tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN August 9, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
this morning on twitter the president saying that discussions are underway regarding some form of gun control, but for now that's all there is. no promises of legislation or even a vote on legislation. of course the president has backed off on similar promises before. the president also facing criticism this morning after he was seen bragging about crowd sizes, this inside the texas hospital where shooting victims were still being treated. that was supposed to be the function of this visit there. the president's own aides are now conceding that his visits to the two cities in mourning, dayton, ohio, el paso, texas, did not go as planned. cnn's senior washington correspondent joe johns is live at the white house. really the question here, joe, is the president serious when he tweets about the possibility of genuine gun control measures when he has said similar things in the past and always backed off? >> that's right, and impossible to predict what the president is going to do.
it is interesting that he sort of dug in just a little bit more on the issue of background checks on twitter this morning. also, announcing for the public that there were serious discussions going on about how to handle this current situation regarding firearms. as a matter of fact, we do know that the president has called mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, the democratic leader chuck schumer, as well as the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, and he's also talked to the national rifle association. the president also tweeting this morning about the national rifle association, essentially saying there is really no one who is a bigger supporter of the second amendment as far as gun rights go than he, the president of the united states, and saying that everybody has to come together for the good of the country, essentially to do something. so those are the parameters. we await hearing what the president says on video in that conversation ongoing with reporters on the south lawn to
find out how far he will go on this issue of background checks. meanwhile, jim, as you mentioned, that other issue of the video from the president's visits when he went out to console the victims and the communities over those mass shootings in dayton and el paso, you know, many administrations have tried very hard to control the tone of the president's visit and in this case a message may have gotten out there that they didn't really want to send. just take a look at some of this. >> that was some crowd. and we had twice the number outside. this crazy beto, he had like 400 people. >> i think the important thing obviously is to try to keep politics out of the soconsolati of people who have been through a tragedy. it will be interesting to see how the president responds to that. >> just focus on the victims for
a moment. that's the remarkable thing here. joe johns, thanks very much. senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, says that certainly gun control measures are important, even used the word urgent. but apparently they can wait. leader mcconnell is refusing to bring the senate back for a vote, back from its august recess. this is what some democrats are demanding. join us now is cnn congressional correspondent. the real question here is will mitch mcconnell allow these measures to get to the senate floor, and it seems that the test for him is whether the president comes out to back these measures. is that right? >> absolutely, jim. and certainly on capitol hill we've seen that dynamic before where president trump is, as always, the wild card in these negotiations and republicans up here, especially senate republicans, they need to hear from president trump what exactly he is in support of, what proposal. and put his full weight and full support behind that. and that, so far, is still a
question mark, not knowing exactly what president trump wants and what he would endorse. now, certainly the democrats have been pushing hard for president trump and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to call back the senate to get to work on some of these issues. that was something that pelosi and schumer reiterated in a phone call yesterday with president trump. but mitch mcconnell has said he will not call the senate back, but he did show some new willingness and openness to at least having discussions on the proposals on the table, including the red flag laws and the background checks bills. there are certainly many proposals. but important to note that he did not endorse any, he did not make promises to bring those pieces of legislation to the floor for a vote. here's what he said in a radio interview thursday. >> there's also been some discussion about background checks. that's an issue that's been around for a while. a lot of support for that. and there's a bipartisan bill in the senate. pat tomby of pennsylvania, a republican.
