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Good evening from Hofstra University
in Hempstead, New York,
I'm Lester Holt,
anchor of NBC Nightly News.
I wanna welcome you to the first presidential debate.
The participants tonight are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
This debate is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debate.
It's a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.
The Commission drafted tonight's format
and the rules have been agreed to by the campaigns.
The 90-minute debate is divided into six segments,
each 15 minutes long.
We'll explore three topic areas tonight.
Achieving prosperity, America's direction
and securing America.
At the start of each segment, I will ask the same lead-off question
to both candidates
and they will each have up to two minutes to respond.
From that point until the end of the segment, we'll have an open discussion.
The questions are mine
and have not been shared with the Commission or the campaigns.
The audience here in the room has agreed to remain silent,
so that we can focus on what the candidates are saying.
I will invite you to applaud, however, at this moment,
as we welcome the candidates.
Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton,
and Republican nominee for President of the United States, Donald]. Trump.
- Hey. How are you, Donald? - I'm good, Hillary.
I'm on.
- Good luck to you. - And to you, thank you.
- Trump, good luck to you. - Thank you.
Well, I don't expect us
to cover all the issues of this campaign tonight,
but I remind everyone, there are two more presidential debates scheduled.
We are gonna focus on many of the issues that voters tell us are most important
then we're gonna press for specifics.
I am honoured to have this role,
but this evening belongs to the candidates,
and just as important to the American people.
Candidates, we look forward to hear you
articulate your policies and your positions,
as well as your visions and your values.
So let's begin.
We're calling this opening segment Achieving Prosperity
and central to that is jobs.
There are two economic realities in America today.
There's been a record six straight years of job growth,
and new census numbers show
incomes have increased at a record rate
after years of stagnation.
However, income inequality remains significant
and nearly half of Americans are living paycheque to paycheque.
Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton,
why are you a better choice than your opponent
to create the kinds of jobs
that will put more money into the pockets of Americans workers?
Well, thank you, Lester,
and thanks to Hofstra for hosting us.
The central question in this election
is really what kind of country we want to be
and what kind of future we'll build together.
Today is my granddaughter's second birthday,
so I think about this a lot.
First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone,
not just those at the top.
That means we need new jobs, good jobs,
with rising incomes.
I want us to invest in you.
I want us to invest in your future.
That means jobs in infrastructure,
in advanced manufacturing,
innovation and technology,
clean renewable energy
and small business,
because most of the new jobs will come from small business.
We also have to make the economy fairer.
That starts with raising the national minimum wage
and also guarantee finally equal pay for women's work.
I also want to see more companies do profit sharing.
If you help create the profit, you should be able to share in them,
not just the executives at the top.
And I want us to do more to us to support people
who are struggling to balance family and work.
I've heard from so many of you
about the difficult choices you face
and the stresses that you're under.
So let's have paid family leave,
earned sick days.
Let's be sure we have affordable child care
and debt-free college.
How are we going to do it?
We're gonna do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share
and close the corporate loopholes.
Finally, we, tonight, are on the stage together, Donald Trump and I.
Donald, it's good to be with you.
We're going to have a debate
where we are talking about the important issues facing our country.
You have to judge us.
Who can shoulder the immense awesome responsibilities of the presidency?
Who can put into action the plans
that will make your life better?
I hope that I will be able to earn your vote
on November 8.
Secretary Clinton, thank you.
Mr. Trump, the same question to you,
it's about putting more money in the pockets of American workers.
You have up to two minutes.
Thank you, Lester.
Our jobs are fleeing the country.
They're going to Mexico,
they're going to many other countries,
you look at what China's doing to our country
in terms of making our product.
They're devaluing their currency
and there's nobody in our government to fight them.
And we have a very good fight and we have a winning fight
because they're using our country as a piggy bank
to rebuild China.
And many other countries are doing the same thing.
So we're losing our good jobs, so many of them.
