Donald J. Trump gave an extended interview to "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd over the weekend. It was, as are all things with Trump, something to see. But, since most of you -- a.k.a. normal people -- aren't spending your Sunday morning glued to the tube, I grabbed the transcript of the Trump-Todd conversation -- and annotated it below. Feel free to add any important notes I missed.

CHUCK TODD:
Mr. Trump, welcome back to Iowa. And welcome back to "Meet the Press."

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, thank you. It's been a long time since I've been on. Many, many years actually--

CHUCK TODD:
It is. It is. Let me start with sort of a large ideological question. Define conservatism.

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DONALD TRUMP:
Well, for me, conservatism as it pertains to our country is fiscal. We have to be strong and secure and get rid of our debt. The military has to be powerful and not necessarily used but very powerful. I am on the sort of a little bit social side of conservative when it comes-- I want people to be taken care of from a health-care standpoint. But to do that, we have to be strong. I want to save Social Security without cuts. I want a strong country. And to me, conservative means a strong country with very little debt.

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CHUCK TODD:
Some of the criticism on you from conservatives is you're not a real conservative. When you hear that -- you know, someone will argue on social policies that you're not a real conservative. Is it just different brands of conservatism that's out there and you just have a different brand? Or do you think they have a point?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I think they have a point from years ago. But they also have that same point with Ronald Reagan, who was a Democrat absolutely with a liberal bent. And Ronald Reagan became, you know, not only a Republican but a pretty conservative Repub -- not the most, but a pretty conservative Republican. And he's somebody that I actually knew and liked. And he liked me. And I worked with him and helped him. But I think that when you get right down to it, people do evolve on different issues. And, you know, I'm pro-life. And I was begrudgingly the other way. But I have to say when those questions were asked, and that was many, many years ago, I wasn't a politician. And it was, like, a question that was never asked to me. As a real estate developer and as what turned out to be a world-class businessman based on what I've done, you don't ask questions about, "Gee, are you pro-choice? Are you pro-life?" It's just something that is not really discussed. As a politician, they discuss it all the time. I've always hated the concept of abortion. Always hated it. And through various things and seeing various things, I've totally evolved on that issue. And I'm pro-life.

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CHUCK TODD:
Should it be legal? Should some form of abortion be legal?

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DONALD TRUMP:
Well, you know, you can go the 20-week--

(OFF-MIC CONVERSATION)

CHUCK TODD:
Should some form of abortion always be legal?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, to me, I have exceptions. Rape, incest, if the mother is going to die. And Ronald Reagan had those same exceptions. And many Republicans have those same exceptions. But I say rape, incest --

CHUCK TODD:
You said life of the mother. What about health of the mother?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I said actually if the mother's close to death. And I'm talking about death. You know, because then you sort of say, like, "Well, maybe she's not feeling so well --"

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CHUCK TODD:
Well, that's the line here. What is the constitutional right --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well --

CHUCK TODD:
-- between the mother and the unborn child? Whose --

DONALD TRUMP:
My --

CHUCK TODD:
-- constitutional rights matter more?

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DONALD TRUMP:
Right. My statement on that happens to be, you know, if the mother will die. And you're going to know that. And the problem with the life: If you say life, what does life mean? You have a cold and you're going to end up having an abortion. So I have the three exceptions and pretty much the standard three exceptions that many Republicans have.

CHUCK TODD:
Is this going to be a litmus test for the Supreme Court nominees that you pick?

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DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I think I would certainly be asking them the question. And I think it would be, if not a litmus test, it would certainly be helpful in terms of my choices. I mean, I want great jurists. I want great intellects. And certainly that would be helpful to me.

CHUCK TODD:
You were pretty -- you were somewhat defending Planned Parenthood earlier this week. It struck me that there was a time Planned Parenthood was not seen as a very political organization. Were you ever a donor to Planned Parent --

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DONALD TRUMP:
I don't know. I mean, I don't know --

CHUCK TODD:
It's possible?

DONALD TRUMP:
But it's possible. I give to so many, Chuck. I give to so many organizations over the years. Hundreds of millions of dollars. And so I don't know. I don't think so. But it's possible somewhere --

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CHUCK TODD:
It wouldn't have surprised you if you had?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, it could be. Look, Planned Parenthood has to stop with the abortions. A lot of people consider it an abortion clinic. I think those tapes that I saw over the last -- the five tapes or the six tapes, I think they were outrageous. I think they were terrible, disgusting by any standpoint. And they have to stop.

CHUCK TODD:
Does it bother you that they --

DONALD TRUMP:
At the same time --

CHUCK TODD:
-- were edited? Do you think they --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I don't know about them being edited. All I did, I mean, whatever I saw was terrible --

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CHUCK TODD:
It's what you saw.

DONALD TRUMP:
I mean, it was terrible. And in particular, I didn't like the attitude of the people. They talked about it almost like we're making widgets or gadgets. And it was inappropriate. So I didn't like what I saw. I didn't like the doctors or whoever they were talking about it. They talked about it like we're doing cars or something. And --

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CHUCK TODD:
But you seem to be --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
-- hesitant about this idea of totally saying, "Let's shut down Planned Parenthood --"

DONALD TRUMP:
Right. Well --

CHUCK TODD:
"Let's defund it. Let's not let the federal government give money to it."

DONALD TRUMP:
Women's health issues to me are very important. I cherish women. I mean, my mother was this incredible woman. I have great children. I have a great wife. I cherish women. I understand the importance of women. I have such respect for women. I have many executives in my organization that are women that frankly get paid more than many of my men executives. I mean, they've done great with me. Early on when I was building major towers, I had women in charge of a couple of them. And really big ones and really important ones. And that was unheard of in the construction industry. If you look back 30 years, that was, like, totally unheard of. So I understand women. And women's health issues are very important to me. If you look at Jeb Bush from last week when he was essentially saying, "Let's not give money to women's health issues," he's made so many flubs I don't even understand it. And I actually think that that statement is his 47 percent. When Romney did the 47 percent, the now famous 47 percent --

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CHUCK TODD:
He did --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- statement.

CHUCK TODD:
He did say he misspoke.

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I know. What? Five hours later he said, "I misspoke." Meaning he misspoke. I didn't misspeak. So to me, women's health issues are very important.

CHUCK TODD:
So you would not shut down the -- you don't think there should be a government showdown, shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding --

DONALD TRUMP:
I wouldn't fund it if they have the abortion going on. And it's been a big factor. Now, you hear all different numbers. They say it's 3 percent. Other people say it's 85 percent. That's a big difference. So I'd certainly look into it. We have to keep --

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CHUCK TODD:
But would you shut down the government over this dispute?

DONALD TRUMP:
I would not fund if they're doing abortions.

CHUCK TODD:
But as you know, there could be a stalemate in Congress. Is it worth shutting down the government over?

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DONALD TRUMP:
It's something I'd have to think about to be honest with you. I don't want to give a hard and fast answer to that. It bothers me greatly that they're doing the abortions. At the same time, women's health issues are, you know, very important to me. Now, you have a lot of other people that do that without the abortion clinic. Because they really are to a large extent an abortion clinic. I also want to know -- and this wouldn't have the effect. Because if it's 3 percent or 80 percent. But it would be interesting to know what is the number. They say it's 3 percent. Other people say 80 and 85 percent. That's an awfully big spread.

