(August 26, 2022)
THE PRESIDENT: I haven’t seen the report on Mar-a-Lago, so I’m not commenting. I haven’t seen it, number one. But I do want to say we had a great economic report today.
Last month, minus-one inflation. Not up, not — down. Actually down. The economy is looking good. So far, we’re hanging in, and I feel good about it. But we got a long way to go.
Q If only 75 percent of the people take advantage of the student loan program, do you consider it a success if only 75 percent of the people take advantage of it?
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll consider it a success if only 10 percent take advantage of it. Look, people need help. And by the way, the end result of this is — as I’ve met with everyone from — from the former Secretary of Treasury to everyone else — this is not going to cause inflation, number one.
Number two, it would generate economic growth — the opposite — because you got people who are, in fact, now going to be freed up to be able to go borrow money to buy a home, to be able to start businesses, to do the things that need to be done.
And I found it absolutely fascinating that some of the folks who were talking about “this is big spending” are the same people that got $158,000 in PPP money, including the — what’s her name? That woman who believes in the — anyway. A whole lot of Republicans got a lot of money — the very people criticizing it.
So, it — it’s just not — I think it’s a good thing, it frees a lot of people up, it’s going to grow the economy. We still have a way to go, but I’m optimistic.
Q Mr. President, have you spoken to any of the family members of the 13 soldiers who died last year in Afghanistan?
THE PRESIDENT: Not today, but I have spoken in the past.
Q President Trump says that he declassified all these documents. Could he have just declassified them all?
THE PRESIDENT: “Well, I just want to know, I’ve declassified everything in the world. I’m President. I can do it –” Come on. Declassified everything?
I’m not going to comment. I mean, because I don’t know the detail. I don’t even want to know. I’ll let the Justice Department take care of that.
Q Mr. President, in simple terms, is it ever appropriate for a President to take home with them classified and top secret documents?
THE PRESIDENT: Depending on the circumstance. For example, I have, in my home, a cabined-off space that is completely secure. I’m taking home with me today today’s PDB. It’s locked. I have a person with me — military with me. I read it, I lock it back up, and give it to the military.
Q Without a specialized area in which you can declassify documents, is it ever appropriate for a president to bring classified and top secret documents home with them?
THE PRESIDENT: It depends on the document, and it depends on how secure the room is. Thank you.
Q What did you mean by semi-fascism, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) You know what I mean.
Q Mr. President, Angola just had a (inaudible) election two days ago and everything went good. What is the view of Mr. President? Because you recently announced $2 billion investment for Angola, which everybody is very excited. Your comment on that?
THE PRESIDENT: That answers the question, doesn’t it? You think we’d give $2 billion if we weren’t excited about what happened?
Q Mr. President, how is the First Lady feeling?
THE PRESIDENT: She’s still recovering.