Oct 2, 2019
Donald Trump Press Conference Transcript with Finland President: Trump Calls for Schiff to Resign
Donald Trump held an explosive series of press conferences alongside the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö on October 2, 2019. The press conferences quickly turned into a barrage of questions about the impeachment inquiry where Trump said Adam Schiff should resign and be looked at for “treason.” Read the full transcript of the morning and afternoon October 2 press conferences right here.
Morning Press Conference Transcript
Sauli Niinisto: (00:00)
Thank you very much. I am waiting for our discussions.
Donald Trump: (00:04)
Yes, yes. See, he’s a man of few words and he gets it done.. That’s what I like about him anyway, okay, thank you all very much.
Speaker 3: (00:14)
President Trump, how are you responding against charges that you are putting the whistleblower’s life in danger?
Donald Trump: (00:19)
Well, the whistleblower was very inaccurate. The whistleblower started this whole thing by writing a report on the conversation I had with the president of Ukraine. And the conversation was perfect. It couldn’t have been nicer. I saw a Rick Scott. I saw many of the Senators talking about it. Many of the congressmen talking about it. Not a thing wrong. Unless you heard the Adam Schiff version where he made up my conversation. He actually made it up.
Donald Trump: (00:44)
It should be criminal. It should be treasonous. He made it up. Every word of it, made up and read to Congress as though I said it, and I’ll tell you what, he should be forced to resign from Congress. Adam Schiff. He’s a lowlife. He should be forced to resign. He took a perfect conversation, realized he couldn’t read it to Congress because it was perfect. It was a very nice conversation. I knew many people were on the phone. Not only were many people on the phone, we had stenographers on the phone taking it down word for word.
Donald Trump: (01:15)
He took that conversation, which was perfect. He said, “I can’t read this.” So he made up a conversation and he reported it and said it to Congress and to the American people. And it was horrible what he said. And that was supposed to be coming from me, but it was all fabricated. He should resign from office in disgrace. And frankly they should look at him for treason because he is making up the words of the President of the United States. Not only words, but the meaning. And it’s a disgrace. It should not be allowed to happen.
Speaker 3: (01:47)
Your own DNI said the call transcript was consistent with the complaint. So, should [crosstalk 00:01:54].
Donald Trump: (01:53)
No, no. He didn’t say that. You have to take a look. No, no, no. He did not say that. And in fact, if you look at what he said, he found everything to be very normal. He’s a good man. And Joe, and he found it to be very normal. I saw Schiff trying to go 15… I call him Shifty Schiff. We don’t call him Shifty Schiff for nothing. He’s a shifty, dishonest guy, who by the way was critical of one of the great Secretary of States, graduated number one in his class at West Point, graduated top of it. One of the top of his class at Harvard Law School, the most honorable person, Mike Pompeo. And this guy was negative when Mike Pompeo… There’s an expression, “he couldn’t carry his blank strap.” I won’t say it because they’ll say it was so terrible to say, but that guy couldn’t carry his blank strap. You understand that?
Donald Trump: (02:45)
So you deal with bad people. And I watched China over the last few days and I watched some of these other countries build up, build up, build up, and we’ve built up more than any of them because of me. But no help due to the Democrats. They’re a disaster. They’re the Do Nothing Democrats. They don’t do any work. All they want to do is try and win the election in 2020. So they come up with this impeachment nonsense and everyone knows. The conversation, all based on one phone call that I had where I’m talking to the president of Ukraine. You’ll hear from our ambassadors, you’ll hear from some of the folks that know all about the call, why the call was set up and everything else. It’s perfect. The call was perfect. In fact, Lindsey Graham said, “I didn’t know you could be so nice.”
Donald Trump: (03:31)
There was no quid pro quo. Remember before they said, the only reason I put that out, and I did it with the approval of Ukraine by the way, otherwise I couldn’t have done it, was because the whistleblower was so dishonest. The whistleblower said terrible things about the call, but I then found out he was second hand and third hand. In other words, he didn’t know I was on the call. No, these are bad people. These are dishonest people.
Donald Trump: (03:55)
And when the American people find out what happened, it’s going to be a great day and you know what? We have to go back to building our country because 99% of Nancy Pelosi’s time is spent on this. She should worry about lowering the price of drugs, which I’ve done. But it’s hard to do it without the help of Congress. About creating border security, which I’ve done. We now have hundreds of miles of wall under construction on the southern border. She should worry about infrastructure. She should worry about the USMCA. She’s not doing it.
Donald Trump: (04:27)
I just saw a part of her press conference before the president of Canada. I’m sorry to bother you with this, Mr. President because we have other things to talk about, but I will tell you I just watched part. She says, “Oh, drug prices.” Well, she’s been trying to get drug prices down for… How long has she been in Congress? For years. She should focus on her own district. Do you see what’s happening to her district? We call it tent city. It’s terrible. In fact, we just sent a violation to the city of San Francisco, unsafe water, unsafe conditions, environmental. EPA. Our EPA, which is doing a great job, is sending Nancy Pelosi with all the talk about EPA. There’s needles and drugs all over the street. There’s tents. There’s people that are dying in squalor in the best location in San Francisco.
Donald Trump: (05:16)
It used to be a great city. Now you have to see what’s happened to San Francisco. You happen to see what the Democrats have allowed to happen, as an example, what they’ve allowed to happen. Just take a look to Los Angeles, great cities. One other thing, yesterday, as you know I was sued by the governor, Gavin Newsom. He’s another beauty. I was sued by him. He’s a do nothing. Sued by him so that I can’t get on the ballot in the State of California. It was a massive story. It was the biggest story, Mr. President, it was headlines all over the place. Trump gets sued by this do nothing governor in California. It was big.
Donald Trump: (06:01)
Here’s what happened. Yesterday, I won the case very convincingly. A very tough, smart, highly respected judge, not a Trump person at all, not appointed by Trump, appointed by somebody that you would call the opposition, came out with a scathing and tough opinion. I won the case. I didn’t see one story that I won that case. Not one story from the fake news. I didn’t see Steve write it. I didn’t see you write it. I didn’t see anybody write it.
Donald Trump: (06:34)
So let me just tell you just to finish Nancy Pelosi and Shifty Schiff, who should resign in disgrace by the way, and Jerry Nadler and all of them. It’s a disgrace what’s going on. And we should be focused on making America great again and keeping America great because that’s what we have to do. And when I look at that parade with military and millions of people and everything else, we better get smart. We better start focusing on the right things because what they did with this nonsense, think of it.
