EXCLUSIVE: Calvo’s Andersen gate Trump debriefing

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PNC News Director Janela Carrera conducts an exclusive interview with Gov. Eddie Calvo just outside the Andersen Air Force Base front gate immediately following the governor's audience with President Trump aboard Air Force One during a refueling stop.

Raw transcript of Janela Carrera’s interview with the Governor of Guam right after his audience with the President of the United States

Guam – Immediately following his visit with President Trump aboard Air Force One this morning, Gov. Eddie Calvo granted Pacific News Center an exclusive interview at the visitors center just outside the Andersen Air Force Base front gate. Calvo visited with the President during a refueling stopover on Trump’s way to Hawaii after his historic peace summit with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday. Full transcript follows.

IN 00:42 GOVERNOR: “For me it’s heartwarming because the president said how important was it for him to come here and visit with me and stop by Guam. One of the questions he asked, of course, was ‘what was the sentiment of the people?’ And I said, ‘well, there’s about 165,000 people that have taken a big sigh of relief.’ And I told him it’s nothing short of a miracle that ten months ago, you know, there was the leader of Korea, North Korea, that was making pronouncements of nuclear annihilation of our island, and now we have ten months later a document paving the way, that’s signed by both, for peace and denuclearization. And again, it’s interesting because I think most of the White House was anticipating him sleeping, so they told us it wouldn’t be necessary to come over here. But, knowing our president, I guess he took them by surprise. So, I was awoken by the White House this morning saying, ‘Sir, could you get to the Andersen?’ So, the president, we went up over there and had a nice opportunity to sit down with him, had a selfie taken, we had our pictures taken.” 01:53 OUT

IN 01:52 GOVERNOR: “But there was a story I told him, and it was, since I didn’t have my gift, um, you know, I told him, something very interesting that has occurred. And since I reminded him that his wife, Melania, is a Catholic, so I gave him this scapular, and you know what a scapular is, and anyone who is Catholic knows what a scapular is. I said, ‘interesting story, Mr. President, a year ago when this crisis was unfolding, there was a traveling Lady of Fatima, and it’s been going through all of the nations, that it had just come from Korea and had arrived in Guam, right when the threats were occurring.’ And quite incidentally, of course, and I don’t believe in coincidences, 15 minutes after he signed the agreement with Kim Jong Un, the Fatima statue arrived at my house. And it was something that was set up by Pale Mike Crisostomo, as this, again, this statue that represents our Holy Mother is making its rounds around the world. So I gave him the scapular and said this was blessed with that meeting at my house and said ‘please give it to Melania’, because, again, with Catholicism, with Christianity, and what the message of Our Lady of Fatima is world peace.” 03:15 “So I gave him that scapular. It wasn’t the beautiful gift we were supposed to, but I think, I told him, I think Melania would undertand very clearly.” 03:22 OUT

IN 03:23 JANELA:  “Where did you guys meet? Was it on Air Force One?” GOVERNOR:  “Air Force One!” JANELA: “Inside of  Air Force One?” GOVERNOR: “Yeah, I’ve always wanted to go into Air Force  One.” 03:28 JANELA: “It’s off your bucket list.” GOVERNOR: “Now it’s off my bucket list!” 03:32 OUT

IN 03:32 “I had an opportunity to talk to John Bolton, as well, Ambassador Bolton, who’s also his national security adviser.” 03:39 OUT

IN 03:41 “I think with the president, he’s, he understands too that, you know, we’ve gotta calm things down, and, you know, he mentioned about these military exercises are threatening.” 03:52 OUT

IN 03:53 “And even, you  know, with B1 flights to the Korean Peninsula.” 03:56 OUT

IN 03:57 “So I think the president, everyone thought he was a warmonger, but here’s a president that’s, you know, who’s done something historic. By the way, I never thought he was a warmonger, but a lot of folks in Washington and pundits did.” 04:11 OUT

IN 04:11 “But in the end  of it all, through his policy of peace through strength, ah, you know, we’ve come to this point.” 04:20 OUT

IN 04:20 “And right now it appears with the actions that are occurring, we’re gonna move in this vein, but it means, obviously, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But then at the same time, the sentiment is also to calm some of the pressures that are occurring as a result of all these military exercises that are occurring in the Korean Peninsula.” 04:42 OUT

IN 04:42 JANELA: “Do you agree with the cancellation of the joint exercises?” GOVERNOR: “I did mention to him, I said, ‘Mr. President, the reason Kim Jong Un was putting Guam in the crosshairs was because of our beautiful B1 Bombers that seem to take those regular cruises to the Korean Peninsula,’ and he  understood  that, and he  said, ‘those are wonderful aircraft.’ But I think with those wonderful aircraft, I think, Mr. President, also believes, hey, ah, in order to build peace and to give—and this  is what I assume— to give assurances to Chairman Kim, as he moves towards denuclearization, uh, you know, that the United States will also show a good faith effort to calm things down, to maybe less provocative acts, such as B1 Bombers cruising around Korea.” 05:33 OUT

IN 05:33 JANELA:  “Could you describe his demeanor? Did he seem…?” GOVERNOR: “He’s the kinda guy, every time I’ve talked to him, I’ve said, the last time I was rushed from, I was gardening when this whole crisis—and I had to rush over to call the phone. This time I was sound asleep. I think President  Trump is the kinda guy that you’d probably ha—you know he doesn’t drink—I heard  he  just drinks soft drinks, but, um, the kinda guy you’d hang around in a bar, a couple o’ guys, and, you know, just shoot the breeze! You know, he’s a very down to earth, straight up kinda fella. 06:07 OUT

