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OTR Interviews

Piers Morgan: Getting Mexico to pay for wall is 'achievable'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, you know about Donald Trump's wall. Critics have been jumping all over him about it, saying, "Who is going to pay for it?" And Trump said Mexico will pay for it. 

Today, Trump released a timeline laying out he how he will get Mexico to pay for the Trump wall. And while the wall is one of Trump's many controversial proposals, former U.S. cable news host, now host of "Good Morning, Britain" and editor of the DailyMail.com, Piers Morgan goes ON THE RECORD. I should also note he's an "Apprentice" winner. 

Nice to see you, Piers.

PIERS MORGAN, "APPRENTICE" WINNER: I am ... I'm very proud of being a winner of "Celebrity Apprentice." It gave me insight into Donald Trump obviously, and it's been fascinating to be one of his apprentices, watching what has been going on.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what do you think about what's going on? What do you think about this wall? What do you think about Donald Trump the businessman candidate?

MORGAN: Well, I think you have hit the nail on the head with that word businessman. Very important with Donald Trump. And I learned this when I competed in his show, I was alongside every day for months on end. Trump is a very smart guy, but primarily he sees everything in life through the prism of closing a deal. Whether it's buying a building, whether it's buying a golf course, whether it's finding a wife, whether it's running for president, I think if you understand that about Donald Trump, then very little of what's been going on should be that surprising. He is trying to work out with his business brain, how he closes two deals. One, the Republican nomination and if he wins that, and closes that deal, how does he close the presidency? And I would not underestimate him. And I wouldn't put either past him.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the wall? Do you think he can get Mexico to pay for that wall?

MORGAN: Well, when he first came out with this thing about the wall, I was like everybody, like this is madness because you couldn't work out how he would pay for it, how he would get it built, or was that even feasible. I don't happen to agree with his wall proposal. 

But I can certainly see now that it would be feasible and that his way of paying for it would be achievable. And also I suspect having just been in Florida and Texas, filming a documentary, very, very popular with a lot of heartland Americans. And people in New York and people in Washington and people where I am, Los Angeles, really need to understand that there is a huge sway of people in middle of America who are listening to things like the wall, and say I agree with this. And that is why Trump is, I think, resonating so strongly.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I know that you have got into this. You got into a Twitter discussion about the reporter that got into -- had a run-in with the campaign manager, that Trump campaign. Your thoughts about that because you were actually quite vocal on Twitter?

MORGAN: I thought it was one of the most pathetic things I have ever seen. You know, I have been an on-the-road reporter. Greta, you are a tough journalist. You know, the idea that you watch that video and anyone with a brain thinks that is some kind of assault or battery, they are living in cuckoo land. This is the run of the mill scrum which follows any presidential candidate. I would have -- I used to be a newspaper editor. 

If that would have been one of my journalists, Michelle Fields, I would have watched the video and sent her a bonus and say fantastic work getting your foot in the door, getting past the Secret Service, getting to the man, Donald Trump, and asking questions. But if I then discovered that she was actually taking legal action and going to the police and prosecuting over some kind of fatuous claim to being battered, I would have said are you kidding me? Really? Has it come to this? Has America and the political system now meant that journalists following a scrum like this, can go and go after people for battery when we are watching a video which to me is utterly tame and utterly pointless.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think the media got so consumed with this and this actually did get a life of its own, the whole incident?

MORGAN: The media, as we know -- we are great talking about ourselves. Nothing like we like more than chewing each other up. I have nothing against Michelle Fields. I don't know Michelle Fields. She is perfectly a competent reporter. As I say, I watched the video and my former editor said to me well done. You did well. You got near to Trump. You beat the Secret Service. You got a question in. 

What would Christiane Amanpour, what would Katie Couric, what would Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer have done if they had been brushed away like that by Corey Lewandowski? I will tell you what they would have done. They would have dusted themselves down and run after Trump and try to get another question. That's what proper journalists do. And to try to claim this is some kind of battery, let me try and put it in this way. If she had been a male reporter, do you think anybody would have done anything but laugh this claim out of court and out of America? And that's, I think, where you have to look at this.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: The thing is a lot of us fought really hard to get in to the scrum, you know, to get equal chance and that's the one thing that I worry about is that, you know, I want women still to have an opportunity. I'm not in favor of anyone getting assaulted. Believe me. We women fought so hard to be part of the game, you know. But, anyway.

MORGAN: Yeah. If that would have been you, Greta, I know what you would have done because you are a tough cookie. You are a tough journalist.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: I will take that as a compliment.

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: ... and gotten another question.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you very much.