Guyana & the Future


QUESTION: Hi Martin, thanks for including little Guyana in your blog today. I was born in Canada, but my parents emigrated from Guyana decades ago. I haven’t been back yet. Nevertheless, I am eager to see great things become of the country, have been tracking the oil industry developments there, and am invested in it as well. I want to see this country elevate out of poverty as a result of all of this but I am concerned about lack of strong and moral leadership and corruption. If you don’t mind me asking, what makes you so confident that democracy will rule out? Growth is growth, but all we have to do is look across the pond to Africa to see the mix of growth and corruption!
Thanks as always sir – your teachings and insights have reshaped me many times over.
Regards, D

ANSWER: I am not certain that Guyana will be the perfect democracy. South America has historically had a problem with corruption in government. The US sanctions against Venezuela are really stupid. The economy was turning down dramatically and the government has done everything possible against the people. The US sanctions merely give people an excuse to point to the US as the cause of the economic decline despite the fact that the sanctions were put on in response to the events and not before them. I am opposed to sanctions anyhow because they never seem to work. They boosted the support for Putin instead of causing the people to blame Putin. This is really brain dead.

Nevertheless, simply because you can invest in Guyana is a major difference in comparison to Venezuela. There will be corruption. That seems to be systemic in South/Latin America, but it is also a rising problem globally. Hopefully, they will still keep the free market as long as they get their fair share under the table unlike Venezuela. We have added the currency to Socrates.

Brexit & Generations


QUESTION:

Hi Martin

I live in the UK and I’m thinking

“Is there anyone out there that thinks the same way as I do about Brexit..??? Because no one on TV or in the media look at the Brexit situation like I do…??

However. Every single person I speak to. “Do actually agree with what I say..!!”
Here is my thinking….!!!!

1:- Why did I and many people vote for Brexit???
Answer:- Because we want to be “Free of control” from the EU….!!!
(While it was just a trading agreement it was OK.)
But when it (the EU) took control over our Laws, Jurisdiction, Parliament & or very existence without the ordinary guy in the street having any say about it.
It became something of a dictatorship.

2:- What situation do we find ourselves in now….???
Answer:- we are still under the control of the EU But in addition, we are now under the control of our own Government….!!!!

The ordinary guy in the street still has not got what he asked for…… “To Exit the EU…!!” To my mind “It’s plain and simple….!!”. This type of so-called democracy. “DOES NOT WORK…!!!”. In fact, I don’t think You can call it “Democracy” in the true sense of the word….!!!!

I would like to know what other people feel about not only Brexit. But all other “So-called” Democracies……????.
And with all the riots going on around the world now, are we heading towards a worldwide revolution by the peoples of the world…….??????
Because that’s what it seems like to me.

Kind Regards
JC in Central England

ANSWER: You are correct. The EU has deliberately rejected democracy because the elite believes that one European government will eliminate war. They have tried to create a single government, but have simultaneously refused to have consolidated the debts. Had they done that and Britain had joined, then it would be next to impossible to exit because of the debt.

We are witnessing a worldwide revolution indeed. People are rising up against governments in general because it is obvious that corruption has become standard. Additionally, we have the third generation from World War II, which means their values have completely changed from the 1st generation. This has a host of differences from what they consider to be viable to ethics. This is one reason why the younger generations do not look at silver or gold as the first generation.

FREXIT – Is France Hurling toward Exiting the EU?


France is by no means calming down. There is a major underlying problem in France which is rising to the surface in direct confrontation with the government and Macron’s ambition to lead Europe. Macron’s confrontation with Trump over NATO is a reflection of a historical posture of the French government that has resented both Germany and the United States. Macron had said, “The Atlantic alliance can only be restored in one way, through restoring the unity of Europe.” The twelve founding members set up a headquarters together for the first time in London in 1950.

NATO Headquarters was located at 13, Belgrave Square. The last meeting to be held in London before the move to Paris was on April 1, 1952, which coincided with NATO’s third anniversary.  NATO was forced to move its headquarters from Porte Dauphine in Paris, France (the A building for Alliance) following the French withdrawal from NATO, which then moved to Brussels, Belgium in 1967.

Macron did not advocate that France should pull out of NATO as was the case under  President de Gaulle. Indeed, de Gaulle did withdraw France from NATO’s military structure in 1966, yet it remained an Ally. Macron has been also pushing for a European Army. Clearly, Macron’s agenda has been to federalize Europe and that is clashing with the people. He is NOT a proponent in having the USA a major part of NATO according to reliable sources.

Macron has been pushing economic reforms to curtail the social benefits in France in his effort to federalize Europe. In protest of his planned reforms in the pension system, the unions have organized several general strikes, which are now being joined by the yellow vests. This has resulted in bringing in hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets. The problem which Macron faces is that France’s economic performance can no longer finance the generous welfare state which is far beyond international standards.

Everything points to a major political crisis brewing i9n France and there is talk that perhaps France should also now move to exit the EU – FREXIT. According to Harris Interactive poll taken 26–28 of November 2019,  Macron has a favorable rating of only 39% and a disproval rating of 61%. His push to federalize Europe may be his undoing. Macron admitted in January 2018 that if the French people were given a right to vote of FREXIT, a simple yes / no response to such a complex question, the French would “probably” have voted for FREXIT.

There is no question that there remains a serious risk that FREXIT can also be on the horizon for the driving force is the collapsing economic structure of socialism. American politicians will one day face the very same crisis. All the promises of benefits are coming to an end

The Opium War


BREXIT & Pound Rally


One of the major distinction is how politics has degenerated into who knows what, all we need to do is look at BREXIT and the chaos of the British elections come the 13th. We have never seen an election where former prime ministers have intervened to disrupt an election as they have this time around. Instead of coming out to support their successors, the former Prime Minister John Major, who staged the coup against Margaret Thatcher in an attempt to abolish the pound and join the Euro along with former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair have both been condemning the leaders and questioning whether voters should back them over their positions on BREXIT. Both men support the full surrender of all sovereignty of Britain no matter what they claim. They both believe in trying to create the United States of Europe.

Meanwhile, Senior Diplomat Alexandra Hall Hall has left the UK diplomatic service over BREXIT claiming she is not taking a position. Her resignation letter read:

“I have been increasingly dismayed by the way in which our political leaders have tried to deliver Brexit, with reluctance to address honestly, even with our own citizens, the challenges and trade-offs which Brexit involves; the use of misleading or disingenuous arguments about the implications of the various options before us; and some behaviour towards our institutions, which, were it happening in another country, we would almost certainly as diplomats have received instructions to register our concern.” 

Hall is really against BREXIT and her resignation one week before the election demonstrates that she is trying to “influence” the election rather than truly expressing her patriotic frustration. You would expect her to wait for the election to see if anything changes. Resigning ahead of the election and blaming the politicians is absolutely a staged ploy.

The British Pound has pushed above the key 1.18 level against the Euro and 1.31 against the U.S. Dollar over the last week among the rise in expectations for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party to win a majority at the polls next week. This would mean no coalition and it would be a rejection of Labour which has become extremely left wing. Despite the resignation of Hall and both Major and Blair coming out against BREXIT, the markets are showing relief that Labour will lose.

Stunning News in Canada – Economy Loses 71,200 Jobs, Unemployment Jumps to 5.9%…


Elections have consequences.  On the same day the U.S. economy reports astoundingly successful jobs growth of 226,000 jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate to 3.5 percent; the Canadian state economic minister reports surprisingly terrible jobs losses of 72,200 jobs and a jump in unemployment from 5.5 to 5.9 percent.

The Canadian economy is roughly one-tenth the size of the U.S. So in equivalent terms the results from Canada reflect a comparative loss of 720,000 jobs on the same day the U.S. revises all figures upward to over 300,000 gains.  A stunning economic contrast:

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian job market lost a surprise 71,200 net positions in November while the unemployment rate rose to 5.9%, the highest in more than a year, data showed on Friday, as analysts said a repeat of the weak numbers could force the Bank of Canada to rethink its monetary policy.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a gain of 10,000 jobs and had predicted the unemployment rate would hold steady at 5.5%. […] November’s numbers followed a weak report in October, when the labor market unexpectedly shed jobs despite a likely boost from hiring related to the federal election.

[…] Canada’s goods-producing industries saw a decline of 26,600 net jobs, largely on manufacturing. The services sector lost 44,400 net jobs.

November’s unemployment rate was the highest seen since the 6.0% reported in August 2018. 38,400 full-time jobs and 32,800 part-time jobs were lost in November. (read more)

It is worth remembering that Canada does not allow competition in their media sector.  The Canadian government considers the news media a protected “cultural industry”; and through a process of subsidizing broadcast all news media is essentially state run media.

Why is this important?  Well, when the expressed priority of the government is controlling broadcast information if you are intellectually honest you should apply that same ideological outlook toward any information from the government in a general sense.

The Canadian election was held on October 21st, 2019.  The central control government of Justin Trudeau would likely hold-back any negative economic information in an effort to support the ideology of the central government and maintain public opinion in advance of the voting.  However, with the election over the economic books need to be reconciled.

I strongly suspect the Canadian November jobs report encompasses some of that state run reconciliation effort.  Meaning the Canadian economy was in much worse shape in the months leading up to the election than state media were broadcasting.  The reality is now catching up….

Secondly, it was obvious in July of this year that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Justin Trudeau entered into an agreement of mutual benefit.  Trudeau would hold back submission of the USMCA for parliamentary ratification, and left-wing political ideologues in the U.S. would help Trudeau win re-election.

At the time CTH forewarned of what this type of political arrangement really meant.

In essence Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was willing to compromise the health of his own economy for stunningly political reasons.  There was a perfect storm of negative economic dynamics clearly visible on the horizon…. but few were paying attention.

In combination with leftist economic policies on energy development that strangles economic growth through excessive regulation, the leftist government of Trudeau has dismantled the natural underpinnings of a market-based economy.  The manufacturing base of Canada is compromised, perhaps to the point of no return.

For two decades liberal (left-wing) Canadian policy essentially transformed their economic model from manufacturing to “assembly“.   The goods-based production within the Canadian economy was structured to take advantage of the NAFTA loophole.

Goods production in Canada was reduced from full manufacturing to a process of assembling parts brought in from overseas and then selling them into the U.S. market.   This process exploited the NAFTA loophole allowing foreign companies to ship parts to Canada and then assemble for transport into the U.S. without tariffs.

Over time the Canadian economy became more and more dependent on this system of brokering goods, while Canada simultaneously dismantled their heavy industry at the request of extreme environmentalists.

The Canadian assembly system for durable goods was always at risk of the NAFTA loophole being closed.  When President Trump renegotiated the USMCA, primarily with Mexico, the loophole was closed.  The USMCA rules on origination now require the parts to come from inside the North American manufacturing system.

Importing parts from Asia and simply assembling them in Canada is no longer permitted under the USMCA agreement.  The majority of the parts -which require heavy industry to produce- must originate from North America.  Canada has little capacity to take advantage of this economic opportunity because they dismantled their heavy industry.

As a consequence, if any multinational company wanting to invest in a manufacturing system, that avoids tariffs, to bring their end product to the massive U.S. market… well, Canada is no longer a viable option for that investment.

The multinational banks and investment groups who fund corporate manufacturing investment; and who are now no longer willing to underwrite Asian investment due to the impact of Trump tariffs; are focusing on where that investment can support the economic activity.

As with this latest report, when we see: “Canada’s goods-producing industries saw a decline of 26,600 net jobs, largely on manufacturing” leading the headline, this is a direct consequence of the economic dynamic identified above.

Elections have consequences; and those economic consequences are extraordinarily impactful in the era when U.S. President Trump is dismantling global supply chains; focusing on bringing high-wage manufacturing industry back to the U.S; and driving a process of profound consequence through economic nationalism.

