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South Lawn

9:20 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to North Carolina.  We’ll then be heading to South Carolina.  We’re doing very well there, but the rivers are cresting.  They’re just starting to crest.  We’re really just going to say hello to all of the folks from FEMA, the military, the people that are working so hard.  And I think it will be an incredible day.  We’ll be coming back at about six or seven tonight.

Q    Your reaction to Ford calling for an FBI investigation?


Q    Your reaction to Ford calling for an FBI investigation?  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it would seem that the FBI really doesn’t do that.  They’ve investigated about six times before, and it seems that they don’t do that.

Q    They would do it if you asked them to, Mr. President.  They will do it if you ask them to.  Will you considering asking them to?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I would let the senators take their course.  Let the senators do it.  They’re doing a very good job.  They’ve given tremendous amounts of time.  They’ve already postponed a major hearing.  And, really, they’re hurting somebody’s life very badly.

And it’s very unfair, I think, to — as you know, Justice Kavanaugh has been treated very, very tough, and his family.  I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going.  So we’ll see.  But I do think this: They’ve given it a lot of time.  They will continue to give it a lot of time.  And, really, it’s up to the Senate, and I really rely on them.  I think they’re going to do a good job.

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I’d really want to see her.  I really would want to see what she has to say.  But I want to give it all the time they need.  They’ve already given it time.  They’ve delayed a major hearing.  There’s no more just about — look, when I first decided to run, everybody said the single most important thing you do is a Supreme Court justice, okay?  We’ve all heard that many times about a President.

I would say this: I think he’s an extraordinary man.  I think he’s a man of great intellect, as I’ve been telling you.  And he has an unblemished record.  This is a very tough thing for him and his family.  And we want to get it over with.  At the same time, we want to give tremendous amounts of time.  If she shows up, that would be wonderful.  If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.

Q    What did you mean when you said you don’t have an Attorney General?  What did you mean by that?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m disappointed in the Attorney General for numerous reasons.  But we have an Attorney General.  I’m disappointed in the Attorney General for many reasons.  And you understand that.

Q    Are you going to fire Jeff Sessions?

THE PRESIDENT:  We are looking at lots of different things.  I have a great Cabinet.  We have the greatest economy ever in the history of our country.  So we’re very happy with the way things are running, generally speaking.  I don’t think we’ve ever had an economy like this.  Somebody was on just this morning, from Reagan — from the Reagan White House.  He said this is one of the great economies in history.  So we’re very happy.

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I can’t hear you.

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, the FBI has been very involved with respect to Justice Kavanaugh.  They know Justice Kavanaugh very well.  They’ve investigated him, I guess, six times.  And they’ve investigated him for this hearing.

Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision.  But I can only say this: He is such an outstanding man.  Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.

Q    (Inaudible) Kim Jong Un?

THE PRESIDENT:  We had very good news from North Korea, South Korea.  They met, and we had some great responses.  I got a tremendous letter from Kim Jong Un.  As you know, it was delivered three days ago.  We’re making tremendous progress with respect to North Korea.

Prior to becoming President, it looked like we were going to war with North Korea, and now we have a lot of progress.  We’ve gotten our prisoners back.  We’re getting our remains back.  They continue to come in.  A lot of tremendous things.

But very importantly, no missile testing, no nuclear testing.  Now they want to go and put a bid in for the Olympics.  No, we have a lot of very good things going.

Remember this: Prior to my coming into office, a lot of people thought we were going — it was inevitable — we were going to war in North Korea.  And now we’re — the relationships, I have to tell you, at least on a personal basis, they’re very good.  It’s very much calmed down.

Q    (Inaudible) Kim Jong Un says he wants reciprocal measures.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’ll see what he’s looking at.  We’ll see.  But in the meantime, we’re talking.  It’s very calm.  He’s calm; I’m calm.  So we’ll see what happens.

Q    Are you concerned about what Paul Manafort will tell investigators?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I’m not.

Q    Why?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m not.  Because if he’s honest — and he is — I think he’s going to tell — as long he tells the truth, it’s 100 percent.  He was with Ronald Reagan.  He was with Bob Dole.  He was with McCain.  He was with many, many people.  That’s what he did.  Paul Manafort was with me for a short period of time.  He did a good job.  I was very happy with the job he did.  And I will tell you this: I believe that he will tell the truth.  And if he tells the truth, no problem.

Q    Would you consider a pardon for Paul Manafort?

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t want to talk about it now.

Q    Why are you (inaudible) refugees into the country?  Why are you cutting the refugee number to 30,000?

THE PRESIDENT:  Because we want to be able to take what we can handle.

Q    Mr. President, you said you feel badly for Brett Kavanaugh and this is a tough time for his family.  Do you feel anything for Christine Blasey Ford?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’d have to see what she has to say.  I’ve given her a lot of time.  The senators have given her a lot of time.  We continue to give her a lot of time.  We’ve held up the whole hearing.

What I don’t like is that Senator Feinstein had this letter for a period of like three months, from July, maybe even before that — but from July.  Why didn’t Senator Feinstein bring this up at her meeting with Judge Kavanaugh?  Why didn’t the Democrats — they knew about the letter, because she was showing it to Democrats — why did they wait until everything was finished and then bring it up?  That doesn’t look good.

Thank you very much.  I’ll see you in North Carolina.

Q    Will you be meeting with Kim Jong Un soon?

THE PRESIDENT:  We will be.


9:27 A.M. EDT