Breaking News LIVE: US State Department URGENT Press Briefing Regarding North Korea threat Kim Jong

for having some meetings I know you’re going to be watching a couple of them we have a lot of people here today a lot of subjects under discussion including Venezuela including of course North Korea and other things and I think we’re making tremendous headway and we’ll be spending quite a bit of time here and then we through the weekend as you know toward the end we go into Manhattan where I have a lot of meetings scheduled in Manhattan any question president or Korean the work that they use do you have any responses well I don’t think they made that and I think the first time they’ve heard it like they heard it and frankly the people that were questioning that statement was it too tough maybe it wasn’t tough enough they’ve been doing this in our country for a long time for many years and it’s about time that somebody’s stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries so if anything maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough and we’re backed by a hundred percent by our military we’re backed by everybody and were backed by many other leaders and I noticed that many senators and others today came out very much in favor of what I said but if anything that statement may not be tough enough what would be number than well you’ll see you’ll see we don’t talk about that I never do I’m not like the other administration that would say we’re going into Mosul in four months I don’t talk about it we’ll see what happens but I can tell you that what they’ve been doing and what they’ve been getting away with is a tragedy and it can’t be allowed you will always consider negotiations but they’ve been negotiating now for 25 years look at Clinton he folded on the negotiations he was weakened and effective you look what happened with Bush you look what happened with Obama Obama he didn’t want to talk about it but I talk it’s about time somebody has to do it somebody has and just want him to get repeal and replace done I’ve been hearing repealed and replaced now for seven years but I’ve only been doing this for two years and I’ve really only been doing this for six months but I’ve been running so now it’s almost two years and I fall I hear his repeal to replace and then I get there and I said where’s the bill I want to sign it first day and they don’t happen and they passed repealed and replaced but they never had a president frankly or a Senate that was going to do it but they never haven’t had a president so it didn’t matter so I say very simply where is repeal and replace now I want tax reform and tax cuts we’re going to reduce taxes for the people we pay more tax than anybody in the world and we’re going to reduce taxes so I say tax cuts tax reform and I want a very big infrastructure bill where we’re working on that very hard already and we can do that and we may even get bipartisan on infrastructure but we want to have it but I said Mitch get to work and let’s get it done they should have had this last one done they lost by one vote for a thing like that to happen is it disgrace and frankly it should to happen that I continue it’s in there well I’ll tell you what if he doesn’t get repeal and replace done and if he doesn’t get taxes done many cuts and reform but if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done infrastructure he doesn’t get them done then you could ask me that question I got nothin ask me the Klan that means ask me that question let’s hope he gets right so why don’t you work the opioid crisis is an emergency and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency it’s a national emergency we’re going to spend a lot of time a lot of effort and a lot of money the opioid crisis even we’re going to draw it up and we’re going to make it a national emergency it is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had you know when I was growing up they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs there’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years and I have to say this in all fairness this is a worldwide problem not just the United States problem this is happening worldwide but this is a national emergency and we are drawing documents now – so attest there are no mixed-messages there are no mixed-messages I heard I mean to be honest general mattis may have taken it a step beyond what I said there are no mixed-messages and Rex was just you know stating the view but look he’s the view I said it yesterday I don’t have to say it again and I’ll tell you this it may be tougher than I said it not less it may very well be tougher than I said okay how about one more Earley perform people in this country should be very comfortable and I will tell you this if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love what we represent or our allies or us they can be very very nervous I’ll tell you what and they should be very nervous because things will happen to them like they never thought possible okay he’s been pushing the world around for a long time and I have great respect for what China and what Russia did and those 15 we got a 15 to nothing vote I have great respect for China and Russia what they did on sanctions I believe that will have an effect I don’t think it will have the kind of effect even though I was the one we were the ones who got it and Nikki hailey did a great job we all did a great job but I have great respect for what they did I have great respect for the 15 to nothing but probably it will not be as effective as a lot of people think it can be unfortunately I think Johnny can do a lot more yes China can and I think China will do a lot more look we have trade with China we lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China they know how I feel it’s not going to continue like that but if China helps us I feel a lot differently for trains a lot differently portrayed so we will do I think it’s like the people of our country are safe our allies are safe and I will tell you this North Korea better get their act together where they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world okay thank you very much we’re going down to the other side and we will we’re gonna take a few more questions okay [Music] okay all those long European vacations just five weeks everybody how’s everyone doing today a little bit of an echo in the room here before we get down to business and I know you have a lot of questions I want to point out we have a group of interns here in the back you know the summertime we have a lot of interns who come in to your companies and into the State Department as well and I just want to recognize them thank you all for being here I understand one of you attends the Naval Academy which one great fantastic go Navy glad to hear it it’s got some family there anyway welcome and I hope you’ve enjoyed your internship and that you’ve been treated well here and that you’ve enjoyed it that’s all I have for that so I’ll just take your questions would you like you’re not gonna update us on the ago a conference in Togo let’s start again with North Korea um the president has just come out of New Jersey and said that perhaps his comments of the other day this is news to you his fire and fury comment from the other day maybe wasn’t strong enough I’m just wondering if you have any comment about that but I understand if you have not heard it heard those comments myself Matt I trust you you’re an excellent reporter you always get it right you know I will say this our position and our policy and our strategy hasn’t changed one bit so um does does the Secretary who compete for believe that he is a part of the national security team that advises the president on national security issues and and contributes to making policy I I’m wondering where you’re gonna go with this but yes absolutely without a doubt as you know the secretary the president secretary mattis along with the National Security Council general McMaster they meet frequently they meet often to have conversations about national security issues so then I’m curious about your reaction to some comments that an aide to the president made dr. Dworkin to the BBC and when he was asked about the apparent differences in tone between various officials he said you should listen to the president idea that secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical is the job of the secretary maddest secretary of defense to talk about the military options and he has done so unequivocally that is his mandate secretary Tillerson is a chief diplomat of the United States and his portfolio to handle those issues does the secretary one or does this building agree with comments like that which would seem to suggest that the secretary is this is not the Secretary’s Lane and that you should kind of he should put out and and and keep his mouth shut on things that relate to the military matters well the secretary as you know he has a close relationship with secretary mattis our secretary secretary Tillerson talks a lot about our diplomatic strategy and our diplomatic policy that has not changed the secretary has been room very robust in that just having returned as we talked about yesterday from the ASEAN conference where he met for three days with a lot of foreign officials as I was coming out here I heard about Sebastian Gorkhas comments I didn’t hear them myself so I don’t want to comment on exactly what he had to say but I can say that I speak for secretary Tillerson and this building our Secretary has been very clear as his secretary mattis that our diplomatic and military means are both strong and capable and in the face of the threats that we face against the DPRK or other nations right but does the Secretary believe that diplomacy that the diplomacy should be combined with the men with military options and that to produce a successful result and does he I take it then you should can’t he he would reject the suggestion that he doesn’t have any business talking about I would say that secretary mattis oversees the US military and he and secretary Tillerson have a good close cooperative relationship and one part of our US government is of course the State Department and we do diplomacy here out of this building secretary Tillerson has not spoken about US military capabilities you all hear me very often from this room when you asked me about US military assets or plans I refer you to DoD the suggestion that was made is that basically the secretary and secretary Tillerson shouldn’t be involved or shouldn’t be listened to as it relates to policy towards North Korea is that is that is that something that you agree with I think that everyone has clearly heard what secretary teller sends up comments have been and continue to be on the issue of DPRK and on other countries as well be paid attention to I would secretary he’s a fourth in line to the presidency he carries a big step dr. Gorka is wearing that why no sir I don’t work with dr. with Sebastian Gorka I have known him from a previous life in a previous career but I have not spoken to him about the comments that he made and let me just leave it at that okay all right while we’re on DPRK let’s stick to that I’d like to stick to regions if we can today so any questions on DPRK okay high register and this is in the diplomatic lane talking about China and that’s trying to see freedom of navigation China says the recent u.s. freedom of navigation operation harms Chinese sovereignty this is an issue in a response that we’ve seen before but do issues like freedom of navigation some of the economic issues do they make for a more difficult campaign on North Korea with China freedom of navigation operations happen all around the world they tend to get the most attention when they happen