January 27, 2017

"Actually, I'm not as brash as you might think."

I'm reading the transcript from today's press conference with President Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. I'll put the full transcript below the fold and just highlight one thing:
QUESTION: People are fascinated to know how you're going to get along with each other, you're so different; the hard-working daughter (inaudible), the brash TV extrovert. Have you found anything in common personally yet?

TRUMP: Actually, I'm not as brash as you might think. (LAUGHTER) And I can tell you that I think we're going to get along very well. You know, it's interesting because I am a people person. I think you are also, Theresa. And I can often tell how I get along with somebody very early, and I believe we're going to have a fantastic relationship....

MAY: ... I think we have already struck up a good -- good relationship. But you asked what we had in common. I think if you look at the approach that we're both taking, I mean, one of the things that we have in common is that we want to put the interests of ordinary working people right up there, center stage....
That's not what most of us mean by personal. It may be that the personal is political, but it would be a logical fallacy to think you can just flip that and say the political is personal. But I'm glad they put on a nice show of hitting it off. 


---------------------FULL TRANSCRIPT----------------------

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HOLDS JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH U.K. PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY- JANUARY 27, 2017

SPEAKERS: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

U.K. PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY


TRUMP: Thank you very much. I am honored to have Prime Minister Theresa May here for our first official visit from a foreign leader. This is our first visit, so great honor. The special relationship between our two countries has been one of the great forces in history for justice and for peace, and by the way, my mother was born in Scotland, Stornoway, which is serious Scotland.

Today, the United States renews our deep bond with Britain, military, financial, cultural and political. We have one of the great bonds. We pledge our lasting support to this most special relationship. Together, America and the United Kingdom are a beacon for prosperity and the rule of law. That is why the United States respects the sovereignty of the British people and their right of self-determination.

A free and independent Britain is a blessing to the world and our relationship has never been stronger. Both America and Britain understand that governments must be responsive to everyday working people, that governments must represent their own citizens.

Madam Prime Minister, we look forward to working closely with you as we strengthen our mutual ties in commerce, business and foreign affairs. Great days lie ahead for our two peoples and our two countries. On behalf of our nation, I thank you for joining us here today. It's a really great honor. Thank you very much.

MAY: Thank you very much, Mr. President. And can I start by saying that I'm so pleased that I've been able to be here today, and thank you for inviting me so soon after your inauguration. And I'm delighted to be able to congratulate you on what was a stunning election victory.

And as you say, the invitation is an indication of the strength and importance of the special relationship that exists between our two countries, a relationship based on the bonds of history, of family, kinship and common interests. And in a further sign of the importance of that relationship, I have today been able to convey her majesty, the queen's hope that Trump President and the first lady would pay a state visit to the United Kingdom later this year, and I am delighted that the president has accepted that invitation.

Now today, we're discussing a number of topics and there's much on which we agree. The president has mentioned foreign policy. We are discussing how we can work even more closely together in order to take on and defeat Daesh and the ideology of Islamist extremism wherever it's found. Our two nations are already leading efforts to face up to this challenge, and we're making progress with Daesh losing territory and fighters, but we need to redouble our efforts.

And today, we're discussing how we can do this by deepening intelligence and security cooperation and critically by stepping up our efforts to counter Daesh in cyberspace because we know we will not eradicate this threat until we defeat the ideology that lies behind it.

MAY: Our talks will be continuing later. I'm sure we'll discuss other topics, Syria and Russia. On defense and security cooperation, we are united in our recognition of NATO as the bulwark of our collective defense, and today we've reaffirmed our unshakable commitment to this alliance.

Mr. President, I think you said, you confirmed that you're 100 percent behind NATO. But we're also discussing the importance of NATO continuing to ensure it is as equipped to fight terrorism and cyber warfare as it is to fight more conventional forms of war.

And I've agreed to continue my efforts to encourage my fellow European leaders to deliver on their commitments to spend two percent of their GDP on defense so that the burden is more fairly shared. It's only by investing properly in our defense that we can ensure we're properly equipped to face our shared challenges together.

And finally, the president and I have mentioned future economic cooperation and trade. Trade between our two countries is already worth over 150 billion pounds a year. The U.S. is the single biggest source of inward investment to the U.K., and together, we have around one trillion dollars invested in each other's economies.

