Below is the full transcript (not proofread - please check against official transcript) of President Trump at CIA today.
I want to thank everybody, very, very special people. And it is true, this is my first stop, officially. We're not talking about the balls, we're not talking about even the speeches, although they did treat me nicely on that speech yesterday. I always call them the dishonest media, but they treated me nicely.
But, I want to say that there is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump. There is nobody.
The wall behind me is very, very special. We've been touring for quite a well, and I'll tell you what, 29? I can't believe it. Oh, 28, we better reduce it. That's amazing. And we really appreciate what you've done, in terms of showing us something very special. And your whole group. These are really special, amazing people. Very, very few people could do the job you people do. I want to just let you know, I am so behind you. And I know maybe sometimes you haven't gotten the backing that you wanted, and you're going to get so much backing. Maybe you're going to say please don't give us so much backing. Mr. President, please, we don't need that much backing. But you're going to have that. And I think everybody in this room knows it.
You know, the military and the law enforcement generally speaking, but all of it. But the military gave us tremendous percentages of votes. We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military. Probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hand. But I would guarantee a big portion, because we're all on the same wavelength, folks, we're all on the same wavelength. Right? We are. It took Brian about 30 seconds to figure that one out, right, because we know. We're on the same wavelength.
But, we're going to great things. We're going to do great things. We've been fighting these wars for longer than any wars we've ever faught. We have not used the real abilities that we have. We've been restrained.
We have to get rid of ISIS. We have to get rid of ISIS. We have no choice. Radical Islamic terrorism, and I said it yesterday, it has to be eradicated just off the face of the earth. This is evil. This is evil. And you know, I can understand the other side, we can all understand the other side. There can be wars between countries, there can be wars, you can understand what happened. This is something nobody can even understand. This is a level of evil that we haven't seen.
And, you're going to go to it, and you're going to do a phenomenal job, but we're going to end it. It's time, it's time right now to end it. You have somebody coming on who is extraordinary.
You know, for the different positions, of secretary of this, secretary of that, and all of these great position, I'd see five, six, seven, eight people. And we had a great transition, we had an amazing team of talent. And by the way, General Flynn is right over here, put up your hand.
And Reince, and my whole group, Reince, you know Reince, they don't care about Reince. He's a, he's like this political guy that turned out to be a superstar, right? We don't' have to talk about Reince.
But we did, we had just such a tremendous, tremendous success. So, when I'm interviewing all of these candidates that Reince and his whole group is putting in front. It went very, very quickly. And in this case went so quickly, because I would see six or seven or eight for Secretary of Agriculture, who we just named the other day, Sonny Perdue, governor, former governor of Georgia, fantastic guy.
But I'd see six, seven, eight people, for a certain position, everybody wanted it. But I met Mike Pompeo, and he was the only guy I met, and I didn't want to meet anybody else. I said cancel everybody else. Cancel. Now, he was approved essentially, but they're doing little political games with me. You know, he was one of the three. Now last night, as you know, General Mattis, fantastic guy, and General Kelly, got approved. And Mike Pompeo was supposed to be in that group. It was going to be the three of them. Can you imagine, all of these guys. People respect, you know, they respect that military sense. All my political people, they're not doing so well. But ppolitical people aren't do so well, and we're going to get them all through. But some will take a little bit longer than others.
But Mike was literally, I had a group of, what I we had nine different people? Now, I must say, I didn't mind canceling eight appointments. That wasn't the worst thing in the world. But, I met him, and I said, he is so good. Number one in his class at West Point. Now, I know a lot about West Point. It took me (untintell.) I'm a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years who did a fantastic job in so many different ways, academically. He was an academic genius. And then they say: Is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I'm like a smart person. I recognized it immediately. He was number one at West Point, and he was also essentially number one at Harvard Law School, and then he decided to go into the military. And he ran for Congress. And everything he's done has been a home run. People like him, but much more importantly to me, everybody respects him. And when I told Paul Ryan that I want to do this, I would say he may be the only person that was not totally thrilled, right Mike? Because he said: I don't want to lose this guy. But you will be getting a total star. You will be getting a total gem. This is a gem. And I just . but, you're going to see. And, again, we have some great people going in, but this one is something that's going to be very special. Because this is one if I had to name the most important, this would certainly be, perhaps, you know, in certain ways you could say my most important. You do the job like everybody in this room is capable of doing, there can be - the generals are wonderful, and the fighting is wonderful. But if you give them the right direction? Boy does the fighting become easier and boy do we lose so fewer lives. And win so quickly.
