Donald Trump held a discussion with reporters in the Oval office on September 11, 2019 to answer questions about the John Bolton resignation, and e-cigarette regulations. He said his administration is trying to remove most vaping flavors from the market. Read the full transcript below.

Donald Trump:              00:14                I get along with people in the administration that I consider very important. And I hope we’ve left in good stead, but maybe we have, and maybe we haven’t. I have to run the country the way we’re running the country. We’re doing very well. We’re respected all over the world again. Respected like we haven’t been respected in many, many years. You look at Iran, and you look at so many of the things that are happening. Iran wants to talk.

Donald Trump:              00:40                They all want to talk. We’re doing very well with China, and you probably saw the numbers that have come out and come out, some of them coming out just today, but China’s, their supply chain is breaking up, the supply chain of China, which was this unbreakable powerful tool that they had, is breaking up like a toy, because companies are moving out, and China wants to make a deal. We’ll see what happens. We have to make the right deal for this country.

Donald Trump:              01:12                China has been taking out hundreds of billions of dollars a year out of our country, and you know, I read papers like the Wall Street Journal. They don’t have a clue, they haven’t got a clue. They don’t make any excuses for the fact that China has been literally ripping off the United States in the worst manner for so many years, 500 billion dollars pouring out of the United States. And I hear people, I don’t even know, do these people have any education on anything? It’s common sense maybe more than anything else.

Donald Trump:              01:47                But I look at some statements that are made from so many different people, and you know, John wasn’t in line with what we were doing, and actually in some cases he thought it was too tough what we were doing. Mr tough guy, you know, you have to go into Iraq.

Donald Trump:              02:03                Going into Iraq was something that he felt very strongly about. So we’re right now in for over 7 trillion dollars into the Middle East. And I don’t say it was his decision. You had a president, and you had other people also, but he was very out there, I can tell you, and wanting to have them do it. And I disagreed with that decision from the beginning, even though I was a civilian, so nobody cared.

Donald Trump:              02:26                But I was out there. I was outspoken about it. I thought it was a terrible mistake. Here we are, many, many years later, decades later, and we’re still there, and we’ve been acting as policemen. And I’ll tell you one thing, we are hitting the Taliban right now harder than they’ve ever been hit. And what they did was horrible, when they killed a great American soldier, when they killed 12 people, innocent people, essentially innocent people. Because if you look, I mean many of these people were civilians. You also had a NATO soldier, in addition to our great soldier.

Donald Trump:              03:03                But what they did what they did in order to create what they thought was a better negotiating stance, I said, “That’s the end of them. Get them out. I don’t want anything to do with them.” And they’ve been hit very hard. And I know for a fact they said that was a big mistake that they made, and it was. But that was my decision. And what we’re doing now is my decision. So we have a lot of great people that want that position.

Donald Trump:              03:27                A lot of great people want a lot of positions. They want to be a part of this administration. We’ve done more in this administration, in less than three years, then I believe any president, you look at the accomplishments, even today, what we’re doing, you look at what we’re doing today, these are big things. Nobody else would be doing this. They’re big things.

Donald Trump:              03:48                But we’ve done more than any administration probably in the history of the country. You just look at one point after another point, whether it’s regulation cuts, whether it’s tax cuts, you look at Right To Try, with these two gentlemen, so important, Right To Try, where people are able to use some of the incredible innovations that we’ve developed with the greatest labs, and the greatest doctors in the world, and they could use them instead of being forced to move and leave to other countries that don’t have a clue compared to us.

Donald Trump:              04:21                And now they have Right To Try. And by the way, a lot of people are being saved, a lot of great things are happening with Right To Try. But what we’ve done for the vets, what we’ve done for our great military, with spending 700 this year, 718 billion dollars. And by the way, that’s also jobs. Secondarily, but it’s also jobs. Nobody’s done what we’ve done, and we’re very honored to have done it. We’re in a very good footing. Our country is respected again.

Speaker 2:                    04:52                Mr. President, what are you prepared to do on guns?

