No, Not Trump, Not Ever

No Comments 19 March 2016

No, Not Trump, Not Ever

David Brooks spells out why journalists should never support Donald Trump. Making him another Wallace must be the goal.

Brookes writes in the NY Times on March 18, 20016
The voters have spoken.

In convincing fashion, Republican voters seem to be selecting Donald Trump as their nominee. And in a democracy, victory has legitimacy to it. Voters are rarely wise but are usually sensible. They understand their own problems. And so deference is generally paid to the candidate who wins.

And deference is being paid. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is urging Republicans to coalesce around Trump. Pundits are coming out with their “What We Can Learn” commentaries. Those commentaries are built on a hidden respect for the outcome, that this is a rejection of a Republicanism that wasn’t working and it points in some better direction.

The question is: Should deference be paid to this victor? Should we bow down to the judgment of these voters?

Well, some respect is in order. Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else.

Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country.

And yet reality is reality.

Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.

Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy.

This week, the Politico reporters Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf fact-checked 4.6 hours of Trump speeches and press conferences. They found more than five dozen untrue statements, or one every five minutes.

“His remarks represent an extraordinary mix of inaccurate claims about domestic and foreign policy and personal and professional boasts that rarely measure up when checked against primary sources,” they wrote.

He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12. He surrounds himself with sycophants. “You can always tell when the king is here,” Trump’s butler told Jason Horowitz in a recent Times profile. He brags incessantly about his alleged prowess, like how far he can hit a golf ball. “Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong?” he asks.

In some rare cases, political victors do not deserve our respect. George Wallace won elections, but to endorse those outcomes would be a moral failure.

And so it is with Trump.

History is a long record of men like him temporarily rising, stretching back to biblical times. Psalm 73 describes them: “Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. … They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.”

And yet their success is fragile: “Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly they are destroyed.”

The psalmist reminds us that the proper thing to do in the face of demagogy is to go the other way — to make an extra effort to put on decency, graciousness, patience and humility, to seek a purity of heart that is stable and everlasting.

The Republicans who coalesce around Trump are making a political error. They are selling their integrity for a candidate who will probably lose. About 60 percent of Americans disapprove of him, and that number has been steady since he began his campaign.

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Worse, there are certain standards more important than one year’s election. There are certain codes that if you betray them, you suffer something much worse than a political defeat.

Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all.

As the founders would have understood, he is a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government. He is precisely the kind of scapegoating, promise-making, fear-driving and deceiving demagogue they feared.

Trump’s supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever.

Here is how Trump responded to the Brook’s Column

Trump on  Brooks


A Day later I find this support for Brook’s concerns in an interview Trump gave to Maureen Dowd

WASHINGTON — MOST people would be upset to be at the center of an agitated national debate about whether they were more like Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin, George Wallace or a Marvel villain.

Not Donald Trump.

He doesn’t like invidious comparisons but he’s cool with being called an authoritarian.

“We need strength in this country,” he told me Friday morning, speaking from his Fifth Avenue office. “We have weak leadership. Hillary is pathetically weak.

“She got us into Libya and she got us into Benghazi and she’s probably got 40 eggheads sitting around a table telling her what to do, and then she was sleeping when the phone call came in from the ambassador begging for help. You know, the 3 a.m. phone call?”

I asked the brand baron if he’s concerned that his brand has gone from fun to scary, from glittery New York celebrity to “S.N.L.” skits about him featuring allusions to the K.K.K. and Hitler. He blamed a “disgustingly dishonest” press.

I wondered about ex-wife Ivana telling her lawyer, according to Vanity Fair, that Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed. Or the talk in New York that in the ’90s he was reading “Mein Kampf.” Nein, he said. “I never had the book,” he said. “I never read the book. I don’t care about the book.”

All over town, even in the building where I’m writing this column, freaked-out Republicans are plotting how to rip the nomination from Trump’s hot little hands.

How does it feel to be labeled a menace, misogynist, bigot and xenophobe by your own party? “Honestly,” he replied, “I’m with the people. The people like Trump.”

Since he prefers to rely on himself for policy advice, is he seeking out expert help on the abstruse delegate rules? “Yeah,” he said, “I have people, very good people, the best people.” No details, as usual.

Won’t a contested convention require more of a campaign than après moi, le déluge? “I have an organization but it’s largely myself,” he said.

More heavyweights are jumping in to stomp Trump, including Elizabeth Warren. Asked about her jabs, he pounced: “I think it’s wonderful because the Indians can now partake in the future of the country. She’s got about as much Indian blood as I have. Her whole life was based on a fraud. She got into Harvard and all that because she said she was a minority.”

Told that President Obama was mocking his wine as $5 wine marked up to $50, Trump shot back, “My wine has gone through the roof.”

What about Mitt Romney, who’s pushing for an open convention? “He’s a jealous fool and not a bright person,” Trump said. “He’s good looking. Other than that, he’s got nothing.”

Paul Ryan, who will be leading the G.O.P. convention in Cleveland, says there could be a floor fight. But he protested that he would, no, no, never take it himself, just as he once said about the speakership.

Ryan snickered at the idea that Mexico would pay for the wall and chided Trump for warning that there would be riots at the convention if the Gasping Old Party tried to snatch the nomination. Was the speaker interested in seizing the crown himself?

