President Trump, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau hold joint press conference

Trump and Trudeau glossed over their differing views on Syrian refugees and the security implications of immigration during their joint press conference at the White House this afternoon.
34:01 | 02/13/17

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Transcript for President Trump, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau hold joint press conference
This is an ABC news special room. George Stephanopoulos. Hello we are coming on the air because president traveled back to hold a joint press conference of the prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. The third foreign leader present contest hosted at the White House following Britain's Theresa may and the Japanese prime minister shinjo lobbing. The 45 year old liberal prime minister of Canada the seven year old president Trumba at odds on several key issues immigration climate change accepting refugees from Syria. And the biggest one the key issue of trade between our two nations should dole has support of the NAFTA treaty the president trump wants to renegotiate. Earlier today the two leaders participating in a roundtable discussion on women in the workplace that was arranged with the help of the vodka trump. Overly Sims afternoon after opening saying this afternoon they'll both take questions from the press and our chief White House correspondent Jon Karl's in the eastern. John the president like to be pressed on the status was NASA's security advisor general Mike Flynn who's in hot water over contacts with the Russians before he took office. George the simple question is does the president still have confidence it is national security advisor. You asked that question directly of a senior policy advisory yesterday on this week and he couldn't give you an answer I've asked other senior officials say that the honest answer is. They don't know Flynn is in hot water not simply because of those conversations with the Russian ambassador but because he misled the White House about what he said in those conversations. Including the vice president at this is a big week we had the visit with prime minister to grow today. Prime minister Netanyahu and Israel is here on Wednesday a chance perfect Flynn to redeem himself or perhaps a lose his job. And you're had been reports of other problems inside the NASA Security Council president said on Friday when he was asked that he would look in. His questions about general slim almost certainly will get asked about it today as John mentioned. The president will also be meeting with prime minister Netanyahu of Israel. I was seen other big topic that could come up at the press conference today. That ballistic missile test by North Korea have a ballistic missile on Saturday evening the president is actually having dinner with prime minister odd day Japan. And I wanted to Cecilia available waiting for the president as well Ryan's previous the White House chief of staff also facing questions this weekend. Georgie did and in fact direct questions about how he's doing behind the scenes were seeing a lot of leaks come out of this White House in fact a number of him in recent days as. As John was mentioning about Michael Flynn another question that will be certainly puts the president right now is what is happening with his executive order. Was it will take this directly to the Supreme Court whether they will challenge this to lower courts. Part ranks previous told me directly on Friday that all options are on the table for this White House but this is certainly. An issue that will come up here with prime minister Trudeau. This is one where he has been very vocal in his opposition to this executive order signed by the president went where he has said. Canada is a country that welcomes. Refugees so certainly this is something that that will come appear in this press conference and they will both be asked about whether this is a conversation may have had behind closed doors. Right here in the White House today in George we are seeing people filing to this room. We saw Steve adding we saw Jared Kushner as you mentioned Ibaka trump was in a closed door meeting with with the president and sure Joseph and a number of business leaders. Today so significant conversations happening here as we wait for them to file in the this room George. Yeah that's right in the event on that executive order that that way just like if we took pursuant to track. Approach coming in within amended executive order that we'll take care of some of the legal problems they faced in the course but also continue to press the case. At the ninth circuit in the hopes that perhaps they are still confident they can wind in have did the Supreme Court ultimately uphold. The overall them but they would like prefer to wait until they had that fifth conservative justice new courses of course things the president's nominee confirmed. Certainly this in this immigration man's charm. Travel ban likely to be a key key question for judge core Sitchin his Supreme Court confirmation hearings up in the senate. Last week he said he was a demoralized. By the by the president's attacks on judges terror and you cover the supreme court for a long time that was an attempt by judge courses to distance itself a bit undermined by the president. It sure was an A wants to establish that he is on board with the tradition of an independent judiciary completely independent from political pressures. But George in your interview this weekend. With Stephen Miller one of the top White House strategist is clear the trumpet his church want a full on fight he said reiterated the position they'd taken in that ninth circuit. That the president's actions in this area are beyond review that'll get the attention of all judges especially someone like judge corset and again got judges and also although of the plaintiffs in the case the attorney general Washington lost and he can't wait. For them to fight because he wants to depose administration officials even left the door open to deposing president trump. That might be hard to get a president is subject to a court