WASHINGTON (CBS) - President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s hoping for congressional votes on “both” health care reform and a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown next week.
President Donald Trump giving remarks on Feb. 24, 2017
“I want to get both,” the president said at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, though Mr. Trump added a caveat, that health care will happen soon, if not next week.
“I think we want to keep the government open, don’t you agree?” Mr. Trump said. “I think we’ll get both.”
With an April 28 deadline looming for Congress to authorize further government spending and the end of his first 100 days in office coming at the end of next week, Mr. Trump expressed confidence that Congress will also be able to reach an agreement on health care reform, despite Congress’ inability to reach an agreement thus far.
Mr. Trump held the press conference after his first meeting with Gentiloni at the White House. The visit comes before next month’s upcoming Group of Seven summit (G-7) in Italy, where the leaders of the U.S., Italy, German, Canada, France, Japan and Britain will discuss the economy and, likely, national and global security issues. The G-7 nations have attempted to pressure Russia to put an end to Syria’s civil war.
Mr. Trump said that the U.S. is “in good shape,” in reference to North Korea, citing progress made in the last few hours. It’s not clear exactly what he was referring to here. The president also said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is working hard on the matter.
President Trump criticized Iran for not living up to the spirit of the nuclear accord. He said his administration is analyzing it and promised that he’d have more to say about it soon. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the nuclear deal is just “buying off” Iran temporarily. And also a little at odds with the president’s statement, Tillerson told Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a recent letter that Iran is complying with the Obama-era agreement to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, though the regime remains a leading state sponsor of terror.
The president said there is one country in which the U.S. will not intervene — Libya. After suggesting the U.S. should bomb ISIS In Libya on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump at Thursday’s press conference said he doesn’t see a role for the U.S. in stabilizing Libya.
“I do not see a role in Libya,” Mr. Trump said. “I do see a role in getting rid of ISIS.”
Mr. Trump thanked the prime minister for Italy’s role in the “anti-ISIS campaign.”
“All nations must condemn this barbaric enemy,” and work towards its “total and complete destruction,” Mr. Trump said.
Like the president, Gentiloni is also new to his office, taking the post in December. Before that, he was Italy’s foreign minister.
Asked about the shooting in Paris, which he said he heard about just before the news conference, Mr. Trump offered his condolences to France and said that it “looks like another terrorist attack.”
“What can you say? It just never ends,” Mr. Trump added. “We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant.”
While he has yet to travel abroad as president, Mr. Trump in his first 100 days in office has met with multiple top foreign leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Peña Nieto.