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GOP: Kavanaugh Accuser Has Option for Private Hearing; Trump & President of Poland Hold Joint News Conference. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired September 18, 2018 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I can't imagine that she wouldn't be nervous or scared. The stakes are very high. What I was hearing from McConnell was concern about timing more than anything else. McConnell was saying
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: How so?
BORGER: McConnell was saying this is happening Monday. Monday.
BALDWIN: Like no matter what.
BORGER: This is Monday. He kept talking about, we want a fair process, but it is happening Monday. And he knows full well that the Democrats don't want to happen Monday, that the Democrats believe there ought to be a different kind of a hearing, that there ought to be an investigation, which is what I'm presuming Professor Ford will also want. And that Grassley, chairman of the committee, has not everyone communicated with her attorney yet. So that means things are so unsettled. The committee clearly wants this done before the midterms. Clearly wants Kavanaugh confirmed. And they are making their point about process, which is, you know, you threw us -- you blindsided us. We're not going to let you get away with that. We'll give her the hearing, but you it will be on our time table, not yours. And they're going to stick with that. But I don't see how it happens.
BALDWIN: And on that note we interrupt because we need to go to the White House. Here is the president of the United States and president of Poland.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much. Please, sit down.
Today, I'm very honored to host the president of Poland, a friend of mine, President Duda, and Mrs. Duda. Thank you very much for being here. Great honor. It's lovely to have you at the White House. We spent some time in the Oval Office, and we accomplished a lot. Melania and I are deeply grateful for the incredible welcome the president and Mrs. Duda gave us in Warsaw, Poland last year. It was a very exceptional day, extraordinary. It's wonderful to have them both with us in Washington today. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
During my visit last summer, I had the privilege to stand before the monument to the Warsaw Uprising, and addressed the people of Poland about our shared commitment to defending our heritage and our civilization. It was an experience I will always treasure, and I will never, ever forget.
Not far from where we stand today, another monument in another square, the statue of General Kosciuszko in Lafayette Park reminds us that the bonds between our people go all the way back to America's Revolutionary War.
This year, the United States and Poland are celebrating 100 years of Poland regaining its independence, and nearly 100 years of U.S.-Polish diplomatic ties. It's a long time. I'm thrilled to say that the alliance between our nations has never been stronger, with you and I at the helm. Do you agree with that?
TRUMP: Thank you, Mr. President. Glad he said yes!
In our discussions...
TRUMP: ... this afternoon, President Duda and I agreed to bolster our robust defense ties. We will enhance cooperation and military relations, intelligence, missile defense, technology and training. I'm proud to report that Poland has recently purchased a state-of-the-art Patriot missile system, which is a great system. We make the greatest equipment by far, anywhere in the world, and it's made right here in the USA.
We are grateful for Poland's leadership on defense spending and burden sharing in NATO. I want to commend Poland for meeting its NATO defense spending obligations, and I am glad that it plans to increase spending beyond the two percent minimum obligation. Thank you very much for that.
I'd like to share my gratitude to the people of Poland for their contributions to NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and the coalition to defeat ISIS. We've made tremendous progress, with respect to the defeat of ISIS, as you've seen.
We also understand that you can't have national security without border security. Both Poland and the United States understand that strong nations must have very strong borders. The president and I, likewise, are exploring opportunities to advance energy security.
The United States and Poland are deeply committed to energy diversity all across Europe. No nation should be dependent upon a single foreign supplier of energy. Poland has worked tirelessly to increase energy independence nationally and across central Europe.
[14:35:00] It is constructing a new pipeline, the highest technology, from Norway to Poland, and it recently built a liquefied natural gas import facility.
Last year, the United States was proud to send its first export of LNG to Poland. And soon, our nations will launch a high-level diplomatic exchange on energy security.
And, Mr. President, we are now as of a few months ago, the largest producer of energy in the world. So that was -- that's a big statement.
President Duda, I also just want to talk to you about the Three Seas Summit, where Central European leaders were working hard to increase energy market access, reduce energy trade barriers, which is something we have to get done with respect to the European Union. The trade barriers, they make it very difficult for the United States.
