CNN.com International
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ON TV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TRANSCRIPTS


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Donald, Melania Trump

Aired May 17, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Donald Trump and his stunning wife, Melania; their first prime time interview together since their lavish wedding four months ago.
How's it all working out? We'll get into that and a lot more with "The Donald" and "The Melania" next on "Larry King Live."

It's always a great pleasure to welcome Donald Trump to "Larry King Live." This Thursday night, two days away, another "Apprentice" winner with two women finalists.

DONALD TRUMP, HOST, "THE APPRENTICE": Two women, Larry. That's right.

KING: We didn't figure that at the start. Right? We figured this would be...

D. TRUMP: Who would have thought? The women like me much better now so it's great.

KING: This is year what now?

D. TRUMP: Well, we've done now three and we're shooting four. And the ratings continue to be through the roof, as you just saw. And we're really happy about it. It's been a lot of fun.

KING: Martha Stewart's show, you own that, too?

D. TRUMP: With Mark, Mark Burnett, who was on the show with you the last time I did it. And we're going to have a lot of fun. I think Martha's going to do a terrific job. She'll go on some time in the fall as also "The Apprentice." We will take this franchise to new levels. And I think Martha's going to be terrific.

KING: You write books. You're a mogul. I mean, who doesn't know this? You make appearances. You got $1 million for an appearance with The Learning Annex.

D. TRUMP: That's true.

KING: And people watched all over the United States. You have a prime location in L.A. And you're building in Vegas now. Right?

D. TRUMP: Right.

KING: What are you first, when you think of yourself? "I am a...

D. TRUMP: Well, first of all and by far, I'm a real estate guy. That's what I love. I'm the largest developer in New York by far. We're doing some really fantastic jobs. I'm doing a 92-story building in Chicago. We're doing a job in Los Angeles, a big golf course along the ocean, 2.5 mile, 300 acres, with 75 mansions over the golf course.

By far, that's what I do.

As you know, I'm opening a new building on Park Avenue and 59th Street in New York. I just finished a tower opposite the United Nations, 90 stories, that sold out and has been a tremendous success.

First and foremost, I'm a real estate person. And that's what I love the most.

KING: It is? If you had to give up something, that would be the last thing you would give up?

D. TRUMP: No, I'm not going to -- that's sort of like giving up your day job.

KING: That's it.

D. TRUMP: That's really what I do. And, I mean, what happened, Larry -- and you understand this. I did your show many years and many times before "The Apprentice." And we have a lot of fun.

(CROSSTALK)

D. TRUMP: But what happened was I did "The Apprentice" and it became a tremendous success. Who would have thought that this was going to happen? But it became a tremendous success.

KING: And it made you famous in Des Moines, where as a real estate developer you were find of known but not famous-famous.

D. TRUMP: I've had all number-one best-selling books, every one of them. There's something very prestigious about a best-selling book, like "The Art of the Deal" and "The Art of the Comeback" and all of the...

KING: You have a new one on golf tips?

D. TRUMP: That's a little book for my friends that are golfers.

KING: It's selling.

D. TRUMP: Yes. It's selling like hot cakes, selling good. Suits and shirts and ties and Macy's -- Terry Lundgren, who is one of the great guys,he's somebody you should have on your show. He's the head of Macy's. He's amazing.

We're doing all of these different things. But always for me it's real estate. But I will tell you this: I have fun, a lot of fun with "The Apprentice." When I did the books -- and now we have a book out. And all the time books are prestigious. But there's sort of nothing like having the big hot show on television.

KING: Of course.

D. TRUMP: You've know that for a while.

KING: Now you're known everywhere. You can't be unknown.

D. TRUMP: I thought I was very well-known before, but this is a different level. This is definitely bigger when you have 21 million and 22 million people watching. When we had the final episode last year of "The Apprentice," we had 41.5 million people watching -- 41.5 million. That's even more than watch your show.

KING: Yes.

D. TRUMP: And now we have the big finale again on Thursday night. So it is going to be fantastic.

KING: You're doing it live?

D. TRUMP: I'm doing it live. I'm trying to study from you.

KING: Does it have to be live, or is it just that's a good idea to do it live, rather than the word get out who wins?

D. TRUMP: Live television is always risky. I mean, you have a huge crowd of people coming. It's going to be at NYU, very big audience.

There's always a risk to live. I think that probably adds to it. You've probably done more live television than any other human being in the world.

KING: Maybe.

D. TRUMP: I can't speak about Russia or Europe, but I would think that you've probably done more than anybody. And you know it's both beautiful but also risky.

The reason we're doing it live is I think those reasons, but also this way nobody can tell me who the winner is. Nobody can say: I know the winner because we put something in the can seven weeks ago and now we go and some newspaper comes up and says, "We know who the winner is."

KING: Do people root for people? Do they write in and say, "Pick this one?"

D. TRUMP: They do. And not only that, we had over a million people apply to the last episode, to be on the last episode of "The Apprentice."

One million people and out of those million people, we get some tremendous candidates. What's happened on number four, which is going to be shown in the fall is that really for the first time I got very much involved in choosing the cast. And I won't say I dislike the cast in number three. But I didn't agree with all of the people that were selected.

And ultimately, I should have to agree because somebody's going to be working for me. And I got involved -- totally involved -- in picking. And actually, I picked in a couple of cases people that are so beautiful that Mark didn't love them. He said it's not realistic that anybody could be that beautiful.

I said, "Mark, let me worry about that. That's not a bad problem."

