Monday, August 26, 2019

1600 Daily The White House • August 26, 2019 5 Big Takeaways From President Trump at the G-7 Summit

1600 Daily
The White House • August 26, 2019

5 big takeaways from President Trump at the G-7 Summit

Today, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump return home after attending this year’s G-7 Summit in Biarritz, France. President Trump met with world leaders to strengthen our alliances, secure better trade deals, and—as always—keep the interests of the American people front and center on the global stage. 
The summit began in 1975 as an opportunity for world leaders to meet face-to-face and find solutions to the most pressing modern-day global challenges.

This year was no exception, as President Trump worked with our allies to chart a course toward even more prosperity both here at home and around the world. Here are a few of the biggest takeaways from the trip:
  • A message of unity. President Trump and President Emmanuel Macron of host nation France held a joint press conference earlier today. Over the weekend, they worked together to achieve progress on a number of fronts, including global security, fair trade practices, and better economic opportunity for all. “I want to thank you very much, Mr. President, for the incredible job you did. This is a truly successful G-7,” President Trump said.
  • Securing a billion-dollar trade deal. One of the biggest wins from the summit was President Trump’s announcement of locking in a trade agreement with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. The deal secures market access for a number of American agricultural goods, and Japan has agreed to purchase large sums of our farmers’ corn.
  • Promoting USMCA. With Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by his side, President Trump talked about the importance of expanding America’s trading partnership with our neighbors by passing the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement. With both Canada and Mexico having essentially finalized it, President Trump noted that it’s time for American lawmakers to do the same. “Our farmers love it, the unions love it, the workers love it, manufacturers love it . . . hopefully that’ll be put to a vote very soon.”
  • Developing stronger trade with Europe. While meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Trump discussed how best to meet global and regional security challenges and previewed even better trade relations to come with Germany and the European Union. Germany is “a great trading partner,” he said. “And we probably think we’re going to be upping the trade over a very short period of time.”
  • Helping to reduce India-Pakistan tensions. In his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Trump reaffirmed the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan and also worked to build on the great economic relations between our nations.

In photos: President Trump attends the G-7 Summit in Biarritz, France.

At the G-7: President Trump is working with our allies to build a better future

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
President Trump joins G-7 Leaders and Extended G-7 members as they pose for the “family photo” at the G-7 Extended Partners Program Sunday evening at the Hotel du Palais Biarritz | August 25, 2019

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Individuals to Key Administration Posts
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key position in his Administration:

Robert John Sander of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Department of the Navy.

Mr. Sander currently serves as the Principal Deputy General Counsel for the Department of the Army and Acting General Counsel of the Army during the General Counsel’s absence. He provides legal and policy advice to the Secretary of the Army, the Secretariat, and other Senior Army Leaders while serving as the point of contact for legal matters between the Army, the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, and the General Counsel of the other military services and Federal agencies.

Previously, Mr. Sander served as Senior Associate General Counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and as a Trial Attorney in the Counterterrorism Section of the United States Department of Justice, National Security Division.

Mr. Sander has more than 20 years of experience in the legal profession and 19 years of service in the United States Army Reserve. He is an alumni of Temple University, where he graduated Cum Laude with a major in Finance. Mr. Sander later obtained his Juris Doctor from Widener University Law School before receiving a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University.

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key position in his Administration:

Bridget E. Bean of Virginia, to be the Assistant Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (Grant Programs), Department of Homeland Security.

Ms. Bean currently serves as the Acting Assistant Administrator for Grant Programs at FEMA. In this capacity she oversees the Grant Management Modernization effort, a $390 million major grants systems modernization that will improve the administration and oversight of the billions of grant dollars awarded annually by DHS, all disaster and non-disaster grant policy, and a $2 billion suite of Homeland Security grant programs.  The Homeland Security grant programs are designed to build, sustain, and improve the Nation’s capability to prevent, protect, respond, recover, and mitigate all disaster and emergency threats. She provides oversight of grant investments across a broad range of projects, including capabilities to counter weapons of mass destruction, cybersecurity improvements, and emerging threats from active shooters and complex, coordinated terrorist attacks. Ms. Bean most recently served as the Acting Chief Component Human Capital Officer, in which she oversaw several initiatives focusing on providing transparency and customer service to FEMA. Ms. Bean has held several leadership positions throughout FEMA and at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Readout from First Lady Melania Trump’s Visit to Biarritz, France

Office of the First Lady

Readout from First Lady Melania Trump’s Visit to Biarritz, France
BIARRITZ, FRANCE – First Lady Melania Trump accompanied her husband on a visit to Biarritz, France for the 45th G7 Summit.

