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Interview with Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. Aired 8-9:00p ET

Aired July 8, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:07] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Tonight, we go on one-on-one with Donald Trump. Now, by now, you know that billionaire businessman turned reality star presidential candidate unlike any we have seen. Since entering the race he has dominated the field, defining the discussion and forcing all other GOP candidates to take him seriously.

A recent CNN/ORC poll found him second only to Jeb Bush when it comes to Republicans' choice for president, 19 percent for Bush, 12 percent for Trump, with the rest of the GOP field in single digits.

Now, over the next hour you are going to hear what Trump has to say about his opponents, why he wants to in his words, bomb the hell out of the oil field of Iraq and why he is not backing down on his controversial comments about illegal immigrants.

Now, unlike a lot of politicians, Trump arrived for this interview today not surrounded by advisers but pretty much on his own and nothing was off-limits. I started off asking him about Hillary Clinton.


COOPER: First of all, Hillary Clinton gave her first interview yesterday in a long, long time. First national interview, she gave to CNN. You give interviews all the time. You are out there. You are talking extemporaneously, why do you think Hillary Clinton is not talking?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Anderson, she has a lot to hide. She gets a subpoena on emails and she - I mean, from the United States Congress and she gets rid of the emails and her server and everything gone.

COOPER: She said yesterday in the interview she didn't get a subpoena.

TRUMP: Well, I mean, they said they issued a subpoena. But you are right. I mean, she handled it like, you know, what is going on? How can you do that? She has a lot to hide. She doesn't want to talk to the press. Look, she was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States.

COOPER: But you used to donate, gave a lot of money to her over the years?

TRUMP: Sure, I was a businessman, guess I still am. But I was a businessman. I was with everybody. Everybody loved me. When I called them they always treated me well. And that's part of the game. And that's part of what's wrong with this country. Because as a businessman I could have gotten anything from anybody. And that is part of the problem. Lobbyists, donors, special interests.

COOPER: Is that why you were donating money to people you donated to? Because you donated to Democrats I think in 2006. You gave $20,000 to the democratic congressional campaign fund.

TRUMP: Democrats and Republican.

COOPER: Thousand to the Republicans.

TRUMP: I have given millions. I have given millions to everybody.

COOPER: So do you give though based on principles or do you give based on who is going to do thing for you politically?

TRUMP: They all love me. Let's put it that way. They all loved me. I'm a very, very - I did very nicely in life. And frankly, you give - and it is part of the problem. And I talk about it all the time.

COOPER: So even though you are doing it, you say it is a problem.

TRUMP: Well, I'm saying this. They won't necessarily do what's right for the country. They'll do what's right for their special interests, their donor, their lobbyists, et cetera. Not good for the country.

COOPER: But you know, when you get on the stage during the debates and your Republican challengers are going to say look you are all over the place politically. You say you are a conservative Republican. You are giving money to Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi.

TRUMP: I give money to everybody. And that's part of the problem we have in the country also.

COOPER: So, you weren't giving money based on political beliefs, but you are giving money based on currying favor like in many people do.

TRUMP: People love me. And you know what, I have been very successful. Everybody loves me.

COOPER: Politically, the other thing they're going to say is you are a flip-flopper, politically. You say now you are a conservative Republican, smoking gun, because that is 87 with your registration record, you were a Republican, and you were independent, then you are Democrat for eight years, then you are unaffiliated then you were a Republican.

TRUMP: You have to look at what Ronald Reagan did.

COOPER: He switched around, too.

TRUMP: Not so much different.

COOPER: Well, to somebody just say look, you are the guy who said you are the standup guy, you are decision maker, you seem to be kind of indecisive politically.

TRUMP: Well, you have to understand that I am in New York City. It is virtually impossible in New York City. If you look, I think it is three-to-one, Democrats to Republicans. It is virtually impossible. So, as a businessman in New York City and now all over the world. But as a businessman in New York City, I have to get along with Democrats. If I don't get along with Democrats, I'm sort of like out of business.

TRUMP: But were you a Democrat when you said you were Democrat?

TRUMP: I was a Democrat for a period of time early on. And then I was also an independent. And then I became a Republican.

COOPER: I got to ask you about a couple things in the news. "Washington Post" as you know say some of the workers building this beautiful hotel that you are building down in Washington, D.C. are illegal. They talked to 15 workers. They said, a number of the 15 came here illegally through asylum, they're now legal. A number said they're illegal. Isn't it hypocritical for you saying, illegal immigration is killing this country to be employing illegal immigrants?

TRUMP: Well, I read the story. And by the way that story does not name any names. I love them if they could give us names. But they said they spoke to one or two, but they don't name them. I don't even know if it is true.

COOPER: What they say is several of the men who held mostly from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, haven't earned U.S. citizenship or legal status through immigration programs targeting Central Americans, fleeing civil wars, natural disasters, others acknowledge they remain in the country illegally. They don't give names.

[20:05:01] TRUMP: They have to give us the names because we have, you know, many, many--.


TRUMP: They have to give us the names. And I have to say this, we believe so strongly. I hired a very big contractor. One of the most prestigious and best in the world to build the building. It's their responsibility to make sure they have done --.

COOPER: Doesn't the buck stop with you though?

TRUMP: Yes it does.

COOPER: You are paying their salary.

TRUMP: Absolutely. We have gone out of our way to make sure that everybody in that building is legal. And we do have some that were that became legal. Wait a minute. We have some, many, I think that became frankly, me, you, everybody, I mean, ultimately we were all sort in the group of immigrants, right? But we have done that to the absolute letter of the law. We're very, very careful.

COOPER: "The Washington Post" can go there and talk to 15 people and find some illegal immigrants.

TRUMP: They haven't shown us anything. I wish they would give us names. We'll get them out immediately.

COOPER: You must have a guy on the job site.

TRUMP: We have more than one guy. And we check it probably more carefully than any job that was ever built. Anderson you, have either 11, anywhere from 11 to 34 million illegal immigrants in this country. They're all over the place. Nobody knows even where they come from. They probably come, some, from the Middle East. You don't know where they're coming from.

We check on that building probably more carefully than anybody that's ever built a building before. And I think from what I heard, and I just checked it this morning, because I asked the question because I read the article also. We are absolutely in beautiful perfect shape. Now, I wish they would give us the names. We would get rid of them the immediately.

COOPER: This isn't the first time, though, this has been an issue. "Daily Beast" today, there is an article. I don't know if you have seen it. The headline says and they're talking about the building we are sitting in right now. They're saying Trump tower was built on undocumented immigrant backs.

TRUMP: How many years ago was that?

COOPER: This was '75, 35 years ago.

TRUMP: They said 35 years age.

COOPER: But this was a court case, 200 illegal immigrants. Polish workers.

TRUMP: Anderson, I hire a can tractor. The contractor then hires the subcontractor. They have people. I don't know, I don't remember that was so many years ago, 35 years ago they said we had.

COOPER: Court case settled in 1999. You settled with them.

TRUMP: That's all right. I mean, that's fine. I remember the case, frankly. I remember it very well. We hired contractors. The contractor, very highly prestigious, very good contractor, they go out hire subcontractors. Sometimes the subcontractors will have people working but you know it's pretty far down the line.

COOPER: But this was 200 polish workers working without hard hats. It is pretty noticeable on a union job.

COOPER: Anderson, when you have to go back 35 years to tell me about something, I think that's pretty pathetic to be honest with you.

COOPER: Do you think -- can you guarantee that you don't have illegal or undocumented workers working for you in hotel projects or various projects?

TRUMP: I can't guarantee it. How can anyone? We have 34 million in the country. I used to hear 11, now we are 34 million. I can't guarantee anything. But I can say this, we work very hard to make sure everybody is legal as opposed to illegal.

COOPER: There is, as you say, 11 million, who knows how many millions, 11 million one figure.

TRUMP: Nobody knows. By the way, most scary of all, our government doesn't know. They didn't have an idea. They don't have a clue.

TRUMP: What would you do with ones already here? You talked about building a great wall on the border or parts of the border, about being tough. What would you do with the ones already here?

TRUMP: I would do something very, very strong. Number one I wouldn't think about anything until I built a wall. Impenetrable. There will be nobody coming in to this country illegally. That's number one. Number two, I will get ones that are criminals, drug dealers, and the people that are forced in by Mexico and you know exactly what I am talking about, because Mexico is smarter, and sharper, and more cunning, and frankly, have much better negotiators than we have. And I would get ones that are forced in by the country of Mexico, into our country. Forced in, those people would get out and they get out fast. The rest I would be looking at very seriously. But I will--

COOPER: When you say looking at seriously would there be a pathway to citizenship or I mean, you are talking 11 million at the very least.

TRUMP: It is too early for me to say. And when you say citizenship, the most we would be talking about was legal. But let me just tell you before I even think about that. We have to build a, we have to build a wall, a real wall. Not a wall that people walk through.

COOPER: OK. When you talk about focusing on the criminals, deporting people, more people have been deported under Obama than any other president previously.

TRUMP: And more people are coming in under Obama, by far than what president ever. There has never been an entrance like this. And they're walking in. They're walking right past our patrols. The patrols are telling them.


COOPER: I can just say this. More people are in this country right now illegally than ever before. I will build a better wall and I will build it for cheaper. And Mexico will pay, I bet your next question.

COOPER: Yes. How do you get Mexico to pay? TRUMP: Because they are ripping us left and right. By the way I love

the Mexican people. Many Mexican people work for me. Many Mexico people I do business with. They purchase things from me like apartments, et cetera. I have great relationships with Mexico and with the Mexican people. I love the Mexican people. I love their spirit.

But let me just tell you, Mexico is making an absolute fortune. Because the trade deals with the United States are phenomenal for them. And horrible for us. They're taking our jobs. They're building factories, warehouses they're build things we are not even thinking about.

[20:10:25] COOPER: So you say, renegotiate trade deals and in that put in a price for the wall.