CHUCK TODD:
Let's go foreign affairs. You want to knock the hell out of ISIS. How?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I want to take away their wealth. And, as you know, for years I've been saying, "Don't go into Iraq." They went into Iraq. They destabilized the Middle East. It was a big mistake. Okay, now we're there. And you have ISIS. And I said this was going to happen. I said, "Iran will take over Iraq," which is happening as sure as you're sitting there. And ISIS is taking over a lot of the oil and certain areas of Iraq. And I said you take away their wealth, that you go and knock the hell out of the oil, take back the oil. We take over the oil, which we should have done in the first place. And --

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CHUCK TODD:
It's going to take ground troops.

DONALD TRUMP:
If you're --

CHUCK TODD:
What you're talking is --

DONALD TRUMP:

CHUCK TODD:
-- ground troops.

DONALD TRUMP:
That's okay.

CHUCK TODD:
Maybe 25,000 --

DONALD TRUMP:
We can circle it. We can --

CHUCK TODD:
How ma --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- circle it. We're going to have so much money. And what I would do with the money that we make, which would be tremendous, I would take care of the soldiers that were killed, the families of the soldiers that were killed, the soldiers, the wounded warriors that are -- I love them. And they're walking all over the streets of New York, all over the streets of every city without arms, without legs, and worse than that. And I would take care of them. They paid a big price --

CHUCK TODD:
So America should take over these oil fields. Shouldn't be given to the Iraqis?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, we can give them something. But we should definitely take back money for our soldiers. We've had soldiers that were decimated, so badly hurt, the wounded warriors, and killed, of course. But we've had soldiers that were so badly hurt and killed. I want their families to get something. Because we got nothing out of that war. We spent $2 trillion, Chuck. We had thousands of people killed. Wounded warriors all over the place. They got nothing. And they can't even say we had a victory.

CHUCK TODD:
Who do you talk to for military advice right now?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great -- you know, when you watch your show and all of the other shows and you have the generals and --

CHUCK TODD:
So you do the --

DONALD TRUMP:
And you have certain people that you like --

CHUCK TODD:
But is there a go-to for you? You know --

DONALD TRUMP:
Probably there are --

CHUCK TODD:
-- every presidential --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- two or three --

CHUCK TODD:
-- candidate has a go-to --

DONALD TRUMP:
Yeah, probably there are two or three. I mean, I like Bolton. I think he's, you know, a tough cookie, knows what he's talking about. Jacobs is a good guy --

CHUCK TODD:
Do you mean Ambassador John Bolton --

DONALD TRUMP:
Yes. I think he's terrific --

CHUCK TODD:
You mean Colonel Jack Jacobs?

DONALD TRUMP:
Colonel Jack Jacobs is a good guy. And I see him on occasion. I actually had dinner -- I was given a very high award by the Marines at the Waldorf Astoria a couple of months ago. And your new head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the head Marine, was a very impressive guy. He just got appointed. I think --

CHUCK TODD:
You hear good things --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- that he will do --

(OVERTALK)

DONALD TRUMP:
-- a terrific job.

CHUCK TODD:
You wrote this in 2011 about Saudi Arabia. "It's the world's biggest funder of terrorism. Saudi Arabia funnels our petro dollars, our very own money, to fund the terrorists that seek to destroy our people while the Saudis rely on us to protect them." What are U.S.-Saudi relations going to look like under a Trump administration?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, one thing they'll look like -- first of all, I get along very well. They pay me millions of dollars for apartments, okay? I like that. You know, and so does China. And so does Mexico. And so does a lot of other people, all right? I make a tremendous amount of money from selling very wealthy people from other parts of the world and from the United States apartments and other things.
They lease tremendous office space from me. So does China. The biggest bank is in my building, one of my buildings. So it's not that I don't get along with all of -- I get along with them. But their leaders are much smarter than our leaders, Chuck and, like, from a different planet.
Saudi Arabia makes a billion dollars a day, okay? They make a billion dollars a day. Saudi Arabia, if it weren't for us, they wouldn't be there. They wouldn't exist. They should pay us. It's like Kuwait. When Kuwait had the problem with Saddam Hussein, like, the ultimate problem, they were taken over, we go in. We fight.

CHUCK TODD:
We were paid for that war. We had other countries that --

DONALD TRUMP:
We --

CHUCK TODD:
-- that paid back some stuff --

DONALD TRUMP:
We got nothing. And, you know, I met the Kuwaitis right after --

CHUCK TODD:
Secretary Baker did collect a lot of money --

(OVERTALK)

DONALD TRUMP:
A lot. But nothing compared to what we spent. Nothing compared to what we spent. And I'll never forget shortly after the war the Kuwaiti fund came to see me. And they wanted to do a deal. And I said, "We have a great deal in the United States." They go, "No, no, no. Not United States. Not United States. We don't want to invest in United States." We gave them back their country.

CHUCK TODD:
But to go back to Saudi Arabia, if they're a funder of terrorists, why should we have diplomatic relations with them at all?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, look, I'm not a big fan --

CHUCK TODD:
Should we be --

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm just --

CHUCK TODD:
-- holding them more accountable?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, you know --

CHUCK TODD:
They treat women poorly.

DONALD TRUMP:
The primary reason we are with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now, we don't need the oil so much. And if we let our people really go, we wouldn't need the oil at all. And we could let everybody else fight it out. Look, Saudi Arabia is going to be in big trouble pretty soon. And they're going to need help.
Because if you look at Yemen and you look at that border, you don't have to be an expert to know that is one long border. And they're not going in for Yemen. They're going in for the oil. They're going in for Saudi Arabia. So Saudi Arabia is going to need help.
Like it or don't like it, people have backed Saudi Arabia. What I really mind though is we back it at tremendous expense. We get nothing for it. And they're making a billion dollars a day. But I think Saudi Arabia is a major target, a major target. And I think that's why --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
You think this is going to be the United States' responsibility if Saudi Arabia erupts into a civil war? This is the great fear among a lot of people --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, that could happen.

CHUCK TODD:
-- in the Middle East. You think it's the U.S. responsibility to help settle that?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I say this. Now, because of what's happened with the oil revolution with fracking and all of the different technologies that are coming about with the oil, I think that certainly we don't have the same motive that we used to have. We used to have a real motive. We --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
Financial motive.

DONALD TRUMP:
We did. That's a much smaller motive right now because we have a lot of oil. In fact, we're sitting probably on the largest -- between us and Canada, I think we probably have the largest in the world. So I really feel if we're helping them, and if we want to help them -- and it's something that probably we should do despite what you said. And certainly we've been doing it for a long time. And Obama's been --

CHUCK TODD:
So this happens --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- doing it.

CHUCK TODD:
You think if you're president, reluctantly the U.S. is going to help --

DONALD TRUMP:
I would say reluctantly. But we're going to --

CHUCK TODD:
-- try to stabilize Saudi Arabia --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- be paid a lot of money. We're not paid. We defend Saudi Arabia. We send our ships. We send our planes. Every time there's a little ruckus, we send those ships and those planes. We get nothing. Why? They're making a billion a day. We get nothing. And this is the problem with the world.
We make bad deals. We have no victories. I mean, we just don't have victories anymore. As a country, we don't have victories anymore. And it's very sad. Whether it's trade with China, whether it's Japan selling us cars by the millions. And what do we sell them? Nothing. I mean, we give them practically nothing. And by the way, when we send beef, cattle, wheat, when we send things to Japan, they don't even want to take it.

