WASHINGTON (CNN) — Donald Trump predicts he could rid the United States of its $19 trillion debt in two terms as president.
Eliminating the national debt, which Trump said he could accomplish “over a period of eight years,” was one of several ambitious claims Trump made in an interview with The Washington Post published on Saturday. The Republican front-runner explained that he will govern in the similarly atypical, convention-defying manner he has campaigned.
While many economists have argued that many of Trump’s economic proposals — including massive across-the-board tax cuts and potentially engaging in trade wars — could damage the U.S. economically, Trump was characteristically defiant.
“I’m renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on. With China, $505 billion this year in trade,” Trump said, arguing that those new deals would spur economic growth and allow the U.S. to pay off its trillions of dollars in debt.
Trump also repeated his claim that the U.S. is “sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble” — a prediction at odds with that of most economists and financial analysts, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey.
It’s a claim Trump again brought up Saturday during a campaign stop in Wasau, Wisconsin, at which Trump warned that the U.S. is “sitting on a bubble right now that’s going to explode.”
Trump discussed his campaign strategy in the interview, telling the Post that while close family, friends and Republican leaders are needling him to tone down his attacks, Trump called making such inroads “overrated.”
Trump also told the Post that his wife, Melania, urged him not to run for president, questioning why he would want to run given that “we have such a great life.”
“I hope you don’t do it, but if you run, you’ll win,” Melania Trump told her husband, the real-estate mogul said.