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Interview with Donald Trump

Aired November 24, 2004 - 21:00   ET


DONALD TRUMP: Larry, you're fired.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the Donald is back. Donald Trump, rich, powerful and loves to defeat his opponents. So what's the star of "The Apprentice" make of these other rich-guy reality shows? How does he feel about getting married soon? All that and more with the one and only Donald Trump for the hour, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

There are so many things going on in his life. It's always a great pleasure to have Donald Trump with us. He's an old friend. His latest book is "Trump: Think Like a Billionaire, Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate and Life." He's partners with Estee Lauder for a fragrance. He's got a game coming out in his name. There's a doll in his name. He's star, of course, of a smash hit show, "The Apprentice."

What do you think about all of this, Donald? What's happened to you?

TRUMP: I don't know what happened, Larry. It's been a lot of fun. I'm having a good time, but I'm not exactly sure what's happened. It's been wild.

"The Apprentice" has been a tremendous success. The real estate in New York has never been better. I've never been -- I've never done as well as I've done. I'm the largest developer by far in New York. And I'm just having a good time.

KING: Is the only downside in all of this the Atlantic City story?

TRUMP: Well, Atlantic City's doing well. I mean, yes, I put a lot of debt on the property years ago, and now I made a deal that's really terrific. It's less than 1 percent of my net worth, so it doesn't mean a lot from that standpoint.

But I think Atlantic City is actually going to be a substantial part of my net worth in the future. As you know, I worked all that out with bondholders, and they were terrific, and I was terrific, and I think Atlantic City is going to be a very big factor and, frankly, the gaming industry in the future.

But, right now, it's really just less than 1 percent of my net worth. Frankly, without "The Apprentice," I don't think people would have even talked about Atlantic City.

KING: How do you -- have you always had this bounce-back ability? We've gone through times where I've talked to you where things have been pretty low, and you never lose faith in yourself.

TRUMP: Well, you can't lose faith. I mean, you always have good times and bad times, and you really can't lose faith. I don't want to lose faith in myself. If I did, I wouldn't be talking to you right now, I guess. It's been just very good.

I've had a great life. I've enjoyed my life. I've had a lot of fun. I've had some downs, but, you know, I've had friends that went out of business, you'll never see them again. I never went bankrupt. I never any of the things that so many people had to do over the years.

And, you know, my company today is much bigger and stronger than it ever was in the past by far. You know, they used to talk about me as an '80s guy because I had a hot company in the '80s. But my company is many times bigger than it was in the '80s. So I'm just having a lot of fun.

And then, on top of it, we have the hottest show on television, and it's been just great. "The Apprentice" has been a lot of fun. Working with Mark Burnett and his whole staff has really been a lot of fun for me.

KING: OK. You title the book "Think Like a Billionaire." What do you mean?

TRUMP: Well, that's a mindset, Larry. It's really just -- really in the truest sense of the word, it's a mindset. You have to think like a winner, and most billionaires are winners, although I could see that Mr. Branson or Mr. Cuban have been sort of losers lately. They got clobbered in the ratings.

And I know in the case of Cuban, his show was taken off the air, and I think Branson will soon follow. He had almost nobody watching the other night.

But, you know, generally speaking, you have to think like a winner. You have to enjoy what you do. If you don't enjoy what you do, it's never going to work, and maybe almost as importantly as that, if there's a wall in front of you, you have to go through it. You can never, ever give up.

KING: Why do you enjoy -- now Branson and Mark Cuban -- both are winners in their life. Both would be declared as highly successful people. So they fail maybe in this show. Maybe they don't work. Why do you enjoy racking it up?

TRUMP: Well, I enjoy winning. I love winning. I love beating people and especially when they get a little bit nasty. I mean, Cuban started getting a little cute with me and a little nasty to get some publicity for his show and it failed, and I enjoy, you know, rubbing it in his face when he does fail. And the same thing with Branson. I mean, Branson was going around saying how great I was, and then, all of a sudden, a week before his show goes on, he gives me negative stuff. Oh, he doesn't want to shake anybody's hand. Of course, that's sort of an intelligent thing to do. And I do shake people's hands.

But, you know, I'm not a man of the people, right? He is. But the fact is that, you know, as far as Branson's concerned, I doubt -- I personally don't see how he could be a billionaire. He's in the airline business. Who's a billionaire in the airline business?

So, you know, he's got a show called "The Rebel Billionaire." It had terrible, terrible ratings. And I can't imagine it makes it very long. It's just limping along very badly, so...

KING: Did you watch it?

TRUMP: I watched the first 15 minutes of it, and, after that, it was virtually unwatchable.

KING: What was -- as a critic, assess what was wrong.

TRUMP: Well, you know, he tried to copy "The Apprentice." but I have real people. I have great people, and he has people going from balloon to balloon. I mean, what does that have to do with business, for one thing?

And it was a bad copy of me, and I think it was a bad copy of other shows, frankly, other reality shows. He probably tried to put it all -- but the one he was attacking was me, and "The Apprentice," as you know, you see the ratings right in front of you, was number one in virtually all of the important categories.

So, you know, I don't need to be attacked for that. I should be complimented. And, actually, he started out complimenting me, but some wise person said about a week before he went on that you should really not compliment Trump, you have to go after him to get a little publicity. And he did, and he got a little publicity, and he failed.