CHUCK TODD:
Let's go to Europe. You wrote this: "Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually. The cost of stationing N.A.T.O. troops in Europe is enormous. And these are clearly funds that can be put to better use." We pull out of Europe, would you want to end the N.A.T.O. alliance completely as well --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I'll tell you I'm a little concerned about N.A.T.O. from this standpoint. Take Ukraine. We're leading Ukraine. Where's Germany? Where are the countries of Europe leading? I don't mind helping them. I don't mind being right behind them. I'll be right behind them. You know the old expression, "Go on, fellows. I'm right behind you?"
I'll be behind them so much. But why isn't Germany? Germany's a very, very powerful, and economically powerful, and rich country. Why isn't Germany, Chuck, leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we're like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine --

CHUCK TODD:
So you don't think Ukraine's our responsibility --

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't like what's happening with Ukraine. But that's really a problem that affects Europe a lot more than it affects us. And they should be leading some of this charge.

CHUCK TODD:
So you wouldn't allow Ukraine into N.A.T.O.?

DONALD TRUMP:
I would not care that much to be honest with you. Whether it goes in or doesn't go in, I wouldn't care.

CHUCK TODD:
So --

DONALD TRUMP:
If it goes in, great. If it doesn't go in, great. Look, I would support N.A.T.O. --

CHUCK TODD:
It sounds like you're not a fan of N.A.T.O.

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm a fan of fairness. I'm a fan of common sense. I'm certainly not a fan of us being against Russia --

CHUCK TODD:
We're about 40 percent of N.A.T.O. --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- for Ukraine when Germany is sitting back, you know, accepting all the oil and gas that they can get from Russia. So why isn't Germany involved? You know, she's a great leader. And one of the reasons that Merkel's a great leader is she sort of says, "Oh, good. Let the United States handle it."
Why are we always at the forefront of everything? As an example, you look at Iraq. China is taking oil out of Iraq like nobody would believe. What did we do? We spent $2 trillion and all those lives and wounded warriors. China is taking tremendous amounts of oil out of Iraq.
You look at Afghanistan. We're fighting in Afghanistan. Big mountains. Tremendous ridges and mountains. And we're fighting over here. And China has these massive -- you know, Afghanistan has tremendous minerals, which a lot of people don't know. Tremendous minerals. China's --

CHUCK TODD:
Nobody knows how to get them out --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- over here excavating all the mirac -- and we're here fighting. And China is taking out all the minerals. What are we doing? What are we doing? The other day I ordered 4,000 television sets -- 4,000 for a big project that I'm building and built. And that's a big order, right? So I wanna -- I'd love to buy American. You can't buy them from America. They're all from South Korea. Now, we defend South Korea. I like South Korea. They're great people. I mean, I also have great relationships with them.

CHUCK TODD:
We're getting off a tangent here. But how are you going to put this genie --

DONALD TRUMP:
No, but it's not really a tangent- -

CHUCK TODD:
How do you put this toothpaste --

DONALD TRUMP:
It's all common sense --

CHUCK TODD:
No, I know. No, no. How do you put this toothpaste back in the tube? Manufacturing jobs, you're saying you're going to bring these jobs back.

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm going to bring a lot of jobs back.

CHUCK TODD:
Most of them -- this is automation and robotics.

DONALD TRUMP:
Here's the problem. If you --

CHUCK TODD:
I mean, that's taken away a lot of jobs.

DONALD TRUMP:
Okay, if you take --

CHUCK TODD:
Outsourcing and robotics --

DONALD TRUMP:
If you take South Korea, they make a fortune off it. We do very little to them. They do tremendous to us. You can't buy a television -- other than Sony, which is Japan, you can't buy a television practically if it's not made in South Korea. Everybody. Whether it's Samsung or all of them. Sharp.
All of them are -- it's, like, South Korea. So I say to myself, "I mean, this is terrible." Now, when they have a war, when the young man -- we want to be very nice today, right? So the young man from North Korea starts acting up and having one of his fits, we immediately get our ships going. We get our aircraft. We get nothing for this. I'm not saying that we’re going to let anything happen to them. But they have to help us.

CHUCK TODD:
We do have a running theme here. You believe the U.S. should -- you're okay with the U.S. being the world's police --

DONALD TRUMP:
We should at least --

(OVERTALK)

DONALD TRUMP:
-- be reimbursed --

CHUCK TODD:
-- if we get paid --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- by these extremely wealthy countries, yes --

CHUCK TODD:
So essentially you want --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, we --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
It turns our --

DONALD TRUMP:
We have --

CHUCK TODD:
-- military into a mercenary force.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, not at all. Look, we are a debtor nation. We owe, I mean, now it's 1.9 trillion, okay? I've been saying 1.8. Now, it's 1 point -- it’s really kicked in. It's soon going to be $2.4 trillion, okay? That’s like a point, whether you believe in the great economists or not, that seems to be a point of no return. That's where we're Greece on steroids, okay?
We're going to be there very soon. Why are we doing all of this? These are wealthy countries. They will give us, if we have the right messenger, they will give us. It's like this horrible deal with Iran. This deal, if you had the right, you'd have the prisoners back years ago.

CHUCK TODD:
Iran would still get money. I understand --

DONALD TRUMP:
Can you believe that deal?

CHUCK TODD:
But let me ask you this.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, no. Why is Iran --

CHUCK TODD:
I understand there's a lot of people --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- getting the money?

CHUCK TODD:
I understand a lot of people are critical of the deal. But could you, what deal can you come up with that wouldn't give Iran money?

DONALD TRUMP:
Okay, I would --

CHUCK TODD:
That wouldn't give --

(OVERTALK)

DONALD TRUMP:
I would have told them up front, "By the way --"

CHUCK TODD:
No sanctions relief?

DONALD TRUMP:
"We will never give you back your money. We will never --"

CHUCK TODD:
Period --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- "give you back your $150 billion. You're never getting that money back." That's number one. Number two, "Before we start negotiations, you have to give us our three prisoners." Now, it's four, okay? You know, when it started, it was three. Now, it's four. "You have to give us back. Without question, you have to give them back.
"And you know what? You don't want them. But we do. It's psychologically good. And it'll help us make a better deal together. That's good for you." Okay? But I would have told them up front, "You will never get your $150 billion back." They are going to be such a wealthy, such a powerful nation.
They are going to have nuclear weapons. They are going to take over parts of the world that you wouldn't believe. And I think it's going to lead to nuclear holocaust. And I will say this. The people that negotiated that deal, namely Kerry and his friends, are incompetent.

CHUCK TODD:
What do you do on day one though? This is a deal -- Secretary Gates basically says didn't like the deal, thought the U.S. wanted the deal --

DONALD TRUMP:
Too much --

CHUCK TODD:
Too much.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, they begged for it --

CHUCK TODD:
So bad negotiating tactic --

DONALD TRUMP:
And, by the way, they should have --

CHUCK TODD:
All of those things --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- doubled up the sanctions --

CHUCK TODD:
And then he said, "Can't pull out of the deal because of the international ramifications." What do you say to that?

DONALD TRUMP:
I would --

CHUCK TODD:
He's a pretty wise guy.

