[From The New York Times: "The following are excerpts from that conversation, transcribed by The Times. They have been lightly edited for content and clarity, and omit off-the-record comments and asides. For the first part of the conversation, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman led the interview of the president. Later on, A.G. Sulzberger engaged Donald Trump on journalism and so-called fake news."] How you guys doing? You're O.K.? We're good. How are you? Very good. We had a busy day. I can imagine. So, we just had, this is from, they just delivered that to me from President Xi. You'll get a transcript of the meeting. The press was here. A lot of the press was here. A nice letter. They have a nice way of giving letters. But we're doing very successfully. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] So you had the meeting today with the vice premier. Yeah. Do you feel like you got a deal, or close to a deal? Well, we're getting closer. It's a big deal. It's a big deal. And we're going comprehensive. We're not just -- He announced that he was buying -- today -- a tremendous amount of soybeans and various farm products. And I think you'll be given that information in a little while, too. But he announced. What he did was the vice premier came in. He was here for two days having meetings. He's leaving tomorrow. They're meeting again now. And negotiations are going very well. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] That doesn't mean there are any guarantees. But I will say there's a very good feeling. There's a very good relationship. This is the letter. You can actually read it. This is the translated version. So you can get a print out of that. But that was given out, and it was also, I guess it was read. They had the interpreter read it. And do you feel like they're going to get a deal by March 1st? Would it take longer, do you think? It's possible. It's a very short period of time for a deal this big. But it's very possible. But many of the points were agreed to. And some haven't been. I believe that a lot of the biggest points are going to be agreed to by me and him. In other words, they're just not going to be authorized to agree to certain things that you folks write about and read about -- intellectual property and lots of other things. And I think that will be agreed to by me and him at the right time. Like when you make a big deal, or a big scoop, you have to approve that little thing. And I think they're probably waiting, they're waiting for me and him to sit down and agree on five points at the end, or 10 points at the end. What would that be? Well, I think control is very important. I think the checking to make sure that -- we're putting in a very strong system of checks and balances so that when we make a deal we know that it's happening. In other words, that it's being followed. And we've asked for the most stringent controls on that, because there's been difficulty over the years with certain places. And that's a very important element that's been agreed to. But you have to get it down in writing. You're going to have intellectual property. You're going to have theft, because so many things have been, in theory, done a little bit differently. And I think that in the end we're going to have something that's going to be very special, if it happens. I could have had a deal done, if I wanted to make -- you know, most people thought it was going to be a deal where they buy a tremendous amount of corn and soybeans and that'll be it and everybody's happy and the farmers are happy. But he actually announced today -- I wish you were here, because it was sort of a great thing to watch. The press was packed. A lot of Chinese press, too. And he announced that he's buying a massive amount of soybeans and various other farm products today. Starting immediately. And that's going to make a lot of farmers very happy. So you know, that was very nice. Do you think it's possible that you might still go, even if you reach a deal on all of the points you're trying to reach, leave some of the tariffs on? Is that a possibility? Yes. Indefinitely left on? Peter, without the tariffs, we wouldn't be talking. And I make this point clear to them. We've never had a deal with China. We've never had a trade deal with China. You have the World Trade Organization, which is a disaster for the United States. The World Trade Organization is probably the worst trade deal ever made with Nafta being second. The World Trade Organization helped create China. If you look at China, it's flatlined. And from the day the World Trade Organization came into existence, it's a rocket ship. But just the opposite for the United States. That was a terrible deal for the United States and it was an unbelievably good deal for China. So some tariffs could remain permanent even with a good deal? Yeah, sure. We have 25 percent now on $50 billion. And by the way, Peter, that's a lot of money pouring into our Treasury, you know. We never made 5 cents with China. We're getting right now 25 percent on $50 billion. And then I was putting 25 percent at a later date, which date came and went -- 25 percent or $200 billion. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] You've talked about the sacrifice that this has presented for yourself, for your family, being president. For your business. Could you ever see a point in the next year where you say, "You know what, I don't need to do this again, I don't need to run for re-election"? I don't see it, because -- so I just gave you a list of a lot of the things we've done. And this list isn't even complete. I don't even know if you have it. No, I have it. I've got it. Just grab it. Reading material for the night. I've actually had, because they've done things that are artificial. So there's been more of a burden on me than other presidents. Past presidents have done things that were artificial? Past presidents, yeah. I think for the most part, yeah, past presidents. I really believe, when I say that we've accomplished -- when you look at that list, whether it's the biggest regulation cuts in history, that's one of the reasons the economy is doing well. Before the taxes, actually. But the tax cuts, but so many other things when you look at that and you go down the list: Veterans Choice, V.A. Choice. They've been trying -- as long as you've been writing they've been trying to get V.A. Choice. And now I'm going to do Phase 2 on V.A. Choice, which is, you know, the next step. But the first step was just a massive step. Nobody thought it could be done. What's left? What do you have that you would want to -- why -- what's the goal for the next term? I think what we'll be focusing on will be national security, very much. So we've very largely -- we're in the process of rebuilding the military. Which was truly depleted. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] So, there is no scenario in which you'd say, "I've done what I can," right? No, because it's a very big job and there is a lot to do. And I would say that I would really start focusing -- you know, we've done a lot on health care, and people haven't given us too much credit. We have a lot of the different plans, the cooperative plans and other plans. Health care was terminated, and if the Obamacare were repealed and replaced -- except for John McCain, it would have been, you know, he campaigned against it for six years, and then when he had the chance, he went thumbs down at 2:00 in the morning. Um, but, I believe it's going to be terminated, whether it be through the Texas case, which is going through the court system as a victory right now, because of, you know, the various elements of that case, you would think it would have to be terminated. But a deal will be made for good health care in this country. That's one of the things I'll be doing. National security is very important and we're fighting over -- a very important element is the southern border. When we talk about drugs coming from China, the fentanyl -- you look at the heroin and a lot of the other drugs, they come from -- 90 percent, more than 90 percent -- from right across the southern border. And unlike what the Democrats say, they don't, you don't bring trucks of drugs through the checkpoints. You bring trucks of drugs by making a right 20 miles, and a left