President Trump Holds News Conference CSPAN February 28, 2019 6:19am-6:59am EST
wherever books are sold. >> president trump spoke to members of the media following the wrapup of his meetings with north korean leader kim jong-un. the president and chairman ended the summit earlier than expected when the two parties could not reach an agreement on north korea's nuclear program. the president said talks would continue between the two nations. this news conference from hanoi, vietnam, is just over 35 minutes.
>> thank you very much. i want to thank all the people of vietnam for having treated us so well. of a reasonably attractive news from pakistan and india. they have been going at it and we have been involved in trying to have them stop. we have some a reasonably decent news. i think hopefully that will become a to an end. it has been going on for a long time, decades and decades. there is a lot of dislike, unfortunately, so we have been in the middle trying to have them both out and see if we can get some organization and some peace. i think probably that will be happening. as you know,uela, has been very much in the news. we are sending supplies and there are getting through a little bit more. it is not easy. it is hard to believe somebody
would say, let us not do it. what difference would that make except that it is great for his people to let it through. we are sending supplies to venezuela. people are starving to death. . you would think that the man in charge currently would let those supplies get through. we are getting them into some of the cities and some of the areas that need them the most and it is not an easy job. it is very difficult, actually. on a north korea, we just left chairman kim. we had a very productive time. we thought, and i thought, and secretary from paia felt that it wasn't -- secretary pompeo says that it was in a good thing to be sending anything. i will let him speak about it. we just left. we spent pretty much all day with kim jong-un. he is quite a guy. quite a character. i think our relationship is very
strong. we had some options and at this time we decided not to do any of the options. it was a very interesting to you days.- interesting two actually, i think it was a very productive two days. sometimes you just have to walk. i will let mike speak to that for a couple of minutes. please. >> thank you, mr. president. we had been working for weeks to try to develop a path forward so that at the summit we could make a big step along the way towards what the two leaders had agreed to in june of last year. we made real progress. indeed, we made even more progress when they met the last 36 hours. unfortunately, we didn't get to something that ultimately made sense for the united states. i think chairman kim was hopeful we would. we asked him to do more, he was unprepared to do that.
optimistic.ll i am hopeful that teams will get back together in the days and weeks ahead and continue to work out this very complex problem. we have said since the beginning it would take time. our teams have gotten to know each other better. we know what the limits and challenges are. i think as you continue to work on this in the days and weeks ahead, we can make progress. we can ultimately achieve what it is the world once. which is to denuclearize north korea, reduce risk for the american people and people all around the world. i wish we could have gotten further but i am optimistic for the progress we made both in the run-up to the summit and the progress the two leaders made over the past few days, put us in position to get a good outcome. president and chairman kim both felt good that they had made that progress but couldn't quite get along the line in he further to make a deal that would have been better at this point. i hope we will do so in the weeks ahead.
thank you, mr. president. president trump: major, please? [indiscernible] >> has this process been more difficult than you thought, and was the north korean demand for lifting of some sanctions the real sticking point here, that you did not want to do that and they did? president trump: : basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that. they were willing to denuclearize a large portion of the areas we wanted but they couldn't give up the us couldn't give up all the sanctions. so we will can today to work and we will see. but we had to walk away from that suggestion. reporter: will all the sanctions ?n existence remain president trump: they are in place. i was watching as a lot of you folks have said we have given
up. we haven't given up anything. frankly, i think we will end up being very good friends with the korea.n kim and north i have been telling everybody, they have tremendous potential. unbelievable potential. we will see, but it was about sanctions. they wanted to sanctions lifted, the areas we wanted. john? , there isas we know incredibly complex set of issues that are at play in terms of lifting the sanctions and what denuclearization is. did you get any distance toward what kim's vision of what denuclearization is? is a lot of thinking that he wants to keep some nukes. would you allow him to do that? president trump i don't want to comment on that exactly, but he has a certain vision and it is
not exactly our vision, but it is a lot closer than it was a year ago. i think eventually will get there. for this particular visit, we decided that we had to walk and we will see what happens. ok? look, we have a gentleman nobody of.heard sean hannity, what are you doing here, sean hannity? should we let him do a question? go ahead. if he wants the sanctions completely off and you want more on didn't a show in, how can you bridge that gap between now and the next time you might sit down with him? president trump: with time. .here is a gap we have to have sanctions and he wants to denuclearize, but he wants to adjust to do the areas of that are less important than the areas we want. well.w the country very we know every inch of the
country and we have to get what we have to get because that is a big give. please? reporter: i work in radio and tv. mr. president, thank you. mr. secretary, good to see you. mr. president, if you could elaborate a bit more. we have some history. president reagan walked away in reykjavik. a lot of condemnation at the time and ended up working out very well in the end for the united states. was this mostly your decision, what message would you want to send chairman kim as he is is meant this press conference about the future and your relationship? president trump shaun, i don't want to say was my decision because what purposes that? i want to keep the relationship, we will keep the relationship, we will see what happens in the next period of time. as you know, we got our hostages back, there is no more testing.
