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  President Trump Says There is Blame on Both Sides for Violence in...  CSPAN  August 15, 2017 6:37pm-7:01pm EDT

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listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> earlier this afternoon, president trump delivered a statement on infrastructure in newat trump tower york city. it is the first time the president has returned to his manhattan home since taking office in january. he answered several questions about saturday's violence in charlottesville that resulted from a white nationalist protest that left one woman dead and 20 injured. this is about 25 minutes. mr. trump: hello, everybody. great to be back in new york and someof our friends great friends outside the building, i must tell you. i want to thank all of our
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distinguished guests who are with us today, including members of our cabinet, the treasury secretary, steven mnuchin, omb director mick mulvaney, and our transportation secretary, who's doing a fabulous job, elaine chao. thank you all for doing a really incredible and creative job on what we are going to be discussing today, which is infrastructure. we have just had a great set of briefings upstairs on our infrastructure agenda. my administration is working every day to deliver the world-class infrastructure our people deserve and that frankly our country deserves. new is why i just signed a executive order to dramatically reform the nation's badly broken infrastructure permitting process. just walks away as the empire state building.
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it took 11 months to build the empire state building. today, it could take as long as a decade and much more than that. takes 20 ort 25-year's just to get approvals to start construction of a fairly routine highway. get up toilders must 16 different approvals involving nine different federal agencies governed by 29 different statutes. one agency alone can stall a project for many years, even decades. not only does this cost our economy billions of dollars, but it denies our citizens the safe and modern infrastructure they deserve. this overregulated permitting process of a massive self-inflicted wound on our country. disgraceful. denying our people much needed investments in their community, and i want to show you this --
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it was just shown to me and i think i want to show it to the media. both real and make -- and fake media, by the way. this is what it takes to get something approved today. you see that? this is what it takes. that's the permitting process flowchart. that can go out to 20 years. it can go out to about 20 years to get something approved. this is for a highway. i've seen a highway recently in a certain state, i won't mention it name, it 17 years. i could have built it for $4 million or $5 million without the process. it costs hundreds of millions of dollars, but it took 17 years to get it approved and many, many, many, many pages of environmental impact studies. this is what we will bring it down to.
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this is less than two years. it's going to happen quickly. this will be less than two years for a highway. quick, it'so be going to be a very streamlined process, and if it does not meet environmental safeguards, we are not going to approve it, very simple. this -- maybe this one will say let's throw the other one away. would anyone like it from the media? that long,e like beautiful chart? you can have it. executive order requires agencies to work together by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project. ifholds agencies accountable they fail to streamline their review process. each agency is accountable. we are going to get infrastructure built quickly, inexpensively and the permitting process will go quickly. oneonger will we tolerate
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job killing delay after another. no longer will we accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hard-working americans. well, the process very probably better than anybody. i had to get permits for all of the buildings i built in manhattan and many other places. i will tell you that the consultants are rich people. they go around making it very difficult. they lobby congress, they lobby state government, city government and making it difficult so you have to hire consultants and take years and pay them a fortune. we are streamlining the process and we will be having so much of that anymore. no longer will we allow the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble and decay while protecting the environment. we will build grief -- we will build gleaming new roads,
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tunnels and highways. we will rebuild our country with american workers, american iron, american aluminum, american steel. we will create millions of new jobs and make millions of american dreams come true. our infrastructure will be the best in the world. we used to have the greatest infrastructure anywhere in the world and today, we are like a third world country. we are literally like a third world country. our infrastructure will be the best and we will restore the pride in our communities, our nation, and all over the united states, we will be proud again. i want to thank everyone for being here. god bless you, god bless the united eight. if you have any questions, you can come on up. mick mulvaney. questions, any
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please feel free to ask. >> ceos are leaving your manufacturing counsel. trump: because they are not taking their jobs seriously. we want jobs and manufacturing in this country. if you are looking at the people you are talking about, they are looking outside the country, if you look at merck pharmaceuticals -- excuse me -- look at where their product is made. it's made outside our country. we want to made in the country. that wille folks leave are leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside and i have been lecturing them, including the general and you are referring to about you have to bring it back to this country. you cannot do it in ireland and all these other places. you have to bring this work back to this country. that is what i want. i want manufacturing to be back into the united states so
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american workers can benefit. i didn't wait long. i did not wait long. i wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what i make as correct, not quick statement. the statement i made on saturday, the first payment was a fine statement, but you don't make statements that direct unless you know the facts. it takes a little while to get the facts. you still don't know the fact and it is a very, and very important process to make and a very important statement, so i don't want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. if you go back -- i brought it. i brought it. member, saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and
