tv President Trump Defends Sons Meeting with Russian Attorney CSPAN July 16, 2017 1:51pm-2:27pm EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> in paris, president trump was asked about his son's meeting with a russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign holding a joint news conference with the french president. other topics including trade, counterterrorism efforts and the paris climate agreement. this is 30 minutes. >> thank president trump for his visit to paris this afternoon and tomorrow morning. as well as the think the delegation. i am pleased to be a will to welcome president trump today.
invitation ihe sent a couple of weeks ago in ther to invite him to join festivities of the 14th of july tomorrow. i think it is a symbol of the president of the united states to be with us tomorrow on the occasion of the national day and to attended military parade for which american troops will take art. we will also be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the american troops joining world war i. i think it is important because , will go further in the art who we are. president trump not only is
natural i think -- we parted byy sharing part of our joint history at the museum. then we had a working session and i shall say i am extremely pleased about it. we have been able to talk about a number of topics of joint interest, and shared convictions, and most importantly working together in the coming months. we agreed to implement free fair , this wasin the field at the g-20 and hamburg. we want to present some
successful measures to tackle terrorism anywhere it's taking place and sharing information and we have in making sure the european union and united states protect within the context of free trade, fair free trade to protect sectors of activities are we are active. we had a long discussion which enabled us to cover all the topics of international policies challenges fory our people when it comes to fighting terrorism. from day one, i can say that we are strongly determined to take any necessary measure to root out terrorism and eradicate it no matter where. we agreed to action and our cooperation in fighting against propaganda. we wanted to get all the major
operators to limit the propaganda, and also tackle cyber criminality. these topics i believe are fundamental, and i hope for cooperation between our countries, and it is with a lot of satisfaction that i heard from president trump the very same approach. services will therefore be working in the coming months to have an action on that. regarding the situation in iraq and syria, we agreed to work together in order to launch together some diplomatic initiatives in order to put in place a roadmap for what will come after the war. role,ked about a conflict but initially we want to place a contact group to be more efficient and able to support
what is being done by the united nations in order to support the political roadmap for syria after the war. it is important to put in some political -- for that period of time. we know where destabilization comes from, and the roadmap will cover it and ask our diplomats and staff to work so that in the coming weeks critical initiatives can be taken. 5.d supported by the p- we share the same intentions regarding libya. and like i told president trump, i very much want to take a number of diplomatic initiatives that trump wants, given what we know, which requires more stability and better control of the region. with libya or serious, i think you can say that we have the
and vision, very coherent understanding of the situation in the region and the same willingness to act against any next, climate. here, we knew what our disagreements are. we expressed them on a number of occasions, but i think it is important that we continue to talk about it. i respect any decision taken by president trump. he will work on implementing his campaign promises, and as far as i am concerned, i remain attached to the paris accord and will make sure that step-by-step we will do what is in the accord. in summary, what we will be talking about, we will continue with a friendly tone and an
informal one this evening regarding trade and security to fight against terrorism, in the middle east, in libya. i can say that we have a shared determination, the united states is extremely involved in the iraq war, and i would like to thank president trump for everything that has been done by the american troops. but i would like him to know that i am fully determined to act together with him in this. fully determined. i very much want both of our countries to increase cooperation in the upcoming months, because the threat we are facing is a global one. the our enemies are trying to , destabilize us in any way. i believe this is at the heart of our historic alliance between our two countries.
and which fully justifies the presence of president trump today and tomorrow in paris. thank you. president trump: thank you very much, president macron. melania and i are thrilled to join you and mrs. macron. this is a wonderful national celebration, we look very much forward to it. tomorrow's bastille day. we are honored to be here in your beautiful country. it certainly is a beautiful country with its proud history , and magnificent people, and thank you for the tour of some of the most incredible buildings anywhere in the world. i was very, very -- very beautiful thing to see. thank you. when the french people rose up and stormed the bastille, it changed the course of human history. our two nations are forever joined by the spirit of
revolution and the fight for freedom. france is america's first and oldest ally. a lot of people don't know that. ever since general lafayette joined the american fight for independence, our fates and fortunes have been tied unequivocally together. it was a long time ago, but we are together. i think together perhaps more so than ever. the relationship is very good. this visit also commemorates another milestone. one century ago, the united states entered world war i, and when the president called me, he had mentioned that fact. 100 years ago, and i said, mr. president, i will be there. that is a big, important date. 100 years. we remember the tens of thousands of americans gave their lives in that valiant and very difficult struggle.
