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Pool Reports of October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

Pool Reports by Michael Crowley, The New York Times

Sent: Reports:
October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #1 / good morning

?Good morning from the White House, where I will be your pooler on this balmy autumn day. The pool has been Covid tested.

Nothing on the schedule until the president's departure at 1:30pm for Florida, where he has two rallies before overnighting at Mar-a-Lago.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #2 / McEnany gaggle

?WH press secretary Kayleigh McEnany just gaggled in the driveway after a Fox News hit. C-Span has video here:

Topics included last night's debate ("He is quite happy"), stimulus negotiations (Democrats are not "serious"), and safety of Trump rallies amid Covid. ("You have a right to go to a political rally in this country.")

McEnany, who did not wear a mask, also said the president has not asked Attorney General Barr to open an investigation into the Biden family. ("The media is really the avenue that that should be doing that.")

She would not elaborate on the official WH statement this morning on Sudan and whether normalization with Israel could follow soon. ("I would just say stay tuned.")

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #3 / Oval - Sudan-Israel

?Pool was called to the Oval where President Trump is on a speakerphone call with the leaders of Israel and Sudan, whom he said have made "peace." Kushner, Pompeo, Mnuchin, O'Brien and several officials here. Netanyahu was speaking as we entered.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #4 / more from Oval

?The leader of Sudan, via speakerphone, thanked Potus for removing his country from the US list of terrorism state sponsors and said it would have a major economic impact.

Potus notes that today's deal follows recent Israeli agreements with Bahrain and the UAE.

Netanyahu: "We are expanding their circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership."

Trump said "there are many, many more coming."

"This is one where there's no blood in the sand."

Also here: Avi Berkowitz, Brian Hook.

They and almost all Trump officials here are maskless. Perhaps 40-50 people in Oval right now.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #5 / More Oval and photos

Potus and others have provided few details about the nature of the agreement between Israel and Sudan, including whether it constitutes full diplomatic normalization.

Kushner, Pompeo, O'Brien, Berkowitz, gave brief remarks.

"The Arab-Israeli conflict is moving towards an end," Iran envoy Brian Hook says.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows, who is not standing with Trump, is among the few officials wearing a mask.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #6 / "Sleepy Joe" and more

?Potus did not answer when asked if this latest deal constitutes full normalization of diplomatic ties. Asked in the same question about US F-35 fighter sales to the UAE, he said "that process is moving along."

At one point Trump asked Netanyahu about US politics: "Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal?"

Netanyahu: "Uh... one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from *anyone* in America."

(As always please check quotes against official.)

Potus also complained that Ethiopia has, he said, broken a deal brokered in part by Mnuchin over a water dispute with Egypt. With the phone still active he is pressing Sudan's Prime Minister to "work on that" with Ethiopia.

"They broke the deal," he says.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #7 / debate, stimulus, Armenia-Azerbaijan

?"I thought I did great" last night, Potus says.

"It's two different styles. I can do different styles"

Mnuchin on stimulus: "The Speaker on a number of issues is still dug in." Says if she wants a deal there will be a deal.

Trump: "I don't think she wants the people to get the money before the election."

Trump says he is involved in brokering between Armenia-Azerbaijan but won't say whether he has spoken to either leader. Praises Armenian-American community.

Netanyahu continued to jump in via speakerphone, including on getting "a better deal, a real deal" with Iran, in this unusual multinational pool spray.

Pool exited the Oval at 12:22 after about 40 minutes. As pool exited, Potus had picked up his handset to bid farewell to the leaders still on the line.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #8 / fuller quotes from Oval 1

?On the phone along with PM Netanyahu, according to Trump, were Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and, if pool heard correctly, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the chairman of Sudan's Sovereign Council. (Pool has asked WH to confirm the latter as it was hard to heard.)

"The State of Israel and the Republic of Sudan, have agreed to make peace," Trump said near the top.

"For many many years they've been at odds, to put it nicely and didn't normalize their relations"

"This will be the third country where we're doing this — and we have many, many more coming. We have, they're coming at us hot and heavy in the coming weeks."

Trump said the countries "will meet to negotiate cooperation agreements in agriculture, technology, aviation, migration and other critical areas."

"This historic deal comes just a few weeks after the groundbreaking agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Israel and Bahrain."

"Now multiple Arab countries across two continents have made peace with Israel."

"This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan. For decades Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel — they have been in a state of war and boycotted Israeli goods, there was no relationship whatsoever."

"Today's peace agreement will enhance is your security and end Sudan's long isolation from the world."

"It's peace in the Middle East without bloodshed."

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #9 / fuller Oval quotes 2

Again, check all quotes against TV and official.

The Sudanese PM spoke and thanked Trump — see earlier report — but his connection was murky, making quotes difficult to discern.

Netanuyahu followed: "This truly changes the region. It changes the lives of our peoples for the better and allows us to focus on the task of building our nations, building our future, building technology agriculture, [unintelligible, maybe 'environment'] and health."

Trump: "Even the media's very excited about it."

"I can't exactly put a date on but within a very few number of months everybody's going to be in this deal."

