[Note: There are portions of the audio where the reporters where inaudible because of cross talk or being away from the microphone.  Portions of those inaudible comments were difficult to transcribe and have been called out. Every effort was made to figure out majority of the reporters comments. Every effort was to made to transcribe the audible comments verbatim.]

President Trump: Hello Everybody,  Great to be back in New York with all of our friends. At some great friends outside the building, I must tell you.  I want to thank all of our distinguish guests today, including the members of the cabinet, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, and ofcourse our transportation secretary who is doing a fabulous job, Ellen Chow. Thank you all for doing an incredible and creative job on what we are going to be discussing today, which is, Infrastructure! We had a great set of briefing upstairs, on our infrastructure agenda. My administration is working everyday to build a world class infrastructure that our people deserves and frankly our country deserves. That is why I signed a new Executive Order to dramatically reform the badly broken infrastructure permitting process. Just blocks away is the Empire state building. It took a 11 months to build the Empire State building. But today, it could take as long as decade or much more than that. Many many stories were it takes 20 or 25 years to get approval to start construction of a fairly routine highway. Highway builders must get 16 different approvals involving 9 different Federal agencies governed by 29 different statutes. One agency alone can stall a project for many many years, even decades. Not only does this cost our economy billions of dollars, but it also denies our citizens to safe and modern infrastructure they deserve. This over regulated permitting process is a massive self-inflicted wound on our country. It is disgraceful! Denying our people much needed investment in their community. I just want to show you this, because it was just shown  me and I said I am going to show it  to the media. Both real and the fake media by the way. [Showing a close to 6 feet tall rolled out sheet of flow chart] This is what it take to get something approved today.  Ellan you see that. So this is what it takes. Permitting process flow chart, that is a flow chart. So that can go out to, 20 years, this shows about 10. But that go out about 20 years to get something approved. This is for a highway. I’ve seen a highway recently in a state, I won’t mention its name. 17 years . I could have built it for 4 or 5 million dollars without the permitting process. It costs 100’s of millions of dollars, but it took 17 years, to get it approved and many many, many many environmental impact studies. This [shows a foot and half sheet of paper] is what we will bring it down to. This is less than 2 years. This is going to happen quickly and that is what I am signing today. This will be less than 2 years for hight way. It is going to be quick. It is going to very streamlined process. And by the way, if it does not meet environmental safe guards, we are not going to approve it. Very Simple. We are not going to approve it. So this it. This one will stay. Lets throw the other way. Would anyone like it from the media, would any one like that long beautiful chart? You can have it. So my executive order, requires agencies to work together efficiently by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project. It also hold agencies accountable if they fail to streamline the review process. So each agency is accountable. We are going to have infrastructure built quickly, inexpensively, relatively speaking, and the permitting process will go very very quickly. No longer will we tolerate, one job killing delay, after another. No longer will we accept a broken system, that benefits consultants and lobbyist at the expense of hard working Americans. Now, I knew the process very well, probably better than anybody.  I had to get permits for this building and many other buildings that I built.  All of the buildings I built in Manhattan and many other places.  And I will tell you, the consultants are rich people. They go around making it very difficult. They lobby congress, they lobby state governments, city governments, so that you have to hire consultants and you have to take years and  pay them a fortune. So we are streamlining the process and  we wont be having so much of that anymore. No longer will we allow, the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble in decay. While protecting the environment, we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels and highways. We will rebuild our country with American workers, American Iron, American Aluminum, American Steel. We will create millions of new jobs and make millions of American dreams come true. Our infrastructure will be the best in the world,  We used to have the greatest infrastructure anywhere in the world. And today we are like a 3rd world country. We are literally like a 3rd world county. Our infrastructure will again be the best and we will restore the pride in our community, our nation. And all over the United States, we will be proud again. So, I want to thank everybody for being here. God bless you and God bless the United States.

And if you have any questions, we have, Mick you can come up here please, come on up. Mick Mulvaney. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Reporter 0:  Why do you think the CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?

President Trump: Because they are not taking their jobs seriously as it pertains to this country. We want jobs, manufacturing, in this country.  If you look at some of those people you are talking about, they are outside the country. They are having lots of their products made outside, if you look at Mark as an example, excuse me, excuse me. Take a look at where their product is made, it is made outside of our country. We want products made in our country. Now I have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they are leaving out of embarrassment, they make their products outside. I have been lecturing them, including the gentle man you are referring to about, you have to bring it back into this country. You cann’t do it necessary in Ireland and all  of these other places, you have to bring this work back to this country. That’s what I want. I want manufacturing back into the United States. So that Americans workers can benefit.

Reporter 1: Why did you wait so long to... [inaudible 00:04]

President Trump: I didn’t wait long (repeats x3). I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct and not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement. But you don’t make statements that direct unless you know the fact. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don’t know the facts. It’s a very, very important process to me, and it’s a very important statement. So, I don’t want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts. If you go back to my... In fact, I brought it (repeats x3). As I said on, remember, this Saturday. “we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America.” and then I went on from there.

