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  President Trump Chancellor Merkel Joint News Conference  CSPAN  April 27, 2018 2:03pm-2:43pm EDT

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elected officials of our country to say we agree on certain basic principles we don't want companies blocking access to lawful traffic and a throttling access. we don't want any kind of competitive prioritization arrangement that would harm small companies. these are the basic things that most people can agree on and takes congress to take the pen and put it into law because last thing we want is for these rules to remain uncertain for the rules to be dependent upon who is in control of the fcc. >> what about the fast lanes and slowly? >> this is another question that congress has tackled. one can envision procompetitive and any competitive arrangement. procompetitive in the sense that, for example, if you run a telemedicine operation in trying to monitor patients remotely you might think the traffic is more important than sending an typical e-mail. this is same thing as public
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communications. as we enter a 5g environment, that being the next generation of wireless technology want to make sure that we encourage procompetitive arrangement. on the other hand one can see any arrangements and it's a fact intensive case-by-case question and we want to have a flexible approach that as opposed to simply saying we know for all time that every hypothetical arrangement -- >> thank you very much. today i am honored to welcome chancellor angela merkel back to the white house. over the past year i have endured getting to know the chancellor very well through many productive calls, discussions and meetings. we have a great relationship. chancellor, i want to congratulate you once again on your election victory, fourth term in office. it is really something. congratulations. we are also pleased to have our newly confirmed united states ambassador to germany and outstanding man and he is with us today and richard,
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congratulations. you do a great job and i know you will. thank you. this confirmation was long overdue. we've been waiting a long time for richard to get his clearance and he got it. it will be special but we have a lot of people that are waiting approval and the democrats have been treating us extremely unfairly and they will 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 time, and 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 on its historic summit with north korea.
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we are encouraged by president moon and conjunctions goal of complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. i will be meeting with him in the coming weeks and we look forward to that. hopefully, it will be productive. i want to thank the chancellor for her leadership in our campaign of maximum pressure on the north korean regime. it has helped us to reach this important step, this moment, where we are right now and it's taken many decades to get here. let's see what happens. we seek a future peace, prosperity and harmony for the whole korean peninsula and unlocking not just a brighter future for the people of korea but for the people of the world. however, in pursuit of that goal we will not repeat the mistake of past administrations, maximum pressure will continue until
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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, 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 and the proliferation of dangerous officials in support for terrorism, no matter where you go in the middle east and wherever there is a problem iran is right there. as we eradicate what little remains of isis and syria we must also ensure that iran does not profit from our success. to prevent this outcome it is essential that our coalition in regional partners step up their financial and military contributions to the anti- isis
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effort. some of these countries are immensely wealthy and they will start paying for it and paying for this terminus help that 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 to present and hopefully much more of gdp 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 and countries have stepped up and they will have to continue
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to do so. tremendous amount of art money has been raised for nato over the past 16 months and i am proud to have helped and they have to keep going. in this age of international crimes, smuggling, terrorism and trafficking it is also essential that we have a strong border security and immigration control. this is fundamental to national defense. also it's vital to our security and that of our allies is america's ability to maintain a strong and robust manufacturing which we are doing in the united states but we have additional steel plants opening and still plans are expanding and aluminum is doing great and a lot of things are happening that will
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never happen before. that is why we must have a fair and reciprocal trading relationship with our friends and partners. we have a trade deficit in goods with the european union of approximately hard to believe, $151 billion a year including a 50 billion-dollar annual trade deficit in auto and auto parts. i'm committed to working with chancellor merkel to remedy these trade imbalances and even 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 fronts, military, intelligence, economic, academic is critical to the defense of our
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civilization as we know it. the close friendship between the german and american people and riches the lives of millions and millions of our citizens. chancellor, thank you again for visiting the white house. it is an honor to have you. our alliance is strong and thriving and together we will overcome shared obstacles and seize upon shared opportunities and build an incredible future for our country and our people. thank you very much. thank you. chancellor, thank you very much. speaking in german. translator: i want to thank you for the very warm reception here in the white house and for giving us this opportunity to have an exchange of views for
