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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Donald Trump
Aired October 15, 2007 - 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, he's back -- Donald Trump. His new book tells you how to "Think Big and Kick Ass". But wait until you hear what he says about Angelina Jolie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP: I'm not saying she's not an attractive woman, but she's not a great beauty by any stretch of the imagination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And George Clooney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: One of the perceptions I had of George Clooney was he was this big, strong guy. And he was very little when I met him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Plus, his take on Rosie's controversial new book. And he'll weigh in on Britney Spears, too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I've never seen an image change so much for the bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And on prenups.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If you're going to be successful or if you are successful, you have to have a prenup.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And how to get rich like him -- and more. "The Donald" for the hour is next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's a great pleasure to welcome a return visit of many return visits with Donald Trump. The New York real estate billionaire, star of TV's "The Apprentice," "New York Times" best-selling author. His newest book is just out -- in fact, it, you know, it comes out tomorrow officially. It's called -- here you see its cover -- "Think Big and Kick Ass". It is published by Collins. You -- is there anything you haven't done?
I mean you think about all these things and you view on them in the book -- but real estate, television, writing?
TRUMP: Well, I'm having a lot of fun, Larry. It's been a long time since I've been with you, by the way.
KING: In person.
TRUMP: Like a year.
Does it get better?
TRUMP: Better than what's happening now?
TRUMP: Well, maybe for some people. But for me, this is sort of -- I've had a good time. I'm having a good time. Hopefully, I'll always have a good time. But we've -- we've really -- we've done well and I'm very happy about it.
KING: What prompted the book?
TRUMP: The group came to me at The Learning Annex, which is a great institution. They asked me to do a book -- a book on toughness, on making money, on sort of creating a happy life, in a certain sense, through money and through other things. And we came up with the title, which I think is pretty descriptive, although some people thought it was a little bit tough, adding the words "kick ass". But it is a little bit about kicking ass because, unfortunately in life, sometimes you have to do that. And the book has become a tremendous best-seller.
It's not out yet.
TRUMP: Yes, well, it's not out yet and it's already gone to number one on the charts. And 675,000 books have already been ordered. So it's been an amazing thing.
KING: Is this your method or what you're saying should be everybody's method?
TRUMP: Well, it doesn't necessarily work for everybody. And I'm not sure that everybody should be doing this. But for me, it works.
KING: Now, let's take a chapter in the book called, "Revenge." You recommend it. A lot of people say revenge or like carrying a grudge, works against the grudge carrier.
TRUMP: It's very therapeutic, Larry. You're a revenge person. I know you very well. You're a revenge person. It's a very therapeutic way of taking care of your own head.
KING: Have you always been that way?
TRUMP: Yes, I think so.
KING: You were that way in school as a kid?
TRUMP: I think so.
KING: You got even.
TRUMP: I think get even. I think get even.
KING: Yes, you like it. But I don't like to carry it, though. If it carries too much it's...
TRUMP: You like to carry it.
KING: All right.
TRUMP: I know you -- hey, Larry, I've know you for a long time and you carry it, all right?
KING: Let's talk about...
TRUMP: People don't know that about you, but I do.
KING: Let's talk what one revenge aspect you talk about in the book, your feud with Rosie O'Donnell.
Who started that, by the way?
TRUMP: She did.
KING: No question?
TRUMP: Yes. She got on a show and she started saying, you know, she started a rant...
KING: On "The View?"
TRUMP: On "The View." And she started ranting and raving about me. And it was like...
KING: Oh, when you forgave that winner of the contest, yes.
TRUMP: Right. Because I gave somebody a second chance -- a drug addict, an alcoholic, you know, Miss. USA -- who, Tara. Tara Connor. A wonderful girl. I gave her a second chance and Rosie went nuts. And they came to me and I, you know, I hit her back, including on your show.
KING: Oh, did you.
All right, but she started it, in your mind?
TRUMP: She started it. Most people start it with me. If they start it, I try and finish it.
KING: Here's how you recount one incident in the saga of Rosie versus Donald, an example of how the media blew it even bigger than it was. You write, in part, in the book: "One morning I went on "The Today Show" to talk about "The Apprentice". Instead, Meredith Vieira started asking me questions about Rosie. Right off, she asked me, 'Donald, why did you attack Rosie?' What nerve! Rosie attacked me. I was just fighting back.
Then she asked, 'Is it true that you said she was crude?'
I said, 'No, I never said that. It's not strong enough. I said she's a total degenerate.'
Then she called is it -- then she asked, 'Is it true that you called her a fat pig?'
And I said, 'No, I just called her a pig.'"
TRUMP: I think that's probably pretty accurate. And, actually, I did "The Today Show" this morning. And Meredith did the interview, which was a little bit strange, because here I am talking about her in the book.
She's a terrific person, but I thought she had a bad day.
KING: Meredith did?
TRUMP: Yes. Well, she started off asking me about Rosie. I was there to talk about the success of "The Apprentice". "The Apprentice" became this really successful show. And I was going on "The Today Show" to talk about the success of "The Apprentice".
And Meredith started off with a question about Rosie. And then a second question about Rosie.
And then she said, "How come you won't talk about Rosie?"
