During a photo op at the NATO conference on Tuesday, Donald Trump reportedly claimed not to know how rumors about a trade deal with the United Kingdom started. But Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts isn’t letting the comment go unchallenged. He says that it was the president himself that started the rumors in June.
According to Mediaite, back in June, U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson said the president believed that the U.S. should consider pushing foreign countries to raise drug prices by using trade deals. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar reportedly said something similar in 2018.
When Trump was asked on Tuesday during a photo op with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg about whether the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) should be something “on the table” during trade talks, he purportedly said that he didn’t have any idea what people were talking about.
While British people are concerned that a trade deal with the U.S. might allow American pharmaceutical companies to weaken NHS pricing, Trump took the question to be a suggestion that the British health system might be extended to the U.S. as a public health option, an idea that many Americans reportedly support.
“No, not at all, never even thought about it,” Trump said. “We are going to have a great health care system.”
Trump went on to say that Republicans would implement “phenomenal” health care if they are able to retake the House in the upcoming election.
He went on to say that he wasn’t sure how the rumor started, and that the U.S. wants nothing to do with the British health care system.
“I don’t even know where that rumor started. We have nothing to do with it, and we wouldn’t want to. If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it,” Trump said.
The smoking gun: Dominic Raab admits Donald Trump would be free to hike the price of NHS drugs pic.twitter.com/vOoWsVHc6O— Owen Jones???? (@OwenJones84) December 3, 2019
However, the Fox News reporter points out that while Trump said that he doesn’t know where the rumor started that Britain’s National Health Service could be on the table during a trade deal with the U.K., the idea emerged during Trump’s press conference with former Prime Minister Theresa May on June 4.
At the time, he was asked if NHS should be on the table.
“Look, I think everything with a trade deal is on the table. When you — when you’re dealing in trade, everything is on the table — so, NHS or anything else. There are a lot — a lot more than that. But everything will be on the table, absolutely,” Trump responded.