And that's what we have to do, we have to start winning again. You know, when I was young, and I was - of course, I feel young. I feel like I'm 30, 35, 39. Somebody said, are you young? I said: I think I'm young. You know, I was stopped being, when we were in the final month of that campaign, four stops, five stops, seven stops, speeches, speeches, in front of 25, 30,000 people, 15,000, 19,000 from stop to stop. I feel young.
When I was young, I think we're all so young, when I was, we were always winning things in this country. We'd win with trade. We'd win with wars. At a certain age, I remember hearing from one of my instructors the United States has never lost a war. And then, after that, it's like we haven't won anything. We don't win anymore.
The old expression, to the victor belong the spoils, you remember they always used to say: Keep the oil. I wasn't a fan of Iraq. I didn't want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you: When we're in? We got out wrong. I always said, in addition to that: Keep the oil. Now I said it for economic reasons. But if you think about it, Mike, if we kept the oil you probably wouldn't have ISIS, because that's where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil. But, okay. Maybe you'll have another chance. But the fact is, we should have kept the oil.
I believe that this group is going to be one of the most important groups in this country toward making us safe, toward making us winners again, toward ending all of the probems, we have so any problems that are interrelated that we don't even think of, but interrelated to the kind of havoc and fear that this sick group of people has caused.
So I can only say that I am with you a thousand percent and the reason you're my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.
And they made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community, alright, just want to let you know, there's a reason you're number one stop, is exactly the opposite. Exactly. And they understand that, too.
And I was explaining about the numbers. We did a, we did a thing yesterday, the speech, and everybody liked the speech, yeah?
We had a massive field of people, you saw that. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I said wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, the field was -- it looked like a million, a million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. And they said 'Donald Trump did not draw well.' I said it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and said we're not gonna let it rain on your speech. In fact, when I first started I said: Oh no. First line I got hit by a couple of drops, and I said: Oh, this is too bad but we'll go right through it. But the truth is, that it stopped immediately. It was amazing. And then it became really sunny. And then I walked off, and it poured right after I left.
It poured, but you know, we have something that's amazing. Because we had, it looked, honestly, it looked liked a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was, but it went all the way back to The Washington monument, and I turn around, any by mistake I get this network and it showed an empty field, and it said, we drew 250,000 people. Now that's not bad, but it's a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around in our little bowl that we constructed, that was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed. So, we caught them. And we caught them in a beauty. And I think they're gonna pay a big price.
We had another one yesterday which was interesting. In the Oval Office, there's a beautiful statue of Dr. Martin Luther King. And I also happen to like Churchill, Winston Churchill. I think most of like Churchill. (untell.) I had a lot to do with it. Helped us. A real ally. And, as you know, the Churchill statue was taken out - the bust. And as you also have probably have read, the prime minister is coming over to our country very shortly. And they wanted to know whether or not I'd like it back, I said absolutely, but in the meantime we have a bust of Churchill.
So a reporter, for Time magazine, and I have been on their cover like 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all time record in the history of Time magazine. Like if Tom Brady is on the cover, it's one time, because he won the Super Bowl or something, right? I've been on for 15 times this year. I don't think that's a record, Mike, that can ever be broken. Do you agree with that? What do you think? But I will say that, um, they said it was very interesting that Donald Trump took down the bust, the statue, of Dr. Martin Luther King. And it was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it.
So Zeke, Zeke, from Time magazine writes the story about I took down, I would never do that, because I have great respect for Dr. Martin Luther Kind. But this how dishonest the media is. Now, big story. The retraction was, like, where? Was it in a line? Or do they even bother putting it in?
So I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time, although I will say it when you let in your thousands of other people that have been trying to come in. Because I am coming back. We're going to have to get you a larger room. We're going to have to get you a larger room. Right? And maybe, maybe, it'll be built by somebody that knows how to build, and we won't have columns. You understand that? We'll get rid of the columns!
No, I just wanted to really say that I love you, I respect you, there's nobody I respect more, you're going to do a fantastic job and we're going to start winning again, and you're going to be leading the charge. So thank you all very much. (drowned by applause) I'll be back. I'll be back.
Senior Political Correspondent
The Huffington Post
Below is the full transcript (not proofread - please check against official transcript) of President Trump at CIA today.