Donald Trump on Rosie Leaving ABC

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," April 25, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Rosie has spiked the ratings for "The View," but not without lots of controversy. This week, she was very crude at a big New York luncheon attended by teenagers. At the lunch, she took a few verbal slaps at Donald Trump accented by a sexual gesture. And as you might imagine, Donald Trump now has something to say about Rosie, "The View" and Barbara Walters. A short time ago, Donald went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, do you believe the press releases that are being at least released by ABC as to why Rosie is out?

DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": Isn't it ridiculous that Barbara Walters, who owns half of the show, didn't know anything about it? Now, Barbara says she knows nothing about it, that she had nothing to do with ABC Daytime. I mean, give me a break. It's impossible to even conceive of that. Barbara knew about it. Barbara's got to be the happiest woman in the world to get rid of that slob.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why is she lying low, then, or under the radar? Why is she saying she had nothing to do with this?

TRUMP: I don't know what's wrong with Barbara. She's destroying her credibility. She told a very, very severe fib to me, and now she's doing another beauty. And it was — everybody knew that was not correct, and you knew that better than anybody. And now she's doing it again. She said ABC — some executive at ABC Daytime, and nobody even called Barbara. Barbara didn't know anything about it. That's what Barbara said. Who could possibly believe a lie like that?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Barbara said she — as I recall, and correct me if I'm wrong, Donald — that the Star Jones episode, that she didn't have much to do with that. First of all, am I right in my recollection? Secondly, what do you think about that?

TRUMP: Well, she said with Star Jones the same kind of a thing. I love Star. She has been my friend. Then all of a sudden, two days later, she said that wasn't so because, you know, it came out that that wasn't so. And you know, Barbara is losing a lot of credibility.

But more importantly, you know, that show is in trouble because Joy Behar is, like, about a fourth-rate — I mean, she's terrible. She's got no talent whatsoever. And Rosie, say what you want, at least she caused controversy. She's not too bright, but she at least caused controversy. Rosie is very, very self-destructive. As you know because on your show, I said she will self-destruct. And that's exactly what happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's interesting. You say that she — you did say she would self-destruct. She's now out. But I was doing a little research, and the ratings are up somewhat, 15 percent up in key women demographics in February 2007 in the sweeps over 2006. First of all, do you believe that? Secondly, how do you account for that?

TRUMP: Well, the ratings were up in January because that was when she and I were going at it, and that's when they had their highest ratings. But the ratings started coming down precipitously since then. So I guess that's probably why at the Waldorf-Astoria, she made that disgusting comment. She wanted to start it up again to get her ratings up. But her ratings — if you look at her ratings from January until now, they're down very, very precipitously since we had our big little spat.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You make mention of that luncheon, New York Women in Communications luncheon, rather racy statements made by her, to put it politely. They were crude. Do you think that that was the reason why ABC has now decided that they cannot reach — they cannot agree on a contract with her? Is that why they issued that?

TRUMP: Well, Rosie stood up, and referring to me, she grabbed her crotch, which is a pretty disgusting thing, especially when you're thinking about Rosie doing it. She grabbed her crotch and she said, "Eat me." And she said this in front of young aspiring women that are fantastic young — you know, they're the future. And a lot of people left the room when she said it, it was so disgusting. And she said it with a mean, unattractive face. And people couldn't believe what she said.

And that's not all she said. She said other things. But when she said, "Eat me," a lot of people said they think that's it. You know, Imus said something that was bad. Well, this was something that was also very bad. And to be honest, a lot of people, when they heard that, they said, That's the end of Rosie. That, in my opinion, was the straw that broke the camel's back.

VAN SUSTEREN: And doing it in front of the kids. I mean, there were adults in the room, it was crude and should not have been said in front of adults, but I think probably the real crime is that she was supposed to be this role model for young women, and that was her display.

TRUMP: Look, Rosie is very — in my opinion, she's ill, you know, she's got some mental — serious mental problems. And you know, more importantly, she's very self-destructive, which is a part of that mental problem. And that's what she did. She self-destructed in front of 2,000 people.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, this business is a rather peculiar one, this business of TV. Any chance that she's going to be picked up, for instance, let's say by a cable news network?

TRUMP: No. I think she'll be picked up by somebody, and she'll do well initially and then she'll self-destruct, just like she always does. You know, her original show failed because of the ratings. I mean, it was good at the beginning. And people get tired of Rosie. And the same thing on "The View." And if you look, January and December, when she was having this spat with me, that's when she had her good ratings. Since then, they've fallen very substantially.

But she'll get picked up. Somebody will put her on, and she'll go on and she'll do well initially, and then she'll self-destruct.

