From: Brett Samuels
Date: September 18, 2019 at 11:19:15 AM PDT
Subject: Out of town pool report #5: San Diego arrival and full Trump quotes
Air Force One was wheels down in San Diego at 11:18 local time.
Full quotes from the Trump gaggle are below for those who need them. My thanks to Peter Baker and Phil Rucker for their help in getting these quotes, which were at times difficult to hear over the roar of Air Force One.
As always, please check against the official transcript:
Trump on O’Brien:
“He’s worked with me for quite a while now on hostages. And we’ve got a tremendous track record with respect to hostages. Robert can tell you about it.”
Said he’s “brought a lot of people back home” without having to spend any money.
“Robert’s been fantastic. We know each other well.”
O’Brien then said a few words:
“We’ve had tremendous foreign policy successes,” he said, attributing it to the president's leadership. “And I expect those to continue.”
“We’ve got a number of challenges but there’s a great team in place with Sec. Pompeo and Sec. Esper, and I look forward to working with them and working with the president to keep America safe and continue to rebuild our military.”
On Iran, he said “we’re looking at it those issues now” and that he would advise the president privately on how to handle the situation.”
Trump was asked if there was any update on his thinking toward Iran.
“Nothing to report yet. We’ll probably be speaking to you tomorrow.”
“But I think my thinking pretty much remains the same. We haven’t learned much that we didn’t know but there is a certain guarantee factor. We’re really at a point now where we know very much what happened.
Will you do more than sanctions?
“We’ll see what happens.”
Should Rouhani come to New York for the UN?
“I would let them come.”
“I’ve always felt the United Nations is very important… I don’t think it’s ever lived up to the potential it has.”
Response to Sen. Graham’s comments about needing to do more?
“No I actually think it’s a sign of strength. We have the strongest military in the world now. And I think it’s a great sign of strength.
“Ask Lindsey how did going into the Middle East, how did that work out? And how did going into Iraq work out? So, we have a disagreement on that. And we have plenty of time to do some dastardly things.”
“It’s very easy to start. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens. But we have a lot of capital. If we have to do something we’ll do it, without hesitation.”
Do you agree with Pompeo that attacks in Saudi Arabia were act of war?
“He spoke to me a little while ago and we’ll have an announcement.”
What does O’Brien bring to the table?
“It’s very interesting. He was highly respected by so many people I didn’t even know really knew him. He did a tremendous job on hostage negotiations. Really tremendous. Unparalleled. We had tremendous success in that regard… and through hostage negotiation I got to know him very well myself. But also a lot of people that I respect rated him as the absolute number one choice.”
“I think we’re going to have a great relationship. He’s a very talented man.”
What will sanctions include?
“We’ll be adding some very significant sanctions onto Iran.”
What will they include?
“We’ll be announcing it over the next 48 hours.”
You said you’d have a further announcement on Iran, are you looking at a military strike?
“We’ll see what happens. We have many options that we’re considering. There many options.”
“There’s the ultimate options and there are options that are a lot less than that.”
Are you considering nuclear?
“No I’m not talking about that ultimate option, no.”
He clarified that when he said the ultimate options he meant “go in, war.”
Asked about importance of national security adviser:
“I think it’s a very important role. It’s really a role that if the president respects the person that’s the adviser I think it really plays an important role.”
“We’re going to the border later. Are you all with me? We’ll show you a lot of wall.
Have you spoken to Netanyahu?
“I have not.” Noted the election has been very close and emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship.
White House reporter | The Hill
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