Jan 22, 2020

Donald Trump Davos World Economic Forum Transcript: Trump Holds News Conference in Davos

Donald Trump Davos Press Conference Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsDonald Trump Press Conference TranscriptsDonald Trump Davos World Economic Forum Transcript: Trump Holds News Conference in Davos

Donald Trump held a news conference at the Davos World Economic Forum before his departure on January 22, 2020. Read the full transcript of his speech right here on Rev.com.

Donald Trump: (00:01)
Unemployment rates among African American, Hispanic American, Asian Americans has reached a record low in the history of our country, the lowest. African American youth unemployment has reached the lowest in the history of our country. So proud of that. African American poverty numbers have plummeted to their lowest rate ever recorded, doing really well. Unemployment rate for women has reached the lowest level in almost 70 years, and the veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low. Unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached its all time record low, also. These are incredible numbers [inaudible 00:00:44]. Workers without a high school diploma have received the and achieved the lowest unemployment rate ever in recorded history. That’s so important, without a high school diploma. We have a lot of great people that don’t have a high school diploma. We have record low unemployment. A record number of young Americans are now employed.

Donald Trump: (01:11)
We have the highest number of people working in our country that we’ve ever had before. We’ve never had anything even close. We’re almost up to 160 million, and we’ve lifted 10 million people off of welfare, and you know all about food stamps. We talk about it all the time, but millions and millions of people don’t need food stamps anymore. Sad that we’ve lifted them off, which we have, but they don’t need them anymore. They have jobs. They’re doing really well.

Donald Trump: (01:37)
The U.S. stock markets have soared, and they’ve reached the highest point that they’ve ever, ever had. We’ve made at least $19 trillion in terms of wealth, in terms of wealth creation for our country beyond the stock markets, and we are now, by far, the biggest economy in the world. China would have caught us. They were getting very close. It was anticipated that in 2019 … This is for many years. I’m not telling any secrets, that by 2019, China would become the largest economy in the world. Right now, we’re much larger, but we have a great new deal with China, great deal.

Donald Trump: (02:18)
We have, I would say, our best relationship that we’ve ever had with China on top of everything else, and we’re starting phase two. Phase one turned out to be much bigger than we anticipated because we have intellectual property protections, we have many of the financial deals and aspects of the financial deals that we wanted we got done, and other things, in addition to the farmers. We’ve got the total complete package for the farmers. We estimate that it’ll be anywhere between 40 and $50 billion. The number I think is going to be closer to 50 billion. The most they’ve ever done is 16, so we go from 16 to anywhere from 40 to 50 billion that they’ll be purchasing.

Donald Trump: (03:03)
We’re an economic powerhouse like, actually, we’ve never been. Jobs, factories, companies are pouring back into the United States. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been in Davos is we have had conversations with other leaders of other countries where we’ve traditionally had tremendous deficits. I say, “You have to move factories and plants back here.” They took a lot of them. They actually took a lot of them, and now they’re going to move them back. They’re not going to move them back. The companies are coming back because everybody wants to be here, but the countries also understand that we have to balance out our trade, and we’re doing incredibly well in that way.

Donald Trump: (03:40)
One of the people that was very important for me to meet from the World Trade Organization is Roberto Azevedo, and he is a highly respected man. He happens to be this gentleman right here. I thought I’d have him say a few words, but the World Trade Organization is … I’ve had a dispute running with them for quite a while because our country hasn’t been treated fairly.

Donald Trump: (04:04)
China’s viewed as a developing nation. India is viewed as a developing nation. We’re not viewed as a developing nation. As far as I’m concerned, we’re a developing nation, too, but they got tremendous advantages by the fact that they were considered developing, and we weren’t, and they shouldn’t be, but if they are, we are, and we’re talking about a whole new structure for the deal, or we’ll have to do something, but the World Trade Organization’s been very unfair to the United States for many, many years, and without it, China wouldn’t be China. China wouldn’t be where they are right now. That was the vehicle that they used, and I give them great credit, and I also don’t give the people that were in my position great credit because, frankly, they let that all happen, but the vehicle was the World Trade Organization.

Donald Trump: (04:55)
Roberto and I have a tremendous relationship, and we’re going to do something that I think will be very dramatic. He’ll be coming with a lot of his representatives to Washington sometime, maybe next week or the week after, and we’ll start working on it. I’d like to introduce just for briefly Roberto and say a few words on behalf of the WTO, and then I’m going to introduce Larry Kudlow to say exactly where we are in terms of our economy. Some of you know, but we’ve had some tremendous numbers just over the very recent past. So please, Roberto.

