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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Trump on Combating the Opioid Crisis

Source: WH, 3-19-18

Issued on: 

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.

SECRETARY AZAR: It 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.)

THE PRESIDENT: Great.

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

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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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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.)

END
3:44 P.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts June 7, 2017: President Donald Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Christopher A. Wray to be Director of the FBI

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

President Donald Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Christopher A. Wray to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Source: WH, 6-7-17

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Christopher A. Wray for the position of Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Mr. Wray is currently a partner at King & Spalding, an international law firm.

Mr. Wray has been recognized throughout his career as a leader in the field of white-collar criminal defense and government investigations. As Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice from 2003 to 2005, Mr. Wray helped address the surge of corporate fraud scandals that plagued our financial markets. Upon his departure from the Department, Mr. Wray received the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Department’s highest honor for public service and leadership. Mr. Wray graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1989 and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992.

“I am proud to announce Christopher as my choice as the Director of the FBI. During his previous service at the Department of Justice, Christopher was the leader of major fraud investigations, and was a key part of the team overseeing the Justice Department’s actions in the war on terrorism following the 9/11 attacks,” said President Trump. “He is an impeccably qualified individual, and I know that he will again serve his country as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity once the Senate confirms him to lead the FBI.

“It is a great honor to be selected by the President to return to the Department of Justice as Director of the FBI,” said Mr. Wray. “I look forward to serving the American people with integrity as the leader of what I know firsthand to be an extraordinary group of men and women who have dedicated their careers to protecting this country.”

Full Text Political Transcripts May 15, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Speech at the 36th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

May 15, 2017

Remarks by President Trump at the 36th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service

Source: WH, 5-15-17

U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.

12:02 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Wow, what a beautiful introduction.  Thank you, Chuck.  That was above and beyond.  That’s the way I’m going to be with you, too.  And it’s a great honor — thank you very much — it’s a great honor to address America’s heroes on this most solemn occasion.

Words cannot express the depths of our gratitude, but I hope that our actions will show you how deeply we care and how strongly we feel about protecting those who protect us.  America stands strong with our men and women in blue.  Believe me, we stand strong together.

I want to recognize Jim Pasco, Linda Hennie, Chaplain Wiggins, and everyone at the Fraternal Order of Police for all that you do to protect the law enforcement of this country and all of our communities.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  As long as I’m President, you will always find an open door to the White House.  And you’ve already found it, believe me.

Mr. Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, and members of Congress, we are gathered here today at the U.S. Capitol to pay tribute to those brave law enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.  On this Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, we thank God for having blessed so many of us with such incredible heroes — and we pledge our solidarity with their families and loved ones.  And many of those great families and survivors are here with us today, and I’d love you to stand up.  Families and survivors — what great, incredible people.  (Applause.)  And your loved ones are looking down on you right now, believe me, and they’re very proud.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you very much for being here.  Whatever you need, we are here for you, and we are praying for you.

As I look out today at this amazing assembly of police, detectives, marshals and sheriffs, I want to make all of you remember and heed this promise:  I will always support the incredible men and women of law enforcement as much as you have always supported me.  And you did, big league.  (Applause.)

Your presence here reminds us all of what is at stake on this sacred day of remembrance.  Each May, during Police Week, new names of fallen police officers are added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial.  This year, 394 brave souls join the over 20,000 men and women who gave up their lives in the line of duty to protect us.

The names of these heroes are not only carved into that wall, but carved into the hearts of the American people.  And by the way, the American people love you, more than you will ever know.  I can tell you that.  (Applause.)

Though your loved ones left us much too soon, the memory of their courage will live on forever.  To see so many names together is to gain only a small glimpse of the debt America owes to those who protect our cities and police on our streets.

We are privileged this morning to be joined by families of the fallen, to whom we owe that ultimate loyalty.  So many people — even back here.  Please know that you do not grieve alone.  Though we cannot fathom the depths of your loss, nor fully appreciate the bond that forms in the precinct and between partners on the beat, your sadness is left and felt by all of us.  Every drop of blood spilled from our heroes in blue is a wound inflicted upon the whole country.  And every heartache known by your families in law enforcement is a sorrow shared by the entire family of the American nation.

No one asked these selfless men and women to enlist in this righteous cause, or to enroll as foot soldiers in the eternal struggle against crime and violence.  They joined the cause because their hearts were big and full of amazing courage.  They joined because they cared so deeply for the innocent and helpless and forgotten.  They put on the uniform because they believed to the very core of their souls, that it was their mission in life to serve and to protect.

As the Bible tells us, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  The names and stories on that wall are each a testament to this pure and unselfish love.  And that’s what it is — pure and unselfish love.  And it is our duty as a people and as a nation to prove worthy of their sacrifice.  And that begins with showing our police the appreciation they have earned a thousand times over.  (Applause.)

Living in New York, I gained a deep appreciation and lasting admiration for law enforcement.  Thousands of people are living and enjoying life today in New York who otherwise would be gone because our great police fought to bring safety to our streets and our communities.  The entire world witnessed the heroism of New York’s finest when they gave their lives on 9/11 — I was there — and sacrificed so much in that brutal, horrible aftermath.

Now, as President, my highest duty is to keep America safe.  We will keep America safe.  (Applause.)  And included in safe means safe from crimes, safe from terrorism, and safe from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  At the center of that duty is the requirement to ensure that our law enforcement personnel are given the tools and resources they need to do their jobs and to come home to their families safely.  (Applause.)

