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South Lawn

4:12 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Such a friendly group.  Such a nice group.  So, the Washington Nationals just left.  We had a fantastic time with them.  That was a great championship.  They’re great champions.  And we had a wonderful event at the White House.  Terrific people.

We’re now heading to the Adolph Rupp Arena, and it’s packed.  There are thousands of people trying to get in.  It’s going to be a great evening for Governor Bevin.  It’s a tight race.  We’re going to see how that works out.  I think he’s done a great job as governor.  So I think it’ll work out good because of that.  But we’ll have a little influence.  We’ll see how it is.  But we have many thousands of people more than they have seats.  So it’s really great.

And today, the stock market hit a new all-time high — all three.  We had NASDAQ.  We had S&P.  We had Dow.  We hit an all-time high.  And that’s many, many days that we’ve hit all-time highs in the administration.  So it’s, really, very good.

Q    Mr. President, was Marie Yovanovitch the target of a smear campaign by your allies?  She testified she was.

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t hear — talk up, please.

Q    Was Marie Yovanovitch the target of a smear campaign by your allies?  She testified she was.

THE PRESIDENT:  I really don’t know her.  But if you look at the transcripts, the President of Ukraine was not a fan of hers either.  I mean, he did not exactly say glowing things.  I’m sure she’s a very fine woman.  I just don’t know much about her.

Q    She told lawmakers she had concerns about Rudy Giuliani’s role.

THE PRESIDENT:  But you have to take a look at the transcript, because the President of Ukraine was not favorably inclined.

Q    (Inaudible) want the whistleblower to do everything not in writing.  They wanted to come in to talk to Congress.  But you did your own depos with Mueller, in writing, with the lawyers.

THE PRESIDENT:  I think that the whistleblower gave a lot of false information.  And you have to see who the whistleblower is.  Once I released the transcript, which was almost immediately, the whistleblower’s report was very wrong, because as you know, the whistleblower covered mostly my transcript — my call — my call with the President of Ukraine.  So once I released that call — I released a very detailed version of that call — all of a sudden, the whistleblower’s report was incorrect.  And the whistleblower seems to have disappeared.

And I also wonder what happened to the second whistleblower and what happened to the informant.  They all disappeared once I released the report.  The fact is, nobody thought I was going to release the report.  And then, in addition to the report, the Ukrainian President made a very strong statement that there was no pressure, there was no anything.  And the Foreign Minister from Ukraine made an equally strong statement that there was no pressure.

So, look, nobody thought I was going to issue the report.  And I hate to do it because I don’t like to issue conversations with foreign leaders.  Not fair to them.  But we sought their approval.  We got their approval.  We issued it.  And that was it.  So, I was happy about it.

Q    What should be done about Iran’s advanced centrifuges?  What should be done about Iran’s advanced centrifuges?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’re looking into that.  We’ll see.

Q    Mr. President —


Q    On arms control, Mr. President — the New START Treaty between the U.S. and Russia is about to expire in February 2021.

THE PRESIDENT:  We are looking at arms control right now.  We’re dealing with China.  We’re dealing with Russia.  I think they would both like to do it, especially as we’re talking about nuclear weapons.  But we are looking at a major arms control kind of an agreement right now with Russia, China, and maybe somebody else.

Thank you.  I’m going to Kentucky.

Q    On Iran: They keep this malign activity despite crippling sanctions.  At what point are sanctions not enough?  And where are we headed from here?



4:16 P.M. EST