Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Following a Senate Republican Policy Lunch
The President. Hello, everybody. Hello.
Q. How was the lunch, Mr. President?
The President. We had a great meeting. Is this where we are supposed to be—I guess?
Staffer. Right behind here.
The President. We had a great meeting. All of the Republican Senators were there. I think we made tremendous progress on a lot of different issues. Mitch and John, that was terrific. Discussed about everything. I think everything you can discuss. We have a lot of very positive things happening, both in terms of the country, in terms of the election that's coming up. We're doing very well in every way.
Do you have any questions?
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi
Q. Yes, President Trump. President Trump. Last night Nancy——
Q. What are your priorities, Mr. President?
Q. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called you "morbidly obese." I just wanted to know what you had to say in response to that.
The President. Well, I don't respond to her. I think she's a waste of time.
The President's Governing Priorities/Economic Recovery Efforts/China/Coronavirus Origins
Q. Mr. President, what are your priorities? What did you tell the Senators are your priorities for—[inaudible]?
The President. Well, we have a lot of priorities. A priority we have is a priority for the country and bringing it back. I use the expression "transition to greatness." We're going to have a really good third quarter. It's already happening. You see it; you see what's going on. We're opening up. The States are opening up. Numbers are going down as they open. Look at Georgia. Look at Florida. Look at others. We have States that are opening up, and the numbers are going down.
But it's a "transition to greatness." It's the third quarter, and then it's going into the fourth quarter. I think the fourth quarter is going to be really good. But I think that, above all, next year you're going to have a tremendous year.
Now, with all of that being said, to lose lives over this that could have been stopped by China—it should have been stopped by China—it's terrible that a thing like this could've happened to the world. Long beyond us, you're going to lose millions of people. We're talking about the world. The whole world is being affected by this.
It's a terrible thing. A terrible thing. Q. President Trump——
Q. Mr. President, what's your timeline? What's——
Hydroxychloroquine/Coronavirus Treatments and Vaccine Development
Q. The FDA has—the FDA warned that hydroxychloroquine could cause serious side effects, especially with the heart, with your heart.
The President. Yes. Yes.
Q. Why is it okay for you to promote the use of this drug——
The President. Okay.
Q. ——when you're not a doctor and health experts are warning against it?
The President. Well, I've worked with doctors. And if you look at the one survey, the only bad survey, they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape. They were very old, almost dead. It was a "Trump enemy" statement.
Now, if you look at some of the reports that came out from Italy, that came out from France, that came out from other—a lot of our frontline workers take it, because it possibly, and I think it does, but you know, people are going to have to make up their own mind. Plus, it doesn't hurt people. It's been out on the market for 60 or 65 years for malaria, lupus, and other things. I think it gives you an additional level of safety.
But you can ask—many doctors are in favor of it. Many frontline workers won't go there unless they have the hydroxy. And so, again, this is an individual decision to make. But it's had a great reputation, and if it was somebody else other than me, people would say, "Gee, isn't that smart?"
But we are working on a lot of other things. We have—I'll tell you what: The great medical companies that we have, if you look at what they're doing therapeutically, cure-wise, and the vaccine itself—and the vaccine, I think, is less important than some of the things they're working on. They're working on a cure. And we have more than one doing it and very advanced. They're working on therapeutics, and they're working on vaccines.
Q. Do you want more——
Q. Mr. President——
The President. There's been tremendous—there's been tremendous pro—really, tremendous progress.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act/Federal Bureau of Investigation
Q. Mr. President, have you talked to Senators much about the reforms you would like to see to FISA so Americans aren't surveilled?
The President. Well, they have a lot of views on FISA. I didn't get involved. I purposely said to Mitch, "You go do what you want. We'll take a look." We're going to look at FISA. But nobody has been abused by FISA like the President of the United States, because what the Democrats did and the dirty cops—they're dirty cops. The FBI people are great. I'll bet you go in there, they like Donald Trump. But the top of the FBI, they were dirty cops. They were crooked. Bad people. And nobody has been abused more than Trump.
But you look at General Flynn, you look at so many others—not just that—not just us; take a look at so many others. Look at what they've done, how they've abused FISA. So I'm going to be studying it very much. But the FISA process has gone awry. It was used by very dishonest people. It was used illegally. And frankly, the judges on the FISA court should do something about it. And maybe they will.
Q. Mr. President——
Q. President Trump, the firing of the IGs——
Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn/Investigation Into Russia's Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election
Q. Mr. President, are you satisfied with how Republican Senators have responded on the Flynn case and on the origins of the Russia investigation?
The President. Well, I think—on the swing States you said?
Q. No, the Flynn case.
Q. The Flynn Case. The Flynn case.
The President. On the Flynn case? General Flynn is a man of great respect. I was with General Milley, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the other day. I said, "Do you know General Flynn?" He said: "Yes, I do. He's a fine man. I've known him for 20 years. He's a fine man and a great soldier."
General Flynn was treated horribly. General Flynn was treated illegally. These people—they broke the law. They broke the law. What they've done to General Flynn should never happen. What they've done to the Presidency and what they've done to this country can never be allowed to happen again to our country.
And despite all of that has been done, everything that's been done, we've had one of the greatest Presidencies ever. We have never—I don't think anybody—Mitch, I think we can say it with a surety: Nobody has accomplished what we've accomplished in a relatively short period of time, a 3-year period of time. Nobody has been able to do that.
When you look at rebuilding our military; regulations at a level that nobody has come close to—we've cut regulations; the biggest tax decrease in history. You look at all of the things that we've done, all of the things we've done on health care with the individual mandate, with preexisting conditions, nobody has done anywhere close to what we've done.
But despite that, if you look—despite an illegal witch hunt—and that's what it was: it was a hoax; it was a witch hunt. The Russian thing was a made-up, fabricated story. Just like they went to Congresswoman Kelsey [Tulsi]* Gabbard—I don't know her at all—and they said: "You're a Russian agent." I don't know her, but I know she's not a Russian agent. Then, they went to Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. They said she's a Russian agent. I don't know her at all. I know she's not a Russian agent.
These people are sick. Pelosi is a sick woman. She's got a lot of problems, a lot of mental problems. We're dealing with people that have to get their act together for the good of the country.
Okay, thank you very much.
Q. When do you expect to start negotiating with democrats? Do you—[inaudible]?
Q. Sir, 36 million Americans are unemployed. How will you get them back to work? Q. Any—[inaudible]—to Biden report, sir?
Q. Thirty-six million Americans out of work. Half of those jobs aren't coming back.
The President. Thank you.
Q. Do you have a policy to help them get back to work?
The President. We do.
NOTE: The President spoke at 2:03 p.m. in the Hart Senate Office Building at the U.S. Capitol. In his remarks, he referred to Senate Majority Leader A. Mitchell McConnell; Senate Majority Whip John R. Thune; and 2016 Green Party Presidential nominee Jill E. Stein.<p>* White House correction.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Following a Senate Republican Policy Lunch Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/341971