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Donald Trump describes father's 'small loan': $1 million

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump described a loan his father gave him for $1 million as a "small loan"
  • Trump was answering a question from a voter who asked him "have you ever been told no?"

Atkinson, New Hampshire (CNN)Donald Trump on Monday said his climb to the top of the business world hasn't been an easy one and depicted a $1 million loan from his father as "small."

"My whole life really has been a 'no' and I fought through it," Trump said Monday at an NBC-sponsored town hall here. "It has not been easy for me, it has not been easy for me. And you know I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars."
    Trump was answering a question from a Republican voter who asked him "with the exception of your family, have you ever been told no?"
    Pressed further, Trump conceded that getting a million dollar loan from his father might seem easy to most people, but said "a million dollars isn't very much compared to what I've built."
    Trump has built up a multi-billion dollar net worth, expanding his father's lucrative real estate business to new heights.
    But while much of Trump's success is a credit to his work, he was born into a successful, wealthy family, inheriting part of his father's more than $200 million net worth.
    Trump said even his father told him his plans to delve into the Manhattan real estate business -- away from the Trump family's projects mostly in Queens and Brooklyn -- were a bad idea.
    "Even my father he said you don't want to go to Manhattan. That's not our territory," Trump said.
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    Trump's campaign didn't respond to CNN's question about when his father gave him the $1 million loan -- though it appears to have happened before Trump entered the Manhattan real estate market in the early 1970s.
    If Trump's father made the loan in 1968, the year his son graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, that $1 million would be worth $6.8 million in today's dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index inflation calculator.
    The median household income in 1968 was $7,700; today it's $53,675. The median home price then was $25,000; today it's $269,000.
    Trump took questions from a dozen voters Monday in a basement room at the Atkinson Resort & Country Club. Trump explained his positions on everything from the war with ISIS and how he would handle Russia to illegal immigration and the economy.
    Attendees -- a mix of Trump supporters and undecided voters -- appeared to approve of most of Trump's answers. Two voters pressed Trump further with follow-up questions, telling him that he had not answered their questions which asked about his specific plans to deal with undocumented immigrants and the economy.
    On illegal immigration, Trump didn't explain exactly how he would deport the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S., simply pointing to his managerial skills.
    Another voter pressed him on whether voters should simply believe that he will revive the economy based on his last name, or whether he has any specific plans to address economic challenges.
    "I think they should," Trump said of voters electing him based on his name, adding that he would renegotiate trade deals involving the U.S. and bring jobs back.
    "But how?" the 21-year-old college student and entrepreneur asked again.
    Trump didn't get more specific beyond explaining that he plans to lower taxes and renegotiate trade deals.
    Instead, Trump stressed the importance of "flexibility in dealmaking" and said there was no need for multi-point plans.
    "It doesn't work that way because point two gets loused up and you have to go to a different point two," Trump said. "It doesn't mean anything."