This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 26, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!
Now for the top story. Just a few hours ago I spoke with Mr. Trump who was in Florida.
So the Democratic convention so far has been to counter you and your themes. Number one is that President Obama saved the country from a depression, that he inherited such a bad economic condition in 2008 that the economy is not his fault and he actually saved us from Armageddon. You buying any of that?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No, because it was going to work out, Bill. It always works out. We always have bad periods. And that was a bad period. But we have had many of them. And frankly it works out. And they could have done things a lot differently. And, you know, our recovery has been a very weak recovery. You look at the recovery, it's the weakest recovery in history. It's the weakest recovery on record. And you look at joblessness, and I'm not talking about the phony five percent number.
I'm talking about the 21 percent or 22 percent, that is the real number where people can't find jobs. They can't find work. We were losing our jobs in our factories and everything else to other countries, including Mexico. So, you know, you know the real numbers. You see the real numbers.
O'REILLY: Yes. I mean, the numbers aren't good. But it's an interesting argument because it's speculative and you can't deny how bad it was with Lehman Brothers folding and all of that and a lot of panic. But on the other hand, you know, eight years is eight years. And I tend to agree that the economy should be better than it is now. What about the minimum wage? You got hammered on that by Bernie Sanders last night. What's your vision for federal minimum wage? How much?
TRUMP: Well, he lied last night. I mean, it was a total lie, and everybody said it, in fact, some of the folks on your network said, wow, that was really a lie, he said that I want to do go less than minimum wage. This is the new one. Because I'm the Republican that said in some cases we have to go more than minimum wage.
O'REILLY: But give me a number. Give me a number.
TRUMP: No. Let me give you a concept because I think it's a good concept. You go with the states. Let the states make the determination. Because if you take New York, it's very expensive to live in New York. And they need more than, you know, even, eight, nine dollars, so you go with the states.
O'REILLY: But the states have the authority now to do that.
TRUMP: They do. They do.
O'REILLY: There has to be a federal minimum wage.
TRUMP: They do. They do.
O'REILLY: What would you set the federal minimum wage at?
TRUMP: There doesn't have to be. Well, I would leave it and raise it somewhat. You need to help people. And I know it's not very Republican to say.
O'REILLY: Well, give me 10 bucks?
TRUMP: I would say 10. I would say 10.
O'REILLY: All right.
TRUMP: But, with the understanding that somebody like me is going to bring back jobs, I don't want people to be in that $10 category for very long. But, the thing is, Bill, let the states make the deal.
O'REILLY: Yes. But they do have the right to do that now. Because you could have a state that raises it to 15 and I would also, and this is just an aside, teenagers could make a little bit less, you know, first job if you are 17, you know, to get them in the workforce. But anyway, let's go on to --
TRUMP: Well, let me just finish because a friend of mine is a very tremendous employer. And what he did is he said by raising it and by doing certain things it took the incentive. He pays people incentive basis, if they are really good, he gives them incentive. Nobody has ever heard of this before but a lot of companies do it.
O'REILLY: Yes. I know but --
TRUMP: And he said, by raising it they already get the incentive. No, I believe it should be raised but when Bernie Sanders said that I want to go less than what the minimum wage, I mean, honestly, Bill, these people are lying so much.
O'REILLY: All right. Okay.
TRUMP: And every fact checker said Trump never said that. I never did say it.
O'REILLY: So --
-- $10 minimum wage federally and states can do what they want.
TRUMP: You have me on record saying the states are going to raise it higher than that.
O'REILLY: Yes. And they can if they want. Climate change, they said that you called climate change a hoax. Is that true?
TRUMP: I want clean air and I want clean water. And if you look at what's going on in China and all of these other countries that talk and they laugh behind our back at what we're doing, we want clean air, clean water, I have gotten many environmental awards. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about. But I want -- we have to have crystal clear water and crystal clean air.
O'REILLY: Okay. But did you ever call climate change a hoax?
TRUMP: Well, I might have because when I look at some of the things that are going on, in fact, if you look at Europe where they had their big summit a couple of years ago, where people were sending out emails, scientists practically calling it a hoax and they were laughing at it. So, yes, I probably did. I see what's going on and you see what's going on.
O'REILLY: Do you believe that that manmade fossil fuels and gases have eroded the environment so that the sun is more intense on earth? Because that's the basic thing? Do you believe that's happening?
TRUMP: Well, they are saying man made and I say it could have a minor impact but nothing, nothing to what they're talking about.
O'REILLY: All right.
TRUMP: And what it's doing is putting us at a tremendous disadvantage as a country. Because other countries are not adhering to the rules. We are. And it makes it impossible for our business to compete.
O'REILLY: That's true.
