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Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Charlotte, North Carolina

February 07, 2020

The President. So I just got this; it was just handed to me. This is the DC Circuit, and we just won the big emoluments case. I think it was a unanimous decision. This was brought by Nancy Pelosi and her group. It just came out a few minutes ago. So I'll be reading it on the helicopter. But it was a total win. This was brought by 230 Democrats in Congress on emoluments. It was another phony case, and we won it three to nothing. We won it unanimously.

Acting White House Chief of Staff John M. "Mick" Mulvaney

Q. Mr. President, is Mick Mulvaney going to stay your Chief of Staff, or——

The President. Yes. Yes.

Q. ——are you looking to replace him?

The President. That was a false report. I have a great relationship with Mick. I have a great relationship with Mark. And it's false.

National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander S. Vindman

Q. Mr. President, would you like to see Alexander Vindman out of your White House? Do you want Alexander Vindman out of your——

The President. Well, I'm not happy with him. Do you think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not.

Q. Is he going to leave?

The President. They'll make that decision.

Q. Will he leave?

The President. You'll be hearing——

Q. Is he going to leave?

The President. They'll make a decision.

National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander S. Vindman

Q. President Trump, is he on the way out?

The President. They're going to be making that decision.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Q. Has FISA abuse changed your opinion about Edward Snowden, whether he is a whistleblower or a traitor? Has FISA abuse against your campaign——

The President. I don't understand. I can't hear. You have to speak louder.

Q. Has FISA abuse against your campaign changed your opinion about whether Edward Snowden—— The President. Well, we were abused by the FISA process, there's no question about it. We were seriously abused by FISA, by what they did and by what they signed and who signed. It's a terrible thing that happened. And we were absolutely abused, as per your question, yes.

Q. Mr. President, your Press Secretary——

Q. Mr. President, how bad is it between you and Mick Mulvaney, Mr. President?

Q. Your Press—excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me.

The President. After, you'll get one.

The President's Political Opponents

Q. Your Press Secretary said your political opponents in Congress "should pay." Who should pay, and how will they pay?

The President. Well, you'll see. I mean, we'll see what happens.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi/The President's State of the Union Address/The President's Accomplishments

Q. We haven't heard from you about your thoughts about Nancy Pelosi ripping up your speech. And will you ever be able to work with her?

The President. Well, I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech. First of all, it's an official document. You're not allowed—it's illegal what she did. She broke the law. But I haven't been asked a question, other than a lot of people that viewed it, they couldn't believe that she did it. I thought it was terrible. I thought it was very disrespectful to the Chamber and to the country.

And you know, look, I—people—I got very high marks on the speech. And I didn't know she did it until I was walking out, and some of the Congress men and women were saying, "Can you believe what she did?" But I didn't know she did it.

Q. Are you ever going to be able to really work with her in any constructive way?

The President. Well, I think there's a lot of evil on that side. They've gone crazy. They've gone totally crazy; it's too bad. I've gotten tremendous amounts done, more than anybody has gotten done in 3 years, by far. But they're not constructive people.


Q. Will you be able to work with any of the Democrats? Do you see any way to work with them?

The President. Well, I do work with Democrats. I work with everybody. But that group is—you know, they say "Trump derangement syndrome." They've got it. They've got a bad case of it. You saw that. That was on display the other night when she ripped up the speech. That was terrible. It was a terrible—so disrespectful to our country. And actually very illegal, what she did.

National Economy

Q. Are you getting rid of Mulvaney and Vindman, Mr. President?

The President. Yes, I gave the answer. That was a false report.

Q. So manufacturing evidence is a felony crime in all 50 States. Does the administration intend to go after Adam Schiff for his role in the impeachment trial in manufacturing evidence? The President. Well, I mean, I have to say this: We just came out with fantastic job numbers. I think it was 230,000 or something thereabout, which was much higher than projected. So jobs continue to be great. And our country continues to do great.

I'm now going to North Carolina. Some of you, maybe, are coming. But the jobs report just came out, and it's great.

Q. Mr. President, are you concerned with China——

Corruption Investigations in Ukraine/Iowa Caucuses

Q. You have been acquitted. Do you still want the Ukrainian President to dig up dirt on your political rivals like Joe Biden?

The President. No. These people, they're their own people. I'm not their boss. And I don't think they've done anything, as far as I know. But it's very sad what happened with the Bidens. And it's also very sad how he's doing, how he's doing in the polls.

Now, I understand the votes are fried in Iowa. They couldn't even take a simple tabulation, and yet they're telling you how to run the country and how to run health care. I think they fried their votes on computer.

Q. Mr. President——

The President. Think about it: All the money that the Democrats spent, and the votes are fried. They have no idea who won. They have no idea.

But I'll tell you who won on the Republican side: They accounted for every single vote, and it was a lot of votes. It was a record-setting number of votes: Trump won.

Q. Mr. President, are you concerned about China?

Iowa Caucus Results

Q. Follow-up: who—Pete Buttigieg—Pete Buttigieg or Bernie Sanders. Pete Buttigieg or Bernie Sanders. Who's the bigger threat?

The President. Well, you don't know what happened in Iowa because, if you look—I mean, they're essentially tied. But they couldn't keep tabulation of their votes.

Q. Is Pete Buttigieg a threat? Do you see him as a threat? Pete Buttigieg.

The President. Everybody is a threat. I view everybody as a threat.

Q. Should the House expunge your impeachment?

The President. I even view John [John Roberts, Fox News] as a threat. You never know.

[At this point, the President looked down at the ground.]

That's wet.

Coronavirus Outbreak in China/Coronavirus Containment Efforts

Q. Mr. President, a question about China. Can I——

The President. Yes.

Q. Are you concerned that China is covering up the full extent of coronavirus?

The President. No. China is working very hard. Late last night I had a very good talk with President Xi, and we talked about—mostly about the coronavirus. They're working really hard, and I think they are doing a very professional job. They're in touch with World—the World—our World Organization, CDC also. We're working together. But World Health is working with them. CDC is working with them. I had a great conversation last night with President Xi. It's a tough situation. I think they're doing a very good job.

Q. Should the House expunge your impeachment?

Q. Are you concerned about its potential impact on the global economy?

The President. I think that China will do a very good job.

Q. Mr. President, how do you unify——


Q. Should the House expunge your impeachment? Should the House expunge your impeachment in the future? Should they expunge your impeachment?

The President. They should, because it was a hoax. That's a very good question: "Should they expunge the impeachment in the House?" They should because it was a hoax. It was a total political hoax.

The President's Popularity/National Economy

Q. Mr. President, how do you unify—how do you unify—Mr. President, how do you unify the country in this moment? You're attacking your rivals——

The President. You know what's going to unify the country—and it's already unified it in a lot of ways. All you have to do is look at our crowds and look at our support. What unifies it is the great success. Our country today is more successful than it has ever been, and that's unifying the country.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:16 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to boarding Marine One. In his remarks, he referred to Rep. Mark A. Meadows; former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and his son Hunter; and President Xi Jinping of China. Reporters referred to former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden; White House Press Secretary and Communications Director Stephanie A. Grisham; Rep. Adam B. Schiff, in his capacity as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine; 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates former Mayor Peter P.M. Buttigieg of South Bend, IN, and Sen. Bernard Sanders.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Charlotte, North Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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