12:11 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. We have the very great privilege of having the President of Poland with us and his very powerful and lovely wife. Thank you very much. It’s great to be with you again.
And we are celebrating a lot of different things. The purchase of many F-35 aircraft by Poland — the finest jet in the world, they say. The finest fighter plane anywhere in the world. And you knew that; you had your choice.
Poland has done really well, and they have really eclipsed anything that anybody thought. And their numbers are fantastic. Their economy is good. We’ve helped them a lot and they’ve helped us a lot. We have a tremendous trading relationship, and we’re going to be discussing numerous things today.
We’re going to have a pretty long meeting, and at the end of which I guarantee a lot of good things are happening. But they’re big buyers of our equipment, of our planes, and our munitions in every form, in every respect. And we’re going to keep it that way, and we appreciate it.
And on behalf of the First Lady and myself, I’d like to thank you both for coming to the Oval Office — a very special place. And we’ve been here before together. And I will never forget the speech I made in Poland. We were treated so well. The people are such a great group of people. And we had a tremendous day. I remember it very well. I won’t forget it. That was really rolling out the red carpet. We will not forget. Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT DUDA: Thank you. Mr. President. We also remember very well your speech. (Laughs.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.
Q Will there be Fort Trump in Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me. Go ahead, please. (Inaudible.)
PRESIDENT DUDA: Mr. President, thank you very much for this excellent possibility to meet here in Washington with you, in the White House — second time during the last 10 months.
This is excellent opportunity to talk about the important issues in our bilateral relations and about the situation in NATO and the situation of security and defense in our part of Europe, and especially about the future cooperation in trade, and especially in the issue of energy, energy security. And I hope that we will have a lot to say during the press conference.
Q So will there be Fort Trump, sir?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So we’re looking at doing things with Poland, including working with their military. And, as you know, Poland wants to build a great military facility for the United States. They’ll build it. They’re going to spend money. I mean, that’s up to them if they want to do it, but it’s something we’ll consider. But they’ll be putting up the money to build a very major military facility in Poland. And we are giving it very serious thought, and we’ll see how that all works out.
But they came to us. They liked the idea. And it’s something that we’re very interested in.
Q Mr. President, why shouldn’t Americans know why a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You’re talking about the census?
Q Yes, the census.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think that — and I’m not overly involved in that. That’s really a legal matter. But I think when you have a census, and you’re not allowed to talk about whether or not somebody is a citizen or not, that doesn’t sound so good to me. Can you imagine, you send out a census and you’re not allowed to say whether or not a person is an American citizen? In Poland, they’d say they’re either Polish or they’re not. Right? So I don’t want to get you into this battle, but it’s ridiculous. I think it’s —
Q Why not release those documents, Mr. President? Why not let the American people see those documents, though?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think it’s totally ridiculous that we would have a census without asking.
But the Supreme Court is going to be ruling on it soon. I think when the census goes out, you should find out whether or not — and you have the right to ask whether or not somebody is a citizen of the United States.
Okay. Yes, ma’am.
Q Mr. President, are the U.S. troops ready for deployment in Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re talking about it. That’s one of the reasons that we’re here. A lot of money is going to be spent on a facility — a military facility. A great one, in a very good location in Poland. And, actually, it will be spread over a little area. But, basically, one primary facility. We’ll see how it works out. We’re talking about it right now.
Q Mr. President, do you consider Russia as a threat to Poland and to Europe?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I hope not. I’ll tell you what: We’re with everybody. And I hope not. I think that Russia will treat Poland with respect, just like the rest of the world is treating. Poland has really built up a great country. You know, they get hurt, unfortunately, too often. Right? Too often. They’re in the middle of everything. And when bad things happen, it seems that Poland is always the first one that’s in there. And it’s unfortunate.
No, I hope that Russia and Poland and Germany and everybody is going to get along. That’s what I want. I want everybody to get along.
Q (Inaudible) your reaction to the demonstrations in Hong Kong? Is China overplaying its hand here?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, they’re massive demonstrations. I looked today, and that really is a million people. A lot of times, people talk about they had 2,000 people but it was really 1,000 or it was 200. I see it all the time. I see it all the time. But when you look at this demonstration, they said it was a million people, and that was a million people. That was as big a demonstration as I’ve ever seen. So, I hope it all works out for China and for Hong Kong.
Q Are they sending a message to China with these demonstrations?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know what they’re sending them. I mean, that’s a demonstration that they’re having. I understand the reason for the demonstration, but I’m sure they’ll be able to work it out. I hope they’re going to be able to work it out with China.
