On Wednesday, celebrity businessman Donald Trump took the media world by storm with his ultimatum for President Barack Obama: If he releases his passport records and transcripts, the entrepreneur will donate $5 million to the charity of the president’s choice. In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, Trump spoke further about the offer, his views on Obama’s personal records and his take on Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s electoral prospects.
Naturally, TheBlaze asked why Trump made the proposal — one that has attracted a variety of opinion from talking heads and the general public, alike.
“I thought it would be a very easy way to get transparency from the president,” he answered, going on to accuse Obama of being the “least transparent of any president — ever.”
Trump maintains that Obama’s past remains a relative mystery. And since, in his view, not many people know about the president’s personal history, gaining access to his passport and college records would be telling.
“Passport applications tell you a lot,” Trump told TheBlaze. “I would hope to find nothing — but I have a feeling that might not be the answer.”
When asked about what he thinks are in the records, the celebrity businessman was candid, proclaiming that he doesn’t know — but he clearly noted his skepticism. Despite being unsure, Trump did make it known that he hopes the records are, indeed, clear of any oddities.
“I hope he does produce the records and I hope the records are perfect, because that would be a much better thing for the country,” he said. “I’d like to have the records be perfect — and that way all of the millions of people who are very skeptical would be extremely happy or satisfied.”
When asked what he plans to do if Obama fails to produce the records by October 31, the cut-off date that Trump imposed, the businessman said that he will wait until that point to determine his next steps. He made the point to say, though, that, if the president fails to disclose the records, Obama won’t “get $5 million for a great charity.”
But the bigger issue, of course, is how such a decision would impact citizens’ views of the president, Trump maintained.
“If Wednesday at 5 o’clock he doesn’t reveal, then I think you will have to form your own opinion,” he added.
While TheBlaze noted a diversity of opinion on Trump’s offer (some of the negative reactions are present here), he described it as being “positive” and “amazing.” He noted that many people have questioned Obama’s background. When TheBlaze asked if the businessman believes that the president was born in another country, he said “I don’t know where he was born — and neither does anyone else.”
As for the 2012 presidential election, which is just days away, Trump said that Romney has a good chance of winning, though he noted that the race will be close.
“I think if I were Mitt, I’d live in Ohio for a few days,” Trump advised. “I think he should spend tremendous amounts of time in Ohio.”
When asked to deliver a final word to Obama — something, perhaps, he didn’t say during his video offer made the day before, Trump obliged.
“I just think that he has a great opportunity to do something that would be not only good for charity, but good for the country — and good for himself.”
Watch our live Spreecast on the interview: