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Trump Remarks Regarding Shutdown. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 4, 2019 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was an incorrect decision. It was a political decision made by a judge. And I know a lot of people don't like when I say, but try going there sometime to the 9th Circuit and try winning a case. Not easy. Everyone files right in the 9th Circuit.

The fact is it was a terrible decision and an incorrect decision. When that decision came down, when that judge ruled the way he ruled I said as soon as I heard it -- I said, you know what's going to happen? We're never going to hear from them again. And that's exactly -- that's what broke up the DACA deal.

Yes, we had a pathway. We had many things. That was getting close to being a deal. The problem was that the money was a very small amount of money. It wasn't really the 25. It was 25 and then come back every year. Well, we don't want to go through that every year. But we were getting close and I said as soon as that decision came down, that incorrect and horrible decision -- I mean, there's been a number of them made lately -- but as soon as that decision came down, I said you'll never hear from them again.

And I called up. I said, "hi, it's President Trump. What's going on?" They say, "President Trump? We don't know who that is." It was over. The deal was over. That's what killed the DACA deal. It was nothing else. It was the judge's decision. And if the Supreme Court does what really everyone thinks from a legal standpoint it should be doing, if they don't allow the President of the United States, which is me also, because if President Obama's allowed to do that, I'm allowed to do it also. Can you imagine?

If the Supreme Court overrules that wrong Executive Order, we'll have a deal very quickly on DACA and other things. And the Democrats want that and so do we. But once he ruled that way, it was something you couldn't really negotiate.

Yes, Hailey (ph)?

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Mr. President, two questions for you. Are you still proud to own this shutdown?

TRUMP: Well, you know, I appreciate the way you say that, but once -- I'm very proud of doing what I'm doing. I don't call it a shutdown, I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and for the safety of our country.

But when Nancy Pelosi said you don't have the votes in Congress, I will tell you what I was proud of, I was never more proud of my Republican Party and those Congressmen and women, when they saw that and they got together and they voted 217 to 185, and it wasn't even close, that was an incredible day, I'm very proud of that, when she said you couldn't get the vote.

And I'm not holding that against her, because despite the fact that I'm not saying it was an easy meeting or even a kind meeting or a nice meeting, but in the end I think we've come a long way. We're going to be working very hard over the weekend and we'll see if we can do something.

So you can call it whatever you want, you can call it the Schumer or the Pelosi or the Trump shutdown, doesn't make any difference to me, just words.

QUESTION: Mr. President, my second question, sir, on federal workers, sir? Mr. President, my second question on federal workers sir?

TRUMP: Go ahead. Yeah, just one second. Just one second, please. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: It may be the same question. Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions, just to follow up on DACA.

TRUMP: Yeah.

QUESTION: Are you open to a path to citizenship in theory for DACA recipients, and then can you explain to federal employees, the agencies that are closed which are not Homeland Security why those agencies should stay closed?

Homeland Security is significant in and of itself, if it stayed close.

TRUMP: Because we want to do what's right and we want to do it all at one time. We don't want to take it in pieces, we just don't want to do that. And DACA is going to be a great subject, I look forward to discussing it, we'll discuss it at another time.

But there are a lot of great things that can happen with DACA if the Democrats want to do that. I think what we're all waiting for, to be honest, is the Supreme Court judge -- judges -- the Supreme Court justices ruling in a not very long period of time.

You know, as you know, it's up now. Hopefully they will be making a ruling maybe sometime in the summer? So I think before we discuss too much DACA, I would like to see what happens. I think it's a very important decision, because frankly if they rule the way it is, it gives the president too much power.

Can you imagine me saying that? But I would be entitled to the same power. It's -- it's not a correct thing that took place, and President Obama never felt it was going to hold up and it held up, but I don't think it's going to hold up at the Supreme Court.

If it doesn't hold up, you're going to see a lot of good things happening because you'll be having DACA and you'll be putting other things with DACA. Hopefully by that time, the wall will be well under construction. And just a little statement to that, we've already built a lot of the wall.

We've been working very, very hard. We've renovated a tremendous amount of wall. I just told you we did a lot of wall in San Diego where we needed it very badly, where they wanted it very badly. So we haven't been sitting still for the first, believe it or not, less than two years.