You are the Thin Blue Line between civilization and chaos.  You come from every community and all walks of life.  You are mothers and fathers and sons and daughters.  You rush into unknown danger, risking your lives for people you have never met, people you don’t know, performing your duty under the most difficult conditions — and often without any thanks at all.

Because you do not hear nearly enough, I want you to know that patriotic Americans of all backgrounds truly support and love our police.  (Applause.)

And a very sad thing is that many of today’s politicians don’t want to say that, don’t want to talk about that because it’s not politically correct or they think it might hurt them with the voters.  I will say it and I will talk about it proudly.  (Applause.)  I will make it the personal priority of my administration to ensure that our police are finally treated fairly, with honor and respect that they deserve.  (Applause.)

To all Americans watching this event today, next time you see a cop on the beat, take a moment to say two wonderful words, which they so readily deserve:  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

As you all know much too well, we are living through an era in which our police have been subject to unfair defamation and vilification, and, even worse — really, I mean, you see what’s going on, you see what’s going — even worse, hostility and violence.  More officers were slain last year in ambushes than in any year in more than two decades, including — and that’s so incredible to even have to be speaking about this — the beloved officers killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in yet another murderous attack of law enforcement.  And we have some of those incredible families and survivors with us.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

The attacks on our police are a stain on the very fabric of our society, and you are entitled to leadership at the highest level that will draw a bright line in the sand — not a red line in the sand that isn’t gone over — but a bright line in the sand.  And we will protect you.  That I can tell you.  And we will say, “Enough is enough.”  (Applause.)  The attacks on our police must end, and they must end right now.  (Applause.)

And just to show you, by the way, how much I love our police, I said, oh, I’m going to need a hat because it’s so windy today.  (Laughter.)  I said, when I got out of here, there’s no way I’m going to put on this hat.  So we’ll leave off the hat.   And this is for you, Micah.  That’s for our beautiful Micah down there.  (Applause.)

We must also end the reckless words of incitement that give rise to danger and give rise to violence.  It is time to work with our cops, not against them, but to support them in making our streets safe; not to obstruct them — which we’re doing, we obstruct them.

It is time for all Americans, from all parties and beliefs, to join together in a simple goal to ensure that every child in America has the right to grow up in safety, security and peace.  True social justice means a future where every child, in every neighborhood, can play outside without fear, can walk home safely from school, and can live out the beautiful dreams that fill their heart — like you, Mica.  (Applause.)

Freedom includes the right to be free — and I mean totally free — from crime and from violence.  MS-13 is going to be gone from our streets very soon, believe me.  (Applause.)

When policing is reduced, it’s often the poorest and most vulnerable Americans who are the first to suffer.  We have all seen the tragic rise in violence and crimes in many of our disadvantaged communities.  We’ve seen the unbearable horror of the shortcomings in Baltimore and Chicago that have cut short so many lives and so many beautiful, beautiful dreams.

We cannot stand for such violence.  We cannot tolerate such pain.  We cannot, under any circumstances, any longer turn a blind eye to this suffering that’s going on any longer.  And we won’t.  (Applause.)

It’s time for a grateful nation to join hands with our police and with our sheriffs to build the bridges of cooperation and trust, and to make our streets safer for every man, woman and child in America.  And someday, many of the young children you are protecting will decide that they, too, want to be police officers, that they, too, want to be sheriffs, they want to be cops — they want to be cops.   They want to protect people because they love people.  And that’s what they’re going to do, and they’re going to do it well.  They’re going to be great at it.

As we seek this better and brighter future, we do so in the memory of these brave but gentle souls who were stolen from this world when they had so much left to share and to give not only to us but to their incredible families.

Among them were Patrolman Justin Martin and Sergeant Tony Beminio, who were murdered last November.  Patrolman Martin was on the beat for less than a year, and leaves a beautiful, loving mom and dad, Randy and Jayne.  And thank you, Randy and Jayne.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Sergeant Beminio was a veteran of 11 years, and leaves behind his wife Zoe, and his wonderful children, Cameron, Haley and Maddox.

Ashley Guindon of the Prince William County Police fell in the line of duty on her very first day on the beat.  She swore the oath to protect and serve only a day prior to her death.  One day.  Officer Gwin-Don was dedicated to serving our nation
— she also served in the Marines.  And today, our thoughts are with her and her incredible mother, Sharon.  Thank you, Sharon.  Thank you.  Thank you, Sharon.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

I also had the privilege to meet at the White House just a little while ago with representatives from the Phoenix Police Department, New Jersey State Troopers, and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, who are mourning the deaths of State Trooper Frankie Williams and Sergeant Kerry Winters.

I had the chance to spend time with Officer Glasser’s beautiful family, his wife, Kristen, and his six-year-old son Micah — who has my hat and he’s now with us.  Micah, stand up.  Kristen, please stand up.  Great people.  (Applause.)

Kristen and Micah, I know your beloved husband and father is looking down on you right now from heaven, and he is so proud of you both.  And thank you very much.  Thank you.

We also remember those incredible heroes who were so cruelly targeted for execution in Dallas, Texas — rushing into a hail of gunfire, never to return.  Dallas Police Sergeant Michael Smith was a 27-year veteran of the Dallas Police.  He was decorated a law enforcement officer at the highest level, and even paid his own way to attend advanced training sessions.  He leaves behind his cherished wife, Heidi, and his loving daughters, Victoria and Caroline.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Last Friday, in Kirkersville, Ohio, a gunman shot and killed Steven Eric Disario.  He was the Chief of the Kirkersville Police Department.  He died responding to a hostage situation at a local nursing home.  Chief Disario leaves behind six children and his wife, who is expecting another child.  Our hearts break for the Chief’s family.  We love you all.  We love you all.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

To every child in America who has lost a mom or a dad in the line of duty, I want you to know your parents are American heroes — American heroes.  They died keeping us safe.  They are the pride of our nation.  And we will hold them in our hearts always and forever.  (Applause.)  Their sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten.

To everyone in the audience here today, I want you to know that my administration is determined — totally determined — to restore law and order and justice for all Americans, and we’re going to do it quickly.  (Applause.)

And that is why I’m so proud to be here today with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Director John Kelly, two men who are deeply committed to the rule of law, to the rank-and-file officers who enforce it, and to bringing the violent criminals, drug dealers, and gang members to justice.  And I mean bring them to justice quickly.  Thank you very much for being here.  (Applause.)

All of you at this ceremony, the men and women who police the streets, or who send our loved ones to work with a really very, very, sometimes worried or heavy heart — every single day you do that — you’ve seen and you’ve heard things that no one else should ever have to see or hear.  You bear this burden on our behalf.  You have witnessed the evil of those who derive pleasure from inflicting pain on the innocent.  You’ve seen a lot of that more recently than maybe ever before.  It’s going to stop.  And you’ve watched great, great people suffer unthinkable harm and unthinkable death.

America as a nation must always have the clarity to know the difference between good and evil, between right and wrong, and between those who uphold our laws and those who so easily break them.  We owe it to the fallen to act according to our best and highest ideals.  We owe it to their memory to put truth before politics, justice before agendas, and to put the safety and security of the American people above everything else.  (Applause.)  And we owe it to them to build a better future for all of America’s wonderful children.

May today be the beginning of a new era of respect and appreciation for law enforcement.  May this ceremony bring new hope to those in search of healing, harmony and peace.  May Americans learn from the example of the heroes we have lost, and always remember to trust each other, work with each other, and love each other.

And finally, and so importantly, may God bless you.  May God bless our police.  And may God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
12:27 P.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts February 7, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Remarks in Roundtable with County Sheriffs

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Trump in Roundtable with County Sheriffs

Source: WH, 2-7-17

Roosevelt Room

9:49 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, the sheriffs are great people.  Well, thank you very much.  Law enforcement was a big subject in the campaign and a subject that was very well received.  You have no idea how respected you are, sheriffs and, generally speaking, the leaders of law enforcement.  Anybody involved in law enforcement, you have no idea how respected you are — you don’t get the honest facts from the press — if you don’t know how respected you are.  So I just want to say that upfront.

I’m honored to welcome the National Sheriffs’ Association.  Your leadership is here, and I know the great job you do.  I’ve known you and followed you for a long period of time.  Your efforts and your officers are outstanding.  I know so many sheriffs from my area — some in particular — and they’re great friends and great people.

I just want to let you know that our job is to help you in law enforcement, and we’re going to help you do your job.  We’re going to expand access to abuse-deterring drugs, which a lot of you have been talking about.  They’re out, and they’re very hard to get.  Stop the opioid epidemic.  We’ve got to do it.  It’s a new thing.  And, honestly, people aren’t talking about it enough.  It’s a new thing, and it’s a new problem for you folks.  It’s probably a vast majority of your crimes — or at least a very big portion of your crimes are caused by drugs.

We’re going to stop the border.  We’re going to stop — we’re not going to have the drugs pouring from the border like they have been.  We will work with you on supporting your longstanding efforts to strengthen the bonds between the communities and the police, which is very important.  And it’s sort a new phenomenon to a certain extent, and it’s happening more and more.  And some great results out when you can strengthen the bonds.

We’re committed to securing our borders to reduce crime, illegal drugs, human trafficking, especially in border counties.  We have a lot of the border counties represented.

We’re also committed to working with law enforcement to stop terrorist attacks.  You’ve been reading about that, been seeing about that — they want to take a lot of our powers away.  There are some people with a lot of the wrong intentions, and it’s — we’ve got a lot of bad people out there.

And, Dana, I just want to thank you on behalf of the government, on behalf of our country for leading a strong, strong effort in the courts.  We really appreciate it, believe me.  Because as you know, we don’t have an attorney general.  We have somebody who’s phenomenal — Jeff Sessions.  He’s going to be there hopefully soon.  But I believe it’s about a record for the length of time that they’ve delayed the Cabinet.  These are Cabinet members that are phenomenal people.  And we haven’t had representation, and now we have excellent representation, fortunately, in Dana.  And Jeff will be with you very shortly, hopefully.  But we’re having a hard time getting approvals.  And it’s only a delay tactic — it’s all politics.

One person came up to me, a senator, a Democratic senator who came up to me the other day and said, Jeff Sessions is a fantastic man.  He’s fabulous.  He’s a friend of mine.  He’s a great, great man and a great talent.  And we’re lucky to have him.  I said, oh, great, I guess that means you’re voting for him?  No, I won’t be voting that.  (Laughter.)  He said, politics doesn’t allow me to do that.

I thought it was a disgrace.  If the press talks loud and hard enough, I’ll have to tell you who said that to me.  You don’t want to hear it.  You don’t want to hear who said that?  (Laughter.)  I didn’t think you’d care.  I didn’t think you’d care.  I’ll probably tell you, actually.  Anyway.

So we’re going to be very tough on crime.  So we’re going to be very tough on the drugs pouring in, and that’s a big part of the crime.  We’re going to be very strong at the border.  We have no choice.  And we’re going to be building a wall.   We’re starting very soon.  General Kelly will be working with a lot of you.  And he’s fantastic.  He was the one who got approved very quickly along with General Mattis.  He’s very, very outstanding.  And I very much appreciate that you’re here today.

And, Sheriff, I really thank you for leading the effort.  Your reputation is fantastic, and it’s a great honor to know you.  Maybe we can go around — we’ll let the press stay for a little while, unless you’d rather leave.  Would the press rather stay?  Just so you understand.  This is a new phenomenon.  You’re on live television all over the world right now, so don’t get nervous when you speak, okay?  (Laughter.)

But I don’t think these things have ever taken place before.  But you are on live television, so if you don’t want to say anything, you don’t have to.  But if you do, I think it’s a good thing to say.  So maybe we’ll just go around the room.

SHERIFF WELSH:  Well, Mr. President, thank you so much for having us here.  I’m Sheriff Carolyn Welsh from Chester County, Pennsylvania, and proud to say Pennsylvania, the commonwealth, that put you over the top November 8th.

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s true.  (Laughter.)

SHERIFF WELSH:  We’re very proud of that.  We don’t stop bragging about that.

THE PRESIDENT:  You were a great support.

SHERIFF WELSH:  Thank you.  And I just want to thank you for, during the campaign and since the campaign, being such a strong, courageous supporter of law enforcement on the national — on the federal level with the Border Patrol, on the state level, and the counties, municipalities, boroughs, and particularly with the elected sheriffs of the counties — because we are the sheriff, we are the people’s representative, and we are elected by the people, and we greatly appreciate your strong and continued support.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Carolyn.  There’s a new sheriff in town.

SHERIFF WELSH:  That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT:  I hear this so much.  (Laughter.)  I hear this so much, Dana.  They always use, “there’s a new sheriff in town.”  So anyway.

SHERIFF EAVANSON:  Sheriff Harold Eavanson from Rockwall County, Texas.  We appreciate your support very much.  Our county is probably about 85 percent Republican.  So it was pretty easy for you —

THE PRESIDENT:  They were very nice.  I agree.  They were very nice.

SHERIFF EAVANSON:  And being in a border state, I have been to the border in Texas any number of times, been to the border in Arizona.  I clearly understand the problem we have.  And previously when we’d go to the border and hear what the ranchers and sheriffs have to say — those border sheriffs and border ranchers, it was a 180 degrees from what we heard from the previous administration.

THE PRESIDENT:  So you’re seeing a big difference?

SHERIFF EAVANSON:  We’re very proud to have you as President.

THE PRESIDENT:  And that’s only two weeks.  Okay?  It’s a very short period of time.  I’m hearing it from a lot of people.  People are calling in and they’re — and people I know that are in the area, they’re saying it’s like day and night.  Because we’re not playing games.  We’re not playing games.  We’re stopping the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth.  So thank you very much.  I appreciate it.

SHERIFF EAVANSON:  You’re welcome.

MR. THOMPSON:  Mr. President, I’m Jonathan Thompson, the executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association.  Let me tell you the difference of six months.  I sat in this room, in this chair, and I was pleading — I was begging for help.  Today, you’ve invited us here to your home.  You’re offering help.  You’re delivering on that offer.  And on behalf of our members across the country, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  It’s so nice.  I appreciate that.

SHERIFF STANEK:  Mr. President, Rich Stanek from Hennepin County, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

First off, thank you very much.  As Ms. Conway said, next time, up by three points in my state — over the top.

THE PRESIDENT:  Boy, we almost won your state.  You know we weren’t supposed to do very well in your state, and we won — lost by one point.  I say, if I went there one more visit we would have won.  (Laughter.)  We would have won Minnesota.  But it was very close.

SHERIFF STANEK:  Many of us have your back, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, I know.

SHERIFF STANEK:  And I just want to say that you hit on two topics that are near and dear to my heart.  The first is opioids — 144 people that died last year as a result of opioid overdose; 31 percent increase over the year before.  We need help.  Eighty-plus percent of the drugs come from south of the border.  Everybody knows it.  I know you will do something about it.

THE PRESIDENT:  I will.  It’s already being done, believe me.  It’s a big, big difference.  And we will do that, and you do have a big problem, and you have a big problem with the refugees pouring in, don’t you?

SHERIFF STANEK:  Yes, we do, sir.  And we all asking if what you’re doing, which is let the courts decide, do what we’ve been doing.  Rule of law is strong and the proper vetting of individuals is really important to us.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, you know, the vetting is much, much tougher now.  And we need this court case.  It will be very helpful to keeping the wrong people out of our country.  You understand that better than anybody.  So I think we’re going to have some good results.

