February 28th, 2016
11:47 AM ET

Trump on David Duke "I know nothing about white supremacists"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Donald Trump, joined 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”

 

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly – Zachary.Lilly@turner.com; Brooke Lorenz- Brooke.Lorenz@turner.com

 

 

CNN ARTICLETrump: 'I know nothing about white supremacists'

 

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

 

Trump on republicans using the #NeverTrump:  [TAPPER] "....The hashtag - #neverTrump hashtag exploded on Twitter this weekend.  These are Republicans saying they will never vote for you.  Marco Rubio himself even used that hashtag.  What do you think of that?"[TRUMP]  "Well, he can do whatever he wants.  You know, I signed a pledge.  And the pledge is a two-way street.  And if it's not that way, you're going to have a big problem.  They're going to have a big problem with me.  We have tremendous amounts of people.  We have - as you know, you know, I'm going to Alabama today.  We're going to have 25,000 people and probably more than that.  We had to go to a football stadium because no building held it.  And we're going to have an amazing crowd.  And yesterday in Tennessee, I had 15,000 people in a hangar.  In Arkansas, you probably saw that one in the morning.  In Arkansas, we had about 15,000 people in a hangar.  And, you know, we have a lot of people.  I'm representing people.  I'm not representing myself.  I'm representing a lot of anger out there, and there's - we're not angry people, but we're angry at the way this country's being run.  And a lot of them are angry - angry at the way the Republican Party is being run, Jake….. [TAPPER]  I want to ask you about that, because Republicans in Washington, D.C., are starting to tell Republican senators that they don't have to go to the convention if you're the nominee, that they should think about running against you if you're the nominee.  That, combined with Marco Rubio doing the #neverTrump hashtag, do you think Republicans are violating the pledge?  [TRUMP]  Totally.  Totally.  I mean, if they want to play that game, I can play it much better than they can.  And I have a lot more people than they do - and, you know, totally.  If they're doing that, that's a total violation of the pledge, yes. 

 

Trump on his tax returns: "Well, number one, I fully disclosed my financials.  And I put them in actually right on time.  And nobody else did, by the way, but I put them in on time.  And it's almost 100 pages of financials.  And it shows over $10 billion.  If you figure it out, it's over $10 billion in net worth.  And it's an amazing company with great cash flow, very little debt, all of that.  You can't tell anything from tax returns, because you take deductions, massive deductions and lots of other things.  And you can't tell very much from a tax return.  You really can't tell anything as to that.  As far as gifts, I give a lot of money.  I could probably release a lot of the gifts that I have given over the years.  And I probably will do that some time next week.  We will just make a listing of the various monies that I have paid for two charities.  And I think that's a good idea, actually.  But I can't release tax returns when there's an audit.  Now, it's very unfair.  I have been treated very unfairly by the IRS, because I have been audited almost every year for 10 or 12 years.  And I have friends that are very rich people.  They never get audited.  And so I think I have been really singled out.  I don't know why I'm singled out, maybe because I'm a - very conservative, maybe because I'm Tea Party.  I feel Tea Party.  I have always been sort of that feeling of Tea Party.  I have always had great Tea Party support.  I don't know what it is, but I have been singled out." 

 

Trump on the Anti-Defamation League's call to condemn David Duke: "

[TRUMP] "Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke.  OK?  I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.  So, I don't know.  I don't know, did he endorse me or what's going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke.  I know nothing about white supremacists.  And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about. " [TAPPER]  "But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you.  Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support? " [TRUMP]  "Well, I have to look at the group.  I mean, I don't know what group you're talking about.  You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about.  I would have to look.  If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them.  And, certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong. " [TAPPER]  "The Ku Klux Klan? " [TRUMP]  "But you may groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair.  So, give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know."  [TAPPER]  "OK.  I mean, I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but..."[TRUMP]  I" don't know any - honestly, I don't know David Duke.  I don't believe I have ever met him.  I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him.  And I just don't know anything about him." 

 

Trump on who he would choose as his Vice President: "Well, I have a great business ability.  I have always had a great business ability.  And I built a great company.  And I don't need that, really, I don't believe, for what I'm doing.  I would want somebody that can - you know, that does have a little bit of an insider track, so we can get things through Congress.  He can work - he or she can work with me on getting, you know, papers filed, papers approved, so we don't have to use executive orders, like President Obama is always using his executive orders because he can't get - he just can't get anything approved.  He can't get anything through.  So, I would like the idea - I mean, just conceptually - it doesn't mean I'm going to do that, but, conceptually, I like the idea of a political person to go along with my abilities.  Now, I'm a very political person also, which people are just about starting to find out.  But I would rather have, I think, somebody that's political that can help.  But the most important position - now, look, for vice president, you have got to pick somebody who's going to be a great president, because, if something should happen - hopefully not - but if something should happen, the single most important quality would be a person that can be a great president."  

