Theodore's World: June 2018 Archives

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June 12, 2018

The Joint Statement signed by President Trump and Kim Jong Un

The Joint Statement signed by President Trump and Kim Jong Un

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.–DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula

Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S.–DPRK summit—the first in history—was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.–DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.–DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace,

President of the United States of America

Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

June 12, 2018
Sentosa Island

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President Donald J. Trump meets with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

President Donald J. Trump meets with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un

President Trump led a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “We had a tremendous 24 hours. We’ve had a tremendous three months, actually, because this has been going on for quite a while,” President Trump said. “I want to thank Chairman Kim for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.”

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June 11, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘Optimistic’ Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit Will Set ‘Framework’ for Denuclearization

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘Optimistic’ Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit Will Set ‘Framework’ for Denuclearization

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed reporters Monday morning in Singapore to give an update on preparations for President Donald Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Pompeo said he was ‘very optimistic’ that the two leaders would be able to lay the ‘framework’ of a plan to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula,” CBS News reports.

“President Trump is going into this meeting with confidence, a positive attitude, and eagerness for real progress,” Secretary Pompeo said.

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June 10, 2018

Statement from First Lady Melania Trump on Newly Released Information from the Department of Health and Human Services

Statement from First Lady Melania Trump on Newly Released Information from the Department of Health and Human Services

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released information on how States can cover the cost of treating babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS occurs when babies are exposed to opioids or other addictive drugs during pregnancy, and then experience painful withdrawal symptoms during their first few weeks of life.

It is our responsibility to do all we can to ensure our most vulnerable are protected. This past year, I visited Lily’s Place in West Virginia, where addiction recovery treatment is available to the entire family. “Be Best” is dedicated to bringing attention to successful programs like Lily’s Place because our nation needs more programs like these to help struggling Americans. I am proud to support HHS in its continued efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. I encourage States, hospital groups, and nonprofits to click here to read more on the benefits and waivers available to help these babies and their parents.

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June 09, 2018

Press Conference by President Trump After G7 Summit

The United States will not allow other countries to impose massive Tariffs and Trade Barriers on its farmers, workers and companies. While sending their product into our country tax free. We have put up with Trade Abuse for many decades — and that is long enough.

Press Conference by President Trump After G7 Summit

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu
Charlevoix, Canada

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it. We’re getting ready to make a big trip. We’re just leaving, but we wanted to have a little bit of a conference just to announce what’s happened, how we’ve done. And I think it’s been very, very successful. We’ve concluded a really tremendously successful G7 and would like to provide you with an update.

And you know the gentlemen up are the legendary Larry Kudlow and the legendary John Bolton. And we had a good meeting, both on defense and environment and, frankly, on tariffs, which are what we’re here for.

First, I’d like to thank Prime Minister Trudeau for hosting this summit. It has worked out to be so wonderful. The people of Canada are wonderful, and it’s a great country, and a very beautiful country, I might add.

We tackled a variety of issues and opportunities facing our nations. At the top of the list was the issue of trade — a very important subject — because the United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades, and we can’t do that anymore.

We had extremely productive discussions on the need to have fair and reciprocal — meaning, the same. People can’t charge us 270 percent and we charge them nothing. That doesn’t work anymore.

I made a lot of statements having to do with clarity. We want and expect other nations to provide fair market access to American exports, and that we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect American industry and workers from unfair foreign trading practices, of which, really, there are many. But we’re getting them straightened out, slowly but surely.

We also discussed the issue of uncontrolled migration and the threat that it poses to both national security and other groups and countries, and our citizens and quality of life. We’re committed to addressing the migration challenge by helping migrants to remain and prosper in their own home countries. A wide array of national security threats were addressed, including the threat of Iran. The G7 nations remain committed to controlling Iran’s nuclear ambitions — with or without them, those ambitions are going to be controlled — along with efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and those who spread this deadly ideology.

The nations of the G7 are bound together by shared values and beliefs. That came out loud and clear. Each of our nations is totally unique with our people and our own sovereign obligations. But we can coordinate together and achieve a common good — a good for all — good for all of our people, all of our nations.

We’re linked in the great effort to create a more just, peaceful, and prosperous world. And from the standpoint of trade and jobs and being fair to companies, we are really, I think, committed. I think they are starting to be committed to a much more fair trade situation for the United States, because it has been treated very, very unfairly.

And I don’t blame other leaders for that. I blame our past leaders. There was no reason that this should have happened. Last year, they lost eight-hundred — we as a nation, over the years — but the latest number is $817 billion on trade. That’s ridiculous and it’s unacceptable. And everybody was told that.

So I don’t blame them; I blame our leaders. In fact, I congratulate the leaders of other countries for so crazily being able to make these trade deals that were so good for their country and so bad for the United States. But those days are over.

In just a few minutes, I’ll be leaving for Singapore. I’ll be on a mission of peace, and we will carry in, really — in my heart, we’re going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people, people from all over the world. We have to get denuclearization. We have to get something going. We really think that North Korea will be a tremendous place in a very short period of time. And we appreciate everything that’s going on. We appreciate the working together with North Korea. They’re really working very well with us.

So I say — so far, so good. We’re going to have to see what happens. And we’re going to know very soon.

So I’ll be leaving — as soon as we’re finished with this conference, I’ll be leaving. And I very much look forward to it. I think it’s very important for North Korea and South Korea and Japan, and the world, and the United States. It’s a great thing. And we’ll see what happens.

