This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 9, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
No "Talking Points Memo" because we have an interview with the man in the center of an enormous storm -- Donald Trump. His opinion that Muslims overseas should be temporarily suspended from coming to the U.S.A. has ignited, perhaps, the most intense political firestorm we have ever seen.
Overnight, Bloomberg conducted an Internet poll of about 600 folks -- 37 percent agree with Trump overall; 50 percent oppose. But, when you break it down to Republican primary voters: 65 percent agree; 22 percent dissent.
Joining us now from his campaign headquarters here in New York City is Donald Trump.
So just to get you on the record, if you are elected president, what will you do regarding Muslims, non-American citizens traveling to the USA? What will you do?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Very simple. First of all, as you know, I have many good friends who are Muslims. They're terrific people. And they are calling me on an hourly basis thanking me for bringing up this point.
I would try and find out what is going on, why the hatred? Why are people willing to fly planes into the World Trade Center? Why did those two people last week, they get married, why did they -- and you explain this to me -- go into a room and start shooting everybody, Bill?
It's a very, very serious problem and somebody had to bring it up. Now, maybe it's not politically correct to do it, but somebody had to bring it up and a lot of people are very thankful that I did it.
O'REILLY: Yes, but you didn't answer my question, what would you do to Muslims overseas vis-a-vis coming to the USA?
TRUMP: I would -- I would -- number one, I'd try and get to the bottom of what's going on --
O'REILLY: All right, we got that.
TRUMP: I would set up a very strong -- wait a minute, Bill -- I would set up a very strong system and I'm very happy that tonight, because last night I'm not sure it was mentioned, but you said this is a temporary system. I would set up a very -- it's a temporary ban on not everybody, but many.
I would set up a system to see who qualifies to come in, who doesn't, until we come down with the answer --
O'REILLY: All right, but that's really, you know --
TRUMP: -- as to what's happening --
O'REILLY: -- that would be --
TRUMP: -- with the Muslim population.
O'REILLY: -- with millions of people traveling to the United States for business and pleasure and everything like that, to -- to scrutinize every one of them in that way would almost be impossible.
But let me -- let's -- let's advance this story tonight.
The -- I assume --
TRUMP: I don't think it would be impossible --
O'REILLY: -- I assume --
TRUMP: -- but it would be -- it would be something that has to be done.
O'REILLY: All right. I assume that if you were president, the goal is to defeat the jihad, is that correct? That's the goal?
TRUMP: Yes. Correct.
O'REILLY: All right.
O'REILLY: Now, would you cede, as I said last night, that you need Arab-Muslim nations to help the United States defeat the jihad? Would you cede that?
TRUMP: No, I don't. But I do think they would be --
O'REILLY: You don't?
TRUMP: -- very helpful and -- no. But I do think it would be very, very helpful.
O'REILLY: All right, well, how does it help, then, if you say to the King of Jordan, you and all your people can't come here for a while, until I sort it out? Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, their government is cooperating against ISIS with us. Turkey, their government is letting us land planes there. How is that helpful to ban people from all of those countries from coming here? It doesn't seem to be helpful --
TRUMP: Bill, what --
O'REILLY: -- to defeating the jihad.
TRUMP: -- when you say -- when you say their governments are letting us, we are paying a very big price to have governments let us do anything.
O'REILLY: But still, they --
TRUMP: We have people --
O'REILLY: -- they don't have to allow us --
O'REILLY: -- to use bases in Turkey. If you say all Kurdistan --
TRUMP: Excuse me --
O'REILLY: -- come here --
TRUMP: -- excuse me.
O'REILLY: -- you're not going to have those bases.
TRUMP: We are paying -- we are paying a very big price. Everything we get, we pay a big price for. We get nothing for nothing.
I watched President Obama's speech last week. It was a disgrace. He -- frankly, when it ended, I said, is that all there is? I couldn't even believe it. But I watched that speech last night. It was a -- the other night -- it was a total disgrace. We have a president that doesn't have a clue. He doesn't know what's going on.
All I'm doing is bringing a situation to the forefront that everybody is talking about and nobody wants to do anything --
O'REILLY: All right --
TRUMP: -- about it.
When you look at what's happening in this country, with all of the other problems we have, and that includes migration, where they want thousands of people to come into our country that we don't know who they are, we have to do something about it, Bill.
O'REILLY: And I agree with you that -- that people coming here for permanent residency have to be vetted and that the burden is on them to prove that they're harmless.
But I disagree with you in the sense that if you say no Muslims can travel here from overseas, you are hurting the United States' position against ISIS. We need the friendly Muslim --
TRUMP: I disagree. I disagree.
O'REILLY: -- nations. You can't insult them like that.
TRUMP: I disagree.
O'REILLY: You can't.
TRUMP: Bill, I disagree. People have to be vetted. They have to be perfectly --
O'REILLY: You can vet them, but you can't insult --
TRUMP: -- vetted. We have to know who's coming in --
O'REILLY: -- the whole religion.
