OTR Interviews

Trump: 'Gross incompetence ... inconceivable' that Obama worked so hard to free a deserter, but remains quiet on Marine jailed in Mexico

'The Donald': It's hard to believe we don't have a president who could call the Mexican leader and demand Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's release now. #MarineHeldinMexico


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 9, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a Fox News alert. Right now, Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi is in a Mexican courtroom. A crucial hearing on his case is still going on after five hours, and for more than 3 months, 101 days, this U.S. Marine has been fighting to get out of a Mexican prison, and President Obama refusing to help fast-track the case.

Now, we expected to hear from Sergeant Tahmooressi's defense lawyer and mother tonight. But since that hearing is not yet over, they will join us tomorrow night. Right now, we asked Donald Trump what he thinks.


VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, nice to see you, and Sergeant Tahmooressi still rotting in a Mexican prison, what do you make of that?

DONALD TRUMP, CEO & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: And he is being treated very badly and it's a terrible situation. And it shouldn't happen. He did a good job in the Marines. People have respect for him and he probably made a wrong turn. But we have -- nobody with all the billions and billions of dollars that we send down Mexico way with our companies and everything else, and tourism -- that we don't have a president that can call him and say let him out and let him out now, is hard to believe.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what, he hasn't even call or designates anyone to call Sergeant Tahmooressi's mother, just to say, look, you know, we care about this. We are interested in this. I mean, he has gone absolutely dark on this, and sits totally silent.

TRUMP: Well, they say the president had a big talk with the head man, the head, the honcho I Mexico and they spoke for many, many minutes and it wasn't even mentioned. It was never even brought up, which tells you, he doesn't want to bring it up or he's living in a world of his own. He doesn't even know about it, but everybody knows about it you are watching. It's in the papers. It's all over the place. It's on Fox and you in particular, and it's hard to believe that he doesn't know what's going on. So, how you can be speaking to the head of Mexico and the leaders of Mexico, not and I'm talking plural, many of the leaders of Mexico, and how the subject isn't even brought up is very disrespectful, I think, to the armed forces, to the Marines, and it's just hard to believe, actually.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I'm hoping that we just don't know. And I read the read out from the call to the president of Mexico. There was obviously no mention, but just I'm hoping that for some reason President Obama is doing lots behind the scenes and actually trying to push this. Now, I will tell you what the viewers think. The viewers think that it's because he hates Fox News so much and because we are pushing it so much on Fox News. I don't believe that, because I don't believe anyone would leave -- no American would leave a Marine behind. So, I've got to think is he doing something, but I just don't see it.

TRUMP: No, I don't think it's because he hates Fox News I think it's just gross incompetence. If you want to know the truth, I don't think its Fox News. I don't think it's anything. I think we have incompetent leadership and that's the problem with the country. When is the last time you heard anything positive about the United States, like you see numbers from China coming out that are record setting. You see all of the different things from so many different countries doing well. When was the last time anything positive happened in this country? You look at what's going on around the world with all of the problems and things that we used to be involved in and control, the Middle East is blowing up, when was the last time anything like really good happened with respect to the United States. It doesn't happen anymore. We are a whipping post, and it doesn't happen anymore. You know, I think it's gross incompetence.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you're thinking -- want to look like he is trying. I mean, I even asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton what would you be doing? She said, she'd be burning up the phones. I mean, at least give the impression you are really trying and that you really care. But instead, what's so strange about this is, you know, is the silence from the White House.

TRUMP: Greta, we do so much for Mexico. Mexico would be in such trouble without us that one phone call and I mean a strong phone call he would be released two seconds if the right person made it. It's inconceivable. And then on top of it, everybody is walking through Mexico. They go through Mexico and they come to our country. Why doesn't Mexico take him? We ought to come down hard on Mexico. Economic development is a total joke. We are doing so much economically for Mexico and then they won't even release this soldier is inconceivable. And then he has talks that last for 30 minutes and he doesn't mention it? It's inconceivable.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you said it's inconceivable. You've also said it's incompetence, but what I don't get is if it's so easy, if we have so much economic muscle and we have so much diplomatic muscle with Mexico, wouldn't you think the president would like to look like a hero and say I made a phone call and I got this thing fast tracked and our marine will be coming home. Wouldn't you think that he would at least like to have that?

TRUMP: Well, he fought so hard for this deserter in the other case and yet he doesn't fight for somebody that was not a deserter. But when you look at it, it's so many things are just taking place. I read the other day on the front page of the New York Times, Japan, now they sell cars by the millions to the United States. But they won't take our farmer's food. Now, that's peanuts compared to the cars. Who is it that is negotiating?

So, here they are, they are selling million and millions of cars, tens of billions of dollars, but they won't take food from the United States which is good for our farmers. Now, who's negotiating? We have incompetent people. Who is negotiating? So, to me it's just hard to believe. The whole thing is so incredible. But I look at the Japan situation where they won't take our food from farmers, which are good for our farmers and yet we take millions of their cars and billions of dollars and I say to myself, who is negotiating these deals? Hard to believe.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think he just doesn't like the job anymore? Do you think that's what it is? If you say the he's -- that whoever is negotiating these and if they are not doing it with -- you know, with a lot of sort of passion and wanting to get these things done and we have got this Marine sitting in the prison in Mexico. You know, is it that he just doesn't have the interest anymore?

TRUMP: I think he is overwhelmed. I think it's too much for him. He doesn't have it. I think he is overwhelmed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, nice to see you. Thank you very much for joining us.

TRUMP: Thank you.