President Donald Trump said during a wide-ranging impromptu press conference on Monday that he's "bringing our troops back home" and doesn't care if Beltway Republicans or military contractors like Lockheed Martin don't like it.
Here's how the exchange went down:
Reporter: "Mr. President, will the troops from Syria come home, or will you send them to other military bases?"
President Trump: "Well, they're going to be sent initially to different parts, get prepared, and then ultimately we're bringing them home. Yeah. We're bringing our troops back home. I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home. Now, it's not very popular within the Beltway, because, you know, Lockheed doesn't like it, and these great military companies don't like it. It's not very popular."
Trump went on to say that outside the Beltway bringing our troops home is very popular.
Trump said: "Outside the Beltway -- my largest cheer in Dallas -- I had 25,000 people -- close -- in that arena. A record crowd. I had so many people outside of the arena. Thousands. My largest cheer that night was two things: We're building the wall; that's number one. And number two, and probably tied for number one, was we're bringing our soldiers back home. That was our largest cheer in Dallas."
Though Trump said he intends to bring our troops home, at the same time he said he's leaving some in northeast Syria at the request of "Israel and Jordan" to protect some oil fields.
"And the other region where we've been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops is a totally different section of Syria, near Jordan and close to Israel. And that's a totally different section. That's a totally different mindset. So we have a small group there, and we've secured the oil. Other than that, there's no reason for it, in our opinion," Trump said.
Trump dropped another bizarre statement saying he trying to get out of wars but may have to get into more wars as well:
"I'm trying to get out of wars. But we may have to get into wars too. Okay? We may have to get into wars."
Trump also mocked Hillary Clinton for "accusing everybody of being a Russian agent" and accused "Shifty" Rep. Adam Schiff of coordinating with the so-called "whistleblower."
THE PRESIDENT: The economy is doing fantastically well. It’s getting very close to another record. We’ve had many records since we won office. We’re getting very close to another record. I don’t know if anybody saw it: The household median income for eight years of President Bush, it rose $400. For eight years of President Obama, it rose $975. And for two and half years of President Trump — they have it down as two and a half years — it rose $5,000, not including $2,000 for taxes. So it rose, let’s say, $7,000. So in two and a half years, we’re up $7,000, compared to $1,000, compared to $400. And that’s for eight years and eight years.
That’s a number that just came out, but that’s a number that I don’t know how there could be any dispute or any — I’ve never heard a number like that, meaning the economy is doing fantastically well.
We need — for our farmers, our manufacturers, for, frankly, unions and non-unions, we need USMCA to be voted on. If it’s voted on, it’ll pass. It’s up to Nancy Pelosi to put it up. If she puts it up, it’s going to pass. It’s going to be very bipartisan. It’s something that’s very much needed. It’ll be hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Mexico and Canada have approved it; it’s done. They’re waiting for our approval. And we can’t seem to get the votes. I call them the Do-Nothing Democrats; I mean that. They’ve done nothing. But this is something they can do very easily. We’ll give them bipartisan approvals and credits — all the credits they want — but they have to be able to do it.
So the economy is doing fantastically well. We want to vote on USMCA. We have other trade deals that we’ve done. We’ve done South Korea, which is a fantastic deal for us; it turned out even better than we thought. South Korea was a terrible deal. The person in charge of that particular deal, Hillary Clinton — you’ve heard of her; she’s the one that’s accusing everybody of being a Russian agent. Anybody that is opposed to her is a Russian agent. So that’s a scam that was pretty much put down.
Tulsi — I don’t know Tulsi, but she’s not a Russian agent. I don’t know Jill Stein. I know she likes environment. I don’t think she likes Russians. If she does like them, I know she’s not a asset. She called her an “asset” of Russia. These people are sick. There’s something wrong with them.
But I think that Tulsi Gabbard probably got helped quite a bit by this stir. I think we were helped because it shows, for two and half years, we end up winning. I had to go through two and a half years. If she would have done this earlier, people would have realized what a scam it is. Everybody is a Russian or a Russian agent or a Russian asset.