into the country. They're not bringing, you know, they bring massive amounts of drugs, and they do it because there's no barrier, there's no hardened wall that you can't knock down with your breath. So, Maggie, here's the bottom line: I love doing it. I don't know if i should love doing it, but I love doing it. We just had a deal —and I was so looking forward to introducing you because it was very impressive. You know the whole -- this room was totally, it was a sea of seats, we had the entire cabinet. They are very impressive people, and I had it all teed up and I said, "Where are they?" Right? I said, "Where the hell are they?" We were in the security tent, sorry. Anyway. [Inaudible] What I'm saying, there's a lot, there's always a lot to do, no matter how much you do. I've done a lot, and there's a lot to do. Do you think you'll have a Republican challenger for the nomination? Is that something you -- I don't see it. You know, we've had polls as high as 93 percent. Which is the highest there is. Reagan was 86. W. was the only other one, right? George W. Bush? Um -- They seemed higher -- During, during a tiny little period, during the World Trade Center. That ended quickly. Do you look at Larry Hogan? Or Bill Weld, has that crossed your mind -- No. No. I have great support in the party. We have great support. I guess anything is possible. But look, we have among the highest polls -- and actually the highest polls -- but among the highest polls ever in the history of the Republican party. Democrats, I mean the Democrats, I'm watching what's going on. They've really drifted far left. They may even be too left for you folks, you know. I'm not even sure. But they've gone pretty far out there. And, uh -- Who do you think is their toughest candidate? So, you never know that answer. You -- somebody that you think would be the least tough is the toughest. I would say, the best opening so far would be Kamala Harris [Note: he pronounced her first name 'Kameela']. I would say, in terms of the opening act, I would say, would be her. I think she probably -- What stood out to you about it? I just think she seemed to have a little better opening act than others. I think. Incredible crowd. A better crowd -- better crowd, better enthusiasm. Some of the others were very flat. I do think Elizabeth Warren's been hurt very badly with the Pocahontas trap. I think she's been hurt badly. I may be wrong, but I think that was a big part of her credibility and now all of a sudden, it's gone. And I may be wrong about that but, you know, I don't see it. Some -- you know, a lot of the folks have not decided to run yet. They might not run. Joe Biden? I don't -- you know, I'd like to see him run. I'd like to see him run. Because you pit him, and -- you take what happened to Obama. When you look at my numbers, and you look how we've done for the economy, we had a news conference before, where we had a lot of workers behind us, manufacturers and workers from manufacturing plants, and it was really impressive to see what they've done. And they said, "Two years ago, we were dead," and now they're thriving. You know, we've created over 500,000 manufacturing jobs, and the previous administration lost 200,000 over eight years and said that was the magic wand. I believe, I believe, Peter, right? The magic wand to get manufacturing back. I mean, manufacturing jobs are great jobs. Those are high paying, great jobs, and they make things. It's a very important thing. So, I just think, I think when we have the lowest black unemployment ever —lowest Hispanic, you saw the Hispanic numbers. We were at, what, 19 points up? Where we have the lowest Asian. Where the women are the best in 52 years now. Where the unemployment numbers are the best in 51 years. Um, you know. That's a good record. Can I switch gears for a second? There's been a story in the news the last two weeks about your son-in-law's security clearance. Yeah. Did you tell General Kelly or anyone else in the White House to overrule security officials? The career veterans -- No. I don't think I have the authority to do that. I'm not sure I do. You do have the authority to do it. But I wouldn't. I wouldn't do it. O.K. Um, Jared is a good -- You never -- I was never involved with the security. I know that he -- you know, just from reading -- I know that there was issues back and forth about security for numerous people, actually. But I don't want to get involved in that stuff. O.K. Why would you want to -- why stay out? You do have the authority to -- I don't know. I just don't -- I just, I never thought it was necessary. I also know him. He's a very solid person, and I just can't imagine he would have -- I guess even, Ivanka, they, they, I heard that, uh, something with Jared and Ivanka -- Mhm. But, uh, I don't believe I've ever met any of the national security -- of the people that would do clearances. Um, and there'd be nothing wrong, I don't think, with me calling them up to the Oval Office and say, "Hey give these people, you know, clearances" -- You just told me -- [Inaudible] Yeah, yeah, so there, I, I mean, I take back the other -- I didn't, I was answering a little bit different question. Uh, I have the right to do it, but I never thought it was necessary, Maggie. I never thought it was necessary. And you didn't direct General Kelly or anyone like that to do it? No. And, and frankly, I never thought it was necessary to do so. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] So I'll tell you a story that just happened. So it just happened. Will you get that thing we just sent out? Will you do that? I had a meeting -- and bring the picture in, bring the picture -- so I had a meeting with Gina who's very good and Coats. And I was shocked and I was surprised because I saw it on television and I said, "Iran is a bad actor because if you read what they said." You mean you saw her testimony? Yeah. I said, "Iran is a bad actor." And I could tell you stories of things that we were going to do to them as recently as a week ago. I said, "Iran is a very bad actor. What's this like Iran is kindergarten stuff?" They said, "Sir, we never said it." I said, "What are you talking about?" Then I said, "And ISIS -- we almost have the caliphate 100 percent. What are you talking about?" Like ISIS has got -- and I mean, I'm not, by the way -- the defeat is an interesting word. Because you can say you have the caliphate, but you're always going to have people that escape the caliphate and you'll have people around. There's nothing -- but that doesn't mean you're going to keep your armies there and everything. Because you're always going to have that. Somebody is going to walk into a store unfortunately. But I said, "What is that all about? Second of all, third of all, you know how well we're doing with North Korea, what's that?" They said, "Sir, our testimony was totally mischaracterized." I said, "What are you talking about?" And when you read their testimony and you read their statements, it was mischaracterized by the media. The media mischaracterized it? You know what I mean. Because when you read their statement, it's not like it was portrayed in the media. Because I came in -- What did they think they were saying? What did they tell you that they were -- When you see what they said, and they're, they're -- let's put it this way. It was really very different when I read it. Because I came in here saying what is this? You mean you're -- because one of the things they said very strongly, according to, was that Iran is, essentially, a wonderful place. And I said, "It's not a wonderful place, it's a bad place, and they're doing bad things." And they said, "We agree." I said, "What do you mean you agree. You can't agree —" And they said the testimony was totally mischaracterized. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] So you're happy with Dan Coats? I'm happy with Dan Coats. I am. That doesn't mean -- Is that a change? Well, no, everybody changes. You know, this business, other than me, everybody changes. You know, if you look at my staff. So I wish you could have been here before. Because we had this whole side of the room with secretaries, every one of them. Sonny Perdue. Linda McMahon, big, a big sleeper, she's phenomenal. Somebody said, she's one of our best -- you know and you don't ever hear about her or anything. We had Mike Pompeo. We had all of our secretaries, many of our secretaries here, probably half of them. And then you had the China group over here, the delegation. And I'm looking and I'm saying these are really outstanding people. They're outstanding. Did you notice that today? How outstanding? We have a lot of great people. Now I do tell the story about driving down Pennsylvania Avenue, you know. Because I'd been in Washington probably 17 times in my life. And on the 18th time, I was president of the United States. And you know, Washington wasn't really my place. And I didn't know people. I didn't know a lot of people. And I got -- I put some people in that I wasn't happy with and I put some people in that I was very happy with. But we've gotten it very -- you know, as I've -- now I know a lot of people. Do you ever -- and I want to go back to your point about military intervention in a second -- but do you have any thoughts about defense secretary and where that's getting in terms of -- So I wasn't happy with Mattis. I told Mattis to give me a letter. He didn't just give me that letter. I told him. And you could have seen that on "60 Minutes." I did "60 Minutes" and Lesley Stahl asked me a question: "What do you think of General Mattis?" You called him a Democrat, didn't you? And I said let me be generous. But I just -- I didn't like the job he was doing. I wasn't happy with it. I wasn't happy with the -- I got him more money than the military has ever seen before. And I wasn't happy with the job that he was doing at all. And I said it's time. That's why in the letter he wrote, "You have to have your own choice." The reason he said that was because I said, "You're just not my choice." Who is your choice then, sir? Well, I have a lot of great people that want it. I also have somebody there who's really been very good. Pat, Pat Shanahan. He's acting. And he's been doing -- Maggie, he's been doing a great job. Yeaaaaah? You just have some important calls whenever you're finished. O.K., I'll be in in a little while. What's more important than The New York Times? Ok, nothing, nothing. We ask that of ourselves all the time. So I'm sure you hear good things about him. He's a very solid guy. You know it's interesting, historically, you just never -- you rarely put a military person in, which surprises me. When I first got here, I said what do you mean? That's the natural of all naturals. Actually you need special approvals to put them in, you know, etc., etc. Normally a business person goes in and I mean you have one exception or two exceptions, but historically a business person goes in to the secretary of defense. He might stay in? Pat -- he could stay. Pat Shanahan is doing a terrific job. A tremendous number of people would like that position. One thing -- first of all, there's really no chaos in the White House, 'cause the chaos thing -- you see it, you're here, you see what's going on. Why do people keep writing books saying that's the way things are? Because that's the way they sell. So they're just making up all this? What about Cliff Sims? Well, I had this aide. I didn't even know who it was. I said who is Cliff Sims? Who is he? And he would take me to -- you know I'd do like a little address -- he'd come to -- he'd say we're ready for the president. And he'd walk me down to wherever room we're doing a weekly recording or a monthly recording. I hardly knew the guy. Now I -- once they -- I said show me what he looks like. And they showed me a picture. I said, oh, yeah, I know him. He's the video guy. This guy, now he made it sound like he's a top aide. What happens -- and I've also had some very good books -- but what -- and I made a mistake. The mistake I made is on a couple of books, I never spoke to the people. When you don't speak to the people, it's impossible to get— Woodward? Woodward was a mistake. And that was a mistake where they -- where I believe he did, he notified a number of people. "I really want to speak to" -- I would have spoken to him in two seconds. But I didn't speak to him and that was a mistake not speaking to him. And it was a mistake of my staff. You understand that? It was a mistake of my staff. To this day, I've never had a conversation with him. If I would have spoken to him, even if it was for a fairly short period of time, I think it would have been a little different. The other guy was a huckster, who did the book that did very well. Michael Wolff? "Fire and Fury." It took my name -- my name from my Korean situation -- "Fire and fury like the world has never seen." I recall. And again, I didn't speak to him. And I would have. I definitely -- I never saw him. I did an article with him a couple of years before. And I met him at a house that I have in Beverly Hills. We did an interview. It was a decent story to be honest. It was, you know, a pretty nice story. But I should have seen him too as he was in the White House a lot -- that was a Bannon deal. And yet Bannon, now, if you've seen him on an interview over the last six months, I think there's nobody that speaks better. It's a crazy situation. Do you talk to him? I have not. No, I haven't spoken to him in a year and a half. The last time you talked to him was when you fired him? Have I what? When he was fired, it was the last time you spoke to him? Or soon after? I would say in that territory, yeah. I'm not sure that I spoke to him at all during. You know, maybe a phone call. But not, no, I don't think so. Speaking of former aides, we wanted to talk to you about Stone. Sure, now you know Roger didn't work for me in the campaign. Initially and then he -- Well, yeah, but that was before I -- you know, that was either early primary or before primary. It was August or September. That was a long time. I will say this, I've always liked -- I like Roger, he's a character. But I like Roger. For a team of 29 people with AK27s, or whatever they were using, to charge a house like they did at 6:00 in the morning. I think that was a very sad thing for this country. Did you ever talk to him about WikiLeaks? Because that seemed -- No. You never had conversations with him. No, I didn't. I never did. Did you ever tell him to -- or other people to get in touch with them? Never did. You saw that was in the indictment. Can I tell you? I didn't see it. I know what was in the indictment if you read it, there was no collusion with Russia. But that's in a lot of these things. And a lot of them are: They come in, they interview somebody and they get them for lying. I mean, you know. I'll give you an example. So I never met Carter Page. I think to this day I never met Carter Page. I never met Carter Page. Papadopoulos, I never met him, other than one time, where he sat at a table along with maybe 10 or 15 other people, because they wanted to set up a national security team. And I guess he has a certain expertise in national security. So he was at a table very briefly. I don't believe I ever spoke to him. You know there were a lot of people. I was there for a very short period of time. Never met him. People have been treated very, very badly. This is a very bad thing. Who else has been treated very badly, in your opinion? Well, I'd rather save it for later. We'll do something on it at the right time, but I did think this. When Roger Stone, who all of us know, I mean everybody knows Roger. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] He was not my consultant. But if you read the papers you know it's like -- the media, it's like -- but I've always liked him. He's a character, and I'll tell you what people respect what he said. Bearing false witness, etc. But yeah, people do respect what he said. What he said about what? Bear false witness. I will never testify against the president. He actually said at one time -- you know he's said it numerous times, but I heard him say it one time he's done a great job, he's a great president, and I will not, you know, lie in order to -- people respect that so much. They respect that. Sir, can we clarify the Trump Tower Moscow proposal, right? There was this discussion. And we've learned since the last, since the campaign, that this went on longer through the campaign than we had expected -- So let me tell you about about Trump Tower Moscow. This was a very unimportant deal. This was a very unimportant deal. No. 1. No. 2, this was a deal, the only thing you heard is through Rudy. Is that what you heard? Through Rudy? More recently we heard through Rudy, he quotes you. Rudy was incorrect. No. 1, he was incorrect, and we've explained that, he was wrong. Rudy has been wrong. A little bit. But what has happened is this. I didn't care. That deal was not important. It was essentially a letter of intent or an option. I'm not even sure that they had a site. And if you look at where that was sent to, that was a Michael Cohen thing. If you look, I always say, Why don't you bring this up, to Jay Sekulow, good guy. I think it was sent to almost like a public address for Moscow. If you take a look at it. Take a good solid look. The original letter or something was sent. They didn't even have anybody to send it to. But that deal is just like other deals. I was doing other deals. I was running for president, but I was also running a business. How late do you remember having any conversations about it in 2016? What was the latest that you remember? I would say it was early to middle of the year. Now, I don't know that Cohen didn't go a little bit longer than that. I don't think it would be much longer. But then he could have come back to me and said, "Listen, I put it together." Because that stuff happens. You know, you think a deal -- I was running for president, I was doing really well. The last thing I cared about was building a building. But you told people that you didn't have any business there. People might have misunderstood. That wasn't business. Peter, that wasn't business. Isn't that misleading to say you weren't pursuing business there, right? [Crosstalk] I had no money invested. It was a letter of intent, or option. It was a free option. It was a nothing. And I wasn't doing anything. I don't consider that even business. And frankly, that wasn't even on my radar. If you take a look at that, take a look at the deal. There was no money put up. There was no transfer. I don't think they had a location. I'm not even sure if they had a location. Clearly there was a hope of having money. That was the reason you were pursuing it, right? My point is this -- It was a free option to look at a deal, to look at deals. That was not like, "I'm going to buy a property in Moscow. I'm going to do -- or I'm building a building in Moscow." Now, I would have had every right to do a deal. That's what I did. That's what I did. Rudy was wrong in that he went -- I think what Rudy was looking at, I think, was that in the statement I made to the Mueller group, we talked about during that period of a year, up until the election, we talked about that. So he may have been referring to that. But the way I view it is early in the year to middle of the year, no interest. I had very little interest in the first place, and again, I viewed it as a free option. It may have been a letter of intent. I don't know exactly what it was called. But it was unimportant. And you know what was very important to me? Running for president. And doing well. But I was running a business. I mean, I would have been allowed to build 20 buildings. I was doing other things. I was doing a lot of other things. I was running a business. Because as you would know, there weren't a lot of people at the time that thought I was going to win. So I don't want to give up a year and a half of my life, not do anything, run for president, then have to go back and say, you know, "I could have kept running my business." Very interestingly, you know, George Washington ran his business. You can, I guess, you can go long beyond the election, if you wanted to. You know. But I didn't do that. But there's a difference between running a domestic business and being possibly in business with Russian figures at the same time, right? You can imagine why people might find that concerning? I have nothing. All I did was be a good candidate. Russia didn't help me. Russia did not help me. There was no collusion. There was none of that. I was a good candidate. I did a good job. I won't say whether she was a good candidate or not. I mean, the primary collusion was Hillary Clinton. If you take a look, Peter. I mean, look at that phony dossier. Some of that money, they say, went to Russia. Podesta was involved with Russia. You look at the kind of relationships they had. They had real relationships with Russia. I had a potential, a deal that frankly wasn't even a deal. It was literally -- I viewed it as an option. But maybe it was called a letter of intent. Something like that. Has Attorney General Whitaker given you any indication of whether you face any exposure in this investigation? No. Or your family? I don't even talk to him about it. You never talk to Matt Whitaker? I don't talk to him about it. How can you have exposure when you haven't done anything? I had nothing to do with any of this, other than that I was a good candidate that won an election. Has Rod Rosenstein given you any sense over the course of the last year about whether you have any exposure, either in -- or there's any concerns, or whether you're a target of the Mueller report? Well he told the attorneys that I'm not a subject, I'm not a target. He told your attorneys? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Did he say that about the S.D.N.Y. investigation, too? About which? The S.D.N.Y. investigation. Because there's two. There's Mueller, and then there's the Cohen investigation. I don't know about that. That I don't know about. Rod has never said anything to you about whether you're a target at all in terms of what they were looking for on Cohen? Has that ever come up? No. I don't. We didn't discuss it. Mr. President, we're coming up on 45 minutes. Yeah, that's O.K. Rod told me I'm not a target of the investigation. He did? He did. He told me. Do you remember how long ago he said that? I think the lawyers would speak to him a lot about that. Not a lot. But a number of times. He never said -- I never asked him that question. But your lawyers have? The lawyers ask him. They say, "He's not a target of the investigation." Can I ask, speaking of Mr. Cohen, you've said that investigators should be looking at his father-in-law. What did you mean by that? Well, that's what I've heard. I've heard his father-in-law was -- I'm not saying investigation. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] Can I ask, on the record, what's the purpose of saying that? Some people are wondering whether or not this kind of thing might count as witness tampering, that you're kind of publicly -- It's not witness tampering. It's not witness tampering at all. It's not witness tampering. What's your purpose, then? Help us understand that. I did have to read what I said. What did I say? I don't know. What did I say? Just that people ought to be taking a look at Michael Cohen's father-in-law. And House Democrats have said they thought that -- Well, I will say this: I think people have the right to speak their mind. You know, speaking your mind. I've heard that for a period of time. But other people have said it, too. I mean, many people have said it. I want to switch back to something I wanted to ask you about before: You talked about, accurately, that you won in part because you've talked about these foreign engagements. Because of what? Ending foreign engagements. And you have said we're not going to lecture the world. But you seem to be leaving open the idea of a military option in Venezuela. Am I reading that right? It's true. Why there, and not 100 other countries? Well, I'm not saying I'm doing anything in terms of the military option in Venezuela. But I can say very pointedly we're not taking that off the table. Why is that? We're involved in wars that are 6,000 miles away. We're involved in wars where it's just absolutely insane what we're doing, and the money we're spending, where in Afghanistan, we're spending $50 billion. That's more than most countries spend for everything. But why leave it open in Venezuela as opposed to somewhere -- what is it about Venezuela specifically? Well, I think I'm not closing. I don't close it anywhere. I don't close it. Somebody just asked me, "Is there a military option?" I said all options are on the table. I'm not taking anything off the table. In Saudi Arabia, when you were in Saudi Arabia and I was with you, sir, and you said in