And the U.K.-U.S. defense relationship is the broadest, deepest and most advanced of any two countries, sharing military hardware and expertise. And I think the president and I are ambitious to build on this relationship in order to grow our respective economies, provide the high skilled, high paid jobs of the future for working people across America and across the U.K.

And so, we are discussing how we can establish a trade negotiation agreement, take forward immediate high-level talks, lay the groundwork for U.K.-U.S. trade agreement and identify the practical steps we can take now in order to enable companies in both countries to trade and do business with one another more easily.

And I'm convinced that a trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K. is in the national interest of both countries and will cement the crucial relationship that exists between us, particularly as the U.K. leaves the European Union and reaches out to the world.

Today's talks I think are a significant moment for President Trump and I to build our relationship and I look forward to continuing to work with you as we delivery on the promises of freedom and prosperity for all the people of our respective countries.

Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you very much. That's very nicely stated.

Steve Holland (ph). Where's Steve? Steve -- yes.

QUESTION: Thank you. You're going to be speaking tomorrow with the Russian president. What message would you like to convey to him? How close are you to lifting some of the sanctions imposed on Russia over its Ukraine incursion? What would you expect in return?

And Prime Minister May, do you foresee any changes in British attitudes towards sanctions on Russia?

TRUMP: Well, I hear a call was set up, Steve, and we'll see what happens. As far as the sanctions, very early to be talking about that. But we look to have a great relationship with all countries, ideally. That won't necessarily happen, unfortunately probably won't happen with many countries.

But if we can have, as we do with Prime Minister May and the relationship that we've all developed and even in the short relationship that we just developed just by being with each other and have lunch and -- we've really had some very interesting talks and very productive talks. But if we can have a great relationship with Russia and with China and with all countries, I'm all for that. That would be a tremendous asset.

No guarantees, but if we can, that would be a positive, not a negative. OK?

MAY: We have, as far as the U.K. is concerned on sanctions for Russia in relation to their activities in the Ukraine, we have been very clear that we want to see the Minsk Agreement fully implemented. We believe the sanctions should continue until we see that Minsk Agreement fully implemented and we've been continuing to argue that inside the European Union.

Laura?

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Prime Minister. Laura Kuenssberg BBC News.

Prime Minister, you've talked about where you agree, but you have also said you would be frank where you disagreed with the president. Can you tell us where in our talks you did disagree? And do you think that the president listened to what you had to say?

And Mr. President, you...

TRUMP: (OFF-MIKE)

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: We'll see what she says.

(LAUGHTER) Mr. President, you've said before that torture works. You've praised Russia. You've said you want to ban some Muslims for -- from coming to America. You've suggested there should be punishment for abortion. For many people in Britain, those sound like alarming beliefs. What do you say to our viewers at home who are worried about some of your views and worried about you becoming the leader of the free world?

TRUMP: This was your choice of a question?

(LAUGHTER)

There goes that relationship.

MAY: On the issue that you raised with me, Laura, can I confirm that the president -- I've been listening to the president and the president has been listening to me. That's the point of having a conversation and a dialogue. And we have been discussing a number of topics. We'll carry on after this press conference meeting and discussing a number of other topics.

And there will be times when we disagree and issues on which we disagree. The point of the special relationship is that we are able to have that open and frank discussion, so that we are able to -- to make that clear when it happens.

But I'm clear also that there are many issues on which the United Kingdom and the United States stand alongside one another, many issues on which we agree.

And I think, as I said yesterday in my speech, that we are at a moment now when we can build an even stronger special relationship, which will be in the interest not just of the U.K. and the United States, but actually in the interest of the wider world as well.

TRUMP: We have a great general who has just been appointed secretary of defense, General James Mattis. And he has stated publicly that he does not necessarily believe in torture or waterboarding or however you want to define it -- enhanced interrogation I guess would be a word that a lot of -- words that a lot of people would like to use. I don't necessarily agree, but I would tell you that he will override because I'm giving him that power.

He's an expert. He's highly respected. He's the general's general. Got through the Senate very, very quickly, which in this country is not easy, I will tell you. And so I'm going to rely on him.

I happen to feel that it does work. I've been open about that for a long period of time. But I am going with our leaders. And we're going to -- we're going to win with or without, but I do disagree.

