Will 'The Donald' Fire Miss California?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 11, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Hours from now, Donald Trump will make it official and announce whether Miss California loses the crown. But tonight, Trump goes "On the Record."

Donald, nice to talk to you.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Donald, I know that Miss California, Miss Carrie Prejean, her future, whether she keeps the crown or not, are all in your hands tonight.

TRUMP: Well, that's actually true, and we're having a news conference tomorrow at 11:00 o'clock at Trump Tower, and Carrie will be there. And we're reviewing lots of things tonight and we're reviewing lots of things tomorrow morning, but we'll be having a news conference to announce certain things tomorrow.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so I know you're not going to tell us exactly what's going to happen tomorrow at 11:00, but let me ask you a couple quick questions. Have you made your decision already?

TRUMP: Probably so.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's your criteria? What are you weighing?

TRUMP: Well, look, first of all, I always like to give the benefit of the doubt to somebody. And I did that with Tara Connor, and she's really made me very proud because she's come through beautifully, at least so far. I mean, she was really suffering from major addictions, and she's really done a great job and we're all proud of her. And so that was a great thing. And most people didn't think I should do that. I took a lot of heat for doing it. So I was very happy with it.

This is a very different case. And we'll see what happens. But we are determining tonight, certain things have already been determined, and you know, hopefully, you'll be at the news conference.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, here's what I don't understand, is that -- and -- is I don't -- what could be the possible disqualifier, that someone didn't like her answer at a pageant? That couldn't possibly be it, the substance of it. And she -- an she won. They voted for her. Or it's possible these pictures, and then you look at the pictures from Miss Rhode Island -- and so I mean, what could possibly be the disqualifier?

TRUMP: Well, there are a couple of disqualifiers, Greta, but I can't really talk about it now because we're going over that late tonight.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does she say? Does she have an opportunity to make her case with you?

TRUMP: She will tomorrow morning. She's actually coming in tomorrow morning prior to the news conference.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you surprised at how much attention this has gotten?

TRUMP: It's amazing, what happened. And I will tell you this. The reason it's gotten this tremendous attention is because she's a great beauty. If she were a good-looking person, if she were an average-looking person or if she were a poor-looking person -- frankly, this is an issue that's discussed every day by millions of people and nobody talks about it.


TRUMP: No, because of her great beauty...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... issue, the gay marriage issue or the pictures?

TRUMP: Greta, because of her...

VAN SUSTEREN: The pictures or gay marriage?

TRUMP: Well, I think -- I'm talking about the issue relating to the question, the famous question about, Should a man be able to marry a man versus a woman or a woman with a man? So it's a very interesting question. It's a very complex question. It's a tough question, certainly, for a beauty pageant, but it shows how relevant these pageants really are.

You know, for years, they were saying, Oh, are they relevant? Well, they got good ratings on television, but people would say, Are they relevant? Well, the fact is, if you look at what happened initially to Tara with alcohol and drug addiction, that's a very relevant subject. If you look at what is happening now with the whole question of gay marriage, that's a very relevant situation. So the beauty pageants are bringing things into focus very clearly.

VAN SUSTEREN: But it may be a relevant question, something that -- you know, that many states are -- are debating. Some of them made decisions. But when I judged a different pageant, the Miss America pageant, when I judged the answer, it wasn't whether I agreed with the person, the woman who was answering the question. I looked at it more to see whether she had thought it out and had reached her opinion on whatever issue it was with -- you know, with -- with -- you know, thinking it through, and with some -- you know, some fact and had given it consideration and could deliver it well. So is it substance on this that she's being questioned about?

TRUMP: Well, let me just state that the Miss America pageant, which you mentioned -- and it's too bad you were on there because it's sort of wasting time -- the Miss America pageant is off the air. The Miss America pageant has -- you know, that was a big pageant and that one essentially ceases to exist in any very strong form because, as you know, it's on cable now, barely, and it's no longer on network television. The Miss USA and the Miss Universe are on network television and Miss Universe is broadcast all over the world. Now, those are the two that I own. But Miss America has gone down very, very, very substantially from its glory days, and maybe it's because it is not relevant enough or it doesn't ask relevant enough questions, Greta.

You know, we could ask very simple questions, like, Did you have a good lunch today? And people would probably not find it very interesting. We're asking very tough questions. This was a tough question. But if you look at the other questions that were asked of the other contestants, they were also very tough questions.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, tomorrow...

TRUMP: But there's a big difference because the Miss America pageant is no longer essentially on network television.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, quick question. I know tomorrow is the 11:00 AM press conference. But are we going to see "The Apprentice" come back again?

TRUMP: Yes, they've renewed it, as you heard. We got great ratings last night, as usual, and they're bringing it back. NBC announced about two weeks ago that they're bringing it back. It's had a great season, "Celebrity Apprentice," and we're now coming back for a ninth season of "The Apprentice."

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, of course, I know it's very popular and people will be watching that, as well as 11:00 o'clock tomorrow, the big answer. Thank you, Donald.

TRUMP: So long, Greta.

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