one of the things in fernley that chairman kim promised me was that he will not do testing of a rockets and nuclear. he will not do testing. so i trust him. i take him at his word, i hope that is true. but in the meantime, we will be talking. mike will be speaking to his people. he has also developed a good relationship with the people, really the people representing north korea. i haven't spoken to prime minister abe, or president moon of south korea, but we will. we will tell them it is a process, and it is moving along. we just felt it was not appropriate to sign an agreement today. we could have, i just thought it was in very appropriate. jonathan? reporter: thank you, mr. president. first, did you learn anything
new about chairman kim through this meeting? and secondly, of course, while this was going on, the drama back in washington, you former lawyer, michael cohen, who worked for you for 10 years, his office right next to yours, right by yours at trump tower -- he called you a liar, a conman, a racist. what's your response to michael cohen? pres. trump: well, it's incorrect and, you know, it's very interesting because i tried to watch as much as i could. i wasn't able to watch as much, too much, because i've been a little bit busy. but i think having a fake hearing like that, and having it in the middle of this very important summit, is really a terrible thing. they could've made it two days later or next week, and it would've been even better. they would've had more time. but having it during this very important summit is sort of incredible. and he lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing. he said no collusion with the russian hoax. and i said, "i wonder why he didn't just lie about that, too, like he did about everything else." i mean, he lied about so many
different things, and i was actually impressed that he didn't say, "well, i think there was collusion" for this reason or that. he didn't say that. he said no collusion, and i was a little impressed by that, frankly. he could've -- he could've gone all out. he only went about 95% instead of 100%. but the fact is there is no collusion, and i call it the witch hunt. this should never happen to another president. this is so bad for our country. so bad. you look at this whole hoax, this -- i call it the russian witch hunt and now add the word hoax. it's a very, very bad thing for our country. but i was impressed with the fact that he -- you know, because the most important question up there was the one on collusion, and he said he saw no collusion. so we'll see what happens, but it was pretty shameful, i think. yes, ma'am, please. please. >> president trump, president trump. pres. trump: go ahead. how about one of you instead of three? >> well, actually, i do have the
microphone, i guess, so -- pres. trump: excuse me. excuse me. person in the front. go ahead. no, no, no, no. not you. excuse me. yeah. we'll get to you. >> sorry. pres. trump: thank you. >> thank you, president trump. guangdong television. what was the atmosphere like when you walked away from the negotiation table? and -- pres. trump: i think it was very good. very friendly. this was not a walk away like you get up and walk out. no, this was very friendly. we shook hands. you know, there is a warmth that we have, and i hope that stays. i think it will. but we are -- you know, we're positioned to do something very special. this has been going on for many decades. this isn't me. you know, this was -- this should have been solved during many presidential runs and, you know, people talked about it. they never did anything. i get a kick out of so many people past administrations telling me how to negotiate when they were there in some cases for eight years. they did nothing.
