Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference | September 7, 2020
THE PRESIDENT: We're talking about where? Non-lethal force?
Q Right. So in the riots, most recently -
THE PRESIDENT: The riots?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think what's happened is the - the toughness. These are Democrat-run cities, all. And there's no - there's no retribution. There's no - they stand there, they throw things at the people that are supposed to be protecting something, and nothing happens. They throw rocks. They throw cans of soup. They throw lots of hard objects. And rarely does anything happen.
But I've told, when we have the federal in there - as you know, I told the U.S. Marshals to go get the man who killed a - another man. And they know who it was, and you have to arrest him. You have to arrest him. After two and a half days, they didn't arrest him. The U.S. Marshals went in, and it ended up being a gunfight, and the man was killed. But this is a man that had a bad record, and this is a man that killed a man in the street. I mean, I witnessed it; most people witnessed it. And the U.S. Marshals went in; they weren't playing games. They can't play games. If somebody is breaking the law, there's got to be a form of retribution.
I watch - so often, when I watch some of the areas that we're talking about - now we have Rochester - that's, again, Democrat governor, Democrat mayor. All Democrats, every one of them, and it always will be.
I was with the governor in Texas; he looked at me and said, "I can't imagine how they allow this to happen." And, you know, it's different. It's different. I could talk about other governors saying the same thing.
Yeah, please, go ahead.
Q If I could follow up on that. We're also hearing reports of groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter traveling around the country, leaving their home cities to go riot and protest in other cities where they're causing damage.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q Do we expect to see prosecution or charges -
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q - from the Department of Justice for those traveling for that purpose?
THE PRESIDENT: So we have now over 1,000 people - federal - in jail. We're prosecuting many people. A big thing was when I signed the law putting people in jail, if you knock down monuments. That was three months ago. There hasn't been a federal monument knocked down in three months, or even thought about. I don't think they've even thought about it. So that's had a very big impact - a very big impact.
But, yeah, we're going around, and the nice part is you people take - see those people up there? - they take nice pictures of everybody, so we don't even have to bother. We can use the news photos. We had a photo right over there of Andrew Jackson, the monument. He was getting ready, and this guy was a big, brave guy, and he was up like this, and he was showing off to all his friends. And he got arrested, and so did a lot of other people get arrested. And I would say we have the ultimate proof. Now, in that case, we got there before they ripped down the statue of Andrew Jackson, which is so beautiful, which is right over there. But they never got it.
But right after that, I signed a - an order saying you go to prison for 10 years. And as soon as I signed that order, that was the end of the statues coming down. But they have other ideas. They've - they've got plenty of ideas. They're not at want for ideas.
Please, go ahead.
Q Mr. Spunt - David Spunt from Fox News. Mr. Trump - Mr. President, thank you for taking my question. Sir, you talked a lot about the economy and touted the economy. Three weeks ago, in Bedminster, I asked you specifically why you have not called Democratic leadership in the White House to meet with them. If they don't want to meet, it's on them.
A lot of people are criticizing you. I cover you on the weekends and stuff. You're -
THE PRESIDENT: I don't think they are.
Q - doing a lot of golfing. Why have you not met with them in person?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q I mean, we're in September. There is no deal. There is no hope of a deal.
THE PRESIDENT: I know. I know.
Q We're two months out from the election. What do you say to -
THE PRESIDENT: Don't say there's "no hope." Why do you say there's "no hope"?
Q But what can you say to the millions -
THE PRESIDENT: What do you know?
Q Well, what can you say - it doesn't seem -
THE PRESIDENT: What do you know?
Q It doesn't seem like there's hope, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: And let me just tell you: I know my customers; that's what I do. I know Pelosi, I know Schumer very well. They don't want to make a deal because they think it's good for politics if they don't make a deal. This has nothing to do with anything other than you have to know who you're dealing with. I do. These are people that I don't have a lot of respect. I don't think they have a lot of respect for the American people. And I know who I'm dealing with.
And I don't need to meet with them to be turned down. They don't want to make a deal because they know that's good for the economy. And if they make a deal that's good for the economy, and therefore it's good for me for the election in November - November 3rd, and therefore they're not going to make a deal.
