tv President Trump Italian Prime Minister Joint News Conference CSPAN July 31, 2018 4:05am-4:45am EDT
border. watch this morning. join the discussion. c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> president trump said he would consider shutting down the government in september if congress fails to meet is priorities. this came during a news conference with the italian prime minister. the two met to discuss security and trade and the other issues.
pres. trump: thank you very much. thank you. i'm honored to welcome my new friend. we get along very well. welcome to the white house. andnt to begin to thank you congratulate you on your tremendous victory in its elite. it was something all the world was watching. all acrosspeople italy, and i can tell you all across the united states as well. congratulation. in your election, the italian nation has reaffirmed the great traditions of accountability, thatand accountability stretch back to ancient rome's. this proud heritage must always
be defendant. the prime minister and i pleased to announce a new dialogue between italy and the united states that will enhance cooperation on a range of issues. this includes joint security issues in the mediterranean, where we recognize italy's leadership role in the destabilization of libya and north africa. they have been terrific. we are focused on the urgent fromto protect our country terrorism and uncontrolled migration. our countries have learned border security is national security. they are one and the same. like the united states, italy is under enormous strain as a result of illegal immigration. they fought it hard.
-- i applaud the prime minister for his bold leadership and i hope others will follow his example. we are convicted that strong nations must have strong borders. we have a solemn obligation to protect our citizens and their quality of life. my administration is working hard to pass border security legislation, improve betting, and establish a merit-based system, which the united states needs very, very importantly. very badly.
border isthe concerned, if we don't get many, security, after many years of talks with in united states, i would have no problem doing a shutdown. borderime we had proper security. we are the laughing stock of the world. we of the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world. discussedg today we plans to enhance our cooperation in the right against terrorism, that also has to do with order security. i want to thank the italian people for their contributions to counterterrorism and contributions in the coalition to defeat isis, where we are fat tremendous success and in nato's resolute mission in afghanistan.
the prime minister and i agree the regime in iran must never be able to possess a nuclear weapon. never. we encourage all nations to pressure iran to end the array of malign activities. the united states welcomes the partnership of italy in these efforts. we are also addressing the crucial issue of trade and commerce. we are working closely with our european partners, including italy, to ensure fair and reciprocal trade. a few days ago i met with president juncker at the european commission. we had a great meeting. following, we announced we would remove trade barriers and increase exports of agriculture, energy, and other goods and services to the european union.
now is the perfect time to expand commerce between the united states and italy. america's booming economy setting records and so many economies creates enormous opportunities for investment. likewise, i recommend investment in italy. a great place with great people. i look forward to working with the prime minister to open up opportunities to reduce our trade deficit substantially and increase over mutual prosperity. prime minister, we discussed our shared goal of combating unfair foreign trade practices. they are brutal. but we are winning. these abuses include subsidies, excess capacity, intellectual capacity theft, currency devaluation and distortion caused by state owned
enterprise. like so many others, cooperation between cany and the united states make a tremendous difference not only for our countries but all of the world. it is making a big difference. we are making a big difference, a tremendous difference on trade hand fairness but we also have to be fair to the people of the united states and the taxpayers of the united states. mr. prime minister, thank you again for meeting me for these important discussions. we are both outsiders to politics. can you believe it? we are outside of politics. we're both determined to protect the rights, interests, and dreams of our citizens. we will do that. i look forward to partnering with you in building on the incredible partnership of our countries and creating a brighter huge are for both the people of italy and the people
of the united states. with that, i want to thank you for coming to the white house. it is my great honor. thank you. >> good afternoon. i wish to thank you for the kind invitation and warm hospitality. after the -- of my government. of specials a sign attention to italy and to me as well. forgive me but i do not want to -- speaking in my wonderful language now. >> [translator speaking] thank
you to all of the families and of --s of families the fires that took place in california -- also an affectionate hello to france. our relationship goes way back. we strengthened it today. i'm extremely happy about this. all at the white house. we have made a step ahead in order to intensify our cooperation and work together. it will be even more adequate vis-a-vis the political and economic situation. there is another element that , we are bothser
governments that represent change. change theitizens to status quo and improve life conditions. there are so many things that bring us together and unify us. we are doing what we had promised during our electoral campaigns and working in order to give answers to the expectations of our citizens so we will not disappoint them and we do not a tray our mandate. we are proving that changes possible. donald and i have concentrated on a number of topics. reachedagreed upon and the following results, which in part were already mentioned today. we will have made a great step ahead. italy withrt work in
, inrectorship as it were the mediterranean between italy and the united states. twinld say we are almost countries in which italy is point ina reference europe, and a privileged interlocutory for the united states for the main threats and challenges that we have before us. terrorism and all of the crises we see in the mediterranean, and in particular in regards to libya. secondly, the american administration also recognizes that italy has a leadership role as a promoter country that will lead to the stabilization of libya. of course, this with a great respect for the libyan population. with the united states, we will be working in order to reach these results, and we will decide what needs to be done to reach this result.
