White House Cabinet Room Washington D.C. October 21 11:42 A.M. EDT
Okay. Thank you very much. We have a Cabinet meeting. We'll have a few questions after grace. And, if you would, Ben, please do the honors.
Our kind Father in Heaven, we're so thankful for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us in this country. And we're thankful for the people of courage who have been here before us, who have fought hard for the rights of our country.
And we thank you for President Donald Trump, who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism. And we ask that you would give him strength to endure and the wisdom lead, and to recognize you as the sovereigns of the universe with the solution to everything.
And the people around the President - the Vice President, the Cabinet, the advisors - give us all an understanding heart and a compassionate heart. Those are the things that will keep America great. And help us all to recognize as a nation that separation of church and state means that the church does not dominate the state, and it means the state does not dominate the church. It doesn't mean that they cannot work together to promote godly principles of loving your fellow man, of caring about your neighbor, of developing your God-given talents to the utmost so that you become valuable to the people around you, and having values and principles that govern your life.
And if we do those things, then we will always be successful. And we thank you for hearing our prayer, in your Holy name. Amen.
All right, thank you, Ben. That was a great job. Appreciate it.
The economy is doing fantastically well. It's getting very close to another record. We've had many records since we won office. We're getting very close to another record. I don't know if anybody saw it: The household median income for eight years of President Bush, it rose $400. For eight years of President Obama, it rose $975. And for two and half years of President Trump - they have it down as two and a half years - it rose $5,000, not including $2,000 for taxes. So it rose, let's say, $7,000. So in two and a half years, we're up $7,000, compared to $1,000, compared to $400. And that's for eight years and eight years.
That's a number that just came out, but that's a number that I don't know how there could be any dispute or any - I've never heard a number like that, meaning the economy is doing fantastically well.
We need - for our farmers, our manufacturers, for, frankly, unions and non-unions, we need USMCA to be voted on. If it's voted on, it'll pass. It's up to Nancy Pelosi to put it up. If she puts it up, it's going to pass. It's going to be very bipartisan. It's something that's very much needed. It'll be hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Mexico and Canada have approved it; it's done. They're waiting for our approval. And we can't seem to get the votes. I call them the Do-Nothing Democrats; I mean that. They've done nothing. But this is something they can do very easily. We'll give them bipartisan approvals and credits - all the credits they want - but they have to be able to do it.
So the economy is doing fantastically well. We want to vote on USMCA. We have other trade deals that we've done. We've done South Korea, which is a fantastic deal for us; it turned out even better than we thought. South Korea was a terrible deal. The person in charge of that particular deal, Hillary Clinton - you've heard of her; she's the one that's accusing everybody of being a Russian agent. Anybody that is opposed to her is a Russian agent. So that's a scam that was pretty much put down.
Tulsi - I don't know Tulsi, but she's not a Russian agent. I don't know Jill Stein. I know she likes environment. I don't think she likes Russians. If she does like them, I know she's not a asset. She called her an "asset" of Russia. These people are sick. There's something wrong with them.
But I think that Tulsi Gabbard probably got helped quite a bit by this stir. I think we were helped because it shows, for two and half years, we end up winning. I had to go through two and a half years. If she would have done this earlier, people would have realized what a scam it is. Everybody is a Russian or a Russian agent or a Russian asset.
The economy, again, is at a level that it's never been. We are doing - whether it's household income, whether it's almost any chart - and I think maybe the best of all is unemployment. Unemployment has reached historic lows. African American, Asian American, Hispanic American reached numbers that nobody ever thought would be possible. Had the lowest ever in history.
So, if you're black, if you're Hispanic, if you're Asian - anybody - African American, Hispanic American, Asian: the lowest in history. For women, the lowest in 71 years. The best. When I say "lowest," I'm talking about the best. Both the best unemployment numbers and the best employment numbers - either way you want to cut it. You can say them both because it's best in both.
As far as employment is concerned, we have the most people working today than ever before in the history of our country. We've never had - there's close to 160 million people. So it's - some incredible things are happening.
Syria: We will be giving a much fuller report. Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Esper, and the different people that are very much involved. Mike Pence, Vice President.
We are having very good news coming out. The ceasefire is holding. The Kurds are moving out to safer areas beyond the "safe zone," as we call it. Having the safe zone is not a bad thing; it's a good thing. And plenty of Turks have been killed because of conflict on their border. So, you know, you have to look at it both ways. But the ceasefire is absolutely holding. There's been skirmishes, but very little, relatively speaking. Of course, if you watch the fake news, it's like pretty - pretty wild. It's really holding.
