President Donald Trump: "I'm disappointed in Harley-Davidson"

Trump spoke exclusively with Charles Benson
Posted at 1:00 PM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 18:48:53-04

MILWAUKEE -- Speaking exclusively with TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Charles Benson Thursday morning, President Donald Trump said he's "disappointed" with Harley-Davidson for moving part of their operations overseas.

"No president has ever said that before, because I guess you're not supposed to say it. but I can say it. I'm disappointed in Harley-Davidson. I don't like them leaving this country," Trump said.

The president's comments came just before his motorcade left for Racine County, where he attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Foxconn's massive manufacturing plant in Mt. Pleasant.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson announced earlier this week that they would shift a portion of their manufacturing overseas, in response to a spike in European Union tariffs. As news broke, the president on Twitter accused the company of "waving the white flag."

As Benson pointed out, the same company Trump has bashed on social media helped protect him during his visit to Wisconsin.

Benson: Today you motorcade down to Racine County. The men and women in blue, the Milwaukee Police Department will be riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles. You know there's a lot of pride in Milwaukee for Harley. Why are you concerned what's happening right now with tariffs and trade with Harley Davidson?

Trump: Well what we're doing is, other nations have been really hurting this country. They're taking advantage of the united states. We have massive trade deficits with China, with the European Union, with frankly Mexico, with a lot of them. And we're reversing that, and we're reversing it very quickly.

The president also called Foxconn "one of the great companies of the world," saying Governor Scott Walker "has done a fantastic job" in bringing the Taiwanese manufacturer to Wisconsin.

"I was very involved and I actually recommended Wisconsin," Trump told Benson. "I recommended it very strongly, and I have to tell you Scott Walker has done a fantastic job, because I handed the ball to him, he took it over. I actually picked the site from the helicopter."

Asked about Foxconn's $10 billion investment in the state in return for Wisconsin's $4.5 billion in tax incentives, Trump argued the deal will benefit Wisconsin.

"I think it's going to be great, because they're going to expand," he said.

Watch the full interview below: