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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
U.S.-Polish Presidents Hold Joint News Conference; Trump On Mexico Tariff Threat, Purported Immigration Deal; Trump On Relations With North Korea, Kim Jong-un. President Trump Meeting with President Duda of Poland Today; Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent; Boris Johnson Stands Behind Burqa Comments as He Kicks Off Campaign. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 12, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: -- we're hearing, again, a strengthening of that relationship with this arms sales and the movement of
thousands of American troops to Poland from Germany. What more did we learn today?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, that's a significant fact, Hala. Because up to now, U.S. troops have been rotating in and out
of Poland. But there was no permanent status of U.S. in, you know, territory that used to be part of the old Warsaw Pact.
So this is an important strategic moment. And you saw of course, there as well, the president taking a chance to take another shot at Germany,
favorably comparing Poland, which does meet its two percent target of GDP defense spending, against Germany, which doesn't.
Duda is, of course, the latest East European nationalist leader who mirrors President Trump's philosophical and ideological leanings, arriving at the
White House. I think it's fair to say that there will be very little rebuking of questions that Poland has raised. You know, infringement on
the media, the judiciary and the press, which have been decried throughout the European Union but, you know, which the current Trump administration
doesn't seem to care that much about -- Hala.
And, Boris, just to recap for our viewers, there was the announcement that Poland would be buying U.S. fighter jets and also an extension of a natural
gas contract. Is it unusual for these types of flyovers over the White House? I don't remember any other presidential visit or head of state
visit with this type of military display.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's absolutely right, Hala. And that really speaks to who President Trump is. Remember
he is the reality TV president. He understands the power of the visual medium. And having this raw display of military power, this F-35 flying
over the White House, really sends a message.
The president spoke about his relationship with Vladimir Putin today, during that press availability with the Polish president. And this is
clearly a message about his commitment to NATO and about countering Russian aggression in that part of the world.
The president, saying that he would be looking forward to meeting Vladimir Putin at the G20 in Japan later this month. The president, also talking
about potentially meeting with Chinese president, Xi Jinping, there.
But back on that important point, this sort of image underscores the point, that the United States is considering sending some 2,000 troops to be
stationed in Poland, along with some 4,000 other troops that re already there.
The president joked that he'd like to see that location called "Fort Trump," as some in Poland are jokingly calling it -- Hala.
UNIDENTIFED MALE (voice-over): -- dispersed thousands of protestors in what they now classify --
GORANI: Stephen, we'll catch up with you a little bit later. Because as I mentioned to our viewers, we're expecting a news conference there. The
Polish president and the U.S. president will be holding a news conference and taking questions.
And by the way, the U.S. president, Donald Trump, was asked about some of these polls that suggest he might be struggling in some of these important
states in 2020. He said they were fake and that his internal polling, showing quite the contrary, that he's doing well.
He also talked about Hong Kong and talked about China and the fact that he's going to meet with President Xi and President Putin at the G7 meeting
in a few weeks.
Now, to Hong Kong, outrage is bubbling in Hong Kong, where days of peaceful protests spiraled into violence Wednesday. More than 70 people were
At the heart of the protests is a bill that would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be brought to China. Demonstrators are afraid. They say
it would give Beijing carte blanche to detain political opponents. CNN's Ivan Watson was there as the protests played out.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police fire pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse thousands of
protestors in what they now classify a riot.
For hours, crowds encircle the headquarters of the Hong Kong government. On Wednesday, lawmakers were set for the second reading of a divisive bill
that would allow suspected fugitives to be extradited to mainland China and other territories. That proved impossible, due to the unrest. Lawmakers
were forced to postpone.
Hong Kong's leader has defended the legislation, arguing it plugs legal loopholes.
CARRIE LAM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF HONG KONG (through translator): It is undeniable the law is controversial. Allowing more explanations and
discussions will be helpful but it will not eliminate worries and controversies concerning the law completely.
WATSON (voice-over): But opponents say the new law could be used to extradite critics of Beijing to mainland China and its opaque judicial
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about the future of Hong Kongers. Yes. We are very regular (ph) to China. We always go back. But once this law is
passed, it is very dangerous to the future. Our sons and grandsons, et cetera.
[14:05:07] WATSON (voice-over): The Hong Kong government's unyielding position escalated tensions with opponents of the law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want our voices heard. And we want -- in a sense, it's strength by numbers. We want to have enough of a voice that people
know that we're serious about it. And I think just being here, hopefully, contributes to that.
WATSON (voice-over): Taiwan is voicing its support with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeting, quote, "I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the
hundreds of thousands in Hong Kong fighting for the extradition bill and for rule of law. Please know you are not alone. Taiwan is with you. The
will of the people will prevail."
As the protests turned violent, police poured into the main roads, pushing back protestors into malls and nearby buildings. Dozens of people have
been injured, according to Hong Kong's hospital authority.
Video appears to show a police officer charging and bashing one protestor to the ground. Another, dragged by police.
WATSON: These scenes are reminiscent of the 2014 Umbrella Movement, when demonstrators managed to shut down the financial district here in Hong Kong
for months before their sit-in eventually petered out.
Now, some pro-democracy lawmakers have expressed their support for the protestors while also calling on Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam,
CLAUDIA MO, HONG KONG PRO-DEMOCRACY LEGISLATOR: At the end of the umbrella movement, didn't we say we will be back? And now, we are back.
