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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Sauli Niinistö of Finland and an Exchange With Reporters

August 28, 2017

President Trump. Well, thank you very much. It's my honor to have President Niinistö of Finland, a country that we have had a wonderful relationship. We're working with them very strongly right now. We have trading relationships. Sadly, they have a trade surplus against the United States, but maybe we can do something to change that. [Laughter]

But it's a great honor to have you. Your country has done very well. It's doing extremely well under your leadership. And an honor to have you at the Oval Office.

Thank you very much.

President Niinistö. Thank you so very much.

President Trump. Thank you.

President Niinistö. It's an honor to be in Oval Office. Just a reminder, even though the balance is pro for us—[laughter]—the balance of investments is different. Finns do invest to U.S.A. a lot more.

President Trump. That's true. That's true. That's true.

President Niinistö. Mr. President, I would like to say that what we are seeing in Texas, Louisiana, our thoughts are with those people.

President Trump. Thank you.

President Niinistö. And I am sure that they and you, Mr. President, have the strength and courage to overcome the catastrophe.

President Trump. Well, that's very nice. And we appreciate it. And coming from yourself and the people of Finland, I very much appreciate it. Thank you.

President Niinistö. Thank you.

President Trump. Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much.

[At this point, many reporters began asking questions at once.]

Hurricane Harvey Response and Recovery Efforts/The President's Travel to Texas

Q. Any worries about Texas, Mr. President?

President Trump. I'll be going to Texas tomorrow. I look very much forward to it. Things are being handled really well. The spirit is incredible—of the people. The coordination between all of the different services, as you know, has been going very well. Great respect for the Governor. He's done an incredible job.

And I look forward to the trip. So I'll be going there tomorrow. We're leaving at about 8:30 in the morning. We don't know exactly which sections; we'll be notifying you soon. But we'll be traveling throughout certain parts, and we may actually go back on Saturday. Depending on where the storm goes, we may also go to Louisiana on Saturday. Hurricane Harvey Response and Recovery Efforts/The President's Travel to Texas

Q. Are you surprised at the magnitude of the storm?

President Trump. It's the biggest ever. They're saying it's the biggest. It's historic. It's like Texas—really, like Texas—if you think about it. But it is a historic amount of water in particular. There's never been anything like it.

So the people are handling it amazingly well. And the people of Texas, as you know, have really persevered. And when you watch the spirit and the enthusiasm and helping each other, the teamwork, it's really been something for people to say—I think even in Finland they would say it's been pretty incredible what they've been able to do.

President Niinistö. Oh. We have noticed that, yes. It's wonderful.

President Trump. Yes. It's been really something.

So we'll be leaving——

Q. Will you be doing anything special, sir——

President Trump. We'll be leaving tomorrow at about 8:30 in the morning.

Q. Will you be doing anything special, sir, with the Cabinet or Congress to ask for more money or anything else?

President Trump. Well, we've done quite a few Cabinet meetings to make sure everything is coordinated. We're dealing with Congress. As you know, it's going to be a very expensive situation. We want to take care of the people of Texas and Louisiana, when that happens. And let's see what happens with the flow. The flow seems to be heading toward Louisiana right now, as we speak. But we'll be there for the people of Louisiana also, very much so.

So we'll see you tomorrow. And I guess you'll see both of us in a couple of minutes in the East Room.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:32 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Gregory W. Abbott of Texas.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Sauli Niinistö of Finland and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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