The economy, again, is at a level that it’s never been. We are doing — whether it’s household income, whether it’s almost any chart — and I think maybe the best of all is unemployment. Unemployment has reached historic lows. African American, Asian American, Hispanic American reached numbers that nobody ever thought would be possible. Had the lowest ever in history.
So, if you’re black, if you’re Hispanic, if you’re Asian — anybody — African American, Hispanic American, Asian: the lowest in history. For women, the lowest in 71 years. The best. When I say “lowest,” I’m talking about the best. Both the best unemployment numbers and the best employment numbers — either way you want to cut it. You can say them both because it’s best in both.
As far as employment is concerned, we have the most people working today than ever before in the history of our country. We’ve never had — there’s close to 160 million people. So it’s — some incredible things are happening.
Syria: We will be giving a much fuller report. Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Esper, and the different people that are very much involved. Mike Pence, Vice President.
We are having very good news coming out. The ceasefire is holding. The Kurds are moving out to safer areas beyond the “safe zone,” as we call it. Having the safe zone is not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. And plenty of Turks have been killed because of conflict on their border. So, you know, you have to look at it both ways. But the ceasefire is absolutely holding. There’s been skirmishes, but very little, relatively speaking. Of course, if you watch the fake news, it’s like pretty — pretty wild. It’s really holding.
I’ve watched these pundits that have been working on this thing for 20 years. They’ve been working on the Middle East for 20 years; they don’t know what they’re doing and they’re telling me what to do. They’re saying, “What did Trump get out of it? What did he get out of it?” I’ll tell you what I get out of it: We won’t be fighting, and we’ll bring our soldiers back home. They were supposed to be there for 30 days, and they’ve been there now for 10 years, in Syria. Ten years. They were supposed to go in, do a quick hit on ISIS, and come out.
Now, as far as ISIS is concerned, when I took over — November, 2016 — ISIS was all over the place. I’m the one — meaning it was me and this administration, working with others, including the Kurds — that captured all of these people that we’re talking about right now.
Because President Obama — it was a mess. And I was told and you were told, and everybody told it would be years before you ever did what I did in about a month and a half after I started. I went over to Iraq, I met with our generals, and we figured out a plan, and it was done within a month and a half. I’m the one that did the capturing. I’m the one that knows more about it than you people or the — or the fake pundits.
But I sort of have to smile to myself. I was telling a couple of people — I’m watching these people that I’ve been watching for 20 years. I’ve been watching the same faces; they’re just a little bit older and a little bit grayer. I’ve been watching them for 20 years, saying about the Middle East. And they’ve been wrong on everything they’ve ever said.
And now, all of a sudden, people are starting to say, “You know, what Trump is doing is great.” And we have tremendous — a tremendous power. Because since the election of 2016, November — since that beautiful day, our country has picked up in value trillions and trillions of dollars of worth. Trillions and trillions of dollars. Numbers that nobody would believe. Numbers, if I would have said it on the campaign trail, I would’ve been — I would’ve been excoriated by the fake media. Excoriated.
The numbers are far greater than anything that even I predicted. You hear that with the household median income. Four hundred dollars for eight years. Nine hundred and seventy-five dollars for eight years. Seven thousand dollars for two and half years — up. Nobody has ever seen numbers.
Larry Kudlow is going to speak in a minute, and he’s going to tell you that’s one of the greatest strengths of our country.
And, by the way, other areas and countries are doing poorly. Europe is doing very poorly. Asia is doing very poorly. China is doing very poorly — worst year they’ve had in 57 years. I wonder why. I wonder why. I’m sure you can’t figure it out.
And we’re doing great. We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs from China, and they’re eating the tariffs because they devalued their currency. And they’re pouring money into their economy because they don’t want to lose the jobs, but they are losing the jobs. They’ve having a terrible year. Worst in 57 years, they say.
And if they say that, it means it’s worse. And they announced that they have the worst numbers they’ve had in 20 years. They announced six. I don’t think it’s six; I think it’s probably minus-something. It could very well be minus. It could very well be in negative territory.
But we’re doing great. And, by the way, the deal with China is coming along very well. They want to make a deal because they sort of have to make a deal, I think. They have to make a deal because their supply chain is going down the tubes. Their supply chain is broken like you’ve never seen anything broken before. It’s broken.
