National Archives This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

South Lawn

2:44 P.M. EST

Q Will you have any response to Russia firing on the Ukraine, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Not good. We’re not happy about it at all. Not at all. We’ve let our position be known, and we’re not happy about it.

Q Have you reached a deal with Mexico to hold migrants at the border?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Mexico wants to see if they can get it straightened out. But we’ve, during certain times, as you know, closed the border. They’re not coming into the United States. They will not be coming into our country.

Q Mr. President, what’s your reaction to General Motors (inaudible) in Ohio?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we don’t like it. I believe they’ll be opening up something else. And — I was very tough. I spoke with her when I heard they were closing. And I said, “You know, this country has done a lot for General Motors. You better get back in there soon. That’s Ohio, and you better get back in there soon.”

So we have a lot of pressure on them. You have senators, you have a lot of other people — a lot of pressure. They say the Chevy Cruze is not selling well. I say, “Well, then get somebody — get a car that is selling well and put it back in.”

So I think you’re going to see something else happen there, but I’m not happy about it. Their car is not selling well. So they’ll put something else — I have no doubt that, in a not-too-distant future, they’ll put something else. They better put something else in.

Q Sir, last night, in a response to the “60 Minutes” report, you said —

THE PRESIDENT: Jon, go ahead.

Q Mr. President, have you read the climate report yet?

THE PRESIDENT: I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine.

Q They say economic impact could be devastating — of climate change.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. I don’t believe it.

Q You don’t believe it?

THE PRESIDENT: No. No. I don’t believe it. And here’s the other thing — you’re going to have to have China, and Japan, and all of Asia, and all of these other countries — you know, it — it addresses our country.

Right now, we’re at the cleanest we’ve ever been, and that’s very important to me. But if we’re clean but every other place on Earth on is dirty, that’s not so good.

So I want clean air. I want clean water. Very important.

Q Mr. President, two questions for you, sir. Are you comfortable teargassing children like what we saw at the border this weekend?

THE PRESIDENT: They’re not. As you know, they’re not. They had to use because they were being rushed by some very tough people, and they used tear gas. And here’s the bottom line: Nobody is coming into our country unless they come in legally.

Go ahead.

Q Mr. President, I have a question about — you’re going to Mississippi. Tell me a little bit about what you think about Senator Hyde-Smith’s comments about — her comments about hanging? Her —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I know her. I know her. And I know she apologized and she misspoke. But I will tell you this: I’ve known her, for a period of time now, as a senator. She’s been an excellent senator; she’s done a great job. She’s somebody that’s respected in the Senate. And I’m going there — I’m going to make, I guess, two rallies, on top of everything else. So we’re going to do two, and I hope you’re all coming.

Q Have you talked to her specifically — have you talked to her specifically about her comments about joking about —

THE PRESIDENT: I have. I have.

Q What did you say to her?

THE PRESIDENT: She felt very badly. She certainly didn’t mean that. And, you know, it was taken a certain way, but she certainly didn’t mean it. And as I understand it, she’s already apologized and very strongly.

Q Sir, last night — in response to last night’s “60 Minutes” piece, you said your policy at the border was the same as the Obama administration’s. It wasn’t. You decided to prosecute —

THE PRESIDENT: Say it again. What?

Q In response to last night’s “60 Minutes” report —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, so I’ll tell you what. Obama had a separation policy; we all had the same policy.

Q You did not have — sir, no, you didn’t.

THE PRESIDENT: I tried to do it differently, but Obama had a separation policy. But people don’t like to talk about that.

Q Sir, it was different. You decided to prosecute everyone at the border.

Q What’s your reaction to the Brexit deal that the EU and Britain (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: Sounds like a great deal for the EU. And I think we have to do this —

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: I think we have to take a look at, seriously, whether or not the UK is allowed to trade. Because, you know, right now, if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us, and that wouldn’t be a good thing. I don’t think they meant that. I don’t think that the Prime Minister meant that, and hopefully she’ll be able to do something about that.

But, right now, as the deal stands, she may not — they may not be able to trade with the U.S. And I don’t think they want that at all. That would be a very big negative for the deal.

Q And what did you say earlier about the Russia-Ukraine (inaudible) dispute?

THE PRESIDENT: We do not like what’s happening either way. We don’t like what’s happening. And hopefully, it will get straightened out. I know Europe is not — they are not thrilled. They’re working on it too. We’re all working on it together.

Q Is it okay to use tear gas on children?

THE PRESIDENT: We didn’t. We don’t use it on children.

Q (Inaudible.)


Q (Inaudible) talk to Mary Barra at General Motors?

THE PRESIDENT: I did. I spoke to her and I expressed the fact that I am not happy with what she did. You know, the United States saved General Motors, and for her to take that company out of Ohio is not good. I think she’s going to put something back in soon. That car is not selling. It’s a Cruze — Chevy Cruze. It’s not selling.

But hopefully, she’s going to come back and she’s going to put something. But I told her I’m not happy about it at all.

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: No, not tariffs. It had nothing to do with tariffs. She said the car was not selling.

Q Are you looking forward to a deal with Xi Jinping this week in Argentina? We’re all going to go down to cover you down there. Are you going to make a deal, do you think?

THE PRESIDENT: Which one? With China?

Q With Xi Jinping of China?

THE PRESIDENT: I could. I mean, it could happen. We have a good relationship.

Q What do you think —
THE PRESIDENT: Here’s what the bottom line is: China has to treat us fairly. They haven’t been. They have to treat us fairly.


2:50 P.M. EST