I am sure all of you had heard the buzz and rhetoric by now about Trump saying, “I am a Nationalist.”. The mainstream media descended upon him like vultures, calling a White Nationalist and renewing their comparisons to Hitler and the like, but what did he really mean?
On October 23, 2018, he answered questions in the Oval Office, and two of those where journalists looking for clarification. In this blog, I have transcribed the 7:33 video which includes both answers. The video will be embedded at the end of the transcription.
Transcript of Nationalism Statement
President Trump: …A as being discussed right now, Mike Bolton as you know is in Russia, talking about various things including the whole nuclear situation, where we were not treated well for many years. It should have been done a long time ago, and I think something good can come out of that and I very well meet with, we probably will. It hasn’t been set up yet, but it probably will be.
Several journalists trying to get his attention…
Journalist: Can you settle some of the confusion over your comments about what you mean when you say you’re a Nationalist? What does that mean?
President Trump: I love our country, and our country has taken second fiddle. If you look at the trade deals, and nobody knows it better than me. I’m knocking out some of the worst deals I’ve ever seen, when we’re giving all of our wealth, all of our money to other countries, and then they don’t treat us properly, where we’re protecting other rich countries, very, very rich countries -including by the way a country that happens to be very much in the news, Saudi Arabia, immensely wealthy- and we’re taking care of their military for a fraction of the cost, not fair to us -other countries also, immensely wealthy countries, and we have to get reimbursed for that. We should not be the world’s police keeper and not get reimbursed and, by the way, when I bring up to the heads of countries, like Japan -Prime Minister Abi a friend of mine. I bring it up; he looks at me, and he goes, “I understand.” They understand it. Nobody has ever asked them.
President Trump: I said, “Have you ever asked…” I said, “Have ever been asked like, you have to be, like help out?” Nobody’s ever asked them. So that’s a pretty unfair thing. I’ll get back to you. I’ll get back you.
He points to another journalist.
Go back to the first who is trying to ask another question.
President Trump: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. I’m gonna get back to you. Nice-
Same Journo tries to keep going.
President Trump leans forward: No, not now, I’ll get back to you. I said.
You can’t the whole thing. You have a lot of other fine reporters.
At this point, he ignores the journo, and points to another.
President Trump: Go ahead, yes.
There is some confusion, but he points out a female journo.
Female journo: Have you heard back-First of all- Can you tell us what the President said today? (this may not be accurate. She was really low.) and also-
President Trump: What President Erdogan said?
Female journo: Yes, sir.
President Trump: Well he was pretty rough on Saudi Arabia, I would say, but I haven’t gotten a full recap (She is still trying to ask another question as he answers her first.) as you know I have people in Turkey, and I have people in Saudi Arabia and other places. They’re all coming back as we speak. They’re heading back. I know. I think everything in a short period of time. It’s a bad situation, but ah certainly President Erdogan was not complimentary of what happened. That was a terrible thing that happened. Kay?
He then looks at another female journo.
President Trump: Yes, ma’am, go ahead.
Female Journo #2: I was gonna ask. Do you believe him…(the echo is preventing me from transcribing this part.) Erdogan?
President Trump: I want to see the facts first. Look, Saudi Arabia has been a really great ally. They’ve been one of the biggest investors, maybe the biggest investor in our country. They are doing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of investments and so many jobs, so many jobs, thousands and thousands of jobs, and if you look at the other side, Iran, you look at what they’ve done to people, vicious -horrible-, and that’s no excuse for what happened in Saudi Arabia, no excuse whatsoever, but you take a look. It’s a rough part of the world. It’s a nasty place, a nasty part of the world,but if what happened, happened, and if the facts check out, it’s something that’s very bad. At the same time they have been a very good ally for us, in helping us a lot with respect to Israel. They’ve been funding a lot of things.
I will tell you that Russia, that China, would love to have that military order. I can say it to my Democrat friends, too. I mean, they would love this is a hundred and ten billion dollars worth of military, and Russia would pick that up very quickly and China would pick that up very quickly, and France would pick it up very quickly. France makes a lot of military equipment, very competitive market. I did a great job when I sold them. That’s why I went to Saudi Arabia first. I went to Saudi Arabia on the basis that they would buy hundreds of billions, made billions of dollars worth of things, and the ultimate number is around $450B:
$110B for military
$450B, I think that’s over a million jobs a million -over a million jobs. So, we do that, we’re just hurting ourselves. We’re just hurting ourselves. I know that from a certain standpoint you could also say, “Well.” but does it matter, because it is a terrible thing, but we would be really hurting ourselves. We’d be hurting our companies. We’d be hurting our jobs, and so we’ll see what happens, but I should have a pretty good report in a couple of seconds… I should have a pretty good report very soon.
Points back at first journo
Second male journo: Just to follow up on your comments about being a Nationalist. There is a concern that you are sending coded language, or a dog whistle, to some nerve that’s out there that you really mean is that you are a White Nationalist.
President Trump: I’ve never even heard that. I cannot imagine that. Y
You mean I say, “I’m a Nationalist.” I never heard that theory about being a Nationalist. I’ve heard ’em all, but I’m somebody that loves our country. When I say “A Nationalist”, I don’t like it when Germany’s paying 1% of GDP for NATO, and we’re paying 4.3%. I don’t like that. That’s not fair. I don’t like it when, as an example, we’re protecting Europe, and we’re paying for almost the entire cost of NATO, we’re paying for a very, very substantial portion, far greater than what it should be. We have great respect for those countries, but on top of that, I don’t like it when they put up barriers to our farmers, where our farmers cannot sell into Europe. They have trade barriers that make it (looks to his right) -you guys know it better then anybody. They have trade barriers that are as severe as China’s trade barriers, which are coming down. They wanna make a deal very badly. They’ll be coming down, but I am very proud of our country. We cannot continue to allow what’s happened to our country to continue to happen. We can’t let it happen.
So, I’m proud. I’m proud of our country. I am a Nationalist. It’s a word that hasn’t been used too much. People use it, but I’m very proud. I think it should be brought back. I’m somebody that wants to help other countries of the world, but I also have to take- we have take care of our country. We cannot continue to allow ourselves to be duped on military and also duped on trade.
With the European Union as an example, last year we lost $151B. On top of that, we lost hundred of billions of dollars on protection. So we protect, and we get killed. We, we do the trading, and we get killed. We can’t do it. I want to be fair. So I want them to open their borders. I want them to make it fair for our farmers, our companies, our medical companies. They sell medical equipment. They just put restrictions on a year and a half ago, where the medical equipment can’t get into Europe, even though it’s better than what they have. So, they have to treat us well, or I want for our country is to be treated well, to be treated with respect. For many years, other countries, that are allies of ours, so cold allies (?), they have not treated our country fairly. So in that sense, I am absolutely a Nationalist.
And there you have it. Transcript.
Anissa “Maddy” Walker
Source of transcription: