12:12 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to be with the Amir of Qatar — a highly respected man, a real leader in a large part of the world and a very important part of the world. And we’ve known each other a long time. We’ve been friends for a long time.
And we’re doing a lot of work now. They’re investing very heavily in our country. They’re creating a lot of jobs. They’re buying tremendous amounts of military equipment, including planes. And they’re buying commercial planes, as you know — very large numbers of commercial planes from Boeing. And we very much appreciate it.
We’re going to be signing a document today — a very large transaction. You’re going to be invited to the signing. It’s a transaction that will be purchasing a lot of Boeing jets and a lot of money spent in our country, and that means a lot of jobs.
So, we just appreciate everything. We have a great operation — military operation — right now in Qatar. They built one of the great military bases, I would say, anywhere in the world. And it’s just been expanded, with runways and everything else. It’s been really a great honor to work with my friend. Thank you very much for being here.
AMIR AL THANI: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.
AMIR AL THANI: Thank you. Mr. President, I am very happy and honored to be here. And thank you very much for your hospitality. As you mentioned, we enjoy a very great relationship between Qatar and the United States of America.
We’re doing a lot together. As you mentioned, President, we’re signing a few documents today. And our economic partnership has been more than $185 billion, and we’re planning to double this number. We have a lot of investments in the U.S. We trust the economy here. We do a lot in the infrastructure, and we’re planning to do more investments.
Yes, we host at Al Udeid Base, and it’s — we’re working very closely together. You’re invited to come and see Qatar and also to visit the base at any time, Mr. President.
And I really enjoy the personal friendship with you. Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much.
And I will say the base is incredible. It’s — what they’ve done there is absolutely — and a great place to have it, right in the middle of the Middle East. And so it’s — obviously, it’s a very important location.
So thank you all very much. Yes.
Q Mr. President, do you have any reaction to the subpoenas — the new subpoenas of Jared Kushner and other members of your administration?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know anything about it.
Q Mr. President, can I ask you about Iran? How long are you going to wait before you see the Iranian enrich — before you take that action?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re going to see what happens with Iran. Iran is doing a lot of bad things right now and they better be very careful.
Q Mr. President, do you have full confidence in Secretary Acosta right now and in the future?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you know, I met Secretary Acosta — the first time, I know — when I made the deal to bring him on into the administration. I can tell you that for two and a half years he’s been just an excellent Secretary of Labor. He’s done a fantastic job.
Now, part of it is our economy is so good; our unemployment numbers are at record lows. You know, so many good things are happening.
But the fact is he’s been a very good Secretary of Labor. What happened 12 or 15 years ago with respect to when he was a U.S. Attorney, I think in Miami — is it Miami?
Q Yeah. Southern District of Florida.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, if you go back and look at everybody else’s decisions, whether it’s a U.S. Attorney or an Assistant U.S. Attorney or a judge — you go back 12 or 15 years ago or 20 years ago, and look at their past decisions, I would think you’d probably find that they would wish they’d maybe did it a different way.
I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him.
I can only say this: From what I know — and what I do know is that he’s been a great — really great Secretary of Labor. The rest of it we’ll have to look at. We’ll have to look at it very carefully. But you’re talking about a long time ago. And again, it was a decision made, I think, not by him but by a lot of people.
So we’re going to look at it very carefully. We’ll be looking at that very carefully. Okay?
Okay. Anything else?
Q Do you still think Jeffrey Epstein is a “terrific guy”?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan.
Q What was all that about?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I was not — yeah, a long time ago. I’d say maybe 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you. I was not a fan of his.
So I feel very badly, actually, for Secretary Acosta because I’ve known him as being somebody that works so hard and has done such a good job. I feel very badly about that whole situation.
But we’re going to be looking at that and looking at it very closely.
We’re also going to be signing a big contract in a little while, so we’re going to see you in a little while in a different room, in a different part of the White House where we’re going to be signing up a big deal with Boeing. Thank you very much. We’ll see you in a couple of minutes.
12:18 P.M. EDT