2:25 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you. Look at all the press that you attract. Do you believe this? That’s very impressive.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: I guess they are not after me. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I hope not. You’re lucky.
Thank you very much. Today, it’s my honor to welcome President Niinistö of Finland to the White House. And, Mr. President, it’s wonderful to host you once again in Washington. We’ve gotten to know each other over the last period of time, and it’s been — it’s been a great experience.
The President and I have just concluded very productive discussions on a number of exciting opportunities for our two nations.
Before going further, I want to express our deep condolences over the horrific stabbing attack that took place yesterday at a college in Finland. America is praying for the victims and their families, and we send our unwavering love and support.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: The American and Finnish people are linked by an abiding commitment to self-government, individual rights, democracy, and the rule of law. This past May, our countries celebrated the 100th anniversary of America’s recognition of the independent nation of Finland in 1919. As President Wilson wrote at the time, our recognition was “prompted by [the] sympathies for a cause similar to that which caused our own declaration of independence in 1776.”
A century after we established diplomatic relations, the United States and Finland remain united by those same cherished values.
Central to this effort is our nations’ close cooperation on matters of security and defense. Although Finland is not a member of NATO — you save a lot of money — Finland participates in many NATO missions and exercises. And I’m pleased that Finland is substantially increasing its military budget.
America and Finland are also working together to advance stability, freedom of navigation, and respect for national sovereignty in the Arctic. Both of our nations are committed to a secure Arctic region — free from external intrusion, interference, and coercion. Simply put, we believe that the affairs of the Arctic should be governed by the actual nations of the Arctic. And, as you know, there are other people coming into the Arctic, and we don’t like it. And we can’t let it happen, and we won’t let it happen.
The United States and Finland are likewise partnering to ensure the security of 5G networks. It is critical that we use safe and trustworthy technology providers, components, and supply chains. We welcome the establishment of the UROS Innovation Center in Finland. Qualcomm has done a fantastic job with that. This Innovation Center will greatly expand American and Finnish businesses and cooperation in 5G.
We’re also glad that the Finnish company, Nokia — it’s a great company — a global leader in 5G technology, is developing its cutting-edge products right here in the United States at Bell Labs in New Jersey.
Across the United States, foreign direct investment from Finland totals over $10 billion. Each year, Finnish-owned companies invest more than $120 million in research and development in America, and expand our exports by more than $1 billion.
Just today, Finnish Nokian Tyres opened a new manufacturing plant in Dayton, Tennessee — a $360 million investment that is creating hundreds of brand new, beautiful jobs for a great state: Tennessee. We love Tennessee. So, they made a wise choice. You never lose when you go to Tennessee.
I encourage other Finnish companies to increase their investments in the United States. There has simply never been a better time to do business in America. We have passed the largest tax cuts and reform, and also regulation cuts, in the history of country. We slashed business tax. And we’re fueling job growth through our record-setting campaign to abolish all of those really terrible, unnecessary regulations. We have plenty of regulations, but many of them we didn’t need, and we got rid of them.
The American economy is booming, wages are rising, incomes are soaring, and unemployment has hit its lowest level in more than half a century. We want Finnish companies to join in America’s extraordinary economic revival. So many countries are coming in. It’s the hot place. We have the hottest economy in the world, and it’s the hot place to be. They all want to be here.
The President and I are also working on a way to improve international trade based on the principle of fairness and — my favorite word — reciprocity. I hope that Finland, which now holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, will support our efforts to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement with the European Union. We’re going to have to start doing something with the European Union because they have not been treating this country right for many, many years. And they know it. And I tell them, and they know it.
America’s trade deficit with the EU has been averaging $160 billion a year for many, many years. Achieving more balanced and robust trade flows would greatly benefit both Finland and the United States. We also appreciate Finland’s strong partnership in combatting predatory trade practices worldwide, including the theft of intellectual property.