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this is my first visit after the election to a country outside of europe and that was important to align the importance and we are very much a aware of these ties are crucial of importance and they have given a great contribution to our reno vacation in the first part of my life i spent on the other side of the iron curtain and it was possible for a country to reunite and it is essentially to the united states and this will be most important also for our future cooperation. it's more urgently needed than ever in view of the turbulence is over the world. germany will continue to be a reliable partner in nato and in our alliance and is a reliable partner within the european union. today we hope for the denuclearization of iran and against terrorism and isis and against terrorism in afghanistan
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or in africa and we depend urgently on each other. today we meet at a point in time where it has become very clear that the strength of the american president where he really saw to it that the sanctions against north korea are abided by and has opened new possibilities and new ways between kim jong-un and in the south korean president moon is a first step on the road that will hopefully lead into a better future. we germans know only too well what it means after years of division to have these first contacts and we will continue to be vigilant and see to it that the denuclearization that it is established on the korean peninsula and we think this is essential and in our fight against the iranian attempts to
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become nuclear will go on and we are of the opinion that the first step is contributed to slowing down [inaudible] but we also think from a standpoint that this is not sufficient in order to see to it that iran's ambitions that there contained and it's more important to make sure that they are trying to assert a geopolitical in syria and in iraq and we have to see to it that this attempt at influence is curbed and contained and that beyond the jcp oa reliability can be established and i think that europe and the united states of america are to be in lockstep
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and work together very closely to end the terrible bloodshed in syria and bring about a solution for the region as a whole. beyond that and over and above that we also addressed the talks we see ahead on defense. in germany 2019 we will your mark a share of percentage of its gdp on defense and that has been an increase over the past two years and we have not yet met the target where we should be but we are getting closer to the target that we set for ourselves. and trade it is most important to see that very closely relations on trade exist between germany and the european union on the one hand in the united states on the other. we want their trade. we want a trade that is in line with the multilateral trading system but we also acknowledge the many, many years have not been able to bring about international agreements so
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bilateral agreements may well replace it and that is something we on behalf of the european union and with a number of countries in the past two years and with the united states as well. that has to be reconciled and i would like to point out that germany has a close trade relations and the president has been happy with the trade surplus but we still have a long way to go but the united states also with tax reform has become a very interesting place until our company and we can say with great pride that not only hundreds of thousands are exported from germany but from the us to the rest of the world and hundreds of thousands cars are built are exported to the rest of the world. we create american jobs and i
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believe that the work is very good working conditions so that's another bond that ties us together. we will continue to discuss those trade issues and have the nato meeting and we will meet again and let me say a version that apart from the relations that are very close and where we may look at issues differently but generally on the partnership we are linked by ties in the world of science and culture and we still have the largest [inaudible] since 1945 military has been stationed in germany and a lot of them have close ties and friendships with the germans and i'm delighted to see about the ambassador and we will work on this basis and we are delighted that we have an
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ambassador. thank you. >> we will take some questions. blake. >> thank you, mr. president. i left a couple questions of the president first. i want to ask you -- let me step over. it's crowded. a couple comments you made in the oval office in what you said about north korea that they played the us in the past like a fiddle but that will not happen to us do you as it relates to getting peace on the korean peninsula and denuclearization do you feel as if you need to be the closer in that deal and do you want to be the closer in that deal or do you think that
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is something that is shared by all of the major stakeholders in the world leaders within that region and secondly, indulge us if you might, you said that the relationship with north korea has been strong or one of the words you used and have you spoken with kim jong-un himself or do you plan on speaking -- >> i don't want to comment on that. we have a good working relationship and we are setting up a meeting and things have changed very radically from a few months ago. you know the name calling and other things. we get a kick every once in a while out of the fact that i'll be watching people that fail so badly over the last 25 years explaining to me how to make a deal with north korea. i get a big, big kick out of that. we are doing very well and i think that something very dramatic that happened and they are treating us with great
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respect and you know what is going on with south korea and i think president moon of south korea was very generous in saying that we helped make the lyrics great success because of the fact that, as you know, there was tremendous animosity and problem going on and all of a sudden people started buying tickets because whole different feeling when north said we 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 one meeting with him he said that is your biggest problem and that will be the most difficult thing you have. honestly, i wish it was handled earlier and handled by another administration years ago. i'm not just talking president obama. i go back to any administration you want but over the last 25 years the should've been handled a long time ago not now. it should not have been left for
