From: Radnofsky, Louise [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 7:19 PM
Subject: Out of town pool 4b: second Bedminster spray
Apologies for garble in there -- I was supposed to take that out. Please salute your local pooler. On two points from 4a:
The president was asked two or three times to clarify what would be a "bad solution" on North Korea, or whether the U.S. was going to war, and answered only: “I think you know the answer to that.”
On the Russia “payroll” comments yesterday: “Absolutely,” Mr. Trump was being sarcastic, he said. The U.S. will have a response by Sept. 1, he added, after consulting with Mr. Tillerson.
On the rest of the presser:
Have you spoken with the governor of Guam? "I have not spoken with the governor of Guam but I feel like they will be very safe, believe me.. If anything happens to Guam, there's going to be big, big trouble in North Korea."
On military readiness:
"I'm not one that says we're attacking Mosul in four months."
On return to D.C.:
The president said he prefers to stay out of Manhattan because it's so disruptive and reminisced about other presidents' disruption, adding that he thought he was probably more disruptive than any of them. But he said that he will have meetings there Monday and Tuesday and be traveling there on Sunday night.
We have a very important meeting and we're going to have a pretty big press conference on Monday.
On Tillerson mixed messages:
"Totally, I can tell you we're totally on the same page." Mr. Tillerson was invited to add: I think it takes a combined message there for everyone to get effective movement out of the regime in North Korea... I think what the president's doing is trying to support our efforts by making sure North Korea understands what the stakes are."
On Cuban 'acoustic attacks', Mr. Tillerson said: "We've not been able to determine who's to blame. We do hold the Cuban authorities responsible for the safety and security of all of our people, just like every host country has a responsibility... We hold the Cuban authorities responsible for finding out who is carrying out these health attacks... It's awful."
On Venezuela (this is Mr. Trump again.)
"We have many options for Venezuela, and by the way, I'm not going to rule out a military option. We have many options for Venezuela. This is our neighbor. We're all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and they're dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary.
Q: Would that be a US-led military operation?
"We don't talk about it. A military operation, a military option, is certainly something we could pursue.
On North Korean state TV threats:
"Let me hear others say it.. let me hear Kim Jong Un say it. He's not saying it. He hasn't been saying much for the last three days. You let me hear him say it."
On regime change in either North Korea or Venezuela:
"I don't want to comment because I think they're very different places.. I support peace, I support safety and I support having to get very tough if we have to to protect the American people and also to protect our allies."
On whether he thinks Vice President Mike Pence will be a candidate in 2020:
"I don't think so, no.. I think he's just as you know left for Colombia and various other places...he's been terrific, he's been a great ally of mine, a great friend of mine.
On considering further economic sanctions against North Korea:
"Very strong ones. They are already very strong. We are considering additional sanctions at a very high level, probably you could say, as strong as they get."
On Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 6:48 PM, Radnofsky, Louise wrote:
Local pooler Matt Arco of the Star-Ledger likes you enough to send a transcript of the first half of the Bedminster spray, typed while barreling back to the press filing center. Highlights from second half coming in separate email:
Thank you everybody. We have a very good meeting. We talked about North Korea, as you could imagine. We're very much in agreement. I think we're very unified. I think we have been right from the beginning.
This is something that has to stop. We all feel that very strongly. I will be speaking to President Xi tonight, from China. We have been working very closely with China and with other countries. That phone call will take place tonight.
REASSURE SOUTH KOREA:
Well, I think as far as reassurance the probably feel as reassured as they can feel. Certainly they feel more reassured with me than they do with other presidents from the past because nobody has really done the job that they're supposed to be doing and that's why we're at this horrible situation right now.
It is a very bad situation. It's a very dangerous situation and it will not continue, that I can tell you.
I think South Korea's very happy, and you don't mention Japan. But I think Japan is very happy with the job we're doing. I think they're very impressed with the job we're doing and let's see how it turns out.
Q: Were you being sarcastic when you thanked V Putin?
In order to reduce our payroll? Absolutely. I think you know that. I think you knew that.
We'll see, in fact, I was just speaking to the secretary and we're talking about coming up with an answer (this is about 1:45 min in, I lost a sentence or two he said after this.)
AMERICANS ON EDGE
You know what I can say? Hopefully it'll all work out. Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you. Hopefully it'll all work out. But this has been going on for many years. It would've been a lot easier to solve this years ago before they were in the position they're in.
But we will see what happens. We think that lots of good things can happen and we could also could have a bad solution. But we think lots of good things will happen.
THINK IT WAS A QUESTION ABOUT WHAT'S A "BAD THING" THAT COULD HAPPEN
I think you know the answer to that.
Q: Is Iran abiding by the nuclear agreement in your view?
We have some pretty strong opinions. But I would say they're certainly not abiding by the spirit of the agreement and I'd go, really, a further step. But I would say the spirit of the agreement, Iran is not abiding by -- absolutely.
Q: Staying in that region, do you have the right generals in place right now in Afghanistan?
Well, we're going to make a determination, Peter, in a very short period of time as to Afghanistan. I've been looking at it. It's our longest war in history, 17 years, that's unacceptable. We will be making decisions, as you know, very well. But we're looking at that very closely. We talked about that a little bit today. We talked about Venezuela today also, by the way.
Venezuela is a mess. A very dangerous mess and a very sad situation. But we talked about Venezuela also.
Q: We're a couple weeks into Gen. John Kelly as chief of staff, what have you done differently? What has he done to change the way you act or how the way your White House acts?
Well I think Gen. Kelly has done a fantastic job. He's a respected person, respected by everybody. Things have come together very nicely and I have to say, I think probably, I've gone through this a lot, but I think very few presidents have done what we've done in a six-month period, whether it's optimism in business, whether it's the stock market, whether it's picking up $4 trillion of value with companies and equity, whether it's all of the many things including the Supreme Court justice, regulations being cut massively. We have, I think it's 48 bills being passed in the, I'm talking about the Legislature not just executive orders.
I think few have done anywhere near what we've done and we'll work now on tax reform cuts, we'll never stop working on, as you know, health care. And we're working on other things, including infrastructure. We're going to have to have a very big infrastructure bill.
Very rarely could I say that anybody has done, I'm not sure that anybody has done what we've done in a six-month period. But I think Gen. Kelly has brought a tremendous, brought something very special to the office. Chief, I call him chief. He's a respected man. He's a four-star from the Marines and he carries himself like a four-star from the Marines, and he's my friend -- which is very important.
WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF GOP SENATORS COMING TO MITCH'S DEFENSE?
I don't make anything of it. We should have had health care approved. He should have know that he had a couple of votes that turned on him and that should have been very easy to handle, whether. it's through the fact that can take away a committee chairmanship or do whatever you have to do. But what, in my opinion, last week is unacceptable. People have been talking about repeal and replace for seven years, long before I ever decided to be doing what I am doing. Seven years they've been talking repeal and replace and it didn't happen. And not only didn't happen, it was a surprise and a horrible surprise. It was very unfair to the Republican Party and it was very unfair to the people of this country, so I was not impressed.
Now, can he do good? I think so. I think we can do very well on taxes, cuts [and] reform. I think we are going to do well on infrastructure, and things will happen with respect to health care. And I think things will happen maybe outside of necessarily needing Congress because there are things that I could do as president that will have a huge impact on health care, so you watch.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal