Photo of Donald Trump

The President's News Conference

September 27, 2020

The President. Does anybody know these two gentlemen in the room? If you don't, let us know. You shouldn't be here if you don't. It's great to have you guys.

Yesterday I was very proud to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. She is one of our Nation's most brilliant legal minds, and I think she'll do very well. We're moving along very quickly. Tremendous unity in the Republican Party. It's the consequence of winning elections, which we did very substantially, both in the Senate and obviously in the White House. And I think we're going to take back the House; I believe that very strongly. Kevin is doing a fantastic job. And I really believe we're going to take back the House, and we're all working very hard on that.

We have noticed some comments made in the media about my incredibly qualified nominee, Amy. The New York Times said her religion is not consistent with American values. She's Catholic. That covers a lot of people. That's a very disgraceful thing to say.

Some of the comedians—I don't think they're comedians, because comedians are supposed to be funny; they're not funny, like, at all. [Laughter] They're nasty, they're mean, and they think they're funny. And someday—hopefully, it's in 5 years—but someday, when I'm not here, they're going to be off television because their ratings, which aren't very good anyway, but their ratings are going to go down like you've never seen before. That includes a lot of others also.

In fact, I'm sort of waiting for the New York Times and the Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSDNC—I'm waiting for them to endorse me, because if they don't, they're going to drop with a thud like—you know, it was supposed to have happened long ago, and then we won a race, and it was a great victory.

And our—I think we've never had a more energized base. I don't think so. Nobody has ever seen anything like it. The rallies that we're having are incredible; we call them "protests." They're friendly protests. We don't want to call them "rallies," but the friendly protest rallies are—have been incredible. People—I don't think anybody has ever seen anything like it. And this is still long before an election. This isn't like the evening before. These are long before an election.

The incredible crowd we had in Pennsylvania and Virginia—in every State, no matter where—in North Carolina, Florida—no matter where we go, we're having crowds like nobody—I don't think anybody has ever gotten before ever. Not even close.

There's a level of enthusiasm—in Iowa today, with the tractors—thousands of tractors. In different States, the boats. You know, thousands and thousands of boats. Boaters for Trump, Tractors for Trump, Farmers for Trump—it's really been very nice to see the level of enthusiasm.

I thought, though—on the religious situation with We have noticed some comments made in the media about my incredibly qualified nominee, Amy. The New York Times said her religion is not consistent with American values. She's Catholic. That covers a lot of people. That's a very disgraceful thing to say.

Amy, I thought we settled this 60 years ago with the election of John F. Kennedy. But seriously, they're going after her Catholicism. I will stand with her, fight with her, and we will make sure that these attacks stop, because they really—it's unprecedented. They're basically fighting a major religion in our country. This is incredible. Fighting any religion, fighting Catholicism is just incredible that they can be doing it. Are you Catholic, Rudy?

Personal Attorney to the President Rudolph W. Giuliani. Yes.

The President. Twenty-nine Supreme Court vacancies have occurred during an election year or before an Inauguration. In every single instance, going back to George Washington, the President has performed his constitutional duty and nominated a Justice. And in almost every one of these cases over the past 230 years where the President and the Senate were the same party, the Justice—as you know, that Justice was confirmed.

This is about two centuries—more than two centuries of precedent. And I think it will continue. I think we're going to have—I think it's going to go quickly, actually. And I think—and again, I don't know if I've ever seen the Republican Party more unified. I think it was probably even more unified with the impeachment hoax, actually.

When they did the impeachment hoax, I think that was—which really turned out to be a hoax, because now you look at what's happening with the FBI and Justice Department; if you look at all of those text messages, e-mails that were sent, it—we have been totally proven right. They spied on our campaign, and everybody knew it. Biden knew it; Obama knew it. Everybody knew it. And the lamestream media just, you know, doesn't want to pick it up, although some have. I will say, Catherine Herridge at CBS has done a fantastic job on it. We appreciate that.

But this is a major scandal. This is a scandal, the likes of which nobody has ever seen. This is actually the biggest political scandal in the history of our country. And with the exception of a few, I mean, they just don't want to write about it. You should read about that, Kelly [Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News], you know. You should write about it. You should write about it. You should do something on CNN about it, because it's the biggest single scandal of our time; certainly the biggest political scandal, perhaps, in history.

