Trump’s rambling, misleading Q&A with reporters, annotated

President Trump was in uncommon type Thursday. In a prolonged Q&A with reporters after an occasion on combating shock medical payments, Trump took questions on the Mueller report, on a Senate GOP chairman’s subpoena of his son Donald Trump Jr., on North Korea and on different matters.

Most of the claims have been fact-checked as false — and a few of them had been provided in fast succession. Others had been new and raised questions on what Trump has been doing behind the scenes.

Beneath is the transcript, with annotations and evaluation/fact-checking in yellow.


Mr. President, on the North Korean missiles, what message do you are taking from that (INAUDIBLE)?


Nicely, we’re taking a look at it very significantly proper now. They had been smaller missiles, short-range missiles. No person’s joyful about it. However we’re taking look, and we’ll see, we’ll see. The connection continues, however we’ll see what occurs. I do know they wish to negotiate. They’re speaking about negotiating, however I don’t suppose they’re prepared to barter as a result of we’ve to both do — it’s very very similar to China. The vice premier is coming right here at present. We had been getting very near a deal, then they began to renegotiate the deal. We are able to’t have that. We are able to’t have that. So our nation can absorb $120 billion a yr in tariffs, paid for principally by China, by the way in which, not by us — lots of people try to steer it in a unique course. It’s actually paid for — in the end it’s paid for by — largely by China. And companies will pour again into our nation, so as an alternative of creating the merchandise, it’ll be the old school manner, the way in which we used to do it. We made our personal product. And I believe issues are going alongside fairly properly there, however a big group delegation headed by probably the most respective revered males and highest officers of China will likely be coming in at present.

They begin at 5:00, and so they’ll see what they’ll do, however our various is — is a wonderful one. It’s an alternate I’ve spoken about for years. We’ll absorb properly over $100 billion a yr. We by no means took in $0.10 from China, not $0.10. And it will likely be a — I believe it’ll be a really robust day, frankly. However we’ll see. We’ll see. It was their thought to return again.


Do you will have plans to speak to President Xi, or no, not but?


Nicely, he simply wrote me an attractive letter. I simply obtained it and I’ll in all probability communicate to him by cellphone. However look, we’ve two nice options. Our nation is doing fantastically properly. Our numbers at 3.2. Don’t neglect, 3.2 — the primary quarter is all the time by far the worst quarter or at the least nearly all the time. You look again through the years, first quarters all the time weak, and we had 3.2 GDP.

Our unemployment numbers are the most effective within the historical past of our nation, and we’re doing properly. And our firms are actually doing properly. Even in Ohio, the good state of Ohio yesterday, Normal Motors at my very robust urging, to place it mildly, very robust urging, I wasn’t even good about it, however I admire what they did, they offered the — the gorgeous plant, Lordstown. They offered that lovely plant to a really, superb firm that’s going to make electrical vehicles.

And that labored as a result of that was the one factor they may say about our complete economic system. Lordstown. They stored saying Lordstown, Lordstown. And once you had all of those nice firms spending billions and billions of {dollars} coming into our nation, they could not discuss it. They’d solely talked about the one plant that was a GM plant from a really very long time in the past. And now we’ve a fantastic firm moving into going to make electrical vehicles. Very applicable. Very fascinating thought, truly. Electrical vehicles. Sure, please.


Will you enable Robert Muller to testify to Congress?


Nicely, I’ll go away that as much as our very nice legal professional normal, and he’ll decide on that. However I’ll say this, look, the Mueller report got here out, it was carried out at I received some listening to numbers now near $40 million with 17 or 18 very offended Democrats who hated Donald Trump and likewise all the pieces that they may presumably have at their disposal.

There was no person that was within the historical past of our nation extra clear than me. I mentioned give them each doc, give them each particular person. Let the White Home counsel testify. I believe he testified for 30 hours. I suppose they will need to have requested him the identical query as a result of there wasn’t very a lot to testify about. However I mentioned let him testify and let him — preserve him so long as you need.

