tv President Trump Chancellor Merkel Joint News Conference CSPAN April 30, 2018 12:51am-1:32am EDT
monday night on c-span2. >> on friday, german chancellor angela merkel met with president trump at the white house, where the two leaders held a joint news conference. they discussed the historic talks between north and south korea, trade relations with europe and the iran nuclear deal. this is 40 minutes.
president trump: thank you very much. today i'm honored to welcome chancellor angela merkel back to the white house. over the past year i have gotten to know the chancellor very well through many productive calls, discussions and meetings. we have a great relationship. chancellor, i want to congratulate you on your election victory, fourth term in office. really something. congratulations. we are pleased to have our newly confirmed u.s. ambassador to germany, richard grinnell, outstanding man, he is with us today. congratulations. do a great job. i know you will. thank you. this confirmation was long overdue. we have been waiting a long time for richard to get his clearance and he got it. and it's going to be special. we have a lot of people who are waiting approval and the democrats have been treating us
extremely unfairly and have to move it along. for decades, the alliance and friendship between germany and the united states has advanced the cause of peace, prosperity and freedom. today our nations face a wide array of shared challenges and opportunities and i'm confident that we will meet them together with the same strength and resolve that has always defined the united states -german friendship. this afternoon, i want to congratulate the republic of korea with its summit with north korea and we are encouraged by their expressed goal of complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. i will be meeting with kim jong-un in the coming weeks. we look forward to that. and hopefully it will be productive. i want to thank chancellor merkel for her leadership in our campaign of maximum pressure on the north korean regime, which has helped us to reach this
important step this moment where we are right now. it has taken a long time, many, many decades to get here. let's see what happens. we seek a future of peace, prosperity and harmony for the korean peninsula, unlocking not only a brighter future for the people of korea but of the world. however in pursuit of that goal, we will not repeat the mistake of past administrations, maximum pressure will continue until denuclearization occurs. i look forward to our meeting. it should be quite something. in our meetings today, the chancellor and i discussed iran, the iranian regime fuels bloodshed and chaos all across the middle east. we must ensure that this murderous regime does not even get close to a nuclear weapon
and that iran ends its proliferation of dangerous missiles and its support for terrorism. no matter where you go in the middle east, wherever there is a problem, iran is right there. as we eradicate what little remains of isis in syria, we must ensure that iran does not profit from our success to -- our success. to prevent this outcome it is essential that our coalition and regional partners step up their financial and military contributions to the anti-isis efforts. some of these countries are immensely wealthy and are going to start paying for it and pay for this tremendous help we have given them. the chancellor and i had a productive discussion about the security of europe and the responsibility of european nations to properly contribute to their own defense. we addressed the need to strengthen nato and the nato
alliance by ensuring that all member states honor their commitment to spend 2% and hopefully much more of g.d.p. on defense. it is essential that our nato allies increase their financial contributions so that everyone is paying their fair share. we look forward to seeing further progress towards improved burden sharing and a lot of people have stepped up. a lot of countries have stepped up. and they are going to have to continue to do so. tremendous amount of additional money has been raised for nato over the past 16 months and i'm proud to have helped but they have to keep going. in this age of international crime, smuggling, terrorism, it is also essential that we have strong border security and immigration control. this is fundamental to national defense. also vital to our security and
that of our allies is america's ability to maintain a strong and robust manufacturing base, which we really are doing in the united states. we have additional steel plants opening, steel plants are expanding. aluminum is doing great. a lot of things are happening that were never going to happen before. that's why we must have a fair and reciprocal trading relationship with our friends and partners. we have a trade deficit with the european union of approximately, hard to believe, $151 billion a year including $50 billion trade deficit in autos and auto parts. i'm committed to reduce barriers for the united states exports to remedy these trade imbalances and deepen our economic ties.
we also welcome the chancellor's partnership in promoting major reforms to international organizations, like the world trade organization, which has not treated the united states well. to protect sovereignty and ensure fairness. the close cooperation across multiple fronts, military, intelligence, economic, academic is critical to the defense of our civilization as we know it. and the close friendship between the german and american people enriches the lives of millions and millions of our citizens. chancellor, thank you, again, for visiting the white house. it's an honor to have you. our alliance is thriving and we
obstacles,me shared seize upon shared opportunities and build an incredible future for our country and our people. thank you very much. [speaking foreign language] >> i thank you for the very warm reception here in the white house and for giving us the opportunity to have exchange of views. this is my first visit after the election to a country outside of europe and i thought it was important to align germany and >> we are very much aware of the fact that these transatlantic ties are crucial and indeed of essential importance and have given us a great contribution to our reunification. great contribution to our reunification. i spent on the other side of the iron curtain and it is possible for our country to reunite to the united states and our contribution and this will be
most important also for our future cooperation, cooperation that is more urgently more needed. so germany will continue to be a reliable partner in nato and reliance and reliable partner. all the more so, we fight against denuclearization and and terrorists and terrorism in afghanistan or in africa and we depend on each other. today, we meet at a point in time where it has become very clear that the strength of of the american president where he really had sanctions against north korea has opened new possibilities, opened new ways in the first meeting between the
north and south korean presidents is a prospect that will lead to a better future and germans know too well after years after the separation of years of division to have these first compacts. but we will continue to be vigilant and the denuke larization is stopped in north korea. we think this is essential. we will have to defeat against the iranian attempts to become nuclear and we are of the opinion that the jc pmp oa are has contributed to slowing down and establish a better monitoring process and we think from our view point that this is not sufficient in order to see to it that iran's ambitions are curbed and are contained and
most important to see that iran after all is trying to curb influence in syria and in iraq and we have to see to it that this attempt at influence is curbed and is contained and that beyond the jc pmp oa, reliability can be established and europe and the united states of america ought to be in lock step together and work closely and end the terrible bloodshed in syria and bring a solution to the area. beyond that, we also addressed the task we see in defense. germany in 2019 is going to earmark a share of g.d.p. on defense. that has been an increase. we haven't met the target but we are getting closer to the target that we set up for ourselves.
on trade, it's more important to see the close relations on trade between germany and the european union on one hand and the united states, we want fair trade. we want a trade that is in line with the multi lateral trade system and acknowledge that for many, many years, the w.t.o. hasn't brought about international agreements. bilateral agreements may well replace that. we on behalf of the european union already have done and done that. so i can well say such negotiations with the united states as well. but obviously, that has to be reconciled. and i would like to point out that germany on the one hand has close trade relations with you. and so we have already been able to reduce that.
and we still have a long way to go. the united states due to tax reform has become a very interesting place to invest in our companies and we can say hundreds of thousands cars are imported but from the u.s. to the rest of the world, hundreds of thousands of cars that are built here in the united states are exported with creating american jobs and i believe that the work has very good working conditions. we will continue to discuss those trade issues and will have the nato meeting and let me say in conclusion, the public relations, we are very close and sometimes may look at issues differently but on the basis of friendship and partnership, we are linked by in the world of culture.
we still host the largest number of troops since 1945. about 17 million of the u.s. military are stationed in germany and a lot of themville very close ties. and delighted to see the ambassador when he is in germany work on the bases and we are delighted that we have an ambassador. thank you. president trump: we'll take some questions. blake. >> thank you, mr. president. and chancellor merkel. i want to ask a couple of
questions from the president. step over. i want to ask you a couple of comments in which you said about north korea that they played the u.s. in the past like a fiddle but not going to happen to us, do you as it relates to getting peace on the korean peninsula, do you feel you need to be the closer in that deal? do you want to be the closer or is that something that is shared by all the major stakeholders and all the world leaders in that region? and secondly, indulge us if you might, the relationship with north korea has been strong. have you spoken with kim jong un yourself? president trump: we have a very good working relationship. we are setting up a meeting. things have changed from a few months ago. you know the name calling and a lot of other things. we get a kick once in a while that i will be watching people
who failed so badly the last 25 years explain how to make a deal with north korea. i get a big kick out of that. but we are doing very well and i think something very dramatic would happen. they are treating us with great respect and you know what's going on wg south korea. and president moon of south korea was generous is that we helped make the olympics a great success. there was a tremendous animosity and tremendous problem going on and all of a sudden, people started buying tickets because of a whole different feeling when north said we would love to go to the olympics. a lot of good things are happening with respect to north korea. president obama told me when i had the one meeting with him, he said that is the biggest problem and honestly, i wish it was handled by another administration years ago.
