From: Feldmann, Linda
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2019 10:42 AM
Subject: In-town pool report #2: POTUS gaggle transcript, Part One
POTUS REMARKS TO POOL, 1/19/19
POTUS made opening remarks, before taking questions:
We are going to Dover Air Force Base.... we have a very busy day planned.
ON NORTH KOREA:
We had a very good meeting yesterday with North Korea. That was an incredible meeting. It lasted almost 2 hours. And we agreed to meet sometime the end of February. We’ve picked the country, but we’ll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong Un is looking very forward to it and so am I. We’ve made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the media, but we have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization’s concerned, and we’re talking about a lot of different things. But WE’ve a lot of tremendous progress that has not been reported, unfortunately, but it will be. Things are going very well with North Korea.
ON CHINA TRADE:
Things are going very well with China and with trade. There were some false reports about sanctions being removed, we have taken in tremendous amounts of money into the United States because of the sanctions and we’ll see how it goes. And If we make a deal, certainly we wouldn’t have sanctions. And if we don’t make a deal - we will, but I think China’s been - we’ve really had a very extraordinary number of meetings, and a deal could very well happen with China.
It’s going very well, I’d say about as well as it could possibly go. And without a question.
Q: [inaudible] about visiting with relatives of Americans killed in Syria.
I think it’s the toughest thing I have to do. When I’m going to meet relatives of some of our great great heroes that have fallen, I think it might be the toughest thing I have to do as president.
Q. [inaudible] on Syria
Well what we’ve done is -- we’ve, when I took over, Syria was loaded with ISIS. And again When we said, who are we killing ISIS for, you know, the worst enemy of Russia, Iran, syria, you look at it, there’s ISIS. …. For people that are not necessarily always in agreement with us, let’s put it that way. We’ve gone into syria, and in two years, i guess we’ve i guess reduced it to about 99 percent of the territorial caliphate. Now that doesn’t mean you’re not going have somebody around and who knows what happened and who it was. There’s nobody sure. But i will say this, we’ve taken it - Syria was a mess. We’ve done Assad a very big favor.
We’ve also done our country a favor. But we’ve brought it down to less than 1 percent. As you know, we didn’t stop. .. We’ve been hitting ISIS very hard over the last three weeks, in particular over the last 3 weeks, and it’s moving along very well. But when I took over it was a total mess.
(As always, check against transcript.)
Washington Bureau Chief
The Christian Science Monitor
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