Full Texts Political Transcripts March 20, 2018: Remarks by President Donald Trump at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner

National Building Museum
Washington, D.C.

7:13 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)  What a group.  What a group.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Thank you very much.  And I have to say, I don’t know if you know, you broke the all-time record.  Last year was your record, and I was here too.  (Laughter.)  And the year before that, you didn’t do so well, and I wasn’t here.  (Laughter.)  You went from $18 million, which is good — not great — to $30 million last year.  And this year — and I think that was some kind of an all-time record, by the way.  So you have to be proud.  But this year we did $32 million.  So that’s quite a record.  (Applause.)

And it really is wonderful to be here with so many friends and colleagues, and really true and great American patriots.

I want to begin by thanking our incredible House leadership team, Speaker Paul Ryan.  Paul, thank you.  Thank you, Paul.  (Applause.)

A wonderful man who I’ve gotten to know very well — what a personality — Kevin McCarthy.  Where’s Kevin?  Where is — stand up, Kevin.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Kevin.

A man who’s got more courage than all of us, Steve Scalise.  (Applause.)  Steve.  You don’t have to stand.  Look at him.  Kevin, he got up faster than you did.  I don’t know what’s — (laughter).

Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  Cathy.  Cathy.  (Applause.)  Great job.  Great job, Cathy.

NRCC Chair Steve Stivers — a general.  I didn’t even know about that.  I’m impressed.  (Applause.)  I don’t know if I like that or your political career better, but they’re both very good.  Thank you, General.

And tonight’s dinner chair, Congressman Tom Emmer.  Thank you, Tom.  Thank you, Tom.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Great job.  $32 million — I guess you did a good job.  (Laughs.)  We did it together.  (Laughter.)  He was so generous.  He said, “You did it.”  Nope, we did it together.  That’s the way we’re working, right?  It’s the way we’re — thank you very much, Tom.

Our Republican majority is one of the most successful in the history of the United States Congress.  Now, we must work to keep our majority so we can keep up the fight for American workers, American security, and the American values enshrined in our glorious Constitution and in our great American flag.  (Applause.)

This year, in this election, we are fighting to win, and we are going to win.  Just no reason why we shouldn’t win with what we’ve done over the last year.  No reason whatsoever.

We love our country.  We cherish our liberty.  And we always put America first.  If you notice, we’re doing that on trade.  We’re doing that on a lot of things.  (Applause.)  America first.  It’s about time.  It’s about time.

Our agenda is already exceeding our highest expectations.  We’ve actually accomplished more than we said we would, and that’s been a long time since you’ve heard that.  We’ve accomplished a lot more.  They said it the other night, that Donald Trump actually has accomplished more than he said he would.  So that’s a good feeling.  And it wasn’t even a friend that said that the other night, which is really a good feeling.

We’ve created more than 3 million new jobs since the election.  And if we would have said that number prior to the election, nobody would have believed it possible.  Jobless claims are at — think of it — jobless claims are at a nearly 50-year low.  Fifty years.  (Applause.)  That’s an amazing statistic.

African American unemployment has reached the lowest levels ever recorded.  (Applause.)  And I have to tell you, the fake news about two weeks ago got me on that one.  Because, two months ago, it was the lowest level ever recorded.  Then, about four weeks ago, it went slightly not as good.  And I made a speech; I said, “African American unemployment has reached the lowest levels ever recorded.”  And it really wasn’t.  It was good, but it wasn’t.  And they got me.  They said it wasn’t so.

But then, here’s what happened.  Last week, it went back down to the lowest levels ever recorded.  So we have it.  (Laughter and applause.)  So we have it, right?  It makes us feel good.  That’s an important one.  And here’s another one: Hispanic American unemployment has also reached historic lows — lowest ever recorded.  (Applause.)  And women: The lowest levels in 18 years.  (Applause.)

Wages are rising at the fastest pace in more than a decade, and I’ve been talking on the campaign trail for so long that wages have been stagnant for 18, 20, and even 21 years.

Confidence is the highest in history.  In the history of our country, confidence for manufacturers is the highest.  (Applause.)  And you see it: Companies are moving back.  Chrysler is moving back to Michigan from Mexico.  You look at so many different companies.  Foxconn, they make a lot of the Apple products.  Great products.  They’re moving to Wisconsin.

We have massive companies moving back in.  They all want to be back in.  American producers in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries gained more jobs in February than in any month in nearly 20 years.  Think of that.  (Applause.)

I mean, do you ever hear numbers like this?  And these are really numbers that we’re getting right out of the manual.  This is it.  It’s hard to believe.  These are incredible numbers.  That’s why we should do great when we run in a very short period of time.

The economy is booming, and it’s booming because we passed the biggest tax cut and reform in American history.  (Applause.)  Biggest in American history.

And when they came to me — because not since Ronald Reagan has anything been close — and when they came to me, they said, “We’re going to pass tax reform.”  I said, “Why hasn’t it been done in 38 years?”  They said, “We don’t know, you just can’t do it.”  And I said, “Well, it doesn’t make sense.  You’re cutting taxes. Why?”  “Well, sir, I don’t know, but here’s the bill.  It’s tax reform.  It says tax reform.”

And I said, “There’s something wrong.  How come it hasn’t happened?”  And I said, “You know, I think I have the idea.  Don’t call it tax reform.  Call it tax cuts.”  It was never called tax cuts.  And they said, “Well, what is that?”  I said, “Tax reform might mean you’re reforming taxes and you’re going to raise taxes.  Nobody knows what it means.  So call it tax cuts.  And in fact, let’s call it the Tax Cut, Cut, Cut bill.”  (Laughter.)

And Paul Ryan wouldn’t do it.  You know, he’s a classy guy.  He said, “That’s just — I can’t do it.”  (Laughter.)  So we called it the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  And that’s fine, right?  (Applause.)

And I see Kevin Brady here someplace.  Where’s Kevin?  Stand up, Kevin, please.  (Applause.)  He doesn’t stop.  And let’s not tell anybody, although you have a lot of cameras back there, actually.  Let’s not tell anybody, Kevin, about phase two that we’ve already started on, right?  Phase two tax cuts.  Right?  (Inaudible.)  (Applause.)  Thank you, Kevin.

More than 6 million Americans have already received a tax cut bonus or a pay raise, and that is just the beginning.  I want to thank everyone who made this incredible victory possible, including so many friends that worked with Kevin and myself, people in Congress, great senators, great congresspeople.  You are really incredible, so enjoy it because we’re going to start, probably, on Monday, with Kevin and myself and everybody on doing it again.

And I just want to thank you.  And on behalf of Paul, and Kevin, and my other Kevin, my — I don’t know, I think Brady, maybe, is better looking than Kevin.  I don’t know.  (Laughter.)

But we really are.  We really — I have to thank the people in this room because you really made it possible.  And you worked hard, and you just wouldn’t stop, and you wouldn’t take no for an answer.  A lot of obstacles.  You wouldn’t take no for an answer.

But while Republicans were fighting to reduce taxes for hardworking Americans, the Democrats were fighting to increase taxes.  That’s what they want to do.  They’re actually working right now to increase taxes.  And I’m saying, “How do you lose to that?”  (Laughter.)  They want to increase taxes.  Maybe they’ll call that tax reform.  (Laughter.)

Every single Democrat in Congress opposed our middle class tax cuts.  And if Democrats were to gain control of the House, the first thing they would do is raise your taxes.  They would raise your taxes.  They would take away what we’ve done and raise your taxes.  And actually, I’ve seen some of the numbers — very substantially raise your taxes.

Republicans also repealed one of the nation’s cruelest and most unfair taxes ever: the Obamacare individual mandate.  (Applause.)

And the mandate is gone forever.  And that’s a beauty.  You pay a lot of money not to have to pay and not to get healthcare.  So you’re paying not to have healthcare.  I mean, that wasn’t so good.  But we got rid of it.

And you know, included — that nobody even talks about — is ANWR in Alaska, one of the great sites of energy in the world.  And I didn’t think it was a big deal.  And then one day, a friend of mine who was in the oil business called.  “Is it true that you have ANWR in the bill?”  I said, “I don’t know.  Who cares?  What is that?”  (Laughter.)  “What does that mean?”

They said, “No, is it true?”  I said, “What does it mean?  What’s the big deal that they did put it in?”  He said, “Well, you know, Reagan tried, every single President tried, and not one President was successful in getting it.  The Bushes weren’t — everybody.”

I said, “You got to be kidding?  I love it now.”  And after that we fought like hell to get ANWR.  (Laughter.)  He talked me into it — (applause) — and he didn’t care, but he said it was amazing.

So by itself, that would have been a big bill.  But that was included.  And we’re doing great, by the way, on energy.  We are now an exporter of energy.  Can you believe that?  (Applause.)  Ten million barrels, folks.  We just cracked ten million barrels.

We’ve also ended the crushing onslaught of federal and other regulation.  That’s a big deal.  (Applause.)  And I hate to say it to Kevin, but some people consider what we’ve done on regulation as important and some even more important than the tremendous tax cuts because the regulations were killing our country.  They were killing us.  (Applause.)

Together, we have set a record for cutting the red tape — passing a record number of bills to permanently remove job-killing regulations.  All over the country, they’re building now where they had no chance of getting going.

Even if you look at the pipelines — immediately upon taking office, I let the pipelines go — Keystone, you know, both of them.  And we let them proceed.  Forty-eight thousand jobs, and we’re going to have two great, environmentally friendly pipelines.  Really great.  Forty-eight thousand jobs.  That was an easy one.  But they would have never been built.

We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.  (Applause.)

And thanks to this Republican Congress, we’re transforming the VA to keep America’s promise to our brave, incredible, beautiful veterans.  (Applause.)

And I want to thank Chairman Phil Roe.  Our Republican majorities sent me legislation that has been incredible — really incredible.  You know, we have VA accountability.  They’ve been trying to get this for 30 years — accountability.  Sounds easy.  But VA accountability, and we got it passed.  That means that people that are very bad — they’re bad in many ways; they’re even sadistic.  You couldn’t fire people from the VA.  Now, you look at them, they do a bad job, they do something wrong, they hurt our veterans — we look at them, and we say, “Jim, you’re fired.  Get the hell out of here.”  (Applause.)  I made a lot of money with that phrase.  That was a great one.  (Laughter.)

But Congressman Roe, where are you?  Congressman Roe.  Congressman, thank you, great job.  Great job.  Thank you.  It’s really moving along.  And choice is coming.  Choice — where the veterans can actually — instead of waiting on line for weeks and weeks and weeks, they can actually go and see a doctor and have it taken care of, and we pay.  (Applause.)  And that’s going to be the big one.  Do you agree with that, Phil?

Because of Republican leadership that all of you helped make possible, America is safer and America is much stronger.  Our military is now better funded, better equipped, and better prepared to defeat any foe that dares to threaten our country or our people.

America is being respected again on the world stage.  We’re rebuilding our very depleted military — $700 billion.  And next year, $716 billion.  (Applause.)  We had to do it.  And obviously, defense is number one, but you know what else it is?  Jobs.  Lots of jobs, because we build our equipment.  So it’s lots of jobs.

For the last eight years, Democrats apologized for America.  Republicans, on the other hand, are standing up for America.  (Applause.)  Right?  We’ve seen a lot of apologies.  Last eight years, we’ve seen a lot of apologizing.  Not any longer.  We don’t apologize.  (Applause.)  Took a little while to figure that one out.

It has been an incredible year for our country and for the Republican Party.  And the accomplishments of our party in Congress are even more impressive because Democrats have stood in the way of progress every single day.

Do you know, we have hundreds of people that cannot come into the administration because they’re being slow-walked by the Democrats in the Senate?  Last count, it was 270 people.  Now the only thing good about that — in the private sector they would like it.  They would say we’re cutting payroll.

But here, we want to get them — in the State Department.  And one of your originals, Mike Pompeo, will be, hopefully, very soon, our new Secretary of State.  (Applause.)  He’s going to do a great job.  Mike is going to do a great job.

Not only did Democrats universally oppose tax cuts, but every single Democrat voted no on better healthcare.  They voted no.  Every single one.  The one thing they do great is obstruct.  They’re great at obstruction.  They’re wonderful at sticking in a bloc.  They rarely break up, although I think we’re going to break them up a little bit because a lot of them are saying nice things about me in certain states that we won by a lot, and they’re running in races.  You know about that, right?

But they really are a bloc.  They just vote no.  And I don’t think people want that when it comes time to elect.  They don’t want to fix our healthcare system.  They don’t want DACA.  They do not want DACA because they think it might be a good political issue, and we want DACA.  And DACA is very much tied to the wall, and we have to have the wall.  For the drugs that are pouring into our country, and for the people that we don’t want in our country, we’re going to have the wall.  (Applause.)

But they don’t want DACA.  They really don’t.  They want to use it as a political football.  And guess what?  I think it plays better for us than it does for them because we want to do something for the 800,000, and they don’t.  So it’s been a little bit of change of position, and we’re going to win that one every time.  But we’re also getting the wall.

Nearly every Democrat voted against a ban on late-term abortion, when unborn babies can feel the pain.  The late-term abortion ban is commonsense policy, supported by almost two-thirds of the American people.  But virtually every Democrat voted in lockstep against protecting these innocent lives.

On issue after issue, House Democrats are way outside of the American mainstream.  Nowhere in the Democrats’ extremism — and nowhere can you see anything displayed more clearly than on immigration.  A vote for House Democrats is truly a vote for open borders — people pouring into our country, pouring in.  We have no idea who they are.  They’re coming in — open borders.  You look at sanctuary cities, where criminals are protected.

If House Democrats control the committees and control the floor, they will block every single effort to secure our borders and to defend our communities.

Nearly every House Democrat voted in favor of sanctuary cities.  They voted to release criminal aliens to prey on innocent American lives.  Republicans believe our cities should be safe havens for law-abiding Americans, not for criminal aliens or illegal immigrants.  (Applause.)

It’s time for Congress to stop funding sanctuary cities so we can restore the rule of law.  (Applause.)  The American people are with us.  Let’s fight to save those incredible American lives.  And you see what’s happening.  You see the slaughter.  You see the kind of killing and hurt and pain.  And we are fighting very hard, and I think we’re doing one hell of a job.  And you look at our borders, and you see the difference in the numbers.  But the laws are not helping us, because we have some laws that are very much against everything that we stand for in this room.

House Democrats also voted against Kate’s Law -– a commonsense bill authored by Chairman Bob Goodlatte.  Where’s Bob?  Bob.  (Applause.)  Bob.  Thank you, Bob.  And that bill has been sitting for a long time over there, Bob, hasn’t it?  It’s too bad.

They voted against legislation to keep gang members like MS-13 out of our country.  These are extreme and dangerous positions.  They make no sense.

So here is our message from the coming election to the American people: If the Democrats ever got back into power, they would vote to raise your taxes; release dangerous criminals; open your borders; shut down this great surge of American energy that is tremendous for jobs, tremendous for the economic wellbeing of our country, and, frankly, helping the world.  They would take over American healthcare; take away your Second Amendment; and ship away your jobs to other countries, like has gone on for so many years.  And those days are over.  Those days are over.  (Applause.)

The world, including our friends, has been taking advantage of the United States of America.  We can’t allow that to happen anymore.  We just can’t.  We want our jobs to be here.  We want our great factories, our great plants to be here.  We don’t want people fired and watch a company leave our country, make a product somewhere nearby, ship it back into our country, not be taxed, and all we get out of it is unemployment and pain.  Not going to happen anymore.  That’s why so many companies are moving back.  (Applause.)  They’re moving back.  First time in many, many decades.

That’s why we need strong Republican majorities.  (Applause.)  It doesn’t matter what Democrat candidates say on the campaign trail because once Democrats get to Washington, they always do the same thing: They vote for the liberal Pelosi agenda down the line, straight down the line every single time.  They will never vote for us.  They will never vote for what’s right.

These days, there’s no such thing as a Blue Dog Democrat, a Red State Democrat, or a Conservative Democrat because they are all Pelosi Democrats: weak on crime, weak on terrorism, and weak on national defense.  (Applause.)

And on terrorism, in Iraq and Syria, we’ve taken back almost 100 percent, in a very short period of time, of the land that they took.  And it all took place since our election.  We’ve taken back close to 100 percent.

Democrats like to campaign as moderates, but they always govern like radicals.  That is why I am going to campaign all across this country to elect Republicans so that we can reduce taxes further; reduce crime; increase jobs; and make our communities safe, and prosperous, and secure.

And I’ll be all over the country.  Kevin, you’ll get me all over.  Where is our Kevin?  You’re going to get me all over the country, Kevin?  (Applause.)  And I’ll be complaining every single trip.  (Laughter.)  But I’m going to get there.

We are going to keep criminals off our streets and terrorists — we’re going to keep them the hell out of our country.  (Applause.)

Our opponents are fielding the most candidates they’ve ever had in a quarter century.  Many have not held office before, which means it will be easier for them to conceal their true beliefs.  You’re not going to know anything about these people.

That’s why we must tell the truth over and over again: A vote for a House Democrat is a vote for higher taxes, open borders, and the destruction of American jobs and American wealth.  It’s also the destruction of the American Dream.  It’s a dream, and they’re destroying that beautiful dream.

But to win, we have to out-work the opposition.  For some reason, when a party wins the presidency — incredible — what happens is they lose two years later.  And I know what happens, I figured — you know, I could never understand — like, 95 percent of the time they end up losing the midterms.  It’s called complacency.

Nobody has explained it.  I couldn’t understand why — you win the presidency, you think it’d — and we do record business.  The economy is maybe the best it’s ever been ever, I think — ever.  How has it ever been better?  (Applause.)

The stock market is at an all-time high, jobs are the number one — 154 million jobs.  That is the most jobs in the history of our country.  We have, right now, the most jobs.  (Applause.)

We need more people, if you can believe it.  We’re going to have an incredible expansion.  But it’s called complacency.  Because you win the presidency, you work so hard.  Look how hard we worked.  You work, you work, you work, and you win.  And now you take it easy a little bit.  “Oh, I’m so happy we won.  That was so hard.”  And then a year goes by, and now, all of the sudden, you’re running again.  And you get complacent, and you lose.

But then what happens — oh, boy, are we going to — are we going to win 2020.  But we have to worry about ’18 before we worry about ’20.  (Applause.)  But there is a complacency, and I can understand it.  It’s natural — human trait.  But we cannot be complacent.  We can’t.  We have so much to gain, and this country has so much to lose.

So we have to remember — you know, we have a short period of time now.  We have to remember.

And the other thing is, you know, we had five races up until last week.  And of the five races, we won all five.  These people back here expected us to lose a couple of those races, maybe more than that.  We won.  They didn’t know what to do.

So they said, “We didn’t win by as much as we were supposed to.”  And, by the way, if we won by more, they would’ve found a reason.  So we’re fighting the press, we’re fighting the media; we always will, for whatever reason.  But we’re 5 and 0, and then we lost by 300 votes the other night, right?  Three-hundred out of two-hundred-and-twenty-some-odd-thousand votes.   Three-hundred votes.

And I will tell you, though, that area in Pennsylvania and all of Pennsylvania and all other states — they’re energized because I made a speech there two nights before, and I’ll tell you what — that crowd was — they were going.  They really — they were happy.  They were thrilled.  I wish I was running.  Boy.  (Laughter.)    Man.  That was some energetic group.  And it was close.  It was really close.  We went in there; they were down.  Good man — Rick Saccone.  Good man.  And didn’t quite make it.  But lost — think of it — lost by about 300 votes out of all those votes.  So it’s pretty incredible.  But we can’t let it happen.  We have to win.  There’s nothing like winning.  We have to win.

Now, the last election, we defied every expectation and totally proved the pundits wrong.  Right?  They said, “There’s no way to 270.”  Remember that?  (Applause.)  “There is no way to 270.”  And everybody believed them.   I even believed them.   I said, you know, it doesn’t look good.  I heard this for six months.  “You cannot win unless you win the great state of Ohio.”  I kept hearing that, right?  (Applause.)  And I said, “I think I’m doing well, but they’re showing me a little down in Ohio.”  And I said, “Man, I guess you can’t win if you can’t win Ohio.”  So I went to Ohio — we have great people.  Those are great people.  Now, we really won Ohio by a lot, right?  (Applause.)  We won Ohio by a lot.  And we won Iowa by a lot.

And we ran the East Coast because, you know, we have a tremendous disadvantage in presidential elections with the Electoral College.  Much easier to get the popular vote, but it’s a very much different campaign.  It’s like somebody that trains for the 100-yard dash and trains for the mile.  It’s a much different thing.  But we just ran out the East Coast, and it was a thing of beauty.  But they all said we couldn’t do it.  Now they say the midterms.  Here come the midterms.  And, as usual, they say, “Well, 95 percent of the time it doesn’t happen.”  But nobody has ever had an economy like this.  Nobody has ever had a military that’s getting so much stronger so fast.  Nobody has ever done what we’ve done.  The people in this room have done it.  Nobody has ever done it.

We sent a message straight to the media, to the lobbyists, and to the powerbrokers that this city doesn’t belong to you; it belongs to the American people.  That’s what the message was.  (Applause.)

Now, I shouldn’t say it to the people in this room — (laughter) — because, you know, a couple of you are a little marginal about this.  But I came up with this expression — it’s called, “Drain the swamp,” right?  Drain the swamp.  And I hated it.  (Applause.)  No, no.  I hated it.  And it was a speech during the campaign, and it was a term that was actually give to me.  Usually, I like to think them up myself, but this was given to me.  Which bothered me, too.  (Laughter.)  I never liked that.

But they had this expression, “Drain the swamp,” and I hated it.  I thought it was so hokey.  I said, “That is the hokiest — give me a break.  I’m embarrassed to say it.”  And I was in Florida with 25,000 people going wild, and I said, “And we will drain the swamp.”  The place went crazy.  (Laughter.)   I couldn’t believe it.  And then, the next speech, I said it again.  And they went even crazier.  “We will drain the swamp.”  I hate that, especially these people right here.  (Laughter and Applause).  They’re saying, “Oh, please don’t say this, Mr. President.”  Don’t worry.  Close your ears.  “We will drain the swamp.”  And every time I said it, I’d get the biggest applause.  And after four or five times, I said, “Boy, what a great expression.  I love saying it.  You know?”  (Laughter.)   It’s amazing.  It really is amazing.

But this city does belong to loyal, hardworking, taxpaying Americans.  And with your help, with the help of the hard work of everyone in this room — and you do work hard; it’s a tough job.  Politics is nasty.  I used to say, “The toughest people are real estate developers in New York City.”  And now I say, “You guys are babies.”  (Laughter.)  They come to see me, “Hi, Don.”  I say, “You are nothing.”  (Laughter and Applause).  These politicians are brutal.  “We got a leak.  We got a this.  We got a that.  We got a horrible false story on the front page of every newspaper.”  No, no, no.  Real estate developers are no longer the toughest people.  Politicians in Washington are the toughest people.  (Applause.)  Not even — it’s not even close.

But we’re going to defy the predictions once again.  We will keep the House majority.  (Applause.)  And we will keep fighting for the change the American people want and they deserve.  The Democrats think they’re invincible.  I mean, I watch this Maxine Waters.  You ever see Maxine Waters?  (Laughter.)   A low-IQ individual.  (Applause.)  Low IQ.  “We will impeach him.  We will impeach him.”  “But he hasn’t done anything wrong.”  “It doesn’t matter.  We will impeach him.”  (Laughter.)   This is what we’re going to have.  This is what we’re going to have to fight against.  It’s easier just keep going good.  We’re going to keep the economy strong.

The truth is, the Democrats never have been more vulnerable because they’ve lost touch with normal, everyday working people.  Democrats haven’t learned.  (Applause.)  They still think the loyal citizens who care about jobs and borders and security are deplorable.

You know, when Hillary made that speech, she said, “deplorable.”  I thought it was bad, but I didn’t know it was going to be that bad.  (Laughter.)  But the problem is, she said so many of my people were deplorable.  And, you know, the next day, I made a speech, and everybody is wearing, “I am deplorable.”  And I said, “There’s something going on here.”  That was not a good word to use.  You have to be careful in politics, right?  That was not a good — and I would say her last statement about women — they have to get approval from their husbands, their sons, and their male bosses to vote for Trump.  That was not a good statement.  (Laughter and applause).  Not good.

You notice how fast the Democrats have run from these statements now?  They are disavowing those statements like I’ve never heard before.  “She’s wrong.”  People that were her biggest supporters are now saying, “What is she doing?”  Why doesn’t she just go home?  (Laughter.)   But that was not a good statement.

But we know the truth.  And the truth is that we are great patriots.  We really are.  We’re doing what’s right.  We come from every city, from every town, from every walk of life.  We come from backgrounds, and it doesn’t matter the color, the creed.  But we all have one thing in common: We love this country.  We love this country.  (Applause.)  And we’re putting the interests of our country and our people and our taxpayers — we’re putting them first.  This election is not merely about which party is in charge in Congress.  It’s about whether the American people will be in charge of their government.

The choice cannot be any clearer.  It’s never been this clear.  It’s never — think of it.  It’s never been this clear.  The Democrats used to be somewhat in the middle, and now they’re so far right — meaning, that’s where they’re going to be.  But the Democrats used to be right here.  And now what happened is they just moved.  They just moved.  They’re going so far to the left-hand side of the equation, I don’t know whether or not it’s going to even be possible for them to do well.  But for some reason, they’ll probably do okay.  We can’t let that happen.  They have gone so far left, we have to go a little bit further right.  We’re doing very, very well, and I think you’re going to have something very, very, special take place in a short period of time.  (Applause.)

While congressional Democrats delay, and they obstruct, and they resist, Republicans actually deliver.  There’s never been a group that have delivered like we’ve delivered, especially in the first year of an administration.  We’re creating jobs for everybody — for the African American population.  They’re thanking me.  They’re thanking me.  Hispanic Americans, all Americans.  But they’re really thanking us.

While Democrats denigrate our history, Republicans believe young Americans should be taught to have pride in America’s achievements and to treasure our truly incredible heritage.  While Democrats hand over our rights to international organizations, we defend our sovereignty and we defend our Constitution.  And we defend our American flag.  We’re the ones defending it.  (Applause.)

And while Democrats sit on their hands, Republicans stand with law enforcement.  (Applause.)  These are great people.  We stand with working families.  And we always proudly stand for our national anthem.  (Applause.)

We believe in strong borders and safe communities.  And we believe in the truth of our national motto: In God we trust.  (Applause.)

Our victories are Americans’ victories because the Republican Party is now the party of the American worker, the American family, and the American Dream.  (Applause.)

Our mission is to serve the needs, the desires, and the highest ambitions of the American people.  And that’s what we’re doing.  And we’re really doing a great job of it.  We work for them.  Their hopes are our hopes.  Their dreams are our dreams.  And their future if what we are fighting for each and every day.