Okay. Any questions? Yes, yes.

Q Mr. President, you are about to embark on what may be the most important meeting you’ve ever had in your life. What’s in your gut? Steel nerves or butterflies? Can you describe how you feel?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, there’s always everything. It’s really — you know, this has probably rarely been done. It’s unknown territory, in the truest sense. But I really feel confident. I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people, and he has that opportunity. And he won’t have that opportunity again. It’s never going to be there again.

So I really believe that he’s going to do something very positive for his people, for himself, his family. He’s got an opportunity, the likes of which I think almost — if you look into history — very few people have ever had. He can take that nation, with those great people, and truly make it great. So it’s a one-time — it’s a one-time shot. And I think it’s going to work out very well.

That’s why I feel positive, because it makes so much sense. And we will watch over, and we’ll protect, and we’ll do a lot of things. I can say that South Korea, Japan, China, many countries want to see it happen. And they’ll help. They’ll all help. So there’s a great — there’s really — this is a great time. This has not happened in all of the years that they’ve been separated by a very artificial boundary. This is a great opportunity for peace, and lasting peace, and prosperity.

Yes, ma’am.

Q Mr. President, did you raise bringing Russia back into the G7 during your meetings? And when have you last spoken to Vladimir Putin? Do you expect to meet him in Vienna this summer?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I have not spoken to Vladimir Putin in quite a while. It has been discussed. We didn’t do votes or anything, but it has been discussed. Some people like the idea of bringing Russia back in. This used to be the G8, not the G7. And something happened a while ago, where Russia is no longer in. I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in. I think it would be good for the world. I think it would be good for Russia. I think it would be good for the United States. I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7.

I think the G8 would be better. I think having Russia back in would be a positive thing. We’re looking for peace in the world. We’re not looking to play games.

Okay. Question? Yes.

Q Mr. President, you said that this was a positive meeting, but from the outside, it seemed quite contentious. Did you get any indication from your interlocutors that they were going to make any concessions to you? And I believe that you raised the idea of a tariff-free G7. Is that —

THE PRESIDENT: I did. Oh, I did. That’s the way it should be. No tariffs, no barriers. That’s the way it should be.

Q How did it go down?

THE PRESIDENT: And no subsidies. I even said no tariffs. In other words, let’s say Canada — where we have tremendous tariffs — the United States pays tremendous tariffs on dairy. As an example, 270 percent. Nobody knows that. We pay nothing. We don’t want to pay anything. Why should we pay?

We have to — ultimately, that’s what you want. You want a tariff-free, you want no barriers, and you want no subsidies, because you have some cases where countries are subsidizing industries, and that’s not fair. So you go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy-free. That’s the way you learned at the Wharton School of Finance. I mean, that would be the ultimate thing. Now, whether or not that works — but I did suggest it, and people were — I guess, they got to go back to the drawing and check it out, right?

But we can’t have — an example — where we’re paying — the United States is paying 270 percent. Just can’t have it. And when they send things into us, you don’t have that. I will say, it was not contentious. What was strong was the language that this cannot go on. But the relationships are very good, whether it be President Macron or with Justin. We had — Justin did a really good job. I think the relationships were outstanding.

But because of the fact that the United States leaders of the past didn’t do a good job on trade — and again, I’m not blaming countries; I’m blaming our people that represented our past. It’s got to change. It’s going to change. I mean, it’s not a question of “I hope it changes.” It’s going to change, a hundred percent. And tariffs are going to come way down, because people cannot continue to do that. We’re like the piggybank that everybody is robbing. And that ends.

In fact, Larry Kudlow is a great expert on this, and he’s a total free trader. But even Larry has seen the ravages of what they’ve done with their tariffs. Would you like to say something, Larry, very quickly? It might be interesting.

MR. KUDLOW: One interesting point, in terms of the G7 group meeting — I don’t know if they were surprised with President Trump’s free-trade proclamation, but they certainly listened to it and we had lengthy discussions about that. As the President said, reduce these barriers. In fact, go to zero. Zero tariffs. Zero non-tariff barriers. Zero subsidies.

And along the way, we’re going to have to clean up the international trading system about which there was virtual consensus of agreement on that. And that will be a target. And these are the best ways to promote economic growth, and we’ll all be better at it, and we’ll all be stronger at it.

So, I myself was particularly gratified to hear my President talk about free trade. Thank you, sir.

Thank you.

And it’s very unfair to our farmers. Our farmers are, essentially — whether it’s through a barrier, non-monetary barrier, or whether it’s through very high tariffs that make it impossible — and this is all over the world. This isn’t just G7. I mean, we have India, where some of the tariffs are 100 percent. A hundred percent. And we charge nothing. We can’t do that. And so we are talking to many countries. We’re talking to all countries. And it’s going to stop. Or we’ll stop trading with them. And that’s a very profitable answer, if we have to do it.

Yes, sir.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Another question on trade. You just said that you think that the tariffs are actually going to come down, but it does appear that these various countries are moving forward with retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Did you get any concessions or any agreements with any of these countries not to move forward with those tariffs? And are you willing to not move forward with —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if they retaliate, they’re making a mistake. Because, you see, we have a tremendous trade imbalance. So when we try and bring our piece up a little bit so that it’s not so bad, and then they go up — right — the difference is they do so much more business with us than we do with them that we can’t lose that. You understand. We can’t lose it.

And as an example, with one country we have $375 billion in trade deficits. We can’t lose. You could make the case that they lost years ago. But when you’re down $375 billion, you can’t lose. And we have to bring them up.

So there’s very bad spirit. When we have a big trade imbalance and we want to bring it up to balance — just balance — and they keep raising it so that you never catch, that’s not a good thing to do. And we have very, very strong measures that take care of that, because we do so much. The numbers are so astronomically against them in terms of anything, as per your question. We win that war a thousand times out of a thousand.

Yes. Yes, sir.

Q Are you close to a deal on NAFTA? Your Press Secretary said (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: So two things can happen on NAFTA. We’ll either leave it the way it is, as a threesome deal with Canada and with the United States and Mexico, and change it very substantially — we’re talking about very big changes. Or we’re going to make a deal directly with Canada and directly with Mexico. Both of those things could happen.

If a deal isn’t made, that would be a very bad thing for Canada and it would be a very bad thing for Mexico. For the United States, frankly, it would be a good thing. But I’m not looking to do that. I’m not looking to play that game.

So we’re either going to have NAFTA in a better negotiated form, or we’re going to have two deals.

Q And does it have to have a sunset clause in it?

THE PRESIDENT: It will have a sunset. You have the two sunsets. I mean, you have an ISDS provision and a sunset provision. They’ve been very heavily negotiated. You have two sunsets, two concepts of sunset. We’re pretty close on the sunset provision. Okay?

Q Like five years or —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we have one that’s five years; you know it very well. You’ve studied this very well. Congratulations. That’s right. You have one group that likes to have five years, and then a renegotiation at the end of five years. And you have another group that wants longer because of the investments. But we’re pretty close.

Yes, sir.

Q Mr. President, David Herszenhorn with Politico Europe. Just to come back to Russia for a second. Something that happened that got them kicked out of the G8 was the invasion and annexation of Crimea. Do you think that Crimea should be recognized as Russian (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, you have to ask President Obama, because he was the one that let Crimea get away. That was during his administration. And he was the one that let Russia go and spend a lot of money on Crimea, because they’ve spent a lot of money on rebuilding it. I guess they have their submarine port there and such. But Crimea was let go during the Obama administration. And, you know, Obama can say all he wants, but he allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude. So you’d really have to ask that question to President Obama — you know, why did he do that; why did he do that. But with that being said, it’s been done a long time.

Q But you would allow Russia back into the G8 with Crimea still (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: I would rather see Russia in the G8 as opposed to the G7. I would say that the G8 is a more meaningful group than the G7, absolutely.

Yes. Yes, ma’am.

Q How persuasive did you find the Europeans and Canadians when they made the case to you that you shouldn’t use national security as a justification for tariffs?

THE PRESIDENT: They virtually didn’t even make that case. I mean, my case is the fact that it is national security; it’s our balance sheet; it’s our strength. It’s absolutely national security. And, you know, if you look at our — just take a look at our balance sheet. We’re going to have a very strong balance sheet very soon because of what we’re doing.

We have the strongest economy that we’ve ever had in the United States — in the history of the United States. We have the best unemployment numbers. Black unemployment, the lowest in history. Hispanic unemployment, the lowest in history. I don’t mean the lowest in the last 10 years or 20 years. The lowest in the history of this country. Black unemployment is doing the best it’s ever done. Hispanic doing the best. Women are now up to 21 years. Soon it’s going to be the best ever in its history — in the country’s history.

We have to have deals that are fair, and we have to have deals that are economic. Otherwise, that does, in fact, affect our military. Okay?

Q How do you make that case for autos?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, it’s very easy. It’s economic. It’s the balance sheet. To have a great military, you need a great balance sheet.

Yes, sir. Go ahead.

Q As you were heading into these G7 talks, there was a sense that America’s closest allies were frustrated with you and angry with you, and that you were angry with them and that you were leaving here early to go meet for more friendlier talks with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. And I’m wondering if you —

THE PRESIDENT: It’s well put, I think.

Q — if you view it the same way. And do you view the U.S. alliance system shifting under your presidency, away —

THE PRESIDENT: Who are you with, out of curiosity?


THE PRESIDENT: I figured. Fake News CNN. The worst. But I could tell by the question. I had no idea you were CNN. After the question, I was just curious as to who you were with. You were CNN.

I would say that the level of relationship is a 10. We have a great relationship. Angela and Emmanuel and Justin. I would say the relationship is a 10. And I don’t blame them. I blame — as I said, I blame our past leaders for allowing this to happen. There was no reason this should happen. There’s no reason that we should have big trade deficits with virtually every country in the world. I’m going long beyond the G7. There’s no reason for this. It’s the fault of the people that preceded me. And I’m not just saying President Obama. I’m going back a long way. You can go back 50 years, frankly. It just got worse and worse and worse.

You know, we used to be a nation that was unbelievably cash-flow-oriented. Had no debt of any consequence, and that built the highway system. We built the interstate system out of — virtually out of cash flow. And it was a lot different.

No, we have a very good relationship, and I don’t blame these people, but I will blame them if they don’t act smart and do what they have to do — because they have no choice. I’ll be honest with you, they have no choice.

They’re either going to make the trades fair, because our farmers have been hurt. You look at our farmers. For 15 years, the graph is going just like this — down. Our farmers have been hurt, our workers have been hurt. Our companies have moved out and moved to Mexico and other countries, including Canada.