Truly, once I heard 30 hours, I mentioned that is a very long time, however I let him testify. I did not need to. I’ve presidential privilege. I may’ve stopped all the pieces. I did not have to provide them a doc. I gave them 1.5 million paperwork. I gave them White Home counsel, I gave them over different legislation — anyone you need, you may discuss to. On the finish of the testimony, no collusion and basically, no obstruction.

After all, lots of people say how are you going to hinder when there was no crime, when there was no collusion, how are you going to presumably hinder? I will let you know, but it surely’s worse than that. It isn’t solely was there no crime, however the crime was dedicated on the opposite aspect. So we’re defending in opposition to the crime dedicated on the opposite aspect. So after spending all of that cash, all of that point, two years, they provide you with a report.

And Bob Mueller isn’t any buddy of mine. I had conflicts with him. We had a enterprise dispute, we had any individual that’s in love with James Comey. We like James Comey. They had been superb mates, supposedly greatest mates. Could also be not, however supposedly greatest mates. You have a look at the image file and also you see a whole lot of images of him and Comey. And with all of that and different issues, he needed the FBI job. I do not know if anyone is aware of that, however as you understand, he was thought of for the FBI job, needed it, and the day after he did not get it, he grew to become the particular counsel. That is a battle. And we had different issues, however these are great conflicts.

Take heed to this. Your choose, name him a choose, is a — has a enterprise dispute with me. Your choose has a implausible relationship with James Comey. Nicely, he is part of this. He lied to Congress, he leaked — he is a liar, a leaker. And your choose has a state of affairs the place he needed to develop into the FBI director. We selected Director Wray as an alternative and instructed him I am sorry. That is — these are great conflicts. These are great conflicts.

After which he places on his employees nearly all Democrats, lots of whom contributed to Hillary Clinton. None of them contributed to me. That I can let you know. And it began out at 13, and it went to 18. And these had been offended Democrats. These had been folks that went to her, in a single case, went to her what was presupposed to be a celebration and turned out to be a funeral on election night and was going wild. He was so offended. And this man now could be judging me. You had different folks made massive contributions to Hillary Clinton’s marketing campaign. They had been offended Democrats in, I believe, nearly all circumstances.

One of many folks labored on the Clinton basis as simply concerning the prime particular person on the Clinton basis. With all of this, they got here again no collusion. There’s no person on this room together with you in the event that they had been — that is you, John. In the event that they checked out you with $40 million, 18 offended folks that hated you and the entire different issues I discussed, they will discover one thing. I do not know, perhaps John, not. Go forward, end up.


However Mr. Mueller can also be mates with Mr. Barr. And as you’re conscious, Mr. Barr instructed lawmakers that he didn’t have an issue with Mr. — with Mr. Mueller testifying.


I’ll go away that as much as the legal professional normal as as to whether or not — I believe to me it appears to be like like a redo. This is what occurred, the report comes again, it is excellent. It is stunning. There isn’t any collusion. No person even talks about collusion. , I have never heard the phrase Russia in a very long time. There isn’t any extra discuss Russia. What occurred to Russia? The Russian witchhunt — they do not discuss as a result of it was so on collusion, which by the way in which, is by far — that is the massive deal as a result of it was all about Russia. So I have never heard the phrase Russia. They do not use the phrase Russia anymore.

So there is no crime. There know what by no means was a criminal offense. It was a hoax. It was a witchhunt. So this comes again, and it comes again completely exonerating Donald Trump and a whole lot of different folks. This was a horrible factor that occurred to our nation.

Now I will let you know what they’re asking. They’re asking about how did this complete factor began. That is what folks wish to know, and I wish to let you know, I had a — an occasion final evening. Quite a lot of you had been there. 1000’s and hundreds of individuals standing in a subject. They’ve by no means seen something prefer it, which means even the press. But it surely’s all the time that manner. We by no means had an empty seat. 1000’s of individuals final evening. what they wish to know? How did this complete factor begin. It will be exhausting for them to reply that one. Yeah, please.


Mr. President, are you glad with the recommendation you obtained from John Bolton?


Yeah, John is superb. John is a — he has robust views on issues, however that is okay. I truly mood John, which is fairly wonderful, is not it?


No person thought that was going to occur. I am the one which tempers him. However that is okay. I’ve totally different websites. I imply, I’ve John Bolton and I’ve different folks which might be a little bit extra dovish than him. And in the end, I make the choice. No, I get — I like John, I get superb recommendation from John. John?


Mr. President, as you noticed, the Senate Clever Committee has subpoenaed Don Junior. That is the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Group. What you make of that?


Nicely, I used to be very stunned. I noticed Richard Burr (SP) saying there was no collusion to or three weeks in the past. He went outdoors and 70 requested him. No, there is no collusion. We discovered no collision. However I used to be very stunned to see my son. My son is an excellent particular person, works very exhausting. The very last thing he wants is Washington DC. I believe he’d reasonably not ever be concerned.

Bear in mind he mentioned to me a very long time in the past once I was desirous about working dad, if I may help, let me know. It isn’t my experience, it isn’t one thing I actually like, however no matter I can do, you are my father. No matter I can do. He is now testified for 20 hours or one thing. A large period of time. The Mueller report got here out. That is the Bible. The Mueller report got here out and so they mentioned he did nothing incorrect. The one factor is, it is oppo (SP) analysis. If he did incorrect, then everyone standing with me in all probability, aside from John, and Lamar, I believe Lamar is fairly — I will let you know, did you ever do oppo analysis on an opponent? I do not suppose so, Lamar, proper?





And I do know John Barrasso by no means did opposition analysis as a result of he mentioned a he is a high quality, high quality man. However I’d say 99 p.c of the remainder of the oldsters are — in order that they did not — however what they did not talk about is that this lady that got here in who I watched her within the Immediately Present when it began. Oh, I am simply an harmless. Nicely, no person even is aware of. Though the halls of Congress know her very properly as a result of for years she’s walked round all around the Congress.

She got here in and she or he left supposedly GPS Fusion, goes and meets for brief time period with my son and another folks, they discuss a topic as very properly, you understand, marketed and put out, which is nothing, it was a nothing assembly. In truth, Jared left. He mentioned, “Get me out of this assembly. This can be a waste of time.” She then went again to GPS Fusion. They had been those that wrote the phony file. Why was she going to GPS Fusion? Why did she return?

Then I heard that Don, for a yr, made three cellphone calls with an unmarked quantity. They referred to as it unmarked. And this was an incredible occasion, as a result of all of them knew — the faux information, all of them — no, you had been honest on that, John. However all of them knew that these cellphone calls, these — these great cellphone calls earlier than the assembly and after the assembly — there have been, I imagine, three, proper? All of them knew that it needed to be to his father. Unmarked, it is excellent.

So, he reported concerning the assembly after which reported what occurred on the assembly, besides after trying and spending an incredible quantity of money and time, they had been in a position to return years and discover out who made the calls. One was a neighborhood actual property developer. The opposite was a fantastic particular person from NASCAR. He took two of them, and a buddy of Don’s.

This went on for a yr and a half. John, you heard all concerning the cellphone calls to clearly the daddy, the place I knew — I by no means knew concerning the assembly. However the cellphone calls to the daddy turned out to not be the cellphone calls.

My son is an effective particular person. My son testified for hours and hours. My son was completely exonerated by Mueller, who frankly doesn’t like Donald Trump, me, this Donald Trump. And albeit, for my son, after being exonerated, to now get a subpoena to go once more and communicate once more after near 20 hours of telling everyone that may hear a couple of nothing assembly, yeah, I am fairly stunned.



Ought to he struggle that subpoena?