Riyadh, "We're not going to lecture you, we're not going to tell you how to run your countries." What about Venezuela seems different than that? Because obviously it's a terrible situation there, but there are terrible situations in a lot of places. Peter's asking it better than I did. There are terrible things happening in Venezuela. Absolutely. I have access to things, Peter, that are absolutely terrible, what's going on in Venezuela. So that makes it an exception, in effect, to your standard you talked about in Saudi Arabia, of not lecturing other countries? I'm just saying this: Terrible things are going on. Terrible things are going on in Venezuela. And I look at that, and I see what's happening. Now in Saudi Arabia, a lot of improvement has been made in Saudi Arabia. But you look at Iran, and they kill many, many people in Iran. You have the access and we have the access also. And Saudi Arabia also has a lot to do with economic development. They're a country that pays us a tremendous amount of money, creates a tremendous amount of jobs. And Saudi Arabia, I'm not making excuses for anybody. I think that was a terrible event. It was a terrible tragedy. It was a terrible crime. Khashoggi? Yeah. Khashoggi. I thought it was a terrible crime. But if you look at other countries, many other countries. You look at Iran, not so far away from Saudi Arabia, and take a look at what they're doing there. So you know, that's just the way I feel. Venezuela is very much in flux. We've been hearing about it for probably 14 years now, between the two of them. And some terrible things are happening in Venezuela. So if I can do something to help people. It's really helping humanity, if we can do something to help people, I'd like to do that. What'd you say to Mr. Guaidó, the opposition leader that you talked to? We had a very good talk. Just more than anything else, I guess, I wished him good luck. It's a dangerous journey. He's in a very dangerous place. And it's a very dangerous journey. I watched him -- [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] There was a report that you were upset when you saw the Senate testimony of Bill Barr, when he was talking about his personal closeness with Robert Mueller. Were you surprised by that? And -- No. I didn't know Bill Barr, but I've always heard he was an outstanding man. Did that bother you? And that's what I wanted for that position. It doesn't bother you that he's friendly with Bob Mueller? That's not a -- I did hear the statement and it was totally acceptable to me. I just want somebody that's a very outstanding person and who's going to be -- I think he has a chance to be a great attorney general. And they need it. They really need it. I mean they -- You see what's happening. There's been turmoil between the Justice Department, the F.B.I. You look at all of the statements made. You look at all of the firings, not firings by me, by the way. But you look at all of the people that have left and been fired and terminated and all of the terrible statements being made. And it is a terrible thing that's gone on there. Have you talked about what he should do once he takes over, about those things? Very little. I'll tell you what: What I talked about is the fact -- I went into his past almost two years of being attorney general. I went into his life, as a, you know, after being the attorney general, which was very successful. He's had a very successful life, Bill Barr. He's very respected. I didn't know him, you know, until this whole situation -- until, you know, it was time to look for an attorney general. So many people recommended him. So many people. [Inaudible] And again this isn't somebody -- and I think I probably would be able to put up somebody that I know very well. I mean Kennedy used his brother, and so I would have been able to. But I wanted somebody that was respected. I think that he did very well at the hearing, really well, as well as, some people say it was as good as you can do. And I think he'll be a great attorney general. I certainly hope so. Were you aware of the memo that he had written and submitted to I think the White House counsel criticizing Mueller's approach. I did not know that. You didn't know that? I did not know. I mean, I read it afterwards. But I did not know. Did you know it when you picked him or you didn't know it at the time? I didn't see the memo. I never read the memo. Since you're still in the middle of this negotiations about the continuing resolution, about the wall funding -- Yeah. This is your first experience dealing with Nancy Pelosi having the gavel as the speaker. Do you feel that you properly estimated her strengths? Yeah, I did. I did. I've actually always gotten along with her, but now I don't think I will anymore. I think that she's hurting the country very badly. I think she's doing a tremendous disservice to the country. If she doesn't approve a wall, the rest of it's just a waste of money and time and energy because it's, it's desperately needed. People are flowing in. I mean, we have caravans coming in right now, 12,000 people. We have three of them lined up. And you know they're lining up from Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador. And they're coming in. With a wall, you don't need very much help. We just had to move more military down there to handle the one that's coming up now: 12,000 people or whatever it might be. But they say it's about 12,000 people. No, I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what she's doing. And ultimately I think I've set the table very nicely. For -- For what? Well, they understand, Peter. They didn't know what was going on with the southern border. Now they know. They had no idea the amount of crime, the amount of drugs, the amount of human trafficking, which can be stopped with a proper system -- So set the table for emergency declaration. I've set the table. I've set the stage for doing what I'm going to do. And you'll wait out the 21 days before you take any action? Yeah, I'm going to wait until the 15th. I think it's a waste of time -- [Crosstalk] Well, based on everything I hear. Now they'll probably be overly generous with things that you don't need in terms of money. They'll give you more money than you need for things that won't help very much. And they'll give you money for good things, too. But based on what I hear and based on what I read, they don't want to give money for the wall. You know I'm building the wall. You know that. I'm building the wall right now. I'm building -- it's been funded, and we're buying it right. And we're renovating large sections of wall. We're building new sections of wall. We're building the wall. The wall is going up as we speak. We'll be up to, by the end of this year, 115 miles. [Inaudible] At least. That's either finished or under construction. And that doesn't include large amounts of wall that we'll be starting before the end of the year. So we'll be up to hundreds of miles of wall between new wall and renovation wall in a fairly short period of time. It's the one thing. So I'm building the wall now, as we speak. And I'll continue to build the wall, and we'll get the wall finished. Now whether or not I declare a national emergency, that you'll see. You tweeted, sir, I guess it was yesterday, these all days feel like one day, but you tweeted that essentially that your intel chiefs, and this is what we were talking about earlier, needed to go back to school. You have at various points taken issue with things that your government has told you on climate change, on ISIS, on what we saw, though I understand that you're saying you think the press misrepresented what was said.. Well, you'll have to see, I mean you'll have to see. And you should call Dan and you should call Gina. I would like you to. You know them [Inaudible]. But just broadly, sir: Why do you find yourself at odds with your government -- I don't. -- and why do you feel in terms of what the advice -- [Crosstalk] Well, first of all, when I walked into the room, there's your picture, I guess you have it. But when I walked into the room, I said, "What's the story with Iran?" [Inaudible] "We were totally misrepresented." I said, "What are you talking about?" "They misrepresented -- " There was that time, though. What about the other times with climate change, or -- Well, you