With your help, and with our Republican majorities in Congress, we will carry the hopes and dreams of the American people all the way to victory in November.  So important.  So important.  And together, we will build a future of safety, security, prosperity, and freedom for all of our citizens.  We will never give in.  We will never give up.  And we will never, ever stop fighting to make America great again.  And that’s what’s happening.  (Applause.)

Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless America.  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  And congratulations on this evening.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.


7:56 P.M. EDT


Full Text Political Transcripts March 19, 2018: Remarks by President Donald Trump on Combatting the Opioid Crisis

Manchester Community College
Manchester, New Hampshire

2:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you to our First Lady, Melania, who has been so incredible. (Applause.) Thank you. And we are blessed to have you as our First Lady. Really are.

It’s great to be back in the beautiful state of New Hampshire. (Applause.) I don’t know if you remember, but this is the first place I came for the primaries. (Applause.) And this is the room right here. So I like this room. This has been a good room.

We’re honored to be joined by your wonderful and very talented Governor, Chris Sununu. Chris, thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Chris. Oh, and there’s another talented governor. Governor Sununu, stand up. (Applause.) I have to tell you, there was nobody tougher on Trump at the beginning. (Laughter.) It’s true. There was nobody on television tougher. And then we met each other and we liked each other, and he went from the worst to the best. Governor, thank you. (Laughs.) I mean that, too. Thank you.

I want to thank also Attorney General Sessions, and Secretary — thank you, Jeff. — (applause) — Secretary Azar, Secretary Nielsen, and Surgeon General Adams for joining us at this very important event.

The First Lady and I just visited the Manchester Fire Department Safe Station. Talking about it all over the country. The Fire Chief, Dan Goonan, and all of the first responders with us today, thank you. You’ve been incredible, and you’re saving American lives.

We’re also joined by a number of law enforcement officers who we love. Our police, DEA, ICE, Border Patrol agents, and Customs officers work night and day to keep drugs out of our communities and criminals off of our streets. (Applause.) So today, we thank you, we honor you, and we want you to know that we will always have your backs 100 percent. Thank you very much, law enforcement. Thank you. (Applause.)

I especially want to acknowledge all of the families with us today who have endured terrible hardships because of the opioid crisis, and especially those who have lost precious loved ones. I’ve been saying this for a long time, and it all started right here in New Hampshire, because I see what you’re going through. About as bad as there is anywhere in the country. And I said I’d be back, and we are back. And we’re pouring a lot of money and a lot of talent into this horrible problem. And we pledge to honor the memory of those you lost with action and determination and resolve. We’ll get it. We will not rest until the end. And I will tell you, this scourge of drug addiction in America will stop. It will stop. (Applause.)

Every day, 116 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose. In New Hampshire, the overdose, really, death rate — I mean, can you believe this? The death rate is double the national average. It’s got difficulties like people wouldn’t believe.

Defeating this epidemic will require the commitment of every state, local, and federal agency. Failure is not an option. Addiction is not our future. We will liberate our country from this crisis. Never been like this. Hundreds of years — never been like this. And we will raise a drug-free generation of American children.

Last October, we declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Should have been done a long time before. Since then, we’ve worked with Congress to ensure at least 6 billion additional dollars, going through right now, in new funding in 2018 and 2019 to combat the opioid crisis. And we will be spending the most money ever on the opioid crisis. (Applause.)

On our most recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, people across the country turned in more than 900,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs — more than the weight of three Boeing 757s.

Our Customs and Border Protection — and these people, the job they do is incredible — seized nearly 1,500 pounds of fentanyl last year, nearly three times the amount seized in 2016. And I told China: Don’t send it. (Applause.) And I told Mexico: Don’t send it. Don’t send it.

In 2017, ICE arrested criminal aliens with 76,000 charges and convictions for dangerous drug crimes.

Last year, the Department of Justice prosecuted more than 3,000 defendants in cases involving opioid, all of the trafficking, and the related crimes — 3,000 cases — including a pharmacist, a physician’s assistant, and an opioid trafficker, each charged with committing serious drug crimes in New Hampshire.

Whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer, if you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will hold you accountable. (Applause.) Thank you.

Here in New Hampshire, I applaud all of the Drug Enforcement Agents and law enforcement officers who recently coordinated Operation Granite Shield, an 18-hour enforcement action targeting drug traffickers that resulted in the arrest of 151 people. These are terrible people, and we have to get tough on those people, because we can have all the Blue Ribbon committees we want, but if we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we’re wasting our time. Just remember that. We’re wasting our time. And that toughness includes the death penalty. (Applause.)

You know, it’s an amazing thing. Some of these drug dealers will kill thousands of people during their lifetime — thousands of people — and destroy many more lives than that. But they will kill thousands of people during their lifetime, and they’ll get caught and they’ll get 30 days in jail. Or they’ll go away for a year, or they’ll be fined. And yet, if you kill one person, you get the death penalty or you go to jail for life.

So if we’re not going to get tough on the drug dealers who kills thousands of people and destroy so many people’s lives, we are just doing the wrong thing. We have got to get tough. This isn’t about nice anymore. This isn’t about committees. This isn’t about let’s get everybody and have dinners, and let’s have everybody go to a Blue Ribbon committee and everybody gets a medal for, frankly, talking and doing nothing. This is about winning a very, very tough problem. And if we don’t get very tough on these dealers, it’s not going to happen, folks. It’s not going to happen. And I want to win this battle.

I don’t want to leave at the end of seven years and have this problem, okay? (Applause.) I don’t want that. Right? Thank you. Not going to happen. Thank you all. A lot of voters in this room. I see that. Thank you. (Applause.) No, we’re going to solve this problem. We’re going to solve it with brains, we’re going to solve it with resolve, and we’re going to solve it with toughness. Because toughness is the thing that they most fear. That’s what they most fear.

So to the brave agents and officers, thank you for protecting us all.

Last year, my commission on combatting the incredible crisis of opioids issued 56 recommendations. My administration agreed with all of the commission’s goals, and we’ve worked aggressively to put them into action.

Today, I’m here to announce additional steps that we’re taking as part of our nationwide initiative to address the opioid crisis, and, by the way, the drug crisis — the general drug crisis.

First, we’re taking action to reduce drug demand by preventing Americans from becoming addicted in the first place. So important. That includes increasing federal funding for the development of non-addictive painkillers. And we have to come up with a solution where we come up with a painkiller that’s not so addictive. And we can do it. We’re not that far off. We can do it. These things are incredibly addictive. So we’re going to find that answer also.

Here with us today are Jim and Jean Mozer. They lost their beautiful son, Adam, to a fentanyl overdose. His addiction began with prescription pills he found in their kitchen cabinet. They have since begun the Zero Left initiative to help families get rid of excess painkillers. Jim and Jean, we’re sorry for your loss — a great boy; he’s a great boy — and we applaud your strength and your leadership. And where are you? Where are you? Come on up. Come on up here. Come on up here. (Applause.) Tell us about your boy.

MS. MOZER: Adam was our oldest son. He was a great kid. He was a smart kid. Grew up out in rural East Kingston, New Hampshire. He had a degree in actuarial science, which, as many of you know, that’s the science of forecasting risk.

He was the kind of kid that made you feel really good about yourself. You give him five minutes; you really liked him. And, you know, he just made a bad choice one night. As smart as he was, he found his way into our kitchen cabinet. And, sadly, the rest is history. He got hooked on it, and had to go to the street eventually. And he found fentanyl.

And he’s been gone for two-and-a-half years, and we miss him every day. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling. You take care of yourself. Okay?

MS. MOZER: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. Appreciate it. And so many cases like that.

We’re also taking action to prevent addiction by addressing the problem of overprescribing. (Applause.) And our Department of Justice is looking very seriously into bringing major litigation against some of these drug companies. We’ll bring it at a federal level. (Applause.) Some states are already bringing it, but we’re thinking about bringing it at a very high federal level. And we’ll do a job.

We’re going to cut nationwide opioid prescriptions by one-third over the next three years. We’re also going to make sure that virtually all prescriptions reimbursed by the federal government follow best practices for prescribing. We’ll ensure that opioid addiction is not subsidized by the American taxpayer. (Applause.)

The best way — so important — and the best way to beat the drug crisis is to keep people from getting hooked on drugs to begin with. As part of that effort — (applause) — so important. And this has been something that I’ve been very strongly in favor of: spending a lot of money on great commercials showing how bad it is, so that kids seeing those commercials during the right shows on television or wherever — the Internet — when they see these commercials they — “I don’t want any part of it.” That’s the least expensive thing we can do, where you scare them from ending up like the people in the commercials. And we’ll make them very, very bad commercials. We’ll make them pretty unsavory situations. And you’ve seen it before, and it’s had an impact on smoking and cigarettes. You see what happens to the body; you see what happens to the mind.

So we’re announcing a new website, CrisisNextDoor.gov, where Americans can share their stories about the danger of the opioid addiction and addictions.
But we’re thinking about doing, really, a largescale rollout of commercials that show how bad it is for the kids. And when they see those commercials, hopefully, they’re not going to be going to drugs of any kind — drugs of any kind. And we’ll save a lot of lives, and we’ll make their life a lot easier.

This epidemic can affect anyone, and that’s why we want to educate everyone.
The second part of our initiative is to reduce the supply of illicit drugs. Ninety percent of the heroin in America comes from our southern border, where, eventually, the Democrats will agree with us and we’ll build the wall to keep the damn drugs out. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!

THE PRESIDENT: It’s pretty amazing. They don’t want to go with DACA, because they don’t care about DACA. But they’re trying to tie the wall to DACA, and DACA to the wall. And they want to keep DACA for the campaign instead of getting it approved, which we could do very easily. The Republicans are totally in favor of doing something substantial for DACA. But the Democrats like it as a campaign issue, so they don’t get it approved. And they want to tie it to the wall, which is okay with me. But both should get approved. They don’t want it to be approved. Remember what I said: They don’t want it to be approved. They want to make it part of the campaign. Well, we’ll make it part of the campaign, also. And we’ll win, because we’re going to win on those issues. (Applause.)

My administration is also confronting things called “sanctuary cities” that shield dangerous criminals. And every day, sanctuary cities release illegal immigrants and drug dealers, traffickers, and gang members back into our communities. They’re protected by these cities. And you say, “What are they doing?” They’re safe havens for just some terrible people. Some terrible people. And they’re making it very dangerous for our law enforcement officers. You see it all the time.

As the people of New Hampshire have learned firsthand, ending sanctuary cities is crucial to stopping the drug addiction crisis. And your governor, who is great — the numbers are going down in New Hampshire. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but the numbers are going down. Chris, we were just — stand up, Chris. (Applause.) It’s really one of the few bright spots where the numbers actually are going down, and that’s a tremendous achievement. Thank you, Chris. (Applause.)

According to a recent Dartmouth study, the sanctuary city of Lawrence, Massachusetts is one of the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties. ICE recently arrested 15 MS-13 gang members — these are not good people, folks. Okay? These are bad, bad people. They don’t use guns. They’d rather use knives because it’s more painful and it takes longer. These are bad people — in Boston, Massachusetts, which is a place where you have sanctuary cities.

I’m repeating my call on Congress to block funds for sanctuary cities and to close the deadly loopholes that allow criminals back into our country and into our country in the first place. (Applause.)

You know, some things are very understandable. We have lots of issues where we’re on both sides of an issue, and you can understand the other side even though you don’t agree. Sanctuary cities are hard to understand for people because they don’t get it. They don’t get it. You see what’s going on in California, how terrible it is, how dangerous it is. And they’re all trying to protect sanctuary cities.

And whether it’s Kate Steinle or so many others, they’d be around today if these people weren’t allowed back into our country through, in this case, the southern border, at least five times. And look at the damage, and then look at this verdict. Look at the verdict. Can you believe the verdict?

So we have to get a lot smarter. We have to get a lot tougher. And speaking of tough, because here with us today is ICE Agent Derek Dunn. Derek worked with state police to uncover a major drug smuggling operation in Lawrence, Massachusetts. (Applause.) Where’s Derek? Derek. Where’s Derek? Come here, Derek. I love tough guys. We need tough guys. Come here, Derek. (Applause.)
AGENT DUNN: Just want to say thanks for everyone being here. And it’s been a battle. It’s been an absolute battle for our counterparts here at DEA and FBI and everybody — all the law enforcement, state police, and the local police. It’s been an absolute battle. We all work together, and we’re going to get this solved. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. He didn’t know he was going to do that. (Laughter.) And you didn’t know you were going to do that. But that’s in honor of your boy, right? You made a big impact.

I also want to mention ICE Agent Ron Morin and Manchester Police Detective Patrick Maguire. They helped lead the team that arrested a terrible human trafficker who used opioids to harm, in a very violent way, his victims. Thank you both for bringing the trafficker to a very strong and swift justice.
Where are you guys? Thank you. (Applause.) Stand up, fellas. Thank you. Thank you.

We’re also shutting down illegal online marketplaces and preventing drugs that come from China and other countries from bypassing our borders. And we’re getting very tough on it. It’s not that we have a choice. We don’t have a choice. We can be nice, and we can be soft and weak, and you’re not going to have a country left. So we have to strengthen up, and strengthen up our laws so that we can do what we have to do. We have to stop this from happening.

Drug traffickers kill so many thousands of our citizens every year. And that’s why my Department of Justice will be seeking so many much tougher penalties than we’ve ever had, and we will be focusing on the penalty that I talked about previously for the big pushers, the ones that are really killing so many people. And that penalty is going to be the death penalty. (Applause.)

If you look at — if you look at other countries — I’ve gotten to know the leaders of many countries. And I won’t mention names, but you know the countries I’m talking about. I go around, “How is your drug problem?” “We don’t have much of a drug problem.” “What do you mean you don’t have a drug problem?” “Well, we don’t have.” I say, how come? “We have zero tolerance for drug dealers.” I said, “What does that mean?” “That means we have the death penalty for drug dealers. We don’t have a drug problem.”

Take a look at some of these countries where they don’t play games. They don’t have a drug problem. We have court cases that last 10 years, and then they get out at the end. We got to be tough. We have to be smart. We have to change the laws, and we’re working on that right now. The Department of Justice is working very, very hard on that.

But the ultimate penalty has to be the death penalty. Now, maybe our country is not ready for that. It’s possible — it’s possible that our country is not ready for that. And I can understand it, maybe. Although, personally, I can’t understand that. But there are people that are good people, that are strong, smart people, and they would differ with most of us. But I think unless you do that, unless you have really, really powerful penalties, led by the death penalty for the really bad pushers and abusers, we are going to get nowhere. And I’m telling you, we are going to get somewhere.

Companies must also be held accountable. The Department of Justice recently created a task force to coordinate investigations and lawsuits against manufacturers and other bad actors that harm our citizens.

And I can tell you that Jeff Sessions, who’s here with us now, feels so strongly about this. And they’re working very hard and very effectively on that, and so we appreciate that very much. Thank you. Thank you, Jeff. (Applause.) Thank you.

I can think of nothing more important. The third part of our initiative is to get lifesaving help to those who need it. We’re going to make sure our first responders have access to lifesaving overdose-reversing drugs — which, by the way, are amazing.

Here with us today is Mike Kelly, the president of Adapt Pharma. Adapt Pharma makes an overdose-reversing drug for opioids, which I’ve watched and seen work. It’s called Narcan. It’s actually incredible. Today, we applaud Adapt Pharma’s decision to provide free — free — Narcan to all high schools, colleges, and universities in America.

I’d like you to come up, Mike. Come up. (Applause.) Where’s Mike? Come up, Mike. That’s really an amazing and generous offer. Thank you.

Tell us a little bit about that, Mike. Please.

MR. KELLY: So, Adapt is a small company that has a big job, which is to reverse overdoses. And we’ve provided, free of charge, four boxes to all colleges and universities in the United States; two boxes free for every high school in the United States; as well as educational awareness for the nursing departments, as well as the faculty to train and teach everybody about the dangers of opioids and the risks, and also the benefits of having Narcan nasal spray near where opioids are.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MR. KELLY: Thank you. Appreciate it. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mike. It’s amazing, generous. And I’ve watched the police and the fire — they come around and they’ve become so good at it. But I’ve seen people that are just about dead wake up.

Now, the problem is, they then go back, in many cases, to the drugs, and they do it again and again and again. But we have to work on that. We have to work on that very, very strongly.

I also want to recommend and commend a Richmond-based company, Kaléo, for donating more than 300,000 doses of their overdose-reversing drug to first responders, which has already saved more than 5,000 lives in a very short period of time.

My administration has made clear that medical providers can share crucial information with family members about an overdose so that their loved ones can help them get into treatment. We need treatment.

We’re making medically assisted treatment more available and affordable, and we continue to increase competition and drive down drug prices. And we’re driving them down. We’re going to have a major news conference, probably at the White House, in about a month, because all of you people — and I’m talking about prescription drugs, not necessarily the drugs that we’re talking about here. But we pay, as a country, so much more for drugs because of the drug lobbies and other reasons, and the complexity of distribution, which is basically another term for saying, “How do we get more money?”

And if you compare our drug prices to other countries in the world, in some cases it’s many times higher for the exact same pill, or whatever it is, in the exact same package, made in the exact same plant. And we’re going to change that.

And I would like to ask Secretary Azar just to come up and mention opioid, but also talk about how we’re getting your drug prices down. And we’ve already saved billions of dollars for our country, and it’s reflected in much lower drug prices. Watch what’s going to happen over a short period of time. This man is one of the great professionals, ran an incredibly successful drug company. Who knows better than the guy running the drug company, Eli Lilly? That’s your company, right? Or was.


THE PRESIDENT: Now you’re on the other side, though. So nobody knows better. The most respected man in that industry — and we got him to work, because he loves our country.

Would you tell them a little bit about what you have planned for drug prices and also opioids, in terms of stoppage? Please. Secretary. (Applause.)

SECRETARY AZAR: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And, you know, you’ve done a lot already to tackle this issue of drug pricing. So, last year, the FDA approved more generic drugs than it ever has in its history. And that brings prices down for patients, for the system, for everybody. (Applause.)


SECRETARY AZAR: You also changed the rules so our senior citizens pay less out of pocket for their drugs. That’s $3.2 billion that they’re paying less out of pocket for their drugs when they go to the pharmacy. (Applause.)

And then, we’re going to be rolling out, as you mentioned, in about a month, a whole slate of other proposals around how we decrease the price of drugs and how we bring discounts that the middlemen right now are getting; how those will go to our patients, to individuals.

Now we’re attacking this with the same level of action, determination, and resolve that you’re bring to the opioid crisis. And that’s where we’re focused on prevention and getting that one-third fewer illegal opioid prescriptions to our people. The second is the stopping the illicit flow of these opioids into our country. And the third is compassionate treatment for people — evidence-based, science-based, compassionate treatment — that can help people recover and stay away from relapse.

So, thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Alex. You’ll be seeing drug prices falling very substantially in the not-too-distant future, and it’s going to be beautiful.
And I want to thank, also, Scott Gottlieb. Scott is working on different things, but one of them is called “Right to Try.” Do you know what “Right to Try” is? These are for people that are terminally ill. And there are very, very good-looking combinations of things, or pills, medicines, potential cures. And they’re terminal, and they’re not going to be living much longer. And we don’t have the right to give them these experimental drugs or these early-stage drugs that really show promise, for whatever reason. But they say because they don’t want to harm somebody, if you can believe it. They don’t want to harm. So the people will oftentimes go to foreign lands, foreign countries. They’ll do anything. They want hope. They want hope. “Right to Try.”

So we’re working with Congressman Greg Walden and numerous other senators and congressmen. And I think we’re going to have good luck. The Democrats have been pushing back on it, but I think many of them are also coming along. It’s called “Right to Try.” A patient is terminal. There’s good progress made with a certain drug. We’re going to make it possible for that patient to get that drug. And maybe it’s going to work. It’s hope. It’s incredible; they’ve been talking about this for years and years and years. We’re going to get it approved. So important. All right? (Applause.)

To further expand treatment, I’m also calling on Congress to change the restrictive 1970s-era law that prevents Medicaid from paying for care at certain treatment facilities with more than 16 beds. It’s such an important factor.

In the meantime, my administration is granting waivers to states so they can help people who need treatment now, Governor.

We’re also going to help inmates leaving prison get treatment so they can have a second chance to become productive, law-abiding citizens. And what we’ve really done for the inmates — you know, it’s very hard for them to get out of jail and get a job.

What we’ve really done for them — better than anything we can sign, any legislation that we can pass demanding that you hire — we’re getting a great economy. It hasn’t been this good in many, many years. Some people say it’s never been this good.

And what’s happened is, as you see, unemployment is way down, and people are starting to hire inmates. And the results are incredible. Some of these employers are calling up, saying, “Wow, what great people.” We’re giving them a second chance. It’s very, very important. So the tremendous economy is helping us very much with that program.

We want every American — (applause) — thank you. We want every American to be able to be able to reach their full God-given potential. And we will succeed together as one people, one nation, and one great American family. Because Americans never give in, and we never, ever give up. This group never gives up, right? Never give up. Your boy. (Applause.)

The brave families here today remind us that the strength of America is found in the heart of our people. We see America’s heart in the parents who won’t accept addiction as the fate of their children. And if something horrible has befallen that family, they go around and they want to make sure it never happens to another family. And that’s why we thank you so much, and we thank your boy. (Applause.) He did not die in vain.

We see it in sons and daughters who cheer on moms and dads as they recover. We see it in the doctors and nurses who provide constant and loving care. We see it in the heroic law enforcement officers who race into unimaginable danger. We see it in EMTs and firefighters who act so quickly to save so many lives. And we see this American heart in the men and women who fight every day to help rescue their fellow citizens from the grips of addiction.

These are the courageous souls who remind us that, for America, there is nothing beyond our reach. Nothing at all. (Applause.) Nothing.

We will defeat this crisis, we will protect our beautiful children, and we will ensure that tomorrow is better, brighter, stronger, and greater than ever before. Because as long as we have trust in our citizens, pride in our country, and faith in our God, we will not fail. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

Together, we will end the scourge of drug addiction in America once and for all. We will win. We will beat it. We’ll be tough. We’ll be smart. We’ll be kind. We’ll be loving. We’ll do whatever we have to do. But we’re going to win.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you.

END 3:14 P.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts March 4, 2018: President Donald Trump’s remarks at Gridiron dinner



President Donald Trump’s remarks at Gridiron dinner

Source: The Hill, 3-4-18

“Well, thank you very much. It’s an honor to be here and, I must tell you, that Melania and I are really thrilled. We really looked forward to this. … I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s really quality people … quality people. So, thank you very much.

It’s been really another calm week at the White House. We finally have it running like a fine-tuned machine. It’s fine-tuned. It’s a beautiful piece of work. … But before I get started, I wanted to apologize for arriving a little bit late. You know, we were late tonight because Jared could not get through security. … Ivanka, you’ve got to do something, … Jared—but I will tell you, he’s a good guy. He has—he has suffered. He is a great guy he really is.

I know the Gridiron is really an old tradition in Washington, been around a long time, and one that’s important to many of you in the media. So, I was very excited to receive this invitation and come here and ruin your evening in person. … My staff was concerned heading into this dinner that I couldn’t do self-deprecating humor. They were worried about it. They said, ‘Can you do this?’ And I told them not to worry. Nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do. …  In fact, Orrin Hatch, Orrin said that ‘Donald Trump is the best at self-deprecating in the history of America, better than Washington and better than Lincoln.’ … Thank you, Orrin.

They told me my remarks tonight should be something like a late night routine. … Late night—are they the worst, by the way? We’re finally going to get one that’s going to come to our side. They will get very big ratings if they do that. … With all the television talent here, I think … you’d have figured that out. But I have to tell you, in preparation, I did what any good late night comic would do these days. I called Chuck Schumer and I asked him for some talking points.  Can you believe this? I also spoke to some of the funniest people around the White House starting with my number two, Mike Pence. … Love you Mike. … Some of you may think that Mike is not a comedian, but he is one of the best straight men you’re ever going to meet. … He is straight! …

I saw him the other day. We’re in line shaking hands with men and women. A woman came over to shake his hand and he said, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t do that. My wife is not here.’ I never saw anything like it. He’s … years ahead of his time. … Mike is doing a fantastic job as our vice president. He really is. He’s doing a fantastic job. Could not have asked for better. I really am very proud to call him, ‘The Apprentice.’

But lately what bothers me, I have to tell you, he’s showing a particularly keen interest in the news these days. He starts out each morning asking everybody, ‘Has he been impeached yet?’ …. You can’t be impeached when theres no crime! … Mike, put that down! … I thought that was going to get a much better … I said to Melania, ‘Do you think I should use that one? I don’t know.’ And then she said, Use it. It’s good.’ … So much for humor. You never know about humor do you. …

Steve Mnuchin … we saw him and his beautiful wife on stage. … When she asked whether or not she could sign the money also, I said, ‘Steve, you’ve got a lot to handle.’ I said, ‘You can’t do that Steve!’

America has a proud history of Treasury secretaries who sponsor the arts. Alexander Hamilton gave us so much. Andrew Mellon famously gave us the National Gallery—tremendous gift. Steve has given us the blockbuster movie ‘Lego Batman.’ … See, now that one I didn’t think was funny at all. …

But Attorney General Sessions is here with us tonight. … I offered him a ride over and he recused himself. … But that’s OK. We also have some of the leading lights of the media here including some folks from the failing New York Times. That sucker is failing! … I know we have our differences, but I also know that you have a very special place … in my heart. … The other day they had five stories on the front page of the New York Times and every one of them was totally different and each one of them was bad.

After all, you the New York Times are an icon. I’m a New York icon, you’re a New York icon, and the only difference is, I still own my buildings.

I especially have a place in my heart for Arthur Sulzberger. … Our stories are almost mirror images. I inherited a million dollars from my father—had a great father—gave me a million dollars and I turned it into billions. True story. Arthur inherited billions of dollars and he turned his into millions. Hello Arthur.

And it’s been a very tough year. Jeff Zucker’s here. … CNN, it lost a tremendous amount of credibility this year, but they also lost one of their true stars, the guy who got you the most scoops, inside info … your really very best reporter. There was nobody like him—Steve Bannon. That guy leaked more than the Titanic …

As I’m sure you’ve seen, we’re now riding very high in the polls, which is hard to believe considering I never get good press. But I just hit 50 in the Rasmussen poll.

A lot of people said I wouldn’t be able to do so with … losing my so-called chief strategist. … I just lost my strategist. … Just lost my strategist. It’s pretty bad, but somehow, we’re still doing great even without Omarosa. … By the way, I always knew, someday, you’re going to fire her. Is that the worst? By the way, Omarosa, you’re the worst! …

So many people have been leaving the White House. It’s actually been really exciting and invigorating. … I like turnover. I like chaos. It really is good.

