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tv   CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar  CNN  October 16, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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estimates could even be $178 billion annual trade deficit with the european union. we welcome italy's support for a mutually beneficial trade agreement with the eu that ensures a level playing field for american workers and it hasn't been that for many, many years. i could solve the problem instantly, but it would be too harsh. it would involve tariffs on european products come into this country and for right now we're going to try and do it without that. but that would solve the problem instantly, because the united states is not being treated fairly. we also welcome italy's participation in combatting predatory trade and investment practices world wide, especially in technology. we must work together to shield our intellectual property, critical infrastructure, ports and data security. i applaud italy's recent commitment to use only safe and trustworthy technology
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providers, components and supply cha chains, especially relating to the 5g networks. we'll work together to take further steps to ensure the technology of the future. speaking of 5g and how it relates to china, we've done a rather incredible trade deal, phase one for our farmers and the finance industry, financial services and it's been really quite amazing. excuse me? is there a problem back there? it's been quite amazing. the level of receptivity has been much different than in the past. china and myself, our representatives, their representatives have made a deal from $40-50 billion in foreign products, agricultural products. people said we were hoping for 20. so kmichina's been good.
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they've already started purchasing the agreement. we hope to have it signed sometime prior to chile. president xi and i will probably do a signing over there of phase one. there's been a lot of good will between the united states and china over the last period of time. so we're signing $40-50 billion. it was incorrectly reported in the press, shockingly, that will take place -- it's already started taking place. they're already purchasing a lot of foreign product. all of the banking regulations and all of the financial services, all of the other things that are included. and there are many other things in phase one that i won't talk about now, but all of that is moving along rapidly. bob lighthizer is with us someplace here and he is in the process of getting that completed. i have a great staff of people working on both sides. mr. president,it's a true pleasure to host you in our nation's capital, you and your family and your deeply personal relationship to your country,
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you love your country so much just in speaking to you for a short while i see how much you love italy and i can understand that. it's really a testament to the patriotism and pride of the italian people. great spirit for italy. america is grateful to have true friends and allies in the citizens of italy. we have such a great relationship with the people of italy. the united states is likewise thankful to be home to more than 16 million italian americans. tonight here at the white house we'll celebrate our deep and abiding tre ining friendship wi and the really incredible italian people. the u.s./italian alliance is stronger than ever before and we're going to be celebrating that tonight with you, mr. president. i look forward to that very much in a little while. thank you very much and we'd love to have you say a few words. thank you.
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>> for the welcome both to myself and to my entire delegation. the relationship between the united states and italy are marked by a deep friendship and by common interests. both strengthened by the presence here in the u.s. of so many americans of italian descent. that's another reason why i'm so happy to be here on this visit in october dedicated this year again to italian heritage. i'd like to go back to what the president was saying when he mentioned christopher columbus, who opened up new horizons. he got to know and connected continents which ignored one another. based on the role of the u.s. in
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the world, it seems to me that he did a good job back then. to italy, the u.s. is not only a fundamental lie. it is also a country with which it shares the same path of democracy. a country which shares the same values of freedom, of the protection of human rights, of the respect for minorities, of the rule of law. italy's international vision is based on the pillar which is the atlantic alliance, which then over time also led to european integration of the european union, which was a consistent process. these are two essential elements in our foreign policy and in our cooperation. we are united, the u.s., italy
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and europe are united due to our history, due to the culture we share and due to the very intense human relations we have between our fellow citizens. as president trump mentioned earlier, we talked about nato. nato is first and foremost a community of values which italy recognizes and to which italy participates with a great deal of conviction and very affectionately. italy has always contributed very intensely to nato missions and operations and with a great deal of effectiveness and we have substantially supported the activities of the alliance. and i'd like to remind you of the fact that besides being the fifth contributor to nato, italy is the second contributor in
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terms of the troops it devotes to nato missions. after the u.s., we rank number two in the number of troops participating in nato operations along with all of the other missions we perform through the u.n. and in the coalition against terrorism which has developed in recent years. and i'd like to remind you of the fact that as we speak six italian f-35s of the italian air force are patrolling the skies over iceland in the framework of the second nato mandate as a way of ensuring peace and security. italy has constantly reiterated that the trans-atlantic spirit has to be nurtured, protected with all of our strength in the
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all the dimensions of the relationship we share. and with this spirit in mind, we hope, i hope that with the new five-year parliamentary term within the new european union we can foster our cooperation on trade between the u.s. and the eu. we are aiming to define solutions that can strengthen our relationships because commercial trade tensions are to the benefit of no one. we feel that imposing tariffs on one another mutually is counter productive and it damages both of our economies. and i'd like to add that we share with the u.s. the belief that the wto should be reformed as a way of making it more efficient and more effective.
