Trump Clarifies His Views on Buying Back Debt at a Discount

By Susan Jones | May 9, 2016 | 7:58am EDT
(AP File Photo)

( - "We have to lower debt," Republican Donald Trump told ABC's "This Week" in a Friday interview, which aired on Sunday's show. But on Monday, Trump complained that his views on lowering the debt were misrepresented by the New York Times and other media outlets, and he tried to set the record straight on CNN's "New Day."

I said, if we can buy back government debt at a discount, in other words, if interest rates go up and we can buy bonds back at a discount, if we are liquid enough as a country, then we should do that."

Trump says he never advocated defaulting on the national debt or going to creditors such as China to restructure debt.

"First of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, OK?" Trump told CNN. "You know, I'm the king of debt. I understand debt better than probably anybody. I know how to deal with it, very well.

"I love debt, but you know, debt is tricky and it's dangerous and you have to be careful, you have to know what you're doing.


But let me just tell you, when there's a chance to buy back debt at a discount -- in other words, interest rates go up, and the bonds go down...that's what I'm talking about."

Trump said it's different in the business world, and he noted that he has repurchased mortgages at "tremendous discount" when the market went down. "And I love doing that, and there's nothing like it, actually, it gives me a great thrill.

"But in the United States with bonds, that won't happen because in theory, the market doesn't go down."

Trump repeated the "corrected" story:

"If we have an opportunity where interest rates go up and we can buy debt back at a discount, I always like to be able to do that, if you can do it. But that's all I was talking about. They (media) have it like I'm going to go back to creditors and I'm going to restructure debt. It's ridiculous."

Earlier, Trump told ABC's "This Week" that he's "a low interest rate person."

"I believe now if you have...inflation, we're going to have to change that theory, because you're going to have to...slow things down.

"But right now, we have low interest rates. We have to rebuild the whole infrastructure of our country. I know the infrastructure. I've really gotten to know it even better now.

"You go to airports, they're falling down. If you go right -- I mean look at LaGuardia. You land at LaGuardia, it's an embarrassment. Look at Kennedy. Look at -- look at LAX and Newark."

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