Now, here’s the thing. (Excuse me! Take it nice and easy.) Here’s the thing. When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. This event just happened. In fact, a lot of the event didn’t even happen yet as we were speaking. This event just happened. Before I make a statement, I need the facts. So, I don’t want to rush into a statement. So, making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact, the young woman who, I hear, is a fantastic young woman and it was on NBC; her mother wrote me and said through I guess Twitter, social media, the nicest things. And I very much appreciated that. I hear she was a fine, really, actually, an incredible young woman but her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. Honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice. But unlike you, and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.    How about a couple of infrastructure questions ?

[inaudible crosstalk with reporters speaking over each other between  02:09 - 02:11]

President Trump: They don’t (repeats x2)

[crosstalk 02:13 - 02:19]

Reporter 2: …Mr. Trump, Was that terrorism?

President Trump (to another reporter): Say it, what?

Reporter 3: CEO of Walmart said, you missed a [unclear 02:25] opportunity to help bring the country together. Did you?

Reporter 3: CEO of Walmart said, you missed a [unclear 02:25] opportunity to help bring the country together. Did you?

President Trump: Not at all. You take a look! I’ve created over a million jobs since I’m president. The country is booming. The stock market is setting records. We have the highest employment numbers we’ve ever had in the history of our country. We’re doing record business. We have the highest levels of enthusiasm. So, the head of Walmart who I know is a very nice guy, was making a political statement. I mean [1 second pause] [interrupted by reporters] I do it the same way. You know why? Because I want to make sure when I make a statement that the statement is correct. There was no way of making a correct statement that early. I had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters. [… more interruption…]

I didn’t know David Duke was there. I wanted to see the facts. And the facts as they started coming out were very well stated. In fact, everybody said his statement was beautiful. If he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. I couldn’t have made it sooner because I didn’t know all of the facts. Frankly, people still don’t know all of the facts. It was very important [interrupted] excuse me! Excuse me! It was very important to me to get the facts out, and correctly. Because if I would have made a fast statement and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing, the second statement was made after with knowledge, with great knowledge. [interrupted] excuse me! There’s still things that people don’t know. I want to make a statement with knowledge. I wanted to know the facts. Okay.

Reporter 4: Two questions. Was this terrorism? And you tell us how are you’re feeling about your chief strategist?

President Trump: Well, I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family, and this country. You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict. That’s what I’d call it. Because there is a question, is it murder? Is it terrorism? And then you get into legal semantics. The driver of the car is a murderer and what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.

Reporter 5: Can you tell us how you are feeling about your chief strategist Mr. Bannon. Can you talk about that?

Reporter 4: Two questions. Was this terrorism? And you tell us how are you’re feeling about your chief strategist?

President Trump: Well, I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family, and this country. You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict. That’s what I’d call it. Because there is a question, is it murder? Is it terrorism? And then you get into legal semantics. The driver of the car is a murderer and what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.

Reporter 4 repeats question: Can you tell us how you are feeling about your chief strategist Mr. Bannon. Can you talk about that?

President Trump picks another reporter.

Reporter 5: I would echo Maggie’s question.

[inaudible 04:53]

President Trump: I never spoke to Mr. Bannon.

Reporter 5: Tell us broadly, do you still have confidence in Steve?

President Trump: I never spoke to Steve Bannon about it. Look! Look! I like Mr. Bannon. He’s a friend of mine. But Mr. Bannon came on very late. You know that. I went through 17 senators, governors, and I went all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that. I like him. He’s a good man. He is not a racist. I can tell you that. He’s a good person. He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. He’s a good person, and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.

Reporter 6: Do you have confidence in him? Senator McCain has called on you to defend your national security advisor H. R. McMaster against these attacks.

President Trump: I have already told you. I did it the last time.

Reporter 6: And he called it again linking the... [interrupted by President Trump]

President Trump: Senator McCain? Senator McCain, you mean the who voted against Obamacare? Who is Senator McCain? You mean Senator McCain, who voted against us getting good healthcare.

Reporter 6: McCain said that the Alt-right is behind these attacks, and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in Charlottesville.

President Trump: Well, I don’t know I can’t tell you. I’m sure Senator McCain must know what he’s talking about. But when you say the alt-right. Define alt-right to me. You define it. Go head!

Reporter 6:  Senator McCain define them as the same group

[crosstalk 06:11]

President Trump: No, define it for me. Come on. Let’s go! Define it for me.

Reporter 7: Senator McCain defined them as the same group... [interrupted by Trump]

President Trump: Okay. What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?

[cross talk by reporters]

President Trump:  Let me ask you this. What about the fact that came charging, that they came charging with clubs, in the hand-swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, as far as I am concerned. That was a horrible, horrible day.

[Another male reporter interrupts]

President Trump :  Wait a minute! I’m not finished. I’m not finished fake news. That was a horrible day.

[reporter inaudible 06:51]

President Trump: I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.

[Inaudible Reporters cross talk]

Reporter 8: …You called the alt-left is the same as neo-Nazis.