When you look at what's happening in Mexico,
a friend of mine who builds plants
said it's the Eighth Wonder of the World
they're building some of the biggest plant anywhere in the world,
some of the most sophisticated, some of the best plants,
with the United States, as you said, "Not so much."
So Ford is leaving.
You see that there's more oar division leaving,
thousands of jobs, leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio,
they're all leaving.
And we can't allow it to happen anymore.
As far as child cares concerned and so many other things,
I think Hillary and I agree on that.
We probably disagree a little bit as to numbers and amounts
and what we're going to do but perhaps we'll be talking about that later.
But we have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us,
we have to stop our companies from leaving the United States.
And with it firing all of their people.
All you have to do is take a look at Carrier air conditioning
in Indianapolis.
They left fired 14 hundred people,
they're going to Mexico.
So many hundreds, and hundreds of companies are doing this.
We cannot let it happen.
Under my plan,
I'll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent for a companies,
small and big businesses.
That's going to be a job creator
like we haven't seen since Ronald Reagan.
It's going to be a beautiful thing to watch.
Companies will come, they will build, they will expand,
new companies will start.
And I look very, very much forward to doing it.
We have to renegotiate our trade deals
and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies
and our jobs.
Secretary Clinton, would you like to respond?
Well, I think trade is an important issue.
Of course, we are five percent of the world's population,
we have to trade with the other 95 percent.
And we need to have smart, fair trade deals.
We also though, need to have a tax system
that rewards work,
not just financial transactions.
And the kind of plan that Donald has put forth
would be trickle-down economics all over again.
In fact, it would be the most extreme version,
the biggest tax cuts for the top percent of the people
in this country than we've ever had.
I call it trumped-up trickle down,
because that's exactly what it would be.
That is not how we grow the economy.
We just have a different view
about what's best for growing the economy,
how we make investments that will actually produce jobs and rising incomes.
I think we come at it from somewhat different perspectives. I understand that.
You know, Donald was very fortunate in his life and that's all to his benefit.
He started his business with $14 million, borrowed from his father,
and he really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we'll be
and that everything will work out from there.
I don't buy that. I have a different experience.
My father was a small businessman. He worked really hard.
He printed drapery fabrics on long table where he pulled out those fabrics
and went down with a silk screen and dumped the paint in
and took the squeegee and kept going.
And so what I believe is the more we can do for the middle class,
the more we can invest in you,
your education, your skills, your future,
the better we will be off and the better we'll grow.
That's the kind of economy I want us to see again.
Let me follow up with Mr. Trump, if I can.
You've talked about creating 25 million jobs
and you've promised to bring back millions of jobs for Americans.
How are we going to bring back the industries that have left this country
for cheaper labor overseas?
How specifically are you going to tell American manufacturers
that you have to come back?
Well, for one thing, and before we start on that,
my father gave me a very small loan in 1975
and I built it into a company that's worth many, many billions of dollars
with some of the greatest assets in the world
and I say that only because that's the kind of thinking our country needs.
Our country is in deep trouble.
We don't know what we're doing when it comes to devaluations
and all of these countries all over the world, especially China,
they are the best, the best ever at it.
What they are doing to us is a very, very sad thing.
So we have to do that. We have to renegotiate our trade deals.
And Lester, they are taking our jobs,
they are giving incentives,
doing things that frankly we don't do.
Let me give you an example of Mexico.
They have a VAT tax. We're in a different system.
When we sell into Mexico, there's a tax.
When they sell in, automatic, 16% approximately.
When they sell into us, there's no tax.
It's a defective agreement. It's been defective for a long time, many years.
But the politicians haven't done anything about it.
Now, in all fairness to Secretary Clinton,
yes, is that okay?
Good. I want you to be very happy. It's very important to me.
But in all fairness to Secretary Clinton,
when she started talking about this, it was really very recently.
She's been doing this for 30 years.
Why hasn't she made the agreements better?
The NAFTA agreement is defective,
just because of the tax and many other reasons. But just because of the tax...
