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A transcript of an Oval Workplace interview Tuesday with President Donald Trump by AP White Home reporters Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire. “OFF THE RECORD” signifies the place parts of the interview occurred that weren’t for publication.
President Donald Trump: How is the enterprise of the information? We’re holding you busy?
AP: Sure, sir, you’re.
AP: Thanks for doing this.
Trump: What are you going to do in 6½ years with a traditional boring individual right here?
AP: It has definitely been a busy two years.
Trump: It’s going to be totally different, going to be totally different.
AP: We’re hoping to cowl rather a lot of subjects as we speak, however earlier than we get began on another issues, we need to speak information of the day first. Clearly, the Saudis and the lacking author. AP is reporting that police looking the consulate discovered proof that Jamal Khashoggi was killed there. What did the crown prince inform you at this time, precisely, and what’s your intelligence telling you?
Trump: Nicely, I simply put this out, I assume you noticed it. I simply have it right here. I spoke to the crown prince, so you could have that. He stated he and his father knew nothing about it. And that was essential. And I spoke to him with Mike Pompeo there. And the crown prince. I spoke to the king yesterday, the crown prince, as we speak eager to know what was happening, what was occurring, and he stated very strongly that he and his father knew nothing about it however they’re beginning a serious, they’ve already began a serious investigation to seek out out. And so the solutions might be forthcoming.
AP: Did they increase this concept of rogue killers in any of these conversations?
Trump: Nicely, the idea of it, I assume. Yesterday, once I spoke with the father, not a lot at present, however once I spoke to the father, it simply sounded to me like he felt like he didn’t do it. He didn’t find out about it and it appeared like, you recognize, the idea of rogue killers. However I don’t know. I feel the investigation will result in a solution. They usually’re going to do a really thorough investigation. I consider they’re working with Turkey.
AP: However he didn’t convey up that? That was one thing you got here up with after the dialog?
Trump: Simply the idea of it. No, that was simply from my feeling of the dialog with the king, not with the crown prince however with the king.
AP: Do you consider, sir, do you consider the king and the crown prince? I imply do you discover them … do you discover them type of reliable right here? And there’s been lots of speak, together with from Sen. Graham, who I do know is an ally of yours in some ways, that that is the second that maybe the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia ought to be re-evaluated, that issues must be finished in another way going ahead. What do you assume of that?
Trump: Properly, I feel we’ve got to seek out out what occurred first. You recognize, right here we go once more with, you realize, you’re responsible till confirmed harmless. I don’t like that. We simply went by means of that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was harmless all the means. So I used to be unconcerned. So we now have to seek out out what occurred and they’re doing a really main investigation. So is Turkey. Plus, they’re placing themselves collectively and doing it. And hopefully they’ll get to a solution as to what occurred. However I’ll say they have been very robust of their denial about themselves figuring out.
AP: Did they provide you any sense of the timetable?
Trump: I might say inside every week. That’s my impression. He stated two weeks. However they’re going to attempt to do it in lower than every week.
AP: So shifting to the midterms, you’re hitting the street for Republicans, clearly.
Trump: A bit bit.
AP: And the White Home political workplace has stated, and you’ve got stated, that Republicans face headwinds this fall, it’s a troublesome yr for Republicans traditionally. If Republicans have been to lose management of the Home …
Trump: It’s a troublesome yr … The midterms are very robust for anyone the reverse of president, for no matter cause, no one has been capable of say.
AP: So my query is, if Republicans have been to lose management of the Home on November sixth — or a pair of days later relying on how lengthy it takes to rely the votes — do you consider you bear some duty for that?
Trump: No, I feel I’m serving to individuals. Look, I’m 48 and 1 in the primaries, and truly it’s a lot greater than that as a result of I endorsed rather a lot of folks that have been profitable that folks don’t even speak about. However many of these 48, as you understand, have been those that had no probability, in some instances. We take a look at Florida, you take a look at Donovan in Staten Island. He was dropping by 10 factors, I endorsed him and he gained. I might offer you an extended record of names. Take a look at Georgia governor of Georgia. And lots of, many races. And I’ll say that we have now a really huge influence. I don’t consider anyone’s ever had this type of an impression. They might say that in the previous days that in the event you received the help of a president or should you’ve obtained the help of anyone it might be good to have, however it meant nothing, zero. Like actually zero. Some of the individuals I’ve endorsed have gone up 40 and 50 factors simply on the endorsement.