We've been -- we've been working very, very hard. The wall is -- we've done a lot of miles of wall already, so we're not just starting off fresh. But we have large numbers of miles that we have to do, and we can't let gaps, because if you have gaps, those people are going to turn their vehicles or the gangs -- they're going to be coming in through those gaps, and we cannot let that happen.

Kevin? Kevin, Kevin.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. President, appreciate that. A question about government employees, what is your personal message to those who are impacted by the shutdown and if you wouldn't mind, if you could comment on the remarks made by a freshman Congress person about impeachment involving a bit of profanity last night?

TRUMP: Well you can't impeach somebody that's doing a great job, that's the way I view it. I've probably done more in the first two years than any president, any administration in the history of our country.

You look at tax cuts, you look at regulations, you look at what we've done for the vets, you look at the rebuilding of the military and the numbers that we're talking about and -- and many other things, I could give you a list, it's pages long.

So I think it's very hard to impeach somebody who's done a great job, that's number one. And we even talked about that today, I said why don't you use this for impeachment? And Nancy said we're not looking to impeach you. I said that's good, Nancy, that's good.

But you know what, you don't impeach people when they're doing a good job and you don't impeach people when there was no collusion, cause there was no collusion. You know Russians better than I do, Kevin, OK? There was no collusion.

I didn't need Russians to help me win Iowa, I didn't need Russians to help me win the great state of Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania, I won them because I went there and I campaigned hard and my opponent didn't go there enough and she lost a lot of good states, a lot of states that for many, many years, for decades have gone Democrat, they went Republican.

That's why I won, not because of -- not because of Russia.

QUESTION: Your comment about the -- the freshman Congress person's comments, specifically about ... TRUMP: Well I thought her comments were disgraceful. This is a person that I don't know, I assume she's new. I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family. Using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was that, I thought that was a great dishonor to her and to her family.

I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America. Yes? Go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Earlier this week, you repeated your claim that through the USMCA, Mexico will be paying for the wall.

TRUMP: That's right.

QUESTION: Can you describe in detail the specific mechanisms in the trade deal that ...

TRUMP: Well you're going to be seeing it very soon. We made a new deal, a new trade deal -- NAFTA's been one of the great disasters of all time, probably the worst trade deal ever made maybe. We lost millions of jobs, thousands and thousands of companies.

NAFTA left our country dry, NAFTA was a disaster. I campaigned on either terminating or re-negotiating NAFTA, and Bob Lighthizer and Jared Kushner and a whole group of people did an incredible job, they did an incredible job.

And now we have a deal that's great for our country, and by the way, good for Mexico, good for Canada also. As you know, it's the three countries. We will be taking in billions and billions of dollars more money for the United States, including jobs, including companies that won't be leaving us anymore and going to Mexico and in some cases Canada, to a lesser extent.

But we lost 25 percent of our car business because of NAFTA. NAFTA was a disaster. Now we have the USMCA, it's United States, Mexico and Canada Trade Agreement. It's brand new, it's totally different, it makes it very difficult for companies to incentivize, move to other countries and we will be making billions and billions of dollars a year more money...

QUESTION: So why don't you (inaudible) the wall?

TRUMP: And that is paying -- excuse me, because I didn't have to. That is paying for the wall many, many times over. In fact, what we save on the USMCA, the new trade deal we have with Mexico and Canada -- what we save on that, just with Mexico, will pay for the wall many times over just in a period of a year, two years and three years. So I view that as absolutely Mexico is paying for the wall and that's fine.

QUESTION: Will you be pressuring Putin...

TRUMP: Yes -- yes, ma'am go.

QUESTION: Mr. President, thank you. You ran your campaign promising supporters that Mexico is going to pay for the wall... TRUMP: Oh here we go again.

QUESTION: That the wall was going to be made of concrete. You just said earlier that the wall could be made of steel, and right now our government is shut down over a demand from your administration that the American taxpayer pay for the wall. So how can you say that you're not failing on that promise to your supporters?

TRUMP: A very nice question so beautifully asked, even though I just answered it.

QUESTION: You didn't answer it, the USMCA has not even passed Congress yet...

TRUMP: But let me just tell you -- excuse me, excuse me. You ready? Are you ready? I just told you that we just made a trade deal, and we will take in billions and billions of dollars, far more than the cost of the wall.

