Wednesday, September 25, 2019

1600 Daily The White House • September 25, 2019 How to Waste a Year of America’s Time

1600 Daily
The White House • September 25, 2019

How to waste a year of America’s time 

Americans “want a Congress that delivers results for the people, opening up opportunity and lifting up their lives. When our new members take the oath, our Congress will be refreshed, and our democracy will be strengthened by the optimism, idealism and patriotism of this transformative freshman class.”

That was newly elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 3, during the opening session of the 116th Congress. Whether she meant those words at the time is now irrelevant, as the actions of her party this year have betrayed any such vision of a real legislative agenda for working Americans.

Yesterday, Congressional Democrats gave yet another snapshot of how they spend their days now. After months of pressure, Speaker Pelosi caved to the far-left base (sorry, “transformative freshman class”) that she has been unable to appease, announcing that she is launching official impeachment inquiries into President Trump. Although Democrats have been hinting at impeachment as a political weapon for two years, the latest excuse they give comes as a response to hyped-up reports of a supposed “quid pro quo” offered to President Zelensky of Ukraine.

Slight problem: It turns out the story was completely false. The transcript released by the White House today proves that Democrats simply made up their claims of a “quid pro quo” between President Trump and President Zelensky.

Here we go again.

Democrats in Congress devote all their time and energy to rumors and innuendo rather than governing. It doesn’t matter if none of it turns out to be true—by then, their media surrogates have spread the lie far and wide. In the process, Speaker Pelosi’s ranks have squandered nearly a year’s worth of time on a single failed agenda item: endless investigations and obstruction. Yesterday’s antics explain why Americans are fed up with Washington and why Congress’ approval numbers sit at an abysmal 18 percent.

Imagine all that could have been accomplished had Democrats devoted this year to issues that actually matter to middle-class Americans, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement:
 Americans deserve elected officials who focus on key issues to improve the lives of families, strengthen our communities, grow our economy, and keep our country safe. In President Donald J. Trump they have someone who has not only focused on those goals, but delivered results.

In a far departure from all of the work and results of this President, House Democrats have destroyed any chances of legislative progress for the people of this country by continuing to focus all their energy on partisan political attacks. Their attacks on the President and his agenda are not only partisan and pathetic, they are in dereliction of their Constitutional duty.

The Trump Administration will continue to be vigorous in laying out the facts and standing up for the many forgotten men and women who elected him. 

The window for Democrats to do anything of substance this year is closing fast. When Nancy Pelosi spoke about a “new dawn” while accepting the gavel as Speaker earlier this year, she gave the impression that Congress would finally function differently under her watch.

It doesn’t. And no one’s holding their breath that her party will start putting the American people before their political ambitions.

Must read: “The Impeachment Farce Is A Slap In The Face To American Voters”

NOTHING TO SEE HERE: “Democrats Wrote to Ukraine in May 2018, Demanding It Investigate Trump”

NEW: President Trump secures trade agreement with Japan 

While Democrats work overtime on obstruction, President Trump is delivering results for workers across the country. In New York today, the President signed a document with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that outlines major steps toward a new trade deal between our countries.

“Under the market access agreement that we’re announcing today, Japan will open new markets to approximately $7 billion in American agricultural products. Japanese tariffs will now be significantly lower, or eliminated entirely, for U.S. beef, pork, wheat, cheese, corn, wine, and so much more,” President Trump explained. “This is a huge victory for America’s farmers, ranchers, and growers. And that’s very important to me.”

The second part of the deal secures robust commitments on $40 billion worth of digital trade for both our economies, expanding commerce for cutting-edge products and services.

This is what working hard for the American people looks like.

Read: President Trump secures major trade agreements with Japan. 

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
President Donald J. Trump participates in a trade agreement signing ceremony with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the InterContinental New York Barclay | September 25, 2019

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP IN PRESS CONFERENCE InterContinental New York Barclay New York, New York

Office of the Press Secretary


InterContinental New York Barclay
New York, New York

4:28 P.M. EDT

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.

     Well, thank you all for being here.  We've had a tremendous three days in New York, at the United Nations.  I want to thank the Secretary-General.  It's been really incredible what's been taking place.  And he's been a fantastic host to a lot of countries.

     The meetings I had on a bilat, or close, were pretty staggering.  I think we set a new record, but you'll have to check that out.  The -- we met very, very -- for pretty extended periods of time, either two and two, one on one, or just about at that level with Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt, South Korea, United Kingdom, India, Iraq, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, France, Japan, Ukraine, Honduras, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.  Other than that, we weren’t too busy over the last three days.
     And, unfortunately, the press doesn’t even cover it.  You know, we have -- we've made some fantastic deals, like with Japan.  For farmers, we have a tremendous trade deal with Japan.  And that doesn’t get covered because you waste your time on nonsense.

The PMI manufacturers' index has gone substantially up, which was an incredible -- Larry Kudlow, wherever you may be -- Larry, please stand up.  He just gave me these numbers.  And existing new home sales are through the roof.  Just came out.  Oil prices have gone down ever since the Saudi Arabia incident, and they've gone down very substantially.  So, we have plenty of oil.  But those numbers were surprising to you, Larry.  And the extent of the increase.  Is that a correct statement?  So thank you, Larry Kudlow.

We think we'll make this little announcement to you because -- important.  You know the so-called whistleblower?  The one that didn’t have any first-class, or first-rate, or second-tier information, from what I understand.  You'll have to figure that out for yourself.  But I've spoken with Leader Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans -- many of them -- and we were going to do this anyway, but I've informed them -- all of the House members -- that I fully support transparency on the so-called whistleblower information, even though it was supposedly second-hand information, which is sort of interesting.

And other things have come out about the whistleblower that are also maybe even more interesting.  But also insist on transparency from Joe Biden and his son Hunter on the millions of dollars that have been quickly and easily taken out of Ukraine and China.  Millions of dollars.  Millions and millions of dollars taken out very rapidly while he was Vice President.  And I think they should have transparency for that.  I've informed the Leader about that.

And additionally, I demand transparency from Democrats who went to Ukraine and attempted to force the new President, who I met and is an outstanding person.  I just met a little while ago; some of you were there.  I think he's going to be outstanding.  He got elected on the basis of corruption.  He wants to end corruption in Ukraine, and I think that’s great.

But they went there and they wanted to force the new President to do things that they wanted under the form of political threat.  They threatened him if he didn’t do things.  Now, that’s what they're accusing me of, but I didn’t do it.  I didn’t threaten anybody.  In fact, the press was asking questions of the President of Ukraine.  And he said, "No pressure."  I used the word "pressure."  I think he used the word "push," but he meant pressure, but it's the same thing.  No push, no pressure, no nothing.  It's all a hoax, folks.  It's all a big hoax.