WATSON (voice-over): For now, life in this bustling city is at a standstill, halted by this test of wills. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Well, it's the middle of the night there now and the situation has calmed down. But protestors are still out and Hong Kong is still very much
on edge. CNN's Matt Rivers has been following this for us all day. He joins me now, live.
Why was there this escalation today? Because the police started using tear gas and rubber bullets and it escalated to levels that it hadn't for the
first few days of these demonstrations.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. It's a very good question. Ultimately, I think, sometimes it comes down to a chicken or an egg
question. You know, who did what that prompted the escalation. Was it police overreach, was it protestors throwing bottles and stones at the
cops. You know, we might have seen instances of both that kind of thing today, throughout the day. So ultimately, who's to blame for why it
bubbled over, we're not sure.
But in terms of root causes, you know, the underlying frustration, that, I think, is pretty understandable. What you saw on Sunday was a very
peaceful march, a million people come out. Really a cross-section of Hong Kong society.
But then over the last couple of days -- you know, today, Wednesday, more of those people who made up that huge number on Sunday, a lot of them had
to work. So the people you saw here, generally, today, were much younger. And these were the kind of people that maybe you could see -- or in the
past, they had been the ones who had been violent before.
Now, we're not exactly sure what sparked it today. But the underlying frustration among Hong Kong's population is there. People are incredibly
frustrated with their government right now. And they are incredibly frustrated with this bill. And when you think about it, today was the day
that they could have had that debate. Today was the day that it could have been real.
Sunday was, you know, just looking ahead. Today was the day legislators were going to be in that building, debating a bill that could very well
become law very quickly. And so maybe that's what put it over the edge.
But thankfully I can say now, things have calmed down considerably, Hala. I mean, behind me, nearly every protestor has left. They're actually
starting to take down the barricade that had blocked this main highway here, in the middle of Hong Kong. And I can tell you, a couple of hours
ago, that was not a sure thing. There were still police officers with riot gear on, just a short time ago.
GORANI: And what the protestors want is, they want this bill pulled because they believe this extradition bill can be used politically by
Beijing to extradite people for crimes other than what it's intended for, right? But it doesn't appear as though politicians are --
GORANI: -- going to go along with that. That bill is now being pulled.
RIVERS: Correct. And I think that most people that you speak to who have been protesting -- I don't know if they're resigned to that fact because
they're still out here protesting. But they certainly are aware of the realities here, that Carrie Lam, the chief executive of the Hong Kong
government, has shown no signs of backing down. And you're right. More likely than not, this bill is going to go forward.
But I think it's also important to remember, of the people who are protesting out here, especially the people who made (ph) a barricade like
this, it -- the extradition bill is just a reason, one reason to protest today.
But this is years in the making, of Beijing encroaching on the democratic- style --
[14:10:00] RIVERS: -- freedoms that Hong Kong has long enjoyed, Hala. And so it -- this is just the latest thing. I think when you're talking about
frustration boiling over, it's limiting political speech, it's limiting freedom of expression and the press. It is -- it is cracking down on
democracy activists. It's not allowing direct election of lawmakers.
There's a litany of reasons that people would say that they're protesting. The extradition bill may be the most egregious but it's just the latest
GORANI: Matt Rivers, live in Hong Kong where it's in the middle of the night there. We'll see what tomorrow brings in terms of demonstrations.
Let's talk a little bit more about this. Jamie Metzl is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a specialist on Asian economics and politics.
He's also written this book, "Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity." And he joins me now.
How worried should Hong Kong residents be, that with this bill, if it becomes law, this is truly the -- a legislation that will allow for Beijing
to encroach even more on the sovereignty of Hong Kong?
JAMIE METZL, SENIOR FELLOW, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: They should be extremely worried. China has reneged on the commitments that it made in 1997. And
this is one extremely egregious example. Because everybody knows that the Chinese court system is corrupt. Everybody knows that there are all kinds
of sham allegations against people.
And if people can be extradited out of Hong Kong without rule of law, without any of the protections that people normally would have as residents
of Hong Kong, that's just horrific. And when you look at the images of what's happening in Hong Kong, it looks like China. And I think that's
what Beijing wants.
GORANI: Yes. Well, so what can be done? Is this just an inevitable slide toward more and more of Beijing encroaching on Hong Kong citizens' lives
there and rights and the legislation that currently frames their lives?
METZL: It may well be. Because Beijing is holding a lot of the cards in Hong Kong. But that's why the world needs to stand behind these incredibly
brave protestors in Hong Kong. They are standing up for their rights and they're calling on China to live up to China's own commitments.
Nobody forced China to make the commit of the basic law of the one country, two systems. But China is now reneging on that. And kudos to the people
of Hong Kong for standing up. They're not doing it at the behest of some kind of foreign power. They are doing it because they recognize that their
freedom is at stake, and that's a very big deal.
GORANI: But, Jamie, the president of the United States was asked in the Oval Office today, about what these demonstrations -- and essentially, he
didn't really give any specifics. He said, "I hope they'll work it out with China," but left it at that.
METZL: You know, we can't count on the current president of the United States to carry a message of human rights anywhere. And it's certainly
unfortunate and it's bad for the United States and it's bad for the world.
We also need to recognize that there is a thing -- human rights, democratic rights -- and even if you don't believe in those things, there is just
living up to international commitments that a country like China makes.
And so whatever the president of the United States says, people of the world --
METZL: -- who believe in human rights, should stand behind the people of Hong Kong.
GORANI: Is there any hope for the people of Hong Kong?
METZL: There's some hope. And certainly, their courage needs to be matched with support around the world. And so when you hear the president
of the United States not taking a stand in defense of the principles of human rights that the United States has championed for so many years,
that's really unfortunate.
But people in Hong Kong still have more rights than anybody, frankly, in China. And they are trying to make their voices heard. But it's really,
really tough because the deck is stacked against them.
GORANI: All right. Jamie Metzl, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
METZL: My pleasure.
GORANI: In the U.K., Boris Johnson has kicked off, officially, his bid to be the next British prime minister. The favorite to replace Theresa May
faced questions about his past drug use and his comments about Muslim women wearing the burqa.
But Mr. Johnson said his focus is on the big issue overshadowing all of U.K. politics.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER CANDIDATE: We can get Brexit done and we can win. We can unite our country and our society, and that is why
I'm standing to be leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister.
Because this contest is not chiefly about any one person, or even about the Conservative Party. It is the opening salvo in a battle to restore faith
in our democracy.
[14:15:00] GORANI: And Bianca Nobilo joins me now.
Bianca, he was asked very directly about some of these comments, very offensive comments he made about Muslim women. And he's known for speaking
off the cuff. And he kind of didn't back there. And said, "Look, I'm sorry if I offended anybody."
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He didn't back down. In fact, he only took six questions from journalists, Hala. It was a very controlled
And when the journalists asked that question about his remarks -- calling Muslim women, saying that they looked like letterboxes when they wore
burqas -- there were jeers and boos from the crowd because this was a Boris Johnson-friendly audience. Obviously, these are his key backers. So they
weren't happy with the question.
He then stood by the comments that he made. He said he thought it was important to be able to speak directly. He said he didn't want to
obfuscate and to skirt around the issue. He wanted to say what he meant and speak plainly.
He then -- I think I saw a sort of mental calculus going on, where he decided he should probably say something more politically correct. And
said, obviously, he doesn't mean to cause offense. But he wasn't speaking in direct relation to those comments.
In fact, it was interesting because Boris has been kept under wraps, if you like, in a so-called submarine strategy. He is by far and away the
frontrunner of this leadership contest. So he's been doing very little media compared to all of the other candidates. In fact, he's only written
for newspapers. He's steered clear.
So today was the first time that journalists had the opportunity to press him on those difficult issues, mainly relating to his competence. That's
the key criticism from members of the prime minister's own party at the moment, who were trying to fine (ph) the new leader.
Then there's the issue of the fact that he can cause offense, the issue of his character and the issue of cocaine use, which has become a focal point
in this leadership contest. And it's really damaged the campaign of the environment secretary, Michael Gove, after he made that admission that he
did actually use the drug in the past.
GORANI: And it's -- explain to our viewers, the system here. Because this would be the second Conservative prime minister to take over, not really
having won an election, right? Because Theresa May last time lost her majority and she needed to be propped up by a Northern Ireland party, the
DUP. This would be the second time.
I wonder if, across Britain, there isn't frustration here, that these leaders are not being put in their place or elevated to their -- to their
positions as a result of a democratic process.
NOBILO: There is a huge push for greater scrutiny of the candidates this time. It would actually be the first occurrence of a prime minister, a
sitting prime minister, being elected by the Conservative membership only. Because if we remember with what happened with Theresa May, she became
prime minister by default, if you like.
Because when it got down to the final two, the prime minister and Andrea Leadsom, Andrea Leadsom withdrew. So this time, provided another situation
like that doesn't occur, it will be the only time that a prime minister has ever been elected just by this very small sample of the membership of the
Conservative Party, somewhere around 120,000 people.
So there's been a push in the U.K. for the leadership candidates to participate in debates on some of the key domestic networks, and have other
means by which journalists can scrutinize them on their positions. Because this is a prime minister who's going to have to deal with the issue of
Brexit, which has so far proven insoluble.
Boris Johnson didn't have good answers today, when he was pushed on what he would do, given the reality of the situation. In fact, in Parliament
today, there was an effort to try and block a no deal yet again. This prime minister is going to come up against exactly the same issues that
Theresa May came up against.
And Boris Johnson didn't have the answers as to how he was going to solve that. We know that he comes down on the harder side of this Brexit debate.
But to be fair, other candidates don't have resolutions to offer either. But they do represent a spectrum of opinion when it comes to Brexit, all
accepting, though, the result and not pushing for that second referendum.
GORANI: All right. And we'll see. We'll see if there's a general election any time soon. Bianca Nobilo, thanks very much there for the
latest on that Conservative Party leadership race.
Still to come tonight, much more on the Polish president's visit to the White House. We're waiting for Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump to speak to
reporters any time now. We'll return to Washington, ahead.
[14:21:34] GORANI: Russia's decision to free a prominent journalist has not satisfied government critics. They say Ivan Golunov was framed for
exposing corruption. Even though charges of drug dealing were dropped on Tuesday, more than a thousand demonstrators turned out in Moscow. There
were hundreds of arrests.
Matthew Chance is in Moscow with more on this story -- Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, thanks very much. Well, it has been an extraordinary couple of days, here in the
Russian capital. As you say, hundreds of people arrested today in an unauthorized march through the streets of the center of the Russian
It got a bit, you know, sharp at times, with Russian police moving in to cart protestors away. But generally, there was a very positive, even
celebratory mood. Because the investigative -- it came just a day after the investigative journalist there, right (ph) on the streets to support
(ph), was set free from house arrest.
CHANCE (voice-over): Ivan Golunov emerged from his house arrest to the applause of supporters and fellow journalists who'd gathered outside to
It is this rare show of public unity and support that seems to have forced the Russian authorities to set him free. He gave thanks, wiping tears of
relief from his eyes.
