Trump: ‘I Don’t Talk About Military Response’

Melanie Arter | February 17, 2017 | 12:41pm EST
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President Donald Trump (AP Photo)

( – President Donald Trump said Thursday that he doesn’t have to announce what he’s going to do militarily when it comes to dealing with countries like Russia, Iran, or North Korea.

“I don’t want to be one of these guys that say, yes, here’s what we’re going to do. I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do in North Korea,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question about what he plans to do about recent provocations by Russia and North Korea.


“I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do in North Korea, and I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do with Iran. You know why? Because they shouldn’t know, and eventually you guys are going to get tired of asking that question. So when you ask me what am I going to do with a ship, with a Russian ship as an example, I’m not going to tell you, but hopefully, I won’t have to do anything, but I’m not going to tell you,” he said.

“I’m not going to tell you anything about what response I do. I don’t talk about military response. I don’t say I’m going into Mosul in four months – we’re going to attack Mosul in four months. Then three months later, we’re going to attack Mosul in one month. Next week, we are going to attack Mosul. Meantime, Mosul’s very, very difficult. You know why? Because I don’t talk about military, and I don’t talk about certain other things. You’re going to be surprised to hear that, and by the way, my whole campaign I’d say that, so I don’t have to tell you,” Trump said.

When asked whether he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to provoke him by allowing a Russian naval ship off the U.S. coast, Trump said, “No, I don’t think so.”

“I think Putin probably assumes that he can’t make a deal with me anymore, because politically it would be unpopular for a politician to make a deal,” Trump said, adding that it would be easier for him to be tough on Russia, “but then we’re not going to make a deal.”

“Now, I don’t know that we’re going to make a deal. I don’t know. We might. We might not, but it would be much easier for me to be so tough. The tougher I am on Russia, the better, but you know what? I want to do the right thing for the American people, and to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right thing for the world,” he said.

Trump said if the U.S. and Russia actually had a good relationship, it would be “a good thing.”

The president asked if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have been tougher on Russia than he is.

“Does anybody really think that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Russia than Donald Trump? Does anybody in this room really believe that, okay? But I’ll tell you one thing, she tried to make a deal. She had the reset. She gave all that valuable uranium away. She did other things,” Trump said.

“You know they say I’m close to Russia. Hillary Clinton gave away 20 percent of the uranium in the United States. She’s close to Russia. You know what I gave to Russia? You know what I gave? Nothing,” he said.

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