IN 06:07 “…unlike a lot of folks in Washington, DC. No offense to the folks in Washington, DC.” 06:11 OUT

IN 06:12 JANELA: “This is a rare opportunity for you to talk face-to-face with the President of the United States.” GOVERNOR: “Actually, I’ve talked to him like four or five times.” JANELA: “Face to face?” GOVERNOR: “Ah, well, you know, a few times in Washington with our tuxedos on in, you know, a formal setting, but I’ve done it a couple of times—two, three times—with, you know, on the phone!” JANELA: “Right, right.” GOVERNOR: “But this is the first time in a more casual setting.” JANELA: “In your hometown?” GOVERNOR: “In Guam! Yeah!” 06:38 OUT

IN 06:39 GOVERNOR:  “In fact, I did tell him, ‘you know, it’s, um, it’s kind of bittersweet for me because, um, you know, this guy has already made an opportunity to focus on Guam. And, you know, God bless President Obama. President Obama, in this threat, brought the THAAD missile defense system here. But, you know, President Obama, through this whole crisis, you know, never focused on Guam and protecting Guam, um, and never visited. And here’s our president, who made it a point to visit Guam, and to reach out and have a discussion with me.” 07:14 OUT

IN 07:14 “He don’t call me Governor, he calls me Governor Eddie.” 07:16 OUT

IN 07:16 {LAUGHTER} 07:21 OUT

IN 07:23 “For me, it’s, ah, I feel the way things are going, you know, we’re finally getting H2-B workers coming in the next week, about 50 of them, and you’re going to see this constant wave of workers coming in. Thank you Mr. President, because, again, you know, we’re seeing this loosening of, hopefully, our labor shortage.” 07:45 OUT

IN 07:47 “But I also see a president that is focusing on what’s good for the economy of the United States. And what’s good for the economy of the United States also is good for the economy of Guam.” 07:56 OUT

IN 07:56 “And yet what’s bittersweet is, again, you know, I had an opportunity to meet with President Obama, but now I’m seeing so much progress, um, and I told him, I said, ‘Mr. President, you  know, it’s unfortunate I’m gonna be ending office in December, ‘cause I would’ve loved to have worked with his White  House even more.” JANELA: You should run for Congress.” GOVERNOR: {LAUGHS, THEN GROWS SUDDENLY SERIOUS.} JANELA: {LAUGHS.} GOVERNOR: “No, no, I’m gonna enjoy getting back into obscurity.” 08:22 OUT

IN 08:23 “But, ah, it’s been an honor.  And for me, I’m very positive about  Guam. You’re talking  about easing tensions in Asia, and, you know, potentially drawdown, you never know, there’s discussions of potential drawdowns in Asia. But it even figures in how important Guam is as sovereign American soil, ah, in Asia.” 08:44 OUT

IN 08:44 “So, ah, you  know, I’m very optimistic about  Guam; I do believe now  Washington, DC—particularly from the top, from the president, ah, is keenly aware, ah, of the interests that are so important, not only to the United  States, but this little territory so far away from Washington,  DC.” 09:03 OUT

09:03 JANELA: “I won’t keep you much longer. Just one more question. Do you feel safer?” GOVERNOR: “I do…if you go back ten months, and I told him, ‘Mr. President,’ this is what I talked to Mr. President, I said, ‘Mr. President, I was watching on TV, and even the North Korean interpreter made mention of—I guess Kim Jong Un said—this is almost like science fiction. I don’t know if you  can recall what was stated by Kim Jong Un to the interpreter—and it is—but it’s not fiction! Ten months ago there were threats of annihilating Guam. There were threats, both sides of warfare, and in ten months two countries that are still technically at war since 1953, 1954—the war started in 1950, we’re now talking about denuclearization, we’re talking about peace.” 10:05 OUT

IN 10:05 GOVERNOR: “This is historic, and somehow Guam is also, as we’ve always been, a little  island  that always seems to be a part of history.” 10:15 OUT

IN 10:15 GOVERNOR: “And I think we’ve just written a new chapter in the history of Guam and global events.” 10:22 OUT

IN 10:44 GOVERNOR: “This economy should have taken off two—right now we’re stable—but it should’ve taken off two years ago. And it started, and again, an Obama decision to restrict H2-B workers in Guam, and it had a pronounced—you ask anyone in construction, a house for any Joe or Maria Cruz, it meant  an additional $100,000 to build a house. So, you know, with these remaining months left for me as a governor, it’s trying to work together with his administration, working with our Congresswoman Bordallo, and see what we can do to ease off on the issues—on let’s say foreign workers—so there’s even a more liberal interpretation of foreign workers that can come to Guam, not just restricted to military, or military associated.” 11:34 OUT

IN 11:36 “Look what is happening now with airlines. Japan? I’ll bet you with Jeju Air, I think they’re the ones that are going through Osaka, they’re gonna be full flights, ‘cause they’re gonna make  500 bucks roundtrip.” 11:52 OUT

IN 11:52 “There’s a demand in Japan, but part of the reason for why there’s been this big reduction on Japanese tourists coming to Guam is because of decisions made in Atlanta or Chicago by Delta or United that are global in nature.” 12:07 OUT