Donald Trump: (07:08)
You have a perfect, I mean perfect conversation with a president of another country, Ukraine in this case. And they try and say, “Oh, let’s impeach them.” They’ve been trying to impeach me from the day I got elected. I’ve been going through this for three years. They’ve been trying to impeach me from the day I got elected. And you know what? They failed. And This is the easiest one of all because this one is based on one conversation. What about Obama’s conversation with the president of Russia where he says, “Hey, hey, tell Vlad I’ll talk to him after the election’s over. I’ll talk to him.” Nobody reports that. That stuff you should report.
Donald Trump: (07:52)
But you people should be ashamed of yourself. We have the most dishonest media that you can imagine, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. Okay. I think I’ve answered most of your questions. What do you think? Yes.
Speaker 4: (08:03)
Finland media here, Finland is the happiest country in the world.
Donald Trump: (08:04)
Finland is a happy country.
Speaker 4: (08:06)
What can you learn? What can you learn from Finland [crosstalk 00:08:08]?
Donald Trump: (08:07)
Well if you get rid of Pelosi and you got rid of Shifty Schiff.
Sauli Niinisto: (08:11)
We discuss about that.
Donald Trump: (08:13)
Finland is a happy country. He’s a happy leader too.
Speaker 5: (08:18)
Mr. President, are you going to cooperate with the-
Donald Trump: (08:20)
No Republicans have raised concerns.
Speaker 5: (08:21)
-about the whistleblower, that the identity of the whistleblower should be protected.
Donald Trump: (08:26)
I don’t care. Look, I think a whistleblower should be protected if the whistleblower’s legitimate. But when the whistleblower makes a big report on the conversation I had with a president of Ukraine and it was a great conversation. We talk mostly about congratulations on your win. We talked about corruption and what really referring mostly to 2016 because what the Democrats did in 2016 was corrupt. And let’s see what happens. They’re more concerned with that than they are with me and impeachment. They’re trying to hide what maybe is coming. I let our great, if you look, I’ll let our great law enforcement take care of it.
Donald Trump: (09:10)
Attorney General Barr I guess is working on it. And I hope he’s working on it because what happened in 2016 is a disgrace to this country. And they’re more worried about that because they know they’re guilty as hell. All right. They’re much more worried about that.
Speaker 3: (09:25)
The whistleblower immediately illegitimate, if they are reporting this [crosstalk 00:09:29].
Donald Trump: (09:29)
When a whistleblower… Okay. Are you ready? I heard the whistleblower’s report from you people. And how bad it was about just a simple conversation. By the way, this whole thing revolves around a simple conversation. And if you remember at the beginning, it was quid pro quo. That’s all you heard about. And I think you said seven or eight times quid… In other words, “You are going to do that or we’re not going to give you money. You’re going to do this or we’re not going to…” I never said it.
Donald Trump: (09:59)
But when I heard these horrible stories come out, I had no choice but to release a conversation, which I hate to do and I hope I don’t have to do it again with the leader of a country. I asked a certain person to call up a certain person in that country to get permission to do it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do it. And if I didn’t do it, and I appreciate Ukraine for allowing us to release the conversation. But it was so innocent. It didn’t hurt them if anything had helped them because there was a very innocent conversation.
Donald Trump: (10:29)
But when a whistleblower takes that very nice, innocent… Lindsey Graham said, “I never knew you were that nice a person.” He said, “You never asked him for anything. You were really, really nice.” Lindsey was saying, “I never knew you was so nice. That was a perfect conversation.” I heard Rick Scott today say, “That was a perfect conversation. How can they impeach him on that conversation?” He read it. He’s a very smart guy from Florida, Rick Scott, and he said, “That was a perfect conversation. How can you impeach somebody on that conversation?”
Donald Trump: (10:59)
But the whistleblower wrote not that conversation. He wrote a vicious conversation. In other words, he either got it totally wrong, made it up, or the person giving the information to the whistleblower was dishonest. And this country has to find out who that person was because that person’s a spy, in my opinion. You ready?
Donald Trump: (11:20)
So when a whistleblower purposely or not gives something that’s totally erroneous. Now here’s where I fooled them. They never thought I’d released the conversation. They’d never thought in a million years that I’d released the conversation. When little Adam Schiff saw the text, when he read it, he couldn’t believe it. When Nancy Pelosi, who worked a day early, Nancy Pelosi called for essentially impeachment, let’s impeach the president, before she saw the transcript. And this is an exact word for word transcript of the conversation. Taken by very talented stenographers. Listen to me. So when she saw that, I heard she went crazy.
Donald Trump: (12:06)
She said, “We can’t impeach him of this conversation. That’s a great conversation.” She went by the whistleblower and the whistleblower was so bad. I wouldn’t even think about it. But here’s what happened. The whistleblower was wrong. The only thing that matters is the transcript of the actual conversation that I had with the president of Ukraine. It was perfect. We’re looking at congratulations. We’re looking at doing things together and what are we looking at? We’re looking at corruption.
Donald Trump: (12:36)
And in, I believe 1999, there was a corruption act or corruption bill passed and signed between both countries where I have a duty to report corruption. And let me tell you something, biden’s son is corrupt and Biden is corrupt, and I’d rather run against Biden than almost any of those candidates. And I think they’re all week, but I think Biden has never been a smart guy and he’s less smart now than he ever was. Thank you very much. [crosstalk 00:13:09]
Donald Trump: (13:13)
Let me do that again. It’s a fair question. So this morning and last night, my comms people came to me, listen to this one president. I’m glad they’re interested in Finland, but what can you do. I’m interested in Finland much more. But my comms people came to me and they said, “Sir, there’s a book or something being written.” It’s written by Washington post people, so you know it’s inaccurate. You know it’s probably a fraud. So two reporters of the Washington… and they said “President Trump started screaming, ranting and raving that on the southern border, where we are right now building a tremendous wall, it’s unbelievable what’s going on. Army Corps of Engineers. We’re doing a lot. We’ll soon have over a hundred miles under construction completed and we’re going to end up with over 400 to 500 miles. Okay, ready?
Donald Trump: (14:04)
That I wanted a wall, but I wanted a moat, a moat, whatever that is. Not a word I used, but they used it. A moat. And in the moat I wanted alligators and snakes, and I wanted the wall to be a fence, and I want it to be electrified, and I wanted sharp spikes at the top, so if anyone gets it, it goes piercing through their skin is somewhat the way they said it. Skin piercing spikes. But I want that whole wall to be electrocuted. And “Sir, you never said that.” They came to me, the comms people, they came to me yesterday and they said, “Did you say this?” I said, “Why are you asking that stupid question?”
