OTD in History… June 29, 1940, Roosevelt signs into law the Alien Registration Smith Act monitoring immigrants

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OTD in History… June 29, 1940, Roosevelt signs into law the Alien Registration Smith Act monitoring immigrants

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: FDR Presidential Library

On this day in history June 29, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Alien Registration Act known as the Smith Act making it illegal to plan to overthrow the United States Government and requiring all non-citizen immigrants to register with the government. With American involvement in World War II imminent, Congress decided to pass a series of laws restricting basic freedoms starting in the 1930s meant to protect the government citing national security. The law targeted communists, anarchists, fascists, racists and labor unions, most of which were immigrants. The Act was also used as a basis to intern Japanese Americans in camps during the war.

The US government has a long history of being wary of immigrants especially during times of war. The first laws were passed under President John Adams the unpopular Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Again in World War I, Congress a series of laws that hindered free speech and targeted immigrants including the Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918, which made it criminal to use any “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about US “government, its flag, or its armed forces” and applied “when the United States is in war.”

In the late 1930s, Congress again attempted to revive anti-alien and anti-sedition laws, particularly aimed at deporting Austrian born union leader Harry Bridges. Rep. Howard W. Smith of Virginia, an anti-labor Democrat and Chairman of the Rules Committee authored the Alien Registration Act, a softer version than the 100 other anti-immigrant bills under consideration. The bill passed the House 382 to 4, with 45 abstaining on July 29, 1939.

The Act made it illegal “to knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise, or teach the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing any government in the United States by for or violence.” There were few dissenting voices in Congress, Rep. John A. Martin of Colorado called it “an invention of intolerance contrary to every principle of democracy and abhorrent to the spirit of Christianity,” while Rep. Lee E. Geyer of California called it a “Hitler measure.” (Martelle, 6) Roosevelt signed the bill the same day France fell to Germany and signed an armistice with Nazi Germany.

In addition, the Roosevelt administration distrust of immigrants was so high he had the Immigration and Naturalization Service transferred and operated under the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The New York Times writing about the bill stated, the “normally distasteful, appeared inevitable, the Administration sponsored the legislation.” In total 215 individuals were indicted, only after the Supreme Court deemed some of the convictions unconstitutional did the prosecutions stop.

The American government overreached with the Alien Restriction Act. As Scott Martelle writing in his book The Fear Within: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial analyzed, The Smith Act would resonate in ways unimagined at the time it was enacted. The law would be used to ruin lives, destroy friendships, and kill careers; it would become a tool of court-sanctioned political repression; it would feed the “hysteria,” as President Harry S, Truman called it, that Senator Joseph McCarthy would harness with such devastating results. In the end, it would give license to the U.S. Government to send American citizens to prison for what they believed, rather than for what they had done.” (Martelle, 7)

Seventy-seven years later the US under President Donald Trump is again reviving anti-immigrant laws with his America First agenda, first with travel ban mostly from Muslim countries upheld by the Supreme Court, his calls for building a wall at the Mexican-American border, and his zero-tolerance policy arresting immigrants illegally crossing the border and separating them from their children. Although reports make it seem that anti-immigrant policies in the US are new under Trump, they have a history as almost as old as the nation, and unfortunately will continue to occur as long as there are immigration and fear of the unfamiliar.

READ MORE

Martelle, Scott. The Fear Within: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press, 2011.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. She is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor, and a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

THE SMITH ACT OF 1940,
54 Stat. 670, 671, title I, §§2–3 (June 28, 1940), current version at 18 U.S.C. §2385
SEC. 2. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person—
(1) to knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise, or teach the duty, necessity, desirability, or
propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence,
or by the assassination of any officer of any such government;
(2) with the intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any government in the United States,
to print, publish, edit, issue, circulate, sell, distribute, or publicly display any written or printed
matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing
or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence;
(3) to organize or help to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate,
or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any government in the United States by force
or violence; or to be or become a member of, or affiliate with, any such society, group, or assembly
of persons, knowing the purposes thereof.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “government in the United States” means the Government
of the United States, the government of any State, Territory, or possession of the United
States, the government of the District of Columbia, or the government of any political subdivision
of any of them.
SEC. 3. It shall be unlawful for any person to attempt to commit, or to conspire to commit, any of
the acts prohibited by the provisions of this title.
18 U.S.C. §2385 (as of Jan. 2, 2001)
TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I – CRIMES
CHAPTER 115 – TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Sec. 238 5. Advocating overthrow of Government
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability,
or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the
government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political
subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such
government; or Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government,
prints , publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written
or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of
overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts
to do so; or Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly
of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government
by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society,
group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible
for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five
years next following his conviction.
If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined
under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment
by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following
his conviction.
As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group,
or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the
regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly
of persons.