KING: Is the winner known or will that be live, too?

D. TRUMP: The winner is -- what do you mean by the winner?

KING: With season four.

D. TRUMP: Well, that's going to be live. And we always are going to probably have a live finale. It does make it a little bit more exciting.

But I think season four, which just started shooting, is going to be really amazing also.

We're happy. Tremendous ratings came in the other night for the last episode. I think the finale is going to be a big monster.

KING: Your previous winner appeared with us at my Larry King Cardiac Foundation -- West Point graduate. What a kid he is.

D. TRUMP: Kelly. He's done a great job.

KING: You got him with two jobs.

D. TRUMP: I've got him on a lot of jobs. He sells Trump water. He sells Trump ice.

KING: Trump water?

D. TRUMP: He's involved with Trump Place, the big development on the West Side which is a fantastic development. He's really good and so is Bill Rancic. Those two are really good.

KING: Now, speaking of real estate, I come to New York and there's a major squabble, and you're in the middle taking on Pataki and everybody else. You want to rebuild the Trade Center like the Trade Center only a little bigger?

D. TRUMP: I'm not really taking on Pataki. He's a friend of mine. In fact, he was on last week's episode of "The Apprentice." So, I mean, he's a friend of mine. He's a good guy and he's a good governor. But I disagree with what he's doing on the World Trade Center. I think the World Trade Center should be rebuilt as the World Trade Center, only stronger and one story taller. I hate what they're doing with the World Trade Center site.

KING: Because?

D. TRUMP: It is designed by an egg-head architect, a guy who really -- give me a break. The buildings are terrible. It's not really a building as such. It is 60 stories of building and 40 stories of frame.

They're having a hard time structurally even holding up the frame. You know, the top of that building, they say it is 1,776 ft., which is a nice number because of what it represents, but it is not really a building, per se.

It's just ridiculous. It is just the frame at the top of a building. It doesn't look good. Then the buildings surrounding it are all different angles, they're all conflicting angles and the architecture is terrible.

What I would like to see -- you know the way I look at it? If they build that, the terrorists win. If they build a World Trade Center but stronger and one story taller -- now then you have a problem. Because whether it's Freedom Tower or the World Trade Center, a lot of people say that it's going to be very tough to rent anything in that building.

KING: Might be.

D. TRUMP: I wish Larry Silverstein a lot of luck. It is easy for me to say: Build a World Trade Center. But the fact is a lot of people are saying it's going to be very, very tough. Larry just built a building right next to the site on one of the other buildings that came down. So far there's no tenants.

KING: Why do you say, then, build a big one?

D. TRUMP: Well, it doesn't have to be me that owns it.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Didn't they want to do it as a memorial as much as a commercial enterprise?

D. TRUMP: I would say this: You either build the World Trade Center as it was, you do it bigger, better, stronger, more beautiful; or you build a great park, memorial park. I don't think you should build what they call Freedom Tower. Give me a break.

KING: So either one or the other?

D. TRUMP: I think one or the other. You have to really look at the market, though. I think it will be very, very hard to rent that building.

KING: We'll be right back with more from Donald Trump. And his wife is coming soon. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm the only person here that's served three times as project manager. (INAUDIBLE) was to me. I have the longest winning streak. I believe it was nine tasks. And I'm here right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, and Kendra also was the last person to become the project manager. And I stepped up to the plate much sooner than Kendra. She waited for everybody else to become a project manager.

D. TRUMP: But she does have a better record.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She does, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was my strategy.

D. TRUMP: You think she's better than you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. Like I said, I have a lot at home, and I came and I'm fighting for this position that I want with you.

D. TRUMP: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Donald Trump. The finale of the third season of "The Apprentice" is live Thursday night on NBC. The two finalists are 26-year-old Kendra and 37-year-old Tana.

Tell me about these women. Are you duly impressed with both?

D. TRUMP: Well, I am. They're both very, very smart, very tough. And one is book smarts and one is street smarts. You know, we did that this year, because we'd have all these Harvard graduates and the Wharton School of Finance and Yale and Princeton. And this time might be -- and this time what we did -- you know, something a little different. We did book smarts versus street smarts. And we took the people from college and we took the people from -- that are very successful but without a big education. And we pitted them together. And interestingly, we have one and one in the final.

So you know, we went through 18 people. And now we have a book smarts and a street smarts.

KING: Do you know now in your head who wins?

D. TRUMP: I usually say no, but I sort of think so. KING: But for me you'll say yes.

D. TRUMP: For you, I'll say that I think so, but a lot is going to depend on the performance in front of 20 million people.

KING: You mean how they do Thursday?

D. TRUMP: Yeah. They're going to be really put to the test on Thursday night. I would say I'm leaning toward one direction.

Now, when I chose Bill Rancic over Kwame, I really didn't know until I went in. I think I have a little bit of a preference this time, but it is going to depend on how they react to the pressure of 20 some odd million people watching them on Thursday night.

KING: Has anything in the history of the show -- I think of Omarosa who appeared with us, terrific guest, by the way -- embarrassed you? Was she an embarrassment?

D. TRUMP: No, I mean, not an embarrassment. She was a great character. Who would have thought that Omarosa was going to be such a great character? She was the villain. Nobody thought of her as a villain. When I first met her, I said, hey, she's a nice woman. You know, I didn't exactly jump through hoops.

KING: Pretty sharp.

D. TRUMP: I looked at her, I said, yeah, she's fine. But who would have thought -- Sam, the same thing. He turned out to be -- who would have thought that Sam was going to be a great character? And the truth is, in your business, which is television, you never know if somebody's going to be great until the lights go on or the cameras go on. You never know.