order to come and testify would cause major separation of powers and federalism issues. But we are in a brand new world when it comes to this president in so many areas and in particular once again as you're did you demonstrated in constitutional law. We we certainly are facing that is so much happening only three weeks in to his presidency so far of course the president three weeks in a couple of days and has been present. Working mostly by executive order executive action. In these first three weeks as the congress begins to focus on Obama care and tax cuts as well here comes a prime minister of Canada. And present try. Thank you. Prime minister to doom. On behalf of all Americans I thank you. For being with us today. It is my honor to host such a great friend. Neighbor and ally. At the White House offers special place. This year Canada celebrates the 150. Year of confederation. For Americans this is one of the many milestones in our friendship. And we look forward very much forward I must say. To many more took them. At two nations share much more. Then a border we share the same values we share the love. And he truly great love of freedom. And we share collective defense. American and Canadian troops have gone to battle together. Ford wars together and forge the special bonds. That come when two nations. Have shed their blood together which we half. In these dangerous times. It is more important than ever that we continued to strengthen. Our vital alliance the United States is deeply grateful. For Canada's contribution. To think character ice is. Effort thank you. Now we continue to work in common. And in common cause against terrorism. And work in common cooperation toward reciprocal trade. And shared growth. We understand that both of our countries are stronger. When we joined forces in matters of international commerce. Having more jobs and trade right here in North America. Is better for both the United States. And is also much better for Canada. We should coordinate closely. And we will. Coordinate closely. To protect jobs. In our hemisphere. And keep wealth. On our continent and to keep everyone safe. Prime minister. I pledge to work we do you in pursuit of our many shared interests. This includes a stronger trading relationship. Between the United States and Canada in include safe. Efficient and responsible cross border travel. And to migration. And it includes close partnership on domestic. And international security. America is deeply fortunate to have a neighbor like Canada. We have before us the opportunity to bill even more bridges. And bridges of cooperation. And bridges of commerce. Both of us are committed to bringing greater prosperity. And opportunity to our people. We just had a very productive meeting. With women business leaders. From the United States and Canada. Where we discussed how to six year. Everything that we know. The fool power. Of women. Can do better than anybody else. We know that. Ideas wanna say. Mr. prime minister that. I'm focused and you are focused on the important droves. Women play in our economies. We must work to address the barriers faced by women. And women entrepreneurs including access to capital. Access to markets. And very importantly access. To networks. In our discussion today -- focus on improving the ways. Our government and our governments together. Can benefit citizens of both the United States and Canada. And in so doing advance the greater peace. And stability of the world. Mr. prime minister I look forward. To working closely with you to build upon. Our very. Historic friendship. There are incredible. Possibilities. For us to pursue. Canada. And the United States together. Again thank you for joining us and I know our discussions. Will be very very productive for the future. Both countries. Mr. prime minister. QMR president good afternoon everyone thank you very much for joining. I'd first like to start by extending my sincere thanks to president trump for inviting me down to Washington. Any day I get to visit our southern neighbors is a good day in my books particularly when it's so nice and warm compared to what it is back home Leah. Are suffering under a significant winter storm that's hitting our Atlantic provinces particularly harsh so I just wanna send everyone back at home my thoughts as they had trouble and that. Impress on it went to stay safe. If he's doing one and only in Korea. The president and myself have had these very productive for smoking today we had the opportunity to get to know one another better. And more importantly. We had the opportunity to talk about the unique relationship between Canada and the united. States. Depends on both sides of the 49 parallel have understood that the bond between our nations is a special one. No other neighbors in the entire world are as fundamentally. Linked as we are. We fond in conflict zones together. Negotiated environmental treaties together including 1990 one's historic air quality agreement. And we've entered into ground breaking economic partnerships. That have created good jobs for both of our people. Canadians and Americans alike share a common history as well as people to people ties that make us completely and totally integrate. Our workers are connected by trade transportation. And cross border commerce. Our community is relying on each other for security stability. And economic prosperity. Our families. Have long lived together and worked together. We know that more often than not. Our victories are shared. And just as we celebrate together so too do we suffer loss and heartbreak together. Through at all the foundational pillars on which our relationship is built is one of mutual respect. And it's a good thing because as we know relationships between neighbors are pretty complex. We won't always agree on everything. But because of our deep abiding respect for one another were able to successfully navigate those complexities. And still remain the closest of allies and friends. Make no mistake. At the end of the day Canada and the US. Will always remain each other's most essential partner. In today's conversations have served to reinforce how important that is for