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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Senior Military Leaders and an Exchange With Reporters

April 03, 2019

The President. Well, thank you very much. It's a great honor to be with our military leaders. These are tremendous folks. We've had a tremendous year. We've been on the cusp of doing something, and we are on the cusp of doing something very important. We're rebuilding our military like probably never before. Seven hundred billion dollars approved my first year, seven hundred and sixteen my second year.

And I don't know even if these great generals and admirals know, but we're asking for $750 billion. And tremendous progress has been made. You know also about 100 percent of the caliphate in Syria that's taken place as of a few days ago.

And these are incredible warriors, incredible fighters, and it's my really tremendous honor to be with you all. And we're going over—after this, we're going to go have a quick dinner over at the White House. But we've been doing this once a year. We meet more often than that, but we've been doing the dinners once a year. We talk about a lot of different things, and a lot of good ideas comes out.

And it's great to be with you all. And I want to thank the media. You've been extremely gracious over the last 2 days. The rest of the term, I would say not as good, but that's okay. [Laughter]

But thank you all very much. I appreciate you being here. Thank you.

Apprehension of Chinese Citizen Yujing Zhang at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, FL

Q. Mr. President, can we ask: Are you concerned that the Chinese may be trying to conduct some espionage against the United States by spying on you at Mar-a-Lago?

The President. Well, I saw the story. Haven't spoken to anybody about it, other than I had a brief meeting. Gave me a little bit of information.

No, I'm not concerned at all. I have—we have very good control. We have extremely good—and it's getting better. And cyber—frankly, what we're doing with cyber is a story in itself.

No, I think that was just a fluke situation, and I think that the person sitting at the front desk did a very good job, to be honest with you. I think that particular woman did a very, very good job. She was able to see things that other people were not.

But no, I think it's just a fluke.

Apprehension of Chinese Citizen Yujing Zhang at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, FL

Q. Will you change any procedures there, sir, in terms of security?

The President. Well, that's really Secret Service. Secret Service is fantastic. These are fantastic people. And the end result is, it was good. I think probably we'll see what happened—where she's from, who she is. But the result is, they were able to get her. And she's now suffering the consequences of whatever it is she had in mind.

But I would say I could not be happier with Secret Service. Secret Service has done a fantastic job from day one. Very happy with them.

Former Massage Parlor and Day Spa Owner Li "Cindy" Yang of Wellington, FL

Q. Mr. President, can we ask you: Can you explain what relationship you might have with Cindy Yang? Do you know her? Is she a friend of yours?

The President. No, I don't. I don't know who she is. Who is that?

Q. She's this woman who was pictured with you at your Super Bowl party. She's——

The President. Oh, I see. She is the one that came to the party. I don't know anything about her.

I mean, I take a lot of pictures with people. That looked like a selfie or something, and I do that a lot. I do that sometimes depending on where I—when I—you know, where I am or what I'm doing, hundreds of times a day.

But no, I don't know anything about her.

The President's Tax Returns

Q. Mr. President, the chairman of the Democratic House Ways and Means Committee moments ago asked the IRS for 6 years of your tax returns. I want to get your——

The President. Is that all?

Q. That's all.

The President. Usually, it's 10, so I guess they're giving up. No, I'm—we're under audit, despite what people said. And we're working that out as—I'm always under audit, it seems. But I've been under audit for many years, because the numbers are big, and I guess when you have a name, you—you're audited.

But until such time as I'm not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that. Thank you.

Okay, thank you all very much.

Q. Mr. President, did you authorize a security clearance for Jared Kushner or others?

The President. Thank you very much. Thanks.

Q. Any decision on a Defense Secretary, sir? Has that decision been made?

The President. Thank you.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Q. Any advice for Mr. Biden, sir?

The President. I wish him luck. I do wish him luck.

Q. [Inaudible]—a video talking about how he would change some of his ways of interacting. Do you have any thoughts on that? Should he apologize for his conduct?

The President. No, he's going to make his own decisions. He's very capable of making a decision, I assume. Thank you very much, everybody.

Q. [Inaudible]—trade talks—[inaudible]? Trade talks——

The President. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:13 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. Reporters referred to a Rep. Richard E. Neal; and White House Senior Adviser Jared C. Kushner.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Senior Military Leaders and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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