Donald Trump in the No Spin Zone

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Jan. 19, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST:In “The 'Factor' Follow-Up" segment tonight, the hit NBC program "The Apprentice" begins its third season tomorrow night, and here now the star of that program, Donald Trump, whose latest book is "Trump: Think Like a Billionaire," number one on the business list.

"Think Like a Billionaire." I can't even imagine. Like George Soros? I got to think like him? Or what have I got do?

DONALD TRUMP, AUTHOR, "TRUMP: THINK LIKE A BILLIONAIRE": Well, you're pretty close to that status, aren't you?


TRUMP: I mean, with all the money you're making with those great...

O'REILLY: Yes, yes. Don't believe all that.

TRUMP: Roger Ailes takes good care of you. I know that.

O'REILLY: I hope so.

Inauguration's tomorrow, right? You're not going, are you?

TRUMP: I'm not going.

O'REILLY: All right. You didn't vote for Bush, did you?

TRUMP: Actually, I did.

O'REILLY: Did you really? You were bad-mouthing him.

TRUMP: No, I wasn't. I was bad-mouthing the war in Iraq. I'm not a big fan of the war in Iraq.

O'REILLY: So you voted for Bush.

TRUMP: I voted for Bush because I think he's got certain things that are excellent, including a tax policy that's excellent and going to prove to be excellent. But I am not a big fan of the war in Iraq, and I've let a lot of people know about it, and perhaps that's being proven to be correct.

O'REILLY: Maybe. We'll have to know -- six months I think we'll know whether that thing's going to work out or not.

Now why did Kerry lose?

TRUMP: He just -- and I like him a lot. He just didn't catch on.

And, you know, when he was first announced, I really thought he'd have a great chance. He's got a good look. I think he's got a good look. Somebody said he's a good-looking version of Abe Lincoln. So who knows?

But I think that he just didn't catch on, and I'm surprised. And, for a while, he was catching on. During the first and second debate, he was catching on.

O'REILLY: Do you think he was tough enough?

TRUMP: He probably wasn't. I mean, in retrospect, something went wrong, and Bush won by a pretty good margin.


TRUMP: You know, say what you want. We talk about the electoral college as a little bit on the close side, but he won by, what, close to four million votes. That's a lot of votes.

O'REILLY: Now you had -- you have the book, "Think Like a Billionaire," but you've had some problems in your casino business. You know, people don't understand that business. A casino? How can you lose money in a casino?

TRUMP: Well, the casinos actually do very well. We put a lot of debt on them years ago, and what I'm doing is reducing it, and, as you know, it's less than 1 percent of my net worth. So it's not a big deal from that standpoint. But it's going to be a really terrific company when I finish that.

O'REILLY: But why hasn't it been? What's -- how do you not do well in a casino business?

TRUMP: Because we put a lot of debt on the business and...

O'REILLY: What? Building the building and stuff?

TRUMP: No, no. Not really doing that. Just we put debt on the business. We took money out of the business.

O'REILLY: For other investments?

TRUMP: For other investments. The other investments turned out very good, and now I'm reducing the debt and reducing it very substantially, and...

O'REILLY: How many casinos do you have?

TRUMP: Four.


TRUMP: And they're doing well from the standpoint of business, but I had to reduce the debt and I -- and that's what I'm doing now.

O'REILLY: But some bond holders got hosed?

TRUMP: No, I think the bond holders are very happy. If you ask the bond holders..

O'REILLY: So nobody got hosed?

TRUMP: Well, I would say that some people think they got hosed, but nobody got hosed, as you use the expression.

O'REILLY: All right. Because I'm not as sophisticated in business as you. I would never...

TRUMP: Yes. I really think -- I really think that when I'm here in two years or a year from now, you're going to say that's a great company. We're reducing the debt. I really...

O'REILLY: So hold your -- hold your paper if you have it.

TRUMP: I would say so, yes, absolutely.

O'REILLY: All right. Now you're getting married on Saturday, right?


O'REILLY: Now why do you -- Why do you make it such a big deal? Why...

TRUMP: I don't make a big deal.

O'REILLY: It's on the front page. Come on. I mean...

TRUMP: But did I make it a big deal? Did I...

O'REILLY: No, but you let -- you let somebody in to photograph your fiance. I mean, there -- she's in the photograph. She's in the dress. She's here. She's...

TRUMP: Well, you're right. Vogue came in. She was on the cover of...

O'REILLY: Yes. Well, I mean, a guy like you could buy privacy.

TRUMP: I don't think I can buy privacy, honestly, Bill. I...

O'REILLY: Sure. You could fly off to some island.

TRUMP: I mean, Bill, you're asking me about the wedding. I'm not saying -- did I come in and say please talk about my wedding? I don't want to talk about the wedding. I would love to have it be a private affair.

O'REILLY: Would you really?

TRUMP: I really would.

O'REILLY: You don't use this as publicity?

TRUMP: Right now -- no, I really don't.

O'REILLY: Does she like all the attention?

TRUMP: No. She likes it less than I do.

O'REILLY: So you guys could have just flown off to the Canary Islands?

TRUMP: It's a monster. It's a monster out of control.

O'REILLY: It is. What, it's going to cost you about a million bucks?

TRUMP: There are seven -- no, it's going to cost me much less than that. There are seven helicopters right now circling Mar-a-Largo. I didn't...

O'REILLY: Shoot them down? Get rockets.

TRUMP: Well, that's one way of doing it, I guess.

