Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images(OSAKA, Japan) — During a wide-ranging press conference that lasted just over an hour at the conclusion of the G-20 summit, President Donald Trump said he just may step across into North Korean territory when he visits the DMZ on Sunday, and he hopes Kim Jong Un will meet him there.
“I understand we may be meeting with Chairman Kim,” Trump said. “I said, while I’m there, I’ll shake his hand. We get along. There’s been no nuclear tests.”
He added, “We won’t call it a summit. We will call it a handshake. It could happen. He would like to do it, and I wouldn’t mind doing it at all. I am visiting the DMZ.”
He didn’t hesitate when asked about potentially stepping into North Korean territory: “Sure, I feel very comfortable doing that. I would have no problem.”
When asked if it would be a bad thing if Kim Jong Un doesn’t show up after Trump invited him via Twitter, Trump replied, “Everybody is going to say, ‘He was stood up by Chairman Kim.'”
“He follows me on Twitter,” Trump added.
The president was asked about everything from the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and possible involvement by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman — Trump defended the crown prince for arrests the country had made — to progress between the U.S. and China on trade and the controversy surrounding Huawei, saying the U.S. blackout of the tech company would be among the final issues hammered out in the deal.
Trump was also asked about his thoughts on the week’s Democratic debate, including his opinion on federally mandated busing, which led to a very heated exchange Thursday night between presidential contenders Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.
“I think if Vice President Biden had answered the question somewhat differently, it would have been a lot different result, because they really did hit him hard on that one,” Trump said. “But it certainly is a primary method of getting people to schools, it relates to everything we’re doing, and you’ll be hearing about it and over the next couple of months.”
Without being very forthcoming, Trump said he’ll have a policy announcement to make in the next four weeks on the issue that will be “interesting” and “surprising” to a lot of people.
He also said he believed Harris got “too much credit” for her performance, and that Biden didn’t do as poorly as people thought.
“I think she was given too much credit for what she did,” Trump said. “[Biden] was hit harder than he should have been hit.”
When asked if Harris would make a tough opponent for him in his re-election bid, Trump demurred, saying, “You never know who is going to be tough. … I think she was given too much credit.”
Trump also told reporters that he was invited to Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He did invite me to Russia for the defeat of Nazis. Russia lost, he said, 25 million people. I have heard 50 million people. But he said yesterday that Russia fighting the Nazis, they lost 25 million people,” Trump said. “I said that we would get back. But we will give it very serious consideration.”
Trump also blasted Jimmy Carter, after being asked about the former president seemingly calling Trump an illegitimate president on Friday.
“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election. And I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated, would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” Carter said at the Carter Center’s retreat in Leesburg, Virginia.
Trump didn’t take too kindly to the criticism.
“Isn’t it crazy? Jimmy Carter — look, he is a nice man, he was a terrible president. He is a Democrat, and it is a typical talking point. He is loyal to the Democrats and I guess he should be. But as everybody understands, I won not because of Russia, not because of anybody but myself,” Trump said.
On Friday, Trump seemed to be joking as he told Putin not to meddle in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. The two sat for a meeting — their first since the release of the Mueller report.
He defended his performance on Saturday, but again seemed to side with Putin’s denial of meddling over the evidence outlined in the Mueller report.
“You have to take a look at the words. I did say it. We had a discussion. We had a great discussion. Vladimir Putin and myself — a tremendous discussion,” Trump said. “I could see some real positive things. I did discuss it a little after that.”
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