President Donald Trump admonished Russia on Monday for not adhering to a Reagan-era treaty on reducing nuclear weapons, saying he would “terminate” it, then talked about new tax cuts for “middle income” Americans.
Trump also addressed the mysterious death of a Saudi journalist and the “caravan” of migrants headed to the U.S. from Central America.
“You can’t play that game on me,” Trump said of the Russians, adding: “I’m terminating the [nuclear arms] agreement because they terminated the agreement.”
The president was referring to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which became effective in June 1988.
Trump, stopping to talk to reporters outside the White House before boarding Marine One en route to Texas, said Russia can’t compete with the United States if both countries are willing to build nuclear weapons at the same level.
“We have more money than anybody on earth by far. We’ll build it up,” Trump said of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, adding:
Until they come to their senses; when they do, then we’ll all be smart, and we’ll stop. And, by the way, not only stop, we’ll reduce, but right now, they have not adhered to the agreement.
Trump promised a congressional vote on more tax cuts before the end of the year.
“We are putting in a resolution sometime in the next week or week and a half, two weeks,” Trump said. “We are giving a middle-income tax reduction of about 10 percent. We’re doing it now for middle-income people.”
“This is not for business,” he said. “This is for middle-income people. … We don’t have time to do the vote [before the Nov. 6 midterm elections]. We will do the vote after the election.”
Trump also addressed the status of Saudi Arabia’s investigation of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post.
“I’m not satisfied with what I’ve heard,” Trump said of the Saudi explanation that Khashoggi was killed accidentally during a fistfight inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
However, Trump again said he doesn’t want to lose out on Saudi investment in the United States economy.
“I don’t want to lose all of that investment that is being made in our country,” Trump said. “I don’t want to lose a million jobs. I don’t want to lose $110 billion in terms of investment. It’s really $450 billion if you include the military.”
Trump also talked about the caravan of several thousand migrants making their way through Central America, trying to get into the United States.
“You should go to the middle of the caravan. Take your cameras and search,” the president told one TV reporter. “You’re going to find [members of the gang] MS-13, you’re going to find Middle Eastern [individuals], you’re going to find everything.”
“Guess what?” he said. “We’re not allowing them into our country. We want safety.”