but i think the relationship was very warm and when we walked away it was a friend they walk. you might want to speak to that. >> i agree. i talked with my counterparts as well. we hoped we could do more but everyone is focused on how we continue to build on this. weree closer today than we 36 hours ago and we were closer than then we were a month or two before that so progress was made. i think everyone had hoped we could do this a little bit better, but the departure was with an agreement that we will continue to work on what has been an incredibly difficult problem. both sides are results to achieve it and everyone walked away in that spirit. -- you andirman chairman kim are from different clinical systems, different generations. pres. trump: it is a very different system. i would say that is true. >> we saw the atmosphere. pres. trump: we like each other.
we have a good relationship. it is a totally different system, but we like each other. good relationship. go ahead in the back. go ahead. >> mr. president, do think was premature to have held the summit when all these things had not been tied down? the white house schedule last night said signing an agreement today and i wonder whether you could sketch out what the next few months look like. pres. trump: you always have to be prepared to walk. i could have signed an agreement today and then you would've said way terrible deal come way terrible thing you did. you have to be prepared to walk. there was a potential we could have signed something. i could have 100 percent signed something today. we had papers ready to be signed, but it was not appropriate. i wanted to do it right. i would rather do it right then fast. yes, please. go ahead. go ahead. go ahead. go. first.
you have to speak up. >> i am a reporter from south korea and i appreciate your efforts for denuclearization in the korean peninsula terry q elaborate on the options and ways you discussed with chairman kim to advance denuclearization? could you specify? >> we discussed many ways. the denuclearization is an important word. it is becoming a well used word and a lot of people do not know what it means but it means -- the meaning is pre-obvious. we have to get rid of the nukes. he is going to have a chance to have one of the most successful countries rapidly on earth. incredible country, credible location. you have on one side russia and china and on the other you have south korea and you are surrounded by water and among the most beautiful shorelines in the world. tremendous potential in north korea and i think he is going to lead it to a very important thing economically. i think it is going to be an
absolute economic power. go ahead, please. david singer from the new york times. pres. trump: i know that. >> six months ago when you spoke or eight months ago in singapore, you said if you do not have something in six months we should come back and ask you about it. in that time, you have seen chairman kim increase the number of missiles produced and continue to produce more nuclear material. that has been a pressure point on you because he is showing the arsenals getting larger while this is going on. pres. trump: some people, david, are saying that at some people are denying that. they have shots from above, way above, and some people are saying that in some people are not. i could have taken that out , but i think you and others would have said we did not get enough for what we would be giving up. do not forget we are partners with a lot countries on this.
with the sanctions. big partnership with the united nations and many countries, including russia, china, and others. and then of course south korea is very important to this whole thing and japan. i do not want to do something that is going to violate the trust we have built up. we have a strong partnership. >> can you give us a little more detail? can you get into the question of actually dismantling the complex? does he seem willing to take all of that out? pres. trump: sure. >> he does? he just wants the sanctions off first? pres. trump: you want the sanctions off and there's plenty left after that. timeand i spent a long negotiating and talking about it to ourselves. i felt that particular -- that facility, while big, it was not enough to do what we were doing. >> so he was willing to do it but you wanted more than that? pres. trump: we had to have more
than that. there are other things you have not talked about, that you have not written about that we have found and we have to have that. things we've done a long time ago with people did not know about. >> including the second uranium enrichment plant? exactly and we brought many points out that i think they were surprised we knew but we had to do more than just the one level because we did the one level and we gave up all of that leverage that has been taking a long time to build -- >> willing to take out that second -- pres. trump: i want to take out the sanctions so badly because i want that country to grow. that country has such potential but they have to give up -- we could have done that deal. mike, do you want to speak to that? >> david, there are also timing and sequencing issues associated with that which we did not quite get across the finish line. remember even that facility and all of its scope, which is important for sure, still leaves missiles, still leaves or heads and weapons systems.