While in France, Mrs. Trump participated in several spousal events hosted by Mrs. Brigitte Macron.  Upon arrival, the First Lady joined the President for an official welcome reception at the Phare de Biarritz, participated in a group photo on the coast at Rocher de la Vierge, and concluded her evening at the Hôtel du Palais for a G7 Spouse dinner.

On Sunday, Mrs. Trump accompanied Mrs. Macron and other G7 spouses for a walking tour of Espelette, France - a village located to the southeast of Biarritz.  While in the village, the First Lady visited several of the charming shops, including a fabric store, a traditional bakery, and a regional grocery store before stopping by a nearby pepper field to meet with a local farmer and learn more about the regional agriculture.

Prior to departing Espelette, Mrs. Trump visited Saint-Etienne Church where a Basque choir performed under the beautifully painted historic ceiling.  The last stop of the day was to Villa Arnaga known for its wonderful French and English gardens.  In the evening, the First Lady joined her husband for an extended G7 dinner at the Hôtel Du Palais.

On Monday morning, Mrs. Trump traveled to Côte des Basques Beach for a surfing demonstration and a youth biodiversity presentation. The young surfers joined Mrs. Trump, along with the other spouses, on dry land for a brief introduction to surfing and a group photo. During the biodiversity presentation, the First Lady was escorted to three displays by a youth member to learn more about their marine life and environmental conservation projects. 

Prior to her departure, the First Lady attended the Joint Press Conference between the President and President Emmanuel Macron of France.

“A very enjoyable and productive trip to Biarritz,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “Mrs. Macron was a gracious host, showing us around some of France’s most beautiful and charming villages and towns.  The G7 is a great opportunity for the spouses and partners to come together on a global stage to further engage in our discussions for the future of our youth and to enhance our relationships with one another.”


