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Remarks on China-United States Trade and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Lake Charles, Louisiana

October 11, 2019

The President. So we just made what, I guess, is one of the biggest deals that's been made in a long time, with China. The Vice Premier has just left my office. We have a great deal. We're papering it now. Over the next 3 or 4 or 5 weeks, hopefully, it will get finished. A tremendous benefit to our farmers, technology, and many other things: the banking industry, financial services.

And I guess by now you know pretty much we've had a very, very good couple of days with China. And it looks like that deal is very much on it's on way. It will be the largest deal ever made for farmers. We're talking about a $40 [billion; White House correction.] to $50 billion purchase and other things.

I mean, it's an incredible deal for farmers. I think they'll have to go out and buy more land and buy bigger tractors. So we'll, hopefully, get that done pretty quickly.

Turkey's Incursion Into Northern Syria

Q. Mr. President, you have—[inaudible]—have been bombed today. Our special forces were bombed by the Turks. Are we going to take sanctions against the Turks?

The President. Well, we'll take a look at it. We'll take a look at it.

China-U.S. Trade

Q. President Trump, sir. Thank you, sir. On the farmers, on that deal, is this a 1-year deal or have they agreed to multiyear purchases in ag?

The President. This will go a long time into the future. This a buy. This is a very big buy. It's 2 years, but it will go a long time into the future. The biggest deal made was $16 billion, and this could be $50 [billion; White House correction.]. So this is many times more, many times bigger than any deal ever made for the farmers.

Q. And do you expect them to keep their word this time?

The President. Say it?

Q. Do you trust them to keep their word this time on the purchases?

The President. Oh, they'll keep their word. China is going to keep their word. They want to make the deal. They're going to keep their word.

Personal Attorney to the President Rudolph W. Giuliani

Q. President Trump, is Rudy Giuliani still your personal attorney? Is Rudy Giuliani still your personal attorney?

The President. Well, I don't know. I haven't spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday, briefly. He's a very good attorney, and he has been my attorney. Yes, sure.

Steve [Steve A. Holland, Reuters].

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Q. A question on China. Are you prepared to take Huawei off of the entity list in a later phase?

The President. Well, we're looking at it. We didn't discuss that, Steve, on this deal—Huawei. We didn't discuss it, having to do with phase one. This is phase one of an either phase two or phase three deal. So we haven't discussed Huawei, relative to this deal.

So basically, the status will remain the same.

Q. Until when?

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovich

Q. On Marie Yovanovich, sir. On Marie Yovanovich, did you put pressure to have her fired, the Ambassador to Ukraine—Yovanovitch?

The President. Well, she may be a wonderful woman. I don't know her——

Q. Did you pressure them?

The President. ——but she may be very much a wonderful woman. If you remember the phone call I had with the President—the new President—he didn't speak favorably. But I just don't know her. She may be a wonderful woman.

China-U.S. Trade/Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Q. If the Chinese make lifting Huawei's restrictions—taking Huawei off the blacklist—a condition of the phase two deal, would you consider doing that?

The President. Well, I'm not going to talk about it now, because we're just starting the negotiation of phase two. We'll actually begin as soon as we're finished papering phase one.

Q. Mr. President——

The President. But phase one is one of the biggest deals ever made and unbelievable for technology, unbelievable for the banking industry and services. And for the farmers, it's—there's never been anything like it.

Q. What do you think about Huawei?

The President. Well, we're going to see what happens. We're going to be discussing that in phase two.

Intelligence Community Whistleblower/Transcript of the President's July 25 Telephone Conversation With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine

Q. Do you want to fire the whistleblower?

The President. Who?

Q. Do you want to fire the whistleblower?

The President. Well, the whistleblower has been very inaccurate. The whistleblower—I don't know what kind of a whistleblower——

Q. Then, why don't you fire the whistleblower?

The President. The whistleblower reported a totally different conversation than I had. I released a transcript of my conversation—an exact transcript. And the whistleblower didn't say that. The whistleblower is either saying untruths, okay? Or he didn't know. Or he's making up a story, like Schiff did. Schiff made up a story. Because when Schiff read what I actually said, he said, "I can't say this because he did nothing wrong." So Schiff went out, and he made up a lie. He made up a—it was a fraudulent story. You know that. You know that better than anybody. You're a good lawyer.

