Donald Trump said Monday he learned about foreign policy by building a business empire around the world and that gives him "more experience than virtually anybody looking at this office," including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
"Right now, we have hundreds of deals being negotiated all over the world by my company, and I deal with presidents, and I deal with prime ministers. I deal with everybody," Trump said during a CNN interview Monday morning. "I probably have more experience than virtually anybody looking at this office."
Trump's comment came in response to a joke that President Obama made Saturday night at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Obama suggested that Trump's foreign policy experience was limited to his involvement with the Miss Universe pageant.
"In fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world — Ms. Sweden, Ms. Argentina, Ms. Azerbaijan," the president said to a laughing audience on Saturday night.
Trump repeatedly said Monday that the president's comments about him were "fine," but he pushed back against the accusation that he doesn't work with world leaders or have foreign policy experience.
"I have tremendous experience dealing very successfully with other countries," Trump said when asked by CNN's Chris Cuomo how his experience compares with that of Clinton. "Hillary Clinton dealt with other countries, too. And one thing I give her credit for, she did a lot of traveling. But look at the results — Syria, Benghazi. Look at her results. All of those results are terrible. I've made a fortune going out of this country. I've made tremendous amounts of money dealing outside of this country."
Cuomo said that Trump will likely face pushback for his assertion that he is stronger on foreign policy than Clinton, who was secretary of state for four years and traveled more than 950,000 miles to more than 100 countries.
"Let me tell you, I'm not getting pushback," Trump said in response. "What's pushback? You mean, something I said 10 seconds ago? You're creating the phony pushback."
Trump said that he has watched the president's comments at the correspondents' dinner but he decided not to attend this year because reporters mischaracterized his reaction to jokes at his expense at the dinner in 2011. Trump swears he had a "great time" at that dinner, although political reporters at the time described him as appearing embarrassed and have since pointed to that dinner as a key reason why Trump is running for president, which he says is not true.
"The press is very dishonest, they don't report the truth, and therefore it's easier just not to go," Trump said.
In the interview, Cuomo pressed Trump on this point: "So that's why you didn't go? Because you felt that it wouldn't be reported accurately?"
"No, because I felt that I will have a great time if I go — I would have loved to have gone. I felt that I would have a great time if I go, but no matter how great a time, I knew they obviously would be talking about me," Trump said. "No matter how great a time that I would have, it wouldn't matter. They will say, 'Donald Trump was humiliated. Donald Trump had a miserable time.' You know? That's what they did last time. I had really a great time."