Former President Donald Trump, the favorite candidate to win the nomination in the Republican primaries, spoke with Enrique Acevedo at his residence in Mar-A-Lago, in an exclusive interview in which they talked about his campaign proposals and how he plans to win over the Hispanic vote, in addition to the legal issues he has pending before various courts.
Below is the transcript of the Univision Noticias interview with the former president of the United States, Donald Turmp.
Enrique Acevedo: Mr. President, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. We really appreciate it.
Donald Trump: Thank you very much.
EA: We are less than one year away from the election. Will you be on the ballot on November 5th?
DT: Well, it looks like it and it looks like we're number one in every poll and we're number one against Biden or whoever is going to be running. And where something's happening, that's very interesting. They want to see our country do great again and make America great again and America first and all of those things. But certainly, it looks very good.
EA: Talking about polls, The New York Times/Siena poll came out this week. It has you with a solid lead in five of the six states that could decide the election, including Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, which was a very contested state the last time around. But it also has you with 42% of Latino voters support. That's unprecedented for a Republican candidate. What do you think the message voters are sending with these numbers?
DT: Well, the Latino vote is so incredible because they're unbelievable people. They have incredible skills, incredible energy, and they're very entrepreneurial. All you have to do is look at the owners of Univision. They're unbelievable entrepreneurial people. And they like me. You know, there's never been anything like it in the Republican Party. I've been a Republican and am a Republican, and we have tremendous support from the, I call Hispanic, Latino, you have lots of different terms. But it all means the same thing as far as I'm concerned. It's they're just great people, incredible people. And they also want security if they're in the United States or if they're in Mexico or anywhere else. They feel strong about security, and we provide that. And yeah, the polls, nobody's ever seen anything like it.
EA: It's a 42%, like I was saying, unprecedented for a Republican candidate. Especially in states like Arizona and Nevada. Why do you think voters are responding to your message? And again, the message they are sending back in these numbers that we're seeing in the polls.
DT: I think bigger than anything now is security. They want security. They want to have a border. We have tremendous numbers of people, as an example, from Mexico. They live here, whether it's permanently or part time. They don't want to have people coming in and raiding their house or doing bad things. They want to see security. They want to have a border. You know, the borders work both ways. And we've had unbelievable relationships with Mexico. Your president is a friend of mine. He's a tremendous man. He's been very loyal to me. I've been very loyal to him. We just got along. He's a little bit different, a little further left than I am, perhaps, but he's a great gentleman and a wonderful man. And I think he's done a fantastic job for Mexico.
EA: Talking about Mexico, it's also holding a general election next year in 2024, just a few months before the U.S. presidential election. But the U.S. Mexico relationship has been front and center in all the political discussions in Mexico, and President Lopez Obrador is leaving office. Mexico will elect its first female president. How do you foresee that transition?
DT: Well, I understand that he's very close to your first female president, and that would have an impact on me, because I did have a lot of respect for him. And I understand that's the way it's working out. I don't know. Within your country, is that a guarantee? I don't think anything's guaranteed, certainly, But it seems to be heading in that direction. And the relationship with him was so good that I think probably if it's me and I think it will be I hope it will be based on the polls. We have to make sure we have an honest election. But if we have an honest election, I think we have a very good relationship with the new president of Mexico.
EA: Mexico has now become the U.S. largest trading partner. It used to be China. Now is Mexico. You renegotiated NAFTA, now USMCA. Right. So I wanted to ask you, you know how you feel about the results USMCA has brought three years after it was implemented and also this sort of contradiction of how Mexico has become an electoral foe, a political punching bag for some Republican hopefuls.
DT: Well, I have to tell you, the USMCA has been great for this country, but it's been great for Mexico, too, and very good for Canada. But it's taken a lot of business away from other foreign lands. And it's given it it's brought it to Mexico. And I think it's one of the reasons that Mexico, the people like what I've done, and they like me. I like them. And having it in the region, you know, bringing it between these three countries, big countries, great countries for you could say economic development, you could say all sorts of different things and entrepreneurship. But bringing all of this business in through Mexico now, Mexico has done in particular really well, and we've taken that away from foreign countries very far away. So I think I've done a lot to help Mexico, and I'm very proud of that.
EA: Some of the other Republican hopefuls have talked about military intervention in Mexico to stop fentanyl being trafficked through the border. If you're re-elected president, would you support that idea?
DT: Well, a lot of people said it was my idea. In fact, they said I was going to do that, but we would certainly deal with Mexico. The relationship is very good. Look, Mexico doesn't like what's happening either with fentanyl and with all of the other things that are passing over the border. And Mexico is a victim of it also. You have a tremendous drug problem. For your people. The people, the drugs, the destruction of families, the death. So we'd be dealing with Mexico, but something has to be done about it. Where we're losing, I think probably 250,000 people a year. That's like a big military intervention. Something has to be done about it.
EA: Would you agree there's a shared responsibility on this issue considering the consumption of illegal substances in the U.S., but also the role Big Pharma has played in creating this opioid overdose crisis?
DT: Yeah. Big Pharma is, look, they're a villain in many different ways. I know them better than anybody. They weren't fans of mine. In fact, when they announced the vaccine, they did it one day before the election. That's okay with me. They weren't fans of mine. I got them to do things that nobody thought anybody could get really to do. And no, they are they've done some good things. They've done some very bad things also. There's no question about it.
EA: So, you do think there's a shared responsibility on this issue and so a shared goal to end fentanyl trafficking?