those are two items that for sure will be front and center as we see what we can come together on and pass. >> reporter: now, shortly after mcconnell said that, the nra came out with a news statement basically indicating that their stance is unchanged and they know that they have certainly been against background checks and red flag laws before. so certainly heading into the fall session of congress, and again there's no indication the senate will come back before then, a big question is what will president trump get behind and certainly the political climate and dynamics at that point, now a month out from now, jim, could be completely changed. >> sunlen, we know you're going to be on top of it. let's bring in new york times national political correspondent and senior white house correspondent for bloomberg. thanks to both of you. margaret, you've covered this white house for a long time. here are the forces aligned. you have democrats and even some republicans and you have mitch
mcconnell raising the idea of bringing some of these measures up. the president even talking about this on twitter at least. on the other side, you have wayne lapierre of the nra telling him this will hurt him with his base. the president's reelection strategy is a base strategy. which force wins out? >> jim, i think part of the reason why mitch mcconnell is in no hurry to bring the senate back until september is because they are still calculating which force should win out and how these different forces are pulling them in two completely opposite directions. so there is clearly mounting frustration and concern across the country, but there is also a very real political consideration, both for the president and some of the states where he's had the key support. but for the senate, for senators running for reelection during a crucial year. so i think the dynamic on gun control is changing. the question is, is it changing in time for the 2020 elections.
and for mcconnell, there's an understanding -- even some of mcconnell's advisers are telling him you need to think about doing something and take this seriously. but does taking it seriously translate to action and a vote or does it translate to we will have a discussion in september? >> earlier in the week politico had a story that on the house side many republicans are willing to go down the bath of universal background checks, red flag laws, but needed the president's cover, needed his leadership to give them cover because of course they're concerned about being primaried out. now we have mitch mcconnell saying i'll take it out, but if it's something that the president will support. so it's up to the president, is it not? and do you see him feeling the political dynamic here to lead him to take action? >> jim, there's no question that republicans are looking to the president to show leadership here, because in part of the
results of the 2018 elections where most moderate republicans or relatively moderate republicans from the more suburban parts of the country where gun control is very popular were defeated. the remaining republicans in the house and the critical mass of the republicans in the senate comes from parts of the country where background checks, they pool fine but gun control remains very unpopular, even in a moment of a national crisis like this. and republicans see the president as an absolutely necessary ingredient to offsetting the reservations on the right. the problem is we've seen this dynamic a number of times already, going back not just to the previous gun debates, but if you think of the debate over obamacare, other legislative initiatives of this presidency, republicans have so many times seen the president go out there and endorse something in concept or speak favorably about something as an idea, and then in a matter of days or even hours flip back, depending on who he spoke to last or what
he's seeing from fox news. >> to that point, alex and margaret, this is a president after parkland talking about the nra. have a listen. i want to get your reaction. i'll have to quote it for you. after parkland, he convened senate republicans and others in the white house -- now we have the sound. let's have a listen. >> i'm a big fan of the nra. these are great people and patriots. they love our country. but that doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. it doesn't make sense that i have to wait until i'm 21 to get a handgun but i can get this weapon at 18. so i was just curious as to what you did in your bill. >> we didn't address it, mr. president. >> because you're afraid of the nra. >> who else is afraid of the nra, margaret? >> so you can see even in the tweet this morning from the president where he's saying he's going to talk to a variety of stake holders, including the nra
to get their very important views. there's two ways to read that. he's either telling the nra brace yourselves, i'm getting ready to get behind gun control, or he's signaling that he's going to talk to the nra. we don't know until it happens. that's part of the strategic challenge for mcconnell and the senate republicans who feel that they want to do something on background checks, is the president going to hold their hand the whole way or are they going to get out in front and he takes two steps back. so that is part of the reason why it's been difficult to advance something that seems like a fairly moderate step. but the other part of the reason is that i think many of the republicans in office themselves are not sure, president aside, whether they will then face the primary challenge or in fact whether this legislation will accomplish what they want it to. >> alex, on another issue here, i was down in el paso, i was down in dayton this week. the level of emotion and pain and hurt and frustration very
high. so the president goes and visits, and one, does not allow reporters in with him. two, in el paso, those victims still being treated would not meet with the president. three, when the president does go to the el paso medical center where they were being treated, listen to what he seemed to focus on and then i want to get your reaction. >> look at this group of people. can you believe this? i was here three months ago, we made a speech and -- what was the name of the arena? >> the coliseum. >> that was some crowd. and we had twice the number outside. and then you had this crazy beto. beto had like 400 people in a parking lot. >> alex, even members of the white house staff are saying this morning to my colleagues that this visit to el paso did not go well. >> no, it didn't. and the role the president has played over the last couple of days has been one of essentially abandoning the tone of unity and
the role of consolation that americans typically expect from their president. and jim, it's not just sort of political folks in washington who i hear this from. when you're out in the country going back really to the relatively early days of the trump presidency, even people who voted for him and voted for republicans in the midterms and will probably vote for him again in 2020, talk about just feeling like he doesn't act the way they think a president ought to back act. often people talk about his tweets, that i wish he would stay off twitter. but this is much more vivid than that. >> thanks very much. wish you both a good weekend. right now president trump is speaking to reporters on the white house lawn on his way to vacation. we're going to bring you those remarks the moment we have them. that will be shortly. plus, with the country on edge after three mass shootings in a single week, a man walks into a walmart with a rifle and body armor and a number of rounds. the question now is why. imagine the panic there. and communities living in fear. children still without their parents following i.c.e. raids,
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selling guns in the wake of last weekend's shooting in el paso. this week the retail giant announced it would be removing violent video game promotions from its stores, but did not commit to stop selling firearms. it's big business for walmart. m.j. lee joins me now. following parkland dick's sporting goods took a step. is there any possibility that walmart will go this far? >> we haven't heard from the company about warren's specific tweets, but this is a big message from the presidential candidate, calling on the giant retailer to stop selling guns just days after a mass shooting took place inside of a walmart in el paso that eventually murdered more than 20 people. i just want to read a part of the tweet that warren just put out a few minutes ago. we writes companies that sell guns have a responsibility to the safety of their communities. walmart is one of the largest gun retailers in the world. the weapons they sell are killing their own customers and
employees. no profit is worth those lives. do the right thing. stop selling guns. jim, i thought it was interesting that in a series of tweets warren actually pointed to cvs, the pharmacy chain as an example of a company that did right by the health and safety of their customers. she's referring to of course their decision a few years ago to stop selling tobacco products. now, as you said, walmart has taken some steps in the aftermath of the shooting in el paso, including not displaying images of violent video games, but they are continuing to sell those video games and most importantly, they are still continuing to sell guns. and this weekend, jim, we should expect to see a very robust discussion about gun violence and the issue of gun control taking place among the 2020 democratic candidates who are going to be gathering in iowa for the every town begun safety forum. and the warren campaign says we should expect to see a full gun
violence and gun control plan from the candidate ahead of tomorrow's forum. jim. >> there's customer pressure to do the same thing. m.j. lee, thanks very much. stay with us. the president speaking with reporters on the white house lawn. we'll have the tape shortly. we'll be right back. when i walked through a snowstorm for a cigarette, that's when i knew i had to quit. for real this time. that's why i'm using nicorette. only nicorette gum has patented dual-coated technology for great taste. plus intense craving relief. every great why, needs a great how. you'when you barely the clip a passing car. minor accident -no big deal, right? wrong. your insurance company is gonna raise your rate after the other car got a scratch so small you coulda fixed it with a pen. maybe you should take that pen and use it to sign up
