President Trump said being a nationalist means he loves his country at a press availability in the Oval Office on Tuesday. CNN's Jim Acosta asked Trump if he is sending any "dog whistles" are coded language to "some Americans" that he is a white nationalist. According to the CNN reporter, "there is a concern" that this may be happening.
"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 Americans out there that what you really mean is that you are a white nationalist?" Acosta asked Trump.
"I've never heard that," Trump responded. "I can't imagine that. I've never heard that theory about being a nationalist. I've heard them all. But I'm somebody that loves our country. When I say a nationalist, I don't like it when Germany is making 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."
"I am very proud of our country," he said. "We cannot continue to allow what's happened to our country to continue happening. We can't let it happen. So I'm proud. I'm proud of our country. And I am a nationalist. It's a word that hasn't been used too much. Some 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 we have to take care of our country. We cannot continue to allow ourselves to be duped on military and also duped on trade."
"All I want our country is to be treated well, to be treated with respect," Trump said. "For many years, other countries that are allies of ours, so-called allies, they have not treated our country fairly. So in that sense, I am absolutely a nationalist and I'm proud of it."
Watch the presser: