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CNN TONIGHT

Interview with Donald Trump. Aired 10-11p ET.

Aired September 30, 2015 - 22:00   ET

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


[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Breaking news, Donald Trump one-on-one, the mogul who wants to be your next president topping the newest poll tonight and telling me this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I do like to win, Don.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. An in-depth interview with Donald Trump at his Manhattan headquarters in Trump Tower. On a day when Russia conducts its first air strikes on Syria. Tough talk from Trump on President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Putin probably doesn't respect our president. He probably doesn't respect our country very much because he's gone through so many years of Obama, but he doesn't respect our president. It's a real problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Plus, Trump on the art of the deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm a real businessman. Whether people like me or don't like me, I'm a real businessman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Tonight, my interview with the man who just told a crowd in New Hampshire this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If I get elected president, we will indeed make America great again. That I can tell you. That I can tell you.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: So, you come in, the first thing you do you hand me these polls.

TRUMP: Just got them myself.

LEMON: And they're good, though.

TRUMP: Very nice. Yes, they are.

LEMON: Can we talk about the Suffolk University poll, a brand new poll?

TRUMP: Sure.

LEMON: You're 23 percent, you're the front-runner. The two people who are second, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, they're in second place. You almost doubled them. Tripled Jeb Bush. Be honest with me, did you ever think that you would be to this point? What's your reaction?

TRUMP: Well, I do like to win, Don, in my life. You know, I mean, I haven't lost too often, and I would think that I went into it originally because I thought I was going to do well, but I'm a little ahead of schedule. And I'm under budget. You know, It's like I build. I'm under budget and I'm ahead of schedule.

Meaning, I haven't spent nearly as much. I would have thought I would spend about $20 million by this time on advertising and I spent nothing because I seem to be getting a lot of press and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we're resonating with the people, but we're getting a lot of coverage so I haven't had to advertise, which is nice.

LEMON: I want to talk more about the polls and get to the race a little bit later.

TRUMP: OK.

LEMON: But I've got to get to foreign policy now with what's going on with Syria and Russia. Because the big international is Russia, you know, striking Syria for the first time, now giving the U.S. about an hour's notice.

TRUMP: Sure. They don't respect the U.S.

LEMON: What do you think of this ratcheting up, though?

TRUMP: Well, number one, they don't respect our president and they really don't respect us anymore and that's why they're doing this. At the same time, if they want to hit ISIS, that's OK with me. I'm not going to be saying we have to do it all. You know, we're like the policeman of the world.

I'm a very strong person when it comes to the military. You and I had this conversation before. I think it will be my big sleeper. You know, as a sleeper subject for me, I think one of my strengths will be the military. I'm very, very strong on the military. I believe so strongly in it. We're going to build a tremendous military. Nobody's going to mess

with us. But at the same time, we have to be respected and, frankly, we're not being respected. Nevertheless, I love the fact that ISIS is being hit by Russia.

LEMON: But according to U.S. officials that the areas that are being hit are not ISIS strongholds.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: And I'm hearing that.

LEMON: These are areas that are propping up Assad.

TRUMP: Right. And I'm hearing that. And I'm hearing they're hitting both, but I'm hearing that. And then you say to yourself, Assad, bad guy, killed hundreds of thousands of people but you wonder what's going to happen with the other people that we don't know who they are.

We always give weapons, we give billions of dollars and weapons and then they turn them against us, we have no control. So, we don't know the other people that we're supposed to be backing. We don't even know who we're backing. Russia and Iran.

And of course, we have made Iran strong by giving them $150 billion in one of the dumbest deals I've ever seen. So, you have Russia and Iran are backing Assad. At the same time, my primary thing is getting rid of ISIS because ISIS really does stand for evil.

LEMON: Here is what you said. You said let's just let the Russians take care of it. But U.S. officials are again, are saying that these air strikes were not targeting -- they were targeting ISIS, they were targeting the opposition to Assad. Do you want to change -- would you change your position on that at all?

TRUMP: Look, I want to invest trillions of dollars in rebuilding our country. I want to create a tremendously strong military, stronger than we've ever had before and really technologically strong. We need technology. We're the king of technology. But that's what I want to do.

And I want to invest money in our country. We've invested so much money in the Middle East that we have nothing for it. You know, Russia, if you think about the old Soviet Union, you know where they went bad, they went into Afghanistan, they were there for years and they virtually went bankrupt as a nation and that's when it all split up.

If Russia wants to go in and if Russia wants to fight, in particular, ISIS, and they do, and one of the reasons they do is because they don't want ISIS coming into their country and that's going to be the next step. So, that's why they're there.

LEMON: So, you actually believe that they're fighting ISIS in that?

TRUMP: Well, I think they will be fighting ISIS and I think they are going to also probably try and prop up Assad and help him out.