President Trump: Those people, all of those people... Excuse me! I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-Nazis. Believe me! Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.

Reporter 8: …. They were white nationalists. ..

President Trump: Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue Robert E. Lee. So [interrupted by reporter 8] excuse me! And you take a look at some of the groups, and you see, and you know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you’re not, but many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So, this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder it is a George Washington next week and is the Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know you really do have to ask yourself where does it stop. [reporters interrupt]  But they were there to protest. Excuse me! You take a look the night before. They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. Infrastructure question. Go ahead!

Reporter 9: Should the statue of Robert E. Lee stay up?

President Trump: I would say that’s up to a local town, community, or the federal government, depending on where it is located.

Reporter 9: Are you against the Confederacy?

Reporter 10: Talking about race relations in America. Do you think things have gotten worse or better since you took office?

President Trump: I think they’ve gotten better or the same. I look they’ve been frayed for a long time, and you can ask President Obama about that because he’d make speeches about it. But I believe that the fact that I brought in it will be soon millions of jobs. You see, where companies are moving back into our country. I think that’s going to have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. We have companies coming back into our country. We have two car companies that just announced. We have Foxconn in Wisconsin just announced. We have many companies, I say, pouring back into the country. I think that’s going to have a huge positive impact on race relations. You know why? It’s jobs what people want now. They want jobs. They want great jobs with good pay. When they have that, you watch how race relations will be. I’ll tell you; we’re spending a lot of money on the inner cities. We’re fixing the inner cities. We’re doing far more than anybody’s done with respect to the inner cities. It’s a priority for me, and it’s very important.

Reporter 11: Are you putting what you are calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?

President Trump: I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane. What I’m saying is this: You had a group on one side, and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs. It was vicious, and it was horrible, and it was a horrible thing to watch. But there is another side. There was a group on this side. You can call him the left; you’ve just called him the left that came violently attacking the other group. So, you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.

Reporter 12: ... Both sides, sir. You said there was hatred. There was violence on both sides [interrupted by Trump.]

President Trump: I do think. Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say.

[crosstalk 10:45 - 10:51]

President Trump: ...And you have some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group, excuse me, I saw the

Same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them a very, very important, statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

[inaudible reporter Crosstalk 11:17]

Reporter;  Robert E Lee and George Washington are not the same?   [not very clear]

President Trump: George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner?

Reporter: Yes.

President Trump: So, will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues of George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him. Okay. Good! Are we going to take down the statue because he was a major slave owner? Now, we are going to take down his statue. So, you know what, it’s fine. You are changing history. You’re changing culture.

You had people and

I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalist because they should be condemned totally,
but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.
Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers, and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You had a lot of bad people in the other groups.

Reporter 13: I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? I just didn’t understand what you were saying.

President Trump: there were people in that rally. I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly, the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit. So, I only tell you this. There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country. A horrible moment. But there are two sides of the country. Does anybody have a final...? You have an infrastructure.

Reporter 14: What makes you think you’re getting infrastructure bill. You didn’t get healthcare...

President Trump: Well, you know, I tell you. We came very close with healthcare. Unfortunately, John McCain decided to vote against it at the last minute. You’ll have to ask John McCain why he did that. But we came very close to healthcare. We will end up getting health care. But we’ll get the infrastructure, and actually, infrastructure is something that I think will have bipartisan support on. I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure.

Reporter 15: Have you spoken to the family of the victim of the car... [interrupted by Trump]

President Trump: I’ll be reaching out.

Reporter 15: When would you be reaching out.

President Trump: I thought that the statement put out, the mother’s statement, was a beautiful statement. I was telling you it was something that I really appreciated. I thought it was terrific and really under the kind of stress that she’s under and the heartache that she’s under, I thought putting out that statement to me was really something I won’t forget. Thank you all very much. Thank you!

Reporter 16: Do you plan to go to Charlottesville, Mr. President?

President Trump: Do I own a house in Charlottesville? Does anyone know, I own a house in Charlottesville? Oh boy! It’s going to be. It’s in Charlottesville. You’ll see… It is the one only… It is the winery. I mean I know a lot about Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a great place that’s been very badly hurt over the last couple of days… I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville.

[Crosstalk 14:51 - 14:55]

Reporter 17: What do you think needs to be done to overcome the racial divide?

President Trump: I really think jobs can have a big impact. I think if we continue to create jobs, over a million, substantially more than a million. And you see just the other day, the car companies coming in. I think if we continue to create jobs at levels that I’m creating jobs, I think that’s going to have a tremendous impact,  positive impact on race relations.

Reporter 17: How do you think that will impact the racial division?

President Trump: Because the people are going to be working. They’re going to be making a lot of money, much more money than they ever thought is possible. That’s going to happen. And the other thing, very important, I believe wages will start going up. They haven’t gone up for a long time. Because the economy is doing so well with respect to employment and unemployment, I believe wages will start to go up. I think that will have a tremendously positive impact on race relations.

Thank you!