORGAN: Well, let me ask you straightaway. What is your reaction to that breaking news?
TRUMP: Well, I know a lot of politicians and I can tell you that they're not so different from this guy other than they don't do it on Facebook or whatever he was doing it on, and there's a lot of affairs going on in Congress. And I know a lot of guys that are having affairs and they happen to be politicians. So --
MORGAN: Well, I tell you what, we'll come back to them. Maybe you can start naming them live on air --
TRUMP: You like --
TRUMP: By the way, you like that answer, don't you? Well, well, well. This is good.
MORGAN: We'll -- we're going to have Maureen O'Connor, the blogger that broke the story. And that's what I want to talk to you in more detail about. But I suppose the obvious question for you, given this is all breaking, is there are all these rumors, are you or are you not going to run for the presidency?
You're a straight talker. You don't take any crap. You tell it like it is. You've always been totally honest with me. What's the answer?
TRUMP: If I was honest I certainly was. I chose you as my "Celebrity Apprentice." The country is doing very poorly. It just can't do much worse. We're not respected anywhere in the world. I am seriously thinking about it.
I won't make a decision until June. But I will make a decision and it may surprise people frankly, but I will make a decision sometime prior to June.
I love this country. I hate what's happened to this country. We're a laughingstock throughout the world. We're not respected. When you look at what's happening in various places that we've always supported and, frankly that we got along with the other places that are collapsing. You don't see the other places collapsing.
A lot of that is a lack of respect for our country, Piers. And you know how I feel. You know very much how I feel. We just don't have it anymore as a country. You look at what China is doing to us. How they're just ripping us left and right. They're taking our jobs. We're rebuilding China.
Worse than China is OPEC. They wouldn't be there except for us. Twelve men sit around the table. They set the price of fuel. They set the price of $3.50 for your car right now, a gallon. Guess what? That's going to be $5, $6 and $7 very soon. Of course, there's nobody here that calls them and says, fellas, you better not do it.
MORGAN: So let me assume that you're a president for a moment and I've got a funny feeling you are going to run, because I think you think your time may have come and there's an opportunity for you, particularly with Republicans in certain disarray.
You know you have Sarah Palin, and you have the moderates, and there may well be a middle ground to storm through if you wanted to do that. Assume you're president. What are the top priorities for President Trump?
TRUMP: Well, I think the first thing I'd do is announce very strongly that we're going to tax Chinese products, 25 percent tax on all Chinese products. They will come to the table immediately. They will stop manipulating their currency which they're doing.
It's very hard for our companies to compete with China because of the manipulation of their currency. I buy a lot of products. I'm building buildings all over the place, I buy glass and steel and lots of other things. It's very hard for our countries to compete with China. We make better products than them.
By the way that's the most important thing, we make better products. You look at their sheetrock making people sick and killing people all over the country. Jobs closed up. The sheetrock was --
MORGAN: You see them as the enemy, don't you, Donald?
TRUMP: I see them as the enemy.
MORGAN: See, can I take you --
TRUMP: And they -- by the way, they know, they know they're the enemy. They are the enemy. They say they're the enemy.
MORGAN: Yes, but they're not an enemy in the sense that they don't want to kill you, right? They want to kill you in business.
TRUMP: They want to take over this country economically.
MORGAN: But that's different to wanting to kill you like an al Qaeda or something.
TRUMP: Well --
MORGAN: When you I hear you say, enemy --
TRUMP: It's very bad.
MORGAN: When I hear you say enemy I think it's too strong a word. They're a business competitor who at the moment is outcompeting America.
TRUMP: They are not really outcompeting. They're cheating. When you cheat, and we have people that don't know what to do because we have the wrong people in office, that's not outcompeting.
MORGAN: Do you think we have smart enough people to deal with the Chinese and the Indians and these new competitors out there in business?
TRUMP: I think they're smart but I don't think they have any savvy. They don't have the savvy. They don't have what it takes. We should put our best business -- you know who we have negotiating with the Chinese? Diplomats.
You know what a diplomat is? A person that from a young age is trained how to be nice. In other words, you could never be a diplomat.
TRUMP: But a person -- everybody said he should be fired. Every week they wanted me to fire this guy. I couldn't fire him because he was so smart.
MORGAN: I wouldn't be here without you.
TRUMP: That's right.
TRUMP: No, you're terrific. Frankly you'd be a very good negotiator. I'll have you any day.
MORGAN: Yes. But so would you. This is why I'm interested about your presidential possible campaign because I think we do need people like you running trading negotiations and diplomacy frankly with these countries. Because there seems to me at the moment, the Chinese think it's not a military threat.
It's a business threat and they are doing it better and faster and cheaper than anybody else in the world. I wouldn't -- I went to Shanghai recently. I was just stunned by what I found. Twenty-five million people in that country, in that city, just going crazy for business. And they just wanted to be number one.