we also pay we also pay tribute to the heroic deeds of the french troops. whose courage at the battle of marne and countless other battles will never be forgotten by us. more than one million french soldiers laid down their lives in defense of liberty. their sacrifices are an paternal tribute to france and to freedom. french and american patriots have fought together, bled together, and died together in the fight for our civilizations. today we face new threats from rogue regimes like north korea, iran, and syria, and governments that finance and support them. we also face great threats from terrorist organizations that wage war on innocent lives. tomorrow will mark one year since a joyous bastille year -- day celebration in nice
turned into a massacre. we all remember how horrible that was. we mourn the 86 lives stolen and we pray for their loved ones. we also renew our resolve to stand united against these enemies of humanity, and strip them of their territory, their funding, their networks, and ideological support. today, president macron and myself discussed how we can strengthen our vital security partnerships. we just had a meeting with our generals and representatives that went very well. france has excellent counterterrorism capabilities. french troops are serving in places like mali to face these forces of murder and destruction. the united states and our allies strengthen our commitments to defeat terrorism. we are making tremendous progress earlier this week with
the strong support of the united states and its local coalition, iraq forces liberated the city of mosul from isis control. now, we must work with the government of iraq and our partners and allies in the region to consolidate the gains and ensure the victory stays a victory, unlike the last time. last week the g20 leaders reaffirmed the right of sovereign nations to control their borders. we must be strong from within to defend ourselves from threats from the outside. the nations of the west also faced domestic challenges of our own creation, including vast government bureaucracy that saps the strength from our economies and from our societies. for this reason i applaud president macron on his courageous call for that. less bureaucracy.
it is a good chant. less bureaucracy. we can use it, too. and the europe that protects its citizens. we did not become great through regulation, and in the united states we have also cut regulations at a level that we have never seen before. we are very proud of that, over the last six months. but by allowing our people to follow their dreams, that is what it is all about. to achieve these dreams, we must also confront unfair trade practices that hurt our workers and pursue trade deals that are reciprocal and fair. both president macron and i want -- understand our responsibility you prioritize our countries and at the same time be respectful of the world in which we live. we live in a very complex world. we have to respect it. the united states remains
committed to be a leader in environmental protection. while we advance energy security and economic growth. the friendship between our two nations and ourselves, i might add, is unbreakable. our occasional disagreements are nothing compared to the immortal bonds of culture and liberty that unite us. so strongly unite us. as long as we have pride in who we are, where we have come from, how we got here, and what we have achieved as free and democratic nations, then there is nothing we cannot accomplish together. france helped us secure our independence. a lot of people forget. in the american revolution, thousands of french soldiers alongside american troops so that as lafayette said, liberty
would have a country. ever since then, courageous heroes from both countries have fought for the same noble values and the same righteous cause. tomorrow, the french tricolor will once again waved proudly alongside the american stars and stripes. our brave soldiers will march side-by-side and we will all be inspired to protect and cherish the birthright of freedom that our ancestors won for us with their sweat and blood. president macron, thank you for inviting melania and myself to this historic celebration, and to you and your spectacular country, may god bless france, and may god was america. thank you very much. thank you.