“I don’t think so,” Trump said, noting that he liked Ryan and that they’d talked. “All that matters is the votes. I see people making statements about me that are harsh and yet they are calling me on the other line saying, ‘Hey, when can we get together?’”

Mitch McConnell also urged Trump to ratchet down the ferocity. Trump insisted that “the violence is not caused by me. It’s caused by agitators.” He added that “Hillary is the one disrupting my rallies. It’s more Hillary than Sanders, I found out.” The Clinton campaign called this “patently false.”

But shouldn’t parents be able to bring children to rallies without worrying about obscenities, sucker punches, brawls and bullying? “The rallies are the safest places a child could be,” Trump replied primly.

Didn’t the man rushing the stage give him pause? “I got credit for that because it looked like I was moving toward him,” he said.

Trump said that when the “agitators” scream and the crowd screams back, “Frankly, it adds a little excitement.” But there must be a safer, saner way to get some oomph.

I wondered if he realized that, in riling up angry whites, he has pulled the scab off racism. “Obama, who is African-American, has done nothing for African Americans,” he replied.

He said he would soon unleash the moniker that he thought would diminish Hillary, the way “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted” torched his Republican rivals; “I want to get rid of the leftovers first.”

When he mocks Hillary, as he does in a new ad that shows her barking, it may backfire. Due to his inability to let go of his chew toy Megyn Kelly, Trump drew a remarkable rebuke Friday night from Fox News after he called for a boycott of her show and tweeted that she was “crazy” and “sick.” Fox painted Trump as a stalker, saying he had an “extreme, sick obsession” with the anchor. Unable to resist, even though he knows I respect Kelly, he also described her to me as a “total whack job” with “no talent.”

He has a history of crude remarks about women from his visits to Howard Stern’s show that could be used in Hillary ads. A conservative anti-Trump “super PAC” is running an ad with women repeating his coarse remarks.

“All of these politicians have said far worse than that,” Trump said, “drunk, standing in a corner.”

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Joe Scarborough said that just as F.D.R. was the master of radio and J.F.K. of television, D.J.T. is the titan of Twitter. The titan agreed, gloating about how his tweets to his seven million followers, sometimes penned in his jammies, become cable news bulletins. “Yeah,” he said, “I’ll do them sometimes lying in bed.”

Not exactly a fireside chat. But it sure started a fire.


Political Substance Abuse: Donald Trump’s Washington Press Conference
By ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON MARCH 22, 2016 4:48 NY Times

This installment of Political Substance Abuse is set in the “Old Post Office,” in Washington, D.C., a historic building that The Trump Organization is converting into a hotel. Donald Trump held a press conference there on Monday as part of a day trip to the nation’s capital that many media commentators called “trying to look presidential.” Mr. Trump met with legislators on Capitol Hill and visited the editorial board of the Washington Post, where he revealed that rather than solely advising himself on foreign affairs, he sometimes relies on a collection of mostly-unknown advisers, who help him advise himself. He sat down to an on-camera, in-person interview on CNN, instead of phoning it in, as he usually does, then capped his day by speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference. Mr. Trump had an actual speech written for his AIPAC appearance, and he used a teleprompter, despite saying, in Florida last week, verbatim: “No teleprompters. Do you notice? I’m not reading speeches. No reading speeches. No reading speeches. Speak from the heart, and from the head. But speak from the heart. We gotta do it. We gotta do it. We speak from the heart. And from the head! You know? Let’s not forget that. But we’ve gotta do it.”

Below is the transcript from Mr. Trump’s hour-long press conference, uncut and uncensored. Here’s hoping that when the luxury hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue is completed, it’s as close as Mr. Trump ever gets to sleeping in the White House.

DONALD TRUMP: Hello everybody. Great to see you. We thought we’d do this, we’re getting so many questions on the building itself, how it’s coming, and ah—this is a great speaker system, boy. It’s unbelievable. Ah, and I just ah, want to thank everybody for—for coming. We have had so many inquiries as to how we’re doing ah, at The Old Post Office, what was formerly The Old Post Office. And ah, upstairs is almost complete, the rooms are almost complete. We have close to 300 rooms, super luxury, and it’s gonna be amazing. We’re gonna apply—we’re gonna employ ah, substantially more than I would say 500 people—yeah, at least 500 people. And we’re getting them largely from the area, and they’re terrific, already in training. Ah, our chefs have been employed, our service staff has been fully employed. So we have a tremendous group of people, the hotel is going to be incredible. Much of what you’re sitting on was just, that was open space that was going down into a basement area, that’s a brand new floor. Ah, in about a week it gets covered with marble, beautiful marble from different parts of the world. Ah, much of what you’re seeing here gets the final ah, touches on it. This was considered one of the great buildings of Washington, one of the great buildings in the country. And it’s been restored to the highest level, ah, well beyond from when it was built. And it’s gonna be something really special. I think when it’s completed, it will be truly one of the great hotels of the world. And that’s what we’re looking forward to.

