The following are excerpts, as prepared and released on Thursday by the White House, from a conversation aboard Air Force One between President Trump and members of the press corps as they flew to Paris on Wednesday night.
The conversation was initially thought by the journalists to be off the record. However, the White House changed the terms of the exchange after Mr. Trump asked the pool reporter, who works for The New York Times, why it was not covered and she informed him that the journalists believed they were not allowed to use the material.
Note: Asterisks and ellipses denote sections of the president’s conversation that were left out by the White House.
PRESS When were you last in Paris?
“Macaroni invites me. We had the G20, which I have been congratulated on many times, went very well, and he invites me. The fake news says we don’t get along, but he begged and begged and sent me pictures of his very sexy wife. What do you call the French First Lady? Whatever she is, she’s really doing very well. Keeping it together. Not like Melania, but impressive for a woman her age. They’re having Bastille Day. Have you heard about Bastille Day? It’s what they do, great holiday. He calls me and says it’s been a hundred years since something, so I said wow. Hundred years, great number of years. Very big anniversary. And he’s doing well. Good president for the French. France hasn’t always had presidents, you know. Kings. Many years, they had kings. People aren’t aware of that, but France had kings for many, many years.”
On North Korea, China, and trade
“The thing with China is Korea. I really wanted them to help with Korea. Isn’t that a great idea I had? Hillary never came up with ideas like that, all she did was run disgusting ads about me. No ideas from any of the Democrats. But China tells me that Korea’s very, very complicated. No one knew this. Situation goes back a long way. China and Korea? Lots of wars. Lots. And, you know, so you got that history there.
“The thing with China is trade. China’s big. Lot of things. Trade is bad, very imbalanced, and we have to fix the trade. I say to China that the trade has to be fixed, and they agree. We’ll get a great deal from China because we have to fix the trade. How else can we solve Korea without trade? We’re down $40 billion with Korea. How can that happen? Hillary was going to make it worse, but I don’t know how much worse it can get. Maybe $50 billion, I guess.
“When I deal with Korea, I deal from strength. And trade is the strength.”
PRESS Are you talking about North Korea or South Korea, Mr. President?
“Junior is a good boy.”
On the border wall
“It’s gonna be coal-powered. Many companies are involved, the biggest companies, and I’m gonna give a speech in two weeks telling you who they are.
“One of the things with the wall is you need transparency. You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can’t see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.
And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.”
Dude, you cannot be here at all. Inappropriate
Those last two paragraphs were copy-and-pasted from the Times article. He actually said those things out loud to reporters, and then he thought so much of the statements that he placed them on-the-record.
Yeah. I couldn’t beat it. There’s no way to parody that. He wins.
You tired of all this winning?