Donald Trump on Foreign Policy
2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
"I mean, this guy's a bad dude, and don't underestimate him," Trump said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Any young guy who can take over from his father with all those generals and everybody else that probably want the position, this is not somebody to be underestimated."
Trump maintained that China has control over North Korea and the US has control over China--thus "China should do that," he said. "China has control--absolute control--over North Korea. They don't say it, but they do," Trump explained. "And they should make that problem disappear. China is sucking us dry. They're taking our money. They're taking our jobs. We have rebuilt China with what they've taken out."
Look at the state of the world right now. It's a terrible mess, and that's putting it kindly. There has never been a more dangerous time. The so-called insiders within the Washington ruling class are the people who got us into trouble. So why should we continue to pay attention to them?
Here's what I know--what we are doing now isn't working. And years ago, when I was just starting out in business, I figured out a pretty simple approach that has always worked well for me: "When you're digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole, stop digging."
Trump then got into a specific example: Saudi Arabia, one of the more important US allies in the Middle East. Saudis "make a billion dollars a day. We protect them. So we need help. We are losing a tremendous amount of money on a yearly basis and we owe $19 trillion," he said.
Walking back trade deals and agreements that allow the US military to operate overseas is easier said than done. But Trump has tapped into a powerful anti-Washington populist sentiment.
TRUMP: Well, I had heard that he wanted to meet with me. And certainly I am open to it. I don't know that it's going to take place, but I know that people have been talking. We'll see what happens. But certainly, if he wanted to meet, I would love to do that. You know, I've been saying relationship is so important in business, that it's so important in deals, and so important in the country. And if President Obama got along with Putin, that would be a fabulous thing. But they do not get along. Putin does not respect our president. And I'm sure that our president does not like him very much.
TRUMP: Number one, they have to respect you. He has absolutely no respect for President Obama. Zero. I would talk to him. I would get along with him. I believe I would get along with a lot of the world leaders that this country is not getting along with. I think I will get along with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable world.
Trump joins libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul as the only Republican running for president to express his support for normalizing relations with Cuba. The rest of the GOP field has slammed Obama's decision to reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana and engage diplomatically with the government of Cuba.
TRUMP: I'm a little concerned about NATO from this standpoint. Take Ukraine. We're leading Ukraine. Where's Germany? Where are the countries of Europe leading? I don't mind helping them. Why isn't Germany leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we're like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine?
Q: So you wouldn't allow Ukraine into NATO?
TRUMP: I would not care that much. Whether it goes in or doesn't go in, I wouldn't care. Look, I would support NATO.
Q: It sounds like you're not a fan of NATO
TRUMP: I'm a fan of fairness. I'm a fan of common sense. I'm certainly not a fan of us being against Russia. Why are we always at the forefront of everything?
American can do better. I think we deserve the best. That's why I decided to write this book. The decisions we face are too monumental, too consequential, to just let slide. I have answers for the problems that confront us. I know how to make American rich again.
For the past thirty years, China's economy has grown an average 9 to 10 percent each year. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, China's economy grew a robust 9.7 percent. America's first quarter growth rate? An embarrassing and humiliating 1.9 percent. It's a national disgrace.
Pat Buchanan was actually preaching the same policy of appeasement that had failed for Neville Chamberlain at Munich. If we used Buchananís theory on Hitler as a foreign policy strategy, we would have appeased every world dictator with a screw loose and weíd have a brainwashed population ready to go postal on command.
After I [wrote an article on this for] Face the Nation, Buchanan accused me of ďignorance.Ē Buchanan, who believes himself an expert, has also called Hitler ďa political organizer of the first rank.Ē Buchanan is a fan.
Two dealmakers have served as president-one was Franklin Roosevelt, who got us through WWII, and the other was Richard Nixon, who forced the Russians to the bargaining table to achieve the first meaningful reductions in nuclear arms.
A dealmaker can keep many balls in the air, weigh the competing interests of other nations, and above all, constantly put Americaís best interests first. The dealmaker knows when to be tough and when to back off. He knows when to bluff and he knows when to threaten, understanding that you threaten only when prepared to carry out the threat. The dealmaker is cunning, secretive, focused, and never settles for less than he wants. Itís been a long time since America had a president like that.
