Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he was “absolutely” part of the problem of lobbying and people using money to get access to politicians and that he wouldn’t be bought as a politician because he doesn’t need anyone else’s money in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN.
Trump was asked, given his donations to both Republicans and Democrats, “Aren’t you part of the problem?” When it comes to lobbying and influence-peddling. He responded, Absolutely. 100%. Absolutely, I was on the other side. They will do whatever I want. Up until you decide to run.”
Trump denied that this was hypocritical, and stated, “it’s called playing the game. I was a businessman. I made a fortune. I made a lot of money. I posted over $10 billion.”
Cooper then asked, “So, in order to make money, it’s okay to play the game?” Trump answered, “Well, it’s called your life. I mean, I’m a businessman. And I contribute to people. And they treat me nicely, and everything else.” He added that he understands the “culture” of money for access and that “Every one of those lobbyists that gives money, they expect something for it. And that’s a bad thing.”
When asked if he could change the culture of politics, he stated, “Well, you can in the sense that the top person can’t be bought. I’m worth far too much money. I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m not running with anybody’s money. I’m spending my own money. But the lobbyists have — they totally control these politicians. Just take a look, in one of the articles, very recently, I see Bush with the lobbyists. And he’s sitting there with all of these people. They’re totally telling them what to do, like a little puppet. And the same with Hillary, and the same with everybody else. Now, when I’m in business, I’m part of that game. When i’m in this. I now know.”
He continued that he could jump from playing the game as a businessman to being a politician who isn’t bought.
Trump concluded, “I don’t need money. I don’t need money to run. … These guys are desperate for money. I don’t need it. I’m going to do what’s right for the country.”
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