Donald Trump: (14:47)
Because the fake news media is saying that you said this in a book. I said, “What book?” And they said, “Washington Post.” I said, “Well, obviously it’s fake because almost everything the Washington Post does is fake. It’s a fake newspaper. It’s owned by a rich guy for the purposes of giving him power in Washington. I mean it’s a lobbyist.” I call it the lobbyist Washington Post for Amazon. And he ought to be ashamed of himself because what they do to his reputation, I think maybe it’s probably no good anyway. But what they do to his reputation with the Washington post is a disgrace.
Donald Trump: (15:19)
So these two reporters wrote this book and they said, “I want a moat with alligators, snakes electrified fences so people get electrocuted if they so much as touch the fence and spikes on top.” Never said it, never thought of it. And I actually put out something on social media today. I said “I’m tough on the border, but I’m not that tough.” Okay. It was a lie. Just so you have it. You asked a question, it was a total lie. It was corrupt reporting.
Donald Trump: (15:45)
I don’t even use fake anymore. I call the fake news now corruptors because fake isn’t tough enough, and I’m the one that came up with the term. I’m very proud of it, but I think I’m going to switch it largely to corrupt news because the media in this country, not everybody, we have some great reporters, some great journalists, but much of it is corrupt. It’s corrupt. You have corrupt media in this country, and it truly is the enemy of the people. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. [crosstalk 00:16:12].
Speaker 6: (16:13)
Mr. President, will you release the [crosstalk 00:16:16] transcripts, sir.
Donald Trump: (16:17)
Afternoon Press Conference Transcript
Donald Trump: (00:00)
Much. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (00:08)
Look at all the press that you attract. Do you believe this? That’s really impressive.
Pres. Niinistö: (00:12)
I guess they are not after me.
Donald Trump: (00:15)
I hope not. You’re lucky. Thank you very much. Today it’s my honor to welcome President Niinistö of Finland to the White House, and Mr. President, it’s wonderful to host you once again in Washington. We’ve gotten to know each other over the last period of time, and it’s been a great experience. The President and I have just concluded very productive discussions on a number of exciting opportunities for our two nations. Before going further, I want to express our deep condolences over the horrific stabbing attack that took place yesterday at a college in Finland. America is praying for the victims and their families, and we send our unwavering love and support.
Pres. Niinistö: (00:59)
Donald Trump: (01:01)
The American and Finnish people are linked by an abiding commitment to self-government, individual rights, democracy, and the rule of law. This past May, our countries celebrated the 100th anniversary of America’s recognition of the independent nation of Finland in 1919. As President Wilson wrote at the time, “Our recognition was prompted by the sympathies for a cause similar to that which caused our own Declaration of Independence in 1776.”
Donald Trump: (01:36)
A century after we established diplomatic relations, United States and Finland remained United by those same cherished values. Central to this effort is our nation’s close cooperation on matters of security and defense. Although Finland is not a member of NATO, save a lot of money, Finland participates in many NATO missions and exercises, and I’m pleased that Finland is substantially increasing its military budget. America and Finland are also working together to advance stability, freedom of navigation, and respect for national sovereignty in the Arctic. Both of our nations are committed to a secure Arctic region, free from external intrusion, interference and coercion. Simply put, we believe that the affairs of the Arctic should be governed by the actual nations of the Arctic. And as you know, there are other people coming into the Arctic, and we don’t like it, and we can’t let it happen, and we won’t let it happen.
Donald Trump: (02:39)
The United States and Finland are likewise partnering to ensure the security of 5G networks. It is critical that we use safe and trustworthy technology providers, components, and supply chains. We welcome the establishment of the UROS Innovation Center in Finland, Qualcomm has done a fantastic job with that. This Innovation Center will greatly expand American and Finnish businesses and cooperation in 5G. We’re also glad that the Finnish company, Nokia, it’s a great company, a global leader in 5G technology is developing its cutting edge products right here in the United States at Bell Labs in New Jersey.
Donald Trump: (03:23)
Across the United States, foreign direct investment from Finland totals over $10 billion. Each year, Finnish owned companies invest more than $120 million in research and development in America, and expand our exports by more than $1 billion. Just today, Finnish Nokian Tires opened a new manufacturing plant in Dayton, Tennessee, a $360 million investment that is creating hundreds of brand new beautiful jobs for a great state, Tennessee. We love Tennessee, so they made a wise choice. You never lose when you go to Tennessee.
Donald Trump: (04:06)
I encourage other Finnish companies to increase their investments in the United States. There has simply never been a better time to do business in America. We have passed the largest tax cuts and reform, and also regulation cuts in the history of our country. We slashed business tax, and we’re fueling job growth through our record setting campaign to abolish all of those really terrible unnecessary regulations. We have plenty of regulations, but many of them we didn’t need. We got rid of them. The American economy is booming, wages are rising, incomes are soaring, and unemployment has hit its lowest level and more than half a century. We want Finnish companies to join in America’s extraordinary economic revival. So many countries are coming in, it’s the hot place. We have the hottest economy in the world, and it’s the hot place to be. They all want to be here.
Donald Trump: (05:01)
The President and I are also working on a way to improve international trade based on the principle of fairness, and my favorite word, reciprocity. I hope that Finland, which now holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, will support our efforts to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement with the European Union. We are going to have to start doing something with the European Union because they have not been treating this country right for many, many years, and they know it, and I tell them, and they know it. America’s trade deficit with the EU has been averaging $160 billion a year for many, many years. Achieving more balanced and robust trade flows would greatly benefit both Finland and the United States. We also appreciate Finland’s strong partnership in combating predatory trade practices worldwide, including the theft of intellectual property.
Donald Trump: (05:58)
From trade to security, from travel to commerce, we are immensely grateful for our close and deeply valued friendship with the people of Finland. Great people. And we’re now working on a deal to sell a large number of airplanes, fighter jets, hopefully, to Finland. See how that works out, but we make the greatest jets in the world, we make the greatest missiles and military equipment anywhere in the world. Nobody’s even close.
Donald Trump: (06:23)
Mr. President, I want to thank you again for visiting the White House. The history of our two nations is a profound testament to the importance of our independence and resolve to defend it. I look forward to continuing to work alongside of you as we safeguard our precious sovereignty and build a bright future of hope, harmony, and peace for the American and Finnish people. And thank you very much for being with us at the White House and the Oval Office. We had a very special number of hours. Appreciate it very much, thank you sir.
Pres. Niinistö: (06:57)
Thank you, Mr. President. First of all, I will deliver your condolences to Finnish people.
Donald Trump: (07:05)
Pres. Niinistö: (07:05)
They do appreciate that. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, before meeting, I had some spare time, so I visited a couple of museums here, Museum of American History, Museum of American African History, and Museum of American Indian History. In addition to that, I had a possibility of attending ceremony in Arlington. Mr. President, you have here a great democracy. Keep it going on.