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OTD in History… June 27, 1950, President Truman orders American troops to fight in the Korean War

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OTD in History… June 27, 1950, President Truman orders American troops to fight in the Korean War

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Communities Digital News

On this day in history, June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman gives a statement and orders the United States air and naval military troops to Democratic South Korea to defend them as part of a United Nations military effort after Communist North Korea invaded it two days prior on June 25, 1950, Korean time. After World War II Korea had been divided between North and South by the 38th parallel. Truman sent American troops under Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who would be Commander of the U.N. forces, 15 nations fighting against North Korea. Truman’s decision came after United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea’s invasion with a 9–0 vote on June 26 and supported the Democratic Republic of Korea. On June 28, the UN voted to use force against North Korea and June 30, Truman committed ground troops to the conflict. Congress did not pass a war resolution but did extend the draft and allowed the president to call up reservists.

Truman’s decision was the first time the American history a president would send troops to a foreign conflict without Congress passing a declaration of war. Truman noted he did not need to because speaking of Congress he said, “They are all with me.” As historian Larry Blomstedt indicates in his book, Truman, Congress, and Korea: The Politics of America’s First Undeclared War, explains the Koran War is “historically crucial. Korea began a trend of American presidents deploying significant numbers of troops overseas without obtaining a declaration of war from Congress.” The conflict increased the power of the president.

Sending troops was also part of the post-World War II strategy of “Containment” containing the spread of Communism in the world, and part of the 1947 Truman Doctrine of foreign policy having the US intervening in foreign conflicts that do not directly involve the country. As Truman stated to the public on June 27, “Communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.” The front line of fighting Communism shifted from Europe to Asia. Truman declared that the spread of Communism in the strategic Korean peninsula was a threat to national security. The Korean War would last three years and for most veterans considered as the “forgotten war.” It was the first American conflict with no clear-cut victory or peace, only an armistice signed July 27, 1953, with 36,516 American troops killed in the war. The boundary line altered slightly with both sides gaining territory but a continued military presence was necessary.

Recently, nuclear tensions between North Korea and the US increased under President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. A result of the escalation and Trump’s bully diplomacy, North and Korea had a rapprochement and signed an agreement with the intention to make finally a peace agreement, 65 years after the armistice was signed. The US and North Korea are also making historic headway, with Trump becoming the first American president to meet with a North Korean leader. At their Singapore summit on June 12, the two leaders signed an agreement to denuclearize North Korea, a giant step towards finally ending the Korean War.

READ MORE

Blomstedt, Larry. Truman, Congress, and Korea: The Politics of America’s First Undeclared War. Lexington, Kentucky The University Press of Kentucky, 2016.

Brands, H W. The General Vs. the President: Macarthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War. New York : Anchor Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017.

Wainstock, Dennis. Truman, Macarthur, and the Korean War. New York, NY: Enigma Books, 2011.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. She is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor, and a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Statement by the President on the Situation in Korea
June 27, 1950

IN KOREA the Government forces, which were armed to prevent border raids and to preserve internal security, were attacked by invading forces from North Korea. The Security Council of the United Nations called upon the invading troops to cease hostilities and to withdraw to the 38th parallel. This they have not done, but on the contrary have pressed the attack. The Security Council called upon all members of the United Nations to render every assistance to the United Nations in the execution of this resolution. In these circumstances I have ordered United States air and sea forces to give the Korean Government troops cover and support.

The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war. It has defied the orders of the Security Council of the United Nations issued to preserve international peace and security. In these circumstances the occupation of Formosa by Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and to United States forces performing their lawful and necessary functions in that area.

Accordingly I have ordered the 7th Fleet to prevent any attack on Formosa. As a corollary of this action I am calling upon the Chinese Government on Formosa to cease all air and sea operations against the mainland. The 7th Fleet will see that this is done. The determination of the future status of Formosa must await the restoration of security in the Pacific, a peace settlement with Japan, or consideration by the United Nations.

I have also directed that United States Forces in the Philippines be strengthened and that military assistance to the Philippine Government be accelerated.

I have similarly directed acceleration in the furnishing of military assistance to the forces of France and the Associated States in Indochina and the dispatch of a military mission to provide dose working relations with those forces.

I know that all members of the United Nations will consider carefully the consequences of this latest aggression in Korea in defiance of the Charter of the United Nations. A return to the rule of force in international affairs would have far-reaching effects. The United States will continue to uphold the rule of law.

I have instructed Ambassador Austin, as the representative of the United States to the Security Council, to report these steps to the Council.

OTD in History… June 24, 1795, the Senate ratifies Jay’s Treaty establishing trade between America and Great Britain

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OTD in History… June 24, 1795, the Senate ratifies Jay’s Treaty establishing trade between America and Great Britain

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

On this in history June 24, 1795, the Senate ratified Jay’s Treaty, negotiated by Chief Justice of the United States John Jay for President George Washington to resolve the outstanding issues between the United States and Great Britain after the Revolutionary War. The treaty avoided war and established preferential trade with Britain, alienating France, America’s ally in their war for independence. Although residue issues were resolved with Britain, it contributed to tensions over trade between the US, Britain and France that would contribute to the War of 1812. Additionally, the treaty was divisive between the two emerging political parties, the Federalists, who supported the treaty and Democratic-Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, who distrusted the British and supported loyalties to France.

