Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who says he doesn’t plan to be on Fox News for the foreseeable future, continued his battle with the network during an appearance on MSNBC Thursday morning.
“I don't think I've been treated fairly on Fox News,” Trump said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Now, you know, it's sort an amazing thing because I'm leading every single one of the polls. I guess their poll just came out. I was told I'm leading that poll by a substantial margin. But I don't think I'm being treated fairly on Fox News and I let them know that and I'm not going to be doing it for a while.”
A Fox spokesperson yesterday provided a statement when Trump announced that his on-again, off-again relationship with Fox News was off again. The statement called Trump’s attack “another distraction from any real issues.”
Trump appearances have been drawing substantial ratings, making them valuable to news networks and other programs, includuing late night entertainment programs.
During the MSNBC interview, Trump talked about how social media enables him to fight back against the media.
“I have this thing called Twitter and Facebook, which is amazing actually. It's like owning The New York Times without the losses. And I have almost – I have actually now, if you add all of the different things up, over 10 million people. So when a dope like a Rich Lowry goes on or people like a Megyn Kelly says things that are wrong, I'm able to tweet. Now, if other people had that instead of having 15 followers, they would probably use that. I'm not sure,” he said.
“But I'm able to use it and I use it well. And you know, you're able to fight back. In the old days you didn't have that. What would you do? Call a press conference to announce that somebody lost control of his mind on television last night and made a total fool out of himself? You couldn't do that. But with Twitter, you can with one tweet, 140 characters, you can knock somebody out. Pretty cool,” he said.
On Wednesday, Trump also said the FCC should fine Rich Lowry, the National Review editor, for comments he made about Trump and rival Carly Fiorina.
Here’s a full transcript of the interview, provided by MSNBC.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: With us now by phone, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Donald, we read quiet a few polls; you're ahead in all of them. Of course, you would tell us. Especially I want to focus on the one in Florida right now. You're a good bit ahead in Florida, and despite all that good news, you seem to be at war with many people on the right. Why is that?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): Well, I don't think war. I like to be treated fairly and have a good relationship, as you know, Joe, with many, many people. But I like to be treated fairly and when I'm not fairly treated I let people know it. I don't think that's -- I don't think it's a war.
SCARBOROUGH: What's going on with Fox News? You know, you and Roger have been friends for a long time. There was a misunderstanding after the first debate, you guys patched it up. But now you're saying you're not going on Fox News again and they say it's because they won't bow down to your demands. What's the truth there?
TRUMP: Well, I don't think I've been treated fairly on Fox News. Now, you know, it's sort an amazing thing because I'm leading every single one of the poles. I guess their poll just came out. I was told I'm leading that poll by a substantial margin. But I don't think I'm being treated fairly on Fox News and I let them know that and I'm not going to be doing it for a while.
SCARBOROUGH: In what way are they not treating you treated fairly? Your beef seems to be Bill O'Reilly. You and Bill have been friends for a while.
TRUMP: No, Bill is OK. I think various things happened. I mean, it has to do with polling too. They don't put up the good polls. They don't put up polls. If I'm leading big in a poll, they don't put it up. And we actually questioned them about it. Why don't you put it up? ‘Well, we haven't had the chance.’ It's ridiculous. You know, it's sort of funny. The Florida poll came out and the headline was that Rubio surges past Bush. And I said I guess that's too bad; I guess I'm not in the poll. Well I had 31.5 percent. They were down in the teens. And I said that's sort of an amazing thing. That's an amazing headline. It's Rubio surges past Bush is the headline and I'm the one that's leading the poll by a lot. So I don't know, I get treated very fairly by some of the media. And some of the media does not treat me fairly. Fox does not treat me fairly. Megyn Kelly, I mean, you had this loser on last night, this guy Lowry, I've never even heard of him. He was so out of control; he lost control of himself. It was actually sad. He lost control of himself last night with what he said and I guess you got to take a guy like that off the air. But I watched it actually; I was actually watching. I was on a plane that came back from South Carolina. We had an amazing day in South Carolina, frankly, incredible, with the crowds. And I will tell you I've never seen anything like it, the level of hatred of him, of George Will, of Krauthammer. And that's because I guess maybe they were so wrong, because they said, number one, I wouldn't run. And then after I ran they said, well, he's just doing this for fun, he's just having a good time. This isn't about having a good time. It's about making America great again. So you know, I mean, all of them have been so wrong, and the level of hatred and animosity is incredible.
