President Trump Rose Garden Remarks after Meeting with Congressional Leaders CSPAN January 6, 2019 12:08pm-1:12pm EST
reporters about the border wall funding and the government shutdown. and he took questions from the media. this is just over an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, accompanied by vice president pence. president trump: thank you very much. we had a very, very productive meeting. and, i think we've come a long way. i'll discuss that in a second. but first, i imagine you've all seen the incredible job growth,
312,000 jobs, which took everybody by surprise. estimates ranged from 160,000 to 180,000. this really took people by surprise. this is a great number. i think it has a lot to do with the factories and with the companies that are moving back into the united states, who have left. and now, they're coming back to us instead of being in other countries. i can't tell you what that does to other countries. but, i'm the president of this country. so, 312,000 jobs was a tremendous number. obviously, having a big impact on the stock market today. i do want people to remember that we've had a tremendous success, despite the fact that i'm in the midst of negotiating incredible trade deals for our country that should have been negotiated many years ago. by both parties, to be honest. but, many years ago. we are doing very well in our negotiation with china.
we pretty much concluded our negotiation with canada, with mexico. we have done the deal and signed the deal with south korea, which a lot of people said was not going to happen. would be impossible. it's a good deal. it was a horrible deal, it's a good deal. i think a lot of this has to do with the fact, though, that already, companies are moving back into our country that have left our country in some cases. in some cases, they're moving back because they want to be here. but in many cases, these are automobile companies that have left and gone to other countries and now they're coming back to the united states. so, it's nice to see, one of the things that's so beautiful to watch, is 3.2% wage growth. that hasn't happened in so long. for our country. that's an incredible thing. that means people are actually getting more money, taking home more money, and that's something that is really nice to see. a lot of you have been following
me when we were on a thing called the campaign, that was an exciting campaign, great campaign. and i used to talk about wages going down, not going up, but going down for years. 19 years. now, they just went up 3.% yet there's no inflation. the price of your gasoline at the tank is low. that doesn't happen by luck. i work hard on that. that's like a tax cut for people. so, a lot of good things are happening. labor participation rate increased to 6 .1, that's an -- 63.1, that's an incredible number also. i want to bring that out, the economy is very good and remember from the time of my election, stock market has gone up close to 30%. that's with all the things happening, and there are a lot of things happening, we have a massive trade negotiation going on with china, president xi is
very much involved, so am i, we're dealing at the highest levels and we're doing
very well. we're doing very well. in the meantime, we've taken in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs from china and from others. our steel industry has come roaring back. and, that makes me very happy. i think we'll have to build a steel wall. as opposed to a concrete wall. because we have steel companies again. there's something awfully nice about that sound. so, we had a productive meeting today. with speaker pelosi and senator schumer. i thought it was really a very, very good meeting. we're all on the same path in terms of wanting to get government open. we're going to be meeting, i have designated a group, we're going to be meeting over the weekend, that group, to determine what we're going to do about the border.
really, i want to thank a lot of the border patrol and i.c.e. people who came up yesterday, that had a big tremendous on, frankly, a lot of democrats, and a lot of people, because they were able to lay out one of the -- lay out the problems. one of the problems described to me, ports of entry. we'll agree with chuck and nancy and steny and durbin was there. we're going to agree that we want to make the ports bigger, more powerful, able to handle more traffic. have very, very powerful drug equipment there. so, they make their he good stuff now. -- they make very good stuff now. we don't have it because of budgets and other reasons. but, we're going to make ports of entry very powerful, very strong. we'll have the best drug finding equipment anywhere in the world. they make it much better today than they made it two years ago.
and, i explained to them the problem is, though, we can have a wonderful port of entry, but you have 2,000 miles of border between the united states and mexico. and, if you take a look and you see like we do, through certain technology including cameras in airplanes, not just drones, you'll see vast numbers of vehicles driving through the desert and entering where you don't have a very powerful fence or a wall. that happened this week, where a wonderful young police officer, i spoke to his wife yesterday, where he was shot, viciously shot for simply stopping a person that came over the border illegally. got shot. killed. and took the most beautiful picture just hours before, a
christmas picture. we don't want that happening. but, i was explained to and i explained to people, because it's really common sense, you have ports of entry. we have great security at the ports of entry. then, you may have fencing or walls up and down, left and right, east and west. but, they stop. because we don't have proper border security. these people have vehicles. and, they drive to the -- they're not going through where we have great border patrol officers and i.c.e. officers and military now. i tell you, the military has done a fantastic job. they don't stop. they go right to the easiest part and weakest part, sometimes out in desert, but you have miles and miles and miles of unprotected area. you can see where they drive over. you even have people walking that track. that's a very dangerous trek. and, they bring children or even worse, they use children. you know, children are the
biggest beneficiaries of what we want to do. children are hurt more than anybody else. these coyotes, what they do with children, all because we have open borders, because they think they can get away with it. they don't come in through the port where we have protection. they come in through empty areas, vast spaces, empty areas, just like this terrible person came in when he shot officer singh. they come in through these vast open areas. you don't even have a sign saying mexico-u.s. there's no sign designating you have just entered the united states. there's just open space. and i explained that to the meeting today with nancy pelosi, chuck schumer and a lot of
other people at the meeting. and i said, one of the things that happens there is human traffickers. maybe, that's the worst of all.