Now, we are going to fix that situation. And if it’s not fixed, we’re not going to deal with these countries. But the relationship that I’ve had is great. So you can tell that to your fake friends at CNN.

The relationship that I’ve had with the people, the leaders of these countries, has been — I would really, rate it on a scale of 0 to 10, I would rate it a 10. That doesn’t mean I agree with what they’re doing. And they know very well that I don’t. So we’re negotiating very hard, tariffs and barriers.

As an example, the European Union is brutal to the United States. They don’t — and they understand that. They know it. When I’m telling them, they’re smiling at me. You know, it’s like the gig is up. It’s like the gig is up. They’re not trying to — there’s nothing they can say. They can’t believe they got away with it. Canada can’t believe it got away with it. Mexico — we have $100 billion trade deficit with Mexico and that doesn’t include all the drugs that are pouring in because we have no wall. But we are. We started building the wall, as you know. $1.6 billion — and we’re going to keep that going.

But a lot of these countries actually smile at me when I’m talking. And the smile is — we couldn’t believe we got away with it. That’s the smile. So it’s going to change. It’s going to change. They have no choice. If it’s not going to change, we’re not going to trade with them.

Okay, how about a couple of more? Go ahead in the back.

Q Thanks, Mr. President. Eliana Johnson with Politico.


Q Going into these talks with Kim Jong Un, do you have a clear objective of what you want to get out of them?

THE PRESIDENT: I have a clear objective. But I have to say, Eliana, that it’s going to be something that will always be spur of the moment. You don’t know. You know, this has not been done before at this level. This is a leader who really is an unknown personality. People don’t know much about him. I think that he’s going to surprise, on the upside, very much on the upside. We’ll see. But never been done. Never been tested. Many people — world leaders — I’m talking about world leaders that have been right next to him have never met him.

So we’re going in with a very positive spirit. I think very well prepared. I think — and, by the way, we have worked very well with their people. They have many people right now in Shanghai; our people have been — in Singapore. Our people have been working very, very well with the representatives of North Korea.

So we’re going in with a very positive attitude, and I think we’re going to come out fine. But I’ve said it many times: Who knows? Who knows? May not. May not work out. It’s a good chance it won’t work out. There’s probably an even better chance that it will take a period of time. It will be a process.

Q Is there a particular outcome that you would look for from this initial talk to judge whether you think things are going well?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the minimum would be relationship. You’d start at least a dialogue. Because, you know, as a deal person, I’ve done very well with deals. What you want to do is start that. Now, I’d like to accomplish more than that. But at a minimum, I do believe, at least we’ll have met each other. We will have seen each other. Hopefully we will have liked each other and we’ll start that process.

So I would say that would be the minimal. And the maximum, I think you know the answer to that. But I think that will take a little bit of time.

Okay? Yeah.

Q How long do you think that it will take you to figure out whether he’s serious about (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: That’s a good question. How long will it take? I think within the first minute I’ll know.

Q How?

THE PRESIDENT: Just my touch, my feel. That’s what I do. How long will it take to figure out whether or not they’re serious? I said maybe in the first minute. You know, the way — they say that you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds. You ever hear that one? Well, I think that very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good is going to happen.

I also think I’ll know whether or not it will happen fast. It may not. But I think I’ll know pretty quickly whether or not, in my opinion, something positive will happen. And if I think it won’t happen, I’m not going to waste my time. I don’t want to waste his time.

Yes, ma’am.

Q Are you concerned about all that just like giving Kim the meeting, that he’s getting a win as a (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, no. That’s only — only the fake news says that. You know, this — look, we just three hostages back. We paid nothing. They came back. They’re happily in ensconced in their homes with their families. They’re the happiest people in the world right now.

We have gotten — you know, we haven’t done anything. Everyone said — you know, the haters, they say, “Oh, you’re giving him a meeting.” Give me a break, okay? There’s nothing. I think if I didn’t do this, it would be — and it’s never been done before, you know. It’s never been done before. And obviously, what has been done before hasn’t worked.

And this is something — I can’t stress this strong enough. You know, I talked about tariffs that previous people — and I’m not looking to criticize people that were preceding me — but on tariffs, it should have never happened.

Well, the same thing on North Korea. We shouldn’t be in this position. We shouldn’t be in this position on tariffs. We were hundreds of billions of dollars down to other countries that, frankly, were never even negotiated with. They never even got spoken to.

I asked a top person in China, how did it get so bad? He looked at me, he said, “Nobody ever talked to us.” They were missing in action, our leaders.

Well, a very similar thing, if you think about it, took place with North Korea. This should not be done now. This should have been done 5 years ago, and 10 years ago, and 25 years ago. It shouldn’t be done now.

Q Have you spoken to Kim at all in the last —

THE PRESIDENT: I can’t comment on that.

Okay, one more question.

Q A follow-up on North Korea. Will you raise of the gulags with Kim Jong Un and —

THE PRESIDENT: We’re going to raise every issue.

Q — and the (inaudible) and kidnappings?

THE PRESIDENT: Every issue is going to be raised.

Q Mr. President, we’re sitting here, and kind of you’ve attacked the U.S. press back home, but you’ve also done it on foreign soil. I guess I want — I’d like to ask you why you do that. Do you think —

THE PRESIDENT: Because the U.S. press is very dishonest, much of it. Not all of it. Oh, I have some folks in your profession that are with the U.S., in the U.S. — citizens, proud citizens; they’re reporters. These are some of the most outstanding people I know. But there are many people in the press that are unbelievably dishonest. They don’t cover stories the way they’re supposed to be. They don’t even report them, in many cases, if they’re positive.

