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OTR Interviews

Rumsfeld: Why I will vote for Trump

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, a major announcement about the 2016 presidential election from Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Moments ago he went ON THE RECORD.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, sir.

DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Thank you. Good to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Always nice to see you.

All right. Have you decided who you are going to support for president?

RUMSFELD: Yes. And the way I think of it is this. On the Democrat side, we have a known known. On the Republican side, we have a recent entry who is a known unknown.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that the title of a book?

RUMSFELD: It is. I'm glad you mentioned that.

VAN SUSTEREN: I have a good memory.

RUMSFELD: But, look, I'm a Republican. I don't expect that I should agree with everybody on everything with two great political parties. There is bound to be a range of views. And I wouldn't -- I could not vote for Mrs. Clinton.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Are you endorsing Trump or supporting him, voting for him?

RUMSFELD: I don't know that there is any difference.

VAN SUSTEREN: So this is an endorsement?

RUMSFELD: No. I don't -- no one asked me for my endorsement. But I'm clearly going to vote for him. I mean, there's -- I just can't imagine not.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of Secretary Clinton, why is it that you wouldn't vote for her?

RUMSFELD: Well, there are a number of reasons. I think telling the parents of people who have been killed that it was a result of a video when she knew it was not is not a good thing to do.

I think even worse is if you think of intelligence, you've got official business, sensitive, confidential, secret and top secret. And then you've got compartments where even someone cleared for top secret is not allowed access to those compartments unless they have a need to know.

From everything you read in the paper, she was on that server, had special compartmented information and top secret information. Now what's wrong with that?

Well, number one, the information -- we spend billions of dollars gathering intelligence as a country. And once people outside know that we have that intelligence; they then can prevent us from getting additional intelligence through that source. And that puts the source at risk.

Second, the -- any country looking at the way the State Department and she handled classified information is not -- want to put their people at risk. So they're going to refuse to give us information. And I have been told this by one country already that they would be -- have to be much more careful about what they would show with us. Well, we don't know everything. We have to cooperate with other intelligence agencies.

And so I really believe that if she were a yeoman in the Navy or a sergeant in the Army or the Marine Corps, the Air Force, that she would be prosecuted.

I don't know what will happen and I'm not a lawyer. But I think that the idea that when people say that, well, who has the responsibility for classifying a document? And she says the State Department as though a building is the one that has hands and can say secret, or top secret, or special compartmented information. I think it's a serious offense.

VAN SUSTEREN: It seems to me, listening to you, that your vote is in part it's anybody but, because you don't want her?

RUMSFELD: Well, that's true in life.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, no, but --

(CROSSTALK)

RUMSFELD: Every time I vote. We are not voting against this person against the good Lord. We are voting against between two people.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you are taking the unknown because the one you know is one that you --

RUMSFELD: Is not acceptable.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. So you're just going to -- not that you have a lot of options at this point. There is only one other candidate unless you want libertarian so you're going to take him.

(CROSSTALK)

RUMSFELD: I also have another reason. And that's that I think that Sanders and Trump have hit a nerve in this country. And people in public life, or private life, or you business need to not be dismissive of that. There is something happening that those two people could draw 25,000 human beings to hear them speak. And I think that we ought to give some credence to that and understand that that's -- that's real.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the fact that Donald Trump has ruffled the feathers of some of our allies? You've got Prime Minister Cameron, who has said things.

I mean, what -- does that unnerve you a little bit as you make your selection?

RUMSFELD: Well, I spend 8 days in the caucuses in Central Asia area and talk to a lot of people from other countries. They know I'm a former ambassador to NATO. And they know what Mr. Trump is being reported as having said about NATO.

And I have staff person go back and tell me precisely what he did say about NATO. And then I compared it with what the media and his opponents are saying he said about NATO and there is a difference.

And I laughed because back in 2003 or 2004 or 2005, I sent to President Bush, it's on Rumsfeld.com, my Web site, a memo saying that NATO needs to be all these institutions that were created back in the Truman era: Iran, NATO, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Counsel. They all need to be updated. They were created at the end of World War II at the beginning of the cold war.

We ended the cold war and moved into the information age in the 21st century and they have not -- they have not been looked at to be brought up to date to deal with threats and issues and needs that exist today. Even though they have served us well over the years, I do think that we need like a Hoover Commission, a group of people that would sit down and really look at those things.

The other thing is, he said about NATO that the Western Europe and allies are not spending enough on defense. Well, it happens to be true. When I came here, the United States was spending 10 percent of GDP on defense in 1957 in the Eisenhower, the Kennedy, the Johnson area.

Today, we are spending less than 4 percent. And our allies are spending less than 2 percent. Now, that -- we're not going to preserve peace if we don't make the kinds of investments in our security that are needed.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. This week, CIA Director Brennan said that ISIS is getting bigger. That it's -- you know, it's a growing threat. Who could destroy ISIS better? Trump or Clinton?

RUMSFELD: Well, I think the idea of four more years of what we've had over the past seven or eight is not going to do it. I was just with a very prominent central European figure in office and it's not, it was in a private session so it's not for me to say who it was.

They were asked if you had an opportunity to give advice to the president of the United States, or the incoming president of the United States, what would your advice be? And the person answered and said act like a super power.

What's happened is we have created a vacuum in the world so that all eyes are turning away from us and the expectations have dropped. And our friends are less certain of our friendship and our enemies are of a mind that they can do more -- someone asked me, what will Mr. Putin do next? And I said, whatever he thinks he can. That's what he will do. People don't do things they think they can't do. But he feels free.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me turn now to these ads. The thing that you and I talked about before, your solitaire game. You can now get it on Android.

RUMSFELD: It is true. It's been on the Apple app store and now it is on Android, which is a large market and it's been fun. We had something like 600,000 downloads.

VAN SUSTEREN: 650,000.

RUMSFELD: Is that right?

VAN SUSTEREN: 650,000. I looked it up.

RUMSFELD: Oh my goodness. And it was ranked one of the top ones in the first weeks it was out. It's a terrific game.

VAN SUSTEREN: And Churchill really played it during World War II?

RUMSFELD: Churchill played it a lot during World War II. And he ended up teaching a man named Andre de Staercke back in 19 -- well, when the Germans, Nazis occupied Belgium.

He went in exile, in government exile in London and became a good friend of Churchill's. Churchill taught him. He taught me 30 or 40 years later, when I was ambassador to NATO. And Joyce and I have been playing it and we have taught it to some friends. I was afraid it would be lost to the ages. But, I have no doubt that you could win. You could do well.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the proceeds help vets, injured vets?

RUMSFELD: Eight. Any proceeds I make are going to military charities that our foundation supports. And the money that the Churchill people make goes to the Churchill Legacy.

They have been very cooperative. And we have enjoyed doing it. But it's a challenging game, it's strategic. It's vastly more difficult, because it involves two sets of cards and other complications, but it's a lot of fun.

You start out as a Sandhurst cadet as Churchill did, and then you move up to prime minister.

VAN SUSTEREN: For everyone out there watching, download this app. You can now get it on Androids.

Secretary Rumsfeld, always nice to see you, sir.

RUMSFELD: Thank you, Greta. Good to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: You can learn about the Churchill Solitaire, in case you weren't listening, go to GretaWire.com. And on my Facebook page, there is a link to download the app -  tutorial on how to play.