Exclusive: Donald Trump Says Presidential Run ‘Could be Fun,’ Decision by June

By Kate McCarthy

Nov 18, 2010 7:00am

Real estate tycoon, reality show star and now a presidential candidate? Donald Trump told me he is seriously considering a run for the White House and will make a final decision by June.

“I am thinking about things.  And I'm looking at this country, George, and what's happened in terms of respect.  And the respect for this country is just not there,” he said. “I have many people from China that I do business with, they laugh at us.  They feel we're fools.  And almost being led by fools.  And they can't believe what they're getting away with.”

The United States is a “whipping post” right now and China is “getting away with murder” because it’s manipulating its currency, he said.  But he claims all of that would stop under a Trump Administration.  He would start by tackling the price of oil and taxing China — even though they are our bankers Trump insists we still have control.

“I don't think the bankers have the cards.  I think you have the cards.  And in this case, in– in the case of China, you literally are taxing China, you'll pay off your debt very quickly.  And don't forget, you're talking about trade war, right,” he said.

“When you have billions in dollars in deficits with a country, those are the trade wars I like.  You don't have to do business with China.  You don't have to do business with other countries,” Trump told me.

Trump would run as a Republican – although he refused to tell me his stance on abortion– and didn’t rule out a self-funded campaign. He said he could “very easily” spend more than $200 million on it.

This isn’t the first time Trump has made noise about a presidential run – in 1999 he set up an exploratory committee but told me he never really wanted to run that year.

So how serious is “The Donald” about a presidential campaign now?

If his poll numbers hold up and if “the country continues to be taken advantage of by the world” then he said he would run. 

“Would I rather be in the race or not be in the race? I can tell you, I love what I'm doing. I'm having a great time what I'm doing.  I'd rather not be in the race,” he said.

“But it could be fun because I'd like to see some positive things happen for the country… I'm going to make a decision probably by June,” Trump added. 

One of his potential GOP challengers is Sarah Palin – who recently told Barbara Walters she could defeat President Obama. Trump warned that Palin would be a formidable candidate.

“She's very interesting.  And don't underestimate her.  I mean, I see what she does.  Do not underestimate Sarah Palin,” he told me.

“I would take her on.  I like her, but I'd take her on,” he said.

So should Trump throw his hat in the ring? Well, tell him yourself. His special counsel, Michael Cohen, started a “Should Trump Run” website – without his boss' knowledge – where you can vote for Trump to either jump into the 2012 race or stay on the sidelines.

Watch my interview here:

George Stephanopoulos

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