I said, "Because you're asking me questions about Rosie. I don't want to talk about Rosie."
But I will say, it's not Meredith only. I was at a big opening of a building I'm doing in Toronto, a very, very big, successful job. The first question is about Rosie. They don't care about the building. They care about, you know, my (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: Well, why do you think that happened?
TRUMP: Because people love to see feuds. They love to see fighting and they love to see celebrities fight. But Rosie said things which were mean, vicious. And, you know, she's a vicious person.
KING: How about... TRUMP: But I know Rosie very well. She came to my wedding. So did you, by the way.
KING: How about -- I did.
TRUMP: She came to my wedding...
KING: But how is so -- what if someone gave you the advice, forget about it?
TRUMP: I can't.
KING: You're bigger than that.
TRUMP: No, I can't, because, you know, when people say things that are incorrect or untrue, you always want to dispute it. I do. I do. But, actually, in a very perverse way, the fight with Rosie turned out to be a good thing. And most people think I kicked her ass, as per the title of the book.
And you know what?
She's just a bad person. I know her very well and she's just a bad person. And somebody has to hit bad people back.
KING: In her new book, she devotes a whole chapter, about 13 pages, to the verbal smackdown she -- the two of you had. In a chapter she titled "Trumped," she talks about how she kept Trump brand cologne, vodka and a bobblehead doll in her office. She writes: "I kept --"
TRUMP: I wonder what she did with it.
KING: "I kept Trump products in my office because they reminded me that my attacker was not a human being, but a wind up toy with Tourette Syndrome -- a man who had allows himself to get pulled so deeply into capitalism that he turned his entire being into a product with a price tag on it. He was gift-wrapped and stuffed with Styrofoam."
TRUMP: Do you think she wrote that?
I have a feeling she didn't write that. I don't think she writes that well. Her book is not doing very well, by the way.
KING: It's not?
TRUMP: No. It's in the middle of the top 100 books. That's not exactly great.
KING: What about, though...
TRUMP: But who wants to read...
KING: What about calling you...
TRUMP: Who wants to read...
KING: ...a product?
TRUMP: Well, I get -- maybe I am a product to a certain extent.
But who wants to read a book where her biggest, most revealing thing was she broke her hand with baseball bats?
Somehow, that's not great. Now, my book, it's like a book on success, a book on how to become successful, how to lead a good life, how to have a good life. But, you know, this other -- the thing I disliked about Rosie's book, in all fairness, is what she said about Barbara Walters. Barbara Walt is a terrific woman.
KING: But you were tough on her, too.
TRUMP: I was tough on her because she told a little lie. And in the end, Rosie actually admits that what Barbara said was -- my -- my version was correct. And she says that virtually in the book.
But Barbara didn't want to say what happened during our phone conversation. And, ultimately, Rosie found out what happened during our phone conversation and she really attacked Barbara viciously that day on "The View".
Then what happened?
She wrote the book and she attacks Barbara for essentially being old. Not good.
Thank God that never happens with you, Larry.
KING: We have an e-mail question from Doug in McDonough, Georgia, who writes: "What was your relationship like between you and Rosie prior to the feud?"
TRUMP: It was OK. I was never a friend. She came to my wedding. She ate like a pig. And -- I mean, seriously, the wedding cake was -- was -- it was like missing in action. I couldn't stand there. I didn't like it, but a particular woman wanted her at the wedding -- Marla. I think they were friendly or something. And so I said what's Rosie O'Donnell doing here?
She was at my wedding.
Can you believe it?
So I'm not -- look, I know her well. She's not a very bright person. And I just felt that it was time to hit back.
You know, she hit Danny DeVito. She hit Kelly Ripa. Terrific people. I mean Tom Selleck was one of the all time classics. This guy sits down to talk about a movie and she -- all of a sudden he's in a fight on gun control and he didn't know what happened.
You have to hit back. They don't hit back. They didn't hit back. You have to hit back. I just believe that in life, Larry.
KING: Whoopi Goldberg was on our show very recently and we had a chance to ask for her opinion on this feud. She was the consummate diplomat.
Take a look at the what she said.
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KING: What do you make of this whole question, this whole -- the whole Rosie thing?
She's got a book coming out, "Celebrity Detox". Very critical of Barbara Walters. Excerpts have been released.
What do you make of this whole Rosie O'Donnell story?
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: You know what?
I don't really make much of it at all. You know, I wasn't part of it. And I hate to say it, but I came to it all quite late.
I like Rosie. Rosie's been a friend of mine for a long time. And I thought she did a great job on "The View" and for "The View" and "The View" for Rosie, you know, because she was gone for a little while. And I think it was great for people to see her back in her venue on television.
So, you know, I wasn't -- because I wasn't there, you know, I'm always nervous about talking about stuff, because it's all hearsay to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What do you make of how -- how is Whoopi doing, do you think?
TRUMP: I think Whoopi's fine. I like Whoopi. And Whoopi -- actually, I was in one of her movies -- maybe two of her movies, as -- playing myself.
KING: No kidding?
TRUMP: It was an easy role. But Whoopi's terrific. You know, Rosie's ratings were not good until she started the fight with me. And then her ratings went well. So at some point, I should send her a bill, like, you know, 20 percent or something. But her ratings went up after her fight. She was going along fine, but they were about the same as they were. And then when we had the fight, her ratings went through the roof.