So there’s tremendous — you know, I came up with the term, “fake news.” It’s a lot of fake news. But at the same time, I have great respect for many people in the press.

Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you.

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June 08, 2018

President Trump Arrives for the G7 Summit venue in Charlevoix, Quebec

President Trump arrives for the G7 Summit venue in Charlevoix, Quebec

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President Trump gives the 'Power to the People' fist before boarding MARINE ONE for flight to G7 Summit

President Trump gives the 'Power to the People' fist before boarding MARINE ONE for flight to G7 Summit venue in Charlevoix, Quebec.

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Happy Anniversary to VP Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence

From VP Mike Pence at Twitter.......

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife Karen! Being married to our amazing @SecondLady these last 33 years is the greatest blessing of my life!

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June 07, 2018

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Today I’m greatly honored to welcome my good friend, Prime Minister Abe of Japan, to the White House. Over the past 16 months, the Prime Minister and I have worked closely together to address common challenges, of which there are many; seize opportunities; and advance the interests of our nations. Today, we have had another deeply productive and very valuable discussion.

We have developed not only a strong working relationship over the last year and a half, specifically 503 days, but a great personal friendship. I was honored by the tremendous hospitality the Prime Minister showed me when the American delegation went to Japan last year. It was really something very special. And we had the Prime Minister and Mrs. Abe as our guest at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.

The steadfast alliance between Japan and the United States is an enduring force of peace and stability in the Pacific region and around the world. From the beginning of my administration, the Prime Minister and I have been working to expand our cooperation in a range of areas, including defense and commerce, which is what we discussed today.

As I prepare to meet next week with Kim Jong Un — and I want to bring up the fact that the Prime Minister Abe and, also, President Moon of South Korea were extremely helpful, cooperative, and they’d like to see something happen. It would be great for North Korea, South Korea. It would be great for Japan, the United States, and the world. Our partnership has been invaluable in reaching this important moment, and we will continue to be in very close communication in the weeks ahead, including the issue of Japanese abductees, which I know is of great personal importance to Prime Minister Abe.

I hope the upcoming meeting in Singapore represents the beginning of a bright new future for North Korea and indeed a bright new future for the world. The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would usher in a new era of prosperity, security, and peace for all Koreans — for North and South — and for people everywhere.

Prime Minister Abe and I are also working to improve the trading relationship between the United States and Japan — something we have to do. The United States seeks a bilateral deal with Japan that is based on the principle of fairness and reciprocity. We’re working hard to reduce our trade imbalance, which is very substantial, remove barriers to U.S. exports, and to achieve a fair and mutually beneficial economic partnership. And we’re on our way.

The Prime Minister was telling us just moments ago that they’re buying billions and billions of dollars of additional products of all kinds — military jets, airliners from Boeing, lots of farm products. We’re going to be doing a lot more business with Japan, which is what everybody wants to see.

There’s never been a better time to invest in the United States. Thanks to our massive tax cuts, historic deregulation,a strong trade policy, which has just really begun — because I will tell you over the years it has been an extraordinarily weak trade policy — the opening of American energy, and a return to the rule of law, our economy is absolutely booming. Best it’s ever been. Unemployment is at the lowest level in nearly half a century. And for African American and Hispanic American workers, unemployment has reached its lowest level ever recorded.

We welcome and encourage Japanese investors to open new plants and factories in the United States. And that will happen. The Prime Minister has told me that will happen. We want new auto plants going into Michigan and Pennsylvania and Ohio — and many of our states that have them and some that don’t. And they’ll be doing that.

Japan has also remained a critical partner in our efforts to promote a free and open Pacific region where sovereign nations uphold the rule of law, respect the rights of their neighbors, and honor the interests of their people. These core principles allow diverse nations to thrive and prosper altogether in one beautiful, peaceful atmosphere. We’re all happy about it. It’s what’s happening now.

Prime Minister Abe, it is a true privilege to work with you. You’ve become my great friend. I want to thank you for being here at the White House for our meetings today. So productive. I’m also very proud to say that the bonds between our nations are stronger than ever before. And I know that, together, we can unlock incredible new opportunities, achieve remarkable new prosperity, and ensure the safety and security of our citizens for a very, very long time to come. And that’s what we intend to do.

Thank you very much. Thank you. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) Mr. President, I am so grateful to you for this meeting that you offered with great hospitality at such busy time as G7 Summit and U.S.-North Korea summit meetings are upcoming. I also would like to express my appreciation to the people of the United States for always warmly welcoming us as your ally.

In five days, U.S.-North Korea summit is to take place. First of all, I would like to pay my deep respect to the outstanding leadership of President Trump as he made this decision that no past Presidents were ever able to accomplish.

In the last 18 months, we really spent many hours to discuss this issue. We shall never repeat the past mistakes. While this thought is completely shared between us, we are able to witness an historic talk which will take place shortly.

Today, with President Trump, our discussion was focused on the issue of North Korea. What should we do as we approach the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit, as well as for the peace and stability of Northeast Asia after the summit? On this topic, we took a good amount of time and carried out in-depth and candid exchange of views. I’m not able to talk about the details of what we discussed, but one thing I can say is that Japan and the United States are always together. I strongly hope that this historic summit in Singapore be a resounding success.