both Canadians and Americans. As we know. 35 US states list Canada has their largest export market. And our economies benefit from the over two billion dollars in two way trade that takes place every single. Day. Millions of good middle class jobs on both sides of the border depend. On this crucial partnership. Maintaining strong economic ties is vital to our mutual success. We're going to continue to work closely together over the coming years so the Canadian and American families can get a hat. Come to assemble the kind of appraisal computer as blue note. 35 US states lists Canada as their largest export my kids and I can't rules benefit from the over two. Billion dollar is owed two way trade that takes place every single day. Millions of good middle class jobs on both sides of that both sides of the border depend on this crucial partnership. The real total strong or economic ties is vital to our mutual success. And we can we're going to continue to work closely together over the coming years. So that totaled more an American federalism can get ahead. Weeks the president trump and I discussed today. At the end of the day the president tonight. Share a common goal we both want to make sure that hardworking folks can go to work at a good job. Put food on the table for their families. And save up to take a vacation every once and awhile. That's what we're trying to do here. Today we reiterated that our nations are committed to collaborating on energy infrastructure projects that will create jobs while respecting the environment. And as we know investing in infrastructure is a great way to create the kind of economic growth that our country's so desperately need. In that same vein. We know that ensuring equal opportunities for women in the workforce is essential for growing the economy. And maintaining American and Canadian competitiveness. On the world stage. As such. The president and I have agreed to the creation of the Canada United States council for advancement of women entrepreneurs and business leaders. This initiative is more than just about dollars and cents this is about ensuring that women have access to the same opportunities as men. And prioritizing the support and empowerment of women who are senior business leaders and entrepreneurs. In doing so will grow the Canadian and American economies and help our businesses prosper. He can handle the please don't from FEMA. Finally president trump and myself have agreed to work together to fight against the traffic of both periods across our border. The highest of illegal use of -- periods in our society. Is nothing less than a tragic look. We will do everything we can to ensure the safety. Of total loans and Americans. Ladies and gentlemen president champ. I know that different countries continue to work together. People will creek the benefit attended. Cooperation. It time and again that in order to tackle our most pressing issues both foreign and domestic. We must work with our closest allies. Learn from each other. And stand in solidarity. As a united voice. The level of economic and social integration that is unmatched on the world stage Canada and the United States will forever be a model example. Of how to be. Good neighbors. Winston Churchill once said. That long Canadian frontier from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans guarded only by neighborly respect and honorable obligations. He's an example to every country and a power turned. For the future of the world. Not. When friends is the very essence of the Canada US relationship. I look forward to working with president trump over the coming years to nurture and build upon this historic partnership. Once again it's a tremendous pleasure to be here in Washington knicks who. From. What your government. Okay we'll take a couple of questions and Scott them and that's got. Thank you Mr. President. Q you just spoke about the desire to build bridges although there are some notable and philosophical differences between yourself and prime minister Trudeau. I'm curious as you move forward on issues from trade terrorism how do you see this relationship playing out in I don't know are there any specific areas with which during her conversations today. You reach decided to perhaps Alter or amend your stance is already on those sensitive issues like terrorism and immigration. And prime minister Trudeau. While only in its infancy so far how do you see this relationship compared to that under the Obama administration's. Well we just began discussions that we are the going to have a great relationship with Canada may be as good or better hopefully than ever before. Now we have some wonderful ideas on. Immigration we have some I think very strong very tough ideas on. The tremendous problem that we have with terrorism. And I think what we put them altogether which will be very very quickly river group a very talented people. We will see some very very. Obvious results were also. Doing some cross border thinkers that will make it a lot easier for trade and a lot better and a lot faster for trade we have. Through technology we have some really great ideas and they'll be implemented fairly quickly. When things we we spoke about. A was the fact that security and immigration need to work very well together and certainly Canada. Has emphasized. Security as we look. Towards improving our immigration system and remaining. True to the values that we happen. We had a very strong and end fruitful discussion on exactly that there's. Plenty that we can draw on each other from. In terms of how we move forward with it a very similar goal which is. To create pre open societies. That keep our citizens safe and that's certainly something that we're at we're very much. In agreement on. Tom or Charles. Mr. President mr. prime minister. And mr. prime minister to you answer in English and French forest please. A little bit of a follow one on and when American colleagues question. As president trump used to suggest that the Syrian refugees are a Trojan horse for potential terrorism. While the prime minister hugs refugees since welcomes them with open arms so I'd like to know are you confident the northern