>> we will be taking four questions. neither president trump nor myself have a microphone. [laughter] president trump: he is getting first question? reporter: a question regarding what you said about the press conference with angela merkel. do you still hope that president trump will change his mind regarding the paris accord? president trump, is it possible for you to come back to the paris accord and change your mind? next, regarding your relations. how would you describe it today?
what about the dinner tonight, is it a dinner between friends? president macron: regarding climate, we have a number of disagreements, which are due to the commitments taken by president trump during the presidential campaign. so did i. i am aware of the high importance of that, but we talked about our disagreements and discussed the matter even before president trump reached his decision. next should that have any impact , on the discussion we are having on other topics? no, absolutely not. this is the reason we share the same views on major common goals on many other topics, which we have been discussing today.
next, of course president trump will tell you about it, but he has made a number of commitments, and we will be working together, and we are willing to work with the united states on these major topics. i understand it is important to save jobs, that being said, we will leave the united states of america work on its roadmap and will continue to talk about it. today, there is nothing new. the president otherwise would have told you about it, but i believe there is a joint willingness to continue talking about this and try and find the best possible agreement. as far as i am concerned, i remain attached to the framework of the paris accord, which has been a major international breakthrough. and within that framework that we are working on the priorities for the european union.
lastly, as you know, i never want to comment on who we are and what we are doing personally, but i can tell you this evening, there will be a dinner between friends, because we are the representatives of two countries that have been allied forever. and because we have been able to build strong relations, it is a great deal for both of our countries and it will give me great pleasure to have dinner together with you tonight. president trump: i can reiterate. we have a very good relationship, a good friendship, and we look forward to dinner tonight at the eiffel tower. that will be something special. and i mean something could , happen with respect to the paris accord, we will see what happens. but we will talk about that over the coming period of time.
if that happens, that will be wonderful. if it doesn't, that will be ok, too. but we will see what happens. but we did discuss many things today, including the cease-fire in syria, we discussed ukraine, we discussed a lot of important topics. we briefly hit on the paris accord, and we will see what happens. yes, ma'am? >> mr. president, your fbi nominee says someone in a campaign got an email about russia like the one you're son like don jr. did, they should alert the fbi rather than accept the meeting. was he wrong? were you misled by your team in not knowing about this meeting? thank you very much. you have heard president trump
say it may have been russia and may have been others who interfered with the u.s. election. is president trump taking a hard enough line on russia? as you see it? president trump: i will start by saying first of all i believe he -- we will have a great fbi director. he is doing very well. and we are proud of that choice. i think i have done a great service to the country by choosing him. he will make us all proud and someday we will see that, and hopefully someday soon. we are very proud of him. as far as my son is concerned. my son is a wonderful young man. he took a meeting with a russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a russian lawyer. it was a short meeting. it was a meeting that went very quickly, very fast. two other people in the room, i guess one of them left almost immediately and the other was not really focused on the meeting.
i think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. it is called opposition research research into your opponent. , i have been involved in politics for two years. i have had people call me up, we have information on this person. or frankly, hillary. that is very standard in politics. politics is not the nicest business in the world, but it is standard if they have information, you take the information. in the case of don, he listened. i guess as i see it they talked about adoption and other things. adoption wasn't even part of the campaign. but nothing happened from the meeting. zero happened from the meeting. and honestly i think the press made a big deal over something that a lot of people would do. now the lawyer that went to the meeting, she was in the halls of congress also.
somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by attorney general lynch. maybe that is wrong -- i just heard that a little while ago. a little surprised to hear that. she was here because of lynch. so again, i have a son who is a great young man. he is a fine person. he took a meeting with a lawyer from russia. it lasted for a very short period, and nothing came of the meeting. i think it is a meeting that most people in politics probably would have taken. mr. president? president macron: yes, to answer your question i will not interfere. i think it is important not to interfere in the domestic life. president trump: what a good answer that is. [laughter] president macron. -- and i do believe that both of us have a direct relationship with russia.
president trump had more than two hours of meeting with president putin, and i had two very long meetings with president putin, first in versailles, and the second one during the g20. this relationship is very important. we have a lot of discrepancies obviously, with russia, but in the current environment, especially in the middle east, it is a necessity to work together, to exchange information, to share these agreements and try to build solutions. that is my whole relationship with russia. we don't obviously have the same relationship as the one with the u.s., but that is a long-standing relationship with russia as well. and i think it is both important for us to have direct contact with president putin. president trump: one of the great things that came out of the meeting was that we got the cease-fire that has now lasted for, i guess almost five days.
