White House South Lawn Washington D.C. August 9 9:49 A.M. EDT
So, we're doing very well with China. We're talking to China. We're not ready to make a deal, but we'll see what happens. But, you know, we've been hurt by China for 25, 30 years. Nobody has done anything about it. And we have no choice but to do what we're doing.
It's working out very well, as you know. We called them on manipulation and they brought their numbers back, and they brought them back rapidly. And they were able to do that because they manipulate. But that's - so it's called "monetary manipulation." Not good.
But what happened and what's happening with China now - we have an open dialogue. We'll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September. If we do, that's fine. If we don't, that's fine. But it's time that somebody does what we're doing.
And I said, the American taxpayer is not paying for it. We had a big day in stock market yesterday, but the American taxpayer is not paying for it.
What China is doing is, by depressing their currency and by pouring tremendous amounts of money into their system, they're paying for it. The prices have not gone up. So when the Amer- - in fact, in some cases, they've gone down because the devaluation, plus the money supply - the amount of money that they pour in, which is a form of manipulation - has more than compensated for an increase in price.
So, as I said - and everybody questioned it - in the case of China, the tariffs have been amazing. We're taking in billions and billions of dollars. Now, China has had their worst year in 35 years now. It was in 26 years, but now it's in 35 years. I want them to do well. But as of this moment, they're having the worst year that they've had in many, many years - in decades. And really, we're just bringing the system back into order.
We have all the cards. We're doing well. Our country is doing fantastically well. You look at Europe; they've got problems. In fact, the biggest problem we have is the fact that a lot of other - continents, frankly - but a lot of other countries are not doing well. But we're doing great, and we continue to do great. Our companies are poised. They have a lot of cash. Our system is beautiful.
Mr. President, the NRA has been a strong supporter and ally of yours, going all the way back to the campaign. Can you take a position at odds with the NRA on background checks?
I think I could, but I don't think I'll be there. I have a great relationship with the NRA. They supported me very early, and that's been a great decision they made. We have Justice Kavanaugh. We have Justice Gorsuch. And they feel very strongly about the Second Amendment.
The NRA has made a great decision in supporting me, and nobody else would have won, aside from everything else. I have a very good relationship. I'll change it: I have a great relationship with the NRA. I have a lot of respect for the people at the NRA. And I have already spoken to them on numerous occasions. Numerous occasions.
And, frankly, we need intelligent background checks, okay? This isn't a question of NRA, Republican, or Democrat. I will tell you, I spoke to Mitch McConnell yesterday. He's totally onboard. He said, "I've been waiting for your call."
He is totally onboard. I spoke to senators that, in some cases, people - friends of mine - but pretty hardline senators. Hardline. And when I say that, I say that in a positive way. Hardline on the Second Amendment. And they understand.
We don't want insane people, mentally ill people, bad people, dangerous people - we don't want guns in the hands of the wrong people. I think that the Republicans are going to be great and lead the charge along with the Democrats.
I spoke yesterday to Nancy Pelosi. We had a great talk. I spoke to Chuck Schumer. We had a great talk. And Chuck Schumer, in particular, loves my China policy, as you probably know. I said, "I can't believe it. You actually like something that I'm doing."
He said, "Not 'like.' Love."
So Chuck Schumer is - he's great on the China situation, which we are winning and winning big. And China wants to do something, but I'm not ready to do anything yet. Twenty-five years of abuse. I'm not ready so fast. So we'll see how that works out.
But on the background checks - on background checks, we have tremendous support for really commonsense, sensible, important background checks.
Mr. President, you expressed support for background checks after Parkland. Why is now different?
Time goes by. I don't think I'm different, but I think the Senate is different. I think other people in the House are different. I think that people that maybe had their arm up a couple of years ago, maybe they feel differently. I don't think I feel any differently.
I think with a lot of success that we have, I think I have a greater influence now over the Senate and over the House.
Can it get done now? Can it get done now?
I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some really meaningful background checks. We don't want people that are mentally ill, people that are sick - we don't want them having guns. Who does?
Mr. President, but if the NRA does not support that effort, will you fight them on it?
Well, we'll see where the NRA will be. But we have to have meaningful background checks. You know, in the case of - in both cases, it's possible they wouldn't have been caught.
But in the one case, we also have to talk about age, because he did things that were very, very bad in Ohio, in Dayton. He did some things that were really bad. His school knew about it. When he turned 18, everything was expunged. We're going to have to get rid of that because you can't have that barrier. If they would have had that barrier, they would have been able to see. But because he was a minor, it was expunged. We're going to have to get rid of that barrier.
I think this: I think a lot of really meaningful things on background checks will take place, including red flags, including a lot of other very, very important items. And the Republicans are looking at it very seriously. And I really believe that the NRA - I've spoken to them numerous times - they're really good people. They're great patriots. They love our country. They love our country so much. And, frankly, I really think they're going to get there also.
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