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as president trump mentioned, we talked about syria. we are deeply concerned with turkey's offensive in the northeastern part of syria and this attack in a limited number of days has already caused a number of casualties and tens of thousands of refugees and displaced people. and there were plenty of victims amongst civilians as well. this is an attack which also has another risk. namely that of offering new space, which was unthinkable a few days ago to isis and to its criminal terrorist activities in syria, in the middle east, but not just in the middle east, also in other continents around the world. italy in line with the eu's position, condemns the turkish
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operations which are ongoing. we have also talked about libya and we talked about this topic as all of the other topics with the spirit of friendship and in a very tangible way. the current situation in libya is a source of deep concern to us and we are convinced of the fact that the violence and the military attacks can destabilize all of north africa. it increases the threat of terrorism and it contributes to creating an environment which fosters all kinds of illegal trafficking. and of course it jeopardizes the production of energy in that country. and most of all, it denies the libyan people the possibility of finding a peaceful solution, which it deserves after so many years. we talked about our relationships with china together with president trump.
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through an open dialogue with china, we want to defend the world order based on clear rules with the u.n. at the center of the world order and an open and fair market, one which complies with the principles of the world trade organization. from this point of view, we discussed two topics. namely, security concerning new technologies and i'm referring to 5g. italy has been paying close attention to our national security requirements. it has paid close attention to it and it will continue to do so. we also underlined the need to have a level playing field in trade and investments so that there can be a fair and healthy trade relationship. there needs to be an access to the market which doesn't discriminate anybody and we need to be able to protect intellectual property for all of
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the economic players involved without any theft of technology. all of these topics were discussed with a full spirit of friendship with a great deal of cooperation along with many other topics and this opportunity was also an excellent opportunity to reiterate the friendship between the u.s. and italy and the very strong relationship between our two countries within the framework of the atlantic alliance. for that reason, i want to thank president trump very much for our meeting, for our talks, for your welcome and i'll be seeing you again this afternoon on an occasion which will be filled with great many elements of meaning and importance. thank you, mr. president. [ applause ] >> well, thank you very much, mr. president. the wto, the world trade organization, as everyone knows, we just won $7.5 billion because of unfair trade practices.
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that will be distributed in a fair way throughout various countries there euroin europe a talking to the president about that as it pertains to italy. he thought we were a little bit harsh on italy and we don't want to be harsh on italy. we'll look at that very strongly. that was one of the requests made and we'll be taking a look at that. please. >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to ask about turkey. did president erdogan's decisions surprise you? and if they did not surprise you, would you make the same decision as you made before in removing u.s. forces? i guess we just heard that uaw and gm may have been able to work out a deal. if i could get your reaction to that and what that might mean for the u.s. economy. and mr. president, if i could ask you about the digital tax. did the two of you discuss a
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possible digital tax as it relates amazon and google? >> president erdogan's decision didn't surprise me because he's wanted to do that for a long time. he's been building up troops on the border with syria for a long time, as you know. our soldiers are mostly gone from the area. we only had 26, 28, but under 550 soldiers, which is a very tiny force. it didn't surprise me at all. they've been warring for many years. it's unnatural for us, but it's sort of natural for them. they fight and they fight long and they fight hard and they've been fighting syria for a long time. i say why are we protecting syria's land? assad's not a friend of ours. why are we protecting their land? syria also has a relationship with the kurds, who by the way are no angels, okay? who is an angel?