They spied on our campaign, and then they tried for a coup. That didn't work out too well. And it turned out that, you read the texts that came out over the last 3 days, it turned out that they were really—it was reversed; it was the DNC and the Democrats that were using Russia. And related or unrelated, Hunter Biden got $3½ million from the wife of the mayor of Moscow. Why did he get $3½ million? And then, he got millions more than we thought from Ukraine, and he got millions more than we heard about from China. Hunter Biden—"Where's Hunter?"

So these are all questions that are very, very big on the internet. The biggest thing going on the Internet is exactly this. And we're going to have to see how that all turns out, but it turned out that we were right. So we went through 2½ years of ruining people's lives, like General Flynn and many others—ruining their lives. And it turned out to be just the opposite. It was the Democrats that were dealing with Russia and other things.

So hopefully, our Attorney General and others working on this very, very hard, very diligently, will—it'll lead to something that will be very important for our Nation. I think it's very important for our Nation. It's one of the most important things.

A central issue of the 2018 midterm elections was the Kavanaugh confirmation. And American voters punished the Democrats in the Senate. You so what happened; we picked up two seats. Again, something that hasn't been reported on very much. But we picked up two seats for their treatment of Justice Kavanaugh and expanded our Senate majority to confirm Supreme Court Justices, which was great.

And now Democrats are really brazenly attacking Judge Barrett for, again, her faith, mostly, is what I'm hearing—for her Catholic faith. And whether it's Dianne Feinstein or anybody else, I think they ought to treat religion with much more respect. I think it's a disgrace that they can do it. Biden and the Democrats are desperate to distract from the real issues, which is that their party has been taken over by Socialists, extremists, and probably Communists. I think it's beyond socialism; I think it's a step beyond, and could be many steps beyond, if you take a look.

And that if they win, they will nominate Justices who will destroy the American way of life, the American Dream. They will destroy the American Dream. They'll destroy America. They'll destroy the United States of America. Your private right to own a firearm will be totally eliminated, your guns will be confiscated, your ability to live by your religious faith will be devastated. They'll abolish America's borders and give Government health care to illegal aliens, which will destroy our health care system because so many people will pour into our country. That's a tremendous incentive.

On voter fraud, as you know, hopefully, there won't be a very big movement, because, hopefully, we're going to be able to win. I think we have the massive movement. I think we're going to have a tremendous, tremendous victory. There won't be a transition, because I can't imagine we call a transition if we win. You know, they talk about, "Will there be a friendly transition?" Of course, there will, but we have a big problem, and you see it every day; you see it happening every day with ballots.

We are gravely concerned about the Democrat assault on election integrity. In Brooklyn, 25 percent of mail-in ballots were ruled invalid in June's Democrat primary. You saw that. In a special election in New Jersey, 20 percent of the ballots were thrown out, and four people are now being prosecuted for fraud. This is all in the mail-ballots.

Thirty-five thousand mail-in ballots were rejected in Florida's primary, and one hundred thousand were rejected in California, and that's just the beginning. A week after Pennsylvania's primary, half of the counties were still counting ballots, and you'll be counting them here because this is a much bigger version of all of that. Just last week, a number of discarded military ballots were discovered in Pennsylvania. All of the recovered ballots—these were ballots that were thrown out—had been cast for a person named Donald J. Trump.

In Wisconsin, three trays of mail containing absentee ballots were found in a ditch; they were thrown in a ditch. Three trays. That's a lot. In North Carolina, voters are reporting receiving two ballots in the mail. Many—many voters. I hear it's thousands, but they're getting two ballots. I wonder if those are Democrat areas, because the word is they are.

In Iowa caucus's last winter, you know what happened there. You all reported on it, I think, very well. Right? Do you remember that, Mark [Mark Meredith, Fox News]?

