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Remarks During a Meeting With Prime Minister Malcolm B. Turnbull of Australia and an Exchange With Reporters in New York City

May 04, 2017

Prime Minister Turnbull. Well, congratulations on your vote today.

President Trump. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. It was great. Big day.

Prime Minister Turnbull. Big day.

President Trump. Big day

Prime Minister Turnbull. Yes. And got to—every vote counts.

President Trump. Every vote. We got it. We had a couple left over if we wanted them, but we didn't need them. It was a very big day. Really, very. I appreciate your waiting.

Prime Minister Turnbull. Well, I know the feeling. We have challenges with our Parliament too.

President Trump. Right?

Prime Minister Turnbull. We have only 29 seats in a Senate of 76 so you need a lot of work to get legislation passed.

President Trump. That means you're doing a good job.

Prime Minister Turnbull. When you get it passed, you are. Yes, that's right.

President Trump. It's great to be with you.

Prime Minister Turnbull. Great to be with you too.

President Trump's Relationship With Prime Minister Turnbull

Q. How are you getting along?

Q. Mr. Trump, are you planning on visiting Australia anytime soon?

President Trump. We're getting along great. We get along great. Always have.

Prime Minister Turnbull. Yes.

Australia-U.S. Relations

Q. How important is the relationship with Australia, Mr. President?

President Trump. Oh, I love Australia. We have a fantastic relationship. But I love Australia, always have. In fact, Greg Norman is here today, a friend of ours. And we have a lot of friends here tonight.

Prime Minister Turnbull. We've got a lot of friends in common.

President Trump. A lot of friends in common, a lot of great friends.

Q. Do you think you can you put the refugee deal behind you and move on?

President Trump. Oh, yes, sure. We're going to—that's all worked out. That's been worked out for a long time. Q. Telephone calls going will be good in future? [Laughter]

President Trump. We had a good telephone call.

Prime Minister Turnbull. We had a great call.

President Trump. You guys exaggerated that call. That was a big exaggeration. I want to tell you, we had a great call. I mean, we're not babies. [Laughter] But we had a great call. Right?

Prime Minister Turnbull. Young at heart, Donald. Young at heart, Donald. Yes, young at heart.

President Trump. We had a very, very good call. That was a little bit of fake news, as the expression goes.

Prime Minister Turnbull. That's exactly right.

Q. When can we expect you in Australia Mr. Trump?

President Trump. Oh, that will happen. One of the great, great places. One of the most beautiful places on Earth. And I have so many friends there. I will be there. We will be there. Absolutely, we'll be there.

Prime Minister Turnbull. Well, we're looking forward to it.

President Trump. Come here.

[At this point, President Trump shook Prime Minister Turnbull's hand.]

75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea

Q. You're here celebrating the Battle of the Coral Sea. How important is the event tonight?

President Trump. Right. I will be speaking about the Battle of the Coral Sea tonight. That was some battle. That was a very important battle for both of us.

Prime Minister Turnbull. It was.

President Trump. We did it together.

Prime Minister Turnbull. We did. It was the—it saved Australia, and it was the turning point in the war. And I was just up on the flight deck with some of the veterans, American and Australian veterans. They were teenagers when they turned the war, the tide of war——

President Trump. That's right. Turned it around.

Prime Minister Turnbull. ——and Australia and America started to win.

President Trump. So we have been allies for 99 years. Can you imagine that? Ninety-nine years and never a bad time. So it's a great, great thing.

Health Care Reform Legislation

Q. Mr. President, how hard is it going to be to get that health care deal through the Senate?

President Trump. I think we will get it through. The Republicans are very united like seldom before. I mean, you've seen that today. The Republicans came together all of a sudden 2 days ago, and it was like magic. They just came together. They're very, very united. Every group from Freedom Caucus to Tuesday to every single group. A lot of groups. A lot of great people. But they are very, very united. You saw that today, and you'll see it again. The Senate is looking forward to getting it. Mitch McConnell knows how to do things. And I think we are going to have some really great health care for a long time.

Health Care Reform Legislation/Australia's Health Care System/Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Q. President Trump, what do you say to some of the congressmen who are concerned about how it will change in the Senate?

President Trump. Well, it could change a little bit. It could get maybe even better. It is a very good bill right now. The premiums are going to come down very substantially. The deductibles are going to come down. It is going to be fantastic health care.

Right now Obamacare is failing. We have a failing health care. I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do. But we are going to have great health care very soon. Obamacare is failing. The insurance companies are leaving, Aetna just announced, they're out from Obamacare. Some States, you look at a lot of States, a lot of different States, you look at Tennessee, you look at—Kentucky is now trouble, Iowa is in trouble. The insurance companies are all leaving. Obamacare is dead. So when you compare something to Obamacare, Obamacare is no longer living. And we have something that is going to be, I think, one of the best anywhere in the world, and we look forward to it.

President Trump's Use of Social Media

Q. Mr. President, can I ask you about your tweet on foreign policy and international issues. It's unconventional for a President. Is it an asset or a liability for your foreign policy?

President Trump. Well, social media is the way to go. I have got over a hundred million people watching and social media to me is the way to go. And this way, if somebody's not treating you properly or if you do have, indeed, fake media—not all of it's fake; some of it's fantastic actually—but you can just sort of circumvent. But you know, I find, I don't know if you find that——

Prime Minister Turnbull. Yes.

President Trump. But I find social media is the way to go between the different forums. There are many different forums, but it is a fast way of getting the word out. I really think it helped today win on health care. I think it is a great way to communicate, and it is a modern way to communicate.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Prime Minister Turnbull. Thanks, everyone.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 7:15 p.m. at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid. In his remarks, he referred to former professional golfer Greg Norman. He also referred to H.R. 1628. The Office of the Press Secretary released a video but no transcript of these remarks. The transcript provided here was released by the Office of the Prime Minister of Australia and verified against the White House video.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks During a Meeting With Prime Minister Malcolm B. Turnbull of Australia and an Exchange With Reporters in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/329166

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