So, our soldiers — on Syria, they’re moving out, very nicely. ISIS is being held by the Kurds. And I have an absolute commitment from Turkey that they’re watching them, just in case. So we have a double: We have the Kurds are watching them.
As you know, most of the ISIS fighters that we captured — “we.” We. Not Obama. We. We captured them. Me. Our country captured them, working with others, including the Kurds. And we helped them, don’t forget. We helped the Kurds. Everyone said the Kurds helped us; that’s true. But we helped the Kurds. They’re no angels, but we helped the Kurds.
And we never gave the Kurds a commitment that we’d stay for the next 400 years and protect them. They’ve been fighting with the Turks for 300 years, that people know of. And nobody ever committed, “Gee, if you do this, we’re going to do that, and we’re going to stay with you forever.” Nobody ever said that.
But when I watch these pundits that always are trying to take a shot, I say — they say, “What are we getting out of it?” You know what we’re getting out of it? We’re bringing our soldiers back home. That’s a big thing. And it’s going to probably work. But if it doesn’t work, you’re going to have people fighting like they’ve been fighting for 300 years. It’s very simple. It’s really very, very simple.
But we’re going to bring our soldiers back home. So far, there hasn’t been one drop of blood shed during this whole period by an American soldier. Nobody was killed. Nobody cut their finger. There’s been nothing. And they’re leaving rather, I think, not expeditiously — rather intelligently. Just leaving. Leaving certain areas. Leaving.
We’ve secured the oil. If you remember, I didn’t want to go into Iraq. I was a civilian, so I had no power over it. But I always was speaking against going into Iraq. It was not a great decision. But I always said, “If you’re going in, keep the oil.” Same thing here: Keep the oil. We want to keep the oil.
And we’ll work something out with the Kurds so that they have some money, they have some cash flow. Maybe we’ll get one of our big oil companies to go in and do it properly. But they’ll have some cash flow, which they basically don’t have right now. Everybody is fighting. It’s not a big oil area, but everybody is fighting for whatever there is. So we have a lot of good things going over there, and they’re going very well.
As far as the continuation of the witch hunt, we beat the Russian deal. We beat the Mueller deal. Now I find out, as I said before, that they’re trying to make other people into Russian agents, Russian assets. It has no credibility.
Now they have what should be extremely easy to beat, because I have a perfect phone call. I made a perfect call — not a good call; a perfect call. In fact, a friend of mine, who’s a great lawyer, said, “Did you know this would be the subject of all of this scrutiny? Because the way you expressed yourself, this is like a perfect call. You must’ve known this was going to happen.” No, I didn’t. That’s just the way I talk to the President of Ukraine — who, by the way, said there was no pressure, there was no blackmail, there was no anything.
And Congressman Hurd — I have to tell you, yesterday, he was great. He was great, what he said. I gained a lot of respect for him very quickly, because he said, “You know, with all of this going on, I haven’t heard one Ukrainian saying there was pressure. I haven’t heard one Ukrainian — not one — say that there was pressure of any kind.” There haven’t even been reports of it to our people. Nobody has even said it. And the reason you haven’t heard it — because there is no pressure.
The conversation I had was perfect. And what happened is I released the conversation, and that threw Shifty Schiff off. Crooked — he was a corrupt politician. Schiff is a corrupt politician. That threw him off because he made up a lie. He made up what I said in my conversation. And he went before the United States Congress, and he said a made-up story; it was fabricated. He totally fabricated it. They said he’s — he’s a screenwriter. Well, this was screenwritten. It was a fabricated story.
So he made up a lie, and I released — they never thought that I’d do this — I released a transcription, done by stenographers, of the exact conversation I had. And now, the game was up.
And the other thing is, the whistleblower and the other whistleblower and the informer — all these people — they’d seemed to have disappeared. You know why they disappeared? Because they talked about another conversation — a conversation that I never had. They made up a conversation.
