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Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland

October 28, 2019

The President. So we had a great weekend for our country. We captured a man that should have been caught a long time ago. Unfortunately, he wasn't. He's done tremendous damage. But it was an amazing display of intelligence and military power and coordination and getting along with people. Lots of great things happened. So that was a big, big day and a big weekend, and we're very happy about it.

The economy is doing phenomenally well. We have—it looks like another good day will be taking place today. In the stock market, good numbers are being—good numbers are happening all the time. We have good numbers happening all the time.

Very soon, I guess we're in record territory for stock. That's great for 401(k)s, that's great for everything. It's great for jobs.

So things are going good. Do you have any questions?

Death of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Terrorist Organization Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in U.S. Military Operation in Syria

Q. Yes. Are you considering releasing video footage of the raid?

The President. We're thinking about it. We may. The question was: Am I considering releasing video footage of the raid? And we may take certain parts of it and release it, yes.

Personal Attorney to the President Rudolph W. Giuliani

Q. Mr. President, do you think Rudy Giuliani is in trouble with all of the investigations?

The President. No, I think Rudy Giuliani is a great crime fighter. He was the greatest mayor in New York City history. But he's been a great crime fighter. He's always looking for corruption, which is what more people should be doing. He's a good man.

China-U.S. Trade Negotiations

Q. Mr. President, are you on pace to sign the phase one deal with China when you go to Chile?

The President. Yes, we are looking probably to be ahead of schedule to sign a very big portion of the China deal. And we'll call it "phase one," but it's a very big portion. That would take of the farmers. It would take care of some of the other things. It will also take care of a lot of the banking needs.

So we're about, I would say, a little bit ahead of schedule, maybe a lot ahead of schedule. Probably, we'll sign it. I imagine the meeting is scheduled for Chile. I know they have some difficulties, right now, in Chile. But I know the people in Chile, and I'm sure they'll be able to work it out.

Q. Mr. President, are you fearful——

Former White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly

Q. Mr. President, why did you have such an aggressive response to John Kelly's comments over the weekend? The President. Oh, I don't think it's aggressive at all. I would be surprised if he made those comments in a negative way. But I don't think the response would be—if he actually said that, if he actually meant that, I said what I'd do, and that, I mean.

The President's Consultations With Congressional Leaders Prior to the U.S. Military Operation in Syria/The President's July 25 Telephone Conversation With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine/Intelligence Community Whistleblower/Response Among Republican Senators to Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives

Q. Mr. President, are you concerned that Nancy Pelosi and others can't be trusted with this kind of information?

The President. Well, I guess the only thing is they were talking about why didn't I give the information to Adam Schiff and his committee. And the answer is: Because I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington. You know that. I know that. We all know that. I've watched Adam Schiff leak. He's a corrupt politician. He's a leaker like nobody has ever seen before.

We had a very good conversation with the Ukrainian President. The conversation was perfect. They don't ever talk about the conversation. It started with the whistleblower; now they don't want the whistleblower. Then, they had a second whistleblower; now they don't want the second whistleblower. The reason is that when the whistleblower—when they saw what the whistleblower wrote, and then when I released the conversation, which bore no relationship to what the whistleblower saw, they said their case was out the window. And I think it's a disgrace.

And frankly, I told Republicans, who are really being taken advantage of—they're really being maligned—and I think it's a horrible thing. They're really looking to hurt the Republican Party, and it's turning out to be just the opposite.

So one thing I said: I'd rather go into the details of the case rather than process. Process is wonderful. We already have 50 Republican Senators—I never called one of them—sign up. Fifty. Out of 53, 50. And perhaps the other ones will do it too. But process is good. But I think you ought to look at the case. And the case is very simple; it's quick. It's so quick.

I had a great conversation with the Ukrainian President. I had another conversation with him also, I think before that, which was the same thing. It was nothing. They tried to take that conversation and make it into a big scandal. The problem was, we had it transcribed. It was an exact transcription of the conversation.

So, in a nutshell, a whistleblower wrote a false narrative of the conversation. Now they don't want to talk about the whistleblower, because they didn't think I was going to release the conversation. When I released the conversation, I blew up Schiff's act. And just to put topping on it, the Russian—as you know, the new Russian President, a good man, made his statement. There was no anything. There was no pressure put on him. No anything.

The Foreign Minister of Ukraine made his statement. There was absolutely no pressure put on. They didn't even know what we were talking about.

And just to finish it off, Adam Schiff went up before Congress, and he made my words. He didn't copy what I said. He didn't know them, probably, at the time. Nobody thought I was going to release the conversation. I got the approval from Ukraine. Once I released the conversation, this thing all died. And that's what they should be looking. And Adam Schiff went before Congress, and Adam Schiff, what he did, will never be forgotten. He made up a conversation that was a phony fabrication. It was a fraud. And people shouldn't be allowed to get away. They say he has immunity because he's a Member of Congress. People shouldn't be allowed to do that. That's a criminal act. What he did is a criminal act. Thank you.

Q. Mr. President——

Q. Mr. President, do you have a—can you clarify the Russian——

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade


The President. I hope they approve USMCA. It's in there. It's a great agreement for United States, for our farmers, for our manufacturers, for unions, for everything. It's been approved by Mexico and Canada. They're waiting.

We don't seem to be able to have time for Nancy Pelosi. I call them the "do-nothing Democrats." They're the "do-nothing Democrats."

Q. Can you——

The President. And frankly, if they put it up, it's going to win very easily. It's going to have bipartisan support. I have no idea what they're doing with it. I can't imagine it takes this long. But they're so busy focusing on a witch hunt and a scam.

Thank you.

Q. Can you tell her——

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:45 a.m. prior to boarding Air Force One en route to Chicago, IL. In his remarks, he referred to Minister of Foreign Affairs Vadym Volodymyrovych Prystaiko of Ukraine.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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