TRUMP: Absolutely. They will do it. And I have watched these very stupid pundits say you can't do that. Of course you can do that. Mexico is making - I can do it. By the way, Hillary can't do it. Jeb can't do it. These people that are running most can't do it. Maybe a couple of them. I actually have a respect for a couple of them. But Hillary cannot do it. I guarantee you that. Jeb Bush cannot do it. I can do it easily. Mexico is making a fortune off the United States. They will pay for that wall. Believe me.


COOPER: We are going to have more of the interview. Quick fact check. Mr. Trump said there are more people in the country illegally than ever before. That's not true according to Pew research center. The number dropped by a million since its peak between1990 and 2007.

That wasn't all Donald Trump had to say about illegal immigration. Much more to come. Next.


TRUMP: If somebody is an illegal immigrant they shouldn't beep here at all. There shouldn't be any crime. They're not supposed to be in our country. And I'm not just talking Mexico.


[20:15:09] COOPER: Welcome back. Donald Trump's comment about illegal immigration have put the issue front and center in the presidential race, no doubt about it. His comments have caused him in business and frustrated many of his GOP opponents. But Trump is certainly not backing down. Take a look.


COOPER: You said when Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems. They are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs, they are bringing crimes and the rapists, you went on to say and some of them are -- (CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Now, how do you start it up? You said, when Mexico sends its people, when Mexico --.

COOPER: Let me ask you --

TRUMP: I'm talking about the government. Excuse me.

COOPER: What evidence do you have that the government send their--?

TRUMP: Everybody knows it. This man or this animal that shot the wonderful, that beautiful woman in San Francisco, this guy was pushed out by Mexico. We bring them back and they push them out. Mexico pushes back people across the border that are criminals that are drug dealers.

COOPER: So if the article that you are basing this on this fusion article that you have cited.

TRUMP: That's just one of many articles. That talks about 80 percent rapes. But that's not it. Just look at homeland security reports. Look at all of the reports.

COOPER: But there are, you know, you talk about, there are reports. I got to look at a bunch of studies here that say there is actually no correlation between illegal immigration and crime. And that in fact, immigrants actually commit crimes at a lower number?

TRUMP: Anderson, you are not a baby, OK. You are not a baby.


TRUMP: They're causing tremendous problems. In terms of crime, in terms of murder, in terms of rape.

COOPER: Two studies. North western university cited by "the Washington Post" says no correlation between illegal immigration and violent crime. Pew, using figures in University of Massachusetts found quote "the crime rate among first generation immigrants those who came to the country from somewhere else significantly lower than the overall crime rate and that of the second generation."

COOPER: Anderson, if someone is an illegal immigrant, they shouldn't be here at all. There shouldn't be any crime. They're not supposed to been our country. They are supposed to be - and I'm not just talking Mexico. They're coming from all over the word. I'm not just talking about Mexico.

COOPER: Central America as well.


TRUMP: And you're probably talking about the Middle East and talking about other places. The southern border is a disaster. I'm speaking this weekend in Arizona. They say the crowd is going to be enormous. Somebody said I am the most popular person in Arizona because I am speaking the truth. Those people are living with it.

When I look at Rick Perry he talks about the border he did a terrible job with the border. He was governor of Texas. He could have done a much better job than he did. He did a terrible job.

COOPER: So you don't believe the studies. You said that there is a correlation --

TRUMP: Well, I don't believe in the sense, number one. But even if the studies were correct. I'm not talking about correlation. When you have illegal immigrants coming in if they commit crime they're not supposed to be here.

COOPER: You did indicate that the people coming across the border were raping 80 percent of the women --

TRUMP: You are putting things. Read the article. Did you pull up the article?

COOPER: I did. I pulled up the article.

TRUMP: Now, that article was written by fusion, you know who owns fusion?

COOPER: Yes, Univision.

TRUMP: Univision. You know who I am suing? Univision. And they have a big problem with my lawsuit. So let me just tell you something, Univision comes out like I am some bad person. Univision is being, being sued by me, the thing that they own as fusion, and they're talking about 80 percent rapes. I didn't make that up.

COOPER: In the article, it says its corrupt officials, it is traffickers, it is gangs, and other migrants inside Mexico.

TRUMP: Whatever it is. But as I said before it is called rape. It is rape. And it is happening. And it is a shame. And it's horrible.

COOPER: So you stand by your comments?

TRUMP: I stand by whatever I read from Univision. Univision did it. I didn't do it.


COOPER: Joining me now is CNN chief national correspondent John King, host of "INSIDE POLITICS" and by the way, we will have more of the interview coming up. And CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

So John, first of all, on the illegal immigration, how big of a deal is it that Donald Trump says he can't guarantee that illegal immigrants don't work for any of his businesses, or any of his construction sites, and nobody can guarantee that. How much does that open him up to allegations of hypocrisy? And I should also point out he says they do more on that side to try to, you know, eliminate any illegal immigrants? JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It does open him up to

challenges of hypocrisy. It will be interesting to see whether anybody in the Republican field goes after him or whether that comes from outside. Also you get to the question where, you know, he is the guy who says I am running because I am a businessman, I make smart decisions anybody does stupid things, I fire. He thinks anybody who worked in the government apparently in the last 25 years are stupid, to use his words. And yet, he said when you asked him and challenged him, he says well, I hire a contractor who then hire a subcontractor. And you know, I guess these things happen. Well, you can't have it both ways. You are either the boss, the businessman who doesn't hire stupid people or you are the boss or businessman who apparently hired somebody who did things that are against the law.

So it is, it is interesting, as this plays out, Anderson. That's a fascinating conversation. You know, when you challenge him on the facts, he blames somebody else or he comes up with conspiracy theory. Whether that has legs over the long term is the big question. Most people who have watched politics for a long time think it won't last.

[20:20:11] COOPER: It was interesting, Gloria, because he said, you know, I pointed to the "Daily Beast" article that was released today about this court case he was involved with, the 200 illegal immigrants from Poland were used to clear the land that the Trump tower is built on back 35 years age. He says it is pathetic to bring it up and so far ago.

But I mean, during a debate that's the kind of thing. He is now running for president. He is in a different category. You know, they went after Mitt Romney for --


COOPER: Landscapers.

BORGER: Right. I mean, they went after him, after Mitt Romney because somebody who was in charge of the landscaping on his property hired somebody who was an illegal immigrant to take care of the yard. And so, when you are running for president, it is kind of a different ball game. And Donald Trump should understand that. And I think he is beginning to understand it. Because when you seek the highest office in the land, everything, your records are going to be poured through whether 35 years ago, whether it was three years ago. And I think he is doing that to his fellow Republicans talking about their previous record, calling Hillary Clinton the worst secretary of state, you know, in history then saying he donated to her campaign.

You know, these are questions that he has to answer. And by the way, Anderson, I think he has to have a better answer on the Hillary Clinton question of why he donated to her campaign then. It was just part of the game. I was just playing the game. I think people dent like that game very much.

COOPER: Although, John, his point he is both critical of the game but also says essentially I was playing the game. He at least kind of points out the discrepancy there. I mean, that's a conflict. KING: Well, he points out one of the things that everybody hates

about politics. Because the average Joe out there thinks big business or big rich people or big donors get together and get the meetings with the senator, they get the meetings with the White House staff, they get access to the president and the average Joe doesn't. So he is saying that is just the game. But then he is conceding he plays it.

And so, again, you can raise the question of, you know, are you a hypocrite or now a reformed sinner? That's one he is going to have to answer. But again, you know, it's when you challenge him on facts, he pushes back. And he says you are no baby, Anderson. Yes, you are no baby Anderson and did your research for the interview and come to him with the facts. It is a fact that the number of border crossings is down.

Now, most people say that is not because of any breakthrough in border security, it is mostly because the Mexican economy is doing better so people are staying. I spoke to several attorneys general this week, including the attorney general of this state where I am tonight, California, who say that to your point, that the percentage of, and number one she criticized the heinous crime in San Francisco. She said it was horrible. But by percentage, she says especially violent crime, committed by the undocumented is way down. It is tiny statistic. This is a horrible case, but statistically it is very low. But when you press him on that, he just challenges you or questions your credibility as opposed to addressing what are known as facts.

COOPER: Although, Gloria, I will say talking to Donald Trump is different than talking to any different politician out there. Because he does, I mean, again, he showed up basically on his own. He is not there with adviser telling him you got to wrap it up. You know, you got to have these talking points. He does seem very much his own person. Whether you agree with him or not. He is not giving, I mean, you compare to the interview Hillary Clinton gave yesterday that other politicians might give. They don't want to, you know, necessarily come out with any real position. He very much, whether you like the positions or not. He at least seems to take them.

BORGER: He engages. And that's, and you know, he is not talking from a set of talking points that somebody else has written for him. It is clear he reads what he reads and he comes up with his own talking points. And by the way, Anderson, he speaks to a certain segment of the base of the Republican Party to which his sort of brash demeanor and his I'm telling it like it is appeal, appeals to them. And you know, Republicans have to pay attention to that. Because he does have an appeal in the Republican Party in the primaries in which they're running.

COOPER: Yes, no doubt about that. Look at the polls.

Gloria, thank you. John King, stay with us.

There is a lot more to talk about. More of my interview with Donald Trump just ahead.

Up next he doesn't care about the backlash on his immigration comments. But does he care about the price tag?


COOPER: How much has this cost you?

TRUMP: A lot. It cost me a lot.

COOPER: Can you put a dollar figure on the loss?

TRUMP: No. It is a lot of money. But fortunately, I am very rich. It doesn't matter. Does it matter, no. Of what matters is making America great again.



[20:28:31] COOPER: More of my conversation with Donald Trump. As you know, his comments about illegal Mexican immigrants have cost him a lot. There had been repercussions from NBC, Univision, beauty pageants he owns, Macy's, NASCAR and the list goes on. And should point out not just talking about Mexican illegal immigrants also from Central America. He said several times today and countless times in the past he is very rich and he doesn't seem to care or even know what the backlash actually adds up to from a dollars and cents standpoint. Take a look.


