President Trump did an Interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen on Thursday July 19, 2018.
Full Credit to the Conservative Treehouse for pointing this GREAT interview out.
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) July 21, 2018
As Sundance notes, this interview was not immediately released nor widely disseminated by CNBC. Watching the interview makes clear why this was the case.
Some topics covered:
- Commencement of a jobs skills program – privately funded – amounting to 3.7 million individuals.
- Repatriation of overseas cash.
- Interest Rates & Currency Valuations.
- Very interesting comments on Trade – short-term pain for long-term gains.
- Trade Deficits & a Level Playing Field
- The advantages of having a strong Stock Market: “This is the Time.”
- Mutual Trade Benefits – Mutual Trade Wins.
- President Trump’s Meeting with Putin.
- Addressing the “Democrat Hoax.”
- Disclosure of U.S. role in prevention of major terror attack in St. Petersburg, Russia.
- In front of you is a list that’s going to create almost 4 million jobs. These are a list of companies. They’ll be creating a tremendous number of jobs.
- A lot of cash is coming back in through the billions and trillions of dollars that were overseas.
- I couldn’t care less what they say because my views haven’t changed. I don’t like all this work that we are putting in to the economy and then I see rates going up.
- We’re going to level out the playing field. This is the time.
- I could have a much easier life if I wanted to do it incorrectly.
- We are being taken advantage of [on Trade] and I don’t like it. And I haven’t liked it for many years.
- I would have a higher stock market right now, it’s already up almost 40%, as you know. It could be 80% if I didn’t want to do this [Address Trade Issues]. But ultimately, what I’m doing is making it so it’s right.
- I don’t want them [China] to be scared. I want them to do well.
- I’m not doing this for politics. I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country.
- We [Putin] had a tremendous discussion on many things: terrorism, Syria, the Middle East overall, Iran. We talked about, as an example, nuclear proliferation.
- I’m interested in our country. I’m also interested in the world. I’d like to see peace.
- It’s a hoax. It’s called the Democrat hoax. It’s a big fat hoax. I have nothing to do with Russia.
- It may be that you can’t do anything – that’s very possible. But I’m different than other president’s. I’m a dealmaker.
- We found out that in St. Petersburg a little more than a year a ago there was going to be a very major terrorist attack. I don’t think anybody even knows about that.
- We’re supposed to be protecting you [Germany] from Russia, and you’re paying them billions of dollars?
- Obama was a patsy for Russia. He was a total patsy. Look at the statement he made, when he thought the mics were turned off.
- Getting along with President Putin – getting along with Russia – is a positive, not a negative.
An honest & open interview with a journalist who doesn’t have a personal axe to grind.
How refreshing. And informative.
Video is below. A full transcript follows:
JOE KERNEN: Mister President, thank you for having us.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you, Joe.
KERNEN: We’re sitting in a pretty historic place. It’s really something to be right outside the Oval Office. Last time we met was in Davos. We talked about a lot of different things.
One of the things that I asked you towards the end of the interview was, as a businessman and a problem-solver, someone known for that, what are we going to do about education?
I don’t know if you remember that, because we talked about a lot of other things, the economy, and you sort of gave me a foreshadowing of what I think you’re talking about today with… it was vocational skills, but I think it’s been honed now, and it’s much more… the details are ready to come out now on what we’re… you’re calling is The Pledge to America’s Workers, right? And re-skilling workers.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s right, which we have to do.
KERNEN: Spearheaded by your daughter, Ivanka.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Ivanka is very much involved, and she’s been involved. We have tremendous numbers of people who really are phenomenal in every way, but they’re not trained, and they’re not qualified to take some of the jobs.
You report on it all of the time. All of the companies that are pouring back into our country. So we have Chrysler… we have so many companies. And we have companies expanding.
Look at what’s happening with Apple, where they’re going to be spending $350 billion, and I can go on and on. And we need people with skill. We need people who are trained. It’s much different than it was 30 years ago and 40 years ago.
We need people that can go out there and do it, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
In front of you is a list that’s going to create almost 4 million jobs. These are a list of companies. They’ll be creating a tremendous number of jobs, and they’re going to be skill jobs. And these are people that will be trained, really trained and trained well.