Donald Trump:              04:55                Well I have five people that want it very much. I mean a lot more than that would like to have it, but there are five people that I consider very highly qualified, good people I’ve gotten to know, over the last three years, and we’ll be announcing somebody next week, but we have some very highly qualified people. But we were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the Libyan model, and he made a mistake. And as soon as he mentioned that, the Libyan model, what a disaster. Take a look at what happened to Kadafi with the Libyan model, and he’s using that to make a deal with North Korea?

Donald Trump:              05:35                And I don’t blame Kim Jong-Un for what he said after that, and he wanted nothing to do with John Bolton. And that’s not a question of being tough. That’s a question of being not smart, to say something like that. So I wish John the best. We actually got along very well. I’m sure he’ll, you know, do whatever he can do to spin it his way. John came to see me the night before. In fact, I think a lot of you people were out there waiting for me to get on the helicopter.

Donald Trump:              06:04                I’m sure you have a shot somewhere along the line. And he sat right in that chair. And I told him, “John, if too many people, you’re not getting along with people. And a lot of us including me, disagree with some of your tactics, and some of your ideas. And I wish you well, but I’d like you to submit your resignation.” And he did that. And I really, I know he’s going to do well. I hope he’s going to do well, and I wish him well.

Speaker 2:                    06:31                Mr present, what are you prepared to do on guns? On background checks? What are you prepared to announce?

Donald Trump:              06:35                So I just spoke with Senator Toomey, and Senator Murphy, and Joe Manchin, Senator Joe Manchin. Just had a long talk with them just before this meeting, just hung up, and we are working very, very hard together, all of us, and we’ll see that we can come up with something that’s acceptable to everybody. It’s a subject that’s been going on for decades.

Donald Trump:              06:58                Decades they’ve been talking about it, so we’re looking at background checks, and we’re looking at putting everything together in a unified way so that we can have something that’s meaningful. At the same time, all of us want to protect our great second amendment, it’s very important to all of us. So we are now in meetings. The meetings are going to go on tonight. I’m going to speak with them again tomorrow, and I think progress is being made. I hope so.

Speaker 2:                    07:26                Are you willing to put background checks on all private gun sales?

Donald Trump:              07:29                We’re going to take a look at a lot of different things, and we’ll be reporting back in a fairly short period of time. There are a lot of things under discussion. Some things will never happen, and some things can really very much, some very meaningful things can happen. It’s really a gun sense, if you think about it. What we’re looking at is, and maybe that’s what we should go with, the gun sense bill, but we will have some, we’re having great dialogue. We’ll see what happens.

Speaker 2:                    07:56                And did you tell your chief of staff to have Noah disavow those forecasters who said that Alabama was not in the path of the storm?

Donald Trump:              08:05                No, I never did that. I never did that. That’s a whole hoax by the fake news media when they talk about the hurricane, and when they talk about Florida, and they talk about Alabama. That’s just fake news. Right from the beginning, it was a fake story. And while we’re here, and while we’re talking about that, I want to congratulate Dan Bishop last night on an incredible win, Dan was 17 points behind three weeks ago, the media thought he was going to lose. They were all set to have a big celebration with their partners from the Democrat party.

Donald Trump:              08:41                And Dan Bishop worked really hard, and I worked very hard with him, and he made up a 17 point lead in a few weeks, and he won a great election last night. And also Greg Murphy, which nobody’s even reporting, but Greg Murphy won a great congressional election in North Carolina last night, and I want to congratulate, between Dan and Greg, what a job they did. We pick up two seats and Greg was anticipated to win by two or three points, maybe less, but two or three points. And he won by many, many points. I don’t know what the final tab is, but he won by a lot, and he campaigned brilliantly, and Dan campaign brilliantly. And so we’re very happy about that. That’s a tremendous win for the Republican party. Okay.

Speaker 3:                    09:27                Mr. President, Mr. President.

Donald Trump:              09:29                Yeah go ahead.

