Dec 1, 2015 6:35 PM
NH1 News Political Unit
CONCORD - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton should get arrested for her handling of office emails while she was secretary of state.
In an exclusive half hour live interview Tuesday with NH1 News, the front runner for the GOP nomination said he wouldn't have traveled to Paris for the global climate change summit, promised to freeze federal spending as one of his first acts if elected to the White House, backed away from a threat to skip the next Republican presidential debate, and denied that he was a bully.
In some of his toughest language to date, Trump criticized Clinton, saying "Hillary Clinton's greatest thing in my opinion, if she pulls it off, will be the fact that she's able to avoid going to jail because what she has done is a disgrace.
Trump predicted that Clinton will win the Democratic nomination.
"It probably is going to be Hillary but it shouldn’t be. The FBI should take care of that situation," Trump added.
Wednesday morning former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Clinton supporter, fired back at Trump.
"Even though some say Hillary Clinton would benefit if you were to be the GOP nominee, for the good of the country I want you to get out of the race. Your lies and vitriolic rhetoric are causing irreparable damage to the nation," wrote Granholm, a senior adviser to the pro-Clinton super PAC Correct the Record, in an op-ed on CNN.COM.
Trump sat down at the NH1 News studios for the interview hours after President Obama opened the climate change summit in Paris. Asked if he would attend if he would have attended the summit if he was president, Trump said he "probably would not have gone" to Paris, arguing he would have more important things to do.
Trump argued that terrorism rather than global warming is the biggest threat to the U.S.
Trump pulls back on skipping next debate
Trump spoke with NH1 News one day after he threatened to skip the December 15 GOP presidential debate.
“How about I tell CNN that I’m not gonna do the next debate?” Trump said Monday. “I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million, all of which money goes to the Wounded Warriors or to vets."
Trump floated that idea earlier this autumn, but didn't follow through. Asked if he would follow through this time, Trump seemed to back down, saying "the problem is if I do that and if I say I'm not going to show, they're going to say 'oh he's chicken, he doesn't want to debate,' the so-called opponents that I have. So i don't know that I want to be put in that position."
A couple of months ago Trump signed a pledge with the Republican National Committee not to run as a third party candidate if he didn't win the GOP nomination. But in an interview on the Sunday talk shows, Trump seemed to open the door again to a possible independent bid.
Trump refused to give NH1 News a "yes or no" answer to whether he'd launch a third party bid, but indicated he remains determined to run as a Republican. But he also complained about possible establishment Republican attempts to derail his campaign.
"Look I'm a Republican, I'm a conservative, I'm leading by a lot, not just a little bit. I want to run as a Republican. I just want a fair playing field. That's all I want," Trump said, adding "I hear that they're going to do negative ads, that's not part of the deal. They're not supposed to, you know, save those negative ads for Hillary Clinton."
"I'm running as a Republican. I'm running as a conservative. I'm leading in every single poll both national and state and that's where I want to be," Trump declared.
Trump: 'I'm not a bully'
Trump denied that controversial comments he's made in recent weeks are damaging to his White House bid.
Asked to respond to being called by his critics a fascist or a bully, he said "I think they're both, fascist is so ridiculous. The bully, I want to get things done. You can't be a guy like a Jeb Bush who's very low energy, you can't be, I won't insult too many other people, but you can't, you need a certain personality to get things done. you need a high energy temperament. I built a great company with the right temperament."
"You need somebody with a strong temperament, you need a leader," he continued.
Asked again if he's a bully, Trump responded "I'm not a bully. I just want to get things done.
But Trump then belittled Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a rival for the nomination.
"He is getting nothing in the polls. He is embarrassing himself. Even in Ohio, his home, I am killing him in Ohio," Trump said.
Trump traveled to New Hampshire one day after he met in New York City with a group of black pastors. The meeting came in the wake of a controversy of an African-American Black Lives Matter protester who was beaten up at a Trump event.
Trump had said of the protester, "maybe he deserved to be roughed up."
He told NH1 News that he emerged from the meeting energized and believed most of the pastors rejected claims that Trump made remarks that were racist.
"There was a great feeling that Obama has let them down," Trump added.
As for balancing the federal budget, Trump called for freezing all state spending and getting rid of some departments entirely if need be. Asked for specifics, Trump said the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency would be his top targets.
"We are going to make our country stronger, we are going to balance our budget," Trump said. "We are going to make our country rich again."
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