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Donald Trump called Newsday's editorial board. Here's what he told us.

Donald Trump on the phone with the

Donald Trump on the phone with the Newsday editorial board on April 15, 2016. Credit: Robert Cassidy

This item was featured in The Point, the editorial board's daily newsletter for insiders. To subscribe, click here.

Donald Trump has been on Long Island twice in the past 10 days – for a rally in Bethpage last week and as the headliner at Thursday night’s fundraiser for the Suffolk County Republican Party. But the timing never worked out for him to visit Newsday’s editorial board as Hillary Clinton did earlier this week.

However, Trump and the board connected by telephone Friday afternoon for a far-reaching conversation about the GOP front-runner’s campaign and his plans for running the nation if he wins the presidency. Listen to the call and read the transcript here.

Here are the impressions our editorial board members took away.

Much of the board’s conversation with Trump dealt with the anger and fear he has tapped into – emotions that have at times given rise to a bullying, or even hateful, tone. Trump said he purposefully has used “strong” and “tough” rhetoric throughout the campaign to get his message across.

“I am making somewhat of a change because I think I’ve got the word out,” Trump said. “It doesn’t mean changing my ideas, but I am a unifier.” So, he said, the goal now is to bring people together.

Trump recognized his role in some of the animosity, and in some of his negative polling, especially when it comes to women.

“I’ve said things that were a little bit too tough,” he said.

So, expect new advertising, including a TV ad that he said will highlight the success women have had in the Trump Organization.

Trump said he was “so disappointed” to learn that teachers blame his campaign for increases in bullying, particularly of immigrant students. He said he will talk with his supporters, who sometimes, he said, take what’s said “very literally.”

“I don’t want that to happen,” he said. “We will stop that."

Trump said he was unaware that his speech in Patchogue on Thursday evening took place just a few hundred feet from the site where Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero was killed in 2008. No one had told him, he said.

“I would love to hear about it. I did not know that,” Trump said.

Trump also said he didn’t see the demonstrations or vigil that took place outside The Emporium, where he was speaking. He said there are demonstrators at all his events.

Trump has had many positions on abortion. But he now maintains that he is “pro-life.” We wanted to know whether there was any personal reason or event that caused this shift. He told a story Friday about a couple who had "tremendous fights" over whether to terminate a pregnancy. They were at odds and nearly divorced over the decision to keep the baby.

Years later, the child “turned out to be a superstar,” Trump said. The parent who argued in favor of abortion, today, is reduced to tears when thinking that this child may never have been born, Trump said.

We asked Trump whether he’d be willing to put his businesses in a true blind trust rather than have his children run them, as he has previously suggested.

“I would do whatever I’m supposed to do,” Trump said. “I built this great company… It is so meaningless to me if I had the chance to be president. I wouldn’t care about that. I wouldn’t even be thinking about it.”

When asked to name his business successes, Trump ticked off several, including Trump Tower and Trump Place on the Upper West Side (which emerged only after several other, grander plans failed). He also named his book, “The Art of the Deal,” and the reality TV show “The Apprentice.” But when asked two or three times to pinpoint a project that failed, Trump paused.

“Failures. A lot of my failures, I’ve made [into] successes,” Trump said. “I haven’t had a lot of failures. I’ve made a lot of failures successful. Let me think. Hold it.”

But while Trump then spoke about a project that got caught up in a market crash and was ultimately successful, he wasn’t able to name a failed project.

Trump said he’d surround himself with experts – but would be sure to bring in a diverse group of “the most competent people,” including women, African Americans and Hispanics. Asked whether his administration would reflect the nation’s diversity, Trump said it would include “all groups from this country.”

“That’s so vital to have that,” Trump added. “It will be made up of everybody.”

Trump said he disagrees with the New York Police Department’s choice not to surveil Muslim neighborhoods.

And put the blame on that for Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I have a lot of respect for [Police Commissioner Bill] Bratton. I have a great respect for him. But I believe he’s saying that, but I’m not sure he believes that himself. I think it’s a big mistake.”

We asked how he’d make the end of ISIS permanent. At first, Trump criticized the concept of “nation-building.”

“At some point, we’re going to have to let these things form the way they’re going to form,” Trump said.

But as he continued talking, he revised his take a bit. To avoid the possibility of anyone developing weapons of mass destruction, “We may have to keep a presence over there,” Trump said.

Added Trump: “If we didn’t have that problem, I would say, ‘Get the hell out of there and get out fast.’”

Trump said he doesn’t have a problem with President Barack Obama potentially visiting Hiroshima. But he would not want to see the president apologize for the decision to drop a nuclear bomb there. “Him going there is fine. Him apologizing, no. We were in a war. That ended the war,” Trump said.

Trump said he would visit Newsday at some point during the campaign. Send us a question for him so we'll have it ready if he stops by.

Compiled by the editorial board. Written by Randi F. Marshall, Anne Michaud.

This item was featured in The Point, the editorial board's daily newsletter for insiders. To subscribe, click here.