Economic Security is National Security” ~ President Trump

NEC Director Larry Kudlow: “President Trump Has Restructured The U.S. Economy” – Main Street USA is Back On Top…


National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow appears on Fox Business news to discuss the November jobs report, economic growth and the China trade discussions.

Kudlow highlights the primary point that President Trump has reestablished Main Street USA as the primary focus of policy.  U.S. companies invested in the U.S. economy are doing exceptionally well and receiving the majority benefit.  U.S. multinational companies who are invested overseas are not benefiting as much.  Wall St -vs- Main Street.

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Director Kudlow is correct, if the House can ratify the USMCA trade deal, North America will see a massive influx of investment.

In essence Titan Trump is winning the economic battle by: (a) repatriating wealth (trade policy); (b) blocking exfiltration (main street policy); (c) creating new and modern economic alliances based on reciprocity (bilateral deals); and (d) dismantling the post WWII Marshal plan of global trade and one-way tariffs (de-globalization).

President Trump Hosts Luncheon With Members of UN Security Council – Video and Transcript…


Earlier today President Trump hosted a luncheon with international ambassadors representing permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.  The president delivered remarks on the NATO summit this week, and took a few questions from the media. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Okay, thank you very much. I just returned from London, where we had a tremendous success with NATO. The relationship we have with other countries is very, very good. It has to be good; otherwise, they wouldn’t have done what they’ve done.

As you know, NATO was suffering very badly from depletion of funds, and it was going down like a rollercoaster goes down. Not up, but down. And I was able to, over the last couple of years, increase their contribution — not the United States, because we were paying far more than anybody else, to put it mildly. It was really getting ridiculous.

And over the last couple years, I had them increase by $130 billion. And then, over the next couple of years — and this was done largely over these last two days, but also set up time before that — they had to now contribute $400 billion more. So it’s a total of $530 billion other countries will be putting into NATO. And NATO now is very financially sound. It’s very strong. Far greater than anybody ever thought.

If you look at Secretary General Stoltenberg’s remarks, he was very generous in his remarks about what I’ve done for NATO and what our country has done, but what I’ve done in terms of getting other countries to put up money — because they weren’t putting up money, and now they put up money at a level like has never been seen before, actually. It’s actually never been seen.

So I want to thank everybody that was there, and maybe especially Mr. Stoltenberg, who’s really a terrific man. I think he’s done a fantastic job at NATO. So the Secretary General has my great thanks. That was a tremendous success.

And I have to say — you know, it wasn’t reported accurately, but that’s okay — but the relationship I have with other countries is really good. Now, they can’t totally love me when I say, you know, “You’re not putting up your money, you’re not putting up your fair share, you’re not spending the kind of money that you’re supposed to be spending — because we’re giving you protection. You’re getting the protection of the U.S. and the greatest military force in the world, and you’re not paying. You’re delinquent.”

So I tell some people they’re delinquent. Not everybody can love that. You can’t say in too nice a manner, otherwise they’re going to be just like they’ve been for the last 15 years and not pay, and certainly not pay up to the 2 percent level — which, frankly, isn’t even that high. Frankly, 2 percent isn’t that high.

But I had a lunch yesterday that was great with, I call them, the “2 percenters.” These are the people that were at that level. There’s a total of nine countries. And we had the lunch, and a lot of countries are close and getting closer. And some are really not close. And we may do things having to do with trade. It’s not fair that they get U.S. protection and they’re not putting up their money, and they’re — really, I call them — I used that term, “delinquent.” That’s exactly what they are.

But we had a tremendous success in London. And NATO is in very, very good shape. And the relationships with other countries are really extraordinary.

Today, I’m honored to host the working lunch with ambassadors representing countries on the United Nations Security Council. I want to thank our U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Kelly Craft, for joining us and doing an extraordinary job at the United Nations. Thank you very much, Kelly. You’re doing fantastically well.

The United States holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council for the month of December. During our lunch, I will outline America’s priorities and ask our distinguished guests from other nations how we can best work together. They have a lot of great ideas. We’ve done this before. We’ve learned a lot. And it’s been really quite an interesting time for me.

Today, our nations face a range of shared security threats, including terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal migration, cyberattack, and the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. And we’re working very hard on those problems, especially the last three. There can be nothing more important.

The Council must take action to confront these and other dangers facing the world. That also includes the behavior of the Iranian regime, which has killed hundreds and hundreds of people in a very short period of time. They’re killing protestors. They turned down their Internet system. People aren’t hearing what’s going on.

I would like to see the media get involved in that and go in and see what’s happening, because it’s not a good situation. It’s a horrible situation. It’s something that is going to be a big scandal throughout the world very soon. They’re killing a lot of people. And they’re arresting thousands of their own citizens in a brutal crackdown in recent weeks because they’re protesting. And I think the media should get involved in that. I don’t know that they will because they have their own reasons, but the media should absolutely get involved in that.

America will always stand with the Iranian people in their righteous struggle for freedom. They’re not being treated properly. All of that money is being wasted on weapons and on other things, and they’re not treating their people properly. And there are people in — all over the country, they’re rioting and they’re protesting, and they’re very unhappy.

We also call on Security Council members to join the United States in our vital efforts to promote religious liberty around the globe. The world is more secure when people have the right to follow their convictions and to worship in peace. And we’ve been very strong on that.

And getting back to Iran, I do have to say that I think the Iranian situation could be fixed very quickly and very easily, and it could become really something special, as it was at certain points of time. There are certain points of time where it was doing very well. But for quite a long time, it’s been doing very poorly, but it could be — it could be fixed very quickly. But we have people that just don’t want to do that. For some reason, they just don’t want to do that. They don’t get it.

But I want to thank everybody for attending the lunch today. I think what I’m going to do is go around. These are very important people. These are people, in their own countries, that are at the top level and really have great ideas. I learn a lot about their countries.

And I’d like to just maybe — we’ll start with Kelly, and she’ll introduce herself and just say a couple of words. And then we’ll go around the room and introduce the representatives from these very important countries.

Please, Kelly.