KING: What makes "Apprentice" work?

TRUMP: Well, I think it's a lot of things. I think that, you know, we have a nice cast, but I'm not sure that that's the answer. I think Mark Burnett has done an amazing job, and I think I've done an amazing job. It just works.

KING: Did you ever expect "You're fired" to become what it became?

TRUMP: Well, I would have never thought that those words would have become -- if I walk down the street, hundreds and hundreds -- and even thousands in some cases -- of people shout out "You're fired," and they all think they've done it for the first time, and they laugh and have a good time. We all have a good time.

I went into a stadium the other day, and the entire stadium was screaming "You're fired." So who would have known "The Apprentice" was going to be a ratings juggernaut and just this great phenomenon?

KING: Yes. Since you told me once that you never have much said in your life "You're fired," how did you come up with that?

TRUMP: Well, I have said it, but I've said to people that stole. I mean, generally speaking, you don't say it, Larry, because it's too harsh.

In fact, I fired somebody yesterday and I took 20 minutes to explain to him why he can do better outside of my company. I do it nice and easy. Of course, they wake up the next morning, they hate you anyway because they realize, hey, I just got fired.

But there's something very beautiful about the words, and when we started...

KING: Beautiful?

TRUMP: Well, there is. It's very succinct, there's no question about it, and it certainly plays very well, and it's become an amazing phrase.

KING: Doing -- say it for me once like the way you say it.

TRUMP: Larry, you're fired.

KING: Now do you enjoy saying it?

TRUMP: No. I don't like firing people. I'm not Leona. I'm not other people. I don't really enjoy firing people. But I have certainly a good time on the show. It just works for the show so well, and, you know, it's not like, oh, gee, please, give me another chance.

It doesn't work that way. It's so succinct. It's so beautiful in its finiteness. And it's just -- it's over. It's just over. And, you know, this happened on the first show of "The Apprentice," and the gentleman who didn't do very well -- we didn't have this term, Mark and I. There was no term.

I was going to say, "Hey, listen, it's not working," and all of this. And I went into the room, and he was particularly bad, and I said, "So-and-so, you're fired," and I heard people screaming in the control room, NBC people. They were like -- as you know in control rooms on a big sure, there are hundreds of people.

And I heard them just screaming. And they were probably 50 yards away. And I said, "What's going on?" I didn't even know what happened. And they loved it so much. So this was something that I came up with during my first boardroom scene and I used it. I've used it since.

KING: When we come back, we'll ask Donald what's it like to have been so well known in the business world and now go way beyond that as to be known by the guy on the corner in Des Moines. Right back with Donald Trump. The book: "Think Like a Billionaire." "Trump: Think Like a Billionaire." More about the book. More about lots of things. Don't go away.


TRUMP: Jennifer, what did you think of Elizabeth?

JENNIFER: I think she was weak, she was ineffective, and she's indecisive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, Elizabeth really personified bad leadership.

TRUMP: Elizabeth, all of your people that you were leading are saying you were terrible.

ELIZABETH: Yes. Well, they're going to say that.

TRUMP: What the hell's missing with you?

Let me ask you: Would you pick two people or three people to come back to the boardroom?


TRUMP: Honestly, Elizabeth, I just don't think it's necessary. You're fired.




TRUMP: Chris, why didn't you let her go?

CHRIS: I'll tell you why. Two different vendors came up to me, and they said, you know what, if she wasn't a lawyer, she would be excellent as a salesperson in this business.

CAROLYN KEPCHER, CO-STAR, "THE APPRENTICE": You sold two dresses. How good could she be?

TRUMP: Well, should I fire Yvonna right now?

CHRIS: Instead of me? Absolutely. I'm an asset.

YVONNA: I'm a performer...


YVONNA: ... be here.

CHRIS: How many people have called me to the boardroom out of the five times you've been here? It's never happened. This is the first time I've been here. She's been here five times.

YVONNA: Because you've been skating by by the skin of your teeth.

CHRIS: So I would say that I'm -- I would say that rather I've been more of a leader.

YVONNA: You can complain and complain and complain, but you never offer solutions.

KEVIN: People are always slapping the people who take the most in.

TRUMP: Kevin, who would you fire?

KEVIN: I would fire Chris.

YVONNA: I would fire Chris as well.

CHRIS: Listen...

TRUMP: There's more spark right now in the final minutes before execution than there was for two days, and I can't believe you led the team so badly. And, Chris, you're fired.


KING: Donald, how did the previous winners -- how have they done?

TRUMP: They've done unbelievably well. If you look at Nick and Amy and Omarosa -- I mean, Omarosa -- people couldn't stand her, and she's making a fortune. They've all done really well.

And the new crop are absolutely equal at least, are just making a fortune after they get fired. So they have done -- they have hit paydirt.

Somebody was telling me that Troy goes out and makes speeches for $20,000, $25,000 a speech. So they're all very happy, and, you know, Larry...

KING: How about Bill? How about Bill Ransick?

TRUMP: Bill Ransick is doing fantastic. He's probably making less money than anybody else. But Bill Ransick is absolutely a winner. He's been a fantastic guy and a fantastic asset to me.

