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

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

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

Under 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)?


Properly, we’re it very severely proper now. They have been smaller missiles, short-range missiles. No one’s blissful about it. However we’re taking an excellent look, and we’ll see, we’ll see. The connection continues, however we’ll see what occurs. I do know they need to negotiate. They’re speaking about negotiating, however I do not suppose they’re prepared to barter as a result of we now have to both do–it’s very very similar to China. The vice-premier is coming right here immediately. We have been getting very near a deal, then they began to renegotiate the deal. We will not have that. We will not have that. So our nation can soak up $120 billion a 12 months in tariffs, paid for principally by China, by the way in which, not by lots of people try to steer it in a distinct path. It is actually paid for–ultimately it is paid for by–largely by china. And companies will pour again into our nation, so as a substitute of creating the merchandise, it will be the old school method, the way in which we used to do it. we made our personal product. And I feel 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 shall be coming in immediately.

They begin at 5:00 and so they’ll see what they will do, however our different is–is a wonderful one. It is an alternate I’ve spoken about for years. We’ll soak up properly over $100 billion a 12 months. We by no means took in $0.10 from China, not $0.10. And will probably be a–I feel it will be a really sturdy day, frankly. However we’ll see. We’ll see. It was their thought to come back again.


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


Properly, he simply wrote me a gorgeous letter. I simply obtained it and out in all probability converse to him by cellphone. However look, we now have two nice alternate options. Our nation is doing fantastically properly. Our numbers at 3.2. Remember, 3.2–the first quarter is all the time by far the worst quarter, or at the least nearly all the time. You look again over time, first quarters all the time weak, and we had 3.2 GDP.

Our unemployment numbers are the perfect 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, Common Motors at my very sturdy urging, to place it mildly, very sturdy urging, I wasn’t even good about it, however I recognize what they did, they offered the–the stunning plant, Lordstown. They offered that lovely plant to a really, excellent firm that is going to make electrical vans.

And that labored as a result of that was the one factor they may say about our complete financial system. Lordstown. They stored saying Lordstown, Lordstown. And whenever you had all of those nice firms spending billions and billions of {dollars} coming into our nation, they could not speak about 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 now have an important firm moving into going to make electrical vans. Very acceptable. Very fascinating thought, truly. Electrical vans. Sure, please.


Will you permit Robert Muller to testify to Congress?


Properly, I will go away that as much as our very nice lawyer common, and he’ll decide on that. However I’ll say this, look, the Mueller report got here out, it was accomplished at I bought some listening to numbers now near $40 million with 17 or 18 very indignant Democrats who hated Donald Trump and in addition 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 stated give them each doc, give them each particular person. Let the White Home counsel testify. I feel he testified for 30 hours. I suppose they should have requested him the identical query as a result of there wasn’t very a lot to testify about. However I stated let him testify and let him–keep him so long as you need.

Truly, after I heard 30 hours, I stated that is a very long time, however I let him testify. I did not must. 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 law–anybody you need, you may discuss to. On the finish of the testimony, no collusion and primarily, no obstruction.

After all, lots of people say how will you impede when there was no crime, when there was no collusion, how will you presumably impede? 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 towards the crime dedicated on the opposite aspect. So after spending all of that cash, all of that point, two years, they give you a report.

And Bob Mueller is not any buddy of mine. I had conflicts with him. We had a enterprise dispute, we had someone that’s in love with James Comey. We like James Comey. They have been excellent buddies, supposedly finest buddies. Could also be not, however supposedly finest buddies. You have a look at the image file and also you see a whole bunch 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 , he was thought-about 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 large conflicts.

Take heed to this. Your choose, name him a choose, is a–has a enterprise dispute with me. Your choose has a improbable relationship with James Comey. Properly, he is part of this. He lied to Congress, he leaked–he’s a liar, a leaker. And your choose has a state of affairs the place he needed to grow to be the FBI director. We selected Director Wray as a substitute and advised him I am sorry. That is–those are large conflicts. These are large conflicts.

After which he places on his workers nearly all Democrats, a lot 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 have been indignant Democrats. These have been people who went to her, in a single case, went to her what was purported to be a celebration and turned out to be a funeral on election night and was going wild. He was so indignant. And this man now could be judging me. You had different individuals made huge contributions to Hillary Clinton’s marketing campaign. They have been indignant Democrats in I feel nearly all instances.

One of many individuals 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 may be no person on this room together with you in the event that they were–that’s you, John. In the event that they checked out you with $40 million, 18 indignant people who hated you and all the different issues I discussed, they’re going to discover one thing. I do not know, possibly John, not. Go forward, end up.


