Trump interview with CNBC: Full transcript

President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen at the entire world Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The president touched on an array of topics, including immigration reform, the potential for renegotiating multilateral trade deals, along with also the dollar.

Read the full transcript of the interview below.

JOE KERNEN: Mr. President, welcome to Davos.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, Joe.

KERNEN: Thank you for agreeing to come on CNBC along with also Squawk Box. I appreciate of which.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ve known you a long time.

KERNEN: You have known me a long time.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: along with also we’ve done many of these, however a little bit different position. I was a developer.

KERNEN: Little bit different position — few more people around, too.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Couple of more people.

KERNEN: So, the America First president comes to Davos. along with also you know, when you say “Davos” you know what a lot of people think: globalists, elitists. What will you say when you address not just the globalists along with also the elitists, however everyone? When you address them, what will be your message?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So when I decided to come to Davos I didn’t think in terms of elitists or globalists. I think I thought in terms of lots of people of which want to invest lots of money, along with also they’re all coming back to the United States, they’re coming back to America. along with also I thought of of which much more in those terms. After I said of which I was going there were massive stories about the elite, along with also the globalists, along with also the planes flying in, along with also everything else. of which’s not about of which. of which’s about coming to America, investing your money, creating jobs, companies coming in. We’re setting records every week, every day we’re setting records. You see what’s going on. Apple today with $350 billion. Most people thought they meant $350 million, which would certainly build a nice plant. however I spoke with Tim Cook along with also I was very honored. however you remember my campaign, I used to say, “I won’t consider This kind of great unless Apple starts coming in along with also actually investing big money doing the plants.” They’re gonna do a lot.

KERNEN: You’ve moved a little …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … however so many companies are coming in along with also so many jobs …

KERNEN: Yes. You’ve moved a little towards the center. however so Macron’s saying of which globalism doesn’t solve problems. Suddenly some other countries are saying, you know, “We need to take care of, you know, our own country to some extent.” So of which’s almost like the differences between America First along with also Davos. I think there’s plenty of room for you …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: There’s a lot of room. along with also we love global, however we love home. We have to take care of our home.

KERNEN: Right. of which’s not usually exclusive.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: today, we develop the disadvantage of having spent, as of about a month ago, $7 trillion inside Middle East. $7 trillion. of which’s a big disadvantage. along with also we’re still there, along with also I’ve beaten ISIS, I’ve done—we’ve done a not bad job. however of which’s such a shame. of which’s such a sad, sad thing.

KERNEN: Let me tell you about the difference of Davos This kind of year.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Go ahead.

KERNEN: We’ve done three three-hour shows, we have about eight guests per hour, to ensure’s, like, 50 or 60 guests.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

KERNEN: They are more optimistic This kind of year — along with also there’s global growth.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Sure.

KERNEN: however the one thing most are bringing up — along with also then I want to tell you about — if you didn’t see the Jamie Dimon along with also the Lloyd Blankfein interview, I want to just tell you what they said about the potential for GDP growth …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: not bad. not bad.

KERNEN: Because those guys might know what they’re talking about. however the tax plan has been brought up almost without exception in a positive way by not just the CEOs, however by leaders coming from some other countries even. They maybe they need to look at — maybe they need to invest inside United States today because of which’s a better environment for business.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: along with also of which’s why I’m here. To a large extent, of which’s why I’m here. I think of which the tax plan has been even better than we thought, Joe. What did happen of which nobody considered can be of which AT&T started off, however they immediately followed …

KERNEN: Same day almost.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hundreds of companies are giving thousands along with also thousands of dollars to their workers. along with also today you have almost 3 million workers of which are receiving thousands of dollars. Nobody ever thought — of which was not, like, inside plan …

KERNEN: Even Starbucks. Even Starbucks …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, even Starbucks, yesterday Disney along with also others. I mean …

KERNEN: So Dimon said …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: By the way, the ones of which aren’t doing of which, those employees are going like, “How about us?” Guess what? They’re gonna be doing of which, too. Go ahead.

KERNEN: JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, I know you know him. Not only did he say he thought 3 percent was possible, he said we could get to 4 percent in 2018. Lloyd Blankfein, along with also I pressed him a little because I said, “of which was not the outcome — the election of which you were, I think, hoping for. today of which you’ve seen what’s happened to the stock market, up 40 percent since Election Day, how businesses are growing confidence, are you happy with the outcome?” along with also he said — he couldn’t actually say, “I’m happy with the outcome,” however he did say …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. I don’t think – they can’t do of which.

KERNEN: … however no, however he did.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: He can’t do of which …

KERNEN: however he said …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: of which’s OK.

KERNEN: however — no, however he said, “I don’t think the stock market would certainly be where of which can be, I don’t think GDP would certainly be where of which can be. Maybe the polarization would certainly be less,” however he had to concede of which the benefits probably outweighed any of the downside of …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: of which was Lloyd?

KERNEN: of which was Lloyd.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: along with also Jamie’s become very positive …

KERNEN: Jamie along with also Lloyd also said 3 percent can be possible long term, which we haven’t heard coming from all the economists of which supposedly …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think of which’ll be much higher than of which. So I said along with also let’s see what happens, because as you know, we’re getting a report very soon, so we’re going to see what of which can be. however I just happened to ask what we were doing. Because you know, if you look at the real numbers, had I not won, had the Democrat won — I’m going to be nice — the Democrat, I say, won— I would certainly consider their last quarter my first quarter. Because you know, I just got there. So let’s say the first quarter of ’17 you had a 1.2 GDP. OK? 1.2. inside fourth quarter, which can be the Obama quarter, you had a 1.8. Before of which, you had a 2.8, a 2.2. You had — weren’t doing very well. along with also of which was the worst recovery — I guess do they say ever, or since the Great Depression? however of which was the worst recovery.

OK. today, in my first quarter, which I consider to be the second quarter because I was there today long enough to have made an impact along with also don’t kid yourself, regulations are just as big as the tax cuts. I’ve cut more regulations than any president in history along with also I’ve been here for one year. You can take their term whether of which’s eight years or 16 years in one instance — however you can take anybody you want, in one year, we’ve cut more regulations. along with also by the way, there’s going to be regulation however they’re not bad, solid, sane regulations. however in quarter two, we had 3.1, along with also in quarter three, as you know, we had 3.2. however in quarter one, which can be the Obama quarter — actually the last, I would certainly say, Obama quarter, you had 1.2. We were going inside wrong direction.

KERNEN: Right. There was the hurricane.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Had the Democrat won — the stock market can be up almost 50 percent since my election — had the Democrat won, I believe you would certainly have been down 50. of which’s the direction we were headed. along with also you know, a lot of of which, regulation. of which was staggering. You could not do anything. You couldn’t build — I approved immediately — the two pipelines, 48,000 jobs …

KERNEN: Right. Can we talk about the year?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes.

KERNEN: So the year, all these things of which you have pointed out. however you’ve been dealing, negotiating today in government instead of inside private sector. along with also of which’s been I think lovingly referred to as the swamp by certain …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. of which’s difficult.

KERNEN: can be of which difficult? along with also have you learned — are you approaching of which differently today? would certainly you give your — what would certainly you give yourself in terms of dealing, negotiating with the government versus business? What grade for the first year?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, a lot of people have given me an A. Somebody gave me an A-plus. So look, I got the biggest tax plan in our history approved. along with also don’t forget, not just a tax plan.

KERNEN: Have you learned anything?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I got rid of the …

KERNEN: would certainly you do anything different today?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Joe, one second. I got rid of the individual mandate, the most — the biggest part along with also the most unpopular thing in Obamacare, which actually repeals Obamacare, because of which can’t live without the mandate, because of which’s where a lot of the money came. of which was very unfair to people. along with also we did ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge]. ANWR, Ronald Reagan tried to do of which 40 years ago. I mean, everybody’s been trying to do ANWR, along with also I got ANWR done as part of of which same bill. So on top of the biggest tax cuts, great reform along with also the money can be coming in. I mean, the money can be pouring in. We probably take in $4 trillion coming from overseas of which would certainly never have been able to be here because of regulation.

KERNEN: Well, can we talk trade real quickly while we’re doing of which.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: along with also taxes. Yeah.

KERNEN: So we had solar panels, washing machines. I’m not sure where of which goes coming from here.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

KERNEN: I’m not sure how China reacts, whether steel’s next …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Whatever of which can be.

