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EARLY START

Trump in London for NATO Meeting. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired December 3, 2019 - 04:30   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: I do think the report that people are waiting for is the Durham report.

[04:30:03]

That's the one that people are really waiting for. And he's highly- respected, and we're -- and he's worked very hard, and he's worked long hours, I can tell you, and gone all over the world. So, we'll see.

But the Durham report is the report people are really looking forward to. But this is a very important report. The I.G. report is a very important report.

If what I read is correct, I read it in your newspaper, if what I read is correct, it would be a little disappointing, but it was just one asset -- one aspect of the report. We'll see what happens. We'll see -- it's coming out in a few days. I hear it's devastating but we'll soon find out.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Yes.

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Well, I think the secretary-general has done a good job. It's been unfair because the United States is paying 4 percent and some people are paying 4.3 percent of the largest GDP there is of the world by far because we brought to it a level that nobody even thought even possible.

So, we're paying 4 percent to 4.3 percent when Germany is paying 1 percent to 1.2 percent, at max 1.2 percent of much smaller GDP. That's not fair. And it's not fair also when you have the European Union, many of these are the same countries but you have the European Union treating the United States very, very unfairly on trade.

The deficit for many, many years for decades, but the deficit for many, many years has been astronomical with the United States and Europe in their favor. And I'm changing that, and I'm changing it fairly rapidly. But it's not -- it's not right to be taken advantage of on NATO.

And also then to be taken advantage of on trade and that's what happens. And we can let that happen. So, we're talking to the European Union and we're talking to various countries about NATO. But we're talking to the European Union about trade, and they have to shape up, otherwise things are going to get very tough.

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Well, let me just add that NATO is the only place where North America and Europe meet every day where we discuss, decide and take action together, responding to a wide ranging of different security threats and challenges. And we do that more now than we've done for many, many years.

And the reality is that not least because it's been so clear from President Trump that we fair burden sharing, allies are stepping. And we are also modernizing this alliance, responding to new challenges in cyber, in space. We will declare space as the new operation domain for NATO, something we've never had before.

So, it just highlights that, well, there are differences because we are 29 different countries from both sides of the Atlantic, with different political parties and color (ph), different history, different geography. But despite these differences, we all have been able to (INAUDIBLE) protect each other because we're stronger and safer together. And that's certainly also the case now.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I would say that nobody needs NATO more than France. You just look back over the last long period of time. Nobody needs NATO more than France.

And, frankly, the one that benefits really the least is the United States. We benefit the least. We're helping Europe. Europe unites and go against a common foe. That may or may not be a foe. Can't tell you that.

But there are other foes out there also. But I think nobody needs it more than France, and that's why I think that when France makes a statement like they made about NATO, that's a very dangerous statement for them to make.

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: What would it take for you not to impose those tariffs on French wines?

TRUMP: Look, I'm not in love with those companies, Facebook and Google and all of them, Twitter, although I can say I do pretty well with Twitter on the other side.

But I'm not necessarily in love with those companies. But they are our companies, American companies. I want to tax those companies. They're not going to be taxed by France.

So, France is gong to put a tax to them. It was totally out of the blue. He just had the idea, Emmanuel had an idea, let's tax those companies. Well, they are American companies. I'm not going to let people take

advantage of American companies because if anyone is going to take advantage of American companies, it's going to be us, it's not going to be France.

And so, we are taxing as -- you know, we're taxing their wines and everything else. And we have a very big tax to put on them. Plus, we have a tax going on Airbus, and that will be a good thing for Boeing. But we're only going to do that if it's necessary.

As you know we won in the World Trade Organization, we won $7.5 billion.

[04:35:04]

We never used to win before me, because before me, the United States was a sucker for all of these different organizations and now they realize, the World Trade Organization realizes that my attitude on them if they don't treat us fairly, well, I'll tell you somebody what will happen.