DT: I do. But we also have to bring China into the picture because most of it much of it comes from China. So, we have to bring China. Into that picture. And if we don't bring them, we're just wasting time. We're just talking. This would just be an interview. That doesn't mean anything. So, China's sending it. Much of it comes through Mexico. We have to work on that, but we have to stop it. We're losing. I think the real number is 250 to 300,000. It's not 100,000. They've been saying 100,000 now for ten years. 15 years. It's 250 to 300,000 people. It's a very rare war when you lose that number of people. So, this is a war. It's a war on drugs. And we're going to get it one and we'll deal with Mexico on it. Look, Mexico wants it solved just as much as we do.
EA: This week you were in New York in court. Today, you're facing four indictments in multiple jurisdictions. Are you concerned that you might win the Republican nomination only to be forced to drop out of the race?
DT: Well, I don't think you drop out. I think the people know it's a political persecution. It's a political hoax. This is Biden, who's the worst president in the history of our country. We've never had a president so dumb, so incompetent and so corrupt from the standpoint of what they're doing. They've weaponized the Justice Department, they've weaponized the FBI, and they've come at me with the worst indictments. Nobody's ever seen anything like it. And I'm probably the only guy ever indicted whose poll numbers have shot up through the roof. I mean, it's actually been helpful from the standpoint of getting elected because the people understand it. It's a hoax. And everything they did, whether they rigged the election last time or this, it's the same thing. It's all the same thing. And frankly, it's the only thing they're good at. They're good at rigging elections. This is a form of rigging an election. So, they think they can damage me. Now, so far, it's been the exact opposite, because when you study it and I have a voice, I mean, I have a voice with you. I have a voice with others where I can talk about it. Whereas other people, if they ever got indicted, they're out of politics. They go to the microphone, they say, I'm going to spend the rest of my life, you know, clearing my name. I'm going to spend the rest of my life with my family. I've seen it hundreds of times, as you have in Mexico, that I can tell, you know, it's backfired on them. And they would have liked to have done it more. But nobody's ever done this before in this country. This is for third world countries. This is for banana republics. This is for countries that don't do this kind of thing. And they've now tried it because they're losing so badly in the polls that if they can try and damage me for the election and I don't think the people are going to take it. And I do. it's very interesting because they're all in Democrat areas. Radical left, blue areas. I have a lot of radical left judges. I have a lot of. But despite that, I think it's all working out because the people ultimately are going to speak. And I think the people get it better than anybody else, better than we do. It's amazing they see it. Nothing like this has ever happened in this country. It does happen in other countries. But these are developing nations. These are third world nations. So, Biden is a man who has unleashed something that's a very bad thing, because when that happens to me, it can happen to them. And, you know, he's a very corrupt president.
EA: You say they've weaponized the Justice Department, they weaponized the FBI. Would you do the same if you're reelected?
DT: Well, he's unleashed something that everybody we've all known about this for a hundred years. We've watched other countries do it and, in some cases, effective and in other cases, the country's overthrown or it's been totally ineffective. But we've watched this for a long time, and it's not unique, but it's unique for the United States. Yeah. If they do this and they've already done it, but if they want to follow through on this, yeah, it could certainly happen in reverse. It could certainly happen in reverse. What they've done is they've released the genie out of the box. You understand that They've done something that nobody thought would happen. They've taken a president who is very popular. I got 75 million votes, much more than that. I believe no president's ever gotten that many votes and they've taken that number of people. And I think you can double it or almost you can triple it in terms of the real the feeling. You can't do that. You can't go after people. You know, when you're president and you've done a good job and you're popular, you don't go after them so you can win an election. They've done indictments in order to win an election. They call it weaponization, and the people aren't going to stand for it. But yeah, they have done something that allows the next party. I mean, if somebody if I happen to be president and I see somebody who's doing well and beating me very badly, I say go down and indict them. Mostly what that would be, you know, they would be out of business. They'd be out they'd be out of the election. In my case, it was there were such pathetic indictments. Like I challenged the election, I challenged the election. They everybody challenges elections if they think they're wrong. The Democrats challenged my election in 2016. Almost everybody, they challenged it. Well, nothing happened there. So these are very these are political indictments is a Biden indictments. And the people get it. They really get it. It's been very impressive to watch. Polls came out today that I'm leading in, as you know, in Florida. I'm leaning Ron De Sanctimonious. I call him that because I got him elected and then he runs against me, just sanctimonious. He's a sanctimonious guy, but he's very unpopular now in Florida. I've taken him from popular to very unpopular. I got more votes than him. You know, a lot of people don't know. I got 1.2 million votes more than he got in Florida, who you know, nobody talks about that. The fake news doesn't want to talk about it. So I talk about it like on your show, which will get big ratings, you're going to get such big ratings. But we're leading him by a lot and we're leading Biden by a lot. You alluded to it in your first question. We're leading Biden. According to The New York Times, No fan of mine, but we're leading them practically everywhere. So we'll see what happens. But we want to make America great again. And we're going to do it. We're going to get along great with South America. We're going to do great with Mexico. We have really great I had tremendous relationships with Mexico. In fact, my son in law, Jared, got an award, a medal, which is like the equivalent of just about your biggest award. And he did that because of the relationships and the business things that we've been able to do between the countries and even the military and the security things we've done between the countries.
EA: You think the border is now more secure because of that relationship and the partnership you've been able to build with Mexico?
