Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada before Bilateral Meeting (Excerpts)

June 20, 2019


Q    Mr. President, how will you respond to Iran?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Iran made a big mistake.  This drone was in international waters, clearly.  We have it all documented.  It’s documented scientifically, not just words.  And they made a very bad mistake.  Okay?

Q    How will you respond, Mr. President?  How will you respond?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  You’ll find out.

Q    Does that mean you’re planning to do something?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  You’ll find out.  You’ll find out.  I mean, obviously — obviously — obviously, you know, we’re not going to be talking too much about it.  You’re going to find out.  They made a very big mistake.


PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU:  Obviously, we’re very concerned about the escalation by Iran recently.  We have significant presence in the area, including leading on the NATO mission in Baghdad, in Iraq.

We look forward to discussing with our closest ally — their perspectives on this — and how we can move forward as an international community.


Q    Mr. President, you said Iran is a “different country.”  Do you still hold that opinion?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Oh, absolutely.  When I came here, Iran was in 14 to 18 different sites of confliction.  They were extremely hostile.  They were hostile when they signed the deal.  They were screaming, “Death to America.”  And I think, probably, Iran made a mistake.  I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down.

And, fortunately, that drone was unarmed.  It was not — there was no man in it, and there was no — it was just — it was over international waters; clearly over international waters.  But we didn’t have a man or woman in the drone.  We had nobody in the drone.  It would have made a big difference, let me tell you.  It would have made a big, big difference.

But I have a feeling — I may be wrong and I may right, but I’m right a lot.  I have a feeling that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn’t have been doing what they did.  I think they made a mistake.  And I’m not just talking the country made a mistake.  I think that somebody under the command of that country made a big mistake.

Q    Are you still open to talking to Iran’s leadership?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Let’s just see what happens.  You just — let’s see what happens.  It’s all going to work out.

Q    (Inaudible) to strike the drone?


Q    Are you saying you think it wasn’t intentional to strike the drone?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t know.  I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth.  I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.  But we’ll be able to report back, and you’ll understand exactly what happened.  But it was a very foolish move, that I can tell you.

Q    Do you feel like there are members of your administration who are trying to push you into conflict with Iran?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, not at all.  Not at all.  In fact, in many cases, it’s the opposite.

But I will say — look, I said I want to get out of these endless wars.  I campaigned on that: I want to get out.  We’ve been in Afghanistan for 19 years.  As you know, we’ve reduced very substantially in Afghanistan.

We beat the caliphate.  We took back 100 percent of the caliphate.  When it was 99 percent, Justin, I said, “We’re going to get out.  We’re going to start peeling back.”  And everybody went crazy because it was 99.  So I said, “All right.  So we’ll finish it up.”  So we got 100 percent, and we’re pulling that back, out of Syria.  We’re pulling a lot of people back.

But this is something — this is a new wrinkle.  This is a new fly in the ointment, what happened shooting down the drone.  And this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.

Thank you very much.