"We did it the opposite way. Exactly the opposite way, and took a lot of abuse from the people that were unable to make a deal for four years."

Kushner: "Today is another great example of what is possible when you have strong and smart American leadership in the Middle East and throughout the world. For those who follow the history of this conflict the significance of this cannot be overstated enough."

He cited the 1967 Arab League declaration "what became known as 'the three no's'" — "no peace, no recognition, no negotiations."

"Under President Trump we have peace, we have recognition, we have negotiation.

More quotes to come — pool will send as much as possible before we assemble in a few minutes for Potus's scheduled 130pm departure.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #10 / Fuller Oval quotes 3

O'Brien: "What I said early on when I came to this job is that your legacy Mr President, as you left office, would be as that of a peacemaker" Trump: "Nobody would've believed it."

Trump: "So we have many countries, as you know, getting ready and we also have, I'm sure you'll see Saudi Arabia in there very soon. I really believe that will happen too."

One clarification on the Bibi quote, when Trump asked him about 'Sleepy Joe." Netanyau paused and said "Well" — not "Uh," as indicated in report #6.

Full exchange:

"Do you think Sleepy Joe could have deal Bibi? Sleepy Joe. You think he would have made this deal? Somehow I don't think so.
"Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you, is, um, uh, we appreciate the help for peace from *anyone* in America and we appreciate what you've done enormously."

That's all for now. Pool is now gathering for Potus's departure. Video should be available on C-Span soon if not already.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #11 / al-Burhan and Hook

The White House confirms that the second Sudanese leader on the conference call during today's event was Chairman of the Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

Brian Hook, the former Iran envoy who briefly spoke in the Oval, has left government and now serves as an unpaid Special Government Employee.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #12 / M1 departure - no questions

?Potus exited the Oval at 2pm, and did not stop to talk. He walked across the South Lawn to wave at a group of perhaps 100 cheering supporters gathered just east of the South Portico, some waving American flags on small plastic sticks.

He was accompanied by Dan Scavino, Mark Meadows and Hope Hicks.

Marine One was wheels up at 2:05pm. "That was so wicked!!!" declared one young boy observing from near the press area.

October 23, 2020

In-town pool report #12a / "supporters"

Pooler mentioned the small crowd of "supporters" with little flags who saw off the president. Pooler is informed that such gatherings typically consist of WH interns and staff.

Pool Reports below by Emily Goodin, Daily Mail

Sent: Reports:
October 23, 2020

Travel pool #1 - JBA

Greetings from Joint Base Andrews.

Marine One landed at 2:12 pm.

POTUS waved at pool but took no questions. He waved again at top of stairs before boarding.

POTUS is accompanied by Dan Scavino, Mark Meadows and Hope Hicks. Scavino and Meadows wore face masks.

Pool spotted Kayleigh McEnany and Dave Bossie on board before POTUS arrived.

Our first stop is Ocla, Florida, where the President will hold a campaign rally at The Villages, followed by another rally this evening in Pensacola.

We are on the small plane so connectivity on board will be limited. AF1 will be rolling shortly.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool report #2 - arrival in Ocala, Florida

?Air Force One was wheels down in Ocala at 4:05 pm.

There were no visitors to the press cabin during the uneventful flight. A rainbow was visible out the window as we made our descent.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #3 - off to The Villages

?President Trump exited Air Force One at 4:15 pm.

He gave pool a thumbs up but took no questions.

POTUS is traveling to The Villages in Marine One.

Pool following in ospreys, which we are now boarding.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #4 - arrival at The Villages

?Marine One was wheels down at The Villages landing zone at 4:37 pm.

Pool was taken into rally press pen and watched him land from there. Marine One buzzed over the crowd to the delight of the cheering fans before it landed.

POTUS landed to The Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" and to a few hundred screaming fans.

Pool's osprey flew low over Florida, lots of green grass and trees below. It's 81 degrees but pleasant and not too muggy out. As we approached The Villages the scene below turned into many suburban one story homes with more being built.

We landed in a field next to some kind of track after the short flight. Golf carts waited to drive some aides. Pool walked across field to rally site, which is in a large field. Many people have masks around their necks and a few are actually wearing them.

More TK...

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #5 - Rally beginning

? POTUS took the stage at 4:41 pm to Proud to Be an American.

Marine One is stage left as opposed to behind him. Supporters in bleachers behind President.

A large digital sign reads "Florida Welcomes President Donald J. Trump"

American flags hang from two large cranes.

POTUS started speaking at 4:43 pm to shouts of "four more years."

Event is open press so pooler will only send relevant color.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #6 - leaving The Villages rally

?President Trump wrapped his remarks at 5:53 pm. "Get out and vote," he closed with.

Pool was pulled from the press pen as he was finishing speaking but did glimpse him dancing to "YMCA" on stage at the close. We did not see him board Marine One or its departure.

The video Trump showed of the Bernie Sanders ad played on the digital screen with the Trump sign referenced in the last pool report.

Pool is lifting off in its ospreys at 6:02 pm.

We're headed back to the Ocala airport for the trip to Pensacola.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #7 - leaving Ocala airport

?Marine One was wheels down at Ocala airport at 6:13 pm.