have to really take a look at everybody else. And if you would have been here today, and you would have seen this whole side of the room filled up with secretaries and people that are running government, you would have said, I don't get, I don't have a problem with anybody. I don't dispute anything. You're talking about very little by comparison to the people that we're talking about. Great relationship with Mike Pompeo. That was a great choice. Great relationship with -- Sonny Perdue is fantastic. Agriculture. He was very happy because China said we're going to buy tremendous amounts of farm products, O.K., agriculture products, in front of him. It was a gesture -- a very big gesture -- but it was a gesture. Very substantial amount of product. And he said he's starting today, which is pretty amazing. You know we're not going to have an agreement for a little while yet, if we have an agreement. So when you look at the overall government, there's really very little dispute. I mean Sarah, could I ask you two to speak up about that? Yeah, I think the report you're referring to is the climate change thing is a career official's report, so it's not his appointees. And there's a lot of people within your administration -- You have a lot of people that are in from other administrations that frankly you keep because you're not allowed to do anything but keep them, O.K.? And so they'll do reports. And by the way, you're going to have people that are from my administration in years from now that would be very critical of perhaps another president where they disagree with something. But as you know, you have many, many people in this administration and every other administration that wasn't put there by me, and they have to stay there. It's a job for life. You mean civil servants -- And they can be critical. And just like we put in a lot of great people, they'll be critical into the future. That doesn't happen at The New York Times. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] Mr. President, before we wind down, I didn't want to miss the opportunity just to raise a concern that we discussed last time I was here. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] So the concern I raised then was about your anti-press rhetoric: fake news, enemy of the people. And at the time I said I was concerned that it wasn't just divisive, it was potentially dangerous -- Right. -- and warned that I thought it could have consequences. I feel like in the time since we've started to see some of those consequences play out. We've seen around the world an unprecedented rise in attacks on journalists, threats to journalists, censorship of journalists, jailing of journalists and murders of journalists. Where in particular? Globally, on every continent. I'm happy to send you some of the literature. Yeah. It's very closely tracked. But one of the things that's been very striking to me is that as I've talked to my colleagues around the globe, you know, working in different countries, particularly working in countries where a free press is already a tenuous thing, they say that they are increasingly of the belief that your rhetoric is creating a climate in which dictators and tyrants are able to employ your words in suppressing a free press. And I wanted to circle back to this, you know, first, I guess to ask you, you know, if you are aware of these broad consequences that we're seeing. So the person, honestly, that's been most suggestive of that would -- is you. Yeah. -- more so than others. I do notice that people are declaring more and more fake news, where they go "fake news." I even see it in other countries. I don't necessarily attribute that to me. I think I can attribute the term to me. I think I was the one that started using it, I would say. But I do see that. [Crosstalk] But can I just respond to that? Because the phrase fake news -- you're exactly right -- it has been embraced globally. And several countries have actually banned fake news, but it was a technique to actually ban an independent media. And so it's not, you know, about viral, you know, viral stuff on Facebook. It's about countries using that term to actually ban independent scrutiny of their actions. Right, I've seen that. Yeah. I don't like that. I mean I don't like that. I don't like, though I do think it's very bad for a country when the news is not accurately portrayed. I really do. And I do believe I'm a victim of that, honestly. In all due respect, I know what a good writer these two people are. But Peter's been very tough on us the last couple of months. I don't know why, because I really think I'm doing a great job. I'm doing something with China that nobody else could do. There's nobody else -- I know everybody. Nobody else could do. I wish you could have seen -- Can I say something on Peter? Yeah. I mean Peter has covered four administrations: four presidential administrations, starting with Clinton. And -- I know, I know. But one of the things that we've learned over a century and a half of covering the men who've occupied this office is that every occupant feels that the press is too tough at times. Yeah. But our job and our constitutional structure and, you know, the centrality of a free press and the First Amendment, demands that a free press asks tough questions and hold the powerful to account. And I know that's not always comfortable, and I certainly would never ask you to, you know, bite your tongue if you have coverage you disagree with. No, I understand that. Or if you want to criticize The Times. I guess the concern I want to raise is the effects that this, the broad-based attacks on journalism and journalists continue to have seems to be growing. And it particularly seems to be growing abroad with folks who aren't covering your administration. They're trying to do -- -- hard, dangerous work of ferreting out the truth in -- in societies where leadership often tries to suppress it. And, and you know I'd urge you to reconsider these things. I understand that. But if -- you choose not to, I just, I want you to be aware of some of the consequences that I'm starting to see out there. Would you say more so now than over the last five years? Yes. Right now? I mean, moreso now than even a year ago? Yes. And I think -- I'm not happy to hear that. [Inaudible] [Jamal] Khashoggi [the murdered Saudi journalist for the Washington Post] is you know is just the highest-profile example but we're seeing, we're seeing leaders -- [To aide] One second. We're seeing leaders of journalistic organizations saying very directly that -- that governments feel like there is a climate of impunity that's been created. You know the United States and the occupants of your office historically have been the greatest defenders of the free press and -- And I think I am, too. I want to be. I want to be. I guess the one thing I do feel because you look at network coverage. It's so bad. I'll do something that's good. [Laughter] You know I've done some very good things. Look -- North Korea -- you'd be in a war right now. O.K.? Venezuela we have to see how that works out, Maggie and Peter. We're going to have to see. I mean, I think a lot of people have actually liked what I've done in Venezuela, I mean from what I'm hearing. But Venezuela we're going to have to see. But we have a lot of things going. China. China was killing our country. They were taking out $500 billion dollars a year. Just ripping it out of our country. We wouldn't have survived, I mean we were going to go down the tubes. And now they're, I mean they want to make a deal so badly and it's, it's big stuff. It's tremendous. And, and I don't even know if that's the most important. We've done a good job. And I'd love to be treated fairly. I'll tell you what I find it so incredible that I'm sitting here with the bad publicity I get. I'm not blaming you two. I mean, I'm blaming like -- now Fox treats me very well. I must say and even there, you know, I could be happier, but Fox treats me very well. And others treat me well. You know what's very interesting -- local television is so great to me. Right? I said I can't believe it. I get some clips. The local, the local station. Even if you go to ABC or NBC -- NBC's terrible -- you go to NBC local, it's like, I'd say it's like a different planet. CBS. It's hard to believe actually. But, but