On Wednesday, the President gave trump in the oval office exclusive interview with New York Times reporters Peter Baker (Peter Baker), Michael Schmidt (Michael S. Schmidt) and Maggie Haberman (Maggie Haberman). The meeting was also attended by press Secretary of the White house hope Hicks (Hicks Hope). At one point in came the daughter and the adviser of the President Ivanka trump with her daughter Arabella.
Below are excerpts from this conversation on the basis of the stenographic record New York Times. They are slightly redrafted for clarity, and there omitted some comments and digressions.
TRUMP: Well, Napoleon came to a bad end. But I asked. I asked the President: how about Napoleon? He said, “no, no, No. What he did is incredible. He designed Paris”. [inaudible] the Street network, how they work, you know, like spokes on a wheel. He is still a lot of things done. But his problem is that he that night did not go to Russia, since he had other classes, and they all froze to death. How many times Russia was saved by the weather? [inaudible]
The same thing happened with Hitler. But for a different reason. Hitler wanted to gain a foothold on the positions. He was on the verge of an easy victory. But he wanted to gain a foothold, and then suddenly the temperature dropped to minus 35. And his army came to an end.
But great Russian know how to fight in the cold. They use the cold to their advantage. I must say, they have won five wars, when opposed to them, the army froze to death. [watch] It’s amazing.
BAKER: We’re talking on the record, and many people really want to know about your conversation with President [Vladimir] Putin at the dinner. It is not surprising. So what you said and…
TRUMP: That dinner was very long, it was planned in advance. It was a night at the Opera. It’s the last night and farewell to Germany and with Angela Merkel. It was her lunch. Well, everyone knew about it. It was well known.
Melania was sitting at the other end of the table, far from me, far away. She was sitting next to Putin and anyone else, I don’t know. She was sitting next to Putin.
HABERMAN: She was there until the end?
TRUMP: Yes. She was sitting next to Putin.
BAKER: BUT in Russian she says?
TRUMP: No. She speaks other languages. She was sitting next to Putin and anyone else, that’s it. Lunch went on as usual, and the case went to the dessert. I walked over to greet the Melania and at the same time shook hands with Putin. Actually, it was just exchange of pleasantries, nothing more. The conversation was short, but, you know, 15 minutes, it took. We talked about different things. It was very interesting because we touched on the topic of adoption.
TRUMP: We talked about the adoption of Russian children. Yes. I always thought it was an interesting topic. Because, you know, he stopped that a few years ago. And I really talked to him about the adoption of Russian children. It was interesting because this is also at the meeting said don [trump’s son]. As I said, most people when they call and say: “by the Way, we have information about your opponent”… So, I think most politicians — you know, I have talked to many and they said [inaudible]: “well, who would refuse such a meeting?” They said…
HABERMAN: the Senators are at the bottom?
TRUMP: Many. They said, “Who would refuse such a meeting?”
BAKER: did You ask them about it over lunch?
TRUMP: Well, a couple asked. They know it was before Russia has become a hot topic, don’t forget. And at that time Russia was not a hot topic. It’s been almost a year and a half ago. It was different then, now that Russia has become a radioactive topic. Russia was just Russia.
HABERMAN: May I then ask…
BAKER: Sorry to interrupt. But in the email said something that I think is very interesting, and I wonder what you think about it. It says that Russia and its government support trump. So what actually happened at the meeting…
TRUMP: Well, I this letter have never seen. Never seen this before…
BAKER: Right, but now I have. So how can you interpret that when I saw him, what does that mean?
TRUMP: Well, Hillary gave the reset. Someone mentioned this today, and I read that Hillary Clinton’s death as he wanted to return to the restart with Russia. Her husband gave a speech, got half a million bucks, when she was Secretary of state. She as Secretary of state has concluded that a uranium deal that is just awful, and got a lot of money. She was against the sanctions. She was absolutely against anti-Russian sanctions.
BAKER: When was that?
HABERMAN: You remember when that was? I don’t remember.
TRUMP: I just saw it. Just saw. She was against sanctions, argued strongly against anti-Russian sanctions.
HABERMAN: It was after the Crimea, I assume? We’re talking about?
TRUMP: actually, I don’t know…. But somewhere in that time. And don’t forget, gave the Crimea under Obama. Not in trump. I was on one of the shows, and I said that they are absolutely right, but he told them all that differently. But he is… Crimea is gone under the Obama administration, he gave him, let him go. You know, as much as he can to make harsh statements, and at one time he was talking tough with North Korea. But in reality it was not so. He talked with North Korea are not tough. And as you know we have with North Korea a big problem. Large, very large. Look at all this, you will see a line in the sand. The red line in the sand in Syria. He didn’t shoot. I shot. If he was shot, he wouldn’t be in this — if he had done something decisive, because, remember, there was a giant gas attack after his statement. Much more powerful than they spent with me.
HABERMAN: It was also the sarin?
TRUMP: Sarin. Killed a huge number of people, young people, children. And he did nothing. It was a famous weekend when all asked him: do it, do it. They thought they had succeeded, and he… I’ll tell you, it is not easy to do, because when I made this decision, I was with the head of China. And General Mattis [Minister of defense of Jim Mattis] said: “We are ready, sir.” And I answered him [muttering] I say [mumbling]. I say: look, you’re going to kill people.
TRUMP: It’s hateful, it’s hard. You know, Obama — I can understand it to a certain extent, but some things you just have to do. But again, it’s difficult, it’s a very difficult decision.
BAKER: I Want to clarify up to the end of the mail message. Now, when you saw the email about the actions of the Russian government, as you — as you interpreted it?
TRUMP: Well, at first I thought it has something to do with the Russian money that went to the needs of the DNC … Somewhere I heard about it. Well, it was illegal NCDP or Democrats. That’s what I heard. Don’t know where I heard this but I heard it has something to do with the illegal actions against the DNC … And then, if you look at what has become public, it turns out that they did some terrible things. That’s what I heard. But I don’t know what that means. I know one thing: when someone calls and says that he has information… Look what they did to me because of Russia, but it was a complete lie.
The point is this. The country has been making considerable progress. We do many wonderful things. The unemployment rate is the lowest in 16 years. The securities market rose to its highest level. Almost 20% after my coming to power. And we are working hard to health. The investigation against Russia… This is not an investigation, it is not against me. You know, they look at many things.
HABERMAN: This is a broad…
TRUMP: They study the whole big picture.
BAKER: That’s why I want to return to these emails. Does it worry you? Let’s say that the election results have not changed because of what Russia did. You want to say? In this sense…
TRUMP: by the way, everyone says so.
BAKER: Yes. You indicate that the Democrats are trying to make excuses, fine. But not if you have anxiety these letters, as well as the fact that the Russian government tried to discredit…
TRUMP: you Know, Peter, to be honest, I’m not very carefully studied.
TRUMP: I just heard that there was a letter with a request for a meeting or something — Yes, request to meet. They have some information about Hillary Clinton. And then I said — well, in politics it’s business as usual.
SCHMIDT: at that time, You knew that they had a meeting?
TRUMP: No, I knew nothing about this meeting.
SCHMIDT: But you’re not…
TRUMP: it Should be, it was not a very important meeting, as I haven’t heard from her.
HABERMAN: What, no one never said anything? I know we talked about this a little on the plane.
TRUMP: No, nobody told me. I knew nothing — it was not a very important meeting, judging by the way they talked about her.
BAKER: But that day when you won the nomination in new Jersey and California, as well as the primaries, when you spoke that night you said he will tell about shady deals Hillary Clinton with Russia and with other countries. And it was just after three hours after don Jr….
TRUMP: the First thing you remember, I was given a lot of speeches.
BAKER: People interested in the timing.
TRUMP: a Lot of these speeches. I always criticized her.
BAKER: Yes, I know, but…
TRUMP: There was something about the book about the Clinton money.
BAKER: Yes, but it came out the year before.