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me to handle. we will handle it and we're handling it well and hopefully there will be peace for north korea, south korea, germany, everything is improving. japan, the chancellor has been very helpful in the maximum pressure campaign, as i said and very helpful. we have many other nations and president xi of china has been really good at the border and everyone was surprised at how tight he clamped down and everyone said he would talk about it and he did it out of a relationship that we have and also out of the fact that we are negotiating trade deals. that is very important to him and hopefully we will come up with something that is good for both countries. i think some very good things can happen with respect to north korea and we are setting up meetings now and down to two countries. we will let you know what that site is. do you have a question for the
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chancellor? >> follow-up. do you feel it response ability for this to eventually get settled between north and south korea? >> i think i have a responsibility. i think other presidents should have done it. the responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of the president of the united states and i think we have, i think i have a response ability 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 hope i can do for the world. this is beyond the united states. this is a world problem and it's something i hope i am able to do for the world. >> chancellor? i am just wondering if you been given any assurances that the european union will be exempt from steel and aluminum tariffs come tuesday, the mate one deadline. did he tell you what he may or may not do? speaking in german. translator: we had an exchange of views on the current state of
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affairs and the respected assessment of where we stand and it lies with the president. >> i have a question for the chancellor but i like to start with the question of iran for you mr. president. after a long day of talks with you, president macron went to congress warned of a new war in the middle east and asked the world and the united states to respect the sovereignty of all countries including iran. in the absence of the new agreement are you prepared to use military force to reign in the nuclear program and iran or do you have another plan b that is not in agreement and not military? >> i don't talk about whether i would use military force. it's not appropriate to be talking about but i can tell you this -- they will not be doing
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nuclear weapons. that i can tell you. they will not be doing nuclear weapons. you can bank on it. translator: a year ago people remember and were concerned being ready to show toughness against russia and now you come to washington with that the new round of sanctions against the so-called oligarch may well be detrimental to the german economy. have you asked the president to exempt from companies and are you around worried that the united states because the president is trying to be with president and that may well change completely and may well be treated harshly without coordinated with you? translator: we worked very closely and the illegitimate actions of russia due to for example crimea and also the situation they call in ukraine i am very pleased to say that we work very closely with the american administration and are
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confident in the format and the stations very much are in the congress and we work together with the are very work closely with the treasury and looking at the secondary effects it may have and the conflict we have with russia for example in syria and there's a wide degree of agreement and no one is not having good relations but wherever there are conflicts and wherever things are happening we have to call and include the integrity of the country and it's one that needs to be upheld needs to be enforced. at the exchange it wasn't satisfactory on these issues and is it as closely aligned as you
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want? translator: yes, i can always ask questions and i believe the change is there. again, section seven adopted by congress and we pointed out to the effect that it has in the belief that our finance minister and the treasury have talked about this and they met at the finance ministers at the financing for syria conference yesterday and when i problems i can talk to the american. >> cbn. >> mr. president, two questions for you. first one is on ronnie jackson. it's been one day some seatbelt out and i know it's been less than 24 hours but have you a new nominee for the secretary for department of veteran affairs? the other question is on us embassy set to open in jerusalem in three weeks. have you decided if you do plan to attend and also can you confirm if treasury secretary is leading a delegation that could
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include your son-in-law and ivanka trump? >> ronnie jackson, admiral doctor, is one of the finest men that i have met over the last long period of time. high-quality, high quality family. i just met them. i explained what happens. i explained that washington can be a very mean place. you don't know about that, chancellor. a nasty place. the false accusations that were made about him by senator chester from the great state. i don't think that state will put up with it. these were false accusations about a great man and about a man who has a son who is a top student at annapolis in about a man that has given his life to his country and the military and a brave man and would've been a great leader and to say the kind
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of things that he said yet president obama giving him an a+ report yet president bush giving him an a+ report and have president trump giving him an a+ report and to make a statement of things that most people say it never happened, never even happened, calling him names was, to me, a disgrace. it's an absolute disgrace. i think it is something we learn from -- i called him today and i said in a certain way you are in a very big way an american hero because you have exposed the system to some horrible things. i've had it happened to me with the russian collusion hooks. it's a hoax.