AP: Eight years in the past, Barack Obama stated he received shellacked, so you already know, taking the consequence of the election as a referendum on himself.
Trump: So I feel we’re going to do properly. Look, it feels to me very very similar to ’16. I used to be going out and making speeches and I used to be getting tens of hundreds of individuals. And I used to be getting actually tens of hundreds of individuals, additionally, greater than Hillary in the similar location. And I stated, ‘Why am I going to lose?’ I imply, I’m going out, I make a speech like I’ve, you recognize, 25 occasions extra individuals than she will get. And I didn’t want Beyonce to get them. I didn’t need to have, you understand, leisure and entertainers to get them. After which they’d all depart earlier than she made the speech after the entertainer was completed. Truthfully, it feels very very similar to it did in ’16.
Now, I’m unsure that that’s proper. And I’m not operating. I imply, there are various people who have stated to me, ‘Sir, I will never ever,’ you on the path once I’m speaking to individuals backstage etcetera, ‘I will never ever go and vote in the midterms because you’re not operating and I don’t assume you want Congress.’ Properly, I do like Congress as a result of I feel, and once I say Congress I like the Republicans that help me in Congress. We’ve had large help. I imply, we’ve obtained the taxes with 100 % Republican votes and we don’t actually have a lot of a majority. You recognize whenever you say majority, I all the time say, ‘If somebody has a cold, we have to delay the vote.’ So I get alongside, you realize, very … individuals do not know how low how properly I get alongside with Republicans in Congress. I get alongside nicely with rather a lot of the Democrats in Congress, however I’ll by no means get their vote.
AP: You simply talked about Justice Kavanaugh. And I do know, we’ve all been to your rallies, and also you’ve steered that battle was as arduous as …
Trump: I’ll say, that struggle as a result of he was handled so viciously and violently by the Democrats. That battle has had an influence on power, and it’s had an influence on the Republican Get together, a really constructive one in phrases of getting out and voting. I feel, however I’ll let you already know in three weeks.
AP: Alongside these strains, in the days earlier than the precise vote was held, former President George W. Bush made a quantity of calls of senators additionally type of lobbying on Kavanaugh’s behalf. Does he deserve any of the credit score right here? Have you ever spoken to him, have you ever given him a thanks for that?
Trump: I did converse with him, I did. No, I didn’t say thanks, per se. However I did converse to him earlier than it and we had a fantastic dialog about Kavanaugh, what an impressive individual he’s, which is what he advised me. And we had a really nice dialog, an excellent dialog.
OFF THE RECORD
AP: There are a selection of telephone calls that you simply acquired from people in that important interval. Did you hear from anybody who serves in the Supreme Courtroom who serves alongside now, the justice?
Trump: No, I didn’t. No one referred to as from the Supreme Courtroom. It’s a really august physique. It’s a gaggle of folks that, when you’re elevated to that degree, you actually are typically in a special place, in a unique world. No, I didn’t, I by no means received a name. For instance, I didn’t get a name from Justice Gorsuch, who can be the most certainly, or Justice Thomas. Or Alito. I’ve received no calls.
AP: Are you ready for what is going to occur to your presidency if the Democrats do take again the Home?
AP: How will you deal with investigations, impeachment prospects?
Trump: I feel I’ll deal with it very nicely. I’m dealing with already. We have now a witch hunt now happening, and I deal with it very nicely, and there was no collusion. Everybody is aware of it. It’s … Individuals giggle. Individuals are laughing at the idea of it.
AP: What in the event that they go after your tax returns? Is that one thing that may …
Trump: They should do no matter they do, and I’ll do no matter I do. However I’ve had the most profitable two years. I might say, with out query, first two years of workplace, I’ve had the most profitable two years in the historical past of this nation as a president. And we’re not even shut, truly, if you consider it. It’s not till Jan. 20 so we’re not even actually shut to 2 years. And, would get me the listing? Would you get me the listing, please?
