FULL TRANSCRIPT: President Donald Trump’s interview with “Face the Nation”

 

On his 100th day in office Saturday, President Donald Trump spoke to CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent and host of “Face the Nation,” John Dickerson, about his accomplishments at the traditional milestone and beyond, before flying to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to give a speech at a rally. 

What follows is a full transcript of the interview, which will air on CBS at 10:30 a.m. ET, and on CBSN at 11 a.m. ET and again at 6 p.m. ET. 


JOHN DICKERSON: Mr. President, you and the administration said to North Korea, “Don’t test a missile.” They have tested a missile. Is the pressure not working?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I didn’t say, “Don’t test a missile.” He’s going to have to do what he has to do. But he understands we’re not going to be very happy. And I will tell you, a man that I’ve gotten to like and respect, the president of China, President Xi, I believe, has been putting pressure on him also. But so far, perhaps nothing’s happened and perhaps it has. This was a small missile. This was not a big missile. This was not a nuclear test, which he was expected to do three days ago. We’ll see what happens.

JOHN DICKERSON: You say, “Not happy.” What does that mean?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I would not be happy. If he does a nuclear test, I will not be happy. And I can tell you also, I don’t believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either.

JOHN DICKERSON: Not happy mean military action?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see.

JOHN DICKERSON: The Chinese, our allies, have been allies with North Korea. How are you sure that they’re not using this as a way to test you?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You can never be sure of anything, can you? But I developed a very good relationship. I don’t think they want to see a destabilized North Korea. I don’t think they want to see it. They certainly don’t want to see nuclear on — from their neighbor. They haven’t liked it for a long time. But we’ll have to see what happens.

The relationship I have with China, it’s been already acclaimed as being something very special, something very different than we’ve ever had. But again, you know, we’ll find out whether or not President Xi is able to affect change.

JOHN DICKERSON: Why do–

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I hope he is.

JOHN DICKERSON: Why do these missiles keep blowing up?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I’d rather not discuss it. But perhaps they’re just not very good missiles. But eventually, he’ll have good missiles.

JOHN DICKERSON: You don’t want to discuss it because maybe we have something to do with it?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I just don’t want to discuss it. And I think you know me very well, where you’ve asked me many times over the last couple of years about military. I said, “We shouldn’t be announcing we’re going into Mosul.” I said, “We shouldn’t be announcing all our moves.” It is a chess game. I just don’t want people to know what my thinking is. So eventually, he will have a better delivery system. And…

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