KING: Does the camera like you or not, you don't know?

D. TRUMP: Well, you never know. I mean, you never know.

KING: What in the three years has disappointed you if anything?

D. TRUMP: Well, I can't say I've had any disappointment with "The Apprentice." I would say some of the candidates have disappointed me. I've had candidates...

KING: You get mad?

D. TRUMP: Well, sometimes you get angry. But I've had candidates that I thought were going to be absolute stars, and they turned out to fizzle. And then I've had candidates that I didn't think -- like an Omarosa, or like a Sam, or like somebody else. I mean, there are a number of -- but I didn't think greatness, and they turned out to be great. So you never really know.

It's like a golfer. You know, some golfer, they hit it (INAUDIBLE), but then all of a sudden the flags go up, and Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els and these guys are just better when the flag goes up, meaning when the competition starts. And you never know why, but that's the way it is.

And I can't forget my friend Vijay.

KING: Yeah, you know, he's not bad.

D. TRUMP: He's great. He's great.

KING: Was "you're fired" an accident?

D. TRUMP: "You're fired" was not a part of the deal. And when I went into the first board room, the very first one, I'm looking at these people and I had to fire somebody, but we never thought in terms of the expression "you're fired." But we had somebody named David, who was a really nice guy but he did a very poor job at this particular task. And I'm going through the whole thing, and I just said "David, you're fired." And he was shocked. And everybody was shocked.

And it's funny, NBC is about 75 yards away at a different place in Trump Tower, where they have this huge control room. They had to have 400, 5,500 people, you know, with all the cameras and everything else. And they're all in the room, and I heard screaming and shouting and everyone was going crazy. And it was just sort of a great moment of television.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

D. TRUMP: And David, I'm going to ask you to take the down elevator. You're fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry to hear that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

D. TRUMP: But when I went in, Mark and I were discussing it. Normally, I'd say -- and what I was going to say is, you know, say if it was David, David, it hasn't worked out right, things aren't looking good, you didn't do a good job, so you go away and we'll just keep going. You know, that would have been pretty boring. It could have been that that would have even made the show not...

KING: So it was an instinct.

D. TRUMP: It was just an instinct that took place like at the time of this so-called firing.

KING: And have you said it a lot in your business career?

D. TRUMP: No, I haven't. I've said it quite a bit, but I haven't said it really that much. You really do that if somebody gets caught with their little sticky finger deal, OK? You know, stealing. Or they do a really stupid thing, or a really bad thing, or they make you angry. But usually if I fire somebody who's bad, I'll tell them how great they are. Because I don't want to hurt people's feelings. I'm actually a much nicer person than people think. You know, I'll tell them they're great, they're unbelievable, they have an unbelievable future, and that I'm holding them back by having them in my company, because I don't want to insult them.

KING: So while you're leaning, there is suspense involved Thursday for all the viewers. You don't know who is going to win this?

D. TRUMP: I don't really know, no. There's going to be a lot of pressure on these two women. These two women are going to be in front of 20 some odd million people, and a huge television audience down at NYU -- and so am I, by the way, OK -- and we're going to just do our thing. But there's going to be a lot of pressure.

KING: But the loser will do well, too, won't she?

D. TRUMP: The loser is going to make a lot of money.

KING: Because they get good deals, right?

D. TRUMP: And now, you know, when we first started "The Apprentice," somebody said, when did you know it was going to be successful? And I said probably when we went out -- nobody knew what "The Apprentice" was. We went out, we said Donald Trump is going to hire somebody. We had 215,000 people apply, which was a record in television history; 215,000 people applied to be on "The Apprentice," and the show hadn't even got on the air yet. So that was like our first indication that this whole thing was going to work.

But then you had people like Mark Cuban do a show and he failed like a dog. And then you had Richard Branson do a show and he failed so badly it was terrible. Of course, I felt very nice about that, actually.

KING: You took off on both of them.

D. TRUMP: Well, you know, they went out and they were very complimentary to me about a month before their shows went on. And then they're saying, great, great, great, Donald, you know, and I thought that was nice. And I thought it was really nice. In fact, I wrote a couple of them -- I think I wrote them both letters saying, good luck.

But then some idiot who worked for one of the networks said, you got to attack Donald. So they said, oh, he's such a bad guy, he doesn't like shaking hands with people. And all this stuff. So when they failed, I was very happy about it.

KING: What about that shaking hands thing?

D. TRUMP: Well, am I right? I shake your hand. What am I going to catch from you? OK, your hand I shake.

KING: But you will -- as soon as it's over, though, you will go and put liquid on it, right?

D. TRUMP: Does anybody have any...

KING: Is it... D. TRUMP: No, no, look.

KING: More germs pass through the hand than anywhere else, correct?

D. TRUMP: Larry, it's so ridiculous. OK? You shake somebody's hand. I have a guy walk in my office the other day. He's obviously suffering, all right? He comes up, Donald, Donald, how are you? Shakes my hand, grabs me, hugs me. I said, how are you doing? He said, oh, I'm so sick, I have a terrible flu. For three days, I'm worried about catching the flu.

But it's true. This is what happens. It's ridiculous.

KING: Of course.

D. TRUMP: And now they do studies and people say, oh, it's -- do I shake hands? Yes. I'll shake hands. I shake hands with people. But it's not something I like -- look, I'm not a huge fan of Japan, but I love their custom. How are you, lots of luck.

KING: We'll be back with more of Donald Trump, and then we meet his wife. And don't forget Thursday night, the final of year three of "The Apprentice," live. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

D. TRUMP: Sam?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?

D. TRUMP: I hear you're in charge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am in charge, Mr. Trump. I am the coach of this team. How are you doing today?

D. TRUMP: Well, we're going to see, because the men are taking a big beating. You're going to turn it around?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have already turned it around.

I never knew you were so short.

D. TRUMP: What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to shake my hand?

D. TRUMP: Yeah, I want to shake your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You really do?

D. TRUMP: Give me your hand. How is he doing, fellows? All right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's taking charge.

D. TRUMP: You think they maybe made you to the team leader to get rid of you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is possible.

D. TRUMP: Well, do you know how that doesn't happen? If you win. Good luck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, thank you. Have a good day. That was one of the biggest moments of my life, shaking that man's hand. He is my mentor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just shook my hand!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you think you're the best player here and that's great. You obviously do or you wouldn't be here. We all do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then why are you accusing me of the loss?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I watched you work and you suck, that's why. Period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what, I never conceded until Donald Trump said we lost.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Period. Period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, walk away like you did all (EXPLETIVE) task, John.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you know what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk away like you did all task.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I walked away and went to work and got (EXPLETIVE) done. Stop pointing the finger and start pulling the thumb. You (EXPLETIVE) up, period. You (EXPLETIVE) up, man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Donald Trump. What about a slot machine parlor in Philadelphia? Why?

D. TRUMP: Well, the mayor and the governor, they're all friends of mine and they want me to do that. You know, we have a great gambling company, a gaming company and they want me to be in Pennsylvania, and Governor Rendell is a terrific guy.

KING: Just slot machines?

D. TRUMP: Well, it's going to be basically slot machines because Pennsylvania just legalized and they're going to have about 67,000 slots.

KING: Envision this is just a place with slots?

D. TRUMP: Yes, mostly slots.

KING: No hotel, no casino, other than slots.

D. TRUMP: Mostly slots. That's what they're going to have.

KING: And you're going to be -- it's going to be Trump slots?

D. TRUMP: Yes, well, they'll do something. I mean, they want me there badly and so we'll see. I mean, I'm looking at that. We look at so many different things. I'm doing so many different things. One of...

KING: Why is Atlantic City down for you?

D. TRUMP: Well, Atlantic City has done very well for me.

KING: But, I read that it's down.

D. TRUMP: No, no -- well, but you're reading sort of -- you have to read through the lines. We cut down $100 million worth of debt. A year was wiped out and it's just been a really great successful period of four or five months in Atlantic City. Plus, the business in Atlantic City has been phenomenal. So we've really done well in Atlantic City.

KING: Are they going to rebuild that city?

D. TRUMP: Well, Atlantic City is doing well, I mean, overall. Atlantic City -- if you went to Atlantic City now, you wouldn't recognize it.

KING: Yes, I was there a couple of weeks ago. It looks terrific. But I mean, it still needs work.

D. TRUMP: I was one of the first ones to go to Atlantic City. I've made a lot of money in Atlantic City. I've had a lot of fun in Atlantic City. Atlantic City has done really well and a lot of people don't understand Atlantic City. You know, they say, oh, Atlantic City, because the reputation is not nearly as good as the end result.

KING: It is much better.

D. TRUMP: Yes. It's been...

KING: What's the future, in general, of gaming?

D. TRUMP: Well, it's happening in more and more places and it brings lots of problems in terms of crime and lots of different things, but it also brings some tax revenue and a lot of places that have approved it wish they didn't approve it and a lot of governments are talking about trying to rescind it, even.

KING: Even in the water places, like in Mississippi?

D. TRUMP: Well, they're having a lot of problems with gaming, but it also brings in taxes. So it's not an easy thing to get approved. Most places don't have it but it is getting more and more.

KING: Why has Donald Trump not come to Vegas until now?

D. TRUMP: Well, I am in Las Vegas. I'm building a very big building, actually, right opposite Steve Wynn's place. I was...

KING: Why now? I'm didn't go to the other one. I'm going to go, the Wynn Hotel?

D. TRUMP: Yes, it's very nice, and Steve's a terrific guy. I was at his opening with him. I sat with him for three nights in a row and he's just a great guy, and I think he's going to do well, really well.

I think that, you know, I'm the biggest developer in New York by far. I'm building more buildings than anybody else. I'm building the best locations. I'm doing great. I'm doing Chicago. I'm doing California. You can only do so much, and there are times when I wanted to go to Las Vegas, but it didn't work out because I was doing something in New York. You know, you can only do so much.

It's a little bit like my father. My father built in Brooklyn, mostly.

KING: I know.

D. TRUMP: And it was Brooklyn and Queens, and I used to say, why didn't you ever go to Manhattan? Well, it was not his thing, number one. Number two, he was sort of -- understood the Brooklyn market. Well, I came in from Brooklyn to Manhattan, and I understand the Manhattan market. So, all of a sudden you're focused on that kind of stuff and you don't sort of think about Las Vegas.

But over the last couple of years, I've thought about Las Vegas. I have a great friend of mine out there named Phil Roughen and we're doing a job that's going to be absolutely fantastic, 64-story condominium tower. There will be nothing like it in Las Vegas.

KING: With gaming?

D. TRUMP: Without gaming. That will come later. We're doing a tower. It's a condominium tower.

KING: It's a boom area. I mean, people living there.