Now the question everyone keeps asking is, ‘Who’s going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller or Melania?’ … That is terrible honey, but you love me, right? … I wont tell you what she said. … She said, ‘Behave.’ … Is that terrible?

By the way, she has been an incredible first lady. … Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and all of them. There’s so many women in that audience. The women with signs, ‘We love our first lady.’ True, all of them, hundreds and hundreds of them during speeches, ‘We love high heels. We love everything.’ … These signs, they have pictures of shoes. … Remember when she was badly treated about wearing high heels when actually she had the sneakers in her bag? But they love our first lady.

I can tell you, despite what you’ve reported, we’ve had a lot of success this year. We really have … tremendous. Our tax plan has been a tremendous victory. … That is really turning out to be popular. Melania is even getting some major benefits from it. She can finally claim me as an adult dependent. …

And the White House is actually a warm, loving, and wonderful place. I’ve heard it’s cold. It’s not cold. It’s warm. It’s loving, you meet great people, wonderful people like yourselves. And I just don’t understand why everyone on the internet and in the media keeps screaming, ‘Hashtag Free Melania.’ Free Melania. … Like a number one hashtag. Free Melania. She’s actually having a great time.

Yes, are you? Oh, good, she’s having a great time. You’re doing a good job. You know, you can’t do a great job unless you enjoy it. It’s true. You people know that as great reporters. You love what you do, and if you didn’t love what you do, you wouldn’t do it well. …

Before we go any further, I want to just discuss the big financial story of the week. Ever since we announced our new tariffs, which actually is very popular with people because they’re tired of getting ripped off, many dying American industries have come to the White House asking for protection. They want help. They need protection. Unfortunately, I’m sorry, I fear it may be too late for the print media. That was pretty good though wasn’t it? … That’s another bomb that I thought was going to be great.

It might be hard for you to believe, but I do enjoy gatherings like these. They give me a chance to socialize with members of the opposition party. … Also great to see some Democrats here. … The opposition party, I’ve seen a few of them applauding tonight including Sen. Joe Manchin, who’s here.

And don’t worry, Joe. … He’s a good man. There aren’t any cameras this time Joe. And I won’t tell Chuck and Nancy what you’re doing. Because boy was he applauding me the other night. Right? At the State of the Union he was up there applauding. I don’t know who the hell he was catering to.

I thought my State of the Union address was actually extraordinary. One of the best ever given. in fact Luis Gutierrez was so overcome with emotion at how good this particular speech was that he had to leave the chamber. He left and wept.

I probably could have found a way to get the Democrats to stand and clap. … They didn’t. They were like frozen. I said black unemployment is at the lowest point in history. No emotion. They sat other than Manchin. He stood up. Thank you, Joe. He’s still paying the price for that. I said Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest level in history, record. There was no emotion. But I decided I wasn’t going to change anything. I wasn’t going to get them to stand. I didn’t know how. … I was not going to include a salute to Fidel Castro. They would have stood up. They would have cheered. …

And I know Mayor Mitch Landrieu feels right at home in Washington coming from Louisiana. I love Louisiana. … Not too bad right? Not bad Mitch! … It’s a beautiful swamp. I like that swamp. … That’s a much more legitimate swamp. But I have to say Mitch, that while you’re here in Washington, only one request. … They already hit him on the statues. I was going to say, ‘Don’t touch our statues.’ But they’ve already hit you three times on the statues. … But Mitch you did a good job tonight and honestly I love the way you finished. … I really did. I thought it was very appropriate. … Thank you.

And I never knew Tom Cotton was such a great comedian. We were laughing, the whole place. That was good tom. A rising star. How old are you now Tom? He’s 40. Wow, I better watch my back. You know … he’s a friend of mine, but in politics, you just don’t have these guys. … You were great tonight. I appreciate it. … Thank you Tom Cotton. And he is a rising star in our nation, not our party, in our nation. He’s got a great future—smart and a great guy.

I was hoping we’d also see Adam Schiff—wonderful guy. … Leaking Adam! … He’ll be in the middle of a meeting—what is he? In some committee, congressional committee, Mike what is it? Intelligence? Judiciary? What the hell committee? That’s the only thing, he doesn’t know what committee he’s on because he’s on the phone so much. He doesn’t have any time. ‘Hey, let’s call these guys.’ … Is that legal? Are you allowed to go to .. and just every half hour … ‘I got to go break the news.’ … Adam Schiff … He was going to come tonightand then he heard that this was not a televised event so he stayed home. He stayed home.

But Adam is constantly on television pushing the idea that somehow I would undermine democracy. … Undermine? I love democracy. But he thinks I’m going to undermine democracy. So, I have to tell him I have great respect for the various branches of government, the executive, the legislative, the judicial—very important—and last, Fox News. I have a lot of respect for Fox News. … Thank god for Fox News.

I often think that the Democrats would be better off if they learned a thing or two from us. They could learn from us. For instance, you might have noticed that some of the best lines from my campaign followed a certain pattern. ‘Drain the swamp!’ Remember that? … When I saw that I hated it. … Somebody brought that one down for me, I said, ‘This is so hokey.’ Drain the swamp. … This massive crowd, 25,000 people, and I said, .. Drain the Swamp!’ And they went crazy. I said, ‘Whoah.’ Then, I said It in the next speech, ‘Drain the swamp!’ And now, I love it. Drain the swamp!

But we had, ‘Drain The Swamp,’ we had, ‘Lock Her Up, we had, ‘Build The Wall.’ Build the wall! Nancy Pelosi has been trying to come up with a line that’s equal. And her line that she announced last week is, ‘Mow The Grass!’ It doesn’t work. ..

Mow the frickin’ grass. … That’s going to stop MS-13. … Mow that frickin’ grass! … Man, she’s crazy, but she’s a fine woman. She is. I actually like Nancy Pelosi. Can you believe that? Her and Maxine Waters. How about that one? Maxine Waters, ‘He must be impeached!’ That’s all she knows how to say, ‘He must be impeached!’ Impeached! … But he’s done nothing wrong. Doesn’t matter, they say. What has he done wrong? ‘I don’t know! You got to be impeached!’ … And then I say … I get in trouble for this, ‘She has to immediately, take an IQ test.’ And people go crazy. They went crazy/ But Maxine and Nancy and these people, there’s a lot of hatred. There’s so much hatred we have to stop Mike. We have to stop the hatred.

And it’s true … Nancy’s worth tens of millions of dollars and she’s a populist. … You know, she really considers herself that. And I really try to tell her that you can’t be a true populist unless you’re worth at least ten billion dollars … people like you better.

I don’t know how the hell they like me, but boy I love those people. I love them. I really do. … I understand that, in recognition of our massive tax cuts, Nancy suggested that—Oh, I’m not going to say this. The dessert should be crumb cake. Give me a break. You know, the word crumb is not working out well for Nancy.

On the way in tonight, someone asked me what I think about the Dreamers. I love the Dreamers. I do love the Dreamers. … I’ll be honest. … I really believe the Republicans want to solve this problem—DACA—more than the Democrats and certainly faster. So, we’re all working together and I hope that something’s going to happen. I really do. I  hope that something’s going to happen. …

We’re talking about the Dreamers and, quite honestly, Democrats can fantasize all they want about winning in 2020. Those are the Dreamers. … I’m a Dreamer also. …

There’s talk about Joe Biden, Sleepy Joe, getting into the race. You know what he said, ‘I want to take him behind the barn.’ … Just trust me, I would kick his ass. … Boy, would he be easy. Oh, would he be easy. … But Joe—give me a break. The guy who keeps making outrageous statements thinks he has a shot at being president? Guy makes outrageous statements. … He’s going to be president? He doesn’t have a shot.

And Oprah. Oh … here’s my next one. Oprah, I don’t think she’s ever been hit verbally yet. Right? She’s led a charmed life. She’s done a great job. … She used to love me …. I was on one of her last shows, ‘The Trump Family.’ We’re going to have to replay that for her. We’re going to have to. … She says she’ll run only if she gets the go ahead from the Almighty. All right Oprah, go ahead and run. …

And then we have Elizabeth Warren. … I watched her making a speech for Hillary. I said, ‘I think she’s losing all of the male vote for Hillary Clinton.’ It was brutal. It was mean and angry. Elizabeth Warren, who had a rough day last week trying to prove her heritage, She had a rough day. And she had a good suggestion though about easing world tensions. The world is quite tense. Some of this stuff should have happened over the last twenty years, but it didn’t. … But she said that Rex Tillerson and I should sit down with the leaders of Iran and North Korea and smoke a peace pipe. … I didn’t like that Pocahontas.

I won’t rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un. I just won’t. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem, not mine. … He must be a fine man. Do you think he’s a fine man? … Although, we did save the Olympics. President Moon gave us a lot of credit, said, ‘It was—it was President Trump that made the Olympics successful because there were a lot of people that wanted to go into that stadium with the potential of a problem—a big problem—and he gave us all a lot of credit. He said, ‘Without President Trump and his strong attitude they would have never called up and said, ‘Hey, we’d love to be in the Olympics together.’

And that’s true. … Whether people want to hear it or not, they had a very successful Olympics. That was heading for disaster. They weren’t selling tickets. … It was heading for disaster and now we’re talking. And they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago and said, ‘We would like to talk.’ And I said, ‘So would we, but you have to de-nuke, you have to de-nuke.’

So, let’s see what happens. Let’s see what happens. You know when the media said … and when I said, ‘My button is bigger than yours and mine works.’ Everyone gave me a hard time, what a terrible thing. They didn’t say what he said. He said, ‘I have a button on my desk and I am prepared to use it.’ Nobody ever said that. So, my statement was in response, but maybe positive things are happening. I hope that’s true and I say that in all seriousness. I hope that’s true … But we will be meeting and we’ll see if anything positive happens. It’s been a long time. …. It’s a problem that should have been fixed a long time ago … very far down the road. …

i know there’s been a lot of talk about Twitter and social media this year. But it really can be an important form of modern day communication. If I didn’t have Twitter how would Gen. Kelly and Gen, McMaster know what it is that they’re supposed to say that day. They wouldn’t know. They’d have no idea.

There’s been a lot of criticism of John Kelly in the press, which i think is very very unfair. He’s doing an amazing job. He even told me he would let Ivanka visit the Oval Office when she gets home from representing us in the Olympics and she did so. Ivanka did you enjoy your visit? I hope so. That was very nice and by the way Ivanka did an incredible job representing our country at the Olympics. She did.

Many people have asked me how my time as a reality TV star prepared me for the presidency, the truth is there’s very little overlap between the two. Very little. In one job, I had to manage a cutthroat cast of characters desperate for TV time, totally unprepared for their … jobs, and each week afraid of having their asses fired. In the other job, I was the host of a smash television hit. … Television’s so easy compared to this. …

I know we all came here tonight to have fun and tell jokes, but I also think we need to discuss the issues. Issues are very important. … For example, we’ve got a new plan to tackle global warming, one of my favorite subjects. We’re going to reduce the carbon footprint when we travel by shrinking the press pool so that we only have room for Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Judge Judy. …

I better wrap it up. I have to be up early tomorrow morning—six o’clock—to be listening to Fox and Friends. … But I do want to say this is one of the best times I can ever remember having with the media. This might be the most fun I’ve had since watching your faces on election night. … I apologize. Years, years, years taken  off your life. Oh, John King, with that beautiful red map. His hand was shaking toward the end. … I love the way he uses that map. He’s good at it. … And then it was Michigan. Remember they wouldn’t call Pennsylvania? There was one percent of the … vote to go in Pennsylvania. It was like 11 o’clock. One percent of the vote to go, they wouldn’t call it. And if i lost even one of the votes, I won by a lot. They wouldn’t call it. So instead, they called Wisconsin. And then, John King, remember, ‘The Winner of the great state of Michigan.’ He’s going Michigan. He’s like, ‘Hey Trump won Michigan, this can’t be happening.’ And that hand was up. …

Look, whether you like me or not, you have to say that was good. That was exciting. … Lot of tears were in this room. You’re not supposed to cry. Mike are they supposed to be crying? If somebody wins or somebody … they’re supposed to be a little impartial. Let’s be a little bit more impartial. …

But you know, I’ll tell you what, I do have a lot of respect for a lot of the people in this room. Even people that have been very strong opponents, I’ve developed a lot of respect. Fairness is important to me, but you know, you’ve got your point of view. And a lot of you cover things very squarely and there are few professions that i respect more. And I’d like to thank the Gridiron Club and Foundation—foundation does an incredible job—for this wonderful evening. I want to thank all of the amazing speakers and, really, performers. Some very good performers … they really are. …

I want to thank the press for all you do to support and sustain our democracy. I mean that. I mean that. Some incredible people in the press … brilliant, powerful, smart, and fair people in the press. And I want to thank you. My greatest wish is that we can all work together to make America safe, and just, and free for all Americans. We have a great country and we all, together, will make it even better. Thank you all very much. This is a great honor thank you.”

Full Text Political Transcripts February 15, 2018: Statement by President Donald Trump on the Shooting in Parkland, Florida



Diplomatic Room
11:22 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans, today I speak to a nation in grief. Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred, and evil.

Around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, police responded to reports of gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — a great and safe community. There, a shooter, who is now in custody, opened fire on defenseless students and teachers. He murdered 17 people and badly wounded at least 14 others.

Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families. To every parent, teacher, and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you — whatever you need, whatever we can do, to ease your pain. We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also.
No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.

Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them — a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise. Each one had dreams to pursue, love to give, and talents to share with the world. And each one had a family to whom they meant everything in the world.

Today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives. We comfort the grieving and the wounded. And we hurt for the entire community of Parkland, Florida that is now in shock, in pain, and searching for answers.

To law enforcement, first responders, and teachers who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We thank you for your courage. Soon after the shooting, I spoke with Governor Scott to convey our deepest sympathies to the people of Florida and our determination to assist in any way that we can. I also spoke with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
I’m making plans to visit Parkland to meet with families and local officials, and to continue coordinating the federal response.

In these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to God’s word in scripture: “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.”
We trust in that promise, and we hold fast to our fellow Americans in their time of sorrow.

I want to speak now directly to America’s children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared: I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer, or a faith leader. Answer hate with love; answer cruelty with kindness.

We must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life, that creates deep and meaningful human connections, and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors.

Our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.

Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.

In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil, and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need.

And so always, but especially today, let us hold our loved ones close, let us pray for healing and for peace, and let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow.

Thank you. And God Bless you all. Thank you very much.


11:28 A.M. EST




Full Text Political Transcripts February 8, 2018: Remarks by President Donald Trump at the 66th Annual National Prayer Breakfast

Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, D.C.

8:48 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Charlie.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  And thank you, Randy, for that very kind introduction.  I want to thank you and Congressman Charlie Crist for serving as co-chairs this year.

It’s an honor to be with so many faith leaders, members of Congress, and dignitaries from all around the world as we continue this extraordinary tradition.  I’m very glad to be joined by many members of my Cabinet.  You’re doing a terrific job.

I want to extend our appreciation to the First Lady of Rwanda for leading the opening prayer.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

I also want to thank my two great friends, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.  They’re some here.  Where are they?  They are two terrific people.  Stand up, Mark.  You deserve it.  Even though he comes from Hollywood.  (Applause.)  Roma, thank you very much.  Thank you for being here.

Major Scotty Smiley and Tiffany, we’re moved by your faith and your courage, and inspired by your service and sacrifice.  That was really beautiful.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

And to my friend, and everybody’s friend, Steve Scalise, we are so glad to have you with us today.  Your presence reminds us of Jesus’s words in the Book of Matthew: “With God all things are possible.”  You are fantastic.  You really are, Steve.  (Applause.)  Fantastic man.

America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer.  This morning, our hearts are full of gratitude as we come together for the 66th annual National Prayer Breakfast.

But our hearts are also saddened by the absence of the co-founder of this wonderful breakfast who passed away last year, Doug Coe, who everybody loved.  (Applause.)  For 60 years, Doug devoted his time and passion to this Prayer Breakfast and to many other wonderful causes.  Today, we are blessed to be joined by Doug’s wife Jan, and two of their sons, David and Tim.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Great man.

I want to thank you for carrying on Doug’s legacy also, and bringing our nation together in prayer.  You are indeed carrying on his great legacy.

Each year, this event reminds us that faith is central to American life and to liberty.  Our founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence.  Our currency declares, “In God We Trust.”  (Applause.)  And we place our hands on our hearts as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance and proclaim we are “One Nation Under God.”  (Applause.)

Our rights are not given to us by man; our rights come from our Creator.  (Applause.)  No matter what, no Earthly force can take those rights away.  (Applause.)  That is why the words “Praise be to God” are etched atop the Washington Monument, and those same words are etched into the hearts of our people.

So today, we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American.  (Applause.)  Across our land, we see the splendor of God’s creation.  Throughout our history, we see the story of God’s providence.  And in every city and town, we see the Lord’s grace all around us, through a million acts of kindness, courage and generosity.  We love God.

We see the Lord’s grace in the service members who risk their lives for our freedom.  We see it in the teachers who work tirelessly for their students, and the police who sacrifice for our communities — and sacrifice they do.  (Applause.)

And we see the Lord’s grace in the moms and dads who work two and three jobs to give their children the chance for a better and much more prosperous and happier life.

As the Bible tells us, for we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works.  America’s heroes rise to this calling.  In their selfless deeds, they reveal the beauty and goodness of the human soul.

When catastrophic hurricanes struck, first responders and everyday citizens dove into rushing waters to save stranded families from danger.  And they saved them by the thousands.  Neighbors opened their homes to those in need of food, clothes, shelter.  Firefighters braved blinding smoke and flames to rescue children from devastating wildfires.

During the horrific shootings, strangers shielded strangers, and police officers ran into a hail of bullets to save the lives of their fellow Americans, right in Las Vegas.  A terrible day, a terrible night.  But such bravery.

Families have adopted babies orphaned by the opioid epidemic and given them loving homes.  Communities and churches have reached out to those struggling with addiction, and shown them the path to a clean life, a good job, and a renewed sense of purpose.

And soldiers, sailors, Coast Guardsmen, airmen, and Marines have spent long months away from home defending our great American flag.  (Applause.)

All we have to do is open our eyes and look around us, and we can see God’s hand.  In the courage of our fellow citizens, we see the power of God’s love at work in our souls, and the power of God’s will to answer all of our prayers.

When Americans are able to live by their convictions, to speak openly of their faith, and to teach their children what is right, our families thrive, our communities flourish, and our nation can achieve anything at all.  (Applause.)

Together, as Americans, we are a tireless force for justice and for peace.  We have witnessed this truth over the past year.

For years, ISIS had brutally tortured and murdered Christians, Jews, religious minorities, and countless Muslims.

Today, the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and all throughout Syria.  (Applause.)

Much work will always remain, but we will never rest until that job is completely done.  And we are really doing it like never before.  (Applause.)

We know that millions of people in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and other countries suffer under repressive and brutal regimes.  America stands with all people suffering oppression and religious persecution.

Last week, during the State of the Union, the world was inspired by the story of a North Korean defector, Mr. Ji Seong-ho, who is now back in South Korea.

Before his escape, when Seong-ho was being tortured by North Korean officials, there was one thing that kept him from losing hope: Over and over again, he recited the Lord’s Prayer.  He prayed for peace, and he prayed for freedom.  And now, as you know, Seong-ho is free and a symbol of hope to millions of people all around the world.  (Applause.)

Here with us today is another symbol of hope, a very brave 9-year-old girl named Sophia Marie Campa Peters.  Sophia suffers from a rare disease that has caused her to have many strokes.  At one point, the doctors told Sophia that she would not be able to walk.

Sophia replied, “If you’re only going to talk about what I can’t do, then I don’t want to hear it — (laughter) — just let me try to walk.”  (Applause.)

She tried, and she succeeded.  And one of her doctors even told her mom — and they’re right here in the front row where they should be — “This little girl has God on her side.”  (Applause.)  Thank you, Sophia.  Thank you, mom.  Great mom.

I said, “Do you love your mom?”  She said, “I have a great mom.  I love my mom.”  (Laughter.)  Right?

Just two weeks ago, Sophia needed to have a very high-risk surgery.  She decided to ask the whole world to pray for her, and she hoped to reach 10,000 people.

On January 24th, as Sophia went into surgery, she far surpassed her goal.  Millions and millions of people lifted Sophia up in their prayers.

Today, we thank God that Sophia is with us, and she’s recovering, and she’s walking very well.  (Applause.)

And I have to say this, Sophia: You may only be 9 years old, but you are already a hero to all of us in this room, and all over the world.  Thank you, Sophia.  (Applause).

Heroes like Sophia come from all across our country and from every different background.  But they all share one thing in common: Through their love, their courage, their sacrifice, we glimpse the grace of almighty God.

So today, inspired by our fellow citizens, let us resolve to find the best within ourselves.  Let us pray for that extra measure of strength and that extra measure of devotion.  And let us seek to build a more just and peaceful world, where every child can grow up without violence, worship without fear, and reach their God-given potential.

As long as we are true to America’s founding and the example that all of these great founders have set, we can all be heroes to everybody, and they can be heroes to us.

As long as we open our eyes to God’s grace and open our hearts to God’s love, then America will forever be the land of the free, the home of the brave, and a light unto all nations.  (Applause.)

Thank you for this incredible event and to our wonderful hosts.  And thank you to all of our heroes for serving, protecting, and inspiring America each and every day.

God bless you, and God bless America.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)


9:02 A.M. EST

Full Text Political Transcripts January 30, 2018: President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address

Remarks as prepared for delivery


Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.  That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action.  A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.

Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.  We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined.  We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship.  We endured floods and fires and storms.  But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.

We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.  Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.  Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives.  Thank you, Ashlee.

We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg.  He is here with us too.  David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally.  With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later:  the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.

We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.

In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people.  But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy.  Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew:  that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans.  If there is a mountain, we climb it.  If there is a frontier, we cross it.  If there is a challenge, we tame it.  If there is an opportunity, we seize it.

So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.

And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.  After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.  African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

Small business confidence is at an all-time high.  The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.  That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone.  Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free.  We also doubled the child tax credit.

A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.

We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.  We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world.  These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio.  They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history.  Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight.  Corey is an all-American worker.  He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.  Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education.  Please join me in congratulating Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.  Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

This is our new American moment.  There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time.  If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be.  All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life.  Our motto is “in God we trust.”

And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.

Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day.  He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes.  Preston:  a job well done.

Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans.  Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.

Americans love their country.  And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.

For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.

Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions.  Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act.  Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them.  So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal.  We are now an exporter of energy to the world.

In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.

Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades.    Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama.  Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country.  This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us.  But now they are coming back.

Exciting progress is happening every day.

To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.

We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home.  It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”

One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs.  In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States.  That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities.  Prices will come down.

America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.

The era of economic surrender is over.

From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.

We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.

And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.  We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work.  We want every child to be safe in their home at night.  And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.

We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.

As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training.  Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.  And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.

As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens.  That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.

Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.

For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities.  They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.  Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers:  Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens.  Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island.  But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home.  These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown.  Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders.  Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert:  Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you.  Everyone in America is grieving for you.  And 320 million hearts are breaking for you.  We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country.  We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

The United States is a compassionate nation.  We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world.  But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities.  I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things.  I want our poor to have their chance to rise.

So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed.  My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream.  Because Americans are dreamers too.

Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country:  Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ.  CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets.  At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder.  But he did not cave to threats or fear.  Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island.  His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.

CJ:  Great work.  Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.

Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform.  Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

Here are the four pillars of our plan:

The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration.  Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

The second pillar fully secures the border.  That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe.  Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.  It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration.  Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.  Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.  This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration.  In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.

It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.

These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem.  This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first.  So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.

In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses:  174 deaths per day.  Seven per hour.  We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.

My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need.  The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.

We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico.  Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department.  He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca.  Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin.  When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep.  She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him:  “You will do it — because you can.”  He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids.  Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca.  In an instant, she agreed to adopt.  The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

Ryan and Rebecca:  You embody the goodness of our Nation.  Thank you, and congratulations.

As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.

Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values.  In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.  Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.  Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.  One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  But there is much more work to be done.  We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.

Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight.  Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.

Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion.  Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape.  He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway.  He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.

Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior.  Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas.  Raqqa is liberated.  And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.”  Staff Sergeant Peck:  All of America salutes you.

Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil.  When possible, we annihilate them.  When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them.  But we must be clear:  Terrorists are not merely criminals.  They are unlawful enemy combatants.  And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.

In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.

So today, I am keeping another promise.  I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.

I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.

Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement.  Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.

Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before:  I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition.  American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.

That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.

When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent.  America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.

I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.

But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.

North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.

We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.

Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.  I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.

We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia.  On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea.  At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state.  After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death.  He passed away just days after his return.

Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta.  You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all.  Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.

Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime.  His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.

In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea.  One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food.  In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger.  He woke up as a train ran over his limbs.  He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain.  His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth.  Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China.  His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians.  He had — and he resolved to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom.  Most of his family followed.  His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.

Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come.  Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.

Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America.  It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness.  But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea:  that they could rule themselves.  That they could chart their own destiny.  And that, together, they could light up the world.

That is what our country has always been about.  That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.

Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom.  She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.

Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.

Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond.  And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies over Asia.

And freedom stands tall over one more monument:  this one.  This Capitol.  This living monument to the American people.

A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

They work in every trade.  They sacrifice to raise a family.  They care for our children at home.  They defend our flag abroad.  They are strong moms and brave kids.  They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

But above all else, they are Americans.  And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

Americans fill the world with art and music.  They push the bounds of science and discovery.  And they forever remind us of what we should never forget:  The people dreamed this country. The people built this country.  And it is the people who are making America great again.

As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

Our families will thrive.

Our people will prosper.

And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Thank you, and God bless America.

January 30, 2018.

Full Text Political Transcripts January 26, 2018: Remarks by President Trump to the World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum Congress Centre
Davos, Switzerland

2:02 P.M. CET

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you, Klaus, very much.  It’s a privilege to be here at this forum where leaders in business, science, art, diplomacy, and world affairs have gathered for many, many years to discuss how we can advance prosperity, security, and peace.

I’m here today to represent the interests of the American people and to affirm America’s friendship and partnership in building a better world.

Like all nations represented at this great forum, America hopes for a future in which everyone can prosper, and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty, and fear.

Over the past year, we have made extraordinary strides in the U.S.  We’re lifting up forgotten communities, creating exciting new opportunities, and helping every American find their path to the American Dream — the dream of a great job, a safe home, and a better life for their children.

After years of stagnation, the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth.  The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election.  Consumer confidence, business confidence, and manufacturing confidence are the highest they have been in many decades.