As you know, ah, GSA, this was the GSA and that was one of the most heavily bid projects in the history of GSA. Tremendous numbers of people wanted it. They brought it down to ten finalists, and we got it, I think because of the strength of our financial statement and because of the fact—they wanted to make sure it got built. And because of the fact that we had something that’s very special in terms of the concept. Where you are now is going to be part of the hotel lobby, you’ll see that in about ah, three months. And ah, behind me are restaurants and stores and shops, and everything above the second floor is ah, is rooms, suites, luxury suites. And what we have really that’s very exciting is we’re building one of the biggest ballrooms in Washington and by far the most luxurious ballroom. It’s actually the largest luxury ballroom in Washington and even in the Washington area. So it’s going to be a very very special job. We’re very proud of it.

We’re two years ahead of schedule. We’re going to be opening in September. So that’s much ah, in advance of what it was suppose to be. It was supposed to be September two years from now. Ah, we’re right on budget. Ah, we have—and we’ve really increased the scope of the work quite a bit, we’re still on budget. Ah, we’ve gone to a very much higher degree of finishes and ah, marbles and fixtures and bathroom fixtures, windows, etc. So we are ah—really we want to make this one of the great hotels of the world. I think it’s coming out that way. And I think when it’s completed you’ll be very proud of it. It’s a great thing for the country. It’s a great thing for Washington.

As you know, the building was sitting fallow for many many decades actually, but it was for many years, ah, it was a magnificent building. There were tremendous fights as to whether or not it would stay up. And groups got together and they just would not allow the government to take it down. And it sat, and then they went out to bid and something happened where it didn’t work out, and it’s been many many years. So ah, we started it, ah, about a year and a half ago, and we’ll have it finished way ahead of schedule, we’re very proud of it. I think again, you will—you will be very proud of it, as people that love this country, I think you’re gonna be very proud of it.

Ah, these are just some of the staff that we have, some of the construction workers. We’ll have probably really close to a thousand construction workers on the site, including off-site work. For instance, ah, the windows, which are landmark, much of the building is landmark, this area is all landmarked. Ah, the walls going up are landmark. The struts over your head right now are land—you know, it’s all very strong landmark situation. Ah, we worked with the various landmarking groups who were terrific, really really professional people. And ah, they are—they love this building, I can tell you.

The exterior of the building is all granite, and in some cases it’s four and five feet thick, and they don’t build them like that anymore, that I can tell you. They don’t build them like that anymore. So with that all being said, if you have any questions, please ah, raise your hand.

Yes.

QUESTION: Would you tell us a little bit more about this meeting at Jones Day earlier today?

MR. TRUMP: Meeting at Jones Day. Oh. That has nothing to do with this, but that’s okay. We met with ah—ah, Senator Sessions and some of the great people in Washington. And you pretty much know who was there I would imagine. And we had a great meeting, we had a really good meeting.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Yeah, well I don’t have a list now but we had various—various senators, yeah. Various senators and congressmen. We can provide a list for you if you’d like, okay?

QUESTION: Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan didn’t know about the meeting and they said they weren’t invited. Was that on purpose?

MR. TRUMP: No, not at all. No, not at all. We’re very inclusive. And ah, frankly ah, Jeff and some of the other people just invited a small group. And you know, we’re doing very well. It looks like we’re doing very well in Arizona and very well pretty much every place else. And I think we’re gonna maybe easily make that number of the 1237. Ah, we should make it pretty easily based on what I’m seeing. So we won’t have to worry about fighting at a convention. Yes, Mark?

QUESTION: [inaudible] general election, [inaudible] for voters, how would you differentiate yourself on those issues and on—

MR. TRUMP: Well I think I’m very different than Hillary Clinton, to put it mildly. Ah, I think we have a very different style. I don’t think she’ll be one that’s going to do much with our trade agreements which are killing our country. People have no idea how important that is. The money that is being drained out of our country is enormous. And that’s not her thing. It’s totally my thing. I think she’ll be very very weak on the military, I think she’ll be very weak with other—frankly with other countries and the amount of money we subsidize them with our military, which nobody even talks about. So you know, we have to make our country solvent, and we have to make our country, frankly, rich if we’re going to save all of these things. And we have to rebuild our military. It’s in very bad shape. It’s been decimated, just been decimated over a period of years. And we’ve got to get the right equipment, not the wrong equipment. We’ve got to get equipment that isn’t there because of political experience and political know-how. We want to get the equipment they really want, not the equipment they’re getting because politicians have access to certain companies. And we’re gonna rebuild our military, and I think that’s gonna be a big difference also.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Well, she doesn’t know anything about my policy. I mean, she wouldn’t know anything about it. Ah, her policies obviously didn’t work. All you have to do is look at Libya, look at anything you want to look at, and they haven’t worked. And I think if you look back at my projects and ah, my prognostications, they turned out to be very very accurate. Sarah?

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Well I’m gonna make a speech in about two hours, so—

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Well no I also said— No I— Yeah I said— What I said, if you remember, I said that I want to look into it, I want to speak to governmental people in Israel and here. I want to speak to various senators and various people, including Senator Jeff Sessions who is highly—Jeff is highly respected. And ah, actually Ted Cruz I think respected him more than any senator, and he thought he was gonna get endorsed by Jeff Sessions and he didn’t. Jeff Sessions endorsed me, which was a very big endorsement. And ah, Ted Cruz still doesn’t believe what happened. He couldn’t believe it. Because they worked together. And you know, it doesn’t say much about somebody when you have almost no senate endorsements, you have Lee, but you have almost no Senate endorsements, and you work with the people all the time. So ah, we worked very very closely with ah, many people, but Jeff Sessions. We worked closely with top people from Israel. And I’m gonna be making a speech about it in a little while.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Say it again?

QUESTION: Can we expect you to say your views on this have evolved?

MR. TRUMP: Not so much evolved. I said, I want to make—you know, before—I was asked certain questions. I said, I want to make a decision, I’ll announce it in the not to distant future, and that’s what I’m gonna do today at about 5:00. Okay? Yes, go ahead.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, you mentioned [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible] I love the policy that you have for military.

MR. TRUMP: Thank you.

QUESTION: I would like to know if Trump Towers will be part of that veteran job—

MR. TRUMP: Are you talking about here? We— We are doing some of that actually already. We have been very much involved— Why? What are you looking for? What kind of a position? Come up here. Come here. Since you’re so smart and good. Do you mind if I do a job interview right now? We need good people. How are you? So what’s your experience in front of the world?

[Woman comes to the stage] Ah, well I design, I do wreaths, I do ah, all types of decorations.

MR. TRUMP: And you like this building?

WOMAN: Yes, I do.

MR. TRUMP: Okay. So here’s what I’m going to do. There’s the man. Stand right over here. If we can make a good deal on the salary, she’s gonna probably have a job, okay? All right. Good. Have a good time. Thank you, sweetie, thank you. Okay. Thank you. So nice. Really nice. Yes, go ahead. Sure.

QUESTION: I have two questions for you. Firstly, can you talk about what was the theme, what was the goal of the meeting this morning at Jones Day?

MR. TRUMP: Ah, just to start getting together with some of the people that I’ve known over the years, ah, politicians. In just about all cases they were senators or congressmen. Ah, Jim DeMint was there, who I have great respect for. And ah, some others. And we just had a really good meeting. Just a meeting. And they—they can’t believe how far we’ve come, because you know, I think a lot of people maybe wouldn’t have predicted that. I think people that know me did predict that. But some people would not have. And it was really just a meeting—it’s a beginning meeting. But it was a very good one with a lot of the most respected people in Washington.

QUESTION: Let me ask you, we’ve heard a little bit about Hillary Clinton this morning, in her comments to AIPAC, also Elizabeth Warren today on social media went after you, calling you a loser. How can you—

MR. TRUMP: Who is that, the Indian? You mean the Indian?

QUESTION: How do you prepare to deal with that kind of sustained attack from both sides?

MR. TRUMP: Ah, look. Look. It is very simple. I have more votes than anybody. And if you take away the fact that I had 17 people, we had 17 people that I was going against, and add some of that back, you know. Hillary essentially had one. Ah, we started off with 17, I had more votes than anybody, more votes have come in the primaries to me than anybody else. And you know, the problem with the country right now, it’s so divided, and people like Elizabeth Warren really have to get their act together, because it’s gonna stay divided. And that includes Hillary. And probably includes me, includes everybody. This country has to get together, because we’re in serious trouble. We’re sitting on a big fat financial bubble. We owe $19 trillion and it’s going up rapidly to 21 trillion because of the budget. And we have a military that needs money. We have everything that needs money. And we have to—we have healthcare that doesn’t work. Obamacare is not working. Nothing works. Our educational system, we’re ranked last in many cases. Ah, so everybody has to get together and get it solved. If they don’t get together, we’re not gonna have much of a country, so.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, at the rally in North Carolina, Pastor Mark Burns was on stage and he told the audience that Bernie Sanders doesn’t like Jesus, that he was [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: That was Pastor Burns. Yeah, I didn’t hear this. When did he say this?

QUESTION: Ah, last week in—

MR. TRUMP: I didn’t hear anything about it, no, I’m sorry. Well, let me find out about it. I—I don’t know anything about his religious beliefs honestly, but I will find out, okay? I know the pastor. And he’s, you know, a very respected person. Yes, hi Tom.

QUESTION: What we just witnessed here was pretty remarkable. I mean this is a complete stranger who just came up and you offered her a job. What—what inside your gut gave you the feeling that—

MR. TRUMP: I felt good about her. I tell you what. I looked at her, I said, she— You know, I have gut instinct, okay? And we’re allowed to have that. And I looked at her, and she asked a question, and it was a very positive question. She looks like she’s got a great look. And she’s—look at that, with the tears. How nice. She’s just a good—she just seemed like a good person to me. Just seemed like a good person to me. Now maybe she won’t qualify because you have to qualify for—but I think she will. I think she, to me, looked like a good person. I have instincts about people. For instance, I had an instinct about you originally that you’re a very fine reporter, and I was right. Okay? Now I— She made an immediate impression. And while I agree it’s a big audience, she’s gonna become a superstar. Tomorrow she’ll move out to Hollywood. Look at her. Don’t leave me. Okay, go ahead, yes.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, before South Carolina, you said that [inaudible] And that hasn’t happened and there are still two people in this race—

MR. TRUMP: Well I’ve done a lot of winning. I mean, give me a break. On ah, Super Tuesday I won four out five and did really well in Ohio. And if I would have had two more days in Ohio, I would have won it.

QUESTION: So have you changed anything to try to run the table for the rest of the primaries?