SHERIFF STANEK:  I do, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  It may take a little while.  And you know, this is a very dangerous period of time because while everybody is talking and dealing, a lot of bad people are thinking about, hey, let’s go in right now.  But we’re being very, very tough with the vetting — tougher than ever before.

SHERIFF STANEK:  Sir, I chaired the Homeland Security Committee for the National Sheriffs’ Association.  We heard from General Kelly yesterday, his message was right on the mark about carrying out your directives, and we appreciate that.

THE PRESIDENT:  That used to be a political position, you know, what General Kelly is doing here right now.  Homeland Security, if you remember — it’s like a political position.  Not anymore.  Now it’s, in my opinion, one of truly most important positions.  So he’s doing a great job.  Thank you very much.

SHERIFF STANEK:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, sir.

SHERIFF GLICK:  Mr. President, thank you.  It’s such an honor to be here.  I’m Danny Glick, sheriff of Laramie County, Wyoming.  You know, there are so many issues that you’ll hear going around this table.  One of the ones that probably isn’t — that people don’t realize is EPA decisions that have affected our coal industry, our oil industry in the West.  But beyond that, it increases the number of people that are jobless and thus increases our crime statistics.  And it’s starting to overwhelm us.  We’re very small out there for the most part, and we don’t have the numbers of deputies, officers and law enforcement that can sometimes keep up with this.  I appreciate what you’ve done and what you’re planning in the future.  I think it was very well publicized, and I just appreciate being here today.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Sheriff.  And I will tell you that the EPA — you’re right.  I call it — it’s clogged the bloodstream of our country.  People can’t do anything.  People are looking to get approvals for factories for 15 years, and then after the 15th year they get voted down after having spent a fortune.  So that’s going to end.  We have one of our really great people — as you know, Scott is looking to be approved by the Senate.  We’re still waiting for that one, too.  It’s a disgrace what’s going on.  But as soon as he gets involved, we’re going to unclog the system.

And, by the way, people are going to get rejected, but they’re going to get rejected quickly.  But for the most part, they’re going to be accepted when they want to do.  We’re going to bring the jobs back.  And your state was very, very good to me, as you know.  I mean, they were very, very good to me and I appreciate that.  And just tell the people we’re going to get the system unclogged and we’re going to get it up.

As you know, I approved two pipelines that were stuck in limbo forever.  I don’t even think it was controversial.  You know, I approved them — I haven’t even heard — I haven’t had one call from anybody saying, oh, that was a terrible thing you did.  I haven’t had one call.  You know, usually, if I do something it’s like bedlam, right?  I haven’t had one call from anybody.  And a lot of jobs — in the Keystone case, we have potentially 32,000 jobs almost immediately.  And then, as you know, I did the Dakota pipeline and nobody called up to complain.  Because it was unfair.  Years of getting approvals, nobody showed up to fight it.  This company spends a tremendous — hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars, and then all of a sudden, people show up to fight it.  It’s not fair to our companies.  And I think everyone is going to be happy in the end, okay?

So I appreciate it very much, Sheriff.  It’s a great honor to have you here.  Thank you.  And say hello to your people.

Yes, sir.

SHERIFF LAYTON:  Good morning, Mr. President.  I’m John Layton.  I’m the sheriff of Marion County, Indiana, which is — (laughter) —

THE PRESIDENT:  You never met our great Vice President.  (Laughter.)

SHERIFF LAYTON:  I’m very proud of this man.  And we as sheriffs — this is, to me, it seems like it’s unprecedented.  I look back into the history of the NSA, long before myself, and I never have — I could never find where — not only did the President and now the Vice President, as well, has invited us into your house to share some concerns of ours —

THE PRESIDENT:  And in about 10 minutes, you’re going to see the Oval Office, too, which is — that’s the other thing, you know, people have had meetings here.  I had the car companies, the biggest companies — Ford, General Motors, Fiat — and they were in this room often.  And I said, oh, so you’ve seen the Oval Office?  “No, we’ve never been invited to see the Oval Office.”  You know where the Oval Office is?  Ten feet in that direction — 10 feet.

SHERIFF LAYTON:  Looking forward to it.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, these are the biggest people that were going there — these are the biggest people.  So they were never invited to the Oval Office and they were only 10 feet away.  You would think they would be invited.  But you’re going to see the Oval Office, okay?

SHERIFF LAYTON:  Thank you, Mr. President.  One of the main concerns was not just my office as sheriff, but across the nation — the mentally ill in the jails, and the people that they’re being really, for lack of a better term, warehoused in our jails across America because we don’t have the facilities necessary to take care of them on the outside.  And it ends up a lot of these people go to jail because the public or the police officer happens to be mad at them at the time, instead of they need to be in the jail for a very good reason.  So we just appreciate you having the back of law enforcement.  We do all feel that, as everyone with a badge knows, that you do have our backs and that we’re looking forward to years of harmony and taking care of business with the people we serve.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I appreciate it.  And I will say that, in the recent election, law enforcement is with me.  I mean, the numbers were staggering — staggering.  It wasn’t like, gee, it’s 51-49.  Believe me, it was through the roof.  Law enforcement and military also.

SHERIFF LAYTON:  Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT:  I think, generally, people in uniform tend to like me.  (Laughter.)  Explain that to me.  Dana, explain that to me.  (Laughter.)  So, Sheriff, thank you very much.  And do you miss your former governor?

SHERIFF LAYTON:  We do, we do.

THE PRESIDENT:  You have a good new governor.