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there aren't too many around, but syria has a relationship with the kurds so they'll come in for their border and they'll fight. they may bring partners in. they could bring russia in and i say welcome to it. russia went into afghanistan when it was the soviet union and it became russia. it became a much smaller didn ey because of afghanistan. you can overextend, you can do a lot of things. but frankly if russia is going to help no pin protecting the k, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. syria doesn't want turkey to take its land. ki understa i can understand that. what dhaoes that have to do wit the united states of america? syria does have a relationship with the kurds. the thing that's common is that everybody hates isis. now, the pkk, which is a part of the kurds, as you know, is
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probably worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat in many ways than isis. so it's a very semicomplicated, not too complicated you're smart, but it's a semicomplicated problem and i think it's a problem that we have very nicely under control. we have two countries wanting their land. we have one country that wants land perhaps that doesn't belong to them because they want to have a 22-mile strip of they call it freedom. they call it a lot of things. they want to getter resists o t. with that being said, vice president mike pence is going there. he'll be leaving either late tonight or tomorrow. he was going to leave yesterday, but they have to have certain security done. he's a very important man in our country. he'll be leaving with secretary of state pompeo. we already have representatives there negotiating with turkey.
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we put massive sanctions on turkey and we have additional sanctions on turkey. when i ran, i ran on a basis we're going to bring our great soldiers back home where they belong. we don't have to fight these endless wars. we're bringing them back home. that's what i won on. some people whether you call it the military industrial complex or beyond that, they'd like me to stay. one of the problems i have and one of for instance with the witch hunt you have people that want me to stay, they want me to fight forever. they do very well fighting. that's what they want to do, fight. a lot of companies want to fight because they make their weapons based on fighting, not based on peace and they take care of a lot of people. i want to bring our soldiers back home. we're not a police force. we're a fighting force. we're the greatest fighting force ever. i spent $2.5 trillion over the last almost three years rebuilding our military. when it took it over, it was a mess. it was an absolute mess.
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it was totally depleted. you know that. honest people all know that. when i was thinking about having to do something, one of our generals came in to see me and said, sir, we don't have ammunition. i said that's a terrible thing you just said. he said, we don't have ammunition. now we have more ammunition than we've ever had. we have more missiles, we have more rockets. our nuclear has been totally updated and in some cases new. hopefully to god we never have to use it but we have the most powerful nuclear base by far in the world and we have things that we never had before. we have a great modern military but that doesn't mean we're going to waste it. it doesn't mean we're going to deplete it like we did before with these crazy endless wars. so turkey and syria will hopefully work it out between themselves. hopefully isis will be guarded. i spoke with, as you know, a
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wonderful man yesterday, a general from the kurds. you all know who i'm talking about. some of you have seen the letter that i put out to erdogan. i gave it to him, president erdogan. some of you have seen it. i said, listen, don't open the doors and let them out just to create more havoc. let's create some havoc and political exposure for the president of the united states. we were the ones that got isis. we're the ones that took care of it, specific ally me because i' the one that gave the order, because when i came in under president obama, isis was a disaster all over that area. i was the one that got them. we were the ones that captured them. i will say this, that russia, iran, syria and to maybe a
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slightly lesser extent turkey, they all hate isis as much as we do and it's their part of the world. we're 7,000 miles away. i campaigned on bringing our soldiers back home and that's what i'm doing. that includes other places too, many other places. statutorily it takes a period of time, diplomatically it takes a period of time, but we're in many countries, many, many countries. i'm embarrassed to tell you how many. i know the exact number but i'm embarrassed to say it because it's so foolish. we're protecting countries that don't even like us. they take advantage of us. they don't pay, nothing. you probably saw, some of you wrote and covered the fact that we're sending some additional troops to saudi arabia. that's true and i appreciate the fact that i negotiated for a short period of time, a matter of minutes with saudi arabia and they've agreed to pay for the
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full cost of all of that deployment and more, much more. a very rich country, they should be paying and so should other countries be paying if they want this kind of protection. same thing with nato. we're at 4% and other countries are at 1%. certainly a european country benefits much more than we do with nato. it's there for a reason. and perhaps we benefit, but not nearly as much as the european countries. some people say we don't benefit at all. we put ourselves in harm's way. but we do that for europe, but then they treat us badly on trade. not fair. i would say that we're in a great position. we're doing what i said. we have two countries that are going to argue over their border. hopefully they'll work it out. we're going to try and work it out. i think our vice president is a very capable man, will do well tomorrow. he's going to meet with president erdogan. president erdogan said he wouldn't meet with anybody and he took that back just a little
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while ago and he said no, no i will. i think they'll have a successful meeting. if they don't, the sanctions and tariffs and other things we will do to turkey will be devastating to turkey. i got pastor brunson home. the previous administration tried. they were unable to do it. i did it very quickly. let's see what happens. i think we'll be very successful but we have to get out of the endless wars. i have to bring our troops back home. i go to walter reed and give out purple hearts. just did it on friday. i see the incredible soldiers coming home to dover, coming home in a coffin on areas that we have nothing to do with, we have nothing to do with. and it's heartbreaking. i sign letters all the time to parents whose son was shot in different places in the middle east mostly. it's very heartbreaking to see,
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very heartbreaking. so i've said it and it's through strength, not through weakness. much harder to do what i'm doing. i could be like all of these others, oh, just leave them there. no, i can't do it. probably moypolitically better me to say we'll leave a lot of people there and we'll fight. they don't even know what they're fighting for. it's much more difficult politically. it's not moypolitically expedie. it's just the opposite. i have people on my side that want to fight. i say why are we fighting? i don't know. they don't even know. so we have turkey and syria. maybe they're going to fight it out, but our men aren't going to get killed over it. they've been fighting for hundreds of years. it's a long answer, but i think i got much of it out. please, question.