O'REILLY: All right. "The Apprentice." Now this is the third season on this thing or what?

TRUMP: This is number three.

O'REILLY: This is number three.

TRUMP: That's right.

O'REILLY: Now when was the second season, in September?

TRUMP: That's correct.

O'REILLY: All right. So now you don't even go a full year. You just...

TRUMP: Well, NBC like -- you know, when they get good ratings, it's like you're staying. You get good ratings, you keep it going.

O'REILLY: Yes. This is now the third season. So...

TRUMP: This was supposed to be the third year, but now it's the third season.

O'REILLY: ... what's the difference of this season to last season?

TRUMP: Well, you know, the ratings for number one and two were so good and so strong, and that's one of the reasons they're doing it a little bit quicker than normal, but it starts tomorrow night, and I think it's going to be terrific.

It's book smarts versus street smarts, and it's people that went to college and did very well and great students against people that became very successful without a college education, sometimes without a high school education.

O'REILLY: And you're in the middle...

TRUMP: And I'm in the middle...

O'REILLY: ... emceeing this thing.

TRUMP: ... and I'm going to make the choices, and I think it's actually the best boardrooms we've had. It's been fantastic.

O'REILLY: All right. So it's a fight-out of who's going to be -- now what do they get, a million dollars or something, $250,000?

TRUMP: They get $250,000, which is...

O'REILLY: That's a little cheap.

TRUMP: That's about what you get per show.

O'REILLY: This guy is unbelievable. I'm not investing in casinos. That's why I have a lot of money.

TRUMP: That's cool.

O'REILLY: Now the dopes on the island -- they get $1 million. So you go out and you eat bugs on the island, you get $1 million. You hang out with you, you get $250,000. That's...

TRUMP: Well, you know what?

O'REILLY: That's kind of cheap. I think you should up that for a million.

TRUMP: For whatever reason -- Bill, for whatever reason they want to work for me, even it's for $250,000...

O'REILLY: Oh, come on. They don't want to work for you. They want to be famous and...

TRUMP: Well, they probably -- I think it starts out where they want to work for me, and then after they get the bug and after they go on your show and other shows, all of a sudden, they want to be famous. I think that's true.

O'REILLY: Do you believe that this television thing is a huckster thing because you're primarily a businessman. You build stuff.

TRUMP: Right.

O'REILLY: That's what you like to do, right?

TRUMP: What I do best is build.

O'REILLY: You build. All right. You built half of New York. So why do you even bother with this television stuff? Is this an ego thing?

TRUMP: I did this because I like Mark Burnett, I respect Mark Burnett, and the NBC guys were great. And I did it, and I did it for very little, just to have some fun.

O'REILLY: But you like being a star. This makes you a star.

TRUMP: Well, it went to the number one show on television, as you know.

O'REILLY: Yes. So, if you walk out and people go Donald -- they want to sign stuff.


TRUMP: ... the women screaming, and then it's like amazing.

O'REILLY: Yes. You've got the women screaming, but you're getting married again.

TRUMP: That's true, and that doesn't help.

O'REILLY: You can't -- you know -- right. So now you've got to...

TRUMP: That's true.

O'REILLY: You know, no more screaming.

TRUMP: No more dating, as the expression goes.

O'REILLY: Yes, that's one of the rules, right?

TRUMP: And if I do date, you have a major story.

O'REILLY: I don't want that story.

TRUMP: You're not going to have that story.

O'REILLY: Yes, because I don't -- I don't -- I think you should be more private. I'm giving you advice.

TRUMP: You don't date?

O'REILLY: I -- absolutely not.

TRUMP: I don't date.

O'REILLY: I'd have a heart attack. But I think you should be more private in your private life.

TRUMP: I would like to, Bill. I would like to be. You asked me -- you wanted me to be on the program. I'm on the program.

O'REILLY: Look -- but I'm not buying it. I'm not buying it. You've got private planes. You've got helicopters. You could take your fiance and zip off to the Canary Islands where they don't care about you, get married and come back.

TRUMP: Yes, I make a better deal at Mar-a-Largo (search).

O'REILLY: Yes, you make a better deal! You see what I mean?

TRUMP: No, I love it.

O'REILLY: Everything's a deal here.

TRUMP: I built a ballroom of my own, and so it doesn't cost me anything.

O'REILLY: This is a riot. At least you're honest about it.

TRUMP: I am honest.

O'REILLY: Because you all -- everything ties in to the business.

TRUMP: Well, perhaps it does. I mean, what I do best is build, and I'm building buildings all over New York and other places, and they're doing very well. And I don't know that this great success that we've had on television...

O'REILLY: I've got to tell everybody -- because I've let you go, but, you know, just the fact that you're Trump, you can charge $200,000 more for your little apartments.

TRUMP: That's true.

O'REILLY: Just because your name is Trump!

TRUMP: It seems to work.

O'REILLY: If I build an apartment, nobody's going to buy it. You, they'll pay 200 grand just to say I live at Trump's.

TRUMP: With you, they might. I don't know.

O'REILLY: No, they wouldn't. Believe me.

TRUMP: Try it sometime.

O'REILLY: George Soros would not step foot into the lobby.

All right. Donald Trump. "The Apprentice" tomorrow night. Getting married on Saturday. Anything else you want to plug here?


O'REILLY: Book is big, right?

TRUMP: Yes, the book is great. Go out and buy the book.

O'REILLY: Buy the book. -- He needs more money. -- Trump needs more money.

All right. Always good to see you. Thanks for coming in.

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you.

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