KERNEN: You’ll — they’re grown-ups along with also I think they understand of which maybe we had some …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: of which’s time …

KERNEN: We have some legitimate — right. would certainly you — you going to stick with bilateral or would certainly you ever go back inside multi — would certainly TPP, would certainly of which ever be possible to look at of which again?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I like bilateral because if you have a problem, you terminate. When you’re in with many countries, like with TPP — so you have 12 if we were in — you don’t have of which same, you know, you don’t have of which same option. however somebody asked me some other day would certainly I do TPP. Here’s my answer. I’ll give you a big story. I would certainly do TPP if we made a much better deal than we had. We had a horrible deal. The deal was a horrible deal. NAFTA’s a horrible deal, we’re renegotiating of which. I may terminate NAFTA, I may not. We’ll see what happens. however NAFTA was along with also I went around along with also I’d tell stadiums full of people, “I’ll terminate of which or renegotiate of which.”

KERNEN: So you might re-enter — are you opening up the door to reopening TPP? Or …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m only saying This kind of: I would certainly do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal. The deal was terrible. The way of which was structured was terrible. If we did a substantially better deal I would certainly be open to TPP.

KERNEN: of which’s interesting. would certainly you handicap …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Are you surprised to hear me say of which?

KERNEN: I’m a little bit, yeah. I’m a little taken aback …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Don’t be surprised, no. however we have to make a better deal …

KERNEN: I want to know …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: The deal was a bad deal, like the Iran deal can be a bad deal …

KERNEN: You said — however NAFTA, maybe not NAFTA …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: These are bad deals.

KERNEN: Can you give me any indication which way you’re leaning? Because there’s a lot of people, lot of the CEOs of which have been on here, they all seem to acknowledge of which of which’s 30 years later along with also there’s a lot of modifications of which make a lot of sense, however to not abandon the deal. We …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hey Joe, we have a trade deficit with Mexico. Mexico, $71 billion a year, right? We have a trade deficit with Canada of a substantial amount of money. I have a number however they keep arguing, they keep saying no — so I won’t say of which. I won’t tell you of which’s $17 million, OK? We have a trade deficit with Canada. We have a massive trade deficit with Mexico. Got to do something. We can’t continue to do This kind of …

KERNEN: Are you leaning towards staying in or would certainly you actually go out of the …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ve always said during the campaign along with also as you noticed along with also as you’ve actually said a couple of times, which I’ve always appreciated, I have fulfilled a lot of what I’ve said. along with also I’m only here a year. You know, I think I have four years along with also maybe another four years, OK, if we keep going …

KERNEN: So what we’ll see …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll see what happens. however Joe, we have a $71 billion a year trade deficit with Mexico. We got to do something. We can’t have of which. So will of which be renegotiated? We’re trying right today with [U.S. Trade Representative] Bob Lighthizer along with also the whole group. I think we have a not bad chance however we’ll see what happens.

KERNEN: The way of which the shutdown finally was, you know, was ended.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.

KERNEN: I get the feeling of which Senator Schumer can be taking a lot of flak coming from his flank, coming from the far-left flank. So I feel like he’s been burnt, which makes me worry about when we go back. In two weeks …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: He made a mistake in shutting down. He shouldn’t have shut down. People of This kind of country want security, they want safety, they want their military to be taken care of.

KERNEN: What’s going to happen on Monday with DACA? What are you willing to go further to the …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’ve already started off the process …

KERNEN: Will you stay with Cotton or will you move further to what …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think Cotton, along with also Perdue along with also Goodlatte, along with also the people of which I’ve been dealing with — Cornyn, so many of the people — these are great people. These are people of which actually have shifted a lot. They’ve actually shifted a lot, along with also I think they’re willing to shift more, along with also so am I.

KERNEN: You said 10n to 12 years for citizenship, right, for the Dreamers. Will Cotton go along with of which?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re going to see. If we make the right deal. I think they will. These are people of which have very strong opinions on DACA along with also on immigration generally. along with also I happen to think they’re largely right. Look, we’re going to try along with also make a deal on DACA. We have a not bad chance of generating of which. What we need can be we need the wall, we need security, we need security at the border. We have to stop the drugs coming from coming in. We need safety along with also we need a strong military.

