tv President Trump Holds News Conference with Colombian President CSPAN May 18, 2017 7:11pm-7:43pm EDT
education secretary betsy devos at bethune-cookman uversity in daytona beac flori. c.e.o. a psident of aerojet rocket dyne at univertyf alabama in huntsvil. the executive director of starck hard sultz at arona state univeit tempe. setoezz liz beth warren at amherst. this surday ght at 8:00 p.m. eaern on-span and -span.org. earlietoyredent trump held a jntews conferenc with colombi president jn manuel san czyz with repte. he said ilhe respected the mo tapint apecial counsel, the invesgation was a,uo, witch hunt,iving the nation. this iha an hour.
presen trump: thank you very much. it's a great pleasure to welco president santos tohe white house, colombia isne of our clest allies in theemisphere and daweeairm partnership between our two great nations. prident ntos and i had a veryroductive meeting and we will ctie toorvery closy togetr to bring peace, saty, and prosperity to t hemisphere. perhapso areas really mor important in ter of opation than our joint efrt to end the terrible drug crimes that plague both our countries. rently, we haveeen an
alarmed, and ieaa really hily alarmed and alarming trend. last year, coloma coca cultation a cocai producti reached ror high, which pefully wilbe redied very quickly bth president. must nfront this dangerous threat to our societies together. today, i affirm the united states' willingness to assist colombia's strategy, to target and eliminate drug trafficking networks, ill list financings, coca cultivation and cocaine production of which there is far too much. the drug epidemic is poisoning too many american lives and we're going to stop it, many different ways. one of them will be the wall. my administration is committed to keeping drugs and gangs from pouring into our country. already border crossings are down more than 3 sec he tear key with --
cretary kelly is with us, he's done fantastic job,ha you ry mh, mr. secretary. in sho, we ha a tremeou group of people workg with us i.c.e., the.c.e. patrolnd bder paol agents, they've done a fantastic j, d keou to ge them my highest compliments, mr. secretary. -13 likewise. a horrible, horrible large grp of gangs that ve been let into r country over a fairly short period of time are being decimated by the border patrol, by i.c.e., and by our incredible local police forces. and they are getting out of our country or in some cases going directly into prisons throughout our country. but they've literally taken over towns and cities of the united states. they will be gone very quickly.
i look forward to working with president santos as we target drug trafficking. both the united states and colombia have strong law enforcement and security relationship. we've had it and especially over the last fairly short period of time. together we will continue to fight the criminal networks responsible for the deadly drug trade that our people have a really strong commitment to getting rid of because they want a much brighter future. president santos and i also discussed the deteriorating situation in venezuela, and it is really in a very bad state, as you see, as we all see, through the media. the stable and peaceful venezuela is in the best interest of the entire hemisphere and america stands with all of the people in our
great hemisphere yearning to be free. we will be working with colombia and other countries on the venezuela problem. it is a very, very horrible problem and from a humanitarian standpoint, it is like nothing we've seen in quite a long time. the united states and colombia are also strong economic partners and we will continue to pursue trade policies that benefit both of our peoples. the nation's common goals of protecting our citizens, expanding opportunity, and confronting the drug crisis will improve the lyes of our people and many through the the region. so many people are being so horribly affected by what's going on in terms of violence and in terms of drugs, and we're going to take care of the situation and we both agreed to
take care of it strongly and quickly. president santos, it was an honor tmeet whou andour tire group of representatives, very talented people indeed who have been working with us and my representivesnd i lk forward to manyore producve meings such as the one we st had. i'd like to thank you very much for bng at the white house, being ourue, and'dik to ngratulate you on winning the noble peace iz -- the nelea pze. that's a vy eat acement. ank yovery much. president santos:r. president, i want to tha you personally for this warm a produiv vit and for the strong ppt combia haseceived froou administration, om coness, nd from the american ople.
