Transcript: 'The Donald' Strikes Back

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," December 23, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: On Thursday's show, former real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran discussed a lawsuit she has filed against Donald Trump, that she claims he owes her $1.7 million for a real estate deal.

In that interview, some may have mistakenly understood a question I asked to mean that Mr. Trump at one time filed for bankruptcy. We want to make this crystal, perfectly clear, Donald Trump never, never has filed for bankruptcy, not ever. Barbara Corcoran did suggest that she was responsible for saving the Donald from bankruptcy in the 1990s.

Mr. Trump has a thing or two to say about that and about the lawsuit in general. And he joins us now live from, I believe, in Palm Beach, Florida. Welcome, Mr. Trump



Listen, again, you heard the charge that Barbara made that she in fact saved you from bankruptcy. What say you?

TRUMP: That's nonsense. In the early '90s, obviously a lot of people in the real estate business were in trouble. I was one of them. I never filed bankruptcy. And she understands that. She did nothing to save me. In fact, she should save herself. Because from what I understand they really just threw her out of her own company. See no longer in the Corcoran Company, as I get it. And I hear it wasn't a very pleasant situation for her. She's doing a show.

ASMAN: She did make a fair amount of change for that, by the way.

TRUMP: Well, I don't think she made a lot of money. You call her a mogul. If she walked away with $20 or $30 million, I think that's very good. But that's hardly what you would call a mogul.

ASMAN: All right. Well, I'm still dealing with my own chump change situation. So, for me it's a lot of cash.

TRUMP: The last thing I would ever call Barbara is a mogul and I know her well.

ASMAN: All right. Now, do you owe her $1.7 million?

TRUMP: No. Absolutely not. You'll see when I win the lawsuit. At a certain point in time, when I get lots of money, then I pay her a commission. But until I get that money, I don't pay her anything. So you'll see in a very short period of time, when we win the lawsuit.

And, you know, look, Barbara is doing a television show. She's very upset with the great success of "The Apprentice." You saw the other night that "The Apprentice" was number two for the week. And she honestly, David, unlike you, she doesn't have the television persona to make a television show successful. So we'll see what happens.

ASMAN: Well, thank you for the compliment.

TRUMP: But I will win the lawsuit. It will be an easy victory. And then and I will discuss that in another couple of months.

ASMAN: Now, I got to, if you don't mind, pick your brain a little about real estate. We did get the figures for November. They were down for October. But October was at an all time high. What's the future in 2006 for real estate?

TRUMP: Well, I just sold apartments this month at a rate that I don't think I've ever sold them. I'm building a building on Park Avenue. I sold three at a very, very high price. I just finished a building near by the United Nations and I'm selling them like wild. I have never seen a market as good as it is now.

That doesn't mean it might stop at some point. It might very well stop. But as far as I'm concerned, the real estate market continues to be strong. I think it will be strong for quite a while. If interest rates go up substantially, which I don't see happening, then all of a sudden, it's going to stop. But for at least the foreseeable future, I see a very, very vibrant, strong real estate market.

ASMAN: The question is how it stops. Is it going to stop in an explosion? A real bubble bursting way in which everybody is, sees their value of the place drop by 150 percent? Or is it going to be a mild stoppage?

TRUMP: Well, I think the big stop would be to just stop building so much housing. And when that happens, the value of people that own housing, the value of those houses will go up.

I don't see it stopping in term of value of people that already own houses. You have a lot of people out there that own houses. Those houses will be solid. They will be strong.

It doesn't mean, however, that housing companies won't slow down their housing production. I don't consider that to be a major slump. Maybe for those companies. But not for the economy.

ASMAN: Now we just finished with the subway strike in Manhattan which is good news for everybody, perhaps with the exception of the head of the union. But years ago, the city, I remember well -- I was here when it happened -- the city was building this ice rink that I know you remember. They were spending $20 million, seven years into the project, they still were still far away from completing it. You challenged them. You said, look, let me take it over. Within a couple of months, in about $1 million, you had completed the ice rink. And they're still using it in Central Park. Why don't you the same with the subway system? Why don't you take it over?

TRUMP: Well, the subway system is quite antiquated. It's being headed up by a great guy named Peter Calico, the MTA, he's a fantastic guy. He's made a lot of changes, a lot of improvements. I think they did a really good job. They were tough with the unions. They fought them very hard. I think they're going to end up making a very, very good deal relatively speaking.

And the problem the city has and the problem General Motors has an so many other people have are these pension plans. They're destroying systems. And they're destroying companies. So we'll see what happens. But the subway system has actually made tremendous improvements in New York City.

ASMAN: Could they privatize the subway system, though? It was long ago, many, many years ago.

TRUMP: I think the idea of the privatization of the subway system is not something New Yorkers would like. You know, there's a big difference between that and the rink. You know, the city was building a Roman rink for seven years and was unable to build it. And I built it in three months for a fraction of the cost.

That's a little bit different than the privatization of the subway. You really need, the way it is being operated. And actually, the subway is being operated pretty well in New York and a lot better than it was 20 years ago.

ASMAN: Now you've got your hands full with real estate, you've got your hands full with "The Apprentice." We're looking at pictures from "The Apprentice." Huge success. But I remember my old alma mater, the "Wall Street Journal" had a piece by you in '99 called "America Needs a President Like Me." Do you still think that's the case?

TRUMP: Well, a lot of people want me to run and they still want me to run. And I just love building buildings. I'm the largest developer in New York City. I'm having a lot of fun doing it. I think I've never had more fun. So, you know, I'm just enjoying my life. And I think we'll leave it at that. That was a long time ago. Did I actually write that article?

ASMAN: Well, you wrote the article. I don't know if you wrote the headline of the article. Sometimes the editor will put that on.

TRUMP: They actually took something that I wrote which was pretty mundane and they put a very, very tantalizing headline on it.

ASMAN: But you must get frustrated when you look at things like the way the city operated this ice rink project, for example, and think, gee, if only I was managing this I could do a lot better.

TRUMP: Well, when you look at the way the country, right now you have a war that is a tough war. And it is -- I don't know. A lot of people are not in agreement on the war. And what is happening, et cetera, et cetera. You have Iran, looks like they're coming one nuclear weapons and I think that's the last thing that we should allow. And I'm sure the president, and I hope the president won't allow that to happen. But there are a lot of thing in the world right now that are not going exactly right.

ASMAN: Yes. Well, I'm glad we were able to put on the record once again, to correct the record, you were never in bankruptcy. And we thank you for coming on.

TRUMP: But David, I was in serious trouble but never in bankruptcy.

ASMAN: Thank you so much, sir.

TRUMP: Have a good time. Thank you very much.

ASMAN: Here correcting the record. Donald Trump, ladies and gentlemen.

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