i'm not just talking about president obama. i go back to any administration you want. but over the last 25 years, this should have been handled a long time ago and not for me to handle it. we are handling it left. -- we are handling it well. hopefully there will be peace for north korea, south korea germany, everything is included, , japan, the chancellor has been very helpful in the maximum pressure campaign as i said, really helpful. president xi has been good at the border. everyone is surprised how tight he clamped down and everyone said he just talked about it. he did it and did it out of a relationship we have. and also out of the fact that we are negotiating trade deals and that is important to him. and hopefully come up with something that is good for both countries. things can happen to north korea.
we are down to two countries as to a site. >> do you feel like it's your responsibility for this to get settled? president trump: i think other presidents should have done it. i think the responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of the president of the united states. i think i have the responsibility to see if i can do it. if i can't do it, it will be a very tough time for a lot of countries and a lot of people. it certainly is something that i can hopefully do for the world. this is something beyond the united states. this is a world problem and something i hope i can do for the world. >> chancellor.
i'm wondering if you have been given assurances that the european union will be exempt from aluminum and steel tariffs. did president trump tell you what he may or may not do. president trump: good question. >> the president will decide. we have an exchange of views on the current state of affairs and the assessments of where we stand on this and the decision lies with the president. >> i have a question for the chancellor but i would like to start with a question on iran. after a long day of talks, president macron went to congress and warned of the new war in the middle east and asked the world and the united states
to respect the sovereignty of all countries including iran. or do you have another plan be that is not in agreement snl president trump: i don't talk about whether i use military force. but they will not be doing nuclear weapons, that i can tell you. they aren't going to be doing nuclear weapons. you can bank on it. muchople are very concerned about president trump being prepared to show toughness against russia. -- have you asked the president to exempt german companies from the sanctions and
are you generally worried that the united states -- that the president is trying to be toughest with president putin well change completely and trading russia too harshly with uncoordinated with you? we discussed risque -- three discussed ukraine. i'm pleased to say we work very closely with the administration and of lament format. the sanctions very much are a thing of the congress. we work together with the representative of the administration and closely with the treasury. we exchanged views on what sort of secondary effect that may have and looking at the conflicts we have with russia in
syria, there is a wide degree of agreement and no one is interested in not having a good relationship. whenever there are conflicts than things that are happening in ukraine, the principle of territorial integrity of the country such as ukraine that needs to be upheld. and that needs to be enforced. the change was it , satisfactory on these issues between america and europe? is it as closely aligned as you want? >> yes. whenever i get asked these questions, i believe the exchange is there. sanctions have been adopted by congress. we appointed to what sort of effects with the belief that our prime minister and treasury have talked about this yesterday when the finance minister with the financing of syria coverage of conference.
yesterday, and whenever her problems i can talk to our american. mr. president, two questions for you. the first one is on ronnie jackson. one day since he bowed out. do you have a new nominee for the secretary of department of veteran affairs and the have you decided if you plan to attend and can you confirm if treasury secretary mnuchin will include jared kushner and your daughter? president trump: dr. jackson is one of the best men. one of the finest men i have met over the last long time. high quality. high quality family.
