Chopper pressers are the best pressers. President Trump delivers remarks to media and holds an impromptu presser prior to departing the White House for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. [Video and Transcript]
Transcript] 5:51 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Okay, so I’m heading to the great state of Pennsylvania, and we’re going to have a rally. A lot of people are outside, as you probably know. Many, many people. And it’s going to be a packed house, as it always is. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a vacancy for Trump, but I don’t think so. We’re going to have a good time. I don’t know who’s coming, but I hope you come. It’ll be a lot of fun.
Q Why are you asking Don McGahn to defy a Congressional subpoena?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I understand it, they’re doing that for the Office of the Presidency, for future Presidents. I think it’s a very important precedent. And the attorneys say that they’re not doing that for me; they’re doing that for the Office of the President. So we’re talking about the future.
Yes, go ahead.
Q What’s your feeling on Judge Mehta’s ruling about your financial records? And do you plan to appeal?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we disagree with that ruling. It’s crazy — because you look at it; this never happened to any other President. They’re trying to get a redo. They’re trying to get what we used to call in school: a deal — a “do-over.” And if you look, you know, we had no collusion, we had no obstruction. We had no nothing.
The Democrats were very upset with the Mueller report, as perhaps they should be. But, I mean, the country is very happy about it because there was never anything like that. And they’re trying to get a redo, or a do-over, and you can’t do that.
As far as the financials are concerned, we think it’s the wrong — it’s totally the wrong decision by, obviously, an Obama-appointed judge. He was a recent Obama-appointed judge.
Q Mr. President, your reaction to Justin Amash, who says you committed impeachable offenses?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve known him, and he’s been against Trump from the beginning. He probably wants to run for some other office. I don’t think he’ll do very well. He’s been a loser for a long time. Rarely votes for Republicans. And, you know, personally, I think he’s not much.
Q What do you have to say to Americans who feel that your administration is stonewalling all these investigations up on Capitol Hill? Why not let Don McGahn testify? Are you afraid of what —
THE PRESIDENT: I think we’ve been the most —
Q — he has to say?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I think we’ve been the most transparent administration in the history of our country. We just went through two years of Bob Mueller, with 18 people that hated Donald Trump. They were “Angry Democrats,” as I called them. We’ve been through it for two years, and they spent almost $40 million on it. We had, I think, 500 people testified. We had 1.4 or 1.5 million documents.
At the end of all of that, he said there’s no collusion. Now what happens is the Democrats want a re-do, and we’ve had enough, and the country has had enough. There has never been, ever before, an administration that’s been so open and transparent.
So we want to get on. What we want to do is get on with running the country.
Q Can you clarify your position specifically on the Alabama abortion law? And do you think it goes too far?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I put out my position on the — on abortion. You’ve known it for a long time. But I put it out the other day. You have it. I feel strongly about it. And all of that is working its way through court, along with the fact that the Democrats are talking about third term and they’re really talking about beyond third term, and that’s a terrible thing.
Q What’s going on with Iran? Are you worried about a war there? Or do you want negotiations or what?
THE PRESIDENT: So, with Iran, we’ll see what happens. But they’ve been very hostile. They’ve truly been the number-one provocateur of terror in this country and in the — you know, representing their country. But certainly, our country has been very much involved because we’re trying to help a lot of people out. And I don’t mind that at all.
We have no indication that anything has happened or will happen. But if it does, it will be met, obviously, with great force. We’ll have no choice.
Q (Inaudible) negotiations with them? Any talks with them?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it?
Q Any negotiations with Iran?
THE PRESIDENT: We have not — we’ve not talked about it. We’ll see what happens. If they called, we would certainly negotiate. But that’s going to be up to them. I’d only want them to call if they’re ready. If they’re not ready, they don’t have to bother.
Q Will you continue to apply economic sanctions to Iran? Or are you going to pause it to try and deescalate tensions right now?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll see what happens. But right now, we have very strong sanctions. We’ll see what happens.
Q The polls have you losing in Pennsylvania to several Democrats —
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. I think we’re doing very well in Pennsylvania. We won it last time. The polls had us losing Pennsylvania last time, and we won. And I expect we’ll win it this time because the coal industry, the steel industry, the car industry — they’re all doing incredibly well.
Pennsylvania now has the best employment they’ve ever had — the best employment record. More people working in Pennsylvania now than ever before, like, in our country. So I think we’ll do very well in Pennsylvania.
Q Will you appeal the judge’s ruling on the — on your financial —
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. They’ll appeal it.
Q You will appeal it? You will —
THE PRESIDENT: They’ll appeal it. Sure, they’ll appeal it.
Q What about this — there’s another child who has died on the border. Another child migrant, now five.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I know this: that if you look at the border, and if you look at the fact that the Democrats are really making it very, very dangerous for people by not approving simple, quick, 15-minute legislation, we could have it all worked out. It’d be great for people, great for lives, great for safety.
And the border is a dangerous place. It’s only made that way because the Democrats will not approve any legislation. I mean, they don’t want to approve anything. And it’s making the border very dangerous.
Q What’s being done to make sure these kids don’t die, though? What’s being done to make sure these kids don’t die?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re working very hard. And I’ll tell you, the Border Patrol people and all of law enforcement is working very hard.
I mean, unfortunately, many of them have become doctors and nurses, and they’re taking people that are very, very sick from a long trek up — 2,000 miles — and they’re doing an incredible job.
Honestly, what should happen is the Democrats should sit down and make changes so that we can protect people on the border.
Q Do you mean there is no — you don’t see anything going on right now from the Iranian side? Is that what you just said?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it again?
Q Did you mean, right now, what you said that —
THE PRESIDENT: There are no talks going on with Iran.
Q What Iran might or might not be up to — do you see any threats right now? Do you see any threats?
THE PRESIDENT: I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything. If they do something, it’ll be met with great force. But we have no indication that they will. Okay?
Q Are you going to approve additional funding for Puerto Rico, for disaster funding, as part of this package?
THE PRESIDENT: So, I’ve given more money to Puerto Rico than, I believe, any President ever.
They’ve gotten $91 billion for the hurricane. Not only that; our military, our law enforcement, and FEMA has done a great job for Puerto Rico. And I think the people of Puerto Rico are very thankful.
We’ll see you in Pennsylvania.