Friday, before his rally at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire, Republican 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump held a press conference.
On Putin and the Ukraine Trump said, “Ukraine is a problem, but at some point, don’t you think that the countries of Europe should be a little bit more involved than they are? We’re leading all these fights, and Ukraine is a big problem. Germany is a very rich, powerful country. Germany, economically tremendous power, tremendous, unbelievable, unleashed economic power. Why isn’t Germany — do we have to lead every fight? So, Ukraine is a problem, and we should help them, but let Germany and other countries over there that are directly affected — let them work it. We’ve got enough problems in this country. We have to rebuild our country. China and other countries have drained us. China has created the greatest theft in the history of the United States. I mean, if you think about it, it’s the greatest theft in the history of the United States, the money they’ve taken out from us. It’s a one-way street. So we have enough problems. Now, we back our folks, and we back our friends, and we want them to straighten out Ukraine, and I want to see it straightened out also. But don’t you think maybe Germany and those countries directly affected should be fighting — it’s almost like they don’t even care. They don’t even care.” And “I think I’d get along great with them.”
On fellow candidate Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Trump said, “Rand Paul, you have to understand, is a disaster in the polls. He is a disaster on military and defense. He’s getting decimated by everybody. And, other than giving him a lot of money for an eye center, at his request — he asked me, ‘Could I have money?’ I said, ‘Absolutely’ Because I thought it was worthwhile. But I gave him a lot of money for an eye center, which is very hypocritical when you think of it. But other than giving him a tremendous amount of money for his eye center, which I’m happy about, frankly, because I’m sure they do good work, I hope they do good work, he is doing so badly that he figured he has to go out and attack Trump, because I’m leading by a lot, everywhere. And I don’t mind. I think he’s — he’s never going to make it. Never going to make it. Can’t make it. Got the wrong message. I mean, this is not a time to be weak on defense, okay? And I’m the opposite. I want to make our military so strong, so powerful, so great, that nobody’s going to mess with us. And I want to take care of our vets, who are treated like third-class citizens. You know, two weeks ago on Wednesday, our vets, as you know — and you probably reported on it, because you have a big problem here with vets that are not taken care of properly. Our vets had the longest wait in the history of the V.A., waiting for doctors, in rooms. They wait four, five, six days. And in one case, they waited five days and the doctor said, ‘Sorry, I’m going on vacation now.’ So our politicians all talk, no action. They’re all the same. Our politicians have let the vets down. Rand Paul has let the vets down. He’s let the vets down. … You know, I don’t blame him. He’s doing so poorly in the polls…I’ve been attacked now by Perry of Texas. And he went [rocket noise] like a rocket ship, except in the wrong direction. I was attacked by Lindsey Graham, and he had two points. Now he has zero. Now, Rand Paul has very few points. But I think he’s going down, too. And I’ll say one further thing about Rand Paul. … But Rand Paul is using the people of Kentucky. Either run for Senate, and do a good job, or run for president.” He also said that a strong GOP candidate could run against Paul and beat him.
Asked about his changing political positions over the years, Trump said, “Look, I built a net worth of more than $10 billion. I’ve been a world class businessman, all over the world I build. I have some of the great assets of the world. … I don’t say that in a braggadocios way. That’s the thinking that our country needs to take our jobs back from China and Japan and Mexico and clean up the border, by the way, speaking of Mexico — but, that’s the kind of thinking we need to take back our jobs, bring back our money, bring back our manufacturing. You take a look at China, what they’ve done. They’ve taken our money, our jobs, our base, our manufacturing. And we owe them $1.4 trillion. That’s like a magic act. They’ve taken everything and we owe them money. You know, we owe right now, China, $1.4 trillion. … Because we’re led by people that don’t have a clue. honestly, I think we’re led by stupid people. I don’t think they’re bad people. You know, it used to be they said it’s so bad it has to be they’re bad people. I actually don’t think — I think they’re very stupid people. Our leaders don’t have a clue. They’re incompetent. And China is a great example. I met with Carl Icahn, one of the great business people. And I had dinner with him two nights ago. And I said, Carl, if I do this, I’m going to put you in charge of China, and I’m going to add in Japan. And you know what? Everything’s going to be just fine, for us, going to be just fine. We have people negotiating for us that don’t have — they have no idea what they’re doing. They’re not even business people. And remember this, Bush, and Hillary, and all these people, they have a lot of money. They raised a lot of money from my friends. I used to be one of them. I contributed to everybody. And they’re always there for me. But that’s not good for the country. That’s not good as a system. But Jeb has raised $114 million, approximately. Everybody that puts money up for Jeb Bush, it’s like he’s a puppet. He’s totally controlled by these people. Jeb Bush is controlled by the people that put up the money. And so are the other candidates. I don’t want money from people. Other than small donations, because I have so many people — one woman sent $7, another sent 20. I love that where they invest in my campaign. They invest. I don’t want that for the money. I want that because psychologically, I think it’s great. But Jeb Bush has $114 million. What’s he going do with it? He’ll start hitting me with ads, I guess. At some point he’s got to, because he’s going down the tubes. … There’s no energy. So, when Jeb and Hillary, and all of these other candidates start spending money, remember this, that money was given by people that have total control over them. And those people, many of whom I know, very well, they don’t care about him, they don’t care about the color of his hair, they don’t care anything about him, and they don’t care about the country, in many cases. They only want whatever they want. And they’ll get plenty.” And “They should release the names of the donors. I think we should be much more open, talking about campaign finance. … If somebody contributes a lot of money, we should know who those people are.”
On the Citizens United Supreme Court decision Trump said, “It’s not a great decision for me. … Because I’m putting up my own money. So, here you have other people putting up money into other campaigns, where they’ll have total control. 100%…they will have control ,of those people that are running for office. One of the reasons I’ve done so well in the polls, is because everybody knows I’m not going to be controlled. I’m going to do what’s right for the country. No lobbyists. I have all these — I know them all. I’ve hired many of them over the years. They’re very good. But when they give a million dollars, or $5 million to Jeb Bush, they have total control over him. He will do, like a puppet, whatever they say. With me, there’s none of that.”
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