there are a lot of other element we could not get to. and of the declaration. all the things we could not get there today. pres. trump: go ahead. president.u, mr. i just wanted to clarify, when you talk about what you should be willing to give up the sanctions for, are you still thinking that you want north korea to give up everything? complete, verifiable -- pres. trump: i do not want to say that. i do know what to say that to you because i do not want to put myself in a position from the standpoint of negotiation, but we want a lot to be given up. -- we areve to helping them along economically and other countries are going to be helping. they are prepared to help. i can tell you japan, south korea, china. speaking of china, we are well on our way to doing something special.
we will see. i am always prepared to walk. i'm never afraid to walk from a deal. i would do that with china if it did not work out. >> are you concerned if you are not able to reach an agreement that the testing will start again or that --? continuing to develop their program? pres. trump: he said he is not going to do testing of rockets or missiles or anything having to do with nuclear and all i can tell you is that is what he said and we will see. go ahead, please. in the back. red. >> jessica stone. i have a question about china. you are talking about -- you talk about trying to been willing potentially to help economically -- about china being willing to help economically. how would you describe china's role in facilitating the engagement that happen so far
between pyongyang and washington? pres. trump: china has been a big help, bigger than people know. 93% of the goods coming into north korea come through china so there is a great power there. at the same time, i believe north korea is calling its own shots. they are not taking orders from anybody. and they dong guy things that are pretty amazing. 93% coming from china. china has an influence and has been a big help. russia has been a big help. as you know, they are a small part of the border but significant, about 28 miles. and theyn happen there have been a help. yes, go ahead, please. >> thanks, president. in your meeting with chairman kim this morning and yesterday, did the topic of china come up? if so, what can you share with
us today? you probably will have the mar-a-lago summit in march with chinese president xi jinping. what would you like accomplish with your agenda regarding china? pres. trump: we did talk about china today a lot and he is getting along with china and so -- you know, are we are right now -- you can look at what has happened to our country. we picked up trillions and trillions of dollars of net worth. our stock market is almost at an all-time high. our economy is incredible. our unemployment numbers are among the best we've ever had in our history. individual groups like african-americans, women, you just take a look at any group -- hispanic we saw that just came out, the best in history. african-american, best in history. summary different numbers are coming out so good so we have the strongest economy, probably possibly that we've ever had. fiat chrysler announced they're
going to spend $4.5 billion next to detroit in michigan building a tremendous plant. it is an expansion of a another plant. it is going to double their jobs. a lot of great things are happening. with china, they are having some difficulties. i think a lot of the difficulties because of the tariffs they are having.
in addition to that, we are putting eight mentors amount of money -- you saw trade deficits went down last month. we are taking in a lot of tariff money and it is going right to the bottom line and it has reduced the trade deficit. we will see what happens with china. we have a good chance. but i dobers are down, know that. i want them to do great. we've been losing $300 -- $300 billion to five under billion dollars a year with china for many years. china forllion to many years.
many presidents should have done this before me but nobody did and so we are doing it. please., right here, this gentleman. >> from u.k. news, a specialist in north korean news. what is your message for resident moon -- president moon? next for u.s. military drills? pres. trump: i like president moon very much great we have a great relationship. i've a great relationship with almost every leader. a lot of people find that hard to understand, but i do. some take advantage of our country like you would not believe. when they know i know it, which i know every case, maybe it freezes them up a little bit, but we do. we have a lot of good real -- relationships. we will be calling president moon as soon as i get by the phone on the plane and he will be one of the first calls.
i will be calling prime minister abe of japan telling him about where we are and what we are doing and i will be making those calls. he works very hard. president moon is working hard and he will love to see a deal and he has been helpful. thank you. go ahead, please. >> thank you, mr. president. i am a reporter from global times china. what are you expecting to -- china to do? pres. trump: to use china? china has been very helpful. president xi is a great leader, a highly respected leader all over the world, and especially in asia. he has helped us a lot. i actually called him just recently to say hey, whatever you can do on this. he has been very helpful at the border and he has been very, very helpful with north korea generally.