There are towns in China that sell 95 percent of the world's duvets. You know, they manufacture 85 percent of the world's buttons. Now I don't think that's the enemy. I think it's a potential business friend. Isn't it? Can't we work with them?
TRUMP: I don't think they're friends. I think they're enemies. I deal with Chinese. I just sold an apartment to a Chinese person for $33 million a short while ago -- a couple of months ago. I mean I'm supposed to like the Chinese but I understand the Chinese and I deal with them all the time.
Now this is before they thought I might run for president. They consider our leaders extremely stupid people. They cannot believe what they get away with. Whether it's the Olympics where they put people under age and they say, no, no, no, and then we find out it was true and they say, oh, we just didn't know. Or whether they have the beautiful girl singing the national anthem, their national anthem, but it wasn't her singing.
So many different things. I mean the Chinese are looking to put us under and believe me they are not our friends. I'm surprised at you because you're not somebody that's easily misled or misguided.
MORGAN: Well, here's what I think. Why can't --
TRUMP: They are not our friend.
MORGAN: Why can't America do to the Chinese what they do to America which is they make a lot of goods that Americans want and they make them cheaply and they make them fast.
Why can't America start going back to its great manufacturing days and as you target in China stuff that they need from America. They need big machinery, for example. That could be made here and that could be sold at a good profit and create jobs in America. But I don't see people in America taking that position.
TRUMP: Piers, you have to level the playing field. I buy so many products, glass as an example, a curtain wall for a building, and they all come in and 90 percent of the companies with the glass are coming in from China. I don't want to buy glass from China. But our companies can't compete. Not because they're not good. Not because they're not even better but because of the fact that the Chinese are manipulating their currency. They make it very, very tough for us to compete.
Now, what I would stay, how do you solve that problem. They're never going to solve it. They're never going to treat us well unless we do something strong. Here's what happened.
MORGAN: This is American glass by the way.
TRUMP: You don't know that.
MORGAN: No, no, it's --
TRUMP: It's actually plastic.
MORGAN: It's American glass.
TRUMP: It's actually Plexiglas. But, almost. You're almost --
MORGAN: Nearly American glass.
TRUMP: I feel better with Plexiglas.
TRUMP: But the fact is that the Chinese are looking to do damage to us economically. They're also building up a military. They're now starting their own aircraft manufacturing which is going to be very bad for Boeing because, you know, they come in with this phony deal about $40 billion worth of airplanes, which is nothing by comparison to who they're cheating us out of.
Now I hate to use strong words. But that's what it is. And if you read the real economists and real people that know what's going on it's an unfair playing field.
So here's what happens. You said what would I do? I would immediately announce a tax of 25 percent. The first thing that's going to happen is the Chinese are going to call.
MORGAN: So you got a trade war.
TRUMP: We don't have free trade. You know I believe in free trade, right? But we don't have free trade. We have very, very unfair trade. I call it unfair trade. I would tax them 25 percent. They would come to the table immediately.
The other thing I'd do is I'd get our best business leaders. I wouldn't use the diplomats. I'd use the killers on Wall Street of which I know every one of them. I would put this one in charge of negotiating with China. I'd put this one in charge of negotiating with India. We would do very well. We have the greatest business people in the world but we're not using them. MORGAN: But you know --- before we go to a break, let me just put one thing to you. In business, you can be ruthless. I've seen it and you're successful because of it. You kill competitors, don't you? Aren't the Chinese just behaving like Donald Trump? And don't we just need more people like you to compete with them?
TRUMP: You need to have people that know how to deal with the Chinese. And we don't have those people. The president of China comes in, we give him a five-star dinner at the White House.
I don't give my people that are not fair to me five-star dinners. I wouldn't have given him a five -- I would have said come to my office, let's talk. And if we don't work out a deal we send him to McDonald's and send him back.
MORGAN: We're going to come back.
MORGAN: We're going to come back. After the break with more of Barack Obama, about Sarah Palin, and about the state of the Middle East, but also want to get your views. So why don't you tweet me now atpiersmorgan? Give me some hard questions for Donald Trump and I'll put them to him.
MORGAN: And I want to turn straight to you, Donald. What is your take, generally, on politicians and sexual morality? Should in the modern age politicians have to resign over -- as we saw then not even really an affair, just putting a silly picture on a Web site.
TRUMP: Well, I think he should resign because he's stupid. I mean, can you imagine?
TRUMP: Can you imagine? This is what I'm getting at with China. No, no.
TRUMP: This is what I'm getting at. These are the people that are representing us in negotiations with China. OK? And then you wonder why we are losing to China and OPEC. So I don't know. Like I mean --
MORGAN: Do you feel sorry for him?
