Trump Full Video & Transcripts of Both Conferences

Trump VIDEO of his Charlottesville “Both Sides” Commentary on Saturday as events were unfolding.


TUESDAY Press Conference at Trump Tower (FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW OF BOTH VIDEOS and also Trump’s Whitehouse statement on 08/14/17 Monday)

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Initial Charlottesville remarks on Saturday

Trump National Golf Club
Bedminster, New Jersey

3:33 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  As you know, this was a small press conference but a very important one, and it was scheduled to talk about the great things that we’re doing with the Secretary on the Veterans Administration.  And we will talk about that very much so in a little while, but I thought I should put out a comment as to what’s going on in Charlottesville.

So, again, I want to thank everybody for being here.  In particular, I want to thank our incredible veterans.  And thank you, fellas.  Let me shake your hand.

(The President shakes hands with veterans.)

Great people.  They’re great people.

But we’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia.  We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.  On many sides.  It’s been going on for a long time in our country.  Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama.  This has been going on for a long, long time.

It has no place in America.  What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.  No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society, and no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play, or be with their parents, and have a good time.

I just got off the phone with the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and we agreed that the hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now.  We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection — really — and I say this so strongly — true affection for each other.

Our country is doing very well in so many ways.  We have record — just absolute record employment.  We have unemployment, the lowest it’s been in almost 17 years.  We have companies pouring into our country.  Foxconn and car companies, and so many others, they’re coming back to our country.  We’re renegotiating trade deals to make them great for our country and great for the American worker.  We have so many incredible things happening in our country.  So when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very, very sad.

I want to salute the great work of the state and local police in Virginia — incredible people — law enforcement, incredible people — and also the National Guard.  They’ve really been working smart and working hard.  They’ve been doing a terrific job.  The federal authorities are also providing tremendous support to the governor.  He thanked me for that.  And we are here to provide whatever other assistance is needed.  We are ready, willing, and able.

Above all else, we must remember this truth:  No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first.  We love our country.  We love our God.  We love our flag.  We’re proud of our country.  We’re proud of who we are.  So we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville, and we want to study it.  And we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country, where things like this can happen.

My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens, but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another.  We must love each other, respect each other, and cherish our history and our future together.  So important.  We have to respect each other.  Ideally, we have to love each other.

(Veterans Comments redacted)

And again, going back to Charlottesville, we have to heal the wounds of our country.  These are wounds that have been going on for, really, a long time.  And I thought, and everybody thought, and everybody wants it to heal, and it will heal.  And we’re going to make every effort possible to make sure that that healing procedure goes as quickly as possible.

I love the people of our country.  I love all of the people of our country.  We’re going to make America great again, but we’re going to make it great for all of the people of the United States of America.

Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

They’d like me to sign the bill here instead of outside, so I think we’ll do that.  Okay?  Thank you.

(The bill is signed.)  (Applause.)

Okay?  Thank you very much, everybody.  Appreciate it.

END
3:46 P.M. EDT

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by President Trump

Diplomatic Room

12:38 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  I’m in Washington today to meet with my economic team about trade policy and major tax cuts and reform.  We are renegotiating trade deals and making them good for the American worker.  And it’s about time.

Our economy is now strong.  The stock market continues to hit record highs, unemployment is at a 16-year low, and businesses are more optimistic than ever before.  Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them.  We have already created over one million jobs since I took office.

We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon, but, based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone.

I just met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others.  To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.  Justice will be delivered.

As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  It has no place in America.

And as I have said many times before:  No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.  We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil.  And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal.  We are equal in the eyes of our Creator.  We are equal under the law.  And we are equal under our Constitution.  Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.

Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed.  Her death fills us with grief, and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers, and our love.

We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth, and their country.  Troopers Jay Cullen and Burke Bates exemplify the very best of America, and our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and every member of American law enforcement.

These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation.  In times such as these, America has always shown its true character:  responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice.

As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge.  We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.  We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in their souls.

Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless America.  Thank you very much.

END
12:43 P.M. EDT

Trump Transcript of his Charlottesville “Both Sides” Commentary on Saturday as events were unfolding.

White House releases official transcript of today’s off-the-rails Charlottesville presser. Full transcript after the jump. 

Q Mr. President, why do you think these CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?

THE PRESIDENT: Because they’re not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. And we want jobs, manufacturing in this country. If you look at some of those people that you’re talking about they’re outside of the country, they’re having a lot of their product made outsider. If you look at Merck as an example, take a look where — excuse me, excuse me — take a look at where their product is made. It’s 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’re leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside. And I’ve been lecturing them, including the gentleman that you’re referring to, about you have to bring it back to this country. You can’t do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places. You have to bring this work back to this country. That’s what I want. I want manufacturing to be back into the United States so that American workers can benefit.

