A transcript of an Oval Office interview Friday with President Donald Trump by AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace. Where the audio recording of the interview is unclear, ellipses or a notation that the recording was unintelligible are used.
AP: I do want to talk to you about the 100 days.
AP: I want to ask a few questions on some topics that are happening toward the end of the interview.
TRUMP: Did you see Aya (Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been detained in the country for nearly three years) ...
AP: Can you tell me a little bit about how that came about?
TRUMP: No, just — you know, I asked the government to let her out. ...
TRUMP: You know Obama worked on it for three years, got zippo, zero.
AP: How did you hear about this story?
TRUMP: Many people, human rights people, are talking about it. It's an incredible thing, especially when you meet her. You realize — I mean, she was in a rough place.
AP: Did you have to strike a deal with (Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi over this?
TRUMP: No. No deal. He was here. He — I said, "I really would appreciate it if you would look into this and let her out." And as you know, she went through a trial. And anyway, she was let go. And not only she, it was a total of eight people. ...
TRUMP: Yeah, it's funny: One of the best chemistries I had was with (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel.
(Crosstalk) AP: Really?
TRUMP: Chancellor Merkel.
TRUMP: And I guess somebody shouted out, "Shake her hand, shake her hand," you know. But I never heard it. But I had already shaken her hand four times. You know, because we were together for a long time.
AP: Did you expect you would have good chemistry with her?
TRUMP: No. Because, um, I'm at odds on, you know, the NATO payments and I'm at odds on immigration. We had unbelievable chemistry. And people have given me credit for having great chemistry with all of the leaders, including el-Sissi. ...
TRUMP: So it was a great thing to see that happen.
AP: Do you feel like you have changed the office of the presidency, how the presidency can be used to effect change?
TRUMP: I think the 100 days is, you know, it's an artificial barrier. It's not very meaningful. I think I've established amazing relationships that will be used the four or eight years, whatever period of time I'm here. I think for that I would be getting very high marks because I've established great relationships with countries, as President el-Sissi has shown and others have shown. Well, if you look at the president of China, people said they've never seen anything like what's going on right now. I really liked him a lot. I think he liked me. We have a great chemistry together. ...