Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure | Beaufort County Now

Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure president, donald trump, dnlds wht hs, remarks, air force one, august 19, 2019
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Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure

    Press Release:

Municipal Airport  •  Morristown, New Jersey  •  August 18  •  4:32 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: So, we had a lot of meetings yesterday on Afghanistan, on the economy - which is doing very well. We have the strongest economy, by far, in the world. The tariffs have cost nothing, in my opinion, or certainly very little. We have import prices from, and through, July - all the way through July. And they're down 1.8 percent so that the import prices have actually gone down.

    China is eating the tariffs because of monetary manipulation. And also, they're pouring a lot of money into their country because they don't want to lose jobs. They're losing, as you probably know, because you reported it, but they lost over 2 million jobs in a short period of time. And they want to make a deal; we'll see what happens. But they definitely want to make a deal.

    I'd like to see Hong Kong worked out in a very humanitarian fashion. I hope President Xi can do it. He sure has the ability, I can tell you that, from personal knowledge. He certainly has the ability to do it if he wants to. So, I'd like to see that worked out in a humanitarian fashion. I think it would be very good for the trade deal that we're talking about.

    And other than that, if you have any questions?

    Q   What's the status of your deliberations on the Afghanistan - the troop withdrawal and where things stand?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, we're looking at Afghanistan. We're talking to Afghanistan, both the government and also talking to the Taliban, having very good discussions. We'll see what happens. We've really got it down to, probably, 13,000 people. And we'll be bringing it down a little bit more, and then we'll decide whether or not we'll be staying longer or not. We're having very good discussions with the Taliban. We're having very good discussions with the Afghan government.

    Q   What's the argument for staying?

    THE PRESIDENT: I think just that we've been there for 19 years. We're like a police force. And that's about it, frankly.

    I think it's very important that we continue intelligence there, in all cases, because it is somewhat of a nest for hitting us. If you look at what happened with the World Trade, it essentially came out of Afghanistan. Most of the people, I think, they may not have come from Afghanistan originally, but that's where they were taught. So there's a big argument to be made. And I buy that argument.

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    You know, it's very tough when somebody says, "Well, this is a big breeding ground." And it is a breeding ground. And we have things under control very well with a small force. We can probably make it a little bit smaller, and then we'll decide. It'll depend on the Taliban. It'll depend on the Afghan government. But there is a case to be made. And the case also is that we're going to be leaving very significant intelligence behind for just the reasons I stated.

    Q   Have you spoken to President Xi, sir?

    THE PRESIDENT: I can't comment on that. Can't do it, Maggie.

    Q   Can you comment at all on where things stand in terms of the China negotiations? You said there was progress.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think President Xi obviously has this in mind because he probably would've acted faster. So I think he has at least something in mind, having to do with trade, because it's something he could do fairly easily. It could be, unfortunately, very ruthless. So I do think it plays on his mind, and I do think he - he's thinking about what I've had to say. It would have an impact on trade; there's no question about it.

    Q   Is there any U.S. land holding that you would be willing to do in exchange -

    THE PRESIDENT: Little louder, Maggie.

    Q   In order to get your interest in Greenland, which has been widely reported, is there anything -

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, Greenland, I don't know - it got released somehow. It's just something we talked about. Denmark essentially owns it. We're very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up and I said, "Certainly, I'd be. Strategically, it's interesting, and we'd be interested." But we'll talk to them a little bit. It's not number one on the burner, I can tell you that.

    Q   Would you ever make an exchange with them of any kind for U.S. territories?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, a lot of things can be done. I mean, essentially, it's a large real estate deal. A lot of things can be done. It's hurting Denmark very badly because they're losing almost $700 million a year carrying it. So they carry it at a great loss. And, strategically, for the United States, it would be nice. And we're a big ally of Denmark, and we help Denmark and we protect Denmark, and we will.

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    In fact, I'm supposed to stop. I'm thinking about going there. I'm not necessarily definitely going there, but I may be going. We're going to Poland and then we may be going to Denmark - not for this reason at all. But we're looking at it. It's not number one on the burner.

    Q   Mr. President, sir, back to Afghanistan. Two questions on that. First of all, have you seen the reports about the suicide bomber at a wedding? There were more than 60 people killed. And so, why then could you trust the Taliban to keep Afghanistan safe from terrorists when you have a suicide bomber killing so many people there?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm not trusting anybody. Look, I'm not trusting anybody. It's a horrible situation that's going on in Afghanistan. It has been for many years. Russia tried to do something. And at the time they did it, they were the Soviet Union, and now they're Russia. They spent all their wealth on trying to do something in that land. There have been many, many great nations in that land. It's a difficult territory.

    There are a lot of very good people there, I will say, but they're also good fighters. We have it very much under control as far as what we're doing. But the rest is - you know, a lot of bad things happen in Kabul. A lot of bad things are happening in Afghanistan, and some very positive things.

    But we would - look, we're there for one reason: We don't want that to be a laboratory. Okay? It can't be a laboratory for terror. And we've stopped that, and we have a very, very good view. I mean, some things are going to be announced over the next couple of weeks as to what happened, who's been taken out. A lot of people have been taken out that were very bad - both ISIS and al Qaeda.

    Q   And Senator Lindsey Graham said that for you to withdraw the U.S. troops from Afghanistan and entrust the Taliban would be the biggest mistake since Obama's Iran nuclear deal.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I guess that means Lindsey is a very tough man, isn't he? Huh?

    Okay. What else?

    ...

    Read the full transcript HERE.


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