Q Mr. President —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes. Yes.
Q Mr. President, what do you think about the Three Seas Initiative of Central and Eastern Europe in (inaudible)?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Say it?
Q Three Seas Initiative that was helping Europe (inaudible)?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re going to be discussing a lot of those elements today.
Q Mr. President, are you concerned about your internal polling as it relates to Joe Biden?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, because we have great internal polling. They were fake polls that were released by somebody that is — it’s ridiculous.
No, we are winning in every single state that we’ve polled. We’re winning in Texas very big. We’re winning in Ohio very big. We’re winning in Florida very big. They were fake polls that were either put out by the corrupt media — because much of the media in this country unfortunately is corrupt; I have to tell you that, Mr. President. And some of it is excellent, but some is very bad.
Those are fake numbers. But you know when you’re going to see that? You’re going to see that on Election Day. On Election Day, you’re going to see it. It was the same thing — I had the same thing for —
Q Some of your advisors say there is concern.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I had the same thing for a long period of time in 2016. I was getting these terrible poll numbers, and I didn’t see it, because I’d have tremendous crowds and my opponent would have almost nobody. And I said, “I think we’re going to win the state of Michigan” — and we did. “I think we’re going to win the state of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio.” And we won them all.
And now I have the same stuff. They’re giving out phony polls. No, these are polls that we have, that nobody saw. We do very little polling because I’m not a huge believer in polling. I think you go out there and you fight and you don’t really need polls. You need ideas more than polls.
But we have some internal polling — very little — and it’s unbelievably strong. The strongest I’ve ever been is exactly today.
Q Some of your advisors say there is concern. Is that inaccurate?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, they’re not advisors. It’s fake news. You don’t understand what I’m saying. Those advisors don’t exist. They don’t exist. It’s made up by the newspapers. It’s fake news.
Q Mr. President, the House and Senate committees have subpoena power. How is this going to play out over the next two years?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think what the Democrats are trying to do — because they know they’re going to lose the election so they’re going to give this a shot — they’re going to — just every day they’re going to be going more and more after, after.
I don’t know if you have this, Mr. President, but we have people that are totally out of control. It’s the only way they think they can win the election. So we’ll see what happens. But at some point, the Mueller report spoke. They were very disappointed. It said, “No collusion and no obstruction and no nothing.” And, in fact, it said we actually rebuffed your friends from Russia; that we actually pushed them back — we rebuffed them.
So, the Democrats were very unhappy with the Mueller report. So now they’re trying to do a do-over or a redo. And we’re not doing that. We gave them everything. We were the most transparent presidency in history. We gave them everything. And you and I, we’ve all had this conversation many times before. There’s never been anybody so transparent. Gave them 1.5 million documents. We gave them hundreds of people. I gave them lawyers, which I didn’t have to give. I didn’t have to give anybody. We gave them everybody.
And people that didn’t like Donald Trump — 18 Trump haters — 18 Democrats, and they were Trump haters. And they were supporters, in some cases, of Hillary Clinton. They made the decision. And Bob Mueller, no fan of Donald Trump; I’m no fan of his. And Bob Mueller came out with a report that said “no collusion” and, by the way — and led to no obstruction.
So now the Democrats want to try and win an election, so they just keep it going. And I think the American public is not going to stand for it. I’ll tell you what the Democrats should be doing; they should be working on the border, they should be working on drug pricing, and they should be working on infrastructure, where we could get that done very quickly, but they don’t have any time to do anything. And I think it’s going to be a tremendous day for us. It’s a year and half now until the election. I think it’s going to be a tremendous day for us.
Q Mr. President, what are you expecting to get out of your meeting with President Xi at the G20? And also, can you update us on the agreement you have with Mexico that you alluded to yesterday?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We expect to have a meeting with President Xi. We’re doing very well with respect to China. We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars, which we never took in before. The tariffs are — been, you know, very strong. We have 25 percent of $250 billion. And tremendous money is flowing into our Treasury.
China is subsidizing those companies, so our people are not paying for it. If you look, our people are not paying for it. China is subsidizing those companies so that people continue to work.
Now, the problem for China is that a lot of companies are leaving China because they don’t want to pay the tariffs. But we’re doing very well. And I think — I have a feeling that we’re going to make a deal with China because I really don’t believe that China wants to continue the problem that they really caused themselves. Because we had a deal done.