The wall is peanuts compared to what the value of this trade deal is to the United States. As far as concrete, I said I was going to build a wall -- I never said, "I'm going to build a concrete --" I said I was going to build a wall.

QUESTION: You said...

TRUMP: Just so you don't -- because I know you're not in to the construction business. You don't understand something, we now have a great steel business that's rebuilt in the United States. Steel is stronger than concrete. If I build this wall, or fence -- or anything the Democrats need to call it, because I'm not in to names I'm in to production. I'm in to something that works.

If I build a steel wall, rather than a concrete wall -- it will actually be stronger than a concrete -- steel is stronger than concrete, OK? In case you -- you could check it out. Listen, if I build a wall and the wall is made out of steel instead of concrete, I think people will like that.

And here's the other good thing, I'll have it done by the United States Steel Corporation -- by companies in our country that are now powerful, great companies again. And they've become powerful over the last two years because of me and because of our trade policies.

So if I have a steel wall, or you could call it a steel fence -- but it'll be more powerful than any of the concrete walls that we're talking about. It's possible that it will look better, and one of the things I think you have seen this -- that's very important for us, very, very important.

In speaking to Border Patrol, ICE and actually local law enforcement, and even military, they want to be able to see through it. You can't really see through a concrete wall, they want to be able to see who's on the other side of the wall. Because if they're here and you have about a 12 inch concrete wall, and you have people on the other side but you can't see what's over there it's very dangerous. They want to be able to see through the wall, a see-through wall made out of steel is far stronger than a concrete wall. So I'm very happy with it. I think -- I think, I'm not sure -- but I think that's what the Democrats prefer. And if it can get them there, I'm OK. It actually will be a more powerful wall, and it will be a more beautiful wall than having a concrete wall.

QUESTION: So with the new trade deal, Mr. President...

TRUMP: Jeff -- Jeff, go ahead?

QUESTION: Mr. President...

TRUMP: Go ahead, go ahead, Jeff (ph).

QUESTION: You mentioned China, sir, in your remarks. Are you concerned about the words and the actions of Apple this week with regard to revenue? And can you tell us what sort of progress you meant when you were referring to trade talks with China?

TRUMP: Well I think we're doing very well, China's paying us tremendous tariffs. We're getting billions and billions of dollars of money pouring in to the Treasury of the United States, which in history we've never gotten from China, as you know. It's been very unfair. I had a fantastic meeting with President Xi, who I both like and respect. One of the things that came out of that meeting was fentanyl. As you know, almost all of it comes from China. And he's going to now criminalize the making of fentanyl.

And unlike our country, they have unbelievably strong prohibitions about drugs. It was not on their list. They view it as a -- I guess as some kind of a commercial product.

Now they view it as something that's very dangerous. They're going to be changing their laws to make -- to make fentanyl a criminal -- a criminal process f you're making fentanyl.

If they do that, you know what their ultimate is? It's called the death penalty. I think that could have a tremendous -- and I thanked President Xi very much.

So first question I said to him before we -- when we started the trade talks in Argentina. This was a meeting that was supposed to last for about 45 minutes, and it ended up being almost four hours. Some of you were there.

It was a great meeting. We'll see what happens. You never know with a deal. But I will tell you, China's not doing well now and it puts us in a very strong position. We are doing very well.

But we're taking in billions and billions of dollars. And I hope we're going to make a deal with China. And if we don't, they're paying us tens of billions of dollars' worth of tariffs. Not the worst thing in the world.

But I think we will -- I think we will make a deal with China. I really think they want to. I think they sort of have to. And I think we're going to have a great relationship.

I think that President Xi and myself have a great relationship. Also North Korea, we're doing very well with North Korea. And that's based on relationship also.

Yeah?

QUESTION: Can you just -- can -- Mr. President, just to follow up...

TRUMP: All right, go ahead. One -- one more quickly.

Go ahead, Jim (ph).

QUESTION: Just to follow up, sir. Avenue -- or Apple, rather, issued a revenue warning this week, which led its stock to go down and the rest of the stock market to go down as well. Are you concerned about that?

TRUMP: No, I'm not. I mean, look, they've gone up a lot. You know, they've gone up hundreds of percent since I'm president. Apple was at a number that was incredible, and they're going to be fine. Apple is a great company.

