July 26th, 2015
10:23 AM ET

Donald Trump calls into SOTU, says what Hillary Clinton has done "is criminal"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, 2016 GOP Presidential Hopeful, Donald Trump, spoke with anchor, Jake Tapper.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Trump on leading in the polls: 'I'm not that surprised'

Donald Trump: What Hillary Clinton did was 'criminal'

Trump explains banning Des Moines Register reporters

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Trump reacts to new CNN/ORC poll and his lead in the GOP race: “…I'm not that surprised, because I see the kind of a crowd we're getting.  We're getting the biggest crowds and we're getting by far the biggest ovations. And they want to - these are great people.  And they want to see this country turned around.”

Trump on Hillary Clinton: “I haven't focused on Hillary. In fact, yesterday, in Iowa, I made some very strong statements about Hillary, really for, I wouldn't say the first time, but they were strong.  And the fact is that what she has done is criminal.  I mean, what she has done is criminal.  I don't see how she can run, because, if the prosecutors - they're all Democrats, so they're protecting her. But if you had an impartial prosecutor and they were honorable - we're going to find out, but what she's done is criminal. ...what she did is far worse than what General Petraeus did, and he's gone down in disgrace.  I mean, what he did is not as bad as what Hillary Clinton did.  And it's similar, but it's not as bad.  I mean, she got rid of her server.  He never did anything like that.”

Trump reacts to the Louisiana shooting: “…I mean, these are very, very sick people.  This has nothing to do with guns.  This has to do with the mentality of these people. And you're always going to have - first of all, I'm a big Second Amendment person.  I believe in it so strongly.  You need protection.  You need protection against the bad ones that have the guns. …we have to protect our Second Amendment...  And we can't let - we can't take little chunk, little chunks, little chunk here.  They keep talking about these little - take these little chunks out.  And you have to be very careful about that.  We had prisoners escape up in Upstate New York, which you covered very well for a long period of time.  And the people up in Upstate that didn't believe in guns, all of a sudden, they all had guns sitting on their tables because they were really afraid that these guys would break into their house.”

Trump on illegal immigration: “We're going to get the bad ones out.  We have some really bad dudes right here in this country, and we're getting them out, and we're sending them back to where they came from.  And I don't mean Mexico.  I mean, it's - they come from all over.  They're not coming just from - they're coming from all over.  We have some real bad ones, and they're in our prisons that we're paying for.  And they're walking the streets of San Francisco.  What a horrible thing happened to Kate.”

Trump reacts to Jake Tapper’s question on The Des Moines Register’s credentials: “Well, I agree with that.  I mean, this is a failing paper that's treated me extremely wrong. They have lied in many, many stories.  And we thought we'd do that.  It has very little power.  It's failing badly.  And, frankly, they're not good people.  But I agree with you.  That's called a little bit of the freedom of the press thing.  But I agree with you 100 percent on that subject.  But this was a paper that, you know, when they lie and lie and lie and knowingly lie, you say, well, let's just not - and they can go in.  They just have to sit with everybody else.  We just don't give them credentials.  But I understand what you're saying.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

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

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Joining us now on the phone to talk about his standing in the polls is none other than the front-runner, Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump, thanks for calling in. You're up six points from our last poll.  You're leading the Republican pack at 18 percent.  Your reaction?

TRUMP:  Well, I just heard. And I just see by the crowds we have.  Yesterday, I was in Iowa.  We had a tremendous crowd, 1,500 people.  And it was a beautiful group of people.  And they were so enthusiastic, and standing ovations.  And they want to see the country be great again.

And, frankly, you know, I'm - I can't say I'm unhappy or anything.  I just - I'm not that surprised, because I see the kind of a crowd we're getting.  We're getting the biggest crowds and we're getting by far the biggest ovations. And they want to - these are great people.  And they want to see this country turned around.  Our country is going - I mean, I want to be nice by saying in the wrong direction, but much worse than that.  So, you know, I will bring it back.  I will bring back jobs from China and all these other places that are ripping us off.  And I think that's what people want to see.

