11:53 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hi, everybody. Hi. How are you? So, the stock market is doing very well. The economy is booming. We have a new record in sight. It could happen even today. But we have a new stock market record. I think it’ll be about 118 times that we’ve broken the record. Jobs look phenomenal.
We’re doing very well in Syria, with Turkey and everybody else that we’re dealing with. We have secured the oil. We have a lot of oil. We’ve secured the oil. We have a couple of people that came knocking. We said, “Don’t knock.” And I think I would say that things are going very well.
I know people are still in a basement, in a secure room in the basement, trying to make us look as bad as possible. But that’s not working too well. A lot of things are happening very good.
And I appreciate Republicans are just outraged, and the American public is outraged, that the Do-Nothing Democrats, they’re doing nothing. They are doing nothing. There’s such an opportunity to get things done. We need USMCA passed. It’s a great deal for our country, for our farmers, manufacturers, unions. It’s a great deal for our country. So we need USMCA passed.
Q Mr. President, some Democrats say comparing the impeachment inquiry to a lynching was painful and offensive. You’re going to an HBCU today. Will you apologize?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s a word that many Democrats have used. It’s a word that many people have used over the years. But that’s a word that has been used many times.
And let me tell you something: The level of unfairness for a perfect conversation with the President of Ukraine — this was a perfect conversation. And, frankly, had they known what the conversation was, they wouldn’t have even wasted everybody’s time. But this was a perfect conversation with the President of Ukraine.
The President of Ukraine and his Foreign Minister, separately, came out and said there was absolutely nothing wrong with the conversation. The President of Ukraine and the Foreign Minister came out and said there was no anything. There was no — he used the word “no blackmail.” They said there was no pressure; there was nothing done wrong.
This is a hoax — just like there was no collusion. After two years, they found out and wasted $45 million. This is a disgrace that this could happen in our country.
But remember —
Q Will you apologize for using the word “lynching”?
THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Wait.
The President of Ukraine, right now — the President of Ukraine said “no pressure.” The President of Ukraine and his Foreign Minister said, again, “no pressure, no blackmail.” They don’t even know what you people are talking about. It’s a ph- — it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. It’s just a continuation of the Russian witch hunt, which turned out to be phony. The Mueller deal was phony. And now they have this.
And all it is, is very simple: It’s one conversation that I had with the President of Ukraine that was perfect. That Adam Schiff defrauded everybody and he made up the conversation in the halls of Congress.
Q Are you at all concerned about the growing criminal investigation into Rudy Giuliani?
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think so, because I think Rudy is a great gentleman. He’s been a great crime fighter. He looks for corruption wherever he goes. Everybody understands Ukraine has big problems in that regard. Rudy Giuliani is a fine man. He was the greatest mayor in the history of New York, and he’s been one of the greatest crime fighters and corruption fighters. Rudy Giuliani is a good man.
Q Would you like to see your Justice Department still investigate Biden? Should the Justice Department still be investigating Biden?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think what Biden did, and his son — and now, I guess, they’re finding also Romania; that just came out today. Or some other country. And I’m sure there are more than that.
When a man walks away — who has no talent, no skill, no experience — with $1.5 billion out of China; when he walks away with $168,000 a month for him and his friend, from Ukraine, when Ukraine supposedly gave him $3 million — whatever the numbers are — and he’s got no experience in oil and no experience anywhere, and now other nations are coming out. I heard one today; I won’t embarrass the nation.
All he’s doing — and in my opinion, that’s a payoff, because you don’t pay that kind of money for any other reason. And then you look at what the father did with oil, and “let’s get oil.” And then, all of a sudden, “let’s not get oil.” And now he’s a great environmentalist, because the Ukraine benefits by that, and other places benefit by that.
No, I consider what they did to be an outrage to our country. I consider that to be an outrage to our country.