SCARBOROUGH: At some point, though, shouldn't you ignore pundits? Most politicians just ignore pundits, let them go their own way, and focus on the issues. At some point, shouldn't you just -- you know there are people you would term haters out there. At what point do you just stop those fights and start focusing on what's happening in Syria, what's happening with taxes, what's happening with the debt and a lot of these other issues.
TRUMP: Well, I think that a lot of people would not ignore if they had a certain degree, if they were into -- you know, I have this thing called Twitter and Facebook, which is amazing actually. It's like owning "The New York Times" without the losses. And I have almost -- I have actually now, If you add all of the different things up, over 10 million people. So when a dope like a Rich Lowry goes on or people like a Megyn Kelly says things that are wrong, I'm able to tweet. Now, if other people had that instead of having 15 followers, they would probably use that. I'm not sure. But I'm able to use it and I use it well. And you know, you're able to fight back. In the old days you didn't have that. What would you do? Call a press conference to announce that somebody lost control of his mind on television last night and made a total fool out of himself? You couldn't do that. But with Twitter, you can with one tweet, 140 characters, you can knock somebody out. Pretty cool.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Donald, the thing is you're right now at odds with Fox News. We know how powerful they are in the Republican Party. And you're at war with Rich Lowry, who is the editor of "National Review", which is really sort of the gold standard of conservative magazine.
TRUMP: I don't think anybody reads it, Joe. I think it has no power whatsoever, I'll be honest. I think it has no power whatsoever. And he's not a respected guy.
SCARBOROUGH: I read it.
TRUMP: You're the only one. (LAUGHTER)
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I have no friends. That is true, but I don't think I'm the only one. But Donald, at what point do you start fighting Democrats and liberals and people on the left instead of these sort of intramural wars with Republicans?
TRUMP: Well, I think you know me and I think you know that I'm a fighter and I know how to fight, and I have a fight now with these, the remaining people that are candidates. Because you have two battles. You have this battle and then you have the other battle. But you have to get through this one before the other one. And I'm looking at guys like Marco Rubio, who has the worst voting record in the United States Senate. And -- young guy, although he sweats more than any young person I've ever seen in my life. I've never seen a person sweat -- I've never seen a guy down water like he downs water. I've never seen -- they bring it in in buckets for this guy. But, you know, I have various people I have to knock down before I get to the other race. And when I get to the other race, I will win that race. If it's Hillary, which is hard to believe it's going to be with what she's done. You know, General Petraeus has been destroyed for doing a fraction of what she's done, and it's hard to believe she's going to get to the starting gate. But assuming she does, I think Hillary is not going to be hard to beat.
SCARBOROUGH: Katty Kay.
KATTY KAY, BBC: Mr. Trump, it's Katty here. Why did you call Hillary Clinton shrill?
TRUMP: Well, I don't think -- and I heard your comment, Katty, and I know you've been commenting a lot of negative things over the weeks and months, but that's OK. Don't feel bad. I heard the comment and I think the word shrill doesn't apply to women exclusively. I know men that are shrill, and it's just an expression that I thought of. As I was speaking, I thought it was an accurate expression She's gotten very loud and very boisterous and that can happen the men too, Katty. Please, if you don't mind, that can happen to men.
KAY: It's just, you know, you never hear people say it about men.
TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me.
KAY: We never hear that word said about men.
TRUMP: She's gotten very loud and obnoxious and, frankly, I know many men that become very loud and obnoxious also. But I've noticed that she -- I don't know, there's something going on with her. There's really something going on. I think she's going to make a terrible candidate just as she was a terrible Secretary of State.
KAY: I mean, would you call any of your male competitors in the Republican race, would you call them shrill? Have you called them shrill? It's just that, to women, when you use a word like shrill --
TRUMP: No, but I would. I would call Rand Paul shrill.
KAY: -- it definitely sounds sexist.
TRUMP: Katty, I would call Rand Paul shrill. I think he's shrill. I don't think that's a term that applies exclusively to women at all.
