Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Aboard Air Force One En Route to Tokyo, Japan
[The President's remarks were joined in progress.]
The President. ——than ever before. I mean, literally, Friday, it closed at the highest point in the history of the stock market. You look at the unemployment numbers. We picked up $5.5 trillion since my election in market value.
These are tremendous numbers, whether it's China or anybody else. These are massive numbers.
China-U.S. Relations/U.S. Stock Market/Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Terrorist Organization/Saudi Arabia/U.S. Arms Sales/2016 Presidential Election
Q. [Inaudible]—Beijing to view the United States at the end of this trip?
The President. Well, I think he's viewing us as very, very strong, and also, very friendly.
Look, we have to do better with trade with China, because it's a one-way street right now, and it has been for many years. And we will.
But the reason our stock market is so successful is because of me. I've always been great with money. I've always been great with jobs. That's what I do. And I've done it well. I've done it really well, much better than people understand it. And they understand that very well.
But we have a tremendous amount of strength because of what's happened. You know, think of it: $5.5 trillion worth of value. But also, look at ISIS. Look at our military budget that we just had approved. You know, we're at $700 billion. Look at—and by the way, and going up. We make the best military equipment in the world.
A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. You know about that, right? A missile went out. And our system knocked the missile out of the air. That's how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we're selling it all over the world.
One of the reasons our markets are so high and our defense companies are doing so well is I am demanding our allies and people that we are working with that they buy our equipment. Now, there's two advantages to that. Number one, we make, by far, the best equipment. But number two, they're buying from us.
So I think we're going in with tremendous strength. I mean, I don't think—I mean, there is a question that you ask—and I understand the question. But when you think that, on Friday, we hit the highest point in the history of our stock market. When we picked up from November 8—which, can you believe it, is almost exactly 1 year? We're going to be in China together. We'll have to celebrate together November 8. I hope we'll all celebrate together. In fact, I was going to have a big celebration party, and then I said, wow. But we'll celebrate together.
But when you think of $5.5 trillion; when you think of what we've done to ISIS. Now, ISIS, the remnants, they go into Africa and other places, and we're meeting them before they get there. So they've never seen anything like it. We have been more successful with ISIS than in 8 years of the previous administration.
So anyway, so I was just coming back to say hello. Go have a good time. We'll see you a lot.
Q. Mr. President, just one more question on North Korea. Your voice will be heard there.
The President. Yes.
Q. You've talked a lot about the leader of North Korea, but what would you like to say——
The President. About what?
Q. About the leader of North Korea. But what would you like to say directly to the people of North Korea?
The President. I think they're great people. They're industrious; they're warm, much warmer than the world really knows and understands. They're great people. And I hope it all works out for everybody. It would be a wonderful thing if we could work out for those great people and for everybody.
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
Q. Any comment on the Bushes——
The President. The Bushes?
Q. Yes, what they apparently——
The President. I'll comment after we come back. I don't need headlines. I don't want to make their book successful.
Q. Anything more on tax reform?
The President's Travel to Asia
Q. And last question. What about length of this trip? I mean, it's a grueling trip.
The President. Because it's really they tell me—you know, fortunately, that historically has not been a problem for me. I mean, one thing you people will say: That has not been a problem.
We had a choice. I could have done a five and a four, or I could have done two fives, or I could have done one twelve. The one 12 was by far the best, most comprehensive, and the best timing because you have the two big conventions and conferences, right, where we're going to Vietnam and then two in the Philippines.
I mean, one very big thing is the fact that we're going to the Philippines, because if you remember the previous administration, that was a great embarrassment to our country when they couldn't land. It was a very bad thing. Our relationships are very good with the Philippines.
So I had a choice of five, four or—or five, five, or the twelve.
Q. What are you doing to stay fresh? The President. And what we're doing—I don't know. I'll let you know if I don't stay fresh. [Laughter] If I don't stay fresh, you'll be the first to tell me. I'll stay fresh.
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines
Q. What's your message to the President of the Philippines while you're there?
The President. I look forward to seeing him. I look very much forward to seeing him.
Professional Golfer Hideki Matsuyama of Japan/Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan
Q. You've got golf with Matsuyama today, right?
The President. I am. I'm playing with a great golfer, Hideki Matsuyama, who's the—one of the greatest players in the world. Currently, one of the greatest. He's already at a very young age—I think he's 23—he's probably the greatest. He is the greatest player in the history of Japan, possibly their greatest celebrity. He's a true player. I think he won five tournaments over the last year and a half.
You know, when you think of it, he's a truly great player, great athlete, long-ball hitter. I hit the ball pretty long. I promise you one thing: I won't be hitting it there. If I come back and say I was longer than him, don't believe it. [Laughter]
No, but he's a great celebrity, great athlete. He's really got a lot of things going, including the "it" factor. And so when I played with—because Prime Minister Abe, he loves golf. And we played in Palm Beach, and we played with Ernie Els. And so he is reciprocal, as I say. It's going to be a lot of fun.
So have a good time. We all have a long trip together.
Are all of you staying for the entire 12 days?
Q. Oh, yes.
The President. We'll do well together.
The President's Travel to Asia/Job Creation
Q. How will we know it's successful? Is there something in particular——
The President. I don't know. I hope, Jennifer [Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg News]—I hope you're going to write about it and tell me. You tell me. Okay?
I think we're going to have a great success. I mean, look, I've had a very successful Presidency. You look at the numbers. You look at what's happening. You look at jobs. Didn't I hear a new jobs number came out—a million and a half jobs—a million and a half jobs since November 8 have been created.
So this is really a continuation of it. A very big focus is going to be, obviously, on North Korea. But a very, very big focus is going to be on fair trade, and that's very important to me.
Q. Are there particular goals that you really want to go back home with, or just——
The President. I'll let you know after I'm finished. You're going to be the first. I'll let her know first. Okay? [Laughter]
I'll see you folks. Have a good time. Enjoy it.
NOTE: The President spoke at 1:08 p.m. In his remarks, he referred to President Xi Jinping of China; and professional golfer T. Ernest Els. A reporter referred to Chairman of the Korean Worker's Party Kim Jong Un of North Korea.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Aboard Air Force One En Route to Tokyo, Japan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/331786