could he be more helpful? probably. but he has been excellent. go ahead, please. >> sorry. thanks, mr. president. did you commit with chairman kim to a next summit during your term? pres. trump: now. if it happens, it happens. i'm not committed. >> they are at this point, someone say, a nuclear power. you accept north korea as a nuclear arms state for the time being, and are you thinking about re-imposing the military exercises with south korea or will you keep it on freeze? pres. trump: the military exercises -- i gave that up quite a while ago because it cost us $100 million every time we do it. we fly these massive bombers and from guam. when i first started, a surgeon general said we find the -- fly
them and from guam. it is right next door. right next to gore -- door is seven hours away. we would spend hundreds of millions of dollars on those exercises and i hated to see it. i thought it was unfair and i thought south korea should help us with that. we are protecting south korea and they should help us with that. those exercises are expensive and i was telling the generals exercising is fun and nice and they played the wargames and i'm not saying it is not necessary because it is it is but on other levels it is not. it is expensive and we have to think about that. when they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on those exercises, we do not get reimbursed. we are spending a tremendous amount of money on many countries, protecting countries that are very rich, that can certainly afford to pay us and
then some. those countries, by the way, itse countries know that is not right but nobody has asked the before and i'm asking them and we are doing it and we have picked up $100 billion in nato over the last two years, $100 billion. more has come in. we are doing that with a lot of countries. you will see that a lot. one second, please. >> thank you, mr. president. you have a personal relationship and i believe vice president pence does with the family of otto warmbier. pres. trump: we do. called chairman kim a great man. have you confronted him about auto warm beer's -- otto warmbier's death? pres. trump: i have and i have talked about it and i do not think it was in his interest at all. family veryarmbier
well. what happened is horrible. i believe something really bad happened to him and i do not think that the top leadership knew about it and when they had to send him home -- by the way, i got prisoners back. otot the hostages back, and to was one of the hostages but he came back in shape that is not even to we talked about. i thought it was horrible. the others came back extremely healthy, but otto came back in a condition that was terrible. and i doak about it not believe that he would have allowed that to happen. it was not to his advantage to allow that to happen. prisons are rough. they were rough places, and bad things happened, but i do not believe that he was -- i do not believe he knew about it. >> did he tell you --
pres. trump: he felt badly about it. he knew the case well but he knew it later. you have a lot of people. a big country. a lot of people. in those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people and some really bad things happened to otto. he tells me that he did not know about it and i will take him at his word. go ahead. in the back. behind you. thank you. , have yousident discussed the issue of possible inspections to north korea nuclear sites during your negotiations? pres. trump: you're going to have to speak a little louder. where you from? >> russia. have you discussed the issue of possible spec shins to north korea's nuclear sites during her talks with the chairman? pres. trump: why don't you
answer that, mike? i was worried about -- >> international inspections. pres. trump: on north korea? >> nuclear sites. pres. trump: we are able to do that easily carry we have that set up so we will be able to do that easily. the inspections will take place and will if we do something with them -- we have a schedule set up that is very good. we know things. as david was asking about certain places answer and sites. there are sites people do not know about the we know about. we will be able to do inspections. we think very successfully. please., >> thank you, mr. president. pres. trump: there are a lot of people here, by the way. go ahead. >> israel, mr. president. following this engagement with
north korea, you are trying to bring peace to the middle east. right.rump: >> the peace plan is about to be introduced. pres. trump: we hope. we are working hard on the peace plan. >> it will require israel to make compromises to the palestinians. know, is the prime minister willing to make these compromises, which are needed, and he is about to be indicted today with corruption allegations. do you wish to tell them something on this occasion? pres. trump: i think he has been a great prime minister and i do not know about his difficulties but you tell me something people have been hearing about but i do not know about that. i can say he has done a great job as prime minister. he is smart, strong. he is defensive. his military is -- has been built up a lot by a lot of equipment from the united states and they pay for it.
we give them tremendous subsidy. year,lion is a lot each but they are -- they been very good. they have been incredible in many ways but there is a transfer peace between israel and the palestinians. all my life, i have heard that the toughest of all of these when they talk about tough deals -- the toughest of all deals would be peace between israel and the palestinians. they say it is likely impossible deal. i would love to be able to produce it. we will see what happens. we were paying the palestinians a lot of money and i ended that about two years ago because they were not saying the right things and i said why would we pay somebody that is not saying nice things about us and not wanting to go to the peace table? better andeen much we will see what happens. i think we have actually a good shot at peace between israel and the palestinians.