Now, if we gave the store away, if we bailed out all of their Democrat-run cities where we give them a trillion dollars, which is the kind of money they want - they want a trillion dollars to bail out badly run, Democrat cities and states. Whether it's New York or Illinois or others, they want to bail them out. And we're saying, "Well, we're not going to pay that kind of a price in order to bail the cities out." We'll do something to help cities, but that's going to have to rest on its own.
And why didn't you do this at the beginning? Because they could have done it at the beginning. So I know who I'm dealing with.
And I'm on the phone with Mnuchin and with Meadows and with all of these people constantly, you know, while they're there. But I also know when it's time to meet with people. I've done very well with deals, okay? That's what I do. And I know when it's time to meet. But I don't have to meet them in order to be turned down and in order for them to walk out to the sticks - which is the microphones - and give you people a false report of what just took place in the Oval Office.
So they don't want to make a deal because they think that if the country does as badly as possible, even though a lot of people are being hurt, that's good for the Democrats. But, David, that's a bad thing.
Yeah, please. Go ahead.
Q But as President, shouldn't you take the high road, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I am taking the high road. I'm taking the high road by not seeing them. That's the high road.
Q And you -
Q Thank you, Mr. President. David -
THE PRESIDENT: And if I thought it made a difference or would make a difference, I'd do it in a minute.
Yeah. Go ahead.
Q Yeah, David Jackson, USA Today. My question is about the Durham report, which you have talked about recently. You said, "Let's see what happens." Now, you've accused people of committing crimes against you during the Russia investigation -
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Sure. Sure.
Q -including President Obama and Joe Biden.
THE PRESIDENT: They spied on my campaign. That's right.
Q Because my question is -
THE PRESIDENT: They spied on my campaign. And if they were Democrats, they would have been in jail two years ago. They would have been in jail - literally, if this side were the Democrat side, they would have been in jail two years ago for 50-year terms for treason and other things.
Q But excuse me, my question is: Do you want the Justice Department to indict people over this?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm not going to say that. I have to see the report. I haven't seen - I purposely - I don't know if that was a good thing, smart thing. I don't know. But nobody can complain about it. I have every right to have been very much involved, and maybe someday I'll get involved in it.
They spied on my campaign, and that includes Biden and Obama. They spied on my campaign trying to defeat me. They wrote up a fake dossier that has proven to be totally fake - written by Christopher Steele, paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats - and they used that illegally in the FISA courts.
If we did what they did, you would have many people in jail all right - right now. And you have, other than the one agent that admitted his guilt that he forged documents - we don't have that yet, but the report hasn't been issued yet. Let's see what happens.
Q It sure sounds like you want to prosecute people.
THE PRESIDENT: But let me just - let me just tell you something: President Obama and Biden - Sleepy Joe, he knew everything that was happening. They were spying on my campaign, and they got caught. Now let's see what happens.
But if this were the opposite way, people would have been jailed. They would have been in jail already for a period of at least - it would have started two years ago, and it would have been 50 years for treason, because you can't do that. That's never - and nothing like that's ever happened before. Then they created, at tremendous expense - the money they paid is tremendous; I'm sure you know the money that was paid, millions of dollars. They created a fake dossier - a fake dossier - proven to be, now, fake. Everyone - and they used it in the FISA courts. That's a crime.
Q But it sure sounds like you want to prosecute -
THE PRESIDENT: So far, I haven't seen anybody have a problem. But the report hasn't been issued yet. Let's see what happens with the Durham report.
But this started at Obama, and some people would say - and some people, "Well, but he was President," like, "Let's leave him alone." If it were me, they wouldn't be leaving me alone, I can tell you. It's a totally double standard, and it's a - it's a disgrace.
And if I were a Republican senator and if I were a Republican congressman - and we have some great ones, but we have a lot of them that don't fight the way that the other side fights. We have much better policy. We have much better things going for us, like borders and walls and immigration and no sanctuary cities. And a lot - they have a lot of bad stuff going, but they're dirty fighters.