IVAN GOLUNOV, FREED JOURNALIST (through translator): I'm glad that justice has triumphed and that the criminal case is dropped. I hope the
investigation will continue and that no one will ever find themselves in the same situation as me.
CHANCE (voice-over): One of Russia's most prominent investigative reporters, Golunov faced up to 20 years in prison after police alleged they
found him with illegal drugs, a charge he categorically denied.
But there was broad suspicion, the charges were fabricated to silence him, exposes of official corruption in Moscow had made him powerful enemies.
There were also concerns he'd been beaten in police custody. The outpouring of public support seems to have caught the Russian authorities
These were the identical front pages of Russia's three most prominent business dailies on Monday. "We are, I am --
GORANI: All right. Let's take you live to the Rose Garden of the White House, President Trump holding a news conference with the Polish president.
TRUMP: -- wonderful to see you both again. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Great honor.
Since our last meeting, the unbreakable bonds between the United States and Poland have grown even closer. This year, as our nations mark 100 years of
diplomatic relations, the U.S.-Polish alliance is stronger by far than ever before.
Earlier today, President Duda and I signed a joint declaration affirming the significant defense cooperation between our nations. And as the
declaration makes very clear, the United States and Poland are not only bound by a strategic partnership, but by deep common values, shared goals
and a very strong and abiding friendship.
[14:25:00] Our people are united by the enduring ties of civilization, culture and history. We respect the rule of law, revere individual rights
and prize our timeless traditions. We embrace country, faith, family and freedom.
Over the past century, brave American and Polish patriots have repeatedly stood together to defend our sovereignty, our liberty and our noble way of
When I was last in Poland, I was very proud to stand among veterans of the Warsaw Uprising, and recall their incredible courage in the face of Nazi
Today, we honor the sacrifices of all those who came before, by doing our part to safeguard our independence and strengthen the incredible U.S.-
As stated in the joint declaration, the United States and Poland continue to enhance our security cooperation. Poland will still provide basing and
infrastructure to support military presence of about 1,000 American troops.
The Polish government will build these projects at no cost to the United States. The Polish government will pay for this.
We thank President Duda and the people of Poland for their partnership in advancing our common security. Poland's burden-sharing also extends to the
NATO alliance, where it is among eight NATO allies, including the United States, currently meeting the minimum two percent of GDP. That's for
And Poland's there. And you've been there from a very early date and we appreciate that very much. And we've been there also. There's been a
total of eight. Eight out of 28. The rest are coming along.
Because nations, at my urging, have paid more than $100 billion more toward the NATO defense. Last month, I was very pleased that Poland announced the
intent to purchase 32 American-made F-35 fighter aircraft, like you just saw.
Moments ago, we witnessed that impressive flyover of this cutting-edge F- 35, as it flew over the White House and actually came to a -- pretty close to a halt over the White House. I was saying, "What's wrong with that
plane? it's not going very fast." But it's an incredible -- it's an incredible thing, when you can do that.
That plane can land dead-straight. And it's one of the few in the world that can do that. Considered to be the greatest fighter jet in the world.
I applaud President Duda for his efforts to strengthen and modernize Poland's defenses.
I also want to congratulate Poland for its progress on meeting U.S. criteria for entry into the Visa Waiver Program. Today, our countries
signed a Preventing and Combating Serious Crimes agreement, a significant and necessary step for Poland's entry into the program.
Though we still have some work to do, we hope to welcome Poland into the Visa Waiver Program very soon. And that's a very big deal.
Both of our nations understand that immigration security is national security. In our meeting, President Duda and I discussed the vital issue
of energy reliance on a single foreign supplier of energy, leaves nations totally vulnerable to coercion and extortion.
For this reason, we support Poland's construction of the Baltic Pipeline, which will help European countries diversify their energy sources. It's
desperately needed, and that's the way to go.
During the past year, Poland has also signed approximately $25 billions' worth of new contracts with U.S. firms to buy more than $6 billion cubic
meters of U.S. liquified natural gas. Today, our nations just signed another contract for an additional $2 billion cubic meters' worth,
approximately $8 billion.
So between the planes and the liquified natural gas and many other things that Poland is doing, which it is doing very well because Poland is doing
very, very well -- we appreciate it. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
Our countries also signed an agreement to expand U.S.-Polish civil nuclear cooperation, which will likewise advance Poland's energy and security, and
deepen our bilateral commercial ties.
Economic relations between the U.S. and Poland are thriving. We're committed to further expanding commerce based on fairness and reciprocity -
- perhaps my favorite word -- across many critical areas from defense and diplomacy to energy and economics.
[14:30:09] The alliance between the United States and Poland is reaching extraordinary new heights in 2019. Our longstanding partnership
demonstrates the enormous possibilities for the world when two strong and independent nations unite in common purpose and in common cause.
President Duda, it's a honor to have you with us. And, Mrs. Duda, thank you very much for being here. We usher in a very exciting new era in U.S.-
Polish alliance. It's a very special alliance with very special people. We build a future of promise and prosperity for the American and the Polish
people. And, again, our relationship is an extraordinary one, and it's going to remain that for a long, long time.
Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you.
ANDRZEJ DUDA, PRESIDENT OF POLAND (through interpreter): Distinguished, Mr. President, wonderful First Lady of the United States of America,
distinguished ministers, all distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
First and foremost, together with my wife, we would like to thank you very much, Mr. President Donald Trump. Thank you also to the First Lady Melania
Trump for this invitation to Washington. Thank you for this possibility of holding another, within the last 10 months, official visit to the United
States here at the White House.
