Prior to departing on Marine One yesterday, President Trump made a statement on the economy related to the latest jobs report and his conversation with the King of Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the Pensacola shooting. He then took questions from the press. His comments follow:
2:52 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. That’s a very bright sun. Beautiful day in Washington.
I will say that we’ve had tremendous reports coming out of the economy — it’s been incredible — and numbers like we haven’t seen before. And we have the strongest economy in the world: 266,000 jobs; you can add another 40 [thousand] to that. It’s about 300,000 jobs. Very importantly, it’s 50- or 55,000 manufacturing jobs. We’re the envy of the world. Our economy is the envy of the world, and we’re going to keep it that way. So that’s very important.
I spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia. They are devastated in Saudi Arabia. We’re finding out what took place, whether it’s one person or a number of people. And the King will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones. He feels very strongly. He’s very, very devastated by what happened and what took place. Likewise, the Crown Prince. They are devastated by what took place in Pensacola. And I think they’re going to help out the families very greatly.
But, right now, they send their condolences. And, as you know, I’ve sent my condolences. It’s a very shocking thing. And we’ll find out — we’ll get to the bottom of it very quickly. This has been done for many decades. We’ve been doing this with other countries, foreign countries. I guess we’re going to have to look into the whole procedure. We’ll start that immediately.
And other than that, anybody have any questions?
Q Did Rudy Giuliani tell you why he was going to Europe? And do you approve?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I just know he came back from someplace, and he’s going to make a report, I think to the Attorney General and to Congress. He says he has a lot of good information. I have not spoken to him about that information.
But Rudy, as you know, has been one of the great crime fighters of the last 50 years. And he did get back from Europe just recently, and I know — he has not told me what he found, but I think he wants to go before Congress and say — and also to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. I hear he’s found plenty, yeah.
Q Mr. President, how do you plan on reengaging North Korea in the negotiations?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll see about North Korea. I’d be surprised if North Korea acted hostiley [sic]. I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. I think we both want to keep it that way. He knows I have an election coming up. I don’t think he wants to interfere with that. But we’ll have to see.
He’s somebody that I’ve gotten along with very well for three years, and he’s gotten along with me very well. So we’ll see how it goes. But I really don’t think he wants to interfere with the election. I think he’d like to see something happen. The relationship is very good, but, you know, there is certain hostility, there’s no question about it. I don’t know that his relationship with South Korea is very good, but we’re going to find out.
Q Mr. President, did the U.S. negotiate at all the other Americans held in Iran in this round of negotiations?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we’re very happy to have our hostage back. The whole Princeton University community is very thrilled. And there was a one-on-one hostage swap. And we are very — actually, I think it was a great thing for Iran. I think it was great to show that we can do something. It might have been a precursor as to what can be done.
But we have our hostage back. We’ve been trying to get him back. He was taken during the Obama administration. We got him back during the Trump administration, so we’re very happy about that.
Q Mr. President, will you testify in the Senate impeachment trial? Will you testify?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it? What?
Q Will you testify in the Senate —
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know. I know this: That the impeachment thing is a total hoax. The numbers have totally swung our way. They don’t want to see impeachment, especially in the swing states; they’ve swung our way. I’ve never seen a swing like this. Because people realize it’s a total hoax. We had a perfect conversation. It was only a conversation. Nothing came out of the conversation except a good relationship with Ukraine. And the people see that it’s just a continuation of this three-year witch hunt.
And I’m looking forward to seeing the IG report. I hear they’re announcing it on Monday. And I look forward very much to seeing what happens with the Durham report, maybe even more importantly — because it’s a horrible thing that took place and it should never happen to another President.
So I’ll be going to Florida right now. We have a very, very big and successful meeting with Republicans, and we’re also meeting with Jewish committees — and separately; we’re doing two. And I believe you’re going to be covering at least one of them. So I’ll see you in a little while. Thank you.
2:57 P.M. EST