[speaking spanish] our nations have hafo a long time a strategic alliance, an extraordinary friendship. we believe in the same principles of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. and we work so that the western hemisphere can be more prosperous and safe. the united states and colombia, both democracies of longer standing in the hemisphere, we have supported each other, our soldiers fight shoulder to shoulder in the korean war at the request of the united statesweent ai-ug experts -- anti-bomb experts to afghanistan d todawe are working to suppo the fight against drug ctels and the
violence of organized crime. iab say, mr. president,as on our conrsatiothis afrnoon that i have dbt athe united statesnd colombia ctinue to be today e than ever a support, one foth other. r lianceas sengthened. our most valble cooperation has be plan colombia, which i can sum up in very simplterms. wh colombians were fighting to survive for our democracy to suive, actuall facedit the that of trosmnd drug afcking, the united at sttcd out a hand and helped us what battle. we will never fgeit. dawe live in a different
countr. today colbia is aore peacul soctya more modern and a fairesoety. inovbe last year, we ended the longestnd last armed colict existing inur hemihere. the guerll is puing down weapons at this precise time to e united nations. insecurity has ge down significantly. today we ha the lowest levels of violence othe last 40 years. at the se te, we ha had siificant prre forur cizens on isesuch as education, housing, health and soal services. millions o colombians he been lifted out of verty.
da we coin next toou asartners in peace combia, to csolidate peace in the mos afcted areas. wi t rust support of your goveme, are roving thousands oan-personnel mines that muer and mutilated children,omen, and soiers. we areeang the wounds of o vetensnd we are embarking on a big social development ogram. we areorking with your administtion to take advantage of the unique opportunity peace offers so as to du permanently the production of co leaf in colombia andight linksffectively the other in drug trafcking, iluding
coumion. we must continue and deepen the fight against organiz crime, tranational crime, responsible nojust for drug trafficking but also for humanrafficking and illegal mining. whin ared agenda fmed a high vel diogue that we lombians value so much includesooration which has allowed uso have unpcedented progress o -- such as quality education for everyone, and this is a priority in theolicies of my government, and we wish to do more with regards to innovation and technology. with the active participation of the private sector, we have reached trade agreements, investment agreements that are mutually beneficial. this morning, we established the entrepreneurial council between
he united states and clomia. -- and colombia. we are and wish to continue to be the best destination in latin america for american businesses. colombia will continue to be very proudly a close friend and a strategic ally of the united states. dear, president -- dear president trump, i hope you can visit us soon so you can personally witness the transformation under way in our country. i hope to be able to welcome you betterlombia in peace, a educated colombia, that you have so much contributed to. thank you so much. president trump: thank you very much. does anybody have any questions?
i'm shocked. ohn, go ahead. >> mr. president, thanks very uch. i'd like to get your reaction to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein's decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the russia -- russian interference in the campaign. was this the right move or is this part of a witch hunt? president trump: i respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. there's no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can only speak for myself, and the russians, zero. i think it divides the country. i think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things. so i can tell you that we want to bring this great country of ours together, john. and i will also say very strongly, we have had tremendous success. you look at our job numbers,
look at what's going on at the border, as we discussed before. look at what will be happening, you'll see some incredible numbers with respect to the success of general mattis and others with the isis situation, the numbers are staggering, how successful they've been, the military has been. tomorrow, as you know, i'm going to saudi arabia. going to israel. going to rome. and we have the g-7. we have a lot of great things going on. i hate to see anything that divides. i'm fine with whatever people want to do. but we have to get back to running this country really, really well. we made tremendous progress in the last 100 and manage odd days, tremendous progress. you see job numbers. you see all the production that is starting. plants starting to open again, haven't been open in years. i'm very proud of it. that's what i want to be focus on. believe me, there's no collusion. russia is fine.
but whether it's russia or anybody else , my total priority, believe me, is the united states of america. o thank you very much. >> president santos, can we say that today we are setting a new road map in the relationship between colombia and the united tates which are the concrete commitments? you were talking about the conflict, many funds are needed or that. they show up, many human rights violations there's plenty to be de. president trump: as well as a very, very serious oblem, we han'really seen a problem like that, i would say,r.