DT: Well, the border is now not secure. The border is now the worst border in history, probably the history of the world. No third world country would have a border like this. You know, I say they they'd fight them with sticks and stones. I mean, we're millions of people. I believe the number is going to be 15 million people by the end of this crazy administration, this administration's crazy. They have an open border policy, which, by the way, is terrible for Mexico. I spoke to your president. Your president knows this because people are coming through all over the world. They're walking through Mexico. Mexico doesn't want that. They're coming through. It's like a human highway. And they come through by the hundreds of thousands, by the millions through Mexico. And bad things happen when that takes place. So your president hates it. I hate it. We had the safest border in history. We had the most secure border in history, Mexico. They gave us soldiers at my request, they gave us soldiers free of charge, a lot of them thousands and thousands of soldiers. We had, especially while I was building the wall, because we built 561 miles of wall. And then after we got to build another 200 miles, it was all done, all fabricated, all ready to put up. And these really ignorant people from this administration decided we want open borders. Open borders are very bad and they're very bad for us, but they're very bad for Mexico also, because everybody from all over the world is walking through Mexico and to a much lesser extent Canada, but they're walking through Mexico and you don't want a lot of these people that are coming in to be walking through Mexico.
EA: And President Biden promised he would not add another foot of border wall during his administration. But now they're building, I believe, around 20 miles of barrier in Texas. Do you think that's a good decision?
DT: Well, they hated to make it because it showed that I was right. But still, 20 miles doesn't do it much. But they hated to make that decision. You know, I used to give speeches in 2016 because in 2016 the border was very bad. And then I fixed it so well. It was so good and not as good as I had it at the end of the last term. But I fixed it so well. We did so good with it that I couldn't talk about it with the next election coming up in 2020. There was nobody want to listen. I said, I want to talk about the border. They said, Sir, nobody's listening because you fix it. And I said to myself, Is that incredible? You fix the border. You did such a good job with the safest border. We had the safest border in the history of our country by far, and that included drugs and that included human trafficking, that included everything we had safest border we've ever had. And now we have the most unsafe border because Biden what he's done with the border is a disgrace. It's a disgrace. It's not even believable, you would say, either to do something like that you're very ignorant or you hate the country because what it's done, we have 15 million people in our country. Many people come from prisons. Many people come from mental institutions and insane asylums. You know, they don't want me using the word and saying it's the words insane asylum. That's Silence of the Lambs. That's Hannibal Lecter. You ever hear of Hannibal Lecter? Not a nice person. But these are people that are very, very disturbed, very, very mentally ill. They're being dropped into the United States. They come through Mexico mostly, but they're being dropped into the United States. Who can want this? But we have them coming in from Africa, from China, from all over the world. And a lot of these are young men, you know, young single men or single in terms of coming into the country, at least. And you say, what's going on here? We have a large number of people coming in from China, young men. We have people coming in from a lot of different countries. You, you know, the countries almost better than I do because you see it, bad things are happening and a lot of terrorists are coming into our country. And we didn't have that at all. You know, I went four years without any terrorist attacks. Nobody can believe it. We had a tremendous, tremendous emphasis was put on terrorists coming into our country. I had I had provisions that nobody ever thought to use before. We had no terrorist attack. And I couldn't talk about it during the term I was president during the time I was president, because I didn't want to talk about it and then we have an attack the next day. That's not good. That actually happened to these people. They talked about it and then Israel was attacked and the whole thing is blown up now. Now the whole world just see is the whole world is blown up right now. You have a man who's a tremendous leader, a very strong man. Some people like him, Some people don't.
EA: You mean Prime Minister Netanyahu.
DT: Also is strong. But you have I'm talking about a different situation. You have in Hungary, Viktor Orban. And they were interviewing him last week and they said, what would you recommend to Biden to do? Because the whole world is blowing up, not just this country or your country, the whole world is blowing up. When you look at Ukraine and you look at Israel and everything that’s going and the whole world is a mess. And he said, I’d tell him immediately, resign and let Trump take over, because when Trump was here, China was afraid. Russia was afraid. There was no problem. Whether it's afraid or respect, I'd rather have the word respect. But he said we had no problems. The whole world was at peace. I didn't start any wars. I'm the first one, but I finished one with ISIS. You know, we defeated ISIS in a matter of weeks because we have a military, The United States military is so great. I rebuilt the entire military. The United States military is great. We defeated ISIS in four weeks. Everyone said it would take four years and you wouldn't be able to do it. We have an incredible military. We don't get to show it. But I didn't. Look, it's peace through strength, really. But we didn't. I'm the first president in 71 years that didn't start a war. And when Hillary Clinton was running against me, she said, if you look at him and if you hear him, he's going to get us into war. I said, No, I'm going to keep you out of wars. And that's what I did. But Viktor Orban, who's a highly respected leader and really a good man, he said that Trump had this thing going so well. Three years ago, we had no problems. We had no inflation. We had no Ukraine problem. We had no Israel problem. We had no problems literally whatsoever. We had a border that was secure, the most secure it's ever been. The United States economy was the strongest it's ever been. We did some job and now everything is horrible. You're going to end up in a world war. We have an incompetent leader of the United States. He can't, he can't walk off a stage. He can't find the stairs. He can't put two sentences together. He can't talk. And this man is dealing with Putin and President Xi and all of these people that would probably not say they love us, but we have somebody that's negotiating for us. And, you know, when you talk about negotiating, you're talking about the biggest threat in this world today. It's probably a question you're going to ask me. It's border and all of that. But the biggest threat is nuclear weapons. And we have a man that doesn't even know what a nuclear weapon is as our chief negotiator. And it's a very scary thing. You could end up in World War three and World War Three happens, probably Mexico will no longer be around, because the power of nuclear weapons are so big. If they hit us, you're going to be wiped out, too. That's how bad it is. And when I hear these people talking about the environment and over a 300-year period, the oceans will rise by 1/100 of an inch. And this is such a threat. It's not a threat. The threat is not global warming. It's nuclear warming. It's the single biggest threat to your country, to our country, to every country.
EA: To global security, you said.
DT: The single biggest threat.
EA: But you brought up Israel. And I want to ask you, what would you do differently? You've defended Israel's right to protect itself, but what would you do differently?