I've watched these pundits that have been working on this thing for 20 years. They've been working on the Middle East for 20 years; they don't know what they're doing and they're telling me what to do. They're saying, "What did Trump get out of it? What did he get out of it?" I'll tell you what I get out of it: We won't be fighting, and we'll bring our soldiers back home. They were supposed to be there for 30 days, and they've been there now for 10 years, in Syria. Ten years. They were supposed to go in, do a quick hit on ISIS, and come out.
Now, as far as ISIS is concerned, when I took over - November, 2016 - ISIS was all over the place. I'm the one - meaning it was me and this administration, working with others, including the Kurds - that captured all of these people that we're talking about right now.
Because President Obama - it was a mess. And I was told and you were told, and everybody told it would be years before you ever did what I did in about a month and a half after I started. I went over to Iraq, I met with our generals, and we figured out a plan, and it was done within a month and a half. I'm the one that did the capturing. I'm the one that knows more about it than you people or the - or the fake pundits.
But I sort of have to smile to myself. I was telling a couple of people - I'm watching these people that I've been watching for 20 years. I've been watching the same faces; they're just a little bit older and a little bit grayer. I've been watching them for 20 years, saying about the Middle East. And they've been wrong on everything they've ever said.
And now, all of a sudden, people are starting to say, "You know, what Trump is doing is great." And we have tremendous - a tremendous power. Because since the election of 2016, November - since that beautiful day, our country has picked up in value trillions and trillions of dollars of worth. Trillions and trillions of dollars. Numbers that nobody would believe. Numbers, if I would have said it on the campaign trail, I would've been - I would've been excoriated by the fake media. Excoriated.
The numbers are far greater than anything that even I predicted. You hear that with the household median income. Four hundred dollars for eight years. Nine hundred and seventy-five dollars for eight years. Seven thousand dollars for two and half years - up. Nobody has ever seen numbers.
Larry Kudlow is going to speak in a minute, and he's going to tell you that's one of the greatest strengths of our country.
And, by the way, other areas and countries are doing poorly. Europe is doing very poorly. Asia is doing very poorly. China is doing very poorly - worst year they've had in 57 years. I wonder why. I wonder why. I'm sure you can't figure it out.
And we're doing great. We're taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs from China, and they're eating the tariffs because they devalued their currency. And they're pouring money into their economy because they don't want to lose the jobs, but they are losing the jobs. They've having a terrible year. Worst in 57 years, they say.
And if they say that, it means it's worse. And they announced that they have the worst numbers they've had in 20 years. They announced six. I don't think it's six; I think it's probably minus-something. It could very well be minus. It could very well be in negative territory.
But we're doing great. And, by the way, the deal with China is coming along very well. They want to make a deal because they sort of have to make a deal, I think. They have to make a deal because their supply chain is going down the tubes. Their supply chain is broken like you've never seen anything broken before. It's broken.
So, our soldiers - on Syria, they're moving out, very nicely. ISIS is being held by the Kurds. And I have an absolute commitment from Turkey that they're watching them, just in case. So we have a double: We have the Kurds are watching them.
As you know, most of the ISIS fighters that we captured - "we." We. Not Obama. We. We captured them. Me. Our country captured them, working with others, including the Kurds. And we helped them, don't forget. We helped the Kurds. Everyone said the Kurds helped us; that's true. But we helped the Kurds. They're no angels, but we helped the Kurds.
And we never gave the Kurds a commitment that we'd stay for the next 400 years and protect them. They've been fighting with the Turks for 300 years, that people know of. And nobody ever committed, "Gee, if you do this, we're going to do that, and we're going to stay with you forever." Nobody ever said that.
But when I watch these pundits that always are trying to take a shot, I say - they say, "What are we getting out of it?" You know what we're getting out of it? We're bringing our soldiers back home. That's a big thing. And it's going to probably work. But if it doesn't work, you're going to have people fighting like they've been fighting for 300 years. It's very simple. It's really very, very simple.
But we're going to bring our soldiers back home. So far, there hasn't been one drop of blood shed during this whole period by an American soldier. Nobody was killed. Nobody cut their finger. There's been nothing. And they're leaving rather, I think, not expeditiously - rather intelligently. Just leaving. Leaving certain areas. Leaving.
We've secured the oil. If you remember, I didn't want to go into Iraq. I was a civilian, so I had no power over it. But I always was speaking against going into Iraq. It was not a great decision. But I always said, "If you're going in, keep the oil." Same thing here: Keep the oil. We want to keep the oil.