Speaker 4:                    09:32                Now that John Bolton is gone, is your policy on Venezuela going to change, are you open to meeting-

Donald Trump:              09:36                Well, we have a policy on Venezuela that’s a firm policy, Venezuela’s really hurting, and we’re trying to help people in a humanitarian way. That’s probably not good in terms of, you know, crushing a terrible regime. But yeah, people dying, this a country that 15 years ago was one of the wealthiest countries, and now it’s died. They don’t have water, they don’t have food, they don’t have medical, they have nothing. So we’re trying to help as much as we can. We’re also working with Columbia, and their leader of Columbia is a friend of mine, and he’s doing a really good job, I can tell you that.

Donald Trump:              10:17                We’re working with Columbia, we’re working with Brazil, we’re working with other countries on a humanitarian basis. Venezuela is in very sad shape, that shows you about socialism. I mean that shows you what happens. You take a country that was so wealthy 15 years ago, and today they don’t have water, and they don’t have basic food. So we’ll see what happens. No, I disagreed with John Bolton on his attitudes on Venezuela. I thought he was way out of line, and I think I’m proven to be right. But we are always watching Venezuela very, very closely.

Speaker 4:                    10:55                And would you be open to meeting with Maduro?

Donald Trump:              10:55                I don’t want to talk about that.

Speaker 5:                    10:56                Mr. President, about your announcement today, are you concerned that the companies that were making these products will be treated unfairly by taking these products off the market?

Donald Trump:              11:05                Well, they become very rich companies very fast, and the whole thing with vaping is a, is, it’s been very profitable, and I want companies. Look, you know that, I fight for our companies very hard. I fight, that’s why I’m fighting with China. That’s why I’m fighting with other countries. If you look at European union, and if you look at Japan, and if you look at so many others, including South Korea, and many others, we’re constantly dealing with them to make it good for our companies, because I view it as jobs. I view it as income for our country, and jobs.

Donald Trump:              11:42                Vaping has become a very big business, as I understand it, a giant business in a very short period of time. But we can’t allow people to get sick, and we can’t have our youth be so effected. And I’m hearing it, and that’s how the First Lady got involved, and she’s got a son together that is a beautiful young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it. She’s seen it. We’re both reading it. A lot of people are reading it, but people are dying with vaping.

Donald Trump:              12:11                So we’re looking at it very closely. And you know, if nothing else, this is a conference that’s going to let people know about it. Because people are going to watch what we’re saying. And parents are going to be a lot tougher with respect to their children. A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, it’s great. It’s really not wonderful. That’s one thing I think we can say definitely, commissioner, it’s not a wonderful thing. It’s got big problems.

Donald Trump:              12:34                We have to find out the extent of the problem. It’s so new, it’s so new. But we’re going to find out, and I hope that parents, they have children and the children are a certain age, I hope they going to be able to make wise decisions. Maybe based on what we’re saying today. But the commissioner and Alex Azar, they’re going to be coming back over the next pretty short period of time, couple of weeks with some very strong recommendations.

Speaker 5:                    13:02                Can you tell us what the timeline is for taking those flavors off the market?

Speaker 6:                    13:05                Yeah, so it’ll take several weeks for us to put out the final guidance that would announce all the parameters around the enforcement policy, and then there will likely be about a 30 day delayed effective date as is customary with FDA’s good guidance practices. And at that point, all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavor would have to be removed from the market. Tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, their manufacturers would by May, 2020 have to file for approval by FDA of their products. The other flavored product manufacturers can at any time also file, but they would be off the market until approved by FDA.

Speaker 6:                    13:46                The Obama administration had allowed these products to go onto the market in an unregulated way by delaying any enforcement in the hopes that people who were consumed using combustible tobacco would transition to a less harmful form of nicotine delivery through e-cigarettes. But what we’ve seen is the data just shows that kids are getting access to these products in spite of our best efforts at enforcement, at retail enforcement, at controlling locations, at over 8,000 warning letters to retailers and others, in spite of moving products off shelves, they’ve been going at it. So we simply have to remove these attractive flavored products from the marketplace until they secure FDA approval if they can.