From trade to security, from travel to commerce, we are immensely grateful for our close and deeply valued friendship with the people of Finland. Great people. And we’re now working on a deal to sell a large number of airplanes, fighter jets — hopefully to Finland. We’ll see how that works out. But we make the greatest jets in the world. We make the greatest missiles and military equipment anywhere in the world. Nobody is even close.
Mr. President, I want to thank you again for visiting the White House. The history of our two nations is a profound testament to the importance of our independence and resolve to defend it. I look forward to continuing to work alongside of you as we safeguard our precious sovereignty and build a bright future of hope, harmony, and peace for the American and Finnish people.
And thank you very much for being with us at the White House and the Oval Office. We had a very special number of hours. Appreciate it very much. Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Thank you, Mr. President. First of all, I will deliver your condolences to —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Please.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: — Finnish people. They do appreciate that. Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen, before meeting, I had some spare time, so I visited a couple of museums here — Museum of American History, Museum of American African History, and Museum of American Indian History. And in addition to that, I had a possibility of attending ceremony in Arlington.
Mr. President, you have here a great democracy. Keep it going on. We were — we had a very good discussion with the President. Like you mentioned, our diplomatic relations are 100 years old. During that time, we have developed our cooperation a lot, not only in official meetings like this, but American and Finnish people, scientists, for example, need each other cooperating, working together.
We have quite a lot of cooperation in security sector, also in defense, because I think that we share the feeling that the most important thing for the nation is to guarantee security to its citizens. And that is the starting point for Finland, also, to this cooperation.
I wanted to take up with the President the importance of transatlantic cooperation. Well, we all know Europe needs USA. But I say that USA needs also Europe. We know the price of everything. We should recognize also the value of everything. We share the same values: democracy, human rights, rule-based order. And in that, we are very similar.
Europe has, in a way, awakened during the couple last years to understand also more about security point of view. And I just want to tell you that, in my opinion, the stronger Europe you have, the stronger partner you have.
The Arctic area — you know Finland is in very north — is becoming more and more interesting, like the President said. We both, alongside with six countries, form the Arctic Council. And we are working heavily. There are, surely, possibilities. Like we have heard, the maritime routes are being opened. Maybe there are also resources, but there are huge risks. One of them is that we should keep the low tension we are used to have there. And that is what we have been discussing, and I do appreciate President’s position to emphasize that. It is not a place for military.
But an even greater challenge is the environment, and I’m very glad that we started to talk two years ago in this very house about black coal. It is not, maybe, the worst which causes climate problems, but it is — everybody can understand that if black comes down to ice and to snow, when the sun meets it, it melts down. And melting of sea ice in Arctic is very crucial. I used to say that if we lose the Arctic, we lose the globe.
We had a couple of words — very important ones – on arms control. We — some of us remember the worst years of Cold War in 1960s. There was no agreement at all. Just Cold War. We can’t let the situation return no agreement at all about arms control. And that is why it is important to try to negotiate new agreements and to continue the New START Agreement. That will be a good new start for international cooperation on that.
To end up with — you, Mr. President, referred to 5G, the EU use of ICT as a whole. We are very proud to have the excellence of — the Centre of Excellence of Hybrid in Helsinki. The USA has been very helpful in that. Very many countries are working there together to fight against the future danger of hybrid warfare.
When comes to providers in that area, I am not very willing to point out any country or company here now. It may be a bit late from USA, in EU, making a risk assessment. It will be prepared in one, two weeks’ time. And after that, we are in a place that we have to choose the tools to protect us.
Mr. President, I want to thank you very much for having a possibility of meeting you here. It is very valuable, and I found our discussions very open, very interesting, and giving a lot to my little country. Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.
Before we take questions, something happened that’s been — it’s been going on for many decades and we came to a conclusion. Could I ask Ambassador Pence to just come up for one second and explain the importance of what just took place? Because this has been going on for —
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Wonderful.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: — many, many years. And this is Ambassador Pence. No relationship to our great Vice President. Hard to believe. Nobody believes that, but that’s true. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: (Inaudible) one.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right?