Now, if you look at the whistleblower report and you look at the actual transcribed conversation — the actual conversation that I had — and you couple that with the President saying that that was a perfectly fine conversation — I don’t even know — he didn’t even know what they’re doing. He didn’t even know about the money not being paid. Okay? I think that came out somewhere, that the money — he didn’t know that. Then you also have his foreign minister saying, “No, it was a very good conversation.” There was no anything asked for. There was no pressure whatsoever.
So this is a phony investigation. I watched a couple of people on television today talking about it. They were talking about what a phony deal it is, what a phony investigation it is. And Republicans have to get tougher and fight. We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up, where we’re doing very well. We had a record crowd — the history of the arena — it’s the biggest crowd they’ve ever had. And we had 20,000 people outside, at least. We’re doing great on the election.
You saw what happened in North Carolina. We picked up two seats that people didn’t think we were going to pick up. That was two weeks ago. Last week, a Governor that people thought was okay went down, and now he’s got a big election. He was under 50 percent; nobody thought that was going to happen. We’re doing very well.
But a lot of these stories that are made up, between a guy like Shifty Schiff — who’s a phony guy, a corrupt politician — the media buys it. Because, unfortunately, the media is corrupt also. Much of the media — so much of it, such a big percentage of it. It’s such a shame. Some great reporters and great journalists, but some really bad people. So, that’s the story.
The economy is good. We’re doing well with getting out, finally, after 10 years. Again, 30 days to 10 years. And we’re getting out. Nobody — none of our people are injured. It’s very smooth thus far. And I think that you’re going to see something that’s going to be good.
Remember this: If Turkey misbehaves — I don’t think they will — but we have a power that nobody thought we had, to the extent. It’s called sanctions. It’s called tariffs. We’ll tariff the hell out of their product coming here. They send tremendous amounts of steel to the United States and other things. We will tariff them and we will sanction them. But I don’t want to use that as a threat because Mike Pence and our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, they went out and they negotiated a very good five-day ceasefire. I’m sure if we needed a little extension, that would be happening. But our power is — our power of economics, it’s very powerful.
We’ve rebuilt the military since November of 2016. Our military was totally depleted from being in stupid situations like this for so many years. Our military was depleted to a level that we had very little ammunition. I was actually told we had no ammunition. Now we have more ammunition than we’ve ever had. Our military is stronger — stronger than it’s ever been. Probably stronger than ever. And in a few short months, as the equipment pours in from the money we spent — two and a half trillion dollars — it will be at a level that it’s never even come close to. It’s a big difference. All made in the USA. All made in the USA.
So, we’re doing very well. And if anybody has any questions? Please.
Q Mr. President, will you maintain a limited number of troops in Syria?
THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me?
Q Will you maintain a limited number of troops in Syria?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we don’t think it’s going to be necessary. I don’t want to leave troops there. It’s very dangerous there. You know, we had 28 troops, as it turned out. People said 50; it was 28. And you had an army on both sides of those troops. Those troops would’ve been wiped out. I don’t think it’s necessary other than that we secured the oil in a little different section, but we did secure the oil.
And the other reason — region where we’ve been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops is a totally different section of Syria, near Jordan and close to Israel. And that’s a totally different section. That’s a totally different mindset. So we have a small group there, and we’ve secured the oil. Other than that, there’s no reason for it, in our opinion.
And, again, the Kurds are going to be watching. We’re working with the Kurds. We have a good relationship with the Kurds. But we never agreed to, you know, protect the Kurds. We fought with them for three and a half to four years. We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives.
Remember this: When Iraq was fighting the Kurds, everybody thought we were going to fight with the Kurds. I said, “Well, it’s a little strange that we’re fighting with the Kurds when we just spent $4 trillion on Iraq and now we’re going to be fighting Iraq.” So what I did is I said, “We’re not going to take a position. Let them fight themselves.” I thought the Kurds would do very well. Everyone said, “Oh, the Kurds will do very well.” Well, Iraq moved in and the Kurds left. They didn’t fight because they didn’t have us to fight with.
