Donald Trump Sharpie Altered Dorian Map Statement – Hurricane Dorian Update Transcript
Donald Trump took heat on Wednesday for displaying a sharpie altered map of Hurricane Dorian, appearing to show it moving towards southwest Georgia and Alabama. Trump gave further updates on the hurricane’s path and the hurricane response. Read the full transcript of his statement below.
Donald Trump: 00:00 We thought we’d give you a update on the hurricane. We got lucky in Florida. Very, very lucky, indeed. We had actually, our original chart was that it was going to be hitting Florida directly. Maybe I could just see that, Kevin. It was going to be hitting directly and that would have affected a lot of other states, but that was the original chart and you see it was going to hit not only Florida but Georgia. It was going toward the Gulf. That was what was originally projected, and it took a right turn and ultimately, hopefully we’re going to be lucky. It depends on what happens with South Carolina, North Carolina, but it’s heading up the coast and Florida was grazed, mostly wind, and we’re going to have a report on that. We have been sending through the United States Coast Guard who have been incredible there on The Bahamas right now and they’re helping with The Bahamas.
Donald Trump: 01:01 A big section of The Bahamas was hit like few people have seen before, but we’re helping in a humanitarian way. We’ve been asked to help by the government of The Bahamas and we have numerous helicopters and we’re sending some people to give them a hand and they need a big hand. And what’s going on over there is incredible. Few people have seen anything like that. Although I must tell you over the years there have been some hurricanes that were bigger and stronger and more powerful that did us very hard also. But I’d just maybe like to start, Kevin, if you could just say a few words about where we are and then I’ll ask the admiral to talk a little bit about what you’re doing in The Bahamas. And then we’ll get back to South Carolina, North Carolina and what we expect. Okay, thank you. Kevin?
Kevin: 01:51 Yes, sir. Mr. President, we have acting administrator, Pete Gainer from FEMA on the line as well. He’s been in Florida yesterday. He’s in Georgia right now, headed up to South Carolina, touching base with the emergency managers in all of the states that are on the path of Dorian. Obviously the hurricane remains a category two, a very powerful, very large storm. We are worried about significant impacts to South Carolina from Charleston to Wilmington as well as the outer banks. And it’s that triple threat potentially hurricane force winds, certainly tropical storm force as well as storm surge four to seven feet, and then a significant rain event up to 10 inches or more in parts of the Carolinas. So we’ve been very well prepared, coordinated fully with the states, a lot of pre deployed assets ready to come in and fully respond after the storm hits. We’re also repositioning some of the assets that were further South in central Florida. So we’re ready for this storm, Mr. President. FEMA and inter-agency partners supporting the states have done a tremendous job. We’re on our toes, looking forward to responding effectively.
Donald Trump: 02:53 That’s great. I think we want to also say we were really well prepared in Puerto Rico. We got lucky in Puerto Rico where had missed it by quite a bit actually, but we were ready just in case. And tremendous supplies, people, a lot of things going on in Puerto Rico and they were very happy. And it worked out very well at the optimum because they didn’t get hit, but it took a different path and it hit The Bahamas very hard. So again, we’re working with the government of The Bahamas, at their request. And we have a lot of people helping and we have most importantly, the United States Coast Guard, which has done so incredibly well in Texas and Florida and in Puerto Rico in the last hurricane, and the last big one. Admiral, if you could say a few words about that.
Speaker 3: 03:42 Thank you, Mr. President. Just reinforce the secretary, we’re ready domestically here from Florida up through the Carolinas for coast guard, part of the DHS FEMA teams sir. So we’re a hundred percent ready to roll there. In The Bahamas, it’s been challenging. We accessed The Bahamas, the Abacos, which is in the Northeastern region of The Bahamas on Monday, first flight crews as the rotor wing helicopters got in there. We’ve rescued probably 50 folks to date. We’re just starting to get a site picture on Grand Bahama Island and Freeport, which is the center of gravity population wise in the Northern Bahamas. So today we’ll start to have a much fuller picture. That’s the region where Dorian sat for almost 36-48 hours and just pounded the region. So we suspect the impacts will be severe, sir. We’re rendering lifesaving support here, humanitarian assistance. We’re working with the US AID in the office of foreign disaster assistance, who’s the lead agency here on providing urgent support or CVP. Air marine counterparts are there with helicopters, and we’ll see where this evolves to in next 24 hours and what type of additional support possibly from DOD may be warranted, sir.
