Trump: America is headed for a ‘very massive recession’

Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 9:59 PM

The NY billionaire dismissed concern that his comments - which are exceedingly unusual, if not unprecedented, for a major party front-runner - could potentially affect financial markets."I know the Wall Str people probably better than anybody knows them," said Trump, who's misfired on such predictions in the past.

Trump: America is headed for a ‘very massive recession’

Donald Trump said in an interview that economic conditions are so dangerous that the country is headed for a "very massive recession" and that "it'south a terrible time right presently" to invest in the stock market, embracing a distinctly gloomy view of the economy that counters mainstream economic forecasts.

The NY billionaire dismissed concern that his comments - which are exceedingly unusual, if not unprecedented, for a major party front-runner - could potentially affect financial markets.

"I know the Wall Str people probably better than anybody knows them," said Trump, who's misfired on such predictions in the past. "I don't necessity them."

Trump'south go-it-alone instincts were a consistent refrain - "I'm the Lone Ranger," he said at one point - during a 96-minute interview Thursday in which he talked candidly about his aggressive fashion of campaigning and offered new details about what he'd do as president.

The genuine estate mogul, top aides and his son Don Jr. gathered over lunch at a makeshift conference table set amid construction debris at Trump'south soon-to-be-finished hotel five blocks from the White House. Just before, he'd met there with his foreign-policy advisers and just after he visited executive at the Republican National Committee - signs that, in spite of his Trump-knows-best manner, the political novice is making efforts to construct a more well-rounded bid.

Over the course of the discussion, the candidate made clear that he'd govern in the same nontraditional way that he's campaigned, tossing aside decades of American policy and custom in favor of a new, Trumpian approach to the world.

In his first one hundred days, Trump said he'd slice taxes, "renegotiate trade deals and renegotiate military deals," including altering the U. S. role in the N Atlantic Treaty Organization.

He insisted that he'd be able to obtain rid of the nation'south more than $19 trillion national debt "over a period of eight years."

Most economists would consider this impossible because it could require taking more than $2 trillion a year out of the annual $4 trillion budget to pay off holders of the debt.

Trump vehemently disagrees: "I'm renegotiating all of our deals, the large trade deals that we're doing so badly on. With China, $505 billion this year in trade." He said that economic growth he foresees as a consequence of renegotiated deals would enable the United States to pay down the debt - although many economists have said the exact opposite, that a trade war would be crippling to the U. S. economy.

Trump also said that the United States has lost its standing in the world and that he'd create people "respect our country. I wish them to respect our leader." Asked how he'd do so, Trump cited an "aura of personality."

As a grouping of world leaders attended President Barack Obama'south Nuclear Security Summit less than a mi away, Trump said that, love Obama, he'd support full-scale nuclear disarmament but quickly added: "I love that. But from a practical standpoint, not going to happen."

Were he to be elected president, Trump said he'd wish high-level employees of the federal government to sign legally binding nondisclosure agreements so that staffers couldn't write insider accounts of what it'south love interior a Trump White House.

"When people are chosen by a man to go into government at high levels and then they leave government and they write a book about a man and declare a lot of things that were really guarded and personal, I don't like that," Trump said.

But first, Trump should obtain elected, and his campaign is struggling through one of its most challenging stretches. In the past week, his campaign manager has been charged with battery for grabbing a reporter, Trump has been criticized for mocking the looks of an opponent'south wife as compared with those of his own spouse, and he's backtracked from comments about abortion that offended many in his own party.

Trump said that everyone near to him - family, friends, Republican leaders - have been urging him to tone down his attacks and reach out to former rivals, both to reassure wary voters and to start the challenging process of unifying a party in which many have sworn to never back him. Trump doesn't intend to get the advice. He said such overtures are "overrated."

"I think the first thing I've to do is win," he said. "Winning solves a lot of problems. And I've two people left": his two remaining Republican rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of TX and OH Gov. John Kasich.

"Sometimes you've to crack an egg," Trump said, and Cruz and Kasich were the two remaining eggs.

Trump did proposal some concessions to the realities of being a political novice, saying that he'd not choose an outsider love himself as a vice-presidential running mate, but rather, "somebody that can walk into the Senate and who'south been friendly with these guys for twenty-five years, and people for twenty-five years. And can obtain things done. So I would ninety-five % look myself picking a political person as opposed to somebody from the outside."

In another unprecedented move, Trump said he plans to announce a list of ten to twelve judges from which he'd choose to fill vacancies on the Supreme Ct to allay concerns from conservatives that he wouldn't select someone to their liking.