TRUMP: I've never heard of anybody -- well, you feel sorry for the person but this was really ridiculous. You know it's one thing you get caught having an affair, you get caught doing something. But here's a guy, takes his shirt off, and he advertises himself and he's a married congressman? So he's not a -- not a super genius. He's not -- not what we want in Congress.
MORGAN: Is he more a question for you than just a bad judgment rather than the morality of it?
TRUMP: Well, it's morality but it's also bad judgment. It's -- you know, very, very faulty judgment. He must be disturbed in some way. That is really -- that is really sort of like bad news.
MORGAN: Would you fire a senior employee at your company for a similar thing?
TRUMP: If he's married and starts sending pictures of himself. I mean the difference is, in all fairness, he's a United States congressman. He is a guy that's representing the country. Somebody at my employ he's representing me. So it's wonderful and great and everything else, but it's different.
Here's a guy that's out in the public. He gets elected by thousands and thousands of people in a district. And he's sending, you know, not nude -- I mean what he did is he's sending a picture of himself with -- he doesn't look like that good looking a guy and he doesn't have a very good build, does he?
MORGAN: Well, he's not in bad shape.
TRUMP: No, not bad. Not bad. OK. Not bad. But, no, would I do it? Maybe not in that case for the immorality but for the stupidity I probably would say you're fired.
TRUMP: He would not have lasted very long.
MORGAN: See, I remember it to be a few years ago and asking you about President Bush in comparison to President Clinton. One was judged and wasn't impeached over the Iraq war. You felt strongly at the time perhaps he should have been. And then President Clinton, of course, was treated more censoriously by his country for sexual shenanigans.
Do you still feel that was the wrong way around, that perhaps we get our priorities wrong?
TRUMP: Well, I thought -- I'm a Republican. I'm a very good Republican but I thought Bush was a terrible president. I thought he was a terrible leader. The country had no spirit and ultimately he did so badly at the end that we have Obama. That's what we have. I mean I always say a gift from President Bush.
I thought Clinton actually had --
MORGAN: You're not a fan of this president.
TRUMP: No, I've never been a fan because, look, I am the most militant person there is. I'm a big war guy in terms of I want total defense. I want perhaps an increase in defense spending, OK? But you don't attack the wrong country.
Iraq did not knock down the World Trade Center. As it turned out he did attack the wrong country and frankly they used to kill terrorists in Iraq. You could not be a terrorist and last a day in Iraq. Now it's the Harvard -- it's the breeding ground for terrorists.
I mean everybody that wants to be a terrorist they go to Iraq, they go to Afghanistan, they go to the places where we are. The fact is Bush I thought was not good. Clinton was a good president, but it was so marred with this whole Monica thing. I mean I -- he's a friend of mine. He is a lovely guy. He is a great guy. I really like him.
But I thought they treated him very, very harshly. Absolutely.
MORGAN: And yet he's popular now, more popular than he's ever been, obviously.
TRUMP: He's more popular. That's because he's a quality guy. He really is. He's a quality guy. And he's a Democrat but he's a quality guy.
TRUMP: He's also a member of my golf club.
MORGAN: What is your -- what is your view of President Obama right now?
TRUMP: I think he's a nice man. I think he's in over his head. It's amazing the way he got the job. I respect him for getting the job but it's amazing the way he got the job. He signed up people on street corners in Chicago, all of a sudden he's the president of the United States.
MORGAN: I mean he got a hell of a shellacking, as he put it, in the midterms but his ratings right now, mid-50s, are significantly higher than Ronald Reagan and President Clinton at the same time. Their administrations. So he's doing pretty well actually.
TRUMP: Well, the fact is he is doing well and the Republicans have let him back into the game because during the lame-duck session I don't know what happened with the Republicans, I don't know who was leading them, but they totally gave him credibility. He was Jimmy Carter and now he's the phoenix.
MORGAN: But is this the problem?
TRUMP: But we'll see what happens.
MORGAN: Who is leading the Republicans and who should be?
TRUMP: I don't think there is a leader right now of the candidates. Romney, I guess, would be somebody that people are thinking about, but it's not resonating. Sarah Palin is somebody that I happen to like, I just don't think she can win the election, and a lot of people agree.
She might -- she can win the primary perhaps but she can't -- she can't win the election. I can tell you Obama is dying to run against Sarah Palin. And you can't do that again as a Republican Party. You can't put somebody like in Delaware, Christine O'Donnell where she goes in and she beats somebody that would have won by 15 points. She beats him in the primary and then she gets killed in the election.
MORGAN: Is this -- is this precisely why you're so tempted to run?
TRUMP: Well, I am tempted to run, but I think the primary reason I'm tempted -- I guess, yes, I think I could win, otherwise I wouldn't do it. I'm not doing it to come in fourth place and really do a great job as a businessman.