Since my election, we’ve created 2.4 million jobs, and that number is going up very, very substantially.  Small-business optimism is at an all-time high.  New unemployment claims are near the lowest we’ve seen in almost half a century.  African American unemployment has reached the lowest rate ever recorded in the United States, and so has unemployment among Hispanic Americans.

The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America.  I’m here to deliver a simple message:  There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest, and to grow in the United States.  America is open for business, and we are competitive once again.

The American economy is by far the largest in the world, and we’ve just enacted the most significant tax cuts and reform in American history.  We’ve massively cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses to let working families keep more of their hard-earned money.  We lowered our corporate tax rate from 35 percent, all the way down to 21 percent.  As a result, millions of workers have received tax cut bonuses from their employers in amounts as large as $3,000.

The tax cut bill is expected to raise the average American’s household income by more than $4,000.  The world’s largest company, Apple, announced plans to bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to America.  Their total investment into the United States economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years.

Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the United States.  This is especially true because we have undertaken the most extensive regulatory reduction ever conceived.  Regulation is stealth taxation.  The U.S., like many other countries, unelected bureaucrats — and we have — believe me, we have them all over the place — and they’ve imposed crushing and anti-business and anti-worker regulations on our citizens with no vote, no legislative debate, and no real accountability.

In America, those days are over.  I pledged to eliminate two unnecessary regulations for every one new regulation.  We have succeeded beyond our highest expectations.  Instead of 2 for 1, we have cut 22 burdensome regulations for every 1 new rule.  We are freeing our businesses and workers so they can thrive and flourish as never before.  We are creating an environment that attracts capital, invites investment, and rewards production.

America is the place to do business.  So come to America, where you can innovate, create, and build.  I believe in America.  As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also.

But America first does not mean America alone.  When the United States grows, so does the world.  American prosperity has created countless jobs all around the globe, and the drive for excellence, creativity, and innovation in the U.S. has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and far healthier lives.

As the United States pursues domestic reforms to unleash jobs and growth, we are also working to reform the international trading system so that it promotes broadly shared prosperity and rewards to those who play by the rules.

We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others.  We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal.  Because, in the end, unfair trade undermines us all.

The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices, including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, and pervasive state-led economic planning.  These and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers, not just in the U.S., but around the globe.

Just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests, as President of the United States, I will always protect the interests of our country, our companies, and our workers.

We will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to our trading system.  Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the U.S. but for all nations.

As I have said, the United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries.  This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important.  We have agreements with several of them already. We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in the interests of all.

My administration is also taking swift action in other ways to restore American confidence and independence.  We are lifting self-imposed restrictions on energy production to provide affordable power to our citizens and businesses, and to promote energy security for our friends all around the world.  No country should be held hostage to a single provider of energy.

America is roaring back, and now is the time to invest in the future of America.  We have dramatically cut taxes to make America competitive.  We are eliminating burdensome regulations at a record pace.  We are reforming the bureaucracy to make it lean, responsive, and accountable.  And we are ensuring our laws are enforced fairly.

We have the best colleges and universities in the world, and we have the best workers in the world.  Energy is abundant and affordable.  There has never been a better time to come to America.

We are also making historic investments in the American military because we cannot have prosperity without security.  To make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism, and revisionist powers, we are asking our friends and allies to invest in their own defenses and to meet their financial obligations.  Our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share.

My administration is proud to have led historic efforts, at the United Nations Security Council and all around the world, to unite all civilized nations in our campaign of maximum pressure to de-nuke the Korean Peninsula.  We continue to call on partners to confront Iran’s support for terrorists and block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.

We’re also working with allies and partners to destroy jihadist terrorist organizations such as ISIS, and very successfully so.  The United States is leading a very broad coalition to deny terrorists control of their territory and populations, to cut off their funding, and to discredit their wicked ideology.

I am pleased to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has retaken almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  There is still more fighting and work to be done and to consolidate our gains.  We are committed to ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who want to commit mass murder to our civilian populations.  I want to thank those nations represented here today that have joined in these crucial efforts.  You are not just securing your own citizens, but saving lives and restoring hope for millions and millions of people.

When it comes to terrorism, we will do whatever is necessary to protect our nation.  We will defend our citizens and our borders.  We are also securing our immigration system, as a matter of both national and economic security.

America is a cutting-edge economy, but our immigration system is stuck in the past.  We must replace our current system of extended-family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially, and to strengthen our country.

In rebuilding America, we are also fully committed to developing our workforce.  We are lifting people from dependence to independence, because we know the single best anti-poverty program is a very simple and very beautiful paycheck.

To be successful, it is not enough to invest in our economy.  We must invest in our people.  When people are forgotten, the world becomes fractured.  Only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten can we create a bright future that is truly shared by all.

The nation’s greatness is more than the sum of its production.  A nation’s greatness is the sum of its citizens:  the values, pride, love, devotion, and character of the people who call that nation home.

From my first international G7 Summit, to the G20, to the U.N. General Assembly, to APEC, to the World Trade Organization, and today at the World Economic Forum, my administration has not only been present, but has driven our message that we are all stronger when free, sovereign nations cooperate toward shared goals and they cooperate toward shared dreams.

Represented in this room are some of the remarkable citizens from all over the world.  You are national leaders, business titans, industry giants, and many of the brightest minds in many fields.

Each of you has the power to change hearts, transform lives, and shape your countries’ destinies.  With this power comes an obligation, however — a duty of loyalty to the people, workers, and customers who have made you who you are.

So together, let us resolve to use our power, our resources, and our voices, not just for ourselves, but for our people — to lift their burdens, to raise their hopes, and to empower their dreams; to protect their families, their communities, their histories, and their futures.

That’s what we’re doing in America, and the results are totally unmistakable.  It’s why new businesses and investment are flooding in.  It’s why our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in so many decades.  It’s why America’s future has never been brighter.

Today, I am inviting all of you to become part of this incredible future we are building together.

Thank you to our hosts, thank you to the leaders and innovators in the audience.  But most importantly, thank you to all of the hardworking men and women who do their duty each and every day, making this a better world for everyone.  Together, let us send our love and our gratitude to make them, because they really make our countries run.  They make our countries great.

Thank you, and God bless you all.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.

MR. SCHWAB:  Thank you, Mr. President, for this inspiring speech.  As it is tradition at the forum, I will ask you one or two questions.

And my first question is, why is the tax reform — why has it been of such a high priority for your administration?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, first of all, Klaus, I want to congratulate you.  This is an incredible group of people.  We had dinner last night with about 15 leaders of industry, none of whom I knew, but all of whom I’ve read about for years.  And it was truly an incredible group.  But I think I have 15 new friends.  So this has been really great what you’ve done and putting it together, the economic forum.

The tax reform was a dream of a lot of people over many years, but they weren’t able to get it done.  Many people tried, and Ronald Reagan was really the last to make a meaningful cut and reform.  And ours is cutting and reforming.  We emphasize cut, but the reform is probably almost as important.  We’ve wanted to do it.  It is very tough, politically, to do it.  Hard to believe that would be, but it is very, very tough.  That’s why it hasn’t been done in close to 40 years.

And once we got it going, it was going.  And the big — and I wouldn’t say a total surprise, but one of the big things that happened and took place is AT&T and some others came out very early and they said they were going to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to people that work for their companies.  And you have 300,000, 400,000, 500,000 people working for these companies, and all of a sudden it became like a big waterfall, a big, beautiful waterfall where so many companies are doing it.  And even today they just announced many more.  But every day they announce more and more.  And now it’s a fight for who’s going to give the most.  It started at 1,000, and now we have them up to 3,000.

This is something that we didn’t anticipate.  Oftentimes in business, things happen that you don’t anticipate.  Usually that’s a bad thing, but this was a good thing.  This came out of nowhere.  Nobody ever thought of this as a possibility even.  It wasn’t in the equation.  We waited — we said, wait until February 1st when the checks start coming in.  And people, Klaus, have a lot more money in their paycheck — because it’s not just a little money, this is a lot of money for people making a living doing whatever they may be doing.

And we really though February 1st it was going to kick in and everybody was going to be — well, we haven’t even gotten there yet and it’s kicked in.  And it’s had an incredible impact on the stock market and the stock prices.  We’ve set 84 records since my election — record stock market prices, meaning we hit new highs 84 different times out of a one-year period.  And that’s a great thing.  And in all fairness, that was done before we passed the tax cuts and tax reform.

So what happened is really something special.  Then, as you know, and as I just said, Apple came in with $350 billion.  And I tell you, I spoke with Tim Cook; I said, Tim, I will never consider this whole great run that we’ve made complete until you start building plants in the U.S.  And I will tell you, this moved up very substantially.  But when I heard 350, I thought he was talking — I thought they were talking $350 million.  And, by the way, that’s a nice-sized plant.  Not the greatest, but not bad.  And they said, “No, sir.  It’s $350 billion.”  I said, that is something.

Well, we have tremendous amounts of money, including my newfound friends from last night — great companies.  They’re all investing.  When one of the gentlemen said he’s putting in $2 billion because of the tax cuts, I said to myself, “Wow, he’s actually the cheap one in the group” — because they’re putting in massive numbers of billions of dollars.

So I think you have a brand-new United States.  You have a United States where people from all over the world are looking to come in and invest, and there’s just nothing like what’s happening.

And I just want to finish by — I have a group of people that have been so — I have a whole lot of them, so I won’t introduce because then I’ll insult at least half of them.  But I’ve had a group of people that worked so hard on this and other things.

And we’re really doing — we had a great first year — so successful in so many different ways.  And there’s a tremendous spirit.  When you look at all of the different charts and polls, and you see, as an example, African American unemployment at the historic low — it’s never had a period of time like this.  Same with Hispanic.  Women at a 17-year low.  It’s very heartwarming to see.  But there’s a tremendous spirit in the United States.  I would say it’s a spirit like I have never witnessed before.  I’ve been here for awhile.  I have never witnessed the spirit that our country has right now.

So I just want to thank you all, and all those that are pouring billions of dollars into our country, or ten dollars into our country, we thank you very much.  Thank you.

MR. SCHWAB:  Mr. President, I will ask you, maybe, a personal question.  But before doing so, I’d just like to —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Sounds very interesting.

MR. SCHWAB: — acknowledge that —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I didn’t know about this one.

MR. SCHWAB:  I would like to acknowledge the strong presence of your Cabinet members


MR. SCHWAB: — who tremendously contributed to the discussions the last (inaudible).

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Good, I would like to do that.  That’s very nice.

MR. SCHWAB:  Yeah.  Now —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Steven, Wilbur, Gary, Robert, even my General and my various other generals, you know.  We’re making our military protection a little bit better for us too.  So thank you very much.  Does everybody understand that?  I think so.  Thank you all for being here.

MR. SCHWAB:  Now my, maybe personal, question would be: What experience from your past have been most useful in preparing you for the Presidency?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, being a businessman has been a great experience for me.  I’ve loved it.  I’ve always loved business.  I’ve always been good at building things, and I’ve always been successful at making money.  I’d buy things that would fail –that would be failures — and I’d turn them around and try and get them for the right price, and then I’d turn them around and make them successful.  And I’ve been good at it.  And that takes a certain ability.

And, you know, historically, I guess, there’s never really been a businessman or businessperson elected President.  It’s always been a general or a politician.  Throughout history, it’s always been a general — you had to be a general — but mostly it was politicians.  You never have a businessman.

And then, in all fairness, I was saying to Klaus last night: Had the opposing party to me won — some of whom you backed, some of the people in the room — instead of being up almost 50 percent — the stock market is up since my election almost 50 percent — rather than that, I believe the stock market from that level, the initial level, would have been down close to 50 percent.  That’s where we were heading.  I really believe that — because they were going to put on massive new regulations.  You couldn’t breathe.  It was choking our country to death.  And I was able to see that, Klaus, as a businessperson.

The other thing is, I’ve always seemed to get, for whatever reason, a disproportionate amount of press or media.  (Laughter.)  Throughout my whole life — somebody will explain someday why — but I’ve always gotten a lot.  (Laughter.)  And as businessman I was always treated really well by the press.  The numbers speak and things happen, but I’ve always really had a very good press.  And it wasn’t until I became a politician that I realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious, and how fake the press can be.  As the cameras start going off in the background.  (Laughter.)

But overall — I mean, the bottom line — somebody said, well, they couldn’t have been that bad because here we are — we’re President.  And I think we’re doing a really great job with my team.  I have a team of just tremendous people, and I think we’re doing a very special job.  And I really believe it was time, and it was time to do that job, because I don’t think the United States would have done very well if it went through four or eight more years of regulation and, really, a very anti-business group of people.

We have a very pro-business group.  We have regulations cut to a level — in the history of our country, Klaus — this was reported recently.  In one year we’ve cut more regulations in my administration than any other administration in four, eight, or sixteen years, in the one case.  We’ve cut more regulations in one year, and we have a ways to go.  I mean, we’re probably 50 percent done.

And we’re going to have regulation.  There’s nothing wrong with rules and regulations; you need them.  But we’ve cut more than any administration ever in the history of our country, and we still have a ways to go.  So I think between that and the tremendous tax cuts, we’ve really done something.

And one other thing I said — and I saw it last night with some of the leaders and the businesspeople — I think I’ve been a cheerleader for our country, and everybody representing a company or a country has to be a cheerleader, or no matter what you do, it’s just not going to work.  And the reason I’m a cheerleader is because it’s easy — because I love our country and I think we’re just doing really well.

And we look forward to seeing you in America — special place — and where you are is a special place also.

Thank you all very much.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)

MR. SCHWAB:  Thank you.  Thank you very much, Mr. President, for being with us.

The World Economic Forum community, who is assembled here, will be certainly — and I quote you from the last piece of your remarks — will be certainly among “the hardworking men and women who do their duty each and every day making this world a better place for everyone.”

Thank you very much for being with us.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  Thank you very much everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.


2:30 P.M. CET

Full Text Political Transcripts December 6, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Proclamation on Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel



President Donald J. Trump’s Proclamation on Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel

Source: WH, 12-6-17

“My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” – President Donald J. Trump

RECOGNIZING JERUSALEM: President Donald J. Trump is following through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

  • Today, December 6, 2017, President Trump recognized Jerusalem, the ancient capital of the Jewish people, as the capital of the State of Israel.
    • In taking this action, President Trump fulfilled a major campaign promise of his and many previous Presidential candidates.
  • The Trump Administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President, and has engaged broadly with both our Congressional and international partners on this issue.
    • President Trump’s action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, including as expressed in the Jerusalem Recognition Act of 1995.  This Act was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.
  • President Trump has instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • Departments and Agencies have implemented a robust security plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and assets in the region.

STATUS OF JERUSALEM: President Trump recognizes that specific boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem is highly sensitive and subject to final status negotiations. 

  • President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue, but he does not think the peace process is aided by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel’s legislature, supreme court, President, and Prime Minister.
  • President Trump recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.
  • President Trump reaffirms United States support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al Sharif.

COMMITTED TO THE PEACE PROCESS: President Trump is committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

  • President Trump remains committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and he is optimistic that peace can be achieved.
  • Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has not helped achieve peace over the past two decades.
  • President Trump is prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians, if agreed to by the parties.

Full Text Political Transcripts December 6, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Statement recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital



Statement by President Trump on Jerusalem

Source: WH, 12-6-17

Diplomatic Reception Room

1:07 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city — and so importantly — is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.

I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace.

It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel. Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem — the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the Prime Minister and the President. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of state, and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.

Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. Over the past seven decades, the Israeli people have built a country where Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs.

Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

But today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.

That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers, and planners, so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.

In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.

Above all, our greatest hope is for peace, the universal yearning in every human soul. With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region.

There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation.

This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity, lifting our sights to what it is possible; not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable. Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach.

So today, we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts.

I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud, and diverse, vibrant and strong. But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance, and terror.

Vice President Pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations.

It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst. It is time for all civilized nations, and people, to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate –- not violence.

And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region — political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim — to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.

(The proclamation is signed.)


1:19 P.M. EST

Full Text Political Transcripts October 2, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Speech Addressing Las Vegas Shooting



President Donald Trump’s Speech Addressing Las Vegas Shooting

Source: WH, 10-2-17

President Trump’s remarks on the Las Vegas shooting

THE PRESIDENT:  My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief.  Last night, a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He brutally murdered more than 50 people, and wounded hundreds more.  It was an act of pure evil.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation, and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.

I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts, and for helping to save the lives of so many.  The speed with which they acted is miraculous, and prevented further loss of life.  To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful.  It shows what true professionalism is all about.

Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one — a parent, a child, a brother or sister.  We cannot fathom their pain.  We cannot imagine their loss.  To the families of the victims:  We are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.

Scripture teaches us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.  To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.

In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half-staff.

I will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and the families of the victims.

In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one — and it always has.  We call upon the bonds that unite us — our faith, our family, and our shared values.  We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.

Our unity cannot be shattered by evil.  Our bonds cannot be broken by violence.   And though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today — and always will, forever.

In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness.  The answers do not come easy.  But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.

Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded, or lost the ones they love so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack.  We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace.  And we pray for the day when evil is banished, and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.

May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost.  May God give us the grace of healing.  And may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on.

Thank you.  God bless America.  Thank you.


Presidential Proclamation Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada

Source: WH, 10-2-17


– – – – – – –



Our Nation is heartbroken.  We mourn with all whose loved ones were murdered and injured in last night’s horrible tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada.  As we grieve, we pray that God may provide comfort and relief to all those suffering.

As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless act of violence perpetrated on October 1, 2017, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, October 6, 2017.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.




Full Text Political Transcripts August 15, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Press Conference on Infrastructure & Chalottesville, Virginia



President Donald Trump’s Press Conference on Infrastructure & Chalottesville, Virginia

Source: Politico, 8-15-17

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Hello, everybody. Great to be back in New York with all of our friends, and some great friends outside the building, I must tell you.

I want to thank all of our distinguished guests who are with us today, including members of our cabinet, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, and of course our Transportation Secretary, who’s doing a fabulous job, Elaine Chao.
Thank you all for doing a — a really incredible and creative job on what we’re going to be discussing today, which is infrastructure.
We just had a great set of briefings upstairs on our infrastructure agenda. My administration is working every day to deliver the world-class infrastructure that our people deserve, and frankly, that our country deserves. That’s why I just signed a new executive order to dramatically reform the nation’s badly broken infrastructure permitting process.
TRUMP: Just blocks away is the Empire State Building. It took 11 months to build the Empire State Building. But today, it can take as long as a decade and much more than that. Many, many stories where it takes 20 and 25 years just to get approvals to start construction of a fairly routine highway. Highway builders must get up to 16 different approvals involving 9 different federal agencies governed by 29 different statutes. One agency alone can stall a project for many, many years and even decades.
Not only does this cost our economy billions of dollars but it also denies our citizens the safe and modern infrastructure they deserve. This overregulated permitting process is a massive, self- inflicted wound on our country. It’s disgraceful. Denying our people much-needed investments in their community and I just want to show you this because it was just shown me and I think I’m going to show it to the media.
Both real and fake media, by the way. This is what it takes to get something approved today.
Elaine, you see that?
So this is what it takes. Permitting process flow chart, that’s a flow chart. So that can go out to 20 years, this shows about 10. But that can go out to about 20 years to get something approved. This is for a highway. I’ve seen a highway recently in a certain state, I won’t mention its name, it’s 17 years.
I could have built it for $4 million or $5 million without the permitting process. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars but it took 17 years to get it approved and many, many — many, many pages of environmental impact studies. This is what we will bring it down to. This is less than two years. This is going to happen quickly, that’s what I’m signing today.
This will be less than two years for a highway. So it’s going to be quick, it’s going to be a very streamlined process. And by the way, if it doesn’t meet environmental safeguards, we’re not going to approve it. Very simple. We’re not going to approve it. So this is — maybe this one, we’ll say “let’s throw the other one away.” Would anybody like it from the media? Would anybody like that long, beautiful chart? You can have it.
So my executive order also requires agencies to work together efficiently by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project. It also holds agencies accountable if they fail to streamline their review process. So each agency is accountable. We’re going to get infrastructure built quickly; inexpensively, relatively speaking; and the permitting process will go very, very quickly.
No longer will we tolerate one job-killing delay after another. No longer will we accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hardworking Americans. Now, I knew the process very well, probably better than anybody. I had to get permits for this building and many of the buildings I built — all of the buildings I built in Manhattan and many other places.
And I will tell you that the consultants are rich people. They go around making it very difficult, they lobby Congress, they lobby state governments, city governments to make it very difficult so that you have to hire consultants and that you have to take years and pay them a fortune. So we’re streamlining the process and we won’t be having so much of that any more.
No longer will we allow the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble and decay. While protecting the environment, we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels and highways. We will rebuild our country with American workers, American iron, American aluminum, American steel. We will create millions of new jobs and make millions of American dreams come true.
Our infrastructure will again be the best in the world. We used to have the greatest infrastructure anywhere in the world. And today we’re like a third world country. We’re literally like a third world country. Our infrastructure will again be the best and we will restore the pride in our communities, our nation and all over the United States, we’ll be proud again.
So I want to thank everybody for being here. God bless you, God bless the United States. And if you have any questions, we have — Mick, you could come up here, please. Come on up. Mick Mulvaney. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
QUESTION: Why do you think that CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?
TRUMP: Because they’re not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. We want jobs, manufacturing in this country. If you look at some of those people that you’re talking about, they’re outside of the country. They’re having a lot of their product made outside. If you look at Merck, as an example, take a look where — excuse me — excuse me — take a look at where their product is made. It’s made outside of our country. We want products made in the country.
Now, I have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they’re leaving out of embarrassment because they make they’re products outside. And I’ve been lecturing them, including the gentleman that you’re referring to, about you have to bring it back to this country. You can’t do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places. You have to bring this work back to this country.
That’s what I want. I want manufacturing to be back into the United States so that American workers can benefit.
QUESTION: … wait so long (inaudible)?
TRUMP: I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long.
TRUMP: I didn’t wait long. I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement. The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement. But you don’t make statements that direct unless you know the facts. It takes a little while to get the facts. You still don’t know the facts. And it’s a very, very important process to me. And it’s a very important statement.
So, I don’t want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement. I want to know the facts. If you go back to my…
TRUMP: I brought it. I brought it. I brought it.
QUESTION: What did you (inaudible)?
TRUMP: As I said on — remember this — Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America. And when I went on from there.
Now, here’s the thing. As to — excuse me — excuse me — take it nice and easy.
Here’s the thing. When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. This event just happened. In fact, a lot of the event didn’t even happen yet, as we were speaking. This event just happened. Before I make a statement, I need the facts.
So I don’t want to rush into a statement. So making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact, the young woman who I hear is a fantastic young women, and it was on NBC, her mother wrote me and said through, I guess, Twitter, social media, the nicest things and I very much appreciate that.
I hear she was a fine, a really — actually, an incredible young woman. But her mother on Twitter thanked me for what I said. And honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice. But unlike you and unlike — excuse me — unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.
TRUMP: They don’t. They don’t.
TRUMP: How about a couple of…
TRUMP: How about a couple of infrastructure questions?
QUESTION: Mr. Trump, was it terrorism, that event? Was that terrorism?
TRUMP: Say, what?
QUESTION: The CEO of Walmart said you missed a (inaudible) opportunity to help bring the country together. Did you?
TRUMP: Not at all. I think the country — look, you take a look. I’ve created over a million jobs since I’m president. The country is booming. The stock market is setting records. We have the highest employment numbers we’ve ever had in the history of our country.
We’re doing record business. We have the highest levels of enthusiasm. So the head of Walmart, who I know is a very nice guy, was making a political statement. I mean…
TRUMP: … it the same way. And you know why? Because I want to make sure when I make a statement that the statement is correct. And there was no way — there was no way of making a correct statement that early.
I had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters — unlike a lot of reporters…
TRUMP: I didn’t know David Duke was there. I wanted to see the facts. And the facts as they started coming out were very well stated. In fact, everybody said his statement was beautiful; if he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. I couldn’t have made it sooner because I didn’t know all of the facts.
Frankly, people still don’t know all of the facts. It was very important that — excuse me, excuse me — it was very important to me to get the facts out and correctly. Because if I would have made a fast statement, and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing.
The second statement was made after — with knowledge, with great knowledge. There are still things — excuse me — there are still things that people don’t know.
TRUMP: I want to make a statement with knowledge. I wanted to know the facts.
QUESTION: Was it — two questions. Was it terrorism? And can you tell us what you’re feeling about your…
TRUMP: Well, I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family and his country. And that is — you can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want. I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict. That’s what I’d call it. Because there is a question. Is it murder? Is it terrorism? And then you get into legal semantics.
The driver of the car is a murderer. And what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.
QUESTION: Can you tell us how you’re feeling about your chief strategist, Mr. Bannon? Can you talk about that?
TRUMP: Go ahead.
QUESTION: I would echo Maggie’s (ph) question. Steve Bannon…
TRUMP: I never spoke to Mr. Bannon about it.
QUESTION: But can you tell us broadly what you’re — do you still have confidence in Steve (ph)?
TRUMP: Well, we see (ph) — and look, look. I like Mr. Bannon. He’s a friend of mine. But Mr. Bannon came on very late, you know that. I went through 17 senators, governors, and I won all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that, and I like him. He’s a good man. He is not a racist, I can tell you that. He’s a good person. He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard.
But we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon, but he’s a good person, and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.
QUESTION: Do you have confidence in him? Because he has called on you to defend your national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, against…
TRUMP: I’ve already done it. I did it the last time.
QUESTION: And he called on it again (ph) linking this (ph)…
TRUMP: Senator McCain?
QUESTION: …the alt-right and…
TRUMP: Senator McCain, you mean the one who voted against Obamacare? Who is — you mean Senator McCain who voted against us getting good healthcare?
QUESTION: Senator McCain said that the alt-right is behind these attacks, and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in Charlottesville.
TRUMP: Well, I don’t know — I can’t tell you. I’m sure Senator McCain must know what he’s talking about. But when you say the “alt- right,” define “alt-right” to me. You define it, go ahead.
QUESTION: Well, I think that (ph)…
TRUMP: No, define it for me, come on. Let’s go. Define it for me.
QUESTION: Senator McCain defined them as the same group…
TRUMP: OK, what about the alt-left that came charging them (ph)? Excuse me. What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?
QUESTION: Mr. Trump…
TRUMP: Let me ask you this. What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.
TRUMP: As far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.
Wait a minute, I’m not finished.
I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day…
TRUMP: I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. And you have — you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group — you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
QUESTION: Do you think that the — what you call the alt-left is the same as neo-Nazis?
TRUMP: Those people — all of those people — excuse me. I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were White Supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.
So — excuse me. And you take a look at some of the groups and you see — and you’d know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you’re not, but many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.
So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?
You know, you all — you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? But they were there to protest — excuse me. You take a look, the night before, they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.
Infrastructure question, go ahead.
QUESTION: Should the statue of Robert E. Lee stay up?
TRUMP: I would say that’s up to a local town, community, or the federal government, depending on where it is located.
QUESTION: Are you against the Confederacy?
QUESTION: How concerned are you about race relations in America? And do you think things have gotten worse or better since you took office?
TRUMP: I think they’ve gotten better or the same — look, they’ve been frayed for a long time. And you can ask President Obama about that, because he’d make speeches about it.
But I believe that the fact that I brought in — it will be soon, millions of jobs, you see where companies are moving back into our country, I think that’s going to have a tremendous positive impact on race relations. We have companies coming back into our country. We have two car companies that just announced. We have Foxconn in Wisconsin just announce. We have many companies I say pouring back into the country.
I think that’s going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations. You know why? It’s jobs. What people want now, they want jobs. They want great jobs with good pay. And when they have that, you watch how race relations will be.
And I’ll tell you, we’re spending a lot of money on the inner cities. We’re going to fix — we’re fixing the inner cities. We’re doing far more than anybody’s done with respect to the inner cities. It’s a priority for me. And it’s very important.
QUESTION: Mr. President, are you putting what you’re calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?
TRUMP: I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane. What I’m saying is this. You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible. And it was a horrible thing to watch.
But there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You’ve just called them the left — that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.
QUESTION: … on both sides, sir?
QUESTION: You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides. Are…
TRUMP: Well, I do think there’s blame — yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at — you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either.
TRUMP: And — and — and if you reported it accurately, you would say (inaudible).
QUESTION: (inaudible) started this (inaudible) Charlottesville. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest…
(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. (inaudible) themselves (inaudible) and you have some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me — I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
QUESTION: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same (inaudible)…
TRUMP: George Washington was a slave-owner. Was George Washington a slave-owner? So, will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down — excuse me — are we going to take down — are we going to take down statues to George Washington?
TRUMP: How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him?
TRUMP: OK. Good. Are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave-owner. Now, are we going to take down his statue? So you know what? It’s fine. You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.
OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You’ve got — you had a lot of bad — you had a lot of bad people in the other group…
QUESTION: … treated unfairly (inaudible) you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? (inaudible) understand what you’re saying.
TRUMP: No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people — neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them.
But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know — I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit.
So, I only tell you this, there are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country (sic).
Does anybody have a final — doesn’t anybody have a — you have an infrastructure…
QUESTION: What makes you think you can get an infrastructure bill? You didn’t get health care. You…
TRUMP: Well, you know, I’ll tell you. We came very close with health care. Unfortunately, John McCain decided to vote against it at the last minute. You’ll have to ask John McCain why he did that. But we came very close to health care. We will end up getting health care, but we’ll get the infrastructure. And actually, infrastructure is something that I think we’ll have bipartisan support on. I actually think — I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure.
QUESTION: Mr. President, have you spoken to the family — have you spoken to the family of the victim of the car…
TRUMP: … I’ll be reaching out. I’ll be reaching out.
QUESTION: When will you be reaching out?
TRUMP: I was very — I thought that the statement put out — the mother’s statement I thought was a beautiful statement. I must tell you, I was — it was something that I really appreciated. I thought it was terrific. And really, under the — under the kind of stress that she’s under and the heartache that she’s under, I thought putting out that statement to me was really something I won’t forget.
Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you.