This clearly demonstrates how close and how good contacts are today between Poland and the United States. Mr. President, all of us hope that you will
visit us in Poland, in September, and that we will be able, together, to commemorate the memory of all those who fell and who perished during the
Second World War, which started on the 1st of September in 1939 in Poland through the attack of Nazi Germans on our country.
And soon, unfortunately, our country vanished from the map of Europe after the attack of the Soviet Union, against Poland, together with Nazi Germany.
That is our history. It's a very difficult one. And today, we firmly believe that the true ally of Poland, but also a true ally of a free
Europe, is precisely the United States of America, who helped that very Europe in such a huge way to win the Second World War and later to
establish an independent, sovereign, and free world, which later turned into the European Union.
It exists until this day, and thanks to God. Also thanks to the support of the United States, through the support of subsequent Presidents since 1989.
Thanks to the great movement of solidarity; thanks to the great determination of the Polish nation.
Also, we are part of the free world. Also, Poland, which liberated itself from behind the Iron Curtain, which later led to the collapse of the Iron
Curtain through the votes of the people casting elections in 1989. In those elections, people said no to communists.
Also, Poland can develop today as an independent and truly sovereign country, a country which wants to build the European community and a
country which also wants to build the Euro-Atlantic community.
In our understanding, this is an absolutely key element of peace and good cooperation across the globe.
Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you that for sure you are among those Presidents of the United States who understand how it works
perfectly. You understand that when the U.S. looks at Europe, when it looks at the security of the European states, it plays a key role for the
peace around the globe. It is of key importance for a peaceful development of democratic states and democratic communities.
Thank you, Mr. President, for this extreme kindness towards Poland and perfect understanding of Polish matters, which you showed to us in 2017
during your visit to Poland, during your memorable speech that you gave at the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising where so immensely important words for
Polish people fell, which are of historic importance to our nation and to Europe. They showed what Poland means and who Poles are.
Mr. President, thank you for uttering those words back then. And thank you also for this policy which is being implemented right now, which
demonstrates that you are this kind of man and this kind of a politician who not only speaks, but to whom first and most important are the deeds.
The most important are the deeds.
[14:35:07] And whenever you say, Mr. President, "Make America Great Again," it means "make" not "say." And this precisely is of crucial importance,
hence the agreements that we are signing, hence two agreements between our two states concluded today, two memorandums of understanding, which we
signed just a moment ago. One of them I signed personally concerning the security and military cooperation.
As you mentioned, sir, there will be more American troops in Poland. That this is going to be an enhanced cooperation. It's going to be an enduring
presence, which hopefully will increase gradually in terms of the number of troops, but also in terms of infrastructure which is very important.
Thank you also for the decision to establish the division headquarters in Poland. This is of huge importance not only to Poland, but also to our
part of Europe, to Central Europe, to the Baltic States, and to all those to whom the enhanced forward presence was established, of the United States
and other NATO states, along NATO's eastern flank. I'm deeply grateful for that.
But thank you, Mr. President, also for the remaining agreements. Thank you for this agreement which talks about preventing and combatting serious
crimes. It moves us closer to visa waiver program between Poland and the United States, which to you, Mr. President, and to me, and, first and
foremost to Poles, is so important of such a crucial importance.
Thank you, Mr. President, also for excellent energy cooperation that we have in terms of LNG supplies. We talked about this in 2017, in Warsaw,
during our meeting, that gas from the United States should be delivered to Poland. And it is delivered. And we are signing more contracts. And gas
tankers from the United States are coming to the Port of Swinoujscie today and the gas from the United States has become a fact in Poland and in our
part of Europe.
Thank you, Mr. President, that there are going to be more supplies. I'm very happy about that, because to us, it means diversification of sources
of supplies. It also means the development of gas security. To us, it also means good business, just as I do really believe is a good business
for the United States of America. But thank you also for the agreement cooperation in terms of nuclear energy used for civil purposes.
I hope that, together, we will be able to implement this program with the benefit for environment protection with the benefit for climate protection
across the globe, and also for the development of the security of my homeland.
Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for this visit. I'm pleased that, thanks to this presence, we're able to show the very good cooperation that
we have between Poland as part of the European Union and the United States.
And I firmly believe that thanks to your incredible view of the European matters and thanks to your understanding to our Polish matters and to the
meanders of our history, this cooperation is going to develop better and better. First and foremost, also with the benefit for the United States
whose interests you are representing, Mr. President, also understanding the rest of the world.
Thank you very much for that.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much. We'll take a few questions. Emerald? OAN.
EMERALD ROBINSON, ONE AMERICA NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you.
ROBINSON: Earlier in the Oval Office, before you did your meeting with President Duda, you were quite critical of Germany, as you talked about
possibly moving troops from Germany to Poland. Do you think that doing a move like that will put pressure on Germany to meet their defense spending
TRUMP: No, I don't think so. I just will tell you very strongly that I think Germany is making a tremendous mistake by relying so heavily on the
pipeline. And I think it's a tremendous mistake for Germany. But again, Germany is running their affairs. And they'll do just fine.
But I was critical. I had been critical of it. It's a tremendous amount of their energy will be supplied by that pipeline.
At the same time, having nothing to do with Germany, Poland said that we would like to build a facility, a great facility, and we'd like to have you
come to that facility. So we're going to be there with a limited force, but we'll be there. And we appreciate Poland doing what they're doing.
It's a great location. It's a tremendous -- it's a tremendous plant, tremendous facility. And we -- it's our honor to be there.
Poland has been a tremendous friend of ours for a long time. And when Melania and I were there, not so long ago, it was a very special day. I
think it was a special day for Poland also. But it was a very special day for our country. So I appreciate that. And our relationship is just a
very strong one.
[14:40:02] ROBINSON: And, if I may, would you indulge me with one more question before I get --
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead.
ROBINSON: -- to ask President Duda a question? In more recent news, yesterday you revealed you got another letter from Kim Jong-un. And today,
we hear of a potential thawing of relations between South Korea and North Korea as Kim Jong-un is sending his sister to South Korea.
Now, could you give us an update on more of what it was in that letter? And is there a third summit in the works?
TRUMP: He just wrote me a very nice letter, unexpected. And someday, you'll see what was in that letter. Someday you'll be reading about it.
Maybe in 100 years from now, maybe in two weeks. Who knows? But it was a very nice letter. It was a very warm, very nice letter. I appreciated it.
ROBINSON: Thank you.
TRUMP: Good. Thank you very much.
ROBINSON: And then, if I may, for President Duda?
ROBINSON: You said you were thankful for the commitment that the President made for more troops today, but you hinted that you would like to see more.
Ultimately, what is the number of troops that you'd like to see in Poland? U.S. troops.
DUDA (through interpreter): Madam, this, of course, is always going to be the decision of the United States of America. This is going to be the
decision of the United States of America.
TRUMP: We'll keep it --
DUDA (through interpreter): It's always going to be up to the United States to decide how many troops there will be sent to Pol to which Allied
Of course, I know that this depends on the needs and on the real situation on the ground. Of course, we are very pleased that the U.S. troops are
present by giving an evidence to the sustainability and strength of the Alliance. And the U.S. soldiers are kindly treated in Poland. They are
received as friends.
And we are happy that they are serving in our country. We would like those bonds between Poland and the United States to become even tighter. And we
are trying, also, to create the best possible conditions for American soldiers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much, President Trump. Thank you very much, President Duda. I have questions to both of you, actually.
President Trump, you plan to enhance U.S. military presence in Poland. Last year, you promised you would enhance our military cooperation,
training, intelligence, missile defense, and it's happening right now. People of Poland still remember your incredible speech in Warsaw. Why
Poland is such an important ally for you?
TRUMP: I just have a very warm feeling for Poland. I always have. And it's now even beyond that because of the relationship, which we've
developed with your President and First Lady. And it's just -- they're very - they're incredible people. Hard working, smart, very industrious
people. And what they've done with the country over the last five years has been something that the world has watched and the world has marveled
I've just liked Poland. So when the President came and he asked me whether or not we'd consider this, I said, "I will consider it." And now, because
of his leadership, we're able to do that. And that's fine with me. That's great. Great people. And say "hello."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I understand we can -- we'll see you in September, in Warsaw, correct?
TRUMP: We are looking very seriously at going back to Poland. And I don't know what the President has in store for us, but we're thinking about going
back sometime in September. Yes. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amazing. Thank you. Thank you very much.
TRUMP: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through interpreter): A question to President Duda. Mr. President, so far, we have been talking about a rotational presence of
U.S. troops in our country. Right now, we are talking about permanent or enduring presence. What does that mean in concrete terms? And when can we
expect those additional U.S. troops to arrive?
DUDA (through interpreter): I understand it in the following way: President Donald Trump and myself are implementing a very calm but
consistent policy in terms of security. The presence of the United States in Poland -- the military presence -- the presence of U.S. troops, which
today is about 4,500 troops present on a permanent basis. In other words, it is a rotational presence, but it is back-to-back presence. So there is
no moment where there are no American troops in the territory of Poland.
And today, we signed a document and further cooperation. A Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation Regarding United States' Force Posture
in the Republic of Poland.
This is of a breakthrough character because it moves us to another era. So far, we can say that the Americans were testing the situation in Poland,
how it looks, how it feel, what about logistics, whether it is possible to stay in Poland and to successfully attain the goals and implement the tasks
of defensive nature.
[14:45:10] I think that the commanders of U.S. Army are convinced that this is simply possible. And today, the documents speaks about this enduring
presence, the presence which is a fact and which will stay there.
It is a rotational presence, yes, it is, because this is most beneficial from today's perspective to train soldiers through rotational presence. By
having rotational presence, more soldiers can come to a country, be present there, look at the culture and the condition in a place, in a given
country. So this is beneficial for this broadly understood a development of the armed forces.
Therefore, this is an enduring presence. However, it is implementing this particular way. And we hope it's going to develop 1,000 troops, mentioned
by President Trump today, which is also the numbers stipulated in the agreement signed today is very differentiated. It is not one single unit.
We are talking about special operation forces. We are talking about logistics component. We are also talking about the already-mentioned
So there is a multitude of forums in which the United States is going to be gradually evermore present in our territory, from the military standpoint.
And this will encompass different fields of cooperation. So we're not talking about just one single beat, but we're talking about a more
comprehensive cooperation. We're talking about logistics, health protection for soldiers, and a number of other elements happening.
Please remember that, right now, there is this missile defense facility being built in Redzikowo. So, talking about the elements of Polish-
American cooperation, there are more and more of these elements, and the number is growing. I'm very happy with that. Thank you very much.
TRUMP: Let's see, who do I like?