And to strengthen energy independence. The United States firmly supports these goals, and we are eager to expand commercial ties all across the region of Europe.
In our meeting today, the president and I discussed our bilateral economic relationship at length. Poland has experienced more than a quarter century of uninterrupted economic growth, which is a very big statement. Very few can say that.
And we look forward to further enhancing trade, investment and commerce between our two great nations.
My administration is committed to realizing a future of prosperity and opportunity for all Americans. This month, we celebrated the highest employment level in U.S. history. We are right now employing more people, we have more workers in the United States than at any time ever in U.S. history.
I look forward to partnering with President Duda as we grow our economies together.
Mr. President, thank you for joining me today. Poland has chosen its place among the free and independent nations of the world, and is a loyal ally and strategic partner of the United States, and we greatly appreciate that.
We welcome the next 100 years of friendship between our two nations. Mr. President, thank you very much. Thank you.
DUDA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): ... distinguished Mr. President and distinguished ladies and gentlemen.
I am delighted that in this year, so important to Poland -- the year of Poland regaining its independence, we celebrate our 100th anniversary of it -- I am able to be hosted here at the -- at the State of the President of the United States at the White House at Washington.
And also from this perspective, from the perspective of the centennial of Poland regaining its independence, this fact is of (ph) huge (ph) importance for Poles, both those within Poland and those living abroad, especially the 10 million Poles living in the United States. This is of huge symbolic importance. One reason for that is that the measure of Polish independence was one of the important points of the policy of the U.S. president, Wilson.
It was precisely President Wilson. Before 1918, he was the one who put Polish independence on his agenda -- on the agenda of his policy. That happened, among others, thanks to a great Polish politician, a composer and musician, Ignace Jan Paderewski.
It is a fact that Poles experienced back then a lot of good from the United States and from the President of the United States. Because there are no other words to describe the fact that that great state indicated to Poland and defined Poland as the country who should be reinstated back on the map of Europe and the map of the world.
And it was reinstated on that map 100 years ago, in 1918. And I'm absolutely delighted that today, as Polish president, I can be here at Washington, sit at the same table with the president of the United States, and sign an agreement which is deepening our strategic partnership, and which is renewing that strategic partnership.
I'm talking here about the agreement on the strategic partnership such -- agreement was signed in 2008 between our countries. Back then, it was signed by the ministers of foreign affairs.
And today, this renewed version -- the version which has been updated because a lot has changed over the 10 years -- this renewed version of the strategic partnership was signed personally by myself and President Donald Trump.
And I would like to express my deep gratitude to you, Mr. President, for that fact.
This agreement indicates the most important aspect of our cooperation and our friendship. It also sets new paths for the future of tightening our defense cooperation, military cooperation, tightening our cooperation in the area of security and energy business, tightening our cooperation in the (inaudible) business also in the aspect of the already-mentioned cooperation as part of the three-stage initiative, to which Mr. President has just alluded.
I came here to Washington, arrived from the summit of the 3Cs Initiative, the first business forum organized as part of the 3Cs Initiative. The United States was present there as the partner to the 3Cs, and thank you, Mr. President, for that. Thank you for coaching your representatives to that meeting. And all the leaders who held their speeches there said in a very clear way about the need and hope for cooperation with the United States of America regarding the renewal and building of a new infrastructure, road infrastructure, railway infrastructure, energy infrastructure and both concerning electricity and the transmission of gas in central Europe along the north-south axis, referring here to the area between the Baltic States through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungry, Bulgaria, Romania, all the way down to the Black Sea, and then through Croatia and Slovenia to the Adriatic Sea.
This is this pace in which we want to cooperate. This is this pace in which we want to develop our cooperation with the United States as esteemed partners in this respect.
Also, as far as providing energy security is concerned, today we talked at length about this with Mr. President. We also discussed the threats to energy security in Europe to the possible diversification of supplies. Without any doubt, such a huge, big threat right now is posed by the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. We discussed at length about this with Mr. President. I presented him with the situation as it is. Unfortunately, we have to be clear and say that both from the German side and from the Russian side, this construction has already been started. There is still some formalities going on connected with that laying of the pipes at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. However, this investment, without any doubt, threatens energy stability of Europe, and without any doubt, it also threatens Polish energy security because it is a threat. There is a threat of Russian energy domination, especially when Russia mentions that it's going to build more pipelines -- Nord Stream 3, Nord Stream 4. This threat of absolute Russian domination in Europe, in terms of gas deliveries, is obvious.
What are the results of such a domination? Ladies and gentlemen, we were able to see that ourselves a couple of years ago in Ukraine -- a sudden interruption of supplies. Of course, it had nothing to do with economic factors. It was connected only and exclusively with a political blackmail. It was a fact, and it is obvious that today, we are making efforts, and we're going to go to any length to protect ourselves from that. That is why we decided to construct an L&G terminal. That is why we also decided to receive the L&G gas from the United States. I'm really glad that we have concluded such contracts. I am glad that American companies are right now delivering L&G to Poland, and this precisely is a very important element of diversification of gas supplies to our country, and I firmly believe that thanks to the L&G gas terminal, thanks to expanding its capacities, as far as the ample (ph) quantities of gas are concerned, we are not only going to realize and safeguard our own energy needs, but I also hope that we'll be able to transmit gas further to our neighbors through the development of the 3Cs Initiative area through the construction of interconnectors. These issues were all -- were raised by us today during our talks with Mr. President.
And last, but not least, opening up to business, we would like to invite American business to Poland. There are better and better investment possibilities. Poland is experiencing a very dynamic growth. Of course, there are companies from the United States which have been present in the -- in the Polish market for many, many years, like General Electric, which right now is implementing a huge investment concerning energy sector in Poland, conventional energy such as construction of the (inaudible) planned. That is a huge contract amounting to almost $2 billion. These are the huge projects which are all being realized.
And by the way, I want to invite to Poland all business people; those with -- I've got huge economic project here, and I've got huge possibilities of investment. But we would also like to invite a smaller one.
[14:45:00] Poland is a big European country. I believe it is an interesting partner where the United States and the U.S. business is very much welcome, and I want to assure you, ladies and gentlemen, about that.
There is also a perspective of developing your activity through Poland to include the Three Seas countries. And this is something that we have been working on as a part of the Three Seas Initiative.
We want to ensure, also, the communication possibilities and we also want to increase the opportunities for economic cooperation.
We want, also, business partners from the U.S. to join our project. There are going to be a lot of communication, traffic-related (ph) investment in our part of Europe.
We would like to invite American businesses to come because I believe that this opens up an opportunity for making joint business.
And ladies and gentlemen, all of that is connected, of course, with the issue of military security.
I'm hugely delighted with the presence of U.S. Armed Forces in the Polish territory. I'm deeply satisfied with the decisions that were taken by Warsaw NATO summit in 2016, where the presence of the military forces of NATO in Poland was guaranteed.
I'm also happy that we have, in Poland, American soldiers as part of our bilateral agreement that I would like to invite you, Mr. President, to post more American troops to Poland.
We believe that the presence of the United States is a guarantor of security in our part of Europe. We ourselves want to invest further. We want to modernize Polish armed forces.
And Mr. President Trump mentioned the so-called Viswa (ph) air defense system that includes the purchase of Patriot missiles. We are implementing the largest military investment so far, as far as the Polish (inaudible) are concerned, over the last 30 years.
We want to implement more projects. We want to buy more equipment. We also want to cooperate in the area of research and development as regards military technology.
And I'm convinced that this cooperation between Poland and the United States will go on smoothly. I hope that Mr. President will make a decision to deploy to Poland more U.S. units, together with equipment.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was smiling when talking to Mr. President. I said that I would very much like for us to set up permanent American bases in Poland, which we would call Fort Trump (ph).
And I firmly believe that this is possible. I am convinced that such a decision lies both in the Polish interest as well as in the interest of the United States. Poland is an attractive country. And first and foremost, it's got a
very important strategic location in Europe. And I'm convinced that for the interests of the United States, also pertaining to the security of the United States itself, the presence of the U.S. forces in our country is important, also to protect American interests.
Mr. President, once again, thank you very much for this meeting. Thank you once again for this joint declaration that we're able to sign today. Thank you for also adding this new splendor to the centennial of Poland regaining its independence, and also to the 10th anniversary of our strategic partnership.
TRUMP: Thank you. A tremendous amount of LNG will be exported to Poland. We're giving them a pretty good price, but they're buying a lot of it and that's going to be great.
I do want to say that, while we're together, tremendous effort and bravery is being shown in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and the area that was so horribly hit by Hurricane Florence.
I -- I just got some clips of some of the things that the Coast Guard is doing, in getting people to safety in horrible, horrible conditions.
And I want to just salute all of the people that are working so hard. The first responders, law enforcement, the military, FEMA. The job they're doing is incredible. It's incredible. So I just want to thank them very much.
And I think what we'll do is, we'll take our first question from Emerald Robinson of One America News.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.
So news today of a plane, a Russian plane shot down over Syria. Russia is assigning the blame to Israel, even though it was accidentally shot down by Syrian forces.
Clearly, things are heating up. There's concerns by many Americans, most Americans that we might be involved in a war in Syria soon.
You had hoped to bring troops home, but clearly things are changing. What do you tell American people today about a possibility of war in Syria?
TRUMP: Well, I just heard about the incident you have mentioned, Emerald. And it sounds to me, and it seems to me just like based on a review of the facts that Syria shot down a Russian plane. And I understand about 14 people were killed, at least, and that's a very sad thing but that's what happens. But Syria, according to early reports, that's subject to change, but that Syria shot down a Russian plane. So that's not a good situation. We have done a tremendous job in Syria
and in that region, eradicating ISIS, which is why we're there. And we're very close to being finished with that job and then we're going to make a determination as to what we're going to do. But we have eradicated ISIS at a very large area of the Middle East. These are people that will not be coming here, because they're not around any longer. So we've done, you know, a very short period of time, our vice president is here, Mike Pence.
A great secretary of state, who really -- thank you very much for the great job you're doing, Mike Pompeo. And we've been working very hard on this and we've done an incredible job over there but we'll make a decision fairly quickly.
Thank you very much.
Would you have a question for the president?
QUESTION: Certainly, I thank you, President Duda. Clearly you said -- you asked President Trump if he would consider a permanent base in Poland, and of course, that also relates to Russia.
What would you say -- how did the president respond to your position to have a permanent base from America in Poland? And then also do you currently have concerns over the U.S.-Russia relationship?
DUDA (through translator): Well of course -- of course, I told Mr. President about all the aspects connected with the permanent presence of the U.S. armed forces in Poland. But first and foremost, I assured Mr. President of one thing.
First and foremost, ladies and gentlemen, we cannot say that if there are permanent bases of the U.S. armed forces in Poland, we will see a deterioration of security because that will lead to an increased Russian activity and -- and increased militarization of this part of Europe by Russia.
I want to state clearly, ladies and gentlemen, a very strong militarization of, for instance, Kaliningrad Oblast, has taken place for more than 10 years now. It is the reality that we live in today. As far as an aggressive Russian behavior is concerned, as far as increased military activity is concern including increasing of the militarization Russia has been conducting such activities in a systematic way.
And for the first time we're able to see that in a materialized way in Georgia, in 2008 when the then president of Poland, Professor Lech Kaczynski, took other European leaders and they went to Tbilisi to stop Russia's tanks which were about to attack the capital of Georgia.
And from that moment, that military expansion has been developing, it's another leg (ph) with the attack on Ukraine. And today we can see an illegal annexation of Crimea, today we are witnessing constant violation of international law in the Luhansk and Donetsk Oblast.
So these are today political and military facts of Europe, and the presence of the United States is only providing a guarantee of security and impossible to defend because let me reiterate again, it is only about the guarantee of security and defense of our part of Europe, that is, the free world. This is the most crucial issue right now from our perspective, from the perspective of Central and Eastern European countries. And we are speaking in one voice on this one generally.
That is why we wanted to ensure the presence of the United States armed forces and also we wanted to have the presence of NATO forces in our part of Europe as well. Of course, Mr. President and his staff, his advisors and also the Pentagon staff, have to consider all these issues.
But there is a whole range of arguments which are in favor of the fact that the presence of the U.S. armed forces in this area is absolutely justified -- justified today. That is due to the protection of the interests of the United States as well.
So I am absolutely convinced of this one because today, unfortunately, we are seeing their national law being violated, today we are seeing aggressive behaviors, and I am convinced that there is a no more effective message of preventing a war than a decisive stance demonstrating that we are ready any moment to repel a possible attack.
And a presence also means deterrent at the same time. I am convinced that when we are -- when we have a strong military presence in this part of Europe where there is a potential threat, then there will be no war happening ever.
TRUMP: And I think it should be pointed out that the president also said, and he said it publicly, that he would pay the United States, meaning Poland would be paying billions of dollars for a base.
And we're looking at that more and more from the standpoint of defending really wealthy countries and not being reimbursed -- paid. It's one thing when we defend countries that can't defend themselves. And they're great people, and we should help them. We don't expect anything for that.
But when we're defending immensely wealthy countries and they're not the paying for the defense to the United States, they're only taking advantage of us. And we are in discussions with numerous countries, all of whom you know, about payment -- payment.
And we get along with them very well, but it's not fair. That includes NATO. As you know, I got $44 billion additional, last year, where they paid an additional. You can speak to Secretary General Stoltenberg, who's the head of NATO, and he's said he's never seen anything like that.
And this year, we did even better. But when a country is very wealthy and when the United States has been protecting them for many years, at tremendous cost -- cost like nobody in this room would believe -- it's time that they help with, we call it "burden sharing." And they will do that, but the president offered much more than $2 billion to do this.
And so we're looking at it. We're looking at it from the standpoint of, number one, military protection for both countries and also the cost. A term you don't hear too often, and you haven't heard too often, over the last 25 years, but that's the way it has to be.
Thank you very much. Would you like to have a question, please?
QUESTION (through translator: Polish Press Agency. I've got a question to President Trump. Do you share the conviction, which we have just heard a minute ago, expressed by President Duda, concerning that threat which is imposed to the rich? And (inaudible) only to the rich -- by Russia. And do you also share that view that permanent American bases in Poland are justified, not only due to the security of the countries in our region but also due to the security of the United States?
TRUMP: I do, I actually do. I think it's a very aggressive situation. I think Russia has acted aggressively. They respect force. They respect strength, as anyone does, and we have the greatest strength in the world, especially now.
We were being depleted under the last administration. We had planes that were old and tired and didn't fly, in some cases. They were getting used parts. This is the United States, that doesn't happen. We make the greatest planes in the world and missiles in the world.
And we have enhanced, to put it mildly, our military. It's literally being rebuilt as we speak with literally hundreds and hundreds of planes and missiles and everything that you can imagine.
They never had it so good, because I got, in Congress, $700 billion this year, $716 billion last year. That's far more than they ever anticipated. I viewed it two ways. Number one, military, because it's always more important than anything else, including jobs, but number two is jobs. We make everything here. So it's hundreds of thousands of jobs to make for us the best military in the world.
And Russia respects that. They respect that. So I am -- I am with the president. I feel that he's right, and I feel that -- look, you look at the history of Poland and Russia, that's a long and very complicated history, so he certainly has a right to feel that way, OK.
QUESTION (through the translator): After the meeting that you have had today at the White House, do you have the feeling that the probability that Polish expectations concerning permanent American prisons in our country are closer to being implemented? Are they are going to be a pact?
TRUMP: I do.
[14:59:48] DUDA (through translation): Ladies and gentlemen, today, myself and Mr. President had a tete-a-tete meeting, a private meeting, and then we met also with our staff. We had a long conversation, a very honest discussion and a very strong, at certain points as well, in terms of diagnosis of the situation in the area of military security and energy security alike. And I am --