In his own words: President Trump on Charlottesville protest

Remarks by President Donald Trump following a dialogue on infrastructure with prime advisers, adopted by a Q-and-A with journalists, as transcribed by Federal Information Service:


TRUMP: Whats up, everyone. Nice to be again in New York with all of our associates, and a few nice buddies outdoors the constructing, I need to inform you.

I need to thank all of our distinguished friends who’re with us at the moment, together with members of our Cupboard, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, and naturally our Transportation Secretary, who’s doing a wonderful job, Elaine Chao.

Thanks all for doing a — a very unimaginable and artistic job on what we will be discussing at present, which is infrastructure.

We simply had an amazing set of briefings upstairs on our infrastructure agenda. My administration is working day-after-day to ship the world-class infrastructure that our individuals deserve, and admittedly, that our nation deserves. That is why I simply signed a brand new government order to dramatically reform the nation’s badly damaged infrastructure allowing course of.

Simply blocks away is the Empire State Constructing. It took eleven months to construct the Empire State Constructing. However at this time, it may possibly take so long as a decade and far more than that. Many, many tales the place it takes 20 and 25 years simply to get approvals to start out development of a reasonably routine freeway. Freeway builders should rise up to sixteen totally different approvals involving 9 totally different federal businesses ruled by 29 totally different statutes. One company alone can stall a undertaking for a lot of, a few years and even many years.

Not solely does this value our financial system billions of dollars nevertheless it additionally denies our residents the protected and trendy infrastructure they deserve. This overregulated allowing course of is an enormous, self- inflicted wound on our nation. It is disgraceful. Denying our individuals a lot-wanted investments of their group and I simply need to present you this as a result of it was simply proven me and I feel I’ll present it to the media.

Each actual and faux media, by the best way. That is what it takes to get one thing accepted at this time.

Elaine, you see that?

So that is what it takes. Allowing course of circulate chart, that is a stream chart. So that may exit to twenty years, this exhibits about 10. However that may exit to about 20 years to get one thing accredited. That is for a freeway. I’ve seen a freeway lately in a sure state, I will not point out its identify, it is 17 years.

I might have constructed it for $four million or $5 million with out the allowing course of. It prices a whole lot of tens of millions of dollars nevertheless it took 17 years to get it accepted and lots of, many — many, many pages of environmental influence research. That is what we’ll deliver it right down to. That is lower than two years. That is going to occur shortly, that is what I am signing at the moment.

This will probably be lower than two years for a freeway. So it should be fast, it may be a really streamlined course of. And by the best way, if it does not meet environmental safeguards, we’re not going to approve it. Quite simple. We’re not going to approve it. So that is — perhaps this one, we’ll say “let’s throw the opposite one away.” Would anyone prefer it from the media? Would anyone like that lengthy, lovely chart? You’ll be able to have it.

So my government order additionally requires businesses to work collectively effectively by requiring one lead company for every main infrastructure venture. It additionally holds businesses accountable in the event that they fail to streamline their evaluation course of. So every company is accountable. We will get infrastructure constructed shortly; inexpensively, comparatively talking; and the allowing course of will go very, in a short time.

Not will we tolerate one job-killing delay after one other. Not will we settle for a damaged system that advantages consultants and lobbyists on the expense of hardworking People. Now, I knew the method very nicely, in all probability higher than anyone. I needed to get permits for this constructing and most of the buildings I constructed — all the buildings I inbuilt Manhattan and lots of different locations.

And I’ll inform you that the consultants are wealthy individuals. They go round making it very troublesome, they foyer Congress, they foyer state governments, metropolis governments to make it very troublesome in order that you must rent consultants and that it’s a must to take years and pay them a fortune. So we’re streamlining the method and we cannot be having a lot of that any extra.

Not will we permit the infrastructure of our magnificent nation to crumble and decay. Whereas defending the surroundings, we’ll construct gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels and highways. We’ll rebuild our nation with American staff, American iron, American aluminum, American metal. We’ll create tens of millions of latest jobs and make tens of millions of American goals come true.

Our infrastructure will once more be the perfect on the planet. We used to have the best infrastructure anyplace on the planet. And at the moment we’re like a 3rd world nation. We’re actually like a 3rd world nation. Our infrastructure will once more be the perfect and we’ll restore the satisfaction in our communities, our nation and everywhere in the United States, we’ll be proud once more.

So I need to thank everyone for being right here. God bless you, God bless the USA. And in case you have any questions, we now have — Mick, you can come up right here, please. Come on up. Mick Mulvaney. In case you have any questions, please be happy to ask.

QUESTION: Why do you assume that CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?

