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  President Trump and Italian Prime Minister React to Paris Attack  CSPAN  April 20, 2017 7:34pm-8:01pm EDT

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visit in sicily next month. president trump i look forward to that. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. president trump: thank you, very much. prime minister, welcome. great honor. thank you. it is wonderful to have you in our wonderful people's house known as the white house. so many great italian friends are with us today. always, the deep
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ties of history and friendship that link together the american and italian peoples. that history traces its roots to the timeless contributions of italy, to civilization, and human progress. so true. stretching all the way back to ancient rome. through the ages, your country has been a beacon of artistic and scientific achievement. that continues today. from the venice to florence to pavarotti, a friend of mine. these bonds of history and culture have only grown stronger as our two nations have become close partners, dear friends, and very vital allies. mr. prime minister, i am
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thrilled you are here today to discuss how we can make this great relationship even more productive. in the years to come. on the economy, italy is one of the world's largest trading partners, a lot of people do not know that. we both seek a trading relationship that is balanced, reciprocal, i love the word reciprocal, we do not have too many reciprocal trading partnerships. we will very soon. and fair. benefiting both of our countries. we can work together to achieve the outcome. a key partner in the fight against terrorism. they are now the second largest contributor of troops to the conflicts in iraq and afghanistan. i would also like to thank you, prime minister, for your leadership on seeking stabilization in libya. and for your crucial efforts to deny isis a foothold in the mediterranean. you fought hard.
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we are grateful for your role in the anti-isis campaign, all nations must condemn this barbaric enemy and support the effort to achieve its total and complete destruction. also, as you know, we have more than 30,000 american service members, families and personnel who are stationed across your country. as we reaffirm our support for historic institutions, we must also reaffirm the requirement that everyone must pay their full and fair share for the cost of defense. together, we can address many pressing challenges, including two that greatly affect both of our two rain countries. -- two countries.
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those of international migration and smuggling. maintaining strong borders is an important part of any security policy. approach toe refugees is one that seeks the return of refugees to their home countries so they can help rebuild their own nations. finally, i want to say how much i look forward to visiting fosteras we seek to cooperation. not only on matters of security but also science, commerce, and technology. our two countries have shared interests and shared values. we can make great contributions. i again want to thank you for being with us and being are true friend. place.s a spectacular
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i know it well. i love the people of italy. we have 18 million italians living in the united states, people originally from italy. it is a great honor to have many of them as my friends. thank you for being here. thank you, mr. president. here.you for hosting us it is an honor to be here at the white house today. i will now switch to italian. we had a very fruitful meeting. which reflects an ancient friendship. as the president reminded us with his words. also a signhip is of the 18 million at how you americans -- italian americans
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who have such an important role in this country. this friendship is witnessed also by the fact that italy is choice for american students who study abroad. we are very proud of this. this confirms the importance that the united states gives to the cultural dimension of our country. as the president himself just is baseds friendship on a common commitment against terrorism. is a commitment in which we are both very active. our country is active in iraq and afghanistan. i think that the stabilization work will be decisive, the stabilization work of iraq after the military defeat we expect for daesh.
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we know this action against terrorism must take place within our own individual countries in andpe, with the social cultural commitment against radicalization, by cooperating with islamic communities. italy contributes to peace and stability in the mediterranean. where i believe the u.s. choice to react to the use of chemical weapons by bashir a negotiatedere solution is more necessary than ever. in libya, and we discussed this, where we need to work against the division of the country in order to stabilize it. this is a very decisive task. if we want to manage the migratory flows.
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values giving up on our and our humanitarian principles. and we need to contrast the horrible traffic of people and refugees. about commonspoken statements in nato and the goals that were identified in 2014 and the commitments on military expenses and the contribution that each country must make towards collective security. we are proud of our contribution. and finally, italy is a country of dialogue. we are proud because we succeeded in keeping open the doors and difficult crises. dialogue can be useful.
