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President Trump’s Remarks on Day 1 of the 2019 NATO Summit

London, December 3 2019–

President Trump met with multiple world leaders in London to discuss defense spending, trade, and other topics of the day. Here’s a run-down:

ON MODERNIZING NATO

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The world has changed a lot and I don’t think frankly, before us, that NATO was changing at all with it. And NATO is really changing right now. So, it’s a different NATO, it’s covering a lot more territory, it’s covering hot spots, it’s covering a lot of things that were never even contemplated or thought of even five years ago. If you go back five years, they wouldn’t even be thinking about the things that we’re doing now. So, and I’ve become a bigger fan of NATO because they’ve been so flexible.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “NATO has come a long way in three years and it’s something that we’re very proud of because we’re with them and NATO serves a fantastic function if everybody’s involved.”

ON NATO DEFENSE SPENDING

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I think the Secretary General will tell you that through some work and some negotiation we’ve increased the budget of countries other than the USA because we’re paying far more than anybody else and far more even as a percentage of GDP, but we’ve increased the numbers that other countries are paying by $130 billion. It was going down for close to 20 years if you look at a chart with like a roller coaster down, not up. And it was going on for a long time.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “It’s been unfair. Because the United States is paying 4 percent and some people could say 4.3 percent of the largest GDP there is in the world by far. Because we brought it to a level that nobody thought was even possible. So we’re paying 4 to 4.3 percent when Germany is paying 1 to 1.2 percent – at max 1.2 percent – of a much smaller GDP. That’s not fair.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “So, NATO’s becoming different than it was, much bigger than it was, and much stronger than it was because people are now fulfilling their commitments. There are some countries that aren’t fulfilling their commitment and those countries are going to be dealt with.”

ON BURDEN SHARING AROUND THE WORLD

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Now, in the meantime we are working with South Korea because its burden sharing and we’re spending a tremendous amount of money to protect South Korea and we think that it’s fair that they pay substantially more. Last year, I asked them to pay more and they agreed. Nobody knows this. I’ll say it now, I think for the first time, but they agreed to pay approximately $500 million a year more for protection. It’s $500 million.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I got $500 million more a year. So, it’s 500 million a year, it’s a lot of money, but still substantially less than it costs. So, now we’re in the negotiation for them to pay more and they can do that because they’re a very rich country.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “You know, Saudi Arabia, we moved more troops there, and they’re paying us billions of dollars. Okay? You’ve never heard of that before. You’ve never heard of that in your whole life. We moved troops, so we pay nothing. And people took advantage and the world took advantage of us. But we do, we have a good relationship with Saudi Arabia, but they needed help, they were attacked, and, as you just saw, we just moved a contingent of troops. And they’re paying us billions of dollars. And they’re happy to do so. The problem is nobody ever asked them to do it, until I came along.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Now, in some cases, you have countries that we’ve helped that don’t have money. They’re poor and there’s tremendous trauma — there’s tremendous problems and things going on that shouldn’t be going on, and that’s a different situation. But we have wealthy countries — I’ve asked Japan. I said to Prime Minister Abe, a friend of mine, ‘Shinzo,’ I say, ‘you have to help us out here. We’re paying a lot of money, you’re a wealthy nation, and we’re, you know, paying for your military, essentially. You have to help us out.’ And he’s doing — he’s going to do a lot. They’re all going to do a lot. But, they were never asked.”

ON USMCA

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We’re working on the USMCA. We’re trying to get Nancy Pelosi to put it up for a vote. You know, if it gets put up for a vote, it passes, but so far she hasn’t decided to do that. It’s up to her. It’s actually a single individual has the — the Speaker of the House, it’s that person’s decision and she’s the Speaker of the House. And it’s a great deal for Mexico, and for Canada, and for the United States. And it’s a lot of jobs for everybody and it replaces a deal that’s really a lousy deal, a bad deal for –  I can tell you what I would say for the United States, that the deal that we have right now is terrible, NAFTA, terrible. It’s been a terrible deal for the United States. So, we look forward to being able to vote on, take the vote on USMCA.”