AP: Do you assume you will have the authorized group needed?
Trump: I’ve the most profitable. No one has executed what I’ve achieved, and no one has come shut in the first two years of workplace. And that’s regardless of the preventing, the Democrats’ obstruction.
Unidentified: I’ve additional copies …
Trump: Right here, these are just a few. I simply put them down tough. However check out that. You all set?
AP: Yeah, yeah.
Trump: I imply, you go level after level, every level is a serious occasion, however you simply have a look. Confirmed extra circuit courtroom judges than some other new administration. Quickly will probably be than any administration in historical past. Who’s the one, who’s the one president that percentage-wise has executed higher than me? There’s just one. George Washington — 100 %.
Trump: No one has gotten that but.
AP: That may be a good piece of trivia. On one other matter: Michael Cohen was your private lawyer for a few years. He testified beneath oath in federal courtroom that you simply directed him to commit a criminal offense. Did you, sir?
Trump: Completely false. It’s completely false.
AP: So he’s mendacity underneath oath?
Trump: Oh, completely he’s mendacity. And Michael Cohen was a PR one that did small authorized work, very small authorized work. And what he did was very unhappy, if you look. By the method, he was in hassle not for what he did for me; he was in hassle for what he did for himself. You do know that? Having to do with loans, mortgages, taxicabs and numerous different issues, when you learn the paper. He wasn’t in hassle for what he did for me; he was in hassle for what he did for different individuals. He represented me little or no. It’s a really low degree. And what he was can also be a public relations individual. And now if he needs to attempt to get a bit of bit lighter sentence for what he did … Completely uninvolved. I wasn’t concerned and he had different shoppers, No. 1. And No. 2, he was a contractor to a big extent. However Michael Cohen, when you check out what he did, this needed to do with loans, and I assume the taxi business is one thing that I’ve nothing to do with, he did this on his personal time.
AP: You have been tweeting right now about Stormy Daniels …
Trump: I gained a case yesterday, an enormous case. They sued. Acquired thrown out. And never solely did they get thrown out, however I get authorized charges, which is sort of uncommon, as a result of the case is so obnoxious and so improper. And I give super credit score to the decide. And never solely that, we go by Texas regulation. Texas regulation says you get each penny that you simply spent. Texas regulation could be very robust for the authorized charges.
AP: Sir, as the president of the United States, is it applicable to name a lady, and even one who’s making critical allegations and who you’re in litigation towards, to name her a horseface?
Trump: You recognize what? You’ll be able to take it any approach you need.
AP: How ought to we take it?
Trump: Did you see the letter? She put out a letter. I had nothing to do with her. So she will lie and she will do no matter she needs to do. She will rent a phony lawyer. You check out this man, a stone-cold loser. Check out his previous. They will say something about me. I’m simply saying, I simply converse for myself. You have a look, and also you make your personal willpower.
AP: There’s two instances with Stormy Daniels except for the one yesterday that the decide invalidated, however the hush-deal case continues. Did you ask the lawyer to invalidate the settlement?
Trump: Properly, you’d have to talk to the legal professionals. I don’t even know what the legal professionals are doing, however they’re excellent legal professionals. They’ll determine it out.
AP: In your interview with ’60 Minutes’ over the weekend, you have been requested about local weather change, and also you stated you consider it, however that additionally, it might return. And one of the issues … (crosstalk)
Trump: I stated the worst hurricane was 50 years in the past, far worse than what this one was. Then, in 1890, that they had one which was even worse. This was No. three or four or 5. We had worse hurricanes in 1890, we had worse, a worse hurricane 50 years in the past. We’ve gone via a interval, truly, pretty just lately, the place we’ve only a few. I stay in Florida to a big extent and spend lots of time in Florida, and we had a interval of time the place we went years with out having any main drawback. After which you will have an issue and it goes in cycles, and I would like completely crystal clear water and I would like the cleanest air on the planet and our air now’s cleaner than it’s ever been. Essential to me. However what I’m not prepared to do is sacrifice the financial well-being of our nation for one thing that no one actually is aware of. And you’ve got scientists on each side of the problem. And I agree the local weather modifications, nevertheless it goes forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards. So we’ll see.