[22:05:03] And frankly, who are we backing? We don't even know. I was with a major leader the other day and they don't know who we're backing. And if you look at Libya, what did we do in Libya? It's a mess. Nobody knows what's going on. You take a look at Libya, you take a look at Iraq. We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, wounded warriors in Iraq, what do we have? We have nothing.

And by the way, Iran is taking over Iraq, as sure as you're sitting there.

LEMON: How would you handle Putin? Because you saw that you know the ISIL relationship that Putin and our president had...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, there's no respect. It's a question of respect, just like deals. I do deals. That's what I do. I do really good at deals. The other side has to respect you. Putin doesn't respect our president. He probably doesn't respect our country very much because he's gone through so many years of Obama but he doesn't respect our president. It's a real problem.

LEMON: There are -- listen, where you have, you've got Russia and the U.S. but flying in the same place.

TRUMP: Right.

LEMON: I mean, one bad move and that, as you say, huge. That's a huge problem. Don't we need some rules of engagement?

TRUMP: A couple of bad moves maybe not one, a couple of bad moves. You have World War III over Syria, right? I don't think so. All right. I don't think so. Look, if Russia wants in there -- it would have been nice if we went in as unified front, to be honest with you, but if Russia wants to go in there and knock the hell out of ISIS, and maybe stabilize this migration, this big migration where now they're talking about bringing 200,000 people into the United States.

And I will tell you, if I win, I'm going to say it right now and I'll say it to you, those 200,000 people, and they have to know this and the world will hear it, are going back. We're not going to accept 200,000 people that may be ISIS.

You know, when you look at the migration, there's so many men and there's so many men that look strong to me, I'm pretty good at analyzing things. I say where are all the women? You see so few women. And they look strong and they're young.

Number one, why aren't they fighting for their country? Number two, what's going on? Why are we accepting all of these thousands? Now, I heard a number today, 200,000. That's almost like are they bringing -- are these people ISIS? We have no idea who they are, we have no idea where they come from.

And I'm just telling you right now, they may come from through the weakness of Obama but they're going out if I become president. They will not stay here, they are going back to Syria, whether it's safe zones or whatever, but they're going back to Syria.

LEMON: You mentioned Iran. And Iran is now talking prisoner swaps with the 19 -- Iran, that there will be a prisoner swaps. Do you -- what do you think of a prisoner swap as a president?

TRUMP: I said it yesterday, I tweeted, and I had so many responses, thousands and thousands, as we say in the modern day of age, retweets.

We're talking about three prisoners, because they're not even talking about the fourth. I don't know what happened to the fourth, we had four over there. And they're talking now Iran wants to negotiate but they want a lot.

Number one, they want 19 different people for our three.

LEMON: Right.

TRUMP: Still, nobody's mentioning the fourth. Who is the fourth that they're not mentioning?

LEMON: So then, what is the deal? What if you have a deal?

TRUMP: Well, here's the thing. We should have had those people back as part of this horrible deal we made. It will still be a horrible deal. But we're giving them $150 billion, 24-day inspection -- the whole thing is a horror show, right? It couldn't be any worse. It's going to lead to -- you talk about a powerful Iran. Iran now is with Russia. We've unified Russia with Iran. They were never unified like they are now.

We've had the dumbest foreign policy in the history of this country. We have unified the Middle East, we've unified Russia, by the way, with China. You know, from the time I'm a young man, I always heard it would be a terrible thing if Russia and China ever got together.

Guess what? They're together now. You know why? Because of oil. Because Obama has done things to Russia where they ended up unifying with China. Everything is wrong with our foreign policy.

LEMON: So, what do you do then? Because people are asking you to give more specifics about foreign policy. SO, what you would do then?

TRUMP: Well, and I have said it, and I've said it a hundred times, I don't like talking so specifically, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that, like a fool. I'm going to do this, this, this. I want them to understand -- I want to be unpredictable.

You know there was a great article about me in the recent past, very recent past actually, and one of my competitors in business said, you know, the toughest thing about Trump is he's so unpredictable. We don't know what he's going to do. I made a great deal, and I took it away from people that thought they had it, it was very nice.

But frankly, the competitor said with respect, not as a negative. LEMON: Right.

TRUMP: They said, Trump is totally unpredictable. And I want to be unpredictable. So, when you say what would you do, you know, I said I'd take the oil. OK. You know that. And a lot of people, stupid people said, oh, what a terrible thing. Well, now who has the oil? ISIS is having -- ISIS has so much oil. They are paying people to be their soul. They got money and it's because largely of the oil. I said, take the oil. And I was against going into Iraq in the first place.

LEMON: That is a...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: But, Don, it's very important. I was against -- I'm the most militaristic person of anybody running, OK. But, you have to know when to use it. And ideally, you become so strong you don't have to use it.

[22:10:07] Now, I was against going in. Nobody else was against going in. Going in was a mistake. Because, and again, if you just check 2004 Reuters.

LEMON: I know you said it.

