Bedminster pool report No. 5 c // Final quotes from second pool spray on intelligence and North Korea, plus color

From: Korte, Gregory [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2017 5:12 PM
Subject: Bedminster pool report No. 5 c // Final quotes from second pool spray on intelligence and North Korea, plus color

Last quotes – and some color – from President Trump’s second pool spray at the Bedminster National Golf Club.

Q: Given your criticism of intelligence in run up to Iraq war, should we trust intelligence on North Korea? “Well, you know, it’s different intelligence. I have Mike Pompeo. I have great confidence in him. That doesn’t mean I had confidence in his predecessor, OK? Which I didn’t, actually. Although he did say good things about me. He did say he had no information or know anything on collusion, so I shouldn’t maybe say that. But I will say – but I have tremendous confidence in Mike Pompeo, Dan Coats, fantastic. I mean, we have people. I think your new head of the FBI is going to be – I think I’ve done a great service for this country. I think that Christopher will do a fantastic job as the head of the FBI.

“So, look, I have – nobody has greater respect for intelligence than Donald Trump, but you have to have the right leaders. I think we have great leaders right now. And you know, you can look at the intelligence over the years. It was intelligence that got people to make one of the worst decisions ever made in the history of our country, going into Iraq.  … You look at it, it ended up being that there were no weapons of mass destruction. They said, if you listened to them, weapons of mass destruction were all over the place. But they were not there. That was intelligence.

“I have great respect for intelligence as led by the people I have in charge now. We have great people, and they’re going to lead us to great victories, because that’s what we need.”

Q: What is that intelligence telling you about North Korea? “It’s telling me a lot of things, but you’ll probably find out about it before anybody else. Right? With your leaks. We’re going to stop the leaks. The leaks are very dangerous to our country.”

On Security Council vote on North Korea sanctions: “I will say getting the 15 to nothing vote from the Security Council the other day, that’s something that very few presidents would have been able to get. And I have great respect for the fact that China and Russia went along with it. That was a tremendous day for the United States. I think it will have a strong impact on North Korea. I don’t know that it will be the end all, but I think it’ll be a very, very – I think it will have a big impact on North Korea and what they do.”

More color from the second pool spray: About midway through the 20 minutes of question and answers, Sarah Huckabee Sanders held up a sheet of paper saying, “One more question.” The president continued to answer questions for many minutes after that.

At the table with Trump, Pence, McMaster and Pompeo – but without nameplates – were Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert and the vice president’s national security adviser, Andrea Thompson. Also in the room: Chief of Staff John Kelly and communications adviser Hope Hicks.

The meeting was held on the second floor of a building at the very back of the Bedminster complex, adjoining a swimming pool where guests were swimming. The golf course – especially the holes closest to the clubhouse – appeared to be empty while the president held meetings there.

Again, many thanks to co-poolers Philip Rucker of the Washington Post and Nick Pugliese of the Bergen Record for their invaluable help transcribing two particular newsy pool sprays totaling almost 30 minutes.

Gregory Korte

White House correspondent

USA TODAY

1575 “Eye” Street, N.W., Suite 350

Washington, D.C. 20005

Office: (703) xxx-xxx-xxxx
Cell:     (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx

Twitter: @gregorykorte

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