October 4, 2015
(Watch at 6:12)
Chuck Todd: Let's move to Syria. You came across to me as if you welcomed Putin's involvement in Syria, you saw very little downside...Why?
Trump: Tell you why, I am somebody that, and you know I have been saying this to you for a long time ... I want our military to be beyond anything, no contest, and technologically most importantly, because now militaries have to be technologically advanced and we probably have a big advantage, we do have a big advantage, BUT ...
We are going to get bogged down in Syria... And if you look at what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, that's when they went bankrupt! They went bankrupt! They were there for so long...
Todd: So you think Putin is going to be suckered in?
Trump: They are going to get bogged down, everybody who has touched the Middle East have gotten bogged down. Putin does not want ISIS, I know they haven't hit him as hard as they should be hitting him, because...
Todd: They are hitting the people we trained!
Trump: Excuse me, they are hitting people, we are talking about people that we don't even know ... the rebel group ... we have NO IDEA! I was taking to a general two days ago, and he said, we have no idea who these people are. We are training people we don't who they are, we are giving them billions of dollars to fight Assad. And you know what, it's very possible... And I am not saying Assad is a good guy, he is probably a bad guy, but I watched him interviewed many times, and you can make a case... If you look at Lybia, look what we did there - it's a mess, if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there - it's a mess! It's going to be the same thing!
Todd: Do you think the Middle East would be better today if Saddam and Qaddafi where still there, and Assad was stronger?
Trump: It's not even a contest, Jack! It's not even a contest! Iraq is a disaster!
Todd: So it would be better if Saddam was in charge?
Trump: Look, ISIS came out of Iraq! It's the leftovers that weren't taken care of...
Todd: So you think if Saddam was in charge...
Trump: Of course, it would be! You wouldn't have had the Bengazi situation, which is one thing, which is just a terrible situation, but Lybia is not even a country anymore, nobody even knows what's going on over there!
Todd: So you welcome Putin's involvement?
Trump: I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS. And it's going to be ISIS. And I tell you why, Putin HAS to get rid of ISIS, because Putin doesn't want ISIS coming into his country!
Todd: Why do you trust him, when nobody else does?
Trump: I don't trust him at all, other that we both got good ratings the other night on 60 minutes, it was me and Putin, can you believe it? So did I get the ratings or did he? But the truth is, it's not even a question of trust... I don't want to see the United States... We've spent now 2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan. We are destroying our country! We owe 19 trillion dollars. We are bogged down. Russia was bogged down in Afghanistan, meaning the Soviet Union, and it broke up the Soviet Union! They are going to get bogged down, you watch, and I am the one who said don't do Iraq...
Todd: You would pull out of what we are doing in Syria now?
Trump: I would sit back and this is not usually me talking, because I am very proactive, as you probably know, but I would sit back and see what's going on...
Here is the problem: we are fighting Assad, and we are fighting for people and helping people that we don't even know who they are, and they may be worse than Assad, they may be worse, ok? They may be worse!
And if Assad never happened, if you didn't have a problem in Syria, You wouldn't have the migration, you wouldn't be talking about all of these countries, what's going on in Europe... And now they are talking about taking 200 thousand people, that we don't even know who they are and bringing them into the United States? The whole thing is ridiculous! So, I am not justifying Putin, but you watch, he will get bogged down there, he will spend a fortune, he will be begging to get out!