I think Whoopi is going to do absolutely nicely.
KING: Donald Trump's book is "Think Big and Kick Ass".
Can you kick ass in business and still get kicked off a job? More with Donald when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Rosie inherently is a loser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)
ROSIE O'DONNELL: Boy, did I hit a nerve with that guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
O'DONNELL: Holy moley!
O'DONNELL: It was like Mount Vesuvius, you know, erupting.
O'DONNELL: He's like the Eveready comb-over bunny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And, ultimately, ABC got tired of it, and they said, "Rosie, you're fired."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Donald Trump.
The book "Think Big and Kick Ass," out tomorrow -- or today -- and already selling.
By the way, let's -- one more thing on Rosie. Your co-host -- "The View"...
TRUMP: See, people just can't get away from this one.
KING: No, no, no. I'm not going to -- "The View" co-host...
TRUMP: She's like a case of the plague (INAUDIBLE).
KING: "The View" co-host...
"The View" co-host Joy -- I'm sick of it, too.
"The View" co-host, Joy Behar, took a couple of hits from you during the big feud. She was a guest last month.
Let's look at what she had to say and then we're off it.
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KING: Were you bugged that he took a shot at you?
JOY BEHAR: Oh, he says I have no talent.
Well, now, how would you react to something like that?
BEHAR: Well, see, here again, I've had like 20 years of psychotherapy. So when someone says something that's not true, I just dismiss it. And I -- I am a Libra.
KING: You're able to -- yes, that's right. Libra is (INAUDIBLE).
BEHAR: Yes. But I mean it's like I know I have talent. I've been working on a show for 10 years. My focus groups are good. I've been making a living. I sell out theaters all over the country.
How come -- well, I'm not going to say that I am no talent.
KING: That is back -- part...
BEHAR: And what -- by the way, what talent, exactly -- but I don't want to start with him, you see?
What talent does he have, exactly?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The last word is yours.
TRUMP: Well, I have a lot of talent. I mean I have a talent at the obvious. But she is somebody with no talent. I understand it. I watched...
KING: In your opinion?
TRUMP: Actually, I watched -- no, not in my opinion. I think in a lot of people's opinion.
As an example, I watched the show for about four minutes. I love you. I love your show. I watch a lot of your shows. I couldn't watch it. She's unwatchable. I mean the woman has no talent whatsoever. I guess she got friendly with Barbara Walters. That was her primarily talent.
KING: You (INAUDIBLE) pretty good, Donald.
KING: (INAUDIBLE). TRUMP: I'm a very honest guy. Sometimes I'm too honest. But I'm a very honest guy.
KING: Your book is brutal, though.
In giving a point about perception...
TRUMP: You said brutal?
KING: Yes, brutal.
TRUMP: I don't think it's brutal.
KING: You say George Clooney is little and much shorter in person. You describe Angelina Jolie as not good looking in any way, not a beauty.
All right, first, George Clooney is someone...
TRUMP: No, George -- I don't know George Clooney. But I met him once.
KING: He's 5'10".
TRUMP: Is he?
KING: I think so, yes.
TRUMP: I think you're taller than he is. But it doesn't matter.
KING: I'm 5'10".
TRUMP: I did a chapter on perception. The perception of George Clooney is he's a big, strong handsome guy. He's a handsome guy. He's a nice guy. I mean I really don't know him. I met him once. A nice guy.
TRUMP: So I'm just saying anything bad about him. I'm just saying this was a chapter on perception in business and life and different things. One of the perceptions I had of George Clooney was he was this big, strong guy. And he was very little when I met him. It's OK. Nothing wrong with it. He's doing just fine.
KING: So you're writing about perception, not against him?
TRUMP: I'm -- oh, no, no. Nothing to do with George Clooney. I mean, I thought he was very nice, but I only met him for a short period of time. But the perception is this, you know, different kind of a guy. And when I met him, I was very surprised.
Angelina Jolie is sort of amazing because everyone thinks she's like this great beauty. And I'm not saying she's an unattractive woman, but she's not beauty, by any stretch of the imagination. And now she's like a representative of the United Nations and world peace on hunger and all of this crap.
And I remember at the Academy Awards a few years ago she was Frenching her brother. She was giving her brother lip kisses like I never saw before in my life. And she had just said she made love to Billy Bob Thornton in the back of the limousine on the way over. And I wouldn't want to shake her hand, by the way. You know, you get back into the -- I wouldn't want to have shaken her hand. But she's being interviewed and she's all over the guy.
About three weeks later, he got caught cheating with about 15 different girls and she was gone. But she had just made love with him coming over to the Academy Awards.
And now she's like this great beauty who is representing world peace and the United Nations. It's called give me a break. But she's not -- in terms of beauty, she's not a great beauty. She's a nice looking woman. She's OK. But she's not a great beauty.
KING: And it's your opinion.
TRUMP: Well, it's my opinion.
TRUMP: I really understand beauty. And I will tell you, she's not -- I do own Miss. Universe. I do own Miss. USA. I mean I own a lot of different things. I do understand beauty, and she's not.