You know in theory, I shouldn't be able to win because they've always said somebody with great accomplishment, somebody who's done many, many deals -- I've done hundreds and hundreds of deals and I've beaten a lot of people. I mean I'm not saying it braggingly, I beat a lot of people.
And those guys are not nice guys and I have lots of enemies and lots of different things and I've always heard what people like me cannot win because there's too many enemies, but whether it's me or somebody else, you need a person like me to run this country for awhile because we have to get this country back so that we're respected again.
We have to get this country back so that this country is making the big profits, not China, not India. I mean, American Express, you call up your American Express card, the people are based in India that answer the phone. What's going on? Our people can't do -- our people can't answer a phone?
So we have all of this outsourcing to countries all over the world. In the meantime, we have --
MORGAN: But isn't -- I mean --
TRUMP: We have really an 18 percent unemployment, not 9 percent. We have 18 percent unemployment.
MORGAN: I get what you're saying, but aren't you being unusually for you quite defensive about this? I mean isn't there a way at looking at this --
MORGAN: Yes. But I know you're being aggressive. It's kind of passive aggression. But actually isn't the way to deal with this the way that you would if it was your company, you've gone on the attack.
TRUMP: Well, I would do that, yes.
MORGAN: You wouldn't sit there going, well, this is all unfair. You go -- you know something, right, shirt sleeves up, let's go get them.
TRUMP: You're right. No, you're right. But I'm protective of my business.
MORGAN: And when we come back after the break I want to know how you shirt sleeves rolled up will get America back on its feet.
MORGAN: Back now with my special guest Donald Trump.
Donald, what would you do to fix America? Put aside the China, the trade issue for one moment. There's something inherently wrong with the system in this country which led to the financial crisis, isn't there? Ten percent of Americans are unemployed, probably more as you say.
What's the answer here? You're a great employer. Tell me how we're going to solve this.
TRUMP: Well, for one thing we're protecting the world. Why are we protecting South Korea without being paid, OK? They're our competitor. They make a tremendous amount of money off of us. They sell their televisions, everything else.
Why are we protecting South Korea? We just signed a horrible trade agreement with South Korea. They weren't going to sign it until North Korea lobbed a couple of bombs over there, then they'd call us, said oh, we'd like to sign the trade, you're a great partner, you're a great partner. And we stupidly send the SS George Washington, the most incredible aircraft carrier I've ever seen, and 17 destroyers right into North Korea.
Why aren't they paying us? I mean why are we protecting them? They make hundreds of billions of dollars of profits against the United States. You know one of the great ones? Fifty-two million -- I don't know how many of the folks in the audience see this but a few months ago. Fifty-two million in cash in a briefcase was sent to Afghanistan. You know that. It ended up in Dubai, 52 million.
Now you know that 52 million was actually 100 million probably, but, you know, somebody stole it along the way, whether it's a soldier -- I want to know, who is the colonel or the general or whoever it is that approved 52 million in cash.
It definitely wasn't 52. I guarantee you, it was more than that.
MORGAN: If you were president would you take all American troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq now?
TRUMP: Well --
MORGAN: Straight away.
TRUMP: Well, Iraq, we shouldn't have been there and I'd get them out real fast. Afghanistan is not the bigger problem. The bigger problem is Pakistan.
You have to know. You know when you fight a battle you have to know who to fight. Pakistan probably has Osama bin Laden. Now think of it. You have a 6'6" Arab and we can't find him. Who is on a dialysis machine and we can't find him.
You tell me this with all our so-called intelligence and everything else, the guy is 6'6". Pretty unusual. Right? We can't find Osama bin Laden. There's something wrong. We give hundreds of billions of dollars to Pakistan and they're probably housing him. He may be housed frankly in Saudi Arabia because you think Saudi Arabia is our friend, I mean nobody hurts us like Saudi with the fuel prices. OK?
MORGAN: Well, it's interesting, Saudi, as I mentioned to you tonight, the other breaking news is that the king of Saudi Arabia has been very firm with President Obama basically telling him to leave off Mubarak. And, you know, keep our big noses out of it allegedly.
And so, what do you think of that situation as it's developing where you're beginning to see the old order in the Middle East standing up to America and saying, this is our business not yours?
TRUMP: They're standing up for the first time because they don't respect us anymore. They didn't use to stand up. They're standing up now because they didn't respect us. They're standing up now because they can do anything they want.
You have to go over there and see some of the airports that they're building. They make Kennedy Airport look like it's third world country. They make LaGuardia -- I land at LaGuardia then I go into Abu Dhabi and I go into Qatar. I go into these airports.
MORGAN: They are amazing.