And we've been winning a lot of cases at the World Trade Organization. We virtually very rarely did ever we win a case. They took advantage of the United States.

So, that's where it is. We won $7.5 billion and if France puts a tax on our companies -- again these are companies that are against -- you know, they were against me, if I read the papers correctly, I don't know why they were against me, but they were against me. They were supposed to be very powerful and yet I won. So, maybe they are not so powerful.

But they are American companies. I don't want France taxing American companies. If they are going to be taxed, it's going to be the United States will tax them, OK?

REPORTER: Why are you staying out of the British election, sir?

TRUMP: I don't want to complicate it. I can -- look, I won a lot of elections for a lot of people. If you look just over the last few months, two elections in North Carolina I won. I helped the governor of Kentucky. I mean, the press doesn't write it. But they went up supposedly 17, 18, 19 points, because of mine. They lost by a little bit, but I lifted it 19 points.

In Louisiana, I got them into a runoff and after getting them into a runoff, he picked up 14 points because they thought he was going to lost a popular governor, John Bel Edwards, good guy, popular governor. He almost won. He lost by less than a point.

But with the exception of those two races where I had a new jet pack because I raised them up almost to victory and they had no chance, with the exception of those two, I won virtually every race that it participated in, but this is a different country. And, you know, I say often in Germany, they like Obama. The reason

they like Obama is because Obama gave the ship away. He allowed them to take everything. He gave them things that I wouldn't do.

And I love Germany. I love this country. I love a lot of countries. But I'm representing the U.S. So they may not like me because I'm representing us and I'm representing us strong.

President Obama did not represent us strong. He gave everything away. And he shouldn't have done that. And that's why we're still paying a price for what he did.

So I'll stay out of the election. You know I was a fan of Brexit. I called it the day before. I was opening up Thornberry, the day before Brexit, you were there -- many of you were there. I recognize that many of you were there.

And they asked me whether or not Brexit would happen and I said, yes, and everybody smiled and they laughed. And I said, yes, it's going to happen. In my opinion, it's just my opinion.

The next day, they had the election and I was right. But I stay out of it. I think Boris is very capable and I think he'll do a good job.

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: How is your relationship with President Macron going into the meetings --

TRUMP: I think it's fine. I've always had a good relationship with Emmanuel. He sometimes still says things that he shouldn't say. And I disagree with some of his policies with respect to France. But he's got to do what he's got to do.

Sometimes I think he does things that's counter productive for his own country.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Say it?

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: I can work with anybody. I'm a very easy person to work with, you know? You wouldn't believe it. Look at this gentleman, when I came in, I was angry at NATO. And now I raised $130 billion.

And, by the way, you're talking annually. You're talking about a tremendous amount of money. You're talking about numbers that are astronomical. And yet you still have men delinquent, not paid up in full.

And then I ask the other question. When they don't pay up in full, what happens to the past year? So, let's say Germany is at 1 percent and they stay at 1 percent and another one. Well, does that mean it disappears for the last five years what they haven't paid in? Or nobody has ever asked that question.

It's not a bad question for you to be asking because, you know, it's not like oh, gee, let's start a brand-new year. A lot of countries haven't paid. You can make the case they haven't paid, they're really delinquent for 25, 30 years.

And then you add all that up and NATO is very rich system. You know that.

So, you know, they haven't chosen to go that way but when Germany is at 1 to 1.2 percent and when they don't pay -- let me tell you the 2 is a very low number.

[04:40:00]

It really should be 4. It shouldn't be 2, it should be 4. But that's the way it is.

Yes?

REPORTER: Are you concerned at all about the impeachment inquiry back at home? Congress is getting ready to impeach. Does that weaken your position as the president?

TRUMP: I don't think so. You know, I know most of the leaders, I get along with them. It's a hoax. The impeachment thing is a hoax. It's turned out to be a hoax.

It's done for purely political gain. They are going to see whether or not they can do something in 2020, because otherwise, they're going to lose.