Office of the Press Secretary


Centre de Congrès Bellevue
Biarritz, France


12:35 P.M. CEST
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  It’s great to be with Prime Minister Modi of India.  Incredible country and he’s an incredible man.  Just had a tremendous election victory and he really is a man who’s loved and respected in his country. 
     We’re talking about trade and we’re talking about military.  We’re talking about many different things, and we’ve had some great discussions.  We were together last night for dinner, and I learned a lot about India.  Fascinating place.  Beautiful place.  And it’s an honor to be with you.  A real honor.
     PRIME MINISTER MODI:  (As interpreted.)  Today, I'm meeting my friend and the representative of the oldest democracy in the world, President Trump.  It’s a very important meeting for me.  And whenever we’ve had the opportunity, we’ve always met. 
     As you know, India is the largest democracy, and we had elections recently where 700 million Indian voters chose their government.  And President Trump had time for me to congratulate me.  And again, today, he has conveyed his congratulations.  I’d like to thank him for that. 
     India and the United States are countries who have -- which have shared democratic values.  And we work for the welfare of the world.  And whatever contribution we can make, in whichever way, we have these common values and we work for the progress of humanity, for the world, for continuous progress.  We have continuous discussions on these issues.
     India and the United States, we have been discussing on a continuous basis various economic trade and commercial relation issues.  And on many of these issues, we have welcomed U.S. suggestions.  Together, we are working in the area of trade.  We are making efforts to take this forward. 
     The Indian community in the United States has made substantial investments over the years.  They have taken a part, very actively, in the development part of the United States.  And the way the United States has showered love and has embraced them as their own, for that I would like to thank President Trump, his administration, and the people of the United States.
     Q    Mr. President, can you clarify your position on whether you will mediate on Kashmir, please?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we spoke last night about Kashmir.  And the Prime Minister really feels he has it under control.  I know they speak with Pakistan, and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good.  We spoke about it last night at great length.
     Q    Mr. Modi, do you want to add?
     PRIME MINISTER MODI:  (As interpreted.)  Between India and Pakistan, there are many bilateral issues.  And after Minister Imran Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan, I called him up to congratulate him.  And I told him that Pakistan needs to fight poverty; India too.  Pakistan needs to fight illiteracy; India too.  Pakistan needs to fight disease; India too. 
     And so, together, let us join our forces to fight poverty and all the ills that are facing our two countries.  Let us work together for the welfare of the people of our two countries.  And this is the message that I keep giving my counterpart in Pakistan.  Along with President Trump, we also keep talking about the different bilateral issues between us.
     Q    Mr. Modi, would you like to have President Trump be involved in negotiating between Pakistan and India?
     PRIME MINISTER MODI:  (As interpreted.)  India and Pakistan have -- all the issues are of bilateral nature.  And we do not want to give pains to any country in the world -- to, in fact, try to do anything in this, because these issues are bilateral.  And I trust that before 1947, when we were one country, that even afterwards we can find solutions through discussions. 
     Q    Mr. President, is that offer still on the table?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I’m here.  Look, I have a very good relationship with both gentlemen, and I’m here.  If for any reason -- but I think they can do it themselves very well.  They’ve been doing it for a long time.
     Q    Mr. President, the Chinese have said today publicly that it’s more low-level calls that have happened and they’re downplaying the significance of the calls with U.S. administration --
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t know what you mean by that.  Low level?  The Vice Premier is low level?  I don’t think so.  I mean, it’s in your mind they’re low level. 
     What is the position of the gentleman that was quoted in the newspaper today?
     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Vice Premier Liu He came out with very significant statements, and we’ve been communicating through intermediaries back and forth with him. 
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  He’s the Vice Premier of China.
     Q    Yes, sir, I understand that.
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That’s not low level.
     Q    I understand.  I agree.  I was just -- there was a statement that the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry produced, that they weren’t aware --
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t know about a spokesman.
     Q    -- of the calls happening. 
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t know about a spokesman.
     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  There has been communication going on.
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  At the highest level.  At the highest level.   Okay?
     Q    Can you clarify the calls, Mr. Mnuchin? 
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, I don’t want -- you'll see what happens. 
     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  We don’t want to go into it.  (Inaudible.)
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Hey, look, in the meantime, our country is doing great.  We’re doing great.  The Prime Minister just congratulated me.  Everybody that’s met has congratulated us on the job we’re doing in the United States with our economy.  Our economy is phenomenal.  Best it’s ever been.  And that’s despite the trade deals. 
     And when the trade deals get done, like we did with Japan, yesterday -- we did a really big, tremendous trade deal with Japan.  And we have others coming.  We’re negotiating now, in earnest, with the European Union, and -- because they want to do that.  They want to do that, and I do too. 
     So we have -- when we get these deals done, this -- our country will be transformed.  I mean, it will be monetarily transformed.  It’s such a difference between the horrible, horrible one-sided deals that we had in the past.  And, frankly, past administrations should be ashamed of themselves for allowing that. 
     But we have many of them.  One of them is the USMCA -- Mexico, Canada -- and hopefully, that will get voted on very quickly.  Everybody wants it to happen.  So, hopefully, we can make that a bipartisan bill.  But we have many trade deals that are doing very well, and including China. 
     And I think it was necessary to go through this, you would say, “a rough patch,” but I’d say maybe much more than a rough patch, but that’s okay because we’ve paid billions and billions of dollars.  And you know that prices haven’t gone up and there’s been no inflation, and we’ve put a lot of money in the Treasury.  And, you know, tens of billions of dollars. 
     And I’ve given a lot of it to the farmers that were hurt.  I’ve been able to give a lot of money, compliments of China, to the farmers that were hurt because they were -- we gave them $16 billion and we gave them $12 billion the year before.  That made them whole.  That was the amount of money that China didn’t invest in our -- to our farmers -- give to our farmers.  So the farmers have been amazing, but they’re very happy with the job we’re doing.  But, eventually, they’re going to be the biggest -- or one of the biggest beneficiaries.  Okay?
     Q    Did you attend the climate session?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Say it?
     Q    Did you make it to the climate session?  Were there any conclusions that you took away from it?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I’m going to it.  In fact, it’s going to be our next session.  But we haven’t had it yet. 
     Q    Do you have a message that you would like to deliver?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, I want clean air and clean water.  And we’re, right now, having the cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.  But that’s what I want.  I want absolutely clean air and clean water.