SHERIFF LAYTON:  Holcomb is holding down the fort for us, though, but big shoes for him to fill.

THE PRESIDENT:  Mike Pence has been fantastic.

SHERIFF LAYTON:  Yes, he has.

THE PRESIDENT:  Dana, I want to thank you for your service.  Amazing the way you just stepped into the breach and have done such a good job.  And let’s see what happens with the court case.

MR. BOENTE:  Well, Mr. President, thank you for the privilege to serve you and the Department of Justice and the American people.  I’m very honored by it.  And I want to thank all the sheriffs here, but I guess our local and state partners — it’s very important to federal law enforcement and all the agencies.  And I know that Senator Sessions — we’re looking forward to him getting to the Department — will make that an important priority.  And he wants to strengthen that bond that we have with them because it’s very, very important to law enforcement.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, well, thank you very much.  And, you know, one of the things that you know better than anybody is that we had a very good victory in Boston.  So I said to everybody, why don’t we use the Boston case?  Why aren’t we using the Boston case?  Because the Boston victory was great, but it’s statutorily —

MR. BOENTE:  Judge Gordon, who wrote that decision, had a very good analysis where he referred to immigration law, and I thought it was a terrific opinion.  And I think it’s the right opinion.

THE PRESIDENT:  And a highly respected judge, too.  So I appreciate it.  Thank you, Dana, very much.  Appreciate it.

SHERIFF PAGE:  Mr. President, I’m Sheriff Page from Rockingham County, North Carolina.  And you did very well in North Carolina.  (Laughter.)  And I just want to —

THE PRESIDENT:  Go North Carolina.

SHERIFF PAGE:  Hey!  (Laughter.)  And I just want to say that we appreciate you being where you’re at.  The first responsibility of government is protecting its people.  As we as elected by the people and you’re elected by the people, we got that.  When you say there’s a new sheriff in town, we relate to that.  You’re about the rule of law.  We haven’t seen that in many years, and we appreciate that.

And I want to tell you something — when General Kelly was speaking yesterday for the sheriffs, he made — he was telling us about — he went — I saw something that I haven’t seen before. He went to the border, he looked at the assets, and he asked the law enforcement down there, what’s going on and what can we do to help fix the situation down here.

So you’ve got a good team.  You’re putting together a good team.  You’ve got the support of sheriffs from across the country, and we appreciate what you’re doing.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you.  And a funny story — so when General Kelly was just sworn in, now Secretary Kelly, and I said, you want to have dinner tonight and we’ll talk?  “Sir, I’m heading to the border.”  I said, I like that better.  (Laughter.)  We don’t need to eat.  I said, I like that better.  So he’s right on the ball, he’s going to be fantastic.  Because everybody has said the same thing.

Thank you.  That’s very nice.

SHERIFF PAGE:  Thank you, sir.

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  Good morning, Mr. President.  Dave Mahoney, I’m the sheriff in Dane County, which is Madison, Wisconsin.  I want to thank you for inviting our nation’s sheriffs into the White House.  You know, as the only elected law enforcement leaders in our community, we are the most engaged in our community’s issues and concerns.  And I think it’s important.  I think there’s a strong message when the President of the United States invites our nation’s sheriffs in to talk about those issues that are of importance in our community.

THE PRESIDENT:  Has this ever happened before with the sheriffs?

PARTICIPANT:  No, sir.

PARTICIPANT:  No, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  It never happened?

PARTICIPANT:  Never.

THE PRESIDENT:  And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right?  Did you know that?  Forty-seven years.  I used to use that — I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised, because the press doesn’t tell it like it is.  It wasn’t to their advantage to say that.  But the murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, from 45 to 47 years.  And you would think that you would be invited here, and you would think that you people would be able to solve — had you — if you ran Chicago, you would solve that nightmare, I tell you.  I’ll bet everybody in that room, especially Carolyn, right, would raise their hand.  Because to allow — I mean, literally — hundreds of shootings a month, it’s worse than some of the places that we read about in the Middle East, where you have wars going on.  It’s so sad.  Chicago has become so sad a situation.

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  I’m only three hours from downtown Chicago, and as Sheriff Stanek mentioned, the issues of heroin and opiate addiction — I’m averaging 12, 15 overdoses a week in my community.  And we need help from DEA, FBI, and our task forces.  We need them to be adequately funded and led by leaders who want to work collectively with our nation’s sheriffs.

THE PRESIDENT:  How much of your crime is caused, do you think, by drugs generally?

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  Eighty percent?

THE PRESIDENT:  Eighty percent.  So without drugs, you would have a whole different ballgame.

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  I have a jail, over 1,000 beds.  Eighty percent suffer from chronic drug and alcohol addiction.

THE PRESIDENT:  And when did it start, big league?  Or has it been going on for many years?

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  Well, I think heroin and opiates have overshadowed cocaine, which of course has been, since the eighties, our number-one drug of choice.  Now it’s prescription painkillers and —

THE PRESIDENT:  And at a much higher level?

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  At a higher level.

THE PRESIDENT:  Much higher.

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  The overdoses are at a much higher level.

THE PRESIDENT:  Right, right.

PARTICIPANT:  Mr. President, I hate to interrupt — it used to take 90 days to take a load of heroin from the border to get it into the (inaudible) mainstream.  Now it’s taking 14 days.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, well, we’ll have it take infinity, okay?  (Laughter.)

