Skip to main content

  President Trump Italian President Hold Joint News Conference  CSPAN  October 16, 2019 1:01pm-1:44pm EDT

1:01 pm
1:02 pm
1:03 pm
in the meantime, thank you very much. we would love to have you say a few words. thank you.
1:04 pm
[speaking in native tongue] welcome to my entire delegation. they are marked by a deep friendship. and by common interest. for he strengthens in the u.s. of so many americans of italian descent. another reason why i am so happy to be here on this visit in october. dedicated again to i tell you i would like to go back when he mentioned christopher columbus. who opened up new horizons. he got to know and connected contents. based on the roles, it seems to
1:05 pm
me that he did a good job back then. after italy, the u.s. has not only a fundamental fundamental ally, it is also a country of rich that shares the same path of democracy. shares the same values of freedom. human rights. the rule of law. italy's international vision is based on -- which is the atlantic alliance which then over time also led to european integration of european union which was a consistent process. true essential elements in our policy in operation.
1:06 pm
we are united, the us, italy and europe. due to our history, due to, due to our preferences, due to the culture that we share. due to very intense human relationships we have through our fellow citizens. as president trump mentioned earlier, we talked talked about nato. nato is first and foremost committed to your values which italy recognizes and participates with a great deal of compassion. italy has always contributed, observing intensely to your nato missions and operations. effectiveness. we have substantially supported the activities of the alliance. and i would like to remind you of the fact that besides being the fifth contributor, italy is a second contributor in terms of
1:07 pm
the troops to nato missions. we ranked number two in the number of troops participating in nato operations, along with the other missions we perform through the un and the coalition against terrorism which has developed in recent years. i would like to remind you of the fact that, as we speak, 6 f 35 are patrolling the skies over iceland. the framework of the second nato mandate. peace and security. italy has constantly reiterated that the transatlantic spirit has to be nurtured, protected with all of our strength. mentioning the relationship we
1:08 pm
share. with this spirit in mind, we hope that the new five-year fundamental return with the new european union, you can foster our corroboration on trade between the eu and trade. we are aiming to define solutions that can strengthen our relationships because commercial trade tensions are to the benefit of no one. imposing tariffs in one another is counterproductive and it damages both of our economies. i would like to add, we share with the u.s. that the wto should be reformed. it should be more effective.
1:09 pm
as president trump mentioned, we talked about syria. we are deeply concerned with turkey's offensive in this part of syria. this attack and a limited number of days has already called a number of casualties and refugees and displaced people. there plenty of victims amongst civilians as well. this is an attack which also has a number on tran -- another risk to isis and to its criminal activity. not just in the middle east. also in other continents around the world. italy in line with the eu's position condemns the turkish
1:10 pm
operations which are ongoing. we have also talked about libya. and we talked about this topic as all the other topics as a good spirit of friendship and a very tangible way. the current situation is a source of deep concern for us. we are convinced that the attacks can destabilize all of north africa. it increases the threat of terrorism and it contributes to creating an environment which fosters all kinds of illegal trafficking. of course, it jeopardizes the production in that country. most of all, it denies denies the people the possibility of finding a peaceful solution which it deserves after so many years. we talked about our relationships with china
1:11 pm
together with president trump. we want to defend the world order based on clear rules with the un at the center of the world order and an open and fair one which complies with the principles of the world trade organization. we discussed two topics. namely security concerning new technologies. referring to 5 g. italy has been paying close attention to our national security requirements. it has paid close attention to it and it will continue to do so. we also underlined the need to have a level playing field. so that there could be a fair and healthy relationship. we need to be able to protect it for all of the economic players
1:12 pm
involved. without any effective technology. all of these pockets were discussed with a full spirit of friendship. like many other topics. this opportunity was also an excellent opportunity to reiterate the friendship between the u.s. and italy and the first relationship between the continents. for that reason, i want to thank president trump very much for our meeting. for your welcome. i will be seeing you again this afternoon on occasion which will be filled with many elements of meaning and performance. thank you, mr. president. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. president. the wto, the wto, as everybody knows, we just won seven just 17
1:13 pm
and a half billion dollars because of unfair trade practices. that will be distributed in a fair way throughout various countries in europe. we are talking to the president as it pertains to italy. he thought we were a little bit harsh on italy. we don't want to be harsh on italy. we will look at that fairly strongly. we will be taking a look at that. please. >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to ask about turkey. did the president's decision surprised you and if they did not surprise you, would you make the same decision as you made the four? we just heard that the uaw and gm may have been able to work on a deal. if i could get your reaction to that and what it might mean for the u.s. economy. if i could ask you about the digital text. the two of you discussed a possible digital tax.