where you have traffickers having three and four women with tape on their mouths and tied up. sitting in the back of a van or a car, and they'll drive that van or the car not through a port of entry where we have very talented people that look for every little morsel of drugs or even people or whatever they're looking for. they're not going to go there. they get off the road and they drive out into the desert and come in, make a left turn, usually it's a left, not a right.
most of them come out because in san diego, and in areas of california, we just finished brand new walls. beautiful walls. steel walls. and they wanted them badly. they were asking us. that's why we did it there. i said, let's not do it in california, california always complains. their great governors, they're always complaining. i said, let's not do it. let the governor ask us. but, we did it anyway, because they really needed it. so we built a brand new wall in san diego and it's working really well.
you should go and look at it. it's amazing. it's incredible how well it works. but, these coyotes and human traffickers, they make a right turn before they get to the port of entry, they go as far as the wall is, or as far as the barricade is, and then they make a left, welcome to the united states, and what they do with usually the women, sometimes children, that they're trafficking with and in, you don't want to know about it. so, the only way you're going to stop that is by having a solid steel structure or concrete structure. whether it's a wall or some form of very powerful steel. the steel is actually more expensive than the concrete. but i think we're probably talking about steel. because i really feel the other side feels better about it.
and, i can understand what they're saying. it is more expensive. we mentioned the price that we want, $5.6 billion, very strongly. because numbers are thrown around. $1.6, $2.1, $2.5 -- this is national security we're talking about. we're not talking about games. we're talking about national security. this should have been done by all of the
presidents that preceded me, and they all know it. some of them have told me we should have den it. -- have done it. so, we're not playing games. we have to do it. and just remember, human traffickers. remember drugs. the drugs are pouring into this country. they don't go through the ports of entry. when they do, they sometimes get caught. when we finish, and the democrats do want this, they want ports of entry strengthened -- and i want to do that too. we have it down. it's about $400 million.
we can have the best equipment in the world. now what they'll do, if we have the protection, and if we have strong ports of entry with drug finding equipment, i don't know what they'll do. they're not coming past steel gates or steel wall, or the concrete waugh walls depending on what's happening. because we are meeting this weekend, we have a group, i set up a group, they'll tell us who their group of experts, probably people in the senate, congressmen and women are going to come and we have three, i said, give us three, then i said send over nine or six or three or two, doesn't matter. send over whoever you want. but, it's common sense. so now, when they make that turn, they make it and now all of a sudden, they can't go any further, and they have to go back.
that's going to top the -- stop the caravans for two reasons. number one they won't be able to get through. and when they realize they can't get through, they're not going to form and not going to try to come up. they can apply for asylum, most importantly they can apply for citizenship, because the companies that i told you that created these great job numbers, they're incredible job numbers, beyond anybody's expectations, i don't think there was one wall street genius of which i know many of them, but they're not geniuses, there's not one that predicted anywhere close to these job numbers. i thought they'd be good. but there wasn't one that i saw. so now, we have everything so beautifully handled. we need to have, however, we need border security. and all of this security, if we do what i think the democrats want, all of the border things
that we'll be building will be done right here in the good old u.s.a. by steel companies that were practically out of business when i came in to office as president, and now they're thriving. you call up the heads of u.s. steel and i could name 10 companies, you look at what's going on in the steel industry, it's almost a miracle. it was a dead industry. we need steel for defense. we need steel for a lot of things. steel and aluminum. but those industries were in deep trouble. the steel industry was almost dead. and now it's a vibrant, vibrant industry. what i'm going to do is ask, first of all mike pence, vice president, to say a couple of words. mike is -- we put together a team of people to work over the weekend, and they'll be negotiating on the border, the look, different things about border security including at the ports of entry. and, i think they're going to be
very successful. because i found the democrats really want to do something. if you look at it, $5.6 billion, but we are able also in addition to that, because what we want to do has to be done properly, and we're negotiating very tough prices, very, very tough, you heard much higher numbers, those higher numbers were very much a misnomer. you heard $20 billion and $25 billion in daca. what happened is when a judge incredibly, i will say wrong decision, in fact, president obama when he signed daca executive order, made a statement to the effect that in -- isn't going to work, some judge from the ninth circuit, here we go again, upheld it. then it was upheld by the ninth circuit appellate and now it's going before the united states
supreme court, and hopefully that'll be properly adjudicated -- because if it is, talks will begin on larger immigration matters having to do with daca, having to do with other things. that is taking place. we may add a few things onto our discussions over the weekend. but, i'm going to ask mike pence and then i'll have leader mccarthy say a few words and we'll take a couple of questions -- but we're proud of the jobs and job numbers, that was incredible. and, i think i'll be even more proud if we can have great border security for the first time in really, the history of our country. the southern border is a dangerous, horrible, disaster. we've done a great job. but you can't really do the kind of job we have to do unless you have a major powerful barrier, and that's what we're going to have to have.