Pres. Niinistö: (07:49)
We had a very good discussion with the President. Like you mentioned, our diplomatic relations are 100 years old. During that time, we have developed our cooperation a lot, not only in official meetings like this, but American and Finnish people, scientists for example, meet each other, cooperating, working together. We have quite a lot of cooperation in the security sector, also in defense because I think that we share the feeling that the most important thing for the nation is to guarantee security to its citizens, and that is the starting point for Finland also to this cooperation.
Pres. Niinistö: (08:44)
I wanted to take up with the President the importance of Trans-Atlantic cooperation. Well, we all know Europe needs USA, but I say that USA needs also Europe. We know the price of everything. We should recognize also the value of everything. We share the same values, democracy, human rights, rule-based order, and in that we are very similar. Europe has, in a way, awaken during the couple of last years to understand also more about security point of view. And I just want to tell you that in my opinion the stronger Europe we have, the stronger partner you have.
Pres. Niinistö: (09:49)
The Arctic area, you know Finland is in very North, is becoming more and more interesting, like the president said. We both, alongside with the six countries, form the Arctic Council, and we are working heavily. There are surely possibilities like we have heard the maritime routes are being open, to maybe there are also resources, but there are huge risks. One of them is that we should keep the low tension we are used to have there, and that is what we have been discussing. And I do appreciate President’s position to emphasize that it is not a place for military.
Pres. Niinistö: (10:45)
But an even greater challenge is the environment, and I’m very glad that we started to talk two years ago in this very house about black coal. It is not maybe the worst which causes climate problems, but it is, everybody can understand that if black comes down to ice and to snow, when the sun meets it, it melts down. And melting of sea ice in Arctic is very crucial. I used to say that if we lose the Arctic, we lose the globe.
Pres. Niinistö: (11:38)
We had a couple of words, very important ones, on arms control. We, some of us, remember the worst years of Cold War in 1960s. There was no agreement at all, just Cold War. We can’t let the situation return, no agreement at all about arms control, and that is why it is important to try to negotiate new agreements and to continue the New START Agreement. That will be a good new start for international cooperation on that.
Pres. Niinistö: (12:24)
To end up with, you, Mr. President, referred to 5G. [Inaudible 00:12:30] use of ICT as a whole, we are very proud to have the new center of excellence of hybrid in Helsinki. USA has been very helpful in that. Very many countries are working there together to fight against the future danger of hybrid warfare. But comes to providers in that area, I am not too very willing to point out any country or company. We are now, maybe a bit late from USA, in EU making a risk assessment. It will be prepared in one, two weeks time, and after that we are in a place that we have to choose the tools to protect us.
Pres. Niinistö: (13:34)
Mr. President, I want to thank you very much for having a possibility of meeting you here. It is very valuable, and I found discussions very open, very interesting, and giving a lot to my little country. Thank you, sir.
Donald Trump: (13:55)
Before we take questions, something happened that’s been going on for many decades, and we came to a conclusion. Could I ask Ambassador Pence to just come up for one second and explain the importance of what just took place? Because this has been going on for-
Pres. Niinistö: (14:12)
Donald Trump: (14:12)
… many, many years. This is Ambassador Pence, no relationship to our great Vice President. Hard to believe. Nobody believes that, but that’s true.
Pres. Niinistö: (14:20)
Donald Trump: (14:25)
But I have been introduced as his father, his brother, his cousin, his uncle. And we are friends. Good afternoon. When I arrived in Helsinki about a year and a half ago, there were a stack of papers on the desk, one of a couple of which concerned indigenous peoples from the Southwestern United States, Arizona, Colorado, including probably most predominantly, but generically, I will refer to them as Hopi Indians. They were one of the group in 1895, a lot of their remains had been excavated and removed along with about 500 artifacts to Finland. And there they’ve remained, despite a lot of activity to get them back. I’ll just jump to the end, and say through the good offices of our State Department, but in particular President Niinistö and to his entire team, we’ve secured and mutual agreement whereby all of those remains, including a number of petrified bodies, will be going back to be put back where they were buried.
So special to us, and I think it’s probably special to indigenous peoples everywhere around the globe that we’re all concerned about paying appropriate respect to those who have departed before us. So thank you. Thank both of the Presidents for supporting this.
Donald Trump: (16:07)
Thank you. Fantastic job. Thank you. Be careful.
Pres. Niinistö: (16:08)
Thank you, sir.
Donald Trump: (16:08)
Thank you. That’s a great job, Mr. Ambassador. That’s been going on for many, many decades, so I just want to thank you. Outstanding.
Donald Trump: (16:17)
John Roberts: (16:20)
Mr. President, thank you, President Niinistö. If I could, sir, I’ve got two pertinent questions to ask you, maybe I could ask them separately to get a fresh answer out of each one. Three house committees that are looking into the impeachment inquiry gave notice today that they will be sending a subpoena to the White House for documents and other materials. Will you cooperate with those subpoenas?
Donald Trump: (16:42)
Well, I always cooperate. This is a hoax. This is the greatest hoax. This is just a continuation of what’s been playing out, John, for the last … since my election, I would say if you want to, probably, we’ll find out soon, but probably even before my election. This is a fraudulent crime on the American people, but we’ll work together with Shifty Schiff-
Donald Trump: (17:03)
… crime when the American people, but we’ll work together with shifty Schiff and Pelosi and all of them and we’ll see what happens, because we did absolutely … I had a great call with the president of Ukraine. It was 100%. You have the transcript. And then Schiff went up and as the chairman of the committee, got up and related to call that didn’t take place. He made up the language. Hard to believe. Nobody’s ever seen this. I think he had some kind of a mental breakdown.
Donald Trump: (17:27)
But he went up to the microphone and he read a statement from the president of the United States as if I were on the call. Because what happened is when he looked at the sheet, which was an exact transcript of my call done by very talented people that do this, exact, word for word, he said, “Wow, he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Donald Trump: (17:47)
So he made it up. He went up to a microphone and in front of the American people and in Congress, he went out and he gave a whole presentation of words that the president of the United States never said. It has to be a criminal act. It has to be, and he should resign. Some people even say it was treason. But it was a very sad thing.
Donald Trump: (18:10)
Just so you know, the call was perfect, the real call, the call I made. Many people were on the line. I knew that because usually when I speak to foreign country leaders, you can name any one of them. But when I speak on the phone, I know that we have many people listening from various intelligence agencies. My knowledge. I know all about it. So this isn’t something like, “Oh, gee, I’m on the line. Let’s talk about a big secret.”
Donald Trump: (18:35)
This is many people on the line. I don’t even know how many but we’ll find out, I guess. But many people. Mike Pompeo was on the line. Didn’t say anything. Because they listen for both knowledge and for security reasons and for lots of reasons.
