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Trump, Macron Take Questions as G-7 Summit Ends. Aired 11- 11:30a ET

Aired August 26, 2019 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translation): Because at the end of the day, we have constant exchanges with President Trump. I share his foals. Sometimes we don't agree on methods. But I want to get there. I want to have an agreement. And I think there's been a true change.

And this morning, President Rouhani showed himself to be open to this meeting happening. And President Trump has been saying for weeks that he's been demanding, he's been tough, he's put forward sanctions. But I'm ready to have a meeting to make a deal. I think we're making progress.

I want this meeting to happen and I want there to be an agreement between the United States and Iran. And France will play the role together with United Kingdom and Germany and all the other signatory powers and the permanent members of the Security Council.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Iran is a country that is not the same country that it was two and a half years ago when I came into office. Iran was the number-one state of terror throughout the world.

There were 18 sites of confliction in my first week when I spoke with the folks at the Pentagon, including lots of generals and lots of other military experts, 18 sites of confliction, meaning 18 sites of big problems. Every one of them was backed by Iran or, in some cases, actually using Iranian soldiers.

But at a minimum, Iranian wealth. Much of it given in the ridiculous deal where they were given $150 billion, plus $1.8 billion in cash. And they used that money for some bad purposes.

With that being said, I think that Iran is a country of tremendous potential. We're not looking for leadership change. We're not looking for that kind of change. This country has been through that many times before. That doesn't work.

We're looking for no nuclear weapons, no ballistic missiles and a longer period of time. Very simple. We can have it done in a very short period of time. And I really believe that Iran can be a great nation. I would like to see that happen. But they can't have nuclear weapons.

Thank you. (UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

TRUMP: Excuse me?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: If the circumstances were correct or right, I would certainly agree to that. But in the meantime, they have to be good players. You understand what that means. And they can't do what they were saying they're going to do, because if they do that, they're going to be met with really very violent force. We have no choice. So I think they're going to be good.

I really think they -- and by the way, President Macron told me every step he was making. A lot of you said, oh, he came in. He told me long before he came in what was happening. I didn't think it was appropriate to meet yesterday, too soon, and things have to be worked out first.

But President Macron told me exactly what was happening, who was coming, what time they were coming, where they were going to meet. And after the meeting, he told me exactly what happened. And I think he had a positive meeting.

Prime Minister Abe, of Japan, obviously a large purchaser of oil from Iran, he was also very much involved. And he knows everybody there, so he was a very positive force.

But I have to tell you the president has done an excellent job and we're going to see how it all turns out. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. I say it all the time about everything. Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't.

But I'll tell you what, we made a ridiculous deal. We gave them $150 billion. We gave them $1.8 billion and we got nothing. We got nothing.

And by the way, that agreement was so short-term that it expires in a very short period of time. With a country you don't make a deal that short. Countries last for a long time. And you don't so short-term deals, especially when you're paying that kind of money.

So I have good feelings about Iran. I have good feelings that it will work. I know many Iranians living in New York City, have many friends from Iran. They're incredible people. Incredible people. So the last thing I would like to see is a big problem. But we have to do what we have to do. OK?

Go ahead, please.

No, no. You first, go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you. President Macron, did you seek President Trump's permission before you invited Prime Minister Zarif or did you inform him that he was coming.

MACRON: That's a precise question.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm going to be very clear. We are part of JCPOA. We decided to remain. So we are very much unhappy with the situation as a sovereign country. That's why we want the different parties to move.

On the other side, as President Trump made it very clear over the summer, we never spoke on behalf of other countries. We just tried some solutions and to see if we can find an agreement with different countries.

{11:05:02] So we took an initiative this summer to make a proposal, a technical one. I got the reaction from Iran through President Zarif to visit on Friday morning. After the discussion, we had dinner on Saturday evening. I thought that it was very clear about where we can go together.

So the day after, I decided to invite, as friends, Minister Zarif. So I informed before making it, I informed President Trump that it was my idea, not to involve the United States, not to say this is on behalf of you, of everybody, but to say, as friends, I think it would be a good idea to ask him to go back and try to negotiate something.

So I did it on my own, I informed -- before making it, President Trump was informed about the situation. And the idea for me was in case of an important move and appropriate solutions, perhaps to have meetings between prime ministers.