"I'm getting names. The Federalist people. Some very excellent people. The Heritage Foundation," Trump said. "I'm going to announce that these are the judges, in number specific order, that I'm going to keep up. And I'm going to guarantee it. I'm going to tell people. Because people are worried that, oh, maybe he'll keep the incorrect judge in."

And after a series of violent incidents at his rallies between supporters and protesters, Trump acknowledged that, at minimum for a small while, he's tried to peaceful things down.

"We've purposefully kept the crowds down this past week," he said. "You know, we've gone into tiny venues and we're turning far thousands and thousands of people, which I hate, but we didn't wish to have the protest. You know, when you've a room of 2.000 people, you can beautiful much hold it without the protesters."

- - -

The question posed to Trump about his decision to run: "Where do you start the movie?"

A wry smile spread over his face as he repeated the question about the moment when he decided to turn what'd long been a flirtation with running for the presidency into something real.

Asked who he talked to about this critical decision, Trump answered: "To myself."

To your family?

"To my family, but to myself."

So it was an interior dialogue?

"This is thought process. And I'm saying to myself, you know, look, they keep me in these polls. I'm number one."

Trump said his interest really started to choose up in the summer of two thousand fourteen, when he was still active with his hit NBC reality show, "The Apprentice." He kept his ambitions mostly to himself, slowly thinking it through into early latest year, when he hired political advisers, months before he formally jumped in.

Trump said his experience throughout the latest two years wasn't like one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven, when he first made a speech in NH that he "forgot about" soon after delivering it. This time, as he read the daily newspapers, printed-out online articles (his preferred method of reading) and kept tabs on cable news, he felt the pull.

"I said, 'You know, this is something I really would like to do.' I think I'd do it really well. Obviously the public seems to love me," Trump recalled.

"I'll tell you a moment when it kicked to yes. Because it was a monetary moment also. There was a moment in, I'd declare Feb of latest year, so that'd be four months, three, four months before I announced, when Steve Burke, grand guy, of Comcast . came to look me with the top people at NBC. And they wanted to prolong my contract."

Trump told them he was going to running for president instead.

"I just felt there were so many things going incorrect with the country," Trump said of his thinking at the time. He was frustrated with what he saw as the "stupidity" of trade deals and Iran nuclear negotiations that were "terrible" and dominated by "Persians being great negotiators."

Trump'south wife, Melania, heard most of his complaints, but wasn't enthused about him becoming a candidate. "She said, 'We've such a grand life. Why do you wish to do this?' "

"I said, 'I sort of have to do it, I think. I really have to do it.' . I could do such a great job."

Later, Melania said, "I hope you don't do it, but if you run, you'll win," according to Trump.

Now, more than a year later and with the Republican nomination in sight, Trump'south family is giving him different advice. "My family said to me - and Don [Jr.] has said this, and Ivanka, and my wife has said this - 'Be more presidential.' "

Trump said he's getting similar guidance from near friends. He'd a legend to share. A couple weeks ago, a friend, a well-known athlete, called. This was right after Trump beat Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, the senator'south residence state. "That was a huge beating. Don't forget, he was the face of the Republican Party. He was the future of the Republican Party. So [the athlete] called me up. And he said, 'Hey Donald, could you do us all a favor? We like you. Don't murder everybody. Because you may need them on the way back.' "

But Trump doesn't look it that way, at minimum not yet. "I think you've to crack the egg initially," he said, adding that he's to beat his opponents and safe the nomination before he's willing to consider reaching out or easing off in any way.

When it was suggested that he seems comfortable being the Lone Ranger - the well-known old-time TV and radio masked vigilante who fought for excellent exterior the law - Trump immediately concurred.

"I am," he said. "Because I realize life. And I realize how life works. I'm the Lone Ranger."

Asked how he'd construct a coalition for the common election, Trump responded that he hasn't focused on Hillary Clinton yet - an implication that once he starts attacking her, voters would rally to his side.

Pressed on whether it's incumbent on him to tame the annoyance within his party, Trump said it was, but also: "I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have. I think it was, I don't know if that'south an asset or a liability, but whatever it is, I do. I also bring grand unity out, ultimately. I've had many occasions love this, where people have hated me more than any human being they've ever met. And after it'south all over, they finish up being my friends. And I look that happening here."

Not with everyone, though. Trump acknowledged that he's been "rough" and "nasty" in debates - so much so that some relationships with his former rivals are likely beyond repair. "One of the problems I've is that when I hit people, I hit them harder maybe than is necessary," he said. "And it'south nearly impossible to reel them back."