TRUMP: We are adhering to these very strict rules. And you look at China and you look at all of these other countries practically all of them they are not adhering to the rules. And our jobs are being jeopardized -- and not being jeopardized, they are being taken away. Our companies are unable to compete.
O'REILLY: All right. NATO, you made some controversial comments. I just want you to clarify them because I hate taking it from the press, because I agree with you that you are not going to get a fair shot in the press ever. So, you got small countries in Eastern Europe that Putin might mess around with. That would trigger a response from the United States. And you kind of seem to indicate that maybe you wouldn't respond.
TRUMP: Well, I think I have been treated fairly, you know, reasonably on that. And the "New York Times" covered it fairly accurately, which is unusual for them because usually they don't. The fact is we are protecting so many countries that are not paying for the protection. They are not living up to the bargain. They are not living up to their agreement. We have an agreement. We're going to protect countries. And I like NATO. I like the concept of NATO. But it's obsolete because we don't cover terrorism. And I have been saying that for a while and now all of a sudden because I have been saying it, they have a division where they start really covering terrorism.
O'REILLY: Yes. They started division. But I think that was because of me not you.
TRUMP: Well, wait a minute, Bill.
O'REILLY: It was because of me. It wasn't because of you in this case and you know that.
And the other thing because it was obsolete.
O'REILLY: Yes. All right. But --
TRUMP: And now all of a sudden they have a division now, wait a minute. When a country isn't paying us and these are countries in some cases in most cases that have the ability to pay, and they are not paying because nobody is asking.
O'REILLY: Got to kick them out.
TRUMP: We are funding 73 percent of the cost of NATO. So we're protecting all of these countries. They have an agreement to reimburse us and pay us and they are not doing it and if they are not going to do that. We have to seriously rethink at least those countries. It's very unfair. Right now, you have five countries that are paying their share. Five.
O'REILLY: Okay. I agree if they're not paying their share then they get booted out of the alliance and that's it --
TRUMP: And you know, Bill -- and you know what's been happening, people are saying well, we have a treaty. Well, we do have a treaty. We have a treaty both ways. They are supposed to be paying. They are not paying. And the reason they are not paying is because we are not asking for the money. And we are not -- this isn't 40 years ago or 50 years ago where we can, you know, do whatever we want to do. We owe $19 trillion. Going to be 21 trillion very soon because of the horrible budget that was just made. We owe $19 trillion. And we are paying for all of these countries. They are not living up to their obligation.
TRUMP: And then we are supposed to get into world war 3. Now, let me just tell you, a lot of people first they really didn't like what I was saying. Now so many people are starting to agree with me, they are saying you know what? Trump was right.
O'REILLY: I think they have to pay.
TRUMP: And you watch. You watch. Hillary Clinton will now come out and say countries have to pay and people are going to forget it just like she did today.
O'REILLY: I don't know if she'd done that.
TRUMP: NAFTA. Just like today, she came out today with NAFTA. I have been saying, he would have to renegotiate with NAFTA or we have to get out because they are taking our jobs. Today for the first time out of all these years that she's worked on this and her husband signed it and one of the worst things ever signed from an economic development standpoint, she came out today and said, well we are going to have to start thinking about renegotiating our deals. I have been saying this for a long time. She just came out. And you know why? Because what I have been saying makes sense to a lot of people.
O'REILLY: But there is another reason too.
TRUMP: -- on that train pretty quickly.
O'REILLY: There's another reason it's a sop to Bernie Sanders, and that brings me my last question. Have you ever spoken to Bernie Sanders? Have you ever talked to him?
TRUMP: No, I haven't.
O'REILLY: Ever in your life talked to him?
TRUMP: He is a tired man. He is exhausted. I think, frankly, in terms of his legacy. He wants to go home.
O'REILLY: He's not much older than you though. There is only maybe two or three years --
TRUMP: Well, he is quite a bit older. But he wants to go home and he wants to go to bed. You know, honestly --
O'REILLY: How do you know if you have never spoken to him?
TRUMP: I think he is exhausted.
O'REILLY: How do you know he wants to go to bed? He is exhausted.
TRUMP: You know what, for his legacy --
TRUMP: He would have been better off playing it out. He is exhausted. He wants to go home and go to bed. But a lot of the Bernie Sanders people are going to come to me, you know why? Because I'm the best there is on trade. And I'm going to make new trade deals and we're going to bring our jobs back to our country.
O'REILLY: All right. Well, we always appreciate you making time for us. We know how busy you are. We have your running mate Mike Pence on tomorrow. And that should be interesting. We will get him to define his view of the world.
All right. Mr. Trump, as always, thank you very much.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Content and Programming Copyright 2016 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2016 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.