Roberto Azevedo: (05:31)
Well, thank you, Mr. President. I think it’s fair to say that we have been saying for quite some time that if the multilateral system, if the WTO, is to deliver its and perform its role in today’s global economy, it has to be updated, it has to be changed, it has to be reformed. This is an agenda that is squarely before members. I don’t think anybody in Geneva misses the point. I think they understand that the system has not been functioning properly in many areas. That’s something that we are trying to address.

Roberto Azevedo: (06:06)
I’m very happy that, in the conversation today with President Trump, he agreed that this is something that needs to happen. The WTO has to change. We are committed to effect those changes and this is something that we’re serious about, and I am going to be, together with President Trump, as soon as possible discussing what needs to change, what needs to be effected in the WTO, and we are committed to doing that. Of course, I will be talking to all the other WTO members, making sure that they all understand that this is serious. This is a path that we all have to be on together if we want to make the WTO relevant and performing to today’s requirements, frankly. Thank you very much, Mr. President. It’s an honor to be with you and with everybody else. Thank you.

Donald Trump: (06:55)
Thank you very much. Great.

Roberto Azevedo: (06:55)
Thank you.

Donald Trump: (06:59)
Larry, please, Larry Kudlow.

Larry Kudlow: (07:00)
Thank you, sir. I think we’re coming into the new year with a lot of positive momentum in the economy. Again, I want to repeat what President’s speech yesterday. These are transformational free enterprise policies, lower tax rates across the board, deregulation, energy independence, and breaking down trade barriers for better deals for exporting. Just recently, we’ve seen all the confidence surveys are strong, consumer confidence, business confidence, small business confidence. The huge stock market rally, which continues, is I believe a sign of business and consumer confidence and predicting an even stronger economy in 2020. Also, lately, housing markets are very strong. We’ve seen some huge numbers in new housing starts and existing and new home sales. That’s a great omen. It’s a leading indicator, and even with softness and manufacturing last year, we’re seeing now the IHS market surveys for PMI manufacturing up four straight months for the U.S., and I think that’s a terrific sign of a comeback.

Larry Kudlow: (08:10)
I think the President’s trade deals have inspired a lot of confidence among large and small businesses, and I think it’s going to add at least a half a point to GDP this year. I think we’re going to be moving into the 3% zone. We still have to cope with the slow down in Boeing. We’ll see how that plays out, but I think USMCA and the China deals are going to add a lot to growth this year and the years ahead. The great part about this, to me, I’ve been around for a while, is when you look inside, look under the hood, in this growth spurt, with three and a half percent unemployment and virtually no inflation, which itself is a remarkable development, it is the American middle class, it is the American blue collar middle class, they have the fastest wage growth, and, in fact, the lower wage folks are getting the fastest wage increases, exceeding significantly, but from what their managers are making.

Larry Kudlow: (09:13)
I would add also, as the President has indicated, in this stock market rally, I know it’s commonplace to say it only helps if you’re rich people. That is just not true. Over half the households in this country own shares through 401ks and IRAs and brokerage accounts and so forth. You look at the numbers, and the CEA just published a great slide book on this, the bottom 50% has had a 47% increase in their net wealth, consumer net wealth, between home prices and share prices, and that is a booster rocket to this economy. It not only gives them confidence, it gives them some serious spending power, and the consumer spending numbers bear it out. Ours is an optimistic message, and I think the President really carried the day in his speech yesterday. Thank you, sir.

Donald Trump: (10:05)
Thank you very much, Larry. I mean, when you think that soon, it’ll start pretty soon, it’s already started to a certain extent, I asked him to do it, china is going to be purchasing more than $250 billion worth of goods from our country. That’s massive. Those are numbers that nobody’s ever heard of before, and that number can grow. It can grow with time. It’s going to grow substantially, I predict. Then, you have the USMCA, Mexico, Canada, and that’s massive numbers we’re talking about there. We made a deal with Japan, $40 billion, and we made a deal with South Korea. That’s a tremendous deal, also. That was a horrible deal. We turned it into a really good deal. It was really something.