VAN SUSTEREN: But can she get picked up if the advertisers don't want to advertise on her show? Maybe they do want to advertise if she — the crude behavior is in a whole different category. I mean, she can take swipes at you. You're a big boy — you're a big boy, and you know, people followed that fight. But when you do the behavior in front of children, I think that's where she runs the risk of...

TRUMP: Oh, and she also...


TRUMP: Yes, what about what she said about the World Trade Center, that we brought it down? I mean, give me a break. She is just a terrible person, and she deserves to be off the air. And you know, I'm a big freedom of speech person, but she really deserves to be off the air, Greta. And I'm sure there's nobody happier than you because, frankly, she attacks you, also.

VAN SUSTEREN: She did get me. But I'm a big girl, too. Like you're a big boy, Donald, I'm a big girl. I can take a few swipes. But what about the advertisers, though? Do you think they will respond if she goes out and, for instance, attempts to do a syndicated show.

TRUMP: Well, I think the advertisers have a problem with her. She's gone, you know, really off the deep end, and I think the advertisers would have a problem with her. But you can always get picked up by somebody. And somebody will sign her, and she'll probably do well initially, and then she'll do just like — her whole life is a life of self-destruction.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can she rehabilitate herself for the crude aspect in front of the young people? Is there a way to do that, or is this just finished?

TRUMP: I know Rosie better than she knows herself. That's her. She's a crude, sick person. And she's not going to get better. Why, all of a sudden, she's going to become highly sophisticated? And frankly, the audience wouldn't buy that anyway, assuming she could put up — and she's not — frankly, she's not smart enough to pull off that act. But the audience wouldn't buy it if she did.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what happens to "The View"? And what happens to Barbara Walters?

TRUMP: Well, Barbara has been very, very severely damaged because she's lied so much. I mean, this whole thing that she didn't know anything about what was going on, that some executive at ABC Daytime — not even ABC — Barbara has been hurt. But Barbara's Barbara. She's iconic. She's a terrific woman. She's an amazing woman. She was very badly hurt by Rosie. Rosie made her into a lapdog. I mean, she did whatever Rosie told her to do. But Barbara will be back.

And you know, the bigger problem is like a Joy Behar. She's got no talent whatsoever. How Joy Behar is even on her show is hard to believe. And you know, they've got to really replace Joy Behar. They've got to replace people, you know, other than Rosie. Rosie is probably the least of their problems.

VAN SUSTEREN: You say Barbara is lapdog for Rosie. How did it even — how did Barbara, who's an icon, become a lapdog for Rosie? (INAUDIBLE) Rosie Lord over her?

TRUMP: You watched — Greta, you watched what was going on with Rosie. I mean, Barbara came back and she sort of agreed with my conversation with her. This is a number of months ago. And then all of a sudden, Rosie got back from vacation and started screaming at Barbara in the Green Room, and Barbara walked off like a little puppet. She walked onto the stage and said whatever Rosie wanted her to say. I mean, Barbara has become a total lapdog for Rosie. It's terrible. The happiest person in America today is Barbara Walters because she has that big slob off her back.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you been in the same room with Barbara Walters since this battle between you and Rosie...

TRUMP: Yes. I don't want to comment on that. But I like Barbara and I always liked Barbara and I always will. She had a lot of problems with this animal. This woman's an animal, and it's not easy for Barbara to handle her.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you been around Rosie since this happened?

TRUMP: No, I haven't.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any idea — I mean, like — I mean, look, you go to these social events in New York. If you run into her, what do you say to her, anything?

TRUMP: No, I wouldn't say anything. I wouldn't say anything pro or con. I'd just, you know, avoid her, if that's possible. I mean, I would say nothing pro or con. It wouldn't make any difference. She has self- destructed. I'm somewhat happy about it, but not overly. I mean, it's sad because she's — you know, she's a sad figure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any tips to ABC as to who they might consider replacing — to replace her?

TRUMP: Well, I have some great ideas, but I don't think I'll reveal those ideas.

VAN SUSTEREN: You won't — you won't...


VAN SUSTEREN: You won't tip your hand for that one?

TRUMP: No. I have some great ideas. But I understand that business very well. I mean, I have some very good ideas. You know, we did the WWE with Vince McMahon. He had his highest attendance, his highest television ratings and his highest pay-per-view ever. You know, so I mean, I understand the industry. I understand that business. And I really do, I would have some good ideas, but I don't think they'd ask me. I know they'd love me to be on their show, for obvious reasons. But I don't think they'd ask me. But there are some people out there I think that would be very good.

VAN SUSTEREN: Maybe they should add a guy. Maybe you'd be the right one.

TRUMP: I'm probably the only one that could do it. Take care, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: One last question. Your flag dispute. What's up with the flag dispute down in Florida?

TRUMP: Well, that's been settled very amicably and I'm very happy, and the town of Palm Beach is very happy.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Good. Donald Trump. Thank you, Donald.

TRUMP: Have a good time, Greta.

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