so first, we start with mike pence. vice president pence: thank you, mr. president. we are nearly two weeks into a government shutdown. but our nation is also in the midst of a crisis on our southern border. today, president trump convened for the second time this week -- republican and democrat leaders from the congress, to address both issues. and, we are truly grateful for the candid and constructive dialogue that took place here today at the white house with speaker pelosi, leader schumer, and with our republican senate leadership as well. and we look forward to continued -- continue dialogue over the course of this weekend. make no mistake about it, we are in the midst of a crisis at our southern border.
every day, nearly 2,000 people are apprehended or stopped attempting to come into our country that have no lawful claim to be here. last year alone, 17,000 individuals with previous criminal records were apprehended attempting to come across our southern border. every day, all across this country, in a single week, 300 americans lose their lives to the scourge of heroin addiction. 90% of the heroin in this country flows through our southern border. and the human trafficking that the president just described so compellingly, last month alone, 20,000 minors were brought alone across our border. were interdicted by border patrol personnel. here at the podium and we all, leader mccarthy and all the leaders gathered in the situation room today heard the -- today and heard the president's passion for the
better part of two hours. not just to address the government shutdown but to address border security. and this crisis at our southern border. today, president trump provided the kind of leadership that the american people expect in such a moment. he made it clear that we are committed to achieving border security as we resolve this budget impasse. he made it clear that we are going to build a wall on our southern border. as i said, the conversations were constructive and substantive. at the close of the meeting, the president directed me and jared kushner and secretary nielsen to meet with top level staff of democrat and republican leadership in the house and senate over the course of this
weekend and see if we could build on the common ground that we identified in the discussions today. our aim will be to find a solution, not just simply to end the government shutdown, to provide funding to end the crisis at our southern border, to achieve real border security, and to build a wall on our southern border. mr. president, i promise you as you promised the republican and democratic leaderships today, that we will work earnestly over the weekend, we will work in good faith, the american people deserve nothing less. and we enter this weekend and these discussions hopeful. again, not simply that we will end a budget shutdown, but that we will make finally meaningful progress on securing our southern border to prevent the flow of narcotics, human trafficking, illegal immigration
that has so beset our country now for more than a generation. with the president's leadership and direction, we'll hope to accomplish just that. president trump: thank you, mike, thank you very much. mr. mccarthy: i came down for the second time this week, based on the meeting we had earlier this week, i didn't expect the meeting to last very long. it was two hours. this was much more productive than we've had any other time. i think there's places we can find common ground. the president was very strong what he needs to have happen here. we need border security. we want the government to open. but, i found in our discussion sometimes we're tough, but there is areas that we can find agreement on. that's when the president interjected. he actually thought what would be best, that he would designate three individuals with the vice president being the lead, that work through the weekend, build on this progress, and each
leader would also send, the president was very kind to the speaker. i think he said she could bring twice as many, if need be. president trump: five times as many. mr. mccarthy: i know leader mcconnell is sending down, i'm sending staffers, the president will call us back next week, we want to solve this problem. there's a great need to do it. and we can get it done. we just have to have the will. but i see the will from this administration. i will promise you this -- i will work with anybody who wants to move america forward, secure our border, and put this government back open. i'm making that pledge here. and i hope every other leader will make that pledge as well. if that means we are staying in the room to get it done, we'll stay in the room and get this job done. and there was progress today, i look forward to solving. mr. scalise: thank you, mr. president.
i thought we had an important and productive meeting today. what this has always been about is securing the border and keeping america safe. i want to thank the president for the commitment he has made. for what he's achieved, other presidents promised but it was never followed up to get the job done. secretary nielsen has gone over the number the numbers are -- the numbers and the numbers are alarming. one number that jumps out, last year, 2017, actually, over 3,700 known or suspected terrorists tried to enter into this country. these are serious numbers. when you see the human trafficking, in 2017, our i.c.e. agents saved over 900 kids. one year alone. saved over 900 kids from sexual assault and human trafficking. things that are happening at the southern border because there's no wall. there's no physical barrier. there's no way to actually control ports of entry.
