Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Upon Arrival in Prescott, Arizona
The President. Hello, everybody. You know our Senator. You know our Governor. They're great, both of them. And they're doing a terrific job.
We have a big—two speeches today. And we have thousands and thousands of people waiting. There's never been anything like this, I will say that, with—I'm being very humble. I'll say that, Jeff [Jeff Mason, Reuters]. Is that okay? But there's never been anything like it. We have tremendous crowds. You saw the lines. They formed 2 days ago.
So we're going to make two stops. And you're going to be with us a little bit, and I know you're going to be with us a little bit.
And we have a very exciting election coming up. We're doing very well in North Carolina, very well in Florida, very well pretty much everywhere. We're looking—we're doing very well. And when people find out really what we've done and how good the economy is and how it's coming back, the numbers are fantastic. So we seem to be in very good shape.
Economic Stimulus Legislation/Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi
Q. Stimulus. Can you give us the latest on the stimulus talks? On stimulus talks.
The President. Yes, we're having talks today. We're discussing it today, very solidly. We'll see what happens.
Q. Have you talked with Leader McConnell?
The President. Nancy Pelosi, at this moment, does not want to do anything that's going to affect the election. And I think it will affect the election negatively for her.
So we'll see what happens. But there are talks going on as we speak.
Q. Have you talked with Leader McConnell about this?
The President. I don't want to comment on that.
Q. Mr. President——
The President. But the Republicans will come along.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony S. Fauci/Coronavirus Containment Efforts
Q. Mr. President, why did you criticize Dr. Fauci? Does it have anything to do with his high standing in public sentiment?
The President. No, I think, really, Dr. Fauci is a very nice man, but we let him do what he wants to do. He gets a lot of television. He loves being on television, and we let him do it. Sometimes, he says things that are a little bit off, and they get built up, unfortunately.
But he's a nice guy. I like him. But he's called a lot of bad calls. He said don't wear a mask, and he said don't ban China. They were bad calls. He admits that. And I don't hold that against him. If I did, I wouldn't have him. I think he's a nice a guy.
Q. [Inaudible]—him, sir? Why don't you just fire him?
The President. Huh?
Q. Why not fire him?
The President. I don't want to. I don't want to hurt him. He's been there for about 350 years. I don't want to hurt him.
Q. Mr. President——
Q. Sir, is this——
Coronavirus Containment Efforts/Arizona/Economic Impact of the Coronavirus
Q. You've been saying that Dr. Fauci says not to wear a mask, but he's been saying to wear a mask for months.
The President. Well, he used to say don't wear a mask. So, you know, you have people on both sides of it. But I'm okay——
Q. So why are you still quoting that?
The President. Excuse me. I'm okay with masks. I like it. I think it's good. A lot of people like it. This gentleman has done an incredible job in Arizona, and he's taken a very tough stand. But he's let his economy grow. And frankly, if they would've done that in Michigan and various other places, where the Governor just shut it down for everybody except for her husband.
His attitude—you know, they had a spike, and he let the spike play. And they were careful. And now your State is really in great shape.
Governor Douglas A. Ducey of Arizona. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.
The President. What a job. So proud of him.
Turning Point USA Founder and Executive Director Charlie Kirk/The New York Post
Q. Your Chief of Staff said today that there will be a lawsuit filed on section 230 on the tech companies. Is it your——
The President. Who said that? Who said that?
Q. Mark Meadows said that, as soon as today, there could be a lawsuit filed.
The President. Well, you know——
Q. Is that from the White House?
The President. ——they've been given great protection. And when they take down people like Charlie Kirk—you know, Charlie Kirk is a terrific person. And I was—I just heard that he was taken down. And how can you take down Charlie Kirk? He's mainstream, conservative, but solid as a rock. He represents a point of view, and he's putting up something from the New York Post, which is a respected newspaper. I'll tell you what: The biggest winner in this whole thing is a newspaper called the New York Post, the oldest paper in our country.
So what they have done is really—I'm very proud of them.
Q. But are you filing a lawsuit? Or is the campaign filing a lawsuit?
The President. You'll be seeing very soon.
Coronavirus Containment Efforts
Q. Mr. President, do you understand that when it comes to the science and a new virus, things change, scientists learn new things, and that's why Fauci and some scientists changed their recommendations?
The President. You don't understand. I understand well. You don't understand, and you never have understood.
2020 Presidential Election/National Economy/NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker
Q. Sir, is this election going to be a repeat of 2016, given the polls?
The President. I think so. I think we'll do better than 2016. We're way ahead of where we were in 2016, and I've done things that nobody has ever done. We built the greatest economy in the world, and we're building it rapidly again.