TAPPER:  Now, there have been questions about whether or not you would run as an independent if you don't get the nomination. You seem in recent days to be dialing that suggestion back a bit.  You said you have been talking to the head of the Republican National Committee about your candidacy as a Republican, about your feeling that they need to be more impartial.  What are they telling you?

TRUMP:  Well, I have had some great conversations over the last few days, and they're terrific people. I have known Reince for a long time, and he's a terrific guy.  And the group in there is really good.  But, you know, they view me as an outsider, I guess.  And now they're starting to view me not as an outsider, because I'm leading in all the polls, not just yours.  And I think they have been really nice over the last few days.

They're starting to see what's happening.  I mean, there's - there's a movement going on.  This is more than me.  This is a movement going on.  People are tired of these incompetent politicians in Washington that can't get anything done.  They can't make deals.  They can't do anything.  I mean, they go and they - all they care about is getting elected.  They don't care about anything else.

And they know that, you know, I built an incredible company.  And a lot of people, including yourself, but a lot of people thought that I wasn't going to be running and I wouldn't put in my financials.  I put in my financials.  They're much better than anybody ever thought.  People said, oh, well, maybe he's not as rich as everybody thinks.

Well, it turned out I'm much richer.  And I built a great company.  It has nothing to do with my being rich.  But I built a great company.  And you know, it's - I wrote a book that was the number one bestselling business book and many bestsellers, and, you know, just had - "The Apprentice" was a tremendous success.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  And I told NBC I'm not going to do it again.  I told them.  Nobody does that, to turn off a money-making show like that.  But I do it.  I - you know, this cost me a lot of money, but I want to see our country be great again.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  And we have a chance to do it.

TAPPER:  So, let me ask you, this is without question a great poll for you.  It does, however, if you dive deeper into the numbers, it does show some - show some weaknesses, potentially, with the general electorate, as opposed to with Republicans. And you lose to Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup.  What do you think you need to do to turn those numbers around?

TRUMP:  It's just step by step.  Honestly, it's step by step.  I haven't focused on Hillary. In fact, yesterday, in Iowa, I made some very strong statements about Hillary, really for, I wouldn't say the first time, but they were strong.  And the fact is that what she has done is criminal.  I mean, what she has done is criminal.  I don't see how she can run, because, if the prosecutors, who are all Democrats, by the way - and that's part of the problem with fairness here - they're all Democrats, so they're protecting her.

 

But if you had an impartial prosecutor and they were honorable - and maybe they are - we're going to find out, but what she's done is criminal.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER:  What exactly are you saying is criminal?

TRUMP:  And, frankly, what she did is far worse than what General Petraeus did, and he's gone down in disgrace.  I mean, what he did is not as bad as what Hillary Clinton did.  And it's similar, but it's not as bad.  I mean, she got rid of her server.  He never did anything like that.

TAPPER:  But, Mr. Trump, what...

TRUMP:  And she did it after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.

TAPPER:  What are you saying that she did is criminal?

TRUMP:  So, what she did is criminal.  We will see what happens.  But I think Hillary's got a lot of problems. But you have understand, with me, it's step by step.  When you and I spoke three, four months ago, I wasn't even going to be in the contest, according to, you know, various people.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  And now I'm leading easily in a lot of the races, because people are sick and tired.  So, with Hillary, I think I will beat Hillary easily.  I think I will beat Hillary.  I don't think these other guys will.

TAPPER:  So, let me just - just to clarify, what exactly are you charging that Hillary did is criminal?  You're talking about the - this e-mail news?

TRUMP:  I'm talking about the whole e-mail scandal.  It's a scandal.  I mean, she's been protected.  It's been amazing to me how she's been protected.  Even the fact that "The Times" changed their story, I respect the times for going after her like that.  But even the fact that they changed the story upon their request, I think they were more right the first time.  But whether it was the first time or the second time, what Hillary did is criminal.

TAPPER:  I don't think it was a criminal...