COOPER: How much has this cost you?

TRUMP: A lot. It cost me a lot.

COOPER: Can you put a dollar figure on the loss?

TRUMP: It is a lot of money. But fortunately I am very rich. It doesn't matter to me. Does it matter, no? What matters is making America great.

COOPER: You don't have a dollar figure. This is costing you x amount.

TRUMP: No. You know, it is sort of funny. One of is big headline. Trump loses NASCAR. You know what they were doing, renting a ballroom from me one night. There is banquet hall. And they left a deposit. And now I have it rented already to somebody else.

COOPER: So, is it just small potatoes?


TRUMP: Fortunately it is not big for me. There is another one, ESPN breaks up with Trump all over the world. Separate stories. Headlines. ESPN -- they rented by golf course in Los Angeles for a day, 120 or 200 golfers or something. So I kept their deposit which was very nice of them. And now I have other people using it so I did two for the price of one.

Now, the point is, the press is so dishonest. People hearing NASCAR, ESPN break. Now, here is the good news. I'm very rich. I built an unbelievable company. The money you are talking about is a lot. But it is peanuts for me, but it is still a lot. More expensive than a campaign would cost.

COOPER: Someone in your organization told me, that the lawsuit against Univision. If you win that you can actually fund your entire campaign with the Univision fund deal.

TRUMP: Well, they owe me a lot of money. Look, they have a contract. It's a binding contract. You know, I am very good at contracts. I do that very well. Unlike our country. I do contracts very well or I wouldn't be sitting here and talking to you right now. So, we have a binding contract. And Univision says we are going to terminate the contract - you know, to this day they haven't sent me. I have a five year binding contract. Signed in January, not long ago, five, six months ago, signed. They made their first payment. No termination right, zero. They went to the press they said they're going to terminate.

Now the problem is they terminated before their IPO. How stupid is that? I mean the head of Univision frankly should be fired. But they terminate before. They know I have a major claim. So I sue them. And now they have a lot of problems.

COOPER: Let me ask you - as I said, you have been very vocal in the media. Very accessible. You are on Twitter. There was a tweet that caused you problems that was rescinded. It was a retweet about Jeb Bush's wife. You said, the original tweet said Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife. That was somebody else said that. You retweeted it. Did you authorize that? Did you regret that?

TRUMP: No, I didn't authorize it. I don't regret anything. Look, some - it was a retweet, it wasn't me. It was actually, if you look at it carefully, it was a retweet of a Breitbart story. That was a very good story, a very fair story, but a strong story, very good story. But do I regret -- no, I don't regret it. I mean, you know, look, I would say that he would, if my wife were from Mexico, I think I would have a soft spot for people from Mexico. I can understand that.

COOPER: You think that influences his position on illegal immigration?

TRUMP: I think it could, I mean maybe it should. If he loves his wife. And I know he does, I hear she is a lovely woman, by the way. So, if he loves his wife and she is from Mexico I think it probably has an influence on him. Yes. I can understand that.


COOPER: Coming up more of my interview with Donald Trump. His strategy for defeating ISIS in Iraq. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Would you send U.S. troops?

TRUMP: I would do things that would be so tough that I don't even know if they would be around to come to the table.

COOPER: What sort of things, though?

TRUMP: I would take away their wealth. I would take away the oil. What you should be doing now is taking away the oil.



COOPER: My conversation today with Donald Trump covered a lot of ground, foreign policy included. True to form, he was never at a loss for words, no matter what I asked. We'll let you be the judge of his actual answers. Now, among the many statements he's made since announcing his candidacy, he said that nobody would be tougher on ISIS than he would. But he hasn't given a lot of details about that. So I tried to pin him down on specifics to explain in detail what his strategy against ISIS would be. Take a look.


COOPER: I want to ask you about ISIS. You said nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Nobody.

COOPER: Specifically, what would be your strategy?

TRUMP: The situation with ISIS has to be dealt firmly and strongly. When you have people being beheaded. I would love not to be over there. That's not our fight. That's other people's fight. That's revolutions, that's whatever you want to call it, it's religious wars. I would do things that would be so tough that I don't even know if they would be around to come to the table.

COOPER: What sort of things, though?

TRUMP: I would take away their wealth. I would take away the oil. What you should be doing now is taking away the oil.

COOPER: What does that mean?

TRUMP: Bomb them. And I'll tell you what I hate about this question. If I win - if I win. I didn't want to answer this question. And I thought maybe I could go without answering it. Because if you look at the great General George Patton, or General MacArthur, I was a big fan of, any of this great general. They didn't talk about what they did. And I said I hate it. In fact, if you remember when I said I have a plan, but I don't want to talk about it. Everyone said, oh, he really doesn't have a plan. So, I had to do it. But I hate talking about it. Because if I win they know I'm going to do it. If I win I would attack those oil sites that are controlled and owned by - owned. They're controlled by ISIS. They're taking tremendous money out. They are renovating a hotel in Iraq. Can you believe it?

