May 20, 2020

Donald Trump Meeting Transcript with Kansas, Arkansas Governors

Donald Trump Meets with Kansas Arkansas Governors May 20
RevBlogTranscriptsDonald Trump TranscriptsDonald Trump Meeting Transcript with Kansas, Arkansas Governors

Donald Trump held a televised meeting and press conference with governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Laura Kelly of Kansas. Read the full transcript of the meeting here.

 

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Donald Trump : (00:00)
… of his balance, you know all about harvesting and they do lots of bad things. Ideally people go out and they vote. Now, if you need a mail in ballot, if you need a specific… As an example, I’m in the white house and I have to send a ballot to Florida. That makes sense. So if you need it for some reason, or if somebody is not, well. That’s one thing. But when you send out 7.7 million, mail in ballots, there’s forgeries, there’s frankly, duplication, where they print ballots on the same kind of paper with the same kind of machinery. And you can’t tell the difference and they send in thousands and thousands of fake ballots. I tell you what, this nation can’t be going down that path because it’s a very dangerous path to go down. Now, we just won a big election.

Donald Trump : (00:45)
You probably heard about this one in California. California, 25, Mike Garcia. He just won a very big election and that was ballots. It was a very sort of the opposite. They won the case for ballots. He was doing very well because their ballots you see, he was way ahead in an area that frankly was not expected to go Republican. First time in 22 years, that it has happened. They flipped from Democrat to Republican California. The first time in 22 years, that it had happened. They actually put machines in there, in the last three days, because they thought meaning the Democrats, because they thought that might happen, but it didn’t. But that was the case. That was a positive case. But mail in ballots are very dangerous is tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality.

Speaker 1: (01:30)
But they are many Republicans secretaries of state that are also moving to mail in ballots because of the pandemic and people are scared to go vote.

Donald Trump : (01:38)
Well, we’re going to see how it all works out, but they had 7.7 million applications sent out. They have, in the state of Nevada, they have a tremendous drive in where you just mail in your balance. You can’t do that. You got to go and vote. People have to check you. They have to see that it’s you, they’re supposed to look at you and check you and make sure that… I mean, when you get thousands of ballots and they put them in a bag and they just bring them in and people start counting. Who knows where they come from. It’s so obvious. I mean, frankly, they should have voter ID. That’s what they should have. You really want to know what the country wants, the country wants voter ID otherwise it’s going to be subject to tremendous illegality and fraud.

Dr. Birx: (02:24)
Mr. President-

Speaker 3: (02:24)
Mr. President what fundings that are withdrawn for Michigan?

Donald Trump : (02:28)
From?

Speaker 3: (02:29)
From Michigan. You threatened to keep funding away from state of Michigan which funding are [crosstalk 00:02:34]

Donald Trump : (02:33)
Yeah. Well, I have very specific funding. I just spoke with the governor. We didn’t discuss that. We really discussed more the topic at hand plus the dams breaking. So we didn’t. But we’ll let you know if it’s necessary. You’ll be finding out… They’ll be finding out very soon if it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s going to be necessary because mail in ballots are a very dangerous thing. They’re subject to massive fraud. And by the way, I don’t want to put anybody on the spot if you have anything to say about it, so. Or Laura, but how can you do that? People signing ballots, who knows, who signing these ballots, they have a ballot, they pick the ballot, they take them out of mailboxes. They go around and accumulate them. They harvest, I guess the word is harvest them. And it was especially prevalent in California. It’s just not a fair situation. Do you have any comments on that?

Asa Hutchinson: (03:25)
Well, I do, of course, Arkansas supported a voter ID law.

Donald Trump : (03:29)
Good.

Asa Hutchinson: (03:30)
But in terms of the election in November, there’s a lot of discussion about how we can make the vote accessible. If there is continued worry from a health standpoint and we want to be able to use no excuse absentee voting as a way to do it. But it’s still a person to person identification of the individual versus the mail in variety that is, you said can be manipulated.

Donald Trump : (04:00)
Sure.

Asa Hutchinson: (04:00)
So we’re looking at that, but we believe in the identification of the vote.

Donald Trump : (04:06)
I think just common sense would tell you that it’s massive manipulation can take place. Massive. And you do, you have cases of fraudulent ballots where they actually print them and they give them to people to sign. Maybe the same person signs them with different writing, different pens. I don’t know. A lot of things can happen. Now, if you can, you should go and vote. Voting is an honor. It shouldn’t be something where they send you a pile of stuff and you send it back. Another thing that happens, a lot of people in certain districts, this is historically, a lot of people in certain districts don’t ever get their ballot. They keep calling, “Where’s my vote. Where’s my ballot.” Then election day passes and they forget about it. That can happen in the thousands. I’m not saying it does, but I can. It probably has.

Speaker 3: (04:51)
Just to follow up on that, sir. Are you concerned about the message that you’re sending of saying you may withhold funding from Michigan when it’s also going through these issues with the water [crosstalk 00:05:01]-

Donald Trump : (05:00)
No, I’m not. No, no. I’m not concerned at all. We’re going to help Michigan. Michigan is a great state. I’ve gotten tremendous business to go to Michigan. Michigan is one of the reasons I ran. I was honored in Michigan long before I thought about… I was honored as the man of the year at Michigan at a big event. I got up and I remember so well, I spoke probably five, six years before I even thought about running for president. I got up and I spoke and I said, “Why are you allowing them to steal your car business?” We lost 32% of our car business to Mexico. A lot of it came out of Michigan and I said, “Why did you allow that to happen?” I posed many questions to Michigan that not… I think made it quite an impression.