As far as, again, Putin and Russia, I don't say good, bad or indifferent. I don't know the gentleman. I hope we have a fantastic relationship. That's possible and it's also possible that we won't. We will see what happens.

I will be representing the American people very, very strongly, very forcefully. And if we have a great relationship with Russia and other countries, and if we go after ISIS together, which has to be stopped -- that's an evil that has to be stopped -- I will consider that a good thing, not a bad thing.

How the relationship works out, I won't be able to tell you that later (sic). I've had many times where I thought I'd get along with people and I don't like them at all.

(LAUGHTER)

And I've had some where I didn't think I was going to have much of a relationship and it turned out to be a great relationship.

So, Theresa, we never know about those things, do we? But I will tell you one thing: I'll be representing the American people very strongly. Thank you.

How about John Roberts, Fox?

QUESTION: Mr. President, thank you so much.

Madam Prime Minister.

It's my understanding, Mr. President, that you had an hour-long phone call this morning with President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico. Could we get an update on where the relationship is? Further to that, what do you say to your critics who claim that you have already soured a relationship with a very important U.S. ally?

And, Madam Prime Minister, if I may ask you as well, are you concerned about the state of relations between the United States and Mexico?

TRUMP: Well, I think the prime minister, first of all, has other things that she's much more worried about than Mexico and the United States relationship.

But I will say that we had a very good call. I have been very strong on Mexico. I have great respect for Mexico. I love the Mexican people. I work with the Mexican people all the time. Great relationships.

But, as you know, Mexico with the United States has outnegotiated us and beat us to a pulp through our past leaders. They've made us look foolish. We have a trade deficit of $60 billion with Mexico. On top of that, the border is soft and weak, drugs are pouring in, and I'm not going to let that happen.

And General Kelly is going to do a fantastic job at Homeland Security. As you know, we swore him in yesterday.

We have a really -- I think a very good relationship, the president and I. And we had a talk that lasted for about an hour this morning. And we are going to be working on a fair relationship and a new relationship. But the United States cannot continue to lose vast amounts of business, vast amounts of companies, and millions and millions of people losing their jobs.

That won't happen with me. We're no longer going to be the country that doesn't know what it's doing.

TRUMP: And so, we are going to renegotiate our trade deals and we are going to renegotiate other aspects of our relationship with Mexico, and in the end, I think it'll be good for both countries.

But it was a very, very friendly call. I think you'll hear that from the president and I think you'll hear that from the people of Mexico that really represent him and represent him very well. And I look forward to -- over the coming months, we'll be negotiating and we'll see what happens.

But I'm representing the people of the United States and I'm going to represent them as somebody should represent them, not how they've been represented in the past where we lose to every single country.

MAY: As the President himself has said, the relationship of the United States with Mexico is a matter for the United States and Mexico.

Tom (ph)?

QUESTION: Mr. President, you said you'd help us with a Brexit trade deal. You've said -- you said you'd help us with Brexit trade deal, you said you'd stand by us with NATO, but how can the British prime minister believe you? Because you have been known in the past to change your position on things.

And also (inaudible) it's a question to both of you. People are fascinated to know how you're going to get along with each other, you're so different; the hard-working daughter (inaudible), the brash TV extrovert. Have you found anything in common personally yet?

TRUMP: Actually I'm not as brash as you might think.

(LAUGHTER)

And I can tell you that I think we're going to get along very well. You know, it's interesting because I am a people person. I think you are also, Theresa. And I can often tell how I get along with somebody very early, and I believe we're going to have a fantastic relationship.

Brexit -- and I really don't change my position very much. If you go back and you look, my position on trade has been solid for many, many years, since I was a very young person talking about how we were getting ripped off by the rest of the world. Now I never knew I'd be in the position where we can actually do something about it.

But we will be talking to your folks about Brexit. Brexit was an example of what was to come. And I happened to be in Scotland at Turnberry cutting a ribbon when Brexit happened and we had a vast amount of press there. And I said Brexit -- this was the day before, you probably remember, I said Brexit is going to happen and I was scorned in the press for making that prediction. I was scorned.

And I said I believe it's going to happen because people want to know who is coming into their country and they want to control their own trade and various other things, and low and behold, the following day it happened and the odds weren't looking good for me when I made that statement because, as you know, everybody thought it was not going to happen.