COOPER: Wouldn't you be destroying the wealth of Iraq?

TRUMP: No, no, let me tell - There is no Iraq. There is no Iraq.

COOPER: The Iraqis might differ with you.

TRUMP: There are no Iraqis. They're broken up into so many different factions.

COOPER: And you don't think bombing Iraqi oil fields, which are now in the control of ISIS, but bombing Iraqi oil fields is going to anger huge numbers of people?

TRUMP: I would bomb the hell out of those oil fields. I wouldn't send many troops, because you won't need them by the time I got finished. I'd bomb the hell out of the oil fields. I didn't get Exxon, I didn't get these great oil companies to go on, they would rebuild them so fast, your head will spin.


COOPER: U.S. troops?

TRUMP: Excuse me. You ever see how fast they put up rigs? These guys are unbelievable. So, I go Exxon Mobile. I go there top five oil companies. They would be in there. They'd be finished so fast.

COOPER: Don't you need U.S. troops to protect the oil companies?

TRUMP: Yes, you put a ring around them. You put a ring. You just taken all of the wealth away. This is what should be done. But no politician is going to do that.


COOPER: Joining me now, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, a Jeb Bush supporter and adviser to other GOP candidates. Bill Kristol, editor of "The Weekly Standard" and CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Paul Begala, who is co-chair of a pro-Hillary Clinton super Pac and longtime advisor to President Clinton in the 1990s.

Ana, Donald Trump saying in one breath that Jeb Bush is weak on immigration, then says well, Bush's wife is from Mexico and that may be influences him or probably influences him. That's, is that personal territory? Is that political?

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I have no idea. It's Donald Trump-speak, which really is such incoherent discourse that I have a very hard time analyzing it and responding it. I really give you a hell of a lot of credit for maintaining a straight face in trying to conduct this interview as if you were doing it with a normal person. Because I think anybody watching can see that he just goes beyond logical discourse.


COOPER: Bill Kristol, I mean I know you have said it's a good thing that Trump's voice is part of this Republican cycle. You are not initially a fan of his. His opponents treat him with disdain at their own peril. When you hear him tonight saying things like there is no Iraq, there are no Iraqis, bomb the hell out of the oil fields. Is that a serious contender?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": You know, he probably won't be the nominee. Because he is irresponsible in the things that he says. And sometimes he says distasteful things. On the other hand, you know, there is something impressive about some of what he says, a certain kind of common sense that we should be talking strong. An what he, you know, he is ridiculed by the mainstream media. I give you a lot of credit for pretending to be disapproving of him when obviously you've enjoyed the interview. And obviously you found him ten times more interesting than every single politician you've ever interviewed.

COOPER: I enjoy talking to him.

KRISTOL: You have done a great job. But I mean, Gloria, and John King, and being serious. And all - you know, he should learn some things about politics you can't get away with this. He knows what he is doing. And look, at the end of the day, the Republican Party is a big tent. There is plenty of room for Donald Trump. There is plenty of room for the establishment politicians who will disapprove of what Donald Trump says and will distinguish themselves from Donald Trump. It's good for the party to have him in it. I much prefer the Republican field with Donald Trump than watching Hillary Clinton's interview with Brianna last night - boring, platitudes, typical politician. Let the Republicans have some interesting people.

COOPER: Paul, let me ask you about that, because Hillary Clinton wouldn't even say, which, you know, actress on "Saturday Night Live" she liked doing an imitation of her better or who should be on, you know, what bill or even what bill it should be. Is there something good for the Republican Party that you have Donald Trump, you know, at least taking positions whether or not, you know, you think they're ludicrous or not?

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think it is great. What's good for the Republican Party. I think it's great. It's great for Democrats.

COOPER: You think it's great for Democrats?

BEGALA: It's - Donald Trump is God's gift to the Democratic Party, cable TV pundits and late night comics. We are all having a trumpgasm. I want him to have - I hate that I am taking time out of your interview with him. More Donald Trump - he is the face of the Republican Party. The voice of the Republican Party. He is the heir of the Republican Party. If you look, a lot of the voters look like him. It's the best thing ever - because ... COOPER: This is Paul's desperate attempt to whistle past the graveyard. They have a horrible candidate they're coronating. And he's trying to pretend that Donald Trump is a problem for the Republicans? Is Donald Trump going to be Republican nominee? Do you think - matter in October?

BEGALA: I want more Trump.

NAVARRO: Wait, wait, Paul. Let's just go back.

BEGALA: We need more Trump.

COOPER: OK, Ana, go ahead.

NAVARRO: Let's go back to the fact that out of all the candidates running the only one who was sitting at the front pew of his third wedding, was your candidate Hillary Clinton, the one that he gave $100,000 to her Clinton family foundation was Hillary Clinton, the one that got political donations, maxed out political donations from Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton. I've come to the believe he is a Democrat mole.


NAVARRO: I think he's a Hillary Clinton mole trying to do some harm to the Republican Party.

COOPER: Ana, of the candidates you support are all having to react to Donald Trump. I mean he, whether you think he is ridiculous or not. He has in many ways defined the debate.