SCARBOROUGH: I will say for the record I think Mika has accused me offset of being shrill. (LAUGHTER)
KAY: She may well be right. SCARBOROUGH: Yes, so we'll see. So you just called me shrill too. See, men can be called shrill.
MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Donald, you're doing very well in Florida and you activated actually both parties in much of the country to talk about immigration over the course of your campaign. But CBS Miami this morning reports that Mar-a-Lago, your beloved Mar-a-Lago, you've requested anywhere from -- at Mar-a-Lago, they've requested anywhere from 70-90 H-2b visas a year since the year 2008 to hire workers at an average pay of $10-12 an hour. Why would you be importing workers from overseas rather than hiring workers from Florida?
TRUMP: Because during the season, Mar-a-Lago is a seasonal job, which is very hard to get people in Florida for seasonal jobs. And during the season, in Palm Beach, Palm Beach is probably the hottest real-estate maybe in the world. And during the season in Palm Beach, it's very, very hard to get help. You can't, you know, we're talking about Mar-a-Lago the club is closed for the summer. You know, the expression "Rich people don't like heat." And we close Mar-a-Lago and we open October -- like October 1st. And from that, for about a five month period during what they call the Palm Beach Season, which is a big deal, you can't get help. So we tend to get help from different places including Europe. And we've been doing that -- by the way, these are all legal visas, you understand that, right?
BARNICLE: Yes, yes, I do.
TRUMP: These are all legal visas, but they -- we have to bring people in, which tells you, I mean, you can have jobs out there in certain communities that are doing well. But in Palm Beach, getting help in Palm Beach during the season is almost impossible. So we go through a very legal process and bring people in through legal visas.
BARNICLE: But you've also said and it's sort of joined up with importing workers, you've also said repeatedly that you believe the American Dream is dead. Do you really believe the American Dream is dead?
TRUMP: No, I don't say that. I say the American Dream is dead but I'm going to make it bigger and better and stronger than ever before. And then the press always cuts me off when they show the tape. They say the American Dream is dead and they cut me off. My wife said to me the other day, she said that's a terrible thing you said. I said what did I say? She said you said the American Dream is dead. I said no, no, no. And I watched it, because of TiVo, I said oh that's terrible. Look what they did. It was -- I think it was actually Fox to tell you the truth. I said -- and it was a beautiful statement. Everybody clapped, they stood up, they went crazy. I said the American dream is dead but I'm going to make it bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and they cut it off. And I said wow, what a terrible statement that is. So just like you just said that because you saw the same thing that everybody else did. I never say the American Dream is dead, except when I add those other words. But sometimes in television they cut off those words because it makes me look a little bit coarse.
DONNY DEUTSCH, DEUTSCH, INC.: Donald, it's Donny. How are you, sir?
TRUMP: Hi, Donny.
DEUTSCH: Let me ask you a question. I asked this to you on the phone a couple of weeks ago and I didn't get an answer and I just -- I want to hear the entire question. I know you want to win because you are all about winning. You are all about the deal. You are all about beating the other guy and I say that as a compliment. Do you want this job -- and let me finish the question -- because in this job, 95 percent of what you have to do -- I don’t mean you, anybody -- are things you don't want to do. That's what that job is. If you call Barack Obama, if you call George W. Bush. You can't fire Congress. It is the ultimate non-autocratic job. It’s just the way our country is set up. Have you thought through, literally, literally coming to that office every day and what that job would be? And at the end of the day, I know you pretty well, my friend. Do you actually want that job or do you just want to win?
TRUMP: Well, look, it's not a question of wanting to win or wanting the job. I know I can do a great job. There are things being done now that are so incompetent. These are grossly incompetent people that are running our country.
