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Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Albuquerque, New Mexico

September 16, 2019

The President. So, if you look at what's happening with respect to the stock market, it's been holding pretty firm, considering what happened with respect to Saudi Arabia. But I think we're doing very well.

Okay? Question?

General Motors Company Autoworkers Strike/U.S. Automobile Industry

Q. Is Federal mediation—is Federal mediation possible, as it relates to ending the GM auto strike?

The President. Federal mediation is always possible, if that's what they want. Hopefully, they'll be able to work out the GM strike quickly. We don't want General Motors building plants outside of this country, and we're very strong on that.

The UAW has been very good to me. The members have been very good, from the standpoint of voting. The relationship is good. Hopefully, they're going to work that out quickly and solidly.

Now, I just gave a pretty big news conference inside, and we're going to be late for New Mexico. We can't do that, ever, to New Mexico.

So go ahead, David [David Martosko, Daily Mail].

Drone Attacks on Saudi Arabian Oil Facilities

Q. Mr. President, Mike Pompeo is very certain Iran is behind the attack, and you're not. Why does he know more than you?

The President. I think we're the same. I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see. You look at a vector, and you look at—there are lots of different things we can look at, David. And we'll know for certain over the next pretty short period of time.

Q. If you become sure—if you become sure, are we going to see military action?

The President. Well, then, we're going to decide. Then, we're going to decide.

Q. Mr. President, do you trust Saudi Arabia on Iran?

Drone Attacks on Saudi Arabian Oil Facilities

Q. After the drone downing, you said it wouldn't be proportionate to do a lethal strike on Iran where you kill a bunch of people for the drone.

The President. Say it again, louder.

Q. After the drone was shot down in June, you said it wouldn't be proportionate to do a lethal strike that would kill people. An attack on an oil facility, even though it's big——

The President. Would this be proportionate? Is that what you're asking?

Q. Yes.

The President. I would say yes. I would say—— So I don't know who's going to New Mexico with me, but I'll see you on the plane.

Q. Mr. President, what about oil prices?

Drone Attacks on Saudi Arabian Oil Facilities

Q. Mr. President, can you trust Saudi Arabia on Iran, since they lied to you about Khashoggi?

The President. Can I what?

Q. Can you trust Saudi Arabia when it comes to what they say about Iran?

The President. Oh, I think so. Look, they want to find out also. And I think they probably feel they know. But we're going to know very quickly. We have pretty much all the material we need. We'll know very quickly.

New York Times Article Regarding Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh/News Media

Q. Mr. President, do you think the New York Times should fire the individuals responsible for claiming that Kavanaugh committed sexual misconduct without including exculpatory information?

The President. I think the New York Times made another terrible mistake. It's a shame that a thing like that could happen. I see they're making a big correction today. They've just announced there's a correction.

But to do that about a Supreme Court Justice is a terrible thing. It's a false accusation. Whatever happened with the New York Times—I mean, I can tell you personally, they never check. They never do—we used to have a thing called "fact-checking." They don't do fact-checking anymore. They used to call and say: "What about this? What about that?" How can they do a thing like that and destroy somebody's life? I mean, they're destroying lives.

And it's fake news. It's just fake news. But it's a very fair question. I mean, they have to be very embarrassed. But much more importantly, what they do is wrong, and they do it all the time.

U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve/Domestic Oil and Gas Production

Q. Mr. President, what about oil going up $15 today? Oil went up $15 today. How concerned are you about that?

The President. Well, we have the Strategic—if you look at what we have, we have tremendous amounts of oil in our country. We're independent of everybody now. We have more than anybody else. We're the number-one energy producer in the world, which took place very recently. And we will soon be substantially more than anybody else.

So it won't affect us. And ultimately, I don't think it will affect the world either. But it won't affect the United States.

Drone Attacks on Saudi Arabian Oil Facilities

Q. Are you worried about it affecting the economy?

The President. I don't think so.

Q. Mr. President, will you meet any African leader——

The President. No, I think it's going to be fine.

U.S. Relations With African Nations Q. Mr. President, will you meet any African leaders at U.N.? Any of——

The President. We're going to see some of the African leaders at the U.N., yes.

Q. Is Angola included, Mr. President?

India-U.S. Relations/India-Pakistan Relations

Q. You are traveling to Texas to address 50,000 people. You will be addressing 50,000 people, along with Prime Minister Modi, in Houston next weekend. What is the message you are sending to the world?

The President. So I'll see Prime Minister Modi, and I will—we'll be meeting with India and Pakistan. And I think a lot of progress has been made there. A lot of progress. Thank you.

The President's Personal Finances

Q. Mr. President, is it legal for the New York Attorney General to subpoena your accountant?

The President. I don't know anything about it.

Q. They subpoenaed your accountant.

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:30 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House prior to boarding Marine One. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. A reporter referred to New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Departure for Albuquerque, New Mexico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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