We’ll see what occurs. I am simply very stunned, I actually am, by it.



What did Iran do to immediate you to ship an plane service to the–the area?


Nicely, they had been threatening, and we’ve data —


— Is there a danger — is there a danger —


— We’ve data that you do not wish to learn about. They had been very threatening, and we simply wish to have — we’ve to have nice safety for this nation and for lots of different locations.


Is there a danger of navy confrontation, sir?


I suppose you may say that all the time, proper? Is not it, I imply, you understand, all the time? I do not wish to say no, however hopefully that will not occur. We’ve probably the most highly effective ships on this planet that is loaded up, and we do not wish to need to do something.

However I might prefer to see — with Iran, I might prefer to see them name me. , John Kerry speaks to them so much. John Kerry tells them to not name. That is a violation of the Logan Act. And albeit, he must be prosecuted on that. However my folks do not wish to do something that is — solely the Democrats try this sort of stuff you understand? If it had been the other manner, they’d prosecute him below the Logan Act.

However John Kerry violated the Logan Act. He is speaking to Iran and has been, has many conferences and lots of cellphone calls. And he is telling them what to do. That could be a whole violation of the Logan Act, as a result of what they need to be doing is — their economic system is a multitude ever since I took away the Iran deal. They’ve inflation that is the very best quantity I’ve ever heard. They’re having riots each weekends and in the course of the week even.

And what they need to be doing is asking me up, sitting down. We are able to make a deal, honest deal. We simply don’t need them to have nuclear weapons, not an excessive amount of to ask. And we’d assist put them again into nice form. They’re in unhealthy form proper now. I stay up for the day the place we are able to truly assist Iran. We’re not seeking to damage Iran. I need them to be robust and nice and have a fantastic economic system.

However there listening to John Kerry, whose violated a vital parts of what he is presupposed to be doing. He violated the Logan Act, plain and easy. He should not be doing that. However they need to name, and in the event that they do, we’re open to speak to them. We’ve no secrets and techniques. And they are often very, very robust financially. They’ve nice potential, very very similar to North Korea.

North Korea has great potential economically. And I do not suppose he’ll blow that. I do not suppose so.


Can I circle again to commerce only for a second?


Yeah, please.


Is it nonetheless attainable to get a commerce take care of the Chinese language this week, or is it —


— It is attainable —


— You have by no means mentioned —


— They’re all right here. Look, the vice premier, who’s probably the most revered males, one of many highest officers in China, is coming. , you heard he wasn’t coming. He is coming.

I’ll say this. As soon as the tariffs went on, they upped the assembly. It was presupposed to happen initially on Thursday. Then about 5 weeks in the past they mentioned how about Friday, how about subsequent week? I mentioned what’s this all about? And I mentioned that is okay. Let’s — don’t fret about it. Let’s absorb $100 billion a yr. And we put the tariffs on. We made the assertion after which they upped the assembly. How about let’s return to Thursday?

So, I don’t know what is going on to occur. I did get final evening a really stunning letter from President Xi, let’s work collectively. Let’s have a look at if we are able to get one thing carried out. However they renegotiated the deal. I imply, they took — whether or not it is mental property theft, they took many, many elements of that deal and so they renegotiated. You may’t try this.

And I am totally different than lots of people. I occur to suppose that tariffs, for our nation, are very highly effective. , we are the piggy financial institution that everyone steals from, together with China. We have been paying China $500 billion a yr for a lot of, a few years. China rebuilt their nation due to us. They could not have carried out what they’re doing. They’re constructing a ship each three weeks. They’re constructing plane such as you’ve by no means seen, fighter jets.

I respect it. I do not blame them. I blame our previous management for permitting this to occur. What I am doing now with China ought to have occurred a few years in the past, not simply Obama, lengthy earlier than Obama. I all the time say, you understand, in the event you look NAFTA is among the worst offers ever made, commerce offers.