There is a beautiful port town, Niigata, facing the Sea of Japan. A mere 13-year-old girl living there was abducted by North Korea. Forty-five years have passed since then, during which time family members single-mindedly prayed for her return and kept on waiting. The parents became old. Remaining time is slipping away. It is the long-held desire of the Japanese people to have her and all of the abductees come home so that the parents, while they are healthy, can embrace the girl and other abductees again in their arms.

Of course, I wish to directly face North Korea and talk with them so that abduction problem be resolved quickly. To this end, I am determined to take all possible means.

On behalf of the citizens of Japan, I would like to thank President Trump and the people of the United States for their understanding and support toward the resolution of the abduction issue.

Japan will continue to ask for complete implementation of the successive United Nations Security Council resolutions. There is no change at all for Japan’s policy to seek comprehensive solution of the abduction, nuclear and missile programs, and to realize real peace in the Northeast Asia. This is what Japan strongly hopes for.

Now, a major step forward is about to be taken. Donald, President Trump, you are about to make a new history. Not only Japan, but the whole international community is strongly looking forward for the United States-North Korea summit to open doors toward peace and stability of the Northeast Asia.

North Korea abounds with rich natural resources. North Korea has a diligent workforce. If North Korea is willing to take steps toward the right direction, North Korea can see a bright future ahead for itself. Japan, based on the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration, is prepared to settle the unfortunate past, to normalize our diplomatic relations, and to provide economic cooperation. Japan wishes to play the role as much as possible. Donald, I value highly your strong commitment to world peace and prosperity.

In closing, I wish to add that Japan stands ready to make every effort to assist you for the success of U.S.-North Korea summit. Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Appreciate it. So we’ll take a few questions, if we can start.

John Roberts, go ahead.

Q Mr. President, on the subject — and I have a question for the Prime Minister as well. On the subject of North Korea, how far are you willing to go, in terms of economic security, political guarantees with Kim? Are you willing to move down the road toward normalizing relationships, normalizing relations with North Korea, as the Prime Minister suggested he was willing to at some point?

You teased us, as well, out on the South Lawn here last week. You said that you might sign a peace deal to end the war. Where are you with that? And what was in the letter?

Well, the letter was just a greeting. It was really very nice. Perhaps I can get approval to put it out. It was really a very warm letter, a very nice letter. I appreciated it very much. And nothing other than: We look forward to seeing you, and we look forward to the summit, and hopefully some wonderful things will work out.

So it was really very warm, very nice. We appreciated it.

I think, John, that we are going to — we’re going to have a great success. I don’t think it will be in one meeting. I think it will take longer than that. This has been going on for many, many decades.

This is something that should have been solved by other Presidents, as I’ve said often before, long before this point. They waited until the last second. And they shouldn’t have waited. This should have been solved by many others. I’m not just saying President Obama; I’m saying other Presidents. A long time ago, this could have been solved in a lot easier manner and a lot less dangerous manner. But it wasn’t. So I’ll solve it, and we’ll get it done.

As far as the Prime Minister is concerned, we will agree and we have agreed that we’re going to be helping — if the deal is done, we’re going to be helping North Korea. We’re going to be working with China. We’re going to be working with South Korea.

President Xi of China has been terrific. The border has been certainly more closed than ever before. I’d like them to close it a little bit more, but it’s been more closed than ever before. China has never worked with us this way. And, you know, I give him a lot of credit because, as you know, we’re in a dispute as to the imbalance of trade. It’s a massive imbalance in China’s favor. It’s been that way for many decades, and it should have also been handled by previous Presidents. But it wasn’t, so we’ll handle that too.

But I give President Xi tremendous credit, and I give President Moon tremendous credit. He really would like to see something happen. They’ve been living with the threat of war from their beginning, and it doesn’t make sense. And I really believe that Kim Jong Un wants to do something. I think he wants to see something incredible happen for the people of North Korea.

So we have a lot of great opportunities right now. Shouldn’t have waited to this point, but we have a lot of great opportunity.

John, please.

Q Again, Mr. President, would you be willing to go so far as to normalize relations with North Korea? And what about the idea of signing some sort of an agreement on the 12th to end the war?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it could be. We could sign an agreement. As you know, that would be a first step. It’s what happens after the agreement that really is the big point.

But, yes, we could absolutely sign an agreement. We’re looking at it. We’re talking about it with them. We’re talking about it with a lot of other people. But that could happen. But that’s really the beginning. Sounds a little bit strange, but that’s probably the easy part; the hard part remains after that.

Q And normalizing relations?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Normalizing relations is something that I would expect to do, I would hope to do, when everything is complete. We would certainly hope to do that.

I know that Prime Minister Abe and President Moon have told me, very strongly, that they are going to go and they will help them economically, tremendously. Japan has a tremendous stake and so do they. We, on the other hand, are very far away. We’re very, very far away.

But Japan will be helping. I believe China will be helping economically, also. And I think China wants to see something very good happen, very positive happen. And certainly, South Korea has already stated their intentions. They will be very helpful.

So there are lot of good factors lined up for North Korea. A lot of tremendous factors that give it tremendous potential. It has tremendous potential because the people are great. And we would certainly like to see normalization, yes.