AMBASSADOR PENCE: But I have been introduced as his father, his brother, his cousin, and his uncle. (Laughter.) We are friends.
Good afternoon. When I arrived in Helsinki about a year and a half ago, there were stack of papers on the desk, one of a couple of which concerned indigenous peoples from the southwestern United States — Arizona, Colorado — including probably most predominantly, but generically I will refer to them as Hopi Indians. They were one of the group. In 1895, a lot of their remains had been excavated and removed along with about 500 artifacts to Finland. And there they’ve remained despite a lot of activity to get them back.
And I’ll just jump to the end and say: Through the good offices of our State Department, but in particular, President Niinistö and his entire team, we’ve secured a mutual agreement whereby all of those remains, including a number of petrified bodies, will be going back to be put back where they were buried.
So it’s special to us, and I think it’s probably special to indigenous peoples everywhere around the globe that we’re all concerned about paying appropriate respect to those who have departed before us. So, thank you. Thank you both of the Presidents for supporting this.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. Fantastic job. Thank you. Be careful.
Thank you. That’s a great job, Mr. Ambassador. That’s been going on for many, many decades. So, I just want to thank you. Outstanding.
Q Mr. President, thank you. President Niinistö. If I could, sir, I’ve got two pertinent questions to ask you. Maybe I could ask them separately to get a fresh answer out of each one.
The three House Intelligence — the three House committees that are looking into the impeachment inquiry gave notice today that they will be sending a subpoena to the White House for documents and other materials. Will you cooperate with those subpoenas?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I always cooperate. This is a hoax. This is the greatest hoax. This is just a continuation of what’s been playing out, John, for the last — since my election, I would say. If you wanted — probably, we’ll find out soon, but probably even before my election.
This is a fraudulent crime on the American people. But we’ll work together with Shifty Schifft [sic] and Pelosi and all of them, and we’ll see what happens, because we did absolutely — I had a great call with the President of Ukraine. It was 100 percent. You have the transcript.
And then, Schiff went up and he got — as the chairman of the committee, he got up and related a call that didn’t take place. He made up the language. Hard to believe. Nobody has ever seen this. I think he had some kind of a mental breakdown.
But he went up to the microphone and he read a statement from the President of the United States as if I were on the call, because what happened is, when he looked at the sheet — which was an exact transcript of my call, done by very talented people that do this — exact, word for word — he said, “Wow, he didn’t do anything wrong.” So he made it up. He went up to a microphone, and, in front of the American people and in Congress, he went out and he gave a whole presentation of words that the President of the United States never said. It has to be a criminal act. It has to be. And he should resign. And some people even say it was treason. But it was a very sad thing.
And just so you know, the call was perfect — the real call; the call I made. Many people were on the line. I knew that because, usually, when I speak to foreign country leaders — you can name any one of them — but when I speak on the phone, I know that we have many people listening from various intelligence agencies. My knowledge — I know all about it. And so this isn’t something like, “Oh, gee, I’m on the line. Let’s talk about a big secret.” This is many people on the line. I don’t even know how many. We’ll find out, I guess. But many people. Mike Pompeo was on the line. He didn’t say anything. He just — because they listen for both knowledge and for security reasons and for lots of reasons.
But the President of Ukraine, at the United Nations the other day — and previous to that — he announced through his spokesperson — said there was absolutely no pressure put on him. There was no quid pro quo, at all. And if you look at this whistleblower’s — which I have a lot of respect for whistleblowers, but only when they’re real — his report of the phone call was totally different than the fact.
But what got them was they never thought I was going to release the call. Because I don’t like doing that. I don’t want to do it. I hope I don’t have to do it again — release phone calls to foreign dignitaries, to foreign leaders. I don’t want to do that, John. I don’t want to do it again. But I did it with the permission of the Ukrainian government. We got permission. We called up their representatives and asked them, “Would it be okay?” Otherwise, I couldn’t have done it.