Let me interrupt a moment.
Secretary Clinton and others politicians should have been doing this for years,
not right now because of the fact that we've created a movement.
They should have been doing this for years.
What's happened to our jobs and our country
and our economy generally is...
Look, we owe $20 trillion.
We can't do it any longer, Lester.
Back to the question though.
How do you bring, specifically bring back jobs?
American manufacturers, how do you make them bring the jobs back?
Well, the first you do is don't let the jobs leave.
The companies are leaving. I could name...
I mean, there are thousands of them.
They are leaving and they are leaving in bigger numbers than ever.
And what you do is you say,
"Fine, you want to go to Mexico or some other country, good luck.
We wish you a lot of luck."
But if you think you're going to make your air conditioners or your oars or cookies
or whatever you make and bring them into our country without a tax,
you're wrong.
And once you say you're going to have to tax them coming in
and our politicians never do this
because they have special interests
and the special interests want those companies to leave
because in many cases they own the companies.
So what I'm saying is, we can stop them from leaving.
We have to stop them from leaving.
And that's a big, big factor.
Let me let Secretary Clinton get in here.
Well, let's stop for a second here and remember where we were eight years ago.
We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession,
the worst since the 1930s.
That was in large part because of tax policies that slash taxes on the wealthy,
failed to invest in the middle class,
took their eyes off of Wall Street
and created a perfect storm.
In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis.
He said back in 2006, "Gee, I hope it does collapse,
because then I can go in and buy some and make some money."
- Well, it did collapse. - That's called business, by the way.
9 million people, 9 million people lost their jobs,
5 million people lost their homes
and $13 trillion in family wealth was wiped out.
Now, we have come back from that abyss and it has not been easy
so we're now on the precipice of having a potentially much better economy,
but the last thing we need to do
is to go back to the policies that failed us in the first place.
Independent experts have looked at what I have proposed
and looked at what Donald has proposed
and basically they said this:
that if his tax plan,
which would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion
and would, in some instances,
disadvantage middle class families compared to the wealthy,
were to go into effect,
we would lose three and a half million jobs
and maybe have another recession.
They looked at my plans and said,
"Okay, if we can do this... "
And I intend to get it done.
"We will have 10 million more jobs
because we'll make investments where we can grow the economy."
Take clean energy.
Some country is going to be
the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.
Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax
perpetrated by the Chinese.
I think it's real.
- I did not. I do not say that. - Scientists say it's real...
I do not say that.
And I think it's important that we grip this and deal with it,
both at home and abroad.
And here's what we can do.
We can deploy half a billion more solar panels.
We can have enough clean energy to power every home.
We can build a new modern electric grid.
That's a lot of jobs.
That's a lot of new economic activity.
So I've tried to be very specific about what we can and should do
and I am determined that that we're going to get the economy really moving again,
building on the progress we've made over the last eight years
but never going back to what got us in trouble in the first place.
But never going back to what got us in trouble in the first place.
Mr. Trump?
She talks about solar panels.
We invested in a solar company, our country.
That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one.
Look, I'm a great believer in all forms of energy
but we're putting a lot of people out of work.
Our energy policies are a disaster.
Our country is losing so much in terms of energy, in terms of paying off our debt.
You can't do what you are looking to do
with 20 trillion in debt.
The Obama administration, from the time they have come in,
is over 230 years worth of debt and he's topped it.
He's doubled it in a course of almost eight years,
seven and a half years, to be semi-exact.
So I will tell you this, we have to do a much better job at keeping our jobs.
And we have to do a much better job at giving companies incentives
to build new companies or to expand
because they are not doing it.
And all you have to do is look at Michigan and look at Ohio
and look at all of these places where so many of their jobs and their companies
are just leaving. They are gone.
And Hillary, I'd just ask you this.
You've been doing this for 30 years.
Why are you just thinking about these solutions right now?
For 30 years you've been doing it and now you are just starting to think of solutions.
- Actually, that's... - I will bring, excuse me.