what amazes me, because I have great respect for the press, it amazes me that I can be treated so badly and I won. And we're doing well. You know, it is pretty hard to believe actually. But I don't want that to happen. I would say, you know, speaking broadly for the press, and then speaking specifically for at The New York Times, every occupant of your office has felt like the coverage was tougher than it should have been. That's true. I think that's true. I mean, I'm surprised because some I think got -- [to Baker] now you did a book about Barack Obama so you got to know him. He didn't think he got good press either. But I think I get it really bad. I mean, let's face it, this is at a level that nobody's ever had before. But it's part, it's -- tough coverage is part of occupying the most powerful seat on earth. You know that chair right there that you're sitting in is the most powerful seat on earth and it comes with it, you know, scrutiny and questions. You have my, speaking for The Times, you know my enduring commitment that we will treat you fairly and accurately. I appreciate it. As we have for, for presidential administrations for 150 years now. Starting with I think that guy [gestures to Abraham Lincoln painting]. Yeah. He was a good one. But I do, you know, I hope you'll think on the language point because the effects are not just being felt with the outlets who you feel are treating you unfairly -- they're being felt all over the world including folks who are literally putting their lives on the line to report the truth. I understand that and I do. I would say this. If -- I have never -- I don't mind a bad story if it's true. I really don't. You know, we're all like big people. We understand what's happening. I've had bad stories, very bad stories where I thought it was true and I would never complain. But when you get really bad stories where it's not true, then you sort of say that's unfair and you know you have a tremendous power, you have the power of the pen, the power of the ink. You have a tremendous power. I guess I have the power of a very big, uh, I think Dan [Scavino, a White House aide] said it's like 162 million if you add up the different sites, the five sites, or whatever it is but it's a lot. I think on the one it's -- [Crosstalk] People. On Twitter. If you add up Facebook and add up Instagram and add up three of four things. But I guess what do I have? 58, 59 million people on the, on the one. So it gives you at least a voice. That's not -- you know, The New York Times is The New York Times. It gives you a voice. If I were treated fairly -- and I have great respect for the press -- but when I won the election and I know, and I'm not gonna say that you apologized, but they did a whole big thing, you know, like what happened and there were those who say that it was an apology. I was treated really badly during the election. That's the good news. The bad news is that I'm treated even worse. I'm treated bad. And I'm working hard. This job is from an economic -- you know, I get a kick out of these people saying "Oh, a rich Arab stayed at his hotel," you know, I'll bet you between opportunity cost and actual cost, you know but I lost massive amounts of money doing this job. This is not the money. This is, this is one of the great losers of all time. You know fortunately I don't need money. This is one of the great losers of all time. But they'll say that somebody from some country stayed at a hotel. And I'll say "Yeah." But I lose, I mean, the numbers are incredible. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] It doesn't matter to me from the standpoint that this is such an important job. You know I assumed that could happen. I assumed. I think I have a great support. But what does amaze me is the level of inaccurate reporting. It's really inaccurate reporting. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] But if you, just because accuracy is so important to me, if you feel like there are specific things that are inaccurate I hope they're finding their way -- Can I call you from now on? [Crosstalk] Can I call -- Peter, can I call the boss? Eh? [Crosstalk] I prefer you start with them. [To Baker] Give me a card. Give me a card. [Inaudible.] If you don't mind. The book was good by the way. I wouldn't say it was my favorite. Very good book. Not my favorite person but that's okay. [Crosstalk] It was a very well-written book. I should be so lucky. You understand? [Crosstalk from aides] I can't speak for every news organization, but I can say that that's something that we pay a lot of attention to and we, there is nothing that this institution has prized more for the last 100 years. [Crosstalk] [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] Your father was great. Do you know I negotiated with your father over the Times site on 66, you know, the West Side? I didn't know that. Because I had the yards. And the job was a very successful job. He had the back and he was, just a high quality person. And I told you about Abe Rosenthal, right? Yeah, he and my grandfather, I mean, it's honestly why I take defending the press so seriously is that you know their legacy as being a voice for free press in this country. Which is -- I think our ended our last conversation saying that it's one of, because you're a businessman, it's one of America's greatest exports is free speech and a free press. And it's -- You're right. It's worth defending. Mr. President, can I ask you a question I was wondering as you were all talking about this. I think we can make this the last one. Can I ask you five more questions? [Laughter] We'll do it again. What do you -- All I ask is one thing. And we'll do it again. Just treat me fairly. We'll do it again. We'll do it a hundred times. Well what do you -- I guess what I wonder is -- and you've been with the press for a very long time. You've been dealing with the press longer than I've been in it, longer than he's been in it. Longer than Peter's been in it. I hate to hear that. That's a long time. Let me look at a mirror. But what do you see the role of a free press as? What do you think the free press does? It describes and should describe accurately what's going on in anywhere it's covering whether it's a nation or a state or a game or whatever. And if it describes it accurately and fairly it's a very very important and beautiful thing. But I don't want to be difficult and I have a very respectful relationship with the folks who work here. I think Sarah works incredibly hard. That's true, that's true. That's what I've heard. But I have also had stories that were accurate called inaccurate by this White House and I don't know -- what are we supposed to do when this happens? Well, little things. For instance, you cover me and you know, I get up early in the morning and I turn on television. And I do. But I don't turn it on very much because I really read the papers much more than I watch the television, O.K.? Especially your columns lately. But it's O.K. It's a little off. I wish, I wish you'd call me. I would tell you exactly what the routine is. The routine is a little bit off. But it makes it -- you know I went to. Put your number right there, and I'll be happy to call. [Laughter] We'll just -- we'll call you. We'll be happy to call. Can we go through the switchboard? We'll call you. [Laughter] Do you have a hard time -- when you call me, let me ask you this, when you call me you go through -- do you ever call for me and -- Two Sundays ago you called -- [inaudible] -- and I don't get back? Ish. You told me about a story. I told Sarah specifically what we were writing and she -- Maggie, I would call people -- not only yourselves. And she reached out to you and she actually was very helpful. If I were a reporter, O.K., and I worked for The New York Times and I called Donald Trump or President Trump, whichever life I'm leading and in the old days, you know I used to get great publicity. When I became a politician all of a sudden, not so good, in my opinion not so good but in the meantime I'm here, so you know, I mean many not so bad, maybe it's different than we think. But, if I were a reporter and I called somebody and they didn't call me back, I'd probably be psychologically, maybe not even on purpose, I would probably be inclined to do bad stories. And I told these