Q. [Inaudible]

The President. It was not good, right? But in Iowa, they still don't really know who the winner was. I think they called somebody eventually, but it was many, many weeks later. But they really have no idea, and that's being—continues to be—and that's little; that's just a small—it continues to be litigated in Iowa. They can't run a simple caucus, yet now they're trying to radically write election laws nationwide, just weeks before the presidential election.

I heard in New York today that Governor Cuomo wants to try and simplify the ballots because he thinks they're too complicated. And all of that, I agree with him. I think that's good. But you don't do that now. The ballots are starting to come in. And you know, you can't do it now. It's too late.

Joe Biden and the Democrat extremists oppose all of these efforts to ensure election integrity. They oppose voter ID. Think of it: Voter ID. They want a picture. They have a picture for almost everything nowadays, but they don't want a picture. You had a picture to get into the Democrat National Convention. You had a card with your picture on it. Did you know that, fellas? You have a—to get into the Democratic National Convention, you have a card, and your picture is on it, but they don't want it for voting, which is our very sacred right.

They want—we want proof of citizenship, a Social Security number requirement. They don't want any of this to happen. And they want no signature verification. They don't want to have a verified signature.

So they want none of the safety valves that you would have. Think of it: They oppose voter ID. They approve proof of—they oppose proof of citizenship. They oppose a Social Security number and requirements for Social Security numbers as a safety valve. And they oppose even simple signature verifications. They don't want to have signature verification.

They want to require all States to do mail-in balloting, right? I call it "unsolicited." Some people call it "universal." I think "universal" doesn't make sense, because nobody understands why universal. So it's "unsolicited." They want unsolicited mail-in ballots. In other words, you send these ballots to whoever you can think of.

We had a case, I guess in New Jersey, you were reading to me, where somebody was sent two ballots, and they had slightly—one was—had a hyphen in it, the name, and the other one had a "K." And they got two names. And it's a—I wonder if that person was a Democrat. Probably was.

And mailing of millions of ballots to people who never asked for them. So millions of people are going to be getting ballots who never asked for the ballots. They don't want the ballots, or maybe they want them; maybe they don't. Nobody knows, really. This is really a recipe for chaos. And when you look at what happened in Iowa—and again, that was run by very smart people. It was a very limited election. It was very small numbers we're talking about. We're talking about doing that for the entire Nation. And you can forget about November 3, because you're going to be counting these things forever. And it's very dangerous for our country.

So, certainly, transition—we all believe in transition. We believe not only in transition, but a very friendly. But when the ballots and when the system is rigged, which it is; obviously, it is. And the only one that knows that better than me are the Democrats. And they go into closed rooms, and they must laugh like hell at what's going on, because these ballots are being found. And this is the beginning. I talk about it now at the rallies. All these people are watching. Eyes and ears. Thousands and thousands. Tens of thousands.

But there's no justification for these extreme changes to the election law. And if you can go to the grocery store, you can have an ID with your picture on it to vote. It's so important. I mean, it's just so important.

So a lot of things are going on. Very importantly, though—I think very, very importantly is, when you do your reporting, I think you ought to report on the FBI scandal because it's one of the great scandals in the history of our country. And I think people want to hear about it. If you look at the internet, you'll see how people want to hear about it. And they will know about it, and it just makes the media look so bad. And there's so much reporting—I could go into it right now, but I'm not going to do that.

But it would be a tremendous thing for the mainstream medium—media to really start reporting. I think your ratings we go through the roof, I really do, because people really are tired of this fake stuff where you don't even talk about it. And the biggest scandal—certainly the biggest political scandal in the history of our country, by far; bigger than Watergate, much bigger than Watergate—and they try and avoid it as much as possible. It's getting very hard to avoid. So we'll take a couple of questions, and you may have a question for these two very wonderful people, brilliant people, from the standpoint of politics, I would say, and law. And if you have anything for Kayleigh, we'd love to do that.

Go ahead, please. Phil [Philip Wegmann, RealClearPolitics].

Vote-by-Mail Policies/2020 Presidential Election/The President's Supreme Court Nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Q. Thank you, sir. Last Wednesday, when you were speaking to the attorney generals, you said that you hoped Federal judges were watching what was going on with mail-in ballots.

The President. Yes.