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>> mr. president, i was asking if the two of you discussed a possible digital tax and where that discussion might be going in particular as it might relate to google and amazon and others. thank you, sir. >> translator: no, we did not talk about this. of course, this is an open issue. it's very important. it is being discussed in a number of different international contexts so that this important issue can be discussed and solved. >> i did discuss it with another european union member, namely france. and france is basically doing
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the digital tax. i'm no fan of those companies. they were against me. somebody said i lost maybe 2 million votes, maybe more because of facebook. but these are american companies. whether you like it or not, they're great big american companies. i'm not happy with a digital tax where france and european union is taxing our companies. as you know, we imposed a big tax on french wine because of it. so just to answer your question, kevin, i'm not happy about the fact that they are taxing our companies. i'm not a fan of those companies, but if anybody is going to tax those companies, it should be the usa. it shouldn't be france and the european union, who have really taken advantage of the united states, okay? thank you very much. good question. >> okay. you can pick somebody, mr. president. >> translator: the question for
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president mattarella as far as syria is concerned. in recent days you talked about the risk europe runs in terms of not responding to the situation. in recent days some european countries including italy have discussed a possible ban on selling weapons to turkey. do you think this can be an adequate way to respond to the situation considering that turkey is a member of nato? >> mr. president, i would like to ask you on september 27, attorney general barr asked to meet with italian intelligence officials. i would like to know if you personally talked with prime minister to arrange this meeting, what kind of information attorney general barr was looking for. >> i don't know the details.
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i just know that our country is look into the corruption of the 2016 election. it was a corrupt election whether it's comey or mccabe or strzok or his lover lisa page, the two great lovers. there was a lot of corruption. maybe it goes right up to president obama. i happen to think it does. but you look at brennan and you look at clapper and you get some real beauties. i know they're looking into the corruption. obviously the i.g. report is coming out soon so we'll find out. i don't know anything about the meeting but certainly it would be appropriate because the word is and you read it in the same papers that i do that they did go to other countries to try and hide what they were doing. italy may have been one of them. so you'll really have to ask attorney general barr, okay? thank you. >> yes. turkey is a member of nato and that is something very important, of course. i'd like to remind you of the
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fact that currently there is an italian contribution to turkey. we have an anti-missile system which italy has been having in turkey for a number of years within the context of a nato mission. it means something more important than my trip is tfrie the truth. the friendships and alliances don't mean that we can't say that the turkish attack on syria is a serious mistake. we condemn that attack with no hezboll hesitation whatsoever. the solution, of course, doesn't lie in sanctions. if the situation continues, sanctions will be inevitable. and italy has made announcements as has the european union. the only solution is to stop all
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military operations and to retreat from that area as a way of stopping all the dangers that i mentioned earlier. >> john, go ahead. >> i want to pick up on your comments on turkey and syria. >> sure. >> even after all you have seen, isis prisoners freed, all the humanitarian disaster, you don't have any regret for giving erdogan the green light to invade? >> i didn't give him a green light. when you make a statement like that, it's so deceptive. just the opposite of a green light. first of all, we had virtually no soldiers there. they were mostly gone, just a tiny little group. they would have been in harm's way. you have a massive army on the other side of the border. i didn't give them a green light. if anybody saw the letter, i wrote a letter right after that conversation, a very powerful letter. they've been fighting for many, many years.