And, as you know, we're starting a $900 million building in Chicago. We just started construction of it, and Bill's involved, and he really couldn't -- somebody asked me the other day, would you have done Bill again, would you have hired him again, and the answer is absolutely yes. He's been even better than I anticipated.

KING: Wouldn't it have been very awkward, Donald -- I guess you thought about it -- if he hadn't worked out? TRUMP: Well, of course it's awkward, but a lot of things don't work out and you get by it. But Bill has worked out and he just couldn't be a better guy. And he's learning. He's an apprentice.

I mean, he's not going to build a $900 million building. He's an apprentice. He's working with tremendous professionals. We just started demolition, as you know, of the "Sun-Times" site.

It's the best site in Chicago, always has been. I've always wanted it. I got it. And we just -- literally just started of the building, and it's going to be a fantastic building. I think it will be one of the great buildings of this country.

KING: By the way, when we had "The Apprentice" competitors on, you called in and did one of the most gracious things I've ever seen on television. You paid for Troy McClain's college education. Has he started?

TRUMP: Well, Troy is fantastic. But I also understood that when I did it, I wasn't being that generous. I really would love to do it. But Troy's probably 32, 33 years old. He's got a family and children, a fantastic guy, and I think it's going to be hard for him to go back to college, OK.

So, when I said I'll pay for your education, how do you go back to college at that age with that family? But I think that if he does go back -- and I hope he goes back in a certain way, but, in another way, he's got to take care of a family.

So I'm not sure it's going to be easy. But I certainly will pay for his education.

KING: Do you get emotionally involved with these people?

TRUMP: I don't think so. I respect them. I like them. I guess I like them even more because the show has become so successful, and, you know, they've become legendary people in their own right. So there's a certain, you know, family spirit there. But emotionally involved? No.

KING: Concerning ego, I once asked Jackie Gleason about ego, and he said all ego is is confidence. If you've got confidence in yourself, you should have an ego. How do you react when people say that you have an enormous ego?

TRUMP: Well, I've never seen a successful person without an ego. Never. I have never -- I've watched over the years, and I look for it, and I try and be as non-egotistical as possible and all of that stuff, Larry. But I've never seen a person who was successful who didn't have an ego or, maybe to put it in your terms, who didn't have confidence.

KING: But you wear it on your shoulder more or you're certainly more outward about it. We all may have it, but not many go around saying, wow, I'm fantastic. TRUMP: Well, you know, I do a good job, Larry. I'm the biggest developer in the city. I do a great job in real estate. I do a good job at what I do. And, frankly, you know, you might as well say it.

I've seen many people over the years who had talent, but they didn't have any idea how to sell their talent and nobody knew that they were talented. Nobody knew they did good, and, ultimately, they failed.

So I don't fail and I'm not going to let myself fail. It just isn't in my vocabulary.

KING: Latest rumor, by the way. Are you buying the Ritz in Paris?

TRUMP: No, that was a joke. I said -- in fact, Mohammad al Fayed owns it. He's a friend of mine. And I said I think I'll buy the Ritz and give it to Melania, and every -- it became a front-page story. It was just a joke.

KING: What about Vegas?

TRUMP: Well, I'm just starting in Vegas. We have a great building going up. A friend of mine -- a great friend of mine is Phil Roughin (ph) who owns the Frontier, and we're doing a 64-story Trump International Hotel and Tower, and it's going to be beautiful.

We should start it within a few months, and it's just going to be an amazing building. It's a condominium. And when it's completed, I think it will be just absolutely one of the top buildings anywhere.

KING: Why not a gambling casino?

TRUMP: Well, I may do that second. I mean, I wanted to get there with my real estate business first because the real estate is so good in terms of what I do, and I do it so well, and I may very well end up doing that.

You know, the gaming company that I have is a very -- has become, with the advent of the deal I just cut, a very, very strong and powerful company, and maybe I'll take that there afterwards.

But, right now, I'm building a residential and hotel tower, and it will be, I think, a tremendous success. It's a condominium.

KING: Why is Vegas so hot as a living community?

TRUMP: Well, I think the politicians and the casino control commission and everybody -- they all work together. They've really made it a tremendous place. It's tremendous esprit de Corp, spirit. There's just a great feeling going on in Las Vegas, and I like it. I love going there.

I've had a great relationship with many of the people out there. Steve Winn is a good friend of mine. I mean, so many different people I have out there, and, you know, you look at the great job that Terry Lanny's (ph) done and Kirk Kerkorian and all of the people at MGM and so many other companies -- they really have done a great job.

But the government has led them down a very correct path. Now maybe they influenced the government, and that's a positive thing. But Vegas has just been a great phenomenon, very much like "The Apprentice" has been a phenomenon. You don't know why sometimes, but it's just been amazing.

KING: So these are competitors, the Trumps and the Winns, that you respect?

TRUMP: Oh, sure I respect. And, you know, I like a lot of people that I respect. Oftentimes, you don't like people that you also respect, but the people I mentioned, I like them all very much.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Donald Trump. The book is "Trump: Think Like a Billionaire, Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate and Life."

We'll talk about the merchandising of Donald Trump and other areas and about fame right after this.



