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  Meet the Press  NBC  January 24, 2016 8:22am-8:28am PST

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trump won't change the system, he's what's wrong with it. joining me on the phone right now is donald trump. mr. trump, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning, and i have to tell you, his ad is wrong because i never knocked down that house. i wanted to get the house to build a major building that would have employed tremendous numbers of people but when the woman didn't want to sell ultimately i said forget about it. so he's got me bulldozing down a house, i never bulldozed it down. it's false advertising. >> all right, i think the accusation was that's what you wanted to do -- >> no, the accusation was i wanted to and did do it. you know, if you didn't have eminent domain, you would haven't highways, the keystone pipeline because they need it if it's going to be built. you wouldn't have roads, schools, hospitals, i mean, i don't love imminent domain but you need it or you don't have a country. >> this race between you and ted cruz, he wants to make it about who's the real conservative. here's what he said yesterday when it comes to you and conservatism. i want to get you to react to
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it. here he is. >> perhaps one of the reasons that the washington establishment is rushing so quickly behind donald trump is that donald has been an active supporter. he gave $100,000 to the clinton foundation. he's actively supported hillary clinton as a political candidate. he supported chuck schumer, he supported andrew cuomo, he supported emanu eed rahm emanue know he will cut a deal. >> i know you've embraced the idea of cutting a deal but some conservatives fear you're not a conservative, that 60 years you weren't a conservative, you've only been one the last eight or nine. >> most conservatives love me or i wouldn't be having the poll numbers -- fox just came out, their numbers are through the roof. i would haven't the poll numbers i have that. i am a conservative but i get along with people. ted cannot get along with people at all. the biggest problem he has, he's a nasty guy, nobody likes him. not one republican senator. he works with them everyday. not one republican senator
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endorsed ted cruz. when you think of it, that's impossible to believe. not one. >> i'm curious. you've been theying into cruz the last ten days on this issue. for six months you talked about how much you liked ted cruz. >> he was very nice to me and i kept saying when is it going to happen, ted? i was waiting because i want to counterpunch. i don't want to be the first one. and during the debate which everyone said i won he got nasty and started hitting me and i hit him back. anything i said was okay to him. anything i said and he was really -- look i had people that have been terrific on the stand. i like the candidates on a personal basis. during that period of time i said come on, ted, when is it going to happen? i understand ted, ted is a nasty guy who is not a very well-liked person. >> it sounded like -- you said you wouldn't vote for him if he's the nominee. is that true? >> i talked about the fact that
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i'm not sure that i can vote for him because as you know, he has a major issue. in fact, illinois is looking at it seriously. i don't know if he's going to be okay to run in illinois in the state of illinois. he was born in canada, he was born on canadian soil, he was a citizen of canada -- >> can you sign a pledge? >> chuck, chuck -- >> can you sign a pledge that you will support the republican nominee? >> that was relating to canada. the question was that and relating to canada. the question is whether or not he can run. i tell you something, from the standpoint of voters in iowa and new hampshire and all these places that have to vote, how can you vote for a candidate -- how can you do it when you don't even know if that candidate is able to run. laurence tribe from harvard said it's totally unsettled law. a number of top constitutional lawyers have come out recently over the last few days and said he's not allowed to run, he was born in canada, he can't run. so there's a real question and i said he should get a declaratory judgment.
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he has to do something because how can you have a campaign when it's very possible you are not allowed to run. >> let me ask you about "national review," i've seen your tweets, i know how you feel about the magazine and how you feel about this issue. let me get you to respond to one quote from erick erickson. he writes this "like the angels in heaven who rejoice for every new believer, we should rejoice for donald trump's conversion to conservatism, but we should not put a new conservative in charge of conservatism or the country. what do you tell conservatives that will make them believe you won't leave the ideology if it's convenient or unpopular. >> well, that's not an insulting quote. it really is. i was going to hit him hard. it wasn't an insulting quote. the "national review" is a failing magazine and you get that. they did it because i'll get nice publicity. i'll say this, ronald reagan, he
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was a somewhat liberal democrat and over the years he evolved and became a fairly conservative -- not overly -- but fairly conservative republicans. he became a great president also and i've evolved and a lot of people changed positions on things over the years and by the way, ted cruz has changed his position. he was a very, very -- he was very weak on illegal immigration. and now all of a sudden because of my stance he got strong but cruz was weak on immigration now he got stronger. so let's see what happens. but i use the term "ronald reagan, i use the name ronald reagan and that's pretty good to me. >> you know, just about -- well, about 15, 20 minutes ago mitt romney put out a tweet saying four years ago today he put out his tax returns and he believes that every 2016 candidate should release their returns before the first contest. just so you know, every nominee, mr. trump, has released their
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tax returns going back to 1980, but clinton, by the way, hillary clinton, we have every tax return that her name has been on since 1977 in the public domain. will you release any of your tax returns for the public to scrutinized but? >> well, we're working on that now. i have very big returns and i have everything all approved and very beautiful and we're working on that over the next period of time, chuck. absolutely. >> what's the period of time? before the voting begins? >> i don't know, this is not like a normal tax return, this is a big tax return and i will say this and i'm very proud to say it, i think the country is run horribly, i hate what they do with our money and unlike everybody else, i try and pay as little tax as possible because i hate what they do with my tax money. i hate the way they spend our money, the way they give it to iraq, the way they give it to iran, the way they give it to -- everything. they give it to everybody