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but i came in the job understanding that things happen. he did not. he's a great doctor and great admiral and did not really think of things like this could happen. i think it's a disgrace. i just want to comment on that and actually i'm glad you asked the question but i think this man has been treated -- he's an american hero and i think he's been treated unfairly. >> as far as the nomination have you put forward a new nomination? >> i have many people that want the position if you can believe it. we have some excellent people in very political people. some people that a thing like that would not happen or if it did happen they will handle it somewhat differently but we have many people that want the job. were very proud of the job we have done for the veterans and the veterans have been we gotten accountability approved which is something that for years, four
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years they've been trying to get, as you know and they couldn't have account ability. when someone treats our veterans badly we can fire them so fast almost as fast as they fired people in germany. we will get them. i will tell you we are getting choice and we are putting choice in very strongly with tremendous support in the senate for that but i have a lot of people that want the job. were doing a great job over there for the that and that was one of the things that was important. we have tremendous support from the vets and great reports but getting a thing such as accountability done will be getting choice down. meaning, if a veteran stands online and can't get to a doctor for various reasons they go to a private doctor in this country will pay. they will not wait nine weeks online for a cure to something that could've been very easy to
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cure and then they end up dying from it. we will -- i'm proud of what we have done and i will tell you that your new head of the va will be exceptional. we have some exceptional people do want to do the job. >> before i get to chancellor merkel, i want to backtrack to the us embassy opening injuries on the use in the past you would like to go -- >> they came to me and just a little bit about government summons that could i tell a story -- became to meet with a proposal for a 1 billion-dollar embassy in jerusalem. the papers, mike pence, can tell you they were put before me to sign an application for more than $1 billion to build intimacy and i said what are you talking about? $1 billion but most embassies are single-story. and they said yes, sir, $1 billion and i had my name have signed and i noticed the figure and i never got to the
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word trump. i had donald signed but i never got to the word trump. i called my ambassador who is a great lawyer and most people in business know david freedman, ambassador to israel. he loves israel and loves our country and i said what is this 1 billion and he said i can build it for $150,000. he said i can build it for $150,000 the embassy. we have a building and we have the site and we own the site and we own the building and i can take a corner of the building and for $150,000 we can fix it up, make it beautiful, open our embassy and instead of ten years from now we can open it up in three months. that is what we did but i said, david, let's not go from $1,000,000,000.250000 but let's go to three or 400,000 and that is what we did. we took a piece of the building will be beautiful and it will be somewhat temporary but could be for many years because by the
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time they build it the other way it will be many, many years. they were looking for sites that we already have a site. the site is better than any thing you could imagine. but that is the way government works. they were to spend $1 billion and we are to spend much less then a half a million. could've done it for less than that but let's said let's make it nice. i may go and i'm very proud of it. jerusalem has been a subject that has been promised for many years, as you know. the empathy in jerusalem has been promised for many, many years by presidents and they all make campaign promises and they never had the courage to carry it out. i carried it out. i may go. it's getting ready to open and i do want to tell that story because there are a couple of people that to see it including mike and others where they were literally going to spend
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$1 billion but were spending a tiny fraction of that in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. it will be very nice. maybe it will be nicer than a billion-dollar building. for the chancellor, please. >> i wanted to ask about iran's nuclear deal. you heard president trump say that they will not be restarting the nuclear program and you can bank on that. do you fear that the if the us backs out that iran will restart the nuclear program and you've the second european union leader to stop here at the white house this week. what improvements did you recommend to the president that needs to be changed in order to keep the us in the deal? [speaking in german] translator: well, i set up my position that i believe that obviously this agreement is anything but perfect. it will not solve all the problems. it is one piece of the mosaic, one building on which we can build up the structure. that when the united kingdom and
