Published May 30, 2007
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 29, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "unresolved problem" segment tonight, Rosie O'Donnell and freedom of speech. As I said in the "Talking Points Memo," I have overplayed the O'Donnell story, if you just see it as a media situation.
But there's a bigger picture here. With us now is a man who catapulted Ms. O'Donnell into a national controversy, Donald Trump. You know, you and I are responsible for this monster, who is now in a position where I think she's weakened, but is a sympathetic figure in some circles.
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Well, she is a monster. And you and I understood that right from the beginning. But interestingly, if she just stayed for three more weeks, just stayed, didn't have to do her big number, she would have gone out at least a lot better. Now she looks like a quitter. She looks like a loser.
O'REILLY: But to her fans, they're sympathetic to her. You know, she has a 26 percent approval rating according to a new FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll.
TRUMP: That's pretty low.
O'REILLY: That's a lot lower than President Bush.
TRUMP: Hard to believe.
O'REILLY: But she sees herself as a victim, a victim of you, a victim of me. And her people are basically saying “trumps” and “O'Reillies” are bullies. Are we?
TRUMP: Well, she's the bully. And she's a terrible person. And I know her very well. I mean I know her.
O'REILLY: She went to your wedding, right?
TRUMP: She went to my wedding. She had lots and lots of cake. And I'll tell you what. She is a terrible human being.
O'REILLY: But why did you invite her to your wedding if she's a terrible human being?
TRUMP: Well, it wasn't my invite. It happened to be somebody else's invite, but she went to the wedding. And she was there nevertheless. And I do know her pretty well.
She has lost tremendous credibility. And I think she was never a bright person. And she got always a thing with the Emmys, and the bright, and she's brilliant.
O'REILLY: She's funny.
TRUMP: Well, Elisabeth Hasselbeck beat the hell out of her. And Elisabeth is not the brightest person on the planet. And if you watch that debate, which I watched twice because I couldn't believe it, Rosie was reduced to nothing.
O'REILLY: Well, let's talk about the bigger picture here. You exercise freedom of speech every day. I do. Why shouldn't she? Why should she be held in such scorn for saying these things?
TRUMP: Well, I think this is really your issue more than mine because you hate what she said about the country. And so do I, obviously, because she's basically saying that, you know, what we're doing is so, so bad. Now I'm a big opponent on the war, as you probably have heard.
O'REILLY: Right. Right.
TRUMP: And you're so less so. But I think the war is a total disaster. But there's a way of approaching it differently.
O'REILLY: But you wouldn't say American soldiers killed 600,000 Iraqi civilians?
TRUMP: No, I would not.
O'REILLY: That's insane.
TRUMP: And she said that.
O'REILLY: And she said that.
TRUMP: And I think it was very bad.
O'REILLY: Right. Because once you cross over into the anti-American propaganda, where you're giving Al Qaeda all kinds of, you know — they use this stuff. They see this stuff. This comes on Al Jazeera, Al Arabia. But I have freedom of speech and so do you. And when she says this stuff, I'm going to hold her accountable. Am I wrong?
TRUMP: Well, you and I have the advantage that we can attack back and we have a forum. You have the ultimate forum because you're on every night. With me, I seem to get a lot of people saying, “What do you think, and what do you this and that?”
But you know, I like to attack people that are bad people. And Rosie's a bad person. And she said many, many bad things about lots of people - you, myself and also about this country. And when she got involved with the country, she really did go too far.
O'REILLY: Did we actually help her by publicizing her so much?
O'REILLY: See, I get a lot of mail that says if you and Trump had just shut up.
TRUMP: I think they happen to be right. OK?
O'REILLY: Do you?
TRUMP: Yes. I went after her very, very strongly in December and January.
O'REILLY: Yes, after that Miss USA thing.
TRUMP: She criticized me for giving Miss USA, who has had a drug and alcohol problem, and so far she's doing great. So far, I'm very proud of my decision, but she criticized me for that, and very strongly. I went after her very, very powerfully. And what happened is her ratings went to her all-time highest.
TRUMP: Now I knew that was going to happen, but I had a choice. Be quiet or attack. Now her ratings started falling very, very strongly, as you know, from January. December and January, that was our point of attack. Her ratings were the best. They dropped very, very strongly. They probably went up recently. And now she's gone.
I'm very happy she's gone. The thing I don't understand, I've always told you she's very self-destructive. She really self-destructed. Why do you have mosquitoes in here, Bill?
O'REILLY: I have no idea, but they're not bothering me.
TRUMP: You have to speak to Roger Ailes about that. But the fact is she self-destructed. And I said she was going to self-destruct and I love it.
O'REILLY: OK. But you just said that maybe it would have been better if you and I had not taken her on, and just let her kind of just drift, because I get a lot of mail that says that.
TRUMP: Well, I really think those people are right. It's just not our personality. I mean, we have a personality.
O'REILLY: But do you feel you accomplished something here?
TRUMP: I think I exposed Rosie for what she is, which is a terrible human being, a bully, and a person that's not very smart. Also a person that's unbelievably self-destructive.
O'REILLY: Now why is that important for people to know?
TRUMP: Maybe it's not. It's important for me. When I get attacked, I always attack back, if I am attacked unfairly. I've been attacked many times and I don't do it back because they happen to be right. I mean, you know, people happen to be right. Elisabeth Hasselbeck the other day said I was obnoxious. And I said, “You happen to be right.”
You know, I don't always attack back. Of course I did call her not so smart. But you know, Rosie's an interesting character. We built her up too much, but I think we had to do it based on our personalities.
O'REILLY: OK. Well, I have nothing personally against Rosie O'Donnell. I wish her the best. If she comes back on, and a major corporation hires her, and she starts with the anti-American stuff, it's going to get it right between the eyes and so is the corporation.
TRUMP: But you know that'll happen. And you know she's going to do very well for a few months.
O'REILLY: I don't think so.
TRUMP: And then her ratings had to go right down the tube.
O'REILLY: I don't think so. I think she may be radioactive. Donald Trump everybody. Thanks for coming in, always good to see you.
TRUMP: Thank you.
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