DONALD TRUMP:
Okay, I've heard a lot of people say, "We're going to rip up the deal." It's very tough to do when you say, "Rip up a deal." Because I'm a deal person. And --

CHUCK TODD:
You get that --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- when I --

CHUCK TODD:
Even if you've made --

DONALD TRUMP:
When I make deals --

CHUCK TODD:
You've --

DONALD TRUMP:
Let me tell you. But I will police that deal. You know, I've taken over some bad contracts. I buy contracts where people screwed up and they have bad contracts.

CHUCK TODD:
But you have to abide by it.

DONALD TRUMP:
But I'm really good at looking at a contract and finding things within a contract that even if they're bad. I would police that contract so tough that they don't have a chance. As bad as the contract is, I will be so tough on that contract.

CHUCK TODD:
So the deal lives in a Trump administration --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, the deal --

CHUCK TODD:
You're just going to be --

DONALD TRUMP:
It's very hard to say, "We're ripping up." And the problem is by the time I got in there, they will have already received the $150 billion. Do you know if the deal gets rejected they still get the money? Which is something I found out a week ago. I couldn't believe it. If the deal gets rejected, they still get all of this money. Iran is going to be unbelievably powerful and unbelievably rich. And Israel's in big trouble. Israel is in big trouble. Obama has really let Israel down.

CHUCK TODD:
So you believe the Saudis are going to get a nuclear weapon? You believe Egypt's going to after nuclear weapons --

DONALD TRUMP:
I think other people will arm with nuclear weapons, yes, based on this deal. Because if you look at it, Iran will end up being nuclear. Even if it's not within the next fairly short period of time. And the whole thing about 24 days. First of all, the 24 days doesn't start immediately. There's a whole big deal before the clock starts ticking, right? So the 24 days could be much longer than that. In 24 days plus numerous weeks, you can do anything.

CHUCK TODD:
If you get evidence they're working on a nuclear weapon, you order air strikes immediately?

DONALD TRUMP:
Yeah, I don't want to really say. I would be so tough you wouldn't believe. But I don't want to really say. You know, if I win -- and now I'm leading in every single poll. Even you will agree to that, right? Every single local --

CHUCK TODD:
Yes, sir --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- national, Iowa, New Hampshire, everything. If I win, I don't want to really be talking too much about -- Obama talks too much about what he's going to do. "We're going to raid here. We're going to do this." General MacArthur, General Patton, they didn't talk. They got the job done. So I hate it. Even the concept of, you know, "I'd attack the oil." I had to say it because at some point I had to say it. I would take their wealth away from ISIS. I would attack that oil like you --

CHUCK TODD:
They're sort of trying to do that. That's part of the plan, is to try to --

DONALD TRUMP:
They don't know what they're doing --

CHUCK TODD:
-- decouple.

DONALD TRUMP:
And if they are trying to do it, they picked it up from me. Because I started saying it three weeks ago. And you know what? I hated to say it. Because that would have been a great plan if they didn't know about it. We talk too much. I can tell you this. The great General MacArthur and Patton, they are spinning in their graves when they see everybody talking.

CHUCK TODD:
Let me go through some grab bags. What launched our relationship, shall we say, was back four years ago. Do you believe President Obama is a citizen who was born in the United States?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I don't like talking about it anymore. Because honestly I have my own feelings. I think he should have taken the $5 million. I don't know why he spent $4 million in legal fees to keep his records, you know, away. Nobody's seen his records. I don't know. Maybe --

CHUCK TODD:
We’re talking about the birth certificate.

DONALD TRUMP:
Maybe the hackers. Maybe the hackers have his records. No, I mean, his college records. I mean, he spent $4 million in legal fees to make sure that nobody ever saw --

CHUCK TODD:
Well, if you want him to release his --

DONALD TRUMP:
So I'll tell you what --

CHUCK TODD:
-- would you release all of yours --

DONALD TRUMP:
But here's what I'll do.

CHUCK TODD:
Would you release all your --

DONALD TRUMP:
Here's what I'll do --

CHUCK TODD:
-- college transcripts --

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm proud of my records. But he has to do it. If he does it, I'll do it. But, hey, I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I was a really good student. It's probably the hardest school --

CHUCK TODD:
I've never heard you say anything --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- there is to get into it --

CHUCK TODD:
-- about Wharton before.

DONALD TRUMP:
Huh?

CHUCK TODD:
I've never heard you say that about Wharton --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I'm proud of the school --

CHUCK TODD:
I'm kidding.

DONALD TRUMP:
You know why? It's a great school. I mean, some of the --

CHUCK TODD:
Well, let me ask you --

DONALD TRUMP:
Some of the greatest business minds in the world have gone to Wharton --

CHUCK TODD:
I understand. But why --

DONALD TRUMP:
So I'm proud of it --

CHUCK TODD:
-- do you feel it's important to tell us that all the time?

DONALD TRUMP:
I'll tell you why. Because everybody knows what a great school it is. Everybody knows that to get into Wharton is probably the hardest school to get into. It's, you know, right there, you know, within a couple of schools --

CHUCK TODD:
Sure, Ivy League.

DONALD TRUMP:
So very --

CHUCK TODD:
No question --

DONALD TRUMP:
You have to be very smart. If you're a conservative Republican, you go in. Look, if I were a liberal Democrat, people would say I'm the super genius of all time. The super genius of all time. If you're a conservative Republican, you’ve got to fight for your life. It's really an amazing thing. And let me tell you they're plenty smart. And they're really smart.

CHUCK TODD:
But I guess I go back to, "Why do you have to tell us all the time that you went to Wharton?" People know you're successful.

DONALD TRUMP:
You know, I'm only --

CHUCK TODD:
They see you're successful. They assume you're smart --

DONALD TRUMP:
They know it's a great business school.

CHUCK TODD:
Why do you have to say it --

DONALD TRUMP:
We need business genius in this country. We need it. We can't have continuously bad trade deals with China, with Japan, with Mexico. I mean, Mexico's killing us. Mexico's killing us in trade, killing us at the border --

CHUCK TODD:
All right. How are they killing us? The peso is worth less today than it was even five years ago --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, Nabisco just announced --

CHUCK TODD:
How are they --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck --

CHUCK TODD:
How are they killing us?

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:
Their GDP is lower than ours.

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, Nabisco is moving to Mexico.

CHUCK TODD:
This is not a country that is killing us.

DONALD TRUMP:
Ford --

CHUCK TODD:
Just by the stats.

DONALD TRUMP:
Ford. They're killing us, Chuck. Ford is building a $2.5 billion plant. Many other companies are building big plants.

CHUCK TODD:
If the economy's so great --

DONALD TRUMP:
Nabisco yesterday --

CHUCK TODD:
-- why aren't people staying in Mexico to get jobs?

DONALD TRUMP:
Nabisco yesterday announced they're moving out of Chicago into Mexico. Look what happened to New England. Look at New Hampshire all the places up in New England --

CHUCK TODD:
I understand that. But --

DONALD TRUMP:
They moved to --

CHUCK TODD:
-- Mexico --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- Mexico --

CHUCK TODD:
They're not doing --

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't care how they're --

CHUCK TODD:
-- better.

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't care how they're doing as a country --

CHUCK TODD:
They're doing worse.

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm just saying they're killing us. Because everybody's moving into Mexico.

CHUCK TODD:
There are people that argue NAFTA was terrible for them.

DONALD TRUMP:
Mexico is doing an unbelievable job. Mexico is taking our business. Mexico is the new China, okay? Look at the --

CHUCK TODD:
Where is the evidence of this?