 

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

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

 

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR:  Hello.  I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is steeling for Super Tuesday in just two days.
Eleven more states are going to vote, creating the largest delegate prize yet.  Will Donald Trump win big again?  That's a scenario giving establishment Republicans nightmares.

But, even in their most fevered dreams, they probably never envisioned this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY:  We need to have a leader who will once again stand up for the American people first, not the rest of the world first, America first.  Donald Trump is that man.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  Will New Jersey Governor Chris Christie prove to be an outlier or a trailblazer?  As the stakes get higher, the race is getting uglier.  And Senator Marco Rubio seems to be taking a page from the Trump handbook.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Donald Trump likes to sue people.  He should sue whoever did that to his face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  And joining us now is the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump, thanks for joining us.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Good morning.

TAPPER:  So, big endorsement for you from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  During the campaign, he had some tough words for you.  Do you think he was just playing politics back then?  How did you get him on board?

TRUMP:  I think it is politics.  I mean, people say things, and then, all of a sudden, reality sets in.

And he's great.  He's a great guy.  He's the one endorsement I really wanted.  I wanted it badly.  We have some great endorsements, but Christie is one that I really wanted to get.  And I have many others coming, frankly, but, you know, endorsements have never meant that much to me, but that is an endorsement that was good.

But I love our endorsements.  We have Sarah Palin.  We have, as you know, Jerry Falwell Jr.  And you see I'm leading with the evangelicals in just about every state and nationwide.  And Jerry's helped so much.  And, you know, we have - as an example, we have Joe on the border in Arizona, Sheriff Joe.  And Joe Arpaio, there's nobody better for borders than Sheriff Joe.

So, that was a big endorsement too.  So, we have some great endorsements, and a lot of them are coming.

TAPPER:  I know you're big on Twitter.

The hashtag - #neverTrump hashtag exploded on Twitter this weekend.  These are Republicans saying they will never vote for you.  Marco Rubio himself even used that hashtag.  What do you think of that?

TRUMP:  Well, he can do whatever he wants.  You know, I signed a pledge.  And the pledge is a two-way street.

And if it's not that way, you're going to have a big problem.  They're going to have a big problem with me.  We have tremendous amounts of people.  We have - as you know, you know, I'm going to Alabama today.  We're going to have 25,000 people and probably more than that.

We had to go to a football stadium because no building held it.  And we're going to have an amazing crowd.  And yesterday in Tennessee, I had 15,000 people in a hangar.  In Arkansas, you probably saw that one in the morning.  In Arkansas, we had about 15,000 people in a hangar.

And, you know, we have a lot of people.  I'm representing people.  I'm not representing myself.  I'm representing a lot of anger out there, and there's - we're not angry people, but we're angry at the way this country's being run.  And a lot of them are angry - angry at the way the Republican Party is being run, Jake.

TAPPER:  Yes, I want to ask you about...

TRUMP:  And the Republican Party is not being run properly.

TAPPER:  I want to ask you about that, because Republicans in Washington, D.C., are starting to tell Republican senators that they don't have to go to the convention if you're the nominee, that they should think about running against you if you're the nominee.

That, combined with Marco Rubio doing the #neverTrump hashtag, do you think Republicans are violating the pledge?

TRUMP:  Totally.  Totally.

I mean, if they want to play that game, I can play it much better than they can.  And I have a lot more people than they do - and, you know, totally.  If they're doing that, that's a total violation of the pledge, yes.

TAPPER:  Yesterday, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz released summaries of their tax returns.  You have yet to do so.  Rubio and Cruz have been saying that you're trying to hide something, Cruz yesterday also going on this little tirade, saying that maybe the returns show that you're not as rich as you say you are or that you gave money to Planned Parenthood or you pay very low tax rates.

Can you deny that those charges are true, and when will we see your taxes?

TRUMP:  Well, number one, I fully disclosed my financials.  And I put them in actually right on time.  And nobody else did, by the way, but I put them in on time.

And it's almost 100 pages of financials.  And it shows over $10 billion.  If you figure it out, it's over $10 billion in net worth.  And it's an amazing company with great cash flow, very little debt, all of that.

You can't tell anything from tax returns, because you take deductions, massive deductions and lots of other things.  And you can't tell very much from a tax return.  You really can't tell anything as to that.