NAVARRO: You are right, Anderson. And I am glad that they have stood up and they've condemned what he said. I am glad that Jeb Bush had said that he found it personally offensive. I frankly am very disappointed that the only words Hillary Clinton could come up with to talk about what Donald Trump said was, very disappointed. Listen, very disappointed is what you are when your new puppy pees on your carpet. What Donald Trump said was offensive. It was disgusting. It was racist. It was wrong, it was misinformed. And certainly, you would think that the Democrat presumptive nominee could come up with stronger words than very disappointed to describe it.

COOPER: Bill, just be clear. If Donald Trump is on that debate stage and there is no reason to believe he is number two in the poles, he certainly has earned a place there. I mean Paul says it's good for the Democratic Party. You say it's good for the Republican Party. Why do you think it's good for the Republican Party? Is it because it allows the other candidates to kind of define themselves in his reflection and sort of show themselves as different as him? Or because it shows the breadth and the vigorous debate?

KRISTOL: Yeah, I think it is a big tent. People like Donald Trump will be happy with what he says. The people who don't like Donald Trump will be happy with some of the other candidates distance themselves from Trump. That will make the debate lively. One reason I do like it. Because I am not pro-Trump. I'm slightly anti-Trump. Because I'm so sick of all the establishment types being so earnest in disdaining him. And it just serves the Republican Party right, the set of this debate, ten people, excluding the so called minor candidates, whom are very impressive and not so minor candidates, like Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry and others who might get excluded. So, they set this up. They tried to control everything. They set up a situation where who's going to dominate that debate? I suspect Donald Trump. And you know what, I sort of think it serves the others right. And it puts more pressure on Jeb Bush and Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, people I like and respect to have something to say. If they get up there and there are platitude in these politicians they are going to look pale compared to Donald Trump.

COOPER: I think that's an interesting point. Paul, again, Donald Trump has given a ton of interviews. Hillary Clinton has only given her first national one yesterday.


COOPER: Do you think -- is he upstaging her? Why? Why isn't she coming forward and -- talking. It does seem -- surprising, no?

BEGALA: She is talking a lot, just not to national media except CNN.

COOPER: Well, she's going to be president. She's talking to small groups of people.

BEGALA: Right. Because she is already famous. And she's not - you know, I'm sure she has got an ego. I know her well, but she doesn't have an ego like Donald. I want it - this is exactly what should be happening.


BEGALA: She is going town to town, person to person. She's giving interviews to Iowa journalists and to New Hampshire journalists. She did give one to CNN. I think it's fine. But what Trump is doing, is really important. He is not done. This is a very smart guy. And he is channeling the id of the Republican base voter. And Bill is right, he is going to get up on the stage. Republicans are going to watch this. They're not going to want the fancy Jeb Bush Peligrino water or the Marco Rubio Perrier, they want the Donald Trump crazy water.


KRISTOL: Democrats want the Bernie Sanders water. Hillary Clinton doesn't seem to be debating. When is that Democratic debate happening, Paul?

Seriously, Anderson. Wouldn't you look to have Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton up on the stage?

COOPER: Yeah, I would like to have anybody up on that stage.

BEGALA: I want a Donald Trump channel, a Donald Trump show, a Donald Trump network. Just to make sure, Republican under his name. He's the voice of the Republican Party. NAVARRO: Former Democrat.

COOPER: Paul Begala, Bill Kristol, Ana Navarro, thank you all. I appreciate it. More of my interview with Trump ahead. I asked him about what he would do if he doesn't get the Republican nomination?


COOPER: You rule out the idea of running as an independent party candidate or third party candidate if for some reason you don't get the GOP nomination?

TRUMP: Everybody asks me to do it. I have had so many people saying, would you run as an independent? Would you run as a third party candidate? And I think, you know, they see the kind of votes, I get a lot of votes.



COOPER: Donald Trump is certainly not the first presidential candidate with a healthy ego. What sets him apart is that he doesn't try to feign modesty. The art of the humble brag not exactly his wheel house. By his own estimation, he is great at many things including foreign policy. He told me that if he is elected, Vladimir Putin will be jumping at his commands and turning over Edward Snowden who he considers a traitor.


COOPER: Former attorney General Holder just the other day said perhaps some sort of plea deal could be in the works. He also said that Snowden spurred a necessary debate. What would you do about Snowden?

TRUMP: I think he is a total traitor. And I would deal with him harshly. And if I were a president, Putin would give him over. I would get along with Putin. I've dealt with Russia.

COOPER: You think you would get along with Putin?

TRUMP: I think I get along with him fine. I think he would be absolutely fine. He would never keep somebody like Snowden in Russia. He hates Obama. He doesn't respect Obama. Obama doesn't like him either. But he has no respect for Obama. Has a hatred for Obama. And Snowden is living the life. Look if that -- if I'm president, Putin says, hey, boom, you're gone. I guarantee you this.

COOPER: I think I know the answer to this question, would you accept a vice presidential position if it didn't work out for you as president? I mean you are doing great right now.