Donald Trump: 04:43 Good. Will you be using several of the supplies from Florida and even from Puerto Rico where a few areas that will definitely get hit? If you look at North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia.
Speaker 3: 04:56 Yes sir. So OFDA sir, the office of foreign disaster assistance under AID has a warehouse in South Florida. So we’re working on an air bridge of supplies at The Bahamas, a maritime bridge aboard coast guard cutters. What’s challenging right now sir, because we haven’t got into Freeport, Grand Bahamas, and there is no open airports. The airports are underwater, those airports that are accessible or not accessible from roads. So most of the stuff’s got to come in rotary wing. AID has got to get sort of a network in place to start distributing supply, sir. So we’re working diligently with our partners on that and trying to bring some relief to The Bahamas.
Donald Trump: 05:28 And I guess the other problem is we don’t know how hard South Carolina and North Carolina, Georgia to an extent could be to a big extent. We don’t know yet. We don’t know where the hurricane is turning I guess. Admiral, would you like to say something about that?
Speaker 4: 05:41 Certainly Mr. President. Secretary McAleenan and I discussed the major risks, the storm surge, the heavy rainfall and tropical storm and the hurricane force winds. The other aspects of this storm that make it particularly troublesome are the duration of it. It’s going to be yet another two days before we clear the North Carolina coast. On its current track, there is a potential for landfall. But even without landfall, the heavy rain that’s going to impact South Carolina and North Carolina is coming right on top of areas that were damaged in hurricanes Matthew in 2016 and hurricane Florence in 2018. So FEMA is well prepared for what they’re calling response on top of recovery. These are communities, families who have already been affected by previous hurricane seasons.
Donald Trump: 06:20 It’s pretty amazing. This is the original path that we thought and everybody thought that this was about a 95% probability, and it turned out to be not that path. It turned out to be a path going up the coast and we’ll see where that happens. Now there’s even a chance that it could start going further, right? That could happen. That would really be luck, but we certainly got lucky in Florida. Now if we can get lucky in Georgia. And if you look at South Carolina, North Carolina, but it could even extend beyond that. So we’re talking about Virginia. Hard to believe. So we’ll see what happens. But it’s a very erratic, very slow, very powerful hurricane. It’s built up tremendous water and water supply. Like few have seen. Texas had something similar where the water was tremendous, the water dump was tremendous. And we have that here.
Donald Trump: 07:10 But again, it looks like Florida is going to be in fantastic shape by comparison to what we thought. We thought it was going to be a direct hit. We were thinking in terms of Andrew, hurricane Andrew from many years ago where it went right through the middle of Miami. And that was a disaster. And so we’re very happy about so far Florida, and we’ll see how it comes with respect to other states. But it’s starting to move up along the coast. It’s a little bit further away, I think than we would’ve projected right now, but it can rapidly turn left or West. And we hope that doesn’t happen. But we’re very well prepared. Everybody’s been incredible. I have actually Peter Gainer, is on the phone listening to what we’re saying. Peter, do you have anything you’d like to add?
Peter Gainer: 07:59 Well yes sir. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there with you today. More than two weeks ago, where we started planning for this storm, our guidance was big storm, big response. And we are ready to go today. And really this is a whole of government effort. Federal resources are positioned throughout many states and we’re ready to respond to any response from multiple states or a single event. And again we follow the storm up the coast. We’ll continue to do that until Dorian is not a a threat. Just to give you a quick overview of some of the resources that are in the field right now, 4,000 federal responders are deployed too, and that does not include the 6,000 national guardsmen that have been mobilized. We also have national or excuse me, American red cross spaces for 55,000 potential evacuees and 40,000 line workers that are ready to do restoration of electrical lines. We are ready to go and again, we’ll follow Dorian up the coast until it is not a threat to the US. Thank you sir.