Speaker 7:                    14:33                Mr. President, are you looking at arranging a meeting with Iranian president Rouhani at UNGA?

Donald Trump:              14:40                I’m not looking at anything. Iran is a different country than it was two and a half years ago. Two and a half years ago, they were given a lot of money by President Obama previous to that. 150 billion dollars, 1.8 billion in cash, in actual cash. It’s very impressive. But they are a much different country right now than they were two and a half years ago when I came into office. And I do believe they’d like to make a deal. If they do, that’s great. And if they don’t, that’s great too, but they have tremendous financial difficulty, and the sanctions are getting tougher and tougher.

Donald Trump:              15:17                We cannot let Iran have a nuclear weapon, and they never will have a nuclear weapon. And if they’re thinking about enrichment, they can forget about it. Because it’s to going be very dangerous for them to enrich. Very, very dangerous. Okay?

Speaker 7:                    15:32                Do you want to meet with him, or no?

Donald Trump:              15:33                You can spread the word to Iran.

Speaker 8:                    15:35                Would you consider easing sanctions to let them, to make a meeting happen?

Donald Trump:              15:39                We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens. I think Iran has potential, and I think North Korea, those are two countries we’re dealing with right now at a very high level. I think Iran has a tremendous, tremendous potential. They’re incredible people. We’re not looking for regime change. We hope that we can make a deal, and if we can’t make a deal, that’s fine too. Okay. That’s fine too. But I think they have to make a deal.

Donald Trump:              16:07                They’ve never been in this condition. By the way, China is having the worst year they’ve had now in 57 years, okay? 57. There was 27, there was 22, and then 27, it’s 57 years, it’s the worst year they’ve had. And it’s only going to get worse. So I think they want to make a deal too. We’re dealing with them, but I think they’ll want to make a deal. As you know, they’re coming in, sometime in early October and we’re speaking to them constantly.

Donald Trump:              16:33                And they also, they made a couple of moves last night that were pretty good. You saw that right? They were pretty good. They were pretty respectful to our people. You’re going to see it because you we’re one of the people that reported it, your group. But China is, it’s about having to do with tariffs, you saw what they did, they took tariffs off certain things. A lot of things.

Speaker 9:                    16:58                And you’re happy about that.

Donald Trump:              16:59                I think they did the right thing. I think it was good for them, but they took them off. Yeah, I think it was a, I think it was a gesture. But it was a big move. People were shocked. I wasn’t shocked, but I deal with them, and I know them, and I like them and I hope we can do something. And with respect to Iran, I think they have to do something, because they have potential to have an unbelievably great country. But the way it’s going right now, it’s disintegrating, and I don’t think they should allow that to happen.

Donald Trump:              17:30                North Korea has tremendous potential. North Korea is in between Russia, China, and South Korea. It’s an incredible, incredible people. I think that they really will, they have this truly unbelievable potential, and I think they want to get to it. We’ll see what happens. I mean, maybe they do and maybe then it won’t. I mean, you’re just going to just see. But I really believe that North Korea would like to see something tremendous happen.

Donald Trump:              18:00                This could be one of the most unbelievable, you look at a country in terms of upside, this could be one of the most unbelievable experiments ever, North Korea. And I also say the same with Iran. Iran can get back to business. They can do unbelievably well with all of the natural things that play in. So on vaping, just to finish, this is all about vaping. This is a meeting that gets off a little track because you ask us questions about other things, and I think we’re better of answering them than not, but we are looking at vaping very strongly. It’s very dangerous.

Donald Trump:              18:39                Children have died, people have died. And the acting commissioner is somebody that’s a true expert on it. As much as you can be an expert on a brand new subject, and we’re going to have some very strong rules, regulations, and more importantly, I think we’re going to have some very important information come out very shortly. And we’ll be reporting that over the next couple of weeks. And I want to thank you and commissioner, I want to thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you everybody.