Almost, I would say, all of the tough points were negotiated. They were negotiated and they were agreed to. And everything was finished. And then China told us they can’t agree to things that they already agreed on. All right. And that’s okay. So I said, “That’s okay. We’re going to put tariffs on — 25 percent on $250 billion.”
Now we have another $325 billion left. And if we don’t make a deal, we’re going to put a tariff on that too. And the United States is making more money than they’ve ever made ever, ever before from China. I’d like to make a deal, but we’ll see what happens. But I can tell you, as much as I’d like to, China wishes they had that deal to do over again, because what they did was wrong. You can’t renegotiate a deal. We had a deal that was done and they wanted to renegotiate. You can’t do that.
Q We know that President Duda invited you to Poland again. Are you going to visit —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s right.
Q — Warsaw in September?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think I will. We haven’t picked a date, but we will. I just had an incredible time. That speech was special, from the standpoint of the people of Poland. And I know it was considered a very important speech. You people even gave me very high marks on that speech. I could say it, but I don’t want to say it, but some people said it was the best speech ever made by a President in Europe. But I did not say that. I’m just quoting other people. (Laughter.)
But it was a great — it was a great day. The two folks — you treated us so great. I’ll never forget it. We won’t forget our trip to Poland. Very, very tremendous, special people.
Q Mr. President, how concerned are you —
Q Mr. President, should the women’s soccer team get paid as much as the men’s?
Q — about backsliding on democracy in Poland?
Q Should the women’s soccer team —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Quiet. Quiet.
Q Mr. President, how concerned are you about backsliding on democracy in Poland? And will that be a subject of discussion today?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m not concerned. I know the President very well. I know the people and the leadership of Poland very well. I’m not concerned at all. By the way, Poland is doing so well and they know if they do backslide, they won’t be doing well like they’re doing right now.
They’ve probably never done better economically. They’re like us: The U.S. has never done better economically than we’re doing right now. They don’t want to backslide. They won’t backslide. And besides that, they owe us a lot of money because they’re buying a lot of things, right? So that’s important. So they have to do well. We have to make sure they do well. We’re very, very happy with Poland.
You may want to say something about that.
PRESIDENT DUDA: (Inaudible) someone cheated you. Sorry.
Q Excuse me?
PRESIDENT DUDA: Someone cheated you. There is no problems with democracy in Poland. Really.
Q Thank you.
PRESIDENT DUDA: Everything is excellent.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s what I hear. Okay?
Q President Trump?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes.
Q The base that Poland says they want to build, is this permanent? Is this meant to house a permanent U.S. presence or not?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: This would be a — certainly a statement that the U.S. would be making. I don’t talk about permanence or non-permanence. But this would be a statement that the U.S. is making.
Steve, go ahead. Please.
Q How many troops are you talking about?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, they’re talking about 2,000 troops, but we’d be taking them out of Germany or we’d be moving them from another location. It would be no additional troops to Europe. We’ve be moving them from another location.
Q And have you signed off on this?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And as you know, we have 52,000 troops in Germany, and Germany is not living up to what they’re supposed to be doing with respect to NATO, and Poland is. I have to congratulate you. Thank you very much.
But Poland is paying the max. The max will be raised. I raised over $100 billion last year from countries that were not paying. And it wasn’t fair to the United States. So we put in — they put up over $100 billion more.
But as you know, Germany is at 1 percent. They should be at 2 percent. And they’re not getting there fast. We have 52,000 troops in Germany. We’ve had them there for a long, long time. So we’d be, probably, moving a certain number of troops to Poland if we agree to do it.
Poland is going to build a phenomenal facility in a very good location.
Q So you’re not totally convinced that you want to do this?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We haven’t totally made up a decision. No. We haven’t finalized anything, but the facility itself would be world class.
Q Would you like this facility to be named “Fort Trump?”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, that’s up to them. I have nothing to do with naming it.
Q What do you think?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Fort Trump.” That’s all I need, “Fort Trump,” and you people would have a field day with that, right? (Laughs.) No, that’s up to them. They can name it whatever they want.
Q Thank you for allowing us to ask questions.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.
Q Can you comment about — your speech in Poland was brilliant, so thank you very much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.
Q Can you comment —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Did everybody hear that? No. (Laughter.)
Q Can you — a question — an open question: Can you comment about the energy cooperation? I understand that there is (inaudible).