TRUMP: We're not insulting. This is about security, it's not about religion. This is about security. We cannot allow people to come into this country that have horrible things in their minds.
O'REILLY: All right, everybody agrees with that.
TRUMP: There's something going on.
O'REILLY: But you didn't -- I don't think you thought through the unintended consequences of banning an entire religion from coming to the United States. That's just my opinion.
Let me -- let me roll --
TRUMP: Bill, Bill --
O'REILLY: -- something for you --
O'REILLY: Go ahead.
TRUMP: I thought through everything --
O'REILLY: Go ahead.
TRUMP: -- believe me.
O'REILLY: All right. OK.
TRUMP: I thought through everything. Look at what's happening. I thought through everything. And, again, I've had calls from friends of mine who happen to be Muslim --
O'REILLY: All right.
TRUMP: -- saying you're the only one with the courage. Bill, they said you're the only one with the courage to say it. They all know what I'm saying is true.
O'REILLY: We want to win the war against ISIS and the jihad.
O'REILLY: You've got to enlist --
TRUMP: That is correct.
O'REILLY: -- the Muslim nations to do it. Insulting them en masse is not the way.
Now I want you to react to Hillary Clinton. Go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner has made a name for himself in the last month by trafficking in prejudice and paranoia. His latest insult is his call to stop all Muslims from entering the United States. This is both a shameless and a dangerous idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: All right, you say?
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a joke. I watch her. I've been watching her for years. She was the worst secretary of State in history. She's the one that caused this problem, between her and Obama and their policies. That's why you have the migration.
I mean she is a disaster. Look at what happened with Libya. Look at what happened with your ambassador. Look at what happened with Benghazi. Look at all of the problems that she's caused. She's a big factor in this.
And then I hear her holier than thou Donald Trump -- look, Hillary is going to lose. The Fox poll came out. I'm leading. I'm beating her by a lot. I'm beating everybody, actually, by a lot, including all of the Republicans.
But the last person she wants to run against, and I know this for a fact, is me because, look, I understand Hillary Clinton.
First of all, she doesn't have the strength or the stamina to be president. She does not have the strength or the stamina. She will do a - - and if we have another four years of Barack Obama, which is basically what she represents, we have a lot of problems. You think we have problems now -- we won't have a country left.
O'REILLY: OK, now. What she's playing to is two things. She's trying to get Independent voters to say that Donald Trump is a kook, all right, and he's an extremist. That's number one.
But number two is the point that she makes is that you help ISIS by portraying the United States as anti-Muslim. That actually helps the extremists recruit. Do you see that point?
TRUMP: No, I don't see it at all. I don't see it at all. The last person that ISIS wants in that position, the position of president, is Donald Trump -- that I can tell you. Just like the last person that Hillary Clinton wants to run against is Donald Trump. You will see that.
But right now, I'm focused on the Republicans, frankly, but you look at polls, and you look at what's happening, she doesn't want to do it. But I do sort of smile -- it's a joke when she gets up and talks. She's caused many of these problems, Bill.
O'REILLY: All right. Now on the Republican side, you had Dick Cheney; you've got Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, and a bevy of other people. I, you know, your competitors, OK, we -- we know they're going to come after you.
But people who don't have a dog in the fight, like Cheney, they're all saying that this is an extremist point of view, you're going to alienate the Muslim world. That's going to come back to hurt America. How do you react to a guy like Cheney?
TRUMP: Excuse me, extremist point of view?
I was against the war in Iraq in 2003-2004. I was --
O'REILLY: Let's keep it here.
TRUMP: -- I said don't do it.
O'REILLY: Let's keep it here.
TRUMP: No, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Cheney is the one that started the war in Iraq. You talk about an extremist. I mean Cheney started the war in Iraq, which should have never been started, because as I said then and I say now, you will destabilize the Middle East.
Somebody calls me an extremist? I am not an extremist. I'm the opposite. I'm somebody that understands what's going on.
When you look at what happened with Iraq and the war in Iraq, which should have never been started and then I'm called an extremist -- I don't think so, Bill.
O'REILLY: All right. So you reject that Cheney and the speaker and all of that criticism by saying --
TRUMP: Well --
O'REILLY: -- this is bad --
TRUMP: -- just so you understand.
O'REILLY: -- for the party.
TRUMP: Just so you understand. This was not supposed to happen. Trump was not going to run. Everybody said he's never going to run. And then if he did win, he's just going to, you know, have fun for a couple of months and maybe even a couple of weeks. He's going to just take it nice and easy. He's really not -- because, you know, he doesn't really want to.
Well, not only did I run, I ran very seriously. I'm winning by 20 points, 21 points, 15 points. I'm winning every single poll state I'm winning, national I'm winning. And this was not supposed to happen to them.
O'REILLY: All right --
TRUMP: The establishment is very upset.
O'REILLY: They don't like you, OK. Well, I -- I know how that is.
TRUMP: No, I would say probably not.
O'REILLY: The establishment doesn't like me, either.
TRUMP: And you know how it is.
TRUMP: I agree with that.
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