AMBASSADOR CRAFT: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. And, you know, it is such an honor for anyone to serve a President. But for me to serve a personal friend, and this particular President, is such a great thrill — so much so that I felt like today I was bringing home all my boyfriends and the girlfriends — (laughter) — to meet my family. So I was just so — so very excited.

And he has taught me well the importance of being a business leader first when you’re putting your country first. Because I think within the Security Council, to be transparent, as the President has made very clear to countries, and accountable and being efficient — and just with NATO and demanding the 2 percent — I think that’s very important that we hold people accountable.

And as the Security Council, we all have the same values, and that is uplifting people that have less than we have. And that’s something that the President has taught us well in the United States. So people that elected him are those very people that didn’t have a voice. And that’s what we are all about in the Security Council.

And I’m very proud to introduce you to perhaps the strongest Council that I believe the United Nations has ever had.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s very good. Thank you very, Kelly.

Please.

AMBASSADOR CRAFT: Marc?

AMBASSADOR PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE: I’m Marc Pecsteen. I’m the Ambassador of Belgium.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

AMBASSADOR PECSTEEN DE BUYTSWERVE: So it’s a privilege to be here, Mr. President. Thank you very much. Thank you also to Kelly for organizing this. I think it’s really a great moment for us. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: And I just met your representatives over the last two days, as you know. So, it was very good. Thank you very much. Please.

AMBASSADOR ZHANG: Mr. President, I’m Zhang Jun, the Permanent Representative of China. Thank you for inviting us to the White House. We have made a tour around this — a number of rooms — the green one, the red one, and also the China Room.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. (Laughter.)

AMBASSADOR ZHANG: And we were very much impressed.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s true.

AMBASSADOR ZHANG: And we were very much impressed by the decorations, and do wish you and your family and all colleagues a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR ZHANG: And we are very happy to be here. And we have listened to your remarks very carefully. Yes, indeed, the Security Council is entrusted with a huge mandate in maintaining peace and security. For that purpose, it needs our cooperation, needs our unity. And we are happy to see that Kelly Craft is leading us in December.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

AMBASSADOR ZHANG: She’s really doing a great job. She asked me to say so. (Laughter.) No, not really. (Laughs.) But we are very much impressed by the way she’s really leading the Security Council.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

AMBASSADOR ZHANG: And, indeed, it’s our really common responsibility to work together, to stay united, to make the United Nations strong, and to maintain world peace and promoting security and development. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. That’s beautifully stated. And we’re having meetings and discussions with your representatives right now, as you know. So it’s going along very well. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

AMBASSADOR ADOM: My name is Léon Adom, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast. We were not in the NATO meeting — (laughter) — but we followed everything you did there, and you did well. Thank you very much. We thank you very much for welcoming us here. And thank you, Kelly, for your leadership in the Security Council. You represent America and President Trump in the best ways possible. Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s true. Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR SINGER: My name is José Singer. I’m Ambassador and Special Envoy to the Security Council for the Dominican Republic. I thank you for this lunch. I thank Kelly for convening this. You have a great representative in Robin Bernstein in the Dominican Republic. She’s a great ambassador.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

AMBASSADOR SINGER: And wish you Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Robin is doing a very good job.

AMBASSADOR SINGER: She is great.

THE PRESIDENT: She’s fantastic. Thank you.

AMBASSADOR DE RIVIÈRE: Nicolas de Rivière, I’m the Permanent Representative of France. Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your hospitalities. It’s a privilege to be here. And thank you also for sharing Kelly with us. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. That’s very nice. Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR HEUSGEN: Mr. President, I’m Christoph Heusgen, the Ambassador of Germany. And I was just wondering who you meant when you spoke about NATO and the delinquent. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s a very interesting conversation we had yesterday with Angela. She’s a terrific woman. She’s really a terrific woman. But we did have that conversation, actually. Good. Thank you very much. Very much.

AMBASSADOR HEUSGEN: Thank you. And I wanted to thank also for Kelly Craft. We work very closely together — for instance, on religious liberties. And Germany is chairing the Sanctions Committee on North Korea, where we believe that the U.N. plays a very important role to keep the sanctions in place to make the policy that you conduct on North Korea a successful one.

And with regard, coming back to the budget, we of course hope that you also think the U.N. is very important —

THE PRESIDENT: That’s true.

AMBASSADOR HEUSGEN: — and the U.S. also pays its dues there. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the U.N. has tremendous potential, actually, as an organization. And it’s doing well. Good leadership right now. Thank you very much.

Please.

AMBASSADOR DJANI: I’m Dian Triansyah Djani. I am the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Indonesia. We also — we’re not a member of NATO, but we’re working closely with you on G20.

I also would like to second colleagues to have Kelly there. You have appointed Nikki Haley from the south and then Kelly from the south. I studied in the south, in Nashville. So I’m very happy we have an ambassador from the southern part of U.S.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.

AMBASSADOR DJANI: So, thank you very much for having us here.

THE PRESIDENT: And say hello.

AMBASSADOR AL-OTAIBI: My name is Mansour al-Otaibi. I’m Ambassador of Kuwait. First, I’m really honored to be here, Mr. President. Thank you —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

AMBASSADOR AL-OTAIBI: — for hosting us. And we are very grateful to Kelly, our colleague. She came only three months ago and she’s now presiding over the Council for the month of December. We wish her all the best.

Our bilateral relationship between the United States and Kuwait is excellent.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it is.

AMBASSADOR AL-OTAIBI: And we will work also to (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: Say hello.

AMBASSADOR AL-OTAIBI: I will.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR POPOLIZIO: Good afternoon, President. My name is Néstor Popolizio. I am the Ambassador of Peru at the U.N. And I would like to thank you for receiving us, for inviting us to this important lunch.

And I would like to say that we support fully the program presented by the Ambassador, Kelly Craft, for the presidency of the United States during this month on the Security Council. It’s a very good program. Thank you for your leadership.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. A great country.

AMBASSADOR WRONECKA: Joanna Wronecka. I am the Permanent Representative of Poland to United Nations.

THE PRESIDENT: Sure. I just met with somebody you know very well.