KERNEN: You want …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We need almost more than ever before — I mean, we’ve been in wars so we needed of which then — however we need to be sure of which our military can be properly funded, along with also of which would certainly be actually great to get rid of the, you know, we’d like to have a regular budget.

KERNEN: Will you ask for $25 billion, Mr. President? can be of which …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re asking …

KERNEN: … along with also did Chuck Schumer offer $1.6 billion?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We agreed to $25 billion …

KERNEN: Did he take of which back? Did he …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, sure. He took of which back however, you know, of which’s …

KERNEN: Did he — how much did he agree to?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: however he didn’t actually take of which back. If you see numerous senators on the some other side they said, “We’d give the wall in two minutes if we could do something with DACA.” Everybody wants to solve the DACA problem. They’ve been wanting to solve of which for a long time. of which should’ve been solved by President Obama. of which would certainly’ve been easier to solve of which, especially when he had the House along with also the Senate. They could’ve solved of which in a day. however they didn’t solve of which, he didn’t solve things. along with also he did something of which he didn’t develop the right to do. You understand, he did an executive order along with also of which was no not bad.

along with also by the way, the court — of which wasn’t me. The courts were not upholding of which executive order. You have to do of which through Congress. I want to solve the DACA problem. I will consider of which a great achievement to solve the DACA problem. of which’s been out there for a long time. These are not bad people, these are people of which should be able to stay in This kind of country. We’re going to solve the DACA problem. however we also want to solve a tremendous problem on the southern border, which can be crime. We need a wall, we need the drugs to stop flowing in. They are coming in like — well, they’re coming in less today than they were because we have a very strong — we have great Border Patrol agents, great ICE — we have great people along with also they are actually doing a not bad job. along with also you see what’s happening at the border, of which’s much better.

however we need a strong border. along with also to do of which you need a wall. along with also they did agree to a $25 billion wall, of which I’ll have a lot of money left over. Because I don’t need $25 billion to build a wall. We’ll build a great — of which’s what I do. We’ll build a great wall along with also we’ll have a lot of money left over, along with also we’ll spend of which on some other things. however we need great security. along with also yes, Senator Perdue, Senator Cotton, Cornyn, This kind of one, of which one, we have tremendous support to get something done. Tremendous, Joe. along with also I think something will get done.

KERNEN: I want to ask you a Davos question, just because we’re here along with also I don’t know, I even get taken over by This kind of. however whenever we’re here, we talk about wealth disparity along with also income inequality, not just globally however everywhere.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Big problem.

KERNEN: Big problem. A resurgent United States, a strongly growing United States makes a world of difference — not just for the United States however for the entire world in general. however I’m just wondering if you did — if you were able to keep GDP or if the United States grows at 3 percent or 4 percent along with also we develop the coffers, of which we can do a lot with 3 percent or 4 percent. of which’s totally different than when we don’t have money.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Different country.

KERNEN: Do you have a way of addressing the skills gap along with also education? As a businessperson, you solve problems. today you’re in government …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We need vocational schools. We need the community colleges in many cases …

KERNEN: Will of which be something of which will …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, I think of which’s a big factor for us. however I also want these great companies of which are coming in — Toyota’s today coming in. We talked already about Apple. Apple’s coming in that has a very big presence. We had many companies — Chrysler’s coming in, leaving Mexico along with also coming back to Michigan. I mean, how not bad can be of which? When was the last time you heard of which? along with also without me being here along with also without what we’ve been doing including regulation, by the way, because I happen to think of which regulation can be as big as the tax cuts, OK? I think the tax cuts are incredible. however I think the regulations, the cutting of regulations — because the businesses couldn’t even — they couldn’t do anything. They were totally bound. You’d have to get 16 different approvals coming from 15 different agencies. Hey Joe, of which was impossible to do business. along with also I think you know of which maybe better than anybody. The cutting of the regulations was every bit as important as what we did with the tax cuts. however you put them both together along with also we have a dynamic country again. I mean, everybody’s talking. I just became available along with also some actually wonderful people said, “Davos has never been like This kind of.” This kind of can be like walking into the Academy Awards, except we have more photographers.

