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Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Upon Returning From New York City

November 03, 2019

The President. Would you like to talk to me? I'm shocked.

Q. Yes, of course.

The President. I'm shocked. Yes, go ahead.

Intelligence Community Whistleblower/The President's July 25 Telephone Conversation With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine/Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives

Q. What would you like to know about the whistleblower?

The President. Well, the whistleblower gave a very inaccurate report. And, as you know, certain of the media released information about a man that they said was the whistleblower; I don't know if that's true or not. But what they said is he's an Obama person. It was involved with Brennan; Susan Rice, which means Obama. He—but he was like a big anti-Trump person, hated Trump. And they said terrible things.

Now, I don't know if it's true or not, but that was reported by some of the media, so you'll have to find out. I don't know why the media is not on it, because the whistleblower gave a very inaccurate report about my phone call. My phone call was perfecto. It was totally appropriate. But he gave a report—he or she—but according to the newspapers, it's a "he."

They think they know—they know who it is. You know who it is. You just don't want to report it. CNN knows who it is, but you don't want to report it. The—and you know, you'd be doing the public a service if you did.

The whistleblower gave a false report. And because of that false report, people thought bad things were done. And then, you had Schiff go out and speak before Congress and before the American people and give a false story. He made up a story. And then, I released after—after all this was done, I released, and everybody said, "He didn't do anything wrong."

But the whistleblower should be revealed, because the whistleblower gave false stories. Some people would call it a fraud; I won't go that far. But when I read it closely, I probably would. But the whistleblower should be revealed.

Then, I want to ask another question of you: Where is the second whistleblower? And why did Schiff make a lie when he said about what I said on the phone call? And why didn't the Lieutenant Colonel say that he wrote a letter to the White House with certain little comments about the phone call?

And all of those many people that listened to the phone call, why didn't they have a problem with it? Because they didn't have—many people listen to calls between—I know that. And, for instance, the Secretary of State, Pompeo, was on the call. Nobody had—with all of those people, very few people, that I know, came forward. And they only came forward when you asked. And some of them are Never Trumpers.

So—but why didn't all of those people listening to this absolutely, totally appropriate phone call, why didn't they come forward? So you know, it's a whole scam.

Q. Sir, what evidence do you have? The President. It's an impeachment scam. And you know what it is? It's between the Democrats and the fake news media.

Q. [Inaudible]—John Durham investigation?

National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander S. Vindman

Q. Sir, what evidence do you have that Colonel Vindman is a Never Trumper?

The President. We'll be showing that to you real soon. Okay?

Q. Can you describe it, sir?

The President. Yes, go ahead. Go ahead.

The President's Support Among African Americans/Criminal Justice Reform/Opportunity Zones

Q. In terms of the African American community, are you concerned that the possibility of impeachment might hurt your standing in the African American community?

The President. No, I think I have a great standing in the African American community because, if you look at what we've done, as you know, we have the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country for African Americans. We have the best poverty numbers. We have the best employment numbers. And I'm doing great.

African American community gets it. And I did criminal justice reform. Nobody else. I did it. Without me, you don't have criminal justice reform. And that was for African Americans more than anybody else. So I think my standing in the African community—African American community is maybe the best.

We're going to see. We're going to see in 1 year. But I think that I'm going to get a tremendous percentage of votes from the African American—I did one other thing. I did Opportunity Zones. And these are neighborhoods that a lot of people wouldn't be investing. Now, because of what I did with Tim Scott and some others—but Tim Scott was fantastic, of South Carolina. We did Opportunity Zones. It's an incredible thing.

So I think we're going to do great with African Americans. We have tremendous African American support.

Intelligence Community Whistleblower/Ukraine-U.S. Relations

Q. Are you thinking about tweeting out the name of the whistleblower? Have you thought that? Have you thought about publishing it yourself?

The President. Well, I'll tell you what. There have been stories written about a certain individual—a male—and they say he's the whistleblower. If he's the whistleblower, he has no credibility because he's a Brennan guy, he's a Susan Rice guy, he's an Obama guy, and he hates Trump, and he's a radical. Now, maybe it's not him. But if it's him, you guys ought to release the information.