>> i am from china. thatlieve it is possible north korea the u.s. could be like the u.s. and vietnam in the future? it is possible that the relation between u.s. and north korea in the future -- could it be like the relation between u.s. and vietnam? pres. trump: yeah. we have very good relations. you mentioned japan. we have a lot of things happening with japan. we have trade talks starting. for years, japan has been sending millions and millions of cars in and it is not been a very fair situation for the united states. we are starting trade talks with japan. they started about three months ago. i think we will have good deals. that has been an unfair situation. prime minister abe understands that.
thank you, mr. president. nextu think that the meeting could be soon or might take? some time -- or might take some time? pres. trump: i cannot tell you. i would hope it may be soon but it may not be for a long time. i could have done a deal today, but it would have been a deal that would not have been a deal. it would have been something that i would not have been happy about, mike would not have been happy about. we had some pretty big options, but we felt it was not appropriate. we want to do it right. in the back, yes, please. this comeh point did clear to you that you will not be getting a deal here in hanoi? the language of yourself and kim jong-un was positive last night and even this morning. pres. trump: the language was good all throughout. the language is good even now.
i do not go by language because we had probably the toughest language in the history of diplomacy, if you call it diplomacy, at the beginning. yes, we became very friendly. i do not believe there was any tougher language ever than that. again, this was something that should have been handled by other presidents long before me and long before they had to -- the kind of power they had. i'm not just blaming the obama administration, which did nothing. absolutely nothing on north korea. it allowed things that happened and to happen that were very inappropriate. i am not blaming the obama administration. i'm blaming many administrations. something should have happened. i do not think the rhetoric has been bad at all. initially, it was horrible but now it has been good. one more. go ahead. korea.me from south
you -- wouldto ask be willing to come to the table and take the actions that required. if that is the case, with the usb be willing to strengthen the u.s. bes -- with the willing to strengthen the sanctions and put pressure to move forward? pres. trump: we have very strong sanctions. i do not want to talk about increasing sanctions. they are strong. they have a lot of great people in north korea that have to live also and that is important to me. i would say this -- my whole attitude changed a lot because i got to know come as you know, chairman kim very well. they have a point of view also. i do know you talk about that. hopefully for the sake of south korea, for the sake of japan and for the sake of china, i was talking to president xi, who is
a man that gets the respect of a lot of people -- i say you cannot love having a nuclear state right next to china. he does not. he really does not. he would like to see them -- that problem solved. ladies and gentlemen, i'm about to get on a plane and fly back to a wonderful place called washington, d.c., so thank you very much. thank you, thank you fellas. can you respond to that? can you respond to that? weekend on book tv, author and political commentator heather mcdonald and former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe sunday at noon eastern on in-depth with our live conversation with heather mcdonald. calls, facebook questions, and
tweet on several of her books, most regionally the diversity delusion. director -- fbi deputy director andrew mccabe discussing how the fbi protects america. he is interviewed by new york times reporter andrew goldman. >> i spent a lot of time thinking about the decisions we have made and the reasons behind those decisions and how we thought about those decisions at the time and what is the benefit of hindsight? i try to be honest in my own reassessment of did we get it right or did we not? jimtwo biggest issues are -- jim coming's announcement in july about our conclusion of the case in a public way that parted from the president and jim's decision in october to notify congress about the reopening of the case. the emails on the weiner laptop -- i would -- i very much agreed with jim'