DT: Well, I hate to say this because but I have to. It would have never happened. I had Iran in a good position. We would have had to deal with Iran within two weeks after the election if it wasn't rigged. The election was rigged and stolen. We would have had a deal with Iran. Iran was broke. I say respectfully, they were broke when I was president. They had a situation. You remember they fired. They hit one of our drones and I hit them. And it was now their turn to hit back. I just told this two weeks ago to a group and they found it somewhat fascinating. They called us to tell us that we're going to hit back. Here's the target, but we're not going to hit the target. We're going to just miss it. It's a military base. You know what I'm talking about. It was quite an evening. And they sent in 18 drones. Five of them self-destructed. The rest of them, essentially missed the base. They were outside the base in areas where there weren't. Nobody was killed. With all of that, you know, being out there. But they called us. They called me and they told me, look, and this is Iran. This is it. You know, so this is Iran is supposed to be so hostile. They respected us. And I respect them and I respect them, but I wanted to make a deal with them. No nuclear weapons. You can't have nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are the single greatest threat to this world. To the whole world. And Viktor Orban understands that, and some others do, too. And when I hear Biden talking about the Green New Deal and all this stuff, it's just I'm a very, very big environmentalist. But this is not the problem. The problem we have is you have certain places where you have mad Men controlling the most powerful weapons in history. And it's the single biggest problem for your country, for my country, and for every other country, because this isn't going to be a World War two and a World War one where you had army tanks going back and forth, shooting each other. This is obliteration. Called nuclear obliteration. And we have a man in charge who has no concept of what he's doing. He's grossly incompetent.
EA: You mentioned Iran. They're also accused of funding groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, which was responsible for the terrorist attack in October.
DT: They couldn't do it with me. They were broke. Iran was broke
EA: But do you think Israel was prepared, that Prime Minister Netanyahu was prepared for what happened on October seven and what has happened since?
DT: Things like that can happen. It is surprising that a lot of people knew about it and that they didn't because they have a very high level of intelligence in terms of their service. But so it's a little bit surprising. But things like that can happen and you can't blame the big thing will be what's going to happen from this time forth.
DT: And I know a lot of people are looking at that. How could it happen? How could it happen? well they were able to keep it secret. They supposedly didn't use the Internet, they didn't use phones. They did it the old-fashioned way with couriers and paper and things that were a little bit different. But the big decision and the big problem is what's going to happen. How is this thing going to end? We have to get it ended. And I don't think the Biden administration is going to get it ended. The problem I have is that the Biden administration, they're doing so many things wrong and they have such power. This country has such power over the world if you know how to use it. And this could really the way they're doing it, I really believe could lead, including Ukraine and all of the things that are happening there. I really believe this could end up in a very, very bad situation for everybody. For the whole world. For the whole world. It could end up in World War Three.
EA: Do you think there could be peace in the Middle East without the U.S. intervention?
DT: Well, eventually there’s peace, because you're going to have a winner and a loser. So this peace, you know, that's the way it works. It'll be very interesting to see. We want to keep some countries out. You have very big nations, big you know, some of these people have 4 million, 5 million soldiers. President Erdogan talked the other day and he was he was talking about very angry toward Israel. Not good. Not good. You want to keep them out? You want to keep them on the sidelines. You know, once people start coming in, all of a sudden you have a lot of other people coming in and you end up and you end up in a world war. I have to say, though, this is something that never would have happened with me. If I were president, if we had the Trump administration, impossible to happen. We were actually getting along well with Iran. We would have had a deal with Iran. And they didn't have the funds to do what they're doing now. Now they have a lot of funds, not the $6 billion. You know, they gave five hostages and five hostages. That sounds good. But they also gave access to $6 billion. That's a lot. But that's peanuts compared to the oil money because we made it so.
EA: And then they freeze those funds. I understand.
DT: Yeah, well, they have over $100 billion. So, you know, a lot of people said, oh, they've got 6 billion or 6 billion is a lot of money, but they got 6 billion. But they have 100 billion that they've made over the last couple of years with oil and they didn't make any money with us. We let people know that if they buy oil from Iran, they're not going to do any business with the United States. And they all stopped, and Iran was broke. I say that respectfully. But they were broke. They couldn't do it. I remember there were a lot of problems with Hezbollah. They were all complaining they're not getting any money. That was a good thing. Now Iran is loaded up with money. They're loaded up with cash. I think it's much more than $100 billion, but they're loaded up with money. So that makes it much more difficult to deal. But it has to end. It has to end.
EA: You had a great relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu during your administration. Do you think he's capable of managing this crisis?
DT: Yeah, he is. He is. It's not an easy crisis to handle. When you look at the demonstrations going on in the United States, people are very surprised when they see, you know, 50 and 100,000 people demonstrating and they say, Palestinians, we're for we're on the side of the Palestinians. I would say, wait a minute, what's going on here? And I think Israel has to do a better job of public relations, frankly, because the other side is beating them at the public relations front. That's a very important front worldwide. That's a very important front. So they do have to do a better job. But look, that attack on Israel was horrible what happened. 48 babies with their heads cut off. You look at the level of brutality of that attack was horrible. And now all the attacks are it's just a big, horrible mess. And it's going to get worse because there's nobody from the United States who's leading. There's nobody getting this whole thing resolved. You have to lead. You have to be able to lead. And we have nobody that's leading.
EA: Yeah. You talk about the loss of innocent lives, children in particular. Yeah. It's also happening in in Gaza.
DT: It is.
EA: I think it's been over 4,000 children have lost their lives since the counter started. How can the U.S. stop the killing of more innocent people, civilians on both sides of that border?