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france and germany work with the american colleagues as this was brought about and we will now see what some decisions are made by american partners. i said the whole region is of prime importance to us because it's a thousand kilometers away between the usa and syria but syria and iran are countries that are right on our doorstep. that is of prime importance to us. we will continue to be in close talks on this. [speaking in german] translator: m chancellor, you use to describe america as a destination of your would you have ever wanted to be and now you said in germany by you that europe has to take its destiny in its own hands that you cannot rely on the united states or the time and have you talked with the president about this development and where this unhappy development and should not in many ways deliver on this
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promise of significantly increasing the defense spending and a lot of people are irritated by the way that you fulfilled this most important job with the rest of the world and with the aggressive twitter messages and i wanted to ask you whether does this mean that in the future there will be less compromise by the night states and less reconciliation and how will you decide on the first of may when this is about a possible extension of the exemption for tariffs and what is your position on this? will there be a trade war with this big block of europe or do you see an opportunity of not going into a trade war? >> i think for a lot of people in germany but also in many other countries people wish and want to go to the united states.
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more like 40 million people in germany and in europe here in the united states and in germany and europe and america is a great country and even though we may seem the difficulties on the issues we have to address that and talk about that but this land of freedom and this great country obviously still remains very attractive and i continue to say that. germany and europe have to take the destiny and we can no longer appear during the cold war when germany was divided and rely on america to come and help us. america still helping us but we will have to increase our contribution to an america has been very much engaged in parts of the world to have said that
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what is in it for us and the president saying you should have sharing and so in a way we are maturing and after the second world war people were not becoming too engaged or active and and we created such incredible interest in the world but it's an end and [inaudible] we as germans have to learn to have responsibility to be the second-largest in nato and we've done it for a few years and from the president's perspective not fast enough but i would say as german chancellor we have made important the right direction and will continue to do so and cannot rely if it is on our
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doorstep and we have to give a contribution and it will have to [inaudible] also with the readiness that comes for engaged diplomacy and for example it's part and parcel of the small group and just had a meeting in paris and syria and with the saudi arabia and to give contribution and its obligation we ought to complain about this and as the president says to be economically successful and politically we don't wish to do so much but we have to assume our role and there are differences of opinion and we as friends can discuss that openly. >> thank you, chancellor. we need a reciprocal
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relationship which we do not have. the united states right now has a trade deficit with the european union of $151 billion. the chancellor and i have discussed it today at length and we are working on it and want to make it more fair and the chancellor wants to make it more fair. same thing with nato. we have a far greater burden than we should have. other countries should be paying more and i'm not saying germany alone but other countries should be paying more. we are protecting europe and yet we pay far more than anyone else. nato is wonderful but it helps europe more than it helps us. are we paying a vast majority of the cost? it has been unfair and i don't blame the chancellor or germany and i don't blame the european union but those who preceded me for allowing this to happen and there's no way we should have a trade deficit of $151 billion we will make it reciprocal and much
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more more fair situation everyone will be happy and i view this as looking at one block and will benefit this tremendous potential between the united states and the european union. that will happen and there's a tremendous benefit to nato when people pay but they have to be paid. some countries pay more than this and they say the united states have and i have been told by numerous countries, poland being one, they pay a little bit more than they are supposed to be paying or have to pay because they feel the night states is more than caring their load. perhaps they feel it is not fair but it is something we very much appreciate. i believe that when i look at the numbers in germany and some
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other countries they may not like donald trump but you have to understand that means i'm doing a good job because i'm representing the united states. angela is upsetting germany and doing a fantastic job. my predecessors did not do a very good job. but we are trying to catch you, we will try. we will have a reciprocal relationship and it will be something that benefits all of us. thank you very much everybody. thank you. angela, thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> back live now to the republican national lawyers association conference