SHERIFF MAHONEY:  I want to thank you too for seeking the input and guidance of our nation’s sheriffs on issues like immigration.  My community is looking for immigration reform, an expedited way for a good immigrant to obtain citizenship in this great country.  And I appreciate the invitation today to join you, and look forward to working with you on many of these issues.  Some we’ll disagree on, but far more we’re going to agree on.

THE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely, you’re right.  I actually can’t believe that we’re having to fight to protect the security — in a court system to protect the security of our nation.  I can’t even believe it.  And a lot of people agree with us, believe me.  There’s a group of people out there — and I mean much more than half of our country — much, much more.  You’re not allowed to use the term “silent majority” anymore.  You’re not allowed, because they make that into a whole big deal.

But there’s a group of people out there — massive, massive numbers, far bigger than what you see protesting.  And if those people ever protested, you would see a real protest.  But they want to see our borders secure and our country secure, and they want to see people that can love our country come in, not people that are looking to destroy our country.

So anyway, thank you, Sheriff.

SHERIFF AUBREY:  Sheriff John Aubrey, fifth-term sheriff, Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Past president of National Sheriffs’ Association.  And my fellow sheriffs have brought up a number of points, and I’d like to add two to it that I know are on your plate and the administration’s plate.  The 1033 program, where we were sharing Department of Defense surplus material that helps us in our war.  They were used in the war, and they helped us in our war.  That got severely curtailed.

And the other thing is asset forfeiture.  People want to say we’re taking money and without due process.  That’s not true.  We take money from dope dealers —

THE PRESIDENT:  So you’re saying — okay, so you’re saying the asset-taking you used to do, and it had an impact, right?  And you’re not allowed to do it now?

SHERIFF AUBREY:  No, they have curtailed it a little bit.  And I’m sure the folks are —

THE PRESIDENT:  And that’s for legal reasons?  Or just political reasons?

SHERIFF AUBREY:  They make it political and they make it — they make up stories.  All you’ve got to do —

THE PRESIDENT:  I’d like to look into that, okay?  There’s no reason for that.  Dana, do you think there’s any reason for that?  Are you aware of this?

MR. BOENTE:  I am aware of that, Mr. President.  And we have gotten a great deal of criticism for the asset forfeiture, which, as the sheriff said, frequently was taking narcotics proceeds and other proceeds of crime.  But there has been a lot of pressure on the department to curtail some of that.

THE PRESIDENT:  So what do you do?  So in other words, they have a huge stash of drugs.  So in the old days, you take it.  Now we’re criticized if we take it.  So who gets it?  What happens to it?  Tell them to keep it?

MR. BOENTE:  Well, we have what is called equitable sharing, where we usually share it with the local police departments for whatever portion that they worked on the case.  And it was a very successful program, very popular with the law enforcement community.

THE PRESIDENT:  And now what happens?

MR. BOENTE:  Well, now we’ve just been given — there’s been a lot of pressure not to forfeit, in some cases.

THE PRESIDENT:  Who would want that pressure, other than, like, bad people, right?  But who would want that pressure?  You would think they’d want this stuff taken away.

SHERIFF AUBREY:  You have to be careful how you speak, I guess.  But a lot of pressure is coming out of — was coming out of Congress.  I don’t know that that will continue now or not.

THE PRESIDENT:  I think less so.  I think Congress is going to get beat up really badly by the voters because they’ve let this happen.  And I think badly.  I think you’ll be back in shape.  So, asset forfeiture, we’re going to go back on, okay?

SHERIFF AUBREY:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  I mean, how simple can anything be?  You all agree with that, I assume, right?

PARTICIPANT:  Absolutely, yeah.

THE PRESIDENT:  Do you even understand the other side of it?

PARTICIPANT:  No.

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s like some things —

PARTICIPANT:  No sense.

THE PRESIDENT:  Sort of like the Iran deal.  Nobody even understands how a thing like that could have happened.  It does nothing.

PARTICIPANT:  You shouldn’t be allowed to profit from the illegal proceeds.  So if you’re going to sell narcotics and sell illegal drugs in our country, you also cannot profit from that.  And so we seize those profits.

THE PRESIDENT:  So do we need any legislation or any executive orders for that, would you say, Dana — to put that back in business?

MR. BOENTE:  I don’t think we need any executive orders.  We just need kind of some encouragement to move in that direction.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Good.  You’re in charge.  (Laughter.)  I love that answer, because it’s better than signing executive orders and then these people take it and they make it look so terrible — “oh, it’s so terrible.”  I love it.  You’re encouraged.

PARTICIPANT:  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Asset forfeiture.  You’re encouraged.  Okay.  Yes, sir.

MR. BITTICK:  Mr. President, we appreciate you having us here today at the White House.  My name is John Cary Bittick, and I’m a sheriff in Monroe County, Georgia.  And I’m a past president of the National Sheriffs Association, as well.  And I currently chair our governmental affairs committee.  And I just want to thank you for the administration working actually on pieces of legislation and on political ideas with us.  It’s refreshing, and we are thoroughly enjoying it.  We are currently working with Senator Grassley on some criminal justice reform issues.  And the administration has been supporting us.  And asset forfeiture is a big thing.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, go for it.  Just go for it.  Dana will tell me if I can’t or if — (laughter) —

MR. BITTICK:  Yes, sir.  I think they got that message.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, that’s great.