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the white house for his vacation. joe johns is at the white house. joe, the president seems to have made some news both about gun control and north korea. >> reporter: that is true. from what we can tell the president did say in his view there was tremendous support for gun control for some type of regulation relating to sensible background checks, which is something we've heard before out of the president. however, perhaps this is different because, as you know, the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, has signaled that he, too, is interested in going forward with something, or at least trying to. the other thing i have to say very important about gun control, is as i can hear the president's helicopter taking off right now, the next question after the president says there's tremendous support for gun control, is, mr. president, what about the national rifle association? because they are the people so far who seem just a little bit reluctant, and have always been reluctant, if you will, on
issues of gun control. so talking to insiders there, of course there's a real question as to whether they're going to support anything that we've heard about on capitol hill. now, on the issue of north korea, the president also said that he has received a beautiful letter from kim jong-un, that of course is the north korean dictator, the leader and this comes right after kim jong-un has overseen or supervised the launch of a number of short-range missiles. so the question is whether the president can once again try to go back down that road that so far has been unsuccessful in working with kim jong-un, because the united states' position, in fact it's goal is to try to get north korea to denud denuclearize. >> that was the administration's own stance for success at the
beginning of the negotiations. are white house sources telling you, joe, that there is an effort in the white house right now to come up with measures, gun control measures, or are they just waiting for the president to make up his mind? >> anybody's guess. as you know, there has been talk over the last 24 hours about the possibility of some type of executive action coming out of the white house. the question is just how far can the president go. certainly he could do something with regard to background checks, simply because that would involve the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, presumably. but some of the other measures we've heard of like the red flag laws that states have enacted, that is outside the federal purview. so not clear how far the president can go down that road. it does sound from his tweets, however, this morning, jim, if you read them carefully, that the president right now is putting his money on capitol hill because of his conversations with mitch mcconnell that we know occurred,
and with nancy pelosi, as well as chuck schumer. he clearly appears to be hoping that there's some type of congressional resolution on the issue of gun regulations, jim. >> well, each chamber, each branch seems to want to put the onus on the other branch. joe johns, thanks so much. we'll be right back. the president's comments, we're going to have them live here on cnn in just moments, speaking about a number of issues, including the crucial question of gun control. we'll be right back. [leaf blower] you should be mad at leaf blowers. [beep] you should be mad your neighbor always wants to hang out. and you should be mad your smart fridge is unnecessarily complicated.
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. welcome back. just in to cnn, the president speaking to reporters on his departure for vacation. he spoke on gun control. he said in his words there is tremendous support for sensible background checks. he says that there would be a good package of measures for congress to consider when it comes back from recess. again, not saying that they should interrupt their recess to consider these. but he also says he has a great relationship with the nra. in addition to that, some news, he says he got a new letter from the north korean leader kim jong-un. let's bring in "new york times" political correspondent, as well as senior correspondent from bloomberg news. also with us from des moines, senior washington correspondent, jeff zeleny. jeff, tell me out here, because these are opposing contradictory forces. the president says tremendous support for sensible background checks. the president was just told by
the nra's president, wayne lapierre that his base will not like background checks. the president is running for reelection on a base strategy. how does he square that circle? >> jim, there's no question that the president has talked a lot about guns. you didn't hear a lot of urgency in his marks this morning, not saying that the senate should come back early. but one big wild card in this long-running gun debate, we have seen this play out in washington shooting after shooting, a different equation is donald trump. if he would make the decision to essentially order or implore mitch mcconnell to call something up for a vote, then it would indeed happen. there are some republicans, some supporters of president trump, who wish in fact he would do that. they believe politically speaking, it could be beneficial to him. now, will he do that? the answer, probably is no. but it is an open question. he certainly has kept an open mind after parkland to doing something on guns and then he didn't do it. so it is that friendship with
the nra that has constrained anything here. but donald trump again, he is the wild card and the different leader in this moment. he could do something. we'll see if he does. >> it's a big question. and as you said, after parkland there was a lot of excitement. the president even accused senate republicans of being afraid of the nra. but the president also pulled back. >> margaret, i said you were with bloomberg news. i know you have a new job. you cover washington here. the other bit of news from this, the president says he got a new letter from the north korean leader, kim jong-un. this of course in the last couple of weeks, north korea has three times tested missiles. it's made no progress, no concessions on dismantling its nuclear program. where is the trump policy on north korea right now? >> president trump has sort of painted himself into a corner because he has placed such an emphasis on his personal relationship with kim and has