DONALD TRUMP:
It's all over the place. Chuck --

CHUCK TODD:
Their GDP is smaller --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:
This is --

DONALD TRUMP:
They're moving companies --

CHUCK TODD:
The peso, it is --

DONALD TRUMP:
That is true --

CHUCK TODD:
-- worth less today. I mean --

DONALD TRUMP:
And you know what?

CHUCK TODD:
That's not the sign of --

DONALD TRUMP:
And, Chuck --

CHUCK TODD:
-- a strong economy.

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, and you know what? Because it's worth less, they're doing a lot of business. I mean, look at what China's doing. It's called devaluation. They're very smart. Mexico's doing it. You think the peso's just dropping automatically? They are very smart. And frankly, they are learning from China. China last week devalued their currency.

CHUCK TODD:
Which you've been begging them to do, by the way.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, I've been the opposite.

CHUCK TODD:
Well, no. You've been hoping that their currency would finally be sort of more like the market of what it should be.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, no, no --

CHUCK TODD:
And it is --

DONALD TRUMP:
Just the opposite --

CHUCK TODD:
-- now closer to what it should be --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, they're doing it artificially. That's not the market --

CHUCK TODD:
They are. But it's becoming --

DONALD TRUMP:
They're doing it artificially --

CHUCK TODD:
It's looking like it's where it should be --

DONALD TRUMP:
No, no. I don't want their currency to go down. I've been fighting this for years. I can't believe you're saying that.

CHUCK TODD:
No, no, no, no. But you've been fighting the way they manipulate their currency.

DONALD TRUMP:
They have totally manipulated their currency.

CHUCK TODD:
And now they're trying very hard to try to get it back to where --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well --

CHUCK TODD:
-- it should be.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, no. They've been manipulating it down though. Now, they've just manipulated the biggest manipulation they've had downward since they say in two decades. Twenty years.

CHUCK TODD:
Right. It's because they're --

CHUCK TODD:
A few more grab bags. Transparency in the White House. Will you commit to releasing the names of everybody you meet with as president to the public?

DONALD TRUMP:
I would have no problem with it. You know, transparency is a great thing. But if you're talking about national security or if you're talking about meeting with the leaders of Russia or Germany, you know --

CHUCK TODD:
Or anybody.

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't want to --

CHUCK TODD:
Anybody that comes into the White House --

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't want to embarrass people. If Merkel wants to come over from Germany, I'm not looking to embarrass her. You know, if she wants to have a quiet meeting, I'm not looking to go wild. I want these people to like Trump and to like this country. So, you know, I don't think that's the most important thing.
I do think having to do with campaign financing, everything should be released. It should be very open. But having to do with that, I want to make a country coming to the White House feel comfortable. As far as people coming in from our country, like, business people, 100 percent.

CHUCK TODD:
Everybody that comes in --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I don't care. Hey, look, I hire so many lobbyists. I know every one of them. A lobbyist called me yesterday, one of the biggest. He said, "Don, I want to give $5 million to your campaign." I said, "I don't want it. I don't need your money. I don't want it." Because if he gives me $5 million, all of a sudden I guarantee he's going to call and say, "You know, I represent such-and-such a company." I don't want to have any --

CHUCK TODD:
President Obama tried to put a ban on lobbyists ever working in the administration. Will you do something like that?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, that's a pretty good idea. Because, you know, these guys get out and they almost immediately go to work for a company. And they have power that they shouldn't have. Look, when Jeb Bush raises $114 million, I know those people that gave him the money. I used to be one of them.
I mean, I gave to everybody, okay? I know those people. He's like a puppet for those people. He's a puppet. Those people, they'll take negative ads on me and on other people because they want him in there because they're going to control Jeb Bush. And not only Jeb. They're going to control Hillary. She raised $16 million-plus. They're going to control whoever's in. The lobbyists, and the special interests, and the donors have 100 --

CHUCK TODD:
So no lobbyists will work --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- percent --

CHUCK TODD:
-- in the Trump administration?

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't --

CHUCK TODD:
You'll have a ban?

DONALD TRUMP:
I would certainly have a ban. Yeah, you can't put a lifetime ban. But you can certainly make it three, four years.

CHUCK TODD:
Fair enough. Edward Snowden, hero or traitor?

DONALD TRUMP:
I say he's a total traitor. I think he's disgusting. I think he's a disgrace. And we should get him back. And he's caused great difficulty for our country.

CHUCK TODD:
Affirmative action. Should we keep it? Yes or no.

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm fine with affirmative action. I mean, I think --

CHUCK TODD:
Should it be expanded? Or should it --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- we've been having --

CHUCK TODD:
-- be limited?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, you know, you have to also go free market. You have to go capability. You have to do a lot of things. But I'm fine with affirmative action. We've lived with it for a long time. And I lived with it for a long time. And I've had great relationships with lots of people. So I'm fine with it.

CHUCK TODD:
Should private companies be able to fire people because they're gay?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, it's a big discussion. And I guess it's getting a lot of negative rulings right now, that whole thing. And I'm willing to go with what the courts are saying.

CHUCK TODD:
And that is? You don't think a private company should be able to do that?

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't think it should be a reason. No, I don't think it should be a reason.

CHUCK TODD:
What is a fair living wage?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, you know, it's a very tricky-- I want everyone to make a fortune. And with me, I'm going to take jobs back from China, from Mexico, from Japan. I'm going to bring jobs back. Like, you will even be surprised, Chuck. You will be very surprised. So that we won't even have to be talking about the minimum wage.
But, you know, we have a problem called corporate inversion in this country where corporations are leaving the United States to go to other places because they can get lower wages and lower taxes. And we have to be very careful with a minimum wage. You know, it's great politically to say, "Hey, I want to give everybody $500 an hour."
Forget about $15 or $12, right? But we have to be very careful. Because we have a huge inversion problem in this country. I mean, you look at some of the companies that are talking about leaving the United States. And many of these companies are run by people from Britain, and from Ireland, and from other people.
They have no loyalty to this country. But many great companies, big companies, a lot of employees, are talking about inverting. Meaning leaving. And we have to do something. And also, the $2.5 trillion that's sitting outside that can be brought back in, we have to make --

CHUCK TODD:
How do you encourage that? How do you get those --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, we're going to have to lower the tax. We have to lower tax. Right now, they have to pay a tremendous tax to bring that money in. We have to lower the tax so that they don't mind paying something. But they're not going to pay 30 and 35 percent to bring --

CHUCK TODD:
There are some people discussing the idea of sort of a one-time smaller tax, bringing it in, and then using that for infrastructure.

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I'm okay with that as a step. But just to show you how bad Washington is, how they can't do -- I've been hearing about this for two years. For two years, everybody agrees that we should let the money in. And for two years, they can't make a deal, okay?

CHUCK TODD:
Well, welcome to Congress --

DONALD TRUMP:
And you know what? The Democrats, Republicans agree. They still haven't made a deal. This is for two years.

CHUCK TODD:
All right. Going back, what's a living wage? What's fair?

DONALD TRUMP:
I want to keep the minimum wage pretty much where it is right now.

CHUCK TODD:
You wouldn't raise it?