president , in decades, in terms of they have kind of vionc that we're witnessg. the presiden was telling me, and i knew that venezuela was a very, very wealthy country, just about the wealthiest in your neck of the woods. an had tremendous streng in soany dierentay now it's -- it's poverty-stricken. people don't have eugh to eat pele have no food. ers great violence. we will whatever is necessary d we'll work together to do whatever is necessary to help with fixing that. and i'm really talking on a humanitarian level. when you look at the oil reserves they have, when you look at the potential wealth venezuela has, you have to wonder, why is that happening? how is that possible? but it's been unbelievably poorly run for a long period of time. and hopefully that will change and they can use those assets for the good and to take care of their people. because right now, what's
happening is really a disgrace to hanity. andoh i think you also had a question for t presintif d ke to -- >> the cmienon psint trump's side and his ministtion was shown tough thepproval ofheudget tha for colombia mns an increase inhe support to fund t post-conict era. last night, wreceived from a very impornt organizion, t laic council, a report which cles both parties, presided by a rublica senor and a democrat senator with a road map
commenng the governments of the united states and combia to folw. this morng we established the entrreurial council, the united states-combia, so the private ctor clso have a voice ithat road map. this mea war working front that canry convenient foroth countries. will continue to rk togeer. we hav ratified at commitment today during our conversati and as iai bore ve the be of relio with the unit states, we are sttegic alesn the region and we will ntinue to be so. tnk you, mr.rede. president santos, to yo we heard predent tmp say 'sriticato stop the flow ofru intohe united states will be e wall that he wts to build on t mexican bde do you agree with him?
would that wall be a positive ep, a step toward reducinth flow of drugs across t border? president sto i believe that the best way to fight drug trfing is by collaborating. this is not a problem of colombianly or aroblem of e ited states only. it's a world pblem. and we have tall wo together. dlare the war on drugs 40 yes ago. the wod dlad e war on drugs. and it's a war thahanot been won. so wmust be more effectivan moreffient. now, we e ing verbig effo becau o the pce ocs to have a new sategy, caot and stick. stick, by force, we havelrdy eradicated this year oy 15,000 hectares, which is the bhole vome weradicated last ar,
and we ar starting edicate , to substitute voluntarily through a progr where the sas,nd we have 80,000 families alrdyn the pgram, thathear going to substitute for legal crops. this is the first time this could be done because of the peace. before, theonict did not lo us to builroads and to gi these pesants an alternativ --easants an altnative. nowe have. so we have to takedvanta of this opporni and continue redung the production of ca. in the meantime, we will continue to work togher, the u.s.nd- withhe u.sand other countri in central america, toight theinks of the chain. we haveestroyed 22,00 laboratories in thcombn jungles, seizing the cocai in transit. we have seized record a o tons, lt ar and ts ar
we're doing eve better th last year. soy rkg together, we can be mucore effectivendha is the cmient we just made, or ratified th aeron. presentrump: that was a long and verdiomaticnswer to youruestio i will say it a little bit shorter. was work, jt k israel. th work. beeve me. th wk. ande have nohoice. peter baker. >> thank your. president. in the light of a vy busy news week, a lot of people would li to get to the bott of a couple of things, give you a chance to o rorhere. did you at any time urge f.b. reor james cey to close or ck down the investigation into michael flynn. president trump: n >> next question. as y lk back over the past six monthsrear, have you had
any recollection whe y've woered if anything you have done has been something that might be worthy of criminal charges in thesenvtigations or ieame as so on th left are implying. prident trump: i thi it's totallyidiculous, everybody thinks so. weave tgeback to wki r country propey we ca ke care of the problems. weave plenty of problem. we hav done aantastic job. we have a tremendoro of people, millionand peoples -- anmillions of people out ere, who take a look at what yo jussaid and saidhat are they doing. director comasnpopular with mt peop. i thought whei dehat desi and i got a very, vy stng recommendation, as you know, fr t deputy attorney general, rodosstn, but when i made that decision, i actually thought it would be a birtan decion. becae u look at all the people on the docratiside, not only e publican side,
that were saying such terrle thgsbout director comey. then he had the very poor performance on wednesday. that was poor, pr performance. poor,n ct, that i believe, and you'd have to a m, d't like to speak for otr people, but i belve that's why t dutattorney genel went t and wrote his veryve strong letter, and then on top of that, after the wednesday performance by director comey, you had a person come and have to readjust the record which many people have never seen before because there were misstatements made. and i thought that was something that was terrible. we need a great director of the f.b.i. i cherish the f.b.i. it's special. all over the world new york matter where you go, the f.b.i. is special. the f.b.i. has not had that special reputation with what happened in the campaign, what happened with respect to the
clinton campaign, and even, you could say, directly or indirectly, with respect to the much more successful trump campaign. we're going to have a director who is going to be outstanding. i'll be announcing that director very soon and i look forward to doing it. i think the people in the f.b.i. will be very, very thrilled. and just in concluding, we look forward to getting this whole situation behind us. so that when we go for the jobs, we go for the strong military, when we go for all the things that we've been burning so hard and so successfully, including health care because obamacare is collapsing, it's dead. it's gone. there's nothing to compare anything to because we don't have health care in this country. you just look at what's happening. etna just pulled out, other insurance companies are pulling out. we don't have health care. obamacare is a fallacy. it's gone. we need health care, we need to cut taxes.