So this is a French initiative but made by clear information of the U.S. president before, information as well as the three Europeans. And each time I informed President Trump in order to monitor the situation and to appreciate together something more.

TRUMP: I have to say the JCPOA was a bad deal, should not have been entered into. A lot of things could have happened that would have been much different.

They're allowed to test ballistic missiles. You're not allowed to go to various sites to check. And some of those sites are the most obvious sites for the creation or the making of nuclear weapons. And those things have to be changed and other things have to be changed.

And I will tell you, I have very good feelings about it. I think that we're going to do something. It may not be immediately, but I think ultimately we're going to do something. As I said, Iran is a much different country than it was two and a half years ago. And we can get that back and I would encourage it.

I actually had friends years ago, many years ago, they were in the real estate business and they were in Iran and they were building houses and building housing and building office buildings and apartment houses and they did very well. They made a lot of money. And to this day, they're not exactly the youngest developers anymore, but they were young when they went over there. They made a lot of money and they loved the people and they loved what was going on. It's a country with tremendous potential.

I also say that, by the way, with respect to North Korea. Kim Jong- Un, who I've gotten to know extremely well, the first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong-Un, and I think she would agree with me, he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential. You're in between China, Russia and South Korea. People want to get to South Korea, they've got to get there somehow. And if they're going to do anything other than essentially fly, they want to go through. So railroad and everything else. So many things want to happen there.

I think that North Korea has tremendous economic potential. And I think that Kim Jong-Un sees that he would be the leader and I think he sees the tremendous potential that it's got.

With respect to Iran, same thing. Iran is incredible people and incredible country potentially. A location that's a little rough neighborhood, but eventually it's going to be a beautiful neighborhood. I think that it's going to be -- I think it's going to work out. And I really believe that those countries that went into the original deal, that more and more are agreeing with what I did.

But I think those countries are going to be saying thank you some day, I hope they're going to be saying it, including France and including the president, because I think we did the right thing. I know we did the right thing.

If for no other reason, it's just too short. It's almost expiring, if you think about it. And somebody said, you'll go and make an extension. No, no, they're great negotiators. Look at what they did to get the deal. Look at what they did to John Kerry and to President Obama. Look what happened where they're bringing plane loads of cash, plane loads, 757s, Boeing 757s, coming into loaded up with cash. What kind of a deal is that? So I think a lot of good things are going to happen,

[11:10:09] And I just want to say this, because I've spoken a lot with the president this last two and a half days. We've never had a better relationship. We had a lunch that lasted for quite a while that many of you got to see. It was the two of us. No staff, no anything. He wasn't trying to impress his people, I wasn't trying to impress his people. We were just trying to impress each other.

And I'll tell you what, it was the best period of time we've ever had. And we accomplished a lot. I don't mean just, gee whiz, wasn't that nice. He's a very capable man and he's doing a great job for France. He did an incredible job for the G-7.

And I just want to thank you. And you go ahead to your news conference. Very special. This was a very special, very unified two and a half days and I want to thank you for it. Thank you.

MACRON: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

MACRON: I will leave the floor to President Trump and I will wait for the end of your press conference.

(CROSSTALK)

MACRON: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (through translation): I don't want to give anything away, but we saw your wife, the first lady, drink a glass of French wine yesterday. So can you perhaps give up on your threat to put sanctions on French wine? Because if we've understood correctly, you have arrived at an agreement on taxing digital firms. Could you confirm that there has been an agreement between you and France on taxing digital firms?

TRUMP: I can confirm that the first lady loved your French wine. OK?

(LAUGHTER)

She loved your French wine. So thank you very much. That's fine.

MACRON: Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

MACRON: I will wait for the end of this press conference to have a press conference. I will leave the floor to him.

Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you. Good job.

(INAUDIBLE)

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: I can't believe it.

Jonathan?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I want to ask you a question on China. You have recently been saying that China wants to make a deal but you are not necessarily ready for a deal.

TRUMP: We'll start now. Please sit down. Thank you. Thank you. Please sit down.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You recently

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You've recently been saying that China wants a deal but you're not necessarily ready for a deal and you like the tariff revenue that is coming in. Are you now ready to make a deal?