in the south China see they happen off the coast of Canada they happen what in the waters off shore of our major allies friends partners all around the world that’s why we’re focusing on it right now that’s why you’re asking me that question because of the issue of DPRK as you know secretary Tillerson coming back from the ASEAN conference where there was a joint statement that was issued about the South China Sea we talked about that pretty extensively yesterday as you all know US forces will operate in the Asia Pacific region they do that on a daily basis including the South China Sea the operations are conducted in accordance with international law and the point of that is to demonstrate that the United States will continue to fly sail and operate wherever international law allows it’s true in the South China Sea it’s true in other places around the world as well and when the US deals with China negotiates speaks with China does it view these issues is compartmentalized or as one big issue we’ve lots of ongoing conversations as you know we had the the four-way dialogue with China we’ve had two of the four meetings that are set to take place I believe the next two or set to play take place later this year we discuss all kinds of issues secretary mattis was over here not too long ago having spoken with secretary Tillerson and our Chinese counterparts about many of these issues among the issues we talk about the Chinese South China Sea of course but we also talked about DPRK and other matters as well so doesn’t hamper the pressure campaign you don’t think we have at look you know what happened at the United Nations United Nations Security Council unanimously passed the new UN Security Council resolution on the DPRK China was one of those countries that voted along with that so that means that China has to enforce its sanctions they have said that they would we look forward to and expect them to enforce those sanctions as well and welcome back thank you congratulations on the on the UN Security Council sanctions I just been suggesting you could have given them longer to bear fruit before threatening fire and fury it was how long do you think it was it’ll take before we see some we see North Korea backing down thanks to these sanctions well you know look I can’t speculate as to what North Korea is going to do we talked yesterday about our pressure campaign and how the pressure campaign is in our opinion working we’ve had many countries countries that we are close friends with and countries that we aren’t as close with helped participate in that pressure campaign and that is because the world recognizes the severe threat that the DPRK faces not just to the United States but to the entire world Elementor the the pressure campaign is to seek a diplomatic isolation of North Korea doctor–i obviously attended the ASEAN Regional Forum and has been invited to attend next year’s regional forum by their by the hosts I was that a failure in an attempt to isolate them diplomatically or was there some utility in my understanding that in terms of invitations like that the conversations are ongoing we are not a part of ASEAN so we do not have the ability to extend or rescind an invitation so we believe that opti ASEAN itself but those nations all joined us in a pretty condemning statement of the activities on the part of the DPRK and is it your understanding that the the warning that the president issued about fire and fury being dissident on North Korea was if they were to test another missile from some kind of property action or simply if they resume their normal generator I’m just not gonna get into any hypotheticals yesterday Kim Jong you know laid out first thing was it ridicules the president the United States he could certainly say you know what he chooses okay I can’t affect that in any kind of way but in terms of the pressure campaign when we talk about it working part of that from the UN Security Council resolution that we believe will help remove about a billion dollars worth of exports money that would go into the pockets the North Korean regime that money by the way does not get used to feed its own people we know people in that nation North Koreans are starving the money there that goes into North Korea does not go to the people it goes to the government and it’s very expensive illegal nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs at that point you know one of the the points of the sanctions is to curtail imported labor from North Korea yes the certain countries and so on a country that is an ally the United States Kuwait said that it will continue to host North Korean workers and they were against me I do yeah what you’re talking about is a Associated Press report that came out I believe it was overnight that indicated that Kuwait was going to continue hosting North Korean guest workers that would obviously be a concern to us there our North Korean guest workers in place around the world a big part of our pressure campaign as many of you know has been saying to those countries there was a series of bilateral meetings that secretary Tillerson and here at the State Department has had with many US counterparts asking other nations to reduce the number of North Korean guest workers those guest workers who are working in construction and in other industries and countries around the world are getting that money that money’s going to straight back to North Korea into its weapons program that money does not go to the North Korean individuals themselves it does not go to the North Korean civilians and citizens and family members what you’re referring to in terms of Kuwait we are certainly aware of that report it was brought to our attention I would have to refer you to the government of Kuwait for more information on that however we understand that the government of Kuwait will be issuing a statement on those reports and their overall DPRK policy imminently we are in close contact with the government of Kuwait they recognize the serious nature of this issue and the serious nature of that report that did come out the government of Kuwait will be taking further measures in response to the dangerous and provocative behavior of the DPRK regime within the coming days we are told we are again told to expect a statement on that matter when because this I mean I’m looking at the statement that they sent to us right here and it’s very straightforward two questions question one did Kuwait stop issuing new working visas North Koreans last year answer no the State of Kuwait did not stop issuing working visas to North Korean laborers and then secondly how many remaining North Korean laborers working Kuwait and does the country have any plans for expelling them answer the number of North Korean laborers in the State of Kuwait is 6064 and there are no lines there are no plans North Koreans that is why it’s an issue that’s been brought to our attention I can’t get into the details of any possible private diplomatic conversations but I am told and I think if you look at the time stamp on whenever they sent that to you I’m told as of about 40 minutes ago or so that a announcement would be forthcoming announcement do you have any reason to believe that the announcement will be the same as what what I’ve just read to you I can tell you that it’s an issue of big concern and I can’t get into the private diplomatic conversations so I hope that helps answer it and and clarify it but look for those big we will look for their statement and we will see what happens on that you know obviously the export of labor as I have mentioned enables the development of the illicit nuclear and missile program the government of Kuwait has been a good friend to the United States you know the Emir of Kuwait has been extremely supportive has been helpful very helpful as the moderator and mediator in handling the GCC the Qatar dispute we continue to work with that gump with that government and work with the Emir in the in that dispute as well okay anything else on this issue on this issue of Kuwait yes or no okay all right anything else on North Korea yes okay go right ahead highness UN resolution is also sort of assumptions of the six-party talks so we are just wondering that he’s the u.s. really preparing for the talks and and making some contacts and the second question is about the China’s proposal after when you get to your first question first okay will the United States return to talks with North Korea and the answer to that is in the Secretary has talked about this a lot he has said he’s not going to negotiate his way back to the negotiating table okay he has said that months ago he’s not moved away from that position one bit there have been headlines that have been an accurate inaccurate that have alluded to the opposite of that we would need to know that North Korea is taking serious and literal steps to denuclearizing in order for the United States to even get to that point Susan Thornton our acting assistant secretary for East Asian affairs who has been traveling with the secretary in route back to Washington at this moment from that ASEAN trip she’s been very firm at that she said something along the lines of look we are nowhere near close to that point especially after we’ve had two intercontinental ballistic missile tests within less than a month they are not showing us the DPRK is not showing us that they are close to sitting down and talking anytime soon okay okay and also about miss Thornton just before the ASEAN trips Sultan just to make a connection between the China’s trade with the US and kind of a DPRK sea issue so now China just the endorsed or just agree with the UN sanctions on the DPRK so it doesn’t mean that the trade relations between China and us could be kind of okay in the near future I I would have to refer you on that trade matter to our trade representative and other people who actually handle that that trade issue but look we are pleased with China voting along with the United States and others in that unanimous UN Security Council resolution and we look forward to China adhering to its commitments on instituting and seen through those sanctions okay anything DPRK personally is just to clarify you said um turning the worship to South China Sea it’s no way it’s not the way the United States States event your frustration not enough progress and that’s not at all what it takes to move US military equipment and ships is a lot those things are pre-planned and DoD can really speak to that but those things have been planned for a long long time the United States does these operations the freedom of navigation operations all around the world many times of year and in fact I probably have some facts and figures for you on that but this is nothing new we’ve done it before we’ll continue to do that between the timing as China and us in just the region of dream of code of conduct in South China Sea isn’t this move counterproductive and actually inflame the tension South China Sea and as a matter of fact the United States just it endorsed the three most code of conduct yes we did and we are in compliance and adherence with that this is a somewhat of a complex legal matter so I want to read from you some of this so that there’s no confusion on the part of folks across the world we have a comprehensive freedom of navigation operations program under which the US forces challenge excessive maritime claims around the globe to demonstrate our commitment to uphold the rights freedoms and uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations under international law all nations that is guaranteed to the United States and to other nations as well that’s why I mentioned we do these freedom of navigation operations off the coast of Canada for example along with many other places fawn ops as we refer to it are not about any one country they’re not about making a political statement in 2016 and here’s the number I referred to we conducted these challenging excessive maritime claims in 22 different coastal states including claims of allies and partners as well so I hope that answers your question okay somebody had something over here about China in China being enough on North Korea are you satisfied with what they are doing you know the secretary has spoken to this issue a lot is China doing enough and one of the things that he’s consistently said is that we see some movement on the part of China but that movement and that engagement can be uneven at times but look I he had conversations with many partners on his recent trip to ASEAN we think we’ve made some additional progress in there they would certainly recognize what instability in that region means for their nation they also jumped on board with that United Nations Security Council resolution so we’re pleased with that but we look forward and hope that they will do more in saying the person is walking but the fact that the wife you have been saying that the pressure on North Korea is working but the facts speak otherwise they have done pool ICBMs in less than a month dr. Kato no five missiles in Guam so what do you say about that doesn’t seem that Fisher is working on that look this pressure campaign is going to take a while we’ve always recognized that it took us many many years to get to this concerning point where the United United States and the world are right now with the DPRK we can’t expect that this is going to change overnight this pressure campaign is going to take some time part of that pressure campaign is removing the money that North Korea gets for its weapons programs we believe that through time and through talking to other countries about what those countries can do to reduce the number of guest workers to reduce the size of embassies and missions in Pyongyang and in other places around the DPRK that that will help remove some of the funding for that there is the luxury of something I don’t want to say you luxury but you have time because I think what this week has shown us in terms of the miniaturization report that there may not be enough time to for to let these things that you just mentioned a lot of people have asked about that that would be an intelligence matter that I can’t confirm and will not have nothing to say here about that I’m not asking at the port I’m saying you referenced at the developments over the course of the last couple weeks have made it clear I think everyone that time is not necessarily on your side here that the things that the North Koreans are progressing much more quickly than had been anticipated expected or theorized [Music] right with the question so my question to you is are you confident that there is time to allow these sanctions and the pressure campaign to work that you have the time for that to work before they do something well I think I think the best thing that I can say about that is referencing something that the secretary said yesterday and that is that Americans can sleep safely at night that’s the thing that that doctor Gorka said not there was fewer nonsense and shouldn’t be listened to I would refer you back to mr. cork on that one [Music] two more questions on DPRK first of all Japan is moving missile interceptors in order to be in a position to intercept anything that hits Guam and they’ve said that they’re willing to defend the u.s. in the context of what’s going on the threats that have been made by the DPRK can you give us some insight into whether they’re sort of overstepping their commitments under the mutual defense treaty that they have with the United States are they required to go to those lengths you have any insight into that I do not I’m sorry I don’t got something else yes I did you spoke something okay um I know there’s been a lot of writing and maybe you could say thanks bill even over the sort of dissonance between the messages on DPRK out of this building versus sort of more synergy we’ve seen from the White House and the Pentagon is that strategic that we’re seeing Tillerson push the diplomatic option and we’re seeing the president and mattiece pushed military consequences at the diplomatic lat diplomatic response is not worthy you know this is something that we covered yesterday our policy across the administration is the same the policy is we want a denuclearization of the North Korean Peninsula of the Korean Peninsula we want we expect North Korea to denuclearize we would like them to be able to come to the you know the the global you know the global world of countries that can cooperate together they are isolating themselves it’s something that’s a grave concern to us and that’s why we continue to push this as the top national security priority for the United States at this time lastly do you have a working estimate of how soon you think that the DPRK would collapse I do not that is that’s quite a hypothetical I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that okay we don’t with DPRK okay let’s go to Cuba okay go right ahead hi how are you so do you have any update I know it’s just recent on the diplomats and the hearing loss issue but moreover does the State Department have any plans for reversing the Obama administration’s efforts to diplomatic ties with with Cuba in other words reversing the you know restoring them reversing that action so I don’t have any information on that particular part for you you mentioned particular medical ailments that is nothing that I can confirm I’ve certainly seen that report out in the news media I hope that those reports would not come from any federal officials we will not confirm the health status of any of Americans whether they’re in Cuba back here at home or elsewhere what I can tell you is that these were US government personnel who were in Cuba in Havana on official duty on behalf of the US government we consider these to be incidents because we still are trying to work determine the actual cause of their situation they have had a variety of physical symptoms that’s as far as I can go in describing that we just don’t have the definitive answers yet this is an active on investigation and that investigation is ongoing at this time so what about the overall diplomatic relationship between Cuba and the United States are there any plans to change what the Obama administration put into play you know there are this is a situation that we’re still assessing when I say an active investigation is underway in part what that means is we don’t know exactly where this came from okay we can’t blame any one individual or a country at this point yet an investigation is underway we take that very seriously this is a US government investigation that is taking place we’ve spoken extensively to the Cubans about this as you know we had two of their Cuban diplomats leave back in in late May or so we do and the reason that we had them leave is because we said that this is the agreement that the United nighted States rather has with Cuba and that is that they are responsible for the safety and security of our depth of our diplomats while our diplomats are serving in that country our Americans were not safe they were not secure obviously because something has happened to them we take that very seriously the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad is our top issue we’ll continue to investigate that yes thank you okay Global Affairs Canada as you might know by now says its diplomats have been experiencing the same unusual symptoms and it’s working with the u.s. and Cuba to investigate is the u.s. working with any other country to investigate these incidents I won’t comment on anything related to another country I can’t confirm that I can only talk about the American piece of it let me just ask you about Congress um this news seemed to catch several key lawmakers in Congress off-guard that deal with Cuba and at least one u.s. senator has requested a classified briefing from the State Department why hasn’t the State Department if it cares so much about what’s going on with with his diplomats alerted Congress oh there have been conversations that have been going on between the interagency and I assume then that means Congress as well so Congress as certain folks have been I can’t tell you exactly who I don’t know off the top of my head but have been made aware of this this is not something that you know certain members of Congress are learning about for the first time let me see this why are we just learning about this this these two Cuban diplomats left on May the 23rd this has been going at least eight or nine months and now we’re just learning about this white goodness you could have been down there reporting on this look no the honest question is and and the role answer to this is people started experiencing ailments in late 2016 okay and think about it when you have an ailment you don’t always know exactly what’s causing it okay you have that ailment you maybe decide to put it off for a while get medical treatment maybe not okay some of these things take time to investigate in particular ones that are people aren’t certain what has caused them so this takes time to figure out that is why I say an investigation is ongoing we have provided medical care and medical treatment and screening to our Americans who have asked for that some people have been brought home as a result so I kind of take issue with the tone of your question as though we don’t care about this I think we’ve been clear in our responsibility and our let me finish and our concern about Americans who are serving on behalf of the US government in other countries I think those diplomats that have been experiencing these symptoms are satisfied with the response they’ve gotten from the State Department I don’t know the answer to that one without getting into any specific country names of other countries that might have had the most involved are you aware of that that diplomats from other countries were had suffered similar physical I have seen worse and that and that’s all I can say about that okay but so you don’t so you’re unable to say whether or not this was only something that happened to Americans III just can’t confirm here from a US government visit post that other countries may have or have not had the same issue happen to them I can only speak to what Americans have faced okay Cuba hi um you seem to leave open the possibility that another country is involved I didn’t this guy right here next to you did uh sorry apologies not that someone else has been attacked but that they seem to be the possibility of a third country being involved in the tasks themselves as and it might not be the Cubans who are behind the idea I you I know people want answers I appreciate that okay but this is an ongoing investigation we don’t have all the answers yet so I appreciate that you want to try to push me to say something I’m not going to get ahead of the investigators I’m not going to get ahead of this investigation I’m not going to create you know storylines for you that don’t match up with the facts as we know them right now okay so I’m not going to get into that it is an area that is under investigation that is a major concern of ours you say if going back and research that this building has seen anything similar to this you know that’s a good question I have a bench in Cuba yeah I’m well I’m not I’m not personally aware of that I can certainly ask some of our folks who’ve been around for longer than I have about let’s see what I got you might pretty much every one last thing on this you’ve seen the response or the statement that the Cuban government put out last night