Donald Trump

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This page will feature quotes, news, and policy positions of Republican nominee for President Donald Trump, focusing on those made after he became his Party’s presumptive nominee. For full coverage of the primary, please visit our Republican Primary page. Please follow our links below for full speech transcripts, policy positions, quotes about national security and other issues.


Trump announced his candidacy at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015. He clinched the nomination with 1,237 delegates on May 26, 2016, before the primaries had concluded.

Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York. He is best known for his role as Chairman and President of The Trump Organization, his books like The Art of the Deal, and as the host of NBC’s The Apprentice (which aired from 2004-2015). He is currently married to Melania Trump, his third wife, and the two have one son – Barron. Trump has four other children – Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric with his first wive Ivana; and Tiffany with his second wife Marla Maples.

On July 15, 2016, Trump selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his Vice Presidential running mate. For a look at his foreign policy views, see below.


Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech in Washington, D.C., on April 27, 2016

Trump National Security Speech following the Orlando Terror Attack in Manchester, NH, on June 13, 2016

Trump Economic Policy Speech in Monessen, PA, on June 28, 2016

Trump Foreign Policy Interview with The New York Times (Subjects:  NATO, Turkey Coup, Alliances, and the Role of America in the World)

Trump Acceptance Speech, Republican National Convention, July 22, 2016

Trump transcript from ABC’s This Week. July 31, 2016 (Subects:  Russian intervention in the Ukraine, the DNC, and Khizr Khan’s remarks at the DNC)

Trump Economic Policy Speech in Detroit, MI, August 8, 2016


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Above is a selection of Donald Trump’s positions and quotes regarding foreign policy, immigration, NATO, and a ban on Muslim immigrants. For more information, please visit Donald Trump’s campaign website, specifically the Issues and Positions pages.

Map of nations potentially included in Trump’s proposed “Muslim ban” from CNN’s “The massive implications of Trump’s Muslim ban in 5 maps,” June 16, 2016.

Below are several other quotes dealing with national security issues.

Nuclear Proliferation

“It’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea…Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes” (Interview with Chris Wallace, April 2016)

“The single greatest problem the world has is nuclear armament, nuclear weapons, not global warming, like you think and your — your president thinks. Nuclear is the single greatest threat. Just to go down the list, we defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us. But they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune.” … “But Russia has been expanding their — they have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint.We are not — we are not keeping up with other countries. I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it. But I would certainly not do first strike. And [Iran is] going to end up getting nuclear. I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day. Believe me, he’s not a happy camper.” (First Presidential Debate, September 26, 2016)

“But our nuclear program has fallen way behind, and they’ve gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good. Our government shouldn’t have allowed that to happen. Russia is new in terms of nuclear. We are old. We’re tired. We’re exhausted in terms of nuclear.” (Second Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016)

“We’re in very serious trouble, because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads — 1,800, by the way — where they expanded and we didn’t, 1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken.” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)


“I think NATO is obsolete. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger — much larger than Russia is today. I’m not saying Russia is not a threat…But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism. And NATO doesn’t discuss terrorism. NATO’s not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn’t have the right countries in it for terrorism…And what I’m saying is that we pay, number one, a totally disproportionate share of NATO. We’re spending — the biggest alliance share is paid for by us, disproportionate to other countries…What I’m saying is NATO is obsolete. NATO is — is obsolete and it’s extremely expensive for the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO…And it’s going to have to be either readjusted to take care of terrorism. Or we’re going to have to set up a new — a new coalition, a new group of — of the countries to handle terrorism, because…terrorism is out of control.” (ABC’s This Week, March 27, 2016)

“Number one, the 28 countries of NATO, many of them aren’t paying their fair share.And, number two, I said, and very strongly, NATO could be obsolete, because…they do not focus on terror.And about four months ago, I read on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that NATO is opening up a major terror division. And I think that’s great….And that was — believe me — I’m sure I’m not going to get credit for it — but that was largely because of what I was saying and my criticism of NATO.” (First Presidential Debate, September 28, 2016)

“As far as Japan and other countries, we are being ripped off by everybody in the — we’re defending other countries. We are spending a fortune doing it. They have the bargain of the century. All I said is, we have to renegotiate these agreements, because our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, and many other places. We cannot continue to afford — she took that as saying nuclear weapons.” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)