I imply, you already know, I’m an individual that believes very, very strongly in the setting. I’m really an environmentalist. I do know some individuals won’t assume of me as that, however I’m an environmentalist. All the things I would like and every little thing I’ve is clear. Clear is essential — water, air. However I additionally need jobs for our nation. And if we might have, for instance, entered sure agreements with different nations, I truly assume that we’re doing it so they might have an financial benefit. As a result of we might have had an incredible— we might have been at an incredible financial drawback if we entered into sure agreements.
AP: However scientists say that is nearing some extent the place this will’t be reversed.
Trump: No, no. Some say that and a few say in a different way. I imply, you might have scientists on each side of it. My uncle was an ideal professor at MIT for a few years. Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t speak to him about this specific topic, however I’ve a pure intuition for science, and I’ll say that you’ve scientists on each side of the image.
OK, what’s subsequent?
AP: Sir, you talked about, you talked about greater than as soon as that your inclination is to not intrude with the Division of Justice as the particular counsel probe continues.
Trump: Properly, the probe is ridiculous. OK. That that probe was even began. Jeff Periods ought to have by no means recused himself. He did it for … and he did it instantly. He ought to have advised me that. And he recused himself. And even individuals that aren’t my pals say that was a horrible factor that he did to the president, a horrible factor. He must be ashamed of himself for doing it. He ought to have informed me that beforehand. And if he would have advised me that beforehand, I in all probability would have put someone else in the Division of Justice. However Jeff Periods ought to by no means have recused himself.
AP: I imply, you’ll be able to hearth him now. Would you need to do this? Will you do this?
Trump: I haven’t stated I used to be going to fireside him or not.
AP: You might, I’m saying.
Trump: I can hearth him each time I need to hearth him, however I haven’t stated that I used to be going to.
AP: Why don’t you, sir?
Trump: I simply haven’t stated I used to be going to fireside him. We’ll see what occurs. However for those who ask me: Am I thrilled? No, I’m not thrilled.
AP: You’ve stated in the previous, additionally, on the probe, that you simply felt like there have been sure strains that it shouldn’t cross. How involved would you be if it maybe crept shut on concentrating on your loved ones, maybe your eldest son?
Trump: Nicely, I can say this. I knew nothing about the assembly that you simply’re speaking about. My son’s a great younger man. He did what each different individual in Congress would do if any person got here as much as them, stated, ‘Hey, I have information on your opponent.’ I don’t know of any politician. And I feel I can converse for the individuals on this room that might have stated, ‘Oh, gee, information on my opponent and it’s dangerous info?’ Identify me a politician that may have turned that down. There isn’t any such factor as that sort of a politician. In order that’s what they heard. They heard it was about Hillary Clinton. That they had a gathering or he had a gathering with some individuals. The assembly turned a few totally different topic they usually couldn’t get out of the assembly quick sufficient.
Now right here’s the essential factor. After the assembly, nothing occurred. It was like, ‘Hey, let’s get collectively subsequent week. Let’s get collectively tomorrow. Let’s get collectively.’ Nothing occurred out of that assembly. Completely nothing. He did completely nothing flawed. And there’s no one more durable on my son than I’m. And I might inform you, the press has made a pretend information deal out of that assembly. If he did one thing fallacious, I might have been furious. I might by no means actually blame him as a result of I’ve had individuals come as much as me, senators. I’ve had rather a lot of political individuals say, ‘Your son didn’t do something mistaken. That was only a assembly. It was referred to as oppo analysis.’ Lots of the politicians would name it opposition analysis. There was nothing flawed with that. However right here’s extra necessary. Nothing from the day of that assembly. It ended. And for those who take heed to individuals, it sounded prefer it ended like they couldn’t get out quick sufficient. There was nothing mistaken with having an opposition analysis assembly and nothing occurred from the assembly. If that assembly went, ‘Oh, let’s have one other assembly subsequent week or let’s have a gathering tomorrow or let’s begin doing this or that or 100 various things,’ that’s totally different. That’s completely totally different relying on what they have been going to do. However nothing occurred.