1:14 pm
what progress were you able to make? thank you very much. >> the decision did not surprise me. he's wanted to do that for a long time. building up troops on the border with syria for a long time, as you know. we only had 26, 28, but 28, but under 50. under 50 soldiers. a very tiny force. it did not surprise me at all. it is unnatural for us, but unnatural unnatural for them. they fight. they fight long and they fight hard. they've been fighting syria for a long time. i say why are we protecting syria's land? assad is not a friend of ours. syria also has a relationship with the kurds.
1:15 pm
who, by the way, are no angels. who was who is an angel? there are not too many around. syria has a relationship with the kurds. they may bring partners in. they could bring russia in. i say welcome to it. russia went into afghanistan when it was the soviet union. it became a much smaller country because of afghanistan. you can overextend. you can do a lot of things. if russia will help in protecting the kurds, that is a good thing. not a bad thing. syria does not want turkey to take its land. i can understand that. what does that have to do with the united states of america? are we supposed to fight a nato member? i don't think so. syria does have a relationship with the kurds. the thing that is common as everybody hates isis. the pre-kk is probably worse
1:16 pm
that terror and more of a terrorist threat in many ways than isis. it is a very complicated -- very serious, semi- complicated problem. i think it is a problem that we have very nicely under control. two countries wanting their land two countries that want land that perhaps does not belong to them. a 22-mile stretch of, they call it freedom. they call it a lot of things. they want to get terrace out. they will have to work that out. with that being said, vice president mike pence will be leaving either late tonight or tomorrow, he was going to leave yesterday, but they have to have certain security. very important man in our country. he will be leaving with
1:17 pm
secretary of state pompeo. we already have negotiators negotiating with turkey. we put mass sanctions on turkey. additional sanctions on turkey. when i ran, i ran on on a basis we would bring our great soldiers back home where they belong. we do not have to fight these effortless wars. some people, whether you call it military or beyond that, they would like me to stay. one of the problems that i have, the idea that they want me to stay, they want me to fight forever, they do very well fighting. a lot of companies want to fight because they make their weapons based on fighting, not based on peace. i want to bring our soldiers back home. we are not a police force. we are a fighting force. the greatest force ever. i have spent two half trillion dollars rebuilding our military. when i took it over, it was a
1:18 pm
mess. it was totally depleted. honest people all know that. when i was thinking about having to do something, one of our generals came into see me me. he said we don't have ammunition. i said that's a terrible thing you just said. now we have more ammunition than we've ever had. we have more missiles, we have have more rockets. our nuclear has been totally updated. in some cases, new. hope to god we never have to use it, but we have the most powerful nuclear base by far in the world. we have things that we never had before. we have a great modern military. that does not mean we will waste it. that does not mean we will depleted like we did before with these endless wars. turkey and syria will hopefully work it out between themselves. hopefully isis will be guarded.