AMBASSADOR WRONECKA: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Right?

AMBASSADOR WRONECKA: And I am so honored because, for me, it’s already for the second time that I am here in the new — in White House. Allow me, Mr. President, to say how lucky we are to have a very — a very kind and human leadership of Kelly in the Security Council, not only madam president is very professional, but also she try already in a few days to be the good spirits.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

AMBASSADOR WRONECKA: So we are very enthusiastic.

And for Poland, we are so privileged to work closely, of course, with the NATO. Not only we share the same values. And Poland will very soon be out of the Security Council, but we always pay attention to the values, and not only —

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

AMBASSADOR WRONECKA: — freedom of religious, but also how to uphold the standards of international law.

So again, I am so privileged to be here.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR WRONECKA: All the best, and thank you so much.

THE PRESIDENT: We had a great meeting yesterday, I have to say. And he was a member of the 2 percenters. That means Poland — (laughter) —

AMBASSADOR WRONECKA: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: So that was very good. So we happened to have lunch also. Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR NEBENZYA: President, I’m Vasily Nebenzya, the Permanent Representative of Russia in the Security Council.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

AMBASSADOR NEBENZYA: We will not be out of the Security Council anytime soon. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think so. I hope not.

AMBASSADOR NEBENZYA: Thank you for hosting us and for your fantastic hospitality. Thank you for the tour of the White House.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

AMBASSADOR NEBENZYA: We saw the China Room, but we didn’t see the Russia Room yet.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, well, we’ll have to take care of it.

AMBASSADOR NEBENZYA: Maybe it’s the one —

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll take care of it. (Laughter.)

AMBASSADOR NEBENZYA: — which is top secret here. We couldn’t discover it.

But we’re — I thought I would be the first one to compliment and to thank you for having Kelly with us, but I was taken over by my colleagues. But we fully share — we really enjoy her company at Security Council. And I think we can do a lot of things together.

THE PRESIDENT: I agree. And you’re doing a good job, too. I’ve heard from a lot of people. Great job. Thank you very much.

Please.

AMBASSADOR MATJILA: President, I’m Jerry Matjila from South Africa. Very grateful for you to invite us to the White House. We are so happy about it. And thanks for giving us our friend. Kelly is a friend. And we coalesce with the Council, together, to South Sudan. We get together on African issues and we followed your Africa strategy. And thank you so much for the programs you have in Africa.

And next year, South Africa will be chairing the African Union. And I hope we can work together —

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, very good. Yeah.

AMBASSADOR MATJILA: — on peace and security of Africa. But thank you so much, President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

AMBASSADOR MATJILA: And thanks for sending Lana Marks to South Africa.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

AMBASSADOR MATJILA: She’s doing a great job already. She’s all over the (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. I hear that. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

AMBASSADOR PIERCE: Mr. President, I’m Karen Pierce from the United Kingdom. It’s a real honor, sir, to be here and to have the tour of the White House and to have lunch with you.

I hope the little matter of 1812 might now be laid to rest. (Laughter.) This is the most wonderful building, and we are deeply honored to be here.

I wanted to thank you as well, sir, for your support for the United Nations by sending us two inspiring appointments: first, Nikki, and now Kelly, as all my colleagues have said.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

AMBASSADOR PIERCE: There’s a lot to do together.

Another colleague mentioned DPRK. But 2020 will be the anniversary of the U.N. And I know, sir, that when you came to the U.N. the first time, I think you said we needed a better United Nations. And I think we can support you in that, absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. I think so. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

AMBASSADOR JÜRGENSON: Thank you. I am Sven Jürgenson, Ambassador of Estonia. And it’s a pleasure and privilege of being here. And thank you so much for having us here.

You mentioned the lunch in London. Just driving here, I read an article in one of Estonian newspapers with a funny headline: “The Two Percenters Got a Free Lunch.” (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right. (Inaudible.) I paid for it. (Laughter.)

AMBASSADOR JÜRGENSON: (Inaudible.) So, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR KING: Mr. President, it is indeed a great honor for me. Rhonda King is my name. I represent the smallest country ever to be elected to the Security Council, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

And I think you are familiar with one of the islands in the Grenadines: Canouan. You once had some business interests there.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Absolutely.

AMBASSADOR KING: Yes. And my Prime Minister sends his greetings because —

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

AMBASSADOR KING: — I spoke with him yesterday and told him I was coming here. So he asked me to remind you —

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

AMBASSADOR KING: — of our beautiful island.

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

AMBASSADOR KING: And I would be remiss if I also didn’t join Karen in complimenting you for appointing two — if you look around the table, you would see that there are only four women, and only three will be sitting on the Council. And we are on our way in. So it was — it’s a wonderful thing that you have appointed two very great women —

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right. Thank you.

AMBASSADOR KING: — during your tenure. So I congratulate you on that.

And I wish to also compliment Kelly, because already she has brought — restored a sense of civility and dignity and grace to diplomacy. So I congratulate Kelly. I’m looking forward to working with her over the next two years.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s very nice.

AMBASSADOR KING: Once again, it’s an honor for me.

THE PRESIDENT: Great job.

AMBASSADOR KING: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

AMBASSADOR BAATI: Mr. President, I’m Moncef Baati. I am the Ambassador of Tunisia. For me, it’s a big honor and privilege to be here with you. Thank you for the invitation.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

AMBASSADOR BAATI: And also, I share the views of my colleagues. You sent us a talented professional and great lady. She is doing a wonderful job. Thank you for that.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

AMBASSADOR ĐẶNG: Yes, I am the last one, and there from Vietnam. And I have chance to see you the first time in Da Nang —

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

AMBASSADOR ĐẶNG: — in 2017, in APEC meeting. So this is my great honor to be here today at the White House. And I hope that you will visit our region again. But next year, Malaysia will be the heart of APEC Summit, and Vietnam the heart of ASEAN, EAS. So please come again. Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. And say hello, by the way. We had some great meetings in Vietnam. Very successful meetings.

AMBASSADOR ĐẶNG: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: And the trade is doing very well with Vietnam. Thank you very much.