DT: So you have a war that's going on and you're probably going to have to let this play out. You're probably going to have to let it play out because a lot of people are dying. It should have never started. There was no way it would have started again. Iran didn't have the money because Iran is leading this. And only fools would say that's not true. They're leading this. They're very tricky, very smart, very cunning. They're leading it and it's got to end. But this is a war that's going to hatred between two sides. They say in history there's never been hatred like this. It's been going on for a long time. And a friend, very smart, a very smart man, great businessman, Sheldon Adelson. You've probably heard of him. And he was a great dealmaker. And he said to me on numerous occasions because I said, you can make a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. He said, No, you can't. He said, it's not a deal that's possible to be made. I said, You're wrong, Sheldon. And we argued about it endlessly. A very smart guy, very successful guy, you know, he felt a deal could never be made. And I understand it. The hatred is so incredible. They learn to hate Jewish people in the earliest forms of school, whatever their form of school is, but, you know, hate Israel hatred. It's very hard. It's. There is no hatred like the Palestinian hatred of Israel and Jewish people. And probably the other way around also, I don't know. You know, it's not as obvious, but probably that's it too. So sometimes you have to let things play out and you have to see where it ends. The sad part is that would have never been an attack on Israel and there would have never been a counter attack on Gaza. Yeah, I mean, Gaza, what's happening to Gaza? It's just unbelievable.
EA: You've seen the images, you’ve heard the stories, you know.
DT: Terrible. It's horrible on both sides. It would have never happened.
EA: You also talk about Ukraine and Russia and you said you want a speedy end to the conflict and the war in Ukraine. Do you think you'll be able to broker a peace deal between Putin and Zelensky, if you’re re-elected.
DT: I get along with them very well, both of them. And I have you know, have I've had a great relationship. That's another war that should have never started would have never started. During the Trump administration, there was no sign of it. I knew.
EA: Well, you had Crimea.
DT: You do. Well, that was during Obama. Bush. Don't forget, Russia took land under Obama. They took land under. They took a lot under Bush. And now under Biden, they're taking the whole country. It looks like. The only one they didn't take any land from was when I was there. They didn't take anything. They never took anything. And I had a very good relationship with Vladimir Putin. I had a very good relationship. Whenever I said that, you know, you had the phony Russian witch hunt, which turned out to be a total phony thing. The Christopher Steele dossier was a fake. The whole thing was a fake. It was a Hillary Clinton Democrat Party scam. So that made it difficult, frankly. But despite that difficulty, I had a great relationship with Putin. And I will tell you, Ukraine was the apple of his eye. But I said, don't ever do it, Vladimir. You do that we're going to do certain things that aren't going to be good and you're not going to like it. And they said, No way, no way, you're not going to do it. I said, way, we're going to do it way. And we talked a lot about it. It was the apple of his eye, but he would never have done it. And he sort of didn't believe me. But he believed me, 10%, That's all you needed, okay? And nothing happened. And then when I was out, all of a sudden everything started. You could see what was happening. And then Biden almost pushed him in, by the way, by his rhetoric. He almost pushed him to a certain extent to do it. If you look at his statements, it was almost like. Putin, I don’t want to blame it on anybody in terms of, you know, outside of Russia, because what what's happening is terrible. But Biden, his rhetoric was so bad. It was so bad. It was so stupid. And I said to people, man, he's pushing them to have a war. He didn't know that. It wasn't like he did it strategically. He just that's the way it is. You know, we have somebody that doesn't know what's happening. And I said, something's going to happen that's really bad. And then they attacked and, you know, but now it looks like, uh, look, Russia is a much bigger country, much bigger. And we're in for close to 200 billion and Europe's in for 20 billion, and Europe should be in for much more. This is like if you look at NATO's I went in the first meeting, I said, why are we paying all the money? We were paying almost 100% of NATO's. And even, you know, if you assume mostly European, you know, the same people we deal with on trade pretty much. The European Union, very similar, right. And on trade, they were, they were absolutely taking advantage of the United States. And we were stopping it and doing a good job of stopping it. But we were paying almost all. And people don't like to say we were paying almost all of NATO and it didn't help us that much, but we were defending them. And I always say we were defending them and they were screwing us on trade. Okay. I hate to say that because your viewers on Univision are so great and they don't like to hear words like that. And the fake news would say, oh, it's a terrible word that he used. But it's true. It's the most descriptive word. They were screwing us on trade, and yet we're defending them. And then you have Germany taking Nord Stream too and getting they were against you know, the whole thing was crazy. Germany's getting their oil and gas. We're defending Germany and these other countries from Russia. It was just a mess. And I was straightening it all out. It was all out. But I said to them, I said, why is it that we are spending all of this money on NATO and yet, you know, you're taking advantage of us on trade? And I told them hundreds of billions of dollars came pouring in. I'll never forget it. They said one of the top people, 28 countries, including us initially. And they said to me at a meeting and the press never really reported it, but they knew it was good. They don't want to report good things, they only want to report bad things, right? So they said, Well, does that mean that you won't defend us if Russia attacks? I said, Are you delinquent? Meaning did you pay? If we don't pay, what will happen? I said, I'm not going to support you and I'm not going to protect you. I would never protect you. The next day, the money flowed in by the hundreds of billions of dollars. It's the same thing with Ukraine.
EA: But you talked about the U.S. withdrawing from NATO at some point. Would you support that idea?