Donald Trump : (05:44)
And now we have those same car factories that coming back except in a brand newer and bigger form. So I think we’re going to do very well in Michigan. I guess we just got a poll that’s very good right here. A very good poll about how we’re doing in Michigan and other swing States and just generally in the election. But I won’t show you. I’m sure you can get it. I won’t flip this over. Everyone is saying, “Could you flip it over?” But no, I think we’re doing very well in Michigan. Very great place. I’ll be there tomorrow and I guess it’s tomorrow, but I’ll be there tomorrow Ford Plant. And maybe going to do the double stop or I’ll go back on the dams, but we have to take care of that problem.

Dr. Birx: (06:24)
Mr. President, with 4% of the world’s population and 30% of the outbreak, what would you have done differently facing this crisis?

Donald Trump : (06:33)
Well, nothing. If you take New York and New Jersey, which were very hard hit, we were very, very low. In terms of morbidity and in terms of… You look at the death, relatively speaking, we’re at the lowest level, along with Germany. Germany, us, it could have been some smaller countries too, perhaps. I’d like to ask you maybe about that, if I could. But we’ve done amazingly well. I think the biggest thing we did is stopping the inflow from China into our country. And Deborah was a big supporter of that. I mean, in terms of how important it turned out to be and so was Tony Fauci. They were very, very… Tony said we saved thousands and thousands of lives. That was a great decision that was made. And that was made very early, please, Deborah.

Dr. Birx: (07:23)
Yeah, I think it’s always confusing, particularly confusing to the American people. We don’t emphasize the size of our country. We’re the third largest country in the world, but every country has a different experience with this virus. So you have to adjust everything to population size. So when you look at Spain and Italy, our attack rates to this virus are identical to other countries that have experienced the type of epidemic that we have experienced. So every country is different. That’s why you really need to always report data normalized for population. And then you look at the mortality by population and it’s true. We have compared to our European colleagues, some of the lowest mortality, about half of Italy and Spain. So I think it’s really important that. And then these two States represent what we’ve been asking States to do. And Kansas, they found 50% of their clusters were in specific meat packing, nursing homes.

Donald Trump : (08:21)
Good job.

Dr. Birx: (08:21)
They identified their clusters, they found their clusters. They took care of those clusters. That was 50% of all of their cases in Arkansas, 80% of the Arkansas individuals have recovered with less than a 2% mortality. So these are the… It’s really important. We’re a big country, but each state is different, but as a country, we’re different than other countries around the world. We’ll be asking questions later about why were certain countries completely spared? I think that’s always a question that we have epidemiology is like that. But if your country has never had significant infections, you can’t compare it to a global number. There’s multiple countries in Africa where there’s really almost no outbreak. And then South Africa has a very different outbreak. So each of these outbreaks are different and that’s why it has to be really granular to understand it and to respond to it. You can see these two states have done exactly what we asked them to do, find cases, contact trace, contain outbreaks, and ensure that their citizens do as well as possible. That’s what these states illustrate.

Donald Trump : (09:30)
Just to finish your question, I mean, so we’re in that category along with Germany as the lowest. I think it’s a great honor. That’s including New York and New Jersey, which have had a very high number. So if you include New York, New Jersey, do… If you don’t include New York and New Jersey, we’re just about in a class by ourselves.

Dr. Birx: (09:53)
What about China and [crosstalk 00:09:54]?

Donald Trump : (09:55)
Well, China you tell me about, do you think they’re right numbers? Do you think China has given the right number? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

Dr. Birx: (10:02)
[crosstalk 00:10:02].

Donald Trump : (10:02)
Take a look at the numbers, they gave numbers it was so low. I mean, I saw more problem on television that they were reporting just by looking at a picture. So I’m not including China and any numbers because those numbers weren’t correct obviously. That’s been easily shown and easily proven, but no, our people have done a fantastic job. Deborah, I always talk about the fact that our testing is so far advanced that we’re close to 14 million in testing. 14 million. Would you say China is that… Not China, if you would say Germany would be maybe three or four, three.

Dr. Birx: (10:40)
I can tell you certainly.

Donald Trump : (10:42)
South Korea is at a number, you tell us what that number is.

Dr. Birx: (10:46)
Well, we’ve been way ahead of South Korea for a long time.

Donald Trump : (10:49)
Way ahead of everybody.

Dr. Birx: (10:50)
Germany has done three million tests, Italy three million tests, UK about 2.7 million, Spain three million. I think to us, it’s not just the number of tests, it’s how those tests are utilized. I think in both of these states, you can see, they focus testing where they knew the outbreaks were. Now they’re proactively testing in nursing homes where they think the outbreaks, could go next and finding asymptomatic cases. I think we’ve only learned in the last couple of months, how many asymptomatic cases there are.

Dr. Birx: (11:24)
I think a lot of people at the beginning wanted to approach this like flu and most of the people who get flu are symptomatic. So really I think our thoughts have evolved, our understanding has evolved and the states have evolved with us. Really working in partnership to really change how we look for cases. I think that’s really remarkable. We’re not waiting for people to get sick, to find cases now. What you’re doing with testing and what you’re doing with testing in a proactive way is the way we’re moving as a country. And because we can do nearly 14 million tests, we have the luxury to be able to be proactive in our testing now.

Donald Trump : (12:02)
But when you do 14 million…

Dr. Birx: (12:03)
…be proactive in our testing now.

Donald Trump : (12:03)
But when you do 14 million tests, you’re going to find more cases. If instead of 14 million tests, we did 3 million… Like Germany’s at about 3 million, South Korea is at 3 million and they’ve done a very good job. It’s not a knock, but we’re at almost 14 million. We’re going to be passing 14 million very soon. So you’re going to have more tests. If we did 3 million, everyone say, “Oh, we’re doing great,” in terms of cases, we’re going to have more cases. Maybe that’s what we should have done, if I would have been 3 million they’d have said, “Oh, they have very few cases. United States is doing well.”

Donald Trump : (12:35)
We’re finding a lot of people. By doing testing, you’re finding people. So we’re doing 14, Germany’s doing 3, South Korea’s doing 3. And I think they’re number two and three, so we’re way ahead of everybody. But when you do that, you have more cases. So, a lot of times the fake news media will say, “You know, there are a lot of cases in the United States.” Well, if we didn’t do testing at a level that nobody’s ever dreamt possible, you wouldn’t have very many cases. So we’re finding a lot of cases and we’re doing a great job once we find them. Okay. Thank you, very much, everybody.

Speaker 4: (13:10)
[crosstalk 00:13:10] Press, lets go. Come on guys, we’re finished. Press, let’s move.

Speaker 5: (13:13)
Press let’s go, thank you.

Speaker 6: (13:17)
[crosstalk 00:13:17] how does it compare the per capita basis? Obviously, the United States is much larger than a lot of these European countries. How does our testing compare per capita?

Donald Trump : (13:22)
Yeah, sure. Do you want to do that Deborah? Per capita.

Dr. Birx: (13:26)
Our testing now, we’re almost up to 4%. So some of the European countries are at 4 to 5 percent. Our goal is to ensure that we can find the asymptomatics. And I think that’s really our focus right now, working with every state to really help them identify where these clusters came from historically, and then proactively going for those clusters. Identifying them early and finding the asymptomatic individuals before. And no one’s intending to spread the virus, I always want to be very clear about that. Asymptomatic people don’t know they’re infected, and so together we’re really working to find them. It’s a unique challenge, and I think together we’re really making progress.

Donald Trump : (14:10)
When you see “per capita,” there’s many per capitas. Is it’s like, “Per capita relative to what?” But you could look at just about any category, and we’re really at the top. Meaning positive on a per capita basis, too. They’ve done a great job. Please, Kaitlan.

Kaitlan: (14:25)
I heard yesterday at the Republican lunch that you were complaining about the CDC and the delayed rollout of testing. Do you think that-

Donald Trump : (14:32)
No. I wasn’t complaining, I don’t know who gave you that? It’s fake news.

Kaitlan: (14:35)
Do you think Robert Redfield is doing a good leading the CDC?

Donald Trump : (14:37)
Yeah, I do. I do. It’s fake news, Kaitlan. Fake news, therefore you can report it on CNN. It’s perfect for CNN.

Kaitlan: (14:44)
You didn’t complain about the CDC [crosstalk 00:02:49].

Donald Trump : (14:46)
No, not at all.

Kaitlan: (14:47)
Do you think they did a good job with testing at the beginning?

Donald Trump : (14:50)
You know, you’re asking me a wise guy question. Again I didn’t put CDC there, CDC has been there long before the Trump Administration came in. But they had a test that something happened to it, it was soiled-

Kaitlan: (15:05)
Contaminated.

Donald Trump : (15:06)
It was soiled and or foiled. But it was a problem, a short term problem. It lasted for about a week and then they got that solved. And frankly, the end result is… And this was done outside of CDC. This was done by private companies and people that we got involved. And you look at the numbers, I know you don’t like to talk about the numbers of what we’ve done, but for the first week they had a problem, CDC, because something went wrong with one of the tests. And that can happen, I’m not blaming CDC for it.

Donald Trump : (15:37)
No, I think he’s done a very good job I think. I think that my whole team has done a very good job. And it’s not really my team, they were there. CDC has been there for a long time. There’s some great talent in CDC, I deal with them.

Donald Trump : (15:50)
So now what you’re saying is, “Okay, we’ve done 14 million tests. So we can’t hit the President on that. So let’s go back to the first week.” CDC has done, I think, a really good job. No, and I didn’t say anything bad about CDC at the meeting. We actually had a very good meeting. The Republican party, the senators, I think virtually everyone was there. I think you had 53 there.

Donald Trump : (16:13)
We had a great meeting. We’re looking to do great things for the country. We’re helping people with stimulus. We’re getting money to people, they need it. We’re going to open up very big. I call it “transition to greatness.” That’s what it is, it’s a transition to greatness. And when Larry Kudlow tells you the numbers, those are really surprisingly good numbers this early in. I mean, we’re doing very well. I think it’s going to be something special.