if somebody wants to seek asylum, there's a way to do that. there are legal ways to come into the country and legal immigration has made this country great. we led in over a million people every single year. by far, the most generous nation in the world. and yet, we have laws that need to be followed to keep americans safe and to protect the integrity of a system where right now there are millions of people who are waiting in line to come to america to seek the american dream. like officer singh did when he sought his chance at the american dream. that dream was taken. it was taken because we don't have a secure border. we can't let this continue. as we work to open the government, let's always keep the focus on what this is about. it's about securing this country. the secretary of homeland security has made it clear what it's going to take to secure our border. president trump is following through on that commitment to keep america safe and hopefully
as we work through the weekend we can get a resolution that achieves all those objectives. president trump: thank you very much. thank you. [reporters speaking] reporter: senator schumer came out and said the meeting was contentious, he said that he was quoting you that the shutdown could go on for months or a year or longer. did you say that? president trump: i did. absolutely, i said that. i don't think it will but i am prepared. i think i can speak for republicans in the house and republicans in the senate, they feel very strongly about having a safe country. having a border that makes sense. without borders, i've said it many times, we don't have a country. i hope it doesn't go on even beyond a few more days. it really could open very
quickly. i told them bring who you want. we have three people. you can ideally bring three, you can bring six, you can bring nine, you can bring 12. they're going to be working over the weekend. i think it may have been somewhat contentious, but i think it was very productive. i have to say that. i think he said that, too. reporter: what was the productive part from your point of view? did the democrats move in your direction? president trump: i don't want to get into that. i don't want to put them in a position where they have to justify things to a lot of people they have to make happy. we want to save lives. we want children to be safe. the children are being decimated, and i'm not talking about necessarily children in our country. i'm talking about wonderful children that are coming up from other places. whether it's honduras, guatemala, or el salvador or mexico or other places. and, we have to take care of those children also. we can't let them die on the way
up. what's happening to women on those caravans. you're not talking about it, but it's horrible what's happening. if they know it's not going to take place because they can't get through because we have a great border wall, or fence, or barrier, they're not going to come up and you're not going to have the problem. at the same time, they can apply to come into our country legally like so many people have done. and we need people, major. we have to have people. because we have all these companies coming in. we need gret people. but, we want them to come in on a merit basis. they have to come in on a merit basis. they can't come in the way they've been coming in for years. i get calls from the great tech companies, and they're saying, we don't allow people at the top of their class at the best schools in the country, we don't allow them to stay in our country. so they end up going back to china, and japan, and so many other countries all over the world, and we don't keep them.
they get educated at our finest schools and then we don't allow them through a various set of circumstances to have any guarantees of staying. so, we lose out on great minds. we can't do that. we have companies, if we don't change that, and we're working on that, we discussed that with the democrats and i think they agree. we're working on that. but, we don't want to lows our great companies because we have a ridiculous policy that we won't accept smart people. so, call it politically correct or not, but we have to let these great, brilliant companies have the smartest people in the world. yes, ma'am? one at a time, please. reporter: why not reopen the government to create more space to have that broader conversation? president trump: we think it can go very quickly. it won't be opening until it's solved. the border is a much bigger problem, it's a problem of national security.
it's a problem of terrorists, you know. i talk about human traffickers. i talk ability drugs. i talk about gangs. but a lot of people don't say, we have terrorists coming through the southern border. because they find that's probably the easiest place to come through. they drive right in and they make a left. not going to happen. not going to happen. so, we're not going to do that. we won't be doing pieces, we won't be doing it in drips and drabs. i'll tell you why. i've seen a lot of people over the last week and a half, i've been right in this magnificent structure right behind you, it's called the white house, and i was here on christmas, and i was here, my family was in florida, i said go to florida. and i didn't even find it to be a lonely place. there's something very special about the white house. i was here christmas, i was here on new year's eve. and i will tell you, the people that i have spoken with, and i've gotten to meet a lot of people i wouldn't have met a lot of people have been coming through the white house and explaining different things and different attitudes. a lot of people you think are
upset, and certainly they're not thrilled, but they say sir, do the right thing. we need border security. and these are people that won't be getting paid. border patrol yesterday was say, -- was saying sir, we're affected by it do, what's right, it's time. this is after many, many decades. many, many decades. this should have taken place a long time ago. we're going to get it done. yes, ma'am. reporter: two questions for you, was daca part of the discussion today? president trump: yes. reporter: and why does it take this many days for the working group to come together? why not just hash it out? pres. trump: sometimes that is what happened in a negotiation. sometimes you agree to something that should have been agreed to two weeks ago. that's the way it works, sometimes it takes time. we set out a number, $5.6 billion. very firm on a number. we also explained that as you probably understand, the military is very affected, we may use the military for parts
of it, homeland security, obviously, is very affected. we may, in addition to the $5.6 million, we'll use homeland security funds. we have things happening in addition to the 5.6 but we have to get a structure built. reporter: was daca part of the discussion? reporter: thank you, mr. president. with respect to the daca program, were you discussing that in terms of pathway to citizenship being included as an end to the partial government shutdown? president trump: we discussed ate long time ago, it was when they had a mythical number of 25 billion, but only one billion up front. and we talked two billion, one and a half billion, the rest of it the government couldn't guarantee, because it's not set up to guarantee. you remember those discussions. where it really ended was when the judge ruled against it. and it was -- i said, as soon as that happened, because that was a shocking decision. it was shocking to the democrats. it was more shocking to the republicans.
