Transcript for Trump calls for military to secure the border
President Donald Trump wrapping up a joint news conference with the head of three Baltic nations Estonia. Latvia and Lithuania at the White House everyone at ABC news political director Rick Klein and I'm joined here by Mary Alice parks from our political team in Washington we'll get Jon Karl at the White House in a moment but. There Alice a couple of headlines regarding military deployments are potential deployments warm from president trump right now. One is his surprise declaration that were to start to have a military presence at the border unclear what he means that we'll get into that. And also him saying that I wanna get out of Syria times kind to come. Back home also a surprise falling out what he said last week. Let's start with this announcement though or or apparent announcement around around the border no secret that the president wants to. Increased border security the border wall a big priority but exactly what a military presence would mean at the border is far from clear. It's far from clear whether it be legal or permit it we actually have lost the books that say that the US military can't be used on. American soil for law enforcement activity. But of course there's the National Guard it past presidents have tried to use the National Guard to help out with them Border Patrol. Work and supporting the Border Patrol with there. Planning and defenses and technology. Development so it's Barea clear at this stage what the president has in mind. Whether congress would be on war and weaponry action would be because that would be an entirely different use of the US military that we are used him. And would be a huge change especially along those border state. And it comes after days of venting by the president on Twitter I'm in other public statements about immigration I wanna turn. Two our our chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl who's in the room there without president. Operate just wrapped up that news conference and John. This was a surprise announcement from the president earlier today that he seemed to back up the idea of a military presence on the board says eleven meeting. On this in a little bit any clarification from the White House as to what exactly talking about here. I know clarification it seemed to be the kind of idea that is. He just came out ways during the photo spread it happened earlier he was asked about it as you saw here. And he said he's gonna have this meeting later it's unclear exactly what kind of a meeting this is her. Whether this is one of those ideas that the president comes up within surprises nobody more than his own staff. All Rick it is important point out this comes. After he also talked about using. Military appropriations. To build the wall. An idea that that that got quite a bit of comments and reaction from Democrats in congress is something that he almost certainly cannot do but this is the second time he's talked about. Using that big military increase to secure the the border in Mexico. And John speaking of surprising even his own advisors is the week ago. But the president said at a rally that. It was time to to start to bring troops home from Syria that we're gonna get him out really fast he was asked about that. By by a reporter a little a little while ago when he said I want to get out it's time to come back home he also seemed to suggest. That the saudis would have to subsidize an American military presence. They are it does seem like there's a little bit more fleshing out although not a lot of details yet as to what a potential American redeployment out of Syria what looked like. Maybe they'll talk about out of that meeting later today. Exactly what you know he's he chose as one of the slogans of his campaign America first. And as you know law America first has a controversial history but it's. But it's one rooted in American isolationism. And he's been pretty consistent in saying he doesn't. Like the idea of US troops are deployed in large numbers around the world he talked about the seven. Trillion dollars by his count that has been spent in the Middle East. He wants to as a rule bring troops always floated. In the past bringing troops back from South Korea. So this is something that has been an idea kind of one of his. Our core philosophies. Such as it is odd that that the United States should handle its own defense and and not be so heavily deployed and worried about. Securing the our allies around the world. And John we should know this wasn't a full fledged news conference only one question from an American reporter which means there were no questions about the secretary Pruitt or a whole range of other issues but on the question. Of of the EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. He consider president said earlier today I hope he's going to be great we've seen conflicting signs for the White House as to whether. The president is satisfied with his performance of and a whole raft of stories. In the last 2448 hours questioning different aspects of his leadership what is this that's report us got through its job at this hour. We've been told different we've been told differently at different things by different senior officials in the west wing but I think that the one that you probably have to take. Aside from the the president himself. Is what his Press Secretary said today. His Press Secretary. His I'm glad we have a reporter here it's we allowed sorry about that wrecked. On my next three but but Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president had confidence in. It Scott Pruitt. We've also heard from other senior officials the president was really upset by the arrangements. It Pruitt had. Yet housing arrangements on Capitol Hill an apparent sweet house sweetheart. Housing deal where they lobbyists somebody paid to lobby. His own agency so what conflicting