TRUMP: No, no, it's very important because it's called vision. I said you're going to destabilize the Middle East and Iran is going to take over Iraq if you do this. And that's exactly happened. And by the way, an offshoot, ISIS also happened because of that.

LEMON: That's all well and good. And I appreciate you saying that...

TRUMP: Well, I know, but I was the one who predicted it. And I was the one that said it, nobody else said it.

LEMON: But Americans who are trying to assess who their next president is going to be at least want to know you have some sort of plan, you have some sort of idea as to what you would do, and that's not if you look at...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I have an absolute idea. Now, by the way, ideas change. It's like in policy. And the reason I say I was against it because I think it's important for people to know that I predicted exactly what was going to happen with Iran and Iraq.

LEMON: Are you...

TRUMP: And I think it's very important for people to know, a lot of the voter, I may be leading in the polls by a lot.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: But a lot of the voters still don't even know that. I made the best prediction as to -- I made not only the best prediction, I made a totally accurate prediction. And as you and I are sitting here, Iran is talking to Iraq, and Iran is taking over Iraq and they are taking over the second largest oil fields.

You know, I don't know if you know, Iraq has tremendous reserves underground. Iran's going to get everything. After we lost all those lives and all that money. Because we're led by very stupid people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And we are just getting started. Up next, are we going to see a kinder, gentler Donald Trump on the campaign trail? Plus, he tells me how he's going to pay for his tax plan. And later, Trump, the family man. What he says about his youngest son, Baron.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Baron loves New York and he keeps saying, "Dad, do you think we'll have to go to Washington?" And I said, we have a long way to go right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: You are the front-runner. You are leading the polls, most of them by double -- by big numbers. And so, something will say, you know...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Finally you say that.

LEMON: I've been saying it but some people say that you should -- you may have the nomination, you should act like you have the job. You told our very own Erin Burnett that, you know, sometimes, yes, you acquiesce, it's a little bit childish, you know, maybe I should be more presidential.

TRUMP: Well, I'm fighting a lot of people. No, but, Don, I'm fighting a lot of people that are coming at me because I have good polls and they -- look, you have governors and senators that are at one.

LEMON: I just want know if...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: No, excuse me. You have a governor, many governors and many senators that are at one and two and three and I'm at -- you say I have some polls say that I'm at 36.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: So, when you see that, and I understand why, I think I'd do the same thing they're doing, but all of a sudden they hit me. I mean, I get hit out of the blue by Rand Paul.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: Two weeks ago, I get hit by this guy Rubio. They hit me because they want to grab some of the attention.

LEMON: But my question is, you, if you -- and I saw you on Fox News, you kind of acquiesced a little bit, are you going to see a kinder, gentler Donald Trump?

TRUMP: You are. And I think it's much different once you get into the position. Look, I built a great company and you don't do that, you know, I have a great temperament. Although, Jeb Bush said my tone is a little tough.

This is a tough world. I mean, we can't have people of low energy. I used that expression. There are numerous people, it's not only Jeb. I mean, you have many people that are running that are low energy people. We don't have that choice. But in terms of temperament I think I have a great temperament. I have a temperament that wins. I know how to win. That's all I've been doing all my life is I've been winning.

LEMON: All right. The former President, Bill Clinton, talked about the GOP race and here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You shouldn't be able to insult your way to the White House or use enough politically correct phrases to get your way to the White House on either side. And I think as the field winnows down, I hope it will get more serious because the American people deserve some sense of what the heck you're going to do if you actually get the job because the day after you take the oath of office...

ERIN BURNETT, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT SHOW HOST: It's yours.

CLINTON: You can't level an insult or have a -- you're not in an episode of "Survivor," you're actually supposed to show up and run the show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What's your reaction?

TRUMP: Just so you understand. I mean, look, I had tremendous success with "The Apprentice," I did the book "The Art of the Deal," one of the most successful books of all time and business books of all time. I've had a great career, I had a great amount of victory and a lot of fun doing it.

But so, when he sort of says with me it's not about that, I've made tremendous -- hundreds and hundreds of deals that have been great deals. You know, we're talking about deals, we're talking about people.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But what you would say to him...

TRUMP: And there's no say -- I'll tell you about him. There's no such thing as deals. It's people. Because people are basically deals. You have to be able to read, you have to be able to see what's going on. Most people can't do that. OK, very, very few can do that.

He is defending his wife. His wife has been very nasty to me. Every time she makes a speech, she talks about something. I said this, I said that. She's been very nasty to me. I mean, I said she's the worst Secretary of State in the history and a lot of people agree with that.

LEMON: But you've complimented her before.

TRUMP: I think Kerry, by the way...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But you complimented her before.

TRUMP: I have complimented. Yes, when I'm a businessman, I compliment everybody. I would complement you because I want you to speak well of me. OK.

When I'm a businessman, I've been a -- look, as one magazine recently, I have been a world class businessman. I deal over the world, I'm successful all over the world, I compliment everybody. I'm not going say bad about the Secretary of State and then I'm doing a deal in whatever country I'm doing it, I'm in like 18 different countries right now. I'm nice to everybody. Why would I not compliment her?

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But you don't think that's being disingenuous?

TRUMP: Why would I not compliment her?

LEMON: You don't think that's being disingenuous?

TRUMP: And if you really look at it, the real problem is what has she done as Secretary of State? Now, she's hit me very hard, so I don't feel guilty, but everybody that I have hit, you know, a lot of people say I hit hard but I'm a counterpuncher. I never go first.

When Rubio hit me, I didn't say anything bad about him. He hit me. And look, there's a guy, he's got a terrible record, he's got a lot of things going that, very bad, very weak on immigration and I hit him hard. I hit Rand Paul hard. He came out of nowhere. I mean, he was, oh, Donald, you're so great, you're so wonderful.

All of a sudden two, like three weeks ago, he starts hitting me. The only time I go after people is when they hit me. I'm a counterpuncher. I don't want to hit them. I think it's bad for the Republican Party. I think it's bad for the whole process. [22:20:02] And one of the bad things is that if I win it's hard for them to support when you hit them that hard. But in the meantime, I have to win one before I look at the other.

As far as Hillary is concerned, I don't feel guilty at all because she has been very nasty to me over the last three or four weeks in her speeches. So, I'm going to hit back.

LEMON: I have to ask you this, Mr. Trump. And then again, as the leader of the free world if you were to become the leader of the free world, and you said, well, you know, I'm going to compliment, do you think that's being disingenuous that you're saying one thing and...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: No, I'm being honest. I'm being honest. When I'm in business as a very top business person, I'm not going to speak badly of senators. I get along with everybody. Excuse me, I get along with the democrats, I get along with the republicans, I get along with everybody, I get along with Nancy Pelosi, I get along with Harry Reid. I get along with everybody.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: I've dealt all my life. I've dealt at high levels of politics.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: And some of your people on your staff can tell you that that are in this room right now, and I've done very well.

LEMON: And you have done very well. And speaking of, Forbes they came out with richest 400 richest wealthiest people, you are at 121. You have said your net $10 billion and upwards. They have said $4.5 billion. Who's right?

TRUMP: That's so wrong, it's ridiculous. But that doesn't matter. Because as the expression, when you say what's the different between 5 billion and 10 billion, probably for the most part, nothing.

LEMON: Five billion.

TRUMP: And they say I have very low data, I have tremendous cash flow, I have a wonderful company, I have the most iconic assets. They're totally off. They know they're off. They told me, they way off.

LEMON: They said a team of people who are investigating.

TRUMP: Excuse me, team of people. First of all, they don't even know my assets, I'm a private company. I mean, they're investigating stuff they hardly even know my assets. But they're way off and they told me they're way low. But they want to be very conservative.

So, if they're close to $5 billion and they're being conservative, that's not the worst thing. What they have said, tremendous cash flow, tremendous cash, tremendous assets. My assets are among the best in the world. In real estate there's nothing like what I have.

LEMON: I wondered when you came out with your tax plan, if the tax plan that you had and to be quite honest, it was actually good for Americans who tend to be on the lower end, which can be black and brown people, right, who are in the lower end because they won't have to pay taxes, right?

TRUMP: It is good. And it is going to create jobs.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: Which is very important.

TRUMP: People who make less than $25,000, individual or couples less than $50,000, zero tax. Ben Carson said this morning that your plan is a bad one. he said, everyone, even the poorest American should pay taxes. What are your thoughts on that?

TRUMP: Well, again, Ben is somebody I have been really getting along with very well. But this is not his real house. Jobs is not for Ben. Putting our country back together in terms of jobs and incentives, so people to work, I've created tens of thousands of jobs. That's what I do, Don.

I build this incredible places and this incredible company but I've employed tens of thousands of people. Right now, I have thousands of people working for me. Ben's strength is not jobs, which worries me because we have to make new trade deals, China's ripping us, all of these companies, Japan, excuse me, Mexico, Brazil, every country that we do business with is taking our base, they're taking our jobs. That's not his expertise. And unless we're going to bring our jobs back to these shores, we're never going to make it as a country.

LEMON: The question is about -- you're talking about no more debt tax. Is that -- should you -- someone like you with as much wealth...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, the debt tax, the problem with the debt tax I'd say...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Hey, let me get the question in. Let me get the question.

TRUMP: Go ahead.

LEMON: Someone like you who has so much money, should you be able to leave your entire fortune to your family? Because they say it's un- American, that would create an aristocracy.

TRUMP: Well, first of all, I'm not. I'm going to give a lot of money to charity and all of that. And many in my position...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But someone wealthy may not do that. TRUMP: But let me just explain. There have been so many families where they have a business and it's a business which is in a lot of care but there is a lot of assets and it's going to be run in certain way, these families have been devastated because they've been forced to mortgage up, they've been force to do all sorts of things, they've been devastated.

