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  Today  NBC  April 21, 2016 8:09am-8:26am EDT

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welcome back to our exclusive town hall meeting with republican front-runner donald trump. good to have you here. congratulations on a win in new york this week. with that win, in this stage of the race, you would basically have the nomination in your hands this say different kind of year, though. let's say you do have the nomination. let's say you're going to be the guy in the general election. you look at some of the polling right now. you have an enormous negative number, 68% of people say they can't support you. would you admit you have a lot of work to do? >> well, i think it's going to go very quickly, frankly. i've been hit by 55,000 -- on your show, 55,000 negative ads, and nobody else has. you know, you look at a guy like kasich. he has never been hit by an ad because nobody cares, frankly. no, it's true. it's true. and cruz isn't hit with negative ads. they went after me, both sides,
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the other side and my side. despite that i won florida by almost 21 points, in a landslide. i've won mostly landslides, 22 or 24 states and nobody else is even close. the main thing, millions and millions of votes, more than anybody else has. you know -- >> that's the republican primary, 31 million people vote in the republican primary, 130 million vote in the general election. >> right. >> if you look at these polls and the specifics and the swing voters who decide elections in this country, in poll after poll, 69% of women disapprove. 67% of independents. young people, 70% unfavorable. that's not just one poll. it's several. so, what work do you have to do? how are you going to convince them that you are their candidate? >> when people see that i'm going to bring jobs back to this country, when they see that i'm going to strengthen up the military, when they see that i'm going to have strong borders like nobody else can have, we will build a wall and mexico will pay for the wall, by the
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way. but when they see we're getting rid of obamacare, a total disaster and we're going to be replacing it with something good. when they see we're going to get rid of common core, which is also, likewise, a total catastrophe, and we'll bring in education locally so it can be run by local communities and the parents of the children, it's going to be wonderful and beautiful and much better. when they see what we're going to do -- maybe above all, when they see we are going to make some of the great trade deals -- every deal we have a total disaster. our country is losing a fortune. now, women -- if you saw my big win in new york, it was a landslide, like unprecedented. women were one of the highest demographics. >> to savannah's point, it's a valid one, though. it's different in a republican party than in a general election. >> i agree. >> i don't have to go into all the words, and i don't think we have to, about the insults of women, mexicans and muslims. you can't unsay those things. how do you convince them -- by the way, they've been listening to all the things you just said about jobs and the wall.
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>> i think it's about -- look. i did some things and i've said some things in fun. i've said it as an entertainer, doing "the apprentice." you know how successful -- i just saw they wanted to renew me for two years. and i didn't do it because of this. but a lot of that was entertainment. there's nobody that respects women more than i do. there's nobody that will take care of women's health issues better than i will. hillary cannot do it. believe me. she doesn't have the strength, the energy. she will not be able to do it. and i think that women will be big fans. look, they want to see security for our country. irate number one in every poll in security with the military. the military is endorsing me. i just gotten adoresed by the border patrol, 16,000 agents. they've never done that before. >> let's get to some of our town hall questioners. >> okay. >> willie has one right here. >> mr. trump, good morning. >> good morning. >> andrew sullivan, brooklyn new york, registered republican and a supporter of yours. >> thank you. >> hello, mr. trump. full disclosure, i did work for you. i appreciate the ten years of
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good union construction work you provided for me and my family. god bless you. >> good. good. thank you. thank you. >> what's your question, sir? >> the question is this. in regards to isis, i sincerely appreciate the aggressive stance you want to take with them. and my question, how do you avoid the pitfalls of the past, in part, by getting involved yet again in this perpetual state of war with no end in sight? >> that is such an important question. you know, i was against the war in iraq. i said you don't go in. you're going to destabilize the middle east. i was so strong against iraq. we went in. we made a terrible mistake in going in. then we got out the wrong way. isis was created because of the way we got out and because of the bad moves we made even while we were there. but we now have to do something. we have to knock the hell out of them. we're going to get them out. we're going to help. we're going to get the countries in that region to put up their
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manpower or they've got big problems. and a lot of that is going to be leadership. we do have to get rid of isis. we are going to make it impossible for isis to survive. they're cutting off heads. they're drowning people in steel cages. it's like medieval times. i've never seen anything like it. nobody has ever seen anything like it. we are going to get rid of isis. by the way, speaking of that, our military has been decimated with cuts and everything else. we're going to rebuild our military. it will be bigger, better, stronger than ever before. hopefully, we don't have to use it. the one place we will be using it is to get rid of isis. great question. thank you. >> thank you. >> just to make sure i'm clear here, you're going to bomb the you know what out of isis. but you have a comprehensive plan? >> i do. >> for what to do in that region afterwards? >> one of the things that -- running for office is interesting. they'll ask you questions like that. i said that from the beginning. they never did it. then they started it on a limited basis. libya, right now, as you know,