Donald Trump : (16:38)
These are two governors that we invited. They’ve both done a fantastic job. One happens to be a Democrat, one happens to be a Republican. You’ve been on most of those calls Laura and I think we can say the Democrats have been as nice about what we’ve done as the Republicans. I mean, it’s been terrific. And Laura, I know she will speak her mind and so will some of the others. And if she was unhappy, she’d be letting you know.

Donald Trump : (17:05)
We’ve done a really great job. We’ve gotten along great with Democrats, the Democrat governors. And we’ve gotten along great with the Republicans. It’s been a tremendous thing to witness and we’re doing a fantastic job with… And you have been fantastic Deborah, I have to say. You’ve been working 24 hours a day and I hope people appreciate what you’re doing, but I do. I do. Thank you, very much.

Speaker 4: (17:28)
All right, press, let’s go. [crosstalk 00:17:31] Come on Kaitlan, we’re done. Let’s go.

Donald Trump : (17:38)
Thank you, very much.

Speaker 4: (17:38)
Ben, let’s move. [crosstalk 00:17:38]

Kaitlan: (17:38)
Are you done-

Speaker 5: (17:38)
Kaitlan, Kaitlan.

Speaker 4: (17:38)
Come on, let’s go. We’re finished.

Kaitlan: (17:38)
Have you finished the hydroxychloroquine?

Donald Trump : (17:40)
I think the regimen finishes in a day or two. I think it’s two days, two days.

Speaker 4: (17:45)
All right, let’s go.

Donald Trump : (17:48)
Thank you. Great job. [crosstalk 00:17:49] There is a man that has great talent right here, that guy. [crosstalk 00:17:49] He’s actually, he’s very talented.

Donald Trump : (17:53)
[inaudible 00:18:33].

Donald Trump : (17:53)
Hi, Larry.

Larry Kudlow: (17:53)
Sir.

Donald Trump : (18:37)
[inaudible 00:18:37] Hi, good job.

Donald Trump : (18:38)
Well, thank you very much. It’s an honor to have Asa Hutchinson, the Governor of Arkansas. We all know Asa and he’s been doing a tremendous job. Likewise, Governor Laura Kelly of Kansas, a terrific state, terrific people, hard workers. That’s for sure. Right? Hard workers. And we’re going to be discussing various things. I guess everything you can imagine. And we’ve been doing some of these meetings with the governors. Our relationship with the governors has been very strong. We’ve sent them everything they’ve needed and we’ll continue. I just spoke with Gretchen Whitmer, we’ll be going to Michigan at the appropriate time. They have a big problem with the dams breaking, you saw that. It’s a big, big problem. And so we’ve sent FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers out, and they’re very good at dams. They’re probably better at dams than anybody you can think of. Right? The Army Corps of Engineers, they’ve done a fantastic job all over.

Donald Trump : (19:38)
I’ll be going to Michigan at some point in the not too distant future. I’m also actually going to Ford tomorrow, come to think of it. And I think they called the Governor, invited the Governor. So, we’ll be heading out. Maybe we’ll do them both at the same time, I don’t want to get in the way of the fix-up though, because there’s a lot of water out there. It was a bad break, so we’ll be taking care of that in Michigan. And Michigan, these are great people and great survivors. When you get right down to it Larry, they’ve been through a lot over the years. Now we have a lot of auto factories being built there and a lot of good things are happening.

Donald Trump : (20:16)
States are opening up some rapidly, safely, and we look forward to that. And I think we’re going to get back. We’re going to have some very good numbers, I project. I think that we will have a great transition period, which is third quarter. I think you’re going to have a very good fourth quarter. I think you’re going to have an incredible year. You may have something to say about that, Larry, because you just got some numbers that are quite important. Go ahead.

Larry Kudlow: (20:40)
The Congressional Budget Office has just redone its estimates. After a predictably rough pandemic contraction in the second quarter, they’re looking for a twenty-one and a half percent growth rate, Sir, in the third quarter.

Donald Trump : (21:00)
Good.

Larry Kudlow: (21:00)
Which would actually, if it can true, would be the biggest growth quarter in American history, or since the data were compiled.

Donald Trump : (21:09)
I could see that happening.

Larry Kudlow: (21:09)
In the fourth quarter over 10%, and actually they’re showing 2021 now at 4.2%. So they’ve lifted their estimates. That would be a wonderful thing, really would.

Donald Trump : (21:22)
Those are big numbers. That would be incredible. That tells you what’s happening and that’s why the stock market’s as good as it is.

Larry Kudlow: (21:30)
Yep.

Donald Trump : (21:30)
Because, a lot of smart people that are projecting some very good results for this country. Laura, would you like to say something? You have these wonderful people right here and they’d love to hear from you Governor, please.

Laura Kelly: (21:42)
I do. Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate the invitation here today, and I appreciate what your team has done for us-

Donald Trump : (21:51)
Thank you.

Laura Kelly: (21:51)
… as we have been working our way through this pandemic and the recovery. I think one of the most significant things that has happened was when we put out a cry for help with our meat packing plants, you sent in a CDC SWAT team that came into Southwest Kansas where we have multiple meat packing plants and really helped us set up the kind of system that we needed to have in place to ensure that those plants could stay in production. And I’m very proud to say that Kansas is one of the few, if not the only state, that did not have to actually shut down our packing plants.