answers and his answer was quite strange he said. He hoped to beat rates I don't know what that means. All right well we hope you can be allowed again at any reporters through the room their Jon Karl if you go back and they are filing for world news tonight and a little bit thanks John. Thanks scenario someone to pick up on that point about about got through it because this this to meet poses an interesting question for this White House. Clearly these stories and damaging clearly they have been bad for anyone who's looking at the optics of this the realities of potential conflicts of interest. In an analyst at the same time stop work by all accounts is doing the kind of job the president from wanted to do when it comes to. Policy areas I just this week. Rolling taxable bomb air EPA admissions standards. What's your sense on how this is falling politically is wells the reaction on Capitol Hill. I think Capitol Hill Republicans up their note that these optics are are just bad they're terrible it does not look ahead to. Literally looked like you're in bad with lobbyists are hiding under a lobbyist group. That's and that's a potentially just political. I and you can't cover or not a lot of ways. It'll be really amazing to me if he keeps his job considering that just that we seem to gain new headline out. And every Danny now every few hours now. But you're exactly right that he seems to be doing a job that this administration wanted actively going flowered continued to roll back. Obama air. Standards and regulations. And really taking an aggressive stance when it comes to cutting that was regulation. Believes or zero in on that topic about auto emission standards the decision that the administration made today at Scott for its. Announced today that it would no longer require. Auto manufacturers to meet these new standards by right eye to a 25. That it previously couldn't put in place. He also went so ours to say that he doesn't think other state should be able to put in their own standards. That's really aggressive stance baseless and the federal government is dictating that other states could have cleaner air standards. That's that's a new level of out of pushed back and rollback of environmental regulations will be interesting to see if he can continue on that old agenda. Mary also wanna hit another aspect of the the news conference they came up and a couple different ways of course. These are the three Baltic nations of Estonia Latvia and Lithuania they know a lot about rush the president made a reference to. A hundred years of independence for these three nations but of course for about half of that time. Iraqi pied by the Soviet Union. There was no reference to that directly from president Koppel will be up the the presence of a Sony lot in Lithuania all referenced. US friendship during that time and take a listen to what the president said about Vladimir Putin the president the prime minister of Russia. A with whom he has such a such a contentious on again off again relationship take a look. Is nobody been. Tougher on Russia and with that being said I think I could have. A very good relationship with President Putin I think. It's possibly won't and you will know about it believe me this room will know about it before I know about it. It's a real possibility that I could have a good relationship. And remember this getting along with Russia is a good thing getting along with China. Is a good thing. Getting along with other countries including your three countries is a good thing not a bad thing. So I think I could have a very good relationship with Russia. And with President Putin and if I did that would be a great thing and is also a great possibility that that won't happen. So now with thinning of the president's that there that no one's been tougher on Russia there a lot of people including many in the Republican party of Philipp president up should be a lot tougher on Russia. We've seen Russia headlines pop up over and over again the president's been using this line Mary Alice for quite some time I wonder how long it can. It can last to assuage his critics that he is in being tough enough. Right you look at the actions of this administration they have been top Russia over the last few weeks expelling. I diplomats from here closing the consulate in Seattle but the language from this president. Hasn't been top. We haven't seen a president up there talking about what essentially was a dubious election in rash in fact we heard the president make a phone call taking gradually prudent. On his victory. We haven't seen a president up there. Having strong words for a rash went with all of this. A really explosive developments in the UK with a poison spy. India's incredible how lines. That in a lot of ways the president has been silence not and that list what is frustrated so many. Republicans on Capitol Hill they feel like they need a president that's willing to speak out against Putin's. You know we know this president likes flattery and that is what he got today from these Baltic leaders and they want to make sure that. That year members Dennis Franz and he remembers that they work speaking highly of him that they were talking often in reminding him of their close friendship. Be as they are concerned. Is that Russia might continue to be aggressive in that area might continue to be aggressive in the region. And they want to feel like a half a close relationship with this president and with the country. And in the role of world leaders that was a pretty friendly crowd a lot of lot of kind words exchanged by those by the president's Mary Alice parks. Thanks so much for joining. And our thanks also to John Carl that's it from here on ABC news political director recline into that continue the coverage it abcnews.com. Download the ABC news out. Bye for now we'll catch later.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.