TRUMP:  And we will see whether or not that takes her out of the race.  But, in theory, she shouldn't even be in the race. Now, whether she is or whether it's a guy like Sanders, which is hard to believe, but whether she is in the race or not, I go step by step.  I'm not thinking too much about Hillary right now. I'm thinking about a man who is in favor of Common Core, a man who is weak on immigration, Jeb Bush, and a guy like Walker, who, frankly, his state is having tremendous difficulty.  I love Wisconsin.  It's a great place.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  But, you know, he's putting debt up to the gills.  The school system is a disaster because they don't have any money.  I mean, you know, Walker's state, Wisconsin, is a - is a catastrophe from an economic and a financial standpoint.  I think he's number 36 or 38 overall in terms of the country for economic growth.  And the jobs, his jobs projection were way, way off, I mean, beyond.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  They have budget deficits.  He was going to have a lot of big surplus.  Well, they have got a $2.2 billion deficit.

TAPPER:  So, I hear you.  Mr. Trump, I just want to...

TRUMP:  So, I think Walker is in big trouble.

TAPPER:  Just as a point of fact, I believe that the referral by the inspectors general was a security referral, not a criminal referral when it came to Hillary Clinton.  But let's just leave that where it is. I do want to talk about immigration and illegal immigration, an issue that you have talked about a lot.  You were at the border the other day.  Assuming a President Trump is able to stop the flow of illegal immigration through building a wall or some parts of a wall, what do you think should be done with the estimated 11 million undocumented workers and their families already here?

Would you be open-minded about a path to citizenship?  Is that a nonstarter with you?  Where are you on that issue?

TRUMP:  OK, fine.  First of all - and you said it - you have to stop it.  You have to stop it fast.  And we can do that.  We can do that with combinations of walls and Border Patrol, who are phenomenal people.  I met many of them when I was in Laredo, when - when I was at the border.  And we can stop that - and fencing.  But we can stop it with both construction and with physical.  I mean, we can do a great job of that.  OK?  I'm totally convinced.  And it won't cost the kind of money - in fact, we will save money, because people that are coming in here that shouldn't be coming in here illegally, it will actually save money by doing it, and doing it properly.

Once that's done, we have a situation that is going to be done immediately, before that's done.  We're going to get the bad ones out.  We have some really bad dudes right here in this country, and we're getting them out, and we're sending them back to where they came from.  And I don't mean Mexico.  I mean, it's - they come from all over.  They're not coming just from - they're coming from all over.  We have some real bad ones, and they're in our prisons that we're paying for.  And they're walking the streets of San Francisco.  What a horrible thing happened to Kate.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  And what a horrible thing to happen to Jamiel, the young man who was going to maybe go to Stanford and football player, and the apple of his father's eye.  Well, let me tell you something.  We got to get rid of the - the bad ones are going to get out.  Then, from that point on, we're going to look very, very strongly at what we do.  And I'm going to formulate a plan that I think people are going to be happy with.  But we're going to look very, very strongly at what we do.

TAPPER:  OK, but you're not - but you're not going to rule in or rule out...

TRUMP:  I'm going to get rid of the bad ones fast.

TAPPER:  OK.

TRUMP:  And I'm going to send them back.  And we're not going to be putting them in prisons here, and pay for them for the next 40 years.

TAPPER:  Right.  But there are obviously...

TRUMP:  We're going to send them back where they could from.

TAPPER:  There obviously will be - will remain, after you get rid of the bad ones, millions and millions of undocumented workers who are not bad ones.  And there are women and there are children and there are men who are here who came here for a better life, and - but you're not going to yet take a position on whether or not you would favor a path to citizenship?

TRUMP:  We're going to see what - we're going to see what we're going to see.  I mean, it's a very hard thing.  I will say, from a moral standpoint, from a physical standpoint, you're talking about at least 11 million people.  I have heard the number is much higher than that, because that number has been bandied about for years.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  Eleven million, I have been hearing for years.  It could be much more. But we're going to take the high ground.  We're going to do what's right.  Some are going to have to go.  And some, we're just going to see what happens.  It's a very, very big subject, and a very complicated subject.