border is secure. Can never be totally confident that through the incredible efforts already I see it happening. Formerly general Kelley now secretary Kelly. We have two really denigrates yeah we're. We're. Actually taking people that are criminals. Very very hardened criminals in some cases. With. Which a two with a tremendous track record of of abuse and problems. And we getting them out. And that's what I said I would do I'm just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very very large. Electoral College vote and I would I knew that was going to happen and -- this is what people were. We're wanting. That wasn't the only reason that wasn't my only thing and that we did so well but that was something that was very important. And I sit we will get the criminals out the drug lords the gang members we getting them out. The general Kelly who's sitting right here is. He's doing a fantastic job and I said at the beginning we are going to get. The bad ones the really bad ones we getting them out and that's exactly what we're doing. I think that in the end everyone's going to be extremely happy and I will tell you right now. A lot of people are very very happy right now. Canada has always understood that. Keeping Canadian safe is one of the fundamental responsibilities. Of any government and that certainly is something that we're very much focused on. At the same time we continue to pursue our policies of openness. Towards immigration refugees without compromising security and part of the reason were we were been successful in doing that over the past year welcoming. Class of 40000. Syrian refugees is because we have been coordinating with our allies United States and around the world to demonstrate. That security. Comes. Very very seriously to us and that's something that we had that we had that we continue to do it. Six left Kidd. It is clear that if you want to have a healthy and sutures society is safe society you have to make sure. The two growth slowed. The to focus on security. Andrew we have welcomed the refugees. From Syria. We have been very successful but we have always taking our responsibility but to its security there is seriously. And our allies including the United States I understand is focused the very well. And they have done so since the very beginning this place. President trump not even an office and received intelligence briefings for nearly one month. What do you see as the most important national security matters facing us. And prime minister Trudeau. He made very clear that Canada has an open door policy for Syrian refugees. Do you believe that president trumps moratorium on immigration has merit on national security grounds. Okay thank you have many many problems. When I. Was campaigning I said. It's not a good situation now that I see it including with our intelligence briefings we have problems that a lot of people have no idea. How bad they has serious there. Not only internationally but when you come right here where I mean obviously North Korea is a peek at the big problem. And we will deal with that very strongly. We have problems all over the Middle East. We have problems. Just about. Every corner of the globe and the latter way you look a great meeting this weekend. With prime minister they have Japan. And got to know each other very very well extended weekend really. We were with each other for long periods of time. And our staffs and representatives but on the home front who we have to create borders. We have to let people that can love our country in and I wanna do that we want to have a big beautiful open door. And we want people to come in and comes in our country. But we cannot let the wrong people and and I will not allow that to happen. During this administration. And if people the citizens of our country want that and that's their attitude to I will tell you we are getting. Such. Praise for our stance. And it's a stance of common sense. Maybe a certain toughness but it's really more than toughness it's a stance of common sense. And we are going to pursue it vigorously and we don't want to have our country have the kinds of problems that you witnessing taking place not only here but all over the world. We won't stand for it we won't put up for where that we're just not going to let it happen we're gonna give ourselves every bit of chance. So that things go well for the United States and they will go well thank you. Canada and the United States have been neighbors a long time and Canadians and Americans. But stood together. Work together. And only around the world. We fought and died together and battlefields of World War I World War II. Korea and in Afghanistan. There have been times where we have differed in our approaches. And that's always been done firmly in respectfully. The last thing Canadians. Expect. Is. For me to come down and lecture another country and how they choose to govern themselves. My role. Our responsibility is to have continued to govern in such a way that. A reflects Canadians approach and be a positive example in the world. Me the Charlotte Douglas. And some economists. Thank you mr. prime minister. We'll ask my question in French first than that for you I'll get again in English. Mister blobby is. Mr. prime minister. I heard you correctly. You said that says. Capital flows business' global workers are concerned for their businesses and it's for their work. And then jobs concerning the news he will goes he slew of NAFTA so. What guarantees did you gets. From this government to that says. We will keep our jobs and I businesses. It moved even negotiation and theft Mr. President. Again during the last three months. You of denounced NAFTA. You'd have talked over and over about the Mexican portion of the agreement for a little about the Canadian one. Meet my questions in in Toulouse short part is is Canada. A fair trader and when you talk about changes to NAFTA concerning Canada. We don't get are you talking about big changes or small chance thank you. Devotees. Yes. The festival has shut think you fair question. It is a real concern for many Canadians because we know that our economy rule is very dependent. Tired of bonds