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EARLY START

Press Conference With President Donald Trump And German Chancellor Angela Merkel; President Trump Says China Called And "Wants A Trade Deal"; Trump: Next G7 Will Probably Be In Miami At His Golf Resort. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 26, 2019 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- years ago. Not just President Obama -- I mean, many presidents. You go back with Bush and Clinton. I mean, many presidents should have done something about this.

They've taken out hundreds of billions of dollars a year -- you know, intellectual property theft by the billions and billions and billions. It's not right. Somebody should have done it.

And I'm not blaming China. I'm blaming our representatives and leadership for doing a bad job.

REPORTER: Mr. President, would you consider delaying the next round of tariffs.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: (Speaking foreign language)

TRUMP: This doesn't sound good.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): At any rate, we wish to talk about these issues and others right now and we've said we want to come as quickly as possible to an agreement within the European Union and the United States -- enhance talks -- because this is obviously of very great interest also to us to enhance the trade relations between the European Union and the United States. And we said we want to bring this as quickly as possible to a successful solution.

At any rate, Germany is going to work resolutely for this --

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): -- with the European Union.

TRUMP: Great.

Well, as you know, we made a very big deal yesterday with Japan. That's a tremendous deal with Prime Minister Abe.

And we hope to have a deal with the European Union, too. We hope we can do a good, fair deal a -- good deal for everybody. REPORTER: Mr. President, were you able to attend the working session on climate and oceans earlier?

TRUMP: We're having it in a little while.

REPORTER: (Speaking foreign language)

MERKEL: (Speaking foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): The question was, Madame Chancellor, "Is the new dream team of G7 now President Trump and President Macron?" And the chancellor replied, "The new dream team of G7 is G7."

TRUMP: That's a good answer.

Everybody has really been good to me. We've had really great contributions from all of the different countries. I think that's true, yes? Very good contributions.

REPORTER: Mr. President, there has been news that you get a -- you got a compromise on digital taxation between France and the U.S. Can you confirm that?

TRUMP: Yes, we're getting close and they want to make a deal, and we'll see if we can make a deal. We're getting close.

MERKEL: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): We have said that we have the intention within the OECD to find a solution for each and every one by 2020, and that will be an enormous breakthrough to the benefit of everyone in the room.

TRUMP: Correct.

REPORTER: And, Chancellor Merkel, is Germany making a commitment to take back ISIS fighters in Syria?

TRUMP: Well, we're talking about that now. I mean, we have -- we have a lot from Germany, which is a great thing, and we'll work something out. I think we're going to work something out.

MERKEL: (Speaking foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): First, I should say that we have already accepted a number of family members, among them primarily --

TRUMP: True.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): -- children.

Secondly, we have committed ourselves -- all the European Union countries -- to work together and to try and find a solution here to work together with the United States on this one. But it's -- we want to find a solution together but it is certainly not (INAUDIBLE). TRUMP: We've done -- we've done -- I think we've done a really great job. We -- you know, we defeated them. We took over 100 percent -- not 99, not 98 because I was criticized. I said we've got 98 percent -- we're leaving -- and I was very badly criticized.

They say why not 100 percent? So I said all right, we'll stay -- we'll do 100. So we did 100 percent and we did a great job. And we've had very good talks.

But, you know, it's not fair for the United States to have these people. We want to give them to the areas where they came from and that includes not just Germany -- France. We have a lot from France, we have a lot from U.K. We have a lot from a lot of different countries and for the most part, all in Europe.

REPORTER: Mr. President --

TRUMP: They came from Europe.

REPORTER: -- on China, sir, do you think it's possible that talks would advance and you could reach a deal to either delay or cancel the planned tariff increases that you've announced?

TRUMP: Well, I think anything's possible. I can say we're having very meaningful talks, much more meaningful than, I would say, at any time, frankly. And I think, for the most part, it's because we are doing very well.

[05:35:02] China is a great country. I consider President Xi to be a great leader. I think you do also. And he is a great leader.

And, look, they're losing millions and millions of jobs. They're going to other countries. And if I were them I'd want to make a deal.

But in the meantime, the United States is taking in tremendous amounts of dollars -- you know, billions and billions of dollars.

And frankly, there has been no inflation and most of these products haven't even gone up because China is able to manipulate and also able to put cash into the system where the product can stay at the same price. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a competitive product and they wouldn't be able to sell it, and they'd lose jobs. But they've lost a lot of jobs and I think they want to see a sensible solution. So there's a really good chance.