TAPPER:  I want to ask...

TRUMP:  But the wall is going to be built for security.  We're going to have a great border.  People can come in to the country legally, but not illegally.  And the people that come in are going to be good people.  They're going to be great people.  And I want that.  It's very important to me.

TAPPER:  Of course, most of the horrific things that take place in this country are perpetrated by Americans.  I want to ask you about this horrific shooting we just had in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Here, we have another case of someone with well-established mental health problems somehow able to legally buy a gun.  What do you think needs to be done to stop this?

TRUMP:  Well, these are sick people.  I mean, these are very, very sick people.  This has nothing to do with guns.  This has to do with the mentality of these people. And you're always going to have - first of all, I'm a big Second Amendment person.  I believe in it so strongly.  You need protection.  You need protection against the bad ones that have the guns.

TAPPER:  But do you think the Second Amendment...

TRUMP:  And you take the guns away from the good people, and the bad ones are going to have target practice.  Like, for instance, the gun-free zone with the Marines that was disgraceful.  These are decorated people.  These are people that know how to use guns better than anybody.  And they're not allowed to carry guns, and this guy shot them.  They were like sitting ducks, the way that happened.  It was a disgrace.  And if they would have had their guns, they probably would all be alive, or most of them would be alive right now.

TAPPER:  Well, I think a lot of people - yes.

TRUMP:  So, we have to protect our Second Amendment - Amendment.  And we can't let - we can't take little chunk, little chunks, little chunk here.  They keep talking about these little - take these little chunks out.  And you have to be very careful about that.  We had prisoners escape up in Upstate New York, which you covered very well for a long period of time.  And the people up in Upstate that didn't believe in guns, all of a sudden, they all had guns sitting on their tables because they were really afraid that these guys would break into their house.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP:  And they felt much better having the gun. So, you need to protect the Second Amendment at all costs.  You have to do it.

TAPPER:  Do you think the Second Amendment guarantees the right of somebody like the shooter in Lafayette, who had been involuntarily committed previously, do you think the Second Amendment...

TRUMP:  Well, you have to be careful.  Look, you have to be careful.  If a person's mentally ill, you have to be very careful.  You have a very fine line there.  But you have got to do it very judicially.  But if a person is mentally ill - this one, I guess, from what I hear, had a big record of mental instability.

TAPPER:  Right.

TRUMP:  And it was documented.  You have to be very careful with that.

TAPPER:  Do you think he should be able to buy a gun?  Do you think somebody like that should be able to buy a gun, is my question.

TRUMP:  I think that, if a person is mentally ill and it's proven and documented, you have to be extremely careful not to let them kill people.  You have to be careful. Frankly, he should be committed.  I mean, you should put a person like that, because he has the kind of a record where he should be in - you know, he should be in an institution.  He was a very sick puppy.  There's no question about it.

TAPPER:  Mr. Trump, before you go, thank you so much for calling in. I do want to make a plea for my fellow journalists out there.  I understand you really didn't like an op-ed, or, rather, an editorial in The Des Moines Register, and you had an issue with letting reporters from The Des Moines Register get press credentials for your event.  I would just, as a fellow reporter, like to make a plea for my brother and sister - brothers and sisters who are journalists if you could not hold them responsible for what the editorial writers write.  That would be great.  And we thank you for calling in.

TRUMP:  Well, I agree with that.  I mean, this is a failing paper that's treated me extremely wrong. They have lied in many, many stories.  And we thought we'd do that.  It has very little power.  It's failing badly.  And, frankly, they're not good people.  But I agree with you.  That's called a little bit of the freedom of the press thing.  But I agree with you 100 percent on that subject.  But this was a paper that, you know, when they lie and lie and lie and knowingly lie, you say, well, let's just not - and they can go in.  They just have to sit with everybody else.  We just don't give them credentials.  But I understand what you're saying.

TAPPER:  All right.  Thank you very much for calling in.  I appreciate it.

 

END INTERVIEW

 


Topics: CNN • Jake Tapper • State of the Union
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