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when you ask a question like that, it's very deceptive, john. it's almost as deceptive as you showing all of the bombings taking place in syria and it turned out that the bombing you showed on television took place in kentucky. i'm not even sure abc apologized for that, but i'm certain it was a terrible thing. it was in kentucky, it wasn't in syria. >> lindsey graham just said of your remarks that you made in the oval office that if you keep talking like that, quote, this will be a disaster worse than obama's decision to leave iraq. >> no. lindsey graham would like to stay in the middle east for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers fighting other people's wars. i want to get out of the middle east. lindsey should focus on to do-nothing democrats. they're getting nothing done. they're not getting usmca done
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between canada, the united states and mexico. they're getting nothing done. i think lindsey should focus on judiciary. he ought to find out about what happened with comey, what happened with mccabe, lisa, what happened with peter strzok, what happened with president obama, what happened with brennan. that's what lindsey ought to focus on. that's what the people of south carolina want him to focus on. the people of south carolina don't want us to get into a war with turkey, a nato member, or with syria. let them fight their own wars. they've been fighting for a thousand years. let them fight their own wars. the people of south carolina want to see those troops come home. i won an election based on that. whether it's good or bad, that's the way it is. if you look at this country, i'd be willing to bet anything, political instinct that's what the country wants. i'm not going to get involved in a war between turkey and syria especially when if you look at the kurds -- i say this with
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great respect, they're no ang s angels. take a look at pkk. isis respects pkk. you know why? because they're as tough or tougher than isis. you have to say it. nobody wants to say it. we're making the kurds look like they're angels. we paid a lot of money to the kurds, tremendous amounts of money. we've given them massive fortunes. you know what? it's wonderful. we paid a lot for them to fight with us. just so you understand, we were the ones that captured isis. people let some go to make us look as bad as possible. we have a situation where turkey is taking land from syria. syria's not happy about it. let them work it out. we shouldn't be over there. and you should get your accounts correct and you shouldn't be showing buildings blowing up in kentucky and say it's syria because that really is fake
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news. >> you don't think the country's worried about isis? you mentioned earlier you think some of the countries might hate isis more than the united states. >> public schooabsolutely. russia hates isis as much as the united states does. iran hates isis. i mean, we're fighting a war for russia, we're fighting a war for iran? you look at syria. syria hates isis. we're over there killing isis. don't forget, we're 7,000 miles away. so we're killing isis, we're 7,000 miles away. russia is much closer. iran is right there, turkey is right there. they all hate isis. turkey a little bit less so, but the others very much. russia had a plane blown up by isis. russia wants nothing to do with isis. russia's tough. they can kill isis just as well and they happen to be in their neighborhood. all i'm saying is this, i'm not going to lose potentially thousands and tens of thousands of american soldiers fighting a
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war between turkey and syria. syria's not our friend. assad is not our friend. that's the way it goes. >> you said you withdrew 28 troops. >> 28. they say it was 28. we thought it was 50 but it was about 28. nobody injured. listen, all accounted for, nobody injured, nobody missing. it's really nice. >> look at what's happened since those troops were withdrawn since you've had that conversation with erdogan. >> you know what's happened? no american soldiers have been killed. very easy to recapture those people that probably the kurds let go to make a little bit stronger political impact. that's okay. i fully understand it but that's the way it goes. we're bringing our soldiers back home and we've done a great job. we were supposed to be in syria for one month. that was ten years ago. and we've been a police force. it's time to bring our soldiers back home. that's the way it is. we've had no soldiers injured or
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hu hurt. that's because i'm president. we're the boss, just remember that. we have the most powerful military in the world by far. >> what is the view in europe of the president's decision to make an abrupt decision to withdraw in syria? >> translator: i already answered a question regarding syria. i'm not here to judge what other countries do. but to say what my country's position is and our position is what i mentioned earlier on syria on the fact that we condemn what turkey decided to do in recent days with no possible ambiguity. >> translator: a question for president mattarella.
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president trump seems to be open on discussing the possible tariffs. so do you think it will be possible to avoid tariffs being imposed in two days time? and a question for president trump. now, we all know your concerns concerning huawei entering italy's security system. are you satisfied with the measures that italy decided to implement? >> well, i'll answer first. yes, i am satisfied. they've been very accommodating. they weren't at the beginning and they have been since then. i want to just thank the italian government and your prime minister actually in addition to the president. as you know, i had long conversations with my friend and they were very nice. so i am very satisfied. we just discussed the same conversation with the president. we're very satisfied.