So thank you all very much. Again, this last two days have been really amazing. The success of the days, the amount of money raised was a number that nobody could even believe. And if you add it up again, it’s $530 billion over a very short period of time. Much of it is already coming in by other nations, some of whom are represented here today. So that was really something special.

And this will be great, and we’re going to learn a lot. And we’re going to give some ideas. And we’re going to have lunch, and a lot of good things will happen. But I appreciate you all being here.

And, Kelly, congratulations on doing a fantastic job.

AMBASSADOR CRAFT: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much.

Q On China, sir? (Inaudible) on China?

THE PRESIDENT: Moving along well.

Q Moving along well?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s moving along very well.

Q Will the tariffs go into effect next week, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll have to see. But right now we’re moving along. We’re not discussing that, but we are having very major discussions on December 15th. Something could happen, but we are not discussing that yet. We are having very good discussions with China, however.

Q Are you worried, sir, about the stain that impeachment might have on your legacy?

THE PRESIDENT: No, not at all. No, not at all. It’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. It’s a big fat hoax.

Q Mr. President, on Iran?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go ahead?

Q Mr. President, on Iran, the Pentagon officials are saying that you’re all considering possibly sending more troops to the Middle East because there’s a threat situation —

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll announce — whatever we do, we’ll announce. But certainly, there might be a threat. And if there is a threat, it will be met very strongly. But we’ll be announcing whatever we may be doing — may or may not be doing. Okay?

Q What would you like to see the U.N. in regards to Iran and the crackdown vis-à-vis human rights?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the U.N. has actually been involved very much with us. We’re already dealing with the U.N. and dealing very well with the U.N. So they’re very much involved with respect to Iran and other things with us.

Thank you all very much. Appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much.

END 1:33 P.M. EST

NATO Bilat #5 – President Trump and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’ – Video and Transcript…


Bilat #4 was a private meeting between President Trump and Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and closed to public.  [Greenland purchase?…]

Prior to Bilat #5 President Trump and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’ hold a media availability prior to their meeting. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. We just met with the Prime Minister of Denmark. Had a great meeting and discussed a lot of things, including trade.

And now we’re meeting with a friend of mine — a good friend of mine, the Prime Minister of Italy. And we have many things to discuss, including trade and military and all sorts of different things that we’re working on together. And he’s done a terrific job, become very popular in Italy. A very popular man, as — I’m not surprised to say that.

But — so this will be actually my last meeting. And I guess, there’s not a reason to have press conferences because we’ve had about eight of them, so I can’t imagine you’d have any more questions. But it’s been a very successful day and a very successful two days. We made tremendous progress.

We’ve raised $130 billion from outside of the United States — other countries putting up that money. And that’s on a yearly basis. That’s $130 billion a year. In three years, that will be $400 billion a year extra. Not just dollars — extra dollars. And that’s unthinkable.

And I will tell you, Secretary General Stoltenberg was extremely generous in his remarks, but it was not good what was going on with NATO, which is very important. NATO is very important. It was not good, and now it’s gone to a very, very strong positon — the strongest, I think, it’s ever been.

And speaking to the President of France — yesterday, we had a good meeting, and he’s taken back his comments very much so on NATO. And I think he feels strongly. He sees what’s happened and what’s going on and how other countries are stepping up.

So we had a really good day today and a good day yesterday, and a lot of positive things have happened. And again, Mr. Prime Minister, it’s an honor to be with you. Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER CONTE: Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. Please.

PRIME MINISTER CONTE: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER CONTE: — for (inaudible). We already met yesterday.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, right.

PRIME MINISTER CONTE: And now we have a good location to — an exchange of views —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

PRIME MINISTER CONTE: — about trade (inaudible), about defense, and other issues. It will be a pleasure.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s good. Thank you very much. Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER CONTE: Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Okay, thank you very much. I’ll see you guys — some of you on the plane and some of you elsewhere. We appreciate you. We had a great — this was a great two days.

Q Since it’s —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Steve, go ahead.

Q Since it’s our last opportunity to ask you questions, do you want to comment on the House Democrats impeachment report that came out last night and the hearing today?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I did. I saw it, and it’s a joke. Everybody is saying it. And I watched reviews. I watched Hannity — Sean Hannity. I watched Laura Ingraham. I watched Tucker Carlson. I watched a lot of other legal scholars, frankly. I watched some people of great legal talent and highly respected — Alan Dershowitz, and many more. Many more.

I watched a very terrific former special prosecutor; you know Ken. And Ken is a talented man and a smart man. And I will tell you, it is a uniform statement — I think pretty much — pretty much right down the road. But what they’re doing is a very bad thing for our country. It’s of no merit.

And the Republican Party has never been more unified ever. They’ve never been as unified as they are right now. I’ve never seen anything like it, where you have 197 to oh — to zero, where the Senate is very angry about it. I think the Senate, I can say, is angry and the Republican Party is angry.

A recent poll came out: Ninety-five percent approval rating for me in the Republican Party, which is a record. Ronald Reagan was at 87. He was the second.

So, I mean, it’s going good. I’ve never seen anything like it where the Party has come together. And it’s going to stay that way for a long time. I think we’re going to have a tremendous 2020. I’m sure you’ve all seen the polls that have come out, especially in the swing states. We’ve gone way up in the polls.

And I think it’s — you know, it’s a disgrace. You have a loser like — the guy is a stone-cold loser and has been all his life — Adam Schiff. And then you have Nancy Pelosi who agreed with what he said, which puts her into real jeopardy. Agreed on a certain show, “Stephanopoulos.” And, frankly, it’s a bad thing for the country.

I’m over here with NATO. We’re meeting with, in this case, Italy, but we’re meeting with great countries, very important countries. We’re doing a good job. And they scheduled it — same thing happened a number of months ago when they put the United Nations, the UNGA, they put — the United Nations situation; they had a hearing with somebody on the same day. And now they do it with NATO. These people, you almost question whether or not they love our country. And that’s a very, very serious thing — do they, in fact, love our country.

