tv President Trump Says There is Blame on Both Sides for Violence in... CSPAN August 20, 2017 10:35am-11:01am EDT
our favorites, because i am a big nonfiction fan. the types of authors we will hear from david mccullough to jd everywho's book on reading list in every book club, it is an exciting time. i am thrilled. join book tv for the national book festival. live saturday, september 2. president trump responded to the deadly violence in charlottesville, virginia between white nationalists and counter protesters suggesting both sides were to blame for what occurred. this news conference was initially arranged to announce a newly issued executive order for streamlining infrastructure projects.
it runs about 20 minutes. pres. trump: hello, everybody. great to be back in new york with all of our friends. and some great friends outside the building, i must tell you. i want to thank all of our distinguished guests who are with us today, including members of our cabinet, treasury secretary steven mnuchin, omb director mick mulvaney, and of course, our transportation secretary, who is doing a fabulous job, elaine chao. thank you all for doing a really incredible and creative job on what we will be discussing today, which is infrastructure. we just had a great set of briefings upstairs on our infrastructure agenda. my administration is working
every day to deliver the world-class infrastructure that are people deserve and frankly that our country deserves. that is why i just signed a new executive order to dramatically reform the nation's badly broken infrastructure permitting process. just blocks away is the empire state building. it took 11 months to build the empire state building. but today, it can take as long as a decade and much more than that. many, many stories where it takes 20, 25 years just to get approvals to start construction of a fairly routine highway. highway builders must get up to 16 different approvals involving nine federal agencies, governed by 29 different statutes. one agency alone can stall a project for many years or even decades. not only does this cost our economy billions of dollars, but
it also denies our citizens the safe and modern infrastructure they deserve. this over regulated permitting process is a massive self-inflicted wound on our country. disgraceful. denying our people much-needed investments in their community. and i want to show you this because it was shown to me and i think i want to show it to the media -- both real and fake media, by the way. this is what it takes to get something approved today -- elaine, you see that? so this is what it takes. permitting process flowchart, so that can go out to 20 years. this just shows 10, but that can go out to 20 years to get something approved. this is for a highway. i have seen a highway recently in a certain state, i will not
mention its name. it is 17 years. i could have built it for $4 million or $5 million without the permitting process. it took hundreds of million dollars and 17 years to get it approved and many, many, many, many pages of environmental impact studies. this is what we will bring it down to. this is less than two years. this will happen quickly. this is what i will sign today. this will be less than two years for a highway. it is going to be quick, it is going to be a very streamlined process. and if it does not meet environmental safeguards, we are not going to approve it, very simple. we will not approve it. maybe this one will say let's throw this one away. would anybody like that from the media? would anybody like that long, beautiful chart? you can have it. so, my executive order also requires agencies to require one lead agency for each major
infrastructure project. it also holds agencies accountable if they fail to streamline their review process, so each agency is accountable. we are going to get infrastructure built quickly, inexpensively, relatively speaking, and the permitting process will go very, very quickly. no longer will we tolerate one job-killing delay after another. no longer will we accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hard-working americans. now, i knew the process very well, probably better than anybody. i had to get permits for this building and all of the buildings -- all the buildings i built in manhattan and many other places. and i will tell you the consultants are rich people. they go around making it very difficult. they lobby congress. they lobby state governments, city governments, to make it difficult so you have to hire
consultants and it you have to take years and pay them a fortune. so, we are streamlining the process and we won't be having that anymore. no longer will we have the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble and decay while protecting the environment, we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, and highways. we will rebuild our country with american workers, american iron, american aluminum, american steel. we will create millions of new jobs and make millions of american dreams come true. our infrastructure will again be the best in the world. we used to have the greatest infrastructure anywhere in the world. and today we are like a third-world country. we are literally like a third-world country. our infrastructure will again be the best, and we will restore the pride in our communities,
our nation, and all over the united states will be proud again. i want to thank everyone for being here. god bless you. god bless the united states. and if you have any questions, mick, you could come up here. come on up. mick mulvaney. if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. >> why are the ceo's leaving your manufacturing council? pres. trump: because they are not taking their jobs as seriously as it pertains to this country. we want jobs, manufacturing and this country. if you look at some of the people that you're talking about them, they are outside the country. they are having a lot of products made outside. if you look at merck, for example -- excuse me -- take a look at where their product is made. it is made outside of our country. we want products made in the country. now i have to tell you, some of , the folks that will leave, they are leaving out of
embarrassment because they make , their products outside. i have been lecturing them, including the gentleman you are referring to, that you have to bring it back in this country. you can't do it necessarily in ireland and all these other places. you have to bring this work back to this country. that is what i want. i want manufacturing to be back into the united states so that american workers can benefit. >> why did you wait so long -- pres. trump: i did not wait long. i did not wait long. i did not wait long. i wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what i said was correct, not make a quick statement. the statement i made on saturday , the first statement was a fine , statement, but you don't make statements that direct unless you know the facts. it takes a little while to get the facts. you still do not know the facts. and it is a very important process to me and it is a very
important statement. so i do not go quickly and just , make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. i want to know the facts. if you go back to my -- i brought it, i brought it, i brought it. >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: remember, saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. it has no place in america. then i went on from there. now, here's the -- excuse me, excuse me, take it nice and easy. here is the thing when i make a , statement, i like to be correct. i want the facts. this event just happened. the event had not happened yet as we were speaking. it just happened. before i make a statement, i need the facts. i do not want to rush into a statement. so making the statement when i made it was excellent. in fact, the young woman who i hear is a fantastic young woman and it was on nbc, her mother
wrote me and said, through, i guess, twitter, social media, the nicest things that i very much appreciated. i hear she was a fine -- really an incredible young woman. but her mother on twitter thanked me for what i said. and honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what i said was very nice. but unlike you -- [indiscernible] pres. trump: excuse me. but unlike the media, before i make a statement, i like to know the facts. >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: they don't. they don't. >> how about a couple of -- how about a couple of infrastructure questions? >> was that a terrorism event? was that terrorism? >> the ceo of walmart said you missed a great opportunity. an opportunity to get the country together, did you?