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thank you. >> translator: as far as the topic of tariffs is concerned, tariffs following the wto decision on the eu's contribution or the subsidies to the consortium. i already mentioned what our belief is. let me repeat it. i think that within the trans-atlantic relationship and with a friendship that there has always been between the u.s. and the eu, it would be preferable to discuss our respective positions so that we can find a solution which takes into account the requirements of both parties. that's wholly possible. the alternative would be that of imposing tariffs. currently following the wto's decision concerning air bus,
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there may be tariffs. and there may be tariffs in six months time concerning the subsidies given to boeing. this is a mere race between tariffs, mutual tariffs. i think it would be best to meet and to deal with our mutual needs so that a solution can be found. but if we don't do this now, it will have to be done soon. i believe it would be best to find a solution immediately instead of imposing tariffs, which would lead to other tariffs and that would be a damage to both of our economies. >> well, actually, the tariff situation is interesting. it's like i said with china, it turned out to be true. we cannot lose a war of tariffs because the imbalance is so great between the united states and in this case the european union. also true with china. that turned out to be right. we've collected tens of billions
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of dollars of tariffs. we've given some to the farmers to make them even. now the farmers are going to have a bigger contract than they ever thought possible. they won't be able to produce even that much, but i think they will because they're ingenious. they'll just have to buy larger tractors. but the farmers come out so well. in a war of tariffs with the european union, the trade imbalance is so great that we can't lose that because they do much more business than we do. that's unfortunate. but the word reciprocity is probably my favorite word of all of these words, all of the semicomplicated, complicated, to me not complicated at all things that we're doing, it's got to be reciprocal and it's not. the european union has taken tremendous advantage to come one way or the other through the european union. that's the good news.
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the bad news is they've been very smart. they've been very smart. jean claude has been brilliant. now he's leaving, but he's been brilliant at really helping them and not helping us. so that's changing now. but we can't lose that particular war of tariffs because the trade imbalance is tremendous, it's tremendous. if you look at what they don't have, the barriers that they put up, they put up tremendous barriers to our doing business in europe, tremendous barriers, both from a monetary standpoint and what they call nonmonetary barriers. it's a very tough thing. our foreign products, very hard to get them in, our cars very hard to get in. yet they send mercedes, bmw, volkswagon, renault in the case of france. so it's a very tough situation for us for many years but now it's a very tough situation for
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them. i can remedy the situation very easily and there really is not any financial counter attack. with all of that being said, we are talking. we're talking with some new people in europe and i hope it's going to be successful. that way we don't have to talk about it or worry about it because our relationship should be a great one. but we have to be treated fairly on nato and we have to be treated fairly on trade with the european union. thank you very much. thank you. >> we have a whole lot to discuss here as the president wraps up this press conference with the leader with italy's president. i want to bring in susan glasser. we have ron brownstein with us. there are a lot of things to discuss here because so much of what the president said was not based in fact and a lot of it was oddly based in either a russian or a turkish world view
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or talking points easy specially as he was talking about turkey invading northern syria and attacking the kurds, where we have been seeing casualties for days. let's start there, shall we. first off, we just have to be clear that the sdf, the largely kurdish forces who had been working with u.s. forces in the area to manage the isis situation and keep it at bay, basically almost a maintenance operation, they had taken tremendous casualties over time in this fight. this is at least formerly a u.s. ally who's been very helpful to the u.s. what the president said was they are not angels. take a look. he made this association basically saying essentially that the sdf is the pkk, a kurdish entity that turkey views as a terrorist group. he said that the sdf was paid well, sort of washing his hands.
