President Donald Trump Comments on the Status of the JCPOA during a Press Conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni

April 20, 2017

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Q    It’s being described as a potential terrorist attack.  I wonder if you have something on that.  
And further to that, to the big trouble spots that you’re dealing with right now, North Korea and Iran.  Do you believe that the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is mentally unstable?  Is that one of the reasons why you’re so concerned about these latest developments?  Is he a man who can be reasoned with?  And on Iran, do you have reason to suspect that they are cheating on the JCPOA?
And to Mr. Prime Minister, you talked just a moment ago about your commitment to NATO.  President Trump would like to see all NATO members contribute 2 percent of their GDP to NATO.  Your contribution is slightly less than 1 percent.  Will you commit to committing 2 percent of your GDP to the Alliance going forward?  Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, first of all, I love the question you asked the Prime Minister.  I look forward to his answer -- (laughter) -- because I’m going to be asking him that same question very soon.  
Well, first of all, our condolences from our country to the people of France.  Again, it’s happening, it seems.  I just saw it as I was walking in, so that’s a terrible thing and it’s a very, very terrible thing that’s going on in the world today.  But it looks like another terrorist attack.  And what can you say -- it just never ends.  We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant.  And I’ve been saying it for a long time.
As far as North Korea is concerned, we are in very good shape.  We’re building our military rapidly.  A lot of things have happened over the last short period of time.  I’ve been here for approximately 91 days; we’re doing a lot of work.  We’re in very good position.  We’re going to see what happens.
I can’t ask your -- answer your question on stability.  I hope the answer is a positive one, not a negative one.  But hopefully that will be something that gets taken care of.  I have great respect for the President of China.  As you know, we had a great summit in Florida, and Palm Beach, and got to know each other and I think like each other.  I can say from my standpoint I liked him very much.  I respect him very much.  And I think he’s working very hard.
I can say that all of the pundits out there are saying they never have seen China work like they’re working right now.  Many coal ships have sent back.  Many other things have happened.  Some very unusual moves have been made over the last two or three hours.  And I really have confidence that the President will try very hard.  We don’t know whether or not they’re able to do that, but I have absolute confidence that he will be trying very, very hard.
And one of the reasons that we’re talking about trade deals and we’re talking about all of the different things -- but we’re slowing up a little bit.  I actually told him, I said, you’ll make a much better deal on trade if you get rid of this menace or do something about the menace of North Korea.  Because that’s what it is, it’s a menace right now.  
So we’ll see what happens.  As far as Iran is concerned, I think they are doing a tremendous disservice to an agreement that was signed.  It was a terrible agreement.  It shouldn’t have been signed.  It shouldn’t have been negotiated the way it was negotiated.  I’m all for agreements, but that was a bad one, as bad as I’ve ever seen negotiated.  
They are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, I can tell you that.  And we’re analyzing it very, very carefully and we’ll have something to say about it in the not-too-distant future.  But Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement.  And they have to do that.  They have to do that.  So we will see what happens.  
Thank you very much, John.