Earlier this morning, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump depart the White House to board Marine-1 for the first leg of their trip to Europe. President Trump stops to answer brief questions from the White House Press Pool:
[Transcript] Q (Inaudible) on Brexit?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s going to be an interesting time in the UK, and it’s certainly going to be an interesting time with NATO. NATO has not treated us fairly, but I think we’ll work something out. We pay far too much and they pay far too little. But we will work it out, and all countries will be happy. With the UK, that’s a situation that’s been going on for a long time.
So I have NATO, I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think? Who would think? But the UK certainly has a — they have a lot of things going on.
Q Have you talked with Theresa May since Boris (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT: I have not. No, I have not. But Boris Johnson is a friend of mine. He’s been very, very nice to me and very supportive. And maybe we’ll speak to him when I get over there. I like Boris Johnson. I’ve always liked him.
Q But should Theresa May remain in power?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s up to the people. I get along with her very well. I have a very good relationship. That’s certainly up to the people, not up to me.
Q On NATO, Donald Tusk, about half an hour ago, said that you should appreciate America’s allies because you don’t have very many. What do you say to —
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we do have a lot of allies, but we cannot be taken advantage of. We’re being taken advantage of by the European Union. We lost $151 billion last year on trade. And on top of that, we spend at least 70 percent for NATO. And, frankly, it helps them a lot more than it helps us. So we’ll see what happens. We have a long, beautiful week.
I will say also, last night was an incredible evening.
Brett Kavanaugh has gotten rave reviews — rave reviews — actually, from both sides. And I think it’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch over the next month. But he has gotten rave reviews.
Q Vladimir Putin (inaudible) friend or foe?
THE PRESIDENT: I really can’t say right now. As far as I’m concerned, a competitor. A competitor. I think that getting along with Russia, getting along with China, getting along with others is a good thing, not a bad thing. I’ve said that many times for many years. So we’ll see. We’re meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday. We’ll see how that goes.
THE PRESIDENT: They didn’t give it. I have it for him. They didn’t give it. But it will be given at a certain period. I actually do — I actually do have a little gift for him, but you’ll find out what that gift is when I give it.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I haven’t. I really haven’t. We haven’t discussed it.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have a solution: Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s the solution. Don’t come to our country illegally. Come like other people do; come legally.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m saying this, very simply: We have laws. We have borders. Don’t come to our country illegally. It’s not a good thing. And as far as ICE is concerned, the people that are fighting ICE, it’s a disgrace. These people go into harm’s way. There is nobody under greater danger than the people from ICE. What they do to MS-13 and everything else.
So we ought to support ICE, not do what the Democrats are doing. Democrats want open borders, and they don’t mind crime. We want no crime, and we want borders where borders mean something. And remember this: Without borders, you do not have a country.
Thank you, everybody.
Prayers for a safe and secure trip.