And the sad thing about this hoax is that we work so hard with all of these countries -- and I mean really hard.  This has been -- I've been up from early in the morning to late in the evening, and meeting with different countries all for the good of our country, and the press doesn’t even cover all of this.  And it's disappearing -- it's really disappointing also to those countries that are with us and spend so much time with us.

So, we want transparency.  We've informed Kevin McCarthy about transparency.  And we said, "Vote for it."  So I think you'll have close to 100 percent of the Republican votes, I hope.

And it got almost no attention, but in May, CNN reported that Senators Robert Menendez, Richard Durbin, and Patrick Leahy wrote a letter to Ukraine's Prosecutor General expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were "critical."  In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake and that if they didn’t do the right thing, they wouldn’t get any assistance.  Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar?  Doesn’t that sound familiar?

And Chris Murphy -- who I've been dealing with on guns -- you know, so nice.  He's always, "Oh, no, we want to work it out.  We want to work it out."  But they're too busy wasting their time on the witch hunt.  So, Senator Chris Murphy literally threatened the President of Ukraine that, if he doesn't do things right, they won't have Democrat support in Congress.  So you're going to look all of this up.

One other thing -- I'm just going off of certain notes and elements of what we've been doing over the last three days, but this just came up a few minutes ago: The "Amazon-Washington Post" just put out a fake article that Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire -- who I've gotten to know, and he's a tough cookie -- and I was surprised; I was shocked to hear this -- was going to quit, blaming the White House for something that they wouldn’t let him talk openly, freely.  And I was shocked because I know Joe, and he's tough.  A tough guy.

And I was really surprised to hear he was going to quit.  Before I could even either talk to him or talk to anybody else, he put out a statement -- I didn’t speak to Joe yet -- but he said, "At no time have I considered resigning my position."  In other words, the story in the Washington Post was a fake.

"At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on August 16, 2019.  I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now.  I'm committed to leading the intelligence community to address the diverse and complex threats facing our nation."  That’s from the Acting Director of National Intelligence, a very good man, Joseph Maguire.

So we're having a great period of time.  Our country is the strongest it's ever been economically.  Our numbers are phenomenal.  Wilbur, thank you.  And Larry.  Everybody.  The numbers are phenomenal.  Our economy is the strongest in the world.  We're the largest economy in the world.

Had my opponent won, we would be second right now because China was catching us so rapidly, we would've been second by this time.  And unless somebody does a very poor job as President, we're going to be first for a long way, because we've picked up trillions and trillions of dollars in value and worth of our country, and China has lost trillions and trillions of dollars, and millions of jobs, and their supply chain.  And they want to make a deal.

This year, America came to the United Nations stronger than we have ever been before: Since my election, the United States has not only brought our economy to a level that we have never seen, the most jobs that we've ever had -- you know you've heard me say it many times -- African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, the best unemployment numbers we've ever had.  And the most and best employment numbers: 160 million -- very close to that number -- in jobs.  We've never been anywhere close.

     Wages are up, and inequality is down.  Something that people don’t like writing about.  But wages are up.  I used to speak during the campaign, and I'd talk about wages where people were making less money three years ago than they were making 21 years, 22 years ago, and they'd have two jobs and three jobs.  When I say "three years ago," I'm talking into the area sometime prior to the election.  And they were doing very badly.  And now, for the first time in many years, wages are up and employment is up, and unemployment is down.  And it's a beautiful thing to watch.

In a week of active and ambitious diplomacy here at the United Nations, America renewed our friendships.  We advanced our values greatly and made clear to everyone that the United States will always defend our citizens to promote prosperity.

I met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at length, of the United Kingdom, continuing our discussions on a magnificent, new bilateral trade deal.  So we'll see what happens with respect to Brexit, but I suspect we'll have a fantastic deal with the UK. It should be much bigger than it has been over the last number of years.  Over the last 20 years, frankly.  It should be a much bigger deal.

That's true with many countries.  We're going to have much bigger trade deals with a lot of countries that have an opportunity to come.  And they all want to do business with the United States, especially now.

Earlier today, I stood alongside Prime Minister Abe of Japan -- a friend of mine, a great gentleman.  Had a great reelection.  And we signed a terrific new trade deal, which tremendously helps our farmers and ranchers, and technology.  The technology companies are really big beneficiaries.

We also held very productive conversations with leaders of Pakistan, India.  And many other nations are achieving stronger ties of fair and reciprocal trade.  And with respect to Pakistan and India, we talked about Kashmir.  And whatever help I can be, I said -- I offered, whether it's arbitration or mediation, or whatever it has to be, I'll do whatever I can.  Because they're at very serious odds right now, and hopefully that'll get better.

You look at the two gentlemen heading those two countries -- two good friends of mine -- I said, "Fellas, work it out.  Just work it out."  Those are two nuclear countries.  They've got to work it out.

This week, we also made incredible strides on national security with President Duda of Poland.  We signed a joint declaration advancing defense cooperation.  And, crucially, Poland has agreed to put up 100 percent of the money -- something I don't think you've ever heard said before.  But they're going to put up 100 percent of the money, of hosting additional U.S. military personnel that we'll be taking from various other countries.  We won't have more over; we'll have -- we'll be moving them around.

Poland is building us phenomenal new facilities.  They're spending everything, and they're going to really do a job.  But we'll be moving a few thousand soldiers, and Poland will be paying that for it.

Together with Prime Minister Lee of Singapore, I signed an important agreement extending our defense cooperation.  This hasn't been changed in many years.  Then, yesterday, I met with prospective members of the Middle East Strategic Alliance, which is a group that I know very well; I know all of them.  And through this effort, the nations of the Middle East are taking more responsibility for securing their own future and their own neighborhood.  And they're also reimbursing us and paying us for a lot of the military work that we incredibly do.

But because we're now independent, energy-wise -- we're energy independent -- we have very few boats going over the Middle East.  We used to have them going through the Straits all the time.  And you probably noticed that, every once in a while, they go after somebody else's.  They haven’t gone after ours yet. If they do, they've get big problems.  But we have very few boats going over there.  They were saying the other day, they've never attacked an American boat, and I'm not asking for trouble.  But if they do, they know they have far bigger trouble.  But then they said, "But, you know, we don't see very many American boats over here anymore."

This week also brought extraordinary progress to nations of our own hemisphere.  In recent days, we've achieved historic asylum cooperation agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.  We were with El Salvador today.  A great young gentleman became the President.  He's strong and tough, and he's taking care of crime.  He was really something today.  I was very impressed with him.  And likewise with Honduras, who we met.  We signed a cooperation agreement with both, and also with Guatemala.

We're working with our partners in Central America to ensure that asylum-seekers can pursue relief as close to their home countries as possible.  That'll make a tremendous difference at our southern border.

