- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Donald Trump said he has regrets about his campaign — but refused to detail them in an interview that aired Tuesday, in which the likely Republican presidential nominee explained that he understands the power he wields but will not rein in his brash personality.

In a heavily hyped sit-down with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Mr. Trump put himself on the therapist’s couch, talking about his reaction to their spats during the campaign, to his brother’s struggle with addiction and to criticism for failing to reel in his tongue.

He said he has never felt bullied and has been harsh toward others when he felt they were mean to him first — though he acknowledged that he retaliates “times 10” against those who cross him.

“I mean, I view myself as a person that, like everyone else, is fighting for survival,” said the billionaire businessman, adding that he believes his hair-trigger reactions are part of why he has come out on top in a field that began with 17 major Republican candidates.

He said if he doesn’t win the White House, “I will consider it to be a total and complete waste of time, energy and money.”

Mr. Trump is trying to solidify Republican support ahead of the party’s nominating convention in July.


SEE ALSO: Trump files personal financial statement, calls it ‘largest in history’


He has done well with rank-and-file Republican voters, who tell pollsters they are on board. But a cabal of conservative pundits and party leaders — including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the top elected Republican in the federal government — have withheld their support.

An NBC/SurveyMonkey poll released Tuesday morning showed Mr. Trump getting the best of that dispute, with a majority of Republican voters saying they trust him more than they trust Mr. Ryan to lead the party.

“I hope it’s Donald Trump. He’s getting the nomination,” Mr. Ryan told reporters, waving aside questions about the ongoing contretemps.

Ahead of the interview’s airing, Mr. Trump said he has filed new financial disclosure forms with the Federal Election Commission that show an income of more than $557 million last year. He said his net worth now exceeds $10 billion, making his wealth “the largest in the history of the FEC.”

Mr. Trump slammed Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders for requesting an extension to file his “small” financial disclosure.

“Despite the fact that I am allowed extensions, I have again filed my report, which is 104 pages, on time,” he said in a statement. “Bernie Sanders has requested, on the other hand, an extension for his small report. This is the difference between a businessman and the all-talk, no-action politicians that have failed the American people for far too long.”

Mr. Trump said his financial prowess demonstrated “the kind of thinking the country needs.”

“I have built an incredible company and have accumulated one of the greatest portfolios of real estate assets, many of which are considered to be among the finest and most iconic properties in the world,” said Mr. Trump.

Other analysts put Mr. Trump’s net worth far below the $10 billion mark.

In Tuesday’s interview, Ms. Kelly tried to get Mr. Trump to be introspective about the campaign so far, but he generally waved her off by saying he has made mistakes but wouldn’t get into details. He said admitting or dwelling on such things isn’t his style.

“I don’t even think that’s healthy,” he said.

Mr. Trump had said he would be posting on Twitter during the interview, but his posts were all retweets of others’ reactions. The general sentiment was that his supporters were happy that he and Ms. Kelly appeared to be getting along.

Perhaps Mr. Trump was censoring himself. In his interview, Ms. Kelly asked him about some of the worst tweets he has posted, and he said most of those are quoting someone else: “The thing that gets me in trouble is retweets.”

The Trump-Kelly feud began in August when Fox hosted the first Republican primary debate and led with Ms. Kelly asking Mr. Trump about some of his statements about women. Mr. Trump later said he thought the question was unfair.

“I don’t really blame you because you’re doing your thing, but from my standpoint I didn’t have to like it,” he told her in Tuesday’s interview.


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