Q. Do you hope that Amy Coney Barrett is watching as well?

The President. I do. I'm sure she is. I think everybody is. I think everyone in the country. I think we've made it a very big issue, and it's an issue that the Democrats tried to get away with. I don't think they're getting away. I mean, so many reports now of phony ballots—you know, that I don't know if it would have been reported before.

But all of these rallies—you know, we had thousands of people last night, as you know. And we were in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The night before, we were in Virginia. I mean, those crowds are—whether it was 35,000 or 30,000, those crowds are massive. And that's on very short notice. All of those people are watching. You know, we have eyes and ears now that we wouldn't have had if we didn't bring it up.

So no, I'm sure she's watching, and I'm sure that everybody is looking at it. I think it's just common sense.

Go ahead.

Q. A quick follow-up. Did you discuss the election with her?

The President. No, I didn't. I didn't.

Q. And then, just one——

The President. I just didn't think it would be appropriate. And I've watched over the years as Presidents would interview and talk and make a decision on a Supreme Court Justice, and I was actually surprised they wouldn't talk about various things, like Roe; they wouldn't talk about, you know, things that are very important. They think it's inappropriate to talk about them. I don't know that it's inappropriate, but I've gone by that custom.

Go ahead, Phil.

Health Care Reform

Q. Thank you, sir. Democrats are arguing that ACB puts in danger not only Roe v. Wade, but a number of other decisions. Do you think that they are correct?

The President. No, I don't know. I mean, you know, it would depend. I think she's going to rule on the law. I think she's going to be a great Justice for many years to come.

But I can say they also bring up health care. I mean, Obamacare is terrible. It doesn't work. We've made the best of it. We got rid of the individual mandate, which is great. We protect people with—we are going to protect people with preexisting conditions, 100 percent. But if we can end Obamacare and come up with a much better health care system that's much cheaper—much cheaper—and much better, which is what we'll do. On the other hand, if the Court rules against, we will manage the system better. But don't forget, we've already essentially gotten rid of Obamacare, because we got rid of the individual mandate, and it was all based on that. So we've done a tremendous amount because the individual mandate was the most unpopular aspect of Obamacare. You had to pay a lot of money for the privilege of not paying for bad health care. So that was a terrible thing for people.

And what we will do is, if we are fortunate enough to get rid of the little remaining in Obamacare—and again, individual mandate, the way I view it, that's no longer Obamacare, because that was the central point, and we won that; we've already won that, as you know. But by getting rid of that, it's different. It's a much different thing.

The other thing we've done is managed—here's the story: It's no good. It's too expensive. It's bad coverage. You don't get your doctor. You don't get your plan. All the things that President Obama said, you don't get. And Biden too, by the way, if Biden even—I don't think he has any understanding of it.

But you don't get your doctor. You don't get your plan. Twenty-eight times, President Obama said: "You get your doctor. You get your plan." It turned out to be a lie.

So here's what we're doing: If we can terminate, we are going to have a much better plan, and you will have your doctor, you will have your plan. You'll have a lot of things that you don't get with Obamacare.

Democratic Presidential Nominee Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Q. And then, really quickly, sir: Do you—you've said this numerous times, but do you really believe that Joe Biden will be on any type of performance-enhancing drug ahead of the debates? Or are you just joking?

The President. No, I'm not joking. I mean, I'm willing to take a drug test. I think he should too, because he's had a very uneven—I watched him with some of the—when he was with—you know, debating Pocahontas and Harris, who treated him so badly. But I watched him, and he was out of it. Right?

And then, I watched him against Bernie Sanders, and he was okay. I mean, he wasn't great, but he wasn't terrible. He was okay. A far cry from the way he—you know what I'm saying. I mean, if you look at some of those debates, I said, "There's no way he can continue. He can't continue."

Then, all of the sudden, he debated Crazy Bernie Sanders. And you know what? The truth is, he was okay. And I said, "How did he go from there, with those horrible performances, to where he was okay?" And I always joke, but you know, it is true: He was no Winston Churchill in debating, but he was fine. And people say he was on performance-enhancing drugs. A lot of people have said that. A lot of people have written that.

