Jun 20, 2018

Trump holds forth during private dinner with supporters

The president at the Trump International Hotel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After leaving the Capitol, President Trump spoke for 40 minutes last night to a dinner for supporters of his allied fundraising group, America First, at Trump International Hotel.

Trump, letting loose, discussing his decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem: "They told me it’d cost $1 billion" to build an embassy in Jerusalem. “I’m about to sign it — Donald J. — then said: 'This is way too expensive; not a Trump deal.' I call David Friedman [his ambassador to Israel]. He says, ... 'I can do it for $180,000.' I said, 'David' — I’ve never said this — 'you’re making me look cheap. Get the good marble! Spend $400,000.'"

  • Trump talked about how well everyone in the room was doing. Indicating his friend Harold Hamm, Trump said: "Harold’s doing great." The president said the Trump economy’s great, even for people who’ve got a ton of money.
  • Taking a victory lap on the North Korea summit, Trump said the “fake media” complained, but he got hostages back — “all this for nothing.”
  • Trump trumpeted Sean Spicer, who recently joined America First as a spokesman and senior adviser. POTUS said his former press secretary's forthcoming book — "The Briefing," out July 24 (preorder) — "will a great book — gonna be amazing."
  • Calling out heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, who was at the dinner, Trump said of Spicer: “He’s probably taken as many punches as you, Evander.”
  • On Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: "I’m on Air Force One and he doesn’t think there are any TVs. There are like 28 TVs. You open a closet and there’s a TV. He was hugging me when I left."
  • Trump praised Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce — said she's great on TV.

Go deeper

Mark Cuban opens door to 2020 run

Photo: Axios Events

Businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revived talk of an improbable 2020 presidential bid during an Axios virtual event on Friday.

  • "Everything's a reset right now," Cuban told Axios CEO Jim VandeHei. "If this would would've been a month ago, I would have said absolutely not. But obviously things are crazy, things are changing. So I'll keep an open mind. But I seriously doubt it."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,066,706 — Total deaths: 56,767 — Total recoveries: 223,697Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 258,214 — Total deaths: 6,605 — Total recoveries: 9,408Map.
  3. Business latest: Mark Cuban criticizes "arrogant" 3M on respirator production — The wartime mobilization effort to produce ventilators and medical supplies got started too late.
  4. Politics latest: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are worried about the difficulties of delivering the $2.2 trillion in stimulus aid.
  5. Jobs update: The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, but the new report doesn't reflect the height of the virus' impact on the economy.
  6. World update: About half of the deaths worldwide are in Italy and Spain, with fatalities exponentially increasing across Europe.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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Mark Cuban criticizes "arrogant" 3M on respirator production

Photo: Axios Events

Businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said during an Axios virtual event Friday that 3M is "arrogant" for not speaking up about respirator production in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

What he said: Cuban criticized the company for "making more globally than domestically," echoing a similar line from President Trump now that the U.S. is the epicenter of the pandemic. "You can't ghost the American people," he told Axios CEO Jim VandeHei from Dallas.