Q. Was there a quid pro quo?

The President. No, not at all. Not at all.

Q. Mr. President, you suggested—[inaudible].

2020 Presidential Election/Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives/News Media Q. Are you confident—Mr. President, it's 1 year until the election. Are you confident of being reelected again?

The President. Say it again.

Q. Are you confident being reelected again in 1 year?

The President. Very confident. Our poll numbers are great. We're doing very well in the polls. And by the way, not that it's very important, because you got elected, and you got elected, but the impeachment polls have been very, very strong, and especially in the swing States, I think you see that. The swing States, they don't want to hear about it. And we have polls—people don't want to hear about impeachment.

The only one that wants impeachment—that talk about it—is the fake media and the Democrats, who—basically, they work for the media. The way I look at it, the Democrats work for the media.

Q. Sir, the U.K.——

Q. [Inaudible]—Mick Mulvaney——

China-U.S. Trade Negotiations

Q. Is there any progress on the meeting place with China? Have you spoken to China?

The President. Yes, there's progress. And there's—first, I want to get the deal. I mean, the meeting place, to me, is going to be pretty easy. But first, we'll see if we get the deal. And if we get the deal, the meeting place will come very easily. It will be someplace in the U.S.

Public Opinion on Impeachment/Polls

Q. Mr. President, according to several recent polls, more Americans want you to be impeached and removed from office than the number of Americans who don't.

The President. No, no, you're reading the wrong polls. You're reading the wrong polls.

Q. Fox News, Wall Street Journal, NBC, ABC, Washington Post—all of those polls.

The President. You're reading—let me just tell you, I have the real polls. I have the real polls. The CNN polls are fake. The Fox polls have always been lousy. I tell them they ought to get themselves a new pollster.

But the real polls—if you look at polls that——

Q. [Inaudible]—50 percent of Americans want you impeached.

The President. You look at the polls that came out this morning. People don't want anything to do with impeachment. It's a phony scam. It's a hoax. And the whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false information.

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

Q. [Inaudible]—confidence in Mick Mulvaney? Do you still——

The President. What?

Q. Do you still have confidence in Mick Mulvaney?

The President. Well, he's working. As long as he's with me, I have confidence.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom/National Economy/U.K.-U.S. Trade Q. In the U.K., do you side with Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage, if you had to choose?

The President. Well, I like them both. I'm with—look, I think Boris is the right man for the time. He's really for the times. He's a great gentleman. He's a wonderful guy. He's tough. He's smart. And I think he's going to do something. I just hope he does it so the U.S.—which is by far the biggest economy in the world—it's not even close.

Since I took office, we've picked up trillions of dollars. Trillions. And frankly, China has lost trillions of dollars, as you very well know. We're far and away the number-one economy in the world. And if you do it a certain way, we're prohibited from trading with the U.K. That would be very bad for the U.K., because we can do much more business than the European Union.

So I think Boris will get it right. They're both friends of mine. What I'd like to see is for Nigel and Boris to come together. I think that's a possibility here.

Q. [Inaudible]—Republicans——


Q. Mr. President, how strong is your support for Ukraine in their conflict with Russia?

The President. Very good.

Q. Have you ever told Putin to get out of Ukraine?

The President. Yes, very—my support is very good. My relationship with Ukraine is very good. My relationship with Russia is very good. My relationship with China is very good. People don't understand: I get along, but nobody is going to mess with me.

Department of Justice Investigation of Initial Investigation Into Russia's Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Q. Do you have any status update on the John Durham investigation?

The President. The John Durham investigation is moving along. That's up to Attorney General Barr, highly respected. John Durham is one of the most respected prosecutors in the last 50 years in this country. And I let them do their thing. It's Bill Barr and John Durham. And what they come up with will, I think, be very meaningful. We'll see what happens. I do not get involved with it. That's up to them.

Q. Do you have a date——

The President. And by the way, I'd be allowed to get involved with it if I wanted to, but I chose not to. It's up to Bill Barr. But the John Durham investigation is a very important—I feel—one of the most important investigations in the history of our country. Okay?