So they scheduled that during the United Nations. I’ll never forget — I’m walking into the United Nations, and I start hearing all of the things that they were talking about exactly at that time. Literally, I’m walking through the front door, and you folks start screaming out to me about whatever. You know what you were screaming.

And now I do NATO — this was scheduled for a year — and the same things happens: They schedule a hearing. It’s a hoax. It’s a total hoax.

We had a great call with the President of Ukraine. It was a great call. Not just a good call; it was a perfect call. In fact, it was two perfect calls. And everybody knows it. And, by the way, the President of Ukraine was a hundred percent honest. All you have to do is listen to the call or read the call. We had it transcribed perfectly. But he was — he said, no pressure, no nothing. There was no nothing. In fact, they don’t even understand what you people are talking about. And I think they probably consider it disgraceful. I think it’s a disgrace that we can be wasting time.

In the meantime, USMCA, the greatest trade deal of them all, is sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. It’s drawing dust. It’s been there for many, many months. And farmers, manufacturers, union, non-union, everybody — everybody wants it. And nothing happens. It’s a very sad thing for our country.

The word “impeachment” is a dirty word, and it’s a word that was only supposed to be used in special occasions: high crimes and misdemeanors. In this case, there was no crime whatsoever. Not even a little tiny crime. There was no crime whatsoever, and they know it. And they go into those rooms and they close those doors down in the basement, and they say — I’ll tell you what they say; they just laugh, because it’s a — to them, it’s a joke. They think they’re doing well, but now they’re not doing well. Now they’re saying, “How do we get out of this?” Because their poll numbers are way down, and they’re going to have a tremendous loss in 2020. And that’s what’s going to happen.

No matter how you cut it, it’s been very interesting. But to do it on a day like this, where we’re in London with some of the most powerful countries in the world, having a very important NATO meeting, and it just happened to be scheduled — this was set up a year ago — just happened to be scheduled on this date, it’s really, honestly, it’s a disgrace.

So, that’s it. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Q Do you still have confidence in Rudy Giuliani?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know anything about it. Rudy is a very good lawyer. He’s a great crime fighter. He was the best mayor in the history of New York City, I think, by far. He stopped crime in New York City. As a U.S. attorney, he was incredible. He’s highly respected.

So somebody said he made a phone call into the White House. What difference does that make? I don’t know. You know, is that supposed to be a big deal? I don’t think so. Rudy is a great gentleman, and they’re after him only because he’s done such a good job. He was very effective against Mueller and the Mueller hoax. That whole thing was a hoax.

First we had Mueller and we had — before we had — before I even got elected, this was going on. Now, the IG report, which is coming out, will be very, very interesting. We’ll see what that’s all about. And then, of course, as you know, the big one that’s going to come out is the Durham report. And I don’t know Mr. Durham. I’ve never spoken to him. But he’s one of the most respected law enforcement or U.S. attorneys anywhere in the country. He’s a tough guy. He’s had an incredible track record. He’s actually sort of non-partisan, I guess, from what I hear.

But the big one that everyone is waiting for is that, and the IG report. So the IG report, they say, is coming out on Monday, Tuesday, maybe — whatever. But they say Monday. I think it’s going to be a very big thing. And we’ll see what happens.

But this should never happen to a President again. For me, it’s okay. But this should never happen to a President again, what’s happened here. It’s a disgrace to our country. It’s an absolute disgrace to our country. It’s sad, actually. And it’s done by, you know, frankly, losers. You look at the people; look at the cast of characters between Nadler and Schiff and Pelosi — Nervous Nancy. It’s an absolute disgrace to our country.

And I think a lot of Democrats, by the way, are going to vote against it. I think that, you know — because, if they don’t know, they’re going to lose their race, because people are putting — and they went back to their districts and they are getting hammered by their districts. And if they don’t, they’re going to lose their race. So, in many ways, I hope they don’t. Okay? And we’ll get a fair shake in the Senate. Assuming that whatever happens happens, we’ll get a very fair shake in the Senate.

And — but we’ve already been given — if you just take a look, today, I understand — I haven’t — obviously, I’ve been with all of these world leaders and done conferences with the world leaders, so I haven’t been able to watch. But think of it: They get three constitutional lawyers, and we get one. What’s that all about? Just that little statement — they get three, we get one. We had no representation. We couldn’t call witnesses. We couldn’t do anything. It is the most unfair thing that anybody has ever seen. They would have done much better if they gave us equal representation, because the public gets it.

But just look at today. Now, I don’t think too many people are going to watch because it’s going to be boring, all right? In fact, you’re here. I guess you’re here and we’ll supersede it, right? But not a lot of people are going to be watching today.

But just think of this: Constitutional lawyers, they get three and we get one. What kind of a deal is that? Now, you don’t need a constitutional lawyer because there was nothing done wrong. Zero done wrong. And I say it, and I’ll say it again: Read the transcript and then listen to what the President of Ukraine said. He said there was no pressure whatsoever. Listen to what the Foreign Minister of Ukraine — a highly respected man. Both of them, very respected. Listen to what the Foreign Minister said. And he said there was no pressure whatsoever. That’s the only one that counts.

But then listen to all of their witnesses, and not one of them said anything that was meaningful, other than positive for me. Like, the one said there was no quid pro quo. That’s what he said. And he said that I actually told him that there will be no quid pro quo. I said that. And I said other things that were even stronger than that.

And, you know, it’s a disgrace that they are doing this. And they’re doing it because they think they can’t win in 2020. They’re doing it because you take a look at their candidates, and their candidates are not doing too well. And they figure this is their only shot. And it’s a disgrace because this process was not supposed to be used that way.

Okay. Any other questions?

Q Yes, Mr. President, why do you feel like there is a need for a separate “2 percenters” event?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Because the 2 percenters, they’re good friends of mine. They’re countries that paid their full amount. The 2 percent is 2 percent of their GDP. They’ve paid their full amount, and I’m proud of them. And we had a total of nine. And when I first came here, we had virtually none.