If you look at Arizona—you look at the job they've done. And I'm just leaving other States. I mean, every one of these Republican-run States are doing phenomenally. The Democrat-run States are not, but they're not going to affect our numbers very much. I think they're going to open up on November 4. They'll be opening up on November 4.
And by the way, the fact that Kristen Welker is, you know, a dyed-in-the-wool radical-left Democrat, or whatever she is——
Q. It's not true, Mr. President, and you know it.
Q. That's not true.
The President. Okay. Okay. And then, ask—why are you defending her?
Q. That's not true, Mr. President.
The President. Then, ask her: Why did she delete her account? Would you please have her put her account back?
Debate Moderator NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker
Q. Mr. President, you've dealt with her, and you know she's a fine journalist.
The President. And you know what? It's not going to affect—I know you want to stick up. It's not going to affect me. I'm going to be there. But you know, I told you about the last one, and I was right. And I told you about Savannah Guthrie, and I was right. And I'm telling you about Kristen Welker. Kristen Welker should put all of her statements back on. She deleted her entire account. She shouldn't do that.
Presidential Debate Guidelines
Q. What are they going to do with the mikes? Are they trying to have——
The President. The what?
Q. Are they trying to have the moderator be able to turn off the mikes? Is that what——
The President. I have no idea.
Q. Well, Mr. President, will you do the testing before the debate?
Presidential Debate in Nashville, Tennessee
Q. Mr. President, what are you doing to prepare for the debate, sir?
The President. I'm doing this.
The President. What am I doing to prepare? I'm doing this. I've done very well in debates. And you know, you do what you do. You just do what you do.
The last debate, I had two on one. I usually have two on one, at least. And I did well in the last debate, and we did well with Savannah Guthrie, based on reports. But all you can do is—look, you know, you go around; we do interviews with you. This is like—I call this "debate prep." [Laughter] This is actually tougher than a debate, if you want to know the truth.
Presidential Debate Guidelines/Coronavirus Containment Efforts
Q. Mr. President, will you do the testing before the debate? And will you authorize your——
The President. Say it?
Q. Will you do the testing before the debate? And will you——
The President. The testing?
Q. Yes, the COVID testing. Will you authorize your doctors to tell us when——
The President. Sure. I would have no problem with it.
Q. ——you tested last negative before you——
The President. I'm—not only am I free—positive, or whatever—what would you call it? I'm totally free. Right? Not only am I free, I'm immune, they say. They say if you've had it, you're immune. Now, the question is, are you immune for 4 months or for the rest of your life? That's the only thing we don't know.
The President's Coronavirus Test Results
Q. Will you authorize your doctors to tell you when you tested negative last, before the last event?
The President. Sure. Is that very important to you?
Q. Yes, sir, it is.
The President. You seem to be so intent. But if it's so important to you—why is it so important to you?
Q. Because we want to know how long you may have been——
The President. I know. But why? Why?
Q. We want to know if you followed the rules from the debate commission.
The President. I know. But why is it so important to you?
Q. Will you authorize your doctors to release that information?
The President. Look at the dedication. Yes, my doctors have already given it.
The President. You know, my doctors have given more information than has been given on any human being in the history of the world.
Q. But have not given that detail, Mr. President. Would you authorize them, Mr. President?
Democratic Presidential Nominee Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Q. Mr. President, can you tell us why—what your campaign strategy seems to be to call Biden a "criminal"? Why is that?
The President. He is a criminal. He's a criminal. He got caught——
Q. He was the Vice President of the United States.
The President. Read his laptop. And you know who's a criminal? You're a criminal for not reporting it. You are a criminal for not reporting it.
Q. I'm asking your strategy.
The President. Let me tell you something: Joe Biden is a criminal, and he's been a criminal for a long time. And you're a criminal, and the media, for not reporting it. Good luck, everybody. Have a good time.
Q. [Inaudible]—the FBI.
The President. Have a good time.
NOTE: The President spoke at 11:36 a.m. on the tarmac at the Prescott Regional Airport. In his remarks, he referred to Sen. Martha E. McSally; Gov. Gretchen E. Whitmer of Michigan and her husband, Marc Mallory; Chris Wallace, anchor, Fox News's "Fox News Sunday" program, in his capacity as moderator of the Presidential debate in Cleveland, OH, on September 29; and Savannah Guthrie, host, NBC News's "Today" program, in her capacity as the moderator for the NBC town hall event with the President at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in Miami, FL, on October 15.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Upon Arrival in Prescott, Arizona Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/346022