AP: The particular counsel has submitted written inquiries to your legal professionals. Have you ever learn these questions? Have you ever been concerned in drafting the response?
Trump: I gained’t reply, however you’re proper — we’re taking a look at sure questions having to do with the phrase collusion. In fact there was no collusion. So we’re taking a look at that, and we’ll make a willpower.
AP: Would you favor to have an in-person interview or do it this manner?
Trump: We’ll see how that works out. You understand that’s in course of. It’s an incredible waste of time for the president of the United States. To assume that I might be even desirous about utilizing Russia to assist me win Idaho. We’re utilizing Russia to assist me win the nice state of Iowa or anyplace else is the most preposterous, embarrassing factor. And I’ll say that the Democrats realize it they usually wink. They’re all laughing. And you realize if I typically hear that Russia likes to sow discord. The phrase is sow, an previous English time period. They wish to sow chaos and discord. Properly, if that’s the case, you gave it to them on a silver platter as a result of that is ridiculous. This was an excuse made by the Democrats for the cause they misplaced the electoral school, which provides them an enormous benefit — an enormous benefit. Very totally different than the fashionable vote. The favored vote can be a lot simpler to win in case you have been campaigning on it. You understand, it’s like operating the 100-yard sprint versus a 10-mile run. You practice in a different way. No one defined that to Hillary Clinton, by the approach. Sometime she’ll determine it out. However profitable the electoral school is an incredible benefit for the Democrats. And this was an excuse for a way they misplaced the election. How they misplaced an election they need to have gained. And one of the causes they misplaced as a result of I occurred to be a terrific candidate. And one more reason they misplaced is that Hillary forgot to marketing campaign in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and I assume she wanted much more time in North Carolina, much more time in South Carolina and much more time in a spot referred to as — an exquisite, sunny, fantastic place— referred to as Florida.
AP: If I might flip to immigration and the households separated at the border.
AP: There are kids who’ve now been reunited with their households who at the moment are displaying indicators of trauma from their separation expertise.
Trump: By the method, many of the youngsters — and that is unlucky, I coated it so properly on ’60 Minutes,’ however they solely placed on items of it, they usually have been superb however you realize they reduce, minimize, reduce as a result of I assume they’ve a lot time, though I heard that they did very properly on the present. Did they do properly?
AP: They only put out some scores.
Trump: So congratulations to them, however I want they might have left the complete reply. When individuals enter our nation illegally, there are penalties to pay. However regardless of the penalties, you could have many youngsters that, sadly, are there with out mother and father. Then you’ve gotten folks that seize youngsters and use them as a prop and it’s a shame. They usually are available with a toddler they usually don’t even know who the youngster is 5 hours earlier than. And that’s a disgrace. That’s a horrible factor what they do.
AP: There are additionally youngsters whose mother and father have been deported.
Trump: They take youngsters they usually use them to attempt to come into our nation. There are numerous, many dangerous issues happening on the border. We now have the worst legal guidelines in the historical past of the world on immigration, and we’re getting them modified one after the other. We’ve made so much of progress in the final couple of weeks even, however we’re getting them modified one after the other. However you’ve got youngsters that we’re taking care of, that don’t even have mother and father no less than anyplace inside a whole lot of miles of the border, and we’re taking these youngsters, caring for these youngsters, and in lots of instances sending them again to their mother and father in nations the place their mother and father didn’t even make the journey up with them, extremely. And a few of these youngsters are actually younger. And we’re, truly, actually, in the present day there was a stupendous assertion put out by the Washington Examiner congratulating us on the nice job we do with youngsters. Now President Obama had the similar regulation; he did the similar factor. And, in reality, the image of youngsters dwelling in cages that was taken in 2014 was an image of President Obama’s administration and the approach they dealt with youngsters. That they had the youngsters dwelling in cages. They thought it was our administration they usually used it after which unbeknownst to them and the pretend information, they came upon, ‘Oh my God, this is a terrible situation.’ This was throughout the Obama administration.
AP: Do you might have any regrets or any regret about how this has impacted youngsters, although?
Trump: Right here’s the factor. I feel we’ve finished an unimaginable job with youngsters. As I simply stated, we’ve taken youngsters who haven’t any mother and father with them standing on the border. We’ve taken many youngsters, and I’m not speaking a few small proportion, I’m speaking a few very giant proportion the place they haven’t any individuals, no mother and father. Along with that, we’re separating youngsters who’re simply met by individuals which are utilizing them coming into the border, not their mother and father. They’re utilizing them coming into the border. The one factor I may also say is that when an individual thinks they won’t be separated, our border turns into overrun with individuals coming in. In order that’s one other drawback. With all of that being stated, we’re getting the legal guidelines modified in order that catch and launch, in order that visa lottery, in order that chain migration and each different type of unimaginable stupidity could be taken out of our system.
White Home Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: I’ll ship you guys the DHS report that has the numbers that present that, like, 75 % of the youngsters have been truly self-separated. Their mother and father selected to return and signed the paperwork to go away their youngsters behind.
Trump: The mother and father would typically come up with their youngsters, depart them at the border and return. So we’re on this place the place we’ve got an harmless younger youngster at the border; there are not any mother and father. We take them in, we look after the youngster after which we get horrible publicity. We must be getting nice publicity, and the Washington Examiner did an incredible piece immediately on the undeniable fact that we’ve completed an incredible job. And President Obama had the similar regulation. And, by the means, he separated youngsters and there are numerous footage of jail cells the place the youngsters have been separate from the mother and father.
OFF THE RECORD
Trump: We ought to be getting credit score for the job we’ve finished.
AP: Turning to overseas coverage, you ran the marketing campaign on bringing American troops residence and the America First coverage.
AP: However at the moment there are extra American troops serving in Afghanistan and in Syria and Iraq, in Africa, in hurt’s means than once you took workplace. How do you clarify to individuals at house?
Trump: The primary factor I’ve to see is, I’ve to see security at house and — not an enormous distinction, by the means — however just a little bit extra. However it’s not much more, it’s somewhat bit extra. I’ve to see security at residence. And if I feel individuals are more likely to do some very dangerous issues in faraway locations to our homeland, I’m going to have troops there for a interval of time. However we’ve completed a superb job. We’ve defeated ISIS. ISIS is defeated in all of the areas that we fought ISIS, and that may have by no means occurred underneath President Obama. In truth, it’s going the different method. And I feel we fought extraordinarily successfully on all the things I’ve needed to do. Now there shall be a sure level the place that takes place.
AP: John Bolton, although, informed us, advised my colleague Jon a pair of weeks in the past that troops aren’t going to return out, aren’t going to go away Syria, till Iran is absolutely out of Syria.
Trump: We’re going to see what occurs. We’re going to see what occurs. I would like, No. 1, the security of our nation. And if meaning knocking the hell out of them, of terrorists, lengthy earlier than they will ever get right here, that’s OK with me. And if I might assist Europe and different locations by doing it, that’s OK with me. They usually’re beginning to pay us for that, by the approach, far more considerably than they ever paid earlier than. You perceive that’s an necessary factor as a result of it’s unfair that the burden is all on us. Because it has been. However we’re … we’ve made … we’ve had large success there. We’ve had super success in North Korea, large success in North Korea.
OFF THE RECORD
AP: On the topic of American troopers and army abroad, why have you ever not but visited a army base in a fight zone like in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Trump: Nicely, I’ll do this sooner or later, however I don’t assume it’s overly needed. I’ve been very busy with all the things that’s happening right here. We’ve the biggest financial system in the historical past of our nation. I imply, that is the biggest financial system we’ve ever had, greatest unemployment numbers. Many teams are, you already know, we’ve by no means even been shut to those numbers. I’m doing rather a lot of issues. I’m doing rather a lot of issues. Nevertheless it’s one thing I’d do. And do gladly. No one has been higher at the army. Hey, I simply obtained them a pay increase. I haven’t had a pay increase in 11 years. I simply obtained them a considerable pay increase. ‘They’ which means our army individuals. I simply obtained them new gear. They’ve stuff that was so previous that the grandfathers used to fly it. I’ve finished extra for the army than any president in lots of, a few years.
OFF THE RECORD
AP: Are you able to give us any replace as to the plans on your subsequent assembly with Kim Jong Un?
Trump: Yeah, we could have one, however it’s going to be after the midterms as a result of I need to keep round right here.
AP: Will it’s right here, in the United States, sir?
Trump: I need to keep round and assist individuals get elected.
AP: Do you assume that assembly can be right here? In the U.S.?
Trump: No, I don’t assume so. I imply, we haven’t set it up but, however I might assume not but. Sooner or later, that may occur, too.
AP: You noticed the numbers, the protection in the final couple of days about deficits. That the projected deficit is a trillion dollars. You railed on President Obama over deficits.
Trump: Excuse me. No. 1, I needed to take care of our army. I had no selection however to do it, and I need to take care of our army. We needed to do issues that we needed to do. And I’ve finished them. Now we’re going to start out bringing numbers down. We even have large numbers with regard to hurricanes and fires and the large forest fires throughout. We had very huge numbers, unexpectedly huge numbers. California does a horrible job sustaining their forests. They’re going to have to start out doing a greater job or we’re not going to be paying them. They’re doing a horrible job of sustaining what they’ve. And we had massive numbers on large numbers with the forest fires and clearly the hurricanes. We received hit in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Georgia. Georgia was hit very exhausting this time. No one even, you realize, treats that one pretty. The farmers acquired hit very, very onerous.
AP: Mitch McConnell stated he needs to think about entitlement reform.
Trump: Needs to think about what?
AP: Entitlement reform — modifications to Social Safety, Medicare, Medicaid.
Trump: That I haven’t heard.
Trump: I haven’t heard that. I’m leaving Social Safety. I’m not touching Social Safety.
AP: I do know we’re fairly brief on time. We have been trying to do sort of a lightning spherical.
AP: You’ve spoken about safety clearances. Do you will have any plans to take any extra clearances away any time quickly?
Trump: Yeah, I do.
AP: From whom?
Trump: Individuals I don’t belief.
AP: Any updates on the White Home counsel?
Trump: Sure. I’ve decided. He’s … you’ve been studying somewhat bit about it. A really effective man, extremely revered by lots of individuals: Pat (Cipollone).
AP: And for the U.N. perm rep? For Ambassador Haley’s job? Have you decided?
Trump: I’ve many individuals that need the job. I’ve such a very good relationship with Nikki. And I’ve talked to her about it, too. I shall be speaking to her about it. However I’ve many individuals that need the job, and I might say I’ll be making that call over the subsequent week or two. They’re going to work with Nikki for a short while. She going to go until the finish of the yr, they usually’ll be working with Nikki.
AP: You’ve been very crucial, the final yr or so, of the NFL. This yr, truly, score are up a bit of bit. What do you make of that? What does that say about …?
Trump: Hey, look, I did the NFL an enormous favor. You recognize that, proper?
AP: By calling consideration to it?
Trump: No. You didn’t know this? You didn’t know this?
AP: Inform us, sir.
Trump: So the NFL was having an incredible drawback with Canada on the Tremendous Bowl and promoting and all types of issues — very difficult topic. And in about two seconds, I received, in about 30 seconds, I received that one fastened up for the NFL. They’re going to make an incredible quantity of further cash as a result of of what I did for them. It was a favor for them and it wasn’t for NFL, it was that this can be a nice American firm. I used to be negotiating towards Canada. And one of the issues, I stated ‘I want the NFL fixed,’ as a result of it needed to do with them protecting revenues from promoting and for not permitting the NFL to promote in Canada. And it was very unfair and everyone knew that and Canada knew it, too. And Canada performs a really robust recreation. So I stated I would like that fastened and no one wrote a narrative about it as a result of why would they ever write about it? And, by the approach, Commissioner Goodell referred to as me final week and he, ‘thank you very much.’ However I settled that for the NFL. It took me actually a few minute as a result of that’s a small deal in comparison with the massive deal. And Canada knew it was the proper factor to do. So I helped an excellent American company. You need to perceive, I like the NFL. I would like the NFL to do nicely. I’ve many associates which might be in the NFL, house owners and others. I would like them to do very properly. I additionally need them standing for the American flag, not kneeling, however I simply helped the NFL settle an issue that they couldn’t accept 15 years or one thing. This has been happening, a vicious battle with Canada, for years. I settled it. And never one individual has written about it. Why don’t you name what you name Commissioner Goodell and ask him. Roger. He referred to as me final week. I assumed he was calling me about the flag to say ‘ceasefire.’ However he didn’t. He referred to as me simply to thank me, and I stated, ‘That was very nice.’ It was a really good telephone name. You must do one thing about it if you would like.
AP: Do you propose to pardon Paul Manafort?
AP: Paul Manafort.
Trump: I by no means even was requested about it. I haven’t considered it. However, you realize, I feel it’s a really unhappy, unhappy state of affairs. And there’s one other factor that had nothing to do with me. That was from years earlier than. You do perceive that, proper? Do you perceive that? Have you learnt these Russian hackers you’re speaking about from Moscow? They don’t have anything to do with me. How many individuals are they? Solely 28 individuals? They don’t have anything to do with me. They have been hackers from Moscow. Some of them supported Hillary Clinton. That they had nothing to do with me. You take a look at all the stuff, it’s simply nothing to do with me.
AP: Figuring out what you already know in the present day, is it nonetheless applicable for Secretary Mnuchin to be going to Saudi Arabia subsequent week?
Trump: Properly, it is determined by what we discover out over the subsequent couple of days. He doesn’t need to make that willpower till Friday, and I feel we’ll even be guided by what different nations are doing. You already know, we’ll take a look at that.
AP: What’s your duty?
Trump: I do assume this. I do assume that they’ve ordered billions, one of the largest army orders in the historical past of the nation. I feel that we harm ourselves excess of we harm Saudi Arabia once we cancel an order like that.
AP: You’ve seen American enterprise leaders, although, pull out of that convention. Do you endorse that transfer?
Trump: Too early to say. I’ve to seek out out what occurred. As soon as they discover out what occurred, I’ll be capable of inform you precisely.
AP: Would you solely serve one time period, Mr. President, should you felt such as you had achieved every little thing you got down to do?
Trump: No. As a result of the different time period … first of all, there’s all the time issues to do. Truly, it’s a really good query as a result of I’ve executed a lot. Individuals have stated that, ‘You’ve carried out a lot. You might have all of it put again collectively. And our nation: Make America Nice Once more.’ They usually do ask me that query. So in the event you do all of the issues that you simply’re doing and also you’re given one other two years, which is quite a bit of time as a result of I’ve executed this in far lower than two years, and people papers just about say it, they do ask that query. There’s all the time one thing to do. And you already know, the new motto is Maintain America Nice. I don’t need any person to destroy it as a result of I can do an incredible job. However the fallacious individual coming in after me sitting proper at this desk can destroy it in a short time, in the event that they don’t do the proper factor. So no I’m undoubtedly operating.
AP: Is there somebody particularly you’d wish to run towards?
Trump: Thus far, all of them. Thus far, all of them. I don’t see any expertise. No expertise.
AP: Nobody you’re nervous about?
Trump: I see no expertise.
AP: Vice President Biden? Or Sen. Warren? Or anybody?
Trump: Nicely, Biden ran twice and truly so much of individuals assume he actually ran a 3rd time, however he was so low in the polls that he by no means registered. However he ran twice. And I name him One % Joe as a result of you recognize he did very poorly after which Obama took him off the trash heap and made him vice chairman. And in a way he did an excellent job as vice chairman, for my part, as a result of Obama appreciated him, and if President Obama didn’t like him, you’d have been listening to about it. So in that sense, he, I feel, he did truly a pleasant job as a result of the president of the United States felt very snug about him. Like, I like my vice chairman very, very a lot. That’s an essential perform.
AP: Thanks very a lot, Mr. President.
Trump: Thanks all.