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violence. it has no place in america and then i went on from there. excuse me -- take it nice and easy. here's the thing. when i make a statement, i like to be correct. this event just happened. a lot of the event didn't even happen yet as we were speaking. this event just happened. before i make a statement, i need the facts, so i don't want to rush into a statement. making the statement when i made it was excellent. the young woman, who i here's a fantastic young woman and it was on nbc, her mother wrote me and twitter amh i guess a social media the nicest things and i very much appreciated that. i hear she was a fine, and incredible young woman, but her mother on twitter thanked me for what i said and honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have
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said what i said was very nice, but unlike you -- unlike you and unlike the media, before i make a statement, i like to know the facts. >> [indiscernible] >> was that terrorism? you help to bring the country together? >> i think you take a look, i've created over a million jobs since i'm president. the country is booming, the stock market is setting records, we have the highest employment numbers we've ever had in the history of our country. we are doing record business and have the highest level of enthusiasm, so the head of walmart, who i know, a very nice guy was making a political statement. i would do it the same way and want to makemark i
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sure when i make a statement that the statement is correct and there was no way, there was no way of making a correct statement that early. i had to see the fact, unlike a lot of reporters, unlike a lot of reporters -- i didn't know david duke was there. i wanted to see the fact and the fact as they started coming out were very well stated. everybody said his statement was beautiful, if he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. i could not have made it sooner because i did not know all the facts. frankly, people still don't know all of the facts. excuse me. it was very important to me to get fact out and correctly because if i would have made a fast statement and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing. the second damon was made with great knowledge.
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there are still things people don't know. i want to make a statement with knowledge, i want to know the facts, ok? >> was this terrorism and can you -- the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and the country. you can call it terrorism, you can call it murder, you can call it whatever you want. i would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict because there is a question, is it murder, is it terrorism, and then you get into legal semantics. the driver of the car is a murderer and what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing. >> can you tell us how you are feeling about your chief strategist, mr. bannon? spoke to mr.never bannon about it.
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bannon.his are he's a friend of mine. but he came on very late come you know that. governors17 senators, and i won all the primaries. mr. bannon came on very much later than that and i like him. he's a good man. he's not a racist, i can tell you that stuff he's a good person. he gets very unfair press in that regard, but we will see what happens with mr. bannon. he's a good person and i think the press treats and very unfairly. -- he called on it again -- senator mccain, the one who voted against obamacare? senator mccain who voted against us hitting good health care? >> he says the alt-right is behind these attacks and link to
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the same group to those who are per trade in charlottesville. >> i'm sure senator mccain must know what he's talking about, alt-right, the define all to write to me. you go ahead. mccain defined them as the same group. mr. trump: excuse me. what about the alt left that came charging at the alt-right? do they have any semblance of guilt? let me ask you this -- what about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs. do they have any problem? i think they do. that was a horrible, horrible day wait a minute. i'm not finished. i'm not finished, fake news. that was a horrible day. i will tell you something. i watch this very closely, much
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more closely than you people watch it and you had a group on one side that was bad and the group on the other side that was also very violent and nobody wants to say that, but i will say it right now. you had a group on the other side that came charging and without a permit and they were very, very violent. >> do you think what you call the alt is the same as neo-nazis? mr. trump: all of those people -- excuse me -- i condemned neo-nazis, i condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-nazis, believe me. not all of those people were white premises by any stretch. those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. excuse me. if you take a look at some of the groups and you would know it if you were honest reporters and
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in many cases, you are not. many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e lee. this week, it's robert e. lee. i noticed stonewall jackson is coming down. i wonder if it's george washington next week or thomas jefferson the week after. you have to ask yourself where does it stop? they were there to protest -- take a look him of the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. >> should that statue of robert e lee stay up? sentrump: i would say that to a local town, community, or the federal government, depending on where it is located. do you think things have gotten worse or better since you have taken office. >> i think they have gotten better. they have been frayed for a long time. you can ask president obama about it because he made
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speeches about it. i believe the fact i brought in it will be soon millions of jobs. you see where companies are moving back to our country. that's going to have a tremendous, positive impact on race relations. we have companies coming back into our country. we have foxconn in wisconsin just announced. we have many companies i say pouring back into the country, if it is going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations because it's jobs. what people want now is jobs. they want great jobs with good pay. when they have that, you watch how race relations will be. we are spending a lot of money on the inner cities. we are doing far more than anybody has done with respect to the inner cities. it's a priority for me at it's very important. alt leftu putting the and white supremacists on the same plane?