Full Text Political Transcripts August 14, 2017: President Donald Trump Delivers a Statement Condemning Charlottesville Violence



Statement by President Trump

Source: WH, 8-14-17

Diplomatic Room

12:38 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  I’m in Washington today to meet with my economic team about trade policy and major tax cuts and reform.  We are renegotiating trade deals and making them good for the American worker.  And it’s about time.

Our economy is now strong.  The stock market continues to hit record highs, unemployment is at a 16-year low, and businesses are more optimistic than ever before.  Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them.  We have already created over one million jobs since I took office.

We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon, but, based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone.

I just met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others.  To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.  Justice will be delivered.

As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  It has no place in America.

And as I have said many times before:  No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.  We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil.  And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal.  We are equal in the eyes of our Creator.  We are equal under the law.  And we are equal under our Constitution.  Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.

Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed.  Her death fills us with grief, and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers, and our love.

We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth, and their country.  Troopers Jay Cullen and Burke Bates exemplify the very best of America, and our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and every member of American law enforcement.

These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation.  In times such as these, America has always shown its true character:  responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice.

As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge.  We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.  We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in their souls.

Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless America.  Thank you very much.

12:43 P.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts August 11, 2017: President Donald Trump Delivers a Statement Following a National Security Briefing



President Trump Delivers a Statement Following a National Security Briefing

Source: WH, 8-11-17

Full Text Political Transcripts August 10, 2017: President Donald Trump Press Conference on North Korea



President Trump Press Conference 

Source: White House, 8-10-17



Full Text Political Transcripts July 31, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Remarks After Swearing In General John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff



Remarks by President Trump After Swearing In General John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff

Source: WH, 7-31-17

Oval Office

9:34 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  We just swore in General Kelly.  He will do a spectacular job, I have no doubt, as Chief of Staff.  What he’s done in terms of Homeland Security is record-shattering — if you look at the border, you look at the tremendous results we’ve had, and you look at the spirit.  And with a very controversial situation, there’s been very little controversy — which is pretty amazing by itself.

So I want to congratulate you on having done a fantastic job, General.  And we look forward to, if it’s possible, an even better job as Chief of Staff.

GENERAL KELLY:  I’ll try, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  We’ll see you in the boardroom.  We’re having a Cabinet meeting.

Q    Mr. President, how do you expect things will be different under General Kelly’s tenure?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think we’ve done very well.  We’ve done very well.  Lots of records.  Lots of records created, John.

If you look at stock markets — the highest it’s ever been.  Unemployment — lowest in 17 years.  Companies are doing tremendously well.  Business spirit is the highest it’s ever been according to polls — if you look at the polls — the highest it’s ever been in the history of these polls.

We’re doing very well.  We have a tremendous base.  We have a tremendous group of support.  The country is optimistic.  And I think the General would just add to it.  But the country is doing very well.  Strongest stock market ever.  On Friday, we hit the highest in the history of the stock market.  Business is very enthusiastic.  And we will proceed and we will keep going.

But we have a fantastic leader, Chief of Staff.  He’s going to do a really great job.

Thank you very much.  We’ll see you in the boardroom.

9:36 A.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts July 27, 2017: Health Care Freedom Act of 2017 H.R. 1628) Text



Health Care Freedom Act of 2017 (H.R. 1628)

Source: Senate Budget Committee,  7-27-17

MCG17700 S.L.C.
AMENDMENT NO.llll Calendar No.lll
Purpose: In the nature of a substitute.
H. R. 1628
To provide for reconciliation pursuant to title II of the
concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2017.
Referred to the Committee on llllllllll and
ordered to be printed
Ordered to lie on the table and to be printed
to be proposed by lllllll
1 Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the fol-
2 lowing:
4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Health Care Freedom
5 Act’’.
8 (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 5000A(c) of the Internal
9 Revenue Code of 1986 is amended—
10 (1) in paragraph (2)(B)(iii), by striking ‘‘2.5
11 percent’’ and inserting ‘‘Zero percent’’, and
12 (2) in paragraph (3)—
MCG17700 S.L.C.
1 (A) by striking ‘‘$695’’ in subparagraph
2 (A) and inserting ‘‘$0’’, and
3 (B) by striking subparagraph (D).
4 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by
5 this section shall apply to months beginning after Decem-
6 ber 31, 2015.
8 (a) IN GENERAL.—
9 (1) Paragraph (1) of section 4980H(c) of the
10 Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by in-
11 serting ‘‘($0 in the case of months beginning after
12 December 31, 2015, and before January 1, 2025)’’
13 after ‘‘$2,000’’.
14 (2) Paragraph (1) of section 4980H(b) of the
15 Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by in-
16 serting ‘‘($0 in the case of months beginning after
17 December 31, 2015, and before January 1, 2025)’’
18 after ‘‘$3,000’’.
19 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by
20 this section shall apply to months beginning after Decem-
21 ber 31, 2015.
MCG17700 S.L.C.
3 (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 4191(c) of the Internal
4 Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ‘‘December
5 31, 2017’’ and inserting ‘‘December 31, 2020’’.
6 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by
7 this section shall apply to sales after December 31, 2017.
11 TION.
12 (a) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (b) of section 223 of
13 the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding
14 at the end the following new paragraph:
15 ‘‘(9) INCREASED LIMITATION.—In the case of
16 any month beginning after December 31, 2017, and
17 before January 1, 2021—
18 ‘‘(A) paragraph (2)(A) shall be applied by
19 substituting ‘the amount in effect under sub-
20 section (c)(2)(A)(ii)(I)’ for ‘$2,250’, and
21 ‘‘(B) paragraph (2)(B) shall be applied by
22 substituting ‘the amount in effect under sub-
23 section (c)(2)(A)(ii)(II)’ for ‘$4,500’.’’.
24 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by
25 this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after
26 December 31, 2017.
MCG17700 S.L.C.
2 (a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 504(a),
3 1902(a)(23), 1903(a), 2002, 2005(a)(4), 2102(a)(7), or
4 2105(a)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 704(a),
5 1396a(a)(23), 1396b(a), 1397a, 1397d(a)(4),
6 1397bb(a)(7), 1397ee(a)(1)), or the terms of any Med-
7 icaid waiver in effect on the date of enactment of this Act
8 that is approved under section 1115 or 1915 of the Social
9 Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315, 1396n), for the 1-year pe-
10 riod beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, no
11 Federal funds provided from a program referred to in this
12 subsection that is considered direct spending for any year
13 may be made available to a State for payments to a pro-
14 hibited entity, whether made directly to the prohibited en-
15 tity or through a managed care organization under con-
16 tract with the State.
17 (b) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
18 (1) PROHIBITED ENTITY.—The term ‘‘prohib-
19 ited entity’’ means an entity, including its affiliates,
20 subsidiaries, successors, and clinics—
21 (A) that, as of the date of enactment of
22 this Act—
23 (i) is an organization described in sec-
24 tion 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue
25 Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under
26 section 501(a) of such Code;
MCG17700 S.L.C.
1 (ii) is an essential community provider
2 described in section 156.235 of title 45,
3 Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect
4 on the date of enactment of this Act), that
5 is primarily engaged in family planning
6 services, reproductive health, and related
7 medical care; and
8 (iii) provides for abortions, other than
9 an abortion—
10 (I) if the pregnancy is the result
11 of an act of rape or incest; or
12 (II) in the case where a woman
13 suffers from a physical disorder, phys-
14 ical injury, or physical illness that
15 would, as certified by a physician,
16 place the woman in danger of death
17 unless an abortion is performed, in-
18 cluding a life-endangering physical
19 condition caused by or arising from
20 the pregnancy itself; and
21 (B) for which the total amount of Federal
22 and State expenditures under the Medicaid pro-
23 gram under title XIX of the Social Security Act
24 in fiscal year 2014 made directly to the entity
25 and to any affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or
MCG17700 S.L.C.
1 clinics of the entity, or made to the entity and
2 to any affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or
3 clinics of the entity as part of a nationwide
4 health care provider network, exceeded
5 $1,000,000.
6 (2) DIRECT SPENDING.—The term ‘‘direct
7 spending’’ has the meaning given that term under
8 section 250(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emer-
9 gency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 900(c)).
12 Subsection (b) of section 4002 of the Patient Protec-
13 tion and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 300u–11) is
14 amended—
15 (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ‘‘each of fiscal
16 years 2018 and 2019’’ and inserting ‘‘fiscal year
17 2018’’; and
18 (2) by striking paragraphs (4) through (8).
20 Effective as if included in the enactment of the Medi-
21 care Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (Pub-
22 lic Law 114–10, 129 Stat. 87), paragraph (1) of section
23 221(a) of such Act is amended by inserting ‘‘, and an ad-
24 ditional $422,000,000 for fiscal year 2017’’ after ‘‘2017’’.
MCG17700 S.L.C.
2 Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Afford-
3 able Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18052) is amended—
4 (1) in subsection (a)(3)—
5 (A) in the first sentence, by inserting ‘‘or
6 would qualify for a reduction in’’ after ‘‘would
7 not qualify for’’;
8 (B) by adding after the second sentence
9 the following: ‘‘A State may request that all of,
10 or any portion of, such aggregate amount of
11 such credits or reductions be paid to the State
12 as described in the first sentence.’’;
13 (C) in the paragraph heading, by striking
14 ‘‘PASS THROUGH OF FUNDING’’ and inserting
15 ‘‘FUNDING’’;
16 (D) by striking ‘‘With respect’’ and insert-
17 ing the following:
19 respect’’; and
20 (E) by adding at the end the following:
21 ‘‘(B) ADDITIONAL FUNDING.—There is au-
22 thorized to be appropriated, and is appro-
23 priated, to the Secretary of Health and Human
24 Services, out of monies in the Treasury not oth-
25 erwise obligated, $2,000,000,000, to remain
26 available until the end of fiscal year 2019. Such
MCG17700 S.L.C.
1 amounts shall be used to provide grants to
2 States that request financial assistance for the
3 purpose of—
4 ‘‘(i) submitting an application for a
5 waiver granted under this section; or
6 ‘‘(ii) implementing the State plan
7 under such waiver.’’;
8 (2) in subsection (b)(1), in the matter pre-
9 ceding subparagraph (A)—
10 (A) by striking ‘‘may’’ and inserting
11 ‘‘shall’’; and
12 (B) by striking ‘‘only’’;
13 (3) in subsection (d)(1), by striking ‘‘180’’ and
14 inserting ‘‘45’’; and
15 (4) in subsection (e), by striking ‘‘No waiver’’
16 and all that follows through the period at the end
17 and inserting the following: ‘‘A waiver under this
18 section—
19 ‘‘(1) shall be in effect for a period of 8 years
20 unless the State requests a shorter duration;
21 ‘‘(2) may be renewed for unlimited additional 8-
22 year periods upon application by the State; and
23 ‘‘(3) may not be cancelled by the Secretary be-
24 fore the expiration of the 8-year period (including
25 any renewal period under paragraph (2)).’’.

Full Text Political Transcripts July 27, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Remarks at Ceremony Recognizing the First Responders to the June 14 Shooting Involving Congressman Scalise



July 27, 2017

Remarks by President Trump at Ceremony Recognizing the First Responders to the June 14 Shooting Involving Congressman Scalise

Source: WH, 7-27-17

East Room

3:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Please sit down.  Thank you.  And thank you to Vice President for doing a fantastic job and for the introduction.  We welcome you all, members of Congress and distinguished guests.  We are gathered here today for a very, very special occasion, as we pay tribute to real heroes whose courageous actions under fire saved so many lives in Alexandria, Virginia just six weeks ago.

On the morning of June 14th, several members of Congress began their day on the baseball diamond, practicing for one of this town’s greatest traditions — the annual charity Congressional baseball game.  It was just another beautiful morning until the unthinkable happened.  The familiar sounds of baseball were suddenly interrupted by loud, vicious gunfire.

Matt Mika, Zachary Barth, and beloved Congressman, and my friend, Steve Scalise were each shot during an attack. Others were injured trying to evade the incoming bullets, of which there were many.

Fortunately, from the moment that gunman began to shoot, he was met by return fire.  Capitol Police Special Agents David Bailey and Crystal Griner raced through the bullets — and that’s exactly what they did, they raced through the bullets — and immediately engaged the gunman.

Minutes later, members of the Alexandria Police Department arrived on scene. Officers Nicole Battaglia, Kevin Jobe, and Alex Jensen joined the fight.  Special Agent Griner was shot in the leg — visited her in the hospital, she was hurt very badly — and shrapnel injured Special Agent Bailey as bullets swirled around him.

Despite their injuries, both officers heroically continued to face down the gunman until they brought him down.  And he had rifles; they had handguns.  That’s a big difference.

These officers saved the lives of every innocent person on the field that day — many of them friends of Mike and myself.  They are American heroes and we salute them.  (Applause.)  Fantastic.  That is so beautiful.  Thank you.

We also salute the members of Congress who acted with such bravery in the face of danger, shielding each other and caring for the injured.  We honor today the emergency dispatchers who directed the first responders to the scene within seconds.  They really acted quickly.

I especially want to recognize all of the personnel from the Alexandria Fire Department and the U.S. Park Police Aviation Unit for providing life support in a crisis where every second mattered.  Thank you for what you did that day and for what you do every single day.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

We also express our deep appreciation for the paramedics, doctors, nurses, and surgeons from MedStar Washington Hospital and George Washington University Hospital for saving the lives of the wounded.

Joining us today is Congressman Scalise’s medical team: Dr. Jack Sava — where’s Jack?  Dr. Sava.  Stand up, Jack.  Come on.  (Applause.)  That’s beautiful.  MedStar’s Director of Trauma Surgery, and Dr. Robert Golden, the Director of Orthopedic Trauma.  Doctor, doctor — congratulations.  (Applause.)  They were a lot more worried that night at the hospital, weren’t they?  Great job.

You have the gratitude of the entire nation.  Thank you for caring for the victims and for your dear friend Steve — and he is our dear friend.  Steve is a fighter.  We’ve known that for a long time.

This week, he was been discharged from the hospital and is now beginning weeks of intensive rehabilitation at an in-patient facility.  He will recover.  We are praying for him, we are pulling for him, and we are sending his family our support and our love.

Steve’s great wife — who I have gotten to know — Jennifer is here with us today, and we applaud the strength and courage that she has shown throughout this incredible ordeal.  Thank you, Jennifer.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Jennifer.

Other Americans responded to this tragedy in ways that remind us how much stronger we are when we are united.  When the Congressional baseball game was played just one day later, nearly 25,000 people turned out — by far, a record.  They raised more than $1.5 million for charity — also, by far, a record.  The citizens of Steve’s home parish organized a blood drive in his name, and Vice President Pence donated his blood at the Congressional blood drive.  Thank you, Mike.  (Applause.)

Just recently, House Republicans and Democrats introduced a bill to provide support to Capitol Police officers who are injured on duty.  People have been looking at this for a long time.  But Jennifer, you can tell Steve that he pulled it off, okay?  That’s better than being a whip.  I hope it gets to my desk soon.  I will sign it immediately.  (Applause.)

The assault on June 14th reminded us that evil exists in this world.  But it also reminded us that heroes walk in our midst, that love triumphs over tragedy, and that our resolve is stronger than ever.  We praise America’s law enforcement — and I’ve been praising them for a long time, they are unbelievable people — for doing a tough — for doing the tough jobs, the dangerous jobs, and sometimes thankless job with tremendous integrity, devotion, and courage.  So I just want to thank law enforcement generally.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

I can only tell you from the campaign, the people love you, they respect you, and they admire you.  So I know you go through a lot, but they have great admiration.  So just remember that, please.

Today I am deeply honored to present our nation’s highest award for a public safety officer — the Medal of Valor to Special Agent Crystal Griner, Special Agent David Bailey; and Alexandria Police Department Officers Nicole Battaglia, Kevin Jobe, and Alex Jensen.

The Medal of Valor is reserved for those who go above and beyond the call of duty as each of these men and women did on that fateful day.  And they did it with great courage, and they did it with instinct.  When our human instincts tell us to run — there’s danger — our police and first responders run straight at it, standing in the breach, protecting the innocent, and keeping our loved ones safe.

Now I would like the military aide to read the citation, as these American heroes step forward to receive the Medal of Valor.

MILITARY AIDE:  Special Agent Crystal Griner.  Medal of Valor presented to Special Agent Crystal Griner, U.S. Capitol Police District of Columbia, for bravery and composure while engaged in an active shooter incident.  Despite being shot, Special Agent Griner placed herself in mortal danger to save the lives of members of Congress, attending family members, and congressional staff during a charity softball practice at Eugene Simpson Memorial Park in Alexandria, Virginia.  (Applause.)

Special Agent David Bailey.  Medal of Valor presented to Special Agent David Bailey, U.S. Capitol Police District of Columbia, for taking brave and decisive action to subdue an active shooter.  Special Agent Bailey was shot during the exchange of gunfire, but continued to advance the shooter without benefit of cover until the active shooter was subdued, saving the lives of members of Congress, attending family members, and congressional staff.  (Applause.)

Officer Nicole Battaglia.  Medal of Valor presented to Officer Nicole Battaglia, Alexandria Police Department, Virginia, for demonstrating extraordinary courage in saving the lives of two U.S. Capitol Police officers, members of Congress, their families, and congressional staff.  Officer Battaglia engaged the assailant, exchanging gunfire at close range and ultimately neutralizing him.  (Applause.)

Officer Alexander Jensen.  Medal of Valor presented to Officer Alex Jensen, Alexandria Police Department, Virginia, for swift and valiant action in responding to an active shooter.  Officer Jensen put himself in harm’s way during the active shooter incident, moving without cover and drawing fire from the assailant until the assailant was subdued and the safety of the members of Congress, their families, and congressional staff was ensured.  (Applause.)

Officer Kevin Jobe.  Medal of Valor presented to Officer Kevin Jobe, Alexandria Police Department, Virginia, for placing himself in grave danger to protect two U.S. Capitol Police officers, members of Congress, their families, and congressional staff.  Officer Jobe engaged an active shooter, neutralizing a volatile gunman, and preventing further injuries to innocent bystanders in the park.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Very brave people.  Great people.  Congratulations to all of you. We are forever in your debt. Thank you. God bless you. God bless our truly amazing law enforcement. And God Bless America.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

3:44 P.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts July 24, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Speech to the Boy Scouts of America at the National Jamboree



Remarks by President Trump at 2017 National Scout Jamboree

Source: WH, 7-24-17

President TrumpSummit Bechtel National Scout Reserve
Glen Jean, West Virginia

6:32 P.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.) I am thrilled to be here.  Thrilled.  (Applause.) And if you think that was an easy trip, you’re wrong, but I am thrilled — 19th Boy Scout Jamboree — wow — and to address such a tremendous group.  Boy, you have a lot of people here.  The press will say it’s about 200 people.  (Laughter.)  It looks like about 45,000 people.  You set a record today.  (Applause.)  You set a record.  That’s a great honor, believe me.

Tonight, we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. — you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that.  (Applause.)  We’re going to put that aside.  And instead we’re going to talk about success, about how all of you amazing young Scouts can achieve your dreams.  What to think of — what I’ve been thinking about — you want to achieve your dreams.  I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?  Right?  (Applause.)

There are many great honors that come with the job of being President of the United States, but looking out at this incredible gathering of mostly young patriots — mostly young — I’m especially proud to speak to you as the honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America.  (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT:  You are the young people of character and integrity who will serve as leaders in our communities, and uphold the sacred values of our nation.

I want to thank Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson, Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, Jamboree Chairman Ralph de la Vega, and the thousands of volunteers who have made this a life-changing experience for all of you, and when they asked me to be here I said absolutely, yes.  (Applause.)

Finally, and we can’t forget these people, I especially want to salute the moms and the dads and troop leaders who are here tonight.  (Applause.)  Thank you for making scouting possible.  Thank you, mom and dad — troop leaders.

When you volunteer for the Boy Scouts, you are not only shaping young lives, you are shaping the future of America.  (Applause.)  The United States has no better citizens than its Boy Scouts.  (Applause.)  No better.  The values, traditions, and skills you learn here will serve you throughout your lives, and just as importantly they will serve your families, your cities, and in the future and in the present, will serve your country.  (Applause.)  The Scouts believe in putting America first.  (Applause.)

You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp.  And it’s not a good place.  In fact today I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or, perhaps, to the word sewer.  But it’s not good.  Not good.  (Applause.)  And I see what’s going on, and believe me I’d much rather be with you.  That I can tell you.  (Applause.)

I’ll tell you the reason that I love this and the reason that I really wanted to be here is because as President, I rely on former Boy Scouts every single day, and so do the American people.  It’s amazing how many Boy Scouts we have at the highest level of our great government.  Many of my top advisors in the White House were Scouts.  Ten members of my cabinet were Scouts.  Can you believe that?  Ten.  (Applause.)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not only a Boy Scout, he’s your former national president.  (Applause.)

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence — good guy — was a Scout, and it meant so much to him.  (Applause.)  Some of you here tonight might even have camped out in this yard when Mike was the governor of Indiana, but the scouting was very, very important.  And by the way, where are our Indiana Scouts tonight?  (Applause.)  I wonder if the television cameras will follow you.  They don’t like doing that when they see these massive crowds.  They don’t like doing that.  Hi, folks.  (Applause.) A lot of love in this big, beautiful place.  A lot of love, and a lot of love for our country.  There’s a lot of love for our country.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is here tonight.  Come here, Ryan.  (Applause.)  Ryan is an Eagle Scout from Big Sky Country in Montana.  (Applause.)  Pretty good.  And by the way, he is doing a fantastic job.  He makes sure that we leave our national parks and federal lands better than we found them, in the best Scouting tradition.  So thank you very much, Ryan.  (Applause.)

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, of Texas, an Eagle Scout from the Great State.  (Applause.)  The first time he came to the national jamboree was in 1964.  He was very young then.  And Rick told me just a little while ago, it totally changed his life.  So, Rick, thank you very much for being here.  And we’re doing a lot with energy.  (Applause.)

And very soon, Rick, we will be an energy exporter.  Isn’t that nice — an energy exporter?  (Applause.)  In other words we’ll be selling our energy instead of buying it from everybody all over the globe.  So that’s good.  (Applause.)  We will be energy dominant.  And I’ll tell you what, the folks in West Virginia who were so nice to me, boy, have we kept our promise.  We are going on and on.  So we love West Virginia.  We want to thank you.

Where’s West Virginia by the way?  (Applause.)  Thank you.

Secretary Tom Price is also here.  Today Dr. Price still lives the Scout Oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our Secretary of Health and Human Services.  And he’s doing a great job.  And hopefully, he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us, folks.  (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT:  By the way, you going to get the votes?

He better get them.  He better get them.  Oh, he better — otherwise, I’ll say, Tom, you’re fired.  I’ll get somebody.  (Applause.)

He better get Senator Capito to vote for it.  You got to get the other senators to vote for it.  It’s time.  After seven years of saying repeal and replace Obamacare, we have a chance to now do it.  They better do it.  Hopefully they’ll do it.

As we can see just by looking at our government, in America, Scouts lead the way.  And another thing I’ve noticed — and I’ve noticed it all my life — there is a tremendous spirit with being a Scout, more so than almost anything I can think of.  So whatever is going on, keep doing it.  It’s incredible to watch.  Believe me.  (Applause.)