As far as gifts, I give a lot of money.  I could probably release a lot of the gifts that I have given over the years.  And I probably will do that some time next week.  We will just make a listing of the various monies that I have paid for two charities.  And I think that's a good idea, actually.

But I can't release tax returns when there's an audit.  Now, it's very unfair.  I have been treated very unfairly by the IRS, because I have been audited almost every year for 10 or 12 years.  And I have friends that are very rich people.  They never get audited.

And so I think I have been really singled out.  I don't know why I'm singled out, maybe because I'm a - very conservative, maybe because I'm Tea Party.  I feel Tea Party.  I have always been sort of that feeling of Tea Party.  I have always had great Tea Party support.  I don't know what it is, but I have been singled out.

And so many of my friends, they don't even know what I'm talking about.  When I say, "Do you get audited?" they don't know what I'm talking about.  And I'm audited every year.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP:  So, until the audit is completed, obviously, I'm not giving my papers.

And you had people on your show and on CNN with - tax experts said, no, it would be crazy to give papers before the audit is completed.

TAPPER:  I don't know if you saw Cruz's charges, but can you deny the charges he made about you not having the worth that you have or you have given a lot of money to groups that support abortion?

TRUMP:  Jake, I just - I just told you.  And let Cruz go - let Cruz go to the FEC, where I made a financial disclosure, unlike him, where he did not disclose that he borrowed money from Goldman Sachs, a million dollars between Citibank and Goldman Sachs.

He didn't disclose it, illegally didn't disclose it on his financial disclosure forms.  I mean, Cruz shouldn't be the one talking, because he didn't disclose his loans.  And he made big loans from big institutions, Goldman Sachs and Citi, and he never, ever mentioned them in his financial disclosure form, because he wants to talk like Robin Hood, you know, like he's Robin Hood, and he's going to help the people with the banks.

But, in the meantime, he's borrowing money at very, very low interest rates, rates that nobody can get.  And I think it's disgraceful.  And then he tells me.

So, just - just to finish, I have fully disclosed my net worth.  And all you have to do is go and check my financial statements, because I fully disclosed my financial statements, and that was a big deal, and they're very good.  And, obviously, you would have heard about it if they weren't, because they have been gone over by everybody.

As far as the tax returns, I obviously cannot give tax returns that are under audit.  And every expert that you have had on your show said you shouldn't do it.  You should wait until the audit is over.

TAPPER:  I want to ask you about the Anti-Defamation League, which this week called on you to publicly condemn unequivocally the racism of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be treason to your heritage.

Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?

TRUMP:  Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke.  OK?  I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.  So, I don't know.

I don't know, did he endorse me or what's going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke.  I know nothing about white supremacists.  And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.

TAPPER:  But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you.  Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support?

TRUMP:  Well, I have to look at the group.  I mean, I don't know what group you're talking about.

You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about.  I would have to look.  If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them.  And, certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.

TAPPER:  The Ku Klux Klan?

TRUMP:  But you may groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair.  So, give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know.

TAPPER:  OK.  I mean, I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here, but...

TRUMP:  I don't know any - honestly, I don't know David Duke.  I don't believe I have ever met him.  I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him.  And I just don't know anything about him.

TAPPER:  All right.

In terms of a potential running mate, sir, you said a few days ago that you would look for a political insider to help you get legislation through.

Are you specifically looking for someone with government experience in general, such as a Governor Chris Christie, or someone who has spent years on Capitol Hill such as Governor John Kasich?

TRUMP:  Well, I have a great business ability.  I have always had a great business ability.  And I built a great company.

And I don't need that, really, I don't believe, for what I'm doing.  I would want somebody that can - you know, that does have a little bit of an insider track, so we can get things through Congress.  He can work - he or she can work with me on getting, you know, papers filed, papers approved, so we don't have to use executive orders, like President Obama is always using his executive orders because he can't get - he just can't get anything approved.  He can't get anything through.

So, I would like the idea - I mean, just conceptually - it doesn't mean I'm going to do that, but, conceptually, I like the idea of a political person to go along with my abilities.

Now, I'm a very political person also, which people are just about starting to find out.  But I would rather have, I think, somebody that's political that can help.  But the most important position - now, look, for vice president, you have got to pick somebody who's going to be a great president, because, if something should happen - hopefully not - but if something should happen, the single most important quality would be a person that can be a great president.

TAPPER:  All right, Donald J. Trump, thank you so much.  Good luck on Tuesday, sir.  We will see you on the campaign trail.

TRUMP:  Thank you.  Thank you very much, Jake. 

###END INTERVIEW###


Topics: CNN
tmpl
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.