pres. trump: i've created over a million jobs since i was president. the country is booming. the stock market is setting records. we have the highest employment numbers we've ever had in the history of our country. we are doing record business. we have the highest levels of enthusiasm, so the head of walmart, who i know, very nice guy, was making a political statement. i mean -- >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: because i want to make sure when i make a statement that the statement is correct. and there was no way -- there was no way of making a correct statement that early. i had to see the facts, and unlike a lot reporters. unlike a lot of the reporters. i did not know david duke was there. i wanted to see the facts. and the facts, as they started coming out, were very well stated. in fact, everybody said his statement was beautiful. if he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. i could not have made it sooner because i did not know all the , facts.
frankly, people still do not know all of the facts. >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: excuse me, excuse me. it was very important to me to get the facts out and correctly, because if i would have made a fast statement -- and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing. the second statement was made with it with knowledge, greater knowledge. >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: excuse me. there are still things that people do not know. i want to make a statement with knowledge. i wanted to know the facts. ok. >> two questions. was it terrorism, and can you tell us how you are feeling about your chief strategist? pres. trump: i think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and his , country. and that is -- and you can call it terrorism. you can call it murder, you can call it whatever you want. i would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict.
that is what i call it, because there is a question, is it murder, is it terrorism, and then you get into legal semantics. the driver of the car is a murderer. and what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing. >> can you tell us about your feelings about -- your chief strategist, mr. bannon? that steveecho , bannon -- pres. trump: i never spoke to mr. bannon about it. >> [indiscernible] >> can you tell us if you still have confidence in mr. bannon? pres. trump: look, i like mr. bannon, he is a friend of mine. but he came on very late. you know that. i went through 17 senators, i won all the primaries. mr. bannon came on your much later than that and i like him. he is a good man. he is not a racist. i can tell you that. he is a good person. actually gets a very unfair press in that regard.
but we will see what happens with mr. bannon, but he is a good person, and i think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly. >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: senator mccain, senator mccain, you mean the one who voted against obamacare? do you mean senator mccain who voted against obamacare? do you mean senator mccain who voted against getting good health care? >> he said that the alt-right is behind these attacks and he linked the same group to those who perpetrated the attacks in charlottesville. pres. trump: i cannot tell you. i am sure senator mccain knows what he is talking to. when you say the alt-right, defined that for me. >> senator mccain defined them as the same group. pres. trump: excuse me. what about the alt-left who came charging at the alt-right? do they have any semblance of the guilt? let me ask you this.
what about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs. do they have any problem? i think they do. as far as i am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day -- wait a minute, i am not finished. i'm not finished. i'm not finished, fake news. that was a horrible day -- >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: and i will tell you something. i watched this very closely much , more closely than you people watched it. and you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. nobody wants to say that, but i will say it right now. you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent. >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: go ahead. >> do you think what you call the alt-left is the same as neo-nazis? pres. trump: all of those people -- excuse me.
i have condemned neo-nazis. i have condemned the different groups. but not all of those people were neo-nazis, believe me. not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. >> well what -- pres. trump: those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, robert e. lee. excuse me. and you take a look at some of the groups and you see and you know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases, you are not, that many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. so, this week it is robert e. lee. i notice that stonewall jackson is coming down. i wonder, is george washington next week, and is thomas jefferson the week after? you know, you really have to ask yourself, where does it stop? but they were there to protest -- excuse me -- you take a look at the night before. they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. infrastructure question. go ahead. >> should the statue of robert e. lee stay up? pres. trump: i would say that is
up to a local town, community, or the federal government, depending where it is located. >> race relations -- do you think things have gotten worse or better since you have taken office? pres. trump: i think they got better or stayed the same. look, they have been frayed for a long time, and you can ask president obama about that because he would make speeches about it. but i believe the fact that i brought in -- it will be soon -- millions of jobs. you see where companies are moving back into our country. i think that will have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. we have companies coming back into our country. we had two car companies just announced. foxconn just announced. we have many companies pouring back into the country. i think this will have a huge, positive impact on race relations. you know why? it is jobs. what people want now is jobs. they want good jobs with good pay.