Few respect weakness. Ultimately we have to deal with hostile nations in the only language they know: unshrinking conviction and the military power to back it up if need be. There and in that order are Americaís two greatest assets in foreign affairs.
We want to trade with China because of the size of its consumer market. But if the regime continues to repress individual freedoms, how many consumers will there really be? Isnít it inconsistent to compromise our principles by negotiating trade with a country that may not want and cannot afford our goods?
We have to make it absolutely clear that weíre willing to trade with China, but not to trade away our principles, and that under no circumstances will we keep our markets open to countries that steal from us.
Despite the opportunity, I think we need to take a much harder look at China. There are major problems that too many at the highest reaches of business want to overlook, [primarily] the human-rights situation.
TRUMP: President Obama has treated Israel horribly. I have very close ties to Israel. I've received the Tree of Life Award and many of the greatest awards given by Israel. As president, however, there's nothing that I would rather do to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors generally. And I think it serves no purpose to say that you have a good guy and a bad guy. Now, I may not be successful in doing it. It's probably the toughest negotiation anywhere in the world of any kind. But it doesn't help if I start saying, "I am very pro-Israel." It doesn't do any good to start demeaning the neighbors, because I would love to do something with regard to negotiating peace, finally, for Israel and for their neighbors.
TRUMP: A deal is a deal. Let me tell you that. I learned a long time ago.
RUBIO: A deal is not a deal when you're dealing with terrorists. Have you ever negotiated with terrorists?
TRUMP: I'm a negotiator. I've done very well over the years through negotiation. It's very important that we do that. In all fairness, Marco is not a negotiator. I watched him melt down and I'll tell you, it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. You will never bring peace.
TRUMP: What we want to do, when we want to do it, and how hard do we want to hit? We are going to have to hit hard to knock out ISIS. We're going to have to learn who our allies are. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?
TRUMP: The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal.
TRUMP: As far as Syria, if Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%, and I can't understand how anybody would be against it.
Q: They're not doing that.
TRUMP: They blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He's going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany--why are we always doing the work? I'm all for protecting Ukraine--but, we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren't doing anything. They say, "Keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going. Protect us." And we have to get smart. We can't continue to be the policeman of the world.
TRUMP: I love a safe zone for people. I do not like the migration. I do not like the people coming. What they should do is, the countries should all get together, including the Gulf states, who have nothing but money, they should all get together and they should take a big swath of land in Syria and they do a safe zone for people, where they could to live, and then ultimately go back to their country, go back to where they came from.
Q: Does the U.S. get involved in making that safe zone?
TRUMP: I would help them economically, even though we owe $19 trillion.
TRUMP: Where they're hitting people, we're talking about people that we don't even know. I was talking to a general two days ago. He said, "We have no idea who these people are. We're training people. We don't know who they are. We're giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad." And you know what? I'm not saying Assad's a good guy, because he's probably a bad guy. But I've watched him interviewed many times. And you can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there-- it's a mess-- if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there-- it's a mess-- it's going be same thing.
TRUMP: It's not even a contest. Iraq is a disaster. And ISIS came out of Iraq.
Q: Well, let me button this up. If Saddam and Gaddafi were still in power, you think things would be more stable?
TRUMP: Of course it would be. You wouldn't have had your Benghazi situation, which is one thing, which was just a terrible situation.
Q: Would you pull out of what we're doing in Syria now?
TRUMP: no, I'd sit back.
TRUMP: I want our military to be beyond anything, no contest, and technologically, most importantly. But we are going to get bogged down in Syria. If you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that's when they went bankrupt.
Q: So, you think Putin's going to get suckered into--
TRUMP: They're going to get bogged down. Everybody that's touched the Middle East, they've gotten bogged down. Now, Putin wants to go in and I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS. Putin has to get rid of ISIS because Putin doesn't want ISIS coming into Russia.
Q: Why do you trust him and nobody else does?
TRUMP: I don't trust him. But the truth is, it's not a question of trust. I don't want to see the United States get bogged down. We've spent now $2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan. We're destroying our country.
Trump has said that the U.S. is mishandling current Iran negotiations and should have walked away from the table once Tehran reportedly rejected the idea of sending enriched uranium to Russia. He would increase sanctions on Iran. Trump has been sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of relations with Israel and has called for a closer alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
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