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Trump prepared to spend $1 billion to get elected

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Posted at 1:05 PM, Aug 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-16 16:34:22-04

DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump said Saturday that he’s prepared to spend $1 billion on his campaign if necessary.

“It’s irrelevant,” he said when asked by CNN’s Jeremy Diamond outside the Iowa State Fair on how much he has spent so far on his campaign. “I make $400 million a year, so what difference does it make? What I want to do is make the country great.”

Pressed again later in the afternoon if he would spend up to $1 billion, Trump was more definitive: “If necessary, I will spend it, yes.”

Trump said he does not have to worry about pleasing lobbyists like other candidates because his race is self-funded. The businessman said he recently turned down $5 million from a lobbyist wanting to contribute to his campaign.

The bombastic billionaire, who has claimed he’s worth $10 billion, has given to candidates in the past — including Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton so, according to him, they will do his bidding.

That’s why he said Saturday the more than $100 million raised by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will make him a “puppet” controlled by his donors.

Trump also said outside the fair that he had just put out a five-to-six-page position paper on immigration, which will be revealed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning. On Friday, Trump said he was going to release detailed proposals on immigration and overhauling the tax code next month.

The plan will include Trump’s oft-repeated pledge to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Nobody is going through my wall. It’s going to be strong. It’s going to be solid,” he said.

Some of Trump’s previous statements on immigration — including ones in which he said Mexico was sending rapists and murderers to the U.S. — have resulted in criticism of the real estate mogul, but he insisted Saturday he’s made no mistakes during his campaign.

“The people understood it,” he said.