Q Let me ask you, Mr. President, why did you wait so long to blast neo-Nazis?

THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t wait long.

Q You waited two days —

THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t wait long.

Q Forty-eight hours.

THE PRESIDENT: 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 don’t know the facts. And it’s a very, very important process to me, and it’s a very important statement.

So I don’t want to 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 —

Q So you had to (inaudible) white supremacists?

THE PRESIDENT: I brought it. I brought it. I brought it.

Q Was it terrorism, in your opinion, what happened?

THE PRESIDENT: As I said on — remember, Saturday — we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America. And then it went on from there.

Now, here’s the thing —

Q (Inaudible) many sides.

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. Excuse me. Take it nice and easy. Here’s the thing: When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. This event just happened. In fact, a lot of the event didn’t even happen yet, as we were speaking. This event just happened.

Before I make a statement, I need the facts. So I don’t want to rush into a statement. So making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact, the young woman, who I hear was a fantastic young woman, and it was on NBC — her mother wrote me and said through, I guess, Twitter, social media, the nicest things. And I very much appreciated that. I hear she was a fine — really, actually, 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, and unlike — excuse me, unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.

Q Why do Nazis like you — (inaudible) — these statements?

THE PRESIDENT: They don’t. They don’t.

Q They do. Look —

(Cross-talk.)

THE PRESIDENT: How about a couple of infrastructure questions.

Q Was it terrorism, that event? Was that terrorism?

Q The CEO of Walmart said you missed a critical opportunity —

THE PRESIDENT: Say it. What?

Q The CEO of Walmart said you missed a critical opportunity to help bring the country together. Did you?

THE PRESIDENT: Not at all. I think the country — look, you take a look. I’ve created over a million jobs since I’m 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’re doing record business. We have the highest levels of enthusiasm. So the head of Walmart, who I know — who’s a very nice guy — was making a political statement. I mean —

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: I’d do it the same way. And you know why? 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, unlike a lot of reporters. Unlike a lot of reporters —

Q Nazis were there.

Q David Duke was there.

THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t 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 couldn’t have made it sooner because I didn’t know all of the facts. Frankly, people still don’t know all of the facts.

It was very important — 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 after, with knowledge, with great knowledge. There are still things — excuse me — there are still things that people don’t know.

I want to make a statement with knowledge. I wanted to know the facts.

Q Two questions. Was this terrorism? And can you tell us how you’re feeling about your chief strategist, Stephen Bannon?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family, and this country. And that is — 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’s what I’d 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.

Q Can you tell us how you’re feeling about your chief strategist, Mr. Bannon? Can you talk about that?

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.

Q I would echo Maggie’s question. Steve Bannon has come under —

THE PRESIDENT: I never spoke to Mr. Bannon about it.

Q Can you tell us broadly what your — do you still have confidence in Steve?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll see. Look, look — I like Mr. Bannon. He’s a friend of mine. But Mr. Bannon came on very late. You know that. I went through 17 senators, governors, and I won all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that. And I like him, he’s a good man. He is not a racist, I can tell you that. He’s a good person. He actually gets very unfair press in that regard. But we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon. But he’s a good person, and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.

Q Senator McCain has called on you to defend your National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, against these attacks.

THE PRESIDENT: I did it the last time.

Q And he called on it again, linking —

THE PRESIDENT: Senator McCain?

Q — to the alt-right, and saying —

THE PRESIDENT: Senator McCain?

Q Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean the one who voted against Obamacare?

Q And he said —

THE PRESIDENT: Who is — you mean Senator McCain who voted against us getting good healthcare?

Q Senator McCain said that the alt-right is behind these attacks, and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in Charlottesville.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know. I can’t tell you. I’m sure Senator McCain must know what he’s talking about. But when you say the alt-right, define alt-right to me. You define it. Go ahead.

Q Well, I’m saying, as Senator —

THE PRESIDENT: No, define it for me. Come on, let’s go. Define it for me.

Q Senator McCain defined them as the same group —

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at — excuse me, what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of 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’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.

Q You’re not putting these —

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. I’m not finished. I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day —

Q Sir, you’re not putting these protestors on the same level as neo-Nazis —

Q Is the alt-left as bad as white supremacy?

THE PRESIDENT: I will tell you something. I watched those very closely — much more closely than you people watched it. And you have — you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group — you had a group on the other side that came charging in, without a permit, and they were very, very violent.

