×

CNBC's "Squawk Box" Speaks with Donald Trump (Transcript Included)

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

When: Thursday, May 15th at 7:30AM
Where: "Squawk Box"

Following is an unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Donald Trump.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.







KERNEN: FROM LAND DEVELOPMENT, CASINOS TO THE "APPRENTICE" TO MEN'S COLOGNE GOLF.GREAT GOLF COURSES.OUR NEXT GUEST HAS HIS HAND IN ALMOST EVERYTHING THAT AFFECTS THE ECONOMY.

QUICK: THE SQUAWK PHONE.

KERNEN: OH, THAT'S THE SQUAWK PHONE. IT MUST BE NEW. IT'S A BATMAN TYPE SOUND. DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT OF THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION. ARE THERE?

TRUMP: I AM. GOOD MORNING, JOE, GOOD MORNING BECKY.GOOD MORNING, WILBUR.WILBUR CALLED ME AND SAID I WOULD DO THIS.FOR YOU, I WOULD DO ANYTHING.

KERNEN: WHO ELSE CALLED YOU.

TRUMP: JOE. JOE ABSOLUTELY CALLED.

KERNEN: DONALD, WE MADE YOU OUT TO BE ALMOST LIKE A G.E. IN TERMS OF HAVING YOUR HANDS IN SO MANY DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE ECONOMY, ALMOST LIKE A PROXY FOR SOMEONE WHO WOULD KNOW ABOUT IT. WHAT DO YOU SEE?

TRUMP: I'VE BEEN SAYING FOR A LONG TIME WE'RE IN A RECESSION.ACTUALLY, I'M BUILDING JOBS ALL OVER THE WORLD, DOING MANY JOBS ALLOVER THE WORLD AND I SEE TH WORLD AS A WHOLE DOING VERY WELL.I SEE THE UNITED STATES DOING VERY POORLY AND REALLY IN A RECESSION AND PROBABLY THE SADDEST THING OF ALL, JOE, IS SOMANY PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO INVESTIN THE UNITED STATES.THEY TALK ABOUT RUSSIA INDIA, ABOUT CHINA, ABOUT ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.ALL OF WHICH I'M IN, SADLY I'M IN.I'D RATHER BE DOING THINGS IN THE UNITED STATES.BUT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO INVEST RIGHT NOW NOT DOING WELL.THAT BEING SAID THERE, ARE A LOTOF GREAT INVESTMENTS TO BE MADE AND A LOT OF MONEY WILL BE MADE SHORTLY IN THE UNITED STATES.BECAUSE THINGS I COULDN'T BUY TWO YEARS AGO NOW I'M BUYING.

KERNEN: YOU KNOW WHOSE FAULT A LOT OFTHIS IS, DON.I KNOW YOU HAVE SOME OTHER PEOPLE TO BLAME.I DON'T KNOW IT STARTED WITH SUBPRIME IT CAUSED THE FED TO LOWER INTEREST RATES. IS IT THE FED'S FAULT?

TRUMP: I THINK THE FED IS DOING A GREAT JOB LATELY.THEY ARE A LITTLE SLOW.THEY ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.I THINK THEY STOPPED A RUN ON THE BANK.I HEARD WILBUR SAY SOMETHING SIMILAR LAST MONTH ON YOUR SHOW. THEY STOPPED A RUN ON THE BANK WHEN THEY DID THEIR NUMBER ONBEAR STERNS.YOU PROBABLY WOULD HAVE FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, MAYBE TEN COMPANIES GO DOWN THE TUBES. SEEMS UNFAIR FOR THE PEOPLE AT BEAR STEARNS, BECAUSE THEY DID GET -- THEY GOT HAMMERED, BUT I THINK THEY PROBABLY MADE A GREAT MOVE.I THINK THEY HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY SLOW AND NOW THEY ARE DOING A VERY GOOD JOB.

KERNEN: HOW ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT BAILOUT. A GUY WITH AS MANY REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS AS YOU, I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU'D COME DOWNON THIS. WHETHER YOU'D LIKE THE LENDERS TO COME DOWN ON THE AMOUNT OF PRINCIPLE THAT'S OWED OR YOU WANT CONGRESS INVOLVED?

