President Trump answered questions as he left the White House about his decision not to further punish Saudi Arabia for killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as reports that his daughter used private email for government use, and the legal ruling to stop his new asylum policy for immigrants.
TRUMP: We're going now to the Southern White House. We have a lot of work we're going to be doing in Florida. We had great -- some really great election results, as you know. Georgia just came in and that was a big success. Florida was a tremendous success with both the governor -- Ron DeSantis, he'll be a great governor, and the Senator Rick Scott, and as you know, Ohio was a great victory. We had a lot of great victories. So we're very happy about that.
We put out a statement on Saudi Arabia, which I guess most of you have seen. And we'll see how that all works out. It's a very complex situation. It's a shame, but it's -- it is what it is.
QUESTION: (OFF MIKE)
TRUMP: Because it's America first to me. It’s all about America first. We’re not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars in orders and let Russia, China and everybody else have them. It’s all about -- for me, very simple, it’s America first.
Saudi Arabia, if we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof. I’ve kept them down. They’ve helped me keep them down. Right now we have low oil prices, or relatively, I’d like to see it go down even lower -- lower.
But I think that it’s a very simple equation for me. I’m about make America great again and I’m about America first.
QUESTION: Mr. President, are you basically -- are you basically telling us… Mr. President, that human rights... are too expensive?
TRUMP: No, I’m not saying that at all. If you look at Iran -- just take a look at Iran, and you look at what they’re doing, they are a terrorist nation right now. Although, I must tell you, they’re a lot better right now than they were when I took office. When I took office, they were heading in a very, very bad direction.
And at some point things very positive, frankly, could happen with Iran. But we also need a counterbalance. And Israel needs help also. If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a terrible mistake...
QUESTION: The Washington Post -- The Washington Post in a statement -- put out a statement. They said that you’re putting your personal interests, your commercial interests with (inaudible)…
TRUMP: Well, I have nothing to do with -- just so you understand, I don’t make deals with Saudi Arabia. I don’t have money from Saudi Arabia. I have nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. I couldn’t care less.
And I will tell you, and as most of you know, being president has cost me a fortune. And that’s OK with me. I knew that a long time ago. But being president has cost me a fortune; a tremendous fortune like you’ve never seen before, but at -- some day I’ll tell you what that is. But -- and I knew that a long time ago because I don’t do deals.
I don’t -- all I do is focus on this country and making great deals for this country. I don’t focus on making great deals for myself because I don’t care anymore. So Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with me. What does have to do with me is putting America first.
QUESTION: Sir, they’ve read the (ph) …
TRUMP: Wait -- wait -- wait -- wait. They’re buying hundreds of billions worth of things from this country. If I say we don’t want to take your business, if I say we’re going to cut it off, they will get the equipment -- military equipment and other things from Russia and China. Russia and China would be very, very happy because right now we’re doing very well against China.
We’re doing very well against everybody, including Russia, and I’m going to keep it that way. And I’m not going to tell a country that’s spending hundreds of billions of dollars and has helped me do one thing very importantly, keep oil prices down so that they’re not going to $100 and $150 a barrel. Right now, we have oil prices in great shape.
I’m not going to destroy the world economy and I’m not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia. So…
QUESTION: But sir, you said that Saudi…
TRUMP: … I think the statement -- wait a minute. I think the statement was pretty obvious what I said. It’s about America first, yes.
QUESTION: Are you concerned about -- are you…
TRUMP: Say it again.
QUESTION: About Ivanka’s e-mails, why was it appropriate for your daughter to use personal e-mail for government?
TRUMP: Just so you understand, early on and for a little period of time, Ivanka did some e-mails. They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton. They weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton who deleted 33,000 -- she wasn’t hiding, she wasn’t doing anything to hide her e-mails.
I looked at it just very briefly today. And the presidential records, they’re all in presidential records. There was no hiding. There was no deleting like Hillary Clinton did. There was no servers in the basement like Hillary Clinton had. You’re talking about a whole different -- you’re talking about all fake news.
So what Ivanka did, it’s all in the presidential records. Everything is there. There was no deletion. There was no nothing. What it is, is a false story. Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 e-mails; she had a server in the basement. That’s the real story.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) that your asylum policy has been put on hold?
TRUMP: Which policy?
QUESTION: Your asylum policy has been put on hold.
TRUMP: Well, you go to the 9th Circuit and it’s a disgrace. And I’m going to put in a major complaint because you cannot win if you're us -- a case in the 9th Circuit. And I think it’s a disgrace when people file -- every case gets filed in the 9th Circuit because they know that’s not law. That’s not what this country stands for.
Every case that gets filed in the 9th Circuit, we get beaten and then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court like the travel ban and we won. The 9th Circuit, we’re going to have to look at that.
Because every case, no matter where it is, they file it practically -- I mean practically, for all intents and purposes, they file it in what’s called the 9th Circuit. This was an Obama judge.
And I’ll tell you what; it’s not going to happen like this anymore. Everybody that wants to sue the United States, they file their case in -- almost -- they file their case in the 9th Circuit and it means an automatic loss no matter you do, no matter how good your case is.
And the 9th Circuit is really something we have to take a look at because it’s -- because it’s not fair. People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case.
And you people know better than anybody what’s happening. It’s a disgrace. In my opinion, it’s a disgrace what happens with the 9th Circuit. We will win that case in the Supreme Court of the United States.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) raid on Bin Laden is he a hero and when will you admit to the truth (ph)?
TRUMP: Go ahead, what do you have?
QUESTION: (Inaudible) will you answer …
TRUMP: I can’t hear your question. I can’t hear. Your voice -- your voice is not …
QUESTION: Is Admiral McRaven...
TRUMP: I don’t know admiral -- I don’t know Admiral McRaven.
QUESTION: (OFF MIKE)
TRUMP: What? No, they’re all finished. The written answers are finished.
QUESTION: Have you turned them in?
TRUMP: I don’t know. The lawyers have them. I don’t know. They will. They will.
QUESTION: (OFF MIKE)
TRUMP: The written answers to the witch hunt that’s been going on forever; no collusion, no nothing; they’ve been finished -- finished them yesterday. The lawyers have them. I assume they’ll turn them in today or soon.
QUESTION: Are you afraid to go to a war zone?
TRUMP: No, I’m going to a war zone. Yes.
QUESTION: (OFF MIKE)
QUESTION: Are you happy with the sanctions on Iran?
TRUMP: Yes, the sanctions on Iran are very strong, very powerful. They’re sanctions I think that have had a tremendous impact. More sanctions are going on. We have a lot of tremendous support and Iran is not the same country it was when I became president. It’s a much different country and hopefully at some point we’ll be able to make a fair deal and help Iran and help the people of Iran.