TRUMP: Only if it's a fair deal and a good deal for the United States. Otherwise, I will not make a deal.

We have billions and billions coming in and I think we're going to get there. I do. I believe it more strongly now than I would have believed it a while ago. We're going to get there and we're going to have a fair deal.

Remember this, when you say fair, China has been taking out of this country $500-plus billion a year for many, many years. Many, many years. It was time to stop.

As a private person, I used to talk about it. It's one of the reasons I'm president. And we're in a great position. Our country is doing well. Our unemployment numbers are the lowest they've been in over 50 years. Our unemployment numbers for African-American, Asian, for Hispanic are the best they've ever been. Historic numbers.

We're in a very strong position. Our consumers are strong. Walmart just announced numbers that were mind-boggling numbers. It's a great poll right there. That's the ultimate poll, how the retailer is doing and how certain companies are doing.

So we're doing very well and I think that -- I think we're going to make a deal with China and I think probably eventually we're going to make a deal with Iran, too.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why are you optimistic they'll change their behavior?

TRUMP: It's not a question of behavior. I think they'll make a deal and I think they should make a deal and I think if they don't make a deal it's going to be bad for China.

And I very much appreciate the fact that they came out very late last night and they said they want to make a deal. They want it to be under calm circumstances. It was a little different kind of a statement. I thought it was a beautiful statement. I thought it indicated a lot.

Go ahead. Here we go.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I actually have a question for you on next year's G-7 summit. But can you just clarify something you said. You mentioned earlier today --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: One question. Go ahead.

[11:15:01] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Let me do the clarification and then I'll get to the question.

TRUMP: No, no, no. One question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You talked about calls with China in a breaking news alert.

TRUMP: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I'm trying to understand exactly what you heard from China.

And on next year's G-7, you hinted about hosting next year's G-7 at your property. What reassurances, if any, can you give the American people that you are not looking to profit off the presidency?

TRUMP: I'll tell you what. I've spent -- and I think in a combination of loss and opportunity, probably it will cost me anywhere from $3 billion to $5 billion to be president. And the only thing I care about is this country. Couldn't care less, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

People have asked me, what do you think it costs. And between opportunity not doing things -- I used to get a lot of money to make speeches. Now I make speeches all the time and I get zippo. And I did a lot of good deals and great jobs and great deals that I don't do anymore. And I don't want to because the deals I'm making are great deals for the country and that's, to me, much more important.

Doral happens to be within Miami. It's a city. It's a wonderful place. It's a very, very successful area of Florida. It's very importantly only five minutes from the airport. The airport is right next door. The big international airport, one of the biggest in the world Everybody that's coming, all of these people with all their entourages come.

It's set up - and by the way, my people looked at 12 sites, all good but some were two hours from an April, some were four hours. They were so far away. Some didn't allow this or they didn't allow that.

With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings. They call them bungalows. They each hold from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with different. We have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants. It's like such a nature. We wouldn't have to do the work that they've done here. And they've done a beautiful job. They've really done a beautiful job.

And what we have also is Miami. And we have many hundreds of acres so that in terms of parking, in terms of all of the things that you need. The ball rooms are among the biggest in Florida and the best. It's brand new. And they want -- my people wanted it.

From my standpoint, I'm not going to make any money. In my opinion, I'm not going to make any money. I don't want to make money. I don't care about making money. If I wanted to make money, I wouldn't worry about $3 billion to $5 billion. At some point, I'm going to detail that and will show.

But I think it's just a great place to be. I think having it in Miami is fantastic, really fantastic. Having it at that particular place, because of the way it's set up. Each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow. And the bungalows have a lot of units in them. So I think it works out well. And when my people came back, they took tours and went to different

places. I won't mention places, but you'll have a list because they're going to give a presentation on it soon. They went to places all over the country and they came back and said, this is where we would like it to be.

We had military people doing it and Secret Service people. We had people that really understand what it's about. It's not about me. It's about getting the right location. I think it's very important.

Jonathan?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You're not trying to boost your own brand?

TRUMP: No, not at all.

Go ahead, Jonathan.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. President Macron said he would like to see talks between you and President Rouhani within weeks. Does that sound realistic to you.