Q Mr. President, what do you think about Lindsey Graham’s resolution? Some of your supporters think he’s not doing enough. And also, what do you think about the nine GOP senators who didn’t sign on to that resolution against impeachment?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, some of them weren’t even spoken to yet. They got 40 very quickly. I think they’re at 47. And some of them haven’t even — don’t even know about it yet. It only took place yesterday afternoon.
So they had a great response. No, you have — we have great — great support. We had 185 out of 185 the other night — the Republican congressmen. I think we had 185 present and we had 185 positive votes. And with the senators we’re doing great too.
Q Where are we on the China and U.S. deal — trade deal?
THE PRESIDENT: We’re doing very well with China. We’re moving along nicely. We’re dealing with them right now. And a lot of good things are happening with China. They want to make a deal very badly.
Q What is in your new plan for Afghanistan?
THE PRESIDENT: What?
Q What is in your new plan for Afghanistan? Are you able to —
THE PRESIDENT: We’ve moving with Afghanistan. We’re doing well in Afghanistan. We’re slowly bringing things down to a certain level. But we’re doing very well with Afghanistan. Things are moving along.
Q Your top diplomat in Ukraine said that you held up military funds because you wanted Ukraine to investigate the 2016 election and Burisma, the company on which Hunter Biden sat. Are you saying that he’s making that up?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the problem is — here’s the problem —
Q Do you think — are you calling him a liar?
THE PRESIDENT: Here’s the problem: He’s a Never Trumper, and his lawyer is a Never Trumper. And the other problem is you —
Q Mike Pompeo hired him.
Q Why did Mike Pompeo hire him?
THE PRESIDENT: Hey, everybody makes mistakes. I — Mike Pompeo, everybody makes mistakes.
Q Do you want him out now as the top diplomat?
THE PRESIDENT: He’s a Never Trumper. His lawyer is the head of the Never Trumpers. They’re a dying breed, but they’re still there.
Q Based on what?
THE PRESIDENT: And here’s the other problem —
Q Based on what, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: — you’re with CNN and you’re fake news.
Q Mr. President, on guns: This month is nearly a year since the shooting in Pennsylvania.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Democrats don’t have any time to work on anything. They have to do US — USMCA. They have to do guns. They have to do — they have many things. We want to reduce drug prices even more. You know, we can go so far, but we could get drug prices substantially reduced. The Democrats — the Do-Nothing Democrats have no time to do it.
Q Do you — will you support the Republican plan that came out this week? It expands access to healthcare.
THE PRESIDENT: Which one?
Q The Republican plan that came out this week. Do you support that?
THE PRESIDENT: We have a great Republican plan. And if we take over the House, which we should — especially because of what they’re doing with impeachment — I think we’ll take over the House by big numbers. You’ll have healthcare the likes of which you’ve never seen. Much less expensive. Deductibles will be much lower. You’ll have great healthcare. We have to take over the —
Q But will we see gun legislation?
THE PRESIDENT: Because the Democrats don’t have any time to do anything.
Q Sir, Vice President Pence said, yesterday, that America stands with the protestors in Hong Kong who are protesting against the Beijing government. Do you agree with that, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I know he made the speech yesterday. I went over the speech. The speech was fine. It was fine.
Q Does America —
THE PRESIDENT: No, his speech was fine.
Q — stand with the protestors?
THE PRESIDENT: But I’m also working very closely with China on a deal. But his speech was fine.
Q Mr. President, are you trying to intimidate the whistleblower?
Q On the deal — on the deal with China, Lighthizer says you are — Lighthizer says you are close to finalizing some sections on the deal with China.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s true.
Q What sections? Is it intellectual property?
THE PRESIDENT: We’re doing very well with China. We’re very good with the farmers. The farmers are going to do better, maybe, than anybody. But everybody is doing well.
China wants to make a deal. They’d like to see some reductions in tariffs. They’d like to see some tariffs that are scheduled to go on very soon — they’d like to see them not go on. But China — they really — look, you know it: They really want to make a deal. They’re going to be buying much more farm product than anybody ever thought possible.