Each of these leaders will tell you that their road to American success — and you have to understand, their American success, and they are a great, great story was paved with the patriotic American values as traditions they learned in the Boy Scouts.  And some day, many years from now, when you look back on all of the adventures in your lives, you will be able to say the same:  I got my start as a Scout just like these incredibly great people that are doing such a good job for our country.  So that’s going to happen.  (Applause.)

Boy Scout values are American values, and great Boy Scouts become great, great Americans.  As the Scout Law says: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal” — we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.

AUDIENCE:  “helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That was very impressive.  (Laughter.)  You’ve heard that before.

But here you learn the rewards of hard work and perseverance.  Never ever give up, never quit.  Persevere.  Never, ever quit.

You learn the satisfaction of building a roaring campfire, reaching a mountain summit, or earning a merit badge after mastering a certain skill.  There’s no better feeling than an achievement that you’ve earned with your own sweat, tears, resolve, hard work.  There’s nothing like it.  Do you agree with that?


THE PRESIDENT:  I’m waving to people back there so small I can’t even see them.  Man, this is a lot of people.  Turn those cameras back there, please.  That is so incredible.

By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible, massive crowd, record-setting is going to be shown on television tonight?  One percent or zero?  (Applause.)

The fake media will say:  President Trump — and you know what this is — President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today.

That’s some — that is some crowd.  (Applause.)

Fake media.  Fake news.  Thank you.  And I’m honored by that, by the way, all of you people they can’t even see you.  So thank you.  I hope you can hear.

Through scouting you also learn to believe in yourselves — so important — to have confidence in your ability, and to take responsibility for your own life.  When you face down new challenges, and you will have plenty of them, develop talents you never thought possible, and lead your teammates through daring trials, you discover that you can handle anything.  And you learn it by being a scout.  It’s great.  (Applause.)

You can do anything.  You can be anything you want to be.  But in order to succeed, you must find out what you love to do.  You have to find your passion.  No matter what they tell you — if you don’t — I love you, too.  I don’t know.  It’s a nice guy.  (Applause.)  Hey, what am I going to do?  He sounds like a nice person.  He, he, he, he.  Thank you.  I do.  I do love you.

AUDIENCE:  We love Trump!  We love Trump!  We love Trump!

THE PRESIDENT:  By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?


THE PRESIDENT:  And we’ll be back.  We’ll be back.  The answer is no, but we’ll be back.

In life, in order to be successful, and you people are well on the road to success, you have to find out what makes you excited.  What makes you want to get up each morning and go to work?  You have to find it.

If you love what you do and dedicate yourself to your work, then you will gain momentum, and look — you have to, you need to.  The word momentum — you will gain that momentum, and each success will create another success.  The word momentum.

I’ll tell you a story that’s very interesting for me when I was young.  There was a man named William Levitt — Levittowns, you have some here, you have some in different states.  Anybody ever hear of Levittown?  (Applause.)  And he was a very successful man.  He was a homebuilder — became an unbelievable success, and got more and more successful.  And he built homes, and at night he’d go to these major sites with teams of people and he’d scour the sites for nails and sawdust and small pieces of wood.  And they’d clean the site so when the workers came in the next morning, the sites would be spotless and clean, and he did it properly.  And he did this for 20 years, and then he was offered a lot of money for his company.

And he sold his company for a tremendous amount of money.  At the time especially — this was a long time ago — sold his company for a tremendous amount of money.  And he went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life.  I won’t go any more than that because you’re Boy Scouts, so I’m not going to tell you what he did.


THE PRESIDENT:  Should I tell you?  Should I tell you?


THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life.  You know life.  So — look at you.  Who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right?

So he had a very, very interesting life, and the company that bought his company was a big conglomerate.  And they didn’t know anything about building homes, and they didn’t know anything about picking up the nails and the sawdust and selling it — and the scraps of wood.  This was a big conglomerate based in New York City, and after about a ten year period they were losing a lot with it.  It didn’t mean anything to them, and they couldn’t sell it.

So they called William Levitt up and they said, would you like to buy back your company, and he said yes, I would.  He so badly wanted it, he got bored with this life of yachts and sailing and all of the things he did in the south of France and other places.  You won’t get bored, right?  You know, truthfully, you’re workers.  You’ll get bored too.  Believe me.  (Applause.)  Of course, having a good few years like that isn’t so bad.  (Applause.)  But what happened is he bought back his company, and he bought back a lot of empty land.  And he worked hard in getting it zoning, and he worked hard on starting to develop.

And in the end he failed, and he failed badly.  Lost all of his money.  He went personally bankrupt, and he was now much older.  And I saw him at a cocktail party, and it was very sad because the hottest people in New York were at this party.  It was the party of Steve Ross who was one of the great people — he came up and discovered — really founded — Time Warner, and he was a great guy.  He had a lot of successful people at the party.

And I was doing well so I got invited to the party.  I was very young, and I go in — but I’m in the real estate business — and I see 100 people, some of whom I recognize and they’re big in the entertainment business.  And I see, sitting in the corner, was a little old man who was all by himself.  Nobody was talking to him.  I immediately recognized that that man was the once great William Levitt of Levittown, and I immediately went over — I wanted to talk to him more than the Hollywood show business communications people.

So I went over and talked to him, and I said, Mr. Levitt, I’m Donald Trump.  He said I know.  I said, Mr. Levitt, how are you doing?  He goes, not well, not well at all.  And I knew that, but he said not well at all.  And he explained what was happening and how bad it has been and how hard it has been.  And I said what exactly happened?  Why did this happen to you?  You’re one of the greats ever in our industry.  Why did this happen to you?  And he said, Donald, I lost my momentum.  I lost my momentum.  A word you never hear when you’re talking about success.  When some of these guys that never made ten cents, they’re on television giving you things about how you’re going to be successful, and the only thing they ever did was a book and a tape.

But I’ll tell you, it was very sad, and I never forgot that moment.  And I thought about it, and it’s exactly true.  He lost his momentum.  Meaning, he took this period of time off long — years — and then when he got back, he didn’t have that same momentum.  In life, I always tell this to people, you have to know whether or not you continue to have the momentum, and if you don’t have it that’s okay.  Because you’re going to go on and you’re going to learn and you’re going to do things that are great.  But you have to know about the word momentum.

But the big thing:  Never quit.  Never give up.  Do something you love.  When you do something you love — as a Scout I see that you love it.  But when you do something that you love you’ll never fail.  What you’re going to do is give it a shot again and again and again.  You’re ultimately going to be successful, and remember this, you’re not working.  Because when you’re doing something that you love like I do — of course I love my business, but this is a little bit different.  Who thought this was going to happen?  We’re having a good time.  We’re doing a good job.  (Applause.)  Doing a good job.  But when you do something that you love, remember this, it’s not work.

So you’ll work 24/7, you’re going to work all the time, and at the end of a year you’re not really working.  You don’t think of it as work.  When you’re not doing something that you like or when you’re forced in to do something that you really don’t like, that’s called work.  And it’s hard work and tedious work.

So as much as you can, do something that you love.  Work hard, and never ever give up, and you’re going to be tremendously successful.  Tremendously successful.  (Applause.)

Now with that, I have to tell you our economy is doing great.  Our stock market has picked up — since the election November 8th.  Do we remember that date?  (Applause.)  Was that a beautiful date?  (Applause.)  What a date.  Do you remember that famous night on television, November 8th, where they said — these dishonest people — where they said there is no path to victory for Donald Trump?  They forgot about the forgotten people.  By the way, they’re not forgetting about the forgotten people anymore.  They’re going crazy trying to figure it out.  But I told them, far too late.  It’s far too late.

But do you remember that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say?  (Applause.)

And you know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College — popular vote is much easier.  Because New York, California, Illinois — you have to practically run the East Coast.  And we did.  We won Florida.  We won South Carolina.  We won North Carolina.  We won Pennsylvania.  (Applause.)

We won and won.  So when they said, there is no way to victory, there is no way to 270.  I went to Maine four times because it’s one vote, and we won.  But we won — one vote.  I went there because I kept hearing we’re at 269.  But then Wisconsin came in.  Many, many years — Michigan came in.

And we worked hard there.  My opponent didn’t work hard there because she was told —


THE PRESIDENT:  She was told she was going to win Michigan, and I said, well, wait a minute, the car industry is moving to Mexico.  Why is she going to move — she’s there.  Why are they allowing it to move?

And by the way, do you see those car industry — do you see what’s happening, how they’re coming back to Michigan?  They’re coming back to Ohio.  They’re starting to peel back in.  (Applause.)

And we go to Wisconsin — now, Wisconsin hadn’t been won in many, many years by a Republican.  But we go to Wisconsin, and we had tremendous crowds.  And I’d leave these massive crowds.  I’d say, why are we going to lose this state?

The polls — that’s also fake news.  They’re fake polls.  But the polls are saying — but we won Wisconsin.  (Applause.)  So I have to tell you what we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for Make America Great Again.  (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT:  And I’ll tell you what, we are, indeed, making America great again.  What’s going on is incredible.  (Applause.)

We had the best jobs report in 16 years.  The stock market on a daily basis is hitting an all-time high.  We’re going to be bringing back very soon trillions of dollars from companies that can’t get their money back into this country, and that money is going to be used to help rebuild America.  We’re doing things that nobody ever thought was possible.

And we’ve just started.  It’s just the beginning.  Believe me.  (Applause.)

In the Boy Scouts you learn right from wrong, correct?


THE PRESIDENT:  You learn to contribute to your communities, to take pride in your nation, and to seek out opportunities to serve.  You pledge to help other people at all times.  (Applause.)

In the Scout Oath, you pledge on your honor to do your best and to do your duty to God and your country.  (Applause.)

And by the way, under the Trump administration, you’ll be saying, merry Christmas again when you go shopping.  Believe me.  Merry Christmas.  (Applause.)

They’ve been downplaying that little, beautiful phrase.  You’re going to be saying, merry Christmas again, folks.  (Applause.)

But the words duty, country, and God are beautiful words.  In other words, basically what you’re doing is you’re pledging to be a great American patriot.  (Applause.)

For more than a century that is exactly what our Boy Scouts have been.  Last year you gave more than 15 million hours of service to helping people in your communities.  (Applause.)

Incredible.  That’s an incredible stat.

All of you here tonight will contribute more than 100,000 hours of service by the end of this jamboree — 100,000.  (Applause.)

When natural disaster strikes, when people face hardship, when the beauty and glory of our outdoor spaces must be restored and taken care of, America turns to the Boy Scouts because we know that the Boy Scouts never, ever, ever let us down.  (Applause.)

Just like you know you can count on me, we know we can count on you because we know the values that you live by.  (Applause.)

Your values are the same values that have always kept America strong, proud, and free.  And by the way, do you see the billions and billions and billions of additional money that we’re putting back into our military?  Billions of dollars.  (Applause.)  New planes, new ships, great equipment for our people that are so great to us.  We love our vets.  We love our soldiers.  And we love our police, by the way.  Firemen, police — we love our police.  (Applause.)   Those are all special people.  Uniformed services.

Two days ago, I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to commission an American aircraft carrier into the fleet of the United States Navy.  (Applause.)  It’s the newest, largest, and most advanced aircraft carrier anywhere in the world, and it’s named for an Eagle Scout, the USS Gerald R. Ford.  (Applause.)  Everywhere it sails, that great Scout’s name will be feared and revered, because that ship will be a symbol of American power, prestige, and strength.  (Applause.)

Our nation honors President Gerald R. Ford today because he lived his life the scouting way.  Boy Scouts celebrate American patriots, especially the brave members of our armed forces.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

American hearts are warmed every year when we read about Boy Scouts placing thousands and thousands of flags next to veterans’ gravesites all across the country.  By honoring our heroes, you help to ensure that their memory never, ever dies.  You should take great pride in the example you set for every citizen of our country to follow.  (Applause.)

Generations of American Boy Scouts have sworn the same oath and lived according to same law.  You inherit a noble American tradition, and as you embark on your lives, never cease to be proud of who you are and the principles you hold dear and stand by.  Wear your values as your badge of honor.  What you’ve done, few have done before you.  What you’ve done is incredible.  What you’ve done is admired by all.  So I want to congratulate you, Boy Scouts.  (Applause.)

Let your scouting oath guide your path from this day forward.  Remember your duty.  Honor your history.  Take care of the people God put into your life, and love and cherish your great country.  (Applause.)

You are very special people.  You’re special in the lives of America.  You’re special to me.  But if you do what we say, I promise you that you will live scouting’s adventure every single day of your life, and you will win, win, win and help people in doing so.  (Applause.)

Your lives will have meaning and purpose and joy.  You will become leaders, and you will inspire others to achieve the dreams they once thought were totally impossible, things that you said could never, ever happen are already happening for you.  And if you do these things — and if you refuse to give in to doubt or to fear — then you will help to make America great again.  You will be proud of yourself, be proud of the uniform you wear, and be proud of the country you love.  (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT:  And never, ever forget, America is proud of you.  (Applause.)

This is a very, very special occasion for me.  I’ve known so many Scouts over the years.  Winners.  I’ve known so many great people.  They’ve been taught so well, and they love their heritage.  But this is very special for me.  And I just want to end by saying very importantly:  God bless you.  God bless the Boy Scouts.  God bless the United States of America.

Go out.  Have a great time in life.  Compete and go out and show me that there is nobody — nobody — like a Boy Scout.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

7:10 P.M. EDT



Full Text Political Transcripts July 22, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Speech at Commissioning Ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)



Remarks by President Trump at Commissioning Ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)

Source: WH, 7-22-17

President Trump

Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)
Newport News, Virginia

11:09 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Secretary Mattis, for that wonderful introduction and for your devoted service to our nation.  Nobody has done it like you.  I’m thrilled to be back on this magnificent ship for this historic moment with the amazing men and women of the United States Navy.  (Applause.)

I was with you four months ago, and I knew that I had to be here today, and I told you I’d be back to congratulate you and the crew and everybody involved on commissioning the newest, largest, and most advanced aircraft carrier in the history of this world.  That’s a big achievement.

After today, wherever this ship sails, you will all carry a proud title: plankowner of the USS Gerald R. Ford. (Applause.)  For the rest of your lives, you’ll be able to tell your friends and family that you served on the greatest ship in the United States Navy and, in my opinion, on the greatest ship anywhere in the world.  Everyone should take a moment to celebrate this incredible achievement.

I want to thank the many public servants who have joined us here today: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Governor Snyder, Governor McAuliffe, Senator Wicker, and members of Congress, Secretary Stackley, Admiral Richardson, senior military leaders, and, of course, the great Captain McCormack.  (Applause.)

Captain, I know you will exemplify integrity at the helm.  And have a good time doing it, Captain.  Proud of you.

Thanks to the entire Ford family — Susan, Jack, Steve, and Mike — for all that you’ve done to support this ship on its voyage.  Thank you, Susan.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

I also want to recognize two other people who were very special to President Ford.  Thank you, Vice President Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  They look great.  They look great.

As we put this stunning ship into the service of our nation, we must also pay tribute to the thousands of citizens, military and civilian, who helped design and build her.  Their love of country has been poured into every rivet and bulkhead on this vessel.  You hammered, chiseled, and sculpted this mighty hull.

You were there when the first steel was cut, when the turbines first roared to life, and when those beautiful bronze propellers first began to spin — and spin they did.  And now you are here to witness the moment when your incredible work of art becomes the pride of the United States Navy and a symbol of American power and prestige, no matter where in the world you go.

American steel and American hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world:  American might is second to none, and we’re getting bigger, and better, and stronger every day of my administration.  That I can tell you.  (Applause.)

Wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon, our allies will rest easy and our enemies will shake with fear because everyone will know that America is coming and America is coming strong.  (Applause.)

To every worker from Newport News Shipbuilding and every craftsman and engineer who helped build this incredible fortress on the sea, today we salute you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Your skill and your grit build the instruments of war that preserve peace.  This ship is the deterrent that keeps us from having to fight in the first place.  But this ship also ensures that if a fight does come, it will always end the same way; we will win, win, win.  We will never lose.  We will win.  (Applause.)

When it comes to battle, we don’t want a fair fight.  We want just the opposite.  We demand victory, and we will have total victory, believe me.  (Applause.)

Having the best technology and equipment is only one part of the American military dominance.  Our true strength is our people.  Our greatest weapon is all of you.  Our nation endures because we have citizens who love America and who are willing to fight for America.  (Applause.)  We are so very blessed with warriors who are willing to serve America in the greatest fighting force in the history — the United States military.

Today this ship officially begins its role in the noble military history of our great nation.  In a few moments, I will commission this wonderful, beautiful, but very, very powerful warship.  Captain McCormack will assume command.  He will set the first watch, and then the crew of the Gerald R. Ford will man the ship and bring her to life.  (Applause.)

A ship is only as good as the people who serve on it, and the American sailor is the best anywhere in the world.  Among you are great welders, radar technicians, machine operators, and pilots.  You take pride in your work and America takes pride in you.  We love you.  We are proud of you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

But that is why it is so fitting that this ship is named after a sailor of tremendous character, integrity, and wisdom.  You know that, Susan.  Gerald Ford was raised in American heartland.  He grew up in Grand Rapids and became an Eagle Scout.  He played football at the University of Michigan on a team that won two national championships.  And listen to this:  On that great team, he was named MVP.  Not bad.

He then went to Yale Law School, and after Pearl Harbor, he volunteered to serve.  President Ford joined the Navy and asked to be sent to sea.  He wanted to do that very badly.  He never really knew why; he felt it was a calling.  He was assigned to a new carrier — the Monterey — becoming a plankowner himself on its commissioning in 1943.

From there, he sailed to the Pacific and saw action — and a lot of action — in the Pacific War.  Like so many others of his generation, Gerald Ford returned home and started a family.  He ran for Congress, where he served the people of Michigan with honor for many years.  From there, he became Vice President and then President of the United States of America.

With this ship, we honor him for his lifetime of selfless and distinguished service.  We also remember his wife, Betty — I remember her well — and we honor the bravery she showed in living her life so that her experiences could help others.  Susan, she was a great woman — a great woman.  (Applause.)

Gerald Ford said that his time in the Navy convinced him that our lack of military preparation before World War II has only encouraged our enemies to fight harder and harder and harder.  He learned a lot.  In the future, Ford said, I felt the United States had to be strong.  Never again could we allow our military to be anything but the absolute best.  If he could see this ship today, President Gerald Ford would see his vision brought to life, and he would see his legacy of service being carried on by each and every one of you.  (Applause.)

Gerald Ford embodied American values like few others: love of family, love of freedom, and, most of all, love of country.  He knew that patriotism is the heartbeat of a nation.  He knew that we must love our country in order to protect it.  And he knew that we must have pride in our history if we are going to have confidence in our future.

The men and women of America’s Armed Services are part of a living history.  You uphold timeless customs and traditions, and you protect our nation and our freedom for the next generation to come.  You are fulfilling your duty to this nation, and now it is the job of our government to fulfill its duty to you.  (Applause.)

For years, our government has subjected the military to unpredictable funding and a devastating defense sequester.  You remember that?  Sequester — not good.  This has led to deferred maintenance, a lack of investment in new equipment and technology, and a shortfall in military readiness.  In other words, it’s been a very, very bad period of time for our military.  That is why we reached a deal to secure an additional $20 billion for defense this year — and it’s going up — and why I asked Congress for another $54 billion for next year.

Now we need Congress to do its job and pass the budget that provides for higher, stable, and predictable funding levels for our military needs that our fighting men and women deserve — and you will get, believe me.  President Trump, I will tell you — you will get it.  Don’t worry about it.  But I don’t mind getting a little hand, so call that congressman and call that senator and make sure you get it.  (Applause.)

And by the way, you can also call those senators to make sure you get healthcare.  (Applause.)

We must end the defense sequester once and for all.  We must also reform defense acquisitions to ensure that we are getting the best equipment at the best prices so that our dollars are used only for the best interests of our country and those who serve.  We do not want cost overruns.  We want the best equipment, but we want it built ahead of schedule and we want it build under budget.  (Applause.)

This is the very least we can do for the patriots who have volunteered to give their sweat, their blood, and, if they must, their very lives for our great nation.  The commissioning of this new American carrier marks the renewal of our commitment to a future of American greatness.  Greater than ever before, remember that — greater than ever before.

Just moments from now, the Captain will set the first watch on the USS Gerald R. Ford and, with God’s grace, a watch will stand until the day she is decommissioned 50 years or more from now.

Most of you who will man this ship today are just about 20 years old.  Together, you are embarking on a truly great adventure.  The journey will require all of your talents, all of your efforts, and all of your heart.  As you know, the sea holds many challenges and threats.  But starting today, you will face, together as a team aboard this ship, which is your responsibility and your home.

Three generations of Americans will eventually man these decks.  Perhaps even some of your own children and grandchildren someday.  You will inspire many more American patriots to follow your lead and to serve.  And one day, when you are old and have lived a long and hopefully happy and successful life, you may find yourselves back aboard this ship surrounded by your family to mark its decommissioning.  And on that day, our entire nation will honor not just this carrier, it will honor you and the role you will have played in keeping America safe, strong, and free.

To every patriot who will serve on this ship today and throughout history, I say this:  Keep the watch, protect her, defend her, and love her.  Good luck and Godspeed.  Thank you to the Ford family, and thank you to every sailor in the greatest navy on Earth.  God bless you, God bless the Gerald R. Ford, and God bless the United States of America.  Thank you very much.  God bless you all.  (Applause.)

CAPTAIN MCCORMACK:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And I would be honored if you would place Gerald R. Ford in commission.

Will the guests please rise.  Ship’s company, attention.

THE PRESIDENT:  I hereby place United States Ship Gerald R. Ford in commission.  May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her.  God bless you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

11:27 A.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts July 17, 2017: Vice President Mike Pence’s Speech at Christians United for Israel Washington Summit



July 17, 2017

Remarks by the Vice President at Christians United for Israel Washington Summit

Source: WH, 7-17-17

Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

8:48 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Hello, CUFI!  (Applause.)  Thank you, Pastor John Hagee, Ambassador Dermer, distinguished members of Congress, honored guests, my fellow believers and friends, it is humbling for me to be before you today to join you at the 12th annual summit of the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States of America — Christians United for Israel!  (Applause.)

It’s great to be back with so many friends.  And to all of you — I bring greetings from another friend.  I just left him a few moments ago.  He is a leader, a believer, and a tireless friend of the Jewish state of Israel — the 45th President of the United States, President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

Thanks to the support of so many in this room and your prayers, last November President Trump won a historic victory — more counties than any President since Ronald Reagan, 30 of 50 states — no Republican had carried in a generation.  The truth is President Donald Trump turned the blue wall red, and you made it happen.  (Applause.)

Now as the Good Book says: If you owe debts, pay debts.  If honor, then honor.  If respect, then respect.  And I’m really here on the President’s behalf and on our entire team’s behalf to pay a debt of gratitude to all of you who helped elect a President who is fighting every single day to defend faith, restore freedom, and strengthen America’s unbreakable bond with our most cherished ally, Israel.  (Applause.)

Just last month, President Trump made a historic visit to Israel.  I know all of you were watching from afar.  One of the very first countries our President visited since he took office, standing in Jerusalem, in that ancient and holy city, our President declared for all the world to hear that under his leadership, the United States of America “will always stand with Israel.”  (Applause.)

In Jerusalem, our President said that the bond between America and Israel in his words “is woven together in the hearts of our people” — and Christians United for Israel proves this statement true every single day all across this country.

You know, it was only 11 years ago that my friend Pastor John Hagee had the courage and the vision to unite American Christians to rally around those ancient words “for Zion’s sake, I will not keep silent.”  And, Pastor John Hagee, I thank you for your leadership on behalf of this nation and the Jewish state of Israel.  (Applause.)

And today, through Christians United for Israel, more than 3.3 million believers have raised their voices, have not been silent in support of Israel, and you can be heard in every city and town across America and in every office on Capitol Hill.  And rest assured, the man down the street at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hears you, too.  (Applause.)

Now for my part, Karen and I have always treasured our relationship with Christians United for Israel.  I had the honor to speak to this great group when I was a member of Congress.  I worked hand-in-hand with CUFI when I was governor of the state of Indiana.  And with the support and prayers of men and women gathered in this room, I’m proud to say in my last year as governor, it was my great privilege to sign one of the strongest anti-BDS laws in the America to ensure that our state never does business with those who seek to inflict financial damage on Israel.  (Applause.)  Because boycott, divestment, and sanctions have no place in my home state and no place in America.  (Applause.)

It’s humbling to stand before you today for another reason because it was just one year ago this past weekend that the phone rang at the governor’s residence, and there was a familiar voice on other line.  And I remember when that call came and when the invitation came to join this national ticket, I couldn’t help but think of that ancient verses:  Who am I and who is my family, that you’ve brought me this far?

So tonight, let me just take a moment to thank all of you men and women of CUFI, and all those you represent around America, thank you for your friendship, your support, and your prayers every step of the way on the journey my little family has taken throughout my career.  It’s hard for me to express before you friends of so many years the humility and gratitude I feel today to stand before you today as the 48th Vice President of the United States of America.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  (Applause.)

My friends, to look at Israel is to see that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob keeps his promises, keeps the promises He makes to His people and to each one of us.

Ezekiel prophesized:  “Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.”  And the State of Israel and her people bear witness to God’s faithfulness, as well as their own.

How unlikely was Israel’s birth, how more unlikely has been her survival, and how confounding, against the odds, has been her thriving.

Since the moment of their independence, the Jewish people have awed the world with their strength of will and their strength of character.

Indeed, anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear must acknowledge that Israel is a living testimony to the power of hope over hate and so will she always be.  (Applause.)

The Jewish people have turned the desert into a garden, sickness into health, scarcity into plenty, despair into hope, and slander into blessings — rebuking all who condemn them; not for what they do wrong, but for what they do right.

And under President Donald Trump, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this:  America stands with Israel.  Now and always.  (Applause.)

President Trump and I stand with Israel for the same reason every freedom-loving American stands with Israel — because her cause is our cause, her values are our values, and her fight is our fight.

And President Trump is actually a lifelong friend of Israel.  I’ve seen his passion firsthand in the President’s deep affection for Israel.  The morning after the election, I was actually in the room when Prime Minister Netanyahu called to congratulate the President on his great victory.  I heard President Trump express his unwavering support for Israel and the Jewish people that morning, support he reiterated when he welcomed the Prime Minister to the White House.

And just last month, the world saw our President’s commitment to Israel during that visit to Jerusalem, when President Donald Trump declared that America’s “deep and lasting friendship” with Israel will only in his words “grow deeper and stronger as we work together in the days ahead.”  (Applause.)

For my part, like all of you, my passion for Israel springs from my Christian faith.  The songs of the land and the people of Israel were the anthems of my youth.  As for me and my house, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all who call her home.  It’s really the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Vice President to a President who cares so deeply for our most cherished ally.