saying that it would does not condone any you know would not allow any kind of interference with with foreign diplomats and that it takes seriously in respects that’s Vienna Convention obligations do you accept that hey you know I would just say this about what you mentioned we remain in regular contact with the Cuban government they are providing some guidance some assistance on this investigation as the investigation is underway we in that regular contact we hope to resolve this matter in a satisfactory fashion and let me just leave it at that okay right but I just want to mean do you take at face value when they it you could you accept it that they respect you’ve made a big point yesterday I’m talking about the Vienna Convention and how human has obligations on her is to protect the California yeah and they talked about that yeah right and they say that they do but clearly I think US government officials have been affected in some way by these incidents physically affected by these incidents it is the Cuban government’s obligation under the Geneva Convention excuse me under Vienna thank you under Vienna conventions to ensure the safety and protection of our diplomats there yeah so you’re say I think what you’re saying is that despite the statement from last night yours still not convinced they have an obligation to do that and that obviously did not happen okay anything are we done of staffing levels of the mission returned to the levels they were before the instance came tonight yeah I can tell you this that our embassy there in Havana in Havana is fully operational it is fully staffed they are still involved in business as a precaution and for concern and the well-being of our Embassy staffers there we’ve allowed a limited number of personnel to curtail their tours of duty and what that can mean is that some of them can transfer posts come home if they want or try to go elsewhere but see is fully staffed yeah that means that however many number left that you reciprocated by telling the Cubans that they had to take to bed to get to out if you’re saying it’s now fully staffed can’t then the Cubans bring their two guys back our two diplomats back we brought our people home out of care and concern is difficult if they’ve been replaced and you’re now fully staffed and you’re back up at the number I don’t worry you know this is where you guys want to get into the number of people at our embassies and I’m not gonna do that as you know that I mean I don’t know if we’re down one or four up one in terms of our embassy personnel baton fully staffed we have people doing the each other I understand that but if you if you if you told the Cubans they had to lose to diplomats from embassy here because in a reciprocal manner because he lost the two from Boston you lost the number from there and now you say it’s fully staffed that would suggest that however many people left from your embassy are now back look I’m not gonna get down this rabbit hole that it is no longer necessary for the Cuban embassy to be done I’m not I’m not going to draw that conclusion we are open for business this is pretty standard diplomas we are we are hold on we are open for business there are people there doing the work if we’re up one down one I’m not gonna get into those kinds of details okay but just understand that the work is being done there okay okay are we’re done with us now acoustic arrangement something I look I’m not gonna confirm or deny what you’re saying I’ll get a lot of leading questions here today this remains an ongoing investigation concern and I’m not gonna get into that any further okay I’m done with humor right now I’ve answered I’ve answered all that I can for you on Cuba I know you still have questions I’m not able to provide you all of the answers okay navigation ongoing first of all could you update us on what is happening in the battle for maracas and what is US involvement there are talks about the u.s. establishing a base near there and so on so could you look i when you mention any US military facility that would be a DOD matter so i would not get into that all right let me ask you about this this point would you characterize that US Russian cooperation in Syria as remaining the same as it was when when this thing started out before the ceasefire and thickened first question then I’ll get your next one okay so what you’re referring to is the ceasefire that has been underway for about a month now I think it was the 9th or so of July we can double-check that but for about that period of time in southwestern Syria this is one was negotiated between the United States Russia and other places and the point of that was to find an area of cooperation where the United States and Russia could find I mean we but a low level relationship with Russia we all know that that’s that’s no surprise here but we want to find areas of mutual cooperation where we can work together and this is one area that ceasefire to my understanding is still holding okay we are pleased with that that provides the United States and the coalition partners with the opportunity to start to get some humanitarian in that is so badly needed in that area and so humanitarian aid and I have a little bit of detail for you on that we’ve been able to start reaching some of the vulnerable Syrians without the complications of avoiding airstrikes or increases in violence we’re continuing to work with our international partners to assess the ongoing emergency humanitarian needs throughout Syria and facilitate the delivery of vitally needed supplies I’m also told that people are starting to slowly come back into parts of those areas which is you know which would we would consider to be a moderate success at this point and we look forward to that happening about my last question is this very point it seems that when the ceasefire was negotiated it was done between the United States Russia Jordan and Israel and Israel was opposed to the ceasefire I wonder if you’ve seen this report and why would the United States not take into consideration Israel’s concerns in this case yeah I have I have seen that report we’re not going to discuss our diplomatic conversations on that or on other matters we’re committed to regular consultations with our partners in the region and that of course includes Israel we talk with them very often as you all know the consultations have been extensive and they are ongoing okay we have to wrap it up [Music] in light of air diwan’s public statements on Saturday about the dangers at the YPG as he sees the poses in Turkey and the build-up of Turkish forces in the south are you concerned about a Turkish attack on Kurdish areas in Syria so what I want to say about this is of course turkey is an important and valued NATO ally the United States takes turkeys concerns seriously we have a lot of ongoing conversations with the government of mr. Dewan they have legitimate concerns with the PKK we understand that they are concerns about the region overall and we condemn ongoing attacks committed by the ukk we can excuse me the PKK and we consider that to be a terror organization but I’m sure you would oppose that’s a hypothetical and I’m just not gonna get in a hypothermia okay okay okay and what is the u.s. position on the ongoing because the different bilateral diplomatic efforts have failed so what is your position on China India this it’s been seven weeks on the border the military tensions that are going on if you have it’s a situation that we have certainly followed closely and as you know we have relationships with both governments we continue to encourage both parties to sit down and have conversations about that and I’ll just I’ll just leave it at that sir yes just one more and that is the Indian Prime Minister a couple of hours ago tweeted that look forward to miss Ivanka Trump presence at Hyderabad but the point is as the leader of the US delegation and as you will hear saying that this is the building that takes care of the diplomatic okay so can you give anything about the US delegation and what kind of compromise those I under I hear you I’m hearing this for the first time that the Prime Minister tweeted this is that right okay uh you know we have a very good relationship with him we enjoyed having him here I in the United States about a month or so ago I just don’t have any travel to give you at this time what I do I will make that available thank you thank you sir last question Afghanistan hi what’s the stand on senator mccain’s Afghanistan she unveiled this morning have you seen this mm-hmm so I’m certainly aware of Senator McCain’s proposal by the way it was great to see Senator McCain back here in Washington just a few weeks ago a very strong and tough man and as someone whose own father experienced the same illness that he had I was really proud to see him walk back into Washington that personal note aside let me just say the Afghan review policy which I know a lot of people are very curious about is still underway there have been a lot of conversations and negotiations with the president’s national security team of course that includes secretary Tillerson as part of that we are looking at this as not just a solution to Afghanistan but also a broader concern that incorporates India and Pakistan as well as a regional solution we just don’t have that plan and by the way the White House will roll out that plan but we just don’t have that done just yet it’s still into review about Senator McCain who’s great to see him back you said right what did you think of his vote on health care I’ll leave that to Senator McCain thanks everybody good to see you welcome back how was France you’ve been in Manila okay I’m all those long European vacations just five weeks everybody how’s everyone doing today okay a little bit of an echo in the room here before we get down to business and I know you have a lot of questions I want to point out we have a group of interns here in the back you know the summertime we have a lot of interns who come in to your companies and into the State Department as well and I just want to recognize them thank you all for being here I understand one of you attends the Naval Academy which one great fantastic go Navy glad to hear it got some family there anyway welcome and I hope you’ve enjoyed your internship and that you’ve been treated well here and that you’ve enjoyed it that’s all I have for that so I’ll just take your questions right now would you like you’re not gonna update us on the ago a conference in Togo let’s start again with North Korea calm the president has just come out of New Jersey and said that perhaps his comments of the other day this is news to you his fire and fury comment from the other day maybe wasn’t strong enough just wondering if you have any comment about that but I understand if you have not heard it heard those comments myself Matt I trust you you’re an excellent reporter you always get it right you know I will say this our position and our policy and our strategy hasn’t changed one bit so does does the secretary speak for believe that he is a part of the national security team that advises the president on national security issues and contributes to making policy I I’m wondering where you’re gonna go with this but yes absolutely without a doubt as you know the secretary the president secretary maddest with the national security council general McMaster they meet frequently they meet often to have conversations about national security issues so then I’m curious about your reaction to some comments that aide to the president made dr. Dworkin to the BBC and when he was asked about the apparent differences in tone between various officials he said you should listen to the president the idea that secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical is the job of secretary maddest secretary of defense to talk about the military options that he’s done so unequivocally that is his mandate secretary Tillerson is the chief diplomat of the United States and his portfolio to handle those issues does the secretary one or does this building agree with comments like that which would seem to suggest that the secretary is this is not the Secretary’s Lane and that you should kind of he should butt out and and and keep his mouth shut on things that relate to the military matters well the secretary as you know he has a close relationship with secretary mattis our secretary secretary Tillerson talks a lot about our diplomatic strategy and our diplomatic policy that has not changed the Secretary has been very robust in that just having returned as we talked about yesterday from the ASEAN conference where he met for three days with a lot of foreign officials as I was coming out here I heard about Sebastian Gorkhas comments I didn’t hear them myself so I don’t want to comment on exactly what he had to say but I can say that I speak for secretary Tillerson and this building our Secretary has been very clear as his secretary mattis that our diplomatic and military means are both strong and capable and in the face of the threats that we face against the DPRK or other nations right but does the Secretary believe that diplomacy that the diplomacy should be combined with the with military options and that to produce a successful result and does he I take it then he can’t he he would reject the suggestion that he doesn’t have any business talking about I would that secretary mattis oversees the US military and he and secretary Tillerson have a good close cooperative relationship and one part of our US government is of course the State Department and we do diplomacy here out of this building secretary Tillerson has not spoken about US military capabilities you all hear me very often from this room when you asked me about US military assets or plans I refer you to DoD the suggestion that was made is that basically the secretary and secretary Tillerson shouldn’t be involved or shouldn’t be listened to as it relates to policy towards North Korea is that is that is that something that you agree with I think that everyone has clearly heard what secretary Teller Sion’s for small forceful comments have been and continue to be on the issue of DPRK and on other countries as well and be paid attention to I think that secretary he’s a fourth in line to the presidency he carries a big stick dr. Gorka is wearing that – exactly I don’t work with dr. with Sebastian Gorka I have known him from a previous life in a previous career but I have not spoken to him about the comments that he made and let me just leave it at that okay all right while we’re on DPRK let’s stick to that I’d like to stick to regions if we can today so any questions on DPRK okay high register and this is in the diplomatic lane talking about China and stop trying to see freedom of navigation China says the recent us primitive navigation operation harms Chinese sovereignty this is an issue in a response that we’ve seen before but do issues like freedom of navigation some of the economic we’re having it’s amazing because I know you’re gonna be watching a couple of them we have a lot of people here today a lot of subjects under discussion including Venezuela including of course North Korea and other things and I think we’re making tremendous headway we’ll be spending quite a bit of time here and then we through the weekend as you know toward the end we go into Manhattan where I have a lot of meetings scheduled in the net any questions occurring that get taken on Tuesday with Nam that’s the work that they use do you have any responses well I don’t think they mean that and I think they first time they’ve heard it like they heard it and frankly the people that were questioning that statement was it too tough maybe it wasn’t tough enough they’ve been doing this in our country for a long time for many years and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries so if anything maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough and we’re backed by a hundred percent by our military we’re backed by everybody and we’re backed by many other leaders and I noticed that many senators and others today came out very much in favor of what I said but if anything that statement may not be tough enough and higher well you’ll see you’ll see right I never do I’m not like the other administration that would say we’re going into Mosul in four months I don’t talk about it we’ll see what happens but I can tell you that what they’ve been doing and what they’ve been getting away with is a tragedy and it can’t be allowed you will always consider negotiations but they’ve been negotiating now for 25 years look at Clinton he folded on the negotiations he was weakened and effective you look what happened with Bush you look what happened with Obama Obama he didn’t want to talk about it but I talk it’s about time somebody has to do it somebody has and just want him to get repeal and replace done I’ve been hearing repeal and replace now for seven years but I’ve only been doing this for two years and I’ve really only been doing this for six months but I’ve been running so now it’s almost two years and I fall I hear his repealed early place and then I get there and I said where’s the bill I want to sign it first day and they don’t happen and they passed repeal and replaced but they never had a president frankly or a Senate that was going to do it but they never had a president so it didn’t matter so I say very simply where is repeal and replace now I want tax reform and tax cuts we’re going to reduce taxes for the people we pay more tax than anybody in the world and we’re going to reduce taxes so I say tax cuts tax reform and I want a very big infrastructure bill where we’re working on that very hard already and we can do that and we may even get bipartisan or an infrastructure but we want to have it but I said Mitch get to work and let’s get it done they should have had this last one done they lost by one vote for a thing like that to happen is if this race it shouldn’t happen that I can tell you it’s in there Marian well I’ll tell you what if he doesn’t get repealed and replaced done and if he doesn’t get taxes done meaning cuts and reform but if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done infrastructure if he doesn’t get them done then you could ask me that question I got nothing ask me the Klan that means ask me that question let’s hope he gets right so why don’t you put the opioid crisis is an emergency and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency it’s a national emergency we’re going to spend a lot of time a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis even we’re going to draw it up and we’re going to make it a national emergency it is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had you know when I was growing up they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs there’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years and I have to say this in all fairness this is a worldwide problem not just the United States problem this is happening worldwide but this is a national emergency and we are drawing documents now to show a test there are no mixed-messages there are no mixed-messages I heard I mean to be honest general mattis may have taken it a step beyond what I said there are no mixed-messages and Rex was just you know stating the view but look here’s the view I said it yesterday I don’t have to say it again and I’ll tell you this it may be tougher than I said it not less it may very well be tougher than I said okay how about one more here and iron very the people of this country should be very comfortable and I will tell you this if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love what we represent or our allies or us they can be very very nervous I’ll tell you what and they should be very nervous because things will happen to them like they never thought possible okay he’s been pushing the world around for a long time and I have great respect for what China and what Russia did and those 15 we got a 15 to nothing vote I have great respect for China and Russia what say I believe that will have an effect I don’t think it will have the kind of effect even though I was the one we were the ones who got it and Nikki Haley’s did a great job we all did a great job but I have great respect for what they did I have great respect for the 15 to nothing but probably it will not be as effective as a lot of people think it can be unfortunate I think China can do a lot more yes China can and I think China will do a lot more look we have trade with China we lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China they know how I feel it’s not going to continue like that but if China helps us I feel a lot differently for trains a lot differently portrait so we will do I think it’s like the people of our country are safe our allies is safe and I will tell you this North Korea better get their act together when they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world okay thank you very much we’re going down to the other side and we will we’re gonna take a few more questions okay I appreciate it we are having a meeting today we’re trying a much larger group than this this is the finals but we discuss many things that one of them obviously was North Korea we discussed Venezuela we discussed Afghanistan and the Middle East generally we had some very good meeting some very good ideas for a good thoughts and a lot of decisions were made this was a very important day actually made a lot of decisions with that if you have any questions yes well we’re getting close we’re getting very close it’s a very big decision for me I took over a mess and we’re gonna make it a lot less messy but that has been a place 17 years our longest Wars I read in one of your columns and frankly it’s it’s going to be a decision that’s gonna be made very soon the UFO confidence and national security yes I do general McMaster absolutely he’s our friend he’s my friend and he’s a very talented man I like him and I respect him so why did you decide to announce the transgender ban reversal a couple of weeks ago are you betraying a community in any place to support your own look I have great respect for the community I think I have great support or I’ve had great support from that community I got a lot of votes but the transgender the military is working on it now they’re doing the work it’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it as you know it’s been a very complicated issue for the military it’s been a very confusing issue for the military and I think I’m doing the military great favor no I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down on payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll there’s no real reason for them to go back so I greatly appreciate the fact that they’ve been able to cut our payroll for the United States it will save a lot of money free Don I thought it was a very very strong signal or whatever I know mr. Madoff would haven’t spoken up in a long time but I know he was with the campaign as you know for a very short period of time relatively short period of time but I’ve always done to be good men I thought it was a very you know they do that very seldom so I was surprised to see it I was very very surprised to see him but we haven’t really been involved excuse me have you spoken to the FBI director about it or though no I have not I have not but to do that early in the morning whether or not it was appropriate you’d have to ask them I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man and he’s like a lot of other people probably makes consultant fees from all over the place who knows I don’t know but I thought that was a very there’s pretty tough stuff mr. president to wake him up perhaps his family was there I think that’s pretty tough stuff this president’s being at the Attorney General of you how would you categorize your relationship currently with attorney general sessions of you guys spoken about some of the differences you’ve had in the past it’s fine if it is what it is it’s fine that he’s working hard on the border I’m very proud of what we’ve done on the border very proud of general Kelly what he’s done on the border what are the reasons he’s my chief of staff right now it’s because he did such an outstanding job at the border we’re down 78% nobody thought that would be I mean in the old days with other administrations if you were down 1% that was considered a big thing we’re down 78% at the border and nobody thought that was possible so very proud of general Kelly he’s now chief of staff at the same time I’m very proud of what we’ve done over the last six months between Supreme Court between tremendous amounts of legislation that’s been passed you know we had 42 to 48 bills passed I’m not talking about just executive orders I’m talking about bills passed we had massive executive orders we got rid of record-setting amounts of regulations and a lot of it is statutory where it’s a 90-day period that you have to wait then it’s another 90-day period you have to wait 30 days much more is coming out and I believe in regulation you have to have some regulations but we’re going to have a small percentage of regulation compared to what we have and I think that’s why you see business enthusiasms the highest has been in 18 years why unemployment is the lowest has been in 18 years and then the unemployment rate just came out the lowest it’s been in 18 years and with that being said we have companies moving into the United States whether it’s Foxconn you saw the two large auto companies moving back probably they’ll go to Michigan but they’re negotiating with various states we have had we have done a lot in a short period of time so I’m very proud of it I think that general Kelly is going to be a fantastic chief of staff however mr. president we are going to look at what’s happening in Asia we’re looking at it right now we’re constantly looking at it I don’t like to signal what I’m going to be doing but we are certainly looking at it and obviously we’re spending a lot of time looking at in particular North Korea and we are preparing for many different alternative events at North Korea if he’s disrespected our country greatly he has said things that are horrific and with me he’s not getting away with it he got away with it for a long time between him and his family he’s not getting away with this a whole new ballgame and he’s not going to be saying those things and he’s certainly not going to be doing those things I read about where in Guam by August 15th let’s see what he does with Guam he does something in Guam it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before what will happen in North Korea you’ll see you’ll see and he’ll sing he will sing is that a dare it’s a statement has nothing to do it there that’s a statement he’s not going to go around threatening Guam and he’s not going to threaten the United States and he’s not going to threaten Japan and he’s not going to threaten South Korea no that’s not a dare as you say that is a statement of fact brotherly talk about the Nuclear Posture these are their yeah nuclear to me number one I would like to denote the world I know that President Obama said global warming is the biggest threat I totally disagree I say that it’s a simple one nuclear is our greatest threat worldwide not even a question not even close so I’d like to de nuke the world I would like Russia and the United States and China and Pakistan and many other countries that have nuclear weapons getting rid of them but until such time as they do we will be the most powerful look of their nation on earth by far the first order I gave to my generals as you know you know my my first order was I want this our nuclear arsenal to be the biggest and the finest in the world and we spent a lot of money a lot of time and a lot of effort and it’s in tip-top shape and getting better and getting stronger and until such time as this scourge disappears we will be so much better and so much stronger than anybody else and nobody including North Korea is going to be threatening us with anything certain what specifically have you changed in the nuclear arsenal and the reason I asked is that a lot of experts yesterday in response to your tweet said that modernizing the Arsenal takes many years it can’t be done in six months it’s a long process that’s only just begun we’ve done a lot of modernization but we’ve done a lot of renovation and we have it now in very very good shape and it will be in much better shape over the next six months to a year it’s a very important thing actually it was the first military is very important to me as you know I did extremely well with the military vote Mike and I but we are my first order was we have to do the military but before we do the military and per say we’re going to do the nuclear and we are in very strong shape we’re going to be increasing our budget by many billions of dollars because of North Korea and other reasons having to do with the anti-missile so we are going to be increasing our budget by many billions of dollars we’ll probably be able to report that over the next week and you know we reduced it by five percent but I’ve decided I don’t want that we’re going to be increasing the anti missiles by a substantial amount of billions of dollars that’s right thank you sure this related stuff on Iran so you give their bid and whether you like they are in compliance or will be in compliance I don’t think Iran is in compliance we wrote them a very tough letter to me as you know to the Congress I personally don’t think they’re in compliance but we have time and we’re going to see we also put down a lot of defaults or potential default situations I don’t think they’re living up to the spirit of the agreement President Obama and his wisdom gave them a hundred and fifty billion dollars he gave them one point eight billion dollars in cash which is that’s a hard one to figure but that was his decision I think it’s a horrible agreement but they are not in compliance with the agreement and they are certainly not in the spirit of the agreement in compliance and I think you’ll see some very strong things taking place if they don’t get themselves in compliance but I do not believe they are in compliance right now there any separate investigations that your yeah sure we’re looking we’re always looking you have two lakes you have the leaks coming out of intelligence and various departments having to do with Syria having to do with all sorts of different places having to do frankly with North Korea and those are very serious and then you have the links where people want to love me and they’re all fighting for love those are not very important but certainly we don’t like them those are little inner White House leaks they’re not very important but actually I’m somewhat honored by them but the important links to me and the leaks that the Attorney General is looking at very strongly while the leaks coming out of intelligence and we have to stop them for the security and the national security of our country no the council bomb New York and no no we’re working with them I mean we have a situation which is very unusual everybody said there’s no collusion now you look at the council’s that come in we have a Senate hearing we have judiciary we have intelligence so we have a House hearing and everybody walks out even the enemies they said no well there’s no collusion there’s no collusion so they’re investigating something that never happened there was no collusion between US and Russia in fact the opposite Russia spent a lot of money on fighting me and if you think about it I want a strong military you see our budget adds up by it will be hundreds of billions of dollars soon our military budget Russia doesn’t like that Hillary was going to cut the budget substantially the military budget Russia is very important for Russia oil oil and gas we are now an exporter because of an incredible six months that I have an exporter of oil and gas that’s bad for Russia I always said I don’t think Russia wants me because I want a strong military and I want low energy prices energy is a disaster low energy prices is a disaster for Russia additionally it seems that Russia has spent a lot of money on that false report and that was Russian money and I think it was Democrat money too you could say that was collision plus the Democrats colluded on the Ukraine so they colluded and then when you get down to it why isn’t the FBI looking at the DNC server you have a server that they refuse the Democrats refused to give to the FBI now I don’t know how the FBI can investigate something if the DNC the Democrats refused to get the server so we have an investigation of something that never took place and all I say is work with them because this is an event that never took place now as far as somebody else where did they file the right papers or did they forget to file a paper you know I guarantee if you went around to look at every that made a speech or whatever these people did that’s up to them did they do something wrong because they didn’t file the right document or whatever perhaps you’ll have to look at them but I guarantee you this probably a lot of people in Washington did the same thing how are you gonna bring them into things like infrastructure Orange well we’ll have to see I’m not sure that we won’t bring them in I mean maybe we’ll bring them in maybe not I think the infrastructure bill will be bipartisan in fact frankly I may have more support from the Democrats I want a very strong infrastructure bill we’ve as of this moment spent over six trillion dollars in the Middle East as far as I’m concerned when I say spent we’ve wasted six trillion dollars in the Middle East and yet we can’t fix our roads and our bridges and our schools and our airports and I think that’s a very sad situation so I’m very strong on infrastructure and a lot of Republicans are but I know a lot of Democrats are also I think that’ll work out I think it’s going to work out very well mr. president you thought thought about considered leading this missile of the special counsel or banging that bomb Miller could we do that you would send you in that direction I haven’t given it any thought I mean I’ve been reading about it from you people you say oh I’m going to dismiss him no I’m not dismissing anybody I mean I want them to get on with the task but I also want the Senate and the house to come out with their findings now judging from the people leaving the meetings leaks but they leave the meetings all the time and they say no we haven’t found any collusion there’s no there is no collision you know why because I don’t speak to Russians look I won because I suppose I was a much better candidate than her I won because I went to Wisconsin I went to Michigan I won Pennsylvania I fought a smart battle that’s why when I didn’t win because of Russia Russia had nothing to do with me winning the thing that we had a great team and I guess I did a good job and you know what honestly they spent much more money than I did by a lot you know that they spent a lot more money and honestly they did not do a very good job of campaigning senator Senate Leader McConnell we talked about you talked about him outside a little bit earlier but have you reached out to him since your phone call yesterday no and have you given any consideration to asking his wife your transportation secretary to help bridge whatever Elaine is doing a very good job we’re very proud of Elena’s Secretary of Transportation as you know as you said Mitch’s wife she’s doing a very very good job I’m very disappointed in Mitch but if he gets these bills passed I’ll be very happy with it might be the first to admit it but honestly repeal and replace of Obamacare should have taken place and it should have been on my desk virtually the first week that I was there the first day that I was they’ve been hearing about it for seven years so repeal and replace should have taken place the tax bill tax cuts tax reform hopefully they get that done I hope they get it done and the other thing would be the infrastructure bill in addition to that you know we’ve passed a lot of things we passed accountability with the VA we passed all that we’re doing a lot of great work at the VA and we’re doing a lot of great work all over you look at what’s happening with the coal industry where they’re putting on I mean I looked at West Virginia the other day I was in West Virginia making a speech and they are doing great as a state the great governor of West Virginia Jim who you saw he just became a Republican he left his first time in many many years that a thing like that’s happened he just left the Democratic Party and he became a Republican which was a great moment hasn’t happened in many years so we’re very very happy with what’s happened we think it’s been an incredible six months we’ve done you know a lot of record-setting business it’s incredible you look at what’s going on with the economy and you know to me very important you look at the enthusiasm of businesses you look at companies moving back in you just saw on Friday the two big car companies that are coming in you saw last week Foxconn they make the Apple iPhones they make all of the desktop they make they’re the biggest in the world they’re coming into Wisconsin with an unbelievable plant like we’ve never seen before and I actually said to Tim Cook of Apple I said you know Tim I won’t consider myself successful as president unless I see you start building those big beautiful plants that you have all over China you start building them in the United States and he’s going to do that should we trust the intelligence now we’re giving you buy more threes well you know it’s different intelligence I have Mike Pompeo I have great confidence in him that doesn’t mean I had confidence in his predecessor okay which I didn’t actually although although he did say good things about me he did say he had no information or know anything on collusion so I shouldn’t make me say that but I will say but I have tremendous confidence in Mike Pompeo dan coates fantastic I mean we have we have people I think your new head of the FBI is going to be I think I’ve done a great service for this country I think that Christopher will do a fantastic job as the head of the FBI so look I have nobody has greater respect for intelligence than Donald Trump but you have to have the right leaders I think we have great leaders right now and you know you can look at the intelligence over the years it was intelligence that got people to make the one of the worst decisions ever made in the history of our country going into Iraq because they said there were no weapons you know you look at it it ended up being there were no weapons of mass destruction they said we listen to them weapons of mass destruction were all over the place but they were not there that was intelligence I have great respect for intelligence as led by the people that I have in charge now we have great people and I think I think it’s gonna lead us to tremendous victories and that’s what we need so that intelligence telling me a lot of things but well you’ll probably find out about it before anybody else right well with you with your leaks we got to stop the leaks the leaks are very dangerous for our country but now I have great respect for the intelligence community and I think with the leadership we have right now hopefully it’ll be a very very successful eight years for this country and then after that we’ll continue onward but we have a lot of things we have to straighten down you have Middle East you have North Korea we have a lot of places of tremendous conflict and tremendous danger for this country I will say getting the 15 to nothing vote at the United Nations from the Security Council the other day that’s something that very few presidents would have been able to get and I have great respect for the fact that China and Russia went along with it that was a tremendous day for the United States I think you’ll have a strong impact on North Korea or no that’ll be the end all but I think it’ll be a very very much we appreciate it we are having a meeting today we actually had a much larger group than this this is the finals but we discuss many things that one of them obviously was North Korea we discussed Venezuela we discussed Afghanistan and the Middle East generally we had some very good meeting some very good ideas for a good thoughts and a lot of decisions were made this was a very important day actually made a lot of decisions with that if you have any questions yes well we’re getting close we’re getting very close it’s a very big decision for me I took over a mess and we’re gonna make it a lot less messy but that has been a place 17 years our longest Wars I read in one of your columns and frankly it’s it’s going to be a decision that’s gonna be made very soon the UFO confidence and national security yes I do general McMaster absolutely he’s our friend he’s my friend and he’s a very talented man I like him and I respect him why did you decide to announce the transgender evangelist Oh a couple of weeks ago are you betraying a community in any place to support your own look I have great respect for the community I think I have great support or I’ve had great support from that community I got a lot of votes but the transgender the military is working on it now they’re doing the work it’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it as you know it’s been a very complicated issue for the military it’s been a very confusing issue for the military and I think I’m doing the military great favor no I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down on payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll there’s no real reason for them to go back so I greatly appreciate the fact that they’ve been able to cut our payroll for the United States it will save a lot of money free Don I thought it was a very very strong signal or whatever I know mr. Madoff would haven’t spoken in a long time but I know he was with the campaign as you know for a very short period of time relatively short period of time but I’ve always done to be good men I thought it was a very you know they do that very seldom so I was surprised to see it I was very very surprised to see him but we haven’t really been involved excuse me have you spoken to the FBI director about it or though no I have not I have not but to do that early in the morning whether or not it was appropriate you’d have to ask them I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man and he’s like a lot of other people probably makes consultant fees from all over the place who knows I don’t know but I thought that was a very pretty tough stuff mr. wake him up perhaps his family was there I think that’s pretty tough stuff this president’s being at the Attorney General of you how would you categorize your relationship currently with attorney general sessions have you guys spoken about some of the differences you hassed it’s not if it is what it is it’s fine that he’s working hard on the border I’m very proud of what we’ve done on the border very proud of general Kelly what he’s done on the border what other reasons he’s my chief of staff right now is because he did such an outstanding job at the border we’re down 78% nobody thought that would be amended the old days with other administrations if you were down 1% that was considered a big thing we’re down 78% at the border and nobody thought that was possible so very proud of general Kelly he’s now chief of staff at the same time I’m very proud of what we’ve done over the last six months between Supreme Court between tremendous amounts of legislation that’s been passed you know we had 42 to 48 bills passed I’m not talking about just executive orders I’m talking about bills passed we had massive executive orders we got rid of record-setting amounts of regulations and a lot of it is statutory where it’s a 90-day period that you have to wait then it’s another 90-day period you have to wait 30 days much more is coming out and I believe in regulation you have to have some regulations but we’re going to have a small percentage of regulation compared to what we have and I think that’s why you see business enthusiasms the highest has been in 18 years why unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 18 years and then the unemployment rate just came out the lowest it’s been in 18 years and with that being said we have companies moving into the United States whether it’s Foxconn you saw the two large auto companies moving back probably they’ll go to Michigan but they’re negotiating with various states we have had we have done a lot in a short period of time so I’m very proud of it I think that general Kelly is going to be a fantastic chief of staff however mr. president eager to increase we are going to look at what’s happening in Asia we’re looking at it right now we’re constantly looking at it I don’t like to signal what I’m going to be doing but we are certainly looking at it and obviously we’re spending a lot of time looking at in particular North Korea and we are preparing for many different alternative events at North Korea if he’s disrespected our country greatly he has said things that are horrific and with me he’s not getting away with it he got away with it for a long time between him and his family he’s not getting away with it’s a whole new ballgame and he’s not going to be saying those things and he’s certainly not going to be doing those things I read about where in Guam by August 15th let’s see what he does with Guam he does something in Guam it will be an event the likes of which nobody’s seen before what will happen in North Korea and we you’ll see you’ll see and he’ll see he will see is that a dare it’s a statement has nothing to do with their that’s a statement he’s not going to go around threatening Guam and he’s not going to threaten the United States and he’s not going to threaten Japan and he’s not going to threaten South Korea no that’s not a dare as you say that is a statement of fact his brother talked about the Nuclear Posture these are their yeah nuclear to me number one I would like to denote the world I know that President Obama said global warming is the biggest threat I totally disagree I say that it’s a simple one nuclear is our greatest threat worldwide not even a question not even close so I’d like to de nuke the world I would like Russia and the United States and China and Pakistan and many other countries that have nuclear weapons get rid of them but until such time as they do we will be the most powerful nuclear nation on earth by far the first order I gave to my generals as you know you know my my first order was I want this our nuclear arsenal to be the biggest and the finest in the world and we spent a lot of money a lot of time and a lot of effort and it’s in tip-top shape and getting better and getting stronger and until such time as this scourge disappears we will be so much better and so much stronger than anybody