Q. Who has said that aside from you, sir?

Q. Who has said that, sir?

The President. So—so, take a look at it. Take a look. Why don't you just check it? You can check out the internet. You'll see. Plenty of people say it.

And whether he is or not, it doesn't matter, but I would love to take a test, and he can take a test too.

Go ahead, please.

Q. Mr. President——

Q. Mr. President——

The President. Mark, go ahead, please.

Presidential Debate in Cleveland, Ohio/Democratic Presidential Nominee Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Q. Yes, so we'll start with debate. Obviously, it is coming up. How are you preparing? Is somebody playing Joe Biden in the debate with you? Are you doing debate prep at all?

The President. Yes, we are. We're doing it. These two gentlemen have been helping. And Kayleigh is there. And we have——

Q. But who plays Biden? Who plays Biden for you? I mean, who——

The President. I would say maybe a combination of these two. And either one of them is about five times smarter than Sleepy Joe.

But we had a little debate prep before we came here. I think this whole thing, though, is debate prep. You know, what I do is debate prep every day. I'm taking questions from you people all the time. I mean, I've taken a lot of questions from you over the last number of years, and he doesn't.

I watched the way he was treated on MSDNC—on Friday, I guess, he did it live—and it was disgraceful. It was an embarrassment. I know her, and she's a pretty tough reporter. The way she was helping him along with those—it was so obvious what was going on. She was helping him. She was giving him a question and then helping him to answer the question.

I know her very well. She doesn't do that. It was embarrassing, and people don't talk about it. I mean, play some of those clips. Play some of those answers, those—the answers that—where he wasn't able to give an answer, and she's pushing him; she's pushing him.

They never do that with me, I can tell you. But I don't have the kind of problems he has. So——

Q. How many hours—how many hours would you say you've spent on debate prep? I mean, is it——

The President. Well, I don't know. I mean, a little time. I mean, not a lot.

Q. Is it more or less than '16?

The President. I'm running a country. I'm—I don't know—you know, I don't have the luxury. I watched other people over the years. I watched one, sort of, fairly recently—not too long ago—go into a cabin, lock himself into a cabin, and he came out, and he wasn't very effective. You know, he had so much—so many things going on. Sometimes, you can go too much in that stuff, you know. Sometimes, you can go too much.

I mean, look, I've had—I'd never debated before, but then I debated a lot 4 years ago. And if you look at the polls—those polls that come out—hundreds of thousands of people in TIME magazine and all of the different polls; I think there's about seven or eight of them—according to those polls, I won every debate—every single debate, in the primaries and then when I debated Crooked Hillary. I won every debate.

I mean, this isn't me saying—I felt I did—but this isn't me saying it; this is the polls. You had a TIME magazine poll. You had this, that. And I guess they take them off the internet or they get phone calls or something. But according to that, I won every debate, and I felt I did. But I understand the subject. Now, Chris is tough. I hope that Chris is going to be equally tough on Joe Biden. But I watched the young lady, who I won't—I won't say her name, but it was embarrassing the way she was getting him along.

So I just asked the question about drugs. I think it's something that would be appropriate, because you can't have a President that needs that kind of help.

Q. Mr. President——

Q. One question then, Mr. President——

The President. If you do—if you do have a President that needs that kind of help, when you've got to deal with Putin, and you've got to deal with President Xi of China, and you have to deal with Kim Jong Un—and by the way, do you notice there's no war with North Korea? Which everyone thought we'd be in in about one week after I came to be President. They thought it was going to happen immediately. No war. And that's saving, perhaps, millions of lives, not just—you know, they were saying, "Oh, 50,000 people." No, millions and millions of people could have died.

Q. Mr. President——

The President's Federal Income Taxes/News Media/New York Times

Q. Quick follow-up: Chris will definitely ask tough questions. And one of the ones that's going to—likely everybody is going to be talking about is there's a New York Times story that came out about an hour ago that says that, when you came to the White House, you were paying about $750 a year in Federal income tax.

They are not releasing what—they're not publishing the tax returns. They're not showing that out there. They're saying—to protect their sources. In your tax returns, sir, does that sound right, that you were paying a couple hundred dollars a year in Federal income taxes?