Donald Trump : (22:32)
That’s right.

Laura Kelly: (22:32)
We were able to create an environment that was safe. And we’re also able to provide, with your assistance, our own agency’s non-congregate living. Because, a lot of the folks who work in these meat packing plants live with a lot of other people. And so we were able to work with our community colleges and our hotels in that area to provide a quarantine space for folks. And that’s worked out really well.

Donald Trump : (23:01)
And our people worked very well together. I have to say your representatives and my representatives really worked well together. They did a good job together.

Laura Kelly: (23:10)
I want to give a little shout out to the Senator Pat Roberts.

Donald Trump : (23:12)
Absolutely.

Laura Kelly: (23:13)
Who I think was instrumental in elevating our cry for help.

Donald Trump : (23:18)
Right. That’s true, that’s true. Thank you, very much. Good job.

Donald Trump : (23:23)
Asa, go ahead.

Asa Hutchinson: (23:25)
Thank you, Mr. President. Thanks for this opportunity to be here. I’ve enjoyed visiting with Dr. Birx, before. And Larry Kudlow about the economy, but also the health side of this. And I want to tell you, thank you for your leadership in the food production for our country. Arkansas has 60 meat processors here in the state of Arkansas. All of them are active, none of them are shut down. They’re producing because we know the country depends upon that production. But your support of that industry has been critical. And I also want to thank you for your leadership on the economy-

Asa Hutchinson: (24:02)
And I also want to thank you for your leadership on the economy. The message that you have, that we need to get back to work, get back to business is critical in terms of shaping the direction of our country. In Arkansas, we’re back to work today. All of our retail stores are open.

Donald Trump : (24:20)
Great.

Asa Hutchinson: (24:20)
All of our retail establishments totally are open. Our gyms are open. Our barbers are open. Our restaurants are open. Now, sure, they have some restrictions, one third occupancy and things like that.

Donald Trump : (24:32)
Right, sure.

Asa Hutchinson: (24:32)
And we’re emphasizing the social distancing, but we’re at work. And the result of that is that we were projecting a 10% loss of our sales tax revenue year, over year, 10% reduction. We’re getting the numbers in and we’re going to be at 5%. It’s going to be about 5%.

Donald Trump : (24:51)
That’s great. That’s big news.

Asa Hutchinson: (24:52)
And so obviously there’s a loss there we expected, but we’re beating all of those projections, including our payroll. And so we want to work and we really appreciate what you’ve done for small businesses in the payroll protection plan that our… We’ll be speaking about through the course of this meeting. And Lori [Trogden 00:25:16] is here. But also in terms of testing, just to give you a flavor of Arkansas, we have fewer than 100 hospitalized in Arkansas. We have right about 5,000 cases, all total cumulative.

Donald Trump : (25:30)
Right.

Asa Hutchinson: (25:30)
The active cases are much less than that, but we’ve ramped up our testing because last month you all said, “You can have 90,000 test kits.”

Donald Trump : (25:41)
Right.

Asa Hutchinson: (25:41)
Because of that, we were able to test this month, 2% of our population, which was our goal. We’re going to do 60,000 in May. And then we made a pledge that next month in June, we will test all of our nursing home residents and their workers. And so that’s our goal for June that will really help the safety of those in the nursing home, as well as the staff that’s there.

Asa Hutchinson: (26:05)
So while we’re growing the economy in Arkansas, it has to be a national effort because we’re not going to really boom in Arkansas until New York is strong again and until Kansas and all of our neighbors. And you mentioned the automobile industry. We’re in the supply chain. So we can’t really produce until they’re in operation. But we’ve got a lot of exciting things happening in the state, but it couldn’t have been done without the support and partnership that we have with your federal agencies that have been very responsive and given us what we needed.

Donald Trump : (26:40)
Thank you very much, Jason. You’ve done a great job. You both have done a really great job and it’s been an honor to work with both of you. Thank you very much. It was really terrific. Any questions please?

Speaker 7: (26:50)
Mr. President, what is it that you think is happening in Michigan that’s illegal?

Donald Trump : (26:55)
Well, I think if we’re talking about the mail in ballots, if people mail in ballots it’s a lot of illegality. They send in ballots that… They harvest ballots. You know all about harvesting and they do lots of bad things. Ideally people go out and they vote. Now, if you need a mail in ballot, if you need a specific… As an example, I’m in the White House and I have to send a ballot to Florida. That makes sense. So if you need it for some reason, or if somebody is not well, that’s one thing. But when you send out 7.7 million mail in ballots, there’s forgeries. There’s frankly, duplication, where they print ballots on the same kind of paper with the same kind of machinery. And you can’t tell the difference and they send in thousands and thousands of fake ballots. And I tell you what, this nation can’t be going down that path because it’s a very dangerous path to go down. Now, we just won a big election. You probably heard about this one in California. California 25, Mike Garcia, he just won a very big election and that was ballots.

