[WHCA]Supplemental] Re: [WHCA Foreign] [WH Pool] FOREIGN POOL NOTE #7: PRESS CONFERENCE OF FINNISH PRESIDENT SAULI NIINISTO

From: White House Press Office [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2017 5:20 PM
Subject: [WHCA Supplemental] Re: [WHCA Foreign] [WH Pool] FOREIGN POOL NOTE #7: PRESS CONFERENCE OF FINNISH PRESIDENT SAULI NIINISTO

From: Jessica Stone [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2017 4:59 PM
Cc: xxx@email.com
Subject: Re: [WHCA Supplemental] Re: [WHCA Foreign] [WH Pool] FOREIGN POOL NOTE #7: PRESS CONFERENCE OF FINNISH PRESIDENT SAULI NIINISTO

Apologies for mis-numbering the pool reports. There is no #4 for foreign pool.

Jessica Stone

White House Correspondent

CGTN America

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On Aug 28, 2017, at 4:57 PM, Jessica Stone  wrote:

Here are my notes of issues to highlight for foreign media. Please check against transcript.

Two entered East room around 4:20

Around 5 minutes in Trump thanked Finland for its Coalition to defeat ISIS

Thanked them for their support of and training of the ANSF in Afghanistan

Congratulated Finland on its cyber security

Pledged half a million dollars to Finnish Fulbright Foundation

7 minutes in President Niinisto began his remarks

Began with remarks on "touching" response if people helping each other in wake of Hurricane Harvey

He said the focus of their talks was security and the Europe-US bond

Remarked on Finland's membership on the counter ISIL coalition

Niinisto: on q of balancing relations with Russia and the West:

We are not feeling ourselves as advisors... we do what is possible to maintain peace and that's what we do in Baltic Sea.

Chinese and Russian navies are training. It's not against anyone.

We are training with the US near Sweden and it's not against anybody.

We have to be careful that training doesn't cause accidents.

So we work with NATO TO enhance dialogue with Russia

Finnish TV: is russia a security threat?

Trump: I consider many countries as security threats.

Q to Finnish Pres re: discussion on black carbon:

NIinisto: if we lose the arctic we lose our home.

Named gas flaring as a major climate issue.

"It would be good to make things with less energy."

Trump: we agree on wanting clean air and water. "The cleanest"

Trump: On why he announced Arpaio pardon Friday night: assumed the ratings would be higher in the middle of a hurricane.

Q to Finnish Pres on Afghanistan strategy if it leads to peace Talks by dealing with the Taliban. Can they be trusted?

"We have to try in all possible ways" to solve this problem.

"To solve it by negotiations you have to have full respect"...

Role of Finland in US Russia?

Trump: I hope we do have great relations with Russia....I believe someday that will happen.

If Finnish relationship deteriorates..,

Bilateral assistance?

Trump:

You are purchasing lots of F18 from Boeing.

Discuss Russia?

Offer assistance?

Finnish president: we did discuss Russia.

We try to do our best.

All NATO countries

Have to exercise direct Talks.

TRUMP: NAFTA I guarantee Finland would not sign NAFTA.

One of the worst deals ever signed.

Mexico will pay for the wall. Maybe through reimbursement.

Later said, america may pay for the wall.

Also said  he may have to begin process of terminating NAFTA to get the US a good deal.

End 4:54

Jessica Stone

White House Correspondent

CGTN America

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xxx@email.com

On Aug 28, 2017, at 3:41 PM, Jessica Stone  wrote:

Pool entered the Oval Office at 3:31

Trump: joked about trade surplus that Finland with the US.

Pres Niinisto:

It's an honor to be here in the Oval Office

"Our thoughts are with those in Houston"...we hope for "strength and courage" for them.

POTUS made comments on Harvey, including saying he would leave 8:30 Tuesday and may return on Sunday and may go to Louisiana on Saturday depending on the storm. I'll leave that to your capable print pooler.

Pool -- Out at 3:36

Jessica Stone

White House Correspondent

CGTN America

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On Aug 28, 2017, at 3:18 PM, Jessica Stone  wrote:

President Saudi Niinisto prono:

(Saulee) (NEE-ne-stuh)

Arrived at the stakeout position at 3:16 shook hands with President Trump and entered the White House

Jessica Stone

White House Correspondent

CGTN America

xxx-xxx-xxxx

xxx@email.com

On Aug 28, 2017, at 2:55 PM, Jessica Stone  wrote:

Per the Finnish embassy, here's who's attending with the president as part of his delegation:

Finland
H.E. Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland
Mr. Teemu Tanner, Chief of Cabinet, Office of the President
Mr. Hiski Haukkala, Foreign Policy Advisor, Office of the President
H.E. Kirsti Kauppi, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the United States
Mr. Kimmo Lahdevirta, Director General

Jessica Stone

White House Correspondent

CGTN America

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xxx-xxx-xxxx (newsdesk)

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On Aug 28, 2017, at 2:11 PM, Jessica Stone  wrote:

Good afternoon,

A bit of background on the visit of the Finnish President…..

Per NSC spox, Topics for today’s meetings are expected to include: Russia, Terrorism, Arctic (Finland is the current president of the Arctic Council), Afghanistan (Finland’s contributions)

Color on Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland

This is the first one-on-one meeting between a Finnish president  and a US president in 15 years.

>>https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/niinisto_to_meet_trump_baltic_situation_on_the_agenda/xxx-xxx-xxxx<<;

US-Finland military exercises to take place simultaneously with Russia-Belarus exercises in the Baltic:

Russia’s and Belarus’ joint military exercise Zapad will take place in the Baltic Sea in September. Finland and the United States will participate in another military exercise near the Swedish coastline.

In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Niinisto in Finland.

Background on Finland’s Afghanistan commitments:

>>http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?nodeid=15380&contentlan=2&culture=fi-FI<<

So far Finland has allocated a total of nearly EUR 250 million to development cooperation and humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. The amount of development cooperation funding directed to Afghanistan has been raised, and since 2014 Finland has undertaken to provide EUR 30 million annually in financing for Afghanistan’s development.

Afghanistan has been a partner country of Finnish development cooperation since 2002, and since 2014 Finland has undertaken to finance the development of the country by approximately EUR 30 million a year. Finland’s development cooperation funding supports Afghanistan’s own development programmes and priorities.

Background/Color on PRESIDENT SAULI NIINISTO:

(from his official bio)

-        Longest serving finance minister of Finland

-        Banking career, including IMFC

-        Attorney by profession

President Niinistö is married to Jenni Haukio and has two adult sons from his previous marriage. His family also includes Lennu, a Boston Terrier.

President Niinistö is active in sports and was also Chairman of the Finnish Football Association from 2009 to 2012 and Chairman of the organising committee for the 2009 European Figure Skating Championships. He has written two books.

>>http://www.tpk.fi/public/default.aspx?nodeid=44811&culture=en-US&contentlan=2<<

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