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, energy is a tremendous asset that we have. Since I’m President, we became the largest energy producer in the world. And we now are shipping a lot of energy offshore and to different countries. Vietnam just made a tremendous purchase of coal from West Virginia. We’re a tremendous energy producer now in all forms of energy. And it’s actually, within a year — especially if I get certain pipelines built — it won’t even be close. We’ll be double what other countries are.
It used to be Saudi Arabia and Russia; now it’s United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. So we’ve made tremendous strides.
Poland is buying a lot of LNG. It’s going to buy billions and billions of dollars’ worth of LNG from us, and we appreciate that.
Q Is it the result of a common initiative, Mr. President?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s right.
Q Mr. President, will you use sanctions to block Nord Stream II — the pipeline from Germany to Russia? From Russia to —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re looking at it. Look, people have a right to do what they want to do. I think it’s a — you know, something that I’ve been looking at and I’m thinking about. And I’m the one that brought up the pipeline problem where you have Russia giving a tremendous percentage of energy. You know this gas is going into Germany. I say, “How can you do that?” So, we’re protecting Germany from Russia. And Russia is getting billions and billions of dollars of money from Germany. I’m the one that brought up the problem.
With that being said, I hope they get along. But Russia is paying 1 percent, as I said. They’re not paying 2 percent. They should be paying much more — Germany. That Germany is paying 1 percent; they should be paying 2 percent. They should really be paying more than that. But we’ll see how that works out.
No, I think this: We have something much better. We have tremendous LNG — liquefied natural gas. And a lot of the European countries are wanting it, including yourselves. I mean, tremendous amounts are being sold to different places all over the world, but also to Europe. And I think that’s really the way, if they want to spend a tremendous amount of money.
I do think this: And I would say, hopefully, nothing will happen. Nothing negative. Hopefully, we’re going to have a great relationship with Russia, great relationship with China and with Germany, and everybody else. But I do think that Germany is putting themselves at a tremendous disadvantage when 50, 60, or 70 percent of their energy is being supplied by Russia. I don’t know how you can do it.
Q (Inaudible) you have the power to block the pipeline. You can just put sanctions.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, Germany — no, no, let me explain it differently. Germany has the power to block it. You know how they block it? By not buying it. I mean, Germany made a decision to buy a tremendous percentage of their energy from Russia. Germany — whether they should be doing that or not, they’re the ones that have the power to block it.
They shouldn’t buy it. Or, if they want to, they can. But that’s really a decision of Germany. I’m not saying that I would be in favor. I think the German people aren’t very happy about it. Because it really makes Germany a hostage of Russia if things ever happened that were bad. Hopefully that will never be — happen.
Okay. Go ahead.
Q Your comments to — your reaction to new comments by Iran. Rouhani is saying Iran will not start a war but will defend itself if attacked.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I would think they would.
Q Your response? What do you think of that?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Sure. I would think they would. I hope they defend themselves.
Q What do you think of that? Does that increase the chances of coming to the table?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would think they would defend themselves. Iran is not the same country. When I became President, Iran was a terror all over the world. They had just made this horrible deal for the United States — the Iran Nuclear Deal. And I became President and I terminated the deal. And Iran now is in chaos. It’s got a lot of problems. I don’t want them to be that way. But we’re stopping their oil. We’re stopping a lot of different things. We just stopped, two weeks ago, the steel, metals — all metals, all forms of metals.
And, as you know, they have tremendous inflation. They have a lot of problems. I don’t want them to have problems. The problem could be solved, but you know what they have to do. And they didn’t do it properly. And the deal that President Obama made was a horrible deal. It was a horrible deal — $150 billion; $1.8 billion in cash. It was a horrible deal, and I terminated the deal very nicely. I terminated the deal.
Since I terminated that deal, Iran is not the same country. But I — with all of it being said, hopefully we’ll able to get along with Iran. If we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s great too.
Q Can I ask a question on Venezuela, please?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Venezuela is, obviously, in flux. It’s doing unbelievably badly. This was, Mr. President, one of the richest countries. Had tremendous oil, tremendous everything. It just shows you, when you have a bad system, it became a socialistic system, or worse. And now people don’t have food. They don’t have water. They don’t have anything. It’s a very sad thing. We’re watching Venezuela very closely.
Q You tweeted that Russia had told you that they were taking out a large part of their military. Russia has denied that. What is the situation right now? What do you know?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, let’s just see who’s right. You know what you’re going to do? You’re going to see in the end who’s right. Okay?
Q What do you know at this point?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You just watch it. Okay? And we’ll see who’s right. Ultimately, I’m always right.
Yeah. Go ahead.
