Subject: Travel pool report #12: POTUS says “I’ll cancel the press conference.” @ 2 percenter' working lunch

From: "Rogers, Katie"
Date: December 4, 2019 at 2:31:12 PM GMT
Subject: Travel pool report #12: POTUS says “I’ll cancel the press conference.” @ 2 percenter' working lunch


Hertfordshire


POTUS says he’s canceling afternoon news conference but will be speaking to Denmark and Italy after this. (So far those are marked CLOSED press and we are not sure if they have been opened. WH officials who are with us not sure either but have told us to prepare for both.)

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On the meeting:


POTUS is participating in a working lunch with representatives of nine other countries that are currently meeting or exceeding the pledge to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense spending. Pool was ushered in at 2:20 pm after several large groups of other international photographers


POTUS, seared in the middle of a long table, said that he wanted to take the leaders to lunch — “this is on me.”


He said an unnamed leader praised American involvement and reiterated the US’s own commitment: “We won’t spend under what I’ve done: 2.5 trillion dollars.”

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Of others: “We have unfortunately a large number that haven’t met the goal” of 2 percent GDP spending.


“The Secretary General will tell you ... when I first came it was like a rollercoaster down. Since then we’ve gone up massively.”

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Stoltenberg gave remarks, calling the progress “unprecedented” and thanking the president.


POTUS then began calling on leaders around the table, starting with President Duda of Poland. Pool was ushered out at 2:26 pm.

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According to the White House, the other countries represented are: Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom.


Next up, POTUS will have two pull-aside meetings with leaders from Denmark and Italy, and we have been told to prepare for those to be opened up at a moment's notice.

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As they say, we’ll see what happens.


Katie Rogers
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
(646) -xxx-xxxx

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Katie Rogers
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
(646) -xxx-xxxx


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Public Pool is an automated feed of White House press pool reports. For live updates, follow @WHPublicPool on Twitter.

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