1:19 pm
i spoke with, as you know, know, a wonderful man yesterday. general. from the kurds. you all know who i am talking about. some of you have seen the letter that i put out. i gave it to him. some of you have seen it. i said, listen. do not open those doors and let them out just to create more havoc so that we come in. let's create some havoc and some political exposure for the president of the united states. we were the ones that took care of it. specifically me. i am the one that gave the order. when i came in under president obama, isis was a disaster all over that area. we were the ones that captured them. i will say this. russia, iran, syria and may be a
1:20 pm
slightly lesser extent, turkey, they all hate isis as much as we do. and it is they are part of the world. we are 7000 miles away. i campaigned on bringing our soldiers home. that is what i am doing. that includes other places, too. statutorily, it takes a period of time. diplomatically, it takes it takes a period of time. we are in many countries. i am embarrassed to tell you how many. i know the exact number, but i'm embarrassed to say it. we are protecting countries that don't even like us. they take advantage of us. they don't pay. nothing. you probably saw, some of you wrote, govern the fact that we are sending additional troops to saudi arabia. that is true. i appreciate the fact that i
1:21 pm
negotiated a short period of time. they have agreed to pay for the full cost of all of that deployment and more. much more. very rich company on trend country. should be paying if they want this kind of protection. same thing with nato. we are at 4% in other countries at 1%. perhaps we benefit, but not nearly as much as the european countries. some people say we don't benefit at all. we put ourselves in harm's way. i would say that we are in a great position. we are doing what i said. we have two countries that will argue over their border. hopefully they will work it out. i think our vice president is a very capable man. he will do well tomorrow. he will meet with the president. he said he would not meet with
1:22 pm
anybody and he took that back just a little while ago. i think they will have a successful meeting. if they don't, the sanctions and tariffs and other things we are doing, we will do that. it will be devastating to turkey's economy. the previous administration administration tried very hard. i did it very quickly. let's see what happens. i think we will be successful. we have to bring our troops back home. i go to walter reed and i give out purple hearts. just did it on friday. i see the incredible soldiers coming home to dover. coming home in a coffin. areas we have nothing to do with. we have nothing to do with. it is heartbreaking. i signed letters all the time to parents whose son was shot in different places in the middle east. it is very heartbreaking to see.
1:23 pm
i have said it and it is through strength, not through weakness. much harder to do what i am doing. i could be like all of these others. just leave them there. no. i cannot do it. probably politically better for me. we will leave a lot of people there and we will fight. they do not even know what they are fighting for. much more difficult politically. i have people even on my side. they want to fight. they don't even know what we're fighting. you have syria and you have turkey and they will argue. maybe they will fight it out. our men are not going to get killed. they've been fighting for hundreds of years. it's been going on for hundreds of years. it is a long answer. i think i've gotten much of it out. thank you very much.
1:24 pm
next question. [inaudible] >> thank you. if the two of you discussed the possible digital tax and where that discussion might be going as it might relate to google and amazon and others. thank you, sir. [speaking in native tongue] >> we did not talk about this. and, of course, this is an open issue. very important. being discussed in a matter of context. this important issue can be discussed and solved. >> we discussed it with another european member.
1:25 pm
france is basically doing the digital tax. i am no fan of those companies. they were against me. these are american companies. a great big american companies. france and european union taxing our companies. a big tax on french wine. just to answer your question, i am not happy about the fact that they are taxing power companies. i am not a fan of those companies. if anyone is, it should should be the usa. [speaking in native tongue] >> serious concern.
1:26 pm
[speaking in native tongue] >> as far as serious concerns, in recent days, you talked about the risk europe runs in terms of not responding to the situation. recently, some european countries including italy have discussed a possible ban. do you think this could be an adequate way to respond to the situation? also considering turkey is and continues to be a member of nato? >> on september 27, me with intelligence officials. i would like to know if you personally arranged this meeting. what kind of information and where you satisfied?
1:27 pm
>> i do not know the details. i just know our country is looking into the corruption of the 2016 election. it was corrupt. there was a lot of corruption. going right up to president obama. i think it does. you get some real beauties. i know they are looking into the corruption. the ig report is coming out soon. we will find out. i don't know anything about the meeting, but, certainly, it would, it would be appropriate. the word as they did go to other countries to try to hide what they were doing. italy may have been one of them. you really have to ask attorney general bar. thank you. [speaking in native tongue] >> yes, turkey is a member member of nato. and that is looking very important, of course.