TRUMP: I'm doing - But - it's not that I wouldn't. It's a phenomenal position. You know, I think it's a very powerful position. It's not for me. I love what I am doing. I would rather be doing this. I am not doing this to be president. I am not doing this to be president. I'm doing this to make America great again.

COOPER: You rule out the idea of running as an independent party candidate or third party candidate if for some reason you don't get the GOP nomination?

TRUMP: Everybody asks me to do it. I have had so many people saying, would you run as an independent. Would you run as a third party candidate? And I think, you know, they see the kind of votes. I get a lot of votes. The best way of defeating the Democrats and probably Hillary, I think it is going to be Hillary is to run as a Republican. If I do the third party thing it would be I think very bad for the Republicans. I think it would be very bad in terms of beating the Democrats. And we have to win.

COOPER: George H.W. Bush still points to Ross Perot as being the reason he didn't get reelected. You don't want to be the Ross Perot?

TRUMP: Ross Perot, I've known that - 90 percent of the vote - Ross Perot, had he not been there you would have never heard of Bill Clinton. You would have never heard. In my opinion, Bush would have gotten almost 100 percent of those votes. Now, I actually spoke to Bill Clinton once. He said, no, no, it was split 50/50. No. And that's a smart thing for him to say. No way. Had Ross Perot not run you would never have heard of Bill Clinton.

COOPER: Thank you.


COOPER: CNN chief national correspondent John King, host of "Inside Politics," and CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger. So, John, I mean it's interesting he didn't close the door, I guess, on a third party run. So, long way out. But even just the idea of it must concern Republicans?

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it concerns Republicans. But he understands the Perot experience. It's very hard for a third party candidate to win. However, there's - the reason Trump is doing well in the Republican primary so far, second place in the polls, getting so much attention, is there is such a disgust with politics in America in both parties. So, there is this opportunity for an independent candidacy. It costs a lot of money. He has that money. Is he the right guy? Is he Ross Perot? I'm not so sure. But Anderson, if I could quickly turn to one thing he just said. There is a lot of what he says. There is a lot of what he says that just makes you shake your head. He thinks, you know, he is elected. And China will revalue its currency, because Donald Trump says so. Mexico will pay for the wall, because Donald Trump says so. But what he just said, there is that Putin would turn over Snowden. But I would get along with Putin. Well, I don't know if Republican voters are going to like that. Vladimir Putin in the last five years has seized territory in two sovereign nations, Georgia and Ukraine. That's a guy you want to get along with?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Can I just also point out one thing he just said to you, Anderson, which was, that he would invade Iraq? Period. I mean ...

COOPER: He said he would bomb the hell out of the oil fields. And then send in Exxon, and a couple of oil companies and then send in troops to form a ring around them.

BORGER: Exactly. But it's sort of sounds like invading Iraq to me. And I think that if I were a Republican candidate I think a lot of them have been shy because they didn't want to light a match under Donald Trump. I think we are kind of past that point right now. So, if I were Jeb Bush whose voters by the way are probably not Trump voters, why not use Donald Trump as a foil right now. And say wait a minute. You want to attack Iraq?

COOPER: Wait, but Trump is very strong on Jeb Bush saying, look, Jeb Bush, you know, spent days trying to come up with an answer for whether he will ...

BORGER: Right. And he's right about that.

COOPER: And Trump says all along that he was always against an invasion of Iraq.


BORGER: Well, but now, now he is saying invade Iraq. And what Jeb said was if I, you know that it was a mistake eventually.

COOPER: And what I don't understand just on his Iraq thing, I mean is, if you bomb the oil fields of Iraq you are going to -- I mean, turn everybody in Iraq against you. He says there is no Iraq. There are no Iraqis.

BORGER: Yeah, I mean it was ...

KING: Or you are going to kill.

COOPER: Go ahead, John.

KING: Or you are going to kill thousands of civilians if you just bomb the oil field. There is still going - there is going to be some collateral damage. And then to the point that there are, as he says, yes, he is right about there is a lot of factional sectarian violence, grief and separation in Iraq and the political system is dysfunctional. But he also says Exxon will rush in to rebuild the oil fields and will just put a ring around them. Well, that ring would be U.S. troops. That would be - if not nation building. Business building, again, in a sovereign nation.

COOPER: Right.

KING: Right. It's just, Frank Underwood said these things we would think they were kind of funny. This guy is running for president.

COOPER: John King, Gloria Borger, I appreciate you being on. We'll be right back.


COOPER: I talked to Donald Trump today for about 40 or so minutes. We are going to have more of my interview with Trump on tomorrow's night's broadcast of "360" at 8:00 Eastern. I hope you join us for that. In that, we went down the list of other candidates, GOP candidates, also Bernie Sanders and all this - Hillary Clinton to get his thoughts on all of them.


COOPER: You want to hear that ahead. That will be tomorrow night, 8 p.m. I hope you join us. That does it for us in this hour. The CNN special report, "No Laughing Matter: Inside the Cosby Allegations" starts now.