Hello. This is the Donald from Trumpsylvania telling you to watch this week's special Halloween episode of "The Apprentice." These contestants are going to be shaking in their suits because, unlike Frankenstein, I am not afraid of fire-ing any of them." Moo hoo hoo hoo hoo ha ha ha ha ha.




TRUMP: Kwame, I think you have an amazing future. You're a brilliant guy, great education, and I have no doubt that you're going to be a big success. But, for right now, Bill, you're hired.


KING: A dramatic moment.

Donald, what's it like to have gone from a very well-known businessman, entrepreneur, New Yorker to being known in Wichita?

TRUMP: Well, I think I was known, Larry. I think I was known all over the place, but...

KING: But not like this.

TRUMP: ... I guess nothing like this.

Look, when you have, you know, a super hit show on television, you probably are known better, but, you know, somebody was saying, oh, you're on the cover of all these magazines in the last six months and year, and I said but I was on the cover of all these magazines before, other than perhaps "TV Guide" and a couple of them.

You know, I was on the cover of "TIME," on the cover of "Newsweek" and "Fortune" and "Forbes" and "BusinessWeek" and so many other magazines many times, and, you know, I try and tell people that I did have a life before "The Apprentice." But a lot of people disagree with that.

And it was sort of interesting looking at that clip. When I said "Bill, you're hired," that's a nice term...

KING: Very.

TRUMP: ... but it doesn't have the beauty of "So-and-so, you're fired."

KING: You're not kidding.

Let's touch a lot of bases. I want to get into the book, too.

When Martha Stewart was found guilty, you were on this program and you said her mistake was -- in fact, you predicted it -- that her mistake was not testifying. What do you make of her decision to do prison time and how it might effect the business?

TRUMP: Well, I hate the fact that she's doing the prison time because I think it really nullifies the appeal. I think it's hard for an appeals court judge -- and I know a lot of the appeals court judges, and they're brilliant people and they're terrific people, but how do they -- it's very hard for them to now all of a sudden overturn something when she's in there.

It's like -- and this is psychological. This isn't law. This is psychologically it's awfully tough for them to say, OK, let her out, she's OK, the trial -- let's do a mistrial, let's do something. And I really tried to encourage her not to go. And now she also wants to get out -- you know, she wants to get on with her life. So, from that standpoint, I can see it.

From the appeals standpoint, I think she did a terrible thing. And I saw the other day where she wants the $4 million legal fees to be paid by her company, and I'm saying to myself she had such bad lawyers. I mean, they did a terrible job for her. Can you imagine being charged $4 million? And she's sitting behind bars right now.

She's a great friend of mine. She's a great woman. She took a very, very heavy hit. But I think she'll come back.

KING: Are you saying if you were on the board of the company, you would not approve paying the legal fees?

TRUMP: No, I'm saying that I don't think the lawyers should be paid. That's what I'm saying. I thought I made that clear. I mean, you know, they got $4 million and look where she is, right? Give me a break.

KING: What's your -- what's your read on the outcome of the election?

TRUMP: Well, I think it's terrific. Look, you know, you had two good guys running. You have very -- you know, actually, you have to give President Bush a lot of credit. He really ran a great campaign. He won by four million votes, which is a lot.

Now the electoral college, which I think they should do away with, is, you know, a little bit closer. But the fact is he won by four million votes, and that's a pretty good mandate in an election that was supposed to be so much closer than that.

KING: But you always admired Senator Kerry, didn't you? You...

TRUMP: I do. I like him. I like both of them, Larry. I like both of them very much. And they're both very different, but they were very talented and very everything.

The fact is that President Bush won. He ran a great campaign. I think his tax policy is fantastic. It's going to get the nation going. I really believe that it's going to kick in. Maybe it's starting to right now. All of a sudden, the job reports are coming out great and a lot of other things.

So I really believe in his economic policies toward this country, and, ultimately, we'll get out of Iraq, I hope, and...

KING: That you disagree with.

TRUMP: ... we'll do...

KING: In "Esquire," the August issue, you said, "Look at the war in Iraq, the mess we're in. I never would have handled it that way."

TRUMP: I do not believe that we made the right decision going into Iraq, but, you know, hopefully, we'll be getting out. Now I do think we have other problems.

I think you have to do something with the nuclear weapons that are obviously being built in Iran and the nuclear weapons being built in North Korea where they're -- that's not even obvious. I mean, they're saying they're building nuclear weapons, and we're bogged down in Iraq.

Now Iraq can solve the problem with Iran because you happen to be right next door, and, all of a sudden, Iraq maybe turns out to be a good transaction, so to speak. The fact is that Iran is building nuclear weapons and North Korea is building nuclear weapons, and that's the big quinella, and I hope President Bush can do something about that and quickly.

KING: If you were to bet on a place you would never build, it would be the Middle East. If that's true, do you ever have any hope there? TRUMP: Boy, it's such hatred, so many years and years and even centuries of hatred, that it just seems inconceivable that they come together.

But I will tell you I watch today the Palestinians and the Israelis and the level of hatred and the level of animosity and all that's going on, and it's really, really sad.

I would love President Bush to call me and say, "Go over and negotiate peace between the Palestinians and Israel." I would love to do that.

