Donald Trump spoke to reporters at the White House on Wednesday and delivered a series of characteristically absurd remarks on a wide range of topics, starting with his fledgling, “Phase One” trade deal with the Chinese.
Over the past three days, markets have been forced to digest conflicting headlines. Although Xi’s media man Hu Xijin indicated on Monday that Beijing viewed last week’s progress favorably, the Chinese side is said to seek more talks by the end of the month in order to iron out the “wrinkles”, as it were.
Additionally, sources told Bloomberg on Tuesday that China may try to tie the “$40 to $50 billion” farm purchases figure to the lifting of tariffs. All of this as the White House and US lawmakers continue to accuse China of human rights violations.
For his part, Trump says reports suggesting China won’t start buying farm products until the deal is signed are wrong. China, the president insists, is already buying from US farmers (or “great patriot ranchers”, as he calls them).
As for the deal itself, it “may not be signed” until he and Xi meet at APEC in Chile. “China wants to buy – they want to make a deal”, Trump pressed. He also predicted the market will rise today. Apparently, he’s making real-time calls on the close now.
On Turkey’s ongoing military operation in northern Syria (which has resulted in hundreds of deaths and effectively ceded control of Kurdish-held territory to Russia and Bashar al-Assad, who struck a protection deal with the SDF on Sunday) Trump doubled down on his controversial comments.
“They’re no angels”, the president said of America’s former Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS. “It’s up to Turkey and Syria to fight over Syria’s land”, he added. Here’s Trump:
The president also called the Turkish-Syria border “brilliant” from a strategic perspective, and insisted that he’s “trying to get Turkey to do the right thing”.
Trump didn’t say whether he had spoken to Napoleon Bonaparte.