and when they have that, you watch how race relations will be. we are spending a lot of money on inner cities. we are fixing the inner cities. we are doing far more than anybody has done with the inner cities. it is a priority for me. and it is a very important. president, are you putting what you're calling the alt-left and the white supremacists on the same moral plane? pres. trump: i am not putting anybody on a moral plane. what i'm saying is they came at it with clubs and it was vicious and horrible and a horrible thing to watch. but there is another side. there was a group on this side, you can call them the left, you have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. so you can see would you want, but that is the way it is. >> [indiscernible] >> you said there was hatred and violence on both sides. does that mean blame -- pres. trump: yes, i think there is blame on both sides. you look at both sides, i think
there is blame on both sides, and i have no doubt about it and you do not have any doubt about it either. that -- and if you reported it accurately, you would say it. >> [indiscernible] >> the neo-nazis started it. they showed up in charlottesville, the protest -- pres. trump: and you had some very bad people in that group, but you also have people that were very fine people, on both sides. you had people -- in that group -- excuse me, excuse me -- i saw the same pictures you did. you have people in that group that were there to protest taking down of to them a very, very important statue, and renaming of a park from robert e. lee to another name. >> george washington was a slave owner. >> was george washington a slave owner? so will george washington now lose his status? are we going to take down
statues of george washington? how about thomas jefferson? what you think about thomas jefferson? you like him? >> i love thomas jefferson. pres. trump: ok. are we going to take down his statue? because he was a major slave owner. so, are we going to take down his statue. you are changing history from your changing culture, and you have people -- and i am not talking about the neo-nazis or the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally . but you had people in those groups other than white nationalists and neo-nazis. and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. now in the other group you had , some fine people, but also had trouble makers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with a baseball bats, you got a lot bad people in the other group, too. >> i just didn't understand what you're saying. you were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? i don't understand what you're saying. pres. trump: no, there were people in that rally, and i
looked the night before. if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. i'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. the following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people. neo-nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. but you had a lot of people who were there to innocently protest and a very legally protest, because i do not know if you know, the other -- the group had a permit. the other group did not have a permit. i only tell you this there are , two sides to a story. i thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment, but there are two sides of the country. does anybody have a final -- you have an infrastructure -- >> what makes you think you will get an infrastructure bill? you didn't get a health care -- pres. trump: we came very close with health care. unfortunately, john mccain voted against it at the last minute. you will have to ask him what he did that.
we came very close to health care. we will end up getting health care, but we will get infrastructure, and infrastructure is something i think will have bipartisan support. i actually think democrats will go along with the infrastructure . >> have you spoken to the family of the victim -- pres. trump: i will be reaching out. >> when will you be reaching out? pres. trump: i thought that the statement put out -- the mother's statement i thought was a beautiful statement. it was something that i really appreciated. i thought it was terrific, and under the kind of stress that she is under and the heartache she is under, i thought putting out that statement to me was really something. i won't forget it. thank you, all, very much. thank you. thank you. > do you plan to go to charlottesville mr. president? , pres. trump: i own a house in charlottesville. i own a houseow
in charlottesville? oh boy, in charlottesville, you will see. >> is it the winery? pres. trump: it is the winery. i mean, i know a lot about charlottesville. charlottesville is a great place that has been badly hurt over the last couple days. i own one of the largest wineries in the united states. it is in charlottesville. >> [indiscernible] reporter: what do you think needs to be done to overcome the racial divide? pres. trump: i really think jobs can have an impact. if we can create jobs, over a million, substantially over a million, and you saw the other day with cars coming in the other day with foxconn -- if we continue to create jobs at levels that i'm creating jobs, i think this is going to have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. >> what you said today, how do you think that will impact the racial -- pres. trump: people will be working, making a lot of money. much more money than they ever thought possible. that is going to happen. and the other thing, very
important, i believe wages will start going up. they haven't gone up for a long time. i believe wages now because the , economy is going so well with respect to wages and employment, wages will go up. i think that will have a tremendously positive impact on race relations. >> [indiscernible] announcer: on friday it was announced that steve bannon would be leaving the trump administration after serving seven months as the white house chief strategist. sarah huckabee sanders said the move was a mutual agreement between mr. bannon and white house chief of staff john kelly, his next role will be executive chairman of bright board -- breitbart news. in a tweet president trump said
steve bannon will be a right and smart c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, sees ben was created as a public service by america's table -- cable television companies and to you today by your cable or satellite provider. on wednesday, a memorial service was held in charlottesville, theinia for heather heyer, 32-year-old woman you died last weekend during a counter protest against white supremacists. the memorial service included remarks from heather heyer's mother and family. this is just over an hour. >> my name is kathy.