But what I really don't like is if you look at her -- and I watched. I was watching television four years ago. And I see her brother and I see her. And then I see them lip locked. I don't mean like, you know, giving your brother a kiss. And I said that's really gross.
And then I see what she said about, you know, Billy Bob Thornton and what they were doing on the way to Academy Awards. And now she's representing the United Nations and world peace. I don't get it.
Oh, by the way, she's done an amazing transformation. I give her credit.
KING: Give her that?
TRUMP: Amazing. If you would have had the things and done the things that she did, and to be this representative of women and the world, is incredible. So I give her great credit. She's done one of the great transformations I've ever seen.
KING: What started the feud with Mark Cuban?
TRUMP: Well, "The Apprentice" became the number one show in television. I don't start feuds. People start them with me, which is OK.
Mark Cuban lives in one of my buildings. He lives in a building that I built and...
TRUMP: ...and control and run and (INAUDIBLE). He lives in the building.
But "The Apprentice" became the number one show on television. It became the most successful business show ever in the history of television. And, you know, because no business show has ever made it in primetime.
And Mark Cuban always said nice things about me. And then all of a sudden he was doing a show called "The Benefactor." And probably some P.R. person told him, oh, you can't play nice about Trump, you have to say bad about Trump, because you're competing with him. You know, you're on at the same time. You're competing with him.
His show drew flies. It drew nobody. Nobody watched. It was a total failure. It got thrown off the air.
And he said bad things about me. Trump doesn't want to shake hands. Who does Trump thing he is, bah, bah, bah. You know, all of a sudden, I was like this bad guy. He lives in my building. And I hit him back. I called him, you know, a -- not a very attractive guy. I said -- I wrote him a letter. I said, Mark, I wish you would have told me before your show because you have absolutely no television persona.
Now, I'll tell you this. I will say it, because I give credit, again, honesty. He's doing better. I mean he could never make it with his own show. He truly does not have persona. But he's a better dancer than I thought, so he's going on somebody else's successful show, because the only way he's going to be successful is to go onto somebody else's successful show. And he is a better dancer than I would have thought.
KING: The book is...
TRUMP: And it took courage for him to do that.
KING: And it took courage for you to praise him.
TRUMP: That's right. (INAUDIBLE).
KING: The book is "Think Big and Kick Ass."
The guest is Donald Trump.
Coming up, some interesting, if not harsh words, for President Bush, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald likes that impact. This is the first time I've ever heard Donald say anything complimentary about "The View".
Do you like "The View?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump.
There you are, Donald.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Donald Trump.
His book is "Think Big and Kick Ass".
You got a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I was there...
TRUMP: That's true, you were. I appreciate that.
KING: That day when you got it. It was interesting to watch you get it.
What made you go from billionaire successful businessman to bona fide star Hollywood?
TRUMP: Well, it's sort of interesting. In a way, you and other people -- for some reason when I go onto television shows, the shows have gotten -- including you, you told me you get your highest ratings when I'm your guest.
TRUMP: So I guess tonight you're going to get good ratings.
But, you know, network executives are -- it's not a complicated business. It's about ratings. If you come up with a cure for cancer and if it doesn't get ratings, they won't broadcast it, OK?
It's very simple. And for some reason, it seems that over the years I'll go on a show and I'll get very high ratings. I saw it just the other day on Fox. I went on Fox and somebody calls, they said the ratings spiked up. They went through the roof.
And what happened?
Roger Ailes, who's one of the greats, he said that. He said the ratings went through the roof.
And they checked. And it was Trump who was on.
So somebody saw this and Mark Burnett saw it, I guess. And they went to NBC and we put on "The Apprentice". And "The Apprentice" became the number one show in television. I mean and to this day, as you know, they just renewed it for two more seasons. We're starting shooting next week on another version of "The Apprentice," actually, a celebrity version, which I think is going to be fantastic.
KING: Now, what's it called?
TRUMP: But it's all about -- it's just called "The Apprentice," but it's celebrities. We have 14 really great characters and good celebrities, big -- big names. Some of them are really big names. People are going to be surprised. And I think it's going to continue to do very well.
KING: That's what caused this bump (INAUDIBLE)...
TRUMP: Well, actually, Ben Silverman said that the first call as the new head of NBC was to Donald Trump to get him to do it, because I didn't want to do it anymore.
TRUMP: You know, I'm busy. It's hard to do, you know, spend that much time doing anything, even doing the show. I mean it's hard.
So he called me and he said to the "New York Times" -- it was the first call he made was to Donald Trump -- and to get him to do another two seasons of "The Apprentice".
And we came up with a concept for celebrity apprentice. And I think it's going to be amazing.
KING: But this is what keeps you or what spiked you into show business?
TRUMP: Well, people ask me. I mean they've always asked me to do it. I mean I've been asked by every single network to do reality shows over the years. But it was only when Mark Burnett, who is a terrific person...
KING: A great guy.
TRUMP: ...came up with the concept of "The Apprentice" that I liked it, because I've turned down many shows. And this was something that I liked. And it was -- it's been a lot of fun.
KING: Do you have to love what you do, other than just love making money?
