Cokie Roberts vs. Donald Trump On Offensive Language: "What About The Children?"


ABC News veteran reporter Cokie Roberts takes on Donald Trump about the language he uses on the campaign trail and "the effect [it has] on children." From Wednesday's broadcast of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

COKIE ROBERTS: Hi, Mr. Trump. There have been incidents of children, white children, pointing to their darker skinned classmates and saying you'll be deported when Donald Trump is president. There have been incidents of white kids at basketball games holding up signs to teams which have Hispanic kids on them saying we're going to build a wall to keep you out. Are you proud of that? Is that something you've done in American political and social discourse that you're proud of?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think your question is a very nasty question. And I'm not proud of it because I didn't even hear of it, okay? And I certainly do not like it all when I hear about it. I have -- You're the first one that's told me about that. But I am --

ROBERTS: It's been reported in many newspapers.

TRUMP: I would not be proud of that at all and that's not what the purpose of it is. We want to make America great again. We want to bring back our industry, we want to bring back our jobs from China and Japan, and by the way Mexico, which has taken so many of our jobs. And that's what it's about. I have not heard about these incidences.

ROBERTS: When you talk about deporting people and you talk about building a wall and you talk about banning Muslims, doesn't that have an effect --

TRUMP: I talk about deporting people that are here illegally, okay?

ROBERTS: -- on children? Doesn't that have an --

TRUMP: And I also talk about people coming in, Cokie.

ROBERTS: -- effect on the whole discourse?

TRUMP: I talked about deporting people that are here illegally. They're here illegally. We either have a country or we don't. I talked about deporting people that are here illegally.

ROBERTS: But what about the effect on children?

TRUMP: I also talk -- Cokie, I also talk about building a wall and oftentimes I'll say, and there's going to be a big beautiful door in that wall and people are going to come into our country because we want people to come in. We want people to come into our country, but we want them to come in legally.

ROBERTS: But what about the children, Mr. Trump? What about what the children are hearing from you and how they are responding to it?

TRUMP: Well, I think people are responding very positively.

ROBERTS: Children, I asked.

TRUMP: I think the messages are very positive. You know, "Make America great again" is a very positive message. It's not a negative message. And that's why --

ROBERTS: Unless you think America's great already. And a lot of people think America --

TRUMP: No, I think America is -- right now -- very, very troubled. I think we're being laughed at all over the world. I think that if you look at our military, we can't beat ISIS, General George Patton, General Douglas MacArthur are spinning in their grave right now, Cokie. We can't beat ISIS, okay? I think that our veterans are not taken care of, they're treated worse than illegal immigrants, by the way, you want to talk about a problem.

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