That's one thing that I would probably like doing more than building great towers all over the place because I really believe with the right intermediary, the right mediator, the right negotiator, you could go over and really do a job. I really believe you could get them together.

KING: You are offering your services?

TRUMP: I would do that in a heartbeat. I mean, what's more important? They're killing each other. It's leading to beyond even them. I mean, it's leading to problems like nobody would believe long beyond them. But if he would ask me to do that, yes, I would do that.

KING: Donald Trump's our guest. More to come with an extraordinary guy. Don't go away.


TRUMP: Maria, you were difficult to work with. You lashed out at your project manager, which was completely out of line.

Wes, you lost control of Maria, and you failed as a leader.

You both did a horrible job.

Maria, you're fired.

And I just have to do this. I have no choice. Wes, you're fired, also.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being a bitch is going to be your problem. You have to live with that for the rest of your life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't come here to make friends. I said that from day one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, I worked for the last two weeks.

TRUMP: We all have problems. I don't like excuses. Omarosa has to go. You're fired.


KING: Why don't you like excuses?

TRUMP: Well I don't like excuses. And frankly, Omarosa had a lot of excuses, to put it mildly. But she's doing very well right now.

That was one of the most popular firings. I mean, I had thousands and thousands of letters saying, thank you, Mr. Trump. But she was really -- I'll be honest, she seems like a very nice person on a personal basis. But she had some real problems with what she was doing.

KING: Let's discuss some of the things you write in your book about God and religion. You write, "I believe in God. I believe God is everywhere and in all of us. And I want every decision I make to reflect well on me when it's time to go to that big board room in the sky. Some of you may think it's wrong to talk about God and business in the same breath. But God has always been central to our way of thinking about capitalism. The pursuit of prosperity is ingrained in our religious culture. The more you have, the more you can give." Should it be a part of the political realm?

TRUMP: Well I think it is. And I think it always has been. And it always will be. I mean, it's wonderful to say, gee, it's not part of it. The fact is it really has been. And if you look at President Bush and how well he did, a lot of that was from the very religious people. They really believed in him. And they believed in him strongly. It turned out to be a very powerful group.

And I think there's nothing wrong with voting for somebody that you think believes the same way that you believe.

KING: Where were you on 9/11?

TRUMP: I was in my apartment, watching an interview of Jack Welch. And it was just an amazing tragedy, just the most horrible thing, the worst attack ever in this country. People talk about Pearl Harbor, but at least that was a sneak attack on soldiers. This was a sneak attack on civilians. There's never been anything like it.

KING: Were you able to look from your building south?

TRUMP: Yes, I was. Actually, I built a specific window in my building that looks directly at the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. And I saw the second plane hit. I saw everything. I got a very big view of that tragedy of what happened.

KING: What did you do that day?

TRUMP: Well I think what everyone else did. We all watched. We all waited. We wanted to see where everything was going. And ultimately, I will tell you it's a great testament to New York, that New York City can be hotter than it ever has been before, ever. It's never been this hot before. That New York City with the greatest tragedy in American history, that a few years later, this city is hotter than it ever was before, is a tremendous testament to the people of New York.

KING: How do you explain it? One would say, why would you invest in a place that's so high on the threat list?

TRUMP: Well, I think we just took a hit for the rest of the free world. I mean, this could happen in any other city. This can happen in any other country and it does. It constantly happens in other countries. And we took a real hit for the rest of the free world.

And I'll tell you, I've never seen people respect New Yorkers more than they have over the last couple of years, because of the way that we took the hit. And the way we bounced back.

KING: Writing a book about being a billionaire. Now it's obvious a lot of people can't be billionaires. They are the smallest percentage economically in the society. What was the aim here?

TRUMP: Well, I just want to give people a little bit of incentive and hope and other things. Because they can become -- and it doesn't have to be a billionaire, it doesn't have to be a millionaire. But they can become really, really successful by reading the book and using some of the principles I've used in the book. One of them is positive thinking.

But beyond everything else, just enjoy what you do. Really enjoy.

I've had so many friends that are talented but they're doing the wrong thing. They don't enjoy it. They're never, ever successful. So I wrote the book "Think Like a Billionaire" because I understand how billionaires think. And they think in a certain fashion. And that really can pertain to a lot of other people.

So I use it. And it's a catchy title. But the fact is that it's just been terrific.

I'm so happy with the book, because I just wrote one why "How to Get Rich." Then, I wrote "The Billionaire." Then I wrote, you know, as you know, originally, "The Art of the Deal." And Random House informed me that I'm the largest selling business book author in history. And I'm really honored by that. But the fact is I think the billionaire book could be the best of all.

KING: Does a billionaire -- I don't know, you can speak for all billionaires -- does he think differently in that -- when he looks at a building, does he think, what's the building worth? When he gets on an airplane does he say, I wonder what this costs? Or what did it cost to build? How does he think differently?

TRUMP: I think a billionaire probably thinks differently. I have my thought process and it seems to work in terms of business. It so far hasn't worked that well socially, but these are minor details. But it works certainly in terms of business and money. I don't do things for the money, I do things because I enjoy doing them and I make a lot of the money because I enjoy and it they work out well. But I think a billionaire certainly thinks a little bit differently. And maybe in some cases a lot differently.

KING: So money is a by-product of what you do, not why you do what you do?