MR. TRUMP: All we’re doing is our thing. We have a lot of people calling. We have so many people calling. And in terms of delegates, a lot of the delegates that you’re hearing about want to come with us. They want to come with us. I think we’re gonna get a lot of delegates. And people see, you know—some people are saying we’re gonna be at 1450. Quite a bit higher. We’ll see. I mean look, hey—the worst that happens, I go back to this which isn’t so bad, you know? Not so bad. But I think we’re doing very very well, and I think we will ah, qualify over that number. And then a decision is gonna have to— I mean, if we’re 30 short or 50 short, nobody else is gonna be close. I mean, Ted Cruz won’t even be close. And if we’re a little bit short, people are gonna have to decide. Are you going to go with somebody— And remember this, I think this is important. When I was putting my delegates together, I had— I guess we started, that must have been 12 or 14 people in the race. It wasn’t like I was running against one or two people. Because that’s easy to put together, you know, the 1237 delegates. But I had senators, I had a great doctor, I had ah, Carly, and I had many many other people running. So I was doing well, I was leading the pack in almost all cases. But you had other people getting 5 percent and 10 percent and 14 percent. We had a massive field. So to get 50 percent in a way is a little bit unfair, when you have a group of people that started off at around 12. It was 17, but I think by the time we got to the elections, it was—you know, the primaries, it was around 12 or 13 people. Then they started leaving. But you know, even now, I mean, we have the three, whereas Hillary had one. Much different. Much different, so. And—and I think—I would love the reporters, if you agree with me, I’d like you to make that point. We have a lot of delegates. I guess we’re almost up to 700, which is substantially more than anybody else, but I got those delegates the hard way. I got them by running against many many different people, all accomplished, all senators, governors, successful people. Now we’re down to three. And we’ll see what happens. Okay?

QUESTION: You do keep winning. You do keep winning. Why don’t you think the party has [inaudible] around you yet. Why do you think there’s still so—

MR. TRUMP: Because I’m an outsider, Katie, I mean I’m an outsider. I understand it. They’re senators, they’re governors, they’re congressmen, women, and they—they are not used to this. And a lot of people don’t like it because I haven’t taken money. I don’t take campaign contributions. And they want to give campaign—they want to—they want campaign contributions. And a lot of the people, the donors, some of whom are friends of mine, I mean, I’ve had donors come up to my office, offer me millions of dollars, and I said I—I would love to take it but I can’t. I’m not taking it, right? I said, by the way, what are you gonna do. He said, I’m gonna go with somebody else. I said, why? Because, he said, I have to. Because they want to spend their money. You know what? The truth is, they’re gamblers. So when I said I don’t want your money—and I’m their friends, but I don’t want your money, they go to someplace else. They do that. They are gamblers in a certain sense. Ah, yes. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, I got to meet Dr. Carson, and shared with him [inaudible] And he said, he’d [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Dr. Carson, who is a great guy, yeah.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: They like Dr. Carson as a running mate? Well I can tell you this. And you know, when he called me and he came over and we met, it was—you know, we’ve had a good relationship. Once I got to know him and he got to know me. Ah, he is a fine man, a fine person with a great family. So we’ll be talking to Ben Carson. About a lot of things.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Well that’s great. I like— I’m glad that you told me that.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: I know that, thank you.

QUESTION: You put together a foreign policy [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: A piece of it, yeah I announced a piece. I have actually many more, but I gave them page one.

QUESTION: [inaudible] which of the people you named then helped you to form your AIPAC team [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: No, I used various people. But I used also, ah, my son-in-law Jared—where is Jared, is he here someplace? Jared. You know, his wife is about ah, two minutes away from having a baby. So he’s here. He’s coming to AIPAC. Where’s Jared? Hey Jared. And Jared is the—spoke to many of his friends from Israel and we—we put it together with a lot of really great people. Ivanka’s about—I mean, probably today or tomorrow she’s having a baby. So Jared is getting ready to get going. Okay?

QUESTION: Just one other thing. So in that foreign policy team, General Kellogg was the COO of the coalition in the [inaudible] and you’ve been really consistent on [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: It doesn’t mean that I’m gonna use what they’re saying, but I do like different opinions. He has a different opinion. But I do like different opinions. Okay yes, go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Yes.

QUESTION: [inaudible] Chinese businessmen or Chinese tourists to Trump Hotel?

MR. TRUMP: Yes, they’ll always be involved. Absolutely. Chinese tourists will be involved. Investment I don’t need. They don’t have to give me their money. But the ah, tourists are ah, certainly—we want tourists from China. Yeah, go ahead.

QUESTION: You said you’d done really well in Arizona, but in Utah it doesn’t look as well [inaudible] could be a blue state in 2016, which would be unprecedented.

MR. TRUMP: Well, we’re gonna see what happens.

QUESTION: [inaudible] protesters, like tonight’s walkouts at AIPAC, are these just two groups that don’t share your values?

MR. TRUMP: No I don’t think so. I think that ah, I think we’ll do fine in Utah. It wasn’t one of the states that we were projected to win, but you know, I had ah, one speech there and it was massive. We actually turned away over 5000 people, you saw what happened. And I think we’ll do well there. It wasn’t a state—I was really going out to Arizona, but I have a lot of friends in Utah, so we stopped and we made a speech and we had a great response to it. I think I’ll do—I think I’ll do very nicely there. Yes, go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean yeah, there’ll be some that we won’t make. Yeah go ahead. Go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible] question in foreign policy. [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: What?