DEUTSCH: I’m talking about you though; I’m talking about you. Forget all the other people, I’m saying -- (CROSSTALK)
DEUTSCH: January 30 --
TRUMP: We have grossly incompetent people running our country. I know I can do a great job. And you know, my slogan, make America great again. I can make American -- I can do that. I can make America great again.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me go at it from a different angle. Are you going to be willing when your law that you pass through Congress rests on a Congressman from Boise, Idaho, who you're going to have to fly out and sit in his house and hang out with him and beg him and give him whatever he wants in the appropriation bill to get his vote? I mean, are you going to be willing to do that sort of -- sort of slogging? TRUMP: Well, I am. And, you know, Obama has not been willing to do that, Joe. That's why he signs executive orders all the time. He has not been willing to do that and I am. You know, you and Mika know me pretty well, and Donny. I've been in politics all my life. I've been doing politics all my life. In Europe, I’ve made a fortune dealing with China. I've made a fortune dealing with China. I’ve made a lot of money dealing all over the world. I deal in politics all over the world. If you look at, you know, politics in the United States, I know most of these guys. Now, I know them from the other side. I know them as a contributor. I used to be the fair-haired boy. Now I'm sort of an outsider. It’s sort of funny. Four months ago I was the fair-haired boy. They loved me. They came over. They’d do whatever I wanted them to do. They’d ask for contributions all the time. I was one of the big contributors. And now all of sudden they’re sort of, in one day with the announcement that I'm going to run for president, I’ve become an outsider which is fun. But I've been dealing in politics all my life and I'll get them to do the right thing.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Willie.
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC HOST: Hey Donald, it’s Willie.
TRUMP: Hi Willie.
GEIST: Good to see you this morning. I want to ask you about veterans issues, because you've gone out of your way to talk about veterans on the campaign trail and good for you on that. I just want to get a little more specific about it. The VA has been a disaster. I think you'll agree. We have some of our veterans who fought overseas for us, who come home and wait months and months and months and years for an appointment. Some of them die before they get their appointment. What specifically would you do about the VA? Because we’ve got a CEO from the private sector, Bob McDonald, good man, competent man, who’s come in and he's found it challenging enough. What would you do to change the situation for our veterans?
TRUMP: Well, he's not doing the job. And as you can see, I have tremendous support from the veterans. It may be as high as anybody. I mean, I have the most support from the veterans. And what I would do is very simple. Two weeks ago on Wednesday, the veterans had the longest wait in the history, in waiting rooms in the history of the VA. They are being treated worse than illegal immigrants in many cases. It's a disaster for the veterans. And what I would do is to break up that back jam. They cannot wait seven days to see the doctor and the doctor tells them I'm going on vacation, we can't see you now, sorry. We are going to open it up so they can go -- they don’t have to wait, they can go to private doctors, they can go to private hospitals, they can go to public hospitals, and we'll pay the bill. And that will end up being a lot cheaper than having them waiting forever. And by the way, waiting and dying, because you have thousands that are dying waiting to be cured of things that can easily be fixed. So I will open it up so they can go to private hospitals and private doctors, and, by the way, public hospitals and we’ll pay the bill. And frankly, that's going to be, and we’ll work out a system, that will be a lot better and they love it, they love the concept, and I believe it's going to be a lot cheaper. It's not a question of the money. We're being run -- the whole country is incompetently run. But the VA may be the top of the list. They will be so happy if I get elected president. Believe me.
SCARBOROUGH: Donald, we got to let you go, but really quickly, before you go, you had an interview with Scott Pelley, "60 Minutes". He kept asking you about birtherism. You kept brushing it off saying you weren’t going to talk about that anymore. Are you not going to talk about that anymore?
TRUMP: I don’t talk about that anymore, Joe. You know what I talk about? Hey Joe, I talk about the vets. I talk about what we're going to do to bring jobs back. I talk about the military. I don't talk about it anymore. And the problem with talking about it, you talk about it, that's all people want to talk about. They don't want to get on to trade with China, how we're getting killed. They don’t want to get on to how badly treated the vets are. They don’t want to talk about immigration. So I don't talk about it anymore. I talk about jobs and other things.
SCARBOROUGH: So you're not going to talk about it at all the rest of this campaign?
TRUMP: I don't talk about it, Joe. I mean, people ask me a question and I say I want to talk about jobs, I want to talk about trade, I want to talk about other things. And you know what? They immediately go on to it.
SCARBOROUGH: Hopefully, we will have a campaign that does focus on jobs and trade and Syria and Russia.
TRUMP: I agree.
SCARBOROUGH: Issues that matter. All right, Donald Trump, thank you so much for being with us. We greatly appreciate it as always.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.