it was an incorrect decision, it was a political decision, made by a judge. i know a lot of people don't like when i say it, try going to the ninth circuit and try winning a case. not easy. the fact is, it was a terrible decision and an incorrect decision. when that decision came down, when that judge ruled the way he ruled, i said, as soon as i heard it, i said you know what's going to happen? we're never going to hear from them again. that's exactly, that's what broke up the daca deal. yes, we had a pathway, we had many things. that was getting close to being a deal. the problem was that the money was a very small amount of money, wasn't really the 25. it was 25 and come back every year. we don't want to go through that every year. we were getting close. i said as soon as that decision came down, that incorrect and horrible decision, i mean, there's been a number of them made lately, but as soon as that
decision came down, i said you'll never hear from them again. and i called up, i said hi, it's president trump, what's going on? they said, we don't know who president trump is that's what killed the daca deal, nothing else. it was the judge's decision. if the supreme court does what really everyone thinks from a legal standpoint it should be doing, if they don't allow the president of the united states -- which is me, also, because if president obama is allowed to do that, i'm allowed to do it also, can you imagine? if the supreme court overrules that wrong executive order, we'll have a deal very quickly on daca and other things. and the democrats want that and so do we. once he ruled that way, it was something you couldn't really negotiate. reporter: two questions, are you
still proud to own this shutdown? president trump: you know, i appreciate the way you say that. i'm very proud of doing what i'm doing. i don't call it a shutdown. i call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country. but, when nancy pelosi said you don't have the votes in congress, i will tell you what i was proud of, i was never more proud of my republican party and those congress men and women, when they saw that and got together and they voted 217-185 -- and it wasn't even close, that was an incredible day. i'm very proud of that. when she said you couldn't get the votes. i'm not holding that against her. because despite the fact that i'm not saying it was an easy meeting, or even a kind meeting or a nice meeting, but in the end i think we've come a long way. we're going to be working very hard over the weekend and we'll see if we can do something. so, you can call it whatever you want.
you can call it the schumer or the pelosi or the trump shutdown. doesn't make any difference to me. just words. reporter: my second question, sir, federal workers, my second question on federal workers. president trump: just one second. reporter: two questions, to followup on daca, are you open to a path to citizenship in theory, for daca recipients, and then can you explain to federal employees of the agencies that are closed which are not homeland security why those agencies should stay closed? homeland security is significant in of itself staying closed. president trump: because we want to do what's right and we want to do it all at one time. we don't want to do it in pieces. daca will be a great subject. i look forward to discussing it. we'll discuss it at another time. there are a lot of great things that can happen with daca if the democrats want to do that. i think what we're all waiting for, to be honest, is the supreme court judges, the
supreme court justices' ruling in a not very long period of time. as you know, it's up now, hopefully, will be making a -- they will be making a ruling maybe sometime in the summer. so i think before we discuss too much daca, i would like to see what happens. i think it's very important decision. because frankly if they rule the way it is, it gives the president too much power. can you imagine me saying that? but i would be entitled to the same power. it's not a correct thing that took place and president obama never felt it was going to hold up. and it held up. but, i don't think it's going to hold up at the supreme court. if it doesn't hold up you'll see a lot of good things happening. -- if it doesn't hold up, you'll see a lot of good things happening. you'll be having daca and you'll be putting other things with daca, hopefully by that time the wall will be well under construction and just a little statement on that. we've already built a lot of the wall. we've been working very, very hard. we renovated a tremendous amount
of wall. i just told you we did a lot of wall in san diego where we needed it very badly, where they wanted it very badly. we haven't been sitting still for the first believe it or not, less than two years. we have been working very, very hard. the wall is -- we've done a lot of miles of wall already. we're not just starting off fresh. but we have large numbers of miles that we have to do. and we can't let gaps, because if you have gaps, people will turn their vehicles or the gangs -- if they're going to be coming in through those gaps, and we cannot let that happen. kevin. reporter: thank you, mr. president. appreciate that question about government employees. what is your personal message to those who are impacted by the shutdown, and if you wouldn't mind, if you could comment on the remarks made by a freshman congressperson about impeachment involving a bit of profanity. president trump: you can't impeach somebody that's doing a great job, that's the way i view
it. i've probably done more in the first two years than any president, any administration in the history of our country. you look at tax cuts, you look at regulations, you look at what we've done for the vets, you look at the rebuilding of the military and the numbers that we're talking about, and many other things. i could give you a list that's pages long. i think it's hard to impeach somebody who has done a great job. that's number one. and, we even talked about that today. i said, why don't you use this for impeachment? and nancy said, we're not looking to impeach you. i said that's good, nancy. that's good. but, you know what, you don't impeach people when they're doing a good job you don't impeach people when there was no collusion, because there was no collusion. you know russians better than i do, kevin. there was no collusion. i didn't need russians to help me win iowa. i didn't russians to help me win the great state of wisconsin. and michigan and pennsylvania. i won them because i went there and campaigned hard. and, my opponent didn't go there enough.