Q Are you confident that you have the votes in the Senate, if an impeachment goes there?
THE PRESIDENT: Only for one reason: I did nothing wrong. The only reason. I had a perfect conversation with the President of Ukraine. Perfect. Had they seen that conversation before they made up the story — they made up the story about that conve- — had they seen it, we wouldn’t even be talking about it right now. The conversation has been perfect. And for that reason, I have tremendous support.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. With the opening of the investigations that your Attorney General, William Barr —
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q — is (inaudible), is this because people who are investigating you are, in fact, engaging in criminal conduct?
THE PRESIDENT: So they’ve started, and it’s been going on a long time. And I sort of semi-read the papers. And I read them probably in greater detail than you, actually. And I try and sift out the fake news from the real news.
But, as you know, there’s been a long-term look at — look-see — and it looks like it’s becoming very serious, from what I’m hearing. Investigate the investigator — whether it’s Strzok and Page, whether it’s Clapper, and whether it’s Comey, and all of these people — because terrible things went on for our country.
And we have a great Attorney General — a highly prestigious man, a very honorable man. And they’ve been looking at it for a long time.
I can’t tell you what’s happening. I will tell you this: I think you’re going to see a lot of really bad things. And a lot of people think that — and they know they have problems because they were very dishonest. And, again, I leave it all up the Attorney General and I leave it all up to the people that are working with the Attorney General who I don’t know.
But I will say this: I think you’ll see things that nobody would’ve believed. This was the worst hoax in the history of our country. And a lot of people say that the phony deal on impeachment, where I have a perfect conversation — perfect — with the President of Ukraine — and they’re using that to impeach one of the most successful Presidents.
We’re going to hit another stock market high. We have the best jobs report. We have the best unemployment numbers. We have the best employment. More people working today in the United States than ever before. I’ve rebuilt the military. We’re strong. We just did a great thing in Syria where we’re getting our troops out. We took over oil. A lot of great things are happening in this country.
I will say this: If anything ever happened with this phony witch hunt that the Democrats are doing — the Do-Nothing Democrats — I really believe that you’d have a recession- depression the likes of which this country hasn’t seen.
Now, a strong statement was made by a very highly respected man this morning on Wall Street — a man who is very respected — about that, that if anything happened to Trump — President Trump — you would see repercussions in the market like you haven’t seen before.
But here’s the thing: I don’t have teams. Everyone is talking about teams. I’m the team. I did nothing wrong. This has been going on for — before I got elected. This was going on from the insurance policy — Strzok and his lover, Page. This was the insurance policy. It was Strzok and Page. We did nothing wrong. But Strzok said, “Oh, she’s going to win. She’s going to win. But if she doesn’t, we have an insurance policy.”
So — so, let me just tell you something. So, this has been going on since before I got elected. And people are angry about it. And do you know who’s angry about it? The Republican Party is angry about it because this isn’t a takedown of the President, this is a takedown of the Republican Party. And, frankly, the Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.
Q (Inaudible) cost of South Korean defense sharing (inaudible)?
Q Mr. President, you tweeted about Never Trumpers the other day. You have a few in your administration. Are you making personnel changes?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you let me who know who they are — who are they? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me.
Q I hear you have a list.
THE PRESIDENT: No, no. Tell me who the Never Trumpers are because I’m not a fan of the Never Trumpers.
We do have Never Trumpers. I’m not a fan. I think they’re bad people. Some have recovered. Okay? They went through, I guess, a recovery program. It’s called, “They learned how to win through me.” But others haven’t. I’m not a fan of Never Trumpers, and I never will be.
But a Never Trumper sometimes is more vicious than a failed Obama candidate or a failed Clinton candidate who I beat both in the same election with very little experience.
Don’t forget, I beat the Obama people. I beat the Bush people. And I beat the Clinton people. And I had no experience. That’s not a bad job. But there’s a lot of angry people out there. And that’s the way it goes. Thank you.
12:07 P.M. EDT