Donald Trump: 09:06 Great job. Tell your people at FEMA, fantastic job. But we’ll hold it until the very end. Okay. We’ll hold congratulations until the end. But we’re very well prepared for North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and again we’re helping The Bahamas at the request of the government of The Bahamas. Okay, thank you all very much.
Speaker 6: 09:25 Thanks you, President. [crosstalk 00:09:26]
Speaker 7: 09:26 There was some concern that was voiced last week about reprogramming $115 million from the FEMA disaster relief fund based budget to address the crisis on the border. Are you still comfortable with that? Is there still money in that base budget?
Donald Trump: 09:40 Well first of all, we’re using much less here than we anticipated. We thought originally this was going to be a direct hit into Miami and we would have been satisfied anyway. We need help on the border. The numbers are really good. I want to thank again the country of Mexico, they have 25,000 soldiers right now protecting our border. And they’ve done a fantastic job, so we appreciate that very much. Mexico has never helped us on the border, and they are now 25,000 soldiers. And you may want to talk about the numbers are down in half, I guess. Do you want to mention that?
Kevin: 10:18 Yeah, we’re compiling the August numbers now. We’ll be releasing those early next week. But we’re looking at a reduction of over 50% from May to today. A continued partnership with Mexico, I just got back Mr. President from El Salvador last week where we signed a new agreement to continue to work together on irregular migration. So we’re getting a lot of partnership from the countries in the region with your leadership and again, applying those resources at the border to enhance our security.
Donald Trump: 10:43 And the wall is being built. It’s going up rapidly. I guess most of you have been able to see it. We’re building very large sections of wall. A big factor was we just won the big Supreme Court cases. And we’re building in different sections. We’re building different sections simultaneously and we think by the end of next year, which will be sometime right after the election actually, but we think we’re going to have close to 500 miles of wall, which will be complete. That’ll be what we wanted to do is about 500 miles that will take care of all of the areas that we wanted, including some of the marginal areas that we didn’t necessarily need. But if we could have gotten it done, we were looking to do about a 500 mile stretch. We should have it almost complete, if not complete by the end of next year. So we’re looking forward to that.
Speaker 8: 11:33 Sir, sir.
Speaker 9: 11:35 Mr. President, [crosstalk 00:11:35] consulted with members of Congress about reprogramming 3.6 billion?
Donald Trump: 11:37 Yes, we have.
Speaker 9: 11:38 Can we ask what you told those members of Congress [crosstalk 00:11:40]?
Donald Trump: 11:41 Well I didn’t tell them anything. Secretary of defense spoke with members of Congress and explained it to them. And I think he felt very good about it. He feels it’s a national security problem. I do too. It is when you have thousands of people trying to rush our country. I think that’s national security. When you have drugs pouring into our country, I view that as national security. And he had very good conversations with various members of Congress.
Speaker 8: 12:08 Sir, if this storm stays on track going through Georgia and the Carolinas, it will hit farmland. Many farmers are already having problems here. What do you have in place to help them if there is devastation as there has been in the past?
Donald Trump: 12:22 We’re very well prepared for that. Last time, if you remember when it hit Mexico beach, we wiped out large farm areas in not only Florida, but in Alabama and Georgia. And what we did is we were able to help the farmers a lot. As you know, we sent aid to the farmers. They lost their crops, they lost sub-cases. They lost almost everything. We were able to help them, get them back on their feet. We’ll be doing the same thing now. You will have probably some hit on farms up along the coast and we’re going to be able to go in with secretary of agriculture. We have a lot of money because of the tariffs we’ve taken, and we’ve taken in many billions of dollars of tariffs from China. And we will have a lot of money to be helping our farmers along the coast if they get hit. They may not get hit.
Donald Trump: 13:13 There’s a real chance that this could veer out the other way, but there’s also a chance that it goes straight or it goes left. If it goes left, that’s an even different subject. But our farmers will be helped. We’re going to help our farmers.