The President. No. No. It's fake news. It's totally fake news. Made up. Fake. We went through the same stories. You could have asked me the same questions 4 years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news. No.

Actually, I paid tax, but—and you'll see that as soon as my tax returns—it's under audit. They've been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. They treat me like the Tea Party—like they treated the Tea Party. And they don't treat me well. They treat me very badly.

You have people that—in the IRS—they're very—they treat me very, very badly. But they're under audit. And when they're not, I would be proud to show you. But that's just fake news. The New York Times tried it—the same thing. They want to create a little bit of a story, a little bit of—they're doing anything they can.

Not only—that's the least of it. I mean, the stories that I read are so fake. They're so phony.

Q. Did they tell you this was going to come out today?

The President. No, I didn't know anything about it.

Q. Mr. President——

The President. I don't know anything about it. I think somebody said they were going to do a negative——

Q. Mr. President——

The President. They always do—they only do negative stories. I don't think, in the last—I used to get good stories in the New York Times. When I ran for office—and I happened to be conservative Republican—I don't think we've had a good story. They predicted my loss 4 years ago. They then apologized for their bad reporting. Then they predicted the FBI and all of these things. That's now proven to be a hoax—a complete hoax.

They got Pulitzer Prizes, along with the Washington Post. They should give all those Pulitzer Prizes back because everything was wrong. I mean, it was so bad. Their reporting was so bad. They were wrong. It was exactly the opposite.

Now, there are people that should get Pulitzer Prizes: Solomon, Carter. I mean, they're not in the business of Pulitzer prizes, but Sean Hannity got it right. Lou Dobbs got it right. Laura got it right. Many people got—Tucker got it right. There were many people that got it right. I don't know what they get, other than a great salary and great ratings. I mean, I don't know what they get.

Please, go ahead.

Q. Sir, what was your Federal tax in 2016——

Q. Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. On——

The President. Jordan [Jordan Fabian, Bloomberg News], go ahead.

The President's Federal Income Taxes/News Media

Q. Yes, thank you. On the New York Times story, though, you have to understand that when Americans read that you may have paid only a few hundred dollars in Federal income tax per year, that seems very low for someone who's a billionaire.

The President. Well, you have to under——

Q. So how much—I mean, can you——

The President. Well, basically, they're saying I paid nothing.

Q. Right. But can you give people an idea of how much you actually are paying?

The President. Yes, basically—well, first of all, I've paid a lot, and I paid a lot of state income taxes too. The New York State charges a lot, and I paid a lot of money in State.

It will all be revealed. It's going to come out. But——

Q. When?

The President. After the audit is—after the—I'm being—they're doing their assessment. We've been negotiating for a long time. Things get settled, like in the IRS. But right now, when you're under audit, you don't do it. You don't do that.

So we're under audit. But the story is a total fake. And all of their stories—this one—you know, we had the same exact questions, usually asked by the same people, and that took place 4 years ago, you remember. This was so well litigated. It's incredible.

If you look at the filings I have—I think I have 108 pages of filings for all these different companies that do very well, obviously, because the filings—and nobody talks about that. You'll learn much more if you look at those filings. And we have to file every single year.

But you'll learn much more if you look at those filings. Those filings are very complete. They're very big. They're very powerful. They're very accurate. And those are the filings that you'll learn much more and when it's done. But when you're under audit, you just don't release them. And, again, they treat me——

Q. But, sir, you can tell us what your Federal tax was.

The President. They treat me—they treat me very——

Q. Mr. President, you can tell us what you paid in Federal taxes, sir.

The President. I didn't call on you. I'm talking to him. You should be more respectful of this gentleman. You're very rude to him.

Q. Okay.

The President. But I will tell you that I look forward to releasing that. I look forward to releasing many things. I'm going to release many things, and people will be really shocked. But the New York Times has been doing—it's fake story after fake story. I've never seen anything like it.

And people understand it, and people—that's why the—the media has such a low approval rating now because of what they've done. It's really a shame.