TRUMP: In my case, I really live to enjoy things. And enjoy what I do. It's my canvas. And money really -- it's an expression, I guess I have heard, but money would be a by-product, I think that's true, Larry.

KING: So, I gave you a new expression to use.

TRUMP: Yes, finally after all these years.

KING: All right. Here's some of the -- 10 ways you have of thinking like a billionaire. Don't take vacations. Now why would you tell someone...

TRUMP: Well, I say that, and we have fun with it. But the fact is, most of the people I know that are successful really don't take vacations. Their business is their vacation. I rarely leave. You know that. You and I are friends. How often do you see me going away? I never go away. I love it.

Now, I'll go down to Mira Largo in Palm Beach, Florida. But I own Mira Largo, it's a very successful club, and I'll work. I go crazy when I have to go away for a couple of days on a vacation. So, if you really love what you're doing, you never take vacations. You know, when I go away I end up buying something in the community that I go away to. So, I'm always sort of working.

KING: This also seems weird. Another one of your top 10 tips. Have a short attention span. I thought that's a defect.

TRUMP: No, I think it's an asset to a certain extent. You want a little bit of a short span so you get things done. I know people, they agonize over details for weeks and months and nothing ever happens. So having a shorter span is not so bad.

And you know, most of the people that you know, I mean, sadly, because I'm not saying asset or liability. But most of the successful people you know tend to have a shorter attention span.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of the Donald. We'll ask about these other businesses. There's a Donald trump scent, s-c-e-n-t. Don't go away.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to talk to you, because I feel like we need to talk before going any further.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think you quite understand the implications of you saying that I was crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I honestly felt scared. You were like a very, very different person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You labeled it at -- he asked you specifically, is Stacy crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said it was a Stacy issue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, you're a liar. You misrepresented me. And that's not cool...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stacy, that is...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you should have been fired from the second task.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stacy, I said, you require a lot of supervision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You require a lot of supervision. You're quixotic, indecisive, disorganized -- look, you walk away from me every time.




CALLER: All of us want to know if your hair is real or a if it's a toupee or if it's a comb-over or if it's some sort of dyed amalgamation of or mix of one of the above.

KING: One of the most asked questions of America. Lets start first.

TRUMP: Come on lets go. Come here.

KING: It is not a toupee. OK.

TRUMP: OK. Will you please inform the public.

KING: It's not a toupee. Lean forward a little. It's not a toupee. It is not a comb-over.

TRUMP: Don't mess it up to much.

KING: It's not a comb-over. TRUMP: It's really not that much of a comb-over. But I get killed on this hair.


KING: Have you ever thought of change is it?

TRUMP: Well, it's been lucky. I've never had any problems with it. You know, it's -- I will say, I am just abused. I mean, somebody said the other day, one of the critics that actually loved my show and hated the "Branson Show," they said, "He's got better hair than Trump." Well, but am I better looking than him at least, Larry?

My hair's not so bad.

KING: Is your...

TRUMP: I do get abused by my hair.

KING: Does your fiance like it?

TRUMP: She likes it. So, she's smart. If I like it she likes it. So, she's a smart woman.

KING: When is the wedding?

TRUMP: We're probably going to do it January 22nd at Mira Largo. I built a new ballroom at Mira Largo, that's really crying for a major event like this. And it's going to be terrific.

KING: I'll come down.

TRUMP: OK, you're invited.

KING: I figured I would be, but -- Mira Largo, Palm Beach, January, a Trump wedding, what could be better?

TRUMP: It will be a terrific wedding. And hopefully it's going to be -- you know, my parents were married 63 years. And my father says, I greatly admire your success in your business, but I beat you in the marriage department. And he really did. It was 63 years. I said, but you had the advantage of having my mother.

KING: Your father was a great man. He built Bensonhurst where I grew up. He built it.

TRUMP: That's right, in Brooklyn. I learned a lot from my father. He's a terrific developer.

KING: All right, what about this game, a doll, a scent?

You're working with Esteem Lauder. What's going on?

TRUMP: Well, what happened is because of a lot of different things, and in all fairness even prior to "The Apprentice," so many people wanted to do suits. We have the Donald J. Trump Collection that's coming out in Macy's. And you know, Terry Lundgren, they just announced their numbers. He's an amazing guy that heads up Federated. And, you know, we have the coming out. We have The Perfume coming out, The Scent coming out, The Fragrance, which is going to be terrific with William Lauder and Estee Lauder, another -- just a world class company. And we're just -- I'm just having fun, Larry. I'm just riding with it.

KING: Can you overdo it?

TRUMP: Well, I always say that there's no such thing as overexposure. So we'll see. I mean, you know, because in theory, look, I'm on television every week. Everybody's watching the show. It's a big monster, all that stuff. I don't know, it doesn't seem to be having any impact. But, you know, at some point, it will calm down. My attitude is, take advantage of it while you can.

KING: Did you have to approve everything?

Do you approve The Scent?

Do you approve...

TRUMP: I approve everything. I have wonderful people...

KING: If I see your name on something, you've approved it?