“We have to be much tougher. We have to be much stronger than we’ve been. We have people that know what is going on. You take a look at just the attack in California the other day. There were numerous people, including the mother, that knew what was going on. They saw a pipe bomb sitting all over the floor. They saw ammunition all over the place. They knew exactly what was going on. When you had the World Trade Center go, people were put into planes that were friends, family, girlfriends, and they were put into planes and they were sent back, for the most part, to Saudi Arabia. They knew what was going on. They went home and they wanted to watch their boyfriends on television. I would be very, very firm with families. Frankly, that will make people think because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives.” (CNN Republican debate, December 15, 2015)

“We’re going to declare war against ISIS. We have to wipe out ISIS. I am going to have very few troops on the ground. We’re going to have unbelievable intelligence, which we need; which, right now, we don’t have. We don’t have the people over there. We’re going to have surrounding states and, very importantly, get NATO involved because we support NATO far more than we should, frankly, because you have a lot of countries that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We have to wipe out ISIS.” (CBS 60 Minutes, July 17, 2016)

“But they wouldn’t have even been formed if they left some troops behind, like 10,000 or maybe something more than that. And then you wouldn’t have had them. Or, as I’ve been saying for a long time, and I think you’ll agree, because I said it to you once, had we taken the oil — and we should have taken the oil — ISIS would not have been able to form either, because the oil was their primary source of income. And now they have the oil all over the place, including the oil — a lot of the oil in Libya, which was another one of her disasters.” .. “But I will tell you that Hillary will tell you to go to her website and read all about how to defeat ISIS, which she could have defeated by never having it, you know, get going in the first place. Right now, it’s getting tougher and tougher to defeat them, because they’re in more and more places, more and more states, more and more nations.” (First Presidential Debate, September 26, 2016)

“I think Aleppo is a disaster, humanitarian-wise…I think that it basically has fallen” (Second Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016)

“Take a look at Syria. Take a look at the migration. Take a look at Libya. Take a look at Iraq. She gave us ISIS, because her and Obama created this huge vacuum, and a small group came out of that huge vacuum because when — we should never have been in Iraq, but once we were there, we should have never got out the way they wanted to get out. She gave us ISIS as sure as you are sitting there. And what happened is now ISIS is in 32 countries. And now I listen how she’s going to get rid of ISIS. She’s going to get rid of nobody… We don’t know who the rebels are. And when and if — and it’s not going to happen, because you have Russia and you have Iran now. But if they ever did overthrow Assad, you might end up with — as bad as Assad is, and he’s a bad guy, but you may very well end up with worse than Assad.” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)

Free Trade

“I think NAFTA’s been a disaster. I think our current deals are a disaster. I’m a free trader, the problem with free trade is you need smart people representing you we have the greatest negotiators in the world, but we don’t use them, we use political hacks and diplomats. We use the wrong people…” (CNN, June 28, 2015)

“We have to renegotiate our trade deals. And, Lester, they’re taking our jobs, they’re giving incentives, they’re doing things that, frankly, we don’t do…NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.” (First Presidential Debate, September 26, 2016)

“So my plan — we’re going to renegotiate trade deals. We’re going to have a lot of free trade. We’re going to have free trade, more free trade than we have right now. But we have horrible deals. Our jobs are being taken out by the deal that her husband signed, NAFTA, one of the worst deals ever. I am going to renegotiate NAFTA. And if I can’t make a great deal — then we’re going to terminate NAFTA and we’re going to create new deals. We’re going to have trade, but we’re going — we’re going to terminate it, we’re going to make a great trade deal…” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)


“We have a country based on laws. I will make sure that those laws are adhered to. These are illegal immigrants. I don’t think you’d even be asking this question if I didn’t run because when I ran, and I brought this up, my opening remarks at Trump Tower, I took heat like nobody has taken heat in a long time. And, then they found out with the killing of Katie, from San Francisco, and so many other crimes, they found out that I was right. And, most people, many people, apologized to me. I don’t think you’d even be talking about illegal immigration if it weren’t for me. So, we have a country of laws, they’re going to go out, and they’ll come back if they deserve to come back. If they’ve had a bad record, if they’ve been arrested, if they’ve been in jail, they’re never coming back. We’re going to have a country again. Right now, we don’t have a country, we don’t have a border, and we’re going to do something about it, and it can be done with proper management, and it can be done with heart.” (CNN, 2016 Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015)

“Total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” (South Carolina rally, December 7, 2015)

“We’re going to have a thing called ‘extreme vetting.’ And if people want to come in, there’s going to be extreme vetting. We’re going to have extreme vetting. They’re going to come in and we’re going to know where they came from and who they are.” (CBS 60 Minutes, July 17, 2016)

We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it. And they’re great people and great leaders but they’re going to pay for the wall. On day one, we will begin working on intangible, physical, tall, power, beautiful southern border wall. … We’re going to triple the number of ICE deportation officers. Within ICE I am going to create a new special deportation task force focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice just like Hillary Clinton has evaded justice, OK?” (Phoenix immigration speech, August 31, 2016)