Nobody. That's the end.
Go ahead. Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me? Mr. President, thank you very much. President Duda, thank you.
TRUMP: I wasn't pointing at you, but you can go ahead. Here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were pointing to --
TRUMP: I was actually pointing to my friend with that beautiful hat on, but that's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeff Mason. All right, well --
TRUMP: You'll give up your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'll give him my follow-up question.
TRUMP: You'll give up your --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can share it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll share the question.
TRUMP: OK. We'll share it. Good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you seemed to suggest, yesterday, that you're essentially committing to not spying on North Korea. Is that what
you meant? Were those comments interpreted accurately? If so, why?
TRUMP: No, it's not what I meant. It's what I said. And that's -- I think it's different than maybe your interpretation. I think we're going
to do very well with North Korea over a period of time. I'm in no rush. The sanctions are on. We got our hostages back. Our remains are coming
back. You saw the beautiful ceremony in Hawaii with Mike Pence.
We're getting the remains back. There's been no nuclear testing whatsoever. They'd like to do something. I did get, you know, a very --
as I said yesterday, a very nice letter from Chairman Kim. And I think we're doing very well.
When I took over as President, I will tell you, it looked like it was going to be war with North Korea. You know that. Everybody knows that. And it
was going to be quite brutal. A strong force. We're the strongest force in the world, but that's a strong force.
And we started off a very rough relationship, and I think we have a very good relationship right now. So we'll see what happens. I'm in no rush.
I'm in no rush.
But there's been no nuclear testing whatsoever. And when I took over, it was nuclear testing all the time. And if you look back to the last four,
five, six years -- but really go back further than that. In all fairness to President Obama, go back 20 years, 15 years. It was, really, a very
dangerous situation. I consider it to be different now.
Now, I may change. And if I change, you will know it very quickly. I will be very quick to tell you exactly what's going on. I may change. But
right now, we have a good relationship, and I think, probably, better than we've had for maybe 25 years, maybe forever.
You know, they've been there a long time -- the grandfather, the father, the son. And they've been there for a long time, and nobody has done
anything except me. And so we'll see how it all turns out. I hope it turns out well for you and for everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'll give my follow-up to Jeff. Very quickly, President Duda, thank you. Do you see Russia as an ally or an adversary?
TRUMP: Are you talking to me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To President Duda.
TRUMP: Boy, was that a set-up question.
DUDA (through interpreter): I would very much like Russia to be a friend of Poland because it is our great neighbor. It is a country much bigger
than Poland, with a bigger potential than Poland in every single respect. Except for one, perhaps, I believe that we have got more courage in us,
that we are more brave, more courageous, and are able to fight until the end, irrespective of everything.
[14:50:02] This is actually what we demonstrated in World War II, at the Battle of Monte Cassino. We demonstrated that in the Warsaw Uprising. We
demonstrated that in many other places around the globe where Polish soldiers died to make sure that Poland is free after the Second World War.
This, unfortunately, did not happen. We found ourselves under the Russian occupation. But even then, for almost 20 years, after World War Two, there
was this anti-Communist, anti-Soviet underground, which fought against the Soviets, and those people were murdered.
Today, we call them "Unbreakable Soldiers." We commemorate their memory, although they were dug underground to make it impossible for anyone to find
their remains and so that they couldn't have graves built.
So we were always fighting. We always knew how to defend ourselves. Nevertheless, history was brutal towards us. We never had a great
friendship with Russia. Russia was always looking out to take our territory. It was a partitioner in Poland for 123 years. Poland did not
exist because part of the territory was taken by Russia.
Poles were deported to the East. Then came an aggression on the right -- on the recently reborn Poland, which rose in 1918 from the ashes of the
First World War. And in 1919, the Soviet Russia attacked Poland. It wanted to grab Poland's territory and bring communism to the west of
Europe. It was us who stopped Soviets at Warsaw in 1920.
By the bravery of Polish soldiers, we defeated them during a great battle. And then we chased them back to the East. And then they took their revenge
on us in 1939 by attacking us, together with Nazi Germany, and murdering our officers in Katyn.
So, madam, as you can see, this friendship is a very difficult one. Today, we are in the following situation, Russia attacked Georgia. Then, in 2014,
it attacked Ukraine. And these are facts. These are facts which belong to the recent history.
We would like Russia to be our friend, but unfortunately, Russia again is showing its very unkind, unpleasant, imperial face, and we do not want to
be part of Russia's sphere of influence.
And I am happy that today we can speak boldly, also in connection with the military presence of the U.S. and NATO in Poland, that we truly are, first
and foremost, in terms of politics, part of the West. Because we have always been part of the West, in terms of culture. We've always been part
of the West, because it is from the West from which we adopted Christianity in 966, more than 1,000 years ago. And since that time, we have been part
of the West of Europe. We have been part of the great Christian culture of Western Europe.
But we have to stick to this West also, in terms of politics. And this is what we want that I firmly believe that this is the biggest desire of
Polish people, to be part of the West also in terms of politics.
Thank you that the United States is supporting us in this respect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the -- excuse me.
TRUMP: And just to finish, I hope that Poland is going to have a great relationship with Russia. I think it's possible. I really do. I think
because of what you've done and the strength and maybe we help also, because of what we're doing and doing for Poland.
But I hope that Poland is going to have a great relationship with Russia. I hope we're going to have a great relationship with Russia and, by the
way, China and many other countries. And we look forward to doing things on North Korea, just to go back to the original part of your question. And
we'll see how that works out.