Donald Trump: (10:51)
While we were in Davos, most of you know this, we met with the world leaders, various world leaders, including the President of the European Commission, who we’re going to start negotiating a trade deal with, because the European commission was, frankly, in many ways, tougher than China. I say that respectfully, but that’s the way it is. They’ve taken advantage for a long time, and so we’re going to have a deal. I suspect we’re going to be able to make a deal. Otherwise, we’ll have to do something else. I think they’re going to make a deal. They haven’t wanted to negotiate with past Presidents, but they’re going to negotiate with me. The President of the Swiss Confederation, who’s been very nice and terrific, the President of Kurdistan, we had a tremendous meeting along, with President Salih of Iraq, the Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan, and President Ghani of Afghanistan. In addition, we met with many of the business leaders both at breakfast today and lunch yesterday and dinner yesterday. Many of you were at those meetings at least for a little while, and tremendous numbers of jobs will be coming into the United States. A lot of these leaders, these are the biggest business leaders in the world, and this morning was very inspirational. I mean, these companies are really going to expand, and it was a request of mine, but what we did, we’ve been very good to them. They’re all doing very well, and we have companies from Europe, companies from Asia now coming to the United States. “That’s where the action is,” as one of them said, ” that’s where the action is.” It’s really been great. Now, we’ll be going. We’ll be leaving and going back to Washington. Yes?

Speaker 1: (12:40)
Mr. President, [inaudible 00:12:42].

Donald Trump: (12:41)
Go ahead.

Speaker 1: (12:44)
Mr. President, do you want to hear from witnesses in the impeachment trial? Your team has been a little inconsistent on this [crosstalk 00:12:49].

Donald Trump: (12:49)
Well, I’ll tell you the way I look at it. It’s a total hoax. It’s a disgrace. They talked about their tremendous case, and it’s all done, their tremendous case. They had no case. It’s all a hoax. It’s a con job, like Schiff. He’s a corrupt politician. Now, I’ll leave that to the Senate. The Senate is going to have to answer that. I have great respect for the Senate as a body, and many of the individuals I have great respect, so I’ll leave that to the Senate, but this is the greatest witch hunt.

Donald Trump: (13:19)
This started from the day I came down with the future First Lady. The day we came down the escalator, this started, and I watched the … They’ve been driven crazy. You know what’s driven them crazy? All of these record numbers on unemployment, African American, Asian American. You take a look. Hispanic American is numbers that nobody’s even believing. They are looking at all of this. They’re looking at this tremendous success, the likes of which they’ve never seen before in this country. They’ve never seen anything like this, and it’s driven the Democrats crazy. As Congressman Green said, Al Green, he’s a beauty. As Congressman green said, “We got to beat him by impeachment because we can’t beat him in the election.” I hope that’s-

Donald Trump: (14:03)
… Because we can’t beat them in the election. And I hope that’s true, because honestly, they can’t beat me in the election. I don’t think they can. I know what I’ll be running against one way or the other. It’s one of them and I think we’re going to do very well, but I think we’re going to do well because nobody’s done in the first three years, less than three years, because a lot of these numbers were taken from two months ago. They ended two months ago. In less than three years, nobody’s done the kind of numbers we’ve done. So I’m going to head back and I’ll be watching it, but it’s really going to be up to the Senate. We’re going to have them make that determination. Please. [inaudible 00:14:37] Please.

Speaker 2: (14:38)
Yes, Mr. President. You were the keynote speaker here, but you shared some of the spotlight with a Scandinavian teenager, Greta Thunberg, who you had said needs to work on her anger. She had some very harsh words-

Donald Trump: (14:54)
I didn’t say anger, I said anger management.

Speaker 2: (14:55)
Anger mangagement, yes sir. She had some very strong words here that the United States and other industrialized countries need to do more. Do you still feel that you’re doing enough? [crosstalk 00:00:15:08]-

Donald Trump: (15:09)
How old is she?

Speaker 2: (15:10)

Journalists: (15:11)

Speaker 2: (15:12)
17 now. Yes.

Donald Trump: (15:13)
That’s good.

Speaker 2: (15:14)
But what is your response to her-

Donald Trump: (15:16)
She beat me out on Time Magazine.