Q Is the alt-left as bad as Nazis? Are they as bad as Nazis?

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.

Q Do you think that what you call the alt-left is the same as neo-Nazis?

THE PRESIDENT: Those people — all of those people –excuse me, I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Q Should that statue be taken down?

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. If you take a look at some of the groups, and you see — and you’d know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you’re not — but many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.

So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?

But they were there to protest — excuse me, if you take a look, the night before they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.

Infrastructure question. Go ahead.

Q Should the statues of Robert E. Lee stay up?

THE PRESIDENT: I would say that’s up to a local town, community, or the federal government, depending on where it is located.

Q How concerned are you about race relations in America? And do you think things have gotten worse or better since you took office?

THE PRESIDENT: I think they’ve gotten better or the same. Look, they’ve been frayed for a long time. And you can ask President Obama about that, because he’d make speeches about it. But I believe that 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’s going to have a tremendous, positive impact on race relations.

We have companies coming back into our country. We have two car companies that just announced. We have Foxconn in Wisconsin just announced. We have many companies, I say, pouring back into the country. I think that’s going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations. You know why? It’s jobs. What people want now, they want jobs. They want great jobs with good pay, and when they have that, you watch how race relations will be.

And I’ll tell you, we’re spending a lot of money on the inner cities. We’re fixing the inner cities. We’re doing far more than anybody has done with respect to the inner cities. It’s a priority for me, and it’s very important.

Q Mr. President, are you putting what you’re calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane. What I’m saying is this: You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs — and it was vicious and it was horrible. And it was a horrible thing to watch.

But there is another side. There was a group on this side. You can call them the left — you just called them the left — that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.

Q (Inaudible) both sides, sir. You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides. Are the —

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. If you look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either.

And if you reported it accurately, you would say.

Q The neo-Nazis started this. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest —

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. They didn’t put themselves — and you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group.

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did.

You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

Q George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.

THE PRESIDENT: 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 —

Excuse me, are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him?

Q I do love Thomas Jefferson.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. Are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Now, are we going to take down his statue?

So you know what, it’s fine. You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.

Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people. But you also had troublemakers, and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets, and with the baseball bats. You had a lot of bad people in the other group.

Q Who are the good people?

Q Sir, I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? I just don’t understand what you were saying.

THE PRESIDENT: No, 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 in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest — because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit. So 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 to the country.

Does anybody have a final —

Q I have an infrastructure question.

THE PRESIDENT: You have an infrastructure —

Q What makes you think you can get an infrastructure bill? You didn’t get healthcare —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, I’ll tell you. We came very close with healthcare. Unfortunately, John McCain decided to vote against it at the last minute. You’ll have to ask John McCain why he did that. But we came very close to healthcare. We will end up getting healthcare. But we’ll get the infrastructure. And actually, infrastructure is something that I think we’ll have bipartisan support on. I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure.

Q Mr. President, have you spoken to the family of the victim of the car attack?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I’ll be reaching out. I’ll be reaching out.

Q When will you be reaching out?

THE PRESIDENT: I thought that the statement put out — the mother’s statement I thought was a beautiful statement. I will tell you, it was something that I really appreciated. I thought it was terrific. And, really, under the kind of stress that she’s under and the heartache that she’s 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.

* * * *

Trump answers question as he walks away from the podium.

Q Will you go to Charlottesville? Will you go to check out what happened?

THE PRESIDENT: I own a house in Charlottesville. Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville?

Q Where is it?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh boy, it’s going to be —

Q Where is it?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s in Charlottesville. You’ll see.

Q Is it a winery or something?

THE PRESIDENT: It is the winery.

I mean, I know a lot about Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a great place that’s been very badly hurt over the last couple of days.

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: I own, actually, one of the largest wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville.

Q Do you believe your words are helping to heal this country right now?

Q What do you think needs to be done to overcome the racial divides in this country?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think jobs can have a big impact. I think if we continue to create jobs — over a million, substantially more than a million. And you see just the other day, the car companies coming in with Foxconn. I think if we continue to create jobs at levels that I’m creating jobs, I think that’s going to have a tremendous impact — positive impact on race relations.

Q Your remarks today, how do you think that will impact the racial, sort of conflict, today?

THE PRESIDENT: The people are going to be working, they’re going to be making a lot of money — much more money than they ever thought possible. But that’s going to happen.

Q Your remarks today.

THE PRESIDENT: 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 doing so well with respect to employment and unemployment, I believe wages will start to go up. I think that will have a tremendously positive impact on race relations.

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