i am truly thankful to you, donald, for your support. thirdly, in terms of immigration, i also described to president trump the innovative approach that italy has put forth and the european union union now has a responsibility to not leave the weight of the management of immigration on the shoulders of the countries of first arrival, like italy is. and as you heard president trump say, we appreciate this contribution which is provided by the italian government, which is providing good results. we are talking about a multilevel approach in order to try to resolve the phenomenon of immigration, not because of an emergency but because this is a structural approach. i want to underline, this is with the position of president trump, which goes from the respective dignity of people, to
make sure that the fundamental rights are protected, and it wants to make sure that these rights are not trampled over because people are in the hands of criminal bands. i also want to underline that the world day for the exchange of human beings is going to be celebrated. i also told president trump that i am very satisfied for the understanding we have reached very recently between ourselves and european commissioner juncker. i believe this understanding is fundamental and we have to work on it immediately, wringing our -- bringing our efforts together to make sure that european americans, italian citizens, received the benefit of a more equitable trade relationship, which is completely reciprocal. and once again, as far as russia is concerned, you know that
italy is favorable to a dialogue with russia, but italy also considers that the dialogue between the united states and russia is fundamental, so that we can have positive results in a more global perspective for stability and security purposes. in terms of energy security, president trump and i also found ourselves in agreement with the need to make sure that they are is a greater diversification for the sources of energy, to make sure that the roots, the energy roots, are diversified as well. and finally, i personally am sure that we can increase and improve the relationship with the united states at all levels, and in particular in space and aerospace fields. we already have a rate
-- great partnership between the italian space agency and nasa, so we hope that aerospace will bring together american technology and italian technology, so we can launch new aircraft that cross the atmosphere and will be able to bring the united states and italy together. this is a project i would like to speak in detail with the american administration. i thank you for your attention. pres. trump: thank you. "daily caller"? reporter: thank you, mr. president. to follow what you were saying about the shutdown -- are you saying you would be willing to shut the government down in september if it does not fully fund $25 billion worth of your border wall and deliver all the
immigration priorities you listed it in her tweet? your tweet? are you leaving some room for negotiation there? pres. trump: i will always leave room for negotiation, but this has been many years. it has been many years, even decades. we have immigration laws. we have border security. we have all sorts of things going on. it is disgraceful. we are doing a phenomenal job. we are setting records. but we have laws that do not work. so we are working all around those laws here it i have to tip my hat to the border patrols for the law enforcement, to ice, which really has been maligned by the democrats. do, they go into these ms 13 nests of bad people, killers in many cases, and they get them out.
they either go to jail or they get out of the country. i want to take my hat off to ice and the brave people that have really been maligned by the democrats. we need border security. without a border, as this gentleman can tell you, because the prime minister -- it was a very big factor in his win and other people's win in italy, but it was a big factor in my win. we need border security. border security includes the wall, but it includes many other things. we have to end the lottery. we have to end the chain. the chain is a disaster. you bring one person in and you wind up with 32 people. we have to end these horrible catch and release principles where you catch somebody, you take your name, and you release them. you do not even know who they are. and then they are supposed to come back to a court case where they want us to hire thousands of judges. the whole thing is ridiculous, and we have to change our laws. we do that through congress.
i would like to close it down. we are already approving various bills. we always put the military and law enforcement very high. i would be willing to consider a shutdown if we don't get proper order security. thank you. >> is the $25 billion the red line for you? >> i just want great order security. trump: i just want great border security.
--tem there was a clear stance taken. condition and need to rebalance the expenditure. disproportionate. reasonablebsolutely positions and standards. i take them into great account and i will try to make the others understand his positions as well. you must negotiate with the united states to find the balance in the interest of italian citizens, american citizens, european citizens. pres. trump: i would like to add to that, i want to thank you for what you just said, because it's been very unfair to the united states. we had a very good g7 meeting. that's where giuseppe and i became friends. i think we were probably more closely aligned than anyone else
in the room. but it was a great meeting and every roots act, i would say was very good. nato in particular, i went to nato. nato was essentially going out of business. people were not paying and it was going down down down. just look at the line. i came along last year. in a fairly nice tone, i said, you got to pay. and, they paid $44 billion more. this year, i said it in a little bit stronger tone. they are paying hundreds of billions of dollars more over the years. and nato will be strong again. if you speak to the secretary-general, i think he's the biggest fan of trump. he said we could not collect money until president trump came along. he said last year, we collected $44 billion and this year, the money is pouring in. but it's like the prime minister said, talk about imbalance. we are treated unfairly. the united states was treated
very, very unfairly. because we are shouldering anywhere from 70% to 90% of the cost of nato. that's not fair. that's not fair. especially when you take germany, and germany is paying 1%, a little more than 1%. they are buying and paying tremendous amounts of money to russia. so we are supposed to protect countries from russia, but they are paying russia billions and billions of dollars for the energy. not good, not a good situation. and i let it be known. so, the bottom line is the nato countries are paying a lot more money and nato is becoming a lot stronger because of it. i appreciate your answer, thank you. please. pm conte: sorry, donald, may i add something? as a person with a huge experience as a lawyer, you have
a president to as a strong supporter and advocate of the interest of the american people and the american country. i am told -- someone from my country wants to ask a question. reporter: despite terrific potential, the italian economy underperforms regularly. given your stellar success in the american economy, what do you think could reignite the italian economy and what role do you think that e.u. should play in it. do you think president trump's formula would work in italy as well? pres. trump: i think they needed great leadership. i think the prime minister is going to do a tremendous job in economic development.