D. TRUMP: It's fantastic. I mean, I hope it keeps booming.

KING: Were you going to do something with Michael Jackson? Is that true?

D. TRUMP: No. Michael Jackson's people called and they wanted to do something, and you know, it's -- I said, Michael, get out of your trouble, first, which I hope he does. I hope he gets out. You know, one thing about Michael Jackson, he lived in Trump Tower. And I see your show all the time, Michael Jackson -- every night you have Michael Jackson, blah, blah, blah. OK, you do a lot of Michael Jackson, all right? And you know why you're doing Michael Jackson? Because he's ratings.

KING: People are interested.

D. TRUMP: Otherwise you not going to do Michael Jackson. If, like, if somebody said to me, if I find a cure to a major disease and -- if it doesn't get ratings, it doesn't go on. You know that, OK?

KING: It will get ratings, though.

D. TRUMP: So, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson, you do a lot of. Well, he lived in Trump Tower. He was a perfect gentlemen. We never had one problem. We didn't have any incidents, and he lived there for years. He didn't have any incidents, any problems, and I know everybody, believe me. At Trump Tower, I know everybody that goes up, and everybody that comes down.

KING: Never had a complaint from...

D. TRUMP: Never a complaint, never a problem. He was a total gentlemen.

KING: You get along with him?

D. TRUMP: Yes, he's a friend of mine. I mean, he's a good guy. You know, he's a little different.

KING: So you feel badly for him, for all this.

D. TRUMP: Well, he's gone through a lot and he's a different guy than he was 10, 15 years ago. You know, I mean, he's gone through a tremendous amount of trouble, and the doctors have caused him a tremendous -- what they've done to the poor guy. I mean, what they've done to him.

KING: But he went, didn't he?

D. TRUMP: He went. They should have said no or something. So -- but Michael's a different guy. You know, 15 years ago I went to Madison Square Garden and I watched Michael Jackson perform and do the moonwalk across the stage. I said, I don't think I've ever seen -- there was no entertainer like him. Today, he's a different guy. I just hope that he's OK.

But, remember, many years, lives in my building, not one ounce of problem. That's all I can say.

KING: It's nice to hear -- it's good because you come forward and say that. We'll take a break, and when we come back, the set will improve immeasurably. Mrs. Trump will join us. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) D. TRUMP: Hey, Isiah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm doing great. Thank you so much.

D. TRUMP: This is Melania.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, how you doing? It is...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice to meet you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...so good to see you.

D. TRUMP: Now, this is a winner?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you all should make the Donald shoot a free throw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, the pressure's on. Oh, we got it. We got a sub. We got a sub!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got a pretty cheerleader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This, this definitely is going in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, and we win!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: They never break a promise. The setting has improved. Mrs. Trump, Melania Trump, the international cover girl, has now joined us. We've got to discuss the meeting. How did you two meet?

MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: We met in New York in 1998. It was Fashion Week, September 1998.

KING: The famous Fashion Week.

M. TRUMP: The famous Fashion Week in New York.

KING: Were you introduced?

M. TRUMP: Well, no. We were both at the same party. That's how we met. He came to me.

KING: Did you like her right away?

D. TRUMP: I went crazy. I was actually supposed to meet somebody else. There was this great supermodel sitting next to Melania. I was supposed to meet this supermodel. They said: Look, there's so and so. I said: Forget about her. Who is the one on the left? And it was Melania

KING: Did you like him right away?

M. TRUMP: It was a great chemistry and energy. We had a great time. We started to talk. And, you know, something was there right away.

KING: It was a long engagement.

M. TRUMP: It was.

KING: Why?

M. TRUMP: Well, you know, we just had a great time. And we didn't worry about it. And we just to lived life And then one day: Surprise.

KING: How did the proposal take place?

D. TRUMP: Well, we were together five years. We literally have never had an argument; forget about the word "fight." We never even had an argument. We just are very compatible. We get along. And I just said: You know what? It's time. It wasn't a big deal. It was almost like...

KING: That's the way you do it: "You know what: It's time"?

D. TRUMP: I did it a little better than that, without going into too much detail. But it was time. We just have a very good relationship.

KING: Melania, by the way, is on the cover of "Weddings" from "In Style" magazine. You're the wedding cover.

D. TRUMP: And she's on the cover of "Vogue."

M. TRUMP: That came out before the wedding, a few days before.

KING: Did you want that elaborate a wedding?

M. TRUMP: Yes, when I started planning it was a lot of fun. So I loved it. I loved my dress. I had great time in Paris. I went with my great friend (inaudible). He's an amazing man. And we went to Paris for one week to the shows with Anna Winter, the editor of "Vogue".

KING: What was the wedding like?

M. TRUMP: Fantastic. We had a great time.

KING: I had to work.

M. TRUMP: We missed you.

D. TRUMP: You're the only one who wasn't there.

KING: I had to work.

D. TRUMP: That's OK.

M. TRUMP: It was great. I had a great time planning it.

KING: Were you nervous?

M. TRUMP: No, not at all.

KING: Not at all?

M. TRUMP: Not at all. I had a great time. Because we were in the relationship...

KING: You've never been married, right?

M. TRUMP: Never been married before. We were in the relationship for a long time so I knew...

KING: But, still, that's a grand scene.

M. TRUMP: It is. But, you know, we know what kind of relationship we have. And I don't think I should be scared of anything.

KING: What was the honeymoon like when people have lived together for five years?

