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Friday, March 04, 2016

Piers Morgan on Donald Trump

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Piers Morgan on Donald Trump

"I got to know him when I took part in the first series of Celebrity Apprentice.

I was in the show for about 5 weeks and I spent most of that time watching Trump in his natural habitat of his boardroom and I was very impressed with him.

I saw a pretty smart guy who knew how to play that boardroom of very varied human contestants like a concert conductor.

I saw somebody who had a warmth, a good humour, a sense of perspective.

So when I see Trump being more outrageous in some of the things that he's saying and doing now, I think he's just doing that to grab media attention. And I think the reality of a Trump Presidency, if it came to it, would be an awful lot more moderate.

Y'know, Trump to me is somebody - I've known him, like I said, a decade. I've spoken to him regularly on the phone. He rang me about a month ago. And we had a long chat about the election.

And if people could hear him when he hasn't got, y'know, the TV cameras in front of him and it was just one-on-one, he's a very different beast. He's a lot calmer, he's a lot more rational.

This is a guy who, remember has never had an alcoholic drink. Never had a cigarette. He doesn't even have coffee.

This is a bloke who's completely in control, who knows exactly what he's doing...

[On outrageous things he says and whether he means it] I would treat almost everything he says in this campaign cycle with a lot of skepticism.

He is like all campaigners in every election, saying a lot of stuff purely designed to get votes.

When he talks about, for example, his policy with Muslims. I don't believe for a moment that if Trump was President he would try and ban Muslims for any short-term period from entering the country.

And I think we're already seeing him dialing back on some of that more extreme rhetoric. But of course, by saying what he did, he dominated the news cycle and the media for another week...

[On a wall to keep out Mexicans] It is very offensive if we take it in the way that it was portrayed in the media. I think probably quite deliberately...

But what was Trump actually saying when he said that?

I don't agree with his wall. I don't agree with his short term ban on Muslims entering the country. I don't agree with him about climate change or guns... I don't agree with him about half these things, and I personally wouldn't vote for Trump...

As a Republican candidate in this election, the reason he's been successful is that he has very very adroitly tapped in to the popular mood about a number of hot button issues.

And the question of Mexico and illegal immgiration: It is undeniable that there are a large number of illegal immigrants pouring over the border from Mexico into America and a lot of Americans - and I'm talking about tens, hundreds of millions of Americans, are fed up with it...

[On being scared about him as President] I would look at a lot of Trump's businesses in America. He's a fantastically successful realtor as they call it - property tycoon...

[On his lying about his wealth] The discrepancy of his wealth is: is he worth 3 or 4 billion or 10 billion? So once you get into splitting hairs about how many billions somebody has, we can probably relax... he's pretty wealthy.

Put it this way: he seems to be funding most of his campaign and flying everywhere in a massive private plane which: that's expensive, so we've got to assume that Trump's pretty wealthy.

And I think from a business perspective he runs pretty good businesses and he tends to put very smart people in charge of them, and he likes high quality. Nobody disputes the quality of his buildings, or his golf courses, or of his resorts.

So I think if you look at what he's actually done and what he's actually achieved, you can probably slightly relax a little bit about how outrageous he would be. And I read: Trump's gonna be the new Hitler and I find that an absolutely facile way of looking at a guy who's basically a right wing Richard Branson.

And American policies right now really does need somebody who is good at doing deals. Barack Obama's been paralysed from gun control onwards in the Senate in his inability to actually get anything done.

Trump - whether you love him or hate him - is one of the great dealmakers in the world. And if he was in charge of the White House, at the very least I would pay good money to see him in a room with Vladimir Putin striking a deal."
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