From: Tierney Sneed
Date: May 22, 2019 at 12:34:29 PM EDT
Subject: WH print pool report 7: full rundown on POTUS impromptu remarks
Just to give a full rundown of what happened with the impromptu Rose Garden remarks.
At around 11:15 — when infrastructure meeting was scheduled to start — there was a call for all press to gather at the Palm Room doors. We were left mostly in the dark about what was going on, beyond wranglers asking us to organize for the walk over.
At about 11:30, pool was brought out to Rose Garden.
POTUS stepped out to speak about few minutes after that. Here is some more from his remarks:
After initial comments calling the investigation into him a "hoax" and a "total, horrible thing that happened to our country," POTUS said that we're "setting record with the economy, with jobs"... "we have the best unemployment number that we've had in the history of our country."
"Things are going well, and I said, 'let's have he meeting on infrastructure. We'll get that done easily."
POTUS said that "instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk into to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover up. I don't do cover-ups"
POTUS pivoted back to Mueller probe, and said he let "everybody talk," including White House counsel.
He said that "most" of 19 people heading Mueller probe were contributors to "Democrat" party. "They hated President Trump — they hated him — with a passion."
"They would have loved to have said that we colluded...these people were out to get us."
He discussed the phone calls from Donald Trump Jr. — who is "a good young man who has gone through hell" — that were investigated. Then he brought up the election of Fred Keller and the rally POTUS did for him.
"Here is the bottom line. there was no collusion, no obstruction, we have been doing this since I was president."
POTUS stressed that the "crime" was committed on the "other side."
"I've said from the beginning...you probably can't go down two tracks. You can go down the investigation track, and you can go down the investment track or the track of 'let's get things done for the American people.'" POTUS brought up drug prices, the "problem of the border"... "I just wanted to let you know that I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, I want to do infrastructure....and you know what, you cant do it under these circumstance."
"So get these phony investigations over with." POTUS said, and he then brought up a WSJ editorial on Mueller.
POTUS mentioned House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, "an enemy of mine for many years."
"They want to make this a big deal. Whether or not they carry the big i-word out, I can't imagine that, but that they probably would because they do whatever they have to do."
POTUS that his lawyers told him he would have used "presidential privilege" to block his staff from testifying. "I said, I did nothing wrong. Let's be transparent."
After speaking for about 10 minutes, ended back on a note on the "tremendous work" he is doing for the country, before taking a few questions.
He took two questions
He recalled finding out that Speaker Pelosi was having a meeting before the infrastructure meeting to "talk about the i-word."
Asked about whether he viewed Congress as co-equal branch, he said, "I respect the courts, I respect Congress, i respect right here where we're standing, but what they've done is abuse."
Talking Points Memo