From: Sarah Westwood <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 12:32 PM
Subject: Pool report 1 -- Working lunch w/ Baltic leaders
Pool was brought into the Cabinet Room at 12:11 pm.
POTUS was seated across from President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, President Raimonds Vejonis of Latvia and President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania. Defense Secretary Mattie's and Energy Secretary Rick Perry sat to POTUS left.
H.R. McMaster sat at the table as well.
POTUS made comments about several subjects. Check quotes against the transcript.
On Pruitt: "I hope he's going to be great."
On the border: "We are going to be guarding our border with our military. That's a big step."
"We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court."
"NAFTA had been a terrible deal for the United States." POTUS noted we are in the process of renegotiating, but the deal will still be good for Mexico.
POTUS also brought up the caravan of Central Americans that was recently stopped by Mexico as it traveled to the border.
"If it reaches our border our laws are so weak and so pathetic...it's like we have no border."
"They did it because you really have to do it."
POTUS said of Mexico's decision to break it up.
"The caravan doesn't irritate me, the caravan makes me very sad that this could happen to the United States."
"President Obama made changes that basically created no border."
On the wall:
"We need to have a wall that's about 700-800 miles" of the border.
On Russia: "probably nobody's been tougher to Russia than Donald Trump."
"If we got along with Russia, that would be a good thing not a bad thing."
"And just about everybody agrees with that, except very stupid people."
"We're now exporting oil and gas. This is not
Something that Russia wanted."
"The post office is losing billions of dollars.. because it delivers packages for Amazon" at a lower rate
"You have retailers all over the United States that are going out of business."
"If you look at the cost that we're subsidizing, we're giving a subsidy to Amazon"
"A report just came out, they said $1.47" cost is incurred each package that's delivered
On China: "I have great respect for President Xi."
"We have a problem with China. They've created a trade deficit."
Said the deficit was $500 billion a year.
"It's not something we can live with. We'll be working with China, we'll be negotiating with China."
"We have to do something on trade with certain countries and obviously China is the leader in terms of deficits."
"We've helped rebuild China. So we intend to get along with China, but we have to do something very substantial" on trade.
On the meeting with the Baltic leaders:
"We are inaugurating 100 years of renewed partnerships among our nations."
POTUS said the leaders would discuss "expanding bilateral trade and investment" among other things.
"We make the best military equipment in the world by far."
POTUS claimed credit for pushing more NATO members to meet their defense commitments
"A lot of years they weren't paying, they were delinquent."
POTUS encouraged the leaders to make remarks about how he has increased defense spending by NATO members.
Another quick note: the White House has indicated this afternoon's press conference will feature one question from the media of each country, meaning there will only be one questioner selected from WH press today instead of the usual two.
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