I think Brexit's going to be a wonderful thing for your country. I think when it irons out, you're gonna have your own identity and you're going to have the people that you want in your country and you're going to be able to make free trade deals without having somebody watching you and what you're doing.

And I had a very bad experience, I have -- I had something when I was in my other world, I have something in another country and getting the approvals from Europe was very, very tough. Getting the approvals from the country was fast, easy and efficient. Getting the approvals from the group -- I call them the consortium -- was very, very tough.

But I thought Brexit -- I think -- and I think it will go down that it will end up being a fantastic thing for the United Kingdom. I think in the end, it will be a tremendous asset, not a tremendous liability. OK?

MAY: And just on the question you asked me here, Tom (ph). I mean, I think as -- as the president himself has said, I think we have already struck up a good -- good relationship.

But you asked what we had in common. I think if you look at the approach that we're both taking, I mean, one of the things that we have in common is that we want to put the interests of ordinary working people right up there, center stage. Those people who -- you know, they're working all the hours. They're doing their best for their families and sometimes they just feel the odds are stacked against them.

And it's that interest in ensuring that what we do -- that the economies -- our economies and our governments actually work for ordinary working people, work for everyone in our countries. I think we both share that.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

MAY: Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.

21 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

" We have a great general who has just been appointed secretary of defense, General James Mattis. And he has stated publicly that he does not necessarily believe in torture or waterboarding or however you want to define it..."

Every woman that I have waterboarded in the basement has confessed her Undying Love for me.

Eventually.

Sometimes, though, you have to show them the Electric Cattle Prod.

Just to give them a nudge.

I am Laslo.

Barry Dauphin said...

Laslo

Scarlett Johansson Is getting divorced!

madAsHell said...

Scarlett Johansson is/was married?

YoungHegelian said...

"I think we have already struck up a good -- good relationship. But you asked what we had in common...well, honestly, we both thought that that Obama guy was the biggest dork either of us had ever met

I just made up the words in italics, but I'll bet both May & Trump would agree.

WilliamHR said...

If only our Presdient would be as dignified and intelligent as Theresa May. He made a fool out of himself and the US once again with his stupid advocacy for torture.

Francisco D said...

I was listening to the conference on the radio while running errands today. Trump sounded disarming and somewhat charming. It was as if he was going for the self-deprecating humor that always served Reagan well.

Maybe it's a difference in media (no pictures), but he seemed to completely drop the boastful vulgar personality that we see on TV.

I say that as someone who voted for him (somewhat reluctantly) and wants him to succeed.

WilliamHR said...

Why would Trump lift sanctions on Russia, especially after Russia tried to affect our elections? Was this some agreement between Trump and Putin for services Russia provided to the Trump campaign?

WilliamHR said...

May "Mr. President, I think you said, you confirmed that you're 100 percent behind NATO. But we're also discussing the importance of NATO continuing to ensure it is as equipped to fight terrorism and cyber warfare as it is to fight more conventional forms of war."

This was brilliant of May, she put him on the spot. Now he's on record as being 100% behind NATO. What will Putin have to say about this to Trump, I wonder?

MikeD said...

Young Hegelian wins the thread, William HR, the Biggest Loser!

Gahrie said...

Scarlett Johansson is/was married?

Several times...no matter how hot they are you still have to put up with their shit........

Drago said...

WilliamHR: "This was brilliant of May, she put him on the spot. Now he's on record as being 100% behind NATO. What will Putin have to say about this to Trump, I wonder?"

It has long been the conservative position that NATO nations have spent decades freeloading off of the US defense umbrella and using the "saved" monies to finance their social welfare states.

Trump's position is the correct position if one wants to "encourage" those nations to finally, at long last, step up and meet their responsibilities.

Don't worry William, no one expects a leftist to support that.

Drago said...

WilliamHR: "If only our Presdient would be as dignified and intelligent as Theresa May."

Note to self: Check to see if Theresa May ever set up a server in her bathroom.

gadfly said...

"You know, it's interesting because I am a people person."

You know that you are not. It is difficult to interact well with others when self love gets in the way.

Tony Schwartz spent 18 months shadowing Trump and listening into Trump's telephone conversations, including the voice on the other end of the line. Then he followed up with these people to get their take on their transactions with Trump. Here is a telling comment from ghostwriter Schwartz:

I do not think Trump has friends. I saw no evidence of that. He had business acquaintances and relationships with people who worked with him.