1:28 pm
i would like to remind you of the fact that currently there is a contribution to turkey. we have an antimissile system which italy has been having in turkey for a number of years. the focus of a nato mission. something more important than my friendship is the truth. the relationships of friendships and alliances, of course, do not mean that we can't say the turkish attack is a serious mistake. we don't have hesitation whatsoever due to the reasons i mentioned earlier. the solution, of course, does not lie in sanctions. continued sanctions will be inevitable. they have made announcement. the only solution is to stop
1:29 pm
operations and retreat from that area. we are stopping all the dangers that i mentioned earlier. >> john, go ahead. >> we will pick up on your comments with turkey and syria. even after all u.s. scene, isis prisoners freed, you do not have any regret for giving the green light to invade? >> i did did not give him a green light. when you make a statement like that, it is so deceptive. first of all, we have virtually no soldiers there. they would have been in harm's way. you have a massive army on the other side of the border. if anybody saw the letter, which can be released very easily, if you'd like, i wrote a letter right after that conversation. very powerful letter. they had been wanting to do that
1:30 pm
for years. frankly, they'd been fighting for many many years. when you ask a question like that, it's it's very deceptive. it turned out that the bombing took place in kentucky. i am not even sure that abc apologized for that. certainly, it was a terrible thing. wow, that's pretty bad. it was in kentucky, in kentucky, not syria. i think abc owes an apology. >> nancy graham just said of your remarks you made in the oval office, if you keep talking like that, this will be a disaster worse than obama's decision to leave iraq. >> lindsey graham would like to stay in the middle east for thousands of years and fighting other people's wars. i want to to get out of the middle east. i think lindsay should focus right now on judiciary like the democrats, the do-nothing democrats, as i call i call them they are doing nothing. they are getting nothing done. canada, the united states and
1:31 pm
mexico. they are getting nothing done. i think lindsay should focus on judiciary. focus on what happened with call me. find out what happened with mccabe. lisa. what happened with president obama. what happened with brennan. that is what lindsay ought to focus on. that is what the people of south carolina want him to focus on. the people of south carolina don't want us to get into a war with turkey. or was syria. let them fight their own wars. let them fight their own wars. the people of south carolina want to see those troops come home. i want an election based on that. that is the way it is whether it is good or bad. i would be willing to bet anything, political that that is what the country wants. i will not get involved in a war between turkey and syria. especially when, if you look at
1:32 pm
the kurds, and, again, i say this, i say this with great respect, they are no angels. isis respects -- you know why? there is nothing more tougher than isis. you take a look look at a lot of the things. nobody wants to say it. we are making the kurds look like they are angels. tremendous amounts of money. we have given them massive fortunes. they fought with us. but we paid a lot to them to fight with us. just so you understand, we were the ones that captured isis. they opened a couple of doors to make this look as bad as possible. we have a situation where turkey is taking land from syria. syria is not happy about it. let them work it out. we should not be over there. you should get your accounts correct and you should not be showing buildings blowing up in kentucky and say it is theory on
1:33 pm
trent syria. that is fake news. >> some of the countries hating isis more than the united states. >> absolutely. russia hates isis as much as the united states does. i ran hates isis. we are fighting a roar for russia. we are fighting a war for iran. you look at syria. we are over there killing isis. don't forget we are 7000 miles away. we are 7000 miles away. russia is much closer. iran is right there. turkey has right there. they all hate isis. russia had a plane blown up by isis. rush out wants nothing to do with isis. russia is tough. they can kill isis just as well. all i am saying is this. i will not lose thousands and tens of thousands of american
1:34 pm
soldiers fighting a war between turkey and syria. syria is not our friend. assad is not our friend. that is the way it goes. >> 28 troops. you said you withdrew 28 troops. >> we thought it was 50, it was 26-28 troops. all accounted for. all accounted for. nobody injured. nobody missing. it is really nice be back look what has happened since. >> no american soldiers have been killed. that is what has happened. other people going in. very easy to recapture those people. making a little bit better political impact. that is okay. i fully understand it. we are bringing our soldiers back home. we were supposed to be in syria for one month. that was 10 years ago. we have been a police force. it is time to bring our soldiers back home. that is the way it is.