TRUMP: You have to love what you do. I tell people that are in a good business but they don't love it, to go into a worse business if you love it. Because you'll never, ever be successful if you don't love it. And I devote a lot of time on that subject in the book. I really spend a lot of time talking about that in the book.
You have to love what you do. If you don't love it, it's never going to be good. You're never going to be successful. You need knowledge, and the only way you can get knowledge is to love something. If you don't love it, you're just not going to work hard enough to get the knowledge.
KING: When I first met you and when we had earlier political talks, you were a, I would call a liberal Republican, a social Republican, a conservative Republican fiscally, but certainly a Republican.
Why this hatred for George Bush?
TRUMP: Well, I just hate what's happened to this country. We've gone to a country that's no longer respected. We're in a war that we should have never -- and by the way, I'm worse than any hawk there is in terms of military and in terms of defending ourselves. But Saddam Hussein didn't knock down World Trade Center. He had nothing to do with it. And there were no weapons of mass destruction. There was nothing.
Saddam Hussein, you know what he did with the terrorists?
He killed them. He would kill terrorists. And now Iraq is a breeding ground. That's where all the terrorists are going. They're going to Iraq because that's the safest place for them to be.
And we're in this country and we should have never been there. And if you look -- I have many friends all over the world. If you look at what's happened with this country in terms of the prestige and all of the other great things that we -- we're losing it rapidly.
Now, they're talking about China. They're talking about Russia. They're talking about India. Look at Putin -- what he's doing with Russia -- I mean, you know, what's going on over there. I mean this guy has done -- whether you like him or don't like him -- he's doing a great job.
TRUMP: ...in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period. Forget about image.
KING: You talk about perception. You write about it. But while he is an unpopular president, isn't this a flourishing economy?
TRUMP: Well, if you look over the last little while, it's not so flourishing. The tying that he has done that's good is -- are the tax incentives, because I call them incentives. I don't call them breaks. People are incentivized. But you also look at certain things like subprime and very -- I'm not blaming him for subprime. I'm blaming him for a war. I'm blaming him for the prestige of the country. I'm blaming him that when somebody like me goes to London or goes to Paris or goes throughout the world where I go, we're no longer respected like we were. That's what I'm blaming him for.
KING: Who are you supporting?
TRUMP: Well, I think Hillary is terrific and I think Rudy is terrific. And I'll have to make a choice, assuming they both win. But she's been a friend of mine and he's been a friend of mine. And they're both terrific. I think they're both going to win. I think Rudy has a little bit of a fight with Romney, who is a terrific guy, also. I know him a little bit, not nearly as well.
But I think Rudy is going to end up emerging. I think she's going to emerge. And you have two very, very smart people who are going to be running for president.
KING: Is the religion rap on Romney a bad one?
TRUMP: I don't think it's a bad one. I think that it's -- look, he's -- he's a great person. And you have...
KING: You don't think it's a bad rap or you do think it's a bad rap?
TRUMP: No, don't think it's a -- I don't think it's a bad rap. I don't think it's going to have that much of an impact, ultimately.
KING: You don't?
TRUMP: I don't think so. No. I don't think so.
KING: So you're going to have a quandary if it's Rudy versus Hillary?
TRUMP: Well, I'm going to have a quandary. Look, it would be wonderful if it is. They're both terrific people -- very different people, very, very different -- like day and night. But they're both terrific people and I know them both well.
KING: Who would you pick to win?
Forget who you would support.
TRUMP: Well, I think it's very hard for anybody that's even slightly in favor of this war that we should not be in. I mean I looked at a picture -- you talk about Bush. He's got a lovely daughter.
KING: Well, she was on this show.
TRUMP: I know. I watched. And I think she's beautiful and lovely. And her husband, soon to be, is a wonderful guy. And I looked at a picture of them in one of the big newspapers, and they're standing there happy as could be. And on the next page was a soldier from Iraq whose face got blown off. And he's standing with his future wife, who is in shock. They probably agreed to get married, you know, before he left. KING: Yes.
TRUMP: And she's standing there and it's like a picture of shock on her face. And I'm looking at that couple -- a beautiful couple. And I'm looking at the poor soldier that came back from Iraq. And I'm saying to myself, Bush did this. There was no reason for this. Bush did this. And it's horrible. What he has done is horrible.
KING: Coming up, any chance Donald might make a run for any big office? Next.
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TRUMP: So I am going to form a presidential exploratory committee. I might as well announce it on your show. I will announce, I will be forming that, effective, I believe tomorrow. And we will see. I'm going to take a very good, strong look at it.
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KING: We're coming up with Donald Trump, more with Donald Trump as he authors "Think BIG and Kiss Ass in Business and Life." It's now available everywhere. And we begin this segment with an e-mail from Cindy in Johnson City, Tennessee: "Have you considered running for president?"
I remember when you once did.
TRUMP: Well, I didn't really consider, there was...
KING: You sat here on this set and were considering.
TRUMP: An independent party -- the Independent Party wanted me to run for president and I ultimately decided I like what I'm doing. But there's no reason for that now. You really have some very good candidates. And particularly I say because I know them, Rudy and Hillary. I think you really have some good candidates. I think you have two people, and, again, very different people. But I think they both would do a good job.