D. TRUMP: Oh, it was good. We stayed in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. Somebody said: Where are you going for your honeymoon? And our attitude was: Why would we leave Palm Beach. We have the most beautiful -- they don't call it Palm Beach for no reason. We have the most beautiful palm trees. So why are we going to leave the gorgeous, beautiful house called Mar-A-Lago and venture out onto some tropical island where things aren't clean?

KING: Where things aren't clean; where people shake hands. Did you feel different when they said "man and wife?"

D. TRUMP: No. I felt that it was just so natural. I didn't feel different. And I wasn't very nervous. And she wasn't very nervous. We just knew what we were getting into. It just was time. I was just sort of very easy.

KING: You feel different?

M. TRUMP: We didn't feel different at all. You know, it was really kind of, you know, sometimes you say like ,"oh, a husband, wife," you know, kind of like jokingly.

KING: Do you use the name "Trump? "

M. TRUMP: I use the name "Trump." Yes.

KING: Because you're proud of it. M. TRUMP: I'm proud of it. Yes, I am. I married the man and I'm kind of old-fashioned in that way that you take the name of the husband.

KING: Did your parents like him?

M. TRUMP: Yes, they do.

KING: Do you want to parent? Do you want to be a mother?

M. TRUMP: Yes, we want to have a family. We want to have a baby together.

KING: You have how many children?

D. TRUMP: I have four, four beautiful children, all good children.

KING: Successful.

D. TRUMP: All really good, very successful, all doing well in school. They're all terrific.

KING: How do you feel about fatherhood again?

D. TRUMP: I like it.

KING: How old are you?

D. TRUMP: 58.

KING: Young.

D. TRUMP: That's young, compared to you right?

KING: I've got a six and a five.

(LAUGHTER)

D. TRUMP: Give me your hand. I'm telling you, there's no problem with shaking this guy's hand.

KING: Three times already.

D. TRUMP: Of course, I'll be washing my hands.

KING: Do you look forward to possibly being a father?

D. TRUMP: I think it's great. Look, Larry, the way I look at it, there's nothing like a good marriage and there's nothing like having children. I have four great children. If you have the money, having children is great.

Now, I know Melania. I'm not going to be doing the diapers. I'm not going to be making the food. I may never even see the kids.

She will be an unbelievable mother. I'll be a good father.

KING: How do you know it?

D. TRUMP: Her? She'll be an amazing mother. I have no doubt about that. She'll be an amazing mother.

KING: Have you been back to Slovenia?

M. TRUMP: I've been to Slovenia two years ago.

KING: Did you go?

D. TRUMP: Yes, I was there about 15 minutes.

(LAUGHTER)

A beautiful country. I landed and said: Hi, Mom; Hi, Dad; bye.

KING: Let's show the ring. Can we get a close-up of the ring? And Donald will tell us, as Don Rickles would say, this ring signals ships. Did you pick it?

D. TRUMP: I picked it. It's from Graff Jewelers who are terrific.

KING: Oprah's jeweler.

D. TRUMP: That's true. And I love Oprah. She's terrific. And they're just -- it was just a nice...

KING: Did you pick it or did you go with him?

M. TRUMP: No, he picked it.

D. TRUMP: I picked it but she and I have very similar tastes. It's amazing. We have just similar tastes.

KING: When we come back, I'm going to ask -- you know, he's such a formidable figure -- if he's a controlling figure.

We'll be right back with the Trumps on this edition of "Larry King Live." And don't forget the finale of "The Apprentice" three -- third year of "The Apprentice" is live Thursday night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. TRUMP: Congratulations. Hi. Nice to see you. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my first time meeting Melania. Of course, you see picture. But even in person, she's more beautiful. And it was nice to meet Mr. Trump's fiance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone, welcome to Graff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with the Trumps, Donald and Melania. OK, is he a control freak?

M. TRUMP: I don't think he's a control freak. He's perfectionist.

KING: That's a slight difference.

M. TRUMP: It is, but...

KING: Does he make demands?

M. TRUMP: I don't think so. Maybe he makes demands in his business because he needs to. You know, he's kind of a general. He needs to have people in line. But not at home. We are very equal in the relationship, and that's very important. You know, to marry a man like Donald is -- you need to know who you are, and you need to be very strong and smart and, you know, he needs to know that he could rely on me sometimes. You know, and we share a lot of stuff together. I don't think he's a control freak at all.

KING: Does he bring work home?

M. TRUMP: Yes, sometimes. But he's working all the time, you know, Saturday, Sundays, he's playing golf. He's working all the time.

KING: Does that bother you?

M. TRUMP: No, it's his passion. He loves it. It doesn't bother me. I don't want to change him. I don't want to say, come home and you know, be with me. I don't want to change him. I want to give him space and I think that's very important in the relationship.

KING: Because you used to tell me, the one thing that troubled you about marriage was the feeling that you have to give up some of yourself, that you can't be the workaholic you are because of the demands, the nature of a relationship?

D. TRUMP: Yes, I don't consider myself a workaholic. I work, but it's not work. It's like you. I mean, I love what I do, so it's no longer work. It's not like work.

KING: But it's still time.

D. TRUMP: Work, to me, is going on a two-week vacation. If somebody says, you have to go away to two weeks, you're going to is a Africa on a safari. There's not going to be any phones. You know, get me out of here, right? So, that's to me -- like, that would be work. But what Melania is so good at -- we just have this natural relationship. It's like, my mother and father were married 63 years. I've always heard you have to work at a good relationship. My father didn't work at a good relationship. He went home. He had dinner. He went to bed. He took it easy. He watched television. My mother, the same thing, she cooked him dinner. And it was just one of those thing. It wasn't work, but I always heard you have to work, work, work.