Trump's acquaintances were almost exclusively with wealthy people. This is not a guy who spent a moment thinking about the "people." He wants to hang out with people he thinks are "winners" — people who have a lot of money and will tell him he's the greatest.

David Begley said...

Torture is a legal conclusion. John Yoo and other lawyers rendered a legal opinion that waterboarding was not torture. Unpleasant, yes. Torture, no.

What the NVA did to John McCain was torture. He can't lift his arms above his head. He can barely comb his hair.

In the movie "Silence" there is torture. Crucifixion is torture.

Congress has outlawed waterboarding.

Trump is so smart. Scott Adams like smart. Trump sent a message with his waterboarding comment: I will be cry tough on captured terrorists. Message received. He won. Now Mattis can walk it back. Brilliant.

jaydub said...

Drago: "It has long been the conservative position that NATO nations have spent decades freeloading off of the US defense umbrella and using the "saved" monies to finance their social welfare states."

Not just a conservative position, but a documented fact. Only 5 of the 28 NATO countries (US, GB, Greece, Poland, Estonia) meet the 2% of GDP spending requirement on defense that the NATO charter requires for membership. The US at $650B/year spends more than the other 27 countries combined, even though their combined GDPs are twice the US GDP!!!!! (http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/08/news/nato-summit-spending-countries/) The additional $325B or so that the US must spend to make up for the 23 countries that do not pull their own weight amounted to about 59% of the US budget deficit of $552B in 2016!!!! It's utterly ridiculous for the US to keep spending 3.6% of GDP by borrowing money so that wealthy countries like Germany (1.2%) and Canada (0.99%) can freeload. Trump understands this, May understands this, Putin understands this. WilliamHF, not so much.

Kevin said...

The point of Trump is that he's willing to do whatever it takes to win.

Keep out all Muslims? End NAFTA? Torture? If he has to, yes.

So don't make him have to. Go work with Mattis, Flynn, and Tillerson. You'll find them tough but reasonable.

traditionalguy said...

Reality is a many wondered thing. It was The USSR's Army that the alliance called NATO was created to stop in 1949. It was permission for the USA to keep its Army in Germany as a block to a take over by Stalin and his Warsaw Pact.

Today it is the new European Army (a/k/a Germany,) that wants to screw the USA like it did Greece, that aims at absorbtion of Russian territory and resources. The Old Lebensraum push is back.

The USSR's ideological based threat has been over and gone for 20 years. Today Putin's Nationstate is the one being threatened by a German Pact called the European Union. The EU using Hillary's help just pulled off a People's Coup Conquest in the Russian ally Ukraniane which was also pulled off in Libya and Syria.

The History that it was an American alliance with Russia that defeated Germany, using the Russians to do most of the work, has been put down the memory hole and a 1949 attitude to Russian invasion pulled back out of Tail Gunner Joe's hat.


Hagar said...

Theresa May is a slugger rather than a showboat, but they really are not that different in their aims.

As for "torture", I do not know where Trump is going with that one, perhaps just instinctively throwing the opposition off balance, but it is not coming back. For one thing he called it by its right name. If there was any thought of bringing it back, we would have gotten more mumbo-jumbo about "enhanced interrogation techniques," or some other such euphemism.

Michael K said...

He made a fool out of himself and the US once again with his stupid advocacy for torture.

The left weighs in and there is, as usual, not much weight.

The whole "torture" thing is a shiny object to hold the left's attention while the adults get work done.

Bad Lieutenant said...

traditionalguy said

You know, trad, the Russia-lapping can be overdone. I know you like to go on flights of fancy and your flights are never short hops, but Russians are shits and the Near Abroad is not Russia. Belarus or whoever can spread their legs if they wish. Most of the "Near Abroad" has had quite enough.

I will say there is no point to idly provoking them. Nothing we do with the Russians should be idly done. They are a respectable player, respectable like any force that is a chronic threat and potential ally (though I can't imagine what could turn Russia into a real ally, I won't foreclose the possibility) must be respected.

I have no problem with Trump's "Nice doggy" as long as Mattis and Flynn are taking care of the rocks part.

Bad Lieutenant said...

PS As for torture, which bothers me just a very little, first rule of Fight Club is don't talk about Fight Club.