I think we're probably in a much better position now than at any time during the negotiation. That's something meaningful. And I know that you couldn't have gotten here without having to go through this process.

And maybe I'm wrong, but I think we're probably in a stronger position now to do a deal -- a fair deal for everybody. And so, we're having very meaningful talks.

REPORTER: Mr. President, the Chinese officials --

REPORTER: Mr. President, is the chancellor pressuring you to deescalate the trade war with China?

TRUMP: No. She'd like to see it work out because it's good for everybody, I think, if it works out -- not pressuring me.

She's a -- she's a brilliant woman and she understands exactly where everything is. She knows before most people and she'd like to see it worked out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

MERKEL: (Speaking foreign language)

TRUMP: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): Mr. President --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): We're all -- I'm sorry.

Of course, and we're all somehow linked together. We all have every interest in trying to see this come to a solution and we'd be very glad if a -- well, an agreement could be found between China and the United States. That is in our own vested interest.

REPORTER: Mr. President, when you are hosting G7 next year, who will be your surprise guest?

TRUMP: I don't think there'll be any surprises. I'm not looking for surprises. I think we'll have a very successful G7.

It'll probably be in Miami right next to the international airport -- great location. It's one of the biggest airports -- it takes planes from everywhere.

Sometimes you have hours and hours of driving to get to certain locations. We'll have -- you'll only have a 5-minute drive, which is good. You land in Miami International Airport.

And -- so we think we're going to have a very successful one. And we can learn from what took place here because I think they did a really great job, even architecturally the way the rooms were set up and designed and I think they were really good.

We got some good ideas from this G7. But there won't be any surprises -- no.

REPORTER: So it will be at your Doral resort? It'll be --

REPORTER: Are you going to invite Russia?

TRUMP: Well, we'll see.

I think that Russia -- you know, we had a -- we had a talk and no vote or anything, but we had a talk about Russia. My inclination is to say yes. Some people disagree with me, some people don't. There are people that agree with me 100 percent, but there are some that don't. So we did have a discussion about Russia. We'll see. I think it's advantageous but other people don't necessarily agree. Maybe at this time, I think I could say -- maybe at this time, without being specific, but we'll see what happens.

REPORTER: Mr. President, do you expect to go to the Doral golf course -- the G7?

REPORTER: Chancellor -- can you something on Russia, Chancellor?

TRUMP: Yes, seeming to set up the best. It's close to the -- we haven't made a final decision but it's right next to the airport -- right there -- meaning, you know, a few minutes away.

It's a -- it's a great place. It's got tremendous acreage -- many hundreds of acres -- so we can handle whatever happens. It's really -- people are really liking it.

Plus, it has buildings that have 50 to 70 units in them, so each delegation can have its own -- its own building. So you'd have the seven various delegations that could have their own building. So, it's a lot of -- and they could have buildings for the press. It's very big -- great conference facility.

So, we're thinking about it. They love the location of the hotel and they also like the fact that it's right next to the airport for convenience. And it's Miami -- Doral, Miami -- so it's a great area.

REPORTER: Mr. President, do you think --

REPORTER: Chancellor, can you say something on Russia?

TRUMP: We haven't found anything that could even come close to competing it -- really competing with it, especially when you look at the location being right next to the airport. There's so many places that are so far away. The drive is so long and, you know, they'd need helicopters. You'd need all sorts of things.

This is something you can be there in literally a matter of minutes after you land. So I think -- I think they will appreciate that.

[05:40:00] REPORTER: Chancellor, can you give us your views on Russia?

MERKEL: (Speaking foreign language)

REPORTER: Madam Chancellor --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): We said we'd address these issues in our talks here. I want to see talks now between the Ukrainian president, Mr. Zelensky -- the new Ukrainian president -- and the Russian president.

We wish to see progress made on the Minsk agreement we've already made, as we saw small progress of it with President Zelensky. And I think we have to try and bring this forward in the next few months to come.

I, at any rate, have every interest in bringing about a solution to this we have. It is a big problem and we have enough problems in the world as it is, so I think we ought to make progress on this one.

REPORTER: Mr. President, the G7 is about to lose its only female leader. Are you concerned that the world isn't doing enough to promote female leaders around the world?

MERKEL: I'm still here.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: She may surprise you. She may be here a long time. I know her well. I don't know that you're right about that.

REPORTER: Mr. --

TRUMP: I don't know that you're right about that at all.

REPORTER: Mr. President, speaking on female leaders, are you signing on to any of the gender equality initiatives and also, the African partnership initiatives?

TRUMP: Well, we're looking at it very carefully. We had some very good meetings on that, yes -- very, very good meetings -- really productive.

It was something that we are looking at very seriously as a country -- as an endorsement as a country, yes. So we're looking at that very seriously.

REPORTER: Mr. President, have you discussed monetary policy with any of these leaders, other than --

TRUMP: Not too much. Not too much.

REPORTER: Germany, of course, would be --

TRUMP: It may -- it may come up at the very end in our last meeting. I think we're going to be discussing that a little bit, but we haven't had that meeting yet. It's a big thing, monetary policy -- very big.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: And fiscal policy.

TRUMP: And fiscal.

REPORTER: Madam Chancellor, did you invite the president to Berlin, and what was his answer?

MERKEL: (Speaking foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translator): As I've already told you, I've invited the president repeatedly at previous -- on previous occasions, and you have heard his answer to that. TRUMP: We'll be there, we'll be there. It's -- I'm very honored by the invitation and it's true, and we will be there -- and maybe soon, you know. I have -- I have German in my blood. I'll be there.

REPORTER: Would you make a stop, on the way, to Poland, for example?

TRUMP: Well, I haven't thought of that but it could happen. We have -- it's a little soon. It's a little soon. But we'll be in Poland, I guess, next week, and then we'll be heading back.

It's a little bit too soon, but we're going to be there very soon, in Germany.

OK? Thank you all very much -- thank you.

REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Thank you.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Just wow.

If you're joining us here for the first time on this Monday morning, 5:43 a.m. Eastern time, that was President Trump, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of their bilateral meeting at the G7.

A lot of news to get to.

Now first, a couple of hours ago, President Trump shocked the world, saying China had called, they had productive talks, and that they thought they'd make a deal on trade. That was enough to send the markets into recovery mode.

But that wasn't all. The president said that they have reached a deal with -- or a conclusion with Iran, more or less, that they have total unity among G7 leaders.

And then, broke this news about next year's G7 conference that is hosted by the United States. And President Trump, there, at least suggesting that it will be at his own property, Trump Doral, which is about 10 miles from the airport -- about 15 minutes away. So the president suggesting his own property will host next year's G7 conference.

It's a whiplash Monday. What are you going to do?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: There's a lot happening there.

Also, important to note, as well, when he was talking about that deal with China, he was criticizing former presidents on foreign soil, and saying that it was the four -- it was our leadership -- American leadership that did, quote, "a bad job." He didn't blame China, which was interesting and breaks a precedent.

Let's bring --

BRIGGS: Let me add to that -- DEAN: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- before we get to Nic Robertson, because "Bloomberg" got a comment from a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, who said he was not aware of any weekend calls between the U.S. and China.

A lot to unpack here.

DEAN: Yes, so we'll bring in senior diplomatic editor Nic Robertson, who is at the G7 in Southern France. Nic, there's so much to look at there and to analyze and to talk about. What really stuck out to you in all of this?

[05:45:05] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, let me just give you a funnier side for a start. I think of all the times President Trump has met with Angela Merkel and has been angry and has criticized her, and sometimes hasn't even shook her hand, and sometimes just barely looked at her.

Wow, what a sea change today. There was the president sitting next to her. They were smiling, almost sort of exchanging inside jokes there.

In all seriousness, though, I think one of the headlines that stands out to me is that -- is that President Trump says there will be a joint statement coming from this G7 about Iran. This, of course, we know coming into this, President Macron had said that there wouldn't be a joint communique. So now we have, apparently, an agreement on Iran.

But I think the devil is going to be in the detail on these phone conversations President Trump has said that he's had with Chinese officials -- that his officials have had with Chinese officials wanting to reopen the negotiations and get back to the table for dialogue to dial down the temperature on the -- on the trade war.

Of course, just yesterday, the president was saying he was having second thoughts about it. His advisers saying that only the second thoughts were based on the fact that he should be increasing the tariffs that he's threatening and said that he will put on trade with China. So it really has, as you say, been a head-swivel moment.

But I think one of the places where the world's leaders gathered here won't swivel is on that location the president seems to be hinting at for the next G7 in Miami. I think there will be little surprise here in reality that -- if the president chooses one of his own locations to host these leaders next time.

It's been his style so far. We've seen how much Mar-a-Lago has been used. Of course, the White House traditional -- this is a president who is breaking the mold and the world leaders here -- if they didn't get it before, they get it now.

DEAN: All right. Nic, thanks so much. And before you go, we have some sound from President Trump talking about Miami. This was just moments ago. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It'll probably be in Miami right next to the international airport -- great location. It's one of the biggest airports -- it takes planes from everywhere.

Sometimes you have hours and hours of driving to get to certain locations. We'll have -- you'll only have a 5-minute drive, which is good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: It almost sounds like a pitch there for -- from a P.R. guy talking about his own hotels.

BRIGGS: Yes. Nic, look, this is always unprecedented but we're talking about his own property where profits and revenues are down steep from 2015 to 2018.

How unprecedented is this, and is there any reaction? It's probably too soon, but how will the world community react to this?

ROBERTSON: We haven't seen official reaction yet. Of course, Angela Merkel was sitting next to him and I didn't get to see the reaction on her face as he spoke. But perhaps she hadn't made the connection that we're able to make here that he was talking about one of his own properties.

This is something that you would not be able to do.

The British prime minister, Boris Johnson -- I don't believe he has any hotels or large properties enough to host a gathering of the G7. But if he tried to do that in Britain, for example -- if Angela Merkel tried to do that -- in those countries, there would be uproar.

So this would be unprecedented if that's the case. Of course, this may turn out to be some large jest (ph) by the president.

Let's face it, the elections are at the beginning of November next year. When will the G7 be? The calculation from the president seems to imply it is -- he's going to hold it before November 2020. If he were to lose, that would be a big gift on his part, wouldn't it?

BRIGGS: And he said there will be no surprises at next year's G7 -- speculation that Vladimir Putin could be invited.

It has been a wild Monday at the G7 and the press conference still a couple of hours away between Macron and President Trump.

Nic Robertson, thank you, sir.

We'll be right back here on EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:53:14] BRIGGS: All right, welcome back to EARLY START on a breaking news Monday. An extraordinary day at the G7 in Biarritz, France, where President Trump, just moments ago, unveiled that he is considering -- at least suggesting that they want to host next year's G7 at Trump's own Doral property right near the Miami airport -- about 10 miles away -- about a 15-minute drive.

That certainly stunned the reporters there in the room. You have heard whispers about that in recent weeks.

Here is the president addressing the suggestion that his own property will host next year's G7 -- listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It'll probably be in Miami right next to the international airport -- great location. It's one of the biggest airports -- it takes planes from everywhere.

Sometimes you have hours and hours of driving to get to certain locations. We'll have -- you'll only have a 5-minute drive, which is good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: It's really a remarkable statement. As Nic Robertson was saying --

BRIGGS: Stunning.

DEAN: -- it breaks the mold in so many ways, which has been how this has gone with President Trump, of course. But the idea that any other comparable world leader would invite the G7 to their own property where they could make money off the deal --

BRIGGS: Sure, from other world leaders.

DEAN: -- is remarkable -- yes.

BRIGGS: There have been a lot of questions about his D.C. hotel and how much money is being spent by world leaders. And now, Doral, which is losing money, now apparently going to be bailed out by world leaders and media from around the world.

So, a lot more on this breaking news ahead on "NEW DAY." There is a press conference coming between Emmanuel Macron and President Trump. They will certainly be asked about that.

Thank you for joining us. I'm Dave Briggs.

DEAN: And I'm Jessica Dean. "NEW DAY" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:59:19] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, August 26th, 6:00 here in New York.

We have a lot going on this morning.

Breaking just moments ago, President Trump staked out a new position on the trade war with China. It's either his fourth or fifth in the last 72 hours, depending on how you count. And we're watching very closely to see if any White House staff walks it back because that happened just yesterday.

But for now, the president claims that China called overnight and wants to return to the negotiating table and he sounded an optimistic tone about these talks.

Now, this comes after huge upheavals in the world markets overnight, responding to the president accelerating, then decelerating, then accelerating the trade war over the weekend. As of now, U.S. markets are.

END