I will bring back jobs.
You can't bring back jobs.
Well, actually, I have thought about this quite a bit.
- Yeah, for 30 years. - And I have...
Well, not quite that long.
I think my husband did a pretty good job in the 1990s.
I think a lot about what worked
and how we can make it work again.
We have created millions new jobs,
He approved NAFTA...
a balanced budget.
Which is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.
And incomes went up for everybody.
Manufacturing jobs went up also in the 1990s
if we're actually going to look at the facts.
When I was in the Senate, I had a number of trade deals that came before me
and I held them all to the same test.
Will they create jobs in America?
Will they raise incomes in America?
And are they good for our national security?
Some of them I voted for.
The biggest one, a multinational one known as CAFTA,
I voted against.
And because I hold the same standards as I look at all of these trade deals.
But let's not assume that trade is the only challenge we have in the economy.
I think it is a part of it and I've said what I'm going to do.
I'm going to have a special prosecutor.
We're going to enforce the trade deals we have
and we're going to hold people accountable.
When I was Secretary of State,
we actually increased American exports globally 30%.
We increased them to China 50%
So I know how to really work to get new jobs
and to get exports that helped to create more new jobs.
You haven't done it in 30 years or 26 years or any number you want to...
I've been a senator, Donald,
- You haven't done it... - and I have been a Secretary of State...
- Excuse me. - And I have done a lot.
Your husband signed NAFTA
which was one of the worst things that ever happened to the manufacturing industry.
That's your opinion. That is your opinion.
You go to New England, you go to Ohio, Pennsylvania.
You go anywhere you want, Secretary Clinton.
And you will see devastation where manufacturing is down 30-40
sometimes 50 percent.
NAFTA is the worst trade deal
maybe ever signed anywhere
but certainly ever signed in this country.
And now you want to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership.
You were totally in favour of it
then you heard what I was saying how bad it is
and you said I cant win that debate
but you know that if you did win you would approve that
and that will be almost as bad as NAFTA.
Nothing will ever top NAFTA.
Well, that-- that is just not accurate.
I was against it.
Once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out.
- I wrote about that in-- I wrote about- - You called a gold standard. -
You called it the gold standard of trade deals.
You said it's the finest deal you've ever seen.
No. And then you heard what I said about it
and all of a sudden you were against it.
Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality
but that is not the facts,
the facts are I did say, I hoped it would be a good deal -
- but when it was negotiated - Not.
Which I was not responsible for.
I concluded it wasn't.
- I wrote about that in my book - So it was President Obama’s fault?
- Before you even announced. - Is it President Obama's fault?
Secretary, is it President Obama’s fault?
Because he's pushing it.
There are different views
about what's good for our country,
our economy and our leadership in the world.
And I think it's important to look at what we need to do
to get the economy going again.
That's why I said new jobs with rising incomes, investment.
Not in more tax cuts that would add five trillion dollars to the debt.
- But you have no plan. - Oh, I do.
Secretary, you have no plan.
In fact I have written a book about it
it's called "Stronger Together,"
you can pick it up tomorrow - at the bookstore or at an airport near you.
We're gonna move to-
But it's because I see this
we need to have strong growth,
fair growth, sustained growth.
We also have to look at how we help families balance,
their responsibilities at home and their responsibilities at business.
So we have a very robust set of plans.
And people have looked at both of our plans have concluded
that mine would create 10 million jobs
and yours would lose us three and a half million jobs and-
You are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history.
You are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history.
You are gonna drive business out. Your regulations are a disaster
and you're gonna increase regulations all over the place.
And by the way, my tax cut is the biggest since Ronald Reagan.
I'm very proud of it.
It will create tremendous numbers of new jobs.
But regulations,
you are going to regulate these businesses out of existence.
Lester, I tell you this, I've been all over.
And when I go around, despite the tax cut, the thing-
the things that business as in people like the most is the fact
that I'm cutting regulation.