And if I wouldn’t have done it, I would have been exposed to a lie, because the whistleblower report — didn’t he say, seven or eight times, I said “quid pro quo”? In other words, “You’re going to do this or you’re not going to get money.”
Now, in all fairness — Biden said it, and he’s on tape. In all fairness, you have at least four United States senators — Democrats — that said it. And they said it a lot stronger than even Schiff and his made-up story said it.
Obama, when he was dealing with the President of Russia — not Putin — he said, “Hey, tell Vladimir I can do a lot more after the election.” You remember that? You didn’t make a big deal out of that. Everybody thought, “Oh, isn’t that cute? Isn’t that cute?” My talk and my response — Lindsey Graham said, “I never knew you were that nice. I can’t believe you were that nice.” He said that loud and clear. It was perfect. It was perfect. Not a thing wrong with it.
To impeach a President over a fraud that was committed by other people that want to win an election in 2020 — which they won’t — is incredible. This is the greatest hoax. Now, it’s gone on for a long time. We had the Mueller collusion delusion, okay? That went on for years. And that’s finally done. No collusion, no obstruction, no nothing. It was a joke, and everyone knows it. And it was from the day one. Now I get three days of peace, and I’m walking into the United Nations, going to meet with the biggest leaders in the world, and I hear about the word “impeachment.” I said, “What did I do now?” And it was about a beautiful conversation that I had.
And just remember this: The Ukrainian new President, a fine man, said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There was no pressure.” And he said it a number of times.
Okay, what’s your second question? Well, you shouldn’t be asking two questions.
Q Well, you’re going to want to answer them.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Do me a favor: Ask one of the Finnish —
Q I will. But I think you’ll want —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: John. John.
Q I think you’ll want to ask — answer this question, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: John, ask one of the Finnish President.
Q And then can I come back to you? Because I think you’ll want to answer this.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll talk later. Sure. Well, it sounds like it might be a good question. Let me see if I like the question. Go ahead. (Laughter.) Maybe for the first time in three years, I’ll have a good question, and I’ll love it.
Q There is a report that came out just before you and President Niinistö walked out here that the whistleblower met with a staff member of Adam Schiff, prior to —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, I love that question.
Q — the complaint being filed.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It shows that Schiff is a fraud.
Q And I —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I love that question. Thank you, John.
Q So can I finish asking it? (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes. There’s nothing to finish.
Q So the whistleblower, according to this report, met with a member of staff — of Adam Schiff’s staff. You’ve got it right there. You know it.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I hate to say it’s the New York Times. I can’t believe they wrote it.
Q Your response to the fact that —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Maybe they’re getting better.
Q Your response to the fact that that happened and that Schiff may have learned some of what the whistleblower knew prior to the complaint being filed?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think it’s a scandal that he knew before. I’d go a step further: I think he’s probably helped write it. Okay? That’s what the word is. And I think it’s — I give a lot of respect for the New York Times for putting it out.
It just happened. As I’m walking up here, they handed it to me. And I said to Mike — I said, “Whoa, that’s something. That’s big stuff.” That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it, too. It’s a scam. It’s a scam.
Just to finish on this — I appreciate it. I love that second question, by the way. Should have asked it first. (Laughter.) But — but, let me just tell you: The whole thing is a scam. The Mueller deal was a scam. The Russian collusion was a scam. You can ask Putin. Nobody has been rougher on Russia than Donald Trump, okay?
Now, with that being said, it would be great to get along with Russia. And we will get along with Russia, because it’s smart. But nobody has been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump.
Okay. Ask one, please.
Q Yes. President Niinistö, good to see you again. You had a conversation with President Trump about 5G, and how Nokia, Finland’s big company, could fill in that space. You also met with Chinese President Xi during the summer, in which you renewed the ties of friendship between the two nations. Do you believe that countries, particularly western countries, that put Huawei equipment in their 5G cores are at risk of national security?
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Thank you. Like I told you already: In Europe, the situation is maybe a bit different from that here, because the main company you mentioned is inside Europe — partly, at least.
