Donald Trump: 'I want to see this country be great again'

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Donald Trump is making headlines, but isn't he always? Announcing that he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible 2016 run for the White House. I spoke to Mr. Trump, host of "the apprentice," best selling author, real estate mogul and potential 2016 Republican contender earlier tonight.


KELLY: Let's start with your exploratory committee and whether you're serious or whether you're just a tease. Some say you tease people but then you never see it through all the way.

DONALD TRUMP, REAL STATE MOGUL: I see everything through. Everything in my life I've seen through. I've built a great company, one of the great companies. And people understand that, but the country is in serious, serious trouble. It's a mess. You look at Israel, you look at Russia. People aren't talking about it, Putin who hates Obama, just hates him with like well I think worse than Bibi, worse than anybody. He's talking about nuclear all the time. I've never even heard this from a major country, Russia, they're talking about nuclear. He's mentioning the nuclear word. I don't think you've heard it, I haven't heard it, and this started a few months ago. A lot of that is the dislike he's got for Obama. So the guy can't get along with anybody...

KELLY: But Obama's going. There's no question Obama's going.

TRUMP: A year and a half's a long time. Israel's a mess. The deal with Iran looks like it's going to be horrible; it looks to me like it's going to be absolutely horrible. You know, it's interesting -- somebody that wrote the art of the deal in all fairness, the Iran deal could be done in one day. The sanctions should be stronger than that...

KELLY: How are we going to negotiate with ayatollah death to America I'm in favor of that?

TRUMP: Then you stop negotiating. And you know what, if they really want to make a deal, they're coming back to the table. But we've been negotiating from weakness for months and months – the sanctions should be made as strong as can be.

KELLY: Why do you need to do it? Isn't there any Republican already in the field who you feel you could get behind?

TRUMP: I've dealt with politicians my entire life. You never make a bad deal with a politician. They're so easy. They're all talk, no action. I'm very concerned about the Republicans. China's not going to be ripping off this country. They are ripping us big league. Now they're going do devalue their currency yet further which is going to make it almost impossible, I mean, just a continuation of impossible to do business for our companies. Mexico's now becoming the automobile capital of the world. And we can't do anything about it.

KELLY: I hear you talking about a lot of domestic issues. In Iran -- now you're going to build a fence.

TRUMP: I will build the greatest of all fences.

KELLY: I know you're great at building. I know that.

TRUMP: But Mexico, they're sending people in by the hundreds of thousands, by the millions and yet they're killing us economically. Mexico is taking our jobs. On top of the border, which is a total disaster and has to be stopped immediately, Mexico's taking our jobs.

KELLY: We got into this speaking about news you made about south of the border and Ted Cruz actually being born outside of the United States north of the border in Canada.

TRUMP: It's on north side.

KELLY: Right. But...

TRUMP: I hope he knows what he's doing but I thought you had to be born in the country.

KELLY: You have to be a natural born citizen. So if you have a parent that's a citizen, even if you were born outside of America, that's not an issue. Why are they raising this?

TRUMP: I don't raise it; people ask me, they always ask me. Hillary was the original she was questioning Obama, then John McCain questioned, but they never got anything. When I questioned he gave whatever it was he gave. I'm not exactly sure what he gave but he gave something called a birth certificate. I don't know if it was or not. But now you have a situation where Ted -- and I like Ted, Ted has one extra level of complication because he was a joint citizen a couple of years ago. He was a Canadian and an American citizen just a couple of years ago. So it's one extra level of complication that other people frankly, don't have. I'm sure -- I hope he's going to be okay. I think he's a talented guy. He's a nice guy. I like him. But it is one extra level that he has to worry about.

KELLY: What did you think of him today?

TRUMP: Well, I thought he was very theatrical. I love Liberty University. I have the all-time record for attendance. The first question I asked did he break my record...


KELLY: That's a competitive spirit that has gotten you to where you are.

TRUMP: It's a great school, fantastic school. I think the location was good. The crowd is incredible because the students there and people at Liberty University they're so enthusiastic about life.

KELLY: What do you think -- the first Republican presidential debate will be held in August hosted by Fox News channel. Do you think you'll be out on that stage?

TRUMP: I could very well be. I think I'd like to be. I can fell you that. Look, I want to see this country be great again. And if you noticed I said "make America great again."

KELLY: That's yours?

TRUMP: I did it two years ago I was saying it now all of a sudden you have Rand Paul -- everybody...

KELLY: If I hear Rand Paul come out and say "you're fired," then I'm going to say that's not yours.

TRUMP: "You're fired" is a definite, but "make America great again." Now, Ted has it right in his main deal. Make America great again. I called my people, I said, hey, that's been my line...

KELLY: I should be getting royalties on that, I don't understand this.


TRUMP: Especially on the words you're fired.

KELLY: Final question, because people say, well, Trump, he may or may not run, don't believe him because it may be a publicity stunt but then they say that the latest Quinnipiac poll shows that 76 percent of the Republican voters said they either absolutely wouldn't vote for Trump or probably wouldn't, what do you think of that?

TRUMP: That's because they all think I'm not running. They all think I have this wonderful life; I love my life which I do.

KELLY: It's true, the latest reports put your net worth at $4 billion. I don 't know if that's true but that's a lot of money. Why would you want to mess with this nightmare of politics?

TRUMP: I love what I'm doing. But I love the country more. And I can straighten it out. And I can truly make this country great again and nobody else can do what I do.

KELLY: Great to see you, Donald Trump. Thank you for being here.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

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