DONALD TRUMP:
Because of the fact that we have a country that is now competing more than ever before because of airplanes, and transportation, and --

CHUCK TODD:
So you think we got to keep --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- the Internet --

CHUCK TODD:
We got to keep the minimum wage lower --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, we're not going to be able to compete with the rest of the world. I want to compete with the rest of the world. What I do want to do is bring in jobs so much so that people don't have to live on minimum wage. But we are going to have to compete with the rest of the world.

CHUCK TODD:
All right. Toss you a quick Facebook question. Michael Martinez asks, "Residents of the District of Columbia currently pay federal taxes but have only a non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives, no representation in the Senate. Should that policy continue as is? Should D.C. become a state? Should it not have to pay taxes? Should it be treated like Puerto Rico --"

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, bas --

CHUCK TODD:
“How should D.C. residents be treated --"

DONALD TRUMP:
I have a conflict of interest because I'm building the greatest -- you know, I'm building at the old post office I think what will be maybe one of the great hotels in the world --

CHUCK TODD:
So I've heard.

DONALD TRUMP:
It'll open. And, by the way, unlike our government, we're under budget and ahead of schedule. Isn't that a nice thing to hear? You don't hear that. Just like the wall will be under budget and ahead of schedule. And nobody's getting through that wall. Believe me.

CHUCK TODD:
All right.

DONALD TRUMP:
But --

CHUCK TODD:
So the District.

DONALD TRUMP:
So I have a little bit of a conflict.

CHUCK TODD:
State or not?

DONALD TRUMP:
I would like to do whatever is good for the District of Columbia because I love the people. You know, it's funny. I've really gotten to know the people, the representatives, and the mayor and everybody. They're really special people. They're great. And they have a great feeling. So I would say whatever's best for them I'm for. I have a total conflict of interest.

CHUCK TODD:
So you're okay with either way? If they want statehood, you're for statehood?

DONALD TRUMP:
I mean, people are talking about that. I'd look at it. I'd certainly look at it --

CHUCK TODD:
Or give them back to Maryland. Or do something.

DONALD TRUMP:
I would look at a number of things. And something would be done that everybody would be happy.

CHUCK TODD:
All right. Your slogan, we're going to hear it a lot today at the fair. "We're going to make America great again." When was the --

DONALD TRUMP:
Great slogan.

CHUCK TODD:
When was the last time America was great?

DONALD TRUMP:
I would say during the administration of Ronald Reagan you felt proud to be an American. You felt really proud. I don't think since then to any great extent people were proud.

CHUCK TODD:
Then let me ask you this. Not trying play a little “gotcha” here. But in 1987 you took out a full-page ad. This is during the Reagan administration. And you said this. "To the American people. For decades, Japan and other nations have been taking advantage of the United States." On message, by the way. It's consistent. "The world is laughing at America's politicians as we protect ships we don't own carrying oil we don't need destined for allies who won't help." Message-wise, very consistent.

DONALD TRUMP:
You know, I've been --
From day one including during the Reagan --

CHUCK TODD:
I was just going to say --

DONALD TRUMP:
Because look, NAFTA --

CHUCK TODD:
Let's not let --

DONALD TRUMP:
NAFTA --

CHUCK TODD:
-- our great country be laughed at anymore. If that's the last time America was great again, you didn't think America was --

DONALD TRUMP:
No, no --

CHUCK TODD:
-- great then.

DONALD TRUMP:
I thought America was excellent. I think NAFTA was a huge mistake. I thought it was a terrible mistake. And, you know, but I just think that he set a tone that was an excellent tone for the country. I disagree --

CHUCK TODD:
Looking back, you seem to --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- with some of his --

CHUCK TODD:
-- like it.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, I just --

CHUCK TODD:
But at the time --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, looking back--

CHUCK TODD:
This was a fire --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- I like him more.

CHUCK TODD:
This was a fiery guy.

DONALD TRUMP:
Yeah, he's --

CHUCK TODD:
Donald J. Trump of 1987 was not --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, it's the same guy. If you think --

CHUCK TODD:
Your consistence on --

DONALD TRUMP:
I have been consistent over the years --

CHUCK TODD:
I'll give you consistency.

DONALD TRUMP:
For years, I have been saying that we haven't had -- I spoke with Carl Icahn. Carl, he's totally on board. You should call him. You should have him on your show. And he's a great negotiator. I said, "We're not going to have these babies negotiate for us, Carl. You're going to take over China.
"You are going to negotiate with China. And I'll throw Japan in." I've got Henry Kravi -- I've got so many great people. We have the greatest business people in the world in the Uni -- we don't use them. We use political hacks. We use ambassadors. We use Caroline Kennedy, who's a very nice person. Because my daughter likes her a lot. Ivanka. So she has to be nice. But she's a nice person. She's the ambassador to Japan. She's a primary negotiator with Japan. She doesn't know anything about negotiation.

CHUCK TODD:
Ambassadors aren't the primary negotiator --

DONALD TRUMP:
No, no. But she's very important in that. In Japan, the ambassador has always been a very important element. And I'm not saying that. I want the Carl Icahns. I want the great businesspeople. And I know them all. I want them to negotiate for us.

CHUCK TODD:
If you --

DONALD TRUMP:
And, by the way, we're going to have a different country.

CHUCK TODD:
If you could win as an independent, would you be more comfortable running as an independent than as a Republican --

DONALD TRUMP:
No, I want to run --

CHUCK TODD:
I get why you don't want to run --

CHUCK TODD:
-- as an independent. Because it's not- -

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, it's more difficult --

CHUCK TODD:
You probably couldn't win.

DONALD TRUMP:
Yeah, it's more --

CHUCK TODD:
It's hard --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- difficult. But it's not that. Look, somebody was asking me that question the other day times 50.

CHUCK TODD:
I understand --

DONALD TRUMP:
All right? I mean, I'm hearing it all the time.

CHUCK TODD:
I know.

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm running as a Republican. I'm leading by double digits for the most part --

CHUCK TODD:
So just say, "I'm going to stay as a Republican." Why is that so hard?

DONALD TRUMP:
Because I'm not prepared to close that door yet. But I wouldn't be surprised if someday in the not-too-distant future it happens. They are treating me very well. I just want to be treated fairly. And, you know, I'm a person that believes in leverage. I'm a natural business --

CHUCK TODD:
I unders --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- person. I believe in leverage. I would say that it's highly unlikely that I ever do that. But I just don't want to close that door yet. I'm running as a Republican. I'm leading as a Republican. I will win. I think I'm going to get the nomination. And if I get the nomination, I think I'll be president. And if I'm president, we're going to have a great country. And then we will really have better than Reagan, better than anybody. We will make America great again. That's what it's all about.

CHUCK TODD:
What do you tell conservatives who say you and the Clintons are in cahoots?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, it's totally false. First of all, nobody's been tougher on Hillary Clinton than me. And when Bill Clinton called me, I had already made up my decision. You know, just so you understand, he called me long after I had made a decision and everyone knew I was running. So it wasn't like that.
And I think he's very disappointed that I'm running. Because I'm the one person that's going to beat her. Now, I think she may not be able to run to be honest because this whole e-mail thing is a horrible thing. General Petraeus, his life has been destroyed. And he did 5 percent of what she did. So assuming she's able to run, which would be absolutely to me a miracle at this point, I will beat her. And I don't see the other people that --

CHUCK TODD:
You call --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- are running against me currently --

CHUCK TODD:
You regularly call her --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- winning --

CHUCK TODD:
-- the worst secretary of state.