TRUMP: I'M A LITTLE BIT OF A TALE OFTWO CITIES. I JUST SOLD A HOUSE IN PALM BEACH FOR A NUMBER APPROXIMATELY $100 MILLION FOR THE HOUSE. IT'S A VERY WELL KNOWN HOUSE IN PALM BEACH. I BOUGHT IT A LITTLE WHILE AGO AND SOLD IT FOR A LOT OF MONEY. AND IT'S SORT OF INTERESTING, BECAUSE PALM BEACH OR MANHATTAN, THEY ARE DOING VERY WELL. YOU GO OUTSIDE OF MANHATTAN AND I CAN'T THINK OF ACTUALLY A COMMUNITY THAT'S DOING WELL IN TERMS OF REAL ESTATE. BUT I HAVE A DIFFERENT TAKE ON THE ECONOMY.I THINK THE ECONOMY IS DRIVEN BY OIL TO A LARGE EXTENT. AND I THINK IF WILBUR OR ONE OF OUR TEN FRIENDS, LET'S SAY THERE ARE TEN OF US, OKAY?IF ONE OF TEN OF US WENT OVER TO SEE OPEC AND I VIEW OPEC AS A PROBLEM. I WATCH YOUR SHOW ALL THE TIME, JOE AND I HEAR YOU TALK ABOUT THE SHORT TRADERS, AND THE GUYS.THESE ARE PEANUTS. OPEC SITS AROUND THE TABLE AND TELL YOU WHAT THE OIL PRICES WILL BE AND WE DON'T HAVE A PRESIDENT THAT CALLS OPEC AND SAYS THAT PRICE IS COMING DOWN AND IT'S COMING DOWN NOW.IF WILBUR WAS SENT OVER THERE OR ONE OF A SMALL GROUP.NOT A LARGE GROUP, A SMALL GROUP, I THINK THINGS WOULD CHANGE. I WOULD ALSO TAX THE OIL COMPANIES INTO OBLIVION.THERE'S NOTHING EVER LIKE WHAT THESE OIL COMPANIES ARE DOING TO THIS COUNTRY. I'M A BIG FREE MARKET GUY, BUT IWOULD PUT HEAVY TAXES ON THE OIL COMPANIES AND THEY WOULD STILL HAVE PLENTY OF INCENTIVES TO FIND OIL.

KERNEN: WOULD YOU PUT TAXES ON THE OIL COMPANIES.

TRUMP: I WOULD TAX THE HELL OUT OF THE OIL COMPANIES

KERNEN: ARE DONALD, THEY ARE ALREADY PAYING --

TRUMP: I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS. I JUST GOT BACK FROM QATAR, ABU DHABI, DUBAI. I'M BUILDING A HUGE BUILDING IN DUBAI. IT'S GOING TO BE SPECTACULAR AND DOING UNBELIEVABLE WELL AND THESE ARE FRIENDS OF MINE AND I'M NOT KNOCKING THEM.PERHAPS I'D BE DOING THE SAME THING THIS I WERE IN OPEC.

TRUMP: NOT YOU.

KERNEN: BUT LET ME TELL YOU. THEY ARE LAUGHING AT THE STUPIDITY OF THIS COUNTRY.THEY CAN'T BELIEVE THEY ARE GETTING AWAY WITH IT, AND EVERY TIME YOU SEE INTEREST RATES COMEDOWN A LITTLE BIT, THEY SAY, OH,GOOD, INTEREST RATES COME DOWN, LET'S RAISE THE OIL PRICE ANOTHER $2.0O EVERY TIME BEN LOWERS INTEREST RATES, OIL PRICES GO UP SO THE NET RETURN IS NOTHING.I WOULD TAX THE HELL OUT OF THE OIL COMPANIES.OTHER THAN THAT I WANT TO TAKE A MODERATE ISSUE.

ROSS: BACK IN PALM BEACH, ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE THE RUSSIAN THAT BOUGHT YOUR HOUSE PUT UP AN AMERICAN FLAG?

TRUMP: LIKE THE BIG CONTROVERSY YOU HAD WITH THE TOWN. I'M GOING TO DEMAND THAT HE PUT UP THE AMERICAN FLAG, AND THE RUSSIAN FLAG FLY RIGHT UNDER IT.

KERNEN: YOU DIDN'T HAVE A $120 MILLION MORTGAGE ON THIS HOUSE.

TRUMP: NO, I DIDN'T HAVE A MORTGAGE ON THIS HOUSE

KERNEN: THIS WAS NOT A DISTRESSED SALE.

TRUMP: THIS IS A HOUSE I BOUGHT OUT OF BANKRUPCY.

KERNEN: MONTO LARGO.

TRUMP: NO.THIS IS A HOUSE I BOUGHT OUT OF A BANKRUPTCY SALE, A VERY RICH MAN WHO WENT BANKRUPT, AND HIS HOUSE AND PROPERTY WENT AS WILBUR KNOWS THE STORY WELL, WENT OUT TO BANKRUPTCY SALE, ANDI BOUGHT IT OUT OF BANKRUPTCY AND FIXED IT UP AND SOLD IT, ANDIT'S REALLY -- I'D SAY IT'S THE SECOND BEST PROPERTY IN PALM BEACH.

KERNEN: YOU BOUGHT IT FOR HOW MUCH?

TRUMP: I BOUGHT IT FOR $40.

KERNEN: THAT'S A WINDFALL AND WE'RE GOING TO TAX THAT PROFIT THAT YOU JUST MADE ON THE WINDFALL.

TRUMP: I THINK YOU SHOULD.NO, NO.I THINK YOU SHOULD TAX ME.I THINK YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY TAX ME, AND I WILL BE PAYING A BIG TAX.

KERNEN: SO DID EXON.THEY PROBABLY PAY $1 IN TAX FOR EVERY DOLLAR THEY EARN.

QUICK: WHEN IT COMES TO OPEC, IF YOU WERE AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO CONVINCE THEM IT'S NOT GOOD FOR THEM TO BE GETTING $125 PER BARREL FOR OIL?

TRUMP: LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT SOMETHING LIKE KUWAIT.I DEAL WITH THE KUWAITIES, ROUGH, TOUGH, SMART.WE GO IN AND IRAQ TAKES OVER KUWAIT A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, RIGHT? THEY MOVE TO THEIR BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN NEW YORK AND LONDON, WHERE THEY DON'T TAKE A ROOM WHERE THEY TAKE THE ENTIRE BUILDING OR IF THEY ARE POOR, THEY TAKE THE TOP THREE OR FOUR FLOORS.WE GO IN, FIGHT A WAR, SPEND BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, PUT OUT ALL OF THEIR FIRES AND THEN SAY PLEASE COME BACK.THEY GO BACK. DO THEY PAY US FOR THIS?ONE THING ABOUT THE MAFIA.AT LEAST THE MAFIA GETS PAID. DO THEY PAY US FOR THIS?THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING.NOW THEY ARE RIPPING US OFF ON OIL PRICES. WE GIVE THEM THEIR COUNTRY BACK AND GIVING IT TO A FEW PEOPLE. WE'RE NOT GIVING IT TO THE KUWAITIES.WE GIVE THEM THEIR COUNTRY BACK AND WHAT DO THEY GIVE US? HIGH OIL PRICES. WE NEED SOME BUSINESS PEOPLE. THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN IF WILBUR HAD SOMETHING TO SAY, IF CARL HAD SOMETHING TO SAY. IF ANY ONE OF A NUMBER OF PEOPLE YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR SHOW HAD A SAY.WE'RE BEING RIPPED OFF BY OPEC AND THE OIL COMPANIES, AND I SAYTHE ECONOMY CANNOT GET BETTER WITH $120 OIL.

KERNEN: DONALD, WHAT HAPPENED FOR THE LONG PERIOD WHEN OPEC WAS STILL A CARTEL AND THEY COULDN'T GET OUT OF THEIR OWN WAY AND GET OIL ABOVE $12, $15, $20. YOU DON'T THINK SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED IN TERMS OF DEMAND?

TRUMP: IT STILL MADE TREMENDOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY, JOE.LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.I'M RICH, WILBUR, WE'RE ALL RICH.WE GO BUY AIRPLANES, WE ALL HAVEFUN. I KNOW A MAN WHO BUYS A 747, SPENDS $600 MILLION ON A PLANE.I SAY DO YOU HAVE A G-5?I HAVE A G-5.I USE IT AS A CHASER. HE LANDS IN A 747, BUT IF HE HAS TO GO TO A SMALLER AIRPORT, HE CARRIES A G-5 LIKE IT'S A PIECE OF GARBAGE.I USE IT AS A CHASER IN CASE I HAVE TO LAND THIS IN A SMALLER AIRPORT. BY THE WAY, IF I WERE IN OPEC, I'D BE DOING THE SAME THING.THESE GUYS ARE FRIENDS OF MINE. SOMEBODY HAS TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO OPEC. A FEW YEARS AGO, I WAS TOLD BY A VERY, VERY SMART MAN, ON YOUR SHOW QUITE A BIT, THAT $50 OIL, ANYBODY ABOUT ABOVE THAT, YOU GOINTO A RECESSION, AND MUCH HIGHER THAN THAT, YOU GO INTO A DEPRESSION.