     Q    Mr. President, just briefly back on China.  We saw the comments from Liu He about wanting calm. 
     Q    Calm.  Exactly.  Just wondering if you can clarify what you meant about the call.  Was that with Mr. Lighthizer or Mr. Mnuchin?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t want to talk about calls.  We’ve had calls.  We’ve had calls at the highest levels, but I don’t want to talk about that.
     Q    But last night -- you said last night that there had been a call.
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  But the Vice Chairman put out a statement last night that was a statement, and saying that he wants to make a deal and he wants calm.  And I think it’s a very good word use, “calm.”  It’s not a word that I use that often but it’s a good word to use.  And I think it’s one of the reasons that it’s a great country, and they understand. 
     I think that that message also helps with respect to Hong Kong.  I really do.  I think it makes it easier for Hong Kong to do something.  And I think that President Xi will do something with Hong Kong.  I really think that message is a good message with respect to what the ultimate outcome is in Hong Kong. 
     Very, very positive message.  And we appreciated it.  We appreciated it. 
     What else?  Anything else?
     Q    Mr. Trump -- Mr. President, what are your latest thoughts on your threat on pulling out of the WTO?  And if you do, can I also ask Mr. President Modi what your response to that, in terms of how it will affect India’s trade strategy?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we haven’t been happy with the WTO, but now we’re winning cases.  We won the big Airbus case, as you know.  And it’s a tremendous case.  I mean, it’s billions of dollars.  That was a very recent victory.  And we’re winning cases now.  We’re being treated more fairly now in the WTO, which we appreciate. 
     PRIME MINISTER MODI:  (Speaks Hindi.)  (No translation provided.)
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  He actually speaks very good English.  (Inaudible) don't want to talk with us.  (Laughter.)
     PRIME MINISTER MODI:  (As interpreted.)  I think -- I think you should let us --
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That’s funny.
     PRIME MINISTER MODI:  (As interrupted.)  -- discuss these things and when we feel the need, we will communicate to you.  (Laughter.) 
     Q    Mr. President, Russia has just recently said they have no intention of asking to be readmitted to the G7.  However, do you --
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, I wouldn’t expect they'd ask.  Because why would -- he’s a proud man.  He’s done a real job.  And why would he ask?  No, it’s something we discussed and it’s under discussion now.  No votes or anything.  But I would be inclined to say yes, and so would others, and some probably wouldn’t be.  But it’s just a discussion. 
     No, I wouldn’t think that he would do that because he’s a proud man.  He wouldn’t ask.  But if something would happen, he would be asked and I’m sure he would say yes to that.
     Q    Do you have any indication from them that they would accept if asked?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, I think it was a very good discussion.  It was the initial discussion, but it was a very good discussion.  But I think it would be appropriate.  I think it was -- it would be good for Russia.  I think it would be good for everybody.  I think it would be a positive.  But it’s just a discussion that we had.  It was a very interesting discussion.  And it very -- it was pretty even.  I think, ultimately, people like the idea.
     Q    Mr. President, what would be your message to the American people in terms of what is your biggest achievement at this G7?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we’ve had a lot of achievements.  We have an achievement with Prime Minister Modi because we’re doing great trade.  We’re doing a lot of trade with India; that’s an achievement. 
     I think, obviously, the Japan deal is a tremendous achievement because it’s one of the biggest trade deals and it affects directly our farmers.  Even the fact that he’s taking all of the excess corn that China didn’t take -- hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of corn -- and he’s buying that.  Japan is buying all of that corn at a fair price.  And, you know, that was great.  So that was very important.
     I also think that unity is very important.  You know, we had a very good -- despite what you read in the newspaper stories, the stories bear no resemblance to what’s taking place.  You saw me with Chancellor Merkel, you saw me with all of them.  We had -- the relationship is great.  We have seven nations.  In addition to that, we have other nations, like India and others that came in.  Australia came in -- Scott.  We have a lot of people came in.  And I’ll tell you, it’s been total unity.  And there’s been no dissension.
     Q    What would be the area of most unity, sir?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  There’s been no dissension.  There’s been no fights or arguments.  There’s been no -- no anything.  I mean, we have -- there has been great unity here.
     And, honestly, the papers haven’t reported how good it’s been.
     Q    So what would be your most common ground?  You know, is it climate change?  Is it gender equality?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Oh, oh.  I think we have a lot of things.  But I think, really, the unity, the fact that we’re all getting along so well, I think, is one of the big takes from this.  We really have good relationships and we’re doing a lot about a lot, okay? 
     Q    Just so we get our reporting right, I’m going to give it one more crack on China.  When you were referring earlier to Liu He’s statement -- which we all saw -- did you mean to say that there was also a call last night, or was there not actually a call last night?
     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  There were discussions that went back and forth.  And jet’s just leave it at that.
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Last night, and before last night.
     Q    Last night?
     Q    With China?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Last -- with China.  And before last night.  Numerous.
     Look, they want to get something done.  I’ve been saying that for a long (inaudible).  And we’re -- why -- why wouldn’t they?  They want to get something done.  They’ve lost millions of jobs.  Their supply chains are being hurt.  And once those supply chains go, if you're going to develop new supply chains, you can’t get them back into China. 
     So China is run by, really, a great leader.  I think he’s a great leader.  He wants to do something.  They lost over 3 million jobs in a very short period of time.  A lot of companies have left China, and they’re leaving China.  They want to get it done.  I knew that.  I could have told you that without talking, but we are talking.
     Q    And would you still like to see U.S. companies leave China?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Depends on whether or not we make a deal.  If we don’t make a deal, I’d like to see them leave China, absolutely.  If we make a deal, I’d like to see them stay there and do a great job.
     Q    Mr. President, on the Afghanistan peace talks, do you have an updated timeline?  Are there any snags?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No timeline.  Whatever it is.  And we’re in no rush.  I mean, we’re there.  We’re really a police-keeping force more than anything else, frankly. 
     And I’ve said we can win that war in a very short period of time, but I’m not looking to kill 10 million people, okay? 
     And we are working along with the Taliban, with the government, and other people too.  And we’ll see what happens.  No timeline.  Okay?
     Thank you very much.  We’re going to be doing a news conference in a little while. 
     Q    Just one more thing.  Just one more --
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  If you need one.  Do you need one?  I don’t think you need one.
     Q    We’ll always take a news conference, sir.
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I can’t imagine any other questions.  I just want to thank, though, the Prime Minister.  This is a great leader right here.  A great leader with a great election result.
                        END            12:54 P.M. CEST 

