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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Sebastian Piñera Echenique of Chile and an Exchange With Reporters

September 28, 2018

President Piñera. How many times this house has been burned?

President Trump. One time.

President Piñera. Only once?

President Trump. A long time ago. A long, long time ago.

Well, thank you very much. We are with the very distinguished President of Chile. And he and I are going to be discussing a lot of things, including trade and military and military protection and purchases. We're—we have a lot of things on our plates.

It's one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It's also got one of the great coastlines in the world. No—there's no lacking of coast; there's no lacking of ocean.

So it's an honor to be with the President, and thank you very much for being at the Oval Office with us.

President Piñera. President Trump, thank you very much.

President Trump. Thank you. Please.

President Piñera. Well, I'm very pleased to be in this great country with President Trump. There are so many issues that we have to discuss, because Chile and the United States are likeminded countries. We share the most important things, which are values: democracy, human rights, freedom.

And, for me, it's a great opportunity to talk to President Trump about important issues for the world, for the U.S., and for Chile.

President Trump. Show them your flag that you showed me.

President Piñera. And by the way, Chile is at the heart of the United States. [Laughter]

[At this point, President Piñera displayed a picture of the U.S. flag with a box drawn around a star-and-stripes pattern that formed an image of the Chilean flag.]

And the best proof of this: This is the American flag, and there is a Chilean flag right at the very heart of the U.S. flag. [Laughter]

President Trump. That's great.

Senate Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh

Q. Mr. President, any comment on the request for a delay from Senator Flake? He wants a 1-week delay so the FBI can investigate further.

President Trump. Well, I'm going to let the Senate handle that. They'll make their decisions, and they've been doing a good job and very professional.

I'm just hearing a little bit about it because I've been with the President of Chile, and we're talking about some very important subjects. But I'm sure it will all be very good. I guess the vote was a positive vote, but there seems to be a delay. I'll learn more about it as the day goes on. And I just heard about it, because we were together.

Senate Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh

Q. But what did you think of Dr. Ford's testimony when you heard that?

President Trump. I thought her testimony was very compelling, and she looks like a very fine woman to me, a very fine woman.

And I thought that Brett's testimony, likewise, was really something that I haven't seen before. It was incredible. It was an incredible moment, I think, in the history of our country.

But certainly, she was a very credible witness. She was very good in many respects.

And I think that—I don't know if this is going to continue onward, or are we going to get a vote? But again, I'm here, so I'm not out there watching, because I can't be, out of great respect, although, maybe we'll go watch together. Okay? We'll watch together.

But I think it will work out very well for the country. I just want it to work out well for the country. If that happens, I'm happy.

Senate Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh

Q. Have you thought at all about a replacement for Judge Kavanaugh?

President Trump. Not even a little bit. Not even a little bit.

Q. What's your message to Murkowski and Collins, the holdouts right now?

President Trump. I have no message. I mean, they have to do what they think is right. There's no message whatsoever. They have to do what they think is right. They have to be comfortable with themselves, and I'm sure that's what they are.

Senate Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh

Q. Would you be willing to reopen the background investigation into Kavanaugh?

President Trump. I'm going to rely on all of the people, including Senator Grassley, who is doing a very good job. That'll be a decision that they're going to make. And I suspect they'll be making some decision soon, whether to take a vote or to do whatever else they want to do.

I will be totally reliant on what Senator Grassley and the group decides to do. Okay?


Q. Are you going to talk about Venezuela today?

President Trump. We're going to talk about Venezuela, absolutely. I was waiting for that question. [Laughter] We will be discussing Venezuela, among many other things. A lot of interesting things going on in that part of the world.

But Chile is really something special. If you look at what they've done, how far they've come. You look at how well run the country is. So I just want to say it's an honor to be with you, a great honor. Thank you very much.

Q. Are you still willing to meet—[inaudible]?

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

Q. Have you called any Senators, sir?

Senate Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh Q. Is it okay to delay going forward?

President Trump. Whatever they think is necessary is okay.

Q. Whatever they think. Okay. Thank you.

President Trump. Yes.


Q. Are you still willing to meet with President Maduro? Still willing to meet with President Maduro?

President Trump. We'll see what happens. I know he wants to meet with us. We'll see what happens. Venezuela is a mess, and it's got to be cleaned up. And people have to be taken care of.

Thank you very much.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein

Q. Anything on Rosenstein, sir? Anything on Rosenstein?

President Trump. No. No.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to 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.

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

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