Speaker 2: (15:18)
Did you hear from other world leaders and business leaders who said that they think that she has a message that [crosstalk 00:15:24]-

Donald Trump: (15:24)
No, I didn’t actually. But I would’ve loved to have seen her speak. I did [crosstalk 00:15:30] not. No, not at all. I think what is … I think aspects of it are, I think that some people are … They put it at a level that is unrealistic, to a point you can’t live your lives. We want to have the cleanest water on earth. We want to have the cleanest air on earth. Our numbers, as you saw, we had record numbers come out very recently. Our numbers are very, very good. Our environmental numbers, our water numbers, our numbers on air are tremendous. We have to do something about other continents. We have to do something about other countries. When we’re clean and beautiful and everything’s good, but you have another continent where the fumes are rising at levels that you can’t believe. I mean, I think Greta ought to focus on those places, but we are doing better right now than we’ve ever done in terms of cleanliness, in terms of numbers. We have a beautiful ocean called the Pacific Ocean with thousands and thousands of tons of garbage flows toward us and that’s put there by other countries. So I think Greta has to start working on those other countries.

Speaker 3: (16:35)
Mr. President [crosstalk 00:16:35].

Donald Trump: (16:37)
By the way, congratulations on your show.

Speaker 3: (16:40)
Thank you very much.

Donald Trump: (16:41)
They made a very wise decision.

Speaker 3: (16:42)
Thank you very much and we invite you for an interview whenever you’re-

Donald Trump: (16:44)
Oh, good.

Speaker 3: (16:45)
Available. Can I ask you just to be clear and for future presidents, is abuse of power an impeachable offense?

Donald Trump: (16:54)
Well, you got to talk to the lawyers about it. But I will tell you, there’s nothing here. I had a very innocent conversation with a very fine gentleman from the Ukraine and it was based on that. People don’t even want to talk about the conversation. I got to watch glimpses in between all of these meetings that I just told you about. I got to watch glimpses of what is taking place, wasting time in Washington. And I watched … They don’t talk about my conversation. They don’t talk about my transcripts.

Donald Trump: (17:21)
Remember this, when Schiff made up the phony story and he repeated it to Congress and the world and it was a totally phony story. Then I released the transcript. There was supposed to be a second whistleblower. What happened to him? There was … Wait, wait. Otherwise, I won’t do your show. Wait. There was supposed to be an informer. What happened to the informer? All of these people disappeared and when they saw this transcript they said, “We got problems.” But they went ahead because they were already there, because they had a phony concocted story made up. So here’s the story. Did nothing wrong. It was a perfect conversation. It was totally appropriate.

Donald Trump: (18:03)
The best lawyers in the world have looked at it. The Department of Justice has looked at it, given it a sign off. There was nothing wrong. They never thought I was going to release the conversation. They probably didn’t think we had transcribers or we had it transcribed or taped, but they never thought we were going to release it. When we released that conversation, all hell broke out with the Democrats. Because they say, “Wait a minute, this is much different than Shifty-Schiff told us.” So we’re doing very well. I got to watch enough. I thought our team did a very good job. But honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.

Speaker 3: (18:43)
I ask you, because your attorneys say it’s not. Alan Dershowitz says the framers of the constitution did not permit impeachment on grounds like abuse of power or obstruction. They objected open-ended [inaudible 00:18:53] criteria. So for future presidents, is abuse of power an impeachable offense?

Donald Trump: (18:57)
Well, it depends. But if you take a look at this, and from what everybody tells me, all I do is I’m honest. I make great deals. I’ve made great deals for our country. Now we’re working with the WTO. You’re probably surprised by that, but there’s been a longterm abusive situation to the US. I make great deals for our country and they’re honest deals. And when you read that transcription … And by the way, it wasn’t one call. It was two calls. Nobody likes to talk about that. There was one call, which was perfect. And then there was a second call, I guess a couple of months later, which was perfect.

Donald Trump: (19:33)
The President of Ukraine said it was perfect. The Foreign Minister of Ukraine said it was perfect. So if we have a transcription, we have the call and we have the person on the other side of the call saying it was good. Now here’s the other thing, they got their money long before a schedule. They got all their money. What nobody says, it’s very important to me, why isn’t Germany paying, why isn’t UK paying? Why isn’t France paying? Why aren’t the European nations paying? Why is it always the sucker United States? That’s one. And the other thing I wanted to check very carefully and it’s very important is corruption. And we do that too. This was a perfect call and I think we’re doing very well.