KERNEN: The Co-Chairwoman along with Wilbur Ross for the initiative, as we mentioned was Ivanka, and when I spoke to her she mentioned that the pledge, or that the goal was for five hundred thousand and she said it was much greater than that but she didn’t tell me.
Three point seven million – that’s individuals that will benefit from skills training.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That is right. Training, and if you look at the companies, those are the great companies.
KERNEN: This is all private sector funded too, so this is an example of public private partnership.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Absolutely. Walmart, so many great companies. They’re going to be here at three o’clock today. They’ll be, they’re going to be having a big conference, everybody’s here. And we’re talking about almost 4 million jobs.
KERNEN: Currently the economy’s pretty hot. Running pretty hot. Hopefully not too hot.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, but I think it’s maybe as good as it’s ever been. Ever.
What I really am happy about is, a lot of cash is coming back in through the billions and trillions of dollars that were overseas where companies were locked and they couldn’t get it back.
Now it’s coming back – hundreds of millions of dollars at a clip, and also, companies are coming back to our country. We have record numbers of companies coming back in, they’re coming back – they’re pouring back in.
And they’re going to Michigan, and they’re going to Ohio and Pennsylvania and so many different states. And people can’t believe what’s happening, we’re really doing well.
KERNEN: Wage gains.
Is it time for the Fed to be doing what it’s doing? Just to get a policy question in. Should they be raising rates on the trajectory that is indicated right now, in your view?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I put a very good man in the Fed. I don’t necessarily agree with it because he’s raising interest rates, I’m not saying I agree with it, and I don’t necessarily agree with it, I must tell you I don’t.
I’m not thrilled – because we go up and every time you go up, they want to raise rates again. I don’t really – I’m not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best.
But I don’t like all of this work that goes into doing what we’re doing.
You look at the Euro, you look at what’s going on with the EU and they are not doing what we are doing and we already have somewhat of a disadvantage although I am turning that into an advantage.
You know last year and for years we have been losing $150 billion dollars with the EU nations with the European union and they are making money easy and their currency is falling.
In China their currency is dropping like a rock and our currency is going up and I have to tell you it puts us at a disadvantage.
Now I’m just saying the same thing that I would have said as a private citizen. So somebody would say, Oh, maybe you shouldn’t say that as a President.
I couldn’t care less what they say because my views haven’t changed. I don’t like all this work that we are putting in to the economy and then I see rates going up.
I see China where, I mean look at what’s happening with their currency, it is dropping like a rock. And the EU.
KERNEN: Partly because some of the trade offsets…
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s also because I think I’m helping, OK. You want to know the truth. Because I’m doing something. We’re going to level out the playing field.
KERNEN: In the context of the stock market after the election – it was up at one point 40% or so. It’s consolidated those gains and held onto the lion share of those gains.
Does that go into your thinking in terms of if we’re ever going to address some of these –
PRESIDENT TRUMP: This is the time.
KERNEN: This is the time to do it.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: This is the time. You know the expression “We’re playing with the bank’s money,” right? We’re up almost 40%.
KERNEN: Is there a time when you say, “God things are going so great with the economy, I’m worried about the headwind of trade,” – given that we have a tailwind with tax reform, and deregulation and all these great things happening.
Do you look at it as, “Well, we’ve got all these tailwinds we might as well have one headwind,” or does there come a time when you say look, “I need to pull back a little and get what I can, but maybe not everything I want”?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Joe I could have a much easier life if I wanted to do it incorrectly. It would be much easier for me.
Sitting here I could just let all of these countries continue onward with these massive deficits. I mean, honestly, I don’t want to use the word because it’s a highly-respected show, but they are taking advantage of us ok? I’ll use a different set of words. They are taking advantage of us.
KERNEN: It’s cable though, if you really want to.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I know, but it’s not as good as the other word. You know what the other word is.
KERNEN: You can get away with it on cable.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We are being taken advantage of and I don’t like it. And I haven’t liked it for many years.
China, $507 billion a year in deficits. With the EU $151 billion. With Mexico, $120 billion. Mexico. Who would think Mexico? Mexico’s making a fortune.
Plus they have a tax, we don’t have a tax. They have a tax on top of that, and the tax is almost 17%. A VAT tax.