TRUMP: It does.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Could you see yourself in talks with Iranians --

TRUMP: Well, I don't know the gentleman. I think that I know him a little bit just by watching him over the last number of years, what's happened. I'll tell you one thing, he's a great negotiator.

But I think he's going to want to meet. I think Iran wants to get this situation straightened out. Is that based on fact or based on gut? That's based on gut.

But they want to get this situation straightened out, Jonathan. They're really hurting badly. Their inflation, as you know, because I've you're your reporting on it, their inflation is through the roof. Their economy has tanked entirely. The sanctions are absolutely hurting them horribly.

I don't want to see that. I don't want to see that. They're great people. I don't want to see that. But we can't let them have a nuclear weapon, can't let it happen. So I think that there's a really good chance that we would meet.

Jeff, please.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. Another follow-up from what the president of France said. He said that there might be a need for compensation to Iran. Would you, given all of the criticism you've made of the JCPOA and all the money they got, be open to giving Iran compensation --

TRUMP: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- if it met some of the criteria that you laid out?

TRUMP: No, what he's talking in terms of compensation is they are out of money and they may need a short-term letter of credit or loan.

No, we're not paying. We don't pay. But they may need some money to get them over a very rough patch. And if they do need money and it would be secured by oil, which to me is great security, and they have a lot of oil, but it's secured by oil. So we're really talking about a letter of credit type facility.

[11:20:14] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: From the U.S.?

TRUMP: It would be from numerous countries, from numerous countries. And it comes back. It would expire. It would be paid back immediately and very quickly.

Yes, go ahead, please. Go ahead, yes

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I am with the Japanese newspaper.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I just left your Prime Minister Abe, good man. Great man.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: OK. And now the U.S. and Japan have an agreement in principle with a tremendous trade deal for the United States. So --

TRUMP: And for Japan. And for Japan, both.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So are you still considering imposing Section 232 tariffs on Japan's older exports to the United States on national security grounds?

TRUMP: Not at this moment, no, not at this moment. Well, that's one of the reasons we made the deal. But, no, not at this moment. It's something I could do at a later date if I wanted to. But we're not looking at that. We just want to be treated fairly.

Japan has had a tremendous trade surplus with the United States for many years, long before I came here.

And I'll tell you something, we're transforming our country. We're taking these horrible one-sided foolish, very dumb, stupid, if I would like to use that word, because it's so descriptive, we're taking these trade deals that are so bad and we're making good, solid deals out of them. And that's transforming our country. That will be transformative and very exciting, I think, for our country. Very, very exciting.

Please, go ahead. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Well, I didn't actually say you. I said the woman behind you. Why don't we do her first. You've been asking a lot of questions all day long.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: They say I don't give you access, right?

Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thanks, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why do you think it's appropriate to invite Russia to the G-7, given that they've meddled in the 2016 election? And are you worried that if Russia does come to the G-7 that it might hurt you politically because it's only going to be a couple of months before the 2020 election?

TRUMP: I don't care politically. A lot of people don't understand this. I ran one election and I won. It happened to be for president. I don't care politically. I'm going to run another election. I think I'm winning based on polls that we see. Whether I win or not, I have to do the right thing. So I don't do things for political reasons.

Is it good? Probably not. Maybe it is. A lot of people are smart. A lot of people say having Russia, which is a power, having them inside the room is better than having them outside the room.

By the way, there were numerous people during the G-7 that felt that way. And we didn't take a vote or anything, but we did discuss it.

My inclination is to say yes, they should be in. Really, it was a president -- I'm not blaming him, but a lot of bad things happened with President Putin and President Obama.

One of the things that happened was, as you know, what happened with a very big area, a very, very big and important area in the Middle East where the red line was drawn and then President Obama decided that he was not going to do anything about it. You can't draw red lines in the sand. You just can't do it.

And the other was in Ukraine having to do with a certain section of Ukraine that you know very well, where it was sort of taken away from President Obama. Not taken away from President Trump, taken away from President Obama.

President Obama was not happy that this happened because it was embarrassing to him, right? It was very embarrassing to him. And he wanted Russia to be out of the what was called the G-8. That was his determination. He was outsmarted by Putin. He was outsmarted. President Putin outsmarted President Obama. And I can understand how President Obama would feel. He wasn't happy. And they're not in for that reason.

Now, I'm only thinking about the world and I'm thinking about this country in terms of the G-7, whether it's G-7, G-8. I think it would be better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent.

Do we live either way? Yes, we live either way. Is it politically popular for me to say that? Possibly not. I think a lot of people would agree with me, frankly, but possibly not.

I do nothing for politics. I know of you are going to smile at that. I do nothing for politics. I do what's right. And people like what I do. But I just do what's right. If I wanted to go strictly by politics I would probably poll that and say I don't want Russia in. But I really think it's good for security of the world, it's good for the economics. Remember, they're building a big pipeline in Europe going right up to Germany.

[11:25:10 ]And I said to Angela, who I have a great relationship, and I said, you know, you pay Russia billions of dollars and then we defend you from Russia. And I say how does that work?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But isn't it a misleading statement that Russia outsmarted President Obama --

TRUMP: Well, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- when other countries have said the reason Russia was kicked out is because they annexed Crimea. Why would you keep repeating a lie?

TRUMP: If it was during my term, I would say, sorry, folks, I made a mistake. President Obama was helping Ukraine. Crimea was annexed during his term. It's a very big area and important area. Russia has its submarine. That's where they do the submarine work and they dock large and powerful submarines but not as powerful as ours and not as large. But they have their submarines,

And President Obama was pure and simply outsmarted. They took Crimea during his term. That was not a good thing. It could have been stopped with the right whatever. It could have been stopped. But President Obama was unable to stop it and it's too bad.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: As the G-7 host next year, you're allowed to in invite other guest countries to come. Would you consider inviting Vladimir Putin under those circumstances?

TRUMP: I don't know that he would accept. Those are tough circumstances. He was a part and, all of a sudden, he's not in. So I think that's a pretty tough thing for him. He's a proud person.

Would I invite him? I would certainly invite him. Whether or not he could come, psychologically, I think that's a tough thing for him to do. You have a G-8, now it's a G-7 and you invite the person that was thrown out really by President Obama and really because he got outsmarted. President Obama, pure and simple. And don't forget, it was not just Crimea, it was the red line in the

sand. And Obama said never violate the red line in the sand. And then they went ahead and they killed many children with gas. It was terrible. And he did nothing about it. I did. But I was there years later. I did something about it, but I was there late.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, sir. Can you help us understand the timeline on the China calls? Were you referring to the statement by the --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: We've had many calls. The Secretary Mnuchin is here and you've had many calls over the last 24 hours, but certainly over the last 48 hours. We've had many calls, not just one. These are high- level calls.

They want to make a deal. And by the way, I think a deal is going to be made. But they want to make a deal.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So the Chinese are saying that there weren't any --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: The Chinese are not saying that.

Excuse me. Let me explain something. The vice chairman of China -- you don't get higher than that other than President Xi. The vice president, the vice chairman -- it's like the vice president. The vice chairman made the statement that he wants to make a deal, that he wants to see a calm atmosphere. He wants it all to happen. That says it there.

You know, you folks were reporting before, well, we can't find any phone call. He released a statement. I didn't release it. He released a statement.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But there were phone calls, sir?

TRUMP: Numerous calls.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: And not only with Steve. There were calls with other people, too.

Just so you understand, China wants to make a deal. Whether or not we make a deal, it's got to be a great deal for us. And I told this to President Xi, who I really respect. I have great respect and I like him. He's a tough guy. But I have a lot of feeling for President Xi. He's very outstanding in so many ways. But I told him very strongly, I said look, you're starting up here and

you're making $500 billion a year and stealing our intellectual property. We're down on the floor, lower than the floor. You can't make a 50/50 deal. This has to be a deal that's better for us. And if it's not better, let's not do business together. I don't want to do business.

Forget about tariffs for a second. Forget about that. I don't want to do business. Now, when I raise and he raises, we can never catch up. We have to balance our trading relationship at least to an extent. And they were unwilling to do that. And we'll never have a deal if that happens. But it's going to happen, because they have to have a deal.

And as far as phone calls are concerned, secretary of the Treasury and other people have been receiving many calls. Not receiving, back and forth, many calls.

[11:30:00]