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he said they did fight well with us, the u.s. they didn't fight so well without us. basically saying, hey, it was all america anyways. >> when president trump gives up on ap n ally he does so in a pretty maximum way. he's now trash talking them. he repeated this line that the turks are -- sorry, that the kurds that we were fighting alongside were no angels three different times at least today. i may have missed one. i think it's very significant. you know, president trump is essentially making clear that he never was committed to his own administration's policy. to me, that's another big take-away from this. you mentioned that he sounded like the president of the united states was essentially offering us russian and turkish talking points about the situation in syria, but he also -- he was
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taking it even further in essentially saying he disagrees with his own administration's policy. this is very hard to imagine any u.s. ally in the world being comfortable with this, because essentially the president is saying we don't have your back, we may abandon you at any moment. >> he doesn't have backup really from anyone. there is bipartisan criticism, broad criticism, republicans have maybe dialled back a little bit of it, but the sense, the view of democrats and republicans is that what he's done is terrible. >> the president basically said it's a bunch of sand that we don't have an interest in. russia, you're welcome to it. not exactly a lot of wind in your sails if you're mike pompeo and vice president pence. to your larger point, one thing that strikes me about this is that the president is in the
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midst of an intense fight over impeachment. he needs republicans to be standing with him on impeachment. and yet he has rather casually taken a position that is incredibly offensive to the vast majority of republicans that drew really i think unprecedented criticism from lindsey graham today on twitter and he brushed that off, basically threatening graham that if you go down this road, i have a better idea of what the voters in south carolina want. to me, that is a statement of how really arrogantly he believes he has the republicans in congress kind of wrapped around his finger that at the moment he needs them the most he is willing to do something they find so offensive out of confidence they still will not break with him. >> yet to that point, republicans have started to temper some of their criticism. we heard lindsey graham today basically say this is turkey's fault, but he will hold president trump accountable. but you see that he's sort of walking that line, right? >> here's the issue.
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president trump is fundamentally reorienting american foreign policy. it doesn't matter where the institutional defense department thinks differently. it doesn't matter where the institutional state department thinks differently. it doesn't matter whether certain republicans in congress traditionally have had a different view. he is reorienting american foreign policy and he is doing it quickly and the last week has just brought it into focus. but what he has articulated today is a foreign policy based on u.s. military engagement that is based on a country paying us, it is a mercenary-like engagement, or whether it costs us a certain amount of money. he doesn't care about human rights. he doesn't care about america's role in the world. he doesn't care about historical strategic alliances. and until sort of the country and our allies and republicans in congress start to digest that, they are not going to
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understand how quickly he is changing the country. >> ross, i want to go to kaitlan collins real quick at the white house. between this and watching the president earlier in his event just preceding this with the italian president, this has been -- i mean, it's pretty stunning to listen to what the president is saying about the kurds and a number of other topics here. >> reporter: yeah. the president made some really remarkable statements as he was defending his decision on syria, saying here that he doesn't want to get in a war between turkey and syria. and while he was essentially answering those criticisms from not just democrats but also republican who is say the president is abandoning those kurds who fought alongside the u.s. to fight isis, the president talked about the fact that the united states paid those kurdish fighters. he essentially brushed off any claims that they are abandoning them and leaving them. earlier he said they were fine though there are reports that
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some civilians are being slaughtered just driving down the road. what you heard the president also essentially saying here is this is part of his promise he made on the campaign trail to get the united states out of endless wars. just minutes after the president was defending that decision, he talked about the fact that he recently authorized sending 2,000 more troops to the middle east, saying he had negotiated with saudi arabia and claiming they were going to pay for that full deployment. we should also note that the president is saying he's getting soldiers out. he's bringing them home. in a statement attributed to the president they said they are just redeploying them to another place in the region, not necessarily bringing them back to the united states. the italian president next to the president sayi ining he beld this turkish incursion into syria is a problem.