You have regulations on top of regulations,
and new companies cannot form
and old companies are going out of business.
And you want to increase the regulations and make them even worse.
I'm gonna cut regulations.
I'm going to cut taxes big league,
and you're gonna raise taxes big league, end of story.
Let me get you to pause right there, because we're gonna move into-
were gonna move into the next segment.
We're going to talk taxes...
That can't -- that cant be left to stand.
Please just take 30 seconds and then we're going to go on.
I kind of assumed that there would be a lot of these charges and claims, -
- and so we have taken... - Facts.
The homepage of my website,,
and we turned it into a fact checker.
So if you want to see in real time what the facts are,
please go and take a look because...
And take a look at mine also and you'll see.
It will not and a penny to the debt
and your plans would add five trillion dollars to the debt.
What I had proposed would cut regulations
and streamline them for small businesses.
What I have proposed would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy
because they have made all the gains in the economy
and I think it's time that the wealthy incorporations
paid their fair share to support this country.
Well, you just opened the next segment.
Well, look, could I just finish that? I think I should-
You go to our website and you take a look at our website,
she's going to raise taxes 1.3 trillion dollars,
and look at her website.
You know what, it's no different than this.
She's telling us how to fight ISIS.
Just go to her website.
She tells you how to fight ISIS on a website.
I don't think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.
She tells you how to fight ISIS on a website.
I don't think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.
The next segment, we'll continue with the subject.
Well, at least I have a plan to fight ISIS.
No, no, you're telling the enemy everything you want to do.
No, we're not.
See, you're telling the enemy everything you want to do.
No wonder you've been fighting,
no wonder you've been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.
That's a-- Let's go to the, please, the fact checkers. Get to work.
You are unpacking a lot here
and we're still on the issue of achieving prosperity.
And I want to talk about taxes,
the fundamental difference between the two of you concerns the wealthy.
Secretary Clinton,
you're calling for tax increase on the wealthiest Americans.
I'd like you to further defend that.
And Mr. Trump, you're calling for tax cum for the wealthy.
I'd like you to defend that
and this next two-minute answer goes to you, Mr. Trump.
Well, I'm really calling for major jobs
because the wealthy are going to create tremendous jobs.
They're going to expand their companies. They're going to do a tremendous job.
I'm getting rid of the carried interest provision.
And if you really look, it's not a tax-
truly not a great thing for the wealthy.
It's a great thing for middle class.
It's a great thing for companies to expand.
And when these people are going to put
billions and billions of dollars into companies
and when they're going to bring two-and-a-half trillion dollars
back from overseas,
well, they can't bring the money back
because politicians like Secretary Clinton
won't allow them to bring the money back
because the taxes are so onerous
and the bureaucratic red tape so what is so bad.
So what they're doing is they're leaving our country,
and they're, believe it or not, leaving because taxes are too high
and because some of them have lots of money outside of our country,
and instead of bringing it back and putting the money to work
because they can't work out a deal to,
and everybody agrees it should be brought back.
Instead of that, they're leaving our country to get their money
because they can't bring their money back into our country
because of bureaucratic red tape,
because they can't get together.
Because we have a president that
can't sit them around a table and get them to approve something.
And here's the thing, Republicans and Democrats agree
that this should be done.
Two-and-a-half trillion.
I happened to think it's double. That's probably five trillion dollars
that we can't bring into our country, Lester.
And with a little leadership,
you'd get it in here very quickly
and it could be put to use on the inner cities and lots of other things
and it would be beautiful.
But we have no leadership.
And honestly, that starts with Secretary Clinton.
All right, you have two minutes of the same question
to defend tax increases on the wealthiest Americans,
Secretary Clinton.
I have a feeling by the end of this evening,
I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened.
- Why not? - Why not? Yeah. Why not?
You know, just join the, join the debate by saying more crazy things.
Now let me say-- It is nothing crazy about
not letting our companies bring their money back into their country.
This is Secretary Clinton's two minutes, please.
Yeah, well, let's start the clock again, Lester.