What European Union is now doing is making a risk assessment, asking each country what kind of experience, what kind of — what you have seen and found out. And that will be well-finished in week two — or two weeks’ time. And after that, we have to decide together, in European Union, which kind of tools we need to protect ourselves.
You referred to my discussions with President Xi. We didn’t talk about 5G while meeting. And we all know Nokia is a major factor in this area. They will answer for themselves. Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, please. Pick somebody who is really nice from Finland.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: No more Finnish —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Do you have a really nice person?
Q — Finnish —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think they’re all nice in Finland.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Are there Finnish reporters? Just two. Okay.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Uh oh.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Did I — wait a minute. Yes?
Q I’m Mari Karppinen from MTV News Finland and I have one question for President Trump and one question for President Niinistö. First, Mr. Trump, how will this political storm affect U.S. foreign policy, especially its relationship with Finland?
And second, for President Niinistö — because this is the biggest issue here at the moment, I have to ask: What kind of favors has Mr. Trump asked from you? (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Or the other way around, you mean?
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: What favors I asked or was asked?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think you mean the other way around.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Both ways. Okay.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So the political storm — I’ve lived with it from the day I got elected. I’ve done more — and this administration has done more than any administration in the history of this country in the first two and a half years. I’m used to it. For me, it’s like putting on a suit in the morning.
People have said to me, “How does he handle it?” Rush Limbaugh said, “I don’t know of any man in America that could handle it.” Sean Hannity said the same thing. Others have said the same thing, “I don’t know any man in America…” Because it’s all a fraud.
And because of that, and because I know that I’m right, and because I’m doing a great job for the American people, I’m very, very happy living the way I’m living. I thought that I would finish off the first term without the threat of people making false claims, but this one turned out to be incredible. All because they didn’t know that I had a transcript done by very, very talented people — word for word, comma for comma. Done by people that do it for a living. We had an exact transcript. And when we produced that transcript, they died. Because you look at the whistleblower statement, and it’s vicious. Vicious. And that whistleblower, there’s no question in my mind that some bad things have gone on, and I think we’ll get to the bottom of it. I think it’s going to be a total reversal.
But I’ve lived with this. I’ve lived with this cloud now for almost three years — more than that, because it probably started even before. And I think nobody has done what I’ve done when you look at tax cuts and regulation cuts, and rebuilding our military, and Right to Try. Right to Try. That means people that are terminally ill and very sick have the right to use our medicines — our great medicines — because we’re so far ahead of every other country.
So many things that we’ve done. Our vets are now taking care of. We’ve got Choice. Nobody thought we could ever get Choice. That’s when you have to wait on line as a vet. You go outside, you get a doctor, we pay the bill. You don’t have to wait for three weeks to see a doctor if you’re a vet. We cherish our vets — at least this administration does. But for many years, they didn’t. But I take care of the vets.
No administration has done — and I’ve lived with it from the day I got elected, so I’m just fine with it. Okay?
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Yes. We had a conversation and discussion on a very equal basis, which is, I really appreciate that.
Well, I had one request specifically. I wanted the President to take more notice on transatlantic relations because I consider it’s useful both for USA and Europe.
While we were discussing also trading, I told the President that the big purchase we are doing on fighters will be finished in two years’ time. We have five different candidates: three from Europe and two from United States. He answered that, “Ours is best.” (Laughs.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Jeff, go ahead.
Q Thank you, sir. Jeff Mason from Reuters. Mr. President, I’d like to ask you about your use of the word “treason.” You used it repeatedly in the last few days. Do you consider anyone who opposes you treasonous?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. No. I consider when they lie; when they stand before our great body in our great chamber, and they make up a story that’s fiction, like Schiff did. He took that perfect conversation I had with the Ukrainian President, and he made it into a total lie. It was a total fabrication. And you do admit that. It was a total fabrication.