West Wing Reads G-7 Summit: Trump Strikes 'Billion-Dollar' Trade Deal with Japan

West Wing Reads

G-7 Summit: Trump Strikes 'Billion-Dollar' Trade Deal with Japan

“A deal is all but sealed with Japan,” Fox Business reports. “It’s a very big transaction and we’ve agreed in principle,” President Donald J. Trump confirmed alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after a meeting at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France.

President Trump said the Prime Minister agreed to purchase large sums of American farmers’ corn and “expects the billion-dollar deal to be sealed by the time the U.N. General Assembly meets in mid-September.”

Click here to read more.
“America has the upper hand in the ongoing trade negotiations with China, and the temporary reprieve that President Trump recently gave the Chinese regime is only further proof that our strong economy grants us a degree of flexibility that Beijing can’t hope to match,” former CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder and former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) write for RealClearPolitics. “Our decision to finally get tough on trade with China is having far less of a negative impact on the U.S. economy than establishment American commentators and politicians predicted.”
If you're wondering why people don't trust the media, look no further than CNN’s recent hiring of embattled former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the Washington Examiner editorial board writes. “CNN has sent a clear message to those in government: If you lose your position of public trust because you lie under oath, you can always land a job at CNN — at least as long as your lie was for a good cause, such as the resistance to Trump, or presumably to whatever Republican presidents are elected in the future.”
“Here’s some good and important news that got scant attention in much of the media: The Environmental Protection Agency recently released its annual Air Trends report, which found that air pollution across the U.S. continues to decline,” former EPA official Mandy Gunasekara writes for Fox News. “It turns out that his administration’s pragmatic approach to the environment has provided a clearly measurable boost to both the economy and the air. Americans are breathing the cleanest air on record.”


Office of the Press Secretary


Centre de Congrès Bellevue
Biarritz, France


11:21 A.M. CEST

     Q    Mr. President, when will you visit to Berlin?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we’ll be coming to Germany.  A very special place.  And we look forward to coming.  We haven’t set that date, but we will be going to Germany.  Absolutely.  Thank you.

     Thank you very much.  We’ve had a great couple of days.  Very productive.  And Chancellor Merkel and I have really, I think, come to some very good conclusion on lots of things, including trade.  We do a tremendous amount of trade with Germany.  A great trading partner.  And we’ve reached agreement on a lot of different things.  And we probably think we’re going to be upping the trade over a very short period of time.  Actually, we do a lot of trade, but we can up it quite a bit.

     We also talked military.  We talked defense.  We talked about a lot of different things.  And a lot of really wonderful things will conclude.  I think it’s been a great two days.  So, thank you very much.  Very much, Angela.  Thank you.

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  Well, I can only confirm this: We had indeed very productive talks while we’re here, and we’re going to continue such productive talks on a bilateral level.  And in view of the very close relationship that binds our two countries together, I am confident that we can do good things together and can continue (inaudible).

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No doubt.  And we’ve also had a very good G7.  I think it’s been, really, a productive G7 and coming to a close, I guess, sometime this afternoon.  We’re going to be doing a press conference.  I’ll be doing one later.  Perhaps you will.  Are you doing a press conference?  I hope so.  If you do one, I may go.  (Laughter.)  Just to watch.

     But we’ll be doing -- we’ll be leaving after the press conference, going back to the United States.  Okay?  Thank you.

     Q    Mr. President, do you still consider on German cars?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Say it?

     Q    Do you still consider tariffs on German cars?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I hope not.  I mean, we’re going to come to some conclusions.  We talked about a new trade deal between, you know, not just Germany, but between the Union and ourselves -- European Union.  And I think, you know, we’re having some very good discussions going.