or relationship with the United States. And goods and services. As do cross the border each way and every single game and is. People who a lot of the millions of jobs for pooled loans and get jobs for Canadians so. We are always focus slowed. These jobs but there are also good jobs and millions of jobs in the United States that depend those. Relationships. Between our two countries so when we sit down as we did today and as words lose. Will be doing in the weeks and months to come. We will be talking about how leaking continued to create good jobs for our citizens on both sides of the border. And didn't do this eggs are says we continue to understand. They're parents them. We have to allow this free flow of goods and services. And we have to be aware of the integration of our kind of release which is extremely positive for both our countries. And this is the focus that we will have ended Kudlow. At weeks and months to come. Aware of the fact that much of our economy. Depends on. Good working relationship with the United States good integration. With the American economy. And the fact is and millions. Of good jobs on both sides of the border. I depend. On the smooth and easy flow of goods and services and people back and forth across our border. And both president trump and I got elected on commitments to support the middle class to work hard for people who need. A real shot at success and we know that by working together. Com by ensuring. The continued. Effective integration of our two economies. We are going to be creating greater opportunities for middle class Canadians and Americans. Now and well into the future. I grew that a 100%. We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada will be tweaking it will be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries. It's a much less severe situation in the what's taken place on the southern border on the southern border. And for many many years. The the transaction was not fair to the United States it's an extremely unfair transaction. Little work with Mexico we're gonna make it a fair deal for both parties I think that we're going to get along very well with Mexico. They understand and we understand. You probably have noticed that Ford is making. Billions of dollars of new investments in this country you saw in Tel the other day announce that. Because of what I've been doing and what I'm doing in terms of regulation lowering taxes etc. they're coming in with billions and billions of dollars. Investment and thousands and thousands of jabs. General Motors likewise is expanding plants in gonna build new plants. Fiat Chrysler was at a meeting where they're doing the same. Jack mob we have so many people. That want to come into the United States it's actually very exciting I think it's going to be a very exciting period of time for the United States and for the workers of the United States. Because they have been truly the forgotten man and forgotten women are going to be forgotten anymore believe me. So a relationship with Canada is outstanding. And we're going to work together and make it even better. And as far as the southern border is concerned. We're gonna get that worked out where to make it fair but. We are going to make it so that everybody is happy it's very important to me thank you thank you very much. Thank you ladies and gentlemen thank you very much. They have just a couple questions street side for the prime minister of Canada and present in trump. Right they're focused mostly on the issues of trade of course that I traveled on the present trump has put in place for Syria refugees from serious six other. Muslim majority nations wanted to Jon Karl in the briefing room and John kind of a delegate chance. Right there on the issues of the travel ban on the issues of NAFTA clearly deep differences. Between the two leaders but they try to downplay. They sure did but that differences are stark and they are irreconcilable. On this question of refugees in particular. President trump of course has his ban it outright ban on refugees coming indefinite ban refugees coming. From Syria when that news hit. Prime minister Trudeau said Canada would welcome refugees and he mentioned here the candidate is welcome to 40000. Refugees. From this from Syria alone. So it no way to reconcile those two differences so that they were very diplomatic and very polite as they fundamentally disagree and Sicilian present. Not asked about general Flynn and it's interesting in in the due to quicken teacher as he does senator reach beyond that front row. In the brief drew bring in some outlets that haven't always gotten questions of past presidential press conferences. And that's what we've seen George in the last couple of visits from state leaders the first questions going to traditionally more conservative outlets if you will. And and and I'm not surprised though that the Flint question didn't come up because we had a sense that each side traditionally in a state visit would only get two questions two for domestic into for. The foreign press but you said it really the story out of this press conference today is that. Delicate dance the prime minister Trudeau had to do here ideological philosophical differences between these two leaders. You gotta wonder what conversations were had behind closed doors today when win frankly prime mister mister Trudeau here in front of the cameras was not really holding back at all he said. Immigration and security. It's you can go hand in hand essentially and I was also struck bike. The president's answer to one of the questions from the Canadian outlets. As to whether he's comfortable and is an American Alan excuse me but with a question was whether he was comfortable with security on the northern border and he said. You cannot be 100% confident essentially. And they proceeded talk mostly about the southern quarter of cases they they Jon Karl thanks very much there really much more tonight on world news and David Muir have a good day everyone I'll see tomorrow on June. This has been a special report released each.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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