KERNEN: The Journal This kind of morning, lead editorial was of which — along with also they gave a lot of credit to the Trump administration for where economic growth can be right today. however then they said, “Why would certainly a Cabinet member bring up the idea of a weaker dollar when things are going so well?” along with also I’m wondering whether — you saw Secretary Mnuchin’s comments yesterday. Do you agree with those? Were they taken out of context? Where are you …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So let me tell you, I think they were taken out of context because I read his exact statement. I’ll tell you where I stand, which ultimately can be very important. No. 1, I don’t like talking about of which because, frankly, nobody should be talking about of which. of which should be what of which can be. of which should also be based on the strength of the country. We are doing so well, our country can be becoming so economically strong again — along with also strong in some other ways too, by the way — of which the dollar can be going to get stronger along with also stronger. along with also ultimately, I want to see a strong dollar. Right today of which floats. however of which’s your great reserve currency. There can never be anything even close to of which. There can be nothing close to of which, there never will be.

however ultimately the dollar, because our country can be going to get so much stronger economically, if you look at what’s happened to our country over the — look, I’ve been talking about This kind of with you for 25 years. Trade. of which started off with Japan, morphed into China, today of which’s China, Japan, of which’s everybody. along with also everybody has taken advantage of our country. They have ripped our country off. You look at what they do. I saw something on motorcycles today that has a certain country. Why should I say? however they sell motorcycles into our country, no tax. We sell motorcycles into their country — Harley-Davidsons, the greatest, right? We sell them into their country, 100 percent tax. Not going to happen.

The word “reciprocal” can be the most important word with Donald Trump when of which comes to what the subject of which we talk about along with also the subject of which CNBC covers so well — especially you, by the way, because I don’t agree with all of you people, however of which’s OK. however reciprocal. I want reciprocal. If they’re going to charge us 100 percent for a motorcycle, of which should be 100 percent the some other way, too. along with also you know, when you mention a tax at the border, a 10 percent tax on the border for everything coming in, I’m a free trader. Totally. I’m a fair trader. I’m all kinds of trader, however I want reciprocal. Because when China’s charging us a fortune to send products in along with also generating of which impossible for the product to get there — along with also many some other countries, by the way, not just China. China’s the biggest. along with also then we charge them nothing to sell their stuff here. of which’s not fair. When you use the word “reciprocal” everybody understands of which. If they do of which to you, you do of which to them along with also everybody understands of which, Joe. along with also you’re going to see a lot of of which in my administration. along with also you’re already seeing of which.

KERNEN: Well, we’re going to have to end of which there. I’m just — last question. Will we have another shutdown? Will you move more to the center on immigration …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t think the Democrats would certainly shut of which down again.

KERNEN: You don’t think they’ll do of which …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No. Because you look at every poll, of which said they made a mistake.

KERNEN: Where’s the movement going to come?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t want to say Schumer got badly beaten. Why should I do of which? I’m negotiating with someone — I’m not going to say he got badly beaten. however you look at what happened. The people want security along with also they want DACA taken care of. however more importantly, they want security, they want the borders strong, they want to have a strong border. They don’t want to have MS-13 coming into our cities. You know how many of these people were getting out? These are horrible, horrible human beings. along with also they came here as horrible human beings. along with also Joe, of which sounds terrible. They don’t shoot somebody, they cut them up into little pieces because of which’s more painful. I don’t want them — we are taking them out by the thousands. By the thousands.

We don’t want them coming in, however we’re going to take care of DACA. Nobody wants to take care of DACA more than myself along with also the Republican Party. along with also the Republican Party can be unified at a level of which Paul Ryan called me the some other day. He said, “I have to tell you, Mr. President, I’ve been here for a long time along with also I’ve been a part of the Republican Party, along with also I’ve been watching of which for a long time. For many decades I’ve never seen the Republican Party unified like of which can be under your presidency.” along with also of which — of which was Paul Ryan. along with also I thought of which was a very nice statement, a very nice statement. along with also I think Mitch McConnell actually feels the same way. We want to do what’s right along with also we’re going to do what’s right, along with also we’re going to solve the DACA problem. along with also I don’t think the Democrats would certainly want to pull another shutdown. however we’ll get of which solved. along with also if we need a little more time, we’ll take a little more time. I want to get the problem solved correctly.

KERNEN: All right. Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, Joe. of which’s been an honor.

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