I do want to say, though, we're in no hurry. The sanctions are on. China has actually been helping us quite a bit. And despite our trade
differences right now, we thought we had a deal, and unfortunately, they decided that they were going to change the deal, and they can't do that
with me. But something is going to happen, and I think it's going to be something very positive.
But we think we're going to get along with a lot of countries that, frankly, did not respect us very much because they were ripping us off for
many, many years. And they're not ripping us off anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, sir. Regarding China, what is your deadline, if you have one, for China to make progress on trade before you
impose the tariffs on the other $325 billion in goods?
TRUMP: Well, we're going to be meeting, President Xi and myself, and you know we have a very good relationship. But, again, he's for China and I'm
for the U.S. It's a big difference. And we thought we had a deal. We didn't have a deal. And I would never make something that would be less
than what we already had.
We had China opened up to trade. That's a big thing. They've never done that before. We had intellectual property theft taken care of and taken
care of beautifully. And all of a sudden, those things started to disappear at the end after they were fully negotiated.
But that's -- you know, that's their decision. I think if they had to do again -- and in light of the fact that we have 25 percent on $250 billion
of goods coming into the United States. And unlike a lot of countries, they subsidize those goods. We haven't had inflation. And, you know, they
keep saying that the American taxpayer is paying for it. No. No. Very little.
And what it really does mean is that a lot of those companies that are in China are going to be moving back to the U.S. You have car companies,
General Motors, as an example, that built plants in China. Well, that doesn't work out too well when you have the tariff wall up because now,
they're going to have to get through that and they can't really get through that. So maybe they'll start building plants in the United States instead.
I think that we'll end up making a deal with China. We have a very good relationship, although it's a little bit testy right now, as you would
expect. I think they really have to make a deal. A lot of companies are leaving China, as you know. It's in all the reports. And they're going to
Vietnam and various other places, and they're also coming to the United States to make their product because they don't want to pay the tariff.
And there is no tariff if you do it in the United States. People don't realize that. You know, they say "the tariff," but there is no tariff if
you don't do it. You know, if you -- if you just do exactly as I say, you bring your company back to the United States.
And as far as Mexico is concerned, which was a very big topic yesterday, and now people are finding out that the reports that were written were
totally false -- we would never have had a deal with Mexico without imposing tariffs.
Once the tariffs were imposed, and they've been trying to make this deal with Mexico for 20 years, 25 years. The older reporters, those great
reporters with the very gray hair in the back -- you know who I'm talking about. They know exactly what I'm talking about. You would have never
made the deal with Mexico.
We have a great deal with Mexico. I actually think we have a much better relationship right now with Mexico, because they respect us again. But you
would never have had that deal if I didn't impose the tariffs. And those tariffs were ready to go on Monday morning, and we made the deal on,
essentially, Sunday night.
And that extra little page of the deal that you saw that brilliantly -- I had gained such respect for you people when I held it up to the sunlight
and it was closed, and you were able to read it through the sunlight. That was not anticipated.
But regardless, I mean, you knew enough of what it said. And I didn't do it on purpose, but we have a lot of strength in 45 days if we decide to use
that strength. Maybe we will, and maybe we won't. But there's a lot of power right now in the border.
And I will say this, Mexico is, right now, doing more for the United States on illegal immigration and all of the problems of crime and other problems
on the border than the Democrats. We can solve our problem on the border in 15 minutes if the Democrats would sit down, straighten out asylum --
which is a total mess, but very uncomplicated -- straighten out asylum, and get rid of the loopholes. It would take, Jeff, 15 minutes.
OK. Thank you. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just -- my original question, sir, was, do you have a deadline for imposing the 325?
TRUMP: No, I have no deadline. My deadline is what's up here. We'll figure out the deadline.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
TRUMP: Nobody can quite figure it out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, President Duda, if I could just throw on your way as well, you said in the Oval Office earlier that democracy in Poland was
strong. Not all of your European Union counterparts agree with that.
How is forcing Supreme Court justices to retire early consistent with democratic principles? And, President Trump, is that something that you
DUDA (through interpreter): Ladies and gentlemen, this is a very complex issue. And it's hard to answer this question because a lot of people in
Western Europe -- I think also in the U.S. -- do not fully understand this problem because they have not grown up in a country such as mine.
I was born in 1972, in a Poland which was in the Russian sphere of influence, in which a career could be made only, actually, when somebody
enrolled as member of the Communist Party and who followed these people's power who was the supreme authority. And this is what was happening for
Although, as you know, ladies and gentlemen, as Solidarity Movement grew, people were imprisoned, people were tortured, people were killed during the
martial law, and after as well -- be it openly or in a secret way. And this was the reality of Poland until 1989.
And now imagine, ladies and gentlemen, that not so long ago -- a few years ago -- I was surprised to discover that, in the Polish Supreme Court, there
was a whole group of justices who were issuing sentencing as judges -- members of the Communist Party -- before 1990, who were even passing
sentences during the martial law, sentencing people to prisons based on the law of the Communist martial law.
And when I was asked whether the Supreme Court needs to be reformed, I said "yes." If Poland is supposed to be a truly democratic, free, and sovereign
country, if it is supposed to be a country we want it to be for our children, for the generation who was born after, in 1989, then for God's
sake, those people have to leave. They have to retire. And this is what we did.
As a matter of fact, everything that we were doing was aimed at retiring those people. But, as you can see, unfortunately, although 30 years have
passed, they have got influence -- the influence which they were building after 1989 where they assumed a new identity --