And Mexico -- I have to say, President Lopez Obrador has been outstanding -- an outstanding partner.  And he's doing a great job in Mexico.  The cartels are way down, and the numbers -- our Secretary is here now -- the numbers are way down.  Way, way down.  And we're doing that without the help of Congress, meaning the Democrats in Congress who won't give us a single vote to take care of loopholes.

We have loopholes that are so horrible, and it would be so easy to fix.  And they know they should be fixed but they don't want to do because they don't want to give Trump any credit because it's all about the election.  That's all they care about.  They don't care about our country; they care about the election.

And the sad part is, with all of the tremendous work that we've done this weekend -- whether it's Secretary Mnuchin or Secretary Pompeo, who had some outstanding, outstanding meetings -- with all of this tremendous work that we've done, the press doesn’t even cover it.  And the Democrats did this hoax during the United Nations week.  It was perfect.  Because this way, it takes away from these tremendous achievements that we're taking care of doing, that we're involved in in New York City, at the United Nations.

So that was all planned, like everything else.  It was all planned.  And the witch hunt continues, but they're getting hit hard in this witch hunt, because when they look at the information, it's a joke.  Impeachment?  For that?  When you have a wonderful meeting, or you have a wonderful phone conversation?

I think you should ask.  We actually -- you know, that was the second conversation.  I think you should ask for the first conversation also.  I can't believe they haven't, although I heard there's a -- there's a rumor out they want the first conversation.  It was beautiful.  It was just a perfect conversation.

But I think you should do that.  I think you should do, and I think you should ask for VP Pence's conversation because he had a couple conversations also.  I can save you a lot of time.  They're all perfect.  Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations.  But the word is that they're going to ask for the first phone conversation.  You can have it anytime you need it.  And also Mike Pence's conversations, which were, I think, one or two of them.  They were perfect.  They were all perfect.

It's very sad what the Democrats are doing to this country. They're dividing.  They're belittling.  They're demeaning our country.  So many leaders came up to me today and they said, "Sir, what you go through, no President has ever gone through.  And it's so bad for your country."  People laugh at the stupidity of what they've asked for.  And here we could do asylum.  We could do all of these different things so easily.  We could do asylum quickly.  We could do loopholes; get rid of them.

Instead, we actually made deals with Mexico and with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras.  And we're doing it with them instead of with our Congress, but we're doing it.  We get it done.

The wall is being built, by the way.  It got little coverage.  I went to the border.  It's going up in New Mexico.  It's going up in Arizona.  It's going up in California, believe it or not.  They really wanted that wall in California, in San Diego.  As soon as it was completed, they said, "We don't want a wall."  They were begging me for a wall.  I should take it out and move it to another location.

We were with the Governor -- spoke to him a lot -- but the Governor of Texas, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Attorney General of Texas, the senators of Texas -- Cornyn, Ted Cruz.  And we're building an incredible wall.  That's going to -- number one, it's going to look great.  It's going to be virtually impossible to cross unless you're one hell of a mountain climber.  It's very tough.  It's going to be very tough to get people and drugs over those walls, because they're the real deal.

I went to the Secretary of Homeland security, and he got all his people together.  I said, "Give me four walls -- your optimum.  Every single thing included."  And they give me 20 percent less, 20 percent less, and 20 percent less -- meaning, less cost.  They came back, they said, "This is the wall, sir.  This would be the best."  We have the panels on top, which are anti-climb panels.  I don't know if you noticed the steel on top.  We have a different design for a different area, but this anti-climb is very tough.  They've -- we had people going out and real climbers telling us which is the toughest to climb.  But these are anti-climb panels.  Very tough to get across.

And the wall is going up, many miles a week.  And we hope to have over 400, but maybe as much as 500 miles, which we'll pretty much do it because you have a lot of natural barriers; you have mountains, you have really rough rivers.  You have some really rough land that you can't cross very easily.  So they serve as their natural walls.  But we -- we'll have, we think, over 400, but we could even have 500 miles.

To combat the malice, corruption of both the Venezuelan and Iranian dictatorships, today I issued proclamations suspending the entry into the United States of senior regime officials and their families.

And further, to promote American values, on Monday I was proud to be the first President in history to host a meeting at the United Nations --

I'm so surprised; first President for this.  I can't believe that I'm first.  I spoke to Franklin Graham about that.  I can't believe it.

-- at the United Nations, on protecting religious freedom and liberty for people around the world.

While some partisans and unelected bureaucrats in Washington may choose to fight every day against the interests and beliefs of the American people, my administration is standing up for the American people like no administration has in many, many years.  You forgot the American people.  You totally forgot the American people.

This week, every -- every week, I really can say -- of my presidency, we're standing up for American prosperity, American security, and the American way of life.  And together, with our friends and partners, we're building a more peaceful, prosperous, and promising future.

We have a tremendous relationship now with a lot of nations that are very happy with what's going on, and that includes in South America, where they've been so helpful, where nobody thought this would be possible.  The relationship with Mexico is an example, or El Salvador, or Honduras, or Guatemala.  Nobody even knew about it.  Yet, we sent them hundreds of millions of dollars, and all we got back was caravans of people pouring in.

We had tremendous -- we had tremendous -- it was terrible.  And we've got that stopped, and the countries are now helping us.  And we stopped those payments, by the way.  We don't pay those countries that money anymore.  But I will tell you, if they're as good as they seem to be -- they're really doing a job on crime and stopping the wrong people from leaving and coming to the United States -- we'll be helping them a lot with economic development projects and other things.

So, with that, we had a tremendous three days.  It was beautiful to see.  Made a lot of new friends.  I read you a list of all the countries I saw pretty much one on one.  And it's been very busy, but it's been very, very fruitful.

So we could take a couple of questions. I'd love some questions on some of the things that we accomplished at UNGA, instead of the witch hunt -- the phony witch hunt questions, which I know that's what you want to ask because it's probably better for you, but it's not better for the country.

So maybe we'll take a few -- a few questions.  Please.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  You suggested that you didn't do anything wrong in the course of your conversations with the Ukrainian President.  But can you explain to the American people why it is appropriate for an American President to ask a foreign leader for information about a political rival, and what you would have said if you discovered that Barack Obama perhaps had asked a foreign leader for information about you before your campaign for the presidency?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  Well, that's what he did, isn't it, really?  When you think about it.

Look, that whole witch hunt was started, and hopefully that'll all come out.  But there's been some fantastic books written that just came out -- whether you will look at Gregg Jarrett, or McCarthy's book that just -- just came out recently, and so many other books.  And a lot of books are coming out. When you start reading those books, you see what they did to us.  What they've done to this country is a disgrace.  They've hurt this country very badly.  And no other President should have to go through what I've gone through.

The President -- the new President of Ukraine is looking to stop corruption.  There's a lot of corruption going on, and there was corruption.  I just told you about senators that threatened him with votes and no money coming into Ukraine if they do things.  That's really what people are trying to say that I did, but the only difference is I didn't do it.  You take a look at that call; it was perfect.  I didn't do it.  There was no quid pro quo, but there was with Biden and there was with these senators.  And they threatened.  They said, "You do this, you do that.  We're not going to give you votes."  That's -- that's the real deal.