ON TRADE WITH CHINA

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The China trade deal is dependent on one thing: do I want to make it? Because we’re doing very well with China right now, and we could do even better with a flick of a pen, and China is paying for it and China has the worst year by far than they’ve had in 57 years. So we’ll see what happens. But we’re doing very well right now.”

ON FRANCE

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I’ve always had a good relationship with Emanuel. Sometimes he’ll says things that he shouldn’t say. And I disagree with some of his policies with respect to France, but he’s got to do what he’s got to do.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We have a minor dispute. I think we’ll probably be able to work it out, but we have a big trade relationship and I’m sure that within a short period of time things will be looking very rosy, we hope. That’s usually the case with the two of us.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “So, we’re taxing, as you know.  We’re taxing their wines and everything else. We have a very, very big tax to put on them. Plus, we have a tax going on Airbus and that will be a good thing for Boeing. But we’re only going to do that if it’s necessary.”

ON TURKEY AND DEFEATING ISIS

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Three weeks ago when we got al-Baghdadi, Turkey was very helpful. We flew over areas that were totally controlled by Turkey and the Turkish military. We said we’re coming. They absolutely were very supportive, actually. We didn’t tell them what we were doing and where we were going, Turkey could not have been nicer, could not have been more supportive and that’s important.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We have captured 100% of the caliphate but you know that, that means that it’s still going and going. We sent a small contingent in and we wiped out another portion of ISIS. We don’t want to happen to me what happened with President Obama where it reformed and then it became stronger than it was in the first place. So, we don’t want that to happen.”

ON IRAN

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “But you know, I also brought up – and I’ll bring it up right now – the fact that Iran is killing perhaps thousands and thousands of people, right now, as we speak. That’s why they cut off the internet. So, they cut off the internet, so people can’t see what’s going on. But, thousands of people are being killed in Iran right now.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I think it is a terrible thing. And I think the world has to be watching. But, many people are being killed – you’re hearing that, too. Many, many people are being killed in Iran right now for protesting. For the mere fact that they’re protesting.”

ON NORTH KOREA

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “We have peace. And at least speaking for myself, I have a very good personal relationship and he has with me. I’m possibly the only one he has that kind of relationship with in the world.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “My relationship with Kim Jong-un is really good, but that doesn’t mean he won’t abide by the agreement we signed. You have to understand, you have to go look at the first agreement that we signed, it said he will denuclearize, that’s what it said, I hope he lives up to the agreement.”

ON RUSSIA

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Russia wants to make a deal on arms control. And I terminated the deal because they weren’t living up to it. And it was an obsolete deal anyway – they weren’t living up to it. But Russia wants to make a deal. As recently as like, two weeks ago, Russia wants to make a deal very much on arms control, and nuclear, and that’s smart. And so do we. We think it would be a good thing, and we’ll also certainly bring in – as you know – China, and we may bring them in later, or we may bring them in now. But Russia wants to do something, badly, and so do we. It would be a great thing to do.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “It’s very important for Ukraine and I think it’s very important from the standpoint of Russia also, that they work out a treaty, they work out peace because they’ve been fighting a long time, too long, and I think there’s a really good chance that, that will happen.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I think NATO should always be in dialogue with Russia. I think you could have a very good relationship with Russia. I don’t think that there’s any problem at all with the Secretary General speaking with Russia. I think it’s a very important thing to do.”

ON THE IMPEACHMENT SHAM

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “The impeachment witch hunt, it’s really just a continuation of the hoax that’s been taking place for the last three years.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I think it’s very unpatriotic of the Democrats to put on a performance where they do that. I do. I think – I think it’s a bad thing for our country. Impeachment wasn’t supposed to be used that way. All you have to do is read the transcripts. You’ll see there was absolutely nothing done wrong. They had legal scholars looking at the transcripts the other day and they said these are absolutely perfect.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “By the way, yesterday he came out again and reaffirmed again that we had a very, very respectful good conversation that President Trump did nothing wrong.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Now, they want to go to censure because they have no case for impeachment. So, they want to go to censure. I don’t want them to go to censure. I did nothing – I don’t mind being censured if you do something wrong. I did nothing wrong. I had great conversation, very respectful conversation with the president and good person by the way, with the President of Ukraine.”