1:35 pm
no soldiers injured or hurt. we are the boss. just remember that. the most powerful military in the world by far. >> please. >> mr. president, what is the view in europe on the president's decision to withdraw making an abrupt decision. >> already answered a question regarding syria. i'm not here to judge what other countries do. saying what my country's position is. condemning what turkey decided to do in recent ways with no possible ambiguity. [speaking in native tongue]
1:36 pm
president trump seems to be open on discussing the possible terrorists. do you think it will be possible to avoid terrorists being imposed in two days time? a question for president trump. we all know your concerns. entering italy's security system are you satisfied with the measures that italy decided to implement? >> yes, i am satisfied tiered they have been very accommodating. they were not at the beginning. they have since then. i want to just think the government. and your prime minister, actually, actually, in addition to the president. i had long conversations with my friend. they were very nice. i am very satisfied weird we just discuss the same conversation with the president. very satisfied.
1:37 pm
thank you. [speaking in native tongue] >> as far as the topic of terrace is concerned, terrace following the wto with the decision on the eu contribution, subsidies to the consortium, already mentioned, let me repeac relationship. with the friendship that has always been between the u.s. and the eu. it would be preferable to discuss finding a solution which takes into account the requirements of both parties. that is wholly possible. the alternative would be imposing tariffs. currently, following the decision concerning airbus,
1:38 pm
there may be tariffs in six months time concerning the subsidies committed to boeing. this is a mere race between terrace and mutual terrace. i think it would be best to meet and to deal with our mutual needs so that a solution can be found. if we don't do this now, it will have to be done soon. i believe it will be best to find a solution immediately instead of imposing tariffs. that would be a damage to both of our economies. >> actually, the tariff situation is interesting. like i said with china, it turned turned out to be true, we cannot lose the world of tariffs. the balance is so great between the united states and in this case the european union.
1:39 pm
we have collected tens of billions of dollars of terrace. we have given some to the farmers to make them even. now the farmers will have a bigger contract than they ever thought possible. they are incredible. probably not jokingly. they will have to buy larger tractors. probably what they are doing right now. in a war of terrace with the european union, the trade imbalance is so great that we cannot lose that. they do much more business than we do. that is unfortunate. the word reciprocity is probably my favorite word. of all of these words, all of the semi-complicated, complicated to me, not complicated at all things we are doing, it has to be reciprocal. the european union takes a disadvantage on the united states. many of us come through the
1:40 pm
european union. that is a good news. the bad news is, they have been very smart. they have been very smart. john claude has been brilliant. he's been brilliant at really helping them and not helping us. that is changing now. we cannot lose that particular war of terrace. the trade balance is tremendous. if you look at what they do not have, the barriers that they put up, they put up tremendous barriers to doing business in europe. tremendous barriers. both from a monetary standpoint and what they call nonmonetary barriers. it is a very tough thing. our farm products very hard to get them in. and yet they send mercedes, they send sent bmw, they send a volkswagen. in the case of france. it is a very tough situation for
1:41 pm
us for many years. now it's a great situation for them. i can remedy the situation very easily. there really is not a financial counterattack. with all of that being said, we are talking. we are talking with some new people in europe. i hope that it will be successful. that way we don't have the talk about it or worry about it because our relationship should be a great one. we have to be treated fairly and we have to be treated fairly with trade with the european union. thank you all very much. thank you. [moment of silence]
1:42 pm
>> the senate considering a number of executive and judicial nominations. they held preliminary boats earlier on four different. they are returning at 215 eastern. they will finish debate this afternoon on the nomination of barbara barrett to be the next air force secretary. 415 eastern. over in the senate today, they are debating the measure expressing disapproval for the president's decision to withdraw troops from syria. the senate here at 215 on c-span two. in just a bit on c-span three, house foreign affairs subcommittee holding a hearing on a final report on the bipartisan syria subgroup. they will discuss that decision. watch coverage live at two pm eastern. also online and on the free c-span radio at tiered fresh off last night's debate in ohio, joe
1:43 pm
biden campaigns today in davenport, iowa. that is live at 5:00 p.m. eastern also on c-span three. tomorrow, president trump back on the campaign trail with the campaign rally. democratic and republican house leaders briefed reporters this morning, both talking about the house legislative schedule in the impeachment inquiry. here is what they had to say we will start with democratic leadership. >> good morning, everyone. we had a very robust discussion in the caucus meeting today around issues connected to syria at which we talk about momentarily. we have to re- distinguish cochairs of the national security task force. also, on hr three