DONALD TRUMP:
I think she's the --

CHUCK TODD:
So it beg --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- worst --

CHUCK TODD:
It begs --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- secretary of state in the history of our country. Look at happened during her reign --

CHUCK TODD:
Well, it begs the question. I'm a history buff. Who was the worst before her then in your mind?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I'll tell you who was the worst after her. Kerry because of what --

CHUCK TODD:
All right. Well, who was the --

DONALD TRUMP:
I mean, look --

CHUCK TODD:
Who do you believe was the worst before her --

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't want to get into names. You know what --

CHUCK TODD:
Well, no. Because --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- insulting, Chuck? I'm insulting so many people. I don't want to insult people. I want to be nice to people --

CHUCK TODD:
I understand that. But it goes to this larger -- everything with you's the best or the worst.

DONALD TRUMP:
No, it's not --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
There's no nuance.

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, during her reign --

CHUCK TODD:
Who --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- the entire world fell apart. It fell apart. During her reign, the entire -- look what happened. Everything fell apart.

CHUCK TODD:
So the Arab Spring --

DONALD TRUMP:
Nothing was --

CHUCK TODD:
-- is on her? Is that a fair --

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, I think you --

CHUCK TODD:
- thing? You put the --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- you could sort of --

CHUCK TODD:
-- Arab Spring on her?

DONALD TRUMP:
I mean, you could sort of say maybe a little bit, right? I mean, sort of, right?

CHUCK TODD:
That's a big charge --

DONALD TRUMP:
But look at Kerry. Now, Kerry may top her. Because Kerry has done this deal which was done by incompetent people. And Kerry, maybe he will be the one that tops her. He has done a terrible job.

(OFF MIC TALK)

CHUCK TODD:
Why do looks matter to you so much? You talk about it a lot.

DONALD TRUMP:
I don’t think they look, they matter so much --

CHUCK TODD:
Is it going to matter on who you hire as a cabinet secretary?

DONALD TRUMP:
No no no, not at all.

CHUCK TODD:
Okay.

DONALD TRUMP:
I don’t know why you say it. I mean, I own Miss Universe. I own Miss USA. I own agencies, model agencies, so from that standpoint. But no, I’ve seen, actually --

CHUCK TODD:
You’ll hire somebody --

DONALD TRUMP:
Who’s really good looking --

CHUCK TODD:
You’ll hire somebody not based on looks?

DONALD TRUMP:
Actually, what I found, actually, is that really, really beautiful people are good looking people and in many cases, most cases, don’t have the edge because they’ve never had to have the edge. People that don’t look so good fight harder and they’re actually better. So looks don’t matter to me so much.

CHUCK TODD:
All right. I sort of was amused about, this is a little excerpt from your Playboy interview in 1990. The questioner asks, ‘What is all of this?’ -- meaning talking about your yacht, the bronze tower, the casino, what does it mean to you -- and you replied, ‘Props for the show.’ And they said, ‘What show is that?’ And you replied, “The show is Trump and it's sold-out performances everywhere.”

DONALD TRUMP:
And it has been for a long time.

CHUCK TODD:
Are we all a part of a show? I mean --

DONALD TRUMP:
No …

CHUCK TODD:
-- there is, you know that some of the criticism that we feel like we’re all part of a reality show?

DONALD TRUMP:
No, this is not a reality show. This is the real deal.

CHUCK TODD:
But --

DONALD TRUMP:
Our country has to be --

CHUCK TODD:
You did smile when I read the show stuff.

DONALD TRUMP:
I think it’s fine --

CHUCK TODD:
Because it resonated with you.

DONALD TRUMP:
Look, my life has been an interesting life. I’ve had a lot of fun. I’m leading in the polls. I go on your show, you will get the highest ratings you’ve had in years. I mean it's one of those things assuming that people know I’m on.

I mean, whatever it is. Look at Fox, look what happened to Fox. I mean it’s a whole crazy thing going on and all I care about -- and this is 100 percent truthful -- I love this country and I want to make it great again. And its not gonna be great if we keep going the way we’re going, we’re going to be third world, we probably already are. You look at our airports, our roads, our bridges, schools, our school system, we’re 25. We spend more on individual students than anybody else. We’re 25 in the world. We have to fix our country. We have to make our country great again.

CHUCK TODD:
Mr. Trump, we’ll leave it there.

DONALD TRUMP:
Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:
A lot more to get to, but I’m sure we’ll have you back again.

DONALD TRUMP:
It was a great honor.

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm a huge fan of the Mexican people. I have thousands of Mexican people working for me right now and have over the years. But they have to pay for the wall. And we need the wall. Do you know that 10 years ago Hillary and everybody wanted a wall?

CHUCK TODD:
People did want a wall then --

DONALD TRUMP:
And then they said, "Oh, it's too expensive." You know one of the reasons? Environmental impact statements.

CHUCK TODD:
No, I saw that you believe that you'll be able to streamline that a little bit --

DONALD TRUMP:
I'm the best builder in the --

CHUCK TODD:
There's --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- country.

CHUCK TODD:
One big thing is going to jump out. A lot Hispanics will be upset about. You want to get rid of birthright citizenship.

DONALD TRUMP:
You have to get rid of, yes. You have to. What they're doing: They're having a baby. And all of a sudden, nobody knows --

CHUCK TODD:
You believe that --

DONALD TRUMP:
The baby's here.

CHUCK TODD:
You believe --

DONALD TRUMP:
You have no choice --

CHUCK TODD:
-- that they're trying to do this --

DONALD TRUMP:
You have no choice.

CHUCK TODD:
They're coming here.

DONALD TRUMP:
Let me tell you. We have some very good people here. We have a lot of really good people. They're illegal. You either have a country or not. We go out --

CHUCK TODD:
You'd get rid of birthright citizen --

DONALD TRUMP:
And we're going to try and bring them back rapidly, the good ones.

CHUCK TODD:
I understand that --

DONALD TRUMP:
Rapidly.

CHUCK TODD:
What do you then do about --

DONALD TRUMP:
You know the word ex --

CHUCK TODD:
-- DACA --

DONALD TRUMP:
You know the word expedited?

CHUCK TODD:
I do, yeah --

DONALD TRUMP:
Okay, expedited.

CHUCK TODD:
What do you do about the DACA order now? The Dream Act, however you want to refer to it. The executive order that is --

DONALD TRUMP:
The executive order gets rescinded. One good thing about --

CHUCK TODD:
You'll rescind that one, too?

DONALD TRUMP:
One good thing about --

CHUCK TODD:
You'll rescind the Dream Act executive order --

DONALD TRUMP:
You're going to have to.

CHUCK TODD:
DACA?

DONALD TRUMP:
We have to make a whole new set of standards. And when people come in, they have to come in legally --

CHUCK TODD:
So you're going to split up families?

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:
You're going to deport children --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck. No, no. We're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.

CHUCK TODD:
But you're going to keep them together out --

DONALD TRUMP:
But they have to go. But they have to go.

CHUCK TODD:
What if they have no place to go?

DONALD TRUMP:
We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country or we don't have a country.

CHUCK TODD:
The cost of --

DONALD TRUMP:
Either, we have a country --

CHUCK TODD:
-- doing this --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- or not.

CHUCK TODD:
How do you do it?

DONALD TRUMP:
The cost of doing it? Look at the cost of what we have right now.

CHUCK TODD:
But the cost of doing it.