Donald Trump: (18:48)
But the president of Ukraine at the United Nations the other day, and previous to that, he announced through his spokesperson, said there was absolutely no pressure put on him. There was no quid pro quo at all.
Donald Trump: (19:04)
If you’ll look at this whistleblowers, which I have a lot of respectful for whistleblowers, but only when they’re real, his report of the phone call was totally different than the fact. But what got them was they never thought I was going to release the call, because I don’t like doing that. I don’t want to do it. I hope I don’t have to do it again.
Donald Trump: (19:23)
Release phone calls to foreign dignitaries, to foreign leaders. I don’t want to do that, John. I don’t want to do it again. But I did it with the permission of the Ukrainian government. We got permission. We called up their representatives and asked them would it be okay. Otherwise, I couldn’t have done it.
Donald Trump: (19:41)
If I wouldn’t have done it, I would have been exposed to a lie, because the whistleblower report, didn’t he say seven or eight times I said quid pro quo? In other words, “You’re going to do this or you’re not going to get money.”
Donald Trump: (19:53)
Now, in all fairness, Biden said it and he’s on tape. In all fairness, you have at least four United States senators, Democrats, that said it and they said it a lot stronger than even Schiff and his made-up story said it.
Donald Trump: (20:11)
Obama, when he was dealing with the president of Russia, not Putin, he said, “Hey, tell Vladimir I can do a lot more after the election.” You remember that? You didn’t make a big deal out of that. Everybody thought, “Oh, isn’t that cute? Isn’t that cute?”
Donald Trump: (20:29)
My talk and my response, Lindsay Graham said, “I never knew you were that nice. I can’t believe you were that nice.” He said that loud and clear. It was perfect. It was perfect. Not a thing wrong with it.
Donald Trump: (20:43)
To impeach a president over a fraud that was committed by other people that want to win an election in 2020, which they won’t, is incredible. This is the greatest hoax.
Donald Trump: (20:56)
Now, it’s gone on for a long time. We had the Mueller collusion delusion, okay? That went on for years and that’s finally done. No collusion, no obstruction, no nothing. It was a joke and everyone knows it and it was from the day one.
Donald Trump: (21:15)
So now, I get three days of peace and I’m walking into the United Nations, going to meet with the biggest leaders in the world, and I hear about the word “impeachment.” I said, “What did I do now?” It was about a beautiful conversation that I had. And just remember this: the Ukrainian new president, a fine man, said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There was no pressure,” and he said it a number of times.
Donald Trump: (21:40)
Okay. What’s your second question?
John Roberts: (21:41)
Donald Trump: (21:41)
Well, you shouldn’t be asking two questions.
John Roberts: (21:43)
Well, you’re going to want to answer-
Donald Trump: (21:44)
Do me a favor. Ask one of the-
John Roberts: (21:46)
I will, but I think you’ll want to answer this question.-
Donald Trump: (21:50)
… Finnish … John, John. Ask one of the Finnish president.
John Roberts: (21:51)
Then can I come back to you? Because I think you’ll want to answer this.
Donald Trump: (21:53)
We’ll talk later. Sure. Well, it sounds like it might be a good question. Let me see if I like the question. Go ahead.
John Roberts: (21:58)
Donald Trump: (21:59)
Maybe for the first time in three years, I’ll have a good question and I’ll love it.
John Roberts: (22:02)
There is a report that came out just before you and President Niinistö walked out here that the whistleblower met with a staff member of Adam Schiff prior to [crosstalk 00:22:12]-
Donald Trump: (22:11)
Oh, I love that question.
John Roberts: (22:12)
… being filed.
Donald Trump: (22:12)
It shows that Schiff is a fraud and I love that question. Thank you. John.
John Roberts: (22:17)
Can I finish asking it?
Donald Trump: (22:19)
Yes. There’s nothing to finish.
John Roberts: (22:21)
So the whistleblower, according to this report, met with a member of Adam Schiff’s staff. You’ve got it right there. You know it.
Donald Trump: (22:28)
I hate to say it’s a New York Times. I can’t believe they wrote it.
John Roberts: (22:31)
Your response to that-
Donald Trump: (22:32)
Maybe they’re getting better.
John Roberts: (22:33)
Your response to the fact that that happened and that Schiff may have learned some of what the whistleblower knew prior to the complaint was filed.
Donald Trump: (22:39)
Well, I think it’s a scandal that he knew before. I’d go a step further. I think he probably helped write it. Okay? That’s what the word is. And I give a lot of respect for the New York Times for putting it out.
Donald Trump: (22:51)
Just happened as I’m walking up here. They handed up to me and I said to Mike, I said, “Whoa, that’s something. That’s big stuff. That’s a big story.” He knew long before and he helped write it, too. It’s a scam. It’s a scam.
Donald Trump: (23:06)
Just to finish on this. I appreciate it. I love that second question, by the way. Should’ve asked it first. But let me just tell, you the whole thing is a scam. The Mueller deal was a scam. The Russian collusion was a scam. You can ask Putin.
Donald Trump: (23:25)
Nobody’s been rougher on Russia than Donald Trump. Okay? Now with that being said, it’d be great to get along with Russia and we will get along with Russia because it’s smart. But nobody’s been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump. Okay. Ask one, please.
John Roberts: (23:41)
Yes, President Niinistö. Good to see you again. You had a conversation with President Trump about 5G and how Nokia, Finland’s big company, could fill in that space. You also met with Chinese President Xi during the summer, in which you renewed the ties of friendship between the two nations. Do you believe that countries, particularly Western countries, that put Huawei equipment in their 5G cores are at risk of national security?
Pres. Niinistö: (24:08)
Thank you. Like I told already in Europe, their situation is maybe a bit different from that here, because the main company you mentioned is inside Europe, partly at least. What European Union is now doing is making a risk assessment, asking each country what kind of experience, what you have seen and found out. That will be, well, finished in week two or two weeks time.
Pres. Niinistö: (24:44)
After that, we have to decide together in the European Union which kind of tools we need to protect ourselves. You refer to my discussions with President Xi. We didn’t talk about 5G while meeting, and we all know Nokia is a major factor in this area. They will answer for themselves. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (25:14)
You, please. Pick somebody who’s really nice from Finland.
Pres. Niinistö: (25:18)
No more Finnish-
Donald Trump: (25:19)
You have a really nice person?
Pres. Niinistö: (25:20)
Donald Trump: (25:21)
I think they were all nice in Finland.
Pres. Niinistö: (25:24)
Are there Finnish reporters? Just two. Okay.
Donald Trump: (25:30)
Pres. Niinistö: (25:30)
Did I … Wait a minute. Yes.
