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Trump Credits Self With Keeping Hong Kong Safe, Says He May Veto Human Rights Bill From Congress

Amid a conversation with hosts from “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning, President Donald Trump suggested that it was due to his efforts at negotiating a trade deal with China that the nation had not yet done anything to quell protests in the city of Hong Kong.

Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would’ve been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Trump said in the interview, per reporting from CBS News.

The president credited trade negotiations with helping to stave off violence from Beijing, going on to say that China has “got a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong that aren’t going in only because I asked [China’s President Xi Jinping], ‘Please don’t do that, it’s going to make a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal.'”

It was due to trade talks, however, that Trump felt he may have to veto legislation, passed in both houses of Congress and currently awaiting his decision on the matter, that would impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong officials, the Washington Post reported.

“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi, he’s a friend of mine,” Trump explained.

“I stand with freedom, I stand with all of the things that I want to do, but we are also in the process of making one of the largest trade deals in history. And if we could do that, it would be great,” Trump added.

It may not be a matter that Trump can say “no” to. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 417 to 1, and passed the Senate unanimously, meaning Congress could vote to override Trump’s veto, if he indeed issues one.

The trade wars between China and the U.S. have been going on for more than 20 months now, with end in sight for the time being. When the initial tariffs were put in place by Trump in March 2018, he suggested that it wouldn’t be a difficult endeavor.

“[T]rade wars are good, and easy to win,” Trump tweeted out at the time.