spent a lot of time kind of pushing back on the criticism that kim hadn't done enough to earn sort of that joint visit to the dmz, the president's step into north korea. and now kim is testing the president much in the same way that the president stress tests institutions in the u.s., kim is trying to see how much space he can get and the president is in a little bit of a bind about it. there is a difference between the sort of testing -- there's sort of a range of tests and actions that kim could do. but nevertheless, the president is in a bit of an awkward position here. >> understood. and listen, three visits in fact, three sum its with the north korean leader, no progress. this is the president speaking to reporters just moments ago on the white house lawn on his way to vacation. let's have a listen with the president. >> we're doing well with china. we're talking to china. we're not ready to make a deal, but we'll see what happens. but we've been hurt by china for
25, 30 years. nobody has done anything about it. and we have no choice but to do what we're doing. it's working out very well, as you know. we called them on manipulation and they brought their numbers back and they brought them back rapidly and they were able to do that because they manipulate. it's called monetary manipulation. not good. but what happened and what's happening with china now, we have an open dialogue. we'll see whether or not they keep our meeting in september. if we do, that's fine. if we don't, that's fine. but it's time that somebody does what we're doing. and i said the american taxpayer is not paying for it. we had a big day in the stock market yesterday but the american taxpayer is not paying for it. what china is doing is by depressing their currency and pouring tremendous amounts of money into their system, they're paying for it.
the prices have not gone up. in fact, in some cases they've gone down because the devaluation, plus the money supply, the amount of money that they pour in, which is a form of manipulation, has more than compensated for an increase in price. so as i said and everybody questioned it, in the case of china, the tariffs have been amazing. we're taking in billions and billions of dollars. now, china has had their worst year in 35 years now. it wasn't 26 years but now it's in 35 years. i want them to do well, but as of this moment they're having the worst year that they've had in many, many years, in decades. and really we're just bringing the system back into order. we have all the cards. we're doing well. our country is doing fantastically well. you look at europe, they've got problems. the biggest problem we have is the fact that a lot of other
kont nents frankly, but the lot of other countries are not doing well. but we're doing great and we continue to do great. our companies are poised. they have a lot of cash. our system is beautiful. >> the nra has been a strong supporter. [ inaudible ] >> i think i could, but i don't think i'll be there. i have a great relationship with the nra. they supported me very early and that's been a great decision they made. we have justice cavanaugh, we have justice gorsuch and they feel very strongly about the second amendment. the nra has made a great decision in supporting me and nobody else would have won aside from everything else. i have a very good relationship. i'll change it. i have a great relationship with the nra. i have a lot of respect for the people at the nra and i have already spoken to them on
numerous occasions and, frankly, we need intelligent background checks. this isn't a question of nra, republican or democrat. i will tell you i spoke to mitch mcconnell yesterday. he's totally on board. he said i've been waiting for your call. he is totally on board. i spoke to senators that in some cases, friends of mine, but pretty hard-lined senators. and when i say that, i say that in a positive way. hard-lined on the second amendment. and they understand. we don't want insane people, mentally ill people, bad people, dangerous people, we don't want guns in the hands of the wrong people. i think that the republicans are going to be great and lead the charge, along with the democrats. i spoke yesterday to nancy pelosi. we had a great talk. i spoke to chuck schumer, we had
a great talk. and chuck schumer in particular loves my china policy, as you probably know. i said i can't believe it, you actually like something that i'm doing. >> he said not like, love. so chuck schumer is great on a china situation, which we are winning and winning big. and china wants to do something, but i'm not willing to do anything yesterday. 25 years of abuse, i'm not ready so fast. we'll see how that works out. but on the background checks, on background checks, we have tremendous support for really common sense, sensible, important background checks. go ahead. [ inaudible question ] >> time goes by. i don't think i'm different, but i think the senate is different. i think other people in the house are different. i think that people that maybe
had their arm up a couple often years ago, maybe they feel differently. i don't think i feel any differently. i think with a lot of success that we have, i think i have a greater influence now over the senate and over the house. i think we can get something really good done. i think we can have some really meaningful background checks. we don't want people that are mentally ill, people that are sick, we don't want them having guns. who does? [ inaudible question ] >> we'll see where the nra will be. but we have to have meaningful background checks. you know, in both cases, it's possible they wouldn't have been caught. but in the one case we also have to talk about age. because he did things that were very, very bad in ohio, in dayton. he did some things that were really bad. his school knew about it. when he turned 18, everything
was expunged. we're going to have to get rid of that, because you can't have that barrier. if they would nt have had that barrier, they would have been able to see. because he was a minor, it was expunged. we're going to have to get rid of that barrier. i think a lot of really meaningful things on background checks will take place, including red flags, and including a lot of other very, very important items. the republicans are looking at it very seriously and i really believe that the nra -- i've spoken to them numerous times. they're really good people. they're great patriots. they love our country. they love our country so much. and frankly, i really think they're going to get on board. >> when you talked to weigh lapierre and you talked with him several times, did he warn you background checks could cost you politically and did you say to him forget politics, we have to do something now? >> no, i had a good talk with
wayne and i like wayne. and as you know, they supported me very early. far earlier than anybody thought possible. and especially me not being a politician. and that support has paid off. we now have two supreme court judges that are phenomenal, kavanaugh and gorsuch. they're big believers in the second amendment as i am. there's no president that feels more strongly about the aesecon amendment than i do. however, we need meaningful background checks so sick people don't get guns. i think in the end wayne and the nra will either be there or maybe will be a little bit more neutral. and that would be okay, too. look, the nra has over the years taken a very, very tough stance on everything and i understand
it. it's a slippery slope. they think you prove one thing and that leads to a lot of bad things. i don't agree with that. i think we can do very meaningful background checks. i want to see it happen. so i've got a lot of support. and i also have the support of other people on the other side. and i think the democrats and republicans have a chance to really come together. [ inaudible question ] >> the reason is because you have to go in and you can't let anybody know. otherwise, when you get there, nobody will be there. but a big factor is to let people outside of the country that want to come in legally -- illegally they come in the care vans and surge the border. by the way, we have the numbers way down right now as you see because mexico has done a fantastic job. mexico has 26,000 soldiers right
now on the border. they have been fantastic, because of tariffs. but i don't care why. mexico, i'll be calling the president at a certain point. i just hope they keep it up. because if the democrats would change the laws -- which i was thinking about putting together, as you know, with the gun situation so we have immigration and we have, let's say, some of the things we're talking about right now. you have them together. but i want people to know that if they come into the united states illegally, they're going to be brought out. and this serves as a very good deterrent. if people come into our country illegally, they're going out. they're not coming in illegally and staying. we have bad laws. they may get in, although we're being very tough, but they may get in. but it doesn't matter, because they're going out. and when people see what they saw yesterday and like they will see for a long time, they know that they're not staying here.
[ inaudible question ] >> it's really amazing, because african-american unemployment just came out very recently. the lowest in history. it's the best numbers in history. african-american employment and hispanic and asian, too, have more people working today than ever worked in the history of our country. plus i did criminal justice reform which president obama could not get approved, which the media never talks about. if president obama got criminal justice reform done, it would be front-page stories all over the place. i got it done. i think that african-americans appreciate it, so i've got that. i have the best unemployment numbers for a lot of people. but for african-americans, they're the number one that we've ever had. one other thing we did, aside from criminal justice reform,
opportunity zone and they're doing unbelievably well. but opportunity zones and the biggest beneficiaries there are african-americans. who are you talking about? >> the president of the ukraine. you're going to invite him to the white house and what would be your advice on how to talk to vladimir putin? >> i think he's going to make a deal with president putin and he will be invited to the white house and we look forward to seeing him. he's already been invited to the white house if he wants to come. and he think he will. he's a very reasonable guy. he wants to see peace in ukraine and i think he will be coming very soon actually.
[ inaudible question ] >> his comments, look, joe is not playing with a full deck. he said that comment and i saw it because i was on something, i had a television. i saw his comment. joe biden is not playing with a full deck. this is not somebody you can have as your president. but if he got the nomination, i would be thrilled. >> reporter: what about your rhetoric? [ inaudible question ] >> we're looking at that right now. we have a lot of these companies coming in a little while, as you know. we're going to be very tough with them. they're treating conservatives very unfairly. hollywood, i don't call them the elites. i think the elites are people that go after them in many cases. but hollywood is really terrible. you talk about racism. hollywood is racist. what they're doing with the kind of movies they're putting out, it's actually very dangerous for our country.
what hollywood is doing is a tremendous disservice to our country. we have now in a little while all of the heads of the biggest companies coming in and we're going to talk to them. they treat conservatives, republicans totally different than they treat others. and they can't do that. >> does the trump administration devalue the u.s. dollar? >> no, we don't have to. we have such a strong dollar. the problem is our dollar is at a level that it makes it hard. but the advantage to doing what we have is money is pouring in, because we have the safest currency in the world, we have the standard of the world. but because it's so strong, it's gotten so strong because other countries have problems. it makes it harder for our manufacturers. so if we lowered the interest rate by the federal reserve, that would automatically bring down the dollar a little bit and it would make it easier for caterpillar and these companies. but we have the greatest currency in the world. no, i wouldn't do that.
>> reporter: are you thinking of canceling the talks next month with china? >> no china wants to settle this deal. we've had the worst year that they've had in many, many decades, and it's getting only worse. thousands of companies are leaving china. they would like to make a deal. i'm not ready to make a deal. >> reporter: but are you willing to cancel the talks next month? >> maybe. we'll see what happens. right now the talks are scheduled in september. whether or not we're talking about china, whether or not they're cancel, we'll see. look, as i said, our people are not paying for these billions and billions of dollars that came in. $16 billion of which i gave to the farmers, because they were targeted by china. that's just a small fraction of what we've taken in. so they are not -- because what china has been doing is they're a currency manipulator, they've
manipulated the value of their currency, and that's where the money comes. and also they put tremendous money into the system. so if you look, prices have not risen. our people have not paid. so all of these guys that say, oh, trump, trump, trump, they don't know what they're talking about. china is unique. that doesn't mean it happens with other countries. it probably doesn't. but the prices have not gone up. in fact, we have virtually no inflation in our country. if the federal reserve would bring down interest rates over a period of time, i would love to see a point or even a little bit more than that. if they would stop quantitative tightening, we have a rocket ship. we're doing well without it, but we're being handcuffed by the federal reserve. if they would stop that, it would be incredible. [ inaudible question ]
>> well, i hope that south korea, and i hope that japan start getting along with each other. they're supposed to be allies. and it puts us in a very difficult position. south korea and japan are fighting all the time. they've got to get along. because it puts us in a very bad position. with that being said, i got a very beautiful letter from kim jong-un yesterday. it was delivered, hand delivered from -- >> reporter: what did it say? >> it was a very positive letter. i would love to give it to you. i really would. [ inaudible question ] >> i think we'll have another meeting. he really wrote a beautiful three-page -- i mean right from top to bottom, a really beautiful letter. and maybe i'll release the
letter, but it was very positive. we're not going to do business with huawei. i really made the decision. it's much simpler not to do any business with huawei. we're not doing business with huawei. that doesn't mean they won't agree to something if and when they make a trade deal. but we're not going to be doing business with huawei. [ inaudible question ] >> maguire is an excellent admiral, highly respected, great leader. he's acting right now. sue did a great job. i like sue gordon very much. i think that over a period of time -- i'm in no rush because we have a great acting. i spoke to the senator about different people. he's head of intelligence. i'm working together with senator burn and the whole committee. i want to get somebody that everybody can really come together with.
