Trump: I'm Only For Eminent Domain When It's Used To Create Jobs

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In an interview with FOX News Sunday moderator Chris Wallace that aired Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump explained his views on eminent domain and said he only supports exercising it when job creation is involved.

In the case where he tried to use eminent domain to obtain a woman's house to expand his hotel in Atlantic City and was unsuccessful, Trump said in hindsight he is very thankful that the woman didn't give in because in the end it "saved him a fortune."

"Because I have a hotel, and in order to expand the hotel and add 2,000 rooms, I would have had to take her thing," Trump said about his attempt at eminent domain. "Now, the 2,000 rooms would have provided about 2,500 jobs, Ultimately offered a lot of money, she didn't take it, I didn't build the job. I didn't do it. Saved me a lot of money because Atlantic City, you know, I had the good sense to leave 7 years ago. I got very lucky. Yeah, I think that would have been a good eminent domain because you would have provided thousands of jobs. And this is a woman who couldn't have cared less about her house. All she wanted was money."

WALLACE: You say that eminent domain is wonderful, and you --

TRUMP: I didn't say wonderful, I say eminent domain is something you need Chris. Eminent domain - if I build a highway - go ahead. I know exactly what you're saying. But if I build a highway, and if something's in the way of the highway, you're going to have to do something with that.

WALLACE: I understand that. And that's the idea of using - taking private property for a public use. But -

TRUMP: And by the way, people get paid for it. Everyone thinks they don't get paid. They get paid a lot of money.

WALLACE: I understand. But in the Kelo case, the big Supreme Court case in 2005, they took somebody's home and they sold it and then paid - bought it. And then they gave it - sold it - to private entrepreneurs, private developers. And that's the question --

TRUMP: That's different.

WALLACE: But that's the question I'm going to ask you --

TRUMP: But that's different.

WALLACE: Do you support taking private property for private use?

TRUMP: If somebody has a property in the middle of a 7,000 job factory, as an example, that's going to move into the town - but they need this one corner of this property, and it's going to provide 7,000 jobs in a community that's dying, of which we have many in this country, OK? I am for that. That's a big economic development. But remember this: all of these people that we're talking about, they're friends of mine. They all love the Keystone Pipeline, right?
The Keystone Pipeline is all eminent domain. They're building that pipeline without eminent domain, you wouldn't be able to build.

WALLACE: But let me ask you since you were involved in a case like this, as you know, in the 90s --

TRUMP: That's true. That was an economic development.

WALLACE: -- in Atlantic City.

TRUMP: Sure.

WALLACE: You had your hotel, and you wanted to build a parking lot where some woman had her house --

TRUMP: She saved me a fortune.

WALLACE: But I guess the question is why do you need to take her house, for a parking lot?

TRUMP: I tell you what. Because I have a hotel, and in order to expand the hotel and add 2,000 rooms, I would have had to take her thing. Now, the 2,000 rooms would have provided about 2,500 jobs, Ultimately offered a lot of money, she didn't take it, I didn't build the job. I didn't do it. Saved me a lot of money because Atlantic City, you know, I had the good sense to leave 7 years ago. I got very lucky. Yeah, I think that would have been a good eminent domain because you would have provided thousands of jobs. And this is a woman who couldn't have cared less about her house. All she wanted was money.


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