in. addition to borders. for economic development, you need borders also. you have a man who is is going to do a terrific job, i have no doubt about it. he knows how to sell, how to promote a great product, because they make among the greatest products. i won't mention their names, but they are great. i have some of them. and italy makes great product. and i think it's going to do very well economically, and we are there to help. we have had record numbers. i have been here for more than a year and a half, and we have had record numbers. we have had numbers nobody believed possible. especially, if you look at one particular fact that was not reported very much, trade deficit, $52 billion reduction in the trade deficit for the quarter. i think probably steven mnuchin, the treasurer, is here. and mike pompeo. nobody thought that would be possible so quickly. $52 billion reduction. i think italy is going to be able to do the same thing. slightly different numbers but the same thing. reporter: what role should the
european union play in the matter? what role do you think the european union should play in the reignition? pres. trump: that is up to them, i don't want to get involved. jean-claude and i had to a meeting last week. tariffs andoned cars. we get along very well. very well. i think they're going to treat us very fairly. and we are going to treat them fairly. as you know, it has been a one-way street. the european union has taken advantage of the united states. we cannot let that happen. it is not fair to the united states. by the way, italy has a $31 billion surplus with the united states. meaning we have a $31 billion trade deficit. we discussed that, and we will work something out. we are going to work something out.
ok? thank you. pm conte: as far as i am concerned, i am very envious of the growth and figures of the american economy. we discussed that before with donald. somehow, these are systems which cannot be compared because of the orders of magnitude, they are very different. ambitious at the same time. i'm ambitious for my economy to do a lot, more than what was done in the past. we are preparing this year's forms, which will be submitted to european partners. i do not want the tax reform to be set aside. it was a leverage in this country for economic growth. it represents a leverage for economic growth. working also on streamlining and simplifying red tape and registration and regulation to
eliminate corruption pockets. we are trying to speed up the civil trials, the procedures and the proceedings. all sectors together with the citizens, an income that will support these people. to help people lose their jobs to find new ones. these are all the reforms we consider to be a positive element to represent economic leverage for our country, which we can try and reach the growth. pres. trump: one of the biggest things we have done, obviously the massive tax cuts. it may be equal to, the tremendous cuts in regulation. i know italy well, they have a lot of regulation. i have no doubt that the prime minister giuseppe will be working hard on that. but i think, is giuseppe, i can say from ours and point one of the most important things we did was cutting massively these
horrible regulations. i believe strongly in the environment. i want the cleanest water, the cleanest air, the cleanest everything. the best everything. but you had 10 regulations for every point. it was ridiculous. it would take many years to get a highway or road approved. we have that way down. hopefully we'll get down to one year, and make it rejected, but at least it will go quickly. we want regulation, but it's going to be cut to a minimum. i think italy will follow suit. i know they have looked at it strongly and will follow suit. ok? thank you. thank you very much. roberta of reuters, please. hello, roberta. reporter: thank you, mr. president. you spoke a little bit about iran today, and your discussions. i am wondering if you could tell us what you think iran needs to do to reduce some of the tensions. you met with the leaders of north korea and russia, are you
prepared, willing to meet with the president of iran and under what conditions? have there been any preliminary discussions about something like that? pres. trump: i'll meet with anybody. i believe in meeting. the prime minister said it better than anyone can say it, speaking to other people, especially when talking about the potentials of war and death and famine and lots of other things, you meet. there's nothing wrong with meeting. we met, as you know, with chairman kim, and he hasn't had a missile fired off in nine months. we got our prisoners back. so many things have happened that are so positive. i had a great meeting, in my opinion, of course the fake news didn't cover it that way, i had a great meeting with russia, with president putin. i think it was a great meeting in terms of safety in economic development and protecting israel and everybody. i thought it was a great meeting.