So we have an honest group of people that have been maligned.  And, you know, it's -- a lot of people say I'll do even better.  I'm very happy.  Yesterday, I guess we had a 53 poll, and a lot of people say add 10 points to anything.  Anybody voting for Trump, you can add -- anytime you get a poll, you can add 10 points or 7 points or 6 points.  Take it any way you want.  But I don't know if I consider that to be a compliment, but in one way it is a compliment.

And I guess that's what happened in the last election: Far more people came to vote than anybody thought possible.

Q    So why should the American people then be comfortable with an American President asking a foreign leader for information about an American citizen?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I think you can look at your senators and you can look at Biden, and you can look at all these other people.  But what we're looking for is corruption.  An investigation started, called the "Russian witch hunt," affectionately.  And it was a total phony scam.  It was set up by people within the government to try and stop somebody from getting elected.

And after that person -- namely, me -- won, and convincingly won at 306 to 223 in the Electoral College -- which, by the way, when you run a race, if you're running electoral -- you know, if you go by the College, Electoral College, that's a much different race than running popular vote.  And it's like the hundred-yard dash or the mile.  You train differently.

And I can't help it that my opponent didn't go to Wisconsin and should have gone much more to Michigan and Pennsylvania and other places.  But that's the way it is.  We won election, convincingly.  Convincingly.  And then you had the text message on, "Well, if she doesn’t win, we've got an insurance policy." How bad was that?  You know the insurance policy?  That's sort of what has been taking place over the last number of years -- the insurance policy.

No, there are a lot of very dishonest people.  We're the ones that played it straight.  And you know what?  The millions of people out there that are looking at what's going on -- those people understand it.  They see it.  And they think it's disgusting.  And our people are being hurt, and our country is being hurt.

When Nancy Pelosi allows her position to be taken over by radical far-left socialists, or worse, that's pretty bad.  That's pretty bad -- especially when the senators and all of these other people have actually done what they're accusing me of doing, which I didn't do.

I'm going to have Mike Pompeo say a couple of words.  I'm going to have Steve Mnuchin say a couple of words.  And then we'll do a couple of more questions.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Mr. President, I thought I'd start by talking about Iran.  We had a productive week.  We saw the Europeans take a position with respect to the attacks that took place in Saudi Arabia, making clear this was Iran, just as President Trump and I had been saying, and have now joined us in saying that the existing JCPOA framework is not going to work, it's not going to solve the world's problems, it's not going to create Middle East stability.

Then we had a good set of meetings with our Middle East allies as well.  The President joined for a meeting of the GCC where we talked again about how we can help deter.  We want peace.  We want a peaceful resolution with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  We're hoping we can get that way.  In the end, it'll be up to the Iranians to make that decision, whether they'll choose violence and hate -- and the President said in his speech yesterday to the General Assembly -- if their bloodthirst will continue.

We hope that's the (inaudible).  We hope we can get the opportunity to negotiate with them and get an outcome that's good for both of them, for the United States, to make sure that they never have a nuclear weapon and that they can't foment their terror with ballistic missiles and in the way they have all around the world.  And I think we made real progress uniting the world on that here over these past few days.  Thank you.


SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  As Secretary Pompeo said on Iran, we had very good discussions with all of our allies about the sanctions program, which is the maximum pressure, and unity on the sanctions program.  The Europeans made it very clear they would not do anything without our consent.

And then, on the economic front, we had the entire economic team here for all the meetings: Secretary Ross, Larry Kudlow; Ambassador Lighthizer just left to go back to D.C.  He's working hard on trying to get USMCA passed.  But we had a lot of productive discussions.  The Japanese trade deal and a lot of discussions on investing in the U.S., more jobs in the U.S., and more trade.  Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Okay.  Go ahead, please.

Q    Thank you.  Kristina Partsinevelos, Fox Business.  I want to focus on markets, because I’ll leave it to everybody else to talk about impeachment.  Markets reacted positively after you spoke about China, and that it would happen sooner than -- rather than unexpectedly.

Yet, you have the Foreign Minister of China saying that they have no intention of, you know, unseating the United States.  And yet, they’re investing heavily in infrastructure and military.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Not anymore, maybe.

Q    But what -- what is different this time, though?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And maybe they just say that, Kristina.

Q    What is different this time, though?  The fact that you’re saying it’s progressing.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Oh, I just think it’s progressing.  I think they want to make a deal.  They're losing their supply chain.  You know, it’s getting killed.

Q    Do you have something specific?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I don’t want to say that.  But I can tell you that these two men -- and, in this case, more specifically, Steve, we’re having some very good conversations.
And I guess it's next week that a group is coming in and the week after.  So we have a lot of -- we have a lot of talks going on, and also by telephone.

They want to make a deal.  And you know why they want to make a deal?  Because they're losing their jobs, and because their supply chain is going to hell.  And companies are moving out of China, and they’re moving to lots of other places, including the United States.  And that's not good; that's far worse than they thought.

And, by the way, in the meantime, we’re taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs.  We’re taking in tremendous numbers in tariffs.  And we’re helping our farmers who got targeted.  Now, by the way, China is starting to buy our agricultural product again.  They’re starting to go with the beef and all of the different things -- pork.  Very big on pork.

But if you look and if you see -- and they actually put out, I think, a statement.  But they’re starting, very heavy, to buy our ag again.  No, they want to make a deal.  And they should want to make a deal.  The question is: Do we want to make a deal?

Q   If USMCA doesn’t pass through Congress, is that it for NAFTA?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, that would be a shame.  Well, I don't want to answer that question, but you know how I feel about NAFTA.  I think NAFTA is the worst trade deal ever made, although I also happen to think World Trade Organization was not one of the greats.  Not one of the greats.  That was the creation of China, which went like a rocket ship from the day they signed.  It was -- it was terrible.

But, no, we’re going to find out.  That's going to be a very interesting question, with Nancy and Chuck and all of these people focusing on the witch hunt because they can't beat us at the ballot.  They can't beat us at the ballot.  And they’re not going to win the presidential.  We’re having great polls.  We have internal polls that are -- Ohio, Iowa.  Pennsylvania is looking good.  North Carolina.

We just won two races that a lot of people -- we thought we were going to lose both of those races.  One was down 17 points three weeks before the race, and he ended up winning by a substantial margin -- by a substantial margin.  And -- Dan Bishop.

And then we had a second race, as you know, and he was up one or two points and ended up winning by -- what was it?  Twenty-five points or some incredible -- I'll ask you folks because I don't want to be inaccurate.  Otherwise, I’ll have a front-page story: “We have breaking news.  Trump exaggerated.”