We've looked at your tax proposals.
I don't see changes in the corporate tax rates
or the kinds of proposals you're referring to
that would cause a repatriation bringing back of money that stranded overseas.
- I happen to support that- - Then you didn't read it-
I happen to-- I happen to support that in a way
that we'll actually work to our benefit.
But when I look at what you have proposed,
you have what is called now the Trump loophole,
because it would so advantage you and the business you do.
- You've proposed a- - Who gave it that name?
An approach that has a four billion dollar tax benefit for your family.
And when you look at what you are proposing,
it is, as I said, Trumped up trickle down.
Trickle down did not work,
it got us into the mess we were in in 2008 and 2009.
Slashing taxes on the wealthy hasn't work,
and a lot of really smart wealthy people know that.
And they are saying, "Hey, we need to do more
to make the contributions we should be making
to rebuild the middle class.
I don't think top-down works in America,
I think building the middle class,
investing in the middle class,
making college debt-free
so more young people can get their education,
helping people refinance their tax- their debt from college at a lower rate,
those are the kinds of things that will really boost the economy,
broad-based inclusive growth is what we need in America,
not more advantages for people at the very top.
Typical politician,
all talk, no action,
sounds good, doesn't work, never gonna happen.
Our country is suffering because people like Secretary Clinton
have made such bad decisions
in terms of our jobs and in terms of what's going on.
Now, look, we have the worst revival of an economy
since The Great Depression,
and believe me, we're in a bubble right now.
And the only thing that looks good is the stock market
but if you raise interest rates even a little bit,
that's gonna come crashing down.
We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble,
and we better be awfully careful.
And we have a Fed that's doing political things.
This Janet Yellen of the Fed,
the Fed is doing political by keeping the interest rates at this level
and believe me, the day Obama goes off and he leaves,
and he goes out to the golf course for the rest of his life to play golf,
when they raise interest rates,
you're gonna see some very bad things happen
because the Fed is not doing their job,
the Fed is being more political than Secretary Clinton.
Mr. Trump, we're talking about
the burden that Americans have to pay,
yet you have not release your tax returns.
And the reason nominees have released their returns for decades,
is that voters will know if their potential president
owes money to, who, you know, he owes it to, and any business conflicts.
Don't Americans have a right to know
if there are any conflicts of interest?
I don't mind releasing,
I'm under a routine audit
and it will be released and as soon as the audit is finished,
it will be released...
But you will learn more about Donald Trump
by going down to the federal elections,
where I filed a 104-page essentially financial statement of sorts,
the forms that they have.
It shows income -- in fact, the income -
I just looked today -
the income is filed at $694 million for this past year,
$694 million.
If you would have told me
I was going to make that 15 or 20 years ago,
I would have been very surprised.
But that's the kind of thinking that our country needs.
When we have a country that's doing so badly,
that's being ripped off by every single country in the world,
it's the kind of thinking that our country needs,
because everybody -- Lester,
we have a trade deficit with all of the countries
that we do business with,
of almost $800 billion a year.
You know what that is?
That means, who's negotiating these trade deals?
We have people that are political hacks
negotiating our trade deals.
- The IRS says an audit... - Excuse me.
Of your taxes -
you're perfectly free to release your taxes during an audit.
And so the question, does the public's right to know
outweigh your personal...
Well, I told you, I will release them as soon as the audit.
Look, I've been under audit almost for 15 years.
I know a lot of wealthy people that have never been audited.
I said, do you get audited?
I get audited almost every year.
And in a way, I should be complaining.
I'm not even complaining. I don't mind it.
It's almost become a way of life.
I get audited by the IRS.
But other people don't. I will say this.
We have a situation in this country that has to be taken care of.
I will release my tax returns -
against my lawyer's wishes -
when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted.
As soon as she releases them, I will release.
I will release my tax returns.
And that's against -- my lawyers, they say, "Don't do it."
I will tell you this.