Donald Trump : (27:58)
And it was a very… Sort of the opposite. They won the case for ballots. He was doing very well because their ballots… You see, he was way ahead in an area that frankly was not expected to go Republican. First time in 22 years that has happened. They flipped from Democrat to Republican in California. The first time in 22 years that had happened. And they actually put machines in there in the last three days, because they thought… meaning the Democrats… Because they thought that might happen, but it didn’t. But that was the case. That was a positive case. But mail in ballots are very dangerous. There’s tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality.

Speaker 7: (28:36)
But there are many Republicans, Secretaries of State, that are also moving to mail in ballots because of the pandemic and people are scared to go vote.

Donald Trump : (28:41)
Well, we’re going to see how it all works out, but they had 7.7 million applications sent out. They have, in the state of Nevada, they have a tremendous drive in where you just mail in your ballots. You can’t do that. You’ve got to go and vote. People have to check you. They have to see that it’s you. They’re supposed to look at you and check you and make sure that… I mean, when you get thousands of ballots and they put them in a bag and they just bring them in and stuff, people start counting, who knows where they come from? It’s so obvious. I mean, frankly, they should have voter ID. That’s what they should have. You really want to know what the country wants? The country wants voter ID. Otherwise it’s going to be subject to tremendous illegality and fraud.

Speaker 8: (29:27)
Mr. President, what funding are you considering withdrawing from Michigan?

Donald Trump : (29:28)
From?

Speaker 8: (29:33)
From Michigan. You threatened to keep funding away from the state of Michigan. Which funding were you referring to?

Donald Trump : (29:37)
Yeah, well, I have very specific funding. I just spoke with the governor. We didn’t discuss that. We really discussed more the topic at hand plus the dam’s breaking. So we didn’t… But we’ll let you know if it’s necessary. You’ll be finding out. They’ll be finding out very soon if it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s going to be necessary because mail in ballots are a very dangerous thing. They’re subject to massive fraud. And by the way, I don’t want to put anybody on the spot. If you have anything to say about it, or so Laura, but how, how can you do that? You know, people are signing ballots. Who knows who’s signing these ballots? They have a ballot. They pick the ballot. They take them out of mailboxes. They go around and accumulate them. They harvest, I guess the word is harvest them. And it was especially prevalent in California. And it’s just not a fair situation. Do you have any comments on that?

Asa Hutchinson: (30:29)
Well, I do. Of course, Arkansas supported a voter ID law.

Donald Trump : (30:33)
Good.

Asa Hutchinson: (30:33)
But in terms of the election in November, there’s a lot of discussion about how we can make the vote accessible if there is continued worry from a health standpoint. And we want to be able to use no excuse absentee voting as a way to do it. But it’s still a person to person identification of the individual-

Donald Trump : (30:58)
Right, sure.

Asa Hutchinson: (30:58)
Versus the mail in variety, that as you said, can be manipulated. So we’re looking at that, but we believe in the identification of the voter.

Donald Trump : (31:09)
I think just common sense would tell you that it’s massive manipulation can take place, massive. They… And you do, you have cases of fraudulent ballots where they actually print them and they give them to people to sign. Maybe the same person signs them with different writing, different pens. I don’t know. There’s, a lot of things can happen. Now, if you can, you should go and vote. Voting is an honor. It shouldn’t be something where they send you a pile of stuff and you send it back.

Donald Trump : (31:36)
Another thing that happens, a lot of people in certain districts, this is historically a lot of people in certain districts don’t ever get their ballot. They keep calling, “Where’s my vote? Where’s my ballot?” Then election day passes and they forget about it. And that can happen in the thousands. I’m not saying it does, but it can. It probably has.

Speaker 8: (31:58)
Just a follow up on that, sir. Are you concerned about the message that you’re sending of saying, you may withhold funding from Michigan when it’s also going through these issues with the Water and the dam breaking?

Donald Trump : (32:04)
No, I’m not. No, no. I’m not concerned at all. We’re going to help Michigan. Michigan is a great state. I’ve gotten tremendous business to go to Michigan. Michigan’s one of the reasons I ran. I was honored in Michigan long before I thought about… I was honored as the man of the year in Michigan at a big event. And I got up and I remember so well, I spoke probably five, six years before I even thought about running for president. And I got up and I spoke and I said, ” Why are you allowing them to steal your car business?” You know, we lost 32% of our car business to Mexico. And a lot of it came out of Michigan and I said, “Why did you allow that to happen?” And I posed many questions to Michigan that night. I think it made quite an impression. And now we have those same car factories, they’re coming back except in a brand newer and bigger form.

Donald Trump : (32:53)
So I think we’re going to do very well in Michigan. I guess we just got a poll. That’s very good right here. A very good poll about how we’re doing in Michigan and other swing states and just generally in the election, but I won’t show you. I’m sure you can get it. I won’t flip this over. Everyone is saying, “Could you flip it over?” But no, I think we’re doing very well in Michigan. Very great place and I’ll be there tomorrow. And… I guess it’s tomorrow… But I’ll be there tomorrow at the Ford plant and I’m maybe going to do the double stop or I’ll go back on the dams, but we have to take care of that problem.

Speaker 9: (33:28)
Mr. President, with 4% of the world’s population and 30% of the outbreak, what would you have done differently facing this crisis?

Donald Trump : (33:37)
Well, nothing. If you take New York and New Jersey, which were very hard hit, we were very, very low. And in terms of morbidity and in terms of… You look at the death, relatively speaking, we’re at the lowest level, along with Germany. And Germany, us, it could have been some smaller countries too, perhaps. I’d like to ask you maybe about that, if I could, Deborah. We’ve done, you know, amazingly well. I think the biggest thing we did is stopping the inflow from China into our country. And Deborah was a big supporter of that. I mean, in terms of how important it turned out to be. And so was Tony Fauci. They were very, very… Tony said we saved thousands and thousands of lives. That was a great decision that was made. And that was made very early, please, Deborah.

Dr. Birx: (34:26)
Yeah, I think it’s always confusing and particularly confusing to the American people when we don’t emphasize the size of our country. We’re the third largest country in the world, but every country has its different experience with this virus. And so you have to adjust everything to population size. And so when you look at Spain and Italy, our attack rates to this virus are identical to other countries that have experienced the type of epidemic that we have experienced. And so every country is different. That’s why you really need to always report data normalized for population. And then you look at the mortality by population. And it’s true. We have, compared to our European colleagues, some of the lowest mortality, about half of Italy and Spain. And so I think it’s really important that… And then these two states represent what we’ve been asking states to do. In Kansas, they found 50% of their clusters were in specific meatpacking, nursing homes.

Donald Trump : (35:24)
Good job.

Dr. Birx: (35:24)
They identified their clusters. They found their clusters. They took care of those clusters. And that was 50% of all of their cases. In Arkansas, 80% of their, of the Arkansas individuals have recovered with less than a 2% mortality. And so these are the… It’s really important. We’re a big country, but each state is different, but as a country, we’re different than other countries around the world. We’ll be asking questions later about why were certain countries completely spared? And I think that’s always a question that we have. Epidemiology is like that. But if your country has never had significant infections, you can’t compare it to a global number that-

Dr. Birx: (36:03)
Has never had significant infections, you can’t compare it to a global number. There’s multiple countries in Africa where there’s really almost no outbreak, and then South Africa has a very different outbreak. So each of these outbreaks are different and that’s why it has to be really granular to understand it, and to respond to it. And you can see these two states have done exactly what we asked them to do. Find cases, contact trace, contain outbreaks, and ensure that their citizens do as well as possible. And that’s what these states illustrate.

Donald Trump : (36:33)
And just to finish your question, though, I mean, so we’re in that category along with Germany as the lowest. And I think that’s a great honor. And that’s including New York and New Jersey, which have had a very… They had a very high number. So if you include New York, New Jersey, do everything. If you don’t include New York and New Jersey, we’re just about in a class by ourselves. Now with-

Reporter: (36:58)
What about China?

Donald Trump : (36:59)
Well, China, you tell me about it? You think they are right numbers? Do you think China’s giving the right number? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Take a look at the numbers. They gave numbers that were so low. I mean, I saw more problem on television than they were reporting just by looking at a picture. So I’m not including China in any numbers because those numbers weren’t correct, obviously. And that’s been easily shown and easily proven. But, no, our people have done a fantastic job. Deborah, I always talk about the fact that our testing is so far advanced that we’re close to 14 million in testing. 14 million. And would you say China is at… Not China. If you would say Germany would be at maybe three or four-

Dr. Birx: (37:43)
Yes, as far as I can tell. I can tell you [crosstalk 00:37:45].

Donald Trump : (37:45)
Three? And South Korea is at a number. You tell us what that number is.

Dr. Birx: (37:50)
Well, we’ve been way ahead of South Korea for a long time.

Donald Trump : (37:53)
Way ahead of everybody.

Dr. Birx: (37:54)
Germany has done three million tests; Italy, three million tests; UK, about 2.7 million; Spain, three million. And I think to us, it’s not just the number of tests. It’s how those tests are utilized. And I think in both of these states, you can see they focus testing where they knew the outbreaks were. And now they’re proactively testing in nursing homes where they think the outbreaks could go next and finding the asymptomatic cases. I think we’ve only learned in the last couple of months how many asymptomatic cases there are. And I think a lot of people at the beginning wanted to approach this like flu, and most of the people who get flu are symptomatic. So really, I think our thoughts have evolved, our understanding has evolved, and the states have evolved with us, really working in partnership to really change how we look for cases. And I think that’s really remarkable.

Dr. Birx: (38:49)
We’re not waiting for people to get sick to find cases now. And what you’re doing with testing and what you’re doing with testing in a proactive way is the way we’re moving as a country. And because we can do nearly 14 million tests, we have the luxury to be able to be proactive in our testing now.

Donald Trump : (39:05)
But when you do 14 million tests, you’re going to find more cases. If instead of 14 million tests, we did three million, like Germany’s at about three million, South Korea’s at three million, and they’ve done a very good job. It’s not a knock, but we’re at almost 14 million. We’re going to be passing 14 million very soon. So you’re going to have more tests. If we did three million, everyone would say, “Oh, we’re doing great,” in terms of cases. We’re going to have more cases. If we did three million, maybe that’s what we should have done. If I would have done three million, they’d have said, “Oh, they have very few cases. United States is doing well.” We’re finding a lot of people. By doing testing, you’re finding people. So we’re doing 14, Germany’s doing three, South Korea’s doing three, and I think they’re number two and three. So we’re way ahead of everybody. But when you do that, you have more cases.

