MSNBC’s Chris Jansing interviewed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump live and in-person outside of a Waukesha, WI polling site this morning.
On reports of infighting within his campaign, Trump said, “I haven’t heard those reports. We have a great campaign. I’m number one by a lot… I have not heard anything about infighting. I don’t know where you hear it… I’m the only one that would know.”
Trump responded to critics who said last week was “not his greatest weeks.” He told Jansing: “But I’ve had worst weeks on the campaign. I’ve had so many weeks that I think a couple of them that were worst and in one case I went up in the polls, so you know, it couldn’t have been so disastrous.”
On the recent charge of battery against his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, Trump said: “If you look at the tape, what did Corey Lewandowski do? So am I supposed to be loyal to a person? Or because somebody filed something, because if you look at the complaint—people have looked at that tape and they’re trying to say, ‘What did he do wrong?’ So I have to be loyal to people just like I’ll be loyal to the people of this country. But when you analyze it, it’s called ‘give me a break.’”
“As far as women are concerned, nobody respects women more than I do,” he added.
When asked by Jansing why women aren’t getting that message that he respects women, Trump said, “I get a very, very unfair press having to do with women and many other things.”
Video and rush transcript are below. Mandatory credit: MSNBC’s Chris Jansing
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CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Let's go in and see if we can get him to answer a question for two. How are you feeling this morning?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We feel great. I mean, the turnout has been fantastic. I think we're going to have a great day. We had a phenomenal poll come out last night, actually a pollster that called South Carolina. You know, I wasn't supposed to win South Carolina. We won in really a landslide, Chris, and we feel really good about this.
JANSING: I want to give you a chance to answer these reports that there's a lot of infighting in your campaign, that it's in a state somewhat of disarray.
TRUMP: I haven't heard those reports. I mean, we have a great campaign, I'm No. 1 by a lot. Millions more votes than Cruz or anybody else. I have millions of more votes, as you know. I have almost 300 more delegates. I have not heard anything about infighting. I don't know where you hear it.
JANSING: Do you feel -- well, it's being reported and there are people within your campaign who are suggesting --
TRUMP: I'm the only -- no, I'm the only -- I doubt that.
JANSING: You feel confident that your campaign is all working together.
JANSING: None of the people who have been brought in --
TRUMP: Let me ask you, are we No. 1?
JANSING: You are No. 1. But will you --
TRUMP: Do we have millions nor votes than anybody else? Will we win today, I can't tell you, but we're going to have a great turnout and I think we're going to do very well.
JANSING: As you know, it's not uncommon when things seem to not be doing as well as they might have been -- and I know you disagree with some of the assessments, but people have said not your greatest week last week for sure.
TRUMP: But I've had worse weeks on the campaign. I mean, I've had so many weeks that -- I think a couple that were worse. And in one case I went up in the polls. So, you know, couldn't have been so disastrous.
But we actually have a very, very good campaign going. I'm No. 1 by a lot. And, you know, the thing that nobody talks about are the votes. I'm millions of votes more than anybody else. You know, we talk about delegates, which I'm by far and away No. 1, but the votes are even more impressive, because I have -- if you take a look, is it close to 3 million votes more than the second place person.
So we're doing really well. I had not heard anything about the inner fightings of the campaign, but we have a successful campaign going and I think we're going to keep it going.
JANSING: And let me ask you about going on from here. How important is Wisconsin, and if Ted Cruz is able to win here, does it substantially make it harder for you to go into Cleveland and assure a win?
TRUMP: Well, Ted Cruz can't win. There's no way he can get the delegates and everybody has said that, all of your friends and everybody that I've watched, has said that it's impossible -- almost impossible for Ted Cruz to win. So he would have to get it at the convention, which I think would be highly unlikely.
So he can't win. We can win fairly easily. If we won Wisconsin, that would be a big help.
JANSING: And what has it meant in Wisconsin, do you think, that you had the radio talk show host, you've had the governor, you've had so many people who are in the, quote/unquote, "establishment", who have actively said that they think that you're dangerous for their party and that they want to work to make sure that you don't win.
TRUMP: Well, the governor has to say that because, as you know, I took him out. He was running for president and I was the one that took him out and I took him out rapidly and I didn't ever even ask for his endorsement or support. But I have the support of many people, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, people that ran and really ran much more successfully than he did.
I have the support of many, many people. We just got the support of the 16,500 border patrol agents, which really is responsible for the border, the southern border. And, I mean, we have tremendous support from so many different levels, Senator Jeff Sessions, who Cruz was trying to get on his camp, because he's one of the most respected senators. He endorsed Donald Trump.
So we have tremendous support but I can understand why Governor Walker wouldn't want to support me because I was the one that took him out of the presidential race and it was done pretty -- it was pretty tough. I mean, it was a pretty tough situation. He was expected to win and he ended up leaving, one of the earliest to leave. So I understand that; that's why I never even bothered to ask for his support.
JANSING: One of the toughest mountains for you seems to be with women now. In some areas you have 70, 77 (ph) percent negatives with women. Can you turn that around and what do you think is behind I,t besides obviously there were people that are concerned about your questions on abortion, very concerned about the fact that you continue to support Corey Lewandowski.