i just met them. and i explained what happened. you don't know about that, chancellor. [laughter] president trump: a nasty place. the false accusations that were made about him by senator tester from a great state. i don't think that state is going to put up with it. these were false accusations about a great man, about a man who has a son who is a top student at annapolis, a man who has given his life to this country and military. a brave man feet he would have been a great leader. to say the kind of things he said, yet president obama giving him an a-plus report, president bush giving him a-plus report. president trump giving him an a-plus report and to make statements of things that most people said never happened, calling him names, was, to me, a disgrace, an absolute disgrace.
and i think it's something we learned -- i called him today and said in a certain way, you are an american hero because you have exposed the system to some horrible things. i had it happen to me with the russian collusion hoax, it's a hoax. but i came into the job understanding that things happen. he didn't. he's a great doctor and great admiral. he didn't think a thing like this would happen. i think it's a disgrace. i want to comment on that. and i'm glad you asked the question. he is an american hero and i think he has been treated unfairly. >> as far as the nomination -- have you go forward a new nomination yet? president trump: i have many people who want the position, if you can believe it with all of this said. we have some very political
people, some people -- a thing like that wouldn't happen or if it did happen, they would handle it somewhat differently. but we have many people who want that job and proud of the job we have done for the veterans. we got accountability approved which for something for years, for years, they have been trying to get. we have accountability. so that when somebody treats our veterans poorly, we can fire them so fast as they fire them in germany. we are getting choice. and putting choice in very, very strongly. and tremendous support in the senate. i have a lot of people who want the job. we are doing a great job over there for the vets. and that was one of the things that was the most important. we have tremendous support from the vets. we are getting great reports but getting things such as
accountability and getting choice done, if a veteran stands in line and can't get to a doctor, they are going to a private doctor and this country is going to pay and not going to wait nine weeks on-line on something that could have been easy to cure and end up dying from it. i'm very proud of what we have done. i will tell you, your new head of the v.a. is going to be exceptional. we have some exceptional people who want to do the job. >> i want to go to the u.s. embassy opening up in jerusalem. you said in the past you would like to go -- president trump: they came to me with a proposing with a $1 billion embassy in jerusalem. and mike pence can tell you, the papers were put before you to sign an application for more
than $1 billion. i said what are you talking about? they said, yes, sir, $1 billion. and i had my name half signed and i noticed the figure and i never got to the word trump. i had donald signed but never got to the word trump. i called my lawyer, david friedman is the ambassador to israel, loves israel and our country. and i said what's this 1 billion and he said i can bill it for $150,000. the embassy. we have the building and we own the site. i can take the corner of the building and for $150,000, open our embassy instead of 10 years from now, we can open it up in three months. but i said, david, let's not go
from $1 billion to $150,000, let's go to three, $400,000. we took a piece of the building and it's going to be beautiful and could be temporary and could be for many years, but it will be many, many years. we already have a site and great site and it is better than anything you could imagine. that's the way government works. they are going to spend a billion dollars and spend much less. i said let's make it really nice. so that's what it is. i may go. very proud of it. jerusalem has been a subject that has been promised, the embassy and has been promised for many, many years. they make campaign promises. they never had the courage to carry it out. i carried it out.
i may go. it's getting ready to open. i do want to tell that story because there are a couple of people that got to see it including mike but others where clearly they were going to spend a billion dollars and we are spending a tiny fraction of that in the hundreds of thousands of dollars instead. and it will be very nice. maybe it will be nicer than a billion dollars building. >> i wanted to ask about the iran nuclear deal. the president said iran will not be starting the iran nuclear deal. if the united states backs out. you are the second european leader to stop here at the white house this week. what improvements did you make in order to keep u.s. in the deal?