POTUS waved and gave a thumbs up to pool but shook his head no about coming over.

Gov. DeSantis and his wife got off Marine One and joined POTUS on Air Force One.

Also campaign manager Bill Stepien is on the plane.

AF1 taking off shortly. Next stop is Pensacola.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #8 - arrival in Pensacola

?Air Force One was wheels down Pensacola at 6:47 pm Central time.

Flight was uneventful. Kayleigh McEnany stopped briefly on her way through and chatted with some of the pool. She was not wearing a face mask.

Flight took an indirect route - almost reaching Montgomery, Alabama, before turning south for Pensacola.

Pool could see the rally location through the window of the plane as we taxied. Lots of lights and music (Journey's "Don't Stop Believing") with people holding up their cell phones.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #9 - Pensacola rally

?Pool was taken into press pen at rally before POTUS exited Air Force One.

Gov. DeSantis gave opening remarks before POTUS arrived. He tossed hats to the crowd.

Pool watched POTUS descend Air Force One stairs and walk across tarmac to the rally site – he was greeted back stage by Gov. DeSantis and several aides including Mark Meadows, Kayleigh McEnany, and Dan Scavino – before taking the stage.

A very large crowd, going far back and packed in tight – no social distancing, few masks. Pooler tweeted a video of crowd from her account.

The rally is open press. There is another digital screen up like the last rally.

Pooler will send any color. POTUS started speaking at 8:11 pm.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #10 - leaving Pensacola rally

?President Trump wrapped up his remarks at 8:19 pm. Also there was a typo in previous report. President Trump started speaking at 7:11 pm (all times central) so he spoke for a total of 68 minutes. Apologies for the error.

He walked back to AF1 after he wrapped. Pool watched his walk from rally press pen and got under the wing just as POTUS boarded. No questions. Trump waved at top of stairs.

Pooler spitted Kayleigh McEnany and Hope Hicks doing the YMCA as they walked across the tarmac.

We are wheels up to Palm Beach shortly.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #11 - Palm Beach arrival and POTUS gaggle

?Air Force One was wheels down Palm Beach at 10:40 pm Eastern time.

POTUS came back shortly after take off and spoke to the press for about four minutes, most of which was on the record:

POTUS: "It was a great rally. I hope you noticed how many people were left and right. It was a tremendous rally. I think we're winning. We're winning by a lot. And it's not a rally of someone who is in second place, right?"

Q: You have a big day tomorrow.

POTUS: "Big day. Three of them. In 24 hours you press a button and you're home. And just so you know it's never happened before in the history of politics or anything else - rallies of that size."

Q: What are you seeing in the returns and data that have you so confident?

POTUS: "Take a look at all how returns coming in. We're supposed to be behind until the wave, right. We're not way behind. We're way ahead. We're way ahead of where we were four years ago. And the wave is going to be much bigger than it was and there's more enthusiasm now than we ever had four years ago. Four years ago it was amazing."

Q: Asked when he'll go up to five rallies a day.

POTUS: "I don't know. How can you do five a day? Who else can do five a day? Do you think Joe Biden can do five a day? I don't think so."

Q: Are we going to see the First Lady out campaigning?

POTUS: "Yeah she'll be around. I'm voting tomorrow. And going back we're having three tomorrow. I think she's going to come to some."

Q: Asked where he is voting tomorrow?

"I don't know but we're going back to Palm Beach and we're going on to three stops."

Q: Asked if the microphone situation played to his advantage at the debate?

POTUS: "I don't think so. It was fine. It was what I wanted to do anyway. I thought she was very good. I thought she did a very good job. I know her. I was - Ive had my little disputes with her. I thought she did a very good job. Kristen did a really good job."

POTUS went off the record.

Q: Asked the next peace deal.

POTUS: "We had a big one today with Sudan. That was a big one because that was nasty - long term bad relationship. Five countries could be any of them. They're all wanting in. It's been amazing. This is what John Kerry said 'it could never happen.' I immediately said that's the only way you are going to get it done. It's pretty amazing, right?"

Q: Asked if he's seen the Borat footage and if he's worried about security breaches.

POTUS: "I don't know what happened. But years ago you know he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said no way. That's a phony guy. And I don't find him funny. I don't know anything about him other than he tried to scam me. He came in as a BBC - British broadcasting anchor. I said after many senators have sat down for hours. I figured he said it was the only time."

Q: When did that happen?

POTUS: "15 years ago. To me he was a creep. Thank you all."

Thanks to the all the co-poolers for their help transcribing.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #12 - airport departure

?President Trump exited the plane at 10:50 pm.

He waved to pool and got in his car.

At 10:52 pm we are motorcading to Mar-a-Lago.

October 23, 2020

WH travel pool #13 - arrival at Mar-a-Lago and lid

?Motorcade arrived at Mar-a-Lago at 11:03 pm after an uneventful motorcade.

There was a large group of supporters along the route cheering and waving Trump 2020 flags and American flags. One person loudly yelled "fake news, fake news."

A travel photo lid was called at 11:05 pm.

Donald J. Trump, Pool Reports of October 23, 2020 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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