Love Rubio, and former FL Gov Jeb Bush. "Some of the people that I was competing against, I'm not sure they can ever go back to me," Trump said. "I was very coarse on Jeb." It was "Jeb: Low energy. Small Marco. Names that were devastating."

Trump seemed unsure whether Cruz would ultimately fit that category. Trump well-known that they'd gotten along quite well for many months and suggested they could again, but he was also ambivalent about potentially reaching out to Cruz if he beats the senator from TX for the nomination.

"I'll never have to call him," to obtain his assistance and support, Trump said, adding that if Cruz did reach out, he'd congratulate him. "Because out of seventeen people, you beat sixteen. Okay? Which is pretty good."

Still, Trump admitted that he needed to do more outreach. "Honestly, a lot of people are calling me, but I should be calling them," he said. "Because to a certain extent, I should be calling them, they shouldn't have to be calling me."

Trump well-known that two of his former rivals, Ben Carson and NJ Gov. Chris Christie, are supporting him. As for some others, "they'll be loved. At the right time, they will be loved."

Asked specifically at this uncertain moment in his campaign whether, "all politics, all successful politics, is about coalition building," he responded: "It's true."

Do you agree?

"I do," Trump said, his arms folded across his familiar shadowy suit, white shirt and ruddy tie, as he sat in what he hopes will be his newest trophy hotel. "I agree. I agree."

Pressed on when that coalition building might begin, he turned to stories about boxing grand Muhammad Ali and football coaching icon Vince Lombardi.

Ali, he said, earned respect "through having the goods. You know, so Muhammad Ali is a companion of mine. He'south a excellent guy. I've watched many people over the years. Muhammad Ali would obtain in the ring, and he'd speak and speak and yell and speak about the unpleasant bear, and this, that - you know. And then he'd win. And respect is about winning. We don't win anymore. I look it in my - we don't win anymore. And he'd win. I've seen many fighters that were better than Muhammad Ali, in terms of talking. I've seen guys that were so beautiful, so flamboyant, they'd obtain into the ring - and then they'd obtain knocked out. And guess what? It'south all gone."

Trump took a similar lesson from Lombardi.

"The coalition building for me will be when I win. Vince Lombardi, I saw this. He wasn't a huge man. And I was sitting in a space with some very, very tough football players. Big, powerful football players. He came in - these are tough cookies - he came in, years ago - and I'll never forget it, I was a youthful man. He came in, screaming, into this place. And screaming at one of these guys who was three times bigger than him, literally. And very physical, grabbing him by the shirt. Now, this guy could've whisked him far and thrown him out the window in two seconds. This guy - the player - was shaking. A companion of mine. There were four players, and Vince Lombardi walked in. He was angry. And he grabbed - I was a youthful guy - he grabbed him by the shirt, screaming at him, and the guy was literally. And I said, wow. And I realized the only way Vince Lombardi got far with that was because he won."

- - -

Trump has for months contended that the U. S. economy is in trouble because of what he sees as an overvalued stock market, but his view has grown more pessimistic of late and he's presently bearish on investing, to the point of warning Americans against doing so.

"I think we're sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble," Trump said. He made clear that he wasn't specifying a sector of the economy but the economy at large and that more bullish forecasts were based on skewed employment numbers and an inflated stock market.

"First of all, we're not at fifth % unemployment. We're at a no that'south probably into the twenties if you see at the genuine number," Trump said. "That was a no that was devised, statistically devised to create politicians - and, in particular, presidents - see good. And I wouldn't be getting the kind of massive crowds that I'm getting if the no was a real number."

Trump'south assertion doesn't match data from the Bureau of Work Statistics. Its analysis of joblessness beyond the unemployed - such as "marginally attached" workers and those who have dropped out of the work force - was under ten % nationally last month.

Trump'south view also runs counter to most economists, whose coarse consensus is that the U. S. economy has about a twenty % chance of slipping into recession this year largely because growth remains feeble across the world, according to a Wall Str Journal survey of economists in March.

Most economists aren't overly worried about an imminent downturn because work creation remains strong, workers are starting to look their salary grow and the Federal Reserve remains cautious about shifting far from the low-interest-rate stance that's helped encourage the economy.

Any no of Trump'south predictions haven't worked out. In two thousand-twelfth, for instance, he predicted that if Obama were reelected, oil and gas prices would go "through the roof love never before."

In two thousand-eleventh, Trump said that when Obama'south health-care law took effect, national unemployment would "go even higher" than nine percent. He was also bullish on genuine estate investments in the run-up to the housing bust.

Nonetheless, Trump said, "it'south precarious times. Portion of the reason it'south precarious is because we're being ripped so badly by other countries. We're being ripped so badly by China. It just never ends. Nobody'south ever going to stop it. And the reason they're not going to stop it's one of two. They're either living in a world of the make-believe, or they're totally controlled by their lobbyists and their special interests."