TRUMP: As a result of they are not taking their job critically because it pertains to this nation. We would like jobs, manufacturing on this nation. For those who take a look at a few of these individuals that you simply’re speaking about, they’re outdoors of the nation. They’re having a number of their product made outdoors. When you take a look at Merck, for instance, have a look the place — excuse me, excuse me — check out the place their product is made. It is made outdoors of our nation. We would like merchandise made within the nation.

Now, I’ve to inform you, a number of the people that may depart, they’re leaving out of embarrassment as a result of they make their merchandise outdoors. And I have been lecturing them, together with the gentleman that you simply’re referring to, about you need to deliver it again to this nation. You’ll be able to’t do it essentially in Eire and all of those different locations. It’s a must to convey this work again to this nation.

That is what I would like. I would like manufacturing to be again into america in order that American staff can profit.


QUESTION: … wait so lengthy (inaudible)?

TRUMP: I did not wait lengthy. I did not wait lengthy.


TRUMP: I did not wait lengthy. I needed to ensure, in contrast to most politicians, that what I stated was right, not make a fast assertion. The assertion I made on Saturday, the primary assertion, was a positive assertion. However you do not make statements that direct until you understand the details. It takes a short while to get the details. You continue to do not know the information. And it is a very, essential course of to me. And it is an important assertion.

So, I do not need to go shortly and simply make a press release for the sake of creating a political assertion. I need to know the details. When you return to my…


TRUMP: I introduced it. I introduced it. I introduced it.

QUESTION: What did you (inaudible)?

TRUMP: As I stated on — keep in mind this — Saturday, we condemn within the strongest attainable phrases this egregious show of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America. And once I went on from there.

Now, this is the factor. As to — excuse me, excuse me — take it good and straightforward.

This is the factor. Once I make a press release, I wish to be right. I would like the details. This occasion simply occurred. In reality, a number of the occasion did not even occur but, as we have been talking. This occasion simply occurred. Earlier than I make a press release, I want the details.

So I do not need to rush into a press release. So making the assertion once I made it was wonderful. In reality, the younger lady who I hear is a implausible younger lady, and it was on NBC, her mom wrote me and stated by way of, I assume, Twitter, social media, the nicest issues and I very a lot respect that.

I hear she was a effective, a very — truly, an unimaginable younger lady. However her mom on Twitter thanked me for what I stated. And truthfully, if the press weren’t pretend and if it was trustworthy, the press would have stated what I stated was very good. However in contrast to you and in contrast to — excuse me — in contrast to you and in contrast to the media, earlier than I make a press release, I wish to know the details.


TRUMP: They do not. They do not.


TRUMP: How about a few…


TRUMP: How about a few infrastructure questions?


QUESTION: Mr. Trump, was it terrorism, that occasion? Was that terrorism?

TRUMP: Say, what?

QUESTION: The CEO of Walmart stated you missed a (inaudible) alternative to assist deliver the nation collectively. Did you?

TRUMP: By no means. I feel the nation — look, you have a look. I’ve created over one million jobs since I am president. The nation is booming. The inventory market is setting data. We have now the very best employment numbers we have ever had within the historical past of our nation.

We’re doing document enterprise. We now have the very best ranges of enthusiasm. So the top of Walmart, who I do know is a really good man, was making a political assertion. I imply…


TRUMP: … it the identical means. And you already know why? As a result of I need to be sure once I make a press release that the assertion is right. And there was no approach — there was no means of creating an accurate assertion that early.

I needed to see the details, in contrast to numerous reporters — in contrast to loads of reporters…


TRUMP: I did not know David Duke was there. I needed to see the details. And the information as they began popping out have been very properly said. Actually, everyone stated his assertion was lovely; if he would have made it sooner, that may have been good. I could not have made it sooner as a result of I did not know all the information.

Frankly, individuals nonetheless do not know all the details. It was essential that — excuse me, excuse me — it was essential to me to get the information out and appropriately. As a result of if I might have made a quick assertion, and the primary assertion was made with out understanding a lot aside from what we have been seeing.

The second assertion was made after — with information, with nice information. There are nonetheless issues — excuse me — there are nonetheless issues that folks do not know. I need to make a press release with information. I needed to know the information. OK …


QUESTION: Was it — two questions. Was it terrorism? And may you inform us what you are feeling about your…


TRUMP: Properly, I feel the driving force of the automotive is a shame to himself, his household and his nation. And that’s — you possibly can name it terrorism. You possibly can name it homicide. You’ll be able to name it no matter you need. I might simply name it because the quickest one to provide you with a superb verdict. That is what I might name it. As a result of there’s a query. Is it homicide? Is it terrorism? And you then get into authorized semantics.