ROSS: WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BE A RUNNING MATE WITH THAT CAMPAIGN SLOGAN?

TRUMP: I THINK I'LL DO WELL.JUST LIKE I HAVE DONE WELL WITH THE "APPRENTICE" BUT I LOVE BUILDING BUILDINGS.THAT'S MY PROBLEM.

QUICK: YOU SEE SOME OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU DIDN'T SEE TWO YEARS AGO WHAT KINDS OF OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

TRUMP: GREAT OPPORTUNITIES.YOU GO INTO THE HOUSING COMPANIES.I'M DEALING WITH TWO HOUSING COMPANIES RIGHT NOW AND BUYING SOME OF THEIR STUFF, SOME OF THEIR ASSETS IN ONE CASE IT TOOKTHEM TEN YEARS TO GET ZONED.FINALLY GOT IT ZONED.ZONING IN THIS COUNTRY IS VERY TOUGH.IT'S INTERESTING.I GO TO QATAR AND DUBAI AND THEY FILL IN THE OCEAN, OKAY? DO YOU HAVE AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY?THEY LOOK LIKE I'M CRAZY.WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. OVER HERE IT TAKES TEN YEARS ON GET ZONING ON SOMETHING BECAUSE THERE'S A LAKE THAT'S TEN MILES AWAY THIS COUNTRY IS AT REALLY A VERY BIG DISADVANTAGE. IF I WANT TO BUILD A CERTAIN TYPE OF BUILDING IN NEW YORK, THEY LAUGH AT ME. I'M DOING A 44-STORY BUILDING IN SOHO, AND THE ZONING WAS MURDER. AND IN DUBAI, I'M BUILDING A BUILDING, AND, BY THE WAY, IT'S MAGNIFICENT. GOTTEN REVIEWS, BUT YOU COULDN'T BUILD IT IN NEW YORK. THE RESTRICTIONS AND REGULATIONS ARE MAKING US NONCOMPETITIVE.

KERNEN: WE'LL HAVE A LOT MORE REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS, DONALD.

TRUMP: TELL ME ABOUT IT.

KERNEN: THERE'S NO WAY AROUND IT THIS TIME, RIGHT?

TRUMP: YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS ON MORTGAGES.WHY I'D LOVE TO BE ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE, I DON'T SEE HOW THE GOVERNMENT CAN MANAGE THAT YOU KNOW, THAT'S A HUGE PROBLEM.I HEAR THEY WANT TO GIVE SUBSIDIES TO PEOPLE WITH MORTGAGES.THE GOVERNMENT CAN'T GET OUT OF THEIR OWN WAY.SO I LISTEN TO IT, I HEAR IT, AND I LOVE THE CONCEPT, BUT HOW DO YOU MANAGE SOMETHING LIKE THAT WITH MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLEFORECLOSURES UP 66% FROM LAST YEAR, THAT'S A TERRIBLE THING.I LISTEN TO THE FOLKS ON YOUR SHOW.THEY SAY WE'RE NOT IN A RECESSION.I SAY WHO ARE THESE MORONS?

KERNEN: OKAY.I WILL SAY, DONALD, FAR BE IT FROM YOU TO EVER HAVE AN INTEREST IN YOUR OWN HOLDINGS AND THINGSIF REAL ESTATE WAS HOT LIKE OIL RIGHT NOW AND ONE SAID TAX THE HELL OUT OF REAL ESTATE, YOU MIGHT HAVE A DIFFERENT TAKE ON IT.

TRUMP: THE FACT IS IT'S NOT HOT LIKEOIL.AND OIL'S BEEN HOT FOREVER. PEOPLE TELL ME -- I HAVE FRIENDS THAT HAVE SONS AND THEY WANT TO MEET ME BECAUSE OF THE SUCCESS OF THE "APPRENTICE". I TELL THEM TO GO INTO THE OIL BUSINESS.SINCE I'VE BEEN GROWING UP, LITERALLY, IT'S NEVER HAD A DOWN TICK.ONE YEAR IT WAS A LITTLE DOWN, BUT BASICALLY NEVER HAD A DOWN TICK.I HAVE TWO FRIENDS, BOTH GRADUATED FROM THE WHARTON SCHOOL OF FINANCE WITH ME.ONE WAS VERY SMART, ONE WASN'T.THE VERY SMART ONE WENT INTO THEAIRLINE BUSINESS, HE'S A TOTAL DISASTER, MAKE NOS MONEY. THE OTHER ONE NOT AS SMART AS HIM, HE'S NO LONGER A FRIEND OF MINE SO I CAN TALK THIS WAY.HE WENT INTO THE OIL BUSINESS AND ONE OF THE TOP GUYS AT ONE OF THE OIL COMPANIES AND MAKING A FORTUNE.IT'S A QUESTION OF CHOOSING THE BUSINESS AND AIRLINE BUSINESS ISTHE WORST, BUT THE OIL BUSINESS IS THE BEST.

