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Remarks Upon Arrival at the United Nations General Assembly and an Exchange With Reporters in New York City

September 24, 2019

Q. Mr. President——

Q. Mr. President, your reaction to the—[inaudible]?

Q. [Inaudible]—war with Iran? Are you comfortable——

The President. So we had a great meeting yesterday, as you know, with the Prime Minister. And I think that, as far as Pakistan is concerned, India, they're talking. I'm certainly willing to help. I think they would, in a certain way, like my help. But they have to both want it. They have very different views, and I'm concerned about it.

On Iran, I think we're doing very well. Let's see what happens with Iran. But we are—we're in a very strong position on Iran. And I think they'd like to do something, and I think it would be a smart thing for them if they did.

Q. Are you comfortable—[inaudible]—to war?

Q. Mr. President——

Venezuela/U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

Q. [Inaudible]—from VOA. What is—we—I have two questions. The first is your reaction to the Washington Post story about you supposedly asking and withholding or holding the funds and aid for Ukraine.

And the second one is: You're meeting tomorrow with Venezuela—with leaders of Latin America to talk about Venezuela. Nicolás Maduro said that if the United States changed the policies of Obama, they will meet with you and they would love to have talks. What do you think?

The President. So here's the story, very simply: We're watching Venezuela very closely.

As far as withholding funds, those funds were paid. They were fully paid. But my complaint has always been—and I'd withhold again, and I'll continue to withhold until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine. Because they're not doing it. Just the United States. We're putting up the bulk of the money. And I'm asking, why is that?

And I want Europe—and it's always been this, and everybody know it. Every single reporter knows it. Everybody in the administration knows that what I want, and I insist on it, is that Europe has to put up money for Ukraine also. Why is it only the United States putting up the money? And I—and by the way, we paid that money.

But I always ask: Why aren't other countries—in Europe, especially—putting up money for Ukraine?

Q. Sir, could I ask a question, sir?

Q. Mr. President——

The President. Go ahead. Go ahead. Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives/The President's July 25 Telephone Conversation With President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine/Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Q. Mr. President, Congress is moving towards impeachment, including Nancy Pelosi. It could be a result of the Ukraine call. What do—how do you feel about that? Are you concerned?

The President. I think it's ridiculous. It's a witch hunt. I'm leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stop me. The only way they can try is through impeachment. This has never happened to a President before. There's never been a thing like this before. It's nonsense. And when you see the call, when you see the readout of the call—which I assume you'll see at some point—you'll understand.

That call was perfect. It couldn't have been nicer. And even the Ukrainian Government put out a statement that that was a perfect call. There was no pressure put on them whatsoever. But there was pressure put on with respect to Joe Biden. What Joe Biden did for his son, that's something they should be looking at.

[At this point, several reporters began speaking at once.]

Go ahead. You.

U.S. Assistance to Ukraine

Q. Why did you block aid a week before the call with the Ukrainian President?

The President. Because very important—very important: I want other countries to put up money. I think it's unfair that we put up the money. Then people called me, they said, "Oh, let it go." And I let it go. But we paid the money. The money was paid. But very importantly: Germany, France, other countries should put up money. And that's been my complaint from the beginning.

Q. Mr. President——

[Several reporters began speaking at once.]


Q. Are you confident your advisers aren't dragging you into war in Iran? Thirteen percent of Americans only support war with Iran. It seems like a lot of your advisers, including Mike Pompeo, really want to drag you into a war.

The President. Well, we're going to see what happens. But I think Iran is coming along well. Regardless of what happens, we're in very good shape with respect to Iran. Okay?

Thank you, everybody.

Q. Why did you give visas to Russians? Why did you give visas?

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 9:40 a.m. at United Nations Headquarters. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan; and R. Hunter Biden II, son of former Vice President Biden. A reporter referred to President Nicolas Maduro Moros of Venezuela, whose legitimacy was challenged by the U.S. Government, which recognized National Assembly President Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez as Interim President of Venezuela on January 23.

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

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