Speaker 8: 13:23 How much are you talking about, sir? You say you have a lot of money from the tariffs.
Donald Trump: 13:25 Well it depends what you’re talking about. Depends who’s hit, which state is hit. Right now we don’t know.
Speaker 8: 13:32 [crosstalk 00:13:32] Carolinas, Georgia.
Donald Trump: 13:32 We can predict the path, but so far the predicting has been very tough with this particular hurricane. But we’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China. Prices have not gone up or they’ve gone up very little. China’s paid for most of that, and I say paid for all of it. China’s now had the worst year that they’ve had in 57 years. This is the worst year they’ve had in 57 years. And they want to make a deal.
Donald Trump: 13:58 We’ll see what happens. But in the meantime, we’re taking a lot of money. We haven’t taken 10 cents in from China. If you look back over the years, it’s been the other way around. They’ve taken from us, we never take from them. Now we’re taking from them. So we’ll see what happens. But we have a lot of money to help our farmers. Last year I gave the farmers $16 billion out of tariffs. The year before that, because they were targeted by China. The year before that, I gave our farmers $12 billion. And the way we figured that, I said, how badly have our farmers been hit by targeting from China? And I was told they were hit to the tune of $16 billion, and I made up that $16 dollar for dollar to the farmers. So the farmers are extremely happy and they also know, and they’re warriors, they also know we have to do this with China.
Donald Trump: 14:47 We can’t let this go on. They were taking out $500 billion a year out of this country, including intellectual property theft, which was rampant. So our farmers will be helped. Nobody that we’ve done more for than our farmers and they understand you have to win the war with… This is a trade war, trade battle. You can call it anything you want. And this should’ve been done by presidents before me and not just President Obama. This should have been done by President Bush and President Clinton. This should’ve been done a long time ago. China has been absolutely, the world trade organization has been a disaster for the United States. China has taken advantage of it and us, and that’s not happening anymore. But the farmers have been taken care of, $16 billion and $12 billion each year. Thank you.
Speaker 9: 15:35 Mr. President. Senator, senator…
Speaker 10: 15:38 Huawei is accusing the United States of trying to infiltrate its companies.
Donald Trump: 15:42 Who is, who?
Speaker 10: 15:43 Huawei. Do you have any comment on that?
Donald Trump: 15:46 No. It’s a national security concern. Huawei is a big concern of our military, of our intelligence agencies, and we are not doing business with Huawei. It’ll stop almost completely in a very short period of time, and we’ll see what happens with respect to China. But Huawei has been not a player that we want to discuss, we want to talk about right now. We’re not going to be doing business with Huawei. We’re going to do our own business. You know the old fashioned way, we’ll do it right from within the United States, which is what I’ve been saying for a long time. And by the way, speaking of tariffs, there are no tariffs if you want to build or make these products in the United States. There are no tariffs whatsoever. And people are coming back now to the United States in large numbers.
Speaker 9: 16:32 Mr. President, Senator Daines and Senator Perdue just returned from a visit to China where they met with the Vice Premier, Liu He. Did you approve that meeting and was it helpful?
Donald Trump: 16:40 I approved it and my people approved it. China asked for the meeting. They have a lot of respect for Senator Daines and for Senator Perdue. So do I. They’re friends of mine and they’re great senators doing a fantastic job. I knew about the meeting, I approved of the meeting. And all they did is say that we really have bi-partisan support. If you look at it, and the support is very serious, so we’re not playing games. And that was the message that was given by Senator Perdue and Senator Daines, and it was given very strongly. They absolutely had my permission. And they also spoke to Ambassador Lighthizer and secretary Mnuchin about the trip before they went there.
Speaker 9: 17:22 Was it helpful?