TRUMP: It's like the most incredible things you've ever seen. We're like a third world country. And they wouldn't be there. Look at Kuwait. Saddam Hussein attacks Kuwait. We then go in, get them out, we lose lives, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars, we put out Red Adair. We put out all the oil well afire and you set all the -- we handed back the country.
Now they don't invest in the United States because you know why? They say the return on investment is not good enough. We're not going to invest in there.
MORGAN: Maybe they have a point and also here's the other point.
TRUMP: They do?
MORGAN: Companies like General Motors, companies like Coca-Cola.
MORGAN: Are all investing heavily in places like China. And they're doing very well over there. Isn't the answer to go where the business enemy is and take them on at their own game and make money out of them? Isn't that what you would do instinctively?
TRUMP: I think it's great. But if you look at what happened to General Electric, what happened to them with technology, where they had to give up all their technology to China, where they had to build plants in China, where they had to do all these thing -- hey, I like the Chinese. I'm fine with the Chinese. And if I were them, I'd be doing the same thing, if I could get away with it.
We can't let them continue to get away --
MORGAN: What are the other problems here? You saw the disintegration of the financial system. You can't just blame foreign competition. What was wrong with the system here that should now be put right properly?
TRUMP: Look, you've always going to have problems with financial systems. I went to the Wharton School of Finance, which is the best business school probably in the world. I dealt with people who were super brilliant people. I know how smart they are.
Regulation -- these people don't know what a regulation is and they find ways around them. You have really smart guys writing regulations. But you have smarter guys figuring out how --
MORGAN: Should bankers -- the same bankers that got us into the mess now be allowed, in a regulation way, to be awarding themselves huge bonuses?
TRUMP: Look what happened with Chase today. They got caught for taking advantage of military and soldiers that are in Afghanistan and Iraq, and taking advantage of them, I think it's terrible. What Chase has done I think is terrible. And I think what the banks are doing right now -- they took all the money, the taxpayer money -- and if you go in -- if anybody in this audience wants a home loan, you're not going to get it, OK? You're not going to get it.
MORGAN: Because they're awarded themselves millions in bonuses.
TRUMP: One of the things --
MORGAN: I think it's scandalous.
TRUMP: I think it's terrible. And one of the things -- and you know what? I'm saying that and I really do. I do believe it's terrible. They took all of this money to stay solvent. They're taking big bonuses.
But here's the bigger problem: the big picture problem is they're not loaning the money. There's millions of empty homes because nobody can go out and get --
MORGAN: Here's a Tweet I want you to respond to. A great address, by the way. Kick A Snowflake is the Tweeter. "As President Trump, who would be the first person you would say you're fired to?"
TRUMP: They want me to say, look, I have had --
MORGAN: What do they want you to say?
TRUMP: They want me to say Obama.
MORGAN: He's already gone. Who's the number one bad guy right now you would fire in America?
TRUMP: Well, can I be honest? I don't want to say. There's so many of them. There really are. There are so many of them. You look at the Department of Education. It goes for blocks and blocks and blocks. Education should really be -- we have to -- like a little bit of supervision.
MORGAN: You wouldn't argue --
TRUMP: -- should be a local thing.
MORGAN: I was going to mention education to you, because last word with the Chinese -- isn't the reality with them that they are educating their people better now than America is doing, and that's why they're also jumping ahead. Isn't that true?
TRUMP: You know where they're educating a lot of their people? At our schools. It's the most amazing thing. They come over, they learn, they go to Harvard, they go to Wharton, they go to Yale, they go to the best schools, and then we force them to leave.
TRUMP: No, no, we force them to leave. MORGAN: I know that. When we come back, I'm going to ask you, as a man who wins and knows how to pick a winner, which is where I come in, how are we going to win?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Piers, you're a vicious guy. I've seen it. We can try and dispute it. You can try and dispute it. You're tough. You're smart. You're probably brilliant. I'm not sure. You're certainly not diplomatic. But you did an amazing job. And you beat the hell out of everybody. And you won by far more than anybody.
Trace, you're a special human being, a beautiful guy. I'll always love you. But for tonight, Piers, you're the "Celebrity Apprentice."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was, of course, my triumphant moment winning season one of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice." Donald, it's quite terrifying and arduous and all that kind of thing. But at the end, I realized why you're such a winner, because you pick the right guy.
TRUMP: Well, I -- I know that you're being cute. But the fact is I did pick the right guy. And Trace was fantastic. And many other people in that group were fantastic. And frankly, Trace Adkins is the number one country singer right now. When he went on the show, I was complaining who the hell ever heard of him. Nobody heard of him. You know that. So Trace is not complaining either.
MORGAN: What does it take in general? I read your books before I competed on your show to try to get inside your brain. And I loved the one called "Think Big and Kick Ass," because it kind of summed up I think the Trump philosophy, isn't it? Which is don't go micro on these things. Think big and you can win. Is that your steely philosophy?
TRUMP: Not everybody can think big. You have home builders that build one home. They're not going to build big developments. And they do a great service to the community. You have people do small jobs and they do a great service.
Not everybody can think big. If everybody thought big, it would be a pretty crowded world out there. It wouldn't be very pleasant. But I think that you should, within reason, think as big as you can.
And you know, it's very interesting with that book, that book did very well. My books all go to number one or do really well as best- sellers.
MORGAN: Of course.
TRUMP: But I have to tell you, that book, because of the "Kick Ass," didn't do quite as well because a lot of parents -- it was around Christmas-time and a lot of parents couldn't buy it for their child because they didn't like the title. That's really true. I said why isn't that book selling like everything else. But they really had a problem giving a seven-year-old kid a book with that title.
MORGAN: Here's a really interesting aspect to your character. You've never had a drop of alcohol in your life. Have you?
TRUMP: That's right. Ever.
MORGAN: I found that amazing when I discovered that fact.
TRUMP: Well, for me it was very easy.
MORGAN: Never touched a drug.
TRUMP: No, I've never had drugs.
MORGAN: Never smoked cigarettes.
TRUMP: Never had cigarettes.
MORGAN: You don't even drink coffee, do you?
TRUMP: And I don't drink coffee.
MORGAN: That's amazing.
TRUMP: I have other problem, I guess.
MORGAN: We'll come to the women in a moment.
TRUMP: I didn't necessarily --
MORGAN: Women are your vice, right?
TRUMP: I respect women. I find women very beautiful. I think women are great. I have a fantastic wife, Melania.
MORGAN: I'm going to come back to the women, because I want to focus more on this discipline and where you get it from. You told me once a very interesting story about you had an older brother who was an alcoholic, and he died of alcoholism. And he told you before he died don't drink and don't smoke.
TRUMP: I had an older brother named Fred who was a great guy, a handsome guy, the most handsome guy that you've ever seen. He had everything going. But he -- and he loved flying airplanes. And he actually was a pilot. He was a professional pilot.
And somewhere along the line -- I think it was in college -- he started drinking. And he got worse and worse. And he also smoked a lot. And he would tell me -- and he was quite a bit older than me, about ten years older. He would say, don't ever smoke, don't ever drink. Don't ever smoke, don't ever drink.
And I say that to my kids now. No drinking, no drug, no alcohol. I also say and no tattoos, because I think tattoos are horrible. I see this tattoo phase.
MORGAN: Do they follow your lead?
TRUMP: So far, my kids have been following my lead. But I drive them crazy. They say, dad, will you stop. I had this great brother who had everything going, but he became an alcoholic. He smoked a lot. But forget the smoking, he became an alcoholic. And ultimately he died.
IT was an amazing genes that he lasted as long as he did. But he was a severe alcoholic. He was an amazing guy. And he was, in a certain way -- my father was a great teacher, but he was one of my great teachers, if not my best.
But he got me not to smoke, not to drink. And, you know, it's very interesting, I went to college and I had a friend who hated the taste of scotch, just hated it. He said, "Donald, I'm working so hard to develop a taste for scotch." I said, "listen, you're lucky. Just don't have it."
He said, "no, no, I want to do it. It's social." He's now today a very bad alcoholic and scotch is his --
MORGAN: Even though he hated the taste to start with?
TRUMP: He hated the taste. He wanted to develop a taste. I say to people don't drink. You know it's so easy. You say, oh, it must be hard. It's not hard if you don't drink --
MORGAN: What about business dinners? I go to quite a few of them, as you do. By midnight, they're rolling out drunk. They're senior business people. What do you think of that?
TRUMP: There's a banker -- and obviously I'm not going to mention names. Nor am I going to mention names of the congressman all of whom I know. OK? Boy, would that be good. I see his eyes lighting up right now. But I won't mention them.
With me, it goes to the grave. But I'll never forget a very respected banker, highly respected. And he was making a speech at the Waldorf Astoria. And he was very tipsy, very -- and shortly thereafter, he was just totally stone cold drunk. There were probably 2,000 people, 1,500 people at this dinner. It was a very big event.
And we carried him out on his back. And I never felt the same way about him. I see him today and I just don't feel the same way. We carried him out. He was stone cold drunk in a big dinner. And I didn't even know he drank. We carried him out literally on his back and --
MORGAN: Is he still a senior banker?
TRUMP: He just retired. But he was a very powerful banker, one of the biggest. And I never felt the same way about him.
MORGAN: You lost respect for him? TRUMP: I lost respect for him. I lost respect for him.
MORGAN: When we come back, I'm going to talk to you about your own great area of expertise, the female form.
TRUMP: Oh, wow.
