Bedminster pool report No. 5a // Second pool spray highlights

From: "Korte, Gregory"
Date: August 10, 2017 at 4:23:39 PM EDT
Subject: Bedminster pool report No. 5a // Second pool spray highlights

The pool was led into a room at the Bedminster National Golf Club for the second pool spray of the day at 3:41 p.m. The event lasted 20 minutes. The president say at a table with Vice President Pence, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Highlights, with more to come. (Check against tape and transcript, as always.)

On Afghanistan troop levels:  “We’re getting close. We’re getting very close. It’s a very big decision for me. I took over a mess and we’re going to make it a lot less messy."

On whether he has confidence in McMaster: “Yes, I do. General McMaster? He’s our friend. He’s my friend and he’s a very talented man. I like him and I respect him.”

On the transgender ban: “I have great respect for the community… I think I’ve had great support, or I’ve had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes. But the transgender, the military’s working on it now… It’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it. As you know, it’s been a very complicated issue for the military, it’s been a very confusing issue for the military, and I think I’m doing the military a great favor.”

On the FBI raid of Paul Manafort’s home:  “I thought it was a very, very strong signal, or whatever. I know Mr. Manafort. Haven’t spoken to him for a long time, but I know him…. I thought it was a very – you know, they do that very seldom, so I was surprised to see it. I was very, very surprised to see it….

Has he talked to AG or FBI about Manafort raid?  “I have not, but to do that early in the morning, whether or not it was appropriate you’d have to ask them. I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man. He’s like a lot of other people, probably makes consultant fees from all over the place, who knows, I don’t know, but I thought it was pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there. I think that’s pretty tough stuff.”

On state of relationship with Sessions: “It is what it is. It’s fine. He’s working hard on the border. I’m very proud of what we’ve done at the border.”

On nuclear posture: “I would like to de-nuke the world. President Obama said that global warming is the greatest threat. I disagree.” He said he would like to see other countries get rid of their nuclear weapons. “Until such time as they do, we will be the most powerful nuclear nation in the world, by far.”

On anti-missile defenses: He said he would be announcing a plan in  the next week to add billions of dollars to missile defense.

Leaks: He said the leaks involving national security are serious. “And then you have the leaks where people want to love me, and they’re all fighting for my love. Frankly, I’m somewhat honored.”

On Putin expelling many U.S. diplomats from Russia?

“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There’s no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.”

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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