If you look at NATO today compared to NATO three years ago, when I started, we built up NATO. And Stoltenberg will tell you, it was because of Trump. Because I said, “You got to pay.” Other Presidents came and they’d sit for two hours and they’d leave, and that would be it. I said, “No, you got to pay.” And because of that, NATO has become strong again. Much stronger. I think your President of Italy would tell you that. Much stronger than it has ever been.

And with that money, they’re buying new equipment. I mean, these countries are going out and buying great airplanes and great everything. It’s a good thing to have. Hopefully, we never have to use it. And I don’t think we will have to use it. But the stronger we get, the less likely it will be that we have to use it.

Thank you all very much. I’ll see you back in Washington. Thank you.

Q Did you convince Erdoğan to get rid of the S-400?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Say it?

Q Did you convince Erdoğan to get rid of the S-400?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We talked about it a little bit. You’ll be hearing about it. Thank you.

END 3:51 P.M. GMT

President Trump Hosts NATO Luncheon To Thank Those Upholding Their Financial Commitments – Video and Transcript…


Earlier today President Trump hosted a luncheon at the NATO summit for nine nations’ who are living up to their pledges of two-percent of GDP financial support for the NATO military alliance: United States, Bulgaria, Greece, United Kingdom, Estonia, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. These are eight countries, plus us — plus the United States — that are fully paid. They met the goal of 2 percent. We call them the “2 percenters.” Someday, we’ll raise it to 3 percent and 4 percent, maybe. But, right now, we have it.

But these are countries that have not been delinquent. They’ve been, in some cases, even more than 2 percent, because they feel so strongly about what we’re doing. And that’s really a sign of respect for the United States.

And one of the gentlemen — I won’t mention who — but said it’s so important to have the United States as a part of NATO because of what we’ve done. And just to make you all feel good, we will have spent, under what I’ve done, $2.5 trillion on the military. Two and a half trillion. So that pales in comparison when you look at what we’re talking about, right? So it’s — but it’s two and a half of the greatest equipment in the world. Every form of equipment known to mankind or womankind.

So I just want to thank these great countries. And they are great. They’ve become friends of mine, in many cases. And they’re very respected within their own countries. But these are countries that have met the goal of 2 percent.

We have, unfortunately, a large number that haven’t met the goal. Some are very close, and they will be. We’ve received an additional $130 billion a year. And, I guess, if you go back three years, it’s perhaps even more than that. But I’ve been doing this for three years.

And the Secretary General will tell you, in a few seconds; he’s going to say some — a little bit about it. But when I first came, it was like a rollercoaster down, not up. Down. It was all the way down at the lowest point ever. And since then, we’ve gone up massively. And now we’ll be, by far, the highest point ever.

So it’s a great organization. And we — we owe a lot to the Secretary General. He’s been fantastic. He’s done, really, a fantastic job.

We think it’ll be up — within three years, it will be up to $400 billion more. And — but, in the meantime, these are the countries. I said, “I want to take the 2 percenters to lunch.” We call them, affectionately, “Those 2 percenters.” But I want to take them to lunch. So this is a lunch that’s on me.

And I want to thank you all. And if you’d like to say something to the press, you can. But, in the meantime, I’ll ask our great Secretary General to say a few words.

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much, Mr. President. And thank you so much for hosting this lunch with nine countries — or the eight plus one, the United States — that are spending 2 percent of GDP on defense.

And just a few years ago, this would have been a few small group of countries. Because, a few years ago, there were only three countries. And so this is actually more than twice as many countries just since a few years ago.

So this demonstrates the progress we are making on defense spending. We still have much to do, and more Allies have to meet the 2 percent guideline. But it demonstrates that we are making real progress.

It also demonstrates that your leadership on defense spending, Mr. President, is having an impact, because more Allies meet the 2 percent guideline. All Allies have started to increase. The majority of Allies have plans in place to meet the 2 percent guideline by 2024. And the European Allies and Canada have added $130 billion to the defense budget since 2016. And this number will be $400 billion by 2024.

So this is significant progress. This is making NATO stronger. This is unprecedented. So, again, it’s great to be together with countries which are really investing in our shared security and showing that NATO is adapting, NATO is flexible, NATO is able to change when we need to respond to more demanding security environments.

So once again, thank you so much, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you. Great job you’re doing. Thank you very much.

How about Poland? Would you like to say something representing the group?

PRESIDENT DUDA: Mr. President, thank you very much for this —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.

PRESIDENT DUDA: — for the kind invitation. And we are very glad that we are in this group of countries who feel responsibility for — not only for our own security, not only the security of our border, but also security of the whole Alliance.

And this approach, “NATO 360 degrees,” is one of the crucial elements of our Alliance and unity. As we had very good discussion today, and we have, in my opinion, very important decision. And this meeting today was the next step. And it shows that we are united and we are together, and that the NATO Alliance is still alive and still in very good shape.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It is, indeed. I think he would get fantastic television ratings with that — with the way he made that presentation. (Laughter.)

How about my friend? You want to say something?

PRESIDENT IOHANNIS: Yes, thank you so much for — for inviting us. I think this is an important sign for NATO, because we are — except for you, we are not the richest countries and, still, we believe in NATO. We believe in the unity of NATO. And we believe that NATO is extremely important for all of us. So instilling this idea of burden sharing is extremely important, and I think our colleagues will follow our lead. So thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: They will, actually. And if they don’t, we’ll get them on trade. One way or the other, they’re paying, folks — that, I can tell you.

Thank you all very much. Appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Q Just to clarify, sir, did you cancel the news conference? You’re going to — you’re still going to do it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Say it, Steven?

Q Did you cancel the news conference? We weren’t clear.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, yeah, I’ll cancel the news — I’ve done so many. And I’m doing, I think, two more. We’re meeting with Italy and Denmark. So, I’m doing two more. I think that’s enough. There would be nothing to say. So I won’t be — you’ll let the word out. We’re doing — but we are doing Denmark and Italy right after this. So we’re staying for two more bilats, and the press will be invited, okay?

END 2:27 P.M. GMT