MORGAN: Men around the world are jealous of Donald Trump. But it's got nothing to do with your wealth or your business sense or anything. It's to do with the huge array of dazzlingly beautiful women that you've managed to snare over the years, Donald. How have you done it? What's the secret?
TRUMP: Well, I guess it's my looks. I'm a very handsome man. I don't know what it is exactly. Well, I've just always admired women. And I mean women, not just beautiful women. Women.
I'm a great believer in women. I have tremendous respect for women. I was one of the very early people that employed women in the real estate business, especially the construction business. I had a woman build the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which I built at Grand Central Terminal years ago. That was a long time. I had a woman that was very much involved at the top level with the construction of Trump Tower on 57th.
MORGAN: What's more important to you, women or business?
TRUMP: Well, business is more important because I'm a happily married man.
MORGAN: If I could offer you -- here's a deal for you. If I could offer you a check for 10 billion dollars --
MORGAN: The deal is you can't have sex for the next ten years.
TRUMP: Not even with your wife.
MORGAN: With my wife?
MORGAN: Definitely not with my wife.
TRUMP: That would be the best line of the evening.
MORGAN: Come on, 10 billion dollars, but that's the deal; you'd have to give up women in a sexual way for ten years.
TRUMP: Would that include my wife?
Would you take the deal.
TRUMP: No, I'd absolutely take my wife.
TRUMP: Well, I have to say that. I've got to go home.
MORGAN: You see? So actually it is women in the end, isn't it? One woman.
TRUMP: Women are great. I respect women greatly. Always have.
MORGAN: What kind of husband have you been, do you think?
TRUMP: Well, I think I've been a very good husband lately. But I will say that over the years I've probably been a much better father than a husband. I've been very, very busy with my business. My business sort of -- not that it's right, but it always came first.
And I Remember John Paul Getty, who was a great man in terms of business, not a great man in terms of life, but in terms of business, was saying that -- I was very young and I listened to him. He was a very old man and I sort of respected him. He said that I really find it very hard for a woman and a wife to compete with my business. And he said that.
Now, in my case, I think I'll maybe do a little modification of that, because I have a great family life. I have great kids. But I will say this, I've been a great father and I've done very well with my children. A lot of people -- I'm getting a lot of credit for my children. They've been good kids. They're smart. They went to the best schools.
You know Ivanka and you Don and Eric. But they're great kids and they've worked hard and they're doing --
MORGAN: They have huge respect for you too.
TRUMP: I hope so.
MORGAN: Are you vain?
TRUMP: I think I am pretty vain. I am. I mean, I think the look is very important. I think --
MORGAN: What is the look?
TRUMP: Well, it's a lot different looks. Don King used to go around to me and say you have the look. You have the look. Well, in his own way, he has the look. You know -
MORGAN: If I want the look, what is it?
TRUMP: Well, you've got a long way to go. No, you've got the look. You have the look. Look, who knows -- I'm not talking about a Cary Grant look. We don't have Cary Grant today. He was so great, right. We don't have that.
TRUMP: But George Clooney is probably --
TRUMP: George Clooney, great looking guy. It's not just about that. Like, for instance, I mentioned Don King. They tried to imitate him or tried to do something with him in a movie with a replacement. It didn't work.
MORGAN: It would be journalistically remiss of me not to mention one of your great attributes, which is your hair.
TRUMP: And it is my hair. You know that.
MORGAN: I know, because I've actually tested it.
TRUMP: He actually walked up and foom.
MORGAN: So it's all real, but it's probably the most famous hair in America, isn't it?
TRUMP: Well, I guess it is. I can tell you, NBC certainly wouldn't want me -- somebody said why don't you just give yourself a crew cut or shave it or something? I'm been combing it like this -- it's very interesting, I saw some of your pictures -- not that one. But I saw some of your pictures from an early day, and it was very similar.
So it is my hair. And I'll have friends -- I had a friend come up to my office recently. I hadn't seen him since high school. I said, wait until you see this guy. This is the greatest looking guy. He didn't better with the girls than anybody. He was fantastic.
He walks up to my office. He weighed 100 pounds too much. He was bald as a -- you have no idea, big glasses and a cigar. I said, what the hell happened to you? So it is my hair. I'm very happy.
MORGAN: Before we go to the break, a quick Tweet here: "what do you say to critics who say beauty pageants are at best archaic and at worst sexist and demeaning of women," from Tea Delly Gainis (ph).
TRUMP: They're not archaic, because I bought the Miss Universe Pageant and The Miss USA Pageant and they're doing terrifically in the ratings.
MORGAN: Are they demeaning to women, do you think?
TRUMP: I don't think so. I think just the opposite. There's a certain group of women -- maybe it doesn't play as well in New York. But I can tell you, you go to Alabama, you go Texas, you go to places, it's the hottest thing there is. You go throughout the world, Asia, South America, forget it. In Venezuela and Colombia, they close down the country to have the Ms. Colombia or to have the Miss Universe Pageant. The Miss Universe Pageant is one of the largest grossing pageants in the world -- not pageants, television shows anywhere in the world. It gets tremendous ratings worldwide.