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has fantastic oil, some of the finest oil in the world. who has the oil? isis. do we blockade it, bomb it, do anything? no. isis is making a fortune now in libya. that was a hillary clinton deal. she wanted to go in, get rid of gadhafi. for what reason? look, he was a bad guy. saddam hussein was a bad guy. they had one thing in common. they killed terrorists, okay? we would have been better off if we never looked at the middle east for the last 15 years. >> let's get to another question. >> mr. trump, i have jamie eckman, registered republican, married, three kids. still undecided. >> my relative is a natural-born american in the military, deployed. his father and stepmother are undocumented citizens here in the -- undocumented people here in the united states for the last 25 years without any way of adjusting their status. if you're president, what will you do for those members that are the fabric of our country that have been here for 25 years
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undocumented? >> won't they be deported? >> when you say natural-born citizens, that's interesting. i assume you were born here. why do you mention that? because you know who always says that? ted cruz. he was born in canada and lived there for four years. i'm a natural-born citizen when, actually -- >> i'm not for cruz. >> born in canada. but, you know what? he has no path right now -- >> what's your plan for her relatives? >> they've been here how many years? >> 25 years. >> we're going to do something for people that have been -- look, we're either going to have a country or we're not going to have a country. but many people are very fine people. and i'm sure these are very, very fine people. they're going to go, and we're going to create a path where we can get them into this country legally, okay? but it has to be done legally. >> you will deport them first, right? >> they're going to go, and then come back and come back legally. we have wonderful people. it's too tough to say you'll never come back again. they're coming back but they're
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coming back into our country legally. so important. now that might not be the perfect answer for you. am i going to get your vote? >> by the way, they are from ecuador and i'm organizing the relief effort for ecuador and need transportation for volunteers and supplies. >> very good. >> you have a twitter question? >> we're getting thousands of questions on twitter, mr. trump. i picked one here from jessica hershey, toms river, new jersey. please be specific. tell us your views on lgbt, how you plan to be inclusive as president. speak about north carolina bathroom law, in particular. >> oh, i had a feeling that question was going to come up, i will tell you. north carolina did something that was very strong. and they're paying a big price. there's a lot of problems. i heard one of the best answers i heard was from a commentator yesterday saying leave it the way it is right now. there have been very few problems. leave it the way it is. north carolina, what they're going through with all the business that's leaving, all of
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the strife -- and this is on both sides. leave it the way it is. there have been very few complaints the way it is. people go. they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. there has been so little trouble. and the problem with what happened in north carolina is the strife and the economic -- i mean, the economic punishment that they're taking. >> do you have any transgender people working in your organization? >> i don't know. >> no? >> i really don't know. >> if caitlyn jenner were to walk into trump tower and wanted to use the bathroom, you would be fine with her using any bathroom she chooses? >> that is correct. >> different issue -- >> you know, there's a big move to create new bathrooms. problem with that is for transgender, that would be -- first of all, i think that would be discriminatory in a certain way. that would be unbelievably expensive for businesses in the country. leave it the way it is. >> let's talk about abortion, another potent issue. the republican platform, every
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four years, has a provision that states that the right of the unborn child shall not be infringed. it makes no exceptions for rape, incest, for the life of the mother. would you want to change the republican platform to include the exceptions that you have? >> yes, i would. yes, i would. absolutely. for the three exceptions. i would. >> do you have an exception for the health of the mother? >> i would leave it to the life of the mother but would absolutely have the three exceptions. >> willie? >> let's go back to the crowd here. from scarsdale, new york, married with one son, registered republican and a supporter of yours. >> thank you. >> mr. trump, your wife, melania, suggested that you be presidential. can you tell us some of the things that you have done to be more presidential? >> well, i'm sure mel ania woul like me to not hit as hard sometimes and yet, you know, when i started, we had 17 people and i was being hit from every
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angle by governors and senators and really smart and wonderful people who endorsed me, ben carson and others, chris christie. you're being hit pretty hard. i felt i had to hit back very hard. i think if i didn't, if i acted very presidential, i wouldn't be sit iting up here today, somebo else would be. it wouldn't be me. i will tell you, it's easier for me to be presidential than for me to be doing what i've been doing for the last, really, nine months. but at the right time, i will be so presidential, you will be so bored, you will say, can't he have a little bit more energy? but i know when to be presidential. we have two more left. they are really -- they have absolutely no path to victory. it was announced this morning, they have no path to victory. and we have a very easy path to victory. i think they'll be gone very soon. >> on the democratic side -- >> two good people but i think they'll be gone very soon. >> on the democratic side of things, huge issue is wall street banks. they're firing at each other on that subject.