A lot of people are good when they fight with us. You know, when you have $10 billion worth of airplanes shooting 10 miles in front of your line, it’s much easier to fight. But with that, they were a good help. But we were a great help to them too. They were fighting ISIS. You know, they hated ISIS, so they were fighting ISIS. But we never agreed. Where’s an agreement that said we have to stay in the Middle East for the rest of humanity, for the rest of civilization, to protect the Kurds? They never said that.
And we have protected them. We’ve taken very good care of them. And I hope they’re going to watch over ISIS, because that’s — again, most of it is not in the safe zone, as we call it. Some places are called “demilitarized zone.” In the old days, we’d call areas like this a “demilitarized zone.”
And our relationship with the Kurds is good, and they’re going to be safe. And I will say this: If shooting didn’t start for a couple of days, I don’t think the Kurds would have moved. I don’t think, frankly, you would’ve been able to make a very easy deal with Turkey.
I think when it started for a few days, it was so nasty that when we went to Turkey and when we went to the Kurds, they agreed to do things that they never would have done before the shooting started.
If they didn’t go through two and a half days of hell, I don’t think they would’ve done it. I think you couldn’t have made a deal. And people have been trying to make this deal for years. But we’re close to making it. We’ll see what happens. Again, they’ve been fighting for 300 years, that we know of. Three hundred years. So why should we put our soldiers in the midst of two large groups, hundreds of thousands, potentially, of people that are fighting? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.
Q You said that Republicans need to get tougher and fight. What are you talking about, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the Democrats fight dirty. I think the Democrats are lousy politicians with lousy policy. They want open borders. They don’t care about crime. They want sanctuary cities. They don’t care about drugs. They don’t care about almost anything. They don’t care about USMCA. How about that?
I think they’re lousy politicians. But two things they have: They’re vicious and they stick together. They don’t have Mitt Romney in their midst. They don’t have people like that. They stick together. You never see them break off. You never see somebody go out and — that’s why I respected so much what I watched with Will Hurd today, because he was one of the few that didn’t seem to be there and yet he made a statement, and he said, “Well, I haven’t seen any complaints whatsoever from the Ukrainians.” I mean, the Ukrainians didn’t complain, and they didn’t tell any of our ambassadors.
This thing is all about a letter that was perfect. You never hear the letter anymore. It was all about whistleblowers. You never hear — what happened to the whistleblowers? They’re gone, because they’ve been discredited. What happened to the informant? And where’s the IG? Why didn’t the IG read the letter, read the transcript — he could have gotten it, I guess, I assume. I would have declassified it for him, if I had to do that. Why didn’t he read this and then see that the whistleblower’s account was totally different than the letter? Then he would’ve said, “Oh, there’s no problem here.” The whistleblower gave a false account.
Now you have to say, “Well, do we have to protect somebody that gave a false account?” You know, these whistleblowers, they have them like they’re angels. Okay? So do we have to protect somebody that gave a totally false account of my conversation? I don’t know. You tell me. Do we have to protect the informant? Now, I happen to think there probably wasn’t an informant. You know, the informant went to the whistleblower, the whistleblower had second- and third-hand information. You remember that. It was a big problem.
But the information was wrong. So was there actually an informant? Maybe the informant was Schiff. It could be Shifty Schiff. In my opinion, it’s possibly Schiff. Why didn’t Schiff say that he and his staff, or his staff, or a whole group — why didn’t he say that he met with the whistleblower? He knew all about the whistleblower. Why didn’t he say?
He’s a crooked politician. Very bad for our country. This whole thing is very bad for our country. In the midst of that, I’m trying to get out of wars. But we may have to get into wars too. Okay? We may have to get into wars. We’re better prepared than we’ve ever been. If Iran does something, they’ll be hit like they’ve never been hit before. I mean, we have things that we’re looking at.
But can you imagine I have to fight off these — these lowlives at the same time I’m negotiating these very important things that should’ve been done during Obama and Bush and even before that. All right? So that’s where we are right now.
Actually very fair question.
Q Mr. President, will the troops from Syria come home, or will you send them to other military bases?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, they’re going to be sent initially to different parts, get prepared, and then ultimately we’re bringing them home. Yeah. We’re bringing our troops back home. I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home. Now, it’s not very popular within the Beltway, because, you know, Lockheed doesn’t like it, and these great military companies don’t like it. It’s not very popular.