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even vis-a-vis russia without obviously giving up our humanity -- unity and our principles and without giving up our strength and our values. i also told president trump that we have confidence even though this is a difficult moment and we all know it's difficult right now. we have confidence in the future of the european union and certainly in the importance of the relationship between u.s. and italy. these are the two pillars that the trans-atlantic relationship is based on and great part of peace and freedom in the world. we are going through a difficult time, but i have confidence that the european union will continue to be a positive response to this. and finally, we are expecting and i look forward to the
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president's visit to the summit, and i trust that this will be the opportunity to show him the unity of our leaders and the of the principled free economies of the planet. because right now, we really do need this unity. once again, thank you, mr. president. president trump: thank you very much. thank you. appreciate it. i will take a few questions. john roberts of fox, please. john: mr. president, thank you so much. i hope you forgive me for asking a three-part question. in the last few minutes, while you were meeting with the prime minister, there was a shooting in downtown paris. it is being described as a potential terrorist attack. i wonder if you have something on that. further to that, to the trouble spots you're dealing with right now, north korea and iran. do you believe the leader of north korea, kim jong un is mentally unstable?
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is that one of the reasons why you're concerned about these latest developments? is he a man who can be reasoned with? on iran, do you suspect they are cheating on the jcpoa? and to mr. prime minister, you talked about your commitment to nato. president trump would like to see all nato members contribute 2% of your g.d.p. to nato. your contribution is slightly less than 1%. will you commit to committing 2% of your g.d.p. to the alliance going forward? president trump: first, i love the question you asked the prime minister. i look forward to his answer because i'm going to be asking him that same question. well, first of all, our condolences from our country to the people of france. again, it's happening. i saw it as i was walking in. so that's a terrible thing. it's a very, very terrible thing that's going on in the world today. but it looks like another terrorist attack.
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what can you say? it just never ends. we have to be strong and we have to be vigilant and i've been saying it for a long time. as far as north korea's concerned, we are in very good shape. we're building our military rapidly. a lot of things have happened over the last short period of time. i've been here for approximately 91 days. we're doing a lot of work. we're in very good position. we're going to see what happens. i can't ask your -- answer your question on stability. i hope the answer is a positive one, not a negative one. but hopefully that will be something that gets taken care of. i have great respect for the president of china. as you know, we had a great summit in florida and palm beach and got to know each other and i think like each other. i can say from my standpoint i liked him very much, i respected him very much and i think he's working very hard. i can say all the pundits out
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there are saying they have never seen china work like they're working right now. many coal ships have been sent back. many other things have happened. some very unusual moves have been made over the last two or three hours. and i really have confidence that the president will try very hard. we don't know whether or not they're able to do that but i have absolute confidence that he will be trying very, very hard. and one of the reasons we're talking about trade deals and we're talking about all of the different things but we're slowing up a little bit. i actually told him. i said you will make a much better deal on trade if you get rid of this menace or do something about the menace of north korea, because that's what it is right now, it's a menace right now. we'll see what happens. as far as iran is concerned, i think they are doing a tremendous disservice to an agreement that was signed. it was a terrible agreement. it shouldn't have been signed. it shouldn't have been negotiated the way it was
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negotiated. i'm all for agreements, but that was a bad one. as bad as i've ever seen negotiated. they are not living up to the spirit of the agreement. i can tell you that. and we're analyzing it very, very carefully and we'll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future, but iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement. and they have to do that. they have to do that. so we will see what happens. thank you very much, john. prime minister gentiloni: mr. president, thank you. allow me to join president trump's words for what happened in paris. these words of condolences and closeness to the french people. and this is a very delicate period for them. they are just three days before the election. as far as the question is
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concerned, the commitment has been made. it was made during a nato summit and we are used to respecting our commitments. we know that this will be a gradual process. it has already begun. and we know that italy has certain limitations when it comes to its budget, but despite these limitations, our commitment for common defense is very clear. and as i said earlier, i'm very proud, not only of the progress made in our financial commitment, but also proud of the contribution that we give to the security of the alliance. and so many areas of the world, we talked about iraq and afghanistan but we could also talk about the baltic sea or the balkans and in all of these areas you will see the presence
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of italian forces within the alliance. and we are proud of that. reporter: first, for you, i want to ask you, we saw from the administration a new type of policy seen very different from what we had in the past and one of the last important operations which was carried out by president trump was in syria with a bombing following the use of chemical weapons by the assad regime. i wanted to ask you. does italy think or conceive a possibility to take action in -- more action in syria? my colleague from fox news -- i will ask you two questions. first, about the european union. you said brexit was a great
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thing and you think that all the countries will follow. so you know that italy is is an important player and supporter of european integration. do you believe that actually a strong europe is important for the united states, also looking forward at a french election? and on the second question is that you said you're looking forward to go to the g-7. i wanted to know if it will be possible to meet pope francis during your trip. thank you. prime minister gentiloni: syria . we immediately assessed the operation that was ordered by president trump, and decided this was a motivated response to the use of chemical weapons. we added that it's up to everyone to consider negotiation
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as the road through which we hopefully can put an end to this infinite dramatic war and come to peace. italy is not directly involved in the operations, military operations in syria. other than marginal aspects. but it's not our plan to change this attitude. president trump: yes, a strong europe is very, very important to me as president of the united states and it's also, in my opinion, in my very strong opinion, important for the united states. we want to see it. we will help it be strong and it's very much to everybody's advantage and i look very much to meeting the pope. fabian of "the hill."
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yes? fabian: thank you, mr. president. some people on capitol hill think you can get one or two things next week, a vote on health care or a vote on a government funding bill. my question is, which is more important, a vote on a health bill or a vote to keep the government open? mr. prime minister, i want to get your thoughts on a referendum in turkey that occurred last week. you spoke about european values in the european continent. are you concerned about the hesults of the turkish referendum? is that something you discussed with president trump? president trump: ok. i want to get both. are you shocked? we'll see what happens on health care. we will see what happens. this is a great bill. this is a great plan and this will be great health care. it's evolving. you know, there was never a giveup. the press sort of reported there was like a giveup. there's no giveup. we started.
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remember, it took obamacare 17 months. i've really been negotiated this for two months, maybe even less than that, because we had a 30-day period where we did lots of other things. the first 30 days. but this has really been two months. and this is a continuation. and the plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really, really good. and a lot of people are liking it a lot. we have a good chance of getting it soon. i'd like to say next week but it will be -- i believe we will get it. whether it's next week or shortly thereafter. as far as keeping the government open, i think we want to keep the government open. don't you agree? so, yeah, i think we'll get both. thank you. prime minister gentiloni: the turkey referendum is a fact that we must take note of. leaving aside any debates that
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can take place about how the vote took place, but i believe that the european leadership have taken note of the vote. the consequences will depend on a great deal on how the turkish government and the president, especially, will take into account almost half of the population's expression of a different opinion. will there be an inclusive approach or will there be a confrontation in this part of turkey? this will be very important. for us and the european union. the other thing that's going to be very important is to -- is the respect of the certain fundamental principles. we are members of the atlantic alliance and italy contributes to turkey's defense with its own military assets.
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we believe that among our countries there should be a cooperation and hopefully and we trust that this cooperation will have among its consequences the solution of the case concerning the journalist who has been detained over the last few days in turky. reporter: you have focused a lot on the leadership, italian leadership and american leadership in order to stabilize libya. what do you expect exactly from washington, and especially i'm asking you, what is necessary in this process, in this relationship of cooperation with russia?
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president trump, do you see a role for your administration in helping stabilizing libya? and do you agree that stabilizing libya means combating terrorism and isis? prime minister gentiloni: america has played a very key role. first of all, to prevent the consolidation of an important basis for terrorism while daesh was undergoing defeat in iraq and syria. there were operations that were sustained by the u.s. against daesh in the city of sirte which were successful. now, the commitment must be political and therefore in the cooperation between the u.s. and
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italy and other key partners in the region, the goal is to broaden the basis of consensus for the tripoli government, which is recognized by the international community, but which must be able to count on a broader consensus. i believe that one clear goal should be this -- we need the region and we need countries like egypt and tunisia that are close to libya, we need a stable and unified libya. a divided country and in conflict would be -- would make civility worse. the u.s.'s job is -- the u.s. role -- sorry, and this is critical. president trump: i do not see a role in libya. i think the united states has right now enough roles. we are in a role everywhere. so i do not see that.
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i do see a role in getting rid of isis. we're being very effective in that regard. we are doing a job with respect to isis that has not been done anywhere near the numbers that we're producing right now. it's a very effective force we have. we have no choice. it's a horrible thing to say, but we have no choice. we are effectively ridding the world of isis. i see that as a primary role, and that's what we're going to do, whether it's in iraq or libya or anywhere else, and that will role will come to an end at a certain point and we will come back home and rebuild our country which is what we want to do. thank you oh, very much. i appreciate it. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its
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>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's television cable companies. that is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. with the first 100 days of the trump administration approaching, c-span takes a look at the president's cabinet, which includes the seniormost appointed officials. part two of ouec