Talks About Various Things Ranging from Religion to Women (Interview)

Date: Dec. 2, 1999
Location: Good Morning America
Issues: Women



DIANE SAWYER, co-host: Well, as you have undoubtedly heard, Donald Trump isn't saying yet whether he's going to run for president, and we talked about that a bit yesterday, but we had a wide-ranging conversation about a lot of things, from religion and regret, to women. In fact, in the past, he has said that smart women can be killers, great at, in effect, running circles around men. This topic arises out of his assertion that there's a need for stronger leadership in this country. He says in his forthcoming book, "The America We Deserve," that if elected, for instance, he personally would take on the added responsibility of US trade representative.

Mr. DONALD TRUMP: And I'd like to have the American people see who they like, who they would want to represent them when it comes to other nations ripping off this country, and they are doing it in spades. When you look at what Japan is doing, when you look at what so many nations—look, we had a...

SAWYER: What's the alternative, a trade war?

Mr. TRUMP: We had a summit—Diane, we had a summit—no, it doesn't have to be a trade war. If they think there's going to be a trade war, there won't be, OK? The problem is, they don't think there ever will be because they think we're a bunch of saps.

SAWYER: The man who said that 'Women, the smart ones, act very feminine and needy but inside they are real killers, and excellent at manipulating men,' does this mean that you would like to have a government mostly of women?

Mr. TRUMP: No. I think that women are terrific. I admire women. I respect women. I think in many—you know, the morons say the weaker sex. They call the women the weaker sex. They're not at all the weaker sex. I have great respect and admiration for women. And certainly...

SAWYER: But if women are so good at manipulating men and such killers...

Mr. TRUMP: (Unintelligible)...and many—I can tell you a lot of men, Diane, are laying strewn all over the highways by women.

SAWYER: Why not populate a government with them, then?

Mr. TRUMP: You don't have to populate the government. But certainly, if I were president, women would play a major role in the administration.

SAWYER: So what's the difference between the women you date and the women you would appoint to your cabinet?

Mr. TRUMP: Obviously, the women that would be in the administration would have years of experience, would have tremendous brainpower, and everything else. I'm not saying that the women I date have years of experience, and have tremendous brainpower, but certainly they're very smart.

SAWYER: I've got some personal questions. What scares you the most?

Mr. TRUMP: Well, I think failure...

SAWYER: Personally?

Mr. TRUMP: ...would scare me the most. I hate failure, and it does always—you know, life is very fragile. We all know that. No matter how well you're doing, or I'm doing, you know, it's just a very fragile thing, and it's...

SAWYER: And failure is not being on top?

Mr. TRUMP: Well, failure...

SAWYER: Not to be rich, not...

Mr. TRUMP: me is just not being on top, it's just not being there. And you know, it's something that I don't exactly cherish. So I think that's something that scares me.

SAWYER: What do you want to make sure is in heaven if you get there?

Mr. TRUMP: Well, I'd like to be sure in heaven that I'd have my parents in heaven, because they are great. My father passed away recently, and he was something very special. He was somebody, to me, very special. And my mother is a tremendous woman. They were married for 63 years, so, you know, they didn't understand the word "divorce," it was like not a word that ever even was in their vocabulary. But they're just very—my mother is still healthy and living, but I'd want to see them there, I'd want to see my kids there. And, you know, I hope, in fact, there is a heaven. I hope a lot of us are right about there being a heaven. I'm a believer.

SAWYER: You are? Are you religious?

Mr. TRUMP: Right. No, I believe in God. I'm religious. I'm religious in my thought. And I just hope, in fact, that we're all right in believing that there is a heaven, and perhaps in believing that there is a hell. I mean, we have to be here for something. We have to be doing this for some reason. There has to be a reason. And I believe that there is in fact a reason, and I believe heaven could be that reason.

SAWYER: What do you feel guiltiest about, then?

Mr. TRUMP: Well, I feel guiltiest about not having had a successful marriage, because you know, coming from parents that were married for 63 years, and having gone through all that, I think the thing that I would probably feel most guilty about—look, my business has been unbelievable, so I can't feel too guilty about my business. I think I've done well, I've made a lot of people very proud, I've made a lot of people very rich. But the business aspect has been very pure. The part of my life I think I'm most disappointed in that I have not had the great marriage. And I would have thought that would have happened, because I came from a home—you know, it's not like some of my friends, they get divorced, but their parents were divorced twice or three times. I came from a home where marriage was just incredible. I mean, my parents truly loved each other.

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