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you said you know the wall street bankers better than anyone. >> better than anyone. >> all right. after the 2008 financial meltdown, do you think any of the guys you know better than anyone should have been in jail? >> so it's a question i've heard so often. i've been asked so often. the answer is, if they did something purposely, purposely, illegal, the answer is yes. with all of that being said, i don't believe anybody has really been indicted and gone to jail, which is pretty amazing. i'm sure there was some pretty bad moves made. i will say this. a lot of mistakes were made. you can't put a businessman in jail because he made a bad business decision. they want to do well. for the most part, wall street bankers want to do well. i know so many of them. you know so many of them. they're good people like everybody else. i think they're paid too much money but what are you going to do? it's one of those things. did they make a business mistake? you can't put people in jail. if they did something they know is illegal and wrong, you have to put them in jail. >> does it ever surprise you that so many of your supporters
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are so angry at those banks because they feel the decks are stacked against them, yet you're the guy they're supporting and you're a guy who has been given every single advantage those banks can give to the wealthiest americans. >> i have taken advantage of the banks probably more than any human being on earth. i love banks. right? i love fighting with banks if i have to. it depends on what happens, the economy goes up, it goes down. i've found bankers to be very good people. i've found them to be very honorable people. generally speaking, they want to do what's right for the country. but again, i've known some bad dudes. you've known some bad dudes, matt. i've been at parties. i've seen you and seen these people in the same room as us. there are some people out there that are not good people. for the most part, i have to say, though, wall street people, they're aggressive. they're tough. they're smart. and they bring a lot of money and a lot of jobs into this country. >> do you believe in raising taxes on the wealthy? >> i do. i do. including myself. i do. >> willie? >> i'm with ella walders here in
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new york city, registered republican, undecided but leaning your way. >> good morning, mr. trump. congratulations on your big win in new york. >> thank you very much. >> my question to you is, can you please share with us a single most important lesson that you've learned growing up? and who do you consider a mentor now, and why? >> that's a great question. i'm not asked it very often. i will tell you a real lesson. my father was a builder in brooklyn and queens. he build housing. he loved to work. he didn't say, you have to work and you have to this, but i would learn sitting at his knee, playing with blocks. and it would be a sunday or saturday night or any time. he was always working. and he was a happy man. and i learned that work is a great thing. i looked at my father. he had a wonderful wife. they had a fantastic marriage. it was 63 years. it was an incredible relationship. but my father was a very happy person.
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and all he did is work. he couldn't take a -- i don't think he has ever taken a vacation. one time he told me he took a vacation and came back early. he was happy. he was content. he had a great family. he had a great wife. and what i learned is that when you work, and if you enjoy what you're doing -- if you really love what you're doing, it's a great thing and you'll be happy. i know so many of the people -- many of them were at the big celebration the other night. they're all friends of mine, big business people. i won't specify which ones. some of these people unbelievably wealthy but unbelievably unhappy. >> as you've seen in the news this morning, harriet tubman will replace andrew jackson on the $20 bill. do you see this as a move that is all about political correctness or is this a move that's simply way overdue? >> andrew jackson had a great history. i think it's very rough when you take somebody off the bill. andrew jackson had a history of
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tremendous success for the country. as you know, they're going to do the $10 and all of a sudden the broadway play, "hamilton" sort of saved that one. i read it just this morning. >> are you in favor of harriet tubman on the $20 bill? >> i think harriet tubman is fantastic. i would love to leave andrew jackson and see if we can come up with another denomination. maybe we do the $2 bill or another bill. i don't like seeing it. yes, i think it's pure political correctness. been on the bill for many, many years and really represented -- somebody that was really very important to this country. i would love to see another denomination, and that could take place. i think it would be more appropriate. >> mr. trump, thank you so much for your time this morning. >> thank you. >> we thank everybody here for their questions. we'll have a lot more on a thursday morning. first, let's get a check of your local news and weather.