tv President Talks to Reporters in White House Driveway CSPAN June 16, 2018 6:39am-7:01am EDT
new orleans, louisiana today at noon eastern on c-span 2's book tv. on friday, former trump campaign chair paul manafort was jailed by a u.s. district judge after being accused by prosecutors of trying to influence witness testimony in being led bytion special counsel robert mueller. mr. manafort had been under house arrest on the waiting trial for charges including money laundering. before it was announced that he would be going to jail, president trump spoke to reporters outside of the white house about the mueller investigation and the fbi's handling of the hillary clinton email probe during the 2016 presidential election. the president was also asked about north korea and the u.s.
immigration policy of separating children from their parents crossing the border. this is about 20 minutes. reporter: mr. president. reporter: mr. president. do you think james comey's actions were unfair to hillary? reporter: is there a reason you keep praising kim jong un? >> one at a time. president trump: no. i think james comey was unfair to the people of this country. i think what he did was a disgrace. i think he goes down as the worst f.b.i. director in the history by far. there's nobody close. and i think i did the country a tremendous favor by firing him. president trump: no, i think, actually, if you take a look, when he totally exonerated her,
because i call it comey three, he had one, two, and then comey three, he totally exonerated her. and if anything you are saying is correct -- they tried to pretend it didn't happen. i would have gone out there and had the greatest news conference in history. they tried to pretend the exoneration didn't happen. now, the exoneration was incorrect because there's no way they could have checked that number of emails in just a few days. but if you remember just before election, he went out and he exonerated her and they didn't even talk about it. that was the greatest political mistake. with all of that being said, i won wisconsin, i won michigan, i won states that, you know, a republican hasn't won in many, many decades, years. she didn't do a good job and you never gave me credit for doing a great job. but the fact is, i did a great job. reporter: mr. president, there was a fox report -- mr. president, there was a fox news report this week that deputy
attorney general rod rosenstein is pushing back and threatening to investigate the congressional investigators who just want documents. do you think that that is appropriate? president trump: i hope that's not so. i know they're getting documents and i purposely -- look, if you see what i've done with north korea, and the with the state department, mike pompeo, it's running so well, i have this running so well, i have purposely, because of this ridiculous witch-hunt, i have said, i'm going to stay away from the justice department until it's completed. so i wanted to stay away. that doesn't mean i have, to because i don't have to. i can get involved. but i don't want you people to say that i'm interfering, that i'm doing anything. i think that the report yesterday maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me. there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. and if you read the report, you'll see that. excuse me, wait, wait, wait. what you'll really see is you'll see bias against me and millions and tens of millions of my
followers, that is really a disgrace. reporter: [inaudible] president trump: and yet if you go -- and yet if you look at the f.b.i. and you polled the real f.b.i., those guys love me and i love them. reporter: are you going to suspend mueller? president trump: no, but i think that whole investigation now -- look. the problem with the mueller investigation is everybody's got massive conflicts. you have leishman who was at hillary clinton's funeral, meaning her party that turned into a funeral. and they were screaming and crying, they were going crazy. how can you have people like this? so i call them the 13 angry democrats. you have a tremendous animosity. here's the good news. i did nothing wrong. there was no collusion. there was no obstruction. the i.g. report yesterday went a long way to show that. and i think that the mueller investigation has been totally discredited.
reporter: [inaudible] -- spoken so passionately about the circumstances that led to otto warmbier's death. in the same breath you're defending kim jong un's human rights record. how can you do that? president trump: you want to know why? because i don't want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family. excuse me, because i don't want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family. i want to have a good relationship with north korea. i want to have a good relationship with many other countries. and what i've done, if you remember, if you're fair, which most of you aren't, but if you're fair, when i came in, people thought we were probably going to war with north korea. if we did -- quiet, quiet, quiet. if we did, millions of people would have been killed. i don't mean like -- people saying 100,000. seoul has 28 million people 30 miles off the border. you would have had 30 million, 40 million, 50 million people killed. who knows what would have happened. i came in, that was what i
inherited. that should have been involved -- that should have been solved long before i got there. i did a great job this weekend. the fake news said, oh, you met. the only thing they saw that i gave up. one broadcaster said, he gave up so much. you know what i gave up? i met. i met, we had great chemistry. he gave us a lot. you haven't had a missile test in seven months. you haven't had a firing. you haven't had a nuclear test in 8 1/2 months. you haven't had missiles flying over japan. he gave us the remains of our great heroes. i have had so many people begging me, parents and fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, wherever i went, could you please get the remains of my boy back, they're giving them back. nobody thought that was possible. wait, wait, wait. excuse me, wait. they're doing so much for us. and now we're well on our way to get denuclearization. and the agreement says there will be total denuclearization. nobody wants to report that.
