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

November 09, 2019

The President. I look forward to seeing a lot of things. But on Monday, in particular, our stock market has just broken another record, as you see. Our economy is doing phenomenally well. Our jobs numbers just broke yet another record. They're higher than ever before. Our country is doing better than it's ever done. Our military is rebuilt. It was a mess when I took over.

And a lot of good things are happening, and now I'm going to watch Alabama-LSU, and that will be a lot of fun. So we look forward to it.

Do you have a question? Go ahead. Anybody?

China-U.S. Trade/U.S. Tariff Structure on Chinese Imports

Q. Mr. President, what's your next step for China trade talks? There were some——

The President. They're moving along. They're moving along. They've moved slowly. And much too slowly for me. But they want to make the deal much more than I do. But the trade talks with China are moving along, I think, very nicely. If we make the deal that we want, it will be a great deal. And if it's not a great deal, I won't make it.

But the trade deal is moving along, and China wants to be there.

Q. And do you want to lift tariffs then? They said that there had been a deal——

The President. Well, there was a lot of incorrect reporting, but you'll see what I'm going to be doing.

Q. Can you clarify that?

The President. But we've taken in tens of billions of dollars of tariffs. I gave $28 billion—16 and 12—to our farmers. And it's been pretty amazing what we've done. Our farmers are very happy. We have to make the right deal for the farmers, manufacturers, for everybody. And if we don't make that right deal, we're not going to make a deal.

Q. But if you get the phase one deal, will some tariffs be lifted?

The President. Well, you'll see. There's a difference on tariffs, but we're going to always get tariffs.

Q. You said——

The President. We never got anything. Just so you understand, China, forever, never paid us 10 cents. Now we have—literally, we will soon have, literally, hundreds of billions of dollars coming in from China. We never got anything from China. So a lot of very positive things are happening. I think that people will be amazed.

Just to say, again: I'd like to make a deal, but it's got to be the right deal. China very much wants to make a deal. They're having the worst year they've had in 57 years. Their supply chain is all broken, like an egg. They want to make a deal. Perhaps they have to make a deal. I don't know. I don't care. That's up to them.

But the reports were incorrect.

Q. About lifting tariffs? The President. The level of tariff lift is incorrect.

Go ahead.

Impeachment Hearings/The President's Telephone Conversations With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine

Q. You said the impeachment hearings should not be held behind closed doors, but now you say you don't want them to be public. So——

The President. No, no. I don't care if they're public; they should be public. What I said—it was misreported, as usual. What I said is very simple: There shouldn't be anything. There shouldn't be impeachment hearings, is what I said. So maybe they misconstrued it.

But what I say is: Read the transcript. It's all about the transcript. They're having people—I never even heard of some of these people; I don't know who they are. And by the way, it's all thirdhand knowledge. But regardless of what anyone says, read the transcript.

Now, they want to have a transcript of the other call, the second call. And I'm willing to provide that. We'll probably give it to you on Tuesday. Monday being a holiday, we'll probably give it to you on Tuesday. But we have another transcript coming out, which is very important. They asked for it, and I gladly give it. There's never been a President who's been so transparent. This is a witch hunt at the highest level, and it's so bad for our country.

But here's the deal: Read the transcript. You'll see the call. Now I'll give you a second transcript, because I actually had two calls with the President of Ukraine. So you'll read the second call and you'll tell me if you think there's anything wrong with it. But never in history has anybody gone through this. It's a witch hunt, and it should never happen to another President.

Thank you. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:51 p.m. prior to boarding Air Force One, en route to Tuscaloosa, AL.

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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