President Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, made a statement and took questions from reporters before departing the South Lawn for Hawaii, and then on to Asia.
The guy gives a press conference just about every day. Not seeing much credit given for it. In the openness administration, which preceded this one, the president almost never took questions.
Melania’s wearing heels. Is that okay? Cool purple ones to match her purple coat.
From the White House pool report. Video is below.
Before boarding Marine One, the president answered two minutes of questions, voicing disappointment with the Justice Department, denying knowledge of a March 2016 meeting at which advisor George Papadopoulos allegedly offered to set up a meeting for the candidate with Vladimir Putin.
Here is an unofficial transcript of the exchange:
“We are about to begin a long trip. I know some of you are coming with us. We look forward to it. We’re actually staying an extra day in the Philippines. We have a big conference, a second conference. And I think we’re going to have great success. We’ll be talking about trade. We’lll be talking about obviously North Korea. We’ll be enlisting the help of a lot of people and countries and we’ll see what happens. But I think we’re going to have a very successful trip. There is a lot of good will.”
The March 2016 meeting with Papadopoulos:
“I don’t remember much about that meeting. It was a very unimportant meeting. It took place a long time ago. Don’t remember much about it.”
Inaudible follow up question:
“All I can tell you is this — there was no collusion. There was no nothing. It’s a disgrace frankly that they continue. You ought to look at Hillary Clinton and you ought to look at the new book that was just put out by Donna Brazile where she basically bought the DNC and she stole the election from Bernie. That’s what you ought to look at.”
Q: What is the military doing that is different with ISIS?
“What we’re doing is every time we are attacked from this point forward and it took place yesterday, we are hitting them ten times harder. So when we have an animal do an attack like he did the other day on the West Side of Manhattan, we are hitting them ten times harder. They claim him as a soldier, good luck. Every time they hit us, we know it is ISIS, we hit them like you folks won’t believe.
“Thank you. I will see you in Pearl Harbor. We are going to Pearl Harbor.”
Question about his tweets on the Justice Department:
“I don’t know. I’m really not involved with the Justice Department. I’d like to let it run itself. But honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats. They should be looking at Podesta and all of that dishonesty. They should be looking at a lot of things. And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”
Before taking questions, he walked the rope line greeting visitors there to see him off. He shook hands, signed an autograph and admired a baby.