But that's not my -- look, I have to worry about our country.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Don't forget -- don't forget this. Apple makes their product in China. I told Tim Cook, who's a friend of mine, who I like a lot, "Make your product in the United States. Build those big, beautiful plants" -- that go on for miles, it seems -- "build those plants in the United States. I like that even better."

Apple makes its product in China. China is the biggest beneficiary of Apple. More than us because they build their product mostly in China.

But now, he's investing $350 billion because of what we did with taxes and the incentives that we created, in the United States. He's going to build a campus and lots of other places.

So my -- my focus is the United States. I want to get those companies to come back, like so many are doing, into the United States. I want Apple to make their iPhones and all of the great things that they make in the United States. And that'll take place.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Would you close the southern border?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr....

TRUMP: Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. I want to ask you two questions. One, as you talk about the wall, imminent domain...

TRUMP: Yeah. QUESTION: ... many of those who own property on the southern border will lose their property because of this. And once this happens, they say that they could go to court with you for years. It could take years.

Then also, what is the safety net for federal workers? You're saying months and possibly a year for the shutdown. Do you have in mind a safety net for those who need their checks, those who need SSI, those who need Medicaid, what have you?

TRUMP: Well, the safety net is going to be having a strong border because we're going to be safe. I'm not talking about economically, but ultimately economically.

I really believe that these people -- many of the people that we're talking about, many of the people you're discussing, I really believe that they agree with what we're doing.

And we could have this -- April, we could have this fixed very quickly. We can -- this could happen by early next week. We're going to be working over the weekend. We can have a solution to this, but I wanted to keep it all at one point.

And I think a lot of the people that you're referring to, April, are going -- are really wanting that to happen, too. I really believe a lot of them want to see border security and they're willing to give it up.

I had -- when I had the people in yesterday, they represent most of the Border Patrol. The people that you had yesterday that were at the news conference, they represent most of Border Patrol.

Everyone one of them said, "Don't even think about us. Get this fixed. That is doing the great thing for our country." As far as eminent domain, you're right 100 percent. Eminent domain is very interesting, but without eminent domain you wouldn't have any highways, you wouldn't have any schools, you wouldn't have any roadways.

What we're doing with eminent domain is, in many cases, we'll make a deal upfront, and we've already done that. The secretary has done a lot of that, and if we can't make a deal, we take the land and we pay them through a court process which goes actually fairly quickly. And we're generous, but we take the land -- otherwise you could never build anything.

If you didn't use eminent domain, you wouldn't have one highway in this country. You have to use eminent domain. It's actually something you don't want to use it, but if you're going to do a stretch -- as an example pipelines and other things that go, you have to use eminent domain, otherwise you'd never be able to buy the land.

If we had one person that wouldn't sell us -- out of hundreds just one -- it only takes one -- then we wouldn't be able to build proper border security because we'd have that big opening that I was talking about. So what happens is some are paid up front. You make a deal upfront and we're willing to do that in all cases, and when they're unwilling to make a deal, which also happens, then you go to court, but in the meantime we're able to build the border security. So I think it's a fair process. I think it's a process that's very necessary, but I think it's fair.

QUESTION: But that could -- couldn't that hold up your wall?

TRUMP: No, it's not going to hold it up because under the military version of eminent domain and under, actually, Homeland Security, we can do it before we even start. Now, a lot of times we'll make a deal, and I would say a good percentage of the time we're making deals. We have already purchased a lot of it.

You know, a lot of the money that we've been given has already been spent on purchasing the land, the right of way. It's essentially a right of way.

So we are very, very far along on that, but eminent domain is something that has to be used -- usually you would say for anything that's long like a road, like a pipeline, or like a wall or a fence, OK? Thank you. Good question. It's a good question. Please, please. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you, two questions. First, Mr. President, have you considered using emergency powers?

TRUMP: Should we keep this going or not, folks?

QUESTION: Sure.

TRUMP: I just don't want to say, "oh, he stood out there."

QUESTION: Please.

TRUMP: You know, you have so many questions. I'm just looking at Mike (ph) and Steve (ph) and Kevin (ph). I'm saying should we and mostly importantly, madam secretary?

MCCARTHY: None of us brought coats.

TRUMP: I'm just -- oh, are you cold? Get out of here.

(LAUGHTER)

Here, take mine. You want mine?