The Senate passed “The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America” with a vote of 20–10, the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. In 1794, President Washington sent Chief Justice Jay to London to negotiate the outstanding issues from the Revolutionary War that were continually causing tensions between the two nations. The issues involved tariff and trade restriction on American exports, the British refusing to vacate their Northwestern forts although it was party of the 1783 Paris Peace Treaty, which Americans believed were contributing to attacks by natives on American settlers, and the impressments of American ships, sailors and naval supplies, although America was considered neutral on trade.

The issues were putting the two nations at the “brink of war,” and President Washington listened to his Secretary of the Treasury and Federalist Alexander Hamilton about resolving the problems with Britain. Washington sent the pro-British Chief Justice to negotiate. Jay had negotiated on America’s part in 1783. Hamilton advised Jay to use a threat to bargain with Britain, that the US would join the Scandinavians, the Danish and Swedish and would fight against impressments. Hamilton, however, betrayed Jay and told the British that America would not use military force or form the alliance. Jay was left without any advantages in his negotiations. Virginia Senator James Monroe later joined the mission to watch over the Democratic-Republican interests.

Among Washington’s demands, he wanted the British to vacate their army from forts in the Northwest Territories, compensate slaveholders for slaves abducted and ship owners, whose ships were confiscated. Washington also wanted free trade with the British West Indies.

The British were refusing to comply because the US was breaking two articles of the 1783 Paris Peace Treaty, refusing to pay debts to British creditors and keeping loyalists’ confiscated properties from the war.

The agreement Jay negotiated with British Foreign Secretary Lord Grenville in the fall of 1794, hardly favored the US but it would avoid war. In the agreement, Britain would vacate the Northwestern forts, and grant the US “most favored nation” status with trade but severely restrict trade in the British West Indies. The remainder would be resolved by arbitration including the “Canadian-Maine boundary, compensation for pre-revolutionary debts, and British seizures of American ships.” In return, the US would grant Britain preferential trade rights including trade access with the British West Indies, and the US would adhere to Britain’s “anti-French maritime policies” including allowing the British to seize American goods to be traded with France with pay and French goods without pay. The US would also ensure that private British war debts were all repaid. Britain’s King George III signed the treaty on November 19, 1794.

Britain favored Hamilton and the Federalists and that was the reason they negotiated at all with the US. Historian John C. Miller writing in his 1964 biography, Alexander Hamilton and the Growth of the New Nation noted, “The fact that the British were willing to make a treaty with the United States in 1794 was partly owing to their recognition that the strengthening of the ‘well-intentioned Party in America’ led by Hamilton was Great Britain’s best hope of stemming the tide of Jacobinism in the United States and upholding neutrality against the ‘French faction’ headed by Jefferson and Madison.” (Miller, 421)

Jay’s Treaty might have prevented war but it was a failure in American diplomacy, an observation made at the time and by historians. Historian Raymond Walters Jr. in his 1957 biography Albert Gallatin: Jeffersonian Financier and Diplomat writes, “The treaty Jay sent home represented a complete triumph for British diplomacy. The United States won modest concessions at a humiliating price.” More recently, historian Richard Norton Smith remarked, “Indeed, a first reading of the twenty-eight articles suggested that Washington’s experiment in secret diplomacy had blown up in his face. Instructed to secure American rights and open British markets; the chief justice did neither. Although agreeing to evacuate the northwestern posts no later than June 1, 1796, the British retained a share of the lucrative fur trade on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian boundary. In exchange for this concession, no more than a belated promise to carry out the terms of the old peace treaty, Jay had bargained away his country’s wartime rights as a neutral power.”

Historians, however, noted that Jay’s Treaty accomplished what it was supposed to in avoiding war with Britain. Historian Richard Brookhiser in his 1996 book, Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington observed, “In the day time, your path through the woods is ambushed; the darkness of midnight … The ratification of Jay’s Treaty also assured that the country would not be tugged by sympathies with France into a showdown with Britain it could not afford.” (Brookhiser, 100) While historian Joseph J. Ellis concurred in his 2004 book, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, Jay’s Treaty “bet, in effect, on England rather than France as the hegemonic European power of the future, which proved prophetic. It recognized the massive dependence of the American economy on trade with England [and] it linked American security and economic development to the British fleet, which provided a protective shield of incalculable value throughout the nineteenth century.” (Ellis, 136)

The treaty divided the nation, with Hamilton’s Federalists supporting the pro-British deal and the Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson and James Madison in opposition. Jefferson and Madison found that is favored Britain and put America’s trade interests at risk. With former Secretary of State Jefferson between posts, Madison as a Virginia Congressman was the official voice in opposition. After Washington signed the treaty, Jefferson wrote to Monroe on September