No -- in fact, watching shows, they're reading the papers.
Almost every lawyer says,
you don't release your returns until the audits complete.
When the audit's complete, I'll do it.
But I would go against them
if she releases her e-mails.
So it's negotiable?
It's not negotiable, no. Let her release the e-mails.
Why did she delete 33,000...
Well, I'll let her answer that.
But let me just admonish the audience one more time.
There was an agreement.
We did ask you to be silent,
so it would be helpful for us. Secretary Clinton?
Well, I think you've seen another example of bait-and- switch here.
For 40 years,
everyone running for president has released their tax returns.
You can go and see nearly, I think, 39, 40 years of our tax returns,
but everyone has done it.
We know the IRS has made clear
there is no prohibition on releasing it when you're under audit.
So you've got to ask yourself,
why won't he release his tax returns?
And I think there may be a couple of reasons.
First, maybe he's not as rich as he says he is.
Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be.
Third, we don't know all of his business dealings,
but we have been told through investigative reporting that
he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks.
Or maybe he doesn't want the American people,
all of you watching tonight,
to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes,
because the only years that anybody's ever seen
were a couple of years
when he had to turn them over to state authorities
when he was trying to get a casino license,
and they showed he didn't pay
any federal income tax.
That makes me smart.
So if he's paid zero, that means zero for troops,
zero for vets,
zero for schools or health.
And I think probably he's not all that enthusiastic about
having the rest of our country see
what the real reasons are,
because it must be something really important,
even terrible, that he's trying to hide.
And the financial disclosure statements,
they don't give you the tax rate.
They don't give you all the details that tax returns would.
And it just seems to me that this is something
that the American people deserve to see.
And I have no reason to believe that
he's ever going to release his tax returns,
because there's something he's hiding.
And we'll guess. We'll keep guessing
at what it might be that he's hiding.
But I think the question is,
were he ever to get near the White House,
what would be those conflicts?
Who does he owe money to?
Well, he owes you the answers to that,
and he should provide them.
Well, he owes you the answers to that,
and he should provide them.
He also -- he also raised the issue of your e-mails.
Do you want to respond to that?
I do.
You know, I made a mistake using a private e- mail.
That's for sure.
And if I had to do it over again,
I would, obviously, do it differently.
But I'm not going to make any excuses.
It was a mistake, and I take responsibility for that.
- Mr. Trump? - That was more than a mistake.
That was done purposely. OK?
That was not a mistake.
That was done purposely.
When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment,
taking the Fifth so they're not prosecuted,
when you have the man that set up the illegal sewer
taking the Fifth,
I think it's disgraceful.
And believe me, this country thinks it's -
really thinks it's disgraceful, also.
As far as my tax returns,
you don't learn that much from tax returns.
That I can tell you.
You learn a lot from financial disclosure.
And you should go down and take a look at that.
The other thing, I'm extremely underleveraged.
The report that said $650 -
which, by the way, a lot of friends of mine that know my business say,
boy, that's really not a lot of money.
It's not a lot of money relative to what I had.
The buildings that were in question,
they said in the same report, which was -
actually, it wasn't even a bad story, to be honest with you,
but the buildings are worth $3.9 billion.
And the $650 isn't even on that.
But it's not $650. It's much less than that.
But I could give you a list of banks, I would -
if that would help you, I would give you a list of banks.
These are very fine institutions,
very fine banks.
I could do that very quickly.
I am very underleveraged.
I have a great company.
I have a tremendous income.
And the reason I say that is not in a braggadocios way.
It's because it's about time
that this country had somebody running it
that has an idea about money.
When we have $20 trillion in debt,
and our country's a mess, you know,
it's one thing to have $20 trillion in debt
and our roads are good and our bridges are good
and everything's in great shape, our airports.
Our airports are like from a third world country.
You land in LaGuardia,
you land at Kennedy,
you land at LAX,
you land at Newark,
and you come in from Dubai and Qatar
and you see these incredible - you come in from China,
you see these incredible airports,
and you land -- we've become a third world country.
