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Oval Office

12:12 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  It’s a great honor to be with the Amir of Qatar — a highly respected man, a real leader in a large part of the world and a very important part of the world.  And we’ve known each other a long time.  We’ve been friends for a long time.

And we’re doing a lot of work now.  They’re investing very heavily in our country.  They’re creating a lot of jobs.  They’re buying tremendous amounts of military equipment, including planes.  And they’re buying commercial planes, as you know — very large numbers of commercial planes from Boeing.  And we very much appreciate it.

We’re going to be signing a document today — a very large transaction.  You’re going to be invited to the signing.  It’s a transaction that will be purchasing a lot of Boeing jets and a lot of money spent in our country, and that means a lot of jobs.

So, we just appreciate everything.  We have a great operation — military operation — right now in Qatar.  They built one of the great military bases, I would say, anywhere in the world.  And it’s just been expanded, with runways and everything else.  It’s been really a great honor to work with my friend.  Thank you very much for being here.

AMIR AL THANI:  Thank you, sir.


AMIR AL THANI:  Thank you.  Mr. President, I am very happy and honored to be here.  And thank you very much for your hospitality.  As you mentioned, we enjoy a very great relationship between Qatar and the United States of America.

We’re doing a lot together.  As you mentioned, President, we’re signing a few documents today.  And our economic partnership has been more than $185 billion, and we’re planning to double this number.  We have a lot of investments in the U.S.  We trust the economy here.  We do a lot in the infrastructure, and we’re planning to do more investments.

Yes, we host at Al Udeid Base, and it’s — we’re working very closely together.  You’re invited to come and see Qatar and also to visit the base at any time, Mr. President.

And I really enjoy the personal friendship with you.  Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.

And I will say the base is incredible.  It’s — what they’ve done there is absolutely — and a great place to have it, right in the middle of the Middle East.  And so it’s — obviously, it’s a very important location.

So thank you all very much.  Yes.

Q    Mr. President, do you have any reaction to the subpoenas — the new subpoenas of Jared Kushner and other members of your administration?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:   I don’t know anything about it.

Q    Mr. President, can I ask you about Iran?  How long are you going to wait before you see the Iranian enrich — before you take that action?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we’re going to see what happens with Iran.  Iran is doing a lot of bad things right now and they better be very careful.

Q    Mr. President, do you have full confidence in Secretary Acosta right now and in the future?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, you know, I met Secretary Acosta —  the first time, I know — when I made the deal to bring him on into the administration.  I can tell you that for two and a half years he’s been just an excellent Secretary of Labor.  He’s done a fantastic job.

Now, part of it is our economy is so good; our unemployment numbers are at record lows.  You know, so many good things are happening.

But the fact is he’s been a very good Secretary of Labor.  What happened 12 or 15 years ago with respect to when he was a U.S. Attorney, I think in Miami — is it Miami?

Q    Yeah.  Southern District of Florida.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  You know, if you go back and look at everybody else’s decisions, whether it’s a U.S. Attorney or an Assistant U.S. Attorney or a judge — you go back 12 or 15 years ago or 20 years ago, and look at their past decisions, I would think you’d probably find that they would wish they’d maybe did it a different way.

I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him.

I can only say this: From what I know — and what I do know is that he’s been a great — really great Secretary of Labor.  The rest of it we’ll have to look at.  We’ll have to look at it very carefully.  But you’re talking about a long time ago.  And again, it was a decision made, I think, not by him but by a lot of people.

So we’re going to look at it very carefully.  We’ll be looking at that very carefully.  Okay?

Okay.  Anything else?

Q    Do you still think Jeffrey Epstein is a “terrific guy”?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.  I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him.  He was a fixture in Palm Beach.  I had a falling out with him a long time ago.  I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years.  I wasn’t a fan.

Q    What was all that about?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I was not — yeah, a long time ago.  I’d say maybe 15 years.  I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.  I was not a fan of his.

So I feel very badly, actually, for Secretary Acosta because I’ve known him as being somebody that works so hard and has done such a good job.  I feel very badly about that whole situation.

But we’re going to be looking at that and looking at it very closely.

We’re also going to be signing a big contract in a little while, so we’re going to see you in a little while in a different room, in a different part of the White House where we’re going to be signing up a big deal with Boeing.  Thank you very much.  We’ll see you in a couple of minutes.


12:18 P.M. EDT