But he won by many, many points.  And he was leading by maybe two, maybe three, but he won by -- in the twenties.  So it's -- it's been -- so we’re looking great in North Carolina, looking great in Florida.

And you had one or two congressmen Democrats say, “Listen, we can't beat them at the election, so let's impeach him.”  Right?  Didn’t you hear -- Al Green.  That's a beauty.  He's a real beauty, that guy.  But he said, very distinctively, it’s all -- it was all over the place.  I don’t know -- they’re trying to lose that tape, I guess.

But he said, “We can’t…”  Essentially, he said, “We can’t beat him.  Let's impeach him.”  That’s pretty -- that's pretty dangerous stuff.

Steve, go ahead.

Q    Thank you, sir.  You had expressed some concerns about the precedent of releasing the transcript.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  I don’t like it.

Q    Why did you go ahead and do it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Because I was getting such fake news, and I just thought it would be better.  And now they’re asking for the first phone conversation, and I’ll release that too, if it’s important to you.  But they’re asking for -- because I had a conversation previous -- on a previous election plateau that he had hit.  The -- the current president hit a couple of different plateaus.  And I spoke to him, previous to the call that we released, which was a very innocent call -- very, very innocent; very nice call.

And as he said, we were -- “I wasn't pushed.  I wasn't pushed,” meaning pressured.  He wasn't pressured at all.

But I don't like the concept of releasing calls because when a president or prime minister, or a king or a queen, calls the United States, you don’t like to say, “Gee, we’re going to release your call to the fake-news media, and they’re going to make you look like a fool.”  What happens is, it's hard to do business that way.  You want to have people feel comfortable.

So I hated it, but you folks were saying such lies, such horrible things about a call that was so innocent and so nice.  In fact, Lindsey Graham said to me, when he read it -- it was very interesting.  He's a good man.  He’s a smart man.  He said, “I can't believe it.  I never knew you could be this, really, nice to a person.”  He said, “I cannot believe it.  You were so nice.  I didn’t think you had that in you to be so nice.”

I was nice.  I’m nice to a lot of people.  People don’t understand that.  But I was.  But he was shocked that it was such a nice call.  There -- he said, “There is nothing here.”  And all fair people say the same thing.

But I don't like the precedent, Steve.  I don't like it where you’re dealing with heads of state and to think that their call is going to be released.  But I felt that -- and, you know, we spoke to Ukraine about it.  Mike actually called up his counterpart, and we spoke to Ukraine about it because we want to -- because they could have been -- if that they didn't want us to do it, we would not have done it.

But he actually said, “That was a very innocent call.  You can release it all you want.”

Q    And are you now braced for long impeachment saga?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I thought we won.  I thought it was dead.  It was dead.  The Mueller report -- no obstruction, no collusion.  You look at all of the things that happened.

Corey Lewandowski was fantastic the other day, as a person that they have been tormenting.  You look at all the people that they've tormented, all the legal fees.  People came here with bright eyes; they wanted to make life so great for other people.  And they left where they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees that they didn't have.  And it's a sad thing.  What these Democrats have done to ruin lives is so sad.

I've seen people with only good intention.  They came to Washington because they wanted to make the United States and the world a better place.  And they went home -- they were dark.  They got hit by Mueller’s subpoenas.  I think there were 2,500 subpoenas, or some ridiculous number.  Five hundred people were interviewed, and yet, they don't interview Joe Biden and his son.

If you’re Democrat, you have automatic protection.  That’s years and years of people putting in certain people into positions.  But when you look at all of the -- all of the trauma that these fakers, of course -- and the press -- look, the press is -- much of the press is not only fake, it's corrupt.  These stories they write are corrupt; they’re so wrong.  And they know that.

You know, it used to be -- I used to get great press until I ran for politics.  I mean, I used to be the king of getting good press.  I was very good at it.  And I got good.  I mean, they covered me well for what -- otherwise, I probably wouldn't be here.

And once I ran, I said, “Boy, this is incredible.”  But if you see the way they treat my family -- used to be treated great.  My family worked so hard.  The people that work with me -- these people -- all of these people, they work so hard.  They've done such a good --

Look, we have the greatest economy we've ever had.  We have a military -- two and a half trillion dollars.  We've rebuilt our military.  You don't hear the vets complaining.  We got Choice approved.  It couldn't be approved.

But when you see what happened with the viciousness, and when you see little Adam Schiff go out and lie and lie and stand at the mic -- smart guy, by the way -- stand at the mic and act like he’s so serious.  And then he goes into a room with Nadler, and they must laugh their asses off.  They must laugh their asses off.

But it’s so bad for our country.  People have said -- Rush Limbaugh -- great man; Sean Hannity said it.  A lot of people have said it.  Mark Levin.  They said they don’t know if one man anywhere in the world, with all the men they know -- or woman -- that could handle what I’ve had to handle.

And I think that’s true, but I handle it.  To me, it’s like putting on a suit.

All right, how about one more question?  A question on the economy.  A question on the economy.

Go ahead.  Go ahead.

Q    Hi, Mr. President.  VPItv from Venezuela -- Caracas, Venezuela.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Good.  Good.  Wow.

Q    Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  How are you doing?

Q    We made it.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  How are you doing over there?

Q    Pretty bad.  Our situation is pretty bad.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  I would say “pretty bad.”  Yeah.  Sad.

Q    Yeah.  But we are fighting.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And it was one of the great countries and one of the richest countries not so long ago -- 15 years ago.  It’s incredible.

Q    But we are going to make it.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Right.  I agree with that.  And we’re helping you.

Q    Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We’re helping you.

Q    Yeah, I know.  And thank you.


Q    I have two questions --


Q    -- to take advantage of this.  Maduro traveled to Russia and Diosdado Cabello to North Korea -- two of the most antagonist nations in the U.S. interests.  What can be done to contain this?  What are they looking for in that country?  And because the special envoy, Mr. Abrams, said that the Russians are willing to negotiate it.  This is one question.

And the other: Mr. President, you say that the socialists is one of the biggest challenges, you said yesterday in the United Nations.  But the region is far from safe.  Maduro is still a dictator, full in power.  (Inaudible) in Argentina and Brazil are on their (inaudible) about the socialist and populist.  Are you worried about it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I just say that socialism will never happen in the United States.  It can’t happen in the United States.  And Venezuela -- unfortunately, I have to use your country as the example of what socialism can do, how it can tear the fabric of a country apart.  Because I know a lot about Venezuela.

I’ve had many, many friends of mine come from Venezuela.  They live -- many in Miami -- a certain section of Miami, I won’t mention the name because they’ll say I’m thinking about my business, and I’m not.  But they are fantastic people and they like your President.  They voted overwhelmingly for me.  They like what I’m doing for Venezuela.

We have Venezuela very much in our hearts and very much in our sights.  And we’re watching it very carefully.  And you know what I would say?  We’re giving millions and millions of dollars in aid -- not that we want to, from the Maduro standpoint, but we have to because, on a humanitarian -- people are dying.  They have no food.  They have no water.  They have no nothing.  They’re dying.  No medicine.  Their hospitals are closed or -- or don’t even have electricity.  It’s so sad to see.

Let me just say that we have it under control.  We are watching it very carefully.  And we’re going to be very, very --

Q    Russia (inaudible) --

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We’re -- we’re watching it very carefully, including other countries that may or may not be playing games.  We’re watching it very closely.

Q    But, you know, if Russia is talking with the USA or Guaidó, what can you tell -- about us?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Just put this in the back of your mind: It’s all going to be fine.  We know everything that you said, and it’s all going to be fine.  We’re very much involved.  We very much know what’s going on, and we’re very much involved.  Okay?

Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

                                       END                5:10 P.M. EDT



Office of the Press Secretary


InterContinental New York Barclay
New York, New York


3:24 P.M. EDT

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It's a great honor to be with the President of El Salvador.  We've had a tremendous success because, two weeks ago, we signed a cooperation agreement, which is a big thing -- great for El Salvador, great for the United States.  And we worked very, very well with our people.  And I have great respect for you, and I really appreciate what you're doing.

    The President has done an incredible job with MS-13.  He realizes what a threat they are.  And they have been very, very tough, and we all appreciate that.  And thank you very much for the agreement.

     PRESIDENT BUKELE:  Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT BUKELE:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Well, we're very happy to be here.  It's an honor to be with the President of the United States and with his team.  It's -- we're very impressed and -- the whole team being here.

And actually, for us, the United States is not only a partner and an ally, but also a friend.  And we're going to show that friendship -- that’s one of the reasons we signed the agreement is because we want to show that friendship to our most important ally, which is the United States.  And for us, this is very, very important.

And looking forward, I mean, we have been a little more than 100 days in office, but we look forward to be working with President Trump for the next five years.  So I think that will be very good for us.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I thought you were going to say longer than that.  (Laughter.)  Tell them a little bit longer, they'll love that.  That'll be breaking news.

PRESIDENT BUKELE:  I'm only going to be -- I'm only going to be for five years.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I know.  (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT BUKELE:  You would need to talk with -- to talk with the next President.


PRESIDENT BUKELE:  So for -- we're very happy to be here and we're hoping that this meeting will only strengthen our relationship even more.  And I think it will, because, you know, we're -- President Trump is very nice and cool, and I'm nice and cool, too.  (Laughter.)  So -- we both use Twitter a lot, so, you know, we'll get along.  And we're very honored.  We're very honored, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, it's our honor.  Thank you very much.  And we're working together very well.  And the relationship has been excellent.

Mr. Secretary, would you like to say something?

SECRETARY MCALEENAN:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And thank you, President Bukele.  It's been a tremendous partnership in the first 100 days you've had in office, with all of your team: Minister Hill, Minister Rivas, your security minister.  And I really see the advances that you're making on ending forced migration.  It's very productive for the region, and we'll be there alongside supporting you.  Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And I think, importantly, we met with Honduras, as you know, and we also had meetings previous to this, but with Guatemala, and had tremendously successful meetings.  We also signed agreements with them -- cooperation agreements.  Some people use different terms, but we use the word "cooperation agreement," and at the highest strength, and yours also.  And that’s good for all of us.  It's really good for all of us.

Mexico has been fantastic on the border.  Today we have 27,000 soldiers.  The numbers are way down.  What are the numbers you were just telling me?

SECRETARY MCALEENAN:  Yeah.  We're going drop again this month, Mr. President.  It will be an over 60 percent reduction from the peak in May.  And from Central America, it will be closer to 75 or 80 percent reduction.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  About an 80 percent -- I heard that before.  Eighty-one percent.  The catch and release is gone, as of almost now.


PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And there won't be catch and release.  We're not releasing anybody into the country.  And especially, we focus on the bad ones, but the bad ones get taken out.  We're removing them from our country.  We're moving them fast.  And they are the ones that go first.  You might want to discuss that a little bit.

Go ahead.

SECRETARY MCALEENAN:  Absolutely.  So we announced the end of the court-mandated catch and release of families from Central America.  And we've been able to do that because of our partnerships with the region, like with El Salvador, on streamlining repatriation for those who don’t claim asylum, and working with Mexico through the migrant protection protocol for families if they do claim asylums so that they can get an expedited court hearing.  And that’s been a very productive approach.

We reduced the overall flow, and we're taking profits away from criminal smugglers, and we're making great progress with our international partners under your leadership.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And Mexico, frankly, is doing a great job, with respect to the cartels, by having 27,000 soldiers on our border.  They're decimating a lot of the cartels that were just really coming in.  There's so many people now.  There's so many bodies and really strong, tough, hardened soldiers there that it's very hard for the cartels to break through.  And a lot of bad were -- if you have a cartel, it has not been a good situation for you.  So Mexico really is doing themselves a big favor, too.

But the President of Mexico has been outstanding in working with all of us, really.

PRESIDENT BUKELE:  Yeah.  (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And we're very happy.

The people that aren’t working with us are the Democrats.  The Democrats in Congress are a disaster.  We could solve so many more problems with the loopholes, which could be done literally in 15 -- I always say it -- 15, 20 minutes -- maybe 30, if we're a little bit slower.  But we could solve the loophole problem in a short period of time.

Despite that -- and we have asylum also, which we could solve immediately.  But we've sort of solved asylum by going through different countries.  Can you believe it?  Where we go to El Salvador, Honduras; we go to Mexico; we go to Guatemala to solve problems of asylum because we can't go to the United States Congress because the Democrats are playing games.  They don’t have any time to do anything else.  They don’t have time to do gun safety.  They don’t have time to do infrastructure.  They have time to do nothing else.

I'll tell you what: A lot of people are very angry at what's going on.  They view it as -- you could never use the word "joke," because it's too serious.  But they view it as something that should never take place.  They're never going to see anything done with this group in Congress -- the Democrats.  And that’s why I really think the Republicans will take over the House.  We might even increase in the Senate.  And we'll keep the presidency and we'll do something that -- like this country has never seen before.

But Nancy Pelosi has been taken over by the radical left.  I watched it.  I just find it hard to believe.  But she's been totally taken over by the radical left.  And she does exactly as they want her to do.  And a lot of her members now are having second thoughts.  They're saying they're in a very bad position.  They're in a very bad position.

We were just with the President -- the new President of Ukraine -- and it was a fantastic meeting.  He said, "No pressure.  No nothing."  It's all a hoax.  I call it "the hoax."  And this is just a continuation of the witch hunt.  And that’s all faded; that’s all gone.  And they had to come up with something else.  The same players -- Adam Schiff, Nadler -- all the same players.