and she lost. a lot of good states. a lot of states that for many, many years, for decades, went -- for decades have gone democrat, went republican, that's why i won. not because of russia. >> your comment about the freshman congressperson's comments, specifically -- president trump: i thought her comments were disgraceful. this is a person i don't know. i assume she's new. i think she dishonored herself and i think she dishonored her family. using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was there, i thought that was a great dishonor to her and to her family. i thought it was highly disrespectful to the united states of america. yes. reporter: thank you, mr. president. earlier this week, you repeated your claim that through the usmca, mexico will be paying for the wall. can you describe in detail the specific mechanisms that -- president trump: nafta has been
one of the great disasters of all time, probably the worst trade deal ever made, maybe. we lost millions of jobs, thousands and thousands of companies, nafta left our country dry. nafta was a disaster. i campaigned on either terminating or renegotiating nafta. and, bob lighthiser and jared kushner and a whole group of people did an incredible job. they did an incredible job. now, we have a deal that's great for our country, and by the way, good for mexico, good for canada also, as you know it's three countries. we will be taking in billions and billions of dollars more money for the united states including jobs, including companies that won't be leaving us anymore and going to mexico, and in some cases, canada to a lesser extent. we lost 25% of our car business
because of nafta. nafta was a disaster. now, we have the usmca, the united states, mexico, and canada trade agreement. it's brand new. it's totally different. it makes it very difficult for companies to, incentive-wise, move to other countries and we'll be making billions and billions of dollars a year more money. that is paying for the wall. many, many, times over. in fact, what we save on the new trade deal we have mexico and canada, what we save
of that just with mexico will pay for the wall many times over just in a period of a year, two years, three years. so, i view that as absolutely mexico is paying for the wall. and that's fine. reporter: will you be pressuring -- president trump: yes, ma'am. reporter: you ran your campaign promising supporters that mexico was going to pay for the wall
and it would be made of concrete. right now, you're saying the wall could be made of steel and the government is shut down because you want the taxpayers to pay for the wall. how can you say you are not failing your supporters? president trump: a nice question, beautifully asked, i just answered it. reporter: you did not answer -- president trump: i just told you, we'll take in billions and billions of dollars, far more an the cost of the wall, the wall is peanuts. compared to what the value of what this trade deal is to the united states. as far as concrete, i said i was going to build a wall. i never said i'm going to build a concrete wall. reporter: you said concrete. president trump: you're not in the construction business, you don't understand something. we now have a great steel business rebuilt in the united states. steel is stronger than concrete. if i build this wall or fence or anything the democrats need to call it, because i'm not into
names, i'm into production, i'm into something that works. if i build the steel wall rather than a concrete wall, it will actually be stronger than a concrete. steel is stronger than concrete. ok? listen, if i build a wall and the wall is made out of steel, instead of concrete, i think people will like that. here's the other good thing. i'll have it done by the united states steel corporation, by companies in our country that are now powerful, great companies again, and they become powerful over the last two years because of me and because of our trade policies. so if i have a steel wall, or call it a steel fence, it'll be more powerful than any concrete walls we're talking about. it's possible that it will look better. and one of the things i think you have seen this, that's very important for us, very, very important, in speaking to border
patrol, i.c.e. and local law enforcement and military, they want to be able to see through it. you can't really see through a concrete wall. they want to be able to see who is on the other side of the wall -- because if they're here and you have about a 12-inch concrete wall and you have people on the other side but you can't see what's other there, that's very dangerous. they want to be able to see through the wall. a see-through wall made out of steel is far stronger than a concrete wall. so, i'm very happy with it. i think -- i think, i'm in the -- i'm not sure, but i think that's what the democrats prefer. and if it can get them there, i'm ok. it will be a more powerful wall and it will be a more beautiful wall than having a concrete wall. reporter: in the new trade deal -- president trump: jeff, go ahead. go ahead, jeff. reporter: you mentioned china in your remarks. are you concerned about the
words and actions of apple this week with regard to revenue and can you tell us what sort of progress you meant when you're referring to trade talks with china? president trump: i think we're doing very well. china is paying us tremendous tariffs. we're getting billions and billions of dollars of money pouring into the treasury of the united states, which in history we have never gotten from china, as you know, it's been very unfair. i had a fantastic meeting with president xi, who i both like and respect. one of the things in that meet, -- and that meeting was fentanyl, almost all of it comes from china. he's going to criminalize the making of fentanyl. unlike our country, they have unbelievably strong prohibitions about drugs. it was not on their list. they view it as a -- i guess, as some kind of commercial product. now, they view it as something that's very dangerous. they're going to be changing their laws to make fentanyl a criminal, a criminal process if you are making fentanyl.