QUESTION: Do you think the US ought to leave NATO?

MR. TRUMP: I don’t think they’ll leave NATO, no.

QUESTION: Do you think the UK in the referendum on the euro [inaudible] should leave the EU?

MR. TRUMP: I think they may leave the EU, yes. They’re having a lot of problems. I think they’re—I don’t want to make a comment about the UK leaving, but I think they may leave it based on everything—I’m there a lot. I have a lot of investments in the UK, and I will tell you that I think they may leave, based on everything that I’m hearing.

QUESTION: [inaudible] better off?

MR. TRUMP: I don’t know. I— You’d have to ask them. I just think they may leave. Yeah, go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible] some diplomats from Mexico were organizing [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: To give immigrants voting status to vote against me, and the head of Mexico wants to do that? If I were the head of Mexico I’d want to do that too. Okay? Because we’re gonna bring it back. We’re gonna bring it back. Look. We have a tremendous trade deficit with Mexico, $58 billion. We have tremendous problems coming across the border. You know, Mexico could stop it in one day. We’re gonna build a wall anyway. But if Mexico wanted they could stop that in one day. Do you know how tough it is to become a citizen of Mexico, one of the toughest places on earth. And yet over here, you have a baby on the land and you’re a citizen, congratulations, okay? Try that in Mexico. You know what they do? They laugh at you in your face. So no, I could understand why the officials in Mexico would want people to vote against me. But I tell you, the Mexican people like me. And if you look at the Nevada polls that just came out, and if you look at the exit polls in Nevada, the state—a state that I won, one of many, ah, you take a look at those polls, we do very very well with the Hispanics. Yeah, go ahead, back.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, first, Speaker Paul Ryan as being very quick to criticize you with his statements. He’s also worked behind the scenes to oppose your candidacy. At what point do you lose confidence that Speaker Paul Ryan should be the chairman of the convention?

MR. TRUMP: Well it’s a very fair question, because I notice he’s been having meetings. He called me last week, he couldn’t have been nicer. He was very ah, just could not have been nicer. Ah, I have tremendous—I have many millions of people behind me. We want to bring competence back to the country. We want to bring sanity back to this country. And we want to do a lot of great things. And—and to be honest with you, the Republicans should be embracing— Look. There is something happening with our country that’s never happened to the extent that it’s happened now. Millions of additional people are going out and voting in primaries. And you know, in the Democrat case, they’re down 35 percent. Nobody cares about Hillary and Bernie in terms of voting. They’re down 35 percent. We’re up 72 percent. And it looks like even much more than that. I mean, some states are up over 100 percent. And that’s because of me. Now, they can play games and they can play cute. I can—I can only take him at face value. I understand duplicity, I understand a lot of things. But he called me last week, he could not have been nicer. I spoke with Mitch McConnell, he could not have been nicer. If people want to be smart, they should embrace this movement. Time magazine calls it a movement, it’s been on the cover—[break in audio] want to be smart. If they don’t want to be smart, they should do what they’re doing now, and the Republicans are gonna go down to a massive loss. And all of these people, these millions of people that are coming out to vote for me—because you look at South Carolina, I was supp— I wasn’t supposed to win South Carolina. And I won in a landslide. I wasn’t supposed to win Nevada, I won in a landslide. I wasn’t supposed to win many of the—I won the whole south. Look at Alabama. I mean, we’re getting close to 50 percent, with a lot of candidates, that was when you had even more [break in audio] is great. And let me tell you. If they don’t win, you’re gonna have probably four and could even be five Supreme Court justices approved that will never allow this country to be the same. It’ll take a hundred years, but that won’t work. So they better be careful. And I certainly bet—should be careful with third-party stuff. If Trump gets it, we’re gonna start a third party. Well a third party means that the Democrats are gonna win. Almost certainly [break in audio at] You can’t be that spiteful. You can’t be that spiteful, because you’ll destroy the country. Third party would destroy the country. I’m gonna be [break in audio] I’ve already shown it to a lot of people. And you know, a lot of people they’re like, a little bit worried about which judges. I want a very sup—I want a—We’re gonna have a conservative, very good group of judges. Ah, I’m gonna submit a list of justices, potential justices of the United States Supreme Court that I will appoint from the list. I won’t go beyond that list. And I’m gonna let people know. Because some people say, maybe I’ll appoint a liberal judge. I’m not appointing a liberal judge. But I’m gonna have a list of ten. Ah, we’re working on it already. Heritage ah, Foundation and others are working on it already. And ah, with, you know, some thoughts of—of mine. I’ve already named a couple of them that I think would be [break in audio] probably between seven and ten judges that I think will be—meet the highest standards, the highest standards. And from that list we’ll pick Supreme Court judges. And I’d make that pledge, because I want people to understand. That is the single biggest problem with—It would be terrible losing the election because the country’s going in the wrong direction. But if the new president is a Democrat and picks very liberal people, this country is in big big trouble. Okay Tom, go ahead.