I could go through every country. I could talk about Japan – they’re very good allies, but no wonder they’re good. I mean, the deficits, the money they’re making off the United States.
I would have a higher stock market right now, it’s already up almost 40%, as you know, since the election. It could be 80% if I didn’t want to do this.
But ultimately, what I’m doing is making it so it’s right. And we’ll also start cutting expenses, by the way.
KERNEN: Are you seeing some signs, some glimmers of success, of hope from some of these trading partners?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Tremendous hope.
KERNEN: Are they starting to come around?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: 100%.
KERNEN: Yesterday we had our Delivering Alpha Conference, CNBC.
Steve Bannon, spoke and he was talking about China. And he said some very positive things, by the way, about your presidency.
Bannon said, “For the first time in decades we’re winning against China, they’re so scared they don’t know what to do.”
Kudlow at this point, who was on as well, who said, “The guy that may be holding things up is President Xi at this point.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t want them to be scared. I want them to do well.
I really like President Xi a lot, but it was very unfair, so I raised 50. We’re down 500 [billion in trade deficits]. Now some people would say $375 billion.
I’m not talking about millions. I’m not talking about pennies. I’m talking about – we’re down $375 billion, but other estimates could say 507, it doesn’t matter. So it’s in between there, or it’s there.
We’re down a tremendous amount. I raised 50, and they matched us. I said, “You don’t match us. You can’t match us because otherwise we’re always going to be behind the 8-ball.”
KERNEN: Would you ever get to 500, though?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m ready to go to 500.
KERNEN: With the midterms on the horizon. What if the stock market were to go down 20%?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, if it does, it does. Look, I’m not doing this for politics. I’m doing this to do this right thing for our country.
We have been ripped off by China for a long time and I told that to President Xi.
I said, “How did this ever happen?” And you know what their answer is? Because I deal with the highest echelons of China. One of the great people of China said, “There was never anybody to talk to in the United States.
We would put on a trade barrier, where you couldn’t sell cars, or you couldn’t sell beef, or you couldn’t sell your farm products. We would put it on, and nobody would talk to us in the United States, so we said, ‘Hey, that’s great!’
Then we’d put on another one. We’d put on a tariff on cars – 25% – and you’d charge us virtually nothing – 2.5%. But they don’t pay it.
So we would do this and nobody would talk. We’d start off at a lower number. We’d raise it, we’d raise it. Nobody would ever complain until you came along.” Me.
And they said, “Now you’re doing more than complaining. We don’t like what you’re doing.” You know, they think I’m doing maybe too much, but of course they’re going to think that.
But for many years – and I’m not just saying Obama. I’m saying Bush, and I’m saying long before, they had nobody.
And it’s very interesting because I actually asked them the question, “So we’re down 507 – recently. We’re down $507 billion in trade deficits. How did it happen?” And they told me, “Nobody ever complained. Nobody ever talked to us.”
KERNEN: This morning you tweeted. Interesting tweet – second meeting, potentially, with Vladimir Putin.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.
KERNEN: Is that in the works? Is it planned? Has it been talked about?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, I would say it’s in the works. Look, we had a tremendous discussion on many things: terrorism, Syria, the Middle East overall, Iran.
We talked about, as an example, nuclear proliferation. There’s nothing more important than that.
We had a tremendous meeting. I think it was a very good press conference. Except for the fake news, I really think I did very well at the press conference.
KERNEN: A second meeting – you’ve broached the subject with President Putin?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. We got along very well. Look, the fact is we got along very well.
We could do great things not only for his country, but for our country.
I’m interested in our country. I’m also interested in the world. I’d like to see peace. And I think we could do great things for the world.
That includes China. That includes others. I’m doing very well, getting along with countries. Getting along is a good thing, not a bad thing. But, I think I’d have a good relationship with Putin.
KERNEN: And you have a personal relationship with people that I’ve seen for many, many years. And I understand how that works.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Even you, which is almost impossible, right?
KERNEN: Thank you. As far as the end game with Russia, there are lots of things that you think we can do in terms of making the world safer with Russia.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And by the way, that’s good for everybody.
KERNEN: But the relationship you have with Putin – the tone, which was relativity conciliatory – for what some people say is an enemy or an adversary.
