Transcript for Donald Trump Says He Does Not Owe John McCain an Apology
And let's get straight to Donald Trump, who joins us right now on the phone for his first interview since those controversial comments. Thanks for joining us, Mr. Trump, do you owe John McCain an apology? No, not at all. Actually, if you look at Cheryl Atkinson's report last night, it was fine. She thought that the press was covering me very, very unfairly and she that. And I respect her as a reporter. Very importantly, I got a standing ovation, the biggest ovation they had all weekend, by far. When I left the room it was a total standing ovation. It was wonderful to see. Nobody was insulted. What happened is, later on, the republican candidates, some of whom are registering 1%, and zero, and they're extremely upset I'm leading the polls, and they're extremely upset when the Nevada Numbers came out, too. Mr. Trump, let's go back to this issue of John McCain and you're talking about the Cheryl Atkinson piece, you said, he's a war hero he was captured, perhaps, he's a war hero. I want to read you a short bio of John McCain, he was shot down in 1967 on his 23rd bombing mission over north Vietnam, he fractured both legs and an arm and nearly drowned when he parachuted into a lake. He was pulled out by north Vietnamese who crushed his shoulder, he was beaten, tortured and interrogated. He spent 5 of 1/2 years as a P.O.W. The north Vietnamese offered him early release for propaganda purposes, he refused until every man taken before him was released. You do not think that this is a war hero, captured or not? I didn't say anything differently, and if you read and if you watch and take a look at what you have, I said nothing differently. I'm very disappointed in John McCain, because the vets are horriblebly treated in this country. I'm fighting for the vets. I have done a lot for the vets. I have been going around the campaign trail, they're treated like third citizens. He's done nothing to help the vets. Let me tell you this, what the commander, the veterans of foreign war said about your comments, for someone who never served a day in uniform to criticize the service and sacrifice of a combat wounded veteran is despicable. An insult to anyone who has worn the uniform. To all Americans, an attack on one veteran service is an attack on us all. They apparently think you were criticizing Mr. McCain in saying that he was not a war hero. Maybe they don't speak to the same vets that I do speak. I go all over the country. I speak to vets, they're having miserable times. It takes them six, seven days, just to get in a reception room, just trying to get in to see a doctor. They're treating horribly. Let's go back to your comments about John McCain -- It's a scandal and John McCain has done nothing to help the veterans. I have covered veteran issues for many, many years. And by the way, this all started, Martha, when we had thousands and thousands of people in Phoenix, Arizona, and John who, by the way, devastated by illegal immigration, something that I'm very proud to have brought to the forefront. We have thousands of people, and he said they're all crazies. He called them crazies. Frankly, I think he owes them an apology. Let me talk about your language about him being captured. You say you prefer those who aren't captured. What could John McCain have done not to be captured? People who fought hard and weren't captured and went through a lot, they get no credit, they're forgotten. People that were not captured, that went in and fought, nobody talks about them. Those are heroes also. I think people do talk about those people, as well. I don't think so. But what did you mean, you prefer those who aren't captured? I want to give them credit, they don't get the credit. John McCain gets credit, he was elected a senator, et cetera. In the report it said from Cheryl, four times, I said, he is a hero, but, you know, people choose little selective pieces, if you read what I say, or if you watch what I say, you'll say that there was nothing wrong. But people who weren't captured are also heroes, Martha. I want to talk about you and your deferments, how many deferments did you actually get and what were they for? I believe you had student deferments and medical deferment. Like many other people during the war, student deferments. I had a minor medical deferment for feet, for a bone spur of the foot, which was minor, I was then entered into the draft, I was fortunate in a sense because I was not a believer in the Vietnam war, that was another war that was a disaster for this country -- lives and money, it's disgraceful with what happened with the Vietnam war. But I was entered into the draft and I got a very, very high draft number. That wasn't until 1969. Excuse me -- That's right. You had many deferments before. Excuse me, I was entered into the draft lottery, if I would have gotten a low number. I got a number, I think it was 356, right at the very end. And they didn't get -- I don't believe passed even 300. I was not chosen because of the fact that I had a very high lottery number. You -- there seems to be a pattern, Mr. Trump, when you're criticized or attacked, you often respond with name-calling on Twitter and elsewhere. You even demean some people's physical appearance. Is that something you would continue doing as president? Is that language beneath the office of president? When people attack me, I let them have it back. You say physical appearance, it's my hair, people are constantly attacking my hair. I don't see you coming to my defense. You know, my hair is just fine. But I don't see you coming to my defense. If I say something about somebody else, yesterday, someone said John McCain was a smart man, I said, really, he graduated last in his class at annapolis. People laughed when I said it. I'm very disappointed. I understand John McCain. I backed his raise. He ran for president and lost to Obama and let us down. Maybe that's why I'm leading in the polls, because people are tired of politicians and pollsters telling the politician exactly what to say. And believe me, this whole thing was brought up by a lot of the people that are competing against me currently that aren't even registering in the poll. Because people are tired of them. Have you ever said anything that you regret? Yes, I have, on many occasions. Can you tell us the few of those? No, I wouldn't do that. It's not the appropriate time. Certainly I have said things that I could have held back, but not often. Surprisingly not that often. Certainly there have been some occasions. You're not apologizing and you're certainly not pulling out of the race as some of your opponents have suggested? Of course, they would love have me to do that because I'm leading the pack. I'm certainly not pulling out. I'm leading in North Carolina. Nevada, I'm way in the lead there. Interestingly, in Nevada, I lead in hispanics by a tremendous -- the hispanics -- I'm way into the 30s with hispanics. If I get the nomination, if I run for president, I will win the hispanic vote, because I'll be able to take jobs back from China, jobs back from Japan and Mexico. And everybody else that's ripping us off in trade and everybody knows that. I will win the hispanic vote. So, you think this will actually help you -- this is involving veterans -- and you heard what I said about those veteran groups, you still think this will help you in the polls? I believe I will do far more for veterans than John McCain has done for veterans. All talk, no action. You look at what's happening in our veterans, they're being decimated. Okay, so, I will do far more for veterans than anybody. I will be able to build new hospitals, care centers. I will be able to help the veterans. John McCain has failed. Because all you have to do is take a look at the scandal at the veterans administration, the disastrous conditions under which our veterans have to live. And believe me, I built a small group a veteran memorial. In downtown Manhattan. I know what it is to help people and I know what it is to help veterans. Thank you very much for joining us, Mr. Trump.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.