[speaking foreign language] >> i believe that obviously this agreement is anything but perfect. it will not solve the problems with iran. it is one piece of the mosaic, one building block on which we can buildup the structure and when the united kingdom, france and germany work together with the american colleagues this was brought about and we will now see what decisions are made by the american partners. i said the whole of the region is of an important to us. syria and iran are right on our doorstep. that is prime importance to us and we will be in very close talks on this. [foreign language] chancellor, you use to
describe america as a destination -- of what you ever wanted to be and now in germany by you, europe has to take its destiny and can't rely on the united states all the time. have you talked with the president about this development where they are apart and should not you deliver on promise of significantly increasing the defense spending. mr. president, a lot of people are irritated that you fulfill this job in the rest of the world with twitter messages. i want to ask you whether the messages you make, does this mean there quib less compromise and how will you decide on the
first of may when there is a possible extension of the exemption for tariffs? what is your position on this, mr. president? will there be a trade war with this big bloc europe or do you see an opportunity of not going into a trade war? >> i think for a lot of people in germany and many other countries, people wish and love to go to the united states. we have just said there are millions of people in germany and europe here in the united states and many people in germany and europe. america is a great country and even though we may have differences, we have to talk about this. this land of freedom and this great country still remains very attractive.
so i continue to say that. and yes, germany and europe have to take their destiny in their own hands and during the cold war when germany was divided and relying on america helping us. we will have to increase our contributions to america. and america has been very much engaged and broadly engaged in parts of the world that are far away from america and they have said, well, what's in it for us. the president saying you ought to have some more sharing. so in a way, we are maturing and growing after the second world war, people were happy for germany not becoming engaged because during the period, we created incredible interest. but this period is more than the period.
so we as germans have to learn a few months and proud to be the second largest member of nato. and from the president's perspective not fast enough. but i would say we have made important steps in the right direction and will continue to do so and cannot rely if conflicts are on our doorsteps and don't have to give a contribution and the contribution will have to increase. that is something to do with military, defense spending and new causes of flight and still to come with diplomacy. germany for the first time has a small group and just had a meeting with paris and syria,
saudi arabia, and we want to give our contribution as well. it's our obligation and duty. i don't think that we ought to complain about this. and we have as a big country and economic country and we have to last to assume our role and we can discuss that openly. president trump: thank you, chancellor. we need a reciprocal relationship, which we don't have. the united states had a trade deficit with the european union of $151 billion and the chancellor discussed that and we are working on it and we want to make it more fair, same thing with nato. we have a far greater burden than we have. other countries should pay more. i'm not saying germany alone.
we are protecting europe and we pay more than anyone else. it helps europe more than it helps us. why are we paying the vast majority of the costs. we are working on those things. it has been unfair. and i don't blame the chancellor or germany, i blame the people preceding me. for allowing this to happen. there's no way we should have a trade deficit of $151 billion. we are going to make it reciprocal and make it a much more fair situation and i think everybody is going to be happy. i think both countries -- i view this as many countries but looking at this as one block, will really benefit. there is tremendous potential between the european union and the united states. and i think that's going to happen.
and tremendous benefit to nato when people pay when they have to pay. some people may pay more. they think the united states -- i have been told -- poland being one. poland pays a little bit more because they feel the united states is more than carrying the load and perhaps they feel it is not fair but something we very much appreciate. but i believe -- when i look at the numbers in germany and other countries, they may not like donald trump, but you have to understand i'm doing a good job because that i'm representing the united states. angela is representing the germany. she is doing a fantastic job. my predecessors did not do a very good job. we will try and catch you. we are going to have a reciprocal relationship and something that benefits all of us. ok?
thank you. thank you very much, angela. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with issues that impact you. bipartisan policy center's john fortier joins us to talk about the election security. then, national board of patrol council president brandon judd discusses border security. fromhen we are live colorado for the 50 capitals tour with john hickenlooper to talk about talk -- top policy issues in his state. be sure to watch washington
journal monday morning. join the discussion. monday evening at 7:00 p.m., james comey will be on book tv on c-span2 in primetime with his best-selling autobiography a higher loyalty. he will discuss several of the issues he faced as fbi director, including the russian investigation, hillary clinton females, and his views on president trump. book james comey, live on tv on c-span2 on prime time, monday at 7:00 p.m. eastern. >> now, labor secretary alexander acosta discusses deregulation efforts by the trump administration. he spoke at friday's meeting of the republican national lawyers association. this is about 25 minutes. conference