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Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Upon Arrival at United Nations Headquarters in New York City

September 26, 2018

[A reporter's remarks were joined in progress.]

Situation in Venezuela

Q. Did you meet with him? He's asking for a meeting with you?

The President. If I had time, I would. I mean, to be honest with you, he has to straighten it out. He's got to be—he's got to act a lot more humanely. The people are suffering tremendously in Venezuela. There's no reason for this. So I would certainly be open to it. I'm willing to meet with anybody. Anytime I can save lives and help people—if it's one life, I'm certainly willing to meet.

Situation in Venezuela

Q. Mr. President—[inaudible]—he has said that it's very important for them to be able to work with the United States, but they don't want to——

The President. Who?

Q. Venezuela has said. But they said also that they don't want to declare it a humanitarian crisis, because they believe that will lead to an intervention, and they have included examples like Chile and other countries. What's your response to that? Because you have said——

The President. I just want to see Venezuela straightened out. I want the people to be safe. We're going to take care of Venezuela. Okay? We're going to take care of Venezuela. What's happening in Venezuela is a disgrace.

If he's here, if he wants to meet—I don't know. It was not on my mind. It was not on my plate. But if I can help people, that's what I'm here for.

Latin America-U.S. Relations/Colombia

Q. Are you going to ask to protect your allies in the region after Maduro sent troops to the border in Colombia?

The President. Yes. Our allies are in no trouble. We're with our allies.

[Many reporters began speaking at once.]

Q. But you are going to ask——

The President. Our allies—we are with our allies 100 percent. They have no problem. We met yesterday with Colombia. We had a great meeting with Colombia. And we've met with numerous others of our allies and they are absolutely in no trouble.

Russia-U.S. Relations

Q. When are you going to meet Mr. Putin?

The President. I don't know. I look forward to meeting him again. But I—we don't have anything set, but I look forward to meeting him again. North Korea

Q. Mr. President, on North Korea——

The President. Say it.

Q. On North Korea, what needs to happen? What does North Korea need to do——

The President. A lot of good things are happening in North Korea.

Q. No—what needs to happen—on North Korea, what needs to happen on North Korea? What does North Korea need to do before you will meet Chairman Kim again?

The President. We are denuclearizing North Korea. We have a wonderful relationship going between our country and them. We're being helped a lot by Japan, and very much by President Moon of South Korea.

And North Korea is going along very well. We really have had a tremendous amount of progress since this time last year.

Situation in Venezuela

Q. Every option is it still on the table against Nicolás Maduro? Every option is it still on the table, even military?

The President. All options are on the table. Every one. Strong ones and the less-than-strong ones. Every option—and you know what I mean by "strong." Every option is on the table, with respect to Venezuela.

We're going to take care of the people of Venezuela. We have many Venezuelans living in the United States. Many of them live in the Doral area of Miami. I've gotten to know them very well. These are great, great people. We're going to take care of those people. Okay?

North Korea

Q. Secretary Pompeo said today that North Korea might be okaying the inspectors to check their nukes. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? Because that will be—[inaudible].

The President. Chairman Kim wants good things to happen for North Korea. And good things are happening with respect to North Korea. And it's going to be great for Chairman Kim and great for the people of North Korea. And that's what we're all about.


Q. Mr. President, what are you going to discuss with the Japanese Prime Minister Abe today?

The President. A very good relationship with—as you know, with Prime Minister Abe. He was in my apartment just the other day in Trump Tower. We had a very long, couple-of-hour discussion. He loves his country.

He had a tremendous victory in the election, as you know, which I was very happy about. I don't know if you're supposed to endorse somebody or not, but I endorsed him, and I will endorse him again. He's a great gentleman and a great man and a person who is a great leader for Japan.

We have other things to discuss. I think more than anything else, we'll be discussing trade. North Korea

Q. When will you meet Chairman Kim? When and where will you meet with Mr. Chairman Kim?

The President. I'll be meeting with Chairman Kim in the very near future. It will be announced. We'll announce it. In fact, we're having a press conference today. We'll start talking about that.

But we'll be announcing where and when in the very near future. Thank you.

The First Lady's Travel to Africa

Q. Thank you. Mr. President, you said yesterday that the First Lady will travel to Africa.

The President. Yes.

Q. Which part of Africa? Has she considered going to Angola?

The President. They're going to announce it in about an hour. You should be there. She's got a press conference in 1 hour. You should be there. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, do you know that——

The President. They're announcing she's going to four countries in Africa.

Q. It's not Angola?

The President. They'll be announcing it in about an hour, exactly. She's going to be making the announcement, which is much more exciting when—than when I make an announcement. [Laughter]

So she'll be announcing she's making a big trip to Africa. We both love Africa. Africa is so beautiful, the most beautiful part of the world, in many ways.

Q. It is. Angola is even more——

The President. Just let me—let me just say that she's having a news conference in a very short period of time. She'll be announcing exactly where she's going, and I hope you're going to be there.

Q. She's not in Angola? Not Angola?

The President. You'll see in about an hour.

Senate Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh

Q. What is your thoughts on the woman questioning Kavanaugh's accuser tomorrow?

The President. Well, I think the Senate—the Republicans could not be nicer than the way they're handling this. They could have pushed it through 2½ weeks ago, and you wouldn't be talking about it right now—which is, frankly, what I would have preferred. But they didn't do that.

The Republicans could not be nicer, could not be more respectful to the process, certainly could not be more respectful to the woman, and I'm okay with that. I think I might have pushed it forward a lot faster. Because I'll tell you what, I know this particular man, Judge Kavanaugh. He's outstanding. You don't find people like this. He's outstanding. He's a gem. He's an absolute gem. And he's been treated very unfairly by the Democrats who are playing a con game.

They know what they're doing. It's a con. They go into a backroom, and they talk with each other, and they laugh at what they're getting away with. It's a con game, and that's what they play. And that's about the only thing they do well.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 9:10 a.m. at United Nations Headquarters. In his remarks, he referred to President Nicolás Maduro Moros of Venezuela; President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia; and Christine Blasey Ford, professor of statistics, Palo Alto University, who has accused Associate Justice-designate Kavanaugh of sexual assault at a party they attended while in high school. A reporter referred to Rachel Mitchell, prosecutor, Maricopa County, AZ, Attorney's Office, who was hired as outside counsel by the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Ms. Ford during her public testimony.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Upon Arrival at United Nations Headquarters in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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