(LAUGHTER)

No, I'm just saying should we keep this going a little bit longer?

QUESTION: Please. Yes, indeed.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

QUESTION: So first...

TRUMP: Let me know when you get tired.

QUESTION: I'm not. Have you considered using emergency powers to grant yourself authorities to build this wall without congressional approval? And second on Mexico...

TRUMP: Yes, I have.

QUESTION: You have?

TRUMP: Yes, I have. And I can do it if I want.

QUESTION: So you don't need congressional approval to build the wall?

TRUMP: No, we can use -- absolutely. We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven't done it. I may do it. I may do it, but we could call a national emergency and build it very quickly, and it's another way of doing it. But if we can do it through a negotiated process, we're giving that a shot.

QUESTION: So is that a threat hanging over the Democrats?

TRUMP: I'd never threaten anybody, but I am allowed to do that yes.

QUESTION: Second question...

TRUMP: Call it a national emergency.

QUESTION: On Mexico, the benefits from that trade deal are going to go to private companies, private citizens, so you're talking about tax revenues...

TRUMP: No, they're going to pay tremendous tax.

QUESTION: So it's American tax payers?

TRUMP: I'll give you an example, when a company was going to leave from Mexico or Canada but for Mexico because we've lost tremendous amounts of our car business like 25 percent to Mexico.

If they stay, all of those taxes that they have been paying, real estate taxes, employee - employer taxes. Tremendous taxes that nobody even understands they pay. They're tremendous. Income taxes, federal income taxes, state income taxes in some cases -- all of those taxes stay with us.

The wall is you know it's -- it's great but the USMCA, which gives a disincentive for companies to leave. It's a tremendous disincentive. Anybody that leaves after this deal is done -- look it's one of the primary reasons that I like it because I can live pre-NAFTA too.

The only thing I can't live with is NAFTA. I can live pre-NAFTA, before NAFTA, before everybody left New England and left all of the different places, Ohio, Pennsylvania. I mean you still have empty steel factories all over the place and other factories.

I can live pre-NAFTA very easily but the only thing I'm not living with is NAFTA. That was one of the worst trade deals ever made.

QUESTION: So those are American tax payer dollars which you consider essentially Mexico paying for the wall?

TRUMP: Well many, many times over. Look the USMCA, will make in the form that we right now are losing approximately 100 - hard to believe and this doesn't include the drugs pouring in which is probably a much higher number than anybody would even know in addition to destroying lives and families so horribly.

We are losing close to $100 billion a year on trade with Mexico for many years. Not only that, they have a tax of 17 percent. We don't have a tax so they have a value added tax of 17 percent. We don't have a tax of 17 percent.

That deal was bad the day it was made because they charged the tax before the deal was made and we didn't. It was an obsolete deal when it was made like 30 years ago, whatever it was.

No, no. All of this stuff is changing now. This is a fair deal. This is a good deal for Mexico. Frankly, oil companies and other companies have an incentive now to go to Mexico and take oil out (ph) and that's why we're keeping gasoline prices so low.

You look at what's going on with gasoline prices. I mean it's rather incredible. If you look back four months ago, oil hit $83 a barrel - $83. It was heading to $100 and then it could've gone to $125.

You want to see problems? Let that happen. After I made some phone calls to OPEC and the OPEC nations, which is essentially a monopoly, all of the sudden it started coming down.

I'm very happy with that's happened and I'm very happy that people are paying a lot less, in many cases, $2 a gallon for gasoline. You look at what's happening. Everyone's talking about it didn't happen by luck, it happened through talent.

Go ahead, go ahead.

QUESTION: If this shutdown, sir, does last, since you said you'd come back for the second question, months or years I want to understand how you expect federal workers to last that long without getting a paycheck specifically...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Look. Look -- I don't think it will. I'm prepared.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... since your cabinet members are said to get raises tomorrow? How is that fair?

TRUMP: Right well we'll have to talk to the cabinet members then. OK. I'm sure they don't even know that.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Will you ask them to give that money back?

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Let me just say this.

TRUMP: It's very important that we have great border security. I think it's going to be over with sooner than people think. But I will do whatever we have to do -- if we have to stay out for a very long period of time, we're going to do that.

And many of those people, maybe even most of those people, that really have not been and will not be getting their money in and at this moment, those people in many cases are the biggest fan of what we are doing.

