Donald Trump, President of the Trump Organization — Part II

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, June 7, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Now, onto my continuing discussion with real estate mogul Donald Trump. In part two of my interview, we got into some real personal issues, like whether he'd ever marry again, and why some people out there really, really hate him.

But first, he gave me an update on real estate.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Business has been good. New York has been amazing. The condo market in New York perhaps is the strongest I have ever seen it. The rental market is not particularly good because people are buying instead of renting. The office market is less than average, and that's the thing that most surprises me. New York has been pretty amazing. It's been...

CAVUTO: But what has been more amazing is the fact that you are still vibrant and around, that a lot of your enemies who wanted you dead, maybe even physically dead...

TRUMP: Yes, I think physically.

CAVUTO: And now, here you are, billionaire again, life goes on. You feel vindicated?

TRUMP: Well, my company is much bigger and much stronger than it ever was before. I had so many people, so many friends of mine that went bankrupt. The banks went bankrupt. Everyone did.

CAVUTO: A lot of those guys were wishing you ill, fully planning your demise.

TRUMP: They really thought that maybe I had bitten the bullet. But, you know, no, the business is now bigger and better and stronger, as you know, than it has ever been before.

CAVUTO: But what do you say to those people who are planning your death?

TRUMP: Well, I had a lot of friends and I had a lot of enemies, and I probably still do. And the world collapsed in the early '90s. I mean, the market went down. It went down badly. And I came back, and, you know, now we're much stronger than I ever was in the '80s. I mean, you know, sometimes, in fact, if you read the review this weekend in the New York Times of Trump Royal Tower from Herbert Muschamp, the great architectural critic with the Times...

CAVUTO: He loves it.

TRUMP: He loves it. We got a outstanding review. And, you know, it was a great honor because I have great respect for the Times and for Herbert Muschamp. But, you know, we are just doing better than we've ever done before. I had to fight really hard in the early '90s because the world was terrible. I mean, the real estate markets were dead. Everything was dead. But, you know, again we are bigger and stronger than we ever were before, and there's probably some people that aren't thrilled about it, but, you know, it's OK.

CAVUTO: Do you remember your enemies?

TRUMP: I do. I love to remember my enemies and I love to get my enemies whenever I can, absolutely. You know, it doesn't sound very nice and some people watching might say, oh, isn't he terrible. But, you know, yes, I had some enemies. I had people that really I helped a lot. And when I needed the help, in some cases, they were not there for me.

But, again, so many of my friends were wiped out, and, you know, you will never see them again. And they are talented. So many people that were enemies of mine were wiped out, and I do not really care about that. But, you know, I never had to do that, and I fought back. I made deals with banks. I negotiated out some deals. And, you know, the basic thing is my business was basically solid, but the market was terrible. But it has been amazing. I mean, what we have done to the Empire State Building - - I just sold the Empire State Building, as you probably read, and it was a great sale. It worked out very well.

CAVUTO: But all bets are off if interest rates start jacking up again?

TRUMP: Well, no. Then the world changes a little bit. We're doing a job on the west side that's a tremendous success called Trump Place. It's the largest job ever approved by the New York City Planning Commission, 5,700 units. And we are building right now six of the first 18 buildings. It is a huge job. It's in a railroad yard, 100-acre job. And that's probably of all of the things I have done, it is my biggest thing.

CAVUTO: Let me step back. When you were contemplating a run for the presidency, a lot of people at the time did not think it was credible. But they said that you got the bug, you got the feeling and that you did not rule it out in the future. Did you?

TRUMP: Well, I got good poll numbers, but I never liked doing it. You know, I was just looking ahead...

CAVUTO: You had to shake all those hands.

TRUMP: I had to shake too many hands. That was always a problem. But, no, you know, people would say you should do it because it would come out well in polls and things like that. But I really love what I do. I love building buildings. I love creating these beautiful buildings in Manhattan. My Atlantic City business, as you know, is doing very well. I mean, the casinos are doing great. I'm just...

CAVUTO: Yes, but President Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Yes, I know. Well, you know, you never know how it all turns out, right? But, I just...

CAVUTO: How is Bush doing?

TRUMP: I think he is doing a good job. I mean, it is a tough job. It's a lot tougher than he thought. Who would have ever thought this was going to be the world.

CAVUTO: Could Bill Clinton have done the same job responding to this as George Bush?

TRUMP: Well, I don't know. I mean, you never know how a man reacts under that kind of pressure. This is enormous pressure, but I think Bush is doing a very good job. He's taken a very hard line. But, you know, you thought you had enemies in the world, like this country or that country, Now you do not even know where they are. And there's so much...

CAVUTO: Were you surprised how much the president has aged, a little more than a year in office?

TRUMP: Well, I have not noticed it. I mean, now that you mention it, I haven't really noticed that he aged. I just think he is really doing a very good job, and I think he's working very, very hard. He's got some very strong, very good people, like Rumsfeld and others, behind him. But he is doing an excellent job.

CAVUTO: If he ever wanted to have you join his cabinet, you know, Treasury Secretary, Commerce Secretary, would you be interested?

TRUMP: Well, you know, if I could help, I would do something. There are so many talented people around. You have people that you read about all the time and you see all the time. And they've been there a long time. You know, this certain group that you interview sort of constantly, we have all been around. And they've just been there a long time. And they have a lot of talent. There is really a tremendous amount of talent in this country. So, I mean, I think I would do a very good job, but I think other people also could do a very good job.

CAVUTO: You personally, if you don't mind me asking, are you ever going to get married again?

TRUMP: Well, I have a girlfriend who is a fantastic person. And, you know, it certainly is a possibility. You know, the institution of marriage is better than schlepping around, looking around and, you know, whatever. But I've always believed strongly in the institution of marriage. I also believe that you have to have a pre-nup, unfortunately. But it is a possibility that I would, yes.

CAVUTO: But, if your prior experience is such that it's been expensive in the past, you just say, well, you know what, the girlfriend, that is fine, but marriage, not fine?

TRUMP: Well, it was not only expensive for me because I had prenuptial agreements. I mean, you know, they're terrible instruments. They're terrible documents. They're horrendous to get somebody to sign, darling, I love you very much, you are the greatest thing I've ever been with, I cannot live without you. Excuse me, would you sign this pre-nup just in case?

CAVUTO: You have a lot to protect.

TRUMP: It is a terrible thing. But it's, unfortunately, it's very necessary.

CAVUTO: Finally, just where you see this country going? I mean, this great concern that the economy, the stock market, you know, you recently pulled an offering in the bond market because of this environment.

TRUMP: The market is just terrible. It is when you see what happened recently with Tyco, I was so disappointed in that, just so many different things going on. But you realize through it all, there is no country like it. It is just a great, great country. I love this country.

CAVUTO: Are you bullish?

TRUMP: I am bullish on the country. I, therefore, am bullish on the economy. I think it is going to go a little bit like this, but ultimately it's going to be a rocket ship up.

CAVUTO: So the stock market would be a rocket ship?

TRUMP: I think that is. But the country is just going to be there. I am so proud of the country and I'm very proud of the people running the country right now.


CAVUTO: All right, Donald Trump.

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