And it's really good and really good for the girls. And these are tremendous people. A lot of these young women are tremendous people.
MORGAN: We're talking of tremendous people. When we come back after the break, we'll talk about Ivanka and the rest of your family, and also about your impending new career as a grandfather.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no slacking off in the trump family. We worked hard. We got great grades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got kind of brought up in a business mind set. It wasn't a conventional father-son relationship. That said, we did spend a lot of time together. I'd come in and sit in in his board room. While he's there, I'd be playing on the floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We worked every summer and we understood the value of a dollar.
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: My father -- and rightly -- really exalts my grandfather.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My grandfather was very involved, kind of looking over his shoulder as he was getting his start here in New York. I think there was a great mutual respect, both from a father- son relationship, but also as peers and business people.
I. TRUMP: The lessons that he taught him, the elements of hard work, the characteristics of what it means to be a great builder --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, Donald's children. And indeed, the next generation. You're about to become a grandfather for the third time. This is now almost a career for you, Donald.
TRUMP: That's a tough word to handle, grandfather. I don't feel like a grandfather, but that's OK. I spoke to a great friend of mine today, Steve Wynn, and he's a grandfather. I said, what do you do? He said, I tell them to call me Steve. He's just a terrific guy. I said I think I'm going to do that, let them call me Donald.
But it's a tough word. MORGAN: We had a great Tweet from Good Karma Flomo (ph). "Would you children be as successful if they hadn't had the best in life provided to them from an early age?"
TRUMP: I think you never really know. I think they're very smart kids. And you know, they get into the best schools and they get very high grades and very high aptitudes on the tests and everything else. But you never know that.
Really, if you set them, if they didn't have a father that had a lot of money that can sort of send them on he way -- you really don't know who's going to be successful and who is not. All I can say is they're in a certain circumstance. And within that circumstance, they have been amazing, so far.
Maybe in ten years, you'll be interviewing me, and I'll say, well, who knows.
MORGAN: How tough a dad are you, do you think?
TRUMP: Pretty tough. I think that I want them to appreciate the value of the dollar. I want them to appreciate life. They have great respect for people, all people, not just successful people. And I want them to respect people.
And I've always been there. You know, it's a very fragile life, Piers. You're doing something, I'm doing something, it's all very fragile. I want them to respect all people.
MORGAN: If one of -- it would have to be Ivanka in your case -- had gone off the rails like Lindsay Lohan has gone off the rails, how would you deal with that?
TRUMP: That's a very tough thing. I know Lindsay's mother and father. And they get terrible press. But I don't think they're bad people. I think they're devastated over what's going on with Lindsay. As you know, Lindsey wanted to be on "The Celebrity Apprentice" and we couldn't take her because of her difficulties.
I want to take her. She'd be great. But we just couldn't do it. I just want to see her get straightened out. I know her. She's a really nice kid, but she has problems. Between drugs, alcohol and other things, she has some big problems and she's got to solve them.
MORGAN: Rosie O'Donnell, talking of problems, was being quite complimentary about you today, suggesting that maybe the ice is beginning to melt.
TRUMP: Wow, that's a big statement.
MORGAN: Are you ready to offer a peace offering? Are you ready to put it behind you?
TRUMP: I heard she had some very nice things to say.
MORGAN: Come on.
TRUMP: I was shocked.
MORGAN: Now is the time. Make it up. Say something nice about her.
TRUMP: I have to read what she had to say, OK?
MORGAN: Are you ever going to retire?
TRUMP: No. It's funny, real estate people never retire. They just don't. Everyone in my business -- I used to be the youngest in the business. I was pretty good from the beginning. I really did a good job, the convention center, the Grand Hyatt Hotel, lots of big jobs at a very early age. And I would watch these guys, and they were in their 70s, 80s, 90s -- Harry Helmsley. They were all much older people.
And they never retire. Real estate people love what they do. And I think you know what it is? We build beautiful buildings and that makes up for the fact that the fact that the face is starting to fall.
MORGAN: Donald Trump, I feel like I need to say something to you, because you were so instrumental in me being successful in America with "Celebrity Apprentice," and raising my profile. And I have never really had the chance to say this to you. I've always wanted to. I think a lot of people in America would like to say this to you, if they had the chance.
Donald Trump, you're fired.
TRUMP: That's great.
MORGAN: It's been a fascinating hour with Donald Trump, one of my favorite business people.
- ENDS -
**Note: This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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"Piers Morgan Tonight airs daily on CNN at 8pm HKT. For more go to www.piersmorgantonight.com."