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lindsey graham said the president is going to have blood on his hand if that comes to. the president said lindsey graham should focus on the judiciary committee and the impeachment inquiry proceedings that are happening right now. just to essentially end this, the president says he wants to stay out of what's happening between turkey and syria. he did not explain why he is then sending the vice president and the secretary of state in just a matter of hours to turkey for what they said was going to be so they could negotiate a cease fire, a cease fire that the turkish president says isn't happening. >> that was beautifully laid out. the contradictions that we just saw from the president. thank you so much for that. let's talk about italy and italy's stance on this in comparison to the u.s., because we heard from the italian president. he said more important than our friendship is the truth. then he condemned the turkish attack on syria. >> the president brushed that
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aside. >> completely. >> i think for the president this is all about sort of keeping his political promises. i think, you know, you heard the mantra over and over and over, we're bringing the troops home, we're bringing the troops home. bringing the troops home. politically the problem is going to be that dynamic you see between the president and lindsey graham, that was pointed up in that press conference, where the president didn't just brush aside what lindsey graham had to say but sort of went after him, sort of focus on protecting me in the senate and i think we're going to need to watch how the republicans react to what the president said today. >> thank you, all of you, so much. a lot more to discuss. stay put for us. getting in more breaking news. a third straight day of testimony from a respected voice on u.s. foreign policy. today the three house committees are hearing from michael mckinley who resigned last week
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as senior adviser to secretary of state mike pompeo and our maman raja is on capitol hill. >> reporter: hearing from multiple sources with knowledge of mr. mckinley's testimony he testified that he urged mike pompeo, secretary of state, to show support for maria yovanovitch, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine. but after urging support pompeo was silent and did not explain why he would not offer support and that silence is the reason why mckinley ultimately decided to resign his job. now, according to what we are hearing, that mr. mckenley testified that the state department morale was rather low after rex tillerson, then secretary of state, essentially gutted the department, but mike pompeo came in, helped restore
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morale but very disappointing for not offering support for yovanovitch. she's important because she was targeted by rudy giuliani as well as the president and taken away from that position and democrats in particular believed she was removed in order to push for an investigation from ukrainians into political rival joe biden. i am told by several sources that he did not say that he had any contact with rudy giuliani. in fact, he said he didn't have contact with rudy giuliani and wasn't aware what rudy giuliani was doing or why pompeo did not offer support for maria yovanovitch but that that's the reason he ultimately stepped aside. one key point. he has not turned over documents to the committee today, because mike mckinley turned over those documents to the state department and told from multiple sources the state department has not turned over those documents to capitol hill. that's happened to previous
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witnesses who came forward. that's a key fight from democrats moving forward but a big revelation today by mckinley saying he resigned his post in large part because mike pompeo was silent and would not explain why he would not offer support for that ousted ambassador to ukraine. >> manu, thank you so much. this is really important. right? because this kind of goes to the heart of whether mike pompeo, the secretary of state, is doing his job. right? and whether he is standing by someone who is seen as a career foreign policy professional, or instead if he is taking the political line, and so it is clear at least according to this witness, his former topped a visor which he's choosing, right. and important to point out that this goes directly into the allegations that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, because it was the president himself who has reportedly fired ambassador yovanovitch. so this isn't just a story about
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american diplomacy and whether it's politicized under president trump and secretary pompeo, but it goes directly to the question of, well what did mike pompeo know about the president himself firing ambassador yovanovitch? what were were the motivations of the president in firing this ambassador? was there essentially a corrupt political intention behind removing this professional? why did mike mckinley, a respected ambassador who served more than three decades at the state department, why did he wait all of these months from this time when the ambassador was removed until last week to resign from the state department? something specific must have occurred more recently as this impeachment inquiry was getting under way. a lot of important questions. the main thing to tell people is that this goes to the heart of the questions at the impeachment inquiry. it's not a side story, firing of the ambassador. it's part of the main story. >> right. because, ross, the picture we
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are getting, and i know it cannish overwhelming for people as they watch these folks testify but we're getting important data points. they're showing this whole thing was much wider than we previously thought it was. it went on for a long time, and that it appears the reason that maria yovanovitch was booted was because she was on the up and up. getting in the way of stuff that was not. >> yes. this, these committees are actually doing a very thorough, methodical investigation. i was critical how the house judiciary committee was sort of handling things and i'm actually very impressed how these committees are sort of going through these things. the questions that were raised are exactly right. and these committees are sort of working on answering this. you know, what were the motivations going on? and i think the fact of these resignations and the fact that, you know, we're finding out about these korvess being had, it shows, suggesting, people
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didn't think what was happening was okay's that's something that the white house, that secretary pompeo and others have to answer and someone's going to testify this week, his testimony's going to be key, because he's -- >> to be clear, the ambassador to the eu, former trump donor, right, and this was someone who was involved in those text messages among the diplomats, that we saw certainly another diplomat be concerned there was quid pro quo going on, military aid for this from ukraine. >> quick you know, one thing that -- for most democrats in the house, once they dot language from the rough transcript he talked about "a favor," at that point had enough information in their mind to vote for impeachment. this investigation is making clear that wasn't as isolated event, a culmination of a month-long very wide -- >> months-long -- >> systemic process. >> almost a year long. >> another thing worth noting, so many national security professionals, career professionals, saying how
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disconcerted behavior and polling says inappropriate for the president to make that ask. 60% saying, essentially nothing to see here, nothing wrong when so many career professionals focused on the region clearly saw a problem here. >> thank you all so much. getting in breaking news right now involving rudy giuliani and the investigation that involves him. we'll be right back.
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