Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has landed his first magazine cover of this election cycle.
Trump sat down with the Hollywood Reporter for a wide-ranging interview that touched on everything from presidential politics (Hillary’s email problems, Megyn Kelly and the debate, Fox News, and Ailes) to policy (abortion, gay marriage, equal pay) to show business (Jenner, Cosby, Colbert, and Maher).
Check out the 10 best excerpts from the interview below:
1. On getting “a ton” of criticism:
“People say, “He won’t apologize for anything” — well, I was right on illegal immigration. [John] McCain blew it because he’s done a poor job of taking care of the veterans. And then the third element so far, you had Megyn Kelly, and I think you’ve seen what happened with that. I feel quite confident in my position. At the same time, I believe in apologizing. But to apologize for me is very difficult. I definitely would apologize if I were wrong on something.
2. On what really happened with NBC:
“The primary tension I had was that they wanted me to do The Apprentice, and they were very angry that I didn’t do it. And that was more important than Miss Universe by far because The Apprentice has higher numbers. I read a story two weeks ago from somebody that didn’t understand, where they said NBC cut ties with Trump. They didn’t cut ties with me, I cut ties with them out of respect. But they were very upset. The top people from Comcast, [NBCUniversal CEO] Steve Burke and [NBC reality chief] Paul Telegdy came up to see me two months before I announced I was running, and they wanted me to do another two seasons of The Apprentice. [Executive producer] Mark Burnett would call me constantly. I love Mark, special guy, and he said, “Donald, you’re turning down a primetime renewal. Do you know what you’re doing?” I said, “Mark, I want to [run for president].
Well, yeah, that was before [my remarks on illegal immigration]”
3. On what’s really going on with Roger Ailes and whether he’ll ever appear on Megyn Kelly’s show:
“Well, he’s a man that I like a lot, he’s been a friend of mine for many years, and he has done an incredible job. We were at war because I felt that [Kelly’s debate question about women] was unfair, and I let him know it. But it’s all fine now. They were tough questions, and I thought inappropriate, but Roger didn’t, and I’ll go with Roger.
“Unlikely [to be on Kelly’s show], but it could happen. They wanted me to do her show, but I’m not looking to do that. I know it’s good show business, I know it’s good for ratings, but that doesn’t matter. I did Sean Hannity’s show the other night — it’s the highest-rated show he’s ever had [2.2 million viewers, his highest at 10 p.m.]. And he has been such a gentleman to me. Bill O’Reilly has been so great. He’s a tough cookie, and he’s smart, but he’s been so fair. So I don’t know.”
4. On alleged death threats toward Kelly supposedly made by his supporters:
I’m sure they don’t mean that. I had heard that had happened. But I have gained such respect for the people that like me and respect me and that like my views, it’s incredible.
5. On abortion:
“Don’t forget, when I was asked the first time [in 1999, he said he was “very pro-choice”], I was a real estate developer, and that was not a question that people went around asking you. And I actually said that the concept of abortion was always a tough concept for most people. Those Planned Parenthood videos that came out recently are terrible. It was also the cavalier way that they spoke about it. They didn’t exactly have great representatives on the other side. We’ll talk about those issues in six months.”
6. On Bruce Jenner:
How did that show (I Am Cait) do? Somebody said it was going badly.
I’m not surprised at the ratings. I just think it wouldn’t interest you. I knew him a little bit when Bruce was a great athlete. He was one of the best-looking people you’ll ever see.
7. On what media he follows:
Matt Drudge is an amazing guy. Politically, one of the legends. He’s been so fair to me; he doesn’t want anything for himself. Then in the morning, I read The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post. In print — I generally like paper.
8. On whether he would legislate equal pay:
“Well, it’s a very tough subject. I want women to be paid. But you know when you start tinkering with the free market and you start having mandates put down, it’s a very dangerous subject because we’re competing against the world. We have something happening called corporate inversion. Corporations are leaving the U.S. You know, with minimum wage, it’s wonderful to say everybody should get $5,000 an hour. The problem is, you have companies leaving now. They’re buying companies that are much smaller than them in Ireland and other places [and incorporating there].”
9. On Hillary’s email:
“Hillary has problems far greater than the nomination. If you look at what’s going on with the emails, it’s a fraud if you think about it. This looks like Watergate on steroids, frankly. Watergate was about the cover-up more than the act. This isn’t something we’re going to solve tomorrow. This could go on for years. You can’t have a nominee who is under investigation. What are they going to do, run and then two nights before the presidential race she gets indicted? General Petraeus, for doing 5 percent of what she did, his life has been destroyed. And it goes up to 20 years in prison. It’s from one to 20 years for what she did! [It’s unclear what penalty Clinton might face if charged and convicted.]”
10. On his “secret” Hollywood support:
“I’ll get a lot of Hollywood support. I think Hollywood really loves my stance on illegal immigration. Fifty percent of the new driver’s licenses are going to illegal immigrants [so far in 2015 in California]. Can you imagine? Did you hear that? And I’m friendly with so many Hollywood people. They’re calling me and they’re saying, “Donald, I’m a super liberal, I’m voting for you. Do me a favor, don’t tell anybody about it.” [He declined to say who.]”
Check out more from Trump’s interview with the Hollywood Reporter here.