"I'm pessimistic," Trump said. "Unless changes are made. Changes could be made."

By Trump, for instance: "I can fix it. I can fix it pretty quickly."

Trump firmly believes that a turnaround on trade would be the required beginning of a solution to any looming recession.

He mentions the Trans-Pacific Partnership as one pact he'd immediately seek to renegotiate, putting him at odds with congressional Republicans who supported giving the president fast-track trade authority last year.

Coupled with his thrust on trade would be a "very huge tax cut," which Trump unveiled latest September. That proposal increases taxes on the "very wealthy" but reduces taxes for most taxpayers and would slice the corporate tax rate to fifteen percent. To woo companies back to the United States, he'd proposal an incentive of a deeply discounted rate and would number longer authorize corporations to defer taxes on income earned overseas.

- - -

In the middle of WA on Thursday, world leaders were attending a summit focused on reducing nuclear stockpiles around the world. A day earlier, Trump had made headlines for saying at an MSNBC forum that he'd "possibly" utilize a nuclear weapon as president. Less than a week before, in an interview with the NY Times, Trump had suggested that Japan and S Korea should consider acquiring nuclear arms as a way of disengaging the United States from its role as a military protector - a proposal that the Obama White House promptly called "catastrophic."

Told that Obama had said in two thousand-tenth that his greatest worry is a nuclear device exploding in an American city, Trump at first took a dig at the president.

"It'south funny. It'south very interesting. I'm surprised he said that because I heard him recently declare that the biggest problem we've is global warming, which I totally dispute with. Okay?" Trump said.

But after mocking, Trump turned solemn on the topic, calling the nuclear threat the "single greatest problem" for global peace. "You see at Hiroshima and multiply it times a thousand," he said, shaking his head.

Trump said if other countries would consent to do so simultaneously, he'd be open to eliminating nuclear weapons held by the United States. "If it'south done on an equal basis, absolutely," he said.

But Trump added a caveat. He said as much as he supports the idea of eliminating nuclear weapons, it may not be feasible in the current climate and with countries such as Russia and Pakistan maybe unwilling to relinquish their arms since they're "spending a tremendous quantity of money."

"That'south something that in an ideal world is wonderful, but I think it'south not going to happen very easily. I'd love to look a nuclear-free world. Will that happen?" Trump said. "Look, Russia right presently is spending a tremendous quantity of money on redoing their all nuclear arsenal."

Turning to Russia'south leader, Vladimir Putin, Trump said he continues to appreciate compliment from Putin, even though his human-rights record and incursions into Ukraine and elsewhere have alarmed many. "I wish Putin to respect our country, okay?" Trump said. "I think he respects strength. Okay? I think Putin respects strength. And I've said it before, I think I'll obtain along well with Putin. Presently you never know. I don't declare that - only a fool would say, 'I will,' but I perceive that I'll obtain along well with Putin."

After speak of Putin and strength, Trump was read a few lines from Jeffrey Goldberg'south interview with Obama in the Atlantic, which quotes Obama as saying, "Genuine power means you can obtain what you wish without having to exert violence."

Trump listened carefully and said: "Well, I think there'south a certain truth to that. I think there'south a certain truth to that. Genuine power is through respect. Real power is, I don't even wish to utilize the word, fear. But you know, our military is very sadly depleted. You see at what'south going on with respect to our military, and it'south depleted from all of the cuts," Trump said, noting that he frequently sees advertisements for former U. S. military bases being available for purchase.

"I don't wish people to be afraid. I wish them to respect our country," he said. "Right now, they don't respect our country."

Trump said the United States shouldn't retreat from the world but should reevaluate its relationships and role in many international groups and alliances, including NATO.

"First of all, it'south obsolete," he said. "Our large threat today is terrorism. Okay? And NATO'south not really set up for terrorism. NATO is set up for the Soviet Union more than anything else. And presently you don't have the Soviet Union."

But for Trump, NATO, Putin, nuclear weapons, all of that's for later. For now, against mounting calls from friends, loved ones and fellow Republicans, remains the fight.

"My natural inclination is to win," Trump said. "And after I win, I'll be so presidential that you won't even recognize me. You'll be falling asleep, you'll be so bored."

- - -

Jim Tankersley and Evelyn M. Duffy contributed to this report.

- - -

Video: The WA Post'south Bob Woodward and Robert Costa sat down with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Here'south how the interview went. (Lee Powell/The WA Post)

URL: http://wapo. st/220eVav

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