So the worst of all things has happened.
We owe $20 trillion, and we're a mess.
We haven't even started.
And we've spent $6 trillion in the Middle East,
according to a report that I just saw.
Whether it's 6 or 5,
but it looks like it's 6,
$6 trillion in the Middle East,
we could have rebuilt our country twice.
And it's really a shame.
And it's politicians like Secretary Clinton
that have caused this problem.
Our country has tremendous problems.
We're a debtor nation.
We're a serious debtor nation.
And we have a country that needs new roads, new tunnels,
new bridges, new airports, new schools, new hospitals.
And we don't have the money,
because it's been squandered on so many of your ideas.
We'll let you respond and we'll move on to the next segment.
And maybe because you haven't paid
any federal income tax for a lot of years.
And the other thing I think is important...
It would be squandered, too, believe me.
Is if your -- if your main claim
to be president of the United States is your business,
then I think we should talk about that.
You know, your campaign manager said that
you built a lot of businesses
on the backs of little guys.
And, indeed, I have met a lot of the people
who were stiffed by you and your businesses, Donald.
I've met dishwashers, painters, architects,
glass installers, marble installers,
drapery installers, like my dad was,
who you refused to pay when they finished the work
that you asked them to do.
We have an architect in the audience
who designed one of your clubhouses at one of your golf courses.
It's a beautiful facility.
It immediately was put to use.
And you wouldn't pay what the man needed to be paid,
what he was charging you to do...
Maybe he didn't do a good job
and I was unsatisfied with his work...
Which our country should do, too.
Do the thousands of people that you have stiffed
over the course of your business
not deserve some kind of apology
from someone who has taken their labor,
taken the goods that they produced,
and then refused to pay them?
I can only say that I'm certainly relieved that
my late father never did business with you.
He provided a good middle-class life for us,
but the people he worked for,
he expected the bargain to be kept on both sides.
And when we talk about your business,
you've taken business bankruptcy six times.
There are a lot of great businesspeople
that have never taken bankruptcy once.
You call yourself the King of Debt.
You talk about leverage.
You even at one time suggested that
you would try to negotiate down
- the national debt of the United States. - Wrong. Wrong.
Well, sometimes there's not a direct transfer
of skills from business to government,
but sometimes what happened in business
would be really bad for government.
Let's let Mr. Trump...
And we need to be very clear about that.
Look, it's all words, it's all sound bites.
I built an unbelievable company.
Some of the greatest asset anywhere in the world,
real estate assets anywhere in the world,
beyond the United States,
in Europe, lot of different places.
It's an unbelievable company.
But on occasion, four times,
we used certain laws that are there.
And when Secretary Clinton talks about people that didn't get paid,
first of all, they did get paid a lot,
but taken advantage of the laws of the nation.
Now, if you want to change the laws,
you've been there a long time, change the laws.
But I take advantage of the laws of the nation
because I'm running a company.
My obligation right now is to do well
for myself, my family,
my employees, for my companies.
And that's what I do.
But what she doesn't say is that tens of thousands of people
that are...unbelievably happy and that love me.
I'll give you an example.
We're just opening up on Pennsylvania Avenue
right next to the White House,
so if I don't get there one way,
I'm going to get to Pennsylvania Avenue another.
But we're opening the Old Post Office.
Under budget, ahead of schedule, saved tremendous money.
I'm a year ahead of schedule.
And that's what this country should be doing.
We build roads
and they cost two and three and four times what they're supposed to cost.
We buy products for our military
and they come in at costs that are so far above what they were supposed to be,
because we don't have people that know what they're doing.
When we look at the budget, the budget is bad to a large extent
because we have people that have no idea
as to what to do and how to buy.
The Trump International
is way under budget and way ahead of schedule.
And we should be able to do that for our country.
Well, we're well behind schedule,
so I want to move to our next segment.
We move into our next segment talking about America's direction.
And let's start by talking about race.