But, maybe almost more important than that, it's really a double and even a triple tax. By the time you get to the debt tax, it's a double tax. The tax has already been paid. So, if you think about it, you know, they've been paying taxes over the years and the tax has already been paid. You can make the case it's been paid twice.

So, the debt tax is something that actually is very, very popular. People like farmers, they have a farm, they make an income. The farm is worth X dollars but they don't make that much income, these people are devastated. They're force to mortgage up in the farm; they end up losing their farm to the banks.

The debt tax is a very important element because it's very unfair to a lot of people. And again, it's double taxation.

LEMON: OK. What people wonder how you're going to pay for these tax cuts you proposed because our experts, host of tax experts say the deficit is going to skyrocket by trillions of dollars by 9 to 10 trillion over a decade if your plan goes into effect. How are you going to pay for that?

TRUMP: Because I have one of the great scalpels in history. Now, it's different from Ben Carson's scalpel who's an excellent doctor. But I have a scalpel for business.

[22:25:01] We have costs that are outrageous. I'm going to name over the next couple of weeks, I'm putting out some of the most incredible money that was spent for things that should have cost a few dollars where they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The money that we are losing to theft, to incompetence, to everything is tens of billions of dollars. So, I'm going to be doing a lot of cutting. For instance, Jeb Bush loves common core. I don't. I don't think bureaucrats from Washington should be running education in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and every play else, OK?

And we're going to cut out huge sections of, as an example, the Department of Education. Environmental protection, it's disgusting what they've done. They've stopped work and even a couple of weeks ago they destroyed a river. They go and they destroyed the river themselves. They opened up the lock.

So, here's the thing, there's tremendous cutting that goes with my tax plan that I haven't talked about yet but that will be phase two. We're going to have a government that's going to be much leaner, much better, much meaner, but it's going to be meaner in the sense of it's going to be efficient.

But, Don, there is so much money that is being wasted, and when you cut the taxes, you're going to create jobs, we're going to take jobs away from China, we're going to take jobs away from Japan where they're sending us millions of cars, we get nothing for it. One thing very important.

I just did this last week. I told my staff I want to go immediately, I want accurate numbers, very important, on the deficits with China, Japan. We lose almost $400 billion a year to China, $75 billion a year to Japan, $50 billion a year to Mexico. Many, many other countries. We lose with everybody. We don't win anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: When we come right back, a tough question for Donald Trump. Is he homophobic? We'll see how he answers next.

[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:30:00] LEMON: Let's talk about some things personally. You're here but you say that I'm fair to you, right?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you have been generally fair. You've been unfair but so has everybody else.

LEMON: OK. All right. So, you should call me when I'm unfair and tell me about it. But here's the thing that I want to know. Because I think that it could have been handed differently but you did your way.

You're heading back to New Hampshire, right, for the first time for the Town Hall since that the guy at the Town Hall said the president is a Muslim and we have problems with Muslims in this country and we have to get him out. If something like that comes up again, would you handle it differently?

TRUMP: I don't think so, no. I don't think so. I don't know who the gentleman was but he obviously dislike President Obama very much. I don't think I have to defend President Obama. He was very strong on his stance. And still, I don't know who this guy was but I will tell you this...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But someone say you're defending the truth, but you're not defending the President.

TRUMP: He was -- well, remember this, you're not saying I defend it. I didn't respond, OK.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: It's the first time in my life I've caused controversy by not responding. I thought I was very good, I didn't respond and I ended up causing controversy. He said Muslims are a problem. OK. That's what he said. OK. Are they a problem? You tell me.

And I say I don't see the people -- and I use it often that, knocked down the World Trade Center going back to Sweden, OK? So, he said Muslims are a problem. That was part of what he said. Well, I mean, can you make the case that it's been tough. And by the way, most Muslims, I know many, are great people. Just so you put it on the record.

LEMON: Do you think Muslims are a problem?

TRUMP: Well, I think a certain segment are certainly a problem. And unless you want to be so politically correct where you want me to say, oh, absolutely not. I mean, you have ISIS, you have the migration, you have all of this stuff, you have, you know, a lot of people think you're going to end up with World War III over the Middle East. I've heard that for 25 years.

There's something going on when you see beheadings. I mean, beheadings we haven't seen that since Medieval times, beheadings. You see dunking's, they go on dunking's, drownings, where they put people in a cage dump them in the ocean.

Is something's going on.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: So, when he said Muslims are a problem -- am I supposed to say, oh, look, again, you know, you probably won't put this part, I have great friendship with many people who are Muslims living in this building, OK, living here. But I have great friends, they are phenomenal people. And most of them are like that.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Have they asked you about your comments?

TRUMP: But you certainly have, and by the way, they think we have a bigger problem than we do. OK. They think we have a bigger problem. Because there's a radical Islamic group of people that is brutal. And unless our country gets tough and smart, and unless we have the right leadership, Don, we're in big trouble.