QUESTION: What would you say to all those Republicans and Conservatives that are still convinced and are still raising money, that they’re gonna wrestle the nomination away from you at the convention?

MR. TRUMP: You’ll have to see what happens. I think I’ll get the votes, first of all. I mean, I think I’ll get the votes. We’ll see what happens. Maybe I won’t.

QUESTION: [inaudible] team, do you have a team—

MR. TRUMP: I have a team. [break in audio] Ah, it’s a professional team. I’ll give you some names later. But it’s—it’s a top of the line team. Ah, I think that we will win without that. And everybody says, if he gets the votes, he gets the votes. I think we’ll do well. I think we’re gonna have a big night in Arizona. Ah, and we’ll see. It’s a lot of—that’s a lot of votes. Just like I said we were gonna win Florida. A lot of people said, how do you beat the face of the Republican party. Don’t forget, I watched your show, and you did a—a show on Rubio. I had no problems with him. But you did a show four or five months ago on Rubio, and you said he is the future of the Republican party, he’s the face. So Trump went against the [break in audio] 20 points [break] 67 counties, I won 66, which is unprecedented, it’s never happened before. I think we’re gonna do well in Arizona. I hope to do well in Wisconsin, and I hope to do well in a lot of other places, but I think we should be able to put it away. Yeah.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, the violence began at some of your rallies [inaudible] clearly and categorically [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Let me just tell you, I rent a stadium or whatever. We had 21,000 people in ah, near Phoenix. And we had 6,000 people in Tucson over the weekend. And—both in the same day, both with very short notice, 21,000 people [break in audio] They blocked the road. These are professional agitators. They blocked the road. They used foul language. They put up signs using the F-bomb and all sort of words that were horrible. Ah, these are not good people. The people that are supporters are unbelievably good people. The incident that took place in Tuscon with the gentleman who I understand was in the Air Force, I haven’t found out too much about it yet, but I hear he had a very fine record in the Air Force [break in audio] a certain finger of the hand. He was ah, talked to horribly, and he was also ah, looking at somebody [break in audio] Ku Klux Klan. And he happened to be African American, the person who was a supporter. And it was a shame what happened. But you know what? He saw a member of the Ku Klux Klan and—you people don’t write that. You know, it’s interesting. It’s interesting. Because at the beginning of the news cycle, early in the morning, they showed the Ku Klux Klan guy walking up [break in audio] didn’t see that anymore. You just saw the—the man hitting. And I said, isn’t that a shame. They took it out of the cycle, which you did pers—you know, you did it, it’s terrible. This is an African American man, who is a supporter, who has a great family, and he has had enough. And I’ll be honest with you. In this country, [break in audio] this country have had [break in audio] where we’re losing our jobs, they’ve had enough where we’re losing all our trade. I mean you look at these trade deals that we have. They’ve had enough where our military can’t beat ISIS. They’ve had enough with the increases in Obamacare where you have 35, 45, and 55 percent increases in Obamacare, and your deductible’s so high [break in audio] not even health insurance. So people in this country are fed up. Okay. Mark, go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Three biggest threats? Ah— You know, honestly Mark, I don’t see threats. I see people that are trying to go against you, but I guess you have that in life, no matter what you do, whether you’re in politics or not. I think they’re very misguided. I think the people that go against me should embrace me. And I’d [break in audio] because I brought millions—I mean you’ve reported on it. There’s never been—they have said in your circles, there has never been an event like that—like [break in audio] history of politics. I’ve had people that you know very well, say in the history of politics. We have millions and millions of people all over the world they’re talking about it. And to be honest with you, Mark, they should embrace it, but they don’t. So that would be a threat. If they don’t embrace it, that’s always a threat. Yeah go ahead sir.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Well I started today and I’ve—you know, I’ve had— Look, again, Jeff Sessions and others have endorsed me. We have some great congressmen, I watch them on television now a lot, and they’ve endorsed me, and we have a lot of people coming on. I will say this. I don’t want to drive you folks crazy, but people that I’m watching that are against me, aren’t really against me. Because they’re calling me. I’ve—I’ve seen people on television, we have to stop Donald Trump, we have to stop— And they were on the phone with me an hour and a half before and they want to set up a meeting. You have a lot of people out there that you think are against me. And it’s just politicians. They want to make a deal. They want to come in and they want to be part of it. People really do want to be part of it.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: I don’t think much. They have to embrace what’s happening. We have people—many Democrats are coming over. That’s why we’re gonna beat Hillary Clinton so— I’m gonna beat. If I’m running it, I’m gonna beat her. We have Democrats coming in. I mean, what do we have, Mark, 20 percent of the Democrats come in for the last—for the last primary. Twenty percent were Democrat. But we have independents coming in vast numbers. And the—the most amazing thing, we have many many many people—you wouldn’t think there were this many people, who have never voted before. They’ve never voted before, Sarah. You know that. And I see it, when I’m doing the rope line, the signings, or the shaking of the hands, I mean every 15th person says, Mr. Trump, I’ve never ever voted. I mean, I’m talking about 30 year old men, 40 year old women, 50, 60, 70. My oldest is 93 years old from Tennessee. She’s never voted before. This incredible woman. I actually interviewed her a couple of you. And she’s so excited. And she’s gonna be voting. 93 years old from Tennessee. So I—I just tell you that there’s something that’s amazing that’s happening. The other thing is, we’re gonna get states that the other Republicans can never even think of, like Michigan. Michigan’s not in the rota of—of, you know, if you look at it. Ah, Ohio is a state we have to win, right? You have to win Florida. You have to win Virginia. You have to win Pennsylvania. They don’t ever talk about Michigan because they say you can’t even think about it. I think we have a good shot at New York. New York values, okay, remember New York values? You think Ted Cruz is gonna win New York? I don’t think so. If you win New York, it’s over. Because it’s got so many delegates. So I think we have a chance at winning New York. And various other states we’re gonna win that nobody else can win. That makes it a whole different contest. But think in terms of Michigan. I won Michigan really big. Don’t forget, Kasich was out in Michigan, he stayed there, he slept there. He actually made the statement that if he doesn’t win Michigan he’s gonna leave the race. He was so sure of Michigan, and he lost Michigan in a landslide to me. So I’m gonna win Michigan. And I’m gonna win other states that no other Republican candidate can win. That from the electoral college standpoint throws this thing much—it makes it a much different deal. Okay one or two more.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, at many of your rallies you denounced countries that we send foreign aid to that can defend themselves, such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea—

