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Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters During a Tour of the Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch in Keene, Texas

October 17, 2019

Q. Hello, Mr. President.

The President. Hello. How are you?

Q. Good.

The President. Okay. She's good.

LVMH Moët Hennessy–Louis Vuitton Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault

Q. Do you have a special relationship with Mr. Arnault? And——

The President. Well, I do. And he was so nice to me. And I said, "I'd love you to open up something in Texas or someplace in the U.S." And he's a great gentleman, a great businessman. And he's really an artist. To me, Bernard is an artist. And what he's done is incredible, not only here, but in terms of the branding—the world of brands. And it's an honor to have him in Texas. And he's going to be very happy.

Q. Mr. President——

U.S. Tariffs on French Imports

Q. Thank you. Tomorrow there will be tariffs on European products. Why do you want to tax French wines and French cheese? And why won't you tax Mr. Arnault's handbags or champagne? For example——

The President. Well, I can't tax him because he moved to the United States. So he was——

Q. Did you discuss it?

The President. He was way ahead. I actually did discuss it. He has no tariffs whatsoever because he's in the United States. So we're very happy about that. Very happy.

Q. What about the wines and the cheese? Why——

The President. Well, that's a different story, but——

Q. Sure.

The President. But they owe us a lot of money. Thank you very much.

Q. Mr. President, did you——

Q. Your reaction to Rick Perry, sir?

Q. Do you have confidence in Mick Mulvaney, Mr. President?

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

Q. Did you watch Mick Mulvaney's press conference, Mr. President?

The President. No, I didn't. I wasn't able to see it.

Q. Are you aware that he suggested that there was some sort of a quid pro quo involved in Ukraine? The President. No, I didn't. I heard he—somebody said he did a very nice job.

Q. Do you know when Rick Perry is going to leave?

The President. You know what I've been focused on today, very much? All of this, and also, if you look, Turkey and the great thing that happened in Syria.

I don't know. But Mick is a good man. I don't know. I have not heard anything about that.

Q. Do you still have confidence in Mick?

The President. I have a lot of confidence.

Q. Mr. President——

Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch

Q. About Syria, Mr. Trump, are you very satisfied with the cease-fire? Is it the end of the crisis?

The President. I think this is beautiful. I really think this is beautiful. I think the plant is incredible, and a great company. Thank you very much.

Q. Mr. President——

Q. The cease-fire——

Secretary of Energy J. Richard Perry

Q. Mr. President, did Rick Perry offer his resignation to you, sir?

The President. No, Rick has been with me 3 years. He's right here. He's with us, right here. And he's been outstanding. And we already have his replacement. Rick has a done a fantastic job in energy. But it was time. Yes, 3 years is a long time. And he'll be leaving toward the end of the year—at the end of the year.

But he's turned—in fact, I was going to announce it tonight at the rally in Texas.

Q. Who are you looking at?

The President. We have the man that we're going to—it's a man, in this case, we're going to be putting in Rick's place in—we'll be announcing it very shortly. Okay?

How are you? How are you? Good job, you do.

Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch/Turkey's Incursion Into Northern Syria/Syrian Democratic Forces/U.S. Diplomatic Efforts

Q. About the cease-fire, Mr. Trump, it's a big deal. How did you manage to get it? And is it the end of the crisis?

The President. This is a great deal. This is a great deal for Texas and for our country. And to have this incredible company and brand in Texas is an honor for all us.

Q. No, but I mean with Syria. What you got today——

The President. Well, we're very happy. And I want to thank President Erdogan of Turkey. I want to thank all of the leaders of the Kurds. Many people came into store for this. And it was unconventional, but they saw that was not working out, what they were doing. And we're very happy with the way that worked out. Very, very successful.

And now, over the next number of days, things are going to happen that are going to be very positive. There's a lot of good will going on right now in Turkey with the Kurds and with everybody involved. Many, many people are involved. But I want to thank Mike Pence. I want to thank Mike Pompeo. They did a fantastic job. All of my representatives who went over there 2 days ago, late in the evening, and got there—and not easy to do, and little bit dangerous to do, also—they did a fantastic job.

Q. And do you think it's solved? It's over?

The President. Yes, I do. I think it will all work out now. I think they needed an unconventional touch. And I am very unconventional, right?

Secretary of Energy J. Richard Perry

Q. Were you surprised by Rick Perry's announcement—decision?

The President. No, I knew 6 months ago. He told me at the end of the year he'd like to go. And he's got some ideas for doing something else. He's a terrific guy. He's here with us now. Here's here. He's right here.

Q. Can we talk to him?

The President. Sure.

Q. So what happened on the plane today? Did he just formalize it and hand you the letter?

The President. With what? Rick?

Q. Yes.

The President. No, no. Rick and I have been talking for 6 months. In fact, I thought he might go a little bit sooner. But he's got some very big plans. He's going to be very successful. We have his successor. We'll announce it pretty soon.

Q. Is it Governor Abbott?

Q. [Inaudible]—from Forth Worth.

The President. He'd be a good one.

Q. Is it the Governor of Alaska?

The President. I'll tell you, he would be a—they would be both be very good. No, it's not. But they both would be very good.

Death of Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth, Texas

Q. Do you have any comment, sir, for Fort Worth, on the death of Atatiana Jefferson, the woman who was found killed in her home? You just came from Fort Worth.

The President. No, I think it was terrible. I think it was a terrible thing.

U.S. Economy

Q. You have very low unemployment rate in the U.S., and we have a very high unemployment rate in France. How come? What's the recipe for——

The President. Well, maybe we have a better President than you do. [Laughter]

Q. Are you any closer to sending Anne Sacoolas back to the U.K.?

The President. Thank you very much. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:59 p.m. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Gregory W. Abbott of Texas; and Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy of Alaska. A reporter referred to Anne Sacoolas, a U.S. citizen who was involved in a wrong-way traffic collision near the Royal Air Force Croughton station, a U.S. Air Force facility in Northamptonshire, England, on August 27, in which British teenager Harry Dunn was killed.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters During a Tour of the Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch in Keene, Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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