LEMON: I hear people say, and, you know, many people say, it's just republicans, it's just, you know, people who are really far right who are talking and supporting Donald Trump. I hear liberals talking about you, I hear Hispanics talking about you, I hear gay people talking about you and they say I like what he has to say. But I'm just concerned, if I ask you this question do you answer directly, do you think that you are homophobic?

TRUMP: No. I think that I'm a very nice person. I love people. And I have to tell you, when you look at those polls and look at the poll that just came, it's across the board.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Do you think that they...

TRUMP: You know who loves me? The Tea Party. The Evangelicals. You know, I'm leading with Evangelicals. LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: I love them, they love me. I'm Presbyterian, I'm Protestant. And they like me, and you know why because they think I'm going to do a great job for the country. They think I'm going to do a great job for the country. But if you look -- because you're making it sound like it's far right, far right...

LEMON: No, I'm saying it's not.

TRUMP: Far right does like me. But you know what likes me?

LEMON: I'm saying your appeal is broader than people...

TRUMP: Democrats likes me, liberals like -- it's across the board.

LEMON: Yes, that's what I'm saying your appeal is broader than people think it is.

TRUMP: Yes. People are very surprised by that.

LEMON: So, do you think your appeal African-American you're not -- some people may perceive you as racist. Answer that. Do you?

TRUMP: So, I just did a speech for the African-American Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina and they just wrote the most beautiful letter I think I've received in a long time, saying how unfairly I got treated by the press.

[22:30:00] I just showed up at an event that they asked me to do. I did it as a favor to a couple of friends who happen to be African- American who ask me to go. The day was packed with people. Packed with people. They were all upfront.

They actually -- I made a mistake because I said they ran from their seats, they actually formed there. I could hardly get into the room, it was a great event. And CNN in particular, made me look bad. And they wrote a letter, a copy of which I'll give you, which was so beautiful saying what a great event, it was sold out, it was packed, it was the best event they ever had. And CNN made me look bad. It was very -- and it wasn't my event. I had nothing to do that. I just did a favor.

LEMON: How did they you -- how did CNN make you look bad?

TRUMP: Because they showed some empty seats in the back. The fact is, everybody went forward because I thought I never had a speech quite like this. I was surrounded by a tremendous number people. And in the letter, he said, it was sold out and it's the most successful event.

And what I'm saying is the press is very, very unfair.

LEMON: OK.

TRUMP: But what does happen and what people are surprised at is in every one of my polls, not just today's wonderful poll from USA Today, but every single one of the polls, people, like you, I think you're one of them, it's straight across the board.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: I get support from everybody.

LEMON: And you have said that you're not anti-Muslim. So, thank you for answering those questions. That I think it's important to clear things up.

TRUMP: OK, fine. Fine.

LEMON: Let's talk about Planned Parenthood.

TRUMP: OK.

LEMON: Because you have said that Planned Parenthood they do some good things you say. Are you surprised to see what's spilling out in Congress now with republicans...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: No, because they feel very, very -- people that are republicans like myself, I think it's disgusting some of the tapes that came out and some of the views. Now, you know, they're fighting it, Planned Parenthood is fighting it but if you look at what's going on with those tapes, anybody that watches those tapes cannot be a fan of Planned Parenthood.

LEMON: But what our reporting shows...

TRUMP: And you know what, they had bad representatives. Because when you watch some of those doctors talking so cavalierly about what obviously is human life, I think it's disgraceful.

LEMON: Ok. But Carly Fiorina has made this a big point of her campaign talking about the video, right? The Planned Parenthood video.

TRUMP: But that was a different video, though, that's a different, you know, there were some video that was -- if that was really a video I guess what they say was not a correct video.

LEMON: Right. It's not right.

TRUMP: But there were plenty of --I don't know anything about that.

LEMON: What are your thoughts on that?

TRUMP: I mean, she's been hit very hard on that because they say it wasn't correct. I don't know. I mean, I can't say, I can't speak to that video. But I've seen some of the other videos that are absolutely correct and I think it's disgraceful what they're doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Up next, Trump opens up about his children and his wife Melania, and what we can expect, and when we can expect to see her on the campaign trail. The answer when we come back.

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Can we talk about your family?

TRUMP: Yes.

LEMON: I just met your son Donald Jr.

TRUMP: Good.

LEMON: I have said before that you don't see the Trump kids, you know, in and out of clubs or in the tabloids or you have done -- What does that say about you how you, the kids you have raised and who they are?

TRUMP: Well, I have children. Everybody has wonderful children. We all love our children.

LEMON: Is that a good measure of who Donald Trump is?

TRUMP: Well, I think I've done a very good job. I've been very strict, I've been very tough, I always said no drugs, no alcohol, I even say no cigarettes. To a point where I remember Ivanka, she was like, didn't even know what drugs and alcohols and things were, but she say, "Dad, you're driving me crazy with this. You drive me crazy."