QUESTION: How do you know that, sir?

TRUMP: All right, please, Major, go ahead.

QUESTION: ... follow up on that, Mr. President. The $10,000 raise that your Cabinet members and senior administration officials are due to receive starting tomorrow, will you ask them not to accept that, at least during the shutdown itself?

TRUMP: Well, I might consider that, you know, that's something I may consider. That's a very good question. OK, who else is out there -- Mike, who do you see out there that's ...

(CROSS-TALK)

QUESTION: Is there a commitment -- are you committing to that, Mr. President? Mr. President, are you committing to that?

TRUMP: Go ahead, yeah. Good. Go ahead, go ahead. No? That's all right. All right.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

TRUMP: Mike likes you.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

TRUMP: Mike highly recommended you. Watch, this will be the killer of them all, go ahead.

QUESTION: All right, well two questions, if that's all right. First one is kind of a follow up for that. You were a landlord. For people that are worried about paying their rent checks, government employees right now, people that are worried about bill collectors, would you ask those companies, those landlords to kind of go easy on them ...

TRUMP: I think they will.

QUESTION: Do you -- do you -- I'm sorry, would you ask ...

TRUMP: No, I -- I think that happens. You know, hey, I've been a landlord for a long time, I've been in the real estate business for a long time. When you see there are problems out there, difficulties out there, you know the people are all good for the money, they work with the people, they work with the people.

QUESTION: But -- but I mean -- so you would encourage landlords ...

TRUMP: I will, sure. I would encourage them to be nice and easy. We have a bigger subject that we're doing, it's called the security of our nation, including terrorism, please. OK.

QUESTION: I -- I -- if you don't mind, one more question, sir. I -- but I -- if you don't mind ...

TRUMP: Go ahead, please, go ahead.

QUESTION: OK, thank you sir. Oh, I'm ...

TRUMP: Go ahead -- no, no, come on.

QUESTION: OK, sorry, Steven (ph).

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Thank you.

QUESTION: I had a question about the terrorism. I wanted to ask who are these individuals on -- who are being captured terrorists. Are they people on the watch list, are they from travel ban countries? A second question I wanted to ask, why is Senator Mitch McConnell not here? Why was he not invited ...

TRUMP: Oh, he's been great, he's been really fantastic. Mitch McConnell -- first of all, he was here, he was with us for hours at the meeting.

QUESTION: Why's he not here at the -- at the -- here in the Rose Garden now?

TRUMP: Because he's running the Senate. I mean Mitch McConnell has been fantastic, he's been really great. He's right at the top of everything that we're doing and he's really been fantastic. Kirstjen, do you want to answer that question about the terrorism?

NIELSEN: Sure, so obviously I can't get into classified information, but what we do now is we have stopped -- CBP has stopped over 3,000 what we call special interest aliens trying to come into the country on the southern border.

Those are aliens who the intel community has identified are of concern. They either have travel patterns that are identified as terrorist travel patterns or they have known or suspected ties to terrorism. So we have 3,000 that we know about.

I think what the president continues to make clear is that it's our sovereign duty to know who comes into our country. Without any kind of structure and without changing the laws, we have no way to know the identity of every person that walks across the unsecured border.

So the ones we know about, we can give you 3,000, but I'm sure we can give you -- we'll look to see what else we can give you unclass. Obviously there's ongoing investigations that I can't get into.

TRUMP: So I think that we can say with assurity I think it was a great meeting, we'll see what happens. It may get solved, it may not get solved. You now know the number, you now know what we're willing to do and if we have to do it, we'll do it.

And again, we're going to be, I believe, very productive over the weekend. We have a very talented group, they have a very talented group of people, as I understand, and I think some tremendous things will happen and I really believe the biggest beneficiaries of what we are doing are children, are women, are workers and a lot of these people that really do benefit are not only the people in our country, but the people that travel up trying to get into a country that they think they're going to get into and they can't and they get sick and there's tremendous damage done to them and their families.

These are all tremendous beneficiaries of what we are doing, so this really does have a higher purpose than next week's pay and the people that won't get next week's pay or the following week's pay, I think if you ever really looked at those people, I think they'd say Mr. President, keep going, this is far more important.

I want to thank you all and we'll see you soon. They'll be working very hard over the weekend. Thank you very much. Thank you.