Trump: No Iran Nukes Even if Agreement Folds
Standing alongside Germany's chancellor, U.S. President Donald Trump emphasized on Friday that Iran will not be permitted to build a nuclear arsenal, even if a deal intended to prevent that scenario collapses.
"They're not going to be doing nuclear weapons, you can bank on it," Trump told reporters.
Asked about possible actions, including use of force, that he could take if Iran restarts its nuclear weapons program if the deal made in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is abandoned, the president replied: "I don't talk about whether or not I'd use military force."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, appearing with Trump at the news conference following their Friday meetings, described the JCPOA as "anything but perfect," adding "it will not solve all the problems of Iran.
She described it as one piece to limit Iran's bad actions, while saying Berlin considers it of "prime important" to contain threats from Iran as it exerts geopolitical influence in Syria, which has been wracked by years of civil war.
Merkel said her government would continue to be in very close discussions with the United States as the president nears a decision on the Iranian nuclear accord, signed in 2015 by Iran with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
The Trump administration is required to recertify to the U.S. Congress every 90 days that Iran is complying with the deal. The next deadline is May 12.
The U.S. president repeatedly has heaped scorn on the agreement, including referring to it as a "disgrace," "stupid" and the "worst deal ever negotiated."
Trump: House Report Proves "No Collusion" With Russia
U.S. President Donald Trump has commended the release of a report by the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee, saying it proves there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Questioned about it during a joint news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump said, "We were honored. It was a great report. No collusion, which I knew anyway."
He called the investigation "a witch hunt," echoing a phrase he had tweeted earlier that morning, and added: "If we can get along with Russia, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. But there has been nobody tougher on Russia than me."
Trump was questioned about the 243-page report released Friday by the House Intelligence Committee. It contained a large number of redactions and a conclusion that while the meddling by Russia was real, Trump's alleged involvement was not.
It called contacts between Russian officials and campaign aides "ill advised" and says at least one person may have given answers in legal testimony that were "incomplete."
The Republicans on the committee said their report was based on interviews with 73 people and review of more than 300,000 documents.