Q Sir, are you any closer to making the decision on meeting with Putin at the G20?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ll be meeting with Putin at the G20. I’ll be meeting with President Xi at the G20. I’ll be meeting with many of the leaders at the G20.
Q Are you going to have a lot of people in the room with you — national security officials?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s probably easier because you people are so untrusting. So it’s probably better if I — would you like to be in the room? Okay?
Q I would love to report on it.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Would you like to be? I can imagine you would be.
Q I would love — sir. Sir, I would love —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think it’s probably easier is we have people in the room because you people don’t trust anything.
Q Mr. President, you established great cooperation with President Andrzej Duda. Can you comment about the program of First Ladies? They’ve been a great part of —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, the First Ladies know each other. They get along with each other. They’re going out to lunch right after this. Would you like to say something?
MRS. TRUMP: It is great to have them here again in the Oval Office and in the White House. And I’m looking forward to talking with Mrs. Duda about the children — what they’re facing in our country, what they’re facing in Poland — as we did the first time, and we will continue to do so.
Q Mr. President, when do you fulfill your promise to remove visa requirement for the Poles?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re looking at that, actually. We’re looking at that. That’s the kind of a relationship we have with Poland. We are looking very strongly at visa requirements, with respect to Poland.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll know pretty soon. Something could happen.
PRESIDENT DUDA: We’ll talk about it during the press conference, but today a very important agreement between our government was signed — very important for the — for this —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Step.
Q — visa regime.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Big step.
Q Mr. President, can you say what your measurement for the success of your deal with Mexico would be? How will you know if the deal is working?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, because our country has been so successful over the last two and half years, it’s been incredible — our GDP numbers, our production numbers, our manufacturing employment numbers. We have the most people working in our country that we’ve ever had. We’re almost up to 160 million people. We’ve never been close.
And because the United States has become so successful, in terms of its economic and what it means — the economy of the United States — tremendous numbers of people are trying to come into our country. And I’m saying you can’t do that. You have to come in legally, and you have to come in through merit.
Now, a lot of things are happening, but Mexico stepped up to the plate. Perhaps it was because of the tariffs. I would say “perhaps” being defined as 99 percent. But that doesn’t matter because the President of Mexico and I have a very, very excellent relationship. We spoke. His people were here for two and half, three days, working intensively on the agreement. And I think it’s going to mean a lot of — a lot fewer people coming up.
You just can’t crash our borders like this. Mexico has very, very strong immigration laws. We have incompetent — we have the worst immigration laws, the dumbest laws anywhere in the world — anywhere in the world. There’s nothing close. But Mexico’s laws are as strong as they can be.
Now, Mexico is moving 6,000 troops to their southern border. That’s a lot of troops. That’s a lot more — we never even heard of a number like that. That’s a lot of troops. But that’s what they want to do because they want to produce. I think Mexico really wants to produce. If Mexico does a great job, then you’re not going to have very many people coming up. If they don’t, then we have phase two. Phase two is very tough. But I think they’re going to do a good job.
Now, with all of that being said, if the Democrats got together with me for 15 minutes, we could wipe out the loopholes and we wouldn’t need anything from anybody. But, right now, Mexico is helping us much more on immigration than the Democrats in the U.S.
Q What’s phase two, Mr. President? What’s phase two?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Phase two is a much tougher phase. Much tougher.
Q What’s it look like? Safe third country?
Q Mr. President, we know you have a special surprise for President Duda: F-35 flyover over the White House.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. I do.
Q Can you elaborate a little bit more about that?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, at 1:55, we’re going to have the world’s greatest fighter jet — most advanced plane, probably, anywhere in the world beyond fighter jet; most advanced plane.
And at 1:55 to 2:00 — we have to hurry because we have to make it, so we’ll end with this question — we’re going to have two Super F-35s flying at a great rate of speed, and then they’re doing a second flyback. And I think they’re going to go straight up. So they’re going to put on a very small show for us, but it’s going to be something.
And we’re doing that because Poland has ordered 32 or 35 brand new F-35s at the highest level and the latest model. And I congratulate you on that. That means you have good taste.
Q Mr. President, where does your respect for Poland come from, other than your visit to Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, because the United States has a tremendous Polish population. They were very much in favor. They liked me and I like them, and a lot of them voted for Trump. And I’ve always loved the Polish people, and I’ve always respected the Polish people. They’re very, very hardworking and they’re smart. And they love their country and they love our country, too. So I’m always in favor of Poland.
Thank you, sir.
12:39 P.M. EDT