TRUMP: A lot -- well, if you look at the tape, what did Corey Lewandowski do? So am I supposed to be loyal to a person? Or because somebody filed something -- because if you look at the complaint, I mean, people have -- we don't have to get into it now, but people have looked at that tape and they're trying to say what did he do wrong? So I have to be loyal to people, just like I'll be loyal to the people of this country. But when you analyze it, it's called give me a break.
As far as women are concerned, nobody respects women more than I do, not even close. Nobody respects women more than I do. And I get very --
JANSING: So why aren't they getting that message?
TRUMP: I'll tell you what, because I get a very unfair press. I get very, very unfair press having to do with women and many other things. I mean --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) support Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: That's right. Phyllis (ph) does.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I told that to Charlie Sykes last week, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: Yes, and Charlie Sykes, I mean, this guy is third rate. He's a third rate talent and he frankly -- and the governor, you know the story with the governor. But the women -- I think that I'm going to do very well with women. We just had a big meeting, many women at the meeting, and they like me best because they say you're best with the military, you're best with the borders, you're best with security. And I said I'm going to be best for women's health issues, much better than hillary, much better than anybody else. So I think we're going to do fantastically well with women.
JANSING: If you don't win here, Donald -- Mr. Trump, will it be because you misread or your campaign misread the Wisconsin electorate? Do you think that perhaps you might have come in here, knowing that you beat him, and not been so tough on the governor, not been so tough on a radio talk show host who frankly is very popular here and very well respected?
TRUMP: The state is not doing particularly well; it's average compared to other states surrounding. The governor has a good press. The governor's a nice man. I mean, he gave me a plaque because I supported him a year ago. You know, a year ago I was like establishment, right? I supported him; I gave him a lot of money because I liked him because he was a fighter. But the truth is his results are not very good. They're very average, even less than average in many cases. They're losing jobs; they're going to other countries. And I let people know and I let people know, too, when I was running against him as president and I talked about what's going wrong. And it was something I didn't want to do, but he had to leave the race, because when I brought out the facts he was unable to answer what I said.
That being said, I've done great in Wisconsin. I mean, the people have -- you've seen, I've had rallies that have been fantastic. Yesterday we had over 8,000 people trying to get into a airplane hangar and it was in the middle, like, I mean, it was in an area that everyone said you couldn't get anybody. And they had thousands and thousands of people from all over Wisconsin coming.
I think we're going to do well. A poll came out last night and it was interesting because it was the same pollster that polled South Carolina that I ended up winning in a landslide. This was the poll that was the most accurate in South Carolina and I believe also in New Hampshire, which I also won. So it's going to be interesting to see. But I think it's going to be a great day in Wisconsin and I think we're going to do very well. I don't know, but I just -- based on the enthusiasm -- how do you think we're going to do in Wisconsin?
CROWD: Great! Great job!
TRUMP: I think we're going to do very well. I hope so.
JANSING: And finally no changes anticipated in your campaign staff? You have full confidence in everyone within it and you see no signs of any kind of unrest or infighting within your campaign?
TRUMP: No, it's just the media again. I get the most unfair media. Nobody ever even called me. This is the first time I've been asked this question. Nobody has ever called me about this. We're No. 1 in every category -- No. 1 in delegates, No. 1 in votes by millions. I don't mean by like two votes, by millions and millions of votes. And I'm very happy.
JANSING: And you don't feel ill served, for example, to go on to a very popular talk radio show and you said you didn't know they had been leading an anti-Trump show.
TRUMP: No, because if you listen to that -- I don't mind that. I mean, you go into the enemy camp sometimes, but you have to take on the enemy. He's not a very smart guy, not a very bright guy, and if you listen to the entire show, you would've said Donald Trump totally won that debate. I was on the show for 15 minutes and everybody that listened to that show said you convinced me. I've had many people call me that were going to vote against me. They listened to that show. By the end of the show, and they wrote me -- I have two or three letters -- they wrote and tweeted and all of these, and they said by the end of that show, you have totally convinced me. I'm voting for Trump. So sometimes you go into unfriendly territory. That's part of the game.
JANSING: And that's what you consider Wisconsin to be?
TRUMP: No, you said about a radio talk show host --
JANSING: You were just talking about the radio host.
TRUMP: See, that's what I mean about the dishonest media.
JANSING: I'm asking you a question, allowing you to answer it.
TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me, excuse me. You're asking me about a show host. I said he was unfriendly territory. Then you say is that, what, Wisconsin?
JANSING: Well, you also talked about (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: That's so dishonest. It's so dis -- No, no, look, that's called -- you know what's that's called? Dishonest media. That's called dishonest reporting.
JANSING: Well, let me ask you finally, going into New York --
TRUMP: I think I'm going to do great.
JANSING: -- and Pennsylvania --
TRUMP: Excuse me.
JANSING: -- what's the strategy?
TRUMP: Excuse me. I think I'm going to do great in Wisconsin. The polls are showing me doing really, really well in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut. I mean, it looks like we're going to have tremendous victories there. But right now, I'm interested right here. We'll see how we do tonight. And I think the results will surprise you.
JANSING: Donald Trump, thank you so much for your time, sir.