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Trump says Mideast nations should pay for US support, would send ground troops to fight IS

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd at the Iowa State Fair Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Des Moines.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
August 16, 2015 - 10:30 AM

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is outlining a foreign policy in which the United States would put ground troops in the fight against Islamic State militants and demand money from Middle East countries supported by the U.S.

In a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," the billionaire businessman and former reality TV star says he would consider shutting down the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood. He says he isn't sure whether he has donated money to the organization in the past but adds that he would oppose providing federal funds if it continues providing abortion services.

Trump says he would ask nominees to the Supreme Court about their views on abortion and would take their views into consideration as he made a decision on whom to nominate. He says he opposes abortion except in case of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

Calling the nuclear agreement forged between Iran and world powers including the U.S. "a bad deal," Trump says that Iran will have nuclear weapons and take over parts of the world. "And I think it's going to lead to nuclear holocaust," he said. Instead of tearing up the deal, he said he would "police" it, and he called Secretary of State John Kerry "incompetent" for negotiating the agreement.

On defeating Islamic State militants, Trump said the key is to take away their wealth by taking back the oil fields under their control in Iraq. Told by "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd that such a move could require ground troops, Trump responded, "That's OK." He said the Iraqis should be given "something" from their oil fields but, in an apparent reference to Iraq War veterans, "we should definitely take back money for our soldiers."

"We've had soldiers that were so badly hurt and killed," he said. "I want their families to get something. Wounded warriors all over the place. They got nothing. And they can't even say we had a victory.

Trump in the past has accused Saudi Arabia of being the world's biggest funder of terrorism. On Sunday, he said the Gulf nation should be paying the U.S. because it wouldn't exist without American support. And, Trump said, the only reason the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia is because it needs the oil.

"Now, we don't need the oil so much," he said in an apparent reference to U.S. oil and gas production. "And if we let our people really go, we wouldn't need the oil at all. And we could let everybody else fight it out."

Trump said Saudi Arabia is going to need help fighting against the kinds of militants who have targeted neighbouring Yemen. He said he would assist the Saudis in that event, albeit reluctantly and for a price.

"We defend Saudi Arabia. We send our ships. We send our planes. Every time there's a little ruckus, we send those ships and those planes. We get nothing. Why? They're making a billion a day. We get nothing. And this is the problem with the world," he said.

Ask who he talks to for military advice, Trump said he watches the news shows and cited former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton ("a tough cookie") and retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs ("a good guy") as two examples of people who impress him.

On other issues, Trump said he:

—Wants to end birthright citizenship, rescind President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration and deport those in the U.S. illegally while providing an expedited return process for "the good ones."

"We have to make a whole new set of standards. And when people come in, they have to come in legally," he said.

—Is "fine" with affirmative action. "We've lived with it for a long time. And I lived with it for a long time. And I've had great relationships with lots of people. So I'm fine with it."

—Doesn't think a private company should be able to fire an employee for being gay.

—Wants to keep the minimum wage at current levels. "I want to compete with the rest of the world. What I do want to do is bring in jobs so much so that people don't have to live on minimum wage."

—Would ban lobbyists from his administration for three to four years after they've left lobbying firms; he called President Barack Obama's effort to impose a ban on lobbyists "a pretty good idea."

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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