This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," February 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, no bailouts, with the Donald Trump Entertainment Resorts filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, rather than seeking any sort of a bailout, and actually having very little to do with the Donald himself.
Not only did Donald Trump oppose the bankruptcy move and quit the company last week ahead of it, he owns only a quarter of the casino operator, unlike the Trump Organization, which he does control.
Still, Mr. Trump's name is there. And now Mr. Trump himself is here with us, and right now only us.
Donald, welcome. Good to have you.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: Hi, Neil.
CAVUTO: What happened here?
TRUMP: Well, Atlantic City was hit very, very hard, as was Vegas, as is the world, to be honest with you, this country in particular.
And it is a company that I don't — I am not involved in management. I have a piece of it in terms of stock. I made an offer to buy the company. The offer was rejected. And rather than hit my head on a wall, because, to be honest with you, there are so many — if you have a lot of cash — we have a lot of cash — we are buying things.
I just bought something in Washington, a big project in Washington. Just bought a big project in New Jersey. It is a great time to be buying. I'm going to be watching very, very carefully what happens as the time goes by. I see all the fees that are being paid to these lawyers. And some of these people were involved, the bondholders, with Tropicana, which was a total disaster in Atlantic City, where I hear they're getting one — I don't know exactly what it is, but I think they're getting a penny on the dollar for their debt.
CAVUTO: All right. So, you had urged against this. But it's still, as you know, Donald, your name on this. And — and people read into that and say — and say, Donald Trump has gone bankrupt.
What do you say to that?
TRUMP: Yes. Well, I think people understand. And, again, I have nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with the company. I am not involved in the management of the company. I'm not on the board any longer. So, it's one of those things...
CAVUTO: Did you tell them, quit using my name, guys? I don't want my name associated...
TRUMP: Well, I would love to get my name. I mean, frankly, I would love to get my name. And, at some point, maybe I will be able to do that.
But I don't love the idea that my name is involved, because some people probably say, oh, is that — this represents substantially less than 1 percent of my net worth. I mean substantially. And it is too bad. But it is one of those things. It is a tough time.
I think General Motors probably should be looking at that, as opposed to — you can negotiate much better sometimes. Bankruptcy is a tool. And you can use bankruptcy to your advantage if you're a company like a General Motors or a Chrysler.
And I do not know what they are doing, doing what they are doing. But this is, from my standpoint, something that I just was not involved in the management...
TRUMP: ... not involved in running the company. And I thought that, after my offer to buy it was rejected, I would get out.
CAVUTO: So, nothing has tarnished the Trump Organization or you? You are not afraid that — that just the P.R. from this boomerangs on you?
TRUMP: I do not think so. I think people understand it. I have had many people say, that was smart that you got out.
I don't think it does at all.
CAVUTO: All right.
Now, you mentioned the fact that this unit decided to file for bankruptcy, did not seek a bailout. The auto companies did seek a bailout. And they are now trying to get more money by showing they're doing everything I guess you do short of bankruptcy to get that money.
What you think of that?
TRUMP: Well, they are going to be dealing with bondholders.
And some of these bondholders are absolutely impossible and ridiculous to be dealing with. And they deal with them in Atlantic City. They are dealing with them in lots of other places.
I mean, as an example, a company, Tropicana, went bankrupt in Atlantic City recently. The bonds are getting, I heard, 1 cent on the dollar. The fact is that, when you have all of these bondholders, when you have the unions, when you have all of the problems, they would be much better off getting DIP financing from the government, going in, and negotiating until they are happy.
They will make a much better deal. So, I don't know what they are trying to do, but I don't believe they are doing it the right way. They can use bankruptcy to their advantage.
CAVUTO: Are you for this Obama stimulus that was signed into law today?
TRUMP: Well, something had to be done. And whether it's perfect or not, nothing is perfect. And it's a whole trial-and-error thing, Neil.
It's a very, very tough — we are having — as the congressman just said, we're having the worst year, the worst couple of years, since the Great Depression. And you mentioned the early '80s.
I mean, the early '80s get blown away by this deal, as you know very well. This is far, far more severe than the early '80s.
CAVUTO: Do you really think so? I mean, back then, we had higher unemployment. You could argue that — that we might be headed there.
But, geez, Donald, I look at these numbers, I don't — I don't see the Depression comparison.
TRUMP: Neil, when you look at the banks, had trillions of dollars not been poured into the banks, you would have an insolvent banking system, and then you would absolutely have 1929. They did the right thing.
CAVUTO: But, even after all that, Don, but, even after all that, you argued with me just recently they are still not lending, for all that money they got, right?
TRUMP: Well, let's see what — let's see what unemployment is in a year from now, Neil, because it is not getting better. It is getting worse.
And when you look at the overall picture. and not only this country — you look at the world picture. You know, it used to be a time, and there used to be a time when we were doing well and the world was bad or whatever. There would always be something.
Everybody is doing poorly throughout the world. And they blame us, but the fact is, everybody is doing poorly.
CAVUTO: Well, you're right about that.
Well, let me — times must be tough, Donald, when you have got Joan Rivers crying on "Celebrity Apprentice." What did you do to her?
TRUMP: Well, Joan really did start to — of course, she had a real breakdown.
But she is a terrific woman. And I will tell you, the "Celebrity Apprentice," which starts on March 1, by the way, Sunday night, is going to be fantastic. It's Joan. It's Dennis Rodman. It's Clint Black, the country singer, and so many others.
And it's the best we have ever done. And it's really going to be exciting.
CAVUTO: But she's talking about — what happened? I mean, why did she freak out?
TRUMP: Well, she had a hard time with a certain contestant on the show, a person who is very tough and very smart and very famous.
And Joan really had a hard time with that person. And it was — it was unbelievable television. Watching this was unbelievable television, the likes of which people have not seen.
CAVUTO: When times are tough, more people cocoon at home. Is it actually helping "The Apprentice"?
TRUMP: Well, I think "The Apprentice" — I mean, it's been amazing.
You know, from my standpoint, I did one season four years ago. This is now season eight. I did one season, and, all of a sudden, it just turned into a big smash. As you know, it became the number-one show on television. And now, all of a sudden, I'm doing "The Apprentice," and they want to renew it for more seasons.
But this is something that has been a lot — there has been a lot of excitement. And who would have known it does this well, Neil? I mean, I get ratings like you get ratings, Neil.
TRUMP: But one thing we know about your business...
CAVUTO: In my dreams. In my dreams.
TRUMP: Hey, Neil, one thing we know about your business, if you don't get ratings, you are not there very long.
CAVUTO: I am this close to a hot dog stand, Donald. You are right about that.
CAVUTO: Always good talking to you. Thank you. Best of luck.
TRUMP: Have a good time. Thanks a lot, Neil.
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