a great meeting with nato, i just explained hundreds of billions of dollars of more money will be paid into the nato, the coffers of nato. and much already has. so, i believe in meeting. i would certainly meet with iran if they wanted to meet. i don't know if they are ready. they are having a hard time right now. but i ended the iran deal, it was a ridiculous deal. i do believe they will probably end up wanting to meet. i am ready to meet anytime they want to. and, i don't do that from strength or weakness, i think it's an appropriate thing to do. if we could work something out that is meaningful, not the waste of paper that the other deal was, i would certainly be willing to meet. reporter: do you have preconditions for the meeting? pres. trump: no preconditions. no. if they want to meet, i will meet. anytime they want. it's good for them, good for us, and good for the world. no preconditions. if they want to meet, i'll meet.
reporter: prime minister, i wanted to ask if you and the president -- you talked about the need to stabilize libya. i wanted to ask if you and the president discussed working together on energy production in libya in some way. did you discuss oil production in libya, do you see a way for the united states to become involved there? perhaps with italy's help? pm conte: we discussed the problem of stabilizing libya, and obviously of the security to be guaranteed for the whole of the iranian area. you see, it's not only a problem of the migration routes, many of the migration routes from other countries concentrate
in the libyan area, but it's also a problem of security in general. through the migration routes, foreign fighters might reach european territory. agents who could carry the terrorist threat. we did not discuss in details the problems. certainly it is our intention to respect the libyan population. we are not driven by economic interest or the problem of energy supply. our interest, i have already said, we are going to organize an agreement with president trump. i'm going to organize a conference on libya. we would like to deal and discuss all of the issues relating to the libyan people, involving all of the stakeholders, actors. the government in the whole mediterranean. were going to discuss economic aspects but also the social aspect. the protection of civil rights. the problem of passing laws to
enable libya in particular to get democratic elections in a condition of utmost stability. i am told that someone wants to ask a question. thank you. reporter: i have a question to the prime minister and then president trump. there are three pending issues on the table with the american administration. one of them is sanctions to russia. since italy, the two main government parties in italy said they want to lift sanctions on russia, what is your position, it seems that the government is asking these sanctions to be kept. the other two points are the
pipeline and the american department continues with the work, while there are some positions in italy against the project. and the ex-pat program. will italy confirm the program? pm conte: i'm going to answer on the sanctions on russia. i'm going to repeat what i said before, because i've taken a stance. i'm going to be boring. but this confirms the position of the italian government is not changing. we are open to dialogue with russia. we do believe russia is playing a fundamental role in
international geopolitical crisis. as president trump says, if we want to solve problems, we cannot choose the counterparts to deal with. we must accept a seat at the table and have a dialogue with those who are in reality our counterparts. as far as the sanctions systems specifically are concerned, i am well aware of the minsk agreement. the outcome is connected, so it is clear it is unthinkable to lift overnight those sanctions. however, because we are open to dialogue with russia, the position of my government has been stated. straightaway it is to make sure that the system of sanctions, doesn't affect the economy of enterprises in russia. in a leave from that point of
view has intense economic relationships with russia. in order to stress once again a final statement, sanctions against russia are not and cannot amend. trans-asiaticue, pipeline. i discussed this with president -- and idai reported reported to him that my government is aware that strategic work of the energy and we are perfectly aware this can provide a contribution in the renewal of energy systems and the elimination of coal, part of our problem. at the same time, i correctly informed president trump that there are some uncertainties by local communities.
since this is where the pipeline will land. since problem's must be faced directly, i'm not trying to avoid them, once i go back to italy as soon as a symbol i will theuss the issue with ministers and will go and meet the local mayors, the local communities, trying to find a solution which will take into account the concerns of local communities. , this is a program which was decided in 2002. the agreement was signed in 2002. so it is a big deal in terms of talking about needs for defense and security. as a government, we are responsibly evaluating at this time. as you know, there is already a process of order taking place.
muchrders are issued earlier because the work is really complex. we will continue to follow this and make all of the necessary choices in a very cautious way. in view of the needs of securities and being transparent with our partner, the trump administration. pres. trump: thank you very much. sanctions on russia will remain as is. as far as a pipeline is concerned, i would like to see a competing pipeline. so mr. prime minister, i hope you will be able to do that competing pipeline. we are already talking to the european union about building nine to 11 ports, which they will pay for, so we can ship our lng over to various parts of europe. that will be more competition. but these sanctions on russia will remain as is. ok, thank you very much, everybody.
thank you. thank you. >> thank you. pres. trump: thank you very much. announcer: after his news conference with the italian prime minister, president trump --- this this wearing theing-in ceremony for incoming veterans and their secretary robert wilkie, they are joined by vice president pence and senator tom tillis along with members of mr. wilkie's family. president donald trump: thank you to vice president pence, mattis,y of defense chairman
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