Mari Karppinen: (25:35)
I’m Mari Karppinen from MTV News Finland and I have one question for President Trump and one question for President Niinistö. First, Mr. Trump. How will this political storm affect the US foreign policy, especially its relationship with Finland. And second for President Niinistö, because this is the biggest issue here at the moment, I have to ask what kind of favors has Mr. Trump asked from you?
Donald Trump: (25:59)
Or the other way around him?
Pres. Niinistö: (26:03)
What favors I asked or was asked.
Donald Trump: (26:05)
I think you mean the other way around.
Pres. Niinistö: (26:07)
Both ways. Okay.
Donald Trump: (26:09)
So the political storm, I’ve lived with it from the day I got elected. I’ve done more and this administration has done more than any administration in the history of this country in the first two and a half years. I’m used to it. For me, it’s like putting on a suit in the morning.
Donald Trump: (26:25)
People have said to me, “How does he handle it?” Rush Limbaugh, said, “I don’t know of any man in America that could handle it.” Sean Hannity said the same thing. Others have said the same thing: “I don’t know any man in America because it’s all a fraud.” And because of that and because I know that I’m right and because I’m doing a great job for the American people, I’m very, very happy living the way I’m living.
Donald Trump: (26:50)
I thought that I would finish off the first term without the threat of people making false claims. But this one turned out to be incredible all because they didn’t know that I had a transcript done by very, very talented people. Word for word, comma for comma, done by people that do it for a living. We had an exact transcript.
Donald Trump: (27:15)
When we produced that transcript, they died. Because you look at the whistleblower statement and it’s vicious, vicious. And that whistleblower, there’s no question in my mind that some bad things have gone on and I think we’ll get to the bottom of it. I think it’s going to be a total reversal.
Donald Trump: (27:35)
But I’ve lived with this. I’ve lived with this cloud now for almost three years. More than that, because it probably started even before.
Donald Trump: (27:46)
I think nobody has done what I’ve done. When you look at tax cuts and regulation cuts and rebuilding our military and right-to-try, right-to-try. That means people that are terminally ill and very sick have the right to use our medicines, our great medicines, because we’re so far ahead of every other country. So many things that we’ve done.
Donald Trump: (28:07)
Our vets are now taken care of. We’ve got Choice. Nobody thought we could ever get Choice. That’s when you have to wait on line as a vet. You go outside, you get a doctor, we pay the bill. You don’t have to wait for three weeks to see a doctor if you’re a vet. We cherish our vets, at least this administration does. But for many years, they didn’t, but I take care of the vets. No administration has done. And I’ve lived with it from the day I got elected, so I’m just fine with it. Okay? Please.
Pres. Niinistö: (28:36)
Yes. We had a conversation and discussion on a very equal basis, which is I really appreciate that. Well, I had one request, specifically. I wanted the president to take more notice on transatlantic relations, because I consider it’s useful both for USA and Europe.
Pres. Niinistö: (29:04)
While we were discussing also trading, I told the president that the big purchase we are doing on fighters will be finished in two years time. We have five different candidates, three from Europe and two from United States. He answered that, “Ours is best.”
Donald Trump: (29:33)
Jeff, go ahead.
Jeff Mason: (29:36)
Thank you, sir. Jeff Mason from Reuters. Mr. President, I’d like to ask you about your use of the word “treason.” You’ve used it repeatedly in the last few days. Do you consider anyone who opposes you treasonous?
Donald Trump: (29:49)
No. No. I consider when they lie, when they stand before our great body in our great chamber and they make up a story that’s fiction like Schiff did. He took that perfect conversation I had with the Ukrainian president and he made it into a total lie. It was a total fabrication. And you do admit that. It was a total fabrication. He said this is what …
Donald Trump: (30:15)
The only ones that don’t like my conversation are the ones that never read it, but they heard shifty Schiff. That’s what I call a lie. And because of the fact that he’s lying about the president of the United States and as to what the president says, believe it or not, I watch my words very carefully.
Donald Trump: (30:34)
There are those that think I’m a very stable genius. Okay? I watch my words very, very closely. And to have somebody get up and to totally fabricate a conversation that I had with another leader and make it sound so bad, it was so evil.
Donald Trump: (30:53)
Now I see this that just came out minutes ago, where he met at a time that was impossible to have done unless there’s corruption involved. And just so you know, we’ve been investigating on a personal basis through Rudy and others, lawyers, corruption in the 2016 election. We’ve been investigating corruption because I probably will … I was going to definitely, but I probably will be bringing a lot of litigation against a lot of people having to do with the corrupt investigation, having to do with the 2016 election.
Jeff Mason: (31:30)
Donald Trump: (31:30)
I have every right to do that, because the way they’ve treated me and other people, they’ve destroyed people. They’ve destroyed their lives with a phony charge that never existed and that was collusion. Never existed.
Donald Trump: (31:42)
You had 18 people that hated Donald Trump and you had Bob Mueller that hated Donald Trump. And in the end, they couldn’t find one damn thing. I could find it on you. They couldn’t find one thing about Donald Trump having to do with collusion. This is after two years and spending $42 million. I’ve been looking at that long and hard for a long period of time. How it started, why it started. It should never happen to another president, ever. But I’ve been talking about it from the standpoint of bringing a major lawsuit and I’ve been talking about it for a long time.
Donald Trump: (32:15)
We’ve been investigating the corruption having to do with what they did to my people. They destroyed many people. They came down to Washington to do a great job and they left home. They left Washington dark. They were dark. They came down here, I say bright-eyed and bushy-tail. They wanted to do a great job for the people. They wanted to do a great job.
Donald Trump: (32:39)
We won the election and then they get served with subpoenas. All these subpoenas. Now look at Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi hands out subpoenas like … You know she has to approve it. She hands out subpoenas like they’re cookies: “You want to subpoena? Here you go. Take them.” Like they’re cookies. Paul Ryan would never give anybody a subpoena. He wouldn’t give them. When Mark Meadows went in to talk, he wouldn’t give them. When Jim Jordan went in, when Devin Nunez, he would go in and they’d see Paul. I’m not saying wrong or right.
Donald Trump: (33:13)
But Paul Ryan: “No, let’s talk about it. That’s a big thing to give a subpoena. Let’s talk about it.” Two weeks later, they’re still talking. They wanted subpoenas to investigate the corrupt Democrats and the corrupt people on the other side. Paul Ryan would not give subpoenas. Nancy Pelosi? “Here you go. Take it. Who wants a subpoena?” Every day you get subpoenas. And Paul Ryan was actually right, probably, because they should never, ever, allow a thing like this to happen to our country again. Thank you very much. Please,
Jeff Mason: (33:46)
Mr. President, can you just make clear right here? What did you want President’s Zelensky to do with regard to Joe and Hunter Biden?
Donald Trump: (33:56)
If you look at what he said, okay? And he brought it up. I think he brought up the name Rudy Giuliani. What-
Donald Trump: (34:03)
And he brought it up. I think he brought up the name Rudy Giuliani. What I want is the following, and I’ve said this loud and clear. We have our ambassadors here. We have Mike Pence here. Why are we the only ones that give the big money to the Ukraine? We give money to Ukraine. And it’s bothered me from day one, and you have plenty of people just here. I say, how come it’s always the United States that gets ripped? Frankly, Ukraine, we want to help them, and I do like the new president. You know why I like him? Because he was honest. Because he said there was no pressure at all exerted on me, meaning him, by the President of the United States. He said it. By the way, that one sentence should stop this, but he said there was no pressure exerted, but you don’t have to ask him.
Donald Trump: (34:48)
All you have to do is read the transcript. Read the telephone call. But what I was having a problem with the two things, number one, Ukraine is no, before him for tremendous corruption. Tremendous, more than just about any country in the world. In fact, they’re rated one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And I don’t like giving money to a country that’s that corrupt. Number two-
Speaker 1: (35:15)
You don’t like giving money-
Donald Trump: (35:16)
I said, excuse me, number two, I said the following, and I said this loud and clear to everybody, and in fact Rob Portman backed me up, and there’s nobody more honorable than Rob Portman of Ohio. Because he called up, “Please, let the money go.” I said, “Rob, I hate being the country that’s always giving money, when Ukraine helps Europe, and the European countries far more than they help us.” They’re like a wall between Russia and Europe. They’re like a wall, they’re a big, wide, beautiful wall. And he said, “You know what, but it’s important.” And in fact, he came out and he said that, that was my only reason. Because I don’t like being the sucker country. We were the sucker country for years and years. We’re not the sucker country anymore. But I gave the money because Rob Portman and others called me and asked. But I don’t like to be the sucker, and European countries are helped far more than we are, and those countries should pay more to help Ukraine. Ask a question please.
Speaker 2: (36:13)
Thank you sir.
Speaker 1: (36:14)
What about Biden? What about Mr. Biden?
Jeff Mason: (36:16)
What did you want about Biden? What did you want him to look into on Biden?
Speaker 1: (36:19)
Look, Biden, and his son are stone cold crooked, and you know it. His son walks out with millions of dollars, the kid knows nothing. You know it. And so do we. Go ahead ask a question over here.
Jeff Mason: (36:33)
The question, sir was what did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son Hunter?
Donald Trump: (36:40)
Are you talking to me?
Jeff Mason: (36:41)
Yeah, it was just a follow-up of what I just asked you sir.
Donald Trump: (36:43)
Listen, are you ready? We have the president of Finland. Ask him a question.
Jeff Mason: (36:47)
I have one for him. I just wanted to follow up on the one that I asked you, which was what did you want-
Donald Trump: (36:50)
Did you hear me? Did you hear me?
Jeff Mason: (36:52)
Donald Trump: (36:52)
Ask him a question.
Jeff Mason: (36:53)
Donald Trump: (36:54)
I’ve given you a long answer. Ask this gentleman a question. Don’t be rude.
Jeff Mason: (36:59)
No sir. I don’t want to be rude. I just wanted you to have a chance to answer the question that I asked you.
Donald Trump: (37:03)
I’ve answered everything. It’s a whole hoax, and you know who’s playing into the hoax, people like you, and the fake news media that we have in this country. And I say in many cases the corrupt media, because you’re corrupt. Much of the media in this country is not just fake, it’s corrupt. And you have some very fine people, too. Great journalists, great reporters, but to a large extent, it’s corrupt, and it’s fake. Ask the president of Finland a question please.
Jeff Mason: (37:31)
Okay, I’ll move on now. Mr. President, in your opening remarks, you said to President Trump that you had been to some museums today, and that you respected the US democracy and encouraged him to continue it. Are you concerned that that’s not happening? And my second question to you, sir, is the WTO rule today in favor of the United States saying that the United States can now impose tariffs on European goods because of illegal subsidies against Airbus.
Donald Trump: (37:58)
That was a big win for the United States, right?
Jeff Mason: (38:01)
It was a big win for the United States.
Donald Trump: (38:02)
You never had wins with other presidents, did you? But we’re having a lot of wins at the WTO since I became president.
Jeff Mason: (38:07)
This was a case that started I think 10 or 15 years ago.
Donald Trump: (38:10)
Excuse me. Get Windsor now, because they think I don’t like the WTO, and they want to make sure I’m happy, because all of those countries were ripping off the United States for many years. They know that I’m wise to it. We’ve had a lot of wins. This was a $7 billion win, not bad.
Pres. Niinistö: (38:26)
But I think the question is for me.
Jeff Mason: (38:28)
So the question sir is if you’re concerned that the president will impose those tariffs, and the effect that that may have on the economy.
Pres. Niinistö: (38:35)
Yes. First of all, may I refer to your democracy. I just wanted to tell that I’m impressed what American people have gained during these decades, hundreds of years. Peeling up very impressive democracy. So keep it going on. To WTO, I have a lot of respect to multi-lateralism, and to international institutions, so WTO has given now a decision which is well, quite tough with Europe, but I just say that the WTO has said its opinion, and that’s that.
Donald Trump: (39:32)
I just want to finish by saying it’s an honor to be with the President of Finland. He’s done a fantastic job, very popular, beloved, over in Finland. The WTO has been much better to us since I’ve been president, because they understand they can’t get away with what they’ve been getting away with for so many years, which is ripping off the United States. And please remember the president’s last remarks, that we are a great democracy. We are a great, the United States is a great democracy, and I’m airing what I’m airing, because we are in fact a democracy. And if the press were straight, and honest, and forthright, and tough, we would be a far greater nation.
Speaker 2: (40:19)
We are Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (40:20)
We would be a far greater, when we don’t have the CNNs of the world who are corrupt people. Thank you very much everybody.
Jeff Mason: (40:26)
Mr. President, [inaudible 00:40:30].
Reena Ninan: (40:38)
All right. We’re listening into a joint press conference with the President of Finland and President Trump there. I want to bring in CBSN political reporter, Caitlin Huey-Burns, and CBS news contributor and Republican strategist, Leslie Sanchez. Caitlin, I want to start with you. I mean the focus, obviously, the president very agitated. Looking, taking questions on about this impeachment inquiry and subpoenas. I want to get your take on exactly what the president had to say, Caitlin.