It's turning out and you see it better than anybody. I read something in your paper the other day that it's having a reverse effect which some people thought might have. I didn't know.

But I can tell you the districts where I won and then they had an election in between mine, they had an election and other people got in, Democrats got in. Those districts are leaning very big towards me.

Now, I wasn't in the race in 2018. So, it's not really the same thing. A lot of my voters say they won't vote unless Trump is actually in the race.

It's really having a tremendous impact on -- and a lot of Democrats are very upset. They just got back from their district and I hear they are very upset. The impeachment witch-hunt, it's really just a continuation of the hoax that has been taking place for the last three years and I think you know that.

REPORTER: And does it cast a cloud though, that you're trying to negotiate --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, I would say this. I think it's very unpatriotic of the Democrats to put on a performance where they do that. I do.

I think it -- I think it's a bad thing for our country. Impeachment wasn't supposed to be used that way. All you have to do is read transcripts. You'll see there was absolutely nothing done wrong.

They have legal scholars looking at the transcripts the other day. They said these are absolutely perfect. Trump is right when he uses the word. Those concept, those calls that we made, two of them, were absolutely perfect calls.

And I think it's a very bad thing for our country. Does it cast a loud? Well, if it does, then the Democrats have done a big disservice to the country which they have.

They wasted a lot of time. We're trying to get prescription drugs, we can do it easily. They don't have the time to do anything. I call them the do-nothing Democrats. They are hurting our country very badly.

REPORTER: Are you going to visit with President Erdogan?

TRUMP: I may, I may. I have a very good relationship. It could be -- I don't know if it's on the schedule but if it isn't, I would.

REPORTER: And is there a way for Turkey (INAUDIBLE) after its invasion in Syria a couple of weeks ago?

TRUMP: Well, I have to ask the other countries. I mean, I have my own views but I wouldn't say it here.

Good relationship with Turkey. We left their border. We've been on their border long enough. They are doing just fine on their border.

We kept the oil. I kept the oil. The only people we have over there now, we have a few, a small group that are fighting the remnants of ISIS because they pop-up again and we put them down.

We've defeated the ISIS caliphate. Nobody thought we could do that so quickly. I did it very quickly. When I came in, it was virtually 100 percent and I knocked it down to zero. I knocked it down to zero.

But it pops up every once in a while. So, we have a very small group there. We're doing it with others, in all fairness, but importantly, we kept the oil and the oil is what fueled ISIS. That's what fueled them. That's what gave them the economic strength to do what they did.

Of course, we killed al-Baghdadi and we also killed his second. So that was very important because he was trying to reform ISIS.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Say it?

REPORTER: Should the National Health Service be on the table --

TRUMP: No, not at all. I have nothing to do with it. I never even thought about it.

Honestly, we have enough -- look, we're going to have a great health care system. We're doing great health care work. We got things really running well.

And if we get -- if we get elected, if we take the House, keep the Senate, keep the White House, we'll have phenomenal health care. Right now, we've made it very good. We have 180 million people on plans that they absolutely love, private plans that they absolutely love.

But in this country, no, they have to work that out for themselves. We have absolutely -- I don't even know where that rumor started. We have absolutely nothing to do with it, and we wouldn't want to. If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it.

REPORTER: There's some talk among lawmakers censuring you instead of impeaching you? What do you think about that?

TRUMP: Unacceptable. I did nothing wrong. I heard about it. Now, they want to go censure because they have no case for impeachment. So they want to go to censure.

I don't want to be censured. I did nothing wrong. I don't want being -- censure if you do something wrong. I did nothing wrong.

I had a great conversation. Very respectful conversation. With the president, a good person, by the way, with the president of Ukraine.

[04:45:01]

It was flawless. People have analyzed it from 15 different ways. Many people were on that line, including the secretary of state. One person, two people had a complaint and you take a look at those two people and you tell me.

But many people -- I know there were many people on the line. I mean, there's always a lot of people. When you speak to a head of state, not only our people, they had people also, many people probably.

Now, I wouldn't be happy with that at all. To me, that's unacceptable. I did nothing wrong. You don't censure somebody when they did nothing wrong.

They are in search of a crime. That's what they are. They are an investigation in search of a crime.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: They are what you call an investigation in search of a crime. There was no -- not only wasn't there a crime, shouldn't a word be used. I had a very, very good conversation with the head of Ukraine.

And, by the way, yesterday, he came out again and reaffirmed again that we had a very, very respectful good conversation. That President Trump did nothing wrong. He doesn't even really understand what's going on over here.

They look at us like is this country crazy? The Democrats have gone nuts. They are crazy. And it's very bad for our country.

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) united?

TRUMP: Say it?

REPORTER: Do you see a great divide in NATO between the U.S. --

TRUMP: No, not with us, but I do see France breaking off. Look at him. And I'm saying, you know, he needs protection more than anybody and I see him breaking off, so I'm a little surprised at that.

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: -- ally, they are defendable member of NATO, and when will you bring sanctions against them?

TRUMP: First part of your question. Say it again?

REPORTER: Thank you. Is Turkey a dependable member of NATO and when you bring sanctions against them for buying Russian S400 missiles?

TRUMP: Well, it's a country that I happen to have a good relationship with. We did a deal that everybody was very critical of and now they are saying it works. I read a couple of stories just two days ago that, wow, that deal Trump did with Turkey -- because I want to get our soldiers out of there.

I don't want to be policing a border that has been fought over for 2,000 years. I want to get them out. But I wanted to keep the oil. And now, they're saying that was a great deal that Trump made. I took a lot of heat over that deal.

Now, I think that as far as I'm concerned I like Turkey and I get along very well with the president, and I would hope that he's a very good member of NATO or will be. But we'll see what it is in the future.

Could you ask you that?

STOLTENBERG: Yes, but Turkey is important NATO ally. Just look at their map, bordering Iraq and Syria, the only ally that borders that part of the world. And Turkey has been enormously important in our joint efforts to fight ISIS, Daesh. We have been able to liberate in the U.S. air coalition to defeat ISIS, all the territory that ISIS controlled just a few months ago and that more than 8 million people that are under ISIS control.

And we have done that not least by using bases in Turkey. So, in the fight against ISIS, Turkey has been a key role.

Then many allies have expressed their concern about Turkish (INAUDIBLE) into northern Syria. But following an agreement between the United States and Turkey, we have seen that Turkey has stalled its military operations in Syria and see a significant reduction in violence. So, now, we have to build on that and try to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

And also, and on the question on both Europe and North America, yes, there are differences as there always has been dating back to the Suez crisis in '56, all the way to the Iraq war in 2003. So, it's nothing new that 29 allies have different views on many different things, trade, climate change and other things.

But in the end, the strength of NATO is that despite these differences, we have proven again and again able to unite night around our core goals to protect and defend each other. And that's exactly what we are doing now. We're doing more together, both America and Europe, than are done for many decades.

So, the paradox is that despite someone to say some political differences, we always are able to around agree and unite around our core to stay together.

TRUMP: And I will say this, three weeks ago when we got al-Baghdadi, Turkey was very helpful. We flew over areas that were totally controlled by Turkey and the Turkish military. We said we're coming.

They absolutely were very supportive, actually. We didn't tell them what we were doing and where we were going. Turkey could not have been nicer, could not have been more supportive and that's important.

And I want to say that in keeping the oil, ISIS was trying to, as you know, regain control of the oil.

[04:50:03]

And we have total control of the oil and, frankly, we have a lot of support from a lot of different people. But, right now, the only soldiers we have essentially in that area are the soldiers keeping the oil. So we have the oil. And we can do with the oil what we want.

REPORTER: Turkey bought Russian missiles. How is that being --

TRUMP: Well, they did, and they tried to buy ours and the Obama administration said you can't have them, OK?

REPORTER: Would you (INAUDIBLE) them?

TRUMP: The Obama administration said you can have the Patriots. You can't -- we're not going to sell them to you. They said that a number of times.

And then Turkey went out and bought the Russian missile. So, we'll see what happens. We're still talking about it.

But they wanted to buy the Patriots. They tried to buy the Patriots. I think most of you know that. And they were shut off from buying the Patriots. They were not allowed to buy that. So, that puts him in a bind also.

STOLTENBERG: But the Russians system not be integrated into the integrated NATO air and missile defense system, because these Russian systems are not going to work together with the rest of the NATO system, of course.

And, I welcome the fact that there are talks going on between United States and Turkey, look into to some alternative to the system, the Patriots, and also the fact that NATO actually augments -- we have deployed, we augmented the Turkish air and missile defense today, with the deployment of (INAUDIBLE) countries by NATO in Turkey. So we addressed this issue and we're trying to find a way to solve it because it's now creating some problems in (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: As you know, Turkey bought billions and billions, one of the largest sale of F-35s, which is the greatest fighter jet in the world. And all they're going to do now is go to another country, whether it's Russia or China.

They don't want to do that. They want to buy the best planes. But they are making it very difficult for -- in a way themselves but they're also making it very difficult in Washington for them to buy that plane.

But they want to buy that. They have a very big order. They already put up billions of dollars. They gave to it Lockheed Martin.

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: -- White House counsel present with your future hearings?

TRUMP: Say it?

REPORTER: How do you make a decision as to whether you'll have White House counsel present in your any about the future hearings?

TRUMP: I'm not even thinking about it. I'm only thinking about this. The impeachment is going nowhere. We have tremendous support. In the history of the Republican Party, there has not been this support. We have 196-0 in term of votes in the Congress.

As far as I'm concerned I hear the Senate is angry about -- the Republican senators are very angry about what's going on because they hurt our country. They're hurting our country, the other side. Very badly.

We have tremendous support, probably the most united that our party has ever been. I just had a 95 percent approval rating. It's the highest in the history of the Republican Party. Ronald Reagan was 87. He's second.

The party has never been this united, the Republican Party. The impeachment is going nowhere. It's a waste of time. They are wasting their time, and it's a disgrace.

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: -- Republican senators who agree that your conduct in Ukraine was perfectly flawless --

TRUMP: The only people that are critical are people that haven't read the conversation that I had. In some cases, you haven't read. Your OK back there?

What happened? Your getting in a fist fight or something?

(CROSTALK)

OKI thought you got in a little fist fight.

I think the Republican Party is right now more united than they've ever been. When people read -- I always say read the transcript.

I also say take a look what the president of Ukraine said. And he said it numerous times, including very powerfully yesterday. Because that's the only thing that really -- that's it. Then you have people that heard third hand, fourth hand, second hand.

No, we have tremendous support in the Republican Party. There never has been support like this. In fact, I would always complain that the Democrats, I think are lousy politicians with horrible policy -- open borders, sanctuary cities, high taxes, they want to raise your taxes.

But they've always stuck together. I respect that.

And the Republicans I've always said had better policy but historically they have not stuck together the same way. There's never been a time when the Republican Party has been more united.

This is a witch-hunt by the Democrats. It's a continuation. It's been going on after three years, actually before the election it's been going on.

You'll probably see that after the report is released on Monday or Tuesday.

[04:55:03]

But this is just a witch that's very bad for your country. But I'll tell you, it's been very unifying for the Republicans and my base.

REPORTER: By point of clarification. In your opening remarks, you were very critical of one country, but you didn't name the country. What country were you talking about?

TRUMP: I rather have you guess. You're a very good reporter. I rather have you guess. I probably will agree with your assumption.