And let me say with confidence to all gathered here and to all of the watching world, President Trump and I stand without apology for Israel today.  We will stand without apology for Israel tomorrow, and President Donald Trump and I will stand with the Israel always — of that you may be assured.  (Applause.)

You just need to look at the actions our President has taken since he took office.  Like when he named Governor Nikki Haley to be America’s Ambassador to the United Nations.  (Applause.)

At the President’s direction, Ambassador Haley has been standing up for America and she’s been standing up for Israel.  And as Ambassador Haley said just a short while ago, in her words, “The days of Israel-bashing at the United Nations are over.”  (Applause.)

And the President also named David Friedman to represent our country in Israel as our ambassador.  David is an unabashed advocate for a stronger America-Israel relationship, and our friendship is already stronger with him in our embassy in Israel.

And to the men and women of Christians United for Israel, this President hears you.  This President stands with you.  And I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  It is not a question of if, it is only when.  (Applause.)

President Trump is also personally committed to helping the parties resolve the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  In addition to his own visit to Israel, the President has dispatched several of his top advisors to help guide negotiations.  But our President I can assure knows any peace requires an end to the incitement of hatred, an end to any support whatsoever of terrorism.  And above all else, a lasting peace requires true and complete Palestinian willingness to accept and recognize the Jewish state of Israel.  (Applause.)

And while there will undoubtedly have to be compromises, let me assure all of you gathered here today, President Donald Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish state of Israel — not now, not ever.  (Applause.)

Since the moment of its birth, there has hardly been a day when Israelis have lived without war, or the fear of war, or the grim reality of terror.  We were reminded of this just last Friday, when three gunmen ambushed a group of Israeli police officers in the very heart of Jerusalem.  Two brave officers were murdered in this barbaric act of terrorism.  We mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve.  We grieve with the families of these fallen heroes of Israel, and the prayers of our President, our family, and all who cherish Israel are with these heroic law enforcement officers and their families.  (Applause.)

And so is our resolve.  President Trump has made it clear: America stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, as together we confront those enemies who threaten our people, our freedom, and our very way of life.

America and Israel are united together as friends and allies in the West.  Just a few weeks ago, in Warsaw, Poland — home to so much Jewish history, and so much Jewish heartache, our President defined our struggle with moral clarity, courage, and vision more than any President since Ronald Reagan when President Trump declared in his words:  “The West will never, ever be broken.  Our values will prevail.  Our people will thrive, and our civilization will triumph.”  (Applause.)

We will triumph because our courage and conviction cannot be matched, and for that matter, neither can our strength.

Today, America’s support for Israel’s security is at record levels.  And America now has a President who is fighting every day to rebuild our military.

And under President Donald Trump I promise you we’re going to rebuild this military.  We’re going to restore the arsenal of democracy.  And we’re once again going to give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources and training they need and deserve to accomplish their mission and come home safe.  (Applause.)

In President Trump, America once again has a leader who will stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies.  And this President calls our enemies by their name.  And at this very moment I’m proud to report, the Armed Forces of the United States of America are taking the fight to ISIS terrorist on our terms and on their soil.  And under this Commander-in-Chief, we will continue to fight ISIS until we wipe them off the face of the Earth.  (Applause.)

And under President Trump America will continue to stand strong, continue to stand strong in the face of the leading state sponsor of terrorism.  President Trump has put Iran on notice:  America will no longer tolerate Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region and jeopardize Israel’s security.

And let me be clear on this point:  Under President Donald Trump, the United States of America will not allow Iran to develop a useable nuclear weapon.  This is our solemn promise to the American people, to the people of Israel, and to the world.  (Applause.)

So we stand with Israel.  We stand with Israel today and every day, because the American people throughout our history have always cherished Israel.

We stand with Israel because our bond was knit millennia ago in the finery of faith.  And we stand with Israel because millions of Americans throughout the generations of this country have embraced that ancient truth and admonition that He will bless those who bless her, and he will curse those who curse her.

Indeed, though Israel was built by human hands, it is impossible not to sense that just beneath its history, lies the hand of heaven.  (Applause.)

Over the mantle of our home, since the year I was first elected to Congress, are framed words that have long inspired my family.  We had them over the fireplace in our home in a small town in southern Indiana.  We had them over the fireplace at the governor’s residence in Indianapolis, and now they hang over the mantle of the home of the Vice President of the United States.

They’re words of confidence and faith.  They’re words to which my family has repaired to as generations of Americans have done so throughout our history, and the people of Israel through all their storied history have clung.  They come from the Book of Jeremiah, and it simply reads:  “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope, and a future.”

These words are as true today for all people of faith as they were in millennia past.  And so I encourage you to embrace them.  I urge the men and women of Christians United for Israel to cling to that hope and that promise, and I urge you to do particularly what you’ve done exceedingly well these many years, to continue to bow the head, to bend the knee, and to pray.  Pray for our most cherished ally.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray that God will continue to bless America.

And when you pray, pray with confidence because our God is a faithful God, and He will guide us, and He will guard us as we go forth and do His work.  (Applause.)

And so I thank you for the honor of joining you once again in this new capacity.  And I close tonight saying simply from my heart as I look out on this shining crowd, and I see the support that you represent all across this country for our most cherished ally.  And I have faith.  I have faith that with God’s help and with the men and women gathered here, with all those who cherish Israel, and with President Donald Trump in the White House, the best days for Israel and for America together are yet to come.  (Applause.)

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the Jewish state of Israel and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

9:12 P.M. EDT


Full Text Political Transcripts July 14, 2017: Vice President Mike Pence’s Speech at the National Governors Association



Remarks by the Vice President at the National Governors Association

Source: WH, 7-14-17

Rhode Island Convention Center
Providence, Rhode Island

1:30 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you all.  It is wonderful to be here.

To Prime Minister Trudeau, Governor McAuliffe — thank you for that warm introduction and that warm welcome — to Governor Sandoval, to all the Governors of these United States, especially our host, to Gina Raimondo, to all the distinguished guests who are here with us today — it is an honor to be back in Rhode Island at the 109th annual Summer Meeting of the National Governors Association.  (Applause.)

And I bring greetings today from my friend, a champion of federalism who is fighting every single day to restore power to the states and to the people, the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)

The President is actually returning as we speak from France, where he celebrated America’s first and oldest alliance with great pageantry and a productive meeting.  I spoke to the President aboard Air Force One this morning, and he asked me to convey his thanks to all of you for your service to your states and to give you his best regards.  And our President sent me and several members of our Cabinet here to reaffirm our administration’s commitment to partner with each and every one of you to advance the security and prosperity of all of the American people and all of the states across this country.  (Applause.)

For me, it’s great to be back at the NGA.  I’m, frankly, very humbled — very humbled to be with so many of the leaders I had the privilege to serve with when I was governor of the state of Indiana.  It’s amazing for me to think — my wife and I reflected on it this morning — that it was one year ago this weekend that the phone call came, and my life changed.  I reflected this morning on that ancient verse that I often thought about in those days:  Who am I, oh Lord, and who is my family that you brought me this far.

So let me just take this personal opportunity to say thank you to all of you.  Thank you for your friendship, your encouragement, and the prayers that have enabled us to serve in this new capacity.  It is great to be back with America’s governors.  (Applause.)

I’m here as your Vice President, but I want you to know that I bring the perspective of a former governor, to your discussions this weekend.  When I was a governor, I’d often come to Washington, D.C. representing my state’s interest, and my greatest hope was that I’d have an administration that would listen to me and work with me to improve the lives of the hardworking people of Indiana.  Well let me give you this promise:  Every governor in America has all that and more in President Donald Trump.

You heard it from the President himself when he addressed the NGA at the White House during your winter meeting earlier this year.  As the President said, “Under my administration, we’re going to have a true partnership of collaboration and cooperation with the states.”  And he meant every word of it.

Since day one of our administration, President Trump has been delivering on this promise.  In the past six months, President Trump has met with governors from no fewer than 47 states, individually, and five territories — including all of you that are gathered here today.  In June alone, President Trump welcomed 19 governors to the White House, and he met with three more on the road.  President Trump has involved you in our policy discussions, and let me assure you, this President values your continued input on issues ranging from infrastructure to energy to tax cuts to healthcare and so much more.

And if you haven’t noticed, this President likes to hire governors.   (Laughter.)  Not just present company, but I’m talking about our United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley; Secretary of Energy Rick Perry; our Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue; and the new United States Ambassador to China, who was the longest-serving Governor in American history, Ambassador Terry Branstad.  Let’s give all these former governors a round of applause.  (Applause.)

It really has been a privilege for me to continue to work so closely with all of you on the President’s behalf.  In February, Karen and I enjoyed welcoming many of you to the Vice President’s Residence in Washington, D.C. — the first time all of America’s governors, I was told, have ever been invited to the Naval Observatory, and we were honored that so many came.

Now my wife couldn’t be with us today.  She’s picking our daughter up from the airport — been doing some foreign travel.  But let me personally extend the President’s and our family’s heartfelt appreciation to the most important people in the room today:  the spouses and family members of those who serve as governors across this nation.  Could you give a round of applause to our spouses and family members that support the leadership of these great leaders?  (Applause.)

The truth is, America’s governors have a friend in President Donald Trump, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat.  And this President’s agenda will strengthen every state across this country.  I like to say that our President has a three-part agenda:  Jobs, jobs, and jobs.  And to be around him for any period of time, you know he’s focused on prosperity in this country, as more than anything else other than security.

The President has taken decisive action from the outset of this administration to put America back to work and get our economy moving again.  This President has signed more laws slashing job-killing red tape out of Washington, D.C. than any President in American history.  It’s already saved businesses and individuals up to $18 billion a year in regulatory cost.

And our President has been busy unleashing American energy.  He’s opening the way for more offshore drilling, rolling back the Clean Power Plan, and the President has approved the Keystone and Dakota pipelines to strengthen the energy infrastructure of this nation.  And speaking of infrastructure, President Trump has already begun the process of rebuilding American infrastructure.  And in partnership with governors like you, I promise you, before this session of Congress is out,  we’re going to pass an infrastructure bill that will rebuild America, and we’re going to work with each and every one of you to bring that about.  (Applause.)

This President has also taken decisive action to ensure that America’s trade deals are both free and fair.  Thanks to the President’s leadership, last month American companies were able to ship American beef to China for the first time in over 13 years.

The President has also opened up a new economic dialogue he asked me to lead with the nation of Japan, to strengthen our trade relationship with our valued ally.

And in the coming weeks, President Trump, and our nation will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.  And under this President’s leadership, we will modernize NAFTA for the 21st century so it is a win-win-win for all of our trading partners in North America.  (Applause.)

Now I know you’ll be hearing from Prime Minister Trudeau in just a few minutes.  And let me assure you the United States and Canada have already built a remarkably strong relationship under these two leaders, and the investment relationship that we enjoy today is worth more than $620 billion a year.  And we’re grateful for the Prime Minister’s leadership and his early outreach to this administration.  President Trump recognized that every trade relationship can improve, and as the Prime Minister knows, we’re looking forward to bringing NAFTA into the future in a way that will equally benefit both our countries.

The truth is, President Trump’s leadership is already making a difference, and I know you see it in your states every single day.  Under this President’s watch, businesses large and small have already created more than 800,000 new private sector jobs since the first of this year.  Company after company are making record investments in state after state — billions of dollars, tens of thousands of jobs.  And the stock market is soaring, closing at record highs again this week.

And with the continued input of America’s governors, President Trump is going to work with this Congress to drive forward an agenda for a more prosperous America of lower taxes, less regulation, more American energy, better infrastructure, better trade deals and yes, President Donald Trump is going to lead this Congress to rescue the American people from the collapsing policies of Obamacare.  (Applause.)

As a former governor myself, I know just how important healthcare is to each and every one of you as you lead your states.  The simple truth, though, is Obamacare is imploding all across America, and working families and small businesses are paying the price every day.  Our administration has found that the average premium on the individual market has more than doubled since Obamacare went into effect less than four years ago, and in many states, including some represented here, it’s more than tripled.

When Obamacare passed, we were promised that families would save up to $2,500 in premiums, but the average Obamacare plan today costs nearly $3,000 more than the average plan did in 2013.  And while costs are skyrocketing, choices are plummeting.

On Monday, our administration announced that 38 percent fewer health insurers plan on participating in Obamacare exchanges next year, and the number could rise, leaving millions of Americans with even fewer choices.  And come next year, 40 percent of American counties, including nine whole states, will have only one choice in a health insurance provider, meaning they essentially have no choice at all.  Even worse, dozens of counties will have no health insurance providers whatsoever on the Obamacare exchange in 2018.

I know you know these facts, because as governors you’re living that reality, not far afield in Washington, D.C. looking at statistics, but you’re seeing the impact of these failed policies each and every day in communities and enterprises across your state.  I don’t have to tell any of the governors gathered around here, whatever your politics, whatever your party, you know we’re talking about real people and you know we’re talking about a real crisis.  Because behind every number is a name, and behind every name is a story.

Since early this year, the President has had me traveling across the country to many of your states, and I’ve always made a point to sit down with your local citizens and local businesses to hear the story about the hardship that Obamacare has placed in your communities.  I’ve heard stories from small-business owners, working families, and parents with disabled children who have suffered terribly under the collapsing weight of this policy.  People like Julie Roberts, who I met with earlier this week in Lexington, Kentucky.  At her small business, premiums have spiked 25 percent every year under Obamacare and deductibles have tripled.

Then there’s Connie Mays, who has lived in the same small town in Ohio her entire life.  She has a disability she told me about.  It’s made her life tough, but she’s found her way forward.  But when Obamacare became law, she told me that she lost her health insurance plan, she lost her doctor, and today no healthcare provider in her county will take her Obamacare coverage.  So she essentially has no coverage at all.  She literally had tears in her eyes sitting next to me at the White House when she told me the story that that card in her pocketbook was essentially meaningless because no one in her home county would take it.

There’s Julie Champine from Wisconsin, who I met when I was visiting Governor Walker, whose health insurance costs increased so much that last year she told me with genuine emotion in her voice that she had to choose between paying for her Obamacare coverage and buying Christmas presents for her grandkids.  She literally took that preemptive three months where she could skip making her payments and skip coverage just so she could afford to buy some Christmas presents for her kids and grandkids.

I don’t have to tell all of you.  I mean, these stories are not rare, but they’re all heartbreaking.  They’re not the exception, they’re the rule.  But as I told each and every one of those that I mentioned and people all across this country:  Help is on the way.  We’re going to give the American people access to the kind of world-class healthcare every American deserves.  (Applause.)

I’m pleased to report, as you already know, just yesterday Senate leadership unveiled a new version of the Senate healthcare bill, and President Trump and I urge every member of the Senate to support it.  President Trump and I believe the Senate healthcare bill is the right bill at the right time to begin the end of Obamacare and rescue the American people from this failed policy.  And we look forward to the Senate taking up this bill as early as next week.

Now, President Trump laid out his vision for American healthcare months ago.  The President said he wanted a healthcare system that in his words is “far less expensive and far better.”  And we believe the Senate healthcare bill begins to make the President’s vision a reality.

The bill introduced in the Senate puts America back on the path to better, more affordable healthcare for every American.  The Senate healthcare bill repeals Obamacare’s individual and business mandates, and cuts taxes on American families and American businesses, restoring freedom and it will create jobs.

The Senate healthcare bill doubles the contribution limits for health savings accounts.  And for the first time ever, it allows health savings accounts to cover insurance premiums.  The bill also offers tax credits to help Americans buy the coverage they want at a price they can afford.  And the legislation ensures that every American with preexisting conditions has access to the coverage and care they need — no exceptions.  (Applause.)

And if you take nothing else from what I say today, know that the Senate healthcare bill gives states the freedom to redesign your health insurance markets.  And, most significantly, under this legislation, states across the country will have an unprecedented level of flexibility to reform Medicaid and bring better coverage, better care, and better outcomes to the most vulnerable in your states.

Now, I’m not speaking so much right now as your Vice President, but let me speak to you as a former governor and as someone who Terry McAuliffe pointed out — I made the decision in Indiana to expand Medicaid under a waiver.  I mean, you all know your states, you know your people.  You know how to create the innovative solutions to address the unique healthcare needs of the people of your states.  And I had that very same attitude when I was a governor.

But most of you also know that, under previous administrations — frankly, in both political parties — it’s been difficult, if not at times impossible, for states to act on your own ideas.  I actually learned that firsthand.

Right after I was elected governor, in early 2013, I went straight to work developing a serious Medicaid reform plan that would put vulnerable and low-income Hoosiers more in charge of their own healthcare decisions that would expand access to healthcare providers across the state.

Working with a remarkably talented woman whom I’m proud to say is now the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, we created a plan based on consumer-directed healthcare.  Indiana at the time, as some of you know, was home to a small pilot project that had promising results in that area.  And we believed that we could expand coverage in the state the Indiana way, in ways that would improve access and improve healthcare outcomes for our most vulnerable.  And we went straight to work.

But when we submitted our waiver to the prior administration to implement our plan, we — as many of you can attest in prior administrations — we encountered roadblocks and bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.

It took our state more than two years for the federal government to approve our waiver.  And even then, they, frankly, rejected an awful lot of what we were trying to do.  I know many of you have submitted waiver requests over recent years to Washington, D.C. and had the same result.

Now, President Trump and I both believe that governors should have the freedom to design and implement the reforms in healthcare that will work in your states.  And we’re going to fight to make that a reality in Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)

President Donald Trump is dedicated to getting the federal government out of your way and allowing you to develop those unique solutions that will work for the people of your state.  As the President told you in February, the federal government, in his words, should be not in your way but working with you to deliver needed reforms and services.  And that’s our commitment again today.

Now, tomorrow you’re going to hear from Secretary Tom Price from the Department of Health and Human Services, who accompanied me here today, and Administrator Seema Verma about our President’s commitment to work with each and every one of you.  Earlier this year, they sent a letter to every governor in America, in their words, to affirm the President’s partnership with all of your states.

And I got to tell you — and I hope you’ve already had this experience — Secretary Tom Price and Administrator Seema Verma, we’ve got the A-team.  They’re fighting for you.  They’re fighting for the states’ ability to innovate and meet the needs of our most vulnerable, and improve our healthcare system.  And I’d like you to give them a round of applause.  (Applause.)

As you’ve heard from those Cabinet officials, and I’m here to say again today:  Our administration wants you to innovate.  We want you to improve your own health insurance markets and strengthen your Medicaid programs.  And I promise you that this administration will work with you in a timely way so that you can move forward with the policies and plans that are best for your states and your citizens.

And a case in point:  Just a few days ago, Administrator Verma approved a state innovation waiver for Alaska to lower premiums and improve access to care for thousands of Alaskans.  And, Governor, we commend you for your leadership.

Our administration is committed to working with you as partners.  And the good news is that the Senate’s healthcare bill will expand state freedom and flexibility to an even greater degree than the law permits our administration to extend today.  The bill actually rolls back restrictions on waivers, giving states the ability to stabilize your insurance markets after they’ve been virtually destroyed in recent years.

And when it comes to Medicaid, not only does the Senate’s healthcare bill expand state flexibility, it ensures that every state in America has the resources you need to take care of your most vulnerable.

As a former governor who expanded Medicaid in our state with consumer-directed healthcare, I have to tell you I understand and appreciate, as the President does, the concerns that many of you have as we talk about Medicaid in the future going forward.  Our administration has paid very close attention to this issue, and we’ve had discussions with governors around this room and around the country.

So let me be clear:  President Trump and I believe the Senate healthcare bill strengthens and secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society.  And this bill puts this vital America program on a path to long-term sustainability.

Under the Senate healthcare bill, federal Medicaid spending will be $300 billion to $500 billion higher over the next decade relative to current amounts, ensuring that our states have the ability to provide for the most vulnerable and give them the care that they’re counting on.

And when it comes to receiving this funding, your states will have two options — a per-capita cap or a block grant.

The per-capita cap gives each state the money you need to cover Medicaid’s traditional beneficiaries, who need the most assistance.

And with the block grant option, you’ll be able to determine how to best use your Medicaid dollars.  And you can provide for your most vulnerable in ways that’s best for your state.

At the same time, the Senate healthcare bill creates a stability fund in addition to that that states can use to help people obtain personal coverage as they transition out of the Medicaid expansion.

People on Medicaid will be eligible for the new tax credits, which will help them purchase the affordable coverage that’s right for them.

The truth is that these reforms are long overdue.

Under Obamacare, the Medicaid expansion costs 50 percent more per enrollee than what we were told.  At this very moment, Medicaid is one of the largest and fastest growing budget items in nearly every state budget.  But you already know that.  And as Medicaid grows, there’s less and less money for schools, for roads, and for public safety.

The truth is for a long time Medicaid has been a broken system that’s been fundamentally unsustainable, and the expansion that occurred Obamacare only made the system worse.

This just can’t continue.  That’s why the Senate healthcare bill puts Medicaid on a budget for the first time in its history — ensuring for the long run that Medicaid will be there for the neediest in our society.

Obamacare has put far too many able-bodied adults on the Medicaid rolls, leaving many disabled and vulnerable Americans at the back of the line.  It’s true, and it’s heartbreaking.  I know Governor Kasich isn’t with us, but I suspect that he’s very troubled to know that in Ohio alone, nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists, leaving them without the care they need for months or even years.

Just a few weeks ago at the White House, I met just such a family from a state that had expanded Medicaid.  Christine and Jacob Chalkey.  They’re a beautiful family, but they have a heartbreaking story, and it’s one that America needs to hear.

Jacob is Christine’s son, a courageous young man in his early 20s.  He has a rare disability, and for nearly his entire life, he depended on Medicaid in his state for the medicine that he needs.

But a few years back, when their state expanded traditional Medicaid, the state also announced that they were going to cut back on coverage for medication like Jacob’s.

One day, Christine told me with tears in her eyes, as well, that she got a letter in the mail saying that the state would no longer pay for Jacob’s medicine.  The family tried as hard as they could to get enough money together, but they just couldn’t do it.  They had to switch to a different, cheaper alternative that might not work.

And sure enough, it didn’t.  Young Jake’s health began to fail, she told me.  He even lost his ability to see, to walk, and to talk.  Only by the grace of God did he regain these skills and a loving family was there at his side.  But every day is now a struggle for him and their family.

Jake is not alone.  The truth is I’ve heard from special-needs families as I’ve traveled all across this country, and they’ve told me again and again that unless we reform Medicaid, our most vulnerable are going to continue to be crowded out of coverage that they rely on and depend on.

I don’t have to ask any one of you to know where your hearts are on this issue.  You know Medicaid was created in the very instances of its founding to support the aged, the blind, the disabled, and vulnerable children.  And unless we bring about needful reforms that you alone in your state know how to best implement, we’re going to continue to see scarce resources crowd out the help that our most vulnerable need.  And I know that no one around this table, no one sitting in a governor’s office in our states or territories wants that to happen.

This demands a compassionate response.  I know all of you care deeply about those families.  You want to provide for them and give them the best shot at a better life.

I say that with confidence because I know all of you.  Beyond the politics that may separate us, I have to tell you that being among governors was one of the most inspiring times in my season of public service.  Because as Gina and I were talking earlier, governors are doers.  You roll your sleeves up.  More often than not, you just check your politics at the door and go figure out how to solve problems.  And this room is filled with men and women who are problem-solvers.

So I want to say this is your chance.  The Senate healthcare bill restores Medicaid to its original purpose — caring for the disabled, the blind, the low-income elderly, pregnant women, and children.  And we can put you back in the driver’s seat to making sure that it does just that.

I really believe, as the President does, that we’re saving Medicaid for the sake of our most vulnerable and all that depend on it.  We’re providing all Americans with access to the high quality and affordable health insurance with the reforms that are moving through Congress today.

This really is about caring for the least among us, and it’s about doing the right thing.  And at the end of the day, I know in my heart of hearts the men and women around this table, and everyone in public service at every level longs to do just that.

Before I leave, I’d like to mention one more accomplishment in the Senate healthcare bill that I know is of great interest and has already been a subject of discussion appropriately at this gathering of the National Governors Association.  I’m pleased to report that the new Senate healthcare bill provides unprecedented new resources to address the opioid crisis that’s ravaging our states and communities across this nation.  (Applause.)

The President and I are grateful for each one of your leadership on this issue.  And in my days back in the Hoosier State, I sat around kitchen tables with families that were dealing with the loss of a loved one to opioid addiction, or dealing with the long, long road back from opioid addiction and abuse.

Now you all would be glad to know that President Trump has made a priority of this administration to end the scourge of opioid addiction in this country.  He knows the impact that it has on families, and we’re determined in this administration to bring the full resources of the national government to bear on assisting you as you come alongside these families.

President Trump has been giving our law enforcement community at every level the resources and backing they need to go after this on the law enforcement side.   We’ve been getting gang members, drug dealers, and violent criminals like MS-13 off the streets of our cities at an unprecedented pace.  The President has also created a commission devoted to addressing the opioid crisis because we know that we have to meet this crisis not just with law enforcement but also with compassion and with new resources for those that are caught up in the scourge of addiction.

With this President’s support, the Senate healthcare bill unveiled yesterday a remarkable $45 billion in new federal resources to confront opioid abuse and addiction in our states.  (Applause.)

And when this bill is signed into law, every state in America will benefit from this funding.  And passing this bill is a vital step to help those who suffer in the grip of addiction, our communities, and our country, and put our entire nation back on the road to healing.

As the Governor and I were just talking a moment ago, once again in your state, after Congress passed the Cures Act last year, you’re going to have the ability with these new resources to look at issues like not only treatment, but also treatment centers to build further capacity in your states to make resources available for people and their families to deal with the scourge of addition.  And we know your leadership will make a difference in lives.

The bottom line:  That the Senate healthcare act provides for the most vulnerable in our society.  It improves and strengthens Medicaid.  It gives you, America’s governors, the flexibility you need to bring better care, better coverage, and better outcomes to the citizens of your states.  The President and I truly believe it will be a historic day for American healthcare when the President has the privilege to sign this bill into law.  And we commend it.  We commend this bill to your attention, and we ask for your support.

But today, I want to ask all of you to continue to work with us to build on the good work being done in this Congress on healthcare and on so many other issues.  I want to challenge each one of you to work together with this administration to give the American people access to the world-class healthcare they deserve and to move forward the kind of policies that will strengthen our nation, strengthen our economy, and advance the security and safety of the American people.

But we truly do believe now is the time to act in the Congress in healthcare reform for the sake of the American people.  Now is the time to usher in a new era of state-based innovation.  Now is the time to make the best healthcare system the world even better.