However Mr. Mueller can be buddies with Mr. Barr. And as you are conscious, Mr. Barr advised lawmakers that he did not have an issue with Mr.–with Mr. Mueller testifying.


I will go away that as much as the lawyer common as as to whether or not–I feel to me it seems like a redo. This is what occurred, the report comes again, it is excellent. It is stunning. There isn’t any collusion. No one even talks about collusion. , I have not heard the phrase Russia in a very long time. There isn’t any extra speak about 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’s the massive deal as a result of it was all about Russia. So I have not 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 lots of different individuals. 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 individuals need to know, and I need to let you know, I had a–an occasion final evening. Quite a lot of you have been there. Hundreds and hundreds of individuals standing in a subject. They’ve by no means seen something prefer it, that means even the press. Nevertheless it’s all the time that method. We by no means had an empty seat. Hundreds of individuals final evening. what they need to know? How did this complete factor begin. It is going to be laborious 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 sturdy views on issues, however that is okay. I truly mood John, which is fairly wonderful, is not it?


No one 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 individuals which can be a little bit extra dovish than him. And finally, I make the choice. No, I get–I like John, I get excellent recommendation from John. John?


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


Properly, 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 laborious. The very last thing he wants is Washington DC. I feel he’d moderately not ever be concerned.

Bear in mind he stated to me a very long time in the past after I was occupied with operating dad, if I may also help, let me know. It isn’t my experience, it is not 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 stated he did nothing flawed. The one factor is, it is oppo (SP) analysis. If he did flawed, then everyone standing with me in all probability, aside from John, and Lamar, I feel Lamar is pretty–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 stated a he is a high-quality, high-quality man. However I might say 99 p.c of the remainder of the parents are–so they didn’t–but what they did not talk about is that this lady that got here in who I watched her within the At the moment Present when it began. Oh, I am simply an harmless. Properly, 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 individuals, they speak about a topic as very properly, , marketed and put out, which is nothing, it was a nothing assembly. Actually, Jared left. He stated, “Get me out of this assembly. This can be a waste of time.” She then went again to GPS Fusion. They have 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 12 months, made three cellphone calls with an unmarked quantity. They referred to as it unmarked. And this was an amazing occasion, as a result of all of them knew–the faux information, they all–no, you have been truthful on that, John. However all of them knew that these cellphone calls, these–these large cellphone calls earlier than the assembly and after the meeting–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 amazing quantity of money and time, they have been ready to return years and discover out who made the calls. One was a neighborhood actual property developer. The opposite was an important particular person from NASCAR. He took two of them, and a buddy of Don’s.

This went on for a 12 months 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 converse once more after near 20 hours of telling everyone that might pay attention a few nothing assembly, yeah, I am fairly stunned.



Ought to he battle 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 provider to the–the area?


Properly, they have been threatening, and we now have information–


–Is there a risk–is there a risk–


–We now have data that you do not need to learn about. They have been very threatening, and we simply need to have–we must have nice safety for this nation and for lots of different locations.


Is there a danger of army confrontation, sir?


I suppose you can say that all the time, proper? Is not it, I imply, , all the time? I do not need to say no, however hopefully that will not occur. We now have probably the most highly effective ships on the earth that is loaded up, and we do not need to must do something.

However I would prefer to see–with Iran, I would 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 needs to be prosecuted on that. However my individuals do not need to do something that’s–only the Democrats do this sort of stuff ? If it have been the alternative method, 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 complete violation of the Logan Act, as a result of what they need to be doing is–their financial system is a multitude ever since I took away the Iran deal. They’ve inflation that is the 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 looking me up, sitting down. We will make a deal, truthful 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 will truly assist Iran. We’re not trying to harm Iran. I need them to be sturdy and nice and have an important financial system.

However there listening to John Kerry, whose violated a vital components of what he is purported 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 now have no secrets and techniques. And they are often very, very sturdy financially. They’ve nice potential, very very similar to North Korea.

North Korea has large 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 doable to get a commerce take care of the Chinese language this week, or is it–


–It is possible–


–You’ve got by no means said–


–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 purported to happen initially on Thursday. Then about 5 weeks in the past they stated how about Friday, how about subsequent week? I stated what’s this all about? And I stated that is okay. Let’s–don’t fear about it. Let’s soak up $100 billion a 12 months. 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 do not 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 examine if we will get one thing accomplished. However they renegotiated the deal. I imply, they took–whether it is mental property theft, they took many, many elements of that deal and so they renegotiated. You may’t do 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 12 months for a lot of, a few years. China rebuilt their nation due to us. They could not have accomplished 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, , for those who look NAFTA is without doubt one of 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 many years, 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.