He said, “This is what…” — and the only ones that don’t like my conversation are the ones that never read it. But they heard Shifty Schiff. That’s what I call a lie. And because of the fact that he’s — he’s lying about the President of the United States and as to what the President says — you know, I — believe it or not, I watch my words very carefully. There are those that think I’m a very stable genius. Okay? I watch my words very, very closely. And to have somebody get up and to totally fabricate a conversation that I had with another leader and make it sound so bad — it was so evil. And now I see this that just came out minutes ago, where he met at a time that was impossible to have done unless there’s corruption involved.
And just so you know, we’ve been investigating, on a personal basis — through Rudy and others, lawyers — corruption in the 2016 election. We’ve been investigating corruption, because I probably will — I was going to definitely — but I probably will be bringing a lot of litigation against a lot of people having to do with the corrupt investigation, having to do with the 2016 election.
Q For example?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I have every right to do that. Because the way they’ve treated me and other people — they’ve destroyed people. They’ve destroyed their lives with a phony charge that never existed. And that was collusion. Never existed. And you had 18 people that hated Donald Trump. And you had Bob Mueller that hated Donald Trump. And in the end, they couldn’t find one damn thing. I could find it on you. They couldn’t find one thing about Donald Trump having to do with collusion. This is after two years and spending $42 million.
And I’ve been looking at that long and hard for a long period of time — how it started, why it started. It should never happen to another President ever. But I’ve been talking about it from the standpoint of bringing a major lawsuit, and I’ve been talking about it for a long time.
We’ve been investigating the corruption, having to do with what they did to my people. They destroyed many of peop- — many people. They came down to Washington to do a great job, and they left home. They left Washington dark. They were dark. They came down here, I say, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. They wanted to do a great job for the people. They wanted to do a great job. We won the election. And then, they get served with subpoenas. All these subpoenas.
Now, look at Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi hands out subpoenas like — you know, she has to approve it. She hands out subpoenas like they’re cookies. “You want a subpoena? Here you go. Take them.” Like they’re cookies. Paul Ryan would never give anybody a subpoena. He wouldn’t give them when Mark Meadows went in to talk. He wouldn’t give them when Jim Jordan went in. When Devin Nunes — he would go in, and they’d see Paul. I’m not saying wrong or right, but Paul Ryan: “No, let’s talk about it. That’s a big thing, to give a subpoena. Let’s talk about it.” Two weeks later, they’re still talking. They wanted subpoenas to investigate the corrupt Democrats and the corrupt people on the other side. Paul Ryan would not give subpoenas.
Nancy Pelosi? “Here you go. Take it. Who wants a subpoena?” Every day, you get subpoenas. And Paul Ryan was actually right, probably, because they should never, ever allow a thing like this to happen to our country again.
Thank you very much. Please.
Q Mr. President, can you just make clear, right here: What do you or what did you want President Zelensky to do with regard to Joe and Hunter Biden?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: If you look at what he said — okay? And he brought it up. I think he brought up the name, “Rudy Giuliani.” What I want is the following: And I’ve said this loud and clear. We have our ambassadors here. We have Mike Pence here. Why are we the only ones that give the big money to the Ukraine?
We give money to Ukraine, and it’s bothered me from day one. And you have plenty of people — just here. I say, “How come it’s always the United States that gets ripped?” Frankly, Ukraine — we want to help them. And I do like the new President. You know why I like him? Because he was honest, because he said, “There was no pressure at all exerted on me” — meaning him — “by the President of the United States.” He said it. By the way, that one sentence should stop this. But he said there was no pressure exerted.
But you don’t have to ask him; all you have to do is read the transcript. Read the telephone call.
But what I was having a problem with are two things. Number one, Ukraine is known — before him — for tremendous corruption. Tremendous. More than just about any country in the world. In fact, they’re rated one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And I don’t like giving money to a country that’s that corrupt.
Number two, I said —
Q You don’t like giving money?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me. Number two, I said the following — and I said this loud and clear to everybody. And, in fact, Rob Portman backed me up, and there’s nobody more honorable than Rob Portman of Ohio. Because he called up: “Please, let the money go.” I said, “Rob, I hate being the country that’s always giving money when Ukraine helps Europe and the European countries far more than they help us.” They’re like a wall between Russia and Europe. They’re like a wall. They’re a big, wide, beautiful wall.
