Subject: In-town pool report No. 4 - fuller quotes from departure gaggle

From: "Olorunnipa, Toluse"
Date: May 20, 2019 at 6:26:22 PM EDT
Subject: In-town pool report No. 4 - fuller quotes from departure gaggle


Here’s a rough transcript of the president’s gaggle before his Marine One departure.

Please check against tape and official transcript

Q: Why are you asking Don McGahn to defy a Congressional subpoena?
POTUS: “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 it for the office of the president. So we’re talking about the future.”

Q: Court ruling about your financial records? Will you appeal?

“Well we disagree with that ruling. It’s crazy because if you look at it, this never happened to any other president. They’re trying to get a re-do. They’re trying to get what we used to call in school a do-over. If you look, 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 the country was very happy about it. 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 totally the wrong decision by obviously an Obama-appointed judge. He is a recent Obama-appointed judge.”

Q: Your reaction to Justin Amash?

“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 some time… Personally I think he’s, not much.”

Q: What do you say to Americans who think your administration is stonewalling?

“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 call them…” $40 million, 500 people testified, 1.4 million documents..
“At the end of all of that he said there’s no collusion.” Dems want a redo. “And we’ve had enough. And the country’s had enough.”

Q: Your position on the Alabama abortion law?
“I put out my position on abortion, you’ve known it for a long time. But I put it out the other day… I feel strongly about it.”
“The Democrats are talking about third-term and they’re really talking about beyond third term.”

Q: What’s going on with Iran? Are you worried about a war there?
“With Iran, we’ll see what happens. But they’ve been very hostile. They’ve really been the No. 1 provocateur or terror in this country—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’s happened or will happen, but if it does, it will be met, obviously with great force.”

Q: Do you want to have negotiations with Iran?
“We have talked about it—we’ll see what happens. If they call, we would certainly negotiate. That’s going to be up to them. If they call 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: More sanctions on Iran?

“Well we’ll see what happens” – but there are sanctions on now that are strong

Q: Concerned about polls that show you losing in Pennsylvania?
“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.” – economic numbers in Pa. are great.

Q: Will you appeal the ruling on your financial records?
“Yeah. We’ll appeal. We’ll appeal it.”

Q: Another child migrant died on the border
“If you look at the fact that the Democrats are really making it really, really dangerous for people by not approving really simple quick 15-minute legislation—we could have it all worked out and it would be great for people, great for lives, great for safety. And, the border’s a dangerous place. It’s only made that way because the Democrats will not approve any legislation.”

“We’re working very hard. And I’ll tell you the border patrol people and all of law enforcement’s working very hard. 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.” Said Democrats should make changes

Q: On Iran, did you mean you don’t see anything going on from the Iranian side?
“There are not talks going with Iran”

“I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything… would be met with great force. But we have no indication that they will.”

Q: Puerto Rico?
“I’ve given more money to Puerto Rico than I believe any president ever.”


Toluse Olorunnipa
White House Reporter
Washington Post
o: 202-xxx-xxxx
c: 202-xxx-xxxx
xxx@washpost.com (mailto:xxx@washpost.com)
@ToluseO

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