Properly, they did it with our cash, and others. And so they did it as a result of they’re very good and so they’re good individuals. 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 12 months.

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

I stated attempt all the 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 have been negotiating–goodwill, we have been negotiating, I gave them a break. And I stated let’s maintain it at 10 p.c as a substitute 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 immediately. So, we’ll see. However 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 extra money than we have ever taken in.

And all of those international locations, a lot 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 army. We defend all these international locations or nothing or for a tiny fraction of what it prices.

We care for NATO. I am all for NATO. I am all for NATO. And I feel it is simply fantastic, but it surely’s totally different than it was 25 years in the past and 40 years in the past. And I bought NATO to place up an additional $100 billion. Ask Secretary Common Stoltenberg. He is, like, Donald Trump’s largest fan as a result of spending was happening. The–the contributions that the 28 international locations have 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 individuals take benefit. We pay for wherever from 70 p.c to 100 p.c of NATO. So, we shield NATO. We shield European international locations. And we shield them, and we shield them superbly. We are the energy. We’re essentially the most highly effective nation, particularly since we have redone our army, redoing and accomplished all the nuclear. You by no means need to use it, however you need to have it.

However we have spent, and I thank Congress for this, $700 billion, after which $717–16 billion on our army. Our army, after I got here to workplace, was completely depleted. We now have by far the strongest army on the earth. However we defend international locations. If you have a look at our budget–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 the earth and never getting paid for it.

And what? I do not thoughts not getting paid if there is a nation that is been horribly handled and many unhealthy issues are occurring and so they’re not a wealthy nation. However once we defend the richest international locations on the earth 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 america for doing it. These are international locations with nothing however money. They might very easily–I advised 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 accomplished it with many different international locations anyway. However simply over the past very brief time period. One cellphone name that lasted for a interval of, I might say, 5 minutes, I picked up $500 million as a result of I stated you are not taking good care of us. We’re taking good care of you, however you are not taking care–it’s not truthful. So actually the phrase shouldn’t be truthful. NATO does not deal with us pretty in any respect. However now they’re beginning to pay. And for those who 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 purported 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 purported to be defending Germany from Russia. So Germany is giving the so-called enemy–I do not name it an enemy. I need to get together with Russia, and I need to get together with China as a result of I am good. Silly individuals do not need to get alongside. As a result of I am good. This witch hunt harm us in {our relationships} with lots 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 means of this nonsense, and now we now have an excellent report, and now guys like Jerry Nadler who I fought for a few years, efficiently I’d 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. And so they know it is a hoax. They’re good. Nadler is a great man. Schiff is a great 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 buddies, and he laughs as a result of that is the way in which life is.

However our nation is doing nice. We’ll discover out about China tonight, and I feel ultimately you are going to be very impressed with the sort of issues we’re doing. And the rationale they have been so stunned with the numbers two, three weeks ago–not the three.2 GDP, which everyone was stunned at, however possibly extra importantly export numbers, import numbers, as a result of we now have billions of {dollars} coming to our nation that our nation by no means would have seen with a daily president. They need to have been accomplished a few years in the past. And I advised President Xi of China, and I inform Abe, who is an effective buddy of mine, prime minister of Japan, doing an important job, I inform him–I inform everyone, I say I do not blame you. I blame the people who ran america. And I blame their commerce representatives, and admittedly, 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 a lot–but we now have been dropping $800 billion on commerce, $800 billion. We’ll cease that, and we have already began. So we now have a gathering tonight at 5:00 with the highest individuals from China, and we’ll let 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 should harm your reelection (INAUDIBLE)?


, it’s fascinating; Puerto Rico–just so that you perceive, we gave Puerto Rico $91 billion for the hurricane. That’s the most important sum of money ever given to any state–talking about states and Puerto Rico, a little bit different–$91 billion. Texas bought $30. Florida bought $12. Puerto Rico bought $91 billion. So I feel the individuals of Puerto Rico ought to actually like President Trump. Now that cash was given by Congress, however they bought $91 billion. Now you keep in mind how huge the hurricane was in Texas, the most important water dump within the historical past of our nation they are saying. Thrice it went in, went out, went in. Texas bought $30 billion. Florida bought truly wherever between $9 and $12. Puerto Rico bought $91 billion, and now the Democrats try to carry up the cash from Georgia, from South Carolina, from Alabama, to Florida. They’re attempting to carry it up. They’re hurting Florida. They’re holding–I imply, what they’re doing to North Carolina, to Louisiana, they’re attempting to carry aid assist as a result of Puerto Rico, which bought $91 billion, have to like their president, they need to get Puerto Rico extra money. 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 individuals. Thanks very a lot.

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