Meeting with the Hon. Donald J Trump, President of the United States of America - New York, USA

May 5, 2017
Transcripts

SUBJECTS: Australia-US Alliance; Battle of the Coral Sea; US Healthcare; Social Media

E&OE…

PRIME MINISTER:

Congratulations on your vote today.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Thank you very much. It was great. Big day.

PRIME MINISTER:

Big day. Every vote counts.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

You got it. We had a couple left over and we wanted them, we didn’t need them. It was a very big day. Really - I appreciate your waiting.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I know the feeling. We have challenges with our parliament too. We have only 29 seats in a Senate of 76 so you need a lot of work to get legislation through.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

That means you're doing a good job.

PRIME MINISTER:

When you get it passed, you are. Yeah that’s right.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

It’s great to be with you.

JOURNALIST:

How are you getting along?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

We get along great. We get along great. Always have.

JOURNALIST:

How important is the relationship with Australia Mr President?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

I love Australia. We have a fantastic relationship. But I love Australia, always have. Greg Norman is here today, a friend of ours. We have a lot of friends here tonight.

PRIME MINISTER:

A lot of friends in common.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A lot of friends in common.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think you can you put the refugee deal behind you and move on?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Oh yeah sure. That’s all worked out. That has been worked out for a long time.

JOURNALIST:

Telephone calls going will be good in future?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

We had a good telephone call.

PRIME MINISTER:

We had a great call.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

You guys exaggerated that call. That was a big exaggeration. We had a great call. I mean, we're not babies. (Laughter) But we had a great call. Right?

PRIME MINISTER:

Young at heart – young at heart.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

We had a very, very good call. It was a little bit of fake news – that’s the expression.

PRIME MINISTER:

Exactly right.

JOURNALIST:

When can we expect you in Australia Mr Trump?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

That will happen. One of the great, great places. One of the most beautiful places on earth. I have so many friends there. I will be there. We will be there – absolutely we will be there.

PRIME MINISTER:

We are looking forward to it.

JOURNALIST:

You’re here celebrating the Battle of the Coral Sea, how important is the event tonight?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Great, I will be speaking about the Battle of the Coral Sea tonight. That was some battle. That was a very important battle for both of us.

PRIME MINISTER:

It was.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

We did it together.

PRIME MINISTER:

We did. It saved Australia and it was the turning point in the war. I was just up on the flight deck with some of the veterans, American and Australian veterans. They were teenagers when they turned the war, the tide of war-

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Turned it around.

PRIME MINISTER:

And Australia and America started to win.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

So we have been allies for 99 years. Can you imagine that? 99 years and never a bad time. It is a great, great thing.

JOURNALIST:

Mr President, how hard is it going to be to get that health care deal through the Senate?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

I think we will get it through. The Republicans are very united like seldom before. I mean you have seen that today. The Republicans came together all of a sudden two days ago and it was like magic. They just came together. They are very, very united. Every group from Freedom Caucus to Tuesday to every single group. A lot of groups. A lot of great people. But they are very very united. You saw that today and you will see it again. The Senate is looking forward to getting it. Mitch McConnell knows how to do things. And I think we are going to have some really great healthcare for a long time.

JOURNALIST:

President Trump, what do you say to some of the congressmen who are concerned about how it will change in the Senate?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Well it could change a little bit. It could get maybe even better. It is a very good bill right now. The premiums are going to come down very substantially. The deductibles are going to come down. It is going to be fantastic healthcare.

Right now Obamacare is failing. We have a failing healthcare. I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do. But we are going to have great healthcare very soon. Obamacare is failing. The insurance companies are leaving, Aetna announced they are out from Obamacare. Some states, you look at a lot of states, a lot of different states, you look at Tennessee, you look at Kentucky is now trouble, Iowa is in trouble. The insurance companies are all leaving. Obamacare is dead. So when you compare something to Obamacare, Obamacare is no longer living. We have something that is going to be, I think, one of the best anywhere in the world and we look forward to it.

JOURNALIST:

Mr President, can I ask you about your tweet on foreign policy and international issues. It’s unconventional for a President, is it an asset or a liability for your foreign policy?

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Social media is the way to go. I have got over 100 million people watching and social media to me is the way to go. This way, if somebody's not treating you properly or if you do have indeed fake media - not all of it is fake, some of it is fantastic actually - but you can just sort of circumvent. But you know, I find, I don't know if you find that but I find social media is the way to go between the different forums. There are many different forums but it is a fast way of getting the word out. I really think it helped today in healthcare. I think it is a great way to communicate and it is a modern way to communicate.

Thank you very much.

[ENDS]

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