And we'll work something out with the Kurds so that they have some money, they have some cash flow. Maybe we'll get one of our big oil companies to go in and do it properly. But they'll have some cash flow, which they basically don't have right now. Everybody is fighting. It's not a big oil area, but everybody is fighting for whatever there is. So we have a lot of good things going over there, and they're going very well.
As far as the continuation of the witch hunt, we beat the Russian deal. We beat the Mueller deal. Now I find out, as I said before, that they're trying to make other people into Russian agents, Russian assets. It has no credibility.
Now they have what should be extremely easy to beat, because I have a perfect phone call. I made a perfect call - not a good call; a perfect call. In fact, a friend of mine, who's a great lawyer, said, "Did you know this would be the subject of all of this scrutiny? Because the way you expressed yourself, this is like a perfect call. You must've known this was going to happen." No, I didn't. That's just the way I talk to the President of Ukraine - who, by the way, said there was no pressure, there was no blackmail, there was no anything.
And Congressman Hurd - I have to tell you, yesterday, he was great. He was great, what he said. I gained a lot of respect for him very quickly, because he said, "You know, with all of this going on, I haven't heard one Ukrainian saying there was pressure. I haven't heard one Ukrainian - not one - say that there was pressure of any kind." There haven't even been reports of it to our people. Nobody has even said it. And the reason you haven't heard it - because there is no pressure.
The conversation I had was perfect. And what happened is I released the conversation, and that threw Shifty Schiff off. Crooked - he was a corrupt politician. Schiff is a corrupt politician. That threw him off because he made up a lie. He made up what I said in my conversation. And he went before the United States Congress, and he said a made-up story; it was fabricated. He totally fabricated it. They said he's - he's a screenwriter. Well, this was screenwritten. It was a fabricated story.
So he made up a lie, and I released - they never thought that I'd do this - I released a transcription, done by stenographers, of the exact conversation I had. And now, the game was up.
And the other thing is, the whistleblower and the other whistleblower and the informer - all these people - they'd seemed to have disappeared. You know why they disappeared? Because they talked about another conversation - a conversation that I never had. They made up a conversation.
Now, if you look at the whistleblower report and you look at the actual transcribed conversation - the actual conversation that I had - and you couple that with the President saying that that was a perfectly fine conversation - I don't even know - he didn't even know what they're doing. He didn't even know about the money not being paid. Okay? I think that came out somewhere, that the money - he didn't know that. Then you also have his foreign minister saying, "No, it was a very good conversation." There was no anything asked for. There was no pressure whatsoever.
So this is a phony investigation. I watched a couple of people on television today talking about it. They were talking about what a phony deal it is, what a phony investigation it is. And Republicans have to get tougher and fight. We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up, where we're doing very well. We had a record crowd - the history of the arena - it's the biggest crowd they've ever had. And we had 20,000 people outside, at least. We're doing great on the election.
You saw what happened in North Carolina. We picked up two seats that people didn't think we were going to pick up. That was two weeks ago. Last week, a Governor that people thought was okay went down, and now he's got a big election. He was under 50 percent; nobody thought that was going to happen. We're doing very well.
But a lot of these stories that are made up, between a guy like Shifty Schiff - who's a phony guy, a corrupt politician - the media buys it. Because, unfortunately, the media is corrupt also. Much of the media - so much of it, such a big percentage of it. It's such a shame. Some great reporters and great journalists, but some really bad people. So, that's the story.
The economy is good. We're doing well with getting out, finally, after 10 years. Again, 30 days to 10 years. And we're getting out. Nobody - none of our people are injured. It's very smooth thus far. And I think that you're going to see something that's going to be good.
Remember this: If Turkey misbehaves - I don't think they will - but we have a power that nobody thought we had, to the extent. It's called sanctions. It's called tariffs. We'll tariff the hell out of their product coming here. They send tremendous amounts of steel to the United States and other things. We will tariff them and we will sanction them. But I don't want to use that as a threat because Mike Pence and our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, they went out and they negotiated a very good five-day ceasefire. I'm sure if we needed a little extension, that would be happening. But our power is - our power of economics, it's very powerful.
We've rebuilt the military since November of 2016. Our military was totally depleted from being in stupid situations like this for so many years. Our military was depleted to a level that we had very little ammunition. I was actually told we had no ammunition. Now we have more ammunition than we've ever had. Our military is stronger - stronger than it's ever been. Probably stronger than ever. And in a few short months, as the equipment pours in from the money we spent - two and a half trillion dollars - it will be at a level that it's never even come close to. It's a big difference. All made in the USA. All made in the USA.
So, we're doing very well. And if anybody has any questions? Please.
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