But I would say all the time every week, every time, no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. And my kids are good kids. You know, they're smart kids. They work hard. They don't have to work. And they work hard. They went to good colleges, they were very good student. I have very good kids.

And one of the things I'm most proud of, a lot of friends and some very successful people have called me, could you speak to my children.

LEMON: Yes.

TRUMP: Because your children have been good. Now, knock on wood, I hope it continues that way. You know, life is fragile. I think it continues that way.

LEMON: I think you're past the point where it goes bad.

TRUMP: Well, I past to certain point. But I do have good children.

LEMON: So, let's talk about Melania, right, your wife.

TRUMP: OK.

LEMON: She said to People Magazine recently, "Even if you give him advice, talking about you, he will maybe take it in, but then he will do it the way he wants to do it. You cannot change a person." Did you like what she had to say? Do you agree? TRUMP: Well, I think it's probably true. Look, I mean, I have my own

mind. I do listen to lots of people, and then it goes through that and I do what I think is right. But I am very open. And I think what she also means is that I'm very open to listening to a lot of different ideas and a lot of different people.

LEMON: Do you think -- we saw her, you know, coming down the escalator with you when you made your announcements...

TRUMP: Yes.

LEMON: Standing by your side. Are we going to see more of her on the campaign trail?

TRUMP: I think very much. She's very much into the whole women's health issues. I think she will be amazing and I think Ivanka is going to be amazing. And they actually told me because I have such great respect for women and I cherish women.

And some people say you shouldn't say cherish, Hillary Clinton says you shouldn't say cherish. Why? I cherish women. I so respect them and so cherish them. I will be better on women's health issues than anybody. But one of the things that both Melania and Ivanka told me is, "Dad, you should explain your love for women and your respect for women," and they are going to be out very much on the campaign trail.

LEMON: What kind of first lady do you think Melania would be?

TRUMP: I think she will be incredible. I think she will -- she's got a tremendous heart, I think she will incredible.

LEMON: She said, listen, my job right now, and I'm on a campaign trail is because, you know, my husband is going a lot. He's out campaigning and I need to be at home with Barron because Barron needs. What does Barron think of all of this?

TRUMP: Well, Barron loves New York, and he keeps saying, "Dad, do you think we'll have to go to Washington?" I said, it's got a long way to go right now. But he loves his school and he loves New York, he's got a lot of friends. So, right now, I think he would be very happy to stay in New York. But he asked me, "do you think we have to go?" And I always tell him, we have a long way to go.

LEMON: Donald Trump, thank you very much.

TRUMP: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

TRUMP: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come right back, Trump versus Bush, why Jeb Bush says it's time for Donald Trump to put on his big boy pants.

[22:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Reaction coming in to my one-on-one interview with Donald Trump tonight. And we have got more from our interview in just a minute here on CNN.

But first I want to bring in Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of The Hill. You heard my interview, right?

BOB CUSAK, THE HILL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Yes. That fun.

LEMON: We're going to get to that. But I want to talk about Donald Trump tonight in New Hampshire, OK, Mr. Cusack. He called Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush's friendship political B.S. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: When they asked Bush, what do think of Rubio? Rubio comes out and he's talking about Bush and, you know. What do you think of Rubio? He's my dear friend, he's so wonderful. I love him so much.

So, they asked Rubio, what do you think of Bush? Oh, he's my dear friend, wonderful. Just one, they hate each other. They hate. Trust me, I know. They hate so much, they have more than anybody in this room hates their neighbor. But it's political bull shit, do you understand? It's true. It's true.

(APPLAUSE)

LEMON: So, our Dana Bash asked Jeb Bush about that and he would only answer the question if Dana use the exact language Trump use. Here's that exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will not answer that question until I hear exactly what he said and the terminology he use.

DANA BASH, CNN'S CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We can read it. That was it.

BUSH: I'm not going to answer it unless you.

BASH: Political...

[22:50:01] BUSH: No, no, you got to say it. If you want me to...

BASH: OK, he said it was political bullshit.

BUSH: OK.

BASH: Political bullshit.

BUSH: Now what's the rest of the question? I just wanted to hear it.

BASH: I know you (Inaudible)

(END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: Between you and Marco Rubio, that it's not a real friendship, you don't really have a relationship. You really hate each other.

BUSH: Well, first of all, I'm pretty sure Marco can put his big boy pants on. I know I can. I don't like -- we're friends. I can take criticism, he can as well. Donald seems to have a harder time taking criticism and he probably needs to put on his big boy pants, too.

He's running for President of the United States. He ought to take a little income and he's great at giving it out. But we're close friends and I admire him greatly. It's a little awkward as I've always said that he's running for the same spot I am, but he has every right to do it.

And I'm a friend. You know, every debate we have, it turns out we're going to the same church to pray at noon. I love his family, I love his kids, Jeanette is a great person. Donald Trump has no knowledge about my relationship with Marco Rubio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. So, Bob, Jeb is having a little fun there. So, who needs to put on their big boy pants?