if they do that, you know what their ultimate is, it's called the death penalty. i think it could have a tremendous -- i thank president xi very much. the first question before we started trade talks in argentina. this was a meeting supposed to -- that was supposed to last about 45 minutes and it ended up being almost four hours. some of you were there. it was a great meeting. we'll see what happens you never -- you never know with a deal. but i will tell you, china is not doing well now and it puts us in a very strong position. we are doing very well. but, we're taking in billions and billions of dollars and i hope we're going to make a deal with china. and if we don't, they're paying us tens of billions of dollars worth of tariffs. not the worst thing in the world. but i think we will, i think we will make a deal with china. i really think they want to, i think they sort of have to, and i think we're going to have a great relationship. i think that president xi and myself have a great relationship. also north korea. we're doing very well with north
korea. that's based on relationship also. go ahead. one more, quickly. reporter: to follow up, apple issued a revenue warning which led its stack to go down and the dutch stock -- which led its stock to go down and the rest of the stock market to go down as well are you concerned about that? president trump: no, i'm not. they've gone up a lot. they've gone up hundreds of percents since i'm president. apple was at a number that was incredible, and they're going to be fine. apple is a great company. but that's not my -- look, i have to worry about our country. don't forget, apple makes their products in china. i told tim cook, a friend of mine, who i like a lot, make your product in the united states. build those big, beautiful plants that go on for miles, it seems. build those plants in the united states. i like that even better. apple makes its product in china. china is the biggest beneficiary of apple, more than us. because they build their product mostly in china. but now, he's investing $350 billion because of what we did
with taxes, and the incentives we created in the united states, he's going to build a campus and lots of other places. so, my focus is on the united states. i want to get those companies to come back like so many are doing into the united states. i want apple to make their iphones and all the great things they make in the united states. and that'll take place. please, go ahead. reporter: thank you, mr. president. i want to ask you two questions. one as you talk about the wall, eminent domain. many of those who own property on the southern border will lose their property because of this. and once this happens, they say that they could go to court with you for years, it could take years. also, what is a safety net for federal workers, you're saying months and possibly a year for this shutdown? do you have in mind a safety net for those who need their checks,
those who need medicaid, what have you? president trump: the safety net is having a strong border, because we're going to be safe. i'm not talking economically but ultimately, economically. i really believe that these people, many of the people we're talking about, many of the people you're discussing, i really believe they agree with what they're doing. and we can have this, april, we can have this fixed very quickly. this can happen by early next week. we're going to be working over the weekend. we can have a solution to this, but i wanted to keep it all at one point. i think a lot of people you're referring to, april, are wanting that to happen too. i believe a lot of them want to see border security and they're willing to give et up. the people in yesterday, they represent most of the border patrol. people that you had yesterday that were at the news conference, they represent most of border patrol. every one of them said, don't even think about us. get this fixed. that is doing the great thing for our country.
as far as eminent domain, you're right. 100%. eminent domain is interesting. but, without eminent domain, you wouldn't have any highways or schools or roadways. what we're doing with eminent domain is, in many cases, we'll make a deal up front and we have done that, the secretary has done a lot of that. and if we can't make a deal, we take the land and we pay them through a court process which goes actually fairly quickly. and, we're generous. we take the land. you have to use eminent domain. otherwise, you could never build anything. if you didn't use eminent domain you wouldn't have one highway in this country. you have to use it. it's actually something you don't want to use it but if you're going to do a stretch as an example, pipelines and other things, you have to use eminent domain otherwise you'd never be able to buy the land. if we had one person that wouldn't sell out of hundreds, it only takes one, we wouldn't be able to build proper border security because we'd have the big opening that i was talking about. what happens is some are paid up front, you make a deal up front.
we're willing to do that in all cases. when they're unwilling to make a deal, which also happens, then you go to court but in the meantime, we're able to build the border security. so, i think it's a fair process. i think it's a process that is very necessary. but i think it's fair. reporter: couldn't that hold up your wall? president trump: it's not going to hold it up. because under the military version of eminent domain and under homeland security, we can do it before we even start. now, a lot of times we'll make a deal. and i would say a good percentage of the time we're making deals. we have already purchased a lot of it. a lot of money we've been given has already been spent on purchasing the land. the right of way. essentially, it's a right of way. so we are very, very far along on that. but, eminent domain is something that has to be used, usually you'd say for anything that's long. like a road, like a pipeline or like a wall or a fence. ok, thank you. good question. that's a good question. please, go ahead.
reporter: two questions. first, mr. president, have you considered using emergency powers? president trump: should we keep this going or not? you guys have so many questions. i'm just looking at mike and steve and kevin i'm saying should we -- and most importantly, madam secretary. i'm just -- are you cold? get out of here. take mine, you want mine. i'm just saying should we keep this going? go ahead. let me know when you get tired. reporter: i'm not. have you considered using emergency powers to grant yourself authorities to build this wall without congressional approval? and second -- president trump: yes, i have. reporter: you have? president trump: i have. i could do it if i wanted. reporter: you don't need congressional approval to build the wall? president trump: no, we could call it national emergency. because of the security of our country, absolutely.
we can do it. i haven't done it, i may do it. i may do it. but, we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly, and it's another way of doing it. but, if we can do it through a negotiated process, we're giving that a shot. reporter: is that a threat hanging over the democrats? president trump: i'd never threaten anybody but i am allowed to do it. yes. it's called a national security. reporter: second question, on mexico, the benefit os they have trade deal go too private companies, private citizen, you're talking tax revenues. american taxpayers. president trump: i will give you an example. when a company was going to leave for mexico or canada, but for mexico because we lost tremendous amounts of our car business to mexico. if they stay, all of those taxes that they have been paying, real estate taxes, sales taxes, employee-employer taxes, tremendous taxes that nobody even understands they pay.