we're going to cut taxes. forget what -- forget what i want, it will be the biggest tax cut in the history of our nation. that's what i want. it's going to bring back coanies, it's going to bring back jobs. we lost so many jobs, so many coanso counieshaare not so far from yo mr. esident, they're close to you, and to many other places roughout the world. 'rgoing to change that. 're going to have expansion. welrdyo. look at what hpening with ford and general motors miigan and ohio. lo at the tremendous number o jobs being announced in soany different fies. that's what i'm proud of. that's what i want to foe -- i want to focus or energy on. the other is something i can only tell you, there was no collusion. everybody, even my enemies have said, there is no collusion. so we want to get back and keep on the track that we're on because the track that we're on is record setting. and that's what we want to do, we want to break very positive records. thank you.
ou can ask a question. president santos: you have a president? >> yes, sir. as someone who led a nation that had to rebound from an epidemic of crime and drugs over many years, what do you make of mr. trump's america first policy and further, you have had a tough time with conservative radio, sometimes being called a punching bag, i'm curious if you'd give any advice to president trump on how to deal with that. president santos: i don't think i'm in position to give advice to president trump. he can te caref mself. what i -- what we did i colombia,ouui rhtly mentioned i is persere. we -- when you knowour port of
destination, ande ow- y know you're doingheorrect thing, y simply have to perseve. and that's what we've donin colombia and that'why we we on the verge of being a faid ate some yrs ago and now we're onof the stars of the region andhat'shrghar work, rseverance, and clarity of ur objectives. an that's what we ve done and we have tcoinue because t rip is not er. >> mr.resident, i'd keo ask you abt trade. you e about to start the regotiation of naftand colombia andike other unies in thhesphere has a large trade defitith the ited states. are u worried about the fact that that could contrutto creasing that tre deficit?
president trump texas -- presentrp: it's been a ng process. the esident did fantastic jo thas not easy after so many years of war. so i'm very, very prouto get to know you and i really congratulateou. there's nothing tougr than peace and we wanto make peace all over the world and you a really a greatxample of somebody that arted it. farc is,hat was long, tgh situation, as you know vy wellcoming from the country. but i think the president has done aagficent job. not eas but he's don a magnificent job. >> nearly impossible. the trade issueoudefici withhe uted states is not so large. it is a merate ficit,hi
ofoue both countriesill trtoncase the volume o trade in bh dections. and invesen also both reions. loias becoming an importaninstor he in t ited states anthis is something not many ople know, but we have considerabl instnt in e united ates. weave attempted to giv die -- dynamisme namism this. we have the free trade agreement which is working well. the number ofolbian businesses that port into the united states has grown. d we both believe that we can ke greater advantage of ose
agreements in orde to increase flow in bo dections for the benefiof the colombian and amican people. presidentru: thanyou very mu, everybody. thk u. thanyou. [ctions copyright nation cable salle corp. 2017] [captiinperformed by the national captioning institute, ich is responsle forts caption coenand accuracy. sit ncicap.org] >> tomorrow esentrump leaves o his first inrnional ip as commander in chief. he's planned visits to saudi arabia, iae ilynd the vatican, brussels for a nato eting d sicily for a g7 meeting. span has pns to cover some f the presint ents overseas over the weekend before he arrives bk in washiton on may 27. >> saturday on book tv, live, all-day coverage of the
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