while five days does not sound like a long period of time, in terms of a cease-fire in syria that is a long period of time. and that is a result of having communication with a country. so during that five day period, a a lot of lives have been saved. a lot of people were not killed. no shots have been fired in a very dangerous part of the world, and this is one of the most dangerous parts of syria by itself. by having communication and dialogue we were able to have a cease-fire. and it is going to go on for a while and frankly we are working on a second cease-fire in a very rough part of syria. and if we get that and a few more, all of a sudden you will have no bullets being fired in syria, and that would be a wonderful thing. question? >> a question to president macron.
you in 2000 and -- you went to lausanne to support paris for the olympic games. on this occasion you criticized president trump's policies without naming him. you said trump made a clear choice to leave his border open and not to build walls to protect his people. do you condemn the muslim ban and building of a wall between united states and mexico? regarding syria, as it was just mentioned by president trump, is france ready to talk directly with bashar al-assad in the negotiations? presiden>> you said that paris was no longer paris. you were implying at the time paris was not safe anymore. you also said that france and germany were infected by terrorism and it is their fault because they let people into the territory.
those are very strong words. would you repeat them today? would you say that france is not able to fight terrorism on its own territory? thank you. president trump: you better let me answer that one first. that is a beauty. [laughter] he is the one that asked the question. that was not even one of my picks. you know what? it's going to be just fine, because you have a great president. you have somebody who is going to run this country right. i think this is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. and you have a great leader, a great president, a tough president. he will not be easy on people that are breaking the laws and people who show this tremendous violence. i really have a feeling that you are going to have a very peaceful and beautiful paris. and i am coming back. you better do a good job please, otherwise you are going to make me look very bad. president macron: and you are always welcome.
president trump: thank you. president macron: regarding the first question, the discussions we have had today is the proper answer to terrorism. the right answer is cooperation between our services and the never-ending fight against terrorists. matter where they are. this is what we are working on actively together. in this respect, there is no difference and no gap between the french and the american positions. when i have something to say, i will say it clearly, and i will say who i am aiming at. when i refer to those who have been my opponents in the french political battle, i also mention their names. so let us not mix up everything. in regarding the fight against
terrorism, i think the right approach is to have strengthened cooperation in intelligence, also to be working together on all of the theaters of operation and the decisions we reached will enable us more. your question regarding bashar al-assad, let me put it simply -- we now have a new approach on syria because we want some results and we want to be closely working together with our partners, including the united states of america, which has one main goal, which is to eradicate terrorism, no matter who they are. we want to build an inclusive and sustainable political solution. against the ground -- that background i do not require , assad's departure. this is no longer a prerequisite for france to work on that.
because i can only tell you that for seven years, we did not have an embassy in damascus and still -- we have a common line together with president trump. he intervened before i was elected. i said to president putin when i was elected, no use of chemical weapons. any use will lead to reaction and a reaction regarding -- next we also want humanitarian corridors. also we want to build a sustainable political stability for syria. this is our roadmap. in order to stick to it, we have made diplomatic initiatives beyond military action. this is what would be agreed upon because we want to take an
initiative with members of the security council and members of countries involved in the process. of course there will be representatives of assad that will allow us to put in the roadmap. for after the war. but there will be people of the opposition and different backgrounds. we will talk to all of them against that background. one last question, from an american journalist. >> thank you. [speaking french] mr. macron, you had your meeting with the chinese president at the g20 summit. what will france do? how will france cooperate with all of these areas with china,
and what do you think personally of mr. xi jinping? how do you want to continue to work with china, and what do you personally think of mr. xi jinping? thank you very much. president trump: he is a friend of mine. i have great respect for him. we have gotten to know each other very well. a great leader. he is a very talented man. i think he is a very good man. he loves china, i can tell you. he wants to do what is right for china. we have asked him for some assistance with respect to north korea. probably he could do a little bit more, but we will find out. we are working on some trade deals. he has been very nice. he has let beef go back in, certain credit card financing and other various things go back