Donald Trump : (39:53)
So a lot of times the fake news media will say, “There are a lot of cases in the United States.” Well, if we didn’t do testing at a level that nobody’s ever dreamt possible, you wouldn’t have very many cases. So we’re finding a lot of cases, and we’re doing a great job once we find them. Okay, thank you very much.

Press: (40:13)
[crosstalk 00:40:14].

Donald Trump : (40:13)
Thank you.

Speaker 10: (40:13)
Come on, guys. Press, let’s go. Thank you.

Reporter: (40:20)
[inaudible 00:40:20] follow up. How do we compare on a per capita basis? Obviously, the United States is much larger than a lot of these European countries. How does our testing compare per capita?

Donald Trump : (40:26)
Sure. You want to do that, Deborah. Per capita?

Dr. Birx: (40:29)
Yeah, our testing now, we’re almost up to four percent. So some of the European countries are at four to five percent. And I think our goal is to ensure that we can find the asymptomatics. And I think that’s really our focus right now, working with every state to really help them identify where these clusters came from historically, and then proactively going for those clusters, identifying them early, and finding the asymptomatic individuals before… And no one’s intending to spread the virus. I always want to be very clear about that. Asymptomatic people don’t know they’re infected, and so together we’re really working to find them. And I think it’s a unique challenge. And I think together, we’re really making progress.

Donald Trump : (41:14)
And when you see a per capita, there’s many per capitas. It’s like per capita relative to what? But you could look at just about any category, and we’re really at the top, meaning positive on a per capita basis, too. They’ve done a great job. Please, Caitlyn?

Caitlyn: (41:29)
I heard yesterday at the Republican lunch that you were complaining about the CDC and the delayed roll out of testing. Do you think-

Donald Trump : (41:37)
No, I wasn’t… I don’t know who gave you that. It’s fake news.

Caitlyn: (41:38)
Do you think Robert Redfield is doing a good job leading the CDC?

Donald Trump : (41:40)
Yeah, I do. I do. It’s fake news, Caitlyn, fake news. Therefore, you can report it on CNN.

Caitlyn: (41:47)
You didn’t complain?

Donald Trump : (41:47)
It’s perfect for CNN.

Caitlyn: (41:48)
You didn’t complain about the CDC?

Donald Trump : (41:50)
No, no.

Caitlyn: (41:50)
Do you think they did a good job with testing at the beginning?

Donald Trump : (41:54)
Well, you’re asking me a wise guy question. At the beginning, and again, I didn’t put CDC there. CDC has been there long before the Trump administration came in. But they had a test that was… Something happened to it. It was soiled. It was soiled and/or foiled, but it was a problem, a short term problem. It lasted for about a week. And then they got that solved. And frankly, the end result is… And this was done outside of CDC. This was done by private companies and people that we got involved. And you look at the numbers, I know you don’t like to talk about the numbers of what we’ve done, but for the first week, they had a problem, CDC, because something went wrong with one of the tests and that can happen. I’m not blaming CDC for it.

Donald Trump : (42:40)
No, I think he’s done a very good job. I think that my whole team has done a very good job. And it’s not really… If they were there… CDC has been there for a long time. There’s some great talent in CDC. I deal with them. So now what you’re saying is, okay, we’ve done 14 million tests. So we can’t hit the President on that. So let’s go back to the first week. The CDC has done, I think, a really good job.

Donald Trump : (43:04)
No, and I didn’t say anything bad about CDC at the meeting. We actually had a very good meeting. The Republican party, the senators, I think virtually everyone was there. We had 53 there, and we had a great meeting. We’re looking to do great things for the country. We’re helping people with stimulus. We’re getting money to people. They need it. And we’re going to open up very big. We’re going to open up. I call it Transition to Greatness. That’s what it is. It’s a transition to greatness. And when Larry Kudlow tells you the numbers, those are really surprisingly good numbers this early in. I mean, we’re doing very well. I think it’s going to be something special.

Donald Trump : (43:42)
These are two governors that we invited. They’ve both done a fantastic job. One happens to be a Democrat, one happens to be a Republican. But I think I’ve worked at… You’ve been on most of those calls, Laura, I think we can say the Democrats have been as nice about what we’ve done as the Republicans. I mean, it’s been terrific. And Laura, I know she will speak her mind and so will some of the others. And if she was unhappy, she’d be letting you know. No, we’ve done a really great job. We’ve gotten along great with Democrats, the Democratic governors, and we’ve gotten along great with the Republicans. It’s been a tremendous thing to witness, and we’re doing a fantastic job with… And you have been fantastic, Deborah, I have to say. You’ve been working 24 hours a day, and I hope people appreciate what you’re doing, but I do. I do. Thank you very much.

Press: (44:31)
[crosstalk 00:08:34].

Speaker 11: (44:37)
Caitlyn, Caitlyn.

Speaker 10: (44:41)
Come on, let’s go. We’re finished. [crosstalk 00:44:41].

Donald Trump : (44:43)
I think the regimen finishes in a day or two. I think it’s two days, two days.

Speaker 10: (44:48)
All right, let’s go.

Reporter: (44:52)
Thank you, sir.

Caitlyn: (45:01)
Thank you. [crosstalk 00:45:02]