KING: In fact, Phyllis in Wagner, Kentucky, had an e-mail saying: "If you are considering voting for Hillary," you already said you have, the question was, "could you handle a woman in charge?"
TRUMP: I could absolutely handle it. Look, it's time. It's time. It is going to be tough for a Republican, and in all fairness to Rudy, for a Republican after Bush, because I think a lot of people are looking at Bush as being such a total disaster that anybody who is a Republican is going to have a lot of baggage to carry. It's not their baggage, but they are going to have to carry the baggage. I think it is going to be tough for the Republicans to win because of Bush.
KING: All right. You would not want him campaigning for you? TRUMP: I think he's the kiss of death.
KING: Back to the book. Is it your belief that anybody can, as you say, kick ass in business?
TRUMP: No, not at all.
KING: You can't train that, can you?
TRUMP: Well, you know, The Learning Annex is a great institution. And I make speeches for them on occasion when I can. And I love doing it. I speak in front 40,000 and 50,000 people. It's crazy. The groups, it's like -- you never saw anything like it in stadiums. They rent out stadiums. And I speak in front of 40,000 to 50,000 people on average. I mean, it's an amazing event. And they do a great job.
But one of the things I tell them -- Mr. Zanker, terrific guy. He has done an amazing job with it. I say, look, Bill, I have got to tell it like it is. I can't say that all of these people are going to make a lot of money because I don't want people leaving their jobs and they are not equipped to be an entrepreneur. They are not equipped to make money.
Because most of the people in the room are not equipped to make money. And I'm going to tell them that. And if you don't want that, then you don't have to pay me a fortune to make speeches. And he said, you have got to say what you have got to say. Now that's not good for somebody like The Learning Annex, for an institution like The Learning -- that's telling, you know, here's how to make money.
But the fact is, if you don't have the ability to hit a golf ball, if you don't have the ability to hit a baseball or a soccer ball or anything, you just don't, well, business is no different than that. Tiger Woods was born with a great ability.
TRUMP: Other people were born -- well, it's no different in business. If you don't have that ability, you can be helped, you can learn, you can do better, but you're never going to hit the home runs.
KING: But you can be taught things?
TRUMP: You can absolutely be taught things. Absolutely. You can get a lot better. But there is something. You know, the racehorse theory, there is something to the genes. And I mean, when I say something, I mean a lot.
KING: Let's get a King Cam question now. One -- the first one is from someone who is asking about the downside of your kick ass approach to business. Let's watch. King Cam number one.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Donald. Is it true that you're such a bully nobody will negotiate with you in person?
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TRUMP: No, it's not. The one thing about the words "kick ass" is that, in all cases, this isn't the way it is. You have to -- you really want to go into life, though, with that attitude. You want to go in -- and you want to think big, there is two things, think big and kick ass.
And it really doesn't have to do exactly with -- everyone is different. Every deal is different. Every person is different. You deal with some people in a very nice way and other people, they take advantage of you and you have to be a little bit tougher. And we discuss that at great length in the book.
But life is not just about kicking ass, and the book is not about that either. It's to a certain extent and there are money sections where, yes, we explain that. You know, one of the things that happened to me recently is that a very great athlete came to me, whose name I won't say. But it seems that a lot of money is missing.
And I said, let's go check it out. I send in forensic accountants, and I found out where it is. And the people that took his money probably was the manager, probably was somebody, who knows? This is an age-old story. It always happens, they are young and all of a sudden they are making a fortune and they get ripped off.
I said, we're going to go after that guy. We're going to get that guy. You know, I respect some of these guys. They are good. And they love Trump, for whatever reason, the athletes love Trump.
And I said, we're going to kick -- we're going to go and we're going to get this guy. No, I don't want to do that. I said, why don't you want to do it? Here's a guy that's so good at sports and such a killer at sports and yet he doesn't want to do one of the things that is going to insult -- he stole money.
So I said, do me a favor, don't ever call me again. But you have to have a certain attitude. You can't let people take advantage of you. Not only for that person but other people are watching. And if I ever said who this person is, the whole world would be after him because we all dream about people like this. So as competitive as he is on the sports field, he's just the opposite in life.
KING: When we come back, Donald Trump, the parent of five, seemingly well-behaved children. How would he deal with a child like Britney Spears? We will also ask about premarital or nuptial agreements. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Donald Trump. The book is think "Think BIG and Kiss Ass." Before we ask about the pre-nup, they want me to ask you about Britney.
TRUMP: Don't forget Lindsay. KING: How would you have raised her?
TRUMP: You know, I knew Britney five years ago when she was hot as a pistol. Of course, I guess you can say she's hot now. Everyone is talking about her. But she performed for me numerous times at different venues that I own. And she was the cleanest, nicest, most -- I will never forget, she went on the stage in Atlantic City, and she was with like a prayer group. And everybody got together. They had a Bible in the middle, they put their hands on the Bible.
I'm saying, what happened to this person? And the 15-year-old and 17-year-old young girls, she was like their idol. I have never seen an image change so much for the bad side.
KING: Do you blame the parents?
TRUMP: I think the mother is distraught. I think the mother did a great job until something happened. You know, it's interesting, Kevin Federline, I was never a big fan of his, and then I heard his all-time hero is Donald Trump. In fact, they sent...