DT: If I said I would never withdraw, then they're not going to pay. They asked that question. They said, if we don't pay, will you still protect us? I said, no. You had to say that. Most politicians wouldn't say that. But I said, No, I won't. And the person that respected me maybe more than anybody else at the time. Maybe today not. I don't know. Probably. Maybe not. But he said, I can't believe it, it is Secretary General Stoltenberg, the head of NATO. He said Bush came in and he looked around. He didn't know where the hell he was. Obama came in, he made a speech and leave. Trump came in and he said, You guys haven’t paid, you've got to pay. And I got hundreds of billions of dollars quickly from all of these countries that were delinquent. And the same thing is happening with Ukraine. I think it's actually easier. So, we're going to be in very shortly for $200 billion and Europe's in for $20 billion. Now, you know, it has the effect on Europe is much more important. We have an ocean in between. The effect on Europe is much more, why aren’t they in for more money? They have to equalize. And I said that to them. I said, you know, you that's why I said it to people in the Biden administration. I said, Why is it that you aren't getting them to put up more money? And I would bet the reason is nobody asked, because when I told them, you got to put up now, I would say it differently than, let's say Obama or Bush or whoever it may be, But still, it's not that complicated. They have to believe you or they're not going to put it up. But I said to NATO, I said to the countries, you got to put up your money now or we're not going to protect you. We're going to pull out. And they all they started paying. Nobody's ever seen anything like it. Hundreds of billions of dollars came pouring in. That's the money they have now. That's why they're never complaining about money right now. But they don't spend it. We do. Why aren’t they spending more? So with Ukraine, I say you've got to tell them to equalize you. They got to put up money. You know, if you take all of the European nations and you add them up, it's a similar size, the economy to the United States. So, they have a lot of money and they should put it up, but they don't do it and they don't do it because we don't have the right leadership. We don't have people saying do it. Why is it we're always putting up money? You know, we're putting 10 billion, we're doing 10 billion. Does anybody say we're going to do ten? But you have to do ten, too. And, you know, that's really a border of Russia going into Europe. That's much more important than it is for us. I believe the reason is nobody asks.
EA: And I hear. Some of what you've always talked about. America first policies, America first as a foreign policy. Do you think that still applies to the current global circumstances?
DT: It’s got to be America first to me. No contest. I mean, a lot of we have people we have senators, Congress, people that put China first. What's that all about? In many ways, Biden puts China first and he got a lot of money from China, by the way. But in many ways, Biden puts China first. He puts other countries way before us. I mean, we have 30, 4 trillion in debt. And, you know, we have the greatest oil supplies in the world. Nobody understands that we have more liquid gold, I call it liquid gold, under our feet than anybody, even much more than Mexico. Mexico has a lot, but we have much, much, much more. We have more than anybody. We have more than Saudi Arabia. We have more than Russia. And when I was president, we became energy. We are going to be energy dominant. We became energy.
DT: Independent. Beyond independent. We're going to be dominant very, very quickly. And it was an amazing thing to say when you had a chart. There's a chart that I'm going to show next week. Russia was here, Saudi Arabia was here. We were way down here, third place. And I became president. We went through both of them. We were way higher than them. And actually, by any of the good stuff that you hear about with Biden, it's they're running off the fumes of the Trump administration. But it's ending. It's ending. And we're in very bad shape.
EA: What about the economy? What do you think the current state of the economy is? And are Americans better off today than they were three years ago?
DT: No, they're way off, I mean, they're paying $5 for gasoline. They were paying under $2 for us. I had it at one point where it was a $1.51. But a $1.87 I talk about a lot. $1.87. Big periods of a $1.87. Now it's $5 and that really ruins it for everybody. You know, energy is so big and oil is so big that when you have something that goes from like a $1.87 to $5, $6 California, $8, that just stops the economy more than interest rates more than anything. And it's having a huge negative impact on the economy. No, the inflation is an absolute killer for our economy.
EA: And the economy is one of the most important issues, if not the most important for Latino voters. More and more Latinos are identifying themselves as conservatives. Why do you think that is?
DT: It’s such an honor because it’s only happened since I came around. And the reason is simple. They’re entrepreneurial, they’re energetic people. They have more energy. They have, they're very smart. They're incredible people. They're passionate people. You know, it's always tough to generalize about people. But you can you know, some people say, oh, that's not good. It's not politically correct. The, if you say Latino, Hispanic, there's tremendous entrepreneurship there, tremendous and natural, you know, some of the best small businesses in our country and some of the best businesses are built by Latinos, including people coming in from Mexico. But they're very entrepreneurial. They also want security. They don't want people coming in and, you know, walking into the house with a gun. They want security. And I think it's one of the reasons they like me. So, no candidate has ever had that support. In the last election, I got calls from the governor of actually Texas. He said something happened that's amazing, you’ve won every single district along the Mexican border. Every single district. I won. I wasn't 40%. I was 67, but every single district. He said. That hasn't happened since the Civil War. He called it reconstruction. I said, You mean the Civil War? He said, Yep. So, since the Civil War, that hasn't happened. I want every single district along the southern border, your border.
EA: Another issue that's very important to Latino voters or to a segment of what we know as the Latino vote is immigration. Since 1959, you've seen hundreds of thousands, millions of Cuban refugees coming to the U.S. Do you think the U.S. should grant refugees coming from similar regimes like Venezuela, which you've talked a lot about, Nicaragua, some of the same immigration benefits that Cubans have had.