REPORTER: Mr. President, would you like to see Secretary Pompeo run for Senate in Kansas?

TRUMP: So, he's a tremendous guy doing a tremendous job. And I would say this, if I thought we were going the to lose that seat because we shouldn't lose that seat, it's a great state, it's a state that I won overwhelmingly, as you know. We shouldn't lose that state. Then I would sit down and talk to Mike.

But you can never find anybody that can do a better job as secretary of state. But if we thought we we're going to lose that, I would -- I would have to talk to Mike. If Mike -- if you look at polling, mike would walk away with that seat.

If I thought there was a risk to losing that seat, I would say that -- I would sit down very seriously and talk to Mike and find out how he feels about it. He loves what he's doing and he's doing a great job, as you know.

REPORTER: Could I ask about NATO, why is China such an important subject for this NATO summit. What threat did they pose?

TRUMP: China has become very powerful and much more so than in the past. They've done it actually with the United States money because our past presidents allowed them to steal the cookie cutter, and that's OK. I don't begrudge China.

But I'm disappointed in our past presidents and leadership. They allowed this to happen. There's no way it should have happened.

And, by the way, I'm doing very well on a deal with China if I want to make it, if I want to make it. It's not if they want to make it. It's if I want to make it.

And we'll see what happens. But I'm doing very well if I want to make a deal. I don't know if I want to make it. You'll find out pretty soon. We'll surprise everybody.

STOLTENBERG: Historically, NATO has been focused on the Soviet Union and Russia. It's something new that we're now also addressing the implications for our security by the rise of China. But we have to do that because China is now the second largest defense spender in the world after the United States.

They recently displayed a lot of new advance military weapon systems, including new intercontinental missiles, they'll able to can reach the whole of Europe and United States, hypersonic weapons, drivers and they also deployed hundreds of intermediate missiles that have violated the INF treaty if China had been part of that treaty.

It's not about moving NATO into South China Sea, but its about taking into account the fact that China is coming close to us. We see them in the Arctic. We see them in Africa, we see them investing heavily in European infrastructure and, of course, we see China in cyber space.

So, the rise of China, there are some opportunities, but also some challenges. I mean, we face them together. And I think it's a good thing that Europe and North America do that together because together, North America, we are 50 percent of world GDP, and 50 percent of the world's military might. So, as long as we are together, we are bigger and stronger than any other potential adversary.

TRUMP: And I think that's important because it's a very different NATO. This has become -- I really think since I join, since I've come in, we've had a very good relationship.

This used to be a NATO of one country. They didn't talk about anything else. Now, really, we are looking all over the world because, you know, the world changes. Seventy years, it's a long time, and the world has changed a lot.

I don't think, frankly, before us, that NATO was changing with it. And NATO is really changing now. So, it's a different NATO. It's covering a lot more territory. It's covering hot spots. It's covering a lot of things that were never even contemplated or thought of even five years ago.

If you go back five years, they wouldn't think about things we're doing now. So, I've become a bigger fan of NATO because they've been so flexible. If they weren't flexible, I think I would probably not be so happy. But they are very flexible and this gentleman is doing a great job.

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: Will you come to Germany?

TRUMP: I will come to Germany, sure. I love Germany. I love the people of Germany.

REPORTER: Mr. President, why has North Korea continued its nuclear program despite your various meetings?

TRUMP: Well, we'll see. I have confidence in him. I like him. He likes me. We have a good relationship. We'll see. We'll see what happens.

He likes sending rockets up. That's why I call him rocket man.

REPORTER: Was that helpful you think calling him a rocket man?

TRUMP: But we have a very good -- we have a very good relationship. And we'll see what happens. It may work out, it may not. But in the meantime, it's been a long time.

President Obama said it's a number one problem and it would have been war -- we would be in war right now if it weren't for me. If I weren't president, you'd be in a war right now in Asia, and who knows where that leads.

END