TRUMP: It's true.
KING: That changed immediately your opinion.
TRUMP: No, no. Immediately, I think he's fantastic.
TRUMP: It is unbelievable. He came in with a suit -- this is like two years ago. He came in all dressed up with a suit and tie. He said, my all-time hero is Donald Trump. I think he's fantastic. He has done a great job with Britney.
But the fact is, from the day he met her, it's not exactly like she turned out so good.
KING: A chapter in book is titled "I Love You, Sign This." And you write about -- indeed, you discuss our interview on this program with Paul McCartney when he says, right before he got married...
TRUMP: That was a great interview.
KING: ... he would not have a pre-nup because he loved her too much and it would affect the love. And you said?
TRUMP: And I was watching, and I said "schmuck." I was watching. He is so in love. He was star struck. I don't get it. I don't see what he saw, but he saw something. What do we all see, right? You see something. I see something.
And he was so -- it was like, I said, who is the star? Is she the star or is he the star? And they talked about pre-nups. And he said, I wouldn't have one. And I couldn't believe it. I said, the poor guy.
Now, I had no idea it was going to turn out so badly. I hear she's turning down hundreds of millions of dollars. She wants more. She wants the right to write about his life.
What she did was very bad, though, because she -- or at least this is what the papers say she did, she started -- you know, one of the beautiful things was Paul and Linda. It looked like a really great romance. And in my eye she sort of destroyed that romance by saying terrible things about that relationship.
And I loved it. You know, I think Paul is terrific. And I loved what that relationship stood for, because, you know, in our world, there are not too many of them, right? All of a sudden I'm hearing this relationship was a disaster from her. It wasn't nice.
KING: So you're saying you have to have a pre-nup in every relationship?
TRUMP: Well, I think you have no choice. Now if you're going to be poor, you don't have to have a pre-nup. I wouldn't bother. If you want to be poor, if you don't think you will ever make money, then don't even bother. It's not worth the effort. But if you're going to be successful, and the people I speak in front of and the people that read my book are usually people that want to be successful or are successful.
If you you're going to be successful or if you are successful, you have to have a pre-nup. It's an ugly instrument. It's a terrible instrument. I will give you an example. I say to Melania, you're beautiful, I love you, you're the greatest, ever, unbelievable, I can't live without you, by the way, sign the pre-nup. OK. It's not exactly the most romantic thing in the world.
KING: What does she say?
TRUMP: She was very nice. She loves me. She's a great woman. But I have to have it. And you know what, you have banks, you have institutions, you have partners, you need that. In business -- and we talk about pre-nups a lot, in business you need a thing called certainty.
If something happens to a relationship, you need the certainty, like, as an example, Heather with Paul. She's going after everything. I mean, she never -- I didn't see her singing on the Ed Sullivan Show. I will give you an example, Michael Strahan, who is a great guy, he had a pre-nup. That was the worst pre-nup I ever saw. She got 65 percent of everything. I didn't see her tackling any of these 300- pound people.
But so you can have a bad pre-nup, too. I want to know who is Michael Strahan's lawyer? That was the worst pre-nup. I said, boy, did he get killed in court. And the judge was almost apologetic, saying, I can't believe this. But I think Michael Strahan had one of the worst lawyers ever. But you need certainty. You need a pre-nup. KING: We're going to come back, we will talk about getting rich, we will also talk the current real estate crisis with a man who knows his way through the territory. Donald Trump, the book "Think BIG and Kick Ass." Don't go away.
KING: Real estate market, what's going on?
TRUMP: It's an amazing situation. There are tremendous opportunities. You know what's interesting, I was begging people not to buy real estate two years ago. And everybody was interested in buying. And now they are less interested, and this is the time they should be going out -- not buying, negotiating to buy. This is the time.
Now, I'm sort of a tale of two cities, because Manhattan is through the roof. I sold an apartment last week for $38 million. I'm selling apartments now, I have never sold apartments like this. Manhattan is like in a different world from everything else. Outside of Manhattan, you look at other parts of the country, it's terrible. It's absolutely terrible.
But this is the time. You were talking about books. This is the time that people should be going out and making unbelievable deals on real estate. And one other thing, Larry, you read all the about subprime and all about the people (ph). I don't understand where these people come from. The bank sends them a letter, and they leave. They send them a letter, you have to be out. They leave. Why don't they call up the bank and negotiate?
KING: Yes, everything is negotiable.
TRUMP: The bank doesn't want to take over their house. I mean, the bank, whether they are nice or not. What are they going to do, put security people in there? I mean, the bank, you can sit down. You can make a better deal than you would have made five years ago with the bank.
Cut the price, make it interest, make it long-term. The bank needs these people. But what happens is the bank sends them a notice, the people leave. I don't get it.
KING: Tell me about Trump the Magazine.
TRUMP: Trump the Magazine was started with Jerry Powers of Ocean Drive. And it is doing phenomenally.
KING: When does it come out -- is it out?
TRUMP: Yes, it's out. And it's going to be out quarterly and then ultimately monthly.
KING: Is it like a thick -- slick...