Speaker 4: (20:18)
[crosstalk 00:20:20]. [inaudible 00:20:18] from the [inaudible 00:20:24] Times, and I thank you, Mr. President. [inaudible 00:20:26] phase two China trade deal, do you expect human rights in Hong Kong to be part of the discussion?

Donald Trump: (20:31)
We are discussing it already, yes. We would like to see if we can do something. But again, we’re doing a trade deal and it’s a very big deal. Phase one is done. Phase two is being discussed. We are discussing aspects of your question, yes.

Speaker 5: (20:46)
[crosstalk 00:20:46]. Mr. President, thank you.

Donald Trump: (20:46)
No, [crosstalk 00:20:48].

Speaker 5: (20:51)
Mr. President, thank you. Just to clarify a policy question, we know that the Senate will set the rules for witnesses, but what did you want? At one point, you demanded witnessing-

Donald Trump: (21:01)
I can live either way.

Speaker 5: (21:02)
But what do you want?

Donald Trump: (21:03)
I can live … I’ll tell you what I think, it’s such a hoax. I think it’s so bad for our country when we have the head of the World Trade Organization here and he has to listen to this nonsense about a call that was perfect that nobody talks about. I never see them talking about the transcription. I never see them talking about the call because there’s nothing to say. You read it. Somebody should just sit there and read it and everybody’s going to say, “You mean that’s an impeachable event?” If that were impeachable, Lyndon Johnson would have had to leave office on his first day. Kennedy would’ve had to leave office his first day. It’s a hoax and you understand it’s a hoax better than anybody. It’s a hoax and that’s the way it is. Yeah. Go ahead.

Speaker 5: (21:44)
[crosstalk 00:07:44]. Mr. President, a question on Iran. Initially, you said repeatedly to Americans that after Iran retaliated for the Soleimani strike, no Americans were injured. We now know at least 11 US service men were airlifted from Iraq. Can you explain the discrepancy?

Donald Trump: (22:01)
No. I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say, and I can report it is not very serious, not very serious.

Speaker 5: (22:11)
So you don’t think that their potential traumatic brain injury is serious?

Donald Trump: (22:14)
They told me about it numerous days later. You’d have to ask Department of Defense. No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen. I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our trips. I’ve seen people with no legs and with no arms. I’ve seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war. In fact, many cases put those bombs, put there by Soleimani who’s no longer with us. I consider them to be really bad injuries. No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no.

Speaker 6: (22:49)
[crosstalk 00:22:49] trade deal. Do you have any timeline for that and if you don’t hit that timeline-

Donald Trump: (22:55)

Speaker 6: (22:55)
If there is one, are you automatically going to go to [crosstalk 00:00:22:57]-

Donald Trump: (22:56)
I have a timeline … Yeah.

Speaker 6: (22:59)
Or is there another avenue other than [crosstalk 00:22:59]-

Donald Trump: (23:01)
Yeah, great question, actually. I don’t have a timeline, but maybe I do in my own mind. They have to move relatively quickly, but they have to treat us fairly. The European Union was formed pretty much for this reason, I suspect, if you really think about it. Why was it formed? They formed their airplane company, which does very nicely and now is doing better than ever because Boeing has not had a good time of it. They better start recovering fast. I hope they do. They have some good people in there now. They have great people in the company, but they have some good people leading it now. So hopefully, that’ll be taken care of. But, no. I have a date in my mind and it’s a fairly quick date and if we’re unable to make a deal, then we’ll do even better. We’ll do even better.

Donald Trump: (23:49)
[crosstalk 00:23:49] But they haven’t treated us right. Look, the United States has been losing 150 billion and more for many years. 150 billion, more. I mean, really, more than that with the European Union. They have trade barriers where you can’t trade. They have tariffs all over the place. They make it impossible. They are frankly more difficult to do business with then China. We have a great relationship with China now. We had some testy moments, very testing, beyond testy. Worse than a lot of people would understand, but we got it done and I think phase two will go nicely also. But with the European Union, and frankly I’ll be honest, I wanted to wait until I finished China before I went to work on respectfully Europe. But Europe is so beautiful. I guess a lot of us come indirectly from Europe. Isn’t that nice? But they are actually more difficult to do business with than China.

Donald Trump: (24:48)
All you have to do is ask Boris, but I think Boris is going to be okay too. I think he’s going to come out great. I think he had a lot of guts. He’s done a terrific job. I think he’s in a good position, which they would’ve never been able to do before Boris. I have a date. I have a very specific date in my mind.