I hope not.  I really do hope not.

     Q    Mr. President, do you have any conclusions on ISIS fighters coming back from Syria?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we talked about that just a few minutes ago.  We’ve captured thousands of ISIS fighters.  We have them now.  They’re captured.  They’re in various locations, but predominantly in one.

     They came from Europe, in almost all cases.  And we’ve told Europe, “I hope you’re going to be able to take them back and do something.”  So, it’s something that we’ve discussed with the various nations, taking them back.  Because the United States, we did a great favor for, you know, the fact we were able to capture -- we were able to take 100 percent of the caliphate.  One-hundred percent.

     But we have thousands of ISIS fighters that are captured.  Some very dangerous.  Some of them are very dangerous.  And we think they should go to the country from which they came.  And that’s what’s pretty much going to happen.  I think we had a pretty good meeting.  And that had not reached a total conclusion, but it’s unfair for the United States to take them, because they didn’t come from the United States.

     Q    Mr. President, do you and Mrs. Merkel agree on a step forward for Iran?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We haven’t discussed Iran too much, but I think we agree that Iran shouldn’t be nuclear.  It’s a very important thing.  In fact, I think we’ll be coming out with a statement, to that effect, from the G7.  Everybody agrees that we cannot let Iran become a nuclear -- have nuclear weapons.

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  Well, I can only repeat that we, together -- that is to say all of the G7 members -- have said that we want to prevent any kind of nuclear weapons for Iran.  That's something that we want to prevent.  We've said we wanted to achieve that through negotiations.  We had very productive talks on this issue as well.  But it is, obviously, still moving as an issue.  And it is slowly moving forward, but there’s still a long way to go yet.

     Q    Mr. President, what are your thoughts on the working session on climate?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I do think that we really made some big progress with respect to Iran in terms of unity of the G7.  And there has been great unity.  Really.  It’s been flawless, in that sense.  And, you know, we had a lot of fake news where they’re saying, “Oh, there’s no unity.  There’s no unity.”  In fact, total unity.  We’ve had a really -- I’m talking about all of the seven countries.  And it’s been really good.  It’s been -- now, it’s not quite over yet; we have a meeting or two left, right?

     But I will tell you, we’ve had great unity, even with Iran.  A lot of -- a lot of progress made on Iran.  And we’ve come to a conclusion, more or less.  But the biggest part of the conclusion: They can’t have nuclear weapons.

     But we have had a very successful G7.  Very friendly.  Very friendly.  Very opposite of what you've reported.  I mean, you had a report where -- I was in the plane, I hadn’t even landed yet, and you said I was in a dispute.  And I said, “That’s tough.  I haven’t landed yet.”  So, as you know, that was your predisposition.

     The other thing is, the country is doing very -- the United States, as you know, is doing very, very well.  Talks are going on with China at a very high level.  As you know, Steve, you might just want to mention what was said, but it was just reported in Bloomberg and others that -- Marketwatch -- that China just put out a statement.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, we appreciate the Vice Premier Liu -- his comments that he just came out with.  And we look forward to continuing our discussions with him.  Ambassador Lighthizer and I will expect to continue those shortly.

     Q    Mr. President, do you still believe that the EU treats the U.S. --

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Say it?

     Q    Do you still believe that the EU treats the U.S. worse than China on trade, after your discussions?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I think the European Union -- and I’ve said this openly; I say it with respect -- I think they’re as tough as China.  I really do.  I think they’re very tough.  The United States has been not treated particularly well over the years.  And I’m not saying that as -- it should have been the other way around, but it wasn’t.  I congratulate you.

     But the European Union, they’re tough.  Very tough.  They’re very tough traders.  And the United States has lost tremendous amounts of money over the many years with the European Union.  And I don’t hold that against the European Union, I hold it against our presidents and administrations that did not do a good job.

     I respect the European Union.  I respect China for being able to do what they’ve done to the United States over the years.  I mean, you look at a guy like Sleepy Joe Biden, the fact that he would allow them, for eight years with Obama, to do what they did to us.  This should have happened -- what I’m doing with China should have happened 25 years ago.  Not just President Obama.  I mean, many presidents.  You go back with Bush and Clinton.  I mean, many -- many Presidents should have done something about this.

     They’re taking out hundreds of billions of dollars a year.  You know, intellectual property theft by the billions and billions and billions.  It’s not right.  Somebody should have done it.  And I’m not blaming China, I’m blaming our representatives and leadership for doing a bad job.

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (Speaks German.)