KING: You're not working at this?

D. TRUMP: No, because I work very hard from early in the morning till late in the evening. I don't want to go home and work at a relationship. I mean, that's it. A relationship where you have to work at it, in my opinion, doesn't work. So, maybe I'm wrong.

KING: Do you cook?

M. TRUMP: I cook sometimes when we stay home and very -- something very fast, and, you know -- but we are out most of the time. So I don't really have time to cook.

KING: What is it like to have everything, economically? By that I mean, you go down Fifth Avenue, you look in a window, like something, you know you can buy it. What's that like?

M. TRUMP: Well, it's...

KING: You don't have any financial pressures.

M. TRUMP: Yes, but you don't -- you know, I grew up, you always taking care of the money. You always -- you're not like a big spender and you are saying like, OK, I would buy it even if I don't like it for 100 percent. You know, you really need to love it that you buy it.

KING: So you're none of this, shop to shop.

M. TRUMP: I'm not just shop to shop.

D. TRUMP: She's never taken advantage of that situation, OK, as many women would have, frankly. I mean, she's not one that sees a beautiful something, and -- on Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue window and said, I'm going to get it or please get it, for her. She's -- it's not her thing.

M. TRUMP: You know, I made a lot of money myself. So, it's like, I know how it is to work and what money means. So, it's not that I would say, OK, now I will have the latest bag. I want that bag, and then in one month, that bag will be in the closet and it's not even -- it's kind of funny if you have that bag. It's like, not in fashion. I'm not into that.

KING: There's a very nice side of you, a generous, nice side of you, and I'll ask her to tell us about it when you come back. "The Apprentice," Thursday night. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Words can't describe how beautiful it was. Everything you saw was breathtaking, and we got to meet his girlfriend Melania who is amazing as well.

M. TRUMP: Hi. I'm Melania. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pleasure to meet you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice to meet you.

M. TRUMP: Oh, that's great, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you clean a house like this?

M. TRUMP: Well, you have people to clean it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're very, very lucky.

M. TRUMP: Thank you. And he's not lucky?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, no, no!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to know if the story is true or not. You were traveling to Atlantic City and your limo broke down. Husband and wife pulled up behind, and the husband basically said, I'm going to help him out. He helped out the limousine. And a week later, the husband and wife received the deed to their house paid off. Was that a true story?

D. TRUMP: That's true. It's true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is (EXPLETIVE) awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That just goes to show what type of man he is, a great man. He believes in good karma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's to not being the first one fired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with the trumps. What don't we know about him?

M. TRUMP: What do we know?

KING: What does the public not know about him?

M. TRUMP: Not know. Um, amazing heart. He likes to help people. He has friends. He's loyal to it. He is -- great sense of humor, great sense of humor, and I think, you know, people look -- know him more, since "The Apprentice," the way he is. He cares about people.

KING: I had a friend..

D. TRUMP: She's doing a very good job tonight, by the way.

KING: Yes, she is. I had a friend tell me that if he had a problem, he would call you. Why don't you let that out more?

D. TRUMP: Well, I think the press doesn't really like hearing that, to be honest with you. I mean, I do a lot of things and I don't like to talk about them. But they'd much rather see me, you know, beating someone up than being nice to somebody. You know, it fits the image better for them. And I think that's fine. It doesn't matter.

But I love to help people. I do. I love helping people. There's nothing better. There's nothing that makes me feel better.

KING: A great reward, isn't it?

D. TRUMP: Yeah. But I don't think that's the image that the press really wants for me. You know, they develop sort of an image for somebody, and that's what they want to go with. And I think that's probably one of the reasons "The Apprentice" did so well. What's interesting about "The Apprentice" is that I fire people. That's what I do. I fire people.

KING: You do a mean thing?

D. TRUMP: I do a mean thing, and everyone thinks I'm so much nicer than before. You know, they used to think that I was really this horrible, flame-throwing, terrible tyrant. Right? Now I go on a television show, where basically what I do is I fire people, and everyone thinks I'm such a nice guy. Which tells you what a bad image I had.

KING: Do you have a favorite for Thursday night?

M. TRUMP: Yes, I have.

KING: I know you know, we're not going to have you say it.

M. TRUMP: Yeah, I couldn't tell.

KING: Do you try to influence him?

M. TRUMP: We talk about it.

KING: Does she have impact with you?

D. TRUMP: Well, the fact is, I have George and Caroline, but I also have George and Caroline, and I have my little Melania. The truth is, she does. She has a person that she thinks is very good on "The Apprentice," number three, the one we're doing on Thursday night, and she's told me that, and I think that's totally fair.

KING: Of course, she's your wife. And does it impact you?

D. TRUMP: It does. And Mark Burnett, generally Mark wants me to do exactly what I want to do. And he's an incredible guy, and a good guy, a really good guy. There's another guy that is...

KING: Great guy. D. TRUMP: ... wonderful. But every once in a while, he'll say something that, you know, I like to listen to people, what they think, especially Mark or Melania or people that I respect.

KING: Where are you from?

M. TRUMP: I'm from Slovenia. I'm from Slovenia, and I grew up there as a teenager. And I left 15 years ago.

KING: To come...

M. TRUMP: To then to Milan, and then Paris, and then I went to New York. I came to New York 10 years ago.

KING: You wanted to be a model?