And frankly, he went out. He made up a fraudulent story. He then went before the U.S. Congress and the American people, and he reported a fraudulent story. Now, Schiff—something should happen to Schiff for that. He shouldn't have immunity for that. Why should Schiff be given immunity when he goes out and he says a story about the President of the United States—what the President said—and it bears no relationship? In fact, every word was different.

And I'll tell you what: I can't believe that a Congressman could be that dishonest and can have immunity from that.


Turkey's Incursion Into Northern Syria/Kurds/National Economy

Q. I just have a question about Turkey. Are you—how serious are you about being a mediator between the Kurds and the Turks?

The President. So Turkey and the Kurds have been fighting for hundreds of years. We are out of there. But we have a tremendous financial strength, which I've helped a lot with, because our country has become much stronger since I've been President, by many trillions of dollars. And if Turkey does something that they shouldn't be doing, we will put on sanctions the likes of which very few countries have ever seen before.

David [David Martosko, Daily Mail].

Fox News

Q. Mr. President, did you or your administration pressure Fox News to get rid of Shepard Smith?

The President. No, I don't know. Is he leaving?

Q. He's leaving.

The President. Oh, that's a shame.

Q. Then, why did Bill Barr meet with Rupert Murdock the other night?

The President. That I don't know. Wait, did I hear Shepard Smith is leaving?

Q. Yes.

The President. Is he leaving because of bad ratings?

Q. You'd have to ask him.

The President. Tell me. I don't know. He has terrible ratings. Is he leaving because of his ratings?

Q. You'd have to ask him.

The President. I mean, if he's leaving, I assume he is leaving because he had bad ratings.

Q. But you didn't put any pressure on anybody?

The President. He had the worst ratings on Fox, so there's a reason—why is Shepard Smith leaving?

Q. You'd have to ask him, Mr. President.

The President. Well, I wish him well. Q. Sir, the Attorney General—the Attorney General meeting with Rupert——

The President. I wish Shepard Smith well.

R. Hunter Biden II/"Keep America Great" Again Rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota/The President's Travel to Louisiana

Q. Mr. President, why haven't you asked your Justice Department to investigate Hunter Biden if he has acted so improperly?

The President. I think Hunter Biden is a disgrace. You know, the number-one T-shirt selling right now is, "Where's Hunter?" I came up with that one last night. And by the way, we had a record-setting—last night, as you saw—rally. That was a rally like few other rallies.

And now I'm going to Louisiana. And we're taking the Little League World Champions—I think World Champions. And they're going to be on the plane. They're from Louisiana. And they're flying with me. We just had pictures in the White House.

R. Hunter Biden II

Q. Will you ask your Justice Department to investigate Hunter Biden then?

The President. I haven't asked that, no. But a lot of people should be asking, perhaps. I have not asked it. Hunter Biden walked away with a billion and a half dollars from China, $168,000 a month from Ukraine, supposedly a $3 million payment from Ukraine. Have I asked? No. But I can't imagine that somebody isn't asking.

Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives/The President's July 25 Telephone Conversation With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine

Q. President Trump, your letter to Nancy Pelosi does not seem to be working. Many people are testifying. Do you need a new legal strategy?

The President. The whole thing that they're doing is a hoax to try and win an election that they're not going to win in 2020. You look at the phone conversation I had with the President of Ukraine; it was perfect. The only thing that wasn't perfect was the fraud that was committed on the American people in Congress when Schiff got up. And instead of reading what was said, word-for-word, exact—when Schiff got up and he lied and he defrauded the American public by making up a conversation. He made it up.

So let me just tell you that the whole—this whole Ukraine story is a hoax. And yesterday—I know you don't like to report it, but I might as well say it—the President of Ukraine said loud and clear that the conversation was absolutely a perfect conversation, that there was no problem with it whatsoever.

Turkey-U.S. Relations/Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Terrorist Organization/National Economy

Q. Mr. President, on Turkey, one detail on Turkey, sir. You've said many times the sanctions could kick in if Turkey does something they shouldn't do.

The President. The what?

Q. What is the red line Turkey should not cross to avoid sanctions?

The President. Well, we'll see.