TRUMP: But we opened the whole thing. There was something about this book. Peter, that’s all I was doing was making speeches about it…. Don’t know if I’ve said something different from what he was doing. I gave a very strong speech about this unscrupulous correspondence. 33 thousands of messages were removed and dipped; all she did. I regularly performed with such speeches…. I couldn’t say about Hillary Clinton is nothing worse than what was said before
HABERMAN: [laughs] Sorry.
TRUMP: Well, I mean, I have said and exposed, delete and edit, but no one does because of the costs. I have no idea how she got away with it. 33 thousand e-mails. I was talking about backroom deals, I was talking about the uranium deal, I was talking about the speech that Russia gave Clinton 500 thousand dollars, when she was Secretary of state — Hillary to her husband. Honestly, Peter, that’s all. Well, except for the case if it became known that she shot someone in the back. And so I couldn’t add something new to his repertoire.
HABERMAN: On Fifth Avenue…
TRUMP: Look at what we have. We have the FBI Director, the acting, which got 700 thousand dollars, his wife, which was 700 thousand dollars in fact from Hillary Clinton. Because it was done through Terry (Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe (Terry McAuliffe) — approx. lane) And Terry is Hillary Clinton.
HABERMAN: You mean the wife of Andrew McCabe (Andrew G. McCabe)?
TRUMP: Wife McCabe, Yes. It has received 700 thousand dollars, and he works for the FBI. What do you think? But when you say it, standing for a moment to think. I don’t think you can give me a flow of new information — I don’t think I can here something to add, that says it all. Know more can one say. And then everyone gets bored, right? Here’s how to delete mail correspondence, received a summons from Congress? For this put in jail, when in a civil case and remove the electronic communication. And here she receives a letter from the US Congress…
BAKER: So it should now be held by law?
BAKER: Maybe it should now be brought to justice? Why not engage?
TRUMP: Well, I don’t want to talk. Don’t want to talk.
TRUMP: a Peter, you understand what I mean.
BAKER: I know.
TRUMP: I mean, that’s what. Suppose they could give additional information. It wouldn’t have helped me. I had so much material…
SCHMIDT: Last. If Muller…
TRUMP: If I were to use this information, it would be better still did not. Because I already won.
SCHMIDT: Last. If Muller wanted to examine your finances and Finance of your family, not related to Russia, would this red line?
HABERMAN: I would Not leave it outside the scope of the charges?
TRUMP: I would say Yes. I would say Yes. By the way, I would say that I’m not… Well, maybe there’s some kind of apartment or something, I sell a lot of apartments, and suddenly someone from Russia will buy the apartment, who knows? I don’t earn money in Russia. Actually, I have a letter to confirm this from one of the most reputable law firms, audit firms. I have no buildings in Russia. Say if I own the buildings in Russia. It’s not true. Say if I earn money in Russia. Do not earn. Don’t own, don’t earn, no and no. I studied for a deal in Russia, but has not concluded any. If you don’t count the contest “Miss universe”, held there for eight, nine years ago [the exchange].
HABERMAN: If he went beyond, would have thought you…
TRUMP: I think it’s a violation. It’s a consequence for Russia. So I think if he wants to see what’s there. Financial situation I have a very good, my company is incredibly successful. And generally, when I are reporting, people are amazed and say, “wow”. People have no idea how successful it is. It’s a great company. But now I don’t even think about this company. I think about something else. Because when you do things, companies are nothing. I seriously think so. They seem a trifle. But I have no income from Russia. I don’t do business in Russia. The person you mentioned, and his son, they are wonderful people. But in fact, they brought the contest “Miss universe” in Russia, to open a new direction in your business. Maybe the fact the Convention center, which hosted the competition. It was a wonderful evening, and I left. I left, you know, left Moscow. It wasn’t Moscow, it was beyond.
HABERMAN: You would have fired Mueller, if he went beyond certain parameters of his accusations? [watch]
SCHMIDT: What would you do?
TRUMP: I can’t, can’t answer this question because it is unlikely to happen.