1. Trump lauded the U.S. military members who responded to the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and said he would not allow “another Benghazi,” a reference to the 2012 assault on a U.S. mission in Libya that resulted in the death of four American diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador.
“Benghazi should never have happened and there will never be a Benghazi,” Trump said. “We have the greatest warriors and they got there very quickly. As soon as they saw there was a potential problem, they got there and then there was no problem whatsoever.”
2. Regarding Iran, Trump said he hoped peace would prevail in the Middle East.
“I want to have peace. I like peace,” he said. “And Iran should want peace more than anyone.”
3. Trump again had harsh words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats and the impeachment.
“The impeachment thing is a hoax, a big fat hoax,” Trump said. “We absolutely did nothing wrong. All you have to do is read the transcripts … Or you could also do something else. Go see and speak to the president of the Ukraine. The president of the Ukraine has said loudly and boldly that … there was no pressure.”
The president said he was unconcerned about a trial in the U.S. Senate. “It doesn’t matter because we did nothing wrong,” he said.
Trump also repeated criticism of the House Democrats and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who Trump called “corrupt.” And he again called Pelosi over-rated.
“What the Democrats did in the House was a disgrace,” he said, noting that while no Republicans supported the impeachment, three Democrats voted against it and one in their ranks, New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew, flipped to the GOP. “The impeachment thing, I call it impeachment light. It’s a disgrace. And Nancy Pelosi should be ashamed of herself. She’s a highly overrated person.”
4. Trump had softer, more measured words for North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Right before Christmas, Kim issued a veiled threat about a “Christmas gift” for the United States, and American military forces have been on alert since.
“I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,” the president said. “I hope his Christmas present is a beautiful vase. That’s what I’d like — a vase — Look, he likes me, I like him. We get along.”
5. Trump also said the first phase of a trade agreement with China will be signed on Jan. 15.
“I’m very excited about trade,” he said. “I’ll be going at some point to Beijing to meet with President Xi. We’ll be doing something reciprocal. But I think more importantly we will be starting negotiations very soon on phase two.”
6. The president confirmed that “certain” flavored e-cigarette products would come off the market to “protect the public” but added that he hoped it would be only temporary.
“We have to protect our families,” Trump said. “We are going to protect our children and we are going to protect the industry. Hopefully if everything is safe they will be going very quickly back onto the market. So the flavors are going to come off and they are going to be checked … And hopefully everything will be going back tot he market very quickly.”
7. Trump wished the press a happy 2020 and asked them to be “honorable.”
“If you’re honorable, I am going to win the election by a lot,” he said. “If you’re not honorable, I’m just going to win by a little. So I’d rather you be honorable.”
© 2020 The Palm Beach Post
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