Right, and this comes after a lengthy, kind of impromptu press conference that he had with the President of Finland earlier in the oval office at what was supposed to be a photo op. So this is an extension of this, and proof that the president is really wanting to continue to talk about the investigation. He came prepared with a printout of the New York Times reporting that had just come out, that said that Adam Schiff had received information that the whistleblower was wanting to put forward in a report, and so he was earlier today criticizing the New York Times today praising for that report.
But he also said a few different things of note. He said Mike Pompeo was on the line for that call. We know the Secretary of State said that today. But again, confirming the reporting, he continued to berate Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who has become a punching bag for the president, likes to bring him up a lot, has even given him a nickname as well. He called this-
Reena Ninan: (42:12)
And Caitlin, I just want to mention, you know, the president has said that Schiff was given, helped the whistleblower write his complaint, which is an allegation that, in fact I want you to hear it directly from the president. Here’s what he had to say about that.
Donald Trump: (42:27)
Well, I think it’s a scandal that he knew before, I’d go a step further. I think he probably helped write it. Okay? That’s what the word is. And I think it’s a, I give a lot of respect for the New York Times for putting it out. Just happened as I’m walking up here, they handed it to me, and I said to Mike, I said, “Whoa, that’s something. That’s big stuff.” That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it too. It’s a scam. It’s a scam.
Reena Ninan: (42:55)
Well, the House Intelligence Committee has a very different take on all this, and they released a statement. I want to read it to you, and it says like other whistleblowers have done, before, and since under Republican and Democratic controlled committees, the whistleblower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community. This is a regular occurrence, given the committee’s unique oversight role and responsibilities. At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance. I think we have Paula Reed at the White House. Paula, I want you to weigh in to get your sense as to what we’ve heard so far.
Paula Reid: (43:29)
Well the president was critically pleased with his New York Times story. As you noted, he walked out with a physical copy. Now we have to look at how Adam Schiff handled the hearing last week with acting DNI director Maguire. He opened that hearing in a very unusual way. He laid out his sort of mobster narrative of what had happened, and then he did sort of ad lib what happened in this conversation. It was very strange, Reena. Instead of just reading quotes from what had happened, and the president has seized on this. He has mentioned this repeatedly today, suggesting that Adam Schiff had apparently committed treason by putting words into the mouth of the president. So at every opportunity, when the president is asked about his conversation with the Ukraine, when he’s asked about withholding military aid, he just quickly pivots to Adam Schiff, and this New York Times story gives him more fodder. Because here he suggests this was a conspiracy against him, that Adam Schiff knew about this and helped push these accusations.
Reena Ninan: (44:28)
I want to get Leslie Sanchez to weigh in. Leslie, you know this nickname Shifty Schiff, he made a point of saying that, and the spokesman for Schiff came up very quickly. They knew that they had to put out this statement, but what do you make of what we’ve heard from them today?
Leslie Sanchez: (44:40)
I think it’s consistent with the way the president pushes back. I’ll tell you one thing, people appreciate that about the president. People that voted for him want to see that he’s going to punch back, and those are direct terms, we like that he does that. I think it was very consistent with him for him to say it was a hoax. This is a scam. He is using a parody of me, and defining that, because if you’re somebody who’s apolitical, you’re kind of generally following what’s happening, and you listen to this, that it’s so hyper-partisan that a decision was made before they ever heard the testimony, before we even saw the transcript of the call ,that the Democrats already had sealed the fate of the president in their minds. This is laying into that argument, and I think in that way the president made his points.
Reena Ninan: (45:23)
Caitlin, I want to get you to weigh in. In this statement from Patrick Boland, which is the spokesman for chairman Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee. He made a point to say that at no point did the committee review, or receive the complaint in advance. The office of the director of national intelligence, at the behest of the White House refused to disclose the subject matter, or the substance of the complaint to the committee, and they went on to say the committee didn’t receive the complaint until the night before the acting director of the National Intelligence opened the hearing. But that is not what the president said today.
Right, and the reporting in the New York Times said that the whistleblower had expressed some concern about how the process was going, and therefore went to the committee. But that is not stopping the president, and Republicans who are also seizing on this, those who are supportive of the president seizing on this to make a case that this is a political situation here. And that’s what we’ve seen from Republicans throughout this entire affair, which is that they are by and large supportive of the president, and focused a lot on the process of how this all happened, instead of the underlying issues and questions. And you even heard the president there. I would note that he kept referencing the transcript, which he said was word for word, which is not what it was at the top of that-
Reena Ninan: (46:50)
There was a big statement at the bottom of that, yes, absolutely.
Sorry. At the bottom of that, right, exactly. Said that this was a summary of what happened, so it was not word for word. But I think it’s important to note that Republicans have stood by the president, and that is reflected in our polling on impeachment, on the impeachment inquiry, which shows that Republicans are still supportive of the president.
Reena Ninan: (47:13)
That’s a good point. President Trump said that he’d cooperate with the subpoenas. I want to play for you what he said just a short time ago.
Will you cooperate with those subpoenas?
Donald Trump: (47:21)
Well, I always cooperate. This is a hoax. This is the greatest hoax, this is just a continuation of what’s been playing out, John, for the last, since my election, I would say, if you wanted. Probably, we’ll find out soon, but probably even before my election. This is a fraudulent crime, when the American people…
Reena Ninan: (47:41)
Paula, we know that the President and the White House has stonewalled Congress on these efforts, the testimony and the documents, do we expect this to be any different?
Paula Reid: (47:49)
Absolutely not Reena. I’ve spoken to several of the president’s attorneys, both here at the White House and his outside counsel, and they really don’t see this impeachment inquiry that was announced last week as being anything significant. There argument is look, until Polosi holds a floor vote on impeachment, they are not under any more obligation to cooperate. So far, their MO in terms of congressional oversight has been to cooperate to the minimum required under law. They will negotiate, sometimes they’ll even litigate, but in terms of documents and witnesses, they try to give as little as they need to. Now, if there is a floor vote about a formal impeachment inquiry, that will dilute some of the president’s protections here. That makes it a little bit harder to hide behind executive privilege. I’m told that would be a game changer. But for the president to say that they always cooperate, well that is false.
Reena Ninan: (48:38)
So Paula, let’s say the president chooses not to cooperate at this point. I mean, is there a sense of what we’re seeing, the deadline is Friday, right? What are you looking and watching for in the coming days this week?
Paula Reid: (48:48)
I’m not sure specifically, there’s so many subpoenas. I mean, he’s not wrong that Nancy Polosi really does hand these out like cookies. That is fact check true. And the White House has just been blanketed in all of these various requests. They’ve tried to fend off many of them. In some cases they’ll negotiate, but going forward, I don’t think they’re going to change the way they process this. In some instances, if they think a court would compel them to share something, they will offer a compromise. Lawmakers can come to the White House, see thing…