And as I close, let me again thank you for the warm welcome today and the good fellowship.  When I arrived today one of my colleagues asked me if I missed you.  And the truth is, I do.  The privilege of serving as a governor of the state I grew up in was the greatest privilege of my life till that phone rang a year ago this weekend.

But there’s something special about governors, and I want you to know that President Trump and I know it.  And we’re just determined to seize this moment in the life of our nation to advance the interests and the well-being of people of our country.  And we ask for your support.

And as I ask it, I say with confidence that I know we will succeed as we confront the challenges in healthcare and beyond because I have faith.

So with boundless faith in the American people, with faith in you men and women in this room who lead the great states of this Union, with faith in our President’s vision and determination, and with faith in God who has ever watched over this Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, I say with confidence:  We will make America safe again.  We will make America prosperous again.  We will give Americans the opportunity to have access to world-class healthcare again.  And to borrow a phrase, working with all of you on behalf of all of the American people, we will Make America Great Again.

Thank you very much.  God bless you for your service to this nation.  God bless your states and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

2:02 P.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts July 11, 2017: Donald Trump, Jr. Russia Meeting Emails 



Donald Trump, Jr. Russia Meeting Emails

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Good morning

Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.


Rob Goldstone

This iphone speaks many languages

This e-mail message, and any attachments to it, are for the sole use of the intended recipients, and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution of this email message or its attachments is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. Finally, while the company uses virus protection, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. The company accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?



Sent from my iPhone

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 12:40 PM

To: Donald Trump J

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Hi Don

Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day Best to you and family Rob Goldstone

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 6, 2016, at 15:03, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Rob could we speak now?


Donald J. Trump Jr.

Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization

725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY | 10022 | trump.com

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 3:37 PM

To: Donald Trump Jr.

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Let me track him down in Moscow

What number he could call?

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 6, 2016, at 15:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

My cell [REDACTED] thanks


Donald J. Trump Jr.

Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization

725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY 10022 | trump.com

On Jun 6, 2016, at 3:43 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Ok he’s on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 Minutes so I am sure can call Rob

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 6, 2016, at 16:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Rob thanks for the help.


On Jun 7, 2016, at 4:20 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:


Hope all is well

Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.

I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?

I assume it would be at your office.


Rob Goldstone

This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 7, 2016, at 5:16 PM, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

How about 3 at our offices? Thanks rob appreciate you helping set it up.


Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 7, 2016, at 5:19 PM, Rob Goldstone wrote:

Perfect won’t sit in on the meeting, but will bring them at 3pm and introduce you etc.

I will send the names of the two people meeting with you for security when I have them later today.



On Jun 7, 2016, at 18:14, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law and me, 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.

Sent from my iPhone

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Wednesday June 08, 2016 10:34 AM

To: Donald Trump Jr.

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Good morning

Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting to 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3 i was just informed.



This iphone speaks many languages

On Jun 8, 2016, at 11:15, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:

Yes Rob I could do that unless they wanted to do 3 today instead… just let me know and ill lock it in either way.


Donald J. Trump Jr. Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization 725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY 10022

From: Rob Goldstone

Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 11:18 AM

To: Donald Trump Jr.

Subject: Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

They can’t do today as she hasn’t landed yet from Moscow 4pm is great tomorrow.



This iphone speaks many languages

From: Donald Trump Jr.

Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 12:03 PM

To: Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort

Subject: FW: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential

Meeting got moved to 4 tomorrow at my offices.



Donald J. Trump Jr. Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization 725 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY | 10022 n | trump.com

Comment posted by Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter on July 11, 2017

To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails with Rob Goldstone about the meeting on June 9, 2016. The first email on June 3, 2016 was from Rob, who was relating a request from Emin, a person I knew from the 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant near Moscow. Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow. The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research. I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting. The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act. To put this in context, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue. As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was “the most inane nonsense l ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.”

Full Text Political Transcripts July 8, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Remarks at Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Event



Remarks by President Trump at Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Event

Source: WH, 7-8-17

Hamburg Messe
Hamburg, Germany

10:02 A.M. CET

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Justin, thank you very much. We have a great neighbor in Canada, and Justin is doing a spectacular job in Canada. Everybody loves him, and they love him for all reasons. So, congratulations on the job you’re doing.

And I want to thank also Chancellor Merkel for what she’s done here. It’s been really incredible the way things have been handled — and nothing is easy — but so professionally and without much interruption, despite quite a few people. And they seem to follow your G20s around. But you have been amazing and you have done a fantastic job. And thank you very much, Chancellor. Incredible. (Applause.)

I truly am glad and very proud to be here today to announce the historic initiative that will help transform millions of lives — millions and millions. A lot of great, great women out there with tremendous entrepreneurial spirit and talent. And it will provide new hope to these women from countless communities all across the world. Women in both developing and developed countries represent tremendous promise for economic growth and prosperity.

When more women participate in the workforce — which, by the way, will be a lot more competition for people like me, prior to becoming a politician. That’s a lot of competition, talented competition. But the world economy will grow and millions and millions of people will be lifted out of poverty. Millions and millions of people, jobs.

The critical investments we’re announcing today will help advance the economic empowerment of women around the world. As I said in Poland on Thursday — and Poland was so terrific to me, and such great people — empowering women is a core value that binds us together.

I’m very proud of my daughter, Ivanka — always have been, from day one — I had to tell you that, from day one. She’s always been great. (Applause.) A champion. She’s a champion. If she weren’t my daughter, it would be so much easier for her. (Laughter.) Might be the only bad thing she has going, if you want to know the truth. But I’m very proud of Ivanka who has been a forceful advocate for landmark women entrepreneurs. And she worked very hard for the women entrepreneurs finance initiative.

So I want to thank you, Ivanka, for all of the great work you do in so many ways, in addition to great work you’ve done over the last few weeks and months working so hard to help everybody. You’re helping the Chancellor, but you’re helping women all over the world. And I want to thank you. Thank you very much.

I also want to thank World Bank President, my friend — ah, Kim. (Laughter.) Great guy. Really great guy. I might have even appointed him, but I didn’t. He’d be a great appointment. And the founding donor countries for their generous support. We’ve had tremendous support from so many countries.

Chancellor Merkel and Ivanka, this is a vision that really has now become a reality, a very strong and funded reality. Thank you for all your efforts and your dedication to this very critical issue. And I love it because so many jobs, even beyond women — the women will be creating tremendous initiatives and businesses, and that means jobs for people.

We applaud everyone involved in this wonderful and meaningful project. And President Kim told me just recently that this is one of the most significant fundraising efforts for women entrepreneurs that has ever happened in history. And I think there’s really nothing even close. So that’s a really great achievement.

And I’m pleased to announce today that our administration will also make a substantial contribution. And around the world, women face numerous barriers running their own businesses, including access to capital and, maybe almost as importantly, access to mentors. The facility will help remove these barriers and open up doors of opportunity so women may live and work to their full potential. And I know what that potential is — it’s unlimited.

By investing in women around the world, we’ve investing in families, we’re investing in prosperity, and we’re investing in peace.

With a $50 million commitment, the United States will continue to lead the world stage in developing policies to empower women financially in our modern economy.

So I just want to congratulate everybody. This has been a really difficult one. But once it got going, it was about women, and it just took off beyond what anybody thought.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank everybody here. And, Chancellor, thank you very much. Your leadership is absolutely incredible and very inspiring. Thank you very much, everybody. (Applause.)

END 10:07 A.M. CET

Full Text Political Transcripts July 6, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Speech to the People of Poland



Remarks by President Trump to the People of Poland | July 6, 2017

Source: WH, 7-6-17

Krasiński Square
Warsaw, Poland

1:16 P.M. CEST

MRS. TRUMP:  Hello, Poland!  Thank you very much.  My husband and I have enjoyed visiting your beautiful country.  I want to thank President and Mrs. Duda for the warm welcome and their generous hospitality.  I had the opportunity to visit the Copernicus Science Centre today, and found it not only informative but thoughtful, its mission, which is to inspire people to observe, experiment, ask questions, and seek answers.

I can think of no better purpose for such a wonderful science center.  Thank you to all who were involved in giving us the tour, especially the children who made it such a wonderful experience.

As many of you know, a main focus of my husband’s presidency is safety and security of the American people.  I think all of us can agree people should be able to live their lives without fear, no matter what country they live in.  That is my wish for all of us around the world.  (Applause.)

Thank you again for this wonderful welcome to your very special country.  Your kindness and gracious hospitality will not be forgotten.  (Applause.)

And now it is my honor to introduce to you my husband, the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.  (Applause.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  That’s so nice.  The United States has many great diplomats, but there is truly no better ambassador for our country than our beautiful First Lady, Melania.  Thank you, Melania.  That was very nice.  (Applause.)

We’ve come to your nation to deliver a very important message:  America loves Poland, and America loves the Polish people.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

The Poles have not only greatly enriched this region, but Polish-Americans have also greatly enriched the United States, and I was truly proud to have their support in the 2016 election.  (Applause.)

It is a profound honor to stand in this city, by this monument to the Warsaw Uprising, and to address the Polish nation that so many generations have dreamed of:  a Poland that is safe, strong, and free.  (Applause.)

President Duda and your wonderful First Lady, Agata, have welcomed us with the tremendous warmth and kindness for which Poland is known around the world.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  My sincere — and I mean sincerely thank both of them.  And to Prime Minister Syzdlo, a very special thanks also.  (Applause.)

We are also pleased that former President Lech Walesa, so famous for leading the Solidarity Movement, has joined us today, also.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

On behalf of all Americans, let me also thank the entire Polish people for the generosity you have shown in welcoming our soldiers to your country.  These soldiers are not only brave defenders of freedom, but also symbols of America’s commitment to your security and your place in a strong and democratic Europe.
We are proudly joined on stage by American, Polish, British, and Romanian soldiers.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Great job.

President Duda and I have just come from an incredibly successful meeting with the leaders participating in the Three Seas Initiative.  To the citizens of this great region, America is eager to expand our partnership with you.  We welcome stronger ties of trade and commerce as you grow your economies. And we are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy.  (Applause.)

Mr. President, I congratulate you, along with the President of Croatia, on your leadership of this historic Three Seas Initiative.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

This is my first visit to Central Europe as President, and I am thrilled that it could be right here at this magnificent, beautiful piece of land.  It is beautiful.  (Applause.)  Poland is the geographic heart of Europe, but more importantly, in the Polish people, we see the soul of Europe.  Your nation is great because your spirit is great and your spirit is strong.  (Applause.)

For two centuries, Poland suffered constant and brutal attacks.  But while Poland could be invaded and occupied, and its borders even erased from the map, it could never be erased from history or from your hearts.  In those dark days, you have lost your land but you never lost your pride.  (Applause.)

So it is with true admiration that I can say today, that from the farms and villages of your countryside to the cathedrals and squares of your great cities, Poland lives, Poland prospers, and Poland prevails.  (Applause.)

Despite every effort to transform you, oppress you, or destroy you, you endured and overcame.  You are the proud nation of Copernicus — think of that — (applause) — Chopin, Saint John Paul II.  Poland is a land of great heroes.  (Applause.)  And you are a people who know the true value of what you defend.

The triumph of the Polish spirit over centuries of hardship gives us all hope for a future in which good conquers evil, and peace achieves victory over war.

For Americans, Poland has been a symbol of hope since the beginning of our nation.  Polish heroes and American patriots fought side by side in our War of Independence and in many wars that followed.  Our soldiers still serve together today in Afghanistan and Iraq, combatting the enemies of all civilization.

For America’s part, we have never given up on freedom and independence as the right and destiny of the Polish people, and we never, ever will.  (Applause.)

Our two countries share a special bond forged by unique histories and national characters.  It’s a fellowship that exists only among people who have fought and bled and died for freedom.  (Applause.)

The signs of this friendship stand in our nation’s capital.  Just steps from the White House, we’ve raised statues of men with names like Pułaski and Kościuszko.  (Applause.)  The same is true in Warsaw, where street signs carry the name of George Washington, and a monument stands to one of the world’s greatest heroes, Ronald Reagan.  (Applause.)

And so I am here today not just to visit an old ally, but to hold it up as an example for others who seek freedom and who wish to summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization.  (Applause.)  The story of Poland is the story of a people who have never lost hope, who have never been broken, and who have never, ever forgotten who they are.  (Applause)

AUDIENCE:  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Such a great honor.  This is a nation more than one thousand years old.  Your borders were erased for more than a century and only restored just one century ago.

In 1920, in the Miracle of Vistula, Poland stopped the Soviet army bent on European conquest.  (Applause.)  Then, 19 years later in 1939, you were invaded yet again, this time by Nazi Germany from the west and the Soviet Union from the east.  That’s trouble.  That’s tough.

Under a double occupation the Polish people endured evils beyond description: the Katyn forest massacre, the occupations, the Holocaust, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the destruction of this beautiful capital city, and the deaths of nearly one in five Polish people.  A vibrant Jewish population — the largest in Europe — was reduced to almost nothing after the Nazis systematically murdered millions of Poland’s Jewish citizens, along with countless others, during that brutal occupation.

In the summer of 1944, the Nazi and Soviet armies were preparing for a terrible and bloody battle right here in Warsaw. Amid that hell on earth, the citizens of Poland rose up to defend their homeland.  I am deeply honored to be joined on stage today by veterans and heroes of the Warsaw Uprising.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  (Chanting.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  What great spirit.  We salute your noble sacrifice and we pledge to always remember your fight for Poland and for freedom.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

This monument reminds us that more than 150,000 Poles died during that desperate struggle to overthrow oppression.
From the other side of the river, the Soviet armed forces stopped and waited.  They watched as the Nazis ruthlessly destroyed the city, viciously murdering men, women, and children.  They tried to destroy this nation forever by shattering its will to survive.

But there is a courage and a strength deep in the Polish character that no one could destroy.  The Polish martyr, Bishop Michael Kozal, said it well:  “More horrifying than a defeat of arms is a collapse of the human spirit.”

Through four decades of communist rule, Poland and the other captive nations of Europe endured a brutal campaign to demolish freedom, your faith, your laws, your history, your identity — indeed the very essence of your culture and your humanity.  Yet, through it all, you never lost that spirit.  (Applause.)  Your oppressors tried to break you, but Poland could not be broken.  (Applause.)

And when the day came on June 2nd, 1979, and one million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first mass with their Polish Pope, that day, every communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down.  (Applause.)  They must have known it at the exact moment during Pope John Paul II’s sermon when a million Polish men, women, and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer.  A million Polish people did not ask for wealth.  They did not ask for privilege.  Instead, one million Poles sang three simple words:  “We Want God.”  (Applause.)

In those words, the Polish people recalled the promise of a better future.  They found new courage to face down their oppressors, and they found the words to declare that Poland would be Poland once again.

As I stand here today before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can still hear those voices that echo through history.  Their message is as true today as ever.  The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out “We want God.”  (Applause.)

Together, with Pope John Paul II, the Poles reasserted their identity as a nation devoted to God.  And with that powerful declaration of who you are, you came to understand what to do and how to live.  You stood in solidarity against oppression, against a lawless secret police, against a cruel and wicked system that impoverished your cities and your souls.  And you won.  Poland prevailed.  Poland will always prevail.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  You were supported in that victory over communism by a strong alliance of free nations in the West that defied tyranny.  Now, among the most committed members of the NATO Alliance, Poland has resumed its place as a leading nation of a Europe that is strong, whole, and free.

A strong Poland is a blessing to the nations of Europe, and they know that.  A strong Europe is a blessing to the West and to the world.  (Applause.)  One hundred years after the entry of American forces into World War I, the transatlantic bond between the United States and Europe is as strong as ever and maybe, in many ways, even stronger.

This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism.  But today we’re in the West, and we have to say there are dire threats to our security and to our way of life.  You see what’s happening out there.  They are threats.  We will confront them.  We will win.  But they are threats.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We are confronted by another oppressive ideology — one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe.  America and Europe have suffered one terror attack after another.  We’re going to get it to stop.  (Applause.)

During a historic gathering in Saudi Arabia, I called on the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations to join together to drive out this menace which threatens all of humanity.  We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory and their funding, and their networks, and any form of ideological support that they may have.  While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism, and we will prevail.  We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.

Today, the West is also confronted by the powers that seek to test our will, undermine our confidence, and challenge our interests.  To meet new forms of aggression, including propaganda, financial crimes, and cyberwarfare, we must adapt our alliance to compete effectively in new ways and on all new battlefields.

We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere, and its support for hostile regimes — including Syria and Iran — and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.  (Applause.)

Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger — one firmly within our control.  This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles:  the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.  The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.

Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty.  We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.  (Applause.)  If left unchecked, these forces will undermine our courage, sap our spirit, and weaken our will to defend ourselves and our societies.

But just as our adversaries and enemies of the past learned here in Poland, we know that these forces, too, are doomed to fail if we want them to fail.  And we do, indeed, want them to fail.  (Applause.)  They are doomed not only because our alliance is strong, our countries are resilient, and our power is unmatched.  Through all of that, you have to say everything is true.  Our adversaries, however, are doomed because we will never forget who we are.  And if we don’t forget who are, we just can’t be beaten.  Americans will never forget.  The nations of Europe will never forget.  We are the fastest and the greatest community.  There is nothing like our community of nations.  The world has never known anything like our community of nations.

We write symphonies.  We pursue innovation.  We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.

We reward brilliance.  We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God.  We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.  (Applause.)

We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success.  We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.  And we debate everything.  We challenge everything.  We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.  (Applause.)

And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom.  That is who we are.  Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.

What we have, what we inherited from our — and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people — what we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before.  And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again.  So we cannot fail.

This great community of nations has something else in common:  In every one of them, it is the people, not the powerful, who have always formed the foundation of freedom and the cornerstone of our defense.  The people have been that foundation here in Poland — as they were right here in Warsaw — and they were the foundation from the very, very beginning in America.

Our citizens did not win freedom together, did not survive horrors together, did not face down evil together, only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values.  We did not and we will not.  We will never back down.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  As long as we know our history, we will know how to build our future.  Americans know that a strong alliance of free, sovereign and independent nations is the best defense for our freedoms and for our interests.  That is why my administration has demanded that all members of NATO finally meet their full and fair financial obligation.

As a result of this insistence, billions of dollars more have begun to pour into NATO.  In fact, people are shocked.  But billions and billions of dollars more are coming in from countries that, in my opinion, would not have been paying so quickly.

To those who would criticize our tough stance, I would point out that the United States has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment.  (Applause.)

Words are easy, but actions are what matters.  And for its own protection — and you know this, everybody knows this, everybody has to know this — Europe must do more.  Europe must demonstrate that it believes in its future by investing its money to secure that future.

That is why we applaud Poland for its decision to move forward this week on acquiring from the United States the battle-tested Patriot air and missile defense system — the best anywhere in the world.  (Applause.)  That is also why we salute the Polish people for being one of the NATO countries that has actually achieved the benchmark for investment in our common defense.  Thank you.  Thank you, Poland.  I must tell you, the example you set is truly magnificent, and we applaud Poland.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will.  Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have.  The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.  Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?  Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders?  Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?  (Applause.)

We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive.  (Applause.)  If anyone forgets the critical importance of these things, let them come to one country that never has.  Let them come to Poland.  (Applause.)  And let them come here, to Warsaw, and learn the story of the Warsaw Uprising.

When they do, they should learn about Jerusalem Avenue.  In August of 1944, Jerusalem Avenue was one of the main roads running east and west through this city, just as it is today.
Control of that road was crucially important to both sides in the battle for Warsaw.  The German military wanted it as their most direct route to move troops and to form a very strong front.  And for the Polish Home Army, the ability to pass north and south across that street was critical to keep the center of the city, and the Uprising itself, from being split apart and destroyed.

Every night, the Poles put up sandbags amid machine gun fire — and it was horrendous fire — to protect a narrow passage across Jerusalem Avenue.  Every day, the enemy forces knocked them down again and again and again.  Then the Poles dug a trench.  Finally, they built a barricade.  And the brave Polish fighters began to flow across Jerusalem Avenue.  That narrow passageway, just a few feet wide, was the fragile link that kept the Uprising alive.

Between its walls, a constant stream of citizens and freedom fighters made their perilous, just perilous, sprints.  They ran across that street, they ran through that street, they ran under that street — all to defend this city.  “The far side was several yards away,” recalled one young Polish woman named Greta.  That mortality and that life was so important to her.  In fact, she said, “The mortally dangerous sector of the street was soaked in the blood.  It was the blood of messengers, liaison girls, and couriers.”

Nazi snipers shot at anybody who crossed.  Anybody who crossed, they were being shot at.  Their soldiers burned every building on the street, and they used the Poles as human shields for their tanks in their effort to capture Jerusalem Avenue.  The enemy never ceased its relentless assault on that small outpost of civilization.  And the Poles never ceased its defense.

The Jerusalem Avenue passage required constant protection, repair, and reinforcement, but the will of its defenders did not waver, even in the face of death.  And to the last days of the Uprising, the fragile crossing never, ever failed.  It was never, ever forgotten.  It was kept open by the Polish people.

The memories of those who perished in the Warsaw Uprising cry out across the decades, and few are clearer than the memories of those who died to build and defend the Jerusalem Avenue crossing.  Those heroes remind us that the West was saved with the blood of patriots; that each generation must rise up and play their part in its defense — (applause) — and that every foot of ground, and every last inch of civilization, is worth defending with your life.

Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls.  Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital, and demand no less defense, than that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once totally rested.  Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory.

And today as ever, Poland is in our heart, and its people are in that fight.  (Applause.)  Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken.  Our values will prevail.  Our people will thrive.  And our civilization will triumph.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!  Donald Trump!

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  So, together, let us all fight like the Poles — for family, for freedom, for country, and for God.

Thank you.  God Bless You.  God bless the Polish people.  God bless our allies.  And God bless the United States of America.

Thank you.  God bless you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

1:55 P.M. CEST


Full Text Political Transcripts July 4, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Remarks at 4th of July Military Appreciation Event



Remarks by President Trump at 4th of July Military Appreciation Event

Source: WH, 7-4-17

South Lawn

5:16 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Welcome, everyone.  The rain stopped just as we came out.  I don’t know what that means, but it’s not bad.  (Laughter.)  And Happy Fourth of July.  Great honor to have you with us.  (Applause.)  Melania and I truly appreciate and celebrate America’s independence with those who courageously defend our country — the men, women and families of the United States military.

It is because of you that well over 300 million American citizens can live in freedom.  There is one military family here today I am especially excited to recognize:  Our great Vice President, Mike Pence, and our Second Lady — never heard that term before, but that’s what they say — and she is some lady, that I can tell you — of the United States, Karen Pence, are here along with their son, Marine First Lieutenant Michael Pence.  Where is Michael?  (Applause.)  Great.  It’s great, Michael.  Michael, not only are your parents proud of you, not only am I proud of you, but America, Michael, is very proud of you.  Thank you.

And America is proud of all of the brave men and women who serve in every branch of our great military.  We have outstanding representatives of each service, each branch.  They’re with us today. We have Army.  We have Navy.  We have Air Force.  (Applause.)  We have Marines.  (Applause.)  We have the Coast Guard.  (Laughter.)  We love our Coast Guard.

Representing the United States Army is Captain Jean Gwon.  She served 14 years, and today she is Company Commander in support of Old Guard, where she oversees the 120 soldiers who protect the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It’s beautiful.  Captain Gwon is joined today by her husband, Captain James Folwell.  Thank you both for your service, and thank you to every soldier here with us today and serving our nation, and serving us all around the world.  You are truly the army of the free.

From the Marines we have Marine Sergeant Yannick Tumukunde.  He’s with Marine Helicopter Squadron One, an outfit I’ve come to know and admire very much since arriving at the White House.  Sergeant Tumukunde is a senior technician and is the sole chief martial arts instructor and trainer for the entire squadron.  Thank you, and thank you for being here.  And also, we lay claim to a very special title.  You are a United States Marine.  That is a special title.  Thank you, Sergeant.

From the Navy we have Lieutenant Commander Allison Maybrey, a Navy oceanographer.  Her leadership has improved the atmosphere.  And really what she’s done is so incredible, having to do with sensing, modeling, and predicting the electromagnetic warfare capabilities of various countries that hopefully we won’t be thinking about too much.  But she’s there, and she’s got the information like nobody has.  We thank Allison and her husband, Lieutenant Commander Michael Maybrey, here with their children, Emma, Lily, and Amelia.  Our incredible sailors embody the Navy credo: “Not for self, but for country.”  Thank you.

From the Air Force we have Technical Sergeant Ralph Bunnell.  Sergeant Bunnell is responsible for leading 50 security forces personnel that protect the President, the Vice President, and visiting foreign heads of state.  A big job, a very important job.  We want to thank you — to Ralph and to your wife, Patricia.  And thank you to every member of the Air Force who gives our nation total superiority in the air, striking fear into the hearts of our enemies, and inspiring hope in the hearts of our friends all around the world.

Finally, representing the Coast Guard we have Petty Officer First Class Tony Franklin.  Tony is a Gunner’s Mate and is directly responsible for the armament of 17 units.  He has led countless gunnery and pyrotechnic demonstrations — so I don’t think the fireworks are going to impress him very much, but I will tell you they’re going to impress you.  (Laughter.)  Thank you, Tony.

I want to thank everyone in the Coast Guard.  I was at the Coast Guard Academy this year — gave the commencement address — and it was an amazing, incredible group of people and a really great day.  Thank you, Tony, very much.

Each of you here today represents that rare combination of patriotism, virtue, and courage that our citizens have always — and I mean always — admired and that our enemies have always feared.  At this moment, your brothers and sisters in arms are posted around the globe, fighting our enemies and standing watch to protect our nation.  They’re fighting for us.  We are thanking them, praying for them, and saluting them for their selfless sacrifice.

There could be no greater privilege than to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.  I pledge my unwavering support for you, for your families, and your missions.  I will always have your back.  I will always, under all circumstances — you’ll be coming back here, and I will always have your back.

And I want to just tell you that our country is doing really, really well.  No matter where you look, the economy is blazing.  And on every front we’re doing well.  And we do have challenges, but we will handle those challenges — believe me.

You’re part of a new, and a truly great generation.  Two days ago I spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole, who served as the co-pilot of the lead B-25 bomber pilot — and piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle during the daring 1942 raid, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Lieutenant Colonel Cole and the rest of the Doolittle Raiders launched their aircraft into the sky knowing that they would not have enough fuel to return to friendly territory.  That’s not a good feeling.  That’s a lot of courage.

Our servicemen and women are preserving the legacy of courage and selfless service that they inherited from Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole and so many others.

May God bless you all.  May God bless our military.  May God bless forever the United States of America.

Thank you very much for being here.  Happy Fourth of July.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Happy Fourth of July, everybody.  Thank you very much.

5:24 P.M. EDT

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