And he said, “You know what? But it’s important.” And he — in fact, he came out and he said that. That was my only reason. Because I don’t like being the sucker country. We were the sucker country for years and years. We’re not the sucker country anymore.
But I gave the money because Rob Portman and others called me and asked. But I don’t like to be the sucker. And European countries are helped far more than we are, and those countries should pay more to help Ukraine.
Go ahead. Ask a question, please.
Q Thank you, sir. Mr. —
Q What about Biden? What about Mr. Biden?
Q What did you want about Biden? What did you want him to look into on Biden?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Look, Biden and his son are stone-cold crooked. And you know it. His son walks out with millions of dollars. The kid knows nothing. You know it, and so do we.
Go ahead. Ask a question now.
Q The question, sir, was: What did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Are you talking to me?
Q Yeah. It was a just a follow-up of what I just asked you, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: (Inaudible) finish with me. Listen. Listen. Are you ready? We have the President of Finland. Ask him a question.
Q I have one for him. I just wanted to follow up on the one that I asked you, which was —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Did you hear me?
Q — what did you want him to —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Did you hear me?
Q Yes, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Ask him a question.
Q I will, but —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ve given you a long answer. Ask this gentleman a question. Don’t be rude.
Q No, sir. I don’t want to be rude. I just wanted you to have a chance to answer the question that I asked you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ve answered everything. It’s a whole hoax. And you know who’s playing into the hoax? People like you and the fake news media that we have in this country. And I say, in many cases, the “corrupt media” — because you’re corrupt. Much of the media in this country is not just fake, it’s corrupt.
And you have some very fine people, too — great journalists, great reporters. But, to a large extent, it’s corrupt and it’s fake.
Ask the President of Finland a question, please.
Q Okay. I’ll move on now. Mr. President, in your opening remarks, you said to President Trump that you had been to some museums today and that you respected the U.S. democracy and encouraged him to continue it. Are you concerned that that’s not happening?
And my second question to you, sir, is: The WTO ruled today in favor of the United States, saying that the United States can now impose tariffs on European goods because of illegal subsidies against Airbus.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That was a big win for the United States, right?
Q It was a big a win for the United States.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You never had wins with other Presidents, did you? But we’re having a lot of wins at the WTO since I became President.
Q This was a case that started, I think, 10 or 15 years ago.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. Okay.
Q But it —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me. Your wins are now, because they think I don’t like the WTO, and they want to make sure I’m happy. Because all of those countries were ripping off the United States for many years. They know that I’m wise to it. We’ve had a lot of wins.
This was a $7 billion win. Not bad. Go ahead.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: But I think the question is for me.
Q So the question, sir, is if you’re concerned that the President will impose those tariffs and the effect that that may have on the economy.
PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ: Yes. First of all, when I referred to your democracy, I just wanted to tell that I’m impressed what American people have gained during these decades — a hundred-so years — building up very impressive democracy. So, keep it going on.
To WTO: I have a lot of respect to multilateralism and to international institutions. So, WTO has given now a decision which is, well, quite tough with Europe. But I just say that the WTO has set its opinion, and that’s that.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I just want to finish by saying it’s an honor to be with the President of Finland. He’s done a fantastic job. Very popular, beloved over in Finland.
The WTO has been much better to us since I’ve been President because they understand they can’t get away with what they’ve been getting away with for so many years, which is ripping off the United States.
And please remember the President’s last remarks: that we are a great democracy. We are a great — the United States is a great democracy. And I’m airing what I’m airing because we are, in fact, a democracy. And if the press were straight and honest and forthright and tough, we would be a far greater nation.
Q We are, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We would be a far greater when we don’t have the CNNs of the world, who are corrupt people. Thank you very much, everybody.
3:05 P.M. EDT