Trump: I Don’t Regret Anything | NTK Network Trump: I Don’t Regret Anything

Trump: I Don’t Regret Anything

The 10 key quotes from President Trump’s Financial Times interview.

By NTK Staff | 04.03.2017 @7:11am
Trump: I Don’t Regret Anything

Ahead of a busy foreign policy week, President Trump sat down with the Financial Times to talk China, Europe, trade, his domestic agenda, and his use of twitter. Check out the 10 key quotes from his interview below:

“I don’t regret anything”: Halfway through an interview in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump is asked if he regrets any of his abrasive tweets about allies, political opponents and the state of the world. Mr Trump pauses, momentarily: “I don’t regret anything, because there is nothing you can do about it. You know if you issue hundreds of tweets, and every once in a while you have a clinker, that’s not so bad.”

“Alliances have not always worked out very well for us”: Mr Trump and his team view the world in 2017 as marked by economic nationalism and strongmen from Vladimir Putin in Russia and Narendra Modi in India to China’s President Xi Jinping. They see it as a place where the US must vigorously assert its own interests. “I do believe in alliances. I believe in relationships. And I believe in partnerships. But alliances have not always worked out very well for us,” he says.

“The United States has talked long enough”: A more optimistic, if cynical interpretation is that Mr Trump is merely using his presidential bully pulpit as a softening-up exercise — an opening gambit in a negotiation that will see him pull back once he has achieved more limited, economic and financial objectives in trade policy and international security. The president insists he is not bluffing. “This is a very, very serious problem that we have in the world today. And we have more than one, but this is no exercise . . . this is not talk. The United States has talked long enough and you see where it gets us, it gets us nowhere,” he says. “When you say is this a brilliant exercise, this isn’t a brilliant exercise . . . At the same time, I am not telling you what I am doing.”

“Look where we are”: One thing he has made very clear is his desire to level the international playing field. He believes it has tilted too far in favour of allies enjoying a free ride under the US military umbrella, or emerging economies, notably China, which he claims have exploited world trade rules. In his telling, America has been a soft touch. “It hasn’t worked for our predecessors. Look where we are. We have an $800bn trade deficit,” says Mr Trump. (The Department of Commerce reports the US trade deficit in goods and services was just over $500bn in 2016.)

“I have great respect for China”: However, Mr Trump told Mr Xi last month that he would honour the policy and is studiously polite about his soon-to-be guest. “I have great respect for him. I have great respect for China. I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries.”

“I had a great meeting with Chancellor Merkel”: While Mr Trump never apologises, he is capable of Protean shifts. In his interview with the Financial Times, he is keen to make clear he has no grudge against Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, having apparently declined to shake hands with her in front of the cameras in the Oval Office. “I had a great meeting with Chancellor Merkel,” Mr Trump says. “I shook hands about five times and then we were sitting in two seats . . . and I guess a reporter said ‘shake her hand’. I didn’t hear it.”

“I really think the European Union is getting their act together”: On Brexit, he is similarly anxious to dispel suggestions that the US would happily countenance a break-up of the EU. Asked if he thought other nations were likely to follow the UK, Mr Trump says: “I would have thought when it happened that more would follow, but I really think the European Union is getting their act together.”

“Yeah, I don’t lose. I don’t like to lose”: Republican leaders abandoned a vote after failing to win enough support to pass a hastily assembled bill. “I didn’t want to take a vote. I said why should I take a vote?” says Mr Trump, who pledged to repeal Obamacare as soon as he took office. Asked how he felt about the setback, he is still sore: “Yeah, I don’t lose. I don’t like to lose.”

“We will make a deal with the Democrats”: “If we don’t get what we want, we will make a deal with the Democrats and we will have in my opinion not as good a form of healthcare,” says the president. “But we are going to have a very good form of healthcare. It will be a bipartisan form of healthcare.”

“We will have a very massive and very strong tax reform”: Mr Trump is holding his cards close. “I don’t want to talk about timing. We will have a very massive and very strong tax reform,” he says. Left unsaid is that his team is desperately looking for new ways to finance tax cuts, which need to be revenue-neutral to pass in the Senate with a simple majority.

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