CUSACK: Listen, I think Jeb Bush looked loose there and I think he needs to do more of that. He's been tight in the first couple debates. But Trump is really harping on something that a lot of voters feel that too many politicians are too polite.

And certainly Donald Trump is not polite when he's talking about his rivals. I don't know if Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio hate each other. But they are political rivals in the same state. And as Jeb Bush acknowledge, it is awkward that they're both running when -- I've talked to some Bush people who thought, once he got in that Rubio wouldn't, and also got in.

So there is no doubt about it. They're political rivals and they've been eyeing each other, they're from the same state. And Trump is capitalizing on that in his own plain spoken way.

LEMON: Yes. Picking two people who know each other against each other. So.

CUSACK: Divide and conquer.

LEMON: Yes. So, you know, I cover a lot of topics with Donald Trump from Russian air strikes in Syria to Planned Parenthood, to whether or not he's homophobic. What stood out to you the most?

CUSACK: I think talking about his family and their role that they are going to play on the campaign trail. That is something as you mentioned in the interview that we haven't seen a lot of. And I think that's the next phase of Donald Trump is having his family with him and basically, soften the hard edges around Donald Trump.

But I thought that was very interesting. I thought his comments about ISIS and Russia and going after Hillary Clinton. It's interesting he didn't go after Bill Clinton so much and he praised Bill Clinton. But Bill Clinton was attacking him in the CNN interview.

But keeping his eye on Hillary Clinton, I thought that was interesting. But you talked about a lot of issues, but I thought the family one is one that we're going to see in the next coming weeks. And that's what he's promising.

LEMON: Is that a strategy that you see forming here to have the family out, as you said, to soften the edges a little bit?

CUSACK: Yes. Absolutely. I think that what Donald Trump is very good is that he gives the news media as you know, Don.

LEMON: Yes.

CUSACK: He gives us something to write about every week. And it's not the same old thing. It's different things.

LEMON: Bob, I want to get this in as we're running out of time quickly. I also want to talk about Kevin McCarthy, the congressman who wants to replace House Speaker John Boehner and some comments he made on Fox News about Hillary Clinton in the Benghazi committee. Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN MCCARTHY, MAJORITY LEADER: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable, but no one would have known any of that had happened had we not...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree. That something good.

LEMON: Quick response if you can, Bob. Up until now GOP leaders have said that this committee's intent was not to politically embarrass Hillary Clinton. Is this a moment on, you know, a politician accidentally speaking the truth about their intentions?

CUSACK: It very well could be. This was missed that know that better. And republicans are scratching their head at that comment. It's brought into the spotlight, Speaker McCarthy I think he's definitely going to be the speaker.

But this was something that was a bit of a mistake and I think he might have to backtrack it because we have republicans like Jason Chaffetz criticizing that remark. And democrats are pouncing. So, when your team is divided and the other side is pouncing on something, you probably made some type of mistake.

LEMON: Representative McCarthy. You've already elevated him to speaker, but...

CUSACK: Yes, I would bet on it.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate that. When we come right back, more from my interview with Donald Trump. What the candidate tells me as he walk -- as we walk through Trump Tower's headquarters.

[22:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: What better day to wrap a day in Trump than this. I want you to listen to what the candidate tells me as we walk through his Trump Tower headquarters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, you don't mind people tough on you?

TRUMP: No. I want them being fair. He's tough but he's fair.

LEMON: So, do you think come this time next year that you'll be fighting for the nomination?

TRUMP: I have no idea. But I'll be fighting. And I don't -- I don't lose too often but I will be fighting. And right now the polls are so great. I'd like to call the election. If we could do elect some countries they can say, we'll call the election immediately. I'd like to call it tomorrow. But we'll see.

LEMON: I asked you this, but did you ever think you would get this far? Be honest with me.

TRUMP: Well, I knew we'd get this far. I didn't know I'd be this much in the lead and I didn't know, frankly, again, I'm under budget and I'm ahead of schedule. You know, so, so far we're very happy.

People are tired of being ripped off in the United States. With me, nobody is going to be ripped off. And you know, very important, I'm spending my own money. I don't have all the special interests and all of these characters putting up money and wanting something. And people really like that I'm putting my own money.

[23:00:05] LEMON: Do you sleep?

TRUMP: Yes.

LEMON: How many hours?

TRUMP: Four or five.

LEMON: That's it?

TRUMP: No, because I love life. It's not because of anything. I love life. I love doing this. I love doing my business. I love life. If you don't love life, you probably - I have friends that sleep 12 hours a day, but they are all unhappy people.

LEMON: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Thank you.

LEMON: It's good to talk to you.

TRUMP: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Appreciate it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: I'd be happy to get five hours of sleep a night. That's a luxury. That's it for us. Thanks for watching. I'll see you back here tomorrow night. "ac 360" starts right now.