Aboard Air Force One

En Route Washington, D.C.

4:22 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  (In progress) — very happy.  Thought it was really great.

Q    How are you feeling about Scott Pruitt, Mr. President?  Is he —

THE PRESIDENT:  I think he’s done a fantastic job at EPA.  I think he’s done an incredible job.  He’s been very courageous.  Hasn’t been easy, but I think he’s done an absolutely fantastic job.  I think he’ll be fine.

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I think he’ll be fine.  Yeah, I want to look at it.  I haven’t seen the details, but I can tell you, at EPA he has done a fantastic job.

Q    Are you bothered by the reports about him, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  On Scott?

Q    Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT:  Who’s saying that?  I have to look at it, and close.  You know, I hear different versions of it.  But I’ll make that determination.

But he’s a good man.  He’s done a terrific job.  But I’ll take a look at it very closely.

Q    What did you think of his interview?

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, I didn’t — with Ed Henry?

Q    Yes.

THE PRESIDENT:  Which one?  Ed Henry?

Q    Yes.  With Fox.

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s an interesting interview.  (Laughs.)

Q    Are you thinking about switching him out for Attorney General?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no.  No, Scott is doing a great job where he is.

Q    How many National Guard do you want to see at the border?

THE PRESIDENT:  Anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000.  We’re looking at a combination of from 2,000 to 4,000.  We’re moving that along.

Q    How much do you think that’s going to cost?

THE PRESIDENT:  We’re looking at it, but, I mean, I have a pretty good idea.  But it depends on what we do.  But we’re looking from 2,000 to 4,000.  And we’ll probably keep them, or a large portion of them, until such time as we get the wall.

Did you enjoy the roundtable?  A little different, right?

Q    (Inaudible) — about Amazon.  You’ve been tweeting a lot about that.  Are you going to actually take some action to change the law that would affect Amazon?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Amazon is just not on an even playing field.  You know, they have a tremendous lobbying effort, in addition to having The Washington Post, which is, as far as I’m concerned, another lobbyist.  But they have a big lobbying effort.  One of the biggest, frankly.  One of the biggest.  And it’s — you know, what they have is a very uneven playing field.  You look at the sales tax situation — which is going to be taken up, I guess, very soon — it’s going to be a decision by the Supreme Court.  So we’ll see what happens.

The Post Office is not doing well with Amazon, that I can tell you.  But we’re going to see what happens.  The playing field has to be level for everybody.  That’s very important.

Q    Would you like to make changes to make that level playing field?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’m going to study it and we’re going to take a look.  We’re going to take a very serious look at that.  But I want, as long — hey, it’s very important for me.  It’s got to be an even playing field for everybody.

Q    Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

THE PRESIDENT:  No.  No.  What else?

Q    Then why did Michael Cohen make those if there was no truth to her allegations?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.  Michael is my attorney.  And you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.

Q    Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I don’t know.  No.

Q    Did you ever set up a fund of money that he could draw from?

Q    I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear your response earlier about Scott Pruitt.  Are you still —

THE PRESIDENT:  About who?

Q    About Pruitt.  I was — I couldn’t hear it.

THE PRESIDENT:  I think that Scott has done a fantastic job.  I think he’s a fantastic person.  I believe — you know, I just left — I just left coal and energy country.  They love Scott Pruitt.  They feel very strongly about Scott Pruitt, and they love Scott Pruitt.

Thank you very much everybody.  I’ll see you back in New York.  Thank you.

END

4:26 P.M. EDT