But now Nancy Pelosi was forced into a position that she didn’t want to be in, and unfortunately she wasn’t tough enough to stop it.

So thank you very much everybody.  I think we're going to be doing a news conference in a little while.  And that'll be the end.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.

                        END                3:32 P.M. EDT


Office of the Press Secretary


InterContinental New York Barclay
New York, New York


2:19 P.M. EDT

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you very much, everybody.  We're with the President of Ukraine, and he's made me more famous, and I've made him more famous.  (Laughter.)  I will say he's got a great reputation.  He's very, very strongly looking into all sorts of corruption and some of the problems they've had over the years.  I think it's one of the primary reasons he got elected.  His reputation is absolutely sterling.  And it's an honor to be with you.

And we spoke a couple of times, as you probably remember.  And they'd like to hear every single word, and we give them every single word, and then they'll say, "Well, about today?"  I think the press would like to stay in the meeting, but we have lots of witnesses, if you'd like to have it.

     But the country of -- our country is doing phenomenally well.  We are -- we have the best economy we've ever had.  We have the best employment numbers that we've ever had.  We have now almost 160 million people working, which is more than we've ever had.  So we're doing very well in every respect.  And I have a feeling that your country is going to do fantastically well.  And whatever we can do.  You just take care of yourself.  Thank you.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

     Thank you very much.  It's a great pleasure to me to be here, and it's better to be on TV than by phone, I think.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  (Laughter.)

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  And, Mr. President, thank you very much.  And I'm not the first time to stay in New York --


     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  -- but I know that you've never been in Ukraine.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That's right.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  And your predecessor also -- how do you say it in English? -- didn’t find time; I mean that.  (Laughter.)


     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  So, can you give me a word that you will come to our great country?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I'm going to try.  (Laughter.)  And I know a lot of people -- I will say this: I know a lot of people from Ukraine.  They're great people.  And I owned something called the Miss Universe pageants years ago, and I sold it to IMG.  And when I ran for President, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be the greatest thing to own the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants.  But it's a great thing.  And we had a winner from Ukraine, and we've really had -- we got to know the country very well in a lot of different ways.  But it's a country, I think, with tremendous potential.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  Yes, I know it, because I'm from this country.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Right.  (Laughter.)

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  And I want to thank you for the invitation to Washington.


PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  You invited me.  But I think -- I'm sorry, but I think you forgot to tell me the date.  (Laughter.)  But I think in the near future.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They'll tell you the date.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  (Laughs.)  Yes, they know before us.  And I want to thank you -- to thank you, especially, Mr. President, to USA, to your government.  Like I said, I know many people, many faces, like the Second Family, after you -- my Ukrainian family, we know each other.

Thank you for your support, especially now when -- you know, when we have two -- really, two wars in Ukraine.  The first one is with corruption, you know.  But we'll fight -- no, we'll be winner in this fight, I'm sure.  And the priority -- my priority is to stop the war on Donbass and to get back our territories: Crimea, Donbass, Luhansk.

     Thank you for your support in this case.  Thank you very much.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you very much, Mr. President.  If you remember, you lost Crimea during a different administration, not during the Trump administration.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  Yeah.  So you have chance to help us.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That's right.  I do.  But that was during the Obama administration that you lost Crimea, and I didn’t think it was something that you should have.  But that was done a long time ago, and I think it was handled poorly.  But it's just one of those things.

     One of the elements that we discussed is the United States helps Ukraine, but I think that other countries should help Ukraine much more than they're doing -- Germany, France, the European Union nations.  They really should help you a lot more.  And I think maybe, together, we'll work on that.  They have to feel a little bit guilty about it because they don’t do what they should be doing.

You're very important to the European Union.  You're very important -- strategically, very important.  And I think they should spend a lot more in helping Ukraine.  And they know that also, and they actually tell me that, but they don’t seem to produce.  So I'm sure you'll talk to them, and I'll certainly be talking to them.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.  And, you know, now we need -- I want to tell you that we now (inaudible) the new country.  And, I'm sorry, but we don’t need help; we need support.  Real support.  And we thank -- thank everybody, thank all of the European countries; they each help us.  But we also want to have more -- more.  But I understand, so only together, America and EU -- only together we can stop the war.  And, you know, we are ready.  We just want to tell that we are -- remember that we are the biggest country in Europe, but we want to be the richest one.  It's true; it's in my heart.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, you know, you have great people in Ukraine, and you have very talented people --

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  Very smart.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  -- in terms of manufacturing, in terms of some of the things they do.  And we'll be doing -- we're doing trading already, but we should be doing a lot more trading with Ukraine.  But you have very talented people.  They make great things.  You’re at the top of the line, really.  So that’s very important.

     And the other thing is I’ve heard you actually have -- over the last fairly short period of time, you’ve really made some progress with Russia.  I hear a lot of progress has been made.  And just keep it going.  It’d be nice to end that whole disaster.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  First of all, I want to tell you, before -- before the relations with Russia -- I will prolong, just one minute -- I mean, you have to know -- I want world to know that now we have the new team, the new parliament, the new government.


     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  So now we (inaudible) about 74 laws, new laws, which help for our new reforms: land reform, big privatization.  They did the law about concessions.  Did -- we (inaudible) general for security, and we launched the Service Secretary.

Is it right Service Secretary?

     AIDE:  Yes.  Anti-corruption court, as well.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  An anti-corruption court.  As we came, we did -- we launched the anti-corruption court.  It began to work on the 5th of September.  It was -- you know, it was -- after five days, we had the new government.

     So, we are ready.  We want to show that we -- we just come.  And if somebody, if you -- if you want to help us, so just let’s do businesses cases.  We have many investment cases.  We're ready.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And stop corruption in Ukraine, because that will really make you great.  That will make you great personally, and it’ll also be so tremendous for your nation, in terms of what you want to do and where you want to take it.

     Thank you very much.  It’s a great honor.

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

     Q    President Zelensky, have you felt any pressure from President Trump to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden?

     PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  I think you read everything.  So I think you read text.  I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved to democratic, open elections -- elections of USA.

     No, you heard that we had, I think, good phone call.  It was normal.  We spoke about many things.  And I -- so I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed -- pushed me.


     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  In other words, no pressure.

     Q    President Trump, would -- President Trump, would you like Mr. Zelensky to --

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Because you know what?  There was no pressure.  And you know there was -- and, by the way, you know there was no pressure.  All you have to do it see it, what went on on the call.  But you know that.  But you can ask a question, and I appreciate the answer.

     Go ahead.

     Q    Mr. President, would you like President Zelensky to do more on Joe Biden and investigate (inaudible)?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No.  I want him to do whatever he can.  This was not his fault; he wasn’t there.  He’s just been here recently.  But whatever he can do in terms of corruption, because the corruption is massive.

     Now, when Biden’s son walks away with millions of dollars from Ukraine, and he knows nothing, and they’re paying him millions of dollars, that’s corruption.