QUICK: WHO IS IT?

TRUMP: I'D LOVE TO GIVE YOU THE NAME, BUT I CAN'T DO THAT.I DON'T WANT TO EMBARRASS YOU IN FACT, FRANKLY, I HOPE HE'S NOT WATCHING.WILBUR WILL GET IT FROM ME OVER DINNER AT MAR LARGO.

TRUMP: I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU RAN FOR PRESIDENT AT SOME POINT.EVERYBODY SAYS I RAN, BUT I DIDN'T RUN.

KERNEN: YOU COULD NEVER.

TRUMP: PEOPLE LIKE THIS MESSAGE.PEOPLE DON'T LIKE GETTING RIPPED OFF BY OPEC.JOE, YOU NEVER MENTION IT ON YOUR SHOW. YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT OPEC. YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT THE OIL COMPANIES.YOU TALK ABOUT THE SHORT TRADERS.THAT'S LIKE A PEANUT.

KERNEN: NOT THE SHORD TRADERS, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE GUYS THAT NOT THE SHORT TRADERS, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE GUYS THAT ARE RUNNING UP THE PRICES.

TRUMP: JOE, OPEC IS 99.9% OF IT.THE OIL COMPANIES, BETWEEN THE OIL COMPANIES AND THEY LAUGH, JOE.THEY LAUGH AT THE STUPIDITY OF OUR POLITICIANS.

KERNEN: WHEN THERE WAS A GLUT, THEY WERE IMPOTENT.

TRUMP: HOW LONG DID THAT LAST? THREE YEARS?

KERNEN: REMEMBER AFTER THE SHOCK IN THE '70s, FOR YEARS AND YEARS THEY WERE UNABLE TO MOVE THAT THING ABOVE $20 PER BARREL.

TRUMP: YOU KNOW WHAT MONEY THEY MADE AT $20?YOU KNOW WHAT MONEY THEY ARE MAKING TODAY.ONE CITY -- I WON'T SAY WHAT A MAJOR CITY OVER THERE, THEY TOLDME, YES, MR. TRUMP, WE ARE RIPPING DOWN THE ENTIRE CITY ANDWE'RE BUILDING A NEW ONE, OKAY?THIS IS THE KIND OF MONEY WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.I'D LOVE TO SEE MONEY COMING INTO THIS COUNTRY AND NOT GOING OUT.REMEMBER THIS, OIL IS THE BLOOD OF OUR NATION, AND YOU CAN'T HAVE A SUCCESSFUL NATION WITH $125 OIL.

KERNEN: YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN -- HAVE YOU BEEN OUT HERE AS A GUEST HOST?YOU HAVEN'T.WE WANT YOU OUT HERE IN NEW JERSEY.

TRUMP: JOE, I ONLY DO NETWORK.I'M ONLY KIDDING.I LOVE YOU BOTH HAVE A GOOD TIME, WILBUR, I'LL SEE YOU IN PALM BEACH.

ROSS: TAKE CARE.

QUICK: WE WANT HIM ON SET.

KERNEN: THANK YOU, DONALD. CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT OF THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION.A CABLE NETWORK, RIGHT?

QUICK: HE SAYS HIS MIND, HE REALLY DOES.

KERNEN: HE COULD NEVER BE A POLITICIAN NEVER WORK.ROSIE IS NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM, I'LL TELL YOU THAT.

QUICK: I'M SURE HE'S CRYING ABOUT THAT ONE.




About CNBC:
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 340 million homes worldwide, including more than 95 million households in the United States and Canada. The network's Business Day programming (weekdays from 5:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and also includes reports from CNBC news bureaus worldwide. Additionally, CNBC viewers can manage their individual investment portfolios and gain additional in-depth information from on-air reports by accessing http://www.cnbc.com.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at http://nbcumv.com/cnbc/.