Outside the Beltway — my largest cheer in Dallas — I had 25,000 people — close — in that arena. A record crowd. I had so many people outside of the arena. Thousands. My largest cheer that night was two things: We’re building the wall; that’s number one. And number two, and probably tied for number one, was we’re bringing our soldiers back home. That was our largest cheer in Dallas. Great place. Great state — Texas. Tough state. They’re tough.
When I said, “We’re bringing our soldiers back home,” the place went crazy. But within the Beltway, you know, people don’t like it. It’s much tougher for me. It’d be much easier for me to let our soldiers be there, let them continue to die. I go out to Dover and I have to — I meet parents. It’s not a pleasant thing; it’s the most unpleasant thing I do. Most unpleasant thing I do. When I see that big cargo plane open, and I see those coffins get rolled off, or when I go over to Walter Reed Hospital — where the doctors are incredible, by the way — saving people that could’ve never been saved even five years ago. You know that. But those people are horribly wounded. Horribly, horribly wounded. Wounded warriors. It’s the toughest thing I do.
The toughest thing is sending letters. I send many letters home to parents, and I speak to parents. But I send many letters home to parents; their son or daughter has been killed over in the Middle East. For what? For what? There are times to fight and there are times not to fight. There are times to be smart.
We have tremendous economic power, and we’re using our economic power — much more powerful, in certain ways, than playing with — with guns. And much better for our country, and much better for everybody, and actually much better for humanity. Okay?
Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Q Mr. President, on your decision to not hold the G7 — the G7 not at Doral? Are you planning to do it at Camp David now?
THE PRESIDENT: Doral — Doral was a very simple situation: I own a property in Florida. I was going to do it at no cost, or give it free, if I got a ruling, because there’s a question as to whether or not you’re allowed to give it because it’s like a contribution to a country. I’d have to get a ruling. But I would have given it for nothing. It’s a lot of — a lot of money I would have given away, like I give away my salary. I give away my salary. It’s, I guess, close to $450,000. I give it away. Nobody ever said he gives away his salary. Now it comes up because of this. But I give away my presidential salary.
They say that no other President has done it. I’m surprised, to be honest with you. They actually say that George Washington may have been the only other President that did. But see whether or not Obama gave up his salary. See whether or not all of the other of your favorites give up their salary. The answer is no.
They say it’s the only one. They think George Washington did, but they say no other. So I give up — it’s a lot of money, $450,000, close to. And I give that up.
So I have a place that’s in the best location. I’m very good at real estate. Very, very good. Much better than you even understand. When you see my financials, which I’ll give at the right time, you’ll say, “Man, he was much better than we even thought.” This guy knows, right here — Mnuchin — because he was in the private sector. He knows — he knows very much what I have. He would tell you. Someday, maybe, he’ll tell you.
But I’m very good at real estate. There’s Miami — this facility. Everybody would have had their own building. Everybody in the G7 would have had their own building. It was so good. Florida loved it. They love economic development. It’s — it’s not because — it’s a beautiful place, it’s new, it’s been totally rebuilt. It’s new. Everything is new. It’s got massive meeting rooms. Unlimited for security because it’s on, you know, hundreds of acres. Best location. Right next to the airport, Miami International — one of the biggest airports in the world. Some people say it’s the biggest. But one of the biggest airports in the world. It’s only minutes away. It would’ve been great.
But the Democrats went crazy, even though I would’ve done it free, saved the country a lot of money. Then they say, “Oh, but you’ll get promotion.” Who cares? You don’t think I get enough promotion? I get more promotion than any human being that’s ever lived, I think, I get. I think I would have that — I think I can say that fairly safely. I think I get more promotion than any human being that’s ever lived — some good, some bad. The people that like me give me only good. The people that don’t like me give me only bad. But that’s the way life is. I don’t need promotion. I don’t need promotion. Okay?
But I was willing to do this for free. And they would’ve had — it would’ve been the greatest G7 ever. And I would’ve said to my family — because they run my business now; I don’t run my business. I actually put all the stuff in trusts. They run my — and I didn’t have to do that. I was under no obligation to do it.