else and nobody including North Korea is going to be threatening us with anything certain what specifically have you changed in the nuclear arsenal and the reason I asked is that a lot of experts yesterday in response to your tweet said that modernizing the arsenal takes many years it can’t be done in six months it’s a long process that’s only just begun we’ve done a lot of modernization but we’ve done a lot of renovation and we have it now in very very good shape and it will be in much better shape over the next six months to a year it’s a very important thing actually it was the first military is very important to me as you know I did extremely well with the military vote Mike and I but we are my first order was we have to do the military but before we do the military and per say we’re going to do the nuclear and we are in very strong shape we’re going to be increasing our budget by many billions of dollars because of North Korea and other reasons having to do with the anti-missile so we are going to be increasing our budget by many billions of dollars we’ll probably be able to report that over the next week and you know we reduced it by five percent but I’ve decided I don’t want that we’re going to be increasing the anti missiles by a substantial amount of billions of dollars it’s really thank you sure this related stuff on Iran so you give me the rib and whether you like they are in compliance or will be in compliance I don’t think Iran is in compliance we wrote them a very tough letter to me as you know to the Congress I personally don’t think they’re in compliance but we have time and we’re going to see we also put down a lot of defaults or potential default situations I don’t think they’re living up to the spirit of the agreement President Obama and his wisdom gave them a hundred and fifty billion dollars he gave them 1.8 billion dollars in cash which is that’s a hard one to figure but that was his decision I think it’s a horrible agreement but they are not in compliance with the agreement and they are certainly not in the spirit of the agreement in compliance and I think you’ll see some very strong things taking place if they don’t get themselves in compliance but I do not believe they are in compliance right now is there any separate investigation that your yeah sure we’re looking we’re always looking you have two likes you have the leaks coming out of intelligence and various departments having to do with Syria having to do with all sorts of different places having to do frankly with North Korea and those are very serious and then you have the leaks where people want to love me and they’re all fighting for love those are not very important but certainly we don’t like them those are little inner White House leaks they’re not very important but actually I’m somewhat honored by them but the important links to me and the leaks that the Attorney General is looking at very strongly are the leaks coming out of intelligence and we have to stop them for the security and the national security of our country we have to know the council about New York and about what those no not nothing we’re working with them I mean we have a situation which is very unusual everybody said there’s no collusion now you look at the council’s they come in we have a Senate hearing we have judiciary we have intelligence that we have a house hearing and everybody walks out even the enemies they said no well there’s no collusion there’s no collusion so they’re investigating something that never happened there was no collusion between US and Russia in fact the opposite Russia spent a lot of money on fighting me and if you think about it I want a strong military you see our budget adds up by it will be hundreds of billions of dollars soon our military budget Russia doesn’t like that Hillary was going to cut the budget substantially the military budget Russia is very important for Russia oil oil I guess we are now an exporter because of an incredible six months that I have an exporter of oil and gas that’s bad for Russia I always said I don’t think Russia wants me because I want a strong military and I want low energy prices energy is a disaster low energy prices is a disaster for Russia additionally it seems that Russia has spent a lot of money on that false report and that was Russian money and I think it was Democrat money too you could say that was collision plus the Democrats colluded for the Ukraine so they colluded and then when you get down to it why isn’t the FBI looking at the DNC server you have a server that they refuse the Democrats refused to give to the FBI now I don’t know how the FBI can investigate something if the DNC the Democrats refused to give the server so we have an investigation of something that never took place and all I say is work with them because this is an event that never took place now as far as somebody else where did they file the right papers or did they forget to file a paper you know I guarantee if you went around to look at everybody that made a speech or whatever these people did that’s up to them did they do something wrong because they didn’t file the right document or whatever perhaps you’ll have to look at them but I guarantee you this probably a lot of people in Washington did the same thing how are you gonna bring them you know things like infrastructure or well we’ll have to see I’m not sure that we will bring them in I mean maybe we’ll bring them in maybe not I think the infrastructure bill will be bipartisan in fact frankly I may have more support from the Democrats I want a very strong infrastructure bill we’ve as of this moment spent over six trillion dollars in the Middle East as far as I’m concerned when I say spent we’ve wasted six trillion dollars in the Middle East and yet we can’t fix our roads and our bridges and our schools and our airports and I think that’s a very sad situation so I’m very strong on infrastructure and a lot of Republicans but I know a lot of Democrats are also I think that’ll work out I think it’s going to work out very well mr. president you thought thought about considered leading the dismissal of the special counsel or banging that Bob Miller could do that you would send you in that direction I haven’t given it any thought I mean I’ve been reading about it from you people you say oh I’m going to dismiss him no I’m not dismissing anybody I mean I want them to get on with the task but I also want the Senate and the house to come out with their findings now judging from the people leaving the meetings leaks but they leave the meetings all the time and they say no we haven’t found any collusion there’s no there is no collision you know why because I don’t speak to Russians look I won because I suppose I was a much better candidate than her I won because I went to Wisconsin I went to Michigan I won Pennsylvania I fought a smart Battlement because of Russia Russia had nothing to do with me winning the thing that we had a great team and I guess I did a good job and you know what honestly they spent much more money than I did by a lot you know that they spent a lot more money and honestly they did not do a very good job of campaigning and one more question about Senator Bennet Lederman we talked about you talked about him outside a little bit earlier but have you reached out to him since your phone call yesterday no and have you given any consideration to asking his wife your transportation secretary to help bridge whatever Elaine is doing a very good job we’re very proud of Elena’s Secretary of Transportation as you know as you said Mitch’s wife she’s doing a very very good job I’m very disappointed in Mitch but if he gets these bills passed I’ll be very happy with it it might be the first to admit it but honestly repeal and replace of Obamacare should have taken place and it should have been on my desk virtually the first week that I was there the first day that I was there been hearing about it for seven years so repeal and replace should have taken place the tax bill tax cuts tax reform hopefully they get that done I hope they get it done and the other thing would be the infrastructure bill in addition to that you know we’ve passed a lot of things we passed accountability with the VA we passed all that we’re doing a lot of great work at the VA and we’re doing a lot of great work all over you look at what’s happening with the coal industry where they’re putting on I mean I looked at West Virginia the other day I was in West Virginia making a speech and they are doing great as a state the great governor of West Virginia Jim who you saw he just became a Republican he left his first time in many many years that a thing like that’s happened he just left the Democratic Party and he became a Republican which was a great moment hasn’t happened in many years so we’re very very happy with what’s happened we think it’s been an incredible six months we’ve done you know a lot of record-setting business it’s incredible you look at what’s going on with the economy and you know to me very important you look at the enthusiasm of businesses you look at companies moving back in you just saw on Friday the two big car companies that are coming in you saw last week Foxconn they make the Apple iPhones they make all of the desktop they make they’re the biggest in the world they’re coming into Wisconsin with an unbelievable plant like we’ve never seen before and I actually said to Tim Cook of Apple I said you know Tim I won’t consider myself successful as president or I see you start building those big beautiful plants that you have all over China you start building them in the United States and he’s going to do that should we trust the intelligence now we’re giving you buddy worth three well you know it’s different intelligence I have Mike Pompeo I have great confidence in him that doesn’t mean I had confidence in his predecessor okay which I didn’t actually well no although he did say good things about me he did say he had no information or know anything on collusion so I shouldn’t make me say that but I will say but I have tremendous confidence in Mike Pompeo dan coates fantastic I mean we have we have people I think your new head of the FBI is going to be I think I’ve done a great service for this country I think that Christopher will do a fantastic job as the head of the FBI so look I have nobody has greater respect for intelligence than Donald Trump but you have to have the right leaders I think we have great leaders right now and you know you can look at the intelligence over the years it was intelligence that got people to make the one of the worst decisions ever made in the history of our country going into Iraq because they said there were no weapons you know you look at it it ended up being there were no weapons of mass destruction they said we listen to them weapons of mass destruction were all over the place but they were not there that was intelligence I have great respect for intelligence as led by the people that I have in charge now we have great people and I think I think it’s gonna lead us to tremendous victories and that’s what we need so that intelligence telling me a lot of things but well you’ll probably find out about it before anybody else right well with you with your leaks we got to stop the leaks the leaks are very dangerous for our country but now I have great respect for the intelligence community and I think with the leadership we have right now hopefully it’ll be a very very successful eight years for this country and then after that we’ll continue onward but we have a lot of things we have to straighten out you have Middle East you have North Korea we have a lot of places of tremendous conflict and tremendous danger for this you

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