MR. BITTICK:  But we appreciate it, and we appreciate your ear.  And we appreciate you taking the time to sit down and at least talk to us.

THE PRESIDENT:  I appreciate it too.  Thank you, John.

MR. BITTICK:  Thanks for your support.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

SHERIFF CHAMPAGNE:  Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Vice President.  Greg Champagne, I am sheriff in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, basically a suburban community outside of New Orleans.  I have the honor of representing 3,088 sheriffs around the country.  And you see the leadership of our organization.  These are the leadership of past presidents and the future presidents of our agency.  But more importantly than that, we all represent and oversee literally a few hundred thousand deputy sheriffs who are truly the backbone of law enforcement in this country.  We have a bumper sticker the NSA puts out that says, “Sheriffs and deputies:  The original homeland security.”  And so that is a force-multiplier.

Those men and women out there are the tip of the spear, and we stand ready to help and keep this community safe, because that’s what we’re all elected to do.  So we thank you so much for having us.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  You’re a great group of people.

We’re going to go into the Oval Office.  Does anybody have anything to — not even a question, a statement, as to how we can bring about law enforcement in a very good, civil, lovely way, but we have to stop crime — right?  Would anybody like to make a statement?

PARTICIPANT:  Mr. President, on asset forfeiture, we got a state senator in Texas who was talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we can receive their forfeiture.

THE PRESIDENT:  Can you believe that?

PARTICIPANT:  And I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation.

THE PRESIDENT:  Who is the state senator?  Want to give his name?  We’ll destroy his career.  (Laughter.)  Okay, thank you.

PARTICIPANT:  Mr. President, we have been invited to the White House before.  We’ve sat at this table with the former administration.  This is totally different.  Not once did the President go around the room and ask the sheriffs what were issues that were important to us, he or she, in our parts of the country, but rather it was an outgoing message about gun control, about other things.  You asked us what is important to us, whether it’s mental health in the jails, opioid addiction.  You hit it right off the bat.  The border, immigration, vetting.  We appreciate that.  That has not happened before.  We’ve been here before, but we’ve never had a President sit down and listen to what it is that we’re facing representing our constituents and public safety across this country.  And that’s why we appreciate it.  That’s why we’re here today.

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, Bill Belichick, is a great guy, a friend of mine.  And he was telling me — somebody told me that he’ll oftentimes, wanting to get a player, he’ll go to the other players on the team — he’ll say, what do you think of this guy?  You know, they all the different people.  And he’ll listen to them.  And he’s done very well, right?  He’s done very well.  And essentially what they’re — we’re talking to the people that know — I’m not telling you, you’re telling me.  That came up this morning.  I mean, that was a big statement.  And I didn’t realize it was all clogged.  The system is all clogged.  So we’re going to unclog the system, and we’re going to go right now into the Oval Office.

Would you like the press to come in with you, Mr. Vice President?  Should we let them come in?  Otherwise they’re going turn around, waiting for the next meeting for six hours.  They don’t have such an easy job, I’ll tell you.  They don’t have such an easy job.

Q    Mr. President, how far are you willing to take your travel ban fight?

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, we’re going to take it through the system.  It’s very important.  It’s very important for the country, regardless of me or whoever succeeds at a later date.  I mean, we have to have security in our country.  We have to have the ability.  When you take some place like Syria, when you take all of the different people pouring — and if you remember, ISIS said, we are going to infiltrate the United States and other countries through the migration.  And then we’re not allowed to be tough on the people coming in?  Explain that one.

So we’ll see what happens.  We have big court case.  We’re well-represented.  And we’re going to see what happens.

Q    Is it going to go to the Supreme Court, you think?

THE PRESIDENT:  It could.  We will see.  Hopefully it doesn’t have to.  It’s common sense.  You know, some things are law, and I’m all in favor of that.  And some things are common sense.  This is common sense.

Q    Mr. President, if it’s unreported or under-reported — “unreported” is the phrase you used yesterday — but if it’s under-reported, why do you think the media is not reporting, or America is not caring about this type of —

THE PRESIDENT:  I have to know, because I’m reported on possibly more than anybody in the world — I don’t think you have anything to say about that.  I happen to know how dishonest the media is.  I happen to know stories about me that should be good — or bad — you know, I don’t mind a bad story if it’s true.  But I don’t like bad stories that — stories that should be a positive story when they make them totally negative.  I understand the total dishonesty of the media better than anybody.  And I let people know it.  I mean, the media is a very, very dishonest arm, and we’ll see what happens.  Not everybody.  And I have to say that.  I always preface it by saying, not everybody.  But there’s tremendous dishonest — pure, outright dishonesty from the media.

Let’s go into the Oval Office.

(Meeting moves to Oval Office.)

THE PRESIDENT:  So they said this is the first President they’ve ever seen with all the papers on their desk.  (Inaudible) cutting the price of the F-35 fighters.  We have a lot of papers.

Okay, go ahead, folks.

PARTICIPANT:  Mr. President, on behalf of 3,088 sheriffs in America, there is a new sheriff in town, and it’s only fitting that we provide you with our sculpture.  The first time the NSA has provided a sculpture to a non-law enforcement person.  And there is a new sheriff in town — for you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  It’s beautiful.

END
10:21 A.M. EST

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