TRUMP: I approve it. I worked very hard with Estee Lauder and the top people at Estee Lauder, including Leonard and William. And you know, I've worked very hard on making sure it was the right bottling and the right scent and the right... And I love it. I was never a fragrance person, Larry. And all of a sudden, they came up. I'll be honest with you, I don't know too much about it. I said, give me some -- I don't know what I'm -- I said, I want you people to give me something that's fabulous, that's going to work, something great. And I like the thing they did. And you know what I tell people, if you're a man and you use the Trump fragrance, you're guaranteed to get any woman or man or whatever the hell you're looking for. Guaranteed.

KING: So gays can use it too.

TRUMP: Gays can absolutely use it. I'm sure they'll love it.

KING: OK, now, on a negative side, I just saw -- this is airing on Wednesday night a week before Thanksgiving, but we taped it a little earlier the previous Friday. And just I saw in the papers today in New York, that your son Donald Jr. got engaged and apparently the big headlines, that he did it tacky, did it in a shopping mall, and that the jeweler gave him the ring free. What's the story?

TRUMP: Well, I wasn't thrilled with what he did to be honest with you. And he got a free ring for promoting the jewelry company. And who knows if the jewelry company is even any good. But he got...


TRUMP: I guess, he's trying to learn from me, Larry. But you know, from a business standpoint, I guess it's sort of cute, but I didn't like it. I certainly don't like it with respect to a wedding ring.

KING: Did you talk to him about it?

TRUMP: I talked to him. He's a very smart guy. He went to the Wharton School of Finance. He's a good kid. He's doing a terrific job. And he thought it was, OK. He had no idea this would get publicity like this. I mean, he ends up being on the front page of the "Post" and other papers.

And I said, you have a big obligation, you have a name that's hot as a pistol, you have to be very careful with things like this. And you know, if you can make a good deal, hey I bought a ring, I got it from Graff, you negotiated hard. And I said you're going to get a lot of publicity and I want a great price, blah, blah, blah. But I don't do a big stunt over it. So, I think he learned a great lesson. He's a good kid. He's a smart kid. And I think he learned a great lesson. And he's marrying a terrific girl.

KING: That's what I was going to ask you, you like her?

TRUMP: She's really -- first of all, she's terrific.

KING: Beautiful.

TRUMP: She's beautiful.

KING: End of report.

TRUMP: Well. She's a great girl. I think she's -- I think they're going to have a terrific marriage. I mean, off to an interesting start with this publicity, but that's all right. He was trying to be a businessman, and maybe from a business standpoint. You know, there are a couple of people who thought it was great. They said, hey, he's pretty smart. And he is.

KING: Bailey Banks and Biddle -- Bailey Banks and Biddle are big jewelers.

TRUMP: Are they big?

KING: Yes, their in every mall in the country. And they are sort of upscale mall.

TRUMP: He could have done without Bailey Banks, in my opinion.

KING: OK. You're writing a book. I'm always amazed people tell me I'm a master promoter, because I never think of myself as a promoter.

What do you think of yourself as?

TRUMP: I think of myself as a great builder. I'm the biggest, as I said, the biggest developer in the city by far, and I build great product. I'm building on 59th and Park at the old Delmonico Hotel. As you remember, Ed Sullivan used to live there and a lot of your other friends. But I'm building a building that's phenomenal.

I just finished a building opposite the United Nations, 90 stories, Trump World Towers. I'm very proud of it. I'm building the biggest job ever approved by the New York City Planning Commission in Manhattan, on the west side of Manhattan, from 72nd to 59th Street. And what I am is a great builder. And then sort of interesting, you build a great building, it works. You work so hard, with the unions and labor and all the problems and construction. Then it works and they say, Trump's such a great promoter. I'm a builder. And I don't necessarily even consider myself a great promoter. I'm a great builder.

KING: What do you think of the new stadium idea on the west side?

TRUMP: I think it's terrific. Woody Johnson's a friend of mine.

KING: The owner of the Jets.

TRUMP: I think it's terrific.

You know, people forget the Jets left New York, everybody was devastated. And now they're coming back and people are fighting it. I think Woody Johnson will get it done, and it will be a tremendous success. And we should have it in New York.

KING: A traffic boondoggle?

TRUMP: No, because it's Sunday. Most games are on Sunday. You have to understand, this isn't baseball where you play 165 or whatever it is games. This is football. And you're going to have about eight home games, not including the playoffs, and they're mostly on a Sunday. And that section of Manhattan is not all busy on a Sunday. I think it's a great thing for New York.

KING: How about building it, though?

TRUMP: Well, look, Woody knows I'm the best builder, so he'll probably have me build it. But I haven't discussed -- I spoke to him yesterday, actually, about something unrelated. He's going down to Mira Largo, he loves the Mira Largo Club. He's a member of all my clubs. But he's a terrific guy and I think he's going to get it built.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Donald Trump. If he thinks something's going to happen, it generally happens. We'll be right back, don't go away.


TRUMP: Ellen, for your task. I want you, Houston (ph), and Ellen to go out on the corner, the sidewalks of New York, the mean streets, and create a wonderful hot dog business. I want you to sell hotdogs. At the end of the day, you're going to come back to see me and I'll see how much you made in the sale of hotdogs.

ELLEN DEGENERES, ENTERTAINER: We can handle it. Not only can we handle it -- more than handle it.





KATIE COURIC, TODAY SHOW CO-HOST: Is it true you failed to complete the task? Do you think you should be fired?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He failed to complete the task. He never opened his mouth. He sat there and took it. There is no way he could ever be a good part of the Trump organization.

COURIC: Carolyn, what do you think? Do you agree?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm still trying to figure out what you're bringing to the table.

COURIC: You know, listen. You tried to throw your weight around. Couldn't even get your hair right. I know you tried but I just have two words for you. You're fired.


KING: Was that fun to do?

TRUMP: It was. Katie's terrific. And that whole "Today Show" group is fantastic. I love them. You know, I'm on that show so much because of this crazy success with what we're doing. And they're terrific. And she did a wonderful job. She looked just like me except slightly smaller.

KING: It was a great take-off.

A couple more tips you have in the book. Don't sleep any more than you have to. In other words, when you open your eyes in the morning you're up.

TRUMP: Well, I'm lucky. And I guess I got this from my parents. But I sleep very little, 3 or 4 hours a night. And that's what I need. And I have friends that need 12 hours' sleep. I say, 12 hours? What are you going to do? So how does somebody that's sleeping 12 and 14 hours a day compete with somebody that's sleeping 3 or 4 ? It doesn't work that way.

So if you can -- now, part of sleeping not so much is enjoying your life. If you don't enjoy your life, I know other people when they're doing well and things are good, they sleep 5 hours. When things aren't going so well they're in bed all week long. But the fact is that sleep as little -- you're going to be sleeping for a long time someday.

KING: Don't depend on technology. TRUMP: Well, I am a great believer in computers and everything else. But honestly, I see kids coming out of school that if you say, how much is two and two, they can't add it up without going to their computer. So I think it's gotten too much. But hey look, I'm one of the great believers in technology. But maybe it's going overboard now.

KING: It's often to your advantage to be underestimated.

TRUMP: Well it always is. And I've known many people over the years who are underestimated and they've done probably better than anybody else. And if you can create -- I see these sharpies come in with the beautiful suits and the handkerchiefs and the whole deal. And you sort of have your guard up. On the other hand, you have guys come in, you sort of take it easy, and they fleece you, Larry. They fleece you. You don't know what happened. You say, what happened?

KING: Friends are good. Family is better.

TRUMP: Always true. I mean, if you can have the great family, if you have really terrific family, there's nothing better than that. You know that. You know what you're going through now compared to what you went through in the past.

KING: Also, nothing like kids.

TRUMP: The kids are fantastic, especially when they're the great kids. I've known some pretty bad kids. I've known some very bad sons and daughters to parents. But you get the right kids, there's nothing like it.

KING: Would you say you've been lucky with your children? Part of it's luck.

TRUMP: I have wonderful children. I have smart, wonderful children. I have four children. They're all fantastic.

KING: How much of it is Ivana?

TRUMP: I have Ivana with three, I have Marla with one, Tiffany. And they just -- I don't know. It's combination of everything. They're all different. I have wonderful children.

KING: Is Ivana a recording artist now?

TRUMP: That's what I'm hearing. That's going to be next.

You know what, I hope she does well. She's terrific. I hope she does well.

KING: One of your tips, treat each decision like a lover. Explain.

TRUMP: Well I mean, you know, you treat lovers when you get the love, I guess you're doing OK. You want to treat each decision very, very importantly, very gently. And make the right decision. KING: And you also write, be curious. Would you say all successful people are curious?

TRUMP: I've never met a successful person that wasn't curious. I mean, oftentimes I go out with somebody who's very successful, they spend the whole night asking me questions. And then I go out with people that aren't so successful and they're telling me things the whole night. So, being curious is a great thing.

KING: I never learned anything when I was talking.

TRUMP: Well, that's true.

KING: I learned that a long time ago.

TRUMP: You do a lot of talking.

KING: Well, I mostly do asking.

TRUMP: Nobody does it better. It's been fun to be with you.

KING: How do you top, finally, this book? I mean, now you've billionaires. What's left? Trillionaires. What?

TRUMP: Well, I think I'm not going to do any more books. I've done six. Every one of them has gone to be a No. 1 best seller, every single one of them. And I think this is it. I've gotten -- unless I learn a lot over the next 10 years, I think I won't be doing any more books, Larry.

I'm really happy with the last one. I think the billionaire book might be my best book. Maybe even better than "The Art of the Deal" which was the biggest selling business book of all time, actually. You remember that in the mid to late '80s. That was on the New York Times list for over a year at No. 1. And so that was just a big monster.

But I think the last book could be my best book. And I've had it. I'm not going to do any more. I hate book signings. It's very, very difficult to sit down, and you have 4,000, 5,000 people waiting in a line, and you feel so guilty. And you sign 400 books and you leave and you feel guilty. I don't want to do that any more.

KING: Donald, it's always great seeing you. Have a great holiday. See you in January.

TRUMP: Thank you, Larry. You too.

KING: Donald Trump. And the book, the latest is "Trump: Think Like a Billionaire, Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life."

I'll be back in just a moment. Don't go away.


Larry: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE with the Donald, the one and only.

Speaking of one and only, Aaron Brown and "NEWSNIGHT" is next. We'll see you tomorrow night with another great show.

Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for Aaron. Good night.


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