two [gesturing to aides], I said you know if somebody calls me -- somebody, now you know we have a limited amount of time. How many calls do I get -- hundreds of calls a day so in all fairness it's tough. But if you guys call, I would love to be able to call you back. I think if I were in your position and, Peter, I called me, and I'm in your position, and I don't return your phone call or if I'm at least not treated fairly by the people representing me, I think that's a very bad thing. And I think that's my fault, not your fault. Now, I am really busy and even this -- I'm taking a lot more time because, No. 1, I'm finding it very interesting. We appreciate your time. Thank you. And No. 2, I think it's very important because I am a voice. Even without this, I'm a voice, without this position. I've always sort of been a voice in the press. Someday, you'll have to explain why. That's why I won, I guess. You know, it's very interesting, when I was running they spent nothing but money on me and one of the reasons Hillary [Clinton] lost is all she did was spend money on negative ads. And I had, I don't know what the number is, but a record -- hundreds of millions of dollars. Every ad was negative and when they got into the voting booth, they had no idea what the hell she stood for and I guess the public knows me so well that they didn't care. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] You look at the Florida primaries, it was Jeb [Bush] and Marco [Rubio]. You have the sitting senator, you have a governor who was popular for eight years who was not out that long running against me. You're a Florida resident though. I got a massive vote and they got like peanuts. And all they did -- and then I got Hillary and it was the same thing. The whole thing was negative and it's sort of amazing, you know. It's actually amazing. But I've seen what negative ads do, they're destructive. And yet for me it was a different kind of a thing. Let me finish by saying this, what you do is a very important thing. And I will tell you, I would love if I was just covered fairly. If I were covered fairly -- like this should be a fair story. I don't know what the story is, this should be a fair story. I actually think your readers would respect it. Because I know what you're all saying, but everybody thinks The New York Times treats me terribly. Washington Post also, but The New York Times even more so treats me unbelievably terribly. And I think, I honestly believe you lose credibility by that. I don't think I've had a good story in The New York Times and let me tell you -- Can I just say one thing on that? -- but I became president and I didn't have a good story. Go ahead. You may enjoy knowing that Hillary Clinton says the exact same thing about us. To this day. To this day. She wrote it in her book. You know our job is to cover people and institutions of power toughly and aggressively. And it's never fun to be on the other side of that. You have my commitment that as we do that -- Good. -- toughly and aggressively, we will also do it fairly. You do have my commitment. I appreciate that. But I say this, look, I started off, real estate guy. Did really nicely. I really built well and I did a lot of good things. I went into show business, I hit a huge home run with "The Apprentice," I mean it was a very successful deal. I then went into politics. I had a senator in my office, he said, "You know, Mr. President, I've run six times and I'll tell you, out of six times and I've won four." And I was just kidding, I said, well, you know what -- and he was a senator and he was a congressman -- I said, "I won -- I ran one time for the president of the United States and out of one time I won one. I'm one for one." And he sort of laughed and it's never happened before, nobody's ever done that. I ran one time and you know I had to go through 15 debates between the two of them. Between the primaries and the other -- or whatever the number is, like 15. And I was never off center stage, never once off center stage and I'm going against -- I'll never forget I said, "Tell me about debating." I've never debated. My whole life is a debate but I've never stood at a podium and debated. I said, "Tell me about my competition. Who are these people?" You know for the first -- and then I got the crazy Megyn Kelly question with the Rosie O'Donnell answer. I said, "Tell me about this. I want to see, let me see —" And I get the list: Ted Cruz, No. 1 at Princeton, national debate champion, No. 1 at Harvard, national -- then I get and a lot of the others, too, you know their politicians they always had their -- I never did. But, I ran, I won, and I'm really doing a good job. I mean, I guess I'm controversial, but I'm doing a great job. The man from China, the vice -- the second man in China, essentially, they call him the vice premier, like the vice president, but he's the second man, strong second man. He made the nicest statements today. He said, "You're doing things that nobody could ever do." And he actually said it in front of the press, it was nice. I mean I'd love you, just look at it, you don't have to put it down if you don't want but I'm sort of entitled to one good story in The New York Times. I started off, I ran against very smart people and a lot of them. I'll never forget, Charles Krauthammer's on television, he said, "Why would Trump run? This is the greatest field of candidates ever assembled in the history of the Republican Party." You know, you had governors and senators, you know they were all good until I beat the shit out of them, O.K.? He said, "You have the greatest people, why he run? Why would be do that?" And then after that I was like, you know I never left center stage, right? And you know when you leave center stage things aren't going good. I'd look at Jeb Bush, I'd say, "Jeb, you're going to fall off that stage next week, you're going further left or further right." So anyway, I just sort of think I'm entitled to a great story from The New York Times. I mean I've done something that nobody has ever done, they've never done it. They said, that guy [gestures to painting] had the greatest election of all time -- Andrew Jackson. You know when you read it it was a wild time. More than this? And they said -- Well now? No, no. Now they say, "We topped him." O.K., Peter, they say, "Now we've topped him." But they said, they were saying the other day, somebody was saying, "It was the greatest of all time." I just think, honestly, I'm enti— I came from New York, I love New York, I'll be back there someday, and I do, I love the place. And I sort am of entitled to a good story -- [to aide] Yeah? Come. I just want to show you who's calling [hands list of calls]. O.K., well, maybe I'll show it to them if it's important. Let me just see -- a lot. Oh, that's good. That's O.K., I don't care. Who's more important than -- but, I just think, honestly, I started from Queens, my father was -- I loved my father, [gesturing toward a photograph] picture. I loved my father, had a great relationship with my mother and father, had a nice family, you know nothing -- there was no trauma. [The Times indicates a break in the transcript, for an off-the-record comment or aside.] I came from Jamaica, Queens, Jamaica Estates and I became president of the United States. I'm sort of entitled to a great story from my -- just one -- from my newspaper. I mean, you know, anyway I agree with you 100 percent and I'm honored to have spent the time with you and I'd like you to call me and I'm going to work on that so hard you have no idea. Cause I think you're right. Can I ask you one -- literally last question? Yeah? You were criticizing the Cliff Sims book. What do you think of the Chris Christie book? Since you, I know, pay attention to that. Well, honestly he was very nice to me. O.K. He was not nice to my people. Some of them. Some of them he was. Well your family, he was not totally nice to your family. No, but he was unbelievably nice to me, actually. So, you're fine with it? You know, I didn't have time to read it, but I get all, I have somebody boom boom. They give me the quotes, it's like five pages. That, you can read, right? And he was very respectful of me. Thank you, sir. Thank you. Peter, thank you. Thank you. Good to see you. Appreciate it. When they call, let me speak to them.