The President's Schedule

Q. Do you have a date for the meeting—[inaudible]—President?

The President. Say it?

Q. Do you have a date or a venue for your meeting?

The President. No, we don't, but it could happen. Something like that could happen. I know they'd like to meet. And something like that could happen.

Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives/Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi/Management of California

Q. [Inaudible]—House Republicans to call for a public testimony? The President. I think that the House Republicans and the Senate Republicans have been incredible. I don't think there's ever been unity like we have right now. We had 195 or so votes. We didn't have one negative vote. The only one that had negative votes on the whole impeachment scam were the Democrats.

I think Nancy Pelosi has lost her mind. And I think, frankly, that she should go back home to San Francisco. If you look at what's happening to her district—her district is going to hell, with homeless, with—that they're not taking care of; with needles all over the street; with tents; with people; with sanitation; with horrible things being washed into the ocean, into the Pacific Ocean. I think Nancy Pelosi, her district has probably gone down more than any district, proportionately, in the United States.

Q. But who should House Republicans call to testify?

The President. And what she's done—and what she's done for that district—and then, on top of it, you've got fires eating away at California every year because management is so bad. The Governor doesn't know—he's like a child. He doesn't know what he's doing. And I've been telling this for 2 years: They've got to take care of it.

Every year, it's always California. Never—it's rarely somebody else or someplace else. But Nancy Pelosi ought to go back to her district and take care of it, because her district has become a mess, number one in the country for going down. All she thinks about is impeachment. But she doesn't want to impeach. You know who wants to impeach? The people that run the party: the radical left.

Q. Mr. President, why do you believe——

Former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton

Q. Sir, do you want John Bolton to testify, sir? And if so, do you——

The President. That's up to him and up to the lawyers. It's really——

Q. Will you give——

The President. It's really up to the lawyers. I like John Bolton, I always got along with him, but that's going to be up to the lawyers.

Q. Mr. President, there's a genuine concern there could be a Government shutdown——

The President's July 25 Telephone Conversation With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine

Q. Mr. President, you said "no quid pro quo." The thing is, is that, in the transcript, it says——

The President. Read the transcript.

Q. ——"I have a favor to ask you though."

The President. Read the transcript.

Q. But it says, "I have no—I have a favor to ask you though."

The President. Read the transcript.

Potential Federal Government Shutdown/The President's July 25 Telephone Conversation With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine Q. What about a Government shutdown? There's a genuine concern, Democrats believe, that you will hold up money for the Government because you're so upset about impeachment. Is that something that could be a possibility? Tell us.

The President. No, no, no.

Q. What do you say to the American people?

The President. I don't think they believe that at all, but we'll see what happens. The Democrats only—they're—I call them the "do-nothing Democrats." They're doing nothing. They're not getting USMCA done. Everybody wants it. Even the Democrats want it. They're not getting anything done. Even guns—they don't talk about guns.

They don't talk—all they can do is talk about one phone call made to the President of Ukraine that was perfect. It was perfect. It was a perfect phone call. And they're hanging their hat on this one phone call. And you know what? The Republican Party has never been so unified.

Q. Sir, will you mount a defense? Will you mount a defense, sir?

The President. That includes Senators, that includes House—they've never been so unified.

Potential Federal Government Shutdown

Q. Can you commit to no Government shutdown? I mean, can you—for people that are concerned, what would you say?

The President. It depends on—it depends on what the negotiation—I wouldn't commit to anything. It depends on what the negotiation is. Okay?

Q. Sir, will you mount a defense?

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:26 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John O. Brennan; former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice; Rep. Adam B. Schiff, in his capacity as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Sen. Timothy E. Scott; Member of the European Parliament and leader of the U.K.'s Brexit Party Nigel P. Farage; U.S. Attorney John H. Durham for the District of Connecticut; and Gov. Gavin C. Newsom of California. A reporter referred to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks in an Exchange With Reporters Upon Returning From New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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