In a discussion on CBS News Wednesday about how he would handle America's crushing debt, Donald Trump said he'd use the same approach he's used for his businesses: "renegotiate the debt." In other words, walk America through a form of national bankruptcy. When pressed by O'Donnell about the "very severe consequences" of such an act, the self-described "King of Debt" immediately reversed himself, saying, "I wouldn't renegotiate the debt."

Trump's talk about renegotiating/not renegotiating the national debt came during a larger discussion about his economic policies with CBS host Norah O'Donnell on Wednesday (video below).

"The current plan that you’ve put forward, independent economic analysts have looked at it and said it would add $30 trillion to the deficit, because you’re going to reduce taxes, you’re not going to cut entitlements, there’s some questions about," said O'Donnell.

"I’m going to bring back jobs," replied Trump. "I’m going to bring back businesses. We’re going to have people come into our country."

"I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt, nobody knows debt better than me. I made a fortune by using debt."

Donald Trump

Asked how he planned to do that, Trump said, "Look, companies now are leaving the United States. Corporate inversion, they’re leaving the United States, we have almost $5 trillion sitting out there, where they can’t get the money back, they can’t bring it in because there’s no mechanism to bring it back in and the tax is so high. I’m going to bring tremendous amounts of money, tremendous amounts of jobs, tremendous numbers of companies, and yes the tax is going to be cut from the highest tax nation anywhere in the world to a fairly low tax. Not the lowest in the world, but to a fairly low tax."

When O'Donnell said that Hillary Clinton had called him the "king of debt," Trump said that was false: he called himself the king of debt.

"I’m the king of debt," said Trump. "I’m great with debt, nobody knows debt better than me. I made a fortune by using debt. And if things don’t work out I renegotiate the debt, I mean that’s a smart thing not a stupid thing. And I made a fortune."

O'Donnell noted that the Federal Reserve chairman had chastised Trump for previously suggesting he'd make a deal with creditors.

"Janet Yellen, who you know, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, blasted you for saying that the U.S. could load up on debt and then make a deal with creditors if the economy has soured," said O'Donnell. "She said there would be very severe consequences if an elected president tried to renegotiate the nation’s debt."

Trump responded by contradicting his previous statement, saying, "I wouldn’t renegotiate the debt."

Here's the transcript of the exchange:

NORAH O’DONNELL (HOST): [Hillary Clinton] said your economic policies would create a Trump recession

DONALD TRUMP: No, we’re going to create an absolute, unbelievable country. We’re going to put people back to work again, we’re not going to allow countries to steal our businesses.

O’DONNELL: The current plan that you’ve put forward, independent economic analysts have looked at it and said it would add $30 trillion to the deficit, because you’re going to reduce taxes, you’re not going to cut entitlements, there’s some questions about --

TRUMP: I’m going to bring back jobs, I’m going to bring back businesses, we’re going to have people come into our country.

O’DONNELL: How, how do you do that?

TRUMP: Look, companies now are leaving the United States. Corporate inversion, they’re leaving the United States, we have almost $5 trillion sitting out there, where they can’t get the money back, they can’t bring it in because there’s no mechanism to bring it back in and the tax is so high. I’m going to bring tremendous amounts of money, tremendous amounts of jobs, tremendous numbers of companies, and yes the tax is going to be cut from the highest tax nation anywhere in the world to a fairly low tax. Not the lowest in the world, but to a fairly low tax.

O’DONNELL: Hillary Clinton called you the king of debt.

TRUMP: Well, no she didn’t call me, I called myself the king of debt. I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt, nobody knows debt better than me. I made a fortune by using debt. And if things don’t work out I renegotiate the debt, I mean that’s a smart thing not a stupid thing. And I made a fortune.

O’DONNELL: How do you renegotiate the debt?

TRUMP: Because you go back and you say, hey, guess what, the economy just crashed, I’m going to give you back half. I like debt for me, I don’t like debt for the country. I like debt for my company, but I don’t like debt for the country. For the country we have $19 trillion in debt, it’s going to be very soon $21 trillion, not billion, $21 trillion in debt. And I will tell you we are sitting on a time bomb and Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a clue. And President Obama has pretty much doubled the debt since he’s been in office and somebody’s going to pay a big price. We have to start chopping that debt down.

O’DONNELL: Janet Yellen, who you know, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, blasted you for saying that the U.S. could load up on debt and then make a deal with creditors if the economy has soured. She said there would be very severe consequences if an elected president tried to renegotiate the nation’s debt.

TRUMP: I wouldn’t renegotiate the debt.