DONALD TRUMP:
Let me ask you this. Do you think there's --

CHUCK TODD:
I understand that. But how do you it?

DONALD TRUMP:
Do you think there's tremendous cost for the illegals that are in here right now?

CHUCK TODD:
Of course there's cost to it.

DONALD TRUMP:
Okay, tremendous. Do you think there's tremendous crime being committed by illegals?

CHUCK TODD:
I know there's definitely evidence that it's happened.

DONALD TRUMP:
Tremendous --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
-- heinous crimes --

DONALD TRUMP:
Far greater than what --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
There's been some heinous ones.

DONALD TRUMP:
And you see it all over. Just last night. All over. We will do it. And we will expedite it so people can come back in. The good people can come back --

CHUCK TODD:
It is very hard to --

DONALD TRUMP:
And, by the way --

CHUCK TODD:
-- wave this wand.

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, it's called --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
Well, by the way, nobody has done it.

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, it’s called -- you have incompetent politicians. You have bad managers. They're all talk and no action, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:
You beat up, you beat up --

DONALD TRUMP:
They're incompetent.

CHUCK TODD:
You beat up a lot of politicians. Who do you like in the Senate? Who are you going to be able to work with?

DONALD TRUMP:
Well I have --

CHUCK TODD:
Who are you going to be able to work with in Congress?

DONALD TRUMP:
I don't want to start mentioning names because if I mention names, then all of a sudden other people are going to be upset with me.

CHUCK TODD:
Well --

DONALD TRUMP:
Which is the problem with those kinds of questions --

CHUCK TODD:
I don't disagree that you might be --

DONALD TRUMP:
But there are a lot of --

CHUCK TODD:
-- right about that --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- good people.

CHUCK TODD:
But are there people you're going to be able to work with?

DONALD TRUMP:
Absolutely.

CHUCK TODD:
You've insulted a lot of these senators.

DONALD TRUMP:
I have worked with -- well, usually they start the ball rolling.

CHUCK TODD:
Fair enough. But --

DONALD TRUMP:
Like, you know --

CHUCK TODD:
-- give me a couple that you can work with.

DONALD TRUMP:
Well, Sessions is an example. Helped us with the policy. He's very strong on it. I mean --

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD:
So he'd be your --

DONALD TRUMP:
And I think --

CHUCK TODD:
-- immigration guy?

DONALD TRUMP:
Yeah. I don't know if he's going to be. But he certainly is somebody that we can work with. I mean, I can work with a lot, I don't want to insult people that are in the Senate or in Congress. But you have tremendous people. But politicians are not managers. Look at the VA. Look at what's happening with the Veterans Administration. It could be one of the worst-run things in the entire world.

CHUCK TODD:
But can you run --

DONALD TRUMP:
The Veterans --

CHUCK TODD:
By the way, can you run government like a business?

DONALD TRUMP:
I think you can, yes. I think you can run --

CHUCK TODD:
As a for profit, but you --

DONALD TRUMP:
And, by the way, we --

CHUCK TODD:
Not, what your business, it's about profit.

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, you can run it like a business with heart. What people don't know about me. I have a lot of heart. One of the reasons the veterans -- they did a poll. "Who do you like better: Trump or John McCain?" And I won in a landslide because they know that I'm going to take care of them. And the politicians have not taken care of them.

CHUCK TODD:
What -- Well, I guess I still don't understand how you're going to pay for this. I still --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck.

CHUCK TODD:
It's still not clear to me here --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, it'll work out so well. You will be so happy. In four years, you're going to be interviewing me and you're going to say, "What a great job you've done, President Trump." You're going to say, "You have done one of the great jobs." It's going to happen. And you know what? The good people are going to be able to come back. But they're going to come back legally.
We have to have a country. We have to have a great country. Also, I want to bring people that are going to really help us. Not all at the low end. We have to bring people -- And I've been hearing more and more of this. We have to bring people that are university, you know, go to universities, that are doctors. We need a lot of people in this country --

CHUCK TODD:
By the way, everything we've discussed, you've talked about spending a lot of money. This immigration plan's going to cost money short term. Maybe you save money in the long term. Maybe. I --

(OVERTALK)

DONALD TRUMP:
But we're spending a lot of money right now by keeping --

CHUCK TODD:
Where are you going to find --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- all of this crime.

CHUCK TODD:
Where are you going to find this money? We're already in debt. Where are you going to get it?

DONALD TRUMP:
We are going to pay down debt. We are going to bring back jobs --

CHUCK TODD:
Are you going to raise taxes?

DONALD TRUMP:
We are going to cut costs in Washington.

CHUCK TODD:
You want to lower corporate costs --

(OVERTALK)

DONALD TRUMP:
You have --

CHUCK TODD:
You want to lower taxes --

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, listen --

CHUCK TODD:
Where are you going to get this money?

DONALD TRUMP:
Chuck, listen. You have Department of Education. You have so much --

CHUCK TODD:
You're going to get rid of it?

DONALD TRUMP:
-- money being spent. I'm going to have it pared down to very little. Because I'm not a Common Core. Jeb Bush wants Common Core. It's a disaster.

CHUCK TODD:
Do you want high stan --

DONALD TRUMP:
I want educa --

CHUCK TODD:
What if I told you Common Core was just about high standards set by the states?

DONALD TRUMP:
Local -- Excuse me.

CHUCK TODD:
Because that's what it was supposed to be.

DONALD TRUMP:
Then you don't need it. Because I am about local education. I like local education. To me, it's important. Local education. EPA, look at them. Look at the river. What happened? EPA. I wonder if somebody's going to sue them now. You know, they're fining everybody. All the time, they're fining. What they did --

CHUCK TODD:
There's a lot of lawsuits.

DONALD TRUMP:
What they did to that river, I think, you know, from what I see with all the toxics in the water, I don't know if it's ever going to recover. We need less government. And we will save a fortune. As far as immigration's concerned, we need the wall. We want people to come in. I want people to come in. They have to be wonderful people. They have to come in legally. You know, if you're in Mexico, it's almost impossible to become a citizen of Mexico. And yet us, they just walk across the border.

CHUCK TODD:
People still want to come here.

DONALD TRUMP:
They want to come here --

CHUCK TODD:
Doesn't that tell you something that America is --

DONALD TRUMP:
But you know what --

CHUCK TODD:
-- pretty great?

DONALD TRUMP:
Okay, they want to come here --

CHUCK TODD:
Everybody still wants to come here.

DONALD TRUMP:
But a lot of them come here, take the money, and go back into Mexico and the other countries because they still want to stay at their own country. You would be amazed. They want to stay in their own country. They have a loyalty to their own country. They come here --

CHUCK TODD:
Then why haven't they --

DONALD TRUMP:
-- they take our money, and they go back. I'm not saying they take it illegally. In many cases, they don't. In some cases, we have problems. But they come into this country. They take the money. They go back home into one of many countries. I don't like that.

CHUCK TODD:
All right.

DONALD TRUMP:
Thank you.

CHUCK TODD:
All right, Mr. Trump.

DONALD TRUMP:
Have a good time.

CHUCK TODD:
You enjoy the fair. What are you going to eat on a stick?

DONALD TRUMP:
I don’t know, but it’s my kind of food you know, I do like that kind of food.

CHUCK TODD:
The pork chop is excellent.

DONALD TRUMP:
I’ll do it, I’ll do it.