OTR Interviews

Trump forms exploratory committee: 'I'm very serious ... The country is in very serious trouble'

'The Donald' believes he's the 'only one who can make America truly great again.'


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 18, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Donald Trump is already running an empire. Today, the billionaire business mogul and TV star taking a giant step towards running for president.

And Donald Trump joins us. Good evening, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So, this is serious here. You formed an exploratory committee.

TRUMP: I'm very serious. I see what's going on with the country. The country is in serious trouble. A lot of people say it's going to hell. Only bad decisions being made. We make no good decisions. We have no victories. When was the last time you heard about something good that happened, like we beat China at something? We beat some other country. Mexico, you look at what they're doing, they're taking our business out of Tennessee. You look at what other countries are doing to us. So I'm very serious. Our country is in very serious trouble.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Two questions, you're headed tomorrow to New Hampshire. You got an early morning in New Hampshire. I want to know what you did there. Also, what does it mean to form an exploratory committee? Who is on this committee?

TRUMP: We're forming the committee right now. What it means is I'm very serious. I'm looking at it in a fashion that something has to be done with respect to the country. We're not going to have a country left anymore. I'm going to New Hampshire tomorrow. I have many, many meetings, some speeches. They're going to have one of the largest crowds they've ever had from what I'm understanding. The press is telling me, I'm not telling it to them. I've always had the biggest crowd. I had the biggest crowd in CPAC. You can you talk to anybody you want and you'll see. That nobody reports that. But that's OK. But we expect tremendous crowds tomorrow and record-setting crowds and you'll see that.

There's people -- it's not about Trump and not about liking Donald Trump. I think people understand what I stand for. And we're not going to be ripped off by China. We're not going to be ripped off by Mexico, which not only breaks our border and sends people right through like it's a railroad train, they just push them right to the border. By the way, do you want to become a citizen of Mexico, it's one of the hardest countries in the world to do. But in addition, they're killing this economically. They're taking our jobs. They're taking our business. So if I was in that position, people know that wouldn't be happening.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let me ask you about, New Hampshire, that's tomorrow. Iowa, which is a little different, where the campaign is. Do you have any staff in Iowa right now?

TRUMP: Absolutely, I do.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you expect to go door to door? Because they sort of expect you to go door to door in Iowa.

TRUMP: That's OK. I have a great staff there. Chuck Wagner is in Iowa. We have a great staff in South Carolina. We have as you know, you know Corey. Corey is in New Hampshire. And New Hampshire is some place. I mean, I'm really looking forward to that trip tomorrow. But we have a great group of people in New Hampshire. And people will understand that. And people are starting to see it.

You know, I have not done this before. I've looked at running a couple of time. Frankly, I love my business. I love what I've done. I love what I've built. I've given tens of thousands -- we have so many over the years, thousands and thousands of jobs and really good jobs that I provided. And I built a great business. I built a phenomenal business among the best assets of anybody, very little debt, and that's really what this country needs.

VAN SUSTEREN: If it were President Donald Trump tonight, would you wait for Prime Minister Netanyahu form his government or would you congratulate him on his win?

TRUMP: Number one, he should have been called already. From what the word is, it's hard to believe he hasn't been called. There's a great hatred right there and it's ridiculous. He should have been called already. They should have never been in this position. The level of animosity between the president and Netanyahu is incredible. They should have never been in -- and frankly, I have many friends, they love Israel. I say the worst thing that ever happened to Israel is Obama. He is the worst thing that ever happened to Israel. So I don't understand how they support him, why they support him, but they do. Maybe it's a habit.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there cost to the Americans to have President Obama have this grudge fight with Prime Minister Netanyahu?

TRUMP: I think it's a great detriment to this country and I think it's a really big -- a tremendous detriment to Israel and to the people of Israel. Here you have a stable country, a great country. They've really done a fantastic job. You go over there, it's like an oasis. And we're treating them terribly. Absolutely terrible.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Donald Trump, thank you so much.

I know you have an early morning -- I think 7:00 a.m., you have to be in New Hampshire.

TRUMP: I do.


TRUMP: I'm going to be up there early. We'll be up there early and have a lot of fun. And there are a lot of great people up there, people that love this country, and they really work hard.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I'll track you down next week.

Donald, thank you very much for joining us.

TRUMP: Thank you, Greta.