You know, I don’t know if you know it: George Washington — he ran his business simultaneously while he was President. Many other Presidents — there weren’t too many really rich Presidents, but there were a few — they ran their business. Hey, Obama made a deal for a book. Is that running a business? I’m sure he didn’t even discuss it while he was President. Oh, yeah. He has a deal with Netflix. When did they start talking about that? That’s only, you know, a couple of examples.
But other Presidents, if you look — other Presidents were wealthy. Not huge wealth. George Washington was actually considered a very, very rich man at the time. But they ran their businesses. George Washington, they say, had two desks: He had a presidential desk and a business desk. I don’t think you people, with this phony emoluments clause —
And, by the way, I would say that it’s cost me anywhere from $2 [billion] to $5 billion to be President — and that’s okay — between what I lose and what I could have made. I would have made a fortune if I just ran my business. I was doing it really well. I have a great business. I have the best properties.
But between what I lose — and, in all fairness, some properties — Doral is an example. Doral was setting records when I bought it, because I owned it for a period of time. Setting records. It was going to — there was nothing like it. It was making a fortune.
And then what happened? I announced I’m going to run for office. Right? And all of a sudden — and I say, “We got to build a wall, we got to have borders, we got to have this, we got to have that.” All of a sudden, people — some people didn’t like it. They thought the rhetoric was too tough. And it went from doing great to doing fine. It does very nicely now. It’s actually back, I understand, very strongly.
But Doral was setting records. And I knew this would happen. Most of the stuff that I have — because now, instead of having 100 percent of the market that loves you and they love your brand and it’s luxury and it’s great, now you have 50 percent of the market. That’s called politics. I fully understood that.
So it’s cost me between $2 billion and $5 billion. And if I had it to do again, I’d do it in an instant. Because who cares? If you can afford it, what difference does it make? If I had this to do again — because I’m making a big difference for the country.
The country is stronger now than it’s been in many years — maybe ever. Out military is rebuilt. Our economy is hitting records. As I said, best unemployment numbers, best employment numbers. We’re strong. We’re bringing our soldiers back home from the endless wars. We’re doing great.
So whether I lost $2 billion, $5 billion, more or less, it doesn’t make any difference to me. I don’t care. If you’re rich, it doesn’t matter. I’m doing this for the country. I’m doing it for the people that show up. I haven’t had an empty seat at a rally. I will say, “Where’s the rally?” “It’s in a certain place.” “Okay. Just get the biggest arena.”
I go to these massive basketball arenas, like in Dallas, where the Mavericks play, and fill it up and set a record. I’ve set a record in almost every place I’ve been because we just need a little small stage. We don’t need basketball courts, ice hockey courts. And I take less than musicians, because they have bands. I don’t have band. I set the world record for somebody without a guitar. Okay? I don’t have bands. All right?
So that’s the story. And, you know, those people are the poll. And I had great polls. I have my best polls now. I think it’s because people think that it’s terrible what they’re doing. Pelosi, Shifty Schiff, Schumer — these people are trying to destroy the country. It’s a very bad thing, what they’re doing.
The President of the United States should be allowed to run the country, not have to focus on this kind of crap, while at the same time doing a great job with Syria and Turkey and all of the other things that we’re doing.
Korea — okay, maybe someday — but I’ll tell you what: If somebody else became President, with that same mindset that they had, you’d, right now, be in a big war with North Korea. You don’t hear too much about it. It could happen. Could happen. I don’t know. I always say, “Who knows?” It’s deals. Who knows?
But, in the meantime, North Korea is — I like Kim; he likes me. We get along. I respect him; he respects him. You could end up in a war. President Obama told me that. He said, “The biggest problem — I don’t know how to solve it.” He told me doesn’t know how to solve it. I said, “Did you ever call him?” “No.” Actually, he tried 11 times. But the man on the other side — the gentleman on the side did not take his call. Okay? Lack of respect. But he takes my call.
Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
Q Sir, the G7 — so what’s the plan for the G7 now, if it’s not at Doral? What’s the plan for the G7 now?