Yes, go in the back.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions. First——

The President. If you have any questions for these two gentlemen——

Q. Well, that's what I was going to ask.

The President. Good. [Laughter]

The President's Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett/Catholic Church

Q. Both you and Governor Christie and Mayor Giuliani—your two guests are practicing Catholics. You've talked about possible bias against Judge Barrett's religion. Only two Catholic bishops have come out to say the same thing you have. Is any effort being made by any of you to, say, get the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops——

The President. I think that——

Q. ——involved——

The President. Yes.

Q. ——or at least other leaders within the Church?

The President. We're in the process of doing that. I think it's horrible what they're doing. I mean, they're playing the religious card. And it's frankly—you're talking about Catholics. That's a very major religion in our country.

I don't know—Chris, do you have anything to say about it?

Former Governor of New Jersey Christopher J. Christie. I think it's obvious what they're doing. So, you know, she'll be strong, she'll be tough, and she'll stand up for what she believes in.

The President. And she went through—just like I did, 4 years ago, in terms of litigation of different things—she went through it before and did very well.

Rudy, what do you think?

Mr. Giuliani. I think the article in the New York Times today reveals a very strong anti-Catholic bias. I mean, it says in the article that Catholicism and the American ethos can't be—contradict each other.

Q. Well, let me ask a follow-up.

Mr. Giuliani. What is—what—I mean, what is the American ethos? It's their version of it. And that's a horrible thing to say. And then it said that Catholics have difficulty separating public and private morality. I don't have difficulty separating public and private morality.

So what I see is the beginning of a really strong anti-Catholic attack. And having lived through the John Kennedy election, that article today reminded me of the things that used to be written before John Kennedy. "Could a Catholic be loyal to the United States?" Come on.

Q. Well, having said that——

Mr. Giuliani. That's exactly what Feinstein raised when she made that awful remark to the judge.

Q. Right. Well, let me repeat my question again. Why are only two bishops within the Church speaking out? And will you make an effort to get the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops—

The President. Oh, I think they're going to—they'll come out very strongly. This is day one. I mean, we've just started this.

Mr. Giuliani. You have to have courage.

The President. This is absolutely day one. And you know, I mean, they're going to be coming out very strong.

The Catholic Church is very well united on this. They are so thrilled that Amy was chosen. They are so thrilled. Oh, they'll be—you know, again, it's been 24 hours, okay? So it's been a very short period of time, but they're going to come out very strong.

Yes, please go ahead. OAN.

Presidential Debate in Cleveland, Ohio/Democratic Presidential Nominee Joseph R. Biden, Jr./News Media

Q. Christina Bobb from OAN. Thank you for the briefing. You spoke earlier about some of the subjects that Joe Biden has been refusing to answer questions on, specifically Hunter Biden and his involvement with Russia, the Ukraine, even China.

The President. Incredible.

Q. And then, the Obamagate——

The President. And the press doesn't ask those questions. It's incredible.

Q. I'm wondering—the debate is coming up this week. Do you anticipate Joe Biden being held to task? And will he be able to answer those questions at the debate?

The President. I don't know. I mean, we're going to find out, because a lot things are going to come up in the debate. That may be one. I mean, the son didn't have a job. He had some big difficulties. And then, all of the sudden, he's making millions of dollars as soon as his father becomes Vice President. No, I think that'll come up. I don't think Joe can answer it, frankly. I think there's only one reason he made all that money.

And then, you have to say: "What about Joe's involvement? And why did Joe not give the billion dollars over to Ukraine, as an example, until such time as they let go of a Prosecutor that was investigating the company that his son was involved with?"

I mean, there are some bad questions. I don't think they have answers. And if we had a media that was fair—even just reasonable—this would be the biggest story for years and years and years. Then, you'd really be entitled to real Pulitzer Prizes, not the fake committee that gives you these fake awards.

So, I mean, it's a really fair question. But it's hard to believe, when you see the kind of money that he has made from China, from Russia, where the wife of the mayor of Moscow gives him $3½ million and nobody even has any question about it.

