Trump: I’ll Be Running On The Economy
President Trump held a brief press conference last Friday and discussed a myriad of topics.
Trump was Monday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here is the transcript:
Q Mr. President, you spoke with Vladimir Putin earlier today.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, I did.
Q What options are you looking at to get humanitarian assistance to Venezuela?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, I had a very good talk with President Putin — probably over an hour. And we talked about many things. Venezuela was one of the topics. And he is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela.
And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid. Right now, people are starving. They have no water, they have no food. This is, Mr. Prime Minister, one of the richest countries in the world 20 years ago, and now it’s — they don’t have food and they don’t have water for their people. So we want to help on a humanitarian basis.
And I thought it was a very positive conversation I had with President Putin on Venezuela.
Q Are you talking about extending the New START Treaty or adding China to it? Or what, exactly?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re talking about a nuclear agreement where we make less and they make less, and maybe even where we get rid of some of the tremendous firepower that we have right now.
We’re spending billions of dollars on nuclear weapons, numbers like we’ve never spent before. We need that, but they are also — and China is, frankly, also — we discussed the possibility of a three-way deal instead of a two-way deal. And China — I’ve already spoken to them; they very much would like to be a part of that deal.
In fact, during the trade talks, we started talking about that. They were excited about that. Maybe even more excited than about trade. But they felt very strongly about it.
So I think we’re going to probably start up something very shortly between Russia and ourselves, maybe to start off. And I think China will be added down the road. We’ll be talking about nonproliferation. We’ll be talking about a nuclear deal of some kind. And I think it will be a very comprehensive one.
Q Mr. President, did you address the election meddling issues that came up in the Mueller Report with Mr. Putin today?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We discussed it. He actually sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse. But he knew that because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever.
So, pretty much, that’s what it was. It started off —
Q Did you tell him not to meddle, Mr. President? Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me. I’m talking. I’m answering this question. You are very rude.
So we had a good conversation about many different things. Okay?
Q Did you ask him not to meddle?
Q Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We didn’t discuss that. Really, we didn’t discuss it. We discussed five or six things. We also — we went into detail on various things, especially, I would say, the nuclear. Especially, maybe, Venezuela. We talked about North Korea at great length, and pretty much that’s it.
Also discussed trade. We intend to do a lot of trade with Russia. We do some right now. It’s up a little bit. But he’d like to do trade and we’d like to do trade.
And getting along with Russia and China, getting along with all of them is very good thing, not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a positive thing. Getting along with other countries is a good thing. And we want to have good relationships with every country.
Q Mr. President, should Mueller testify? Would you like to see him testify before Congress?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know. That’s up to our Attorney General, who I think has done a fantastic job.
Q And why shouldn’t the Congress have the same right to hear from the Attorney General —
Q Mr. President —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, go ahead. Yes, please.
Q Mr. President, (inaudible) visit in Slovakia? Because —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I’d like to. I know people from Slovakia, and they’re incredible people. I would love to. It’s a beautiful country and it’s doing very well. It’s doing very well.
Yeah. Yeah, please.
Q Do you want to introduce tariffs on the cars? Because the car industry is very important.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, the tariffs have been a necessary thing for me to do because in the case of the European Union, they have not treated us right. We’re losing $181 billion a year. We have been for many years. And the European Union has not treated us properly. But we’ll see what happens with regard to tariffs on cars with the European Union. We haven’t made a decision on that.
Q Mr. President, are you going to nominate a Defense Secretary? Shanahan. Are you going to make it official?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’ll be discussed next week.
Q Mr. President, it’s World Press Freedom Day. Can you say anything? We’ve heard a lot about your grievances to us, but can you say —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Say it again. Say it again.
Q It’s World Press Freedom Day. We’ve heard a lot about your grievances about us, but can you say something that you can improve to improve communication and relationship with the press?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think I have a very good relationship with some of the press. And, unfortunately, some of the press doesn’t cover me accurately. In fact, they go out of their way to cover me inaccurately, so I don’t think that’s a free press. I think that’s a dishonest press. And I want to see a free press.
I mean, today I was happy to see on the front page of the New York Times — for the first time — where they were talking about spying and they were talking about spying on my campaign. That’s a big difference between the way they’ve been covering, but that’s a big story. That’s a story bigger than Watergate, as far as I’m concerned.
So, I want to see freedom of the press. And I get treated fairly by some press, but I get treated very unfairly by other press. And, frankly, I think that’s very dishonest. And I don’t consider that. When you have stories that are purposely written badly — in many cases, very much on purpose — I mean, you look at it — that’s not free press, that’s the opposite of free press.
Q Mr. President, have you decided whether you’ll invoke executive privilege as it relates to Don McGahn?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’ll all be determined over the next week or so.
Q But you said it was done, so are you going block him?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: But, you know, I will say this: There has been no President in history that has given what I’ve given in terms of looking at just a total witch hunt. I call it the “Russian hoax.” It turned out to be no collusion, no obstruction. It was a total hoax.
And, yet, I was transparent. We gave 1.4 million documents. We gave hundreds of people. I let him interview the lawyer — the White House lawyer — for 30 hours. Think of that: thirty hours. I let him interview other people. I didn’t have to let him interview anybody. I didn’t have to give any documents. I was totally transparent because I knew I did nothing wrong.
It turned out I did nothing wrong. No collusion with Russia. Think of it: Thirty-five million dollars they spent, they wasted, over a period of two years. No collusion, no obstruction.
Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you.
Q Are you going to run on the economy?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll be running on the economy. Sure.”
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.