Trump: my past politics were transactional

When Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2008, Donald Trump donated to her campaign and raved about her White House credentials. She is “very talented, very smart,” he said.

In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Trump played down such praise by saying his dealings with Mrs. Clinton then were purely transactional. As a businessman, he needed to curry favor with an influential senator from his home state. In turn, he said, she had incentive to court him as a campaign donor.

“As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Mr. Trump said. “As a businessman, I need that.”

Now that he is a Republican candidate for president and the former New York senator is the Democratic front-runner, Mr. Trump said that he is freer to speak his mind about Mrs. Clinton, who with her husband were guests at his wedding in 2005 to Melania Knauss in Palm Beach.