The driving force of the automotive is a assassin. And what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable factor.

QUESTION: Are you able to inform us how you are feeling about your chief strategist, Mr. Bannon? Are you able to speak about that?

TRUMP: Go forward.

QUESTION: I might echo Maggie’s query. Steve Bannon …

TRUMP: I by no means spoke to Mr. Bannon about it.

QUESTION: However are you able to inform us broadly what you are — do you continue to believe in Steve?

TRUMP: Nicely, we see — and look, look. I like Mr. Bannon. He is a good friend of mine. However Mr. Bannon got here on very late, you realize that. I went by means of 17 senators, governors, and I gained all of the primaries. Mr. Bannon got here on very a lot later than that, and I like him. He is a very good man. He isn’t a racist, I can inform you that. He is a great individual. He truly will get a really unfair press in that regard.

However we’ll see what occurs with Mr. Bannon, however he is a great individual, and I feel the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.

QUESTION: Do you have got confidence in him? As a result of he has referred to as on you to defend your nationwide safety adviser, H.R. McMaster, towards …


TRUMP: I’ve already carried out it. I did it the final time.

QUESTION: And he referred to as on it once more, linking this …

TRUMP: Senator McCain?

QUESTION: … the alt-proper and …

TRUMP: Senator McCain, you imply the one who voted towards Obamacare? Who’s — you imply Senator McCain who voted towards us getting good well being care?

QUESTION: Senator McCain stated that the alt-proper is behind these assaults, and he linked that very same group to those that perpetrated the assault in Charlottesville.

TRUMP: Properly, I do not know — I can not inform you. I am positive Senator McCain should know what he is speaking about. However if you say the “alt- proper,” outline “alt-proper” to me. You outline it, go forward.

QUESTION: Nicely, I feel that …

TRUMP: No, outline it for me, come on. Let’s go. Outline it for me.

QUESTION: Senator McCain outlined them as the identical group …

TRUMP: OK, what concerning the alt-left that got here charging them? Excuse me. What concerning the alt-left that got here charging on the — as you say, the alt-proper? Have they got any semblance of guilt?

QUESTION: Mr. Trump …


TRUMP: Let me ask you this. What concerning the reality they got here charging — that they got here charging with golf equipment of their arms, swinging golf equipment? Have they got any drawback? I feel they do.


TRUMP: So far as I am involved, that was a horrible, horrible day.

Wait a minute, I am not completed.


I am not completed, pretend information. That was a horrible day …


TRUMP: I’ll inform you one thing. I watched these very intently, far more intently than you individuals watched it. And you’ve got — you had a gaggle on one aspect that was dangerous, and also you had a gaggle on the opposite aspect that was additionally very violent, and no one needs to say that, however I am going to say it proper now. You had a gaggle — you had a gaggle on the opposite aspect that got here charging in with no allow, they usually have been very, very violent.


TRUMP: Go forward.

QUESTION: Do you assume that the — what you name the alt-left is identical as neo-Nazis?

TRUMP: These individuals — all of these individuals — excuse me. I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many various teams. However not all of these individuals have been neo-Nazis, consider me. Not all of these individuals have been white supremacists, by any stretch. These individuals have been additionally there as a result of they needed to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.

So — excuse me. And also you check out a few of the teams and also you see — and also you’d realize it in case you have been trustworthy reporters, which in lots of instances you are not, however lots of these individuals have been there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.

So this week it is Robert E. Lee. I observed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I’m wondering, is it George Washington subsequent week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?

You recognize, you all — you actually do need to ask your self, the place does it cease? However they have been there to protest — excuse me. You have a look, the night time earlier than, they have been there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.

Infrastructure query, go forward.

QUESTION: Ought to the statue of Robert E. Lee keep up?

TRUMP: I might say that is as much as an area city, group, or the federal authorities, relying on the place it’s situated.

QUESTION: Are you towards the Confederacy?

QUESTION: How involved are you about race relations in America? And do you assume issues have gotten worse or higher because you took workplace?

TRUMP: I feel they’ve gotten higher or the identical — look, they have been frayed for a very long time. And you may ask President Obama about that, as a result of he’d make speeches about it.

However I consider that the truth that I introduced in — will probably be quickly, tens of millions of jobs, you see the place corporations are shifting again into our nation, I feel that is going to have an incredible constructive influence on race relations. We’ve corporations coming again into our nation. We have now two automotive corporations that simply introduced. We’ve Foxconn in Wisconsin simply announce. We’ve many corporations I say pouring again into the nation.

