Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump met with Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa last Thursday and warned the U.S. is sitting on a bubble leading to a very massive recession and said the U.S. unemployment level is really 20 percent instead of the 5 percent level the U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday.
“Well first of all, we’re not at five percent unemployment. We’re at a number that’s probably into the twenties if you look at the real number” Trump said.
Trump believes that the 5 percent unemployment level reported on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was “statistically devised to make politicians — and in particular presidents — look good” but offered little evidence to support his view.
“And I wouldn’t be getting the kind of massive crowds that I’m getting if the number was a real number” Trump insisted.
Tough Week For Trump
After having a tough week following controversial statements he made over punishing women for abortion and suggesting that Japan and South Korea should consider obtaining nuclear weapons, Trump admitted that he is treated unfairly by the media and doubled down on his statements about NATO that sparked concern from foreign policy experts and foreign governments.
Last week, Trump caused a firestorm when he weighed in about nuclear weapons and suggested that Japan and South Korea should arm themselves with nuclear weapons to offset the threat posed from North Korea.
“You have so many countries already….China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia….. you have so many countries right now that have them” Trump said.
“Now, wouldn’t you rather, in a certain sense, have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?” Trump continued.
Japan maintains a non-nuclear weapons policy which was implemented after it was bombed during World War II.
Trump’s recent nuclear comments related to Japan led to Japan’s foreign minister Fumio Kishida insisting that it was “impossible” that Japan would arm itself with nuclear weapons.
During his interview on Thursday with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Trump called NATO “obsolete,” said that it should be reformed, and explained that the NATO alliance was set up for the Soviet Union.
Trump said that the United States is getting ripped off by “everybody” and yet he feels he would get along with Russian President Vladimir Putin who has led Russia to invade Ukraine and support Syrian President Bashar Al Assad who the United States opposes.
“We seem to always be the one that pays the bill and gets the least. And we’re going to stop doing that” Trump said.
Trump denied that he wants Japan to have nuclear weapons and said he doesn’t mind if the U.S. takes care of Japan if they provide more financial assistance.
“But they have to help us out more, monetarily. We can’t protect the entire world. You look at our military budget, it’s massive compared to any other country. But what are we doing? We’re taking care of the military needs of all these countries” Trump said.
Wall Street People Are Just Not Important To Him
Trump admitted that Wall Street people aren’t important to him.
Trump said he knows Wall Street people “probably better than anybody knows them” and doesn’t need them.
Trump explained that his Republican rival Ted Cruz needs Wall Street people.
Trump believes that now is a terrible time to invest in the market and cited the strong dollar. He also said that regulators, not banking CEO’s, control the banks.
“I mean, when you look at many of your friends that are running banks that are being paid $40 and $50 million, yeah, they’re not running the banks. The regulators are running the banks” Trump said.
Although Trump acknowledged feeling pessimistic about outsourced U.S. jobs going to China and Mexico, he said he disagreed with Ronald Reagan on trade and his policies.
Trump predicted he could fix things pretty quickly because he knows the “best people” when negotiating great trade deals.
Trump said that he is against NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which he called a “bad deal” for the United States.
TPP is a trade agreement signed on February 4, 2016 between 12 Pacific Rim countries that reduces trade barriers like tariffs and adopts an investor-state dispute settlement giving investors the power to settlement proceedings against foreign governments.
Trump supports a tax cut and within 90 days would start renegotiating trade deals with Mexico, China, Japan and all of these countries that are “just absolutely destroying us.”
Claiming that the U.S. is losing $500 billion a year on trade deficits with China, Trump said that the U.S. has rebuilt China.
“We have rebuilt China. We have rebuilt it. I mean, you look at what’s going on in China. We have rebuilt China single-handedly” Trump said.
Although he’s insulted Mexican-Americans and Muslims over his past controversial statements, Trump called President Obama a “divider” and believes that he’s the right person who will bring the country together.
“When he first got elected, I didn’t have great feelings for the fact that he was going to do well. But the one thing I thought, he would be able to unify the country. African American, white, I thought that he would be a unifying factor. He has not been” Trump said.
During the interview, Trump described his whole life as being about “winning” in Charlie Sheen terms.
Trump – “Bringing Out The Rage In People”
Trump also admitted that he brings out rage in people.
“I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have” Trump explained.
“I don’t know if that’s an asset or a liability, but whatever it is, I do. I also bring great unity out, ultimately” Trump added.
Trump admitted that he’s not being treated fairly by the media and said that if he was treated fairly, “you would see a very big difference in coalition and coalition building and a lot of things.”
However, Trump acknowledged that he’s not quite ready to do coalition building.
“But with that being said, I’m not ready to do coalition building. But when I do — I tell that Vince Lombardi story — if and when I win, it will be really easy to build up a coalition” Trump said.
Trump is currently in the lead with Republican delegates and is comfortably ahead of Republican challenger Ted Cruz by a margin of 736 to 463. John Kasich is in third place with 143 delegates.
The next Republican primary contests will come on Tuesday in Wisconsin where 42 delegates are up for grabs and April 19th when 95 delegates in New York will be decided.
Trump needs to keep picking up more delegates to obtain the 1,237 threshold needed for nomination or else the likelihood grows stronger for a brokered Republican convention.