Why did he get $3½ million? I'll tell you why: Because Joe Biden was in on it. Joe was in on it. There's no way that he wasn't. And uses Joe Biden's plane—Air Force Two. Uses Joe—and they go to China, and then he comes back, and he never mentioned it to his father that he just got a billion and a half dollars?

And now it's turning out that it's much more money than that, Rudy.

Mr. Giuliani. It's true.

The President. It's turned out to be much more money from China. They have—a member of the Chinese Communist Party gave him a lot of money. And the press has no interest in these stories. It's just—it's very disheartening for the people of our country.


Q. Mr. President——

Q. To follow on that, if he tries to dodge the questions or doesn't address them head on, are you prepared with the facts and information to answer that for the American people?

The President. Well, I have all the information. It just came out. I mean, I didn't know about Moscow: $3½ million from the mayor's wife. I didn't know about that. And he's a very influential, powerful man in Russia, as you know. And it wasn't me; I didn't have anything to do with Russia. That came out loud and clear.

What also came out is they should have never gone into this fake Mueller investigation. And it also came out that the 31 phones that were wiped clean shouldn't have been wiped clean. And that's a criminal act.

And Bloomberg likewise shouldn't be paying for prisoners to go—in Florida—go and vote, because he's basically paying—which is totally illegal—going and paying prisoners. I hope he hasn't done it yet. But he's down in writing as doing it. This is what he wants to do so that he can ingratiate himself to the Democrats after they made him look like a total fool in the debate.

I mean, what they did to him is incredible. And that he goes out and spends money, it shows you the problems that he's got. Mini Mike.

But for him to go out and buy votes, because that's—I don't know, you're very good lawyer.

Mr. Giuliani. I am.

The President. Are you allowed to go tell people that: "Go vote. I'm going to pay off your tab"?

Mr. Christie. You certainly can't buy votes, that's for sure.

The President. Yes, because that's what it is. I mean, it's a very serious—a very serious charge.

Yes, please go ahead.

Q. Mr. President, if he——

The President. No, I didn't—I was talking to you. Yes.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President. You know that there——

The President. I can't—could you—we have a little hard time——

Q. Yes.

The President. Good. Thank you.

Azerbaijan-Armenian Conflict Over the Nagorno-Karabakh Region

Q. There has been going on the military action in the Karabakh—Azerbaijan. And——

The President. In where?

Q. The Azerbaijan—the Karabakh. And the civilians are killed. And according to the officials from Azerbaijan, they say the first shoot came from the Armenians. What's your comment on this?

The President. So we're looking at it very strongly. It just happened. And I know about it. I learned about it today and yesterday. And we're looking at it very strongly. We have a lot of good relationships in that area. We'll see if we can stop it.

Q. Mr. President——

Okay? Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:32 p.m. in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to House Minority Leader Kevin O. McCarthy; R. Hunter Biden, son of Democratic Presidential nominee Biden; Catherine Herridge, senior investigative correspondent, CBS News; Elena Baturina, wife of former Mayor Yuri Luzhkov of Moscow, Russia; former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn; Sens. Dianne G. Feinstein, Elizabeth A. Warren, and Bernard Sanders; Paterson, NJ, City Councilman Michael Jackson, Councilman-elect Alex Mendez, and Shelim Khalique, brother of Councilman Shahin Khalique, and Prospect Park, NJ, resident Abu Razyen, who were charged with multiple counts of voter fraud on June 25; White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala D. Harris; Stephanie Ruhle, anchor, MSNBC; 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton; Chris Wallace, anchor, Fox News's "Fox News Sunday" program, in his capacity as moderator of the Presidential debate in Cleveland, OH, on September 29; President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia; Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un of North Korea; John Solomon, chief executive officer and editor in chief, Just the News; Sara A. Carter, contributor/investigative reporter, Fox News; Sean P. Hannity, host, Fox News's "Hannity" program; Lou C. Dobbs, anchor, Fox Business Network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" program; Laura Ingraham, host, Fox News's "The Ingraham Angle" program; Tucker Carlson, host, Fox News's "Tucker Carlson Tonight" program; former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin of Ukraine; former Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III; and former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City, in his capacity as a 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate. A reporter referred to Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York City and retired Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, PA.

Donald J. Trump, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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