Donald Trump: 17:23 Well they told me the attitude of China and I think basically they said that China would like to do something. Like I know they’d like to do something. Look, they’re having their worst year in many, many decades as I said. They’re having a supply chain that’s being absolutely fractured and broken, which is very bad for them. They’ve lost 3 million jobs and the jobs are moving to Vietnam and other places, including the United States by the way. Some people are just making the product here, but they’re moving all over Asia and some here. And if I were China, I’d want to make a deal. I can’t tell you, but I’d want to make a deal. And I can tell you, they do want to make a deal. We’ll see if we can do a real deal, not a fake deal, like the fake media. A real deal. Okay. What else?
Speaker 8: 18:12 Do you plan to travel to The Bahamas?
Donald Trump: 18:16 Well again, I guess you would call it a British protectorate, but I will do a lot. We just had a call. We’re waiting for the call. They’re having a lot of trouble with the telephones over there as you can imagine, from the prime minister. And we’re helping a lot. And the Admiral just said, we’re sending a lot of resources over there to help people on a humanitarian basis. But I would do that if we think it’s appropriate. I would stop there, yeah.
Speaker 9: 27:04 [crosstalk 00:27:04] the actions that, I’m sorry.
Speaker 3: 27:04 I was just going to say John, Mr. President, we had the prime minister on board a coast guard aircraft with our Atlantic Forces Commander, [inaudible 00:00:18:49], the US senior diplomat there, and many folks of the Bahamian government to get a site picture. Again, we couldn’t access parts, but we’re working very closely with the government, Commonwealth of The Bahamas sir, to help them understand the extent of the damage.
Donald Trump: 27:04 They’ve got a situation in The Bahamas like few have seen before. It’s a tough, tough thing.
Speaker 9: 27:04 We know the actions the treasury took against the IRGC and Quds Force’s oil deal that it was running, particularly with Syria. There was some thought that this may be part of a precursor to talks between you and President Rouhani. What’s your thinking on that front?
Donald Trump: 27:04 Well, we’re going to see what happens. They want to talk. They want to make a deal. Iran is not the same country it was two and a half years ago, that I can tell you, getting to be three years. Hard to believe. We’ve been here almost three years now. I’ve been saying two and a half years and it’s almost three years. We’re getting very close. But Iran is not the same country. When I came into office, Iran was absolutely a terrorist organization, all up from 14 to 18 sites of confliction and they were behind every one of them. And now you’re not hearing so much about that. We’ll see what happens.
Donald Trump: 27:04 Look, Iran is a country with tremendous potential. We’re not looking for regime change. They have tremendous potential and I think they’re going to want to take advantage of that potential. I really believe that. I think North Korea is a country with tremendous potential and I think they’re going to want to take advantage of it. So we’ll see what happens. But Iran has tremendous potential and I can’t imagine they’re going to want to go through what they’re going to have to go through if they want to do it the hard way. So we’ll see what happens.
Speaker 3: 27:04 You, Rouhani and Macron will all be at the general assembly in New York later this month. Could immediate potentially happen then?
Donald Trump: 27:04 Well, I don’t know. I mean I very much appreciate President Macron and his involvement, but we’re not dealing through President Macron. People are dealing with us directly. We don’t have to go through another country. We have actually, we’ve had a lot of help if we wanted from Japan. Japan is one of their biggest, possibly their biggest buyer of oil. They have a big relationship, that’s prime minister Robbie. So we don’t need anybody to deal. We can deal directly if we want, but other countries are offering help. They’d like to see it straightened out. But they also agree with me. We had a great G seven and they all agreed no nuclear weapons for Iran. They all agree. No nuclear weapons for Iran.
Speaker 10: 27:04 Sir, the Uranians have said that they don’t want to talk to the US until the US rejoins the JCPOA. So how do you square…?
Donald Trump: 27:04 No, well that’s not their last statement actually. But they did say it in a different forum. They said that until we do certain other things like drop sanctions, and that’s not happening. Okay. That won’t be happening. They didn’t say quite the way you said it, but they said it with the same end result, and that won’t happen.
Speaker 9: 27:04 Is it possible that there could be a meeting between you and Rouhani at the UNGA?
Donald Trump: 27:04 Sure anything’s possible. They would like to be able to solve their problem. They got a big problem. They’re getting killed financially. Their inflation is at a number that few people have ever seen inflation at. And it’s a very sad situation. They could solve it very quickly. We could solve it in 24 hours, but we’ll see what happens.