I feel that is going to have an enormous, constructive impression on race relations. You realize why? It is jobs. What individuals need now, they need jobs. They need nice jobs with good pay. And once they have that, you watch how race relations might be.

And I am going to inform you, we’re spending some huge cash on the inside cities. We will repair — we’re fixing the internal cities. We’re doing excess of anyone’s accomplished with respect to the internal cities. It is a precedence for me. And it is essential.


QUESTION: Mr. President, are you placing what you are calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the identical ethical aircraft?

TRUMP: I am not placing anyone on an ethical aircraft. What I am saying is that this. You had a gaggle on one aspect and also you had a gaggle on the opposite, they usually got here at one another with golf equipment and it was vicious and it was horrible. And it was a horrible factor to observe.

However there’s one other aspect. There was a gaggle on this aspect, you’ll be able to name them the left. You’ve got simply referred to as them the left — that got here violently attacking the opposite group. So you possibly can say what you need, however that is the best way it’s.


QUESTION: … on each side, sir?


QUESTION: You stated there was hatred, there was violence on each side. Are…


TRUMP: kkWell, I do assume there’s blame — sure, I feel there’s blame on each side. You take a look at — you take a look at each side. I feel there’s blame on each side. And I’ve little question about it, and you have no doubt about it both.


TRUMP: And, and, and in the event you reported it precisely, you’d say (inaudible).


QUESTION: (inaudible) began this (inaudible) Charlottesville. They confirmed up in Charlottesville to protest…

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. (inaudible) themselves (inaudible) and you’ve got some very dangerous individuals in that group. However you additionally had folks that have been very superb individuals, on each side. You had individuals in that group — excuse me, excuse me — I noticed the identical footage as you probably did. You had individuals in that group that have been there to protest the taking down of, to them, a really, essential statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to a different identify.


QUESTION: George Washington and Robert E. Lee aren’t the identical (inaudible)…


TRUMP: George Washington was a slave-proprietor. Was George Washington a slave-proprietor? So, will George Washington now lose his standing? Are we going to take down — excuse me — are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to George Washington?


TRUMP: How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you consider Thomas Jefferson? You want him?


TRUMP: OK. Good. Are we going to take down the statue? As a result of he was a serious slave-proprietor. Now, are we going to take down his statue? So you realize what? It is nice. You are altering historical past. You are altering tradition. And also you had individuals, and I am not speaking concerning the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, as a result of they need to be condemned completely. However you had many individuals in that group aside from neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

OK? And the press has handled them completely unfairly. Now, within the different group additionally, you had some advantageous individuals, however you additionally had troublemakers and also you see them include the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You’ve got received — you had a whole lot of dangerous — you had lots of dangerous individuals within the different group …


QUESTION: … handled unfairly (inaudible) you have been saying. You have been saying the press has handled white nationalists unfairly? (inaudible) perceive what you are saying.

TRUMP: No, no. There have been individuals in that rally, and I appeared the night time earlier than. Should you look, they have been individuals protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I am positive in that group there have been some dangerous ones. The next day, it seemed like that they had some tough, dangerous individuals — neo-Nazis, white nationalists, no matter you need to name them.

However you had lots of people in that group that have been there to innocently protest and really legally protest, as a result of you already know — I do not know if you realize, that they had a allow. The opposite group did not have a allow.

So, I solely inform you this, there are two sides to a narrative. I assumed what passed off was a horrible second for our nation, a horrible second. However there are two sides to the nation (sic).

Does anyone have a last — does not anyone have a — you might have an infrastructure …


QUESTION: What makes you assume you will get an infrastructure invoice? You did not get well being care. You …


TRUMP: Properly, you recognize, I am going to inform you. We got here very shut with well being care. Sadly, John McCain determined to vote towards it on the final minute. You will need to ask John McCain why he did that. However we got here very near well being care. We’ll find yourself getting well being care, however we’ll get the infrastructure. And truly, infrastructure is one thing that I feel we’ll have bipartisan help on. I truly assume — I truly assume Democrats will go together with the infrastructure.


QUESTION: Mr. President, have you ever spoken to the household — have you ever spoken to the household of the sufferer of the automotive …


TRUMP: … I will be reaching out. I will be reaching out.

QUESTION: When will you be reaching out?

TRUMP: I used to be very — I assumed that the assertion put out — the mom’s assertion I assumed was an exquisite assertion. I need to inform you, I used to be — it was one thing that I actually appreciated. I assumed it was terrific. And actually, beneath the — underneath the sort of stress that she’s underneath and the heartache that she’s underneath, I assumed placing out that assertion to me was actually one thing I will not overlook.

Thanks all very a lot. Thanks. Thanks.


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