TRUMP: Yes, I really wanted it for my people, my hotels, my condos, my country clubs, Mar-A-Lagos of the world, et cetera. I did not care about it as a magazine. They put it on the newsstand, the thing sold so fast, it sold like hot cakes. And the newsstand said, one of the best magazines we have had in a long time for selling.
So Jerry Powers came to me, said, you know, could we make this thing like where you actually sell? Because I really wanted it for my people that buy apartments from me, that -- you know, my real estate deals. And just as something to hand him, here, congratulations, you paid $20 million for an apartment, have a magazine.
You've got to give them something, right, for their money. And what happened is, when they put it at the newsstands, it sold like crazy. So Jerry wants to make a big deal out of it. We will see how that works out. I think it will probably work out well.
KING: Do you ever bomb at anything?
TRUMP: You bomb. But you don't like look at it as a bomb. You like to look at it as a learning experience. Never let a bomb be so big that it takes you down. That's the key, because you know, if you have one deal, but don't let it be bigger than everything. Because I have had friends where they bet the entire ranch.
There's a man in New York right now, he bet the entire ranch on something. Rich guy. He bet the entire ranch. I'm telling you, he's in such trouble, it's like unbelievable. You can never get the bet be so big that it takes you down.
KING: We will be back with our remaining moments with the incredible Donald Trump. Even his severest critic would have to use that adjective. Don't go away.
KING: We are back with our remaining moments with Donald Trump. Congratulations, you're a new grandfather.
TRUMP: Tough word.
KING: What you have got?
TRUMP: Beautiful, beautiful, baby girl from Donald and Vanessa. And -- but the word grandfather is a tough word.
KING: OK. But it's still -- it's there.
TRUMP: It's there. That's what it is.
KING: Grandfathers have it easy.
TRUMP: It's OK.
KING: You know why grandfathers and grandchildren get along so well?
TRUMP: Why? KING: They have a common enemy.
TRUMP: That sometimes works out, doesn't it?
KING: All right. Tell me about Pageant Place.
TRUMP: Well, I was backstage at the -- I own the Miss Universe Pageant, I own the Miss USA Pageant. And over the last few years, you know how you go backstage, because I have an obligation to go backstage and see all of these beautiful women.
There's nothing like it. NBC just renewed the Miss Universe, Miss USA for another three years. It does terrifically. And you know, you look at that. That's some tribute to me, because Miss America is thrown off the air like dogs and this thing just continues to do really well, Miss Universe and Miss USA.
And I'm backstage. And I see these girls backstage before the -- and they are fighting like cats and dogs. They are going at it. And they are beautiful. And I said, wouldn't this make a great television show? And we went out to a couple of different people, through Andy Litinsky, who is really terrific.
We went out to a couple of people. And everybody loved it. Then we just bid it out and MTV absolutely adores it and it's on MTV and...
KING: On now?
TRUMP: Yes. They just went out the other night. It did very nice ratings, really good ratings. And I'm very happy about it.
KING: Are you on the show?
TRUMP: A little bit. Very modestly. I don't have time to -- I would love to be on. I could be on every week if I just had the time. But the show -- but I was on the show, and I will be on it intermittently. But it went out, it did really terrifically. And the MTV people are fantastic. They really know their stuff.
KING: All right. And what's the story of you and a quarry worker in Scotland?
TRUMP: Well, I own close to 2,000 acres in Scotland, in Aberdeen, which is an amazing place. And I'm going to build a development close to $2 billion of hotels and houses and thousands of -- just incredible.
And it's four miles on the ocean, beautiful, the waves crashing in. There's no sight like it. And I'm going to build a golf course, which I believe -- the great dunes of Scotland, largest dunes of the world, I'm going to build a golf course that will be the greatest golf course anywhere in the world. And I own great golf courses. I own one in Los Angeles. I own great golf courses.
KING: So what's the story?
TRUMP: But this land -- and I have a couple of people -- not only one but I have a couple of people. They are not anything to do with the golf course and they are really not in our way, but I would like him to clean up his house because it's a pigsty. And I say, get your house cleaned. And all of a sudden I made an international hero out of the guy. But actually I think most people get it.
KING: You don't want to buy it. You want him to clean it up?
TRUMP: I would buy it if he would like to sell it, but it's absolutely not necessary to buy it.
KING: He's not blocking your golf course.
TRUMP: Absolutely, nowhere near it.
KING: Why won't he clean it up?
TRUMP: Maybe he thinks I'll pay him more money if he doesn't. I knew guys in New York, they always had a dirty, filthy store. They were very rich guys. They always took over a store, I would say, why don't you make that that store nice? He said, you know, Donald, if we make Tiffany out of here, guess what, you won't pay the same kind of money.
KING: So you think he will clean it up?
TRUMP: So I think nothing changes.
KING: Think he will clean it up?
TRUMP: No, I think he will probably not want to clean it up. His property is more valuable if it's not cleaned up.
KING: As always, Donald.
TRUMP: Thank you, very much.
KING: Thank you, man.
Donald Trump, the book, "Thing BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life." Check out our Web site, cnn.com/larryking. You can download our current podcast, Kid Rock. We've got quick votes, Web extras and guest commentaries too. And you can even sign up for our newsletter. It's all at cnn.com/larryking.
Tomorrow night, the super megastar preacher Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.
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