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INTERVIEW: Donald Trump willing to use nukes against ISIS. Also possibly Europe.

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Published on Aug 3, 2016

From a March 30 interview. Full transcript via MSNBC: http://info.msnbc.com/_news/2016/03/3...

MATTHEWS: Your most controversial suggestion was don't take nuclear weapons -- I mean, you may have been hooked into this by (inaudible).

TRUMP: Don't take what?

MATTHEWS: Nuclear weapons off the table.

I have been trying to think of how we could conceivably use a nuclear weapon in the Middle East or in Europe in fighting ISIS. Where can you -- and why put it on the table or leave it on the table if you can't imagine where to use it?

TRUMP: Well, I didn't say, "Don't take it." I said I would be very, very slow and hesitant to pull that trigger.

MATTHEWS: Well, why would you -- why wouldn't you just say, "I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about nuclear weapons. Presidents don't talk about use of nuclear weapons"?

TRUMP: The question was asked -- we were talking about NATO -- which, by the way, I say is obsolete and we pay a dispropor...

MATTHEWS: But you got hooked into something you shouldn't've talked about.

TRUMP: I don't think I -- well, someday, maybe.

MATTHEWS: When? Maybe?

TRUMP: Of course. If somebody...

MATTHEWS: Where would we drop -- where would we drop a nuclear weapon in the Middle East?

TRUMP: Let me explain. Let me explain.

Somebody hits us within ISIS, you wouldn't fight back with a nuke?

MATTHEWS: No. To drop a nuclear weapon on a community of people that are...

TRUMP: No, no, but you can't say -- first of all, you don't want to say, "Take everything off the table..."

MATTHEWS: No, just nuclear.

TRUMP: ... because you'd be a bad negotiator if you do that.

MATTHEWS: Just nuclear.

TRUMP: Look, nuclear should be off the table. But would there be a time when it could be used, possibly, possibly?

MATTHEWS: OK. The trouble is, when you said that, the whole world heard it. David Cameron in Britain heard it. The Japanese, where we bombed them in '45, heard it. They're hearing a guy running for president of the United States talking of maybe using nuclear weapons. Nobody wants to hear that about an American president.

TRUMP: Then why are we making them? Why do we make them? We had (inaudible).

MATTHEWS: Because of the old mutual assured destruction, which Reagan hated and tried to get rid of.

TRUMP: (inaudible) I was against Iraq. I'd be the last one to use the nuclear weapon.

MATTHEWS: So can you take it off the table now?

TRUMP: Because that's sort of like the end of the ball game.

MATTHEWS: Can you tell the Middle East we're not using a nuclear weapon on anybody?

TRUMP: I would never say that. I would never take any of my cards off the table.

MATTHEWS: How about Europe? We won't use it in Europe?

TRUMP: I -- I'm not going to take it off the table.

MATTHEWS: You might use it in Europe?

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: No, I don't think so. But I'm not taking...

MATTHEWS: Well, just say it. "I will never use a nuclear weapon in Europe."

TRUMP: I am not -- I am not taking cards off the table.

MATTHEWS: OK.

TRUMP: I'm not going to use nuclear, but I'm not taking any cards off the table.

MATTHEWS: OK.

The trouble is, the sane people hear you and the insane people are not affected by your threats. That's the trouble. The real fanatics say, "Good. Keep it up."

TRUMP: I think -- I think they're more affected than you might think.

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