so the only thing i did was i met. i got along with him great. he's great, we have a great chemistry together. that's a good thing, not a bad thing. reporter: [inaudible] -- how can kim love his people if he's killing them? president trump: i can't speak to that. i can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement, it's great. and it will be great for them too. because now -- it's going to be -- because now north korea can develop and north korea can become a great country economically. it can be become whatever they want. but there won't be nuclear weapons and they won't be aimed at you and your family. reporter: why did you offer to halt military exercises with south korea? president trump: i call them war games. i hated them from the day i came in. i said, why aren't we being reimbursed? reporter: that's north korea's terms, war games. president trump: that's my term. reporter: they use it too. president trump: they might use it. we pay for it. we pay millions and millions of dollars for planes and all of this.
it's my term. i said i'd like to halt it. because it's bad to be negotiating and doing -- of course there's a -- it costs us a lot of money. i saved a lot of money. that's a good thing for us. go ahead. reporter: what did you mean when you said you wished americans would sit up at attention -- president trump: i'm kidding you have don't understand sarcasm. who are you with? reporter: cnn. president trump: you're with cnn? you're the worst. reporter: [inaudible] -- reporter: there are a few different court cases going on. president trump: we have time. reporter: there are some high profile court cases going on. you have former campaign manager, your former lawyer, they're all dealing with legal trouble. are you paying close attention? president trump: i feel badly about a lot of them because i think a lot of it's very unfair. i look at some of them where they go back 12 years. like manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. but i feel -- i tell you, i feel a little badly about it. they went back 12 years to do -- to get things he did 12 years
ago. paul manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. he worked for ronald reagan, bob dole, john mccain, he worked for many other republicans. he worked for me for 49 days or something. very short period of time. i feel badly for some people because they've gone back 12 years to find things about somebody. and i don't think it's right. i don't think it's right that they burst into a lawyer's office on a weekend, early in the morning. i never heard of that before. i mean, could you imagine if they burst into barack obama's lawyer's office? it would not be acceptable. it would not be acceptable. that's really a terrible thing. now, i feel badly for a lot of those people. i feel badly for general flynn. he's lost his house. he's lost his life. and some people say he lied and some people say he didn't lie. really it turned out maybe he didn't lie. but how can you do that? who's lied more than comey? comey lied a tremendous amount.
reporter: you say you feel badly is there consideration of a pardon? president trump: i don't want to talk about that. i do want to see people treated fairly. that's what it's all about. i mentioned the other day you saw what i did with the woman, she's in jail for 23 years where other people are out after three months. she had another 20 years left. she was 63 years old. reporter: what about the folks who don't have kim kardashian speaking for them. president trump: i'm looking at them too. reporter: are you concerned michael cohen might flip? president trump: i did nothing wrong. this stuff would have come out a long time ago. i did nothing wrong. reporter is he still your : friend?
president trump: i haven't spoken to michael. reporter: is he still your lawyer? president trump: he's not my lawyer. president trump: you're asking me a question, i'm trying to answer. reporter: are you worried he might try to cooperate with prosecutors? president trump: no, because i did nothing wrong. reporter: did you dictate the statement about don jr.? president trump: that's a statement to the "new york times" that is a statement to the phony "new york times." in fact, in fact, frankly he shouldn't even speak to the "new york times" because they only write phony stories anyway, although yesterday they wrote a nice one about what a good job i was doing. reporter: on the i.g. report you said twice it exonerates you. and it proved there was no collusion. president trump: if you read the report, i'm exonerated. take a look at the
investigation, how it started, take a look at the horrible statements peter strzok, the chief investigator said and take a look at what he did with hillary clinton. i would -- i'll tell you what, you're asking me about peter strzok being fired. i'm amazed that peter strzok is still at the f.b.i. and so is everybody else that read that report. and i'm not even talking about the report. i'm talking long before the report. peter strzok should have been fired a long time ago. and others should have been fire -- and others should have been fired. indiscernible] president trump: i'm looking at scott, scott's done a fantastic job at e.p.a. we'll make -- i'm not happy about certain things. i'm not happy about certain things but he's done a fan it's -- but he's done a fantastic job running the e.p.a. which is very overriding but i'm not happy about things.