Speaker 6: (25:05)
Before or after the election? Your election [crosstalk 00:25:06]-

Donald Trump: (25:09)
Before. I think we’ll have a deal before.

Speaker 6: (25:11)
What do you-

Donald Trump: (25:12)
Yeah, I think so. They have to do that. I mean, I don’t want to … Look, I’m not saying it from strength or from weakness. I’m just saying they have to do it. They wanted to make a deal. Our nation, our country wanted to make a deal under President Obama. The EU refused to talk to them and then they said, “No, no, we like it the way it is.” Of course, they like it the way it is. They’re making 150 billion-plus. Right? And as you know, President Bush was desperate to make a deal. They wouldn’t even talk to him. Me, they’re talking to and we’ll have a deal. If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do even better. [crosstalk 00:25:47] Yes, [inaudible 00:25:49].

Speaker 7: (25:47)
Is it true that you’re considering extending the travel ban and if so-

Donald Trump: (25:52)

Speaker 7: (25:52)
Which countries?

Donald Trump: (25:54)
We have a travel ban. It’s a very powerful ban and a lot of … I heard a reporter recently say he lost the ban in court. They didn’t say that we won it in the Supreme Court. I’d say that’s a little deceptive, John, wouldn’t you? He said he lost the travel ban. I didn’t lose the travel ban. The travel ban was lost in the lower courts and won in the Supreme Court two years ago. No, we are. We’re adding a couple of countries to it. We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe. You see what’s going on in the world. Our country has to be safe, so we have a very strong travel ban and we’ll be adding a few countries to it.

Speaker 7: (26:31)
Could you give us a hint about the region or the country?

Donald Trump: (26:34)
It’s going to be announced very shortly, okay? [crosstalk 00:26:36] John? [crosstalk 00:26:37]. Yeah, John.

John: (26:39)
Thank you, Mr. President. In regards to the proceedings going on in the Senate, would you like to see this over quickly? Would you like to see a thorough examination of the facts? What did you make of the dustup between the White House council, Pat Cipollone and Jerry Nadler last night? And are you absolutely against John Bolton testifying?

Donald Trump: (26:58)
Well, you’re asking a lot of questions.

John: (27:01)
Three of them. That’s not a lot.

Donald Trump: (27:01)
First of all, Jerry Nadler, I’ve known him a long time. He’s a sleazebag. Everybody knows that. Pat Cipollone is a high quality human being. I was very impressed with Pat. He had great emotion yesterday. Pat’s a brilliant guy, but I’ve never seen that emotion and that’s real emotion. That’s because he knows this is a hoax. And I was very proud of the job he did. I’ve known Jerry Nadler for a long time. He’s opposed many of my jobs. I got them all built, very successfully built in New York. So we have yet another fight. Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it surprising? Isn’t it amazing? But if you look at other aspects or other parts of your question, I think that the … I would rather go the long way. I would rather interview Bolton. I would rather interview a lot of people. The problem with John is that it’s a national security problem. You can’t-

Donald Trump: (28:03)
… and is that it’s a national security problem. You can’t have somebody who’s at national security and if you think about it, John, he knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it’s not very positive and then I have to deal on behalf of the country? It’s going to be very hard. It’s going to make the job very hard. He knows other things. And I don’t know if we left on the best of terms. I would say probably not. And so you don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms, and that was due to me, not due to him. And so we’ll see what happens. But when you have a national security, you could call it presidential prerogative, you could just call it the way I look at it, I call it national security for national security reasons. Executive privilege, they say.

Donald Trump: (28:54)
So, John would certainly fit into that. When you’re a national security advisor, like this gentleman is doing a fantastic job, Robert. I just think it’s very hard and I’ve always gotten along. I’ve actually gotten along with John Bolton. He didn’t get along with other people, a lot of other people. But when he knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments, and we’re talking about massive trade deals and war and peace and all these different things that we talk about, that’s really a very important national security problem. I think having somebody, other people … Mick Mulvaney is probably around here someplace. I’d love to have Mick go, but I think that he’s really expressed himself very well when he did a Chris Wallace interview. That was a very, very powerful interview. That was a long, tough … Chris is a tough interviewer, a very talented guy. I think it’s not much he can add. He’s been great.

Donald Trump: (29:52)
I’ll tell you what I don’t like though. I’d love to have Mike Pompeo testify, but again, that’s a national security problem. But I’d love to have Mike Pompeo, but it’s a national security problem. I’d love to have Rick Perry. Rick Perry has asked me, “I’d love to testify. Please let me testify,” because he knows this is all a hoax. He understands it better than most. And Rick Perry would love to testify, but we’re dealing with national security. We’re dealing with one other thing. Our country has been tied up with this hoax from the day I came down the escalator. We’ve been fighting it. I’ve been fighting it from the day I’ve been elected. I would say probably long before. It could be long before I came down the escalator that some people have said that, which is hard to believe … Wait John. It’s hard to believe we’ve been fighting this.

Donald Trump: (30:43)
Personally, I’d rather go the long route. It’s horrible for our country. Our country has to get back to business. We have people that are corrupt, like Adam Schiff, who misquotes … I don’t mean misquotes. Makes up a statement. He had no idea that I was going to release the transcript. He never thought I’d do that. And for that I thank the president of Ukraine because we got their approval. He had no idea I was going to do that. But these are corrupt people, some of them. And some of them are just playing the political game. But if you look at the poll numbers, my poll numbers are the highest they’ve ever been. If you look at the funding numbers, if you look at what the money raised by the Republican party has just set a record. Nobody’s ever done this before. It’s because of the impeachment hoax.

Reporter: (31:34)
No, no. Sorry. Sorry. I’ve got three quick ones too, Mr. President, if you don’t mind.

Donald Trump: (31:36)

Reporter: (31:37)
Three, yes. Well, my husband has three, I have three.

Donald Trump: (31:39)
That means six. Six for the family.

Reporter: (31:41)
Thank you very much. Thanks for appreciating the family.

Donald Trump: (31:43)
Go ahead. No, go ahead.

Reporter: (31:43)
Do you plan to show up in any way, shape or form at your trial? Number two, you called Kenneth Starr a disaster in the past, do you still feel that way about him now? And three, Lev Parnas has come forward and said that you knew everything that he was doing and you-

Donald Trump: (31:59)
He’s a con man. Ready, let me answer that one.

Reporter: (32:01)
You say that’s not true?

Donald Trump: (32:01)
I don’t know him.

Reporter: (32:02)
Okay, you don’t know him.

Donald Trump: (32:03)
Other than he’s like a groupie. He shows up at fundraisers. So I don’t know anything about him. I watched Rudy. Rudy is a terrific person, great crime fighter, the best mayor in the history of New York City by far. Solved the crime problem in New York. And I think it’s very unfair the way the media has treated Rudy Giuliani. I will say this. Parnas I don’t know other than he probably contributed to the campaign along with tens of thousands of other people. And I mean I was this weekend, I was taking pictures with hundreds of people. They contribute to the Republican party and I stand there and I take pictures and every once in a while I’ll look at somebody, I say, “Gee, I wonder when that picture is going to be in the New York Times or the Washington Post or on Fox.” So it’s one of those things. I think Rudy is a high quality person.

Reporter: (32:53)
So why is he not on your legal team? Why is he not-

Donald Trump: (32:54)
I don’t want there to be a conflict. I’d love to have Rudy on my team, but he could be a witness at some point if this whole sham continues. I would love to have Rudy on the team. Rudy is on my team, just so you understand, but I’d love to have him up there. But it could be that he’d have a conflict. It could be. But Rudy Giuliani is somebody that, I think the press has been very unfair to. Greatest mayor in the history of New York. Think of it. And one of the greatest crime fighters of the last hundred years. And he hates to see what’s happening because he knows corruption really better than anybody. Okay. Go ahead.

Reporter: (33:31)
And Kenneth Starr, how do you feel about him now?

Donald Trump: (33:32)
So, Ken Starr is a terrific man. I did make that statement because frankly I didn’t think that Bill Clinton should have been impeached. And I thought it was terrible. I didn’t know Ken Starr, but I didn’t think that Bill Clinton should have been impeached. And I was pretty vocal about that. I didn’t know Ken, but what I did know is he was very smart. He was very tough. He was very talented. But in a certain way I was sticking up for Bill Clinton. I sort of still feel that way. I mean, what he did was nothing good. There was a lot of lying going on. There were a lot of things, a lot of bad things. Now with me, there’s no lying. There’s no nothing. They have nothing. They don’t even have a crime. They say this is the only one that’s ever been impeached and he didn’t commit a crime. I didn’t commit a crime. And then you get into high crimes and misdemeanors, but I didn’t commit a crime. So no, I have great respect for Ken, but I didn’t think, frankly that Bill Clinton should’ve been impeached.