However the worst commerce deal ever made is the WTO, as a result of China was flatlining for a lot of, many a long time, many, many. It was flat, proper right here. The WTO got here alongside. We allowed China into the WTO and so they grew to become a rocket ship. You bought to try a chart a while. Do it. It will be very fascinating, and financial chart. They’re right here, and so they went up like a rocket ship.

Nicely, they did it with our cash, and others. They usually did it as a result of they’re very sensible and so they’re good folks. And I just like the president so much. He is a buddy of mine. However I am representing the USA and he is representing China. And we’re not going to be taken benefit of anymore. We’re not going to pay China $500 billion a yr.

So, we put very heavy tariffs on China as of Friday, and we put them on additionally eight months in the past. And when folks regarded on the financial numbers, they had been shocked. After they have a look at the import/export numbers, they had been shocked. They mentioned, wow, how did they get thus far? This was superb. That was an excellent report. They’ve by no means seen that for a few years.

I mentioned attempt taking a look at the entire tariffs that China has been paying us for the final eight months, billions and billions of {dollars}. And that is solely as a result of I gave them a break. As a result of we had been negotiating — goodwill, we had been negotiating, I gave them a break. And I mentioned let’s preserve it at 10 p.c as an alternative of 25 p.c.

So, now what we’re doing is we’re elevating it to 25 p.c on Friday. So, it will be $250 billion at 25 p.c and it will be $325 billion at 25 p.c, and we’re beginning that paperwork at present. So, we’ll see. However you understand what? As President of our nation, I needed to do one thing about it. And as president of our nice nation, we will be taking in more cash than we have ever taken in.

And all of those international locations, lots of them have taken benefit of us, together with our allies. They’ve taken benefit of us on commerce. They’ve taken benefit of us on navy. We defend all these international locations or nothing or for a tiny fraction of what it prices.

We deal with NATO. I am all for NATO. I am all for NATO. And I believe it is simply great, but it surely’s totally different than it was 25 years in the past and 40 years in the past. And I received NATO to place up an additional $100 billion. Ask Secretary Normal Stoltenberg. He is, like, Donald Trump’s greatest fan as a result of spending was happening. The — the contributions that the 28 international locations had been making, it was heading like — like a slope down, like a really steep mountain. After which I got here and it went up like China. It went up like a rocket ship, okay?

However I do not like seeing folks take benefit. We pay for wherever from 70 p.c to 100 p.c of NATO. So, we defend NATO. We defend European international locations. And we defend them, and we defend them fantastically. We are the energy. We’re essentially the most highly effective nation, particularly since we have redone our navy, redoing and carried out the entire nuclear. You by no means wish to use it, however it’s important to have it.

However we have spent, and I thank Congress for this, $700 billion, after which $717 — 16 billion on our navy. Our navy, once I got here to workplace, was completely depleted. We now have by far the strongest navy on this planet. However we defend international locations. Once you have a look at our price range — so, we’re at $716 billion, and Russia’s at $68 billion. How do you work that? As a result of Russia does not go round defending each nation on this planet and never getting paid for it.

And you understand what? I do not thoughts not getting paid if there is a nation that is been horribly handled and many unhealthy issues are taking place and so they’re not a wealthy nation. However once we defend the richest international locations on this planet and so they do not pay us for or what we do. And albeit, they return into closed conferences, and so they snigger on the stupidity of the US for doing it. These are international locations with nothing however money. They may very simply — I instructed a narrative final evening. I picked up $500 million with one cellphone name to a rustic, and that is only the start. And I’ve carried out it with many different international locations anyway. However simply over the past very quick time period. One cellphone name that lasted for a interval of, I’d say, 5 minutes, I picked up $500 million as a result of I mentioned you are not caring for us. We’re caring for you, however you are not taking care — it isn’t honest. So actually the phrase shouldn’t be honest. NATO does not deal with us pretty in any respect. However now they’re beginning to pay. And in the event you have a look at Mr. Stoltenberg, he’ll let you know he has by no means seen something prefer it. $100 billion. And that is a low quantity. They’re paying $100 billion (INAUDIBLE).