“We’re going to have borders in our country, which we don’t have now…We have many criminal illegal aliens. When we want to send them back to their country, their country says we don’t want them. In some cases, they’re murderers, drug lords, drug problems. And they don’t want them. And Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, said that’s OK, we can’t force it into their country. Let me tell you, I’m going to force them right back into their country. They’re murders and some very bad people.” (Second Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016)

“I mean, these are unbelievable people that I’ve gotten to know over a period of years whose children have been killed, brutally killed by people that came into the country illegally. You have thousands of mothers and fathers and relatives all over the country. They’re coming in illegally…One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, all of the bad ones — we have some bad, bad people in this country that have to go out. We’re going to get them out; we’re going to secure the border. And once the border is secured, at a later date, we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out.” (Third Presidential Election, October 24, 2016)

Putin and Russia

“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know unlike what we have in this country. Well I think our country does plenty of killing also…So, you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now…A lot of killing going on, a lot of stupidity.” (MSNBC’s Morning Joe, December 18, 2015)

“I will tell you that I think in terms of leadership, he’s getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well.” (Fox News Interview with Bill O’Reilly, December 17, 2015)

“If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him. I’ve already said, he is really very much of a leader. I mean, you can say, oh, isn’t that a terrible thing — the man has very strong control over a country. Now, it’s a very different system, and I don’t happen to like the system. But certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.” (NBC’s Commander-In-Chief Forum, September 7, 2016)

“But as far as other elements of what she was saying, I don’t know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don’t know Putin. But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are — she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia. I know nothing about Russia. I know — I know about Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.” (Second Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016)

“If I win on Nov. 8 … I could see myself meeting with Putin and meeting with Russia prior to the start of the administration. I think it would be wonderful.” (Interview, October 17, 2016)

“She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else… Of course I condemn [the DNC hacking]. Of course I — I don’t know Putin. I have no idea… I never met Putin. This is not my best friend. But if the United States got along with Russia, wouldn’t be so bad.” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)


“We are also going to stand with the Cuban people in their fight against communist oppression. The President’s one-sided deal for Cuba benefits only the Castro Regime. But all of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro Regime were done through executive order, which means the next President can reverse them – and that is what I will do, unless the Castro Regime meets our demands. Those demands will include religious and political freedom for the Cuban people.” (Miami Speech, September 16, 2016)

Acceptance of Democratic Principles

Wallace: “Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely — sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?”
Trump: “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time….What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)




Pence was born on June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana. He represented Indiana’s Second Congressional District from 2001 to 2003 and Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District from 2003 to 2013. While in Congress, Pence served on the Foreign Affairs Committee (Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia), the Judiciary Committee (Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet). He also belonged to the Tea Party Caucus, Congressional Internet Caucus, International Conservative Caucus, and Sportsmen’s Caucus. In 2012, Pence was elected to be Governor of Indiana and served in the position from 2013 to 2016.


The New York Times has a summary of several of Pence’s key views.  Below are some of his views on national security issues.


Pence is against amnesty for undocumented immigrants and has supported increased border security measures and strict enforcement of laws prohibiting unauthorized residents from working in the United States. He also attempted to bar Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana. Pence did, however, state on Twitter that Trump’s call for a “Muslim ban” was “offensive and unconstitutional.”

“Donald Trump has made a plan to end illegal immigration once and for all in this country. We have been talking it to death for 20 years. Hillary Clinton wants to continue the policy of open borders, amnesty, catch and release, sanctuary cities, all of the things driving wages down in this country, senator, and also too often, with criminal aliens in the country, it is bringing heartbreak.” (Vice Presidential Debate, October 4, 2016)

Foreign Policy

Pence has called for increasing military spending and has criticized Democrats for not using the phrase “Islamic extremism” when discussing jihadists. He has consistently expressed strong support for Israel and has advocated for tough interrogation measures used against those detained in Guantanamo Bay. Pence voted to send troops into Iraq in 2002 and opposed their removals under President Obama.

Nuclear Weapons

“We need to modernize our nuclear forces and we need an effective American diplomacy that will marshal the resources of nations in the Asian-Pacific rim to put pressure on North Korea, to abandon the nuclear ambitions. It has to remain the policy of the United States of America, the demilitarization of the Korean peninsula… We will go back to the days of peace through strength.” (Vice Presidential Debate, October 4, 2016)


Climate Change

The Middle East

NATO and International Organizations


Policy on Asia and the Pacific

Foreign Policy Speech Review