Donald Trump said Monday that he's willing to take donations toward his presidential campaign, but there has to be one condition: No strings attached.
"People are offering me millions and millions of dollars," Trump told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program
. "I turned down a $5 million [contribution] the other day from a lobbyist that I know. There's always strings attached. Many people are giving to [Jeb] Bush, they don't give because they like his hair color. There's only one reason, total strings attached. They want what they want. I won't do that."
But, Trump said, he has many donations of all sizes coming in from the public.
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"A woman sent a check for $7.32 with a long letter. It was the cutest thing," said Trump. "I have people sending $10 checks. I have people that want to contribute more. Only if there's no strings whatsoever attached. The only strings attached is I want to make America great again. That's the only string because we need it so badly, the country is in such a bad way."
He pointed at China, saying that because the financial situation is so bad there, "it's going to bring us down too, because we're so heavily coupled with China. We're being run by people that don't have a clue, don't know what they're doing, totally incompetent. We've got to stop."
On Monday, Trump also ridiculed claims made in a New York Sun opinion piece
that links China's financial woes to him.
"I'm the one telling everybody what's going wrong and what's going to go wrong," said Trump. "I'm the one that says you better start uncoupling from China because China has big problems and they're bringing us down. For this guy, I never heard of him. I have no idea who he is. He's probably not very good at what he does."
Trump also on Monday railed against hedge fund managers, saying they are not paying enough back for what they make.
"These hedge fund guys, they move around papers," he said. "If the market goes up, they're geniuses, if the market goes down, they go into a different business. They're wiped out."
Such people should be taxed a fair amount, said Trump, because they're "not paying enough tax. They're making a fortune, and it's embarrassing."
Trump also on Monday made another call for simplifying the nation's tax code and "knocking H&R Block out."
"It's too complicated," he said. "You need a 195 IQ to be able to figure out the tax return. We're going to simplify. That's the easiest in terms of getting it done. Later on we go to a flat tax, but in the meantime we have to simplify and we have to reduce taxes in particular for the middle class."
But the "magic number is a very complicated number" when it comes to a flat tax, said Trump, as he's seen numbers anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent and "nobody knows if it works."
He said he does have a problem with a flat tax that allows the rich and poor to be paying the same percentage of their earnings.
"I think there should be a graduation of some kind," he said. "As you make a certain amount of money, I think you should have to graduate upward. That doesn't mean a raise in taxes. That means rich people might be paying less than they're paying right now."
Also on the program, Trump discussed Vice President Joe Biden's meeting with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
over the weekend, and he sees that as a sign "something is going to happen, as Hillary is in deep trouble."
But he is not worried about Biden entering the race, as for now, he's up against 16 other people for the nomination, of which "you probably have four that have a real chance."
But he denied that he and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are thinking about teaming up, even though he respects the fact that Cruz hasn't attacked him.
"You look at [Rick] Perry, Lindsey Graham, vicious attacks," said Trump. "They all went down to zero and now getting out of the race. It's one of the greatest honors I've had in my race."
But he appreciates that Bush is making plans to visit the border on Monday
, as "I think he'll find out now it's not an act of love" to immigrate to the United States, as the situation at the border is "rough, tough stuff. This is not love."
Meanwhile, he said he saw a video of drug smugglers scaling a fence between Mexico and Arizona over the weekend, and found it incredible.
"Actually I was very impressed with the shape these guys were in, how they got over the wall was incredible, carrying the load of drugs on their back," he said. "The way they climbed that wall was rather amazing, almost like Olympic climbers. They got over with no trouble."
This means, though that "Mexico is taking in tremendous, billions and billions of dollars in drug money. The money gets sucked out of the United States and the drugs come in. As usual, we get the bad stuff, they get the good stuff."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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