DT: What I like and they have worked hard with the Cubans and, you know, my administration. They're great people, Venezuelans, great people, Nicaraguans, great people. They have to come in legally. And we can work a fast, you know, fast. We can do it fast. But they have to come in legally. And we're doing that with Cuba. People are coming in legally. We have to have people come into our country legally. Right now, you have coming through Mexico, the largest group of people. Call it caravans. That was a name that I came up with. I never get credit. I don't think I get credit for fake news. I don't think I get credit for any of these names. But I think I came up with most of them. The word caravan I thought was a great name. You never heard a caravan before me, but these are caravans of thousands and thousands of people right now. You have walking through Mexico one of the biggest caravans I've ever seen going to pour into the United States. We can't let that happen. You know, what's happening is the people from other countries, I know like your president, but I know the heads of other countries, too. I know them very well. You look at you look at El Salvador and you look at all of the different Honduras, all of them, where they're, you know, very active at the border. But it's not only them, it's others. But they're smart people and they're very streetwise people. And they're not sending us their best. Remember, they want to keep their best people. They want to keep the people that are making their country run. They're sending us MS13. They're sending us gang members from all over the place. They're sending us people that have mental problems from mental institutions. Good people are coming in, too, But we have tremendous numbers of murderers. The criminals coming in, they're walking through Mexico. Your president doesn't like it too much, I can tell you. But they're walking through Mexico. They're coming into the United States. With me, I stopped them. And we worked with Mexico in doing that. But I stopped him and I stopped them cold. But now they're coming in by the hundreds of thousands. But look at the caravan right now that's walking through Mexico. And Biden doesn't have a clue what to do with it.
EA: Some of the things that they're trying to do is to ease sanctions and governments like Venezuela to try to reduce the number of refugees and migrants coming from that country, which is now the main source of undocumented immigration to the United States. Do you think easing sanctions on other regimes like Cuba, normalizing relations with would have a similar effect?
DT: Well, even want to do something even dumber or what they want to do is give those countries billions and billions of U.S. dollars from U.S. taxpayers hoping that they'll have economic development and that economic development will keep their people from coming into the United States. Now, how dumb is that? You know, when I took over, we had a problem. We weren't able to get people back from our country. When we caught MS13, we couldn't get them back to Honduras. We couldn't get them back to El Salvador. Wherever they came from, we couldn't get them back to Guatemala. Or other bad people. Some real criminals. I mean, these are murderers, some bad people. And when I said, get them out of here, I want them back in their countries, I was told by two generals came in, sir, they won't accept them back. And they block all of the airports. They have airplanes on their airports. They block the roadways, but we can't get them back. We haven't been able for years. President Obama couldn't get them back, had no meaning. Biden and Obama. They couldn't. President Bush couldn't get them back. They couldn't get them back. I said, Really? So, they just won't let them in? No, they don't want them. They don't want to have MS13 back in their country because they're intelligent people. So, I said to them, Well, here's what you do. How much money do we pay those countries? $750 million a year. I said, That's a lot. Tell them that we're no longer paying their delinquent. Tell them that we’re no longer going to pay those countries. We’re not going to give them $0.10. And they said, Wow, that’s a tough thing. I said, That’s okay. Just tell them. So we informed them and we stopped paying. We stopped payment on all that money pouring into those countries. The following morning, I got a call from all three presidents and they said, President Trump, is there a problem? I said, Yeah, there’s a problem. You’re not taking the people that you sent into our country, because they sent them. And indirectly, indirectly, I said, You're not taking them back and you haven't for many years. And my people don't even send them back because you aren’t. And we're not paying you anything anymore. We're not giving you any money. Forget it. They said, But we would love to take them back. We would love to have MS13 back in our country. It was so easy. It took me one phone call. Each three calls, one phone call each. It was literally done in one phone call to each of those three countries. But there were other countries, too. And we stop, you know, we give so much money to so many countries, it's sort of ridiculous. But we give it I don't know. We give it just because it became a habit. It's like a bad habit. But I said we're giving money to them and they're sending their bad people and we're keeping them. I said, Here's what you do. You end it. Soon as they ended it, I got a call within five minutes of that call, every one of those countries and we sent MS13 and gang members and other people, horrible people out of the United States, back into their countries by the tens of thousands. We got rid of 10,000 MS13 gang members, and we couldn't do it. You know, they didn't do it. They want to be politically correct with other countries. So, everybody was taking advantage of us and I wouldn't let it happen.
EA: Another policy that was drawing widespread criticism at the time was family separation. Yeah. How would you address the long-term consequences of that decision and ensure humane treatment of migrants, refugees, families in the future?
DT: So what happened with family separation? You know, Obama did it and Obama is the one that built the cells. Remember, they said, oh, Trump is building cells, cells. And then somebody, some wonderful person said, no, these were built by Obama because they had pictures of it from like 2014 or something. These were built by Obama, the Obama administration. And that was a very nice thing when that came out, to be honest with you. But the one thing was family separation. When you hear that you're going to be separated from your family, you don't come. When you think you're going to come into the United States with your family, you come. And we did for a period of time, family separation and others have, too, by the way. But, you know, it's a little bit different with us. But we did family separation. A lot of people didn't come. It stopped people from coming by the hundreds of thousands because when they hear family separation, they say, well, we better not go. And they didn't go. What we do is we say, come to the United States illegally, come through the borders, and we're going to give you education, we're going to give you hospitalization, we're going to give you medical, we're going to give you everything like this group did. And people are pouring into our country and you can't do it.
EA: The central pledge of your 2016 campaign, we talked about this and the 2020 campaign was that you were going to build a border wall and that Mexico was going to pay for it. Did that happen?
DT: Yeah, it did in a very big way. Mexico supplied us with thousands and thousands of soldiers, and I said, Mexico is going to pay for a piece of the border wall because it also helps Mexico. It helps Mexico very much. It keeps people from coming. And it was very effective. Without the border wall. I could have never had the record numbers. We had record numbers, the lowest number of people ever in recorded history. I can't speak for a thousand years ago, but in recorded history we had the lowest number of people ever, lowest drug numbers, lowest human trafficking, which is such a big problem. We had the lowest human trafficking numbers we had for, I think, 60 years, and we did a good job. But Mexico, I said. How do you get them to pay? They'll pay. I'll get them to pay. Otherwise, I'll take away. Do something with tariffs on cars. But you did. You did take 32% of our car industry over the years. Not with me, but with other presidents. You took 32%. I said what I'll do is I'll put tariffs on the cars or I'll do something else. And they agreed that they would pay for, you know that story because you've heard it. But they agreed that they would give us thousands of soldiers free of charge, which they did to protect our country while the wall was being built. And that money, that number that you're talking about was at least equivalent to the money that they would have put into a wall. So we use it. And the reason is there was no legal process where Mexico can give us money to build a wall in the United States. But there was a legal process where they can give us soldiers, so they gave us soldiers free of charge. And it was very effective and they were very effective soldiers. I have to say. They did a very good job.
EA: Are you aware that up to 80% of the guns seized in countries like Mexico, also Colombia from drug cartels are being trafficked from the U.S. through the border south to Mexico and Latin America.
DT: Works two ways
EA: Mexico to America.
DT: Works two.
EA: What can we do to stop that? To stop gun companies in the U.S. from fueling drug related violence in Latin America?
DT: Well, the problems are there are almost a billion guns between the two countries. A billion? And they're there. So are you going to stop a little bit more? I mean, you got to get used to it. You got to have the right people. You got the people. You got to be very, very strict. In Mexico, as an example, you had some very big gun scandals with tremendous amount of guns being illegally shipped to Mexico and this and that. Remember, it largely stopped during my administration. But this goes back to Reagan. This goes back to Bush, this goes back to a lot of presidents. But it's, so I mean, you got a billion guns out there and it's like one of those things you got to get people to obey the laws that so you have to obey the laws. And a lot of people weren't obeying the laws.
EA: Coming back to the U.S. You appointed three Supreme Court justices. How do you view the legacy of your nominations and the impact they've had on decisions ranging from Roe v. Wade, immigration, gay marriage?
DT: Well, everybody thought Roe v. Wade wouldn't ever happen, and now it did. And we were able to stop a very radical agenda. The Democrats were killing babies after birth, killing babies in the ninth month, you know, etc., etc.. I happen to be like Reagan in terms of exceptions. I think the exceptions are very, very important, meaning the life of the mother and rape, incest, etc. And I think it's very important. I, I think most Republicans are there. I think when you don't have exceptions, it becomes a very difficult issue politically. I think it's very hard to win. And I think you see that. But we stopped a very radical agenda and something will be worked out now because of what we were able to do. That was a tremendous thing when we did it. But, you know, if you look at the agenda, the radicals are really the Democrats because they'll kill babies in their eighth and ninth month and they'll kill babies after birth. If you look at the governor, the former governor of Virginia. Kill babies after birth. We had a decision the other day, not too long ago, where, um, getting into a school or getting into a college now is going to be based on performance. It's going to be based on merit. Nobody thought that would ever happen. So now a lot of people getting into college, they have terrible marks and they have bad everything and they get in over somebody that has all straight-A students. And that was a very pleasant surprise to a lot of people that want to see America be great, that want to see the people that worked hard to get that was great marks are now going to be getting into colleges where they couldn't get in before because other people were taking their place. That was a shocking decision because nobody thought anybody would have the courage to do it. It's the right thing to do in terms of a country. It's the right thing to do. Many great decisions have come about. I was fortunate enough to appoint three great justices, but I appointed three. That's a lot. You have presidents that were there for a long time that didn't get three. That's a lot. And it is interesting that if I should win again, you have a lot of potential Justices, because, you know, if you go by age and if you go by other things, you could have a couple of more. But I had three. I was very lucky in that sense. I had three and young people. You know, it's very interesting. I had some people that were older and very good, but they said, no, no, we want young because they'll be there for a long period of time. So we did a good job. We also got 300 regular federal judges. We got Court of appeals judges, we put over 300 people. It's a record on the bench more than any other president. Think of the 300 federal judges. I think it's 32% of the judiciary is put there by Trump. And that's made a very big difference to.
EA: You talk about colleges and universities, and recently I heard you talk about the American Academy and the idea of taxing private universities, their endowments, billions of dollars and using that money towards creating the American Academy.
DT: For fairness and because you look at what's happening to some of these colleges, they've gotten so woke and they're so radical left and all of the different things. And what we're going to do is we're going to look at endowments, we're going to look at all of these money that these people have. I mean, you look at Harvard, you look at the dollars that they have billions and billions and billions of dollars with all the tax advantages. And we're going to take a very strong look at that.
EA: And by taxing these private colleges. Are you also planning to send a message about the way they've been handling, for example, the protests on Israel and Hamas?
DT: And I mean, some of the colleges, I don't want to mention names, but you know the names. Some of these colleges have been just horrible as to that. And also they've been horrible on free speech. If a conservative goes to the college and makes a speech, it ends up being a riot up there. And it's really put up with by the college. In some cases, they really are the ones pushing it. They're pushing it and you can't do that. And if they don't have, I already did. You know, I passed an executive order that if you don't allow free speech, if you're not going to allow that, if you don't allow free speech at colleges, what you're going to do is you're going to have a situation where we don't give you any money. We're not going to let you take in any money and everything. So, it was fine. All of a sudden, people were able to speak that were never able to speak. But we're looking at that whole situation because it's gotten out of control is very bad, very unfair, and very bad for the future of our country.
EA: Mr. President, thank you so much for your time, for sitting down with us. We really appreciate.
DT: It. Well, thank you very much. Great.
EA: It's been a pleasure. Thank you so.
Program: Noticias Univision: Donald Trump, exclusive interview with Enrique Acevedo
Interview Air Date: Thursday, November 9, 2023