THE PRESIDENT: We’ll look at other locations. I don’t think it’ll be as exciting. I don’t think it’ll be as good. It’ll cost the country a fortune because it’s very expensive.
I know France had a budget of many, many millions of dollars. They just did it. They did a great job, by the way. But France had a budget of many, many millions of dollars. It’s going to cost, you know, a fortune for the country. I was willing to do it for free, but people didn’t like that. They thought I may get some promotional value. I need promotional value so badly, right? I don’t need promotion.
Go ahead. What did you say? What else? Steve? No?
Q Sir, could I ask you about Iran? Sir. Sir, on Iran —
Q Sir, is it a forgone conclusion that the House will impeach you?
THE PRESIDENT: On Iran, what? Say it? What? What do you mention the word “impeach”?
Q Sir, do you believe — do you believe it’s a forgone — do believe that it’s a forgone conclusion that the House will impeach?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think they want to. Any Democrat wants to because they’re not going to beat me in the election. So, of course, they want to impeach me. Why wouldn’t they want to impeach me? It’s so — it’s so illegitimate. It cannot be the way the Founders — our great Founders — meant this to be.
But I see this guy, Congressman Al Green, saying, “We have to impeach him, otherwise he’s going to win the election.” What’s that all about? But that’s exactly what they’re saying. “We have to impeach because otherwise he’s going to win.” I’m going to win the election.
Look, I have the strongest economy ever. “It’s the economy, stupid.” Right? I have the strongest economy in the history of our country. Okay? And we’re setting records. Over 100 times — I think it’s like 118 — but over 100 times, we’ve had the highest stock market in history, since November 8th. Over 100 times.
And, by the way, the day I got elected — the following day — from there until January 20th, the market went through the roof. You know why it went through the roof? Because they got rid of Obama and they got rid of Clinton. And if anybody else — if any of these people that I’ve been watching on this stage got elected, your 401(k)s would be down the tubes. They’d go down not 20 percent or 30 percent; they’d go down 70, 90, 80 [percent], and destroy this country. You’d destroy the country.
So, I think they want to impeach me because it’s the only way they’re going to win. They’ve got nothing. All they have is a phone call that was perfect. All they have is a whistleblower who has disappeared. Where is he? He’s gone. Then they have a second whistleblower. “The second whistleblower has got — oh, it’s going to…” Where is he? He disappeared. Then they have an informant. “Oh, the informant is…” Where is he?
They’re interviewing — they’re interviewing ambassadors who I’d never heard of. I don’t know who these people are. I never heard of them. And I have great respect for some of them. One of them said, just recently — a very, very highly respected man — I’m not going to get into their names, but a highly — said, “No, no. We were very, very bothered by Joe Biden and his son back during the Obama administration.” He said, “We were very…” He’s supposed to be their witness.
Don’t forget, many of these people were put there during Obama, during Clinton, during the Never Trump or Bush era. You know, you had a Never Trump or Bush. You have heard of those? Those people might be worse than the Democrats — the Never Trumpers. The good news is they’re dying off fast. They’re on artificial respiration, I think.
But, no, impeachment — they want to impeach and they want to do it as quick as possible. And that’s pretty much the story. Okay?
Q What about Republican support? Do you — are you working behind the scenes to shore up support in the Senate?
THE PRESIDENT: I think I have great Republican support.
Q Do you run the risk of alienating any of the Republicans in your Party?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t think so at all. No, they — because, you know what?
Q Some of them are very angry about the Syria decision.
THE PRESIDENT: Look — no, you don’t — I have to do what I have to do. I’ll tell you what: I want to bring our soldiers back home. If people want to leave them there, I’ll take that every day. All I know — you were at Dallas — all I know is the place went crazy when I said, “We’re bringing our soldiers back home.” Within this little area — this is a very unique area — they may feel that. But I have to do what I got elected on, and I have to do what I think is right.
Now, if I got elected on something and I think I was wrong, I’d second guess myself. I’d change. But they want our soldiers back home. And I think we can do as well, or better, frankly. Let them — they’ve got to — they’ve got to keep going at each other. It’s artificial to have these soldiers walking up and down between two big countries.