Can that tone totally be explained by you wanting to do the best things for the country. Or is there something underlying that?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia. I never did.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That other deal is a big hoax. It’s a hoax. It’s called the Democrat hoax. It’s a big fat hoax. I have nothing to do with Russia.
And I think you know that. You would know. You’ve known me for a very long time. You think I’m dealing in Russia?
KERNEN: I know how you are with people and knowing what you want to accomplish – in foreign policy and domestically. I could see that tone not necessarily having anything to do with, other than wanting the best thing for the country.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So I had a meeting that lasted for more than two hours. It wasn’t always conciliatory in that meeting.
KERNEN: Right. That hasn’t come out.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, but we discussed many of the points I just said. Basically that’s what we discussed. We discussed lots of good things for both countries, frankly.
But there are things that we can do for both countries that are very good.
We then go to a news conference. I had some of these fools from the media saying, “Why didn’t you stand there, look him in the face, walk over to him, and start shouting at him?”
I said, “Are these people crazy? I want to make a deal.” I want to make a deal. You can’t do that.
We’ve been having a bad relationship with Russia for many years. And you know, that may be wrong. It may be that you can’t do anything – that’s very possible.
But I’m different than other president’s. I’m a dealmaker. I’ve made deals all my life. I do really well. I make great deals. You know it because you’ve covered them for a long time Joe.
I think if we can get along with Russia – and other countries….
KERNEN: Does it help with China to have Russia – to set them…
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It doesn’t hurt, okay. It doesn’t hurt.
KERNEN: And that was in your mind as well?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Maybe, in the computer. I mean maybe. It probably doesn’t hurt. But I’m not even looking at it that way. I’m just saying if we can do certain things.
On terrorism, as an example. We found out that in St. Petersburg a little more than a year a ago there was going to be a very major terrorist attack. St. Petersburg, Russia.
We called them and let them know. They were able to nab this very vicious gang of terrorists. They got them.
I assume they’re some place right now that maybe you don’t even want to know about. I don’t know what they did with them. Okay? And I don’t care.
They thanked us profusely. This was gonna be a major attack. We found out about it and we gave them that information. That’s a good thing.
President Putin called me up and he said “I want to thank you very much. That would’ve been a major attack in St. Petersburg.” We informed them.
I don’t think anybody even knows about that.
These are good things. They inform us. They can inform us. Getting along is a good thing, not a bad thing.
The fake news – they want to make it like where there’s like a big confrontation. I don’t want to play that game. I don’t want to go into that game.
With that being said, I have been far tougher on Russia than any president in many, many years. Maybe ever.
Even the big fight I have with Germany over the fact that they’re taking natural gas – they’re taking energy from Russia. Paying them billions of dollars.
I said, “Wait a minute – we’re supposed to be protecting you from Russia, and you’re paying them billions of dollars. What’s that all about?”
Now, do you think that’s a positive for Russia?
I’m talking them out of things where they’re giving billions of dollars. It’s ridiculous, by the way, that that’s happening.
And then on top of that Germany pays a fraction of what they should be paying for defense. We’re supposed to defend them. So they’re paying Russia and we’re supposed to defend them from Russia.
Just look at that point. Look at the sanctions I’ve put on. Look at the diplomats I threw out. Look at all of the things that I’ve done. Nobody else did what I’ve done.
Obama didn’t do it. Obama was a patsy for Russia. He was a total patsy.
Look at the statement he made, when he thought the mics were turned off, okay? The stupid statement he made. Nobody does a big deal about that.
Getting along with President Putin – getting along with Russia – is a positive, not a negative.
With that being said, if that doesn’t work out, I’ll be the worst enemy he’s ever had. The worst he’s ever had.
KERNEN: I don’t want to end it on that note – but we do have to end it.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: But I think he knows that. I’ll be his worst nightmare. But I don’t think it will be that way. I actually think we’ll have a good relationship.
KERNEN: Well, I think it’d be – it’s obviously in the – the two last nuclear Super Powers, or at least the two largest…
PRESIDENT TRUMP: 90%. 90% think of it, the two countries.
KERNEN: Alright. Mr. President –
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much.
KERNEN: Thank you. I appreciate it very much. Thank you.
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