Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that the United States should send ground troops into Iraq to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and use funds from seized oil fields to pay for veteran’s services.
“You go and knock the hell out of the oil, take back the oil,” he said on Sunday during an interview with Meet the Press. “We’re going to have so much money.”
The comments came as part of a wide-ranging interview with Chuck Todd on hot-button political topics from the U.S. debt to the role of lobbyists in Washington.
Differentiating himself from many of his fellow Republican, the billionaire real estate developer refused to say whether he would shut down the federal government to defund Planned Parenthood. Trump condemned alleged practices shown in secretly-recorded video taken by anti-abortion activists that accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal tissue and slammed the nonprofit’s role in providing abortions, but said the group still served other important purposes. Asked whether he had ever donated to the group, Trump said he couldn’t say for certain.
“It bothers me greatly that they’re doing the abortions. At the same time, women’s health issues are, you know, very important to me,” he said.
The comments on women’s health issues follow a statement by former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush that the U.S. spends too much on women’s health, which Bush later walked back. Trump has previously said that he would be “phenomenal to the women.”
Trump also voiced his support for gay Americans who might face discrimination in the workplace, saying he doesn’t believe private employers should be able to fire someone because they’re gay. A bill to end employment discrimination against LGBT people, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, has little support among mainstream Republicans.
Trump, who continues to lead GOP primary polls, also used the interview as an opportunity to repeat his call for President Barack Obama to release his college transcripts. Trump offered to release his own transcripts after Obama.
“Nobody’s seen his records,” he said. “He has to do it. If he does it, I’ll do it. But, hey, I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I was a really good student.”