M. TRUMP: Yes, I was modeling.

KING: That was your goal, to be a model?

M. TRUMP: Yes, I was modeling in Milan and Paris. And then came to New York, and I had a very successful career.

KING: You still want her to model?

D. TRUMP: Well, she's doing an Aflac commercial. And I was very...

KING: The duck?

D. TRUMP: I was very -- Dan Amos, who is the chairman of Aflac, who has done an amazing job.

KING: Amazing.

D. TRUMP: He wanted to do where the duck turns into this beautiful swan, or beautiful duck. And they said, OK, the concept is great. Now we're going to supply you with like 25 women and you can choose the one you want. He said, no, I don't want to look at anybody. I want Trump's wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. TRUMP: If you are hurt and can't work, Aflac can help pay your bills with cash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Genius! And her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aflac!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

D. TRUMP: It's been a tremendous success.

M. TRUMP: It was great success. I had a great time to shoot it.

KING: Would you then not mind if she did fashion modeling?

D. TRUMP: Well, she can do it. She doesn't want to do too much of it. She was very successful. I don't think she wants to do a lot of modeling. But she's having fun, and she is given a lot of offers, and she turns many of them down, most of them down. She liked doing the Aflac one, because it was so different, and it's such a great commercial.

KING: It is funny. Very funny.

We'll be back with some more moments with Donald and Melania Trump. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

D. TRUMP: The bottom line, of course, is you were the team leader. The team was a mess. The project was no good. And Chris, you're fired. Seven weeks in a row, you are fired. Out, go.

Hey, Chris, two things. Listen to me, come here. Two things. Don't take it so hard. Get over here, get over here. Two things, I want you to promise me. You're going to watch your temper. OK? You got a lot of emotion. Sometimes that gets into temper. Number two, stay away from that damn tobacco. OK? You promise?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

D. TRUMP: OK. You got a lot of potential. You're going to be a big success.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

D. TRUMP: I have no doubt about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: A couple of other quick things I want to cover. Are you going to buy Miss America?

D. TRUMP: Probably not. I have Miss USA. I own the Miss Universe contest. But Miss America has gone down a long way.

KING: So has Miss Universe, hasn't it?

D. TRUMP: No, Miss Universe is doing great. Are you kidding me? We had the highest ratings we've had in years. Miss Universe has been a really great success.

KING: Did you ever enter that?

M. TRUMP: Sorry?

KING: Miss Universe, did you ever enter?

M. TRUMP: No, no, no, no.

D. TRUMP: She would have won. Especially if I owned it.

KING: Over before it started.

ABC has a Trump biopicture coming, called "Trump Unauthorized," scheduled May 24th. You said you'll sue if there are inaccuracies.

D. TRUMP: Correct, yeah, I'll sue. I mean, if it's inaccurate...

KING: Are you worried?

D. TRUMP: I'm not worried. Hey, look, it's going to go on, it's going to go off, nobody is going to remember it. Who cares. But I'm going to -- you know, I let them know, I'm very honored that they're doing it. It's a great honor. You know, they're doing a two-hour movie on me on national network television. And so I'm honored in one way. In another way, I want it to be accurate. So if it's not accurate, I will sue.

KING: You're not trying to stop it, though.

D. TRUMP: I will sue.

KING: You are not trying to stop it?

D. TRUMP: It's pretty tough to stop it.

KING: It's hard.

D. TRUMP: Yeah, it's pretty tough. You know how that is.

KING: Do you know who is playing you?

D. TRUMP: An actor who is -- he's quite a bit shorter than me, but he's a handsome guy, so I'm OK. I hope the women are all short.

(CROSSTALK)

M. TRUMP: It's not -- nobody plays me. It's his past life.

KING: Oh.

D. TRUMP: It's prior to.

M. TRUMP: Yes, it's before me. And it's like the story, his life was, you know, open book, so everybody sees...

KING: You know all his exes?

M. TRUMP: Yes.

KING: Get along with them? M. TRUMP: I don't see them much. I don't -- you know, we don't see them in our social life.

KING: They were at the wedding, though?

D. TRUMP: No, no, that was a misconception. They weren't invited to the wedding. And they're wonderful -- you know, Ivana is wonderful and Marla is wonderful.

KING: I thought I read they were at the wedding.

D. TRUMP: And actually, Melania doesn't know Ivana. Maybe -- I don't think she's ever met her. But does not know. And does know Marla, and she has a great relationship with Marla. But she doesn't know Ivana.

KING: And you root for them to be happy?

D. TRUMP: Absolutely. I want them to be happy. Absolutely. They're the mother of my children -- the mothers of my children. So I want them to be happy. And I have a good relationship with both of them.

KING: You worry about women and him -- being attracted to him?

M. TRUMP: No, I don't worry about that at all. I know who I am. And if a man doesn't want to be with me or I don't want to be with a man...

KING: Goodbye and good luck.

M. TRUMP: That's right.

KING: Do you worry about her with men?

D. TRUMP: No, I know her. That's the rock.

KING: Thank you both very much.

M. TRUMP: Thank you.

D. TRUMP: Thank you.

KING: Good luck Thursday night. May the best woman win.

D. TRUMP: That's true.

KING: Or may your choice win, which probably is the best.

Melania and Donald Trump. "The Apprentice," the windup of the third season is Thursday night on NBC. And it's live. And we thank them both very much.

And we'll see you tomorrow night with Tim Russert.

And we now turn the podium over to Aaron Brown and "NEWSNIGHT" -- Aaron.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


CNN US
On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.