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  This doesn’t sound good.  (Laughter.) 

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  At any rate, we wish to talk about these issues and others right now.  And we’ve said we want to come as quickly as possible to an agreement between the European Union and the United States -- enhance talks -- because this is obviously of very great interest also to us, to enhance the trade relations between the European Union and the United States.  And we’ve said we want to bring this as quickly as possible to a successful solution.

     Anyway, Germany is going to work resolutely --


     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.) -- for this, before the European Union.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Great.  Well, as you know, we made a very big deal yesterday with Japan.  That’s a tremendous deal with Prime Minister Abe.  And we hope to have a deal with the European Union too.  We hope we can do a fair deal, a good deal for everybody.

     Q    Mr. President, were you able to attend the working session on climate and oceans earlier?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We’re having it in a little while.

     Q    In a little while.

     Q    (Speaks German.)  (No translation provided.)

     INTERPRETER:  (As interpreted.)  The question was, “Madam Chancellor, is the new dream team of G7 now Presidents Trump and President Macron?”  And the Chancellor replied, “The new dream team of G7 is G7.”  (Laughter.) 

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That’s a good answer.  (Laughter.)   You know, everybody has really contributed.  We’ve had really great contributions from all of the different countries.  I think that’s true.  Very good contributions.

     Q    Mr. President, Madam, you said together you got to compromise on digital taxation between France and the U.S.  Can you confirm that?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  We’re getting close.  And they want to make a deal.  And we’ll see if we can make a deal.  We’re getting close.

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  We have said that we have the intention within the OECD to find a solution for each and every one by 2020.  And that will be an enormous breakthrough to the benefit of everyone in the world.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Correct.

     Q    And, Chancellor Merkel, is Germany making a commitment to take back ISIS fighters in Syria?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we’re talking about that now.  And we have -- we have a lot from Germany, which is a great thing.  And we’ll work something out.  I think we’re going to work something out.

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  First, I should say that we have already accepted a number of family members, among them primarily children.  Secondly, we have committed ourselves -- all the European Union countries -- to work together and to try and find a solution here to work together with the United States on this one.  But we want to find a solution together, but it is certainly not (inaudible).

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We've done -- we've done -- I think we've done a really great job.  We -- you know, we defeated them.  We took over 100 percent.  Not 99, not 98 -- because I was criticized.  I said, "All right, we got 98 percent.  We're leaving."  And I was very badly criticized.  They said, "Why not 100 percent?"  So I said, "All right, we'll stay.  We'll do 100."  So we did 100 percent.  And we did a great job.

     And we've had very good talks.  But, you know, it's not fair for the United States to have these people.  We want to give them to the areas where they came from, and that includes not just Germany.  France.  We have a lot from France.  We have a lot of from the UK.  We have a lot from a lot of different countries.  And, for the most part, all in Europe.

     Q    Mr. President --


     Q    On China, sir, do you think it's possible that talks would advance and you could reach a deal to either delay or cancel the plan to tariff increases that you've announced?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I think anything is possible.  I can say we're having very meaningful talks.  Much more meaningful than, I would say, at any time, frankly.  And I think, for the most part, it's because we are doing very well.  China is a great country.  I consider President Xi to be a great leader.  I think you do also.  And he is a great leader.

     And, look, they're losing millions and millions of jobs.  They're going to other countries.  And if I were them, I'd want to make a deal.  But, in the meantime, the United States is taking in tremendous amounts of dollar.   You know, billions and billions of dollars.  And, frankly, there's been no inflation.  And most of these products haven’t even gone up because China is able to manipulate and also able to put cash into the system where the product can stay at the same price.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a competitive product and they wouldn’t be able to sell it, and they'd lose jobs.

     But they lost a lot of jobs, and I think they want to see a sensible solution.  So there's a really good chance.  I think we're probably in a much better position now than at any time during the negotiation.  That's something meaningful.  And I don’t think you could’ve gotten here without having to go through this process.  And maybe I'm wrong, but I think we're probably in a stronger position now to do a deal -- a fair deal for everybody.  And so we're having very meaningful talks.

     Q    Mr. President, is the Chancellor pressuring you to deescalate the trade war with China?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No.  She'd like to see it worked out because it's good for everybody, I think, if it works out.  Not pressuring.  She's a brilliant woman and she understands exactly where everything is.  She knows before most people.  And she'd like to see it worked out.

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  Of course, I mean, we're all somehow linked together.  We all have every interest in trying to see this come to a solution.  And we'd be very glad if a -- well, an agreement could be found between China and the United States that is in our own best interest.