so i like pete a lot, he's great and doing a fantastic job in the netherlands right now. >> reporter: you had mentioned it was down to three. >> that's a job that everybody wants, dni. i'm dealing with the committee and i'm dealing with really senator burn a lot and we'll come up with somebody that's great. we have a lot of people that want to do it. [ inaudible question ] >> they're not getting along with each other. they have to get along with each other. if they don't get along, what are we doing? south korea and japan have to sit down and get along with each other. otherwise, what are we all doing? [ inaudible question ] >> poland has been a great, great friend of ours. they've offered to build a
military base and it will cost many billions of dollars. no money put up by the united states whatsoever. they've offered to fund our troops and lots of other things, the way it should be. not the stupid deals that we made with all these other countries to take advantage of us. so poland has been terrific and we're going to be going to poland very soon. i'm sure you're going to be going with us. i had a great experience in poland the last time i went. in fact, some of you actually said the speech was one of the best ever made in europe by an american president. hard to believe that you actually said that. when you said that, i was like in a state of shock. [ inaudible question ] >> steven ross is a great friend of mine. he's a successful guy. we were competitors, but friends in real estate in new york in the old days. he's a great guy. he is, by the way, i think he's
probably more inclined to be a liberal, if you want to know the truth. but he likes me, he respects me. we're doing a fundraiser there. we're doing another fundraiser with another friend of mine. and i understand the fundraiser was totally sold out and it's very successful. >> reporter: quick question about the age limits. [ inaudible question ] >> i think it makes steve much hotter. i didn't speak to him yet. i'll see him in a little while. the controversy makes steve ross hotter. he'll figure that out in about a week. but he's very happy. he's very successful and a lot of people are going. we have two fundraisers, one is steve and one is another gentleman and i guess they're going to raise $11 or $$12 million. not billion, a million. >> when you talk about age restrictions to buy guns, 18 months ago you supported buying guns at the age of 25, raising
the age. are you considering bringing that back now? >> we're not talking about anything specific. i can tell you this. tremendous goodwill for meaningful -- add that word, meaningful background checks so that sick and demented people don't carry around guns. you have to remember, and i've said it, it's a big mental illness problem. and the gun doesn't pull the trigger, a mind, a sick mind pulls the trigger. so we want to take that out of the equation. [ inaudible question ] >> actually, if you look, there are many bills that have been put in over a period of four, five years. they went nowhere. but there's never been a president like president trump. >> reporter: and you're going to get it done? >> i don't think we'll need to. i may.
leadership is dealing along with me right now. by the time you call them back, they're going to be back anyway. i don't think we'll need to call them back. i think we'll have a very good package by the time they come back and they can start debating and voting on it then. so i really don't think for the extra little time it matters. leadership is doing a really good job. mitch mcconnell, kevin, nancy. i spoke with nancy pelosi yesterday. i spoke with chuck schumer yesterday. there's a lot of goodwill about this issue. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't think so, no, no. i think we have a lot of support. i mean, i'm very fortunate in the republican party, i'm at 94% approval rating. so that helps. but i have a great relationship with the republican senators and i really think they're looking for me to make -- give them a signal. and we're going to have great support and i think we'll have the support from the democrats also.
[ inaudible question ] >> no, no, i never said what i'm saying now. what i said there, you had tremendous opposition from many people on both sides. i see a better feeling right now toward getting something meaningful done. and we did do things after parkland. but it wasn't to the same level that i'm talking about now. we did do the fix nicks and various other things, so we did do a lot of work after parkland. but i think now a chance to do something really much more meaningful. having to do, as you know, with background checks. >> reporter: what is your message to young children and teenagers who are anxious or nervous about going back to school after these mass shootings? >> my message to young children going back to school is go and