MR. TRUMP: Yeah. I don’t denounce the country. I have great respect for those countries. I want them to pay us some money.

QUESTION: Should that same standard apply to Israel?

MR. TRUMP: I think Israel will do that also, yeah. I think Israel will do— There are many countries that can pay. And they can pay big league. I mean, we’re supporting South Korea. I order thousands of television sets a year from South Korea. They’re a behemoth economically. Every time North Korea raises its head, they do anything, they sneeze, we start sending the ships, the planes, everything else. We don’t get proper reimbursement for that. Now I like South Korea. I have property in South Korea. I like it. I have a lot of friends in South Korea. They can’t believe they get away with it, to be honest. Germany can’t believe it. You know who really can’t believe it? Saudi Arabia. I mean, we have Saudi Arabia, the richest country, when you—no matter how you cut it, they were making—I tell this. Until, you know, recently, but now they’re making half, which is still— They were making a billion dollars a day, and we subsidized the military, which is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And they wouldn’t be there except for us. This is how we’re gonna get our wealth back. This and other things, trade deals. Okay, ah, one more question. One more. Who’s got a good question? Who’s got a good question? Who’s my favorite reporter? Go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible] you are open to a better relationship with Russia as president—

MR. TRUMP: Sure, I want a better relationship with everybody. A better re—with Russia, yeah. But I want a better relationship with everybody. Go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible] position to maintain [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: No I don’t think so. I think the media understands. Look. If we can get along— Putin says very nice things about me. I think that’s very nice. It has no effect on me, other than I think it’s very nice. If we can get along with Russia, that’s very good. If Russia wants to spend millions of dollars a day dropping bombs on ISIS, I’m okay with that. You know, I’m okay with that. Some people don’t like it, they say, no no that’s our job. It’s not our job. It’s—it’s— let—let Russia, if they want to do that, I’m all for it. No, I want to get along with all countries. And we will. We’ll get a much better relation—you look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. That is so disrespectful to Obama, and to our country. You just take a look. Look what they are doing in the South— They are building a massive military complex. And yet, they’re draining us for money. They’re taking money out of our country. We’re rebuilding—we are rebuilding China. So no, I want to get along with all countries. And you know the interesting thing, we’ll do much better with all countries. And yet we’ll get along with them better too. Okay? Okay. Go ahead. Real fast, go ahead.

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Many of the people that you see that they say they’re not supporting Trump want to support me.

QUESTION: Who are they?

MR. TRUMP: Well you’re gonna find out soon because a lot of them are gonna join the team. Or as they say, the Trump Train. But a lot of them are—

QUESTION: [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: I just don’t want to do it now. But you’ll be seeing over the next ah, short period of time. I mean, many of the people that I watch on television that are supporting somebody else, they’re really supporting me. Or they want to support—and they will. As soon as we say yes. But you’re gonna see a lot of people. Okay?

[mixed voices]

MR. TRUMP: What?

QUESTION: [inaudible] Supreme Court nominees in the list that you’re putting together, is there any sort of litmus test for [inaudible]

MR. TRUMP: Yeah. We’re gonna look at that. We’re gonna look at—it’s gonna be pro-life. We’re gonna look at that. We’re gonna look at intellect. Very important. Like, we want very very smart people. We want conservatives on the Supreme Court. Be we’re gonna be making up a list of from seven to ten people, I will be distributing that list in the very near future. Okay? Thank you very much everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much. Oh wait a minute. Let’s take a tour. Nobody asked about the hotel. Does anybody want to see—first of all this room is gonna be —does anybody want to see—we’re building now the largest luxury ballroom in Washington by far. We can take a look. And then if anybody wants to go up and look at the rooms and suites, they’re giving some tours. Ah, they are magnificent. The building was gutted down to the basics, it was gutted down to the steel, except for this area because this area is all a landmark. And we have magnificent suites, rooms, meeting rooms, and we’re building a ballroom. So if you’ll follow me I’m gonna give you a tour of the ballroom, okay? Come on Mark.

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