Donald Trump on His Nuclear Doctrine, Democracy Promotion And Why He Refuses To Use Term ‘Supreme Leader’
Donald Trump doesn’t think America should be the policeman of the world.
In the final segment of The Daily Caller’s extensive interview with Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul and Republican presidential frontrunner opens up about foreign policy, discussing what he would do with the Iran deal as president, how much he values democracy promotion and, randomly, his dismay over what Russia is doing in the Arctic, among other topics. (RELATED: Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of TheDC’s Trump interview)
The Daily Caller: Let me ask you some foreign policy questions. You called Hillary Clinton the worst secretary of state in American history. Is there any past secretary of state that you would want your secretary of state to model themself after?
Donald Trump: No, because times are so different and times are so much more complex now. We’ve never had a complex era like we do now. We’ve never had a Middle East that’s in flames. We’ve never had everything all coming together at once. I mean, our country’s a mess. You look at, the world hates us, and yet they take advantage of us. China takes our money, but they don’t respect us, and they do islands in the middle of the South China Sea.
You look at Putin and you look at what he’s doing in the Arctic and what he’s doing with so many other places, including the Ukraine, but the Arctic to me is a very big deal. He’s doing things in the Arctic that are not right. You look at the rest of the world — I mean the whole world is taking advantage of the United States, and we get nothing. We’re like the policeman of the world, and we’re not doing a very good job of being the policeman, but we get nothing.
This is a very, very complex world, so I don’t like to specifically mention names, because if I mention names, some people are going to say, “Oh, well, I didn’t like him because he was weak on something.” And I think it’s not a good thing for me to do, to mention a specific name.
But I can say this with surety — although Kerry may go down as being worse than [Hillary], because he’s approving this [Iran] deal, and I think this deal with Iran is perhaps the greatest disaster of a contract that I’ve ever seen. It’s the most incompetently drawn and agreed to contract that I’ve ever seen. It is the most one-sided. It’s a disgrace to the United States, and I think it’ll be a disgrace to humanity.
TheDC: What would you do the first day in office with the Iran deal?
Trump: Well, it’s going to be a signed contract, number one. And number two, and it’s going to be signed, sealed, and, unfortunately, done. Don’t forget, that’s going to be in a year and a half, right? So it’s going to be a signed contract, and that means a lot when you have it. But I would police that contract — you know, I’ve taken over plenty of bad contracts where I’ve bought things where deals have gone bad because the people doing it didn’t know what they were doing. I’ve made a lot of money by dealing with people that didn’t know what they were doing, like the president. And frankly, I would scrutinize that — I’m very good at scrutinizing bad contracts — and I would scrutinize that contract like nobody would ever scrutinize it.
TheDC: It sounds like what you’re saying is that you would be looking for a violation, and if Iran did violate any aspect of the deal, you would consider the contract null and void.
Trump: Exactly correct, exactly correct. I will scrutinize that — I’ve been very good at scrutinizing contracts. I’ve taken over contracts knowingly that the people that did them, you know, went out of business because of bad contracts that I’ve bought for tiny amounts of money.
TheDC: So I guess my question is, once you discover a violation — and presumably you don’t think it would be too hard to find one — what would you do after deeming the deal null and void?
Trump: I would come after them like you would not believe. They will be very respectful of the United States. They will not go around screaming “Death to the United States, Death to Israel,” that I can tell you.
TheDC: How seriously would you consider military …
Trump: I mean, who can even think of signing a contract where in the streets they’re marching, and you have the, I refuse to use the word “supreme leader,” by the way. When Obama talks about the “supreme leader,” it’s almost like he’s got total admiration for him.
If somebody was telling me about how bad the contract is and how they hate the country — how do you sign a contract like this? And that’s the least of it. The contract is a disaster in virtually every way, and one way that people haven’t even talked about: they have an attack clause. If anybody attacks them, we have to protect them. What happens if Israel attacks them? Nobody has been able to answer that question yet, including [Secretary of State John] Kerry.
TheDC: How important should democracy promotion play in American foreign policy?
Trump: You mean democracy of other places?
TheDC: Yes, pushing for democracy.
Trump: You mean nation building?
TheDC: It could be that, or it could be pushing countries to become more democratic.
Trump: If you’re talking about nation building, it should not play nearly as important a role, and maybe it shouldn’t play an important role. I’ll tell you what, there is going to be nation building. You know what the nation’s going to be? The United States, that’s what the nation’s going to be.
TheDC: How about if it’s not nation building. Let’s take Saudi Arabia. Should we be talking with them about human rights, or should that be a secondary issue to other matters?
Trump: We should be talking to them about it, but it cannot be a primary. We’ve got to get our country straightened out. We should not continue to police the world.
TheDC: Let me ask you about Egypt. What would you have done when people were protesting in the streets and calling for Egyptian Dictator Hosni Mubarak’s ouster back in 2011? Would you have stood behind Mubarak, who was an American ally, or would you have pushed for his removal like President Obama did?
Trump: I feel that we set a very bad standard when we didn’t back Mubarak. He was very loyal to Israel, and he was very loyal to the United States. Now, whether or not he believed that? Who knows. But you saw what happened. It was a very bad period of time. But Mubarak was somebody that probably we should have supported. We lost a lot, because a lot of people, when we didn’t support him, a lot of our allies said, “Wow, they’re not going to support Mubarak. That means they’re not going to support us.” We lost a lot of credibility with other nations by not supporting Mubarak.
TheDC: Would you have supported him even if the cost of that might have been that he would have to almost deploy the military against the protesters in the square?
Trump: That would have all depended on the circumstance. I’ll tell you what I would not have done, I would not have gone into Iraq and I’m down in 2003 as saying that. Going into Iraq is what destabilized the Middle East.
TheDC: What did you make of America’s decision to go into Libya under President Obama?
Trump: I think that his decision on Libya was not a good decision, because you look at what’s happened, it’s a disaster.
TheDC: Did you know Gaddafi? I know he came to New York and …
TheDC: What did you think of him?
Trump: I actually rented him a house that he never got to use. I was very proud of that. He paid me a fortune for one night for a house that he never got to use.
TheDC: Did you ever have a conversation with him?
Trump: No, I didn’t. I dealt with his people. They rented property from me in Manhattan for one night. They paid me a fortune and they never got to use it.
TheDC: What do you think of the opening with Cuba? Do you think that is a good policy, or do you oppose America’s opening with Cuba?
Trump: I think it’s fine. I think it’s fine, but we should have made a better deal. The concept of opening with Cuba — 50 years is enough — the concept of opening with Cuba is fine. I think we should have made a stronger deal.
TheDC: What would the Trump doctrine be on the use of nuclear weapons?
Trump: Total last resort. You just don’t want to be using nuclear weapons. It’s one of the truly big problems of the world today. It’s what differentiates the world today from the world of yesterday, is the power of weaponry and the power of nuclear weapons.
TheDC: Do you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Israel has nuclear weapons?
Trump: Well, I think they have no choice. I think they really have no choice. I think that they have them and they have no choice. They have to protect themselves.
This interview has been very slightly edited for brevity and clarity.