However how do you’re feeling about this? Germany, you are presupposed to be paying 2 p.c. Germany is paying 1 p.c. They are saying 1.3, however name it 1 p.c as a result of it truly is nearer to 1 p.c. Germany pays to Russia billions of {dollars} a month for the pipeline, and but we’re presupposed to be defending Germany from Russia. So Germany is giving the so-called enemy — I do not name it an enemy. I wish to get together with Russia, and I wish to get together with China as a result of I am sensible. Silly folks do not wish to get alongside. As a result of I am sensible. This witch hunt damage us in {our relationships} with a whole lot of international locations. It was a really costly, horrible factor for our nation. And by the way in which, ought to by no means ever occur once more to a president. Two years I have been going by way of this nonsense, and now we’ve report, and now guys like Jerry Nadler who I fought for a few years, efficiently I would add, again in New York in Manhattan. He was a Manhattan congressman. I beat him on a regular basis, and I come to Washington, and now I’ve to beat him once more over nothing, over nothing, over a hoax. They usually know it is a hoax. They’re sensible. Nadler is a brilliant man. Schiff is a brilliant man. When Schiff goes to the microphone he is conning this complete nation, and he is aware of that. And he goes again right into a room and he talks to his mates, and he laughs as a result of that is the way in which life is.

However our nation is doing nice. We will discover out about China tonight, and I believe ultimately you are going to be very impressed with the sort of issues we’re doing. And the explanation they had been so stunned with the numbers two, three weeks in the past — not the three.2 GDP, which everyone was stunned at, however perhaps extra importantly export numbers, import numbers, as a result of we’ve billions of {dollars} coming to our nation that our nation by no means would have seen with an everyday president. They need to have been carried out a few years in the past. And I instructed President Xi of China, and I inform Abe, who is an effective buddy of mine, prime minister of Japan, doing a fantastic job, I inform him — I inform everyone, I say I do not blame you. I blame the folks that ran the US. And I blame their commerce representatives, and albeit, I blame our presidents as a result of this could have by no means occurred. We have been dropping, for years, near $800 billion — not million. $800 million is so much — however we’ve been dropping $800 billion on commerce, $800 billion. We will cease that, and we have already began. So we’ve a gathering tonight at 5:00 with the highest folks from China, and we’ll let you understand what occurs. Thanks all very a lot.


There was a second in your rally final evening when somebody within the crowd appeared to say (INAUDIBLE).



The Purple Sox are coming in a short while. I just like the Purple Sox.


What do you say to those that argue that you simply’re too divisive, and do you are concerned it’ll damage your reelection (INAUDIBLE)?


, it’s fascinating; Puerto Rico — simply so that you perceive, we gave Puerto Rico $91 billion for the hurricane. That’s the biggest amount of cash ever given to any state — speaking about states and Puerto Rico, a little bit different–$91 billion. Texas received $30. Florida received $12. Puerto Rico received $91 billion. So I believe the folks of Puerto Rico ought to actually like President Trump. Now that cash was given by Congress, however they received $91 billion. Now you keep in mind how massive the hurricane was in Texas, the biggest water dump within the historical past of our nation they are saying. Thrice it went in, went out, went in. Texas received $30 billion. Florida received truly wherever between $9 and $12. Puerto Rico received $91 billion, and now the Democrats are attempting to carry up the cash from Georgia, from South Carolina, from Alabama, to Florida. They’re making an attempt to carry it up. They’re hurting Florida. They’re holding — I imply, what they’re doing to North Carolina, to Louisiana, they’re making an attempt to carry aid help as a result of Puerto Rico, which received $91 billion, have to like their president, they wish to get Puerto Rico more cash. In order that they’re prepared to sacrifice Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and different states. The Democrats are doing that. They’re very divisive folks. Thanks very a lot.

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