Q And, Prime Minister Abe, if I could address you as well. We know how important an issue the abductees is for you. President Trump said at Mar-a-Lago during your last meeting that it’s a very important issue for him as well. We know about the medium-range ballistic missiles. Did you get an assurance from President Trump that he would address both of those in his first meeting with Kim?

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) Today, we had long hours of discussion with President Trump. Good amount of discussion. On the issue of abduction, I was able to have a detailed discussion, and I think President Trump fully understands the situation. He supports the position of Japan.

Last year, President Trump visited Japan. On that occasion, he met with the families of abductees. I told you about the 13-year-old girl abducted. The mother of this girl met with President Trump, and very seriously he intently listened to the voices and views of the family members. So President Trump, amongst the world leaders, I think he is one of the leaders who understands the issue the most — greatest.

So at the upcoming summit, the importance of abduction would be explained to Mr. Kim Jong Un.

What about the medium-range missiles? As I said earlier on in my statement, the Security Council’s resolution must be implemented. All weapons of mass destruction and all ballistic missiles — these are the words used in the resolution of the Security Council. In other words, the Security Council resolution must be completely implemented. On this point, between Japan and U.S. and international community share the same view. I am convinced about it. Thank you.

Mr. Katsumi of TBS, please. Next question, please.

Q (As interpreted.) Thank you. My name is Yusa from TBS Television. I have question for both President Trump, as well as Prime Minister Abe. You have not used the language of applying the largest pressure on North Korea, but are you continuing with a deal with the sanction? And the denuclearization, you will be asking for that? And what is the deadline for the denuclearization?

And my question to Prime Minister is how to apply pressure to North Korea and the tone of the language. Are you in full agreement, complete agreement with the United States?

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) President Trump has stated that we are implementing sanctions, and those sanctions are very strong sanctions. He also stated that until North Korea takes the action, the sanctions will not be lifted. And Japan is in full agreement and Japan’s position is perfectly in alignment with the United States.

And in our summit meeting this time, we had in-depth discussion with President Trump as to how we should respond to the North Korea and ask for the future policy on North Korea.

Inclusive of the U.S.-North Korean summit meeting, we have detailed coordination aligning our positions. As I have already mentioned, Japan and the United States are always together. Japan and United States will be in full alignment to seek success for the historic U.S.-North Korea summit meeting in Singapore.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes. Thank you very much. Maximum pressure is absolutely in effect. We don’t use the term anymore because we’re going into a friendly negotiation. Perhaps after that negotiation I will be using it again. You’ll know how well we do in the negotiation. If you hear me saying we’re going to use “maximum pressure,” you’ll know the negotiation did not do well, frankly. There’s no reason to say it.

We, in the meantime, haven’t removed any sanctions. We have a list of over 300 massive, in some cases, sanctions to put on North Korea. And I’ve decided to hold that until we can make a deal, because I really believe there’s a potential to make a deal. And I just don’t think it’s nice going in under those circumstances.

But, yes, the campaign hasn’t changed. China has continued to hold the border. We, again, would like them to do more in that sense. But they’ve been really good, and the President has been very good. But maximum sanction is there. We are leaving all of the existing sanctions on. We have many, many sanctions to go, but I don’t want to use them unless it’s necessary. And I don’t think it will be necessary, but we will soon know. Okay? Thank you.

Saagar Enjeti. Where’s Saagar? Daily Caller.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I have a question for the Prime Minister as well. Mr. President, under what — you’ve said repeatedly that you are willing to walk away from the negotiations if they don’t do well. Under what exact conditions would you be walking away from that summit? And if the summit does go well, will you be inviting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the United States?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, the answer is yes to the second part of your question. But certainly if it goes well. And I think it would be well received. I think he would look at it very favorably. So I think that could happen.

All I can say is I am totally prepared to walk away. I did it once before. You have to be able to walk away. If you’re not going to be able to walk away — we didn’t walk away from the horrible Iran deal that was signed. And if you look at what’s happened since I signed that deal, Iran — and in all fairness, I say it with great respect for the people of Iran — but Iran is acting a lot differently. They’re no longer looking so much to the Mediterranean. They’re no longer looking so much to what’s going on in Syria, what’s going on in Yemen and lots of other places. They’re a much different country over the last three months.

And again, I say that with hope that maybe something can happen. But when you mention sanctions, we’re putting sanctions on Iran, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before, including, frankly, North Korea. That would have been the next phase, if we did it or find it necessary to do.

But nuclear to me is always first. And we’re going to be fine, with respect to Iran. But we also, Saagar, got something out of it that’s very important. A lot of the people that write about this, some of whom I have respect for, but they haven’t picked it up: Iran is not the same country that it was a few months ago. They’re a much, much different group of leaders. And I hope at some point they’ll come to us and we’ll sit down, and we’ll make a deal that’s good for them, and good for us, and good for everybody. And it will be great for Iran. I expect it to be — I want it to be great for Iran.

But if they would have walked — our side — from some of the horrible provisions that you know as well as I do, and probably everybody sitting here knows, we could have had a great deal. Nothing wrong with a deal, but there’s something wrong with that deal. We had a great opportunity to make a phenomenal deal.

So I am totally prepared to walk. It could happen. Maybe it won’t be necessary. I hope it won’t be necessary to walk because I really believe that Kim Jong Un wants to do something that is going to be great for his people and also great for his family and great for himself.

Okay? Thank you very much.