-- arer: mr. president you ok with children being taken away? president trump: i hate the children being taken away. the democrats have to change the law. that's their law. quiet. quiet. that's the democrat's law. we can change it tonight. we can change it right now. i will leave here, no, no, you need their votes you need their votes. the democrats, all they have to do. reporter: you control both chambers of congress. president trump: by one vote? we don't need it. we need we have a one vote edge, 60. we need 60. we need 10 vote well, can't get week can't10 votes, get them from the democrats. we cannot do it through an executive order. wait, wait. can we do one question at a time? one question at a time. the children, the children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully and immediately, the
democrats forced that law upon our nation. i hate it. i hate to see separation of parents and children. the democrats can come to us as they actually are, in all fairness, we are talking to them and they can change the whole border security. need a wall. we need border security. we got to get rid of catch and release. you catch a criminal you take his name and release him and he never shows up again he go into our society. then we end up getting him in a different way oftentimes after he's killed somebody. we've got to change our law. the democrats have control because we don't have the votes. the republicans -- we need more republicans. that's why i think we're going to do so well in the mid terms. that and because -- wait. that and because we have the strongest economy in the history of our nation. we have the best jobs numbers in the last 44 years. best job numbers in 44 years. reporter: why announce the zero tolerance policy at the border on may 7?
president trump: he is following the law. reporter that's a direct order. : president trump: can i answer your question? you're asking me the same question over and over. he's following laws, very simply, that were given to us and forced upon us by the democrats. reporter: but there's no law that says families have to be separated at the border. president trump: the democrats gave us the laws. i want the laws to be beautiful, humane, but strong. i don't want bad people coming in. i don't want drugs coming in. and we can solve that problem in one meeting. tell the democrats, your friends, to call me. reporter: at the end of the fox and friends interview you said you were going to spend father's day doing work and have a call with north korea. who will you talk to in north korea? president trump: i'm going to speak to people in north korea, and my people in north korea. we now have a good relationship with north korea. when i came into this job, it looked like war.
not because of me. if you remember the sit down with barack obama , he said the biggest problem that the united states has by far the most dangerous problem, and said to me, that we've ever had, because of nuclear is north korea. that was shortly before i entered office. i have solved that problem. now we're getting memorialized and all. but that problem is largely solved. and part of the reason is we signed a very good document. more importantly than the document, more importantly than the document, i have a good relationship with kim jong un. that's a very important thing. i can now -- wait. i can now call him. i can say, we have a problem. i told him, i gave him a very direct number. he can now call me if he has any difficulties. i can call him. we have communications. that's a good thing. people are shocked. they thought trump was going to get in and start throwing bombs all over the place. it's actually the opposite. but we're building a military so
strong, $716 billion next year, $700 billion this year, we're building a military so strong nobody will mess with us. but you know what? i never want to have to use it. reporter what kind of : verification -- reporter what's the -- reporter: : what's the verification process going to look like? president trump: we will have a very strong verification process. if you read the agreement, which most of you didn't, point after point after point, including getting back the remains of our great heroes, of our great, great hero, which made some people are crying in the streets they're so happy. nobody thought we'd get that. point after point. all they said about me is, you met , he met, it's terrible. of course i met. a meeting is a good thing, not a bad thing. it was good for the united states. it was good for them. i spoke with china. they are very happy. actually they were much happier. they may not be as happy today
because of what i'm doing with trade, i assume it's been announced by now but we're putting tariffs on $50 billion of technology and other things because we have to because we're being treated unfairly. china has been twrisk. -- china has been terrific. president xi has been terrific. president moon. we're all working together. because of me. reporter: how long will you give kim jong un to follow through on de-nuclearization? president trump: we're working it as fast as possible. we're working denuclearization as fast as possible. reporter: are you planning to n thisith clinton -- puti summer? president trump: this all started because somebody asked if putin should be in the g-7, i said no, he should be in the g-8. it's better for them to be in than out.
just like north korea or someone we gett is better that along with them than we don't. just so you understand, no, no, president obama lost crimea. this was long before i got there. i want to make it so the fake news prince it properly. president obama lost crimea. wait, wait. it's his fault. his fault. just so you understand. because putin didn't are respect putin did vladimir not respect president obama. president obama lost crimea because president putin didn't respect president obama, didn't respect our country, and didn't respect ukraine. but president obama, not trump, when it's my fault i'll tell you. president obama gave away, now president obama, by not going across the red line in the sand that he drew, i went across it with the 59 missile hits, but president obama, when he didn't go across the red line, what he gave away, nobody even knows.
but just to put it one more time. president obama gave away crimea. that should have never happened. >> [indiscernible] here on c-span this morning, withington journal" live your phone calls and a look at today's headlines. that is followed by a senate judiciary hearing on combating foreign interference in future elections. and later, house majority whip coming up on today's washington journal, clifford young with the psos joins us to discuss trade and the state of u.s.-canada relation.
and marvin a lasky talks about his recent piece examining the fiscal state of puerto rico. and later, a look at legislative efforts to combat the opioid froms with lev facher stats news. ♪ host: morning. it is saturday, june 16, 2018. a three-hour washington journal ahead. we will talk about trade relations between the united states and canada, discuss puerto rico's post hurricane maria economy, and the battle of the omitted -- battle against the opioid epidemic. with the house ready to put two major immigration overhaul bills on the floor, we are taking some time to hear immigration stories of some of america's tens of millions of immigrants.