tremendous. income taxes. federal income taxes. state income taxes in some cases. all of those taxes stay with us. the wall is, you know, it's great. but, the usmca which gives a disincentive for companies to leave, it's a tremendous disincentive, anybody that leaves after this deal is done, -- look, it's one of the primary reasons that i like it. i can live pre-nafta, too. the only thing i can't live with is nafta. i could live pre-nafta, before nafta appeared before everyone left new england on all of the different places, ohio, pennsylvania, i mean, you still have empty steel factory is all over the place. i can live pre-nafta very easily. but the only thing i'm not living with is is nafta. that was one of the worst trade deals ever made. american those are taxpayer dollars which you consider mexico paying for the
wall? president trump: many times over. the usmca will make in the form that we right now are losing approximately 100, hard to believe, this doesn't include the drugs pouring in which is a much higher number than anybody would even know, in addition to destroying lives and families so horribly. we are losing close to $100 billion a year. on trade with mexico. for many years. not only that, they have a tax of 17%. we don't have a tax. so, they have a value-added tact x of 17%. we don't have that tax. that deal was bad the day it was made. because they charged a tax before the deal was made and we didn't. it was an obsolete deal when it was made like 30 years ago, whenever it was. no, no. all this stuff is changing now. this is a fair deal. this is a good deal for mexico. frankly, oil companies and other companies have an incentive now
to go to mexico and take away land. that's why we're keeping gasoline prices so low. look at what's going on with gasoline prices. i mean, it's rather incredible. if you look back four months ago, oil hit $83 a barrel. $83. it was headed to $100. then, it could have gone to $125. you want to see problems, let that happen. after i made some phone calls, to opec and the opec nations, which is essentially a monopoly, all of a sudden, it started coming down. i'm very happy with what has happened. i'm happy people are paying in many cases less than $2 a gallon for gasoline. everyone is talking about -- it didn't happen by luck. it happened through talent. go ahead. go ahead. reporter: if this shutdown does
last months or years, i want to understand how you expect federal workers to last that long without a paycheck. specifically since your cabinet members are set to get ready tomorrow. how is that fair? president trump: we will have to talk to cabinet members, then, they probably don't know that. it's important that we have great border security. i think it's going to be over with sooner than people think. i will do whatever we have to do, if we have to stay out for a very long period of time, we're going to do that. and many of those people, maybe even most of those people that really have not been and will not be getting their money in at this moment, those people in many cases are the biggest fan of what we are doing. reporter: how do you know that? president trump: major, go ahead. reporter: i want to follow up on that, mr. president. the $10,000 raise that your cabinet members and senior administration officials are due to receive starting tomorrow, will you ask them not to accept that, at least during the shutdown? president trump: i might consider that, that's something i may consider, a very good question.
ok, who else is out there, mike? who do you see out there? reporter: are you committing to that? mr. president, are you committing to that? president trump: go ahead. go ahead. no? mike likes you, mike highly recommended you. this will be the killer of them all. reporter: two questions, first is a follow up to that. you were a landlord. for people worried about paying rent checks, government employees right now, people worried about bill collector, would you ask those companies or landlords to go easy on people? president trump: i think they will. i think that happens. you know, hey, i've been a landlord for a long time. i have been in the real estate business for a long time. when you see there are problems out there, difficulties out there, you know, the people are all good for the money. they work with people. they work with people. reporter: so you would encourage landlords -- president trump: sure. i would encourage them to be nice and easy.
we have a bigger thing we're working on. it's called the security of our nation, including terrorism. reporter: one more question, if you don't mind. president trump: go ahead. reporter: thank you, sir. reporter: i had a question about terrorism. i want to ask who are the individuals who are being captured terrorists? are they people on the watch list? are they from travel banned countries? second question, i want to ask why is senator mitch mcconnell not here? why was not he not invited? president trump: he's been great. he's been fantastic. mitch mcconnell, first of all, he was here. he was with us for hour at the meeting. reporter: why is he not here? president trump: he's running the senate. mitch mcconnell has been fantastic. he's been great. he's right at the top of everything that we're doing and he's really been fantastic. kirsten do you want to answer that question about the terrorists? >> sure. obviously i can't get into classified information but what
we do know is we've stopped -- c.b.p. stopped what we all special interest aliens trying to come into the country. those are aliens who the intel community identified as of concern. they either have travel patterns that are identified as terrorist travel patterns or they have known or suspected ties to terrorism. so we have 3,000 we know about. i think what the president continues to make clear is it's our sovereign duty to know who come into our country. without any kind of structure, without changing the lays, we have no way to know the identify of every person who walks across the unsecured border. the ones we know about we can give you 3,000. i'm sure we can give you we'll look and see what else we can give you. obviously there's ongoing investigations i can't get into. president trump: so i think that we can say with surety, i think it was a great meeting. we'll see what happens. it may get solved, it may not
get solved. you now know the number you know what we're willing to do. if we have to do it, we'll do it. again, we'll go into, i believe -- where going to be very productive over the weekend. we have a talented group of people, they have a talented group of people as i understand, i think tremendous things will happen. i believe the biggest beneficiaries of what we're doing are children, are women, are workers, and a lot of these people that really benefit are not only the people in our country but the people that travel up trying to get into a country that they think they're going to get into and they can't. and they get sick, and there's tremendous damage done to them and their families. these are all tremendous beneficiaries of what we're doing. this really does have a higher purpose than next week's pay and the people that won't get next week's pay, or the following week's pay, i think if you ever really looked at those people, i
think they'd say, mr. president, keep going. this is far more important. i want to thank you all and we'll see you soon. they'll be working very hard over the weekend. thank you very much. reporter: mr. president, will you turn down the raise? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer:
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