Q. Like what? An example. The President. We'll see. We have a good relationship with Turkey. They're a NATO partner. We do a lot of trade with Turkey. But we don't want them killing a lot of people. And you know, the—we have been out of there. We beat ISIS. We knocked the hell out of them. We took a hundred percent of the caliphate. We did our job.

But we have a lot of power, financially. And I've built something here. Over the last 3½ years, if you take a look—take a look at what's been happening to the United States over the last almost 3 years. You take a look at the economic power that we've created. We've gone up—in fact, the Vice Premier of China just said—we've gone up trillions of dollars. China has gone down trillions of dollars. If we have to use sanctions, we will on Turkey.

Saudi Arabia

Q. Mr. President, why are you sending more troops to Saudi Arabia when you just said it's a mistake to be in the Middle East?

The President. So we're sending more troops to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a very good ally, from the standpoint that we get along with them very well, a very important player in the Middle East. The relationship has been very good. And they buy hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of merchandise from us, not only military equipment. In military equipment, about $110 billion. It's millions of jobs.

Now, with that being said, we are sending troops and other things to the Middle East to help Saudi Arabia. But are you ready? Saudi Arabia, at my request, has agreed to pay us for everything we're doing. That's a first.

But Saudi Arabia—and other countries too now—but Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay us for everything we're doing to help them. And we appreciate that.

The President's Tax Returns

Q. Mr. President, about your tax returns. You lost in court today about your tax returns——

The President. It's all right.

Q. If Pelosi starts impeachment, will you still object?

The President's Immigration Policies/Federal Judiciary

Q. Three court losses today. Any——

The President. Say it?

Q. Three court losses today. Any reaction to that?

The President. What?

Q. On immigration and taxes, turning over your taxes to——

The President. We lost immigration? I haven't heard that. We'll win. We'll turn—we'll—you know how many cases I've lost and then we win?

Okay, remember they said I lost ban—the travel ban? And then, they said I lost it again, and then I ended up winning it. So I've—I've had a great—I've had a great track record. And right now, within a couple of weeks, we will have 160 judges. And within a couple of months, we'll have 182 Federal judges. And we are breaking records like nobody has ever seen in that regard, as you know.

Q. Do you support administration officials——

The President. Do you agree? Do you agree? A hundred and eighty-two. Do you agree? Q. Do you support administration officials——

The President. You've got to say yes.

Q. ——testifying under subpoena?

The President. Your father would say yes.

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

Q. You agreed to hold off on the tariff increase next week, correct?

The President. We're going to hold off on the 5-percent increase from 25 to 30 [percent; White House correction.].

Q. And what specific concessions did you get from the Chinese in exchange for that?

The President. Well, if you look at the deal, the deal is so incredible. The deal is a great deal. And I have to say it again: The farmers—it's going to be $50 billion dollars' worth of purchase. The most they've ever done was $16 [billion; White House correction.]. So the farmers in Iowa, Nebraska, and all of these other great States that I love and that obviously like me a lot too, they're going to have to buy more land fast and bigger tractors, or they're not going to be able to keep up with the order.

Also, China, over the last 2 weeks, as you've probably seen, has been buying a lot of farm product. A lot of farm product. So we're agreeing not to put that additional increase. So we're going to get 25 percent. And when the increase kicks in on October 15, on the 25 to 30 [percent; White House correction.], we're not going to charge that. That's going to be held in abeyance, subject to the final deal.

Q. Any other concessions from the Chinese, other than agriculture?

The President. Well, it's basically everything I said. I don't have to go through it. But tremendous for banking, tremendous for technology. Beyond tremendous for the American farmer and rancher. Tremendous deal.

Have a good time. See you in Louisiana. We're going now to Louisiana. We're going to have a great rally. I hope you're going to come. Okay?

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:45 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to boarding Marine One. In his remarks, he referred to Vice Premier Liu He of China; Rep. Adam B. Schiff, in his capacity as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; and Shepard Smith, anchor, Fox News's "Shepard Smith Reporting" program. Reporters referred to Rupert Murdoch, chairman, Fox Corp. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 12.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks on China-United States Trade and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Lake Charles, Louisiana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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