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Photograph: Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under CC BY-SA

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says the United States is headed for a "very massive recession" but that he would pay off the national debt within eight years, according to an interview with the Washington Post published Saturday evening.

During the 96-minute interview, which the newspaper itself described as "revealing," Trump rejected concerns that his comments could have an impact on the financial markets.

"I know the Wall Street people probably better than anybody knows them," Trump told the Washington Post. "I don't need them."

The newspaper said that most economists consider Trump's pledge to pay off the US national debt - currently 19 trillion dollars - impossible.

"I'm renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we're doing so badly on. With China, 505 billion dollars this year in trade," Trump countered, adding that growth as a result of renegotiated deals would enable him to pay down the debt.

However, he warned that the US is currently in a very precarious position and that it is "a terrible time right now" to invest in stocks.

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