Speaker 11: 27:04 Will the Chinese delegation come to Washington this month, Mr. President?
Donald Trump: 27:04 I can only say this. When you hear they have their worst year in over half a century, this is the worst year they’ve had that anybody can even remember, but over 50 years, over half a century, I would think they want to solve the problem. People have no idea. We’ve created tremendous wealth in our country since I’ve been elected, well over $12 trillion. They’ve lost probably $20 trillion. When I assumed office, had my opponent won, within two years in my opinion, maybe less, China would have been a bigger economy than the United States. Would have been bigger. Now we’re so far ahead of them. It’ll take them years to catch and if we always have competent people sitting here, they’ll never be able to catch us. We have a springboard. It’s amazing what’s happened and let me tell you, if I wanted it to do nothing with China, my stock market and our stock market would be 10,000 points higher than it is right now. But somebody had to do this.
Donald Trump: 27:04 To me, this is much more important than the economy. Somebody had to do this. We had to do it with China, had to be done. And I’m not even talking about purely economically. I’m talking about in other ways also. And it was out of control and they were out of control. So we’ll see what happens. If they want to make a deal, they’ll make a deal. If they don’t want to make a deal, that’s fine. But I can tell you that having one of the worst, I guess the worst on record, and they want to make a deal. And if I were them I’d want to make a deal too. But we’ll see what happens. Okay. Anything else?
Speaker 10: 27:04 [inaudible 00:24:09] the situation in London with Boris Johnson and the Brexit vote?
Donald Trump: 27:04 Well, Boris is a friend of mine, and he’s going at it. There’s no question about it. He’s in there. I watched him this morning. He’s in there fighting. And he knows how to win. Boris knows how to win. Don’t worry about him. He’s going to be okay. And he’s also got, they have a big stake in The Bahamas. When you mention that, they have a very big stake in The Bahamas. So I know they have one ship that’s on its way, had a hard time getting there with the weather, but it’s on its way and they have a lot of people over there. So they have a big steak. Okay.
Speaker 9: 27:04 What was the rationale for rolling back regulations on energy efficient light bulbs?
Donald Trump: 27:04 On what?
Speaker 9: 27:04 Energy efficient light bulbs.
Donald Trump: 27:04 We’ll give you a report in that. We’re doing a report on all of that, but there’s a very good rationale when you hear it. And what’s saved is not worth it. For the little they save and what people were going through, it is not worth it. And price was another thing. Okay. Same thing with cars. In California, they have a standard where the cars are going to have to be much more expensive and won’t be as good. So we’re giving an option to car companies to create a better car for less money, meaning less money to the consumer. So if the consumer can save $3,000 on a car and have a very energy efficient car but not energy efficient so that the car doesn’t work well, which is happening, we’re giving them a tremendous option. If they want the option. We’re giving it to the consumer, but we’re giving it to the car companies to pass along. And we’ll see how that one works out. We’re doing a lot of that. We want to make it good for the consumer. If we can build a less expensive car, that’s better. We like that.
Speaker 9: 27:04 Since we likely won’t be able to ask you questions in this afternoon’s event, what impact do you think this $2 billions in opioid grants will have?
Donald Trump: 27:04 So we’ve done a great job with drugs generally, but it’s a tremendous worldwide problem. But we’ve done a very good job with opioids and getting fewer people to use them and prescribe them. And we’re about 17% down from, a little more than a year ago. That’s a big number when you think 17%, but we’re about 17% down. And one of the things we are doing is we’re funding different projects where we come up with a painkiller that’s not addictive. You have people go into a hospital with a broken arm, they come out, they’re drug addicts after three days. The opioid stuff is bad, and when they get used to and once they get hooked, it’s a very hard thing to get off of. So we’re down 17%. We’re going to be doing a conference today, as you know, and we’ll talk a little bit about it. But we’ve worked very, very hard on opioids and all of the problems that they’re causing. Tremendous problems. Okay.