     Q    Mr. President, when you are hosting G7 next year, who will be your surprise guest?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t think there will be any surprises.  I'm not looking for surprises.  I think we'll have a very successful G7.  It'll probably be in Miami, right next to the International Airport.  Great location.  It's one of the biggest airports.  It takes planes from everywhere.  You know, sometimes you have hours and hours of driving to get to certain locations.  We'll have -- you'll only have a five-minute drive, which is good.  You'll land in Miami International Airport.

     And so we think we're going to have a very successful one.  And we can learn from what took place here because I think they did a really great job.  Even architecturally, the way the rooms were set up and designed.  And I think they really did.  We got some good ideas from this G7.  But there won't be any surprises, no.

     Q    Are you going to invite Russia?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we'll see.  I think that Russia -- we had a talk, and -- no vote or anything.  But we had a talk about Russia.  My inclination is to say yes.  Some people disagree with me, some people don’t.  There are people that agree with me 100 percent, but there are some that don’t.

     So we did have a discussion about Russia.  We'll see.  I think it's advantageous, but other people don’t necessarily agree -- maybe at this time, I think I could say.  Maybe at this time, without being specific.

     But we'll see what happens.

     Q    Mr. President, do you expect to host at the Doral Golf Course, the G7?
     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They're seeming to set up the best.  It's close to the -- we haven't made a final decision, but it's right next to the airport, right there, meaning, you know, a few minutes away.

     It's a great place.  It's got tremendous acreage.  Many hundreds of acres.  So we can handle whatever happens.  It's really -- people are really liking it.  Plus, it has buildings that have 50 to 70 units in them, so each delegation can have its own building.  So you'd have the seven various delegations, and they could have their own building.  So a lot of -- and they could have buildings for the press.  We have -- it's very big.  A great conference facility.

     So we're thinking about it.  They love the location of the hotel, and they also like the fact that it's right next to the airport, for convenience.  And it's Miami.  Doral.  Miami.  So it's a great area.

     Q    Is that the leading (inaudible)?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We haven’t found anything that could even come close to competing it.  (Inaudible) really competing with it, especially when you look at the location being right next to the airport.  Because so many places are so far away.  The drive is so long, and, you know, you need helicopters, you need all sorts of things.  This is something you can be there in literally a matter of minutes after you land.  So I think they will appreciate that.

     Q    Chancellor, can you give us your views on Russia?

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  We will certainly address this issue in our talks here.  I want to see talks now between -- and a solution -- between the Ukrainian President Zelensky, the new Ukrainian President, and the Russian President.  We wish to see progress made on the Minsk Agreement. We've already made, as we saw, small progress with President Zelensky.  And I think we have to try and bring this forward in the next few months to come.

     I, at any rate, have every interest in bringing about a solution to this we have.  It is a big problem, and we have enough problems in the world as it is, so I think we ought to make progress on this one.

     Q    Mr. President, the G7 is about to lose its only female leader.  Are you concerned that the world isn’t doing enough to promote female leaders around the world?

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  I'm still here.  (Laughter.)

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  She may surprise you.  She may be here a long time.  I know her well.  I don't know that you're right about that.  I don't know that you're right about that at all.

     Q    Mr. President, speaking on female leaders, are you signing on to any of the gender equality initiatives and also the African partnership initiatives?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we're looking at it very carefully.  We had some very good meetings on that, yes.  Very, very good meetings.  Really productive.  It was something that we are looking at very seriously, as a country, as an endorsement -- as a country.  Yeah.  So we're looking at that very seriously.

     Q    Mr. President, have you discussed monetary policy with any of these leaders?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Not too much.

     Q    Germany, of course, (inaudible).

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It may come up at the very end, in our last meeting.  I think we're going to be discussing that a little bit.  But we haven’t had that meeting yet.  It's a big thing, monetary policy.  Very big.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  And fiscal policy.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And fiscal.

     Q    Chancellor, did you invite the President to Berlin?  And what was his answer?

     CHANCELLOR MERKEL:  (As interpreted.)  As I've already told you, I've invited the President repeatedly on previous occasions, and you have heard his answer just now.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We'll be there.  We'll be there.  I'm very honored by the invitation, and that's true.  And we will be there.  And maybe soon.  It's -- I have German in my blood.  I'll be there.

     Q    Will you make a stop on the way to Poland, for example?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I haven’t thought of that, but it could happen.  We have -- it's really soon.  It's a little soon.  But we'll be in Poland, I guess, next week.  And then, we'll be heading back.  It's a little bit too soon.  But we're going to be there very soon, in Germany.

     Okay?  Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.

                             END            11:42 A.M. CEST