Reporter: (34:31)
So, what do you think? Will you show up at your trial any day in any way, shape, or form?

Donald Trump: (34:33)
I’d love to go. Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t that be beautiful?

Reporter: (34:34)
So, why don’t you go?

Donald Trump: (34:36)
I don’t know. I’d sort of love sit right in the front row and stare in their corrupt faces. I’d love to do it.

Reporter: (34:42)
So why not just do it?

Donald Trump: (34:43)
I don’t know. Don’t keep talking because you may convince me to do it.

Reporter: (34:47)
Do you think [inaudible 00:34:47] and Sekulow would want you there?

Donald Trump: (34:49)
I think they might have a problem. I think they might. And by the way, I think they’ve done a really good job. And I think the other side has so lied. I watch the lies from Adam Schiff. He’ll stand, he’ll look at a microphone and he’ll talk like he’s so aggrieved. These two guys, these are major sleazebags. They’re very dishonest people. Very, very dishonest people. When somebody will make up a statement that I made, when you remember the statement, eight times quid pro quo, eight times, think of it. How can you say eight times? That would mean I was asking somebody eight different times for the same thing. What kind of a conversation would that be? If you asked once, that’d be fine. If you asked twice, that’d be … How can you ask eight times? They would say you’re a loony tune. Right? And then he said, I think he finished by saying, “Don’t call me. I’ll call you,” that I said that. He made that statement. “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” And he didn’t say he made it up.

Donald Trump: (35:50)
Now ultimately he had to, in a sense, apologize. He can hardly apologize, but he had to apologize because fortunately we had a tape. We had the transcripts. I am so happy that I had the transcripts because it showed he’s a liar and he’s a fraud and they continue to just go on and on. But this has happened to me with the Russian hoax. This has happened to me, I called it the witch hunt, greatest witch hunt in American history, and the Mueller report, which exonerated totally. There was no collusion after all that. Two years, there was no collusion. And then what happened to Jill Stein from the Green Party gets called a Russian agent by crooked Hillary and then Tulsi Gabbard. I don’t know either of them, but I know they’re not Russian agents. Gets called a Russian agent. This is what these people do. They demean, and the press plays in because the press largely is their partner.

Donald Trump: (36:52)
And one thing, if we could straighten out the press in our country, we would have a place that would be so incredible. The press is so dishonest, so corrupt. I read it all the time. Stories. I don’t mind bad stories. I deserve bad stories sometimes, but when I do something great or good, let it be written about good. Same thing with other people. The corruption in the media, as I call it the fake news media, is unbelievable. And hopefully everybody’s going to learn a lesson. People got Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of me, and it turned out they were totally wrong. Other people, Sean Hannity, Rushbo, a lot of great people, a lot of great writers, they got it right. They didn’t get Pulitzer Prizes, but they got it right. The Russian hoax was a terrible thing. The dossier was a phony deal paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC and used in the Pfizer coup. It’s totally illegally. No, it’s a terrible thing that happened. This was a take down attempt at a sitting president of the United States, and we caught them. So let’s see what happens.

Reporter 2: (38:15)
Mr. President, would you consider delaying the State of the Union if the impeachment trial has not-

Donald Trump: (38:22)
No, I don’t see. A very excellent writer, Bob Woodward, I guess he’s doing another book on Trump, but this time I’ll actually give him an interview. He said, “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” I said, “No, I’m not enjoying it.” He said, “No, you act like you’re winning and you won. You’re actually enjoying it.” I said, “I’m not enjoying it. I’m doing it because it’s very important what I’m doing.” I consider what I’ve done here with this whole witch hunt from day one with the insurance policy, with the horrible statements made between Strzok and Page and McCabe and Comey, who lied to Congress and did so many other bad things. He lied and he leaked. When I finish, I think that this is going to go down as one of the greatest things I’ve done for our country. These are bad, corrupt people. These are bad people, and very bad for our country. Thank you very much everybody. Thank you.

Reporter 3: (39:18)
Mr. President. Mr. President. Who’s paying for your private lawyers, Mr. President, the tax payers, or you?

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