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>> i'm not putting anybody on a moral plane. yet a group on one side and a group on the other and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side. there was a group on the side. you can call them the left, you just called them to left that came violently attacking the other group. you can say what you want, but that is what it is. >> you said there was hatred and violence and blame -- mr. trump: i think there's blame on both sides. you look at both sides, i think there's lame on both sides and i have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it either. and, if you reported it accurately, you would see. >> they showed up in charlottesville -- mr. trump: you had some very bad people in that group but you
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also had people that were very fine people on both sides. you had people in that group -- excuse me, excuse me, i shall the same pictures you did. you have people in that group there to protest the taking down of a very, very important statute and the renaming of a park from robert e lee to another name. george washington was a slave owner. was george washington a slave owner? will george washington looses status? excuse me. to take down statues to george washington? how about thomas jefferson. what do you think of thomas jefferson? you like him? are we going to take down the statue because he was a major slave owner. are we going to take down his statue? you are changing history, you are changing culture and you talkingple -- i'm not about the neo-nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.
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yet many people other than neo-nazis and white nationalists. the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. in the other group, also, you had some fine people, but you also had trouble makers and you see them come with the black outfits and the helmets and the baseball bats -- you have a lot of that people in the other group, too. >> you were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? mr. trump: there were people at that rally and i looked the night before, if you look, there verypeople protesting quietly the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. i'm sure there was some bad ones. the following day, it looked like they had some rough come a bad people. , white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. you have a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very
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legally protest because i don't know if you know, they had a permit. the other group did not have a permit. there tell you this -- are two sides to a story. i thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment, but there are two sides. does anybody have a final -- do you have an infrastructure question mark >> what makes you think you can get an infrastructure bill? you couldn't get health care. mr. trump: we came very close to health care, unfortunately john mccain voted against it. we will end up getting health care. isually, infrastructure something i think we will have bipartisan support on. i think democrats will go along with the infrastructure. >> do you think focus on the family is the victim? mr. trump: i thought the
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statement put out, the mother's statement, i thought was a beautiful statement. , i thought itng the kindfic and under of stress she is under in the heart ache she is under, i thank you, all, very much. thank you. thank you. >> are you going to go to charlottesville, mr. president? president trump: i own a house in charlottesville. do you know i own a house in charlottesville? in charlottesville, you will see. it is the winery. i mean, i know a lot about charlottesville. charlottesville is a great place that has been badly hurt over the last couple days. i own one of the largest wineries in the united states. it is in charlottesville. >> [indiscernible]
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reporter: what do you think needs to be done to overcome the racial divide? president trump: i think jobs can have an impact. if we can create jobs, substantially over a million, and you saw the other day with cars coming in the other day, if we continue to create jobs at levels that i'm creating jobs, i think this is going to have a positive impact on race relations. people will be working, making a lot of money. that is going to happen. and the other thing, very important, i believe wages will start going up. they haven't gone up for a long time. because the economy is going so well with respect to wages and employment, wages will go up. that will have a tremendously positive impact on race relations. >> [indiscernible]