Q Sir, if you do invite him to the White House — or to the United States, would it be here at the White House or at Mar-a-Lago?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Maybe we’ll start with the White House. What do you think? (Laughter.)

Q Mr. Prime Minister, you are the only major world leader not to have a sit-down or a planned sit-down with Kim Jong Un. You hinted in your address today that you would be willing to do so on the matter of abductees. Do you have any plans currently to do so? And would it be focused solely on abductees, or would you be willing to have a separate denuclearization discussion with Kim Jong Un directly without the United States? Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) Of course, on the issue of abduction, we have to resolve this problem. With Abe administration, this is of the highest priority. And if anything contributes to that resolution, if the talk leads to the solution of the problem between U.S. and North Korea or between Japan and North Korea, the meetings we wish to have on the issue of abduction in the final analysis Chairman Kim Jong Un and me, between Japan and North Korea, problem has to be solved. Of course, for Japan, missile issue and nuclear issue very important.

Nuclear issue, missile issue, regarding these issues, at the U.S. and North Korea summit meeting — first and foremost, I’m hopeful for the progress. And then, on the issue of abduction, we will liaise — we will collaborate with the U.S. and international community. And Japan, ourselves, must talk directly with North Korea in the final analysis. I am determined about that.

Mr. Hayashi?

Q (As interpreted.) Thank you, Prime Minister Abe. I have question to Prime Minister as well as President Trump. Starting with Prime Minister, you have already mentioned to a certain degree on the abduction issue. In order to hold Japan-North Korea summit, the premise is that you need to obtain results for the abduction issue. What kind of concrete pathway are you envisaging to hold the summit meeting?

In your meeting with President Trump today, have you asked President Trump to raise the question of abduction at the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting in Singapore?

Next is my question to President Trump. You have — Kim Jong Un has maintained this position that the abduction issue is something that already had been resolved. So what kind of explanation has been given to the United States on the abduction issue in the North Korea to U.S. via consultations? And how should we approach North Korea in order to seek solution for the abduction? And what did you convey to Prime Minister Abe today in this regard?

You know, I can speak first because I will tell you, on the Prime Minister’s behalf, that he very much talked about abduction. It was preeminent in our conversations. He talked about it long and hard and passionately. And I will follow his wishes, and we will be discussion that with North Korea, absolutely. Absolutely.

Prime Minister, go ahead.

(As interpreted.) Now, at our Japan-U.S. meeting we had in Mar-a-Lago in February, today, once again, as President Trump has mentioned already, I have explained on the abduction issue once again and I have conveyed to him the earnest wish of the families of the abductees. And President Trump once again has stated that the abduction issue will be raised at the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit.

Now, at the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, as to the concrete matters to be discussed, I would like to refrain from mentioning this at this juncture. But in any case, Japan’s (inaudible) position were explained at length, and President Trump has given his understanding, and he has promised that the issue will be brought up at the summit meeting in Singapore. And I am delighted of this.

President Trump and the international community — I would like to closely work with President Trump as well as the international community to seek solution to the issue. In solving the abduction issue, Japan itself needs to have direct consultation with North Korea. I have not changed my resolve in doing so.

And under this decision and resolve, what will be conducive to solve the abduction issue — of course, I will have to think about the summit meeting for Japan-North Korea summit meeting. If we are to have the summit meeting, the nuclear, the missile, and what is more important, the abduction issue — the solution to all these issues must be resolved. And I hope that we will be able to realize a summit meeting which would lead to solution of the problems.

But first and foremost, we need to seek advancement for the abduction, nuclear, and missile programs. Japan and U.S. should closely cooperate with each other so that we will be able to see great success for the historic U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. And Japan would like to give our all-out efforts in support.

Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’d like to just close by paying my highest respect and regards and love, frankly — I’ve gotten to know them very well — to the Warmbier family, the incredible family of Otto Warmbier, who was a brilliant, beautiful, terrific young man. And he has not died in vain, I can tell you that. He has not died in vain. So to the Warmbier family, our love and our respect.

Also, I’d like to say that we were tremendously successful in getting our three hostages back. And I’m very thankful to the cooperation that we received from North Korea. And the three United States citizens are now very happily ensconced in their homes with their families. They’re very happy. They didn’t think this was going to happen. And frankly, it would never have happened, but it has.

So I just want to wish them well also. They had a tough journey, but I really respect the fact that we were able to work with the North Korean folks and get them out. They’re very, very well ingrained already. They’re back into — they were telling me they’re now going to movies and they’re going out to dinner, and they’re back. They’re back in our country, and it’s a terrific thing.

I believe we’re going to have a terrific success or a modified success. But in one form or another, if it all goes — and things can happen between now and then — but I know many of you are going. And I look forward to seeing you there. I look forward to traveling with you. It’s a long way. But I really believe that we have the potential to do something incredible for the world. And it’s my honor to be involved.

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

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June 02, 2018

9-Year-Old Boy With Muscular Dystrophy Hugs President Trump at Bill Signing

9-Year-Old Boy With Muscular Dystrophy Hugs Trump at Bill Signing

A nine-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy melted hearts across the country when he hugged President Donald Trump at the Right to Try Act signing on Wednesday.

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In weekly address, President Trump says "it is time for Senate Democrats to stop resisting the will of the American people."

In weekly address, President Trump says "it is time for Senate Democrats to stop resisting the will of the American people."

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June 01, 2018

Beautiful and Gorgeous First Lady Melania Trump

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