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21 Things Donald Trump Said During His News Conference

During an impromptu news conference on Monday, President Donald Trump spoke on what seemed like every issue under the sun.
President Donald Trump answers questions with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Rose Garden after their meeting at the White House on Oct. 16.Alex Brandon / AP

President Donald Trump spoke on what seemed like every issue under the sun during an impromptu news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Monday.

Trump, standing alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, responded to shouted questions from reporters on dozens of subjects including tax reform, the NFL protests, Hillary Clinton and whether he was thinking of firing special counsel Robert Mueller (the answer was no).

Here are 21 things Trump said during the roughly 40-minute question-and-answer session:

On his relationship with McConnell:

“We are probably now, despite what we read, probably now I think, as far as I'm concerned, closer than ever before, and the relationship is very good.”

On his relationship with members of Congress:

“You read papers and think I'm on one island, they're on other, but that is not the way it is. … I'm friends with most of them.”

On criticism of his response to the hurricanes:

“I was very honored to see James Lee Witt of the Clinton administration, the head of FEMA, he gave us an A-plus. I've always had respect for him.”

On being subpoenaed over sexual misconduct allegations:

“All I can say is it's totally fake news. It's just fake. It's fake, it's made up stuff.”

On a potential economic development proposal that even McConnell doesn’t know about:

“I’ll be surprising people with an economic development bill later on, but I haven't even told Mitch, because I want to focus on tax cuts.”

On whether he was “thinking” of firing special counsel Robert Mueller:

“No, not at all.”

On the ongoing battle between Iraq’s military and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq:

“We're not taking sides but [I] don't like that they're clashing. … We’ve had for many years a very good relationship with the Kurds as you know and we’ve also been on the side of Iraq, even though we should have never been there in the first place.”

On Hillary Clinton:

“I hope Hillary runs! Is she going to run? Hillary please run again!”

On Hillary Clinton defending NFL players who kneel during the national anthem:

“I think she's wrong … that's why she lost the election. It's that thinking, that's the reason she lost.”

On the NFL players kneeling to protest police brutality:

“It’s very disrespectful when they take a knee during the national anthem.”

On the progress he’s made in nominating federal judges:

“Something people aren't talking about is how many judges we've had approved, circuit or district. … Democrats are holding them up beyond anything, beyond comprehension.”

On tax reform legislation:

“I would like to see it be done this year. … It took years for the Reagan administration to get taxes done. I've been here nine months.”

On whether he has confidence in McConnell after previous health care-related failures:

“He'll get it done.”

On Tom Marino, his nominee to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy who is alleged to have helped hobble the DEA:

“We'll look into the report and take it very seriously.”

On former White House strategist Steve Bannon's efforts to primary Republican incumbents:

“Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing. … Some of the people that he may be looking at, I’m going to see if we (can) talk him out of that.”

On whether he’s communicated with the families of the Green Berets who died in Niger:

"I've written them personal letters. They've been sent or they're going out tonight, but they were during the weekend. I will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families. ... If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls — a lot of them didn't make calls — I like to call when it's appropriate, when I think I'm able to do it."

On the attacks that have left U.S. government employees in Cuba suffering symptoms like hearing damage:

“I do believe Cuba’s responsible. I do believe that, and it’s a very unusual attack, as you know, but I do believe Cuba’s responsible."

On his moments-ago claim that Obama didn’t call the families of fallen U.S. military members:

“I was told that he didn’t often. … President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn’t. I don’t know, that’s what I was told.”

On the federal probe into Russia's election meddling:

“The whole Russia thing was an excuse for Democrats losing election, and it's just one excuse.”

On his promised border wall:

“Our country needs a wall.”

On the growing post-hurricane humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico:

“It’s very tough because it's an island. It was in very poor shape before the hurricanes hit.”