     When Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund -- and the biggest funds in the world can’t get money out of China -- and he’s there for one quick meeting, and he flies in on Air Force Two, I think that’s a horrible thing.  I think it’s a horrible thing.

     But I’m going far beyond that.  I know the President, and I’ve read a lot about Ukraine.  I’ve read a lot about a lot of countries.  He wants to stop corruption.

     He was elected -- I think, number one -- on the basis of stopping corruption, which unfortunately has plagued Ukraine.  And if he could do that, he’s doing, really, the whole world a big favor.  I know -- and I think he’s going to be successful.

     Q    Mr. President, on Rudy Giuliani, why do you think it’s appropriate for your personal attorney to get involved in government business?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, you’d have to ask Rudy.  I will tell you --

     Q    You mentioned it to the President here.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I will tell you this, that Rudy is looking to also find out where the phony witch hunt started, how it started.  You had a Russian witch hunt that turned out to be two and half years of phony nonsense.

     And Rudy Giuliani is a great lawyer.  He was a great mayor.  He’s highly respected.  I’ve watched the passion that he’s had on television over the last few days.  I think it’s incredible the way he’s done.

     What he’s at is he wants to find out where did this Russian witch hunt that you people really helped perpetrate -- where did it start.  How come it started?  It was all nonsense.  It was a hoax.  It was a total hoax.  It was a media hoax and a Democrat hoax.  Where did it start?

     And Rudy has got every right to go and find out where that started.  And other people are looking at that, too.  Where did it start?  The enablers -- where did it all come from?  It was out of thin air.  And I think he’s got a very strong right to do it.  He’s a good lawyer; he knows exactly what he’s doing.  And it’s very important.

     Q    Mr. President, do you believe that the emails from Hillary Clinton -- do you believe that they’re in Ukraine?  Do you think this whole thing originated --

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I think they could be.  You mean the 30,000 that she deleted?

     Q    Yes.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah, I think they could very well -- boy, that was a nice question.  I like that question.  (Laughter.)  Because, frankly, I think that one of the great crimes committed is Hillary Clinton deleting 33,000 emails after Congress sends her a subpoena.  Think of that.  You can’t even do that in a civil case; you can’t get rid of evidence like that.  She deleted 33,000 emails after -- not before -- after receiving the subpoena from the U.S. Congress.

I mean, I have never heard -- now, she's done far worse than that.  Although, I don’t know how much worse it can be.  But there were many other things she did that were wrong.  But that’s so obvious.  She gets a subpoena from the United States Congress and she deletes them.  And then she said, as I remember it, that, "Oh, well, they had to do with the wedding and yoga."  She does a lot of yoga, right?  So they had 33,000 emails about the wedding of her daughter and yoga.  I don’t think so.

How she got away with that one is just -- but it's one of many.  And it's corrupt government.  Because we have corruption also, Mr. President.  We have a lot of corruption in our government.  And when you see what happened with Hillary Clinton, when you see what happened with Comey, and McCabe, and all of these people -- we have a lot of things going on here too.  Hopefully, it's going to be found out very soon.  But I think that a lot of progress has been made.  A lot of progress has been made.

Q    Will the military aid continue?  Can you assure that it will continue in the future?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we're working with Ukraine.  And we want other countries to work with Ukraine.  When I saw "work," I'm referring to money.  They should put up more money.  We put up a lot of money.  I gave you anti-tank busters that -- frankly, President Obama was sending you pillows and sheets.  And I gave you anti-tank busters.  And a lot of people didn’t want to do that, but I did it.

And I really hope that Russia -- because I really believe that President Putin would like to do something.  I really hope that you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem.  That would be a tremendous achievement.  And I know you're trying to do that.

Q    President Zelensky, in the phone call, you said that you would look into Joe Biden -- you would ask your prosecutor to look into the matter.  Have you had that conversation --

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I think -- no, I haven’t.  But I think that -- I think this --

Q    I'm asking President Zelensky.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I think that somebody, if you look at what he did, it's so bad -- where his son he goes to China, he walks away with a billion and a half dollars.  He goes to Ukraine and he walks away with $50,000 a month and a lot of money in addition to that.  And the whole thing with the prosecutor in Ukraine.

And he's on tape.  This isn’t like "maybe he did it, maybe he didn't."  He's on tape doing this.  I saw this a while ago.  I looked at it and I said, "That’s incredible.  I've never seen anything like that."  Now, either he's dumb, or he thought he was in a room full of really good friends, or maybe it's a combination of both, in his case.

Q    President Zelensky --

PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  I heard your question.  Thank you very much.  Don’t cry.

I mean that we have independent country and independent general security.  I can't push anyone, you know?  That’s it.  That is the question -- that is the answer.   So I didn’t call somebody or the new general security.  I didn’t ask him.  I didn’t push him.  That's it.

Q    Do you feel obligated to fulfill your promises to President Trump?


Q    (Speaks Ukrainian.)

PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  (Speaks Ukrainian.)

(As interpreted.)  Obligated to do what?  (Speaks Ukrainian.)

Q    (Speaks Ukrainian.)

PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  (Speaks Ukrainian.)

Q    (Speaks Ukrainian.)

PRESIDENT ZELENSKY:  (Speaks Ukrainian.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  You want to just --


(As interpreted.)  Concerning the investigation, actually, I want to underscore that Ukraine is an independent country.  We have a new prosecutor general in Ukraine -- a highly professional man with a Western education and history to investigate any case he considers and deems appropriate.

While we have many more issues to care about and to tackle, we have (inaudible), we have Maidan, we have corruption cases, as President Trump rightly mentioned about that.  So we know what to do, and we know where to go and what to tackle.

Q    President Trump, is it appropriate to ask the Attorney General to be involved in this matter?


Q    Did you ask House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to find a way out of impeachment yesterday?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Not at all.  No.  Look, she's lost her way.  She's been taken over by the radical left.  She may be a radical left herself, but she really has lost her way.  I spoke to her about guns yesterday.  She didn’t even know what I was talking about.  She's not interested in guns.

Q    Did it even come up or no?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I'll tell you what: Nancy Pelosi is not interested in guns and gun protection and gun safety.  All she is thinking about is this.  She's been taken over by the radical left, the whole Democrat Party.  And you take a look at what's happening in the media today.  The whole party is taken over by the left.

And thank you very much.  My poll numbers have gone up.  But I don’t want it to go up for this reason.  When they look, and when you see what's happening, people are really angry at Democrats.  They're really angry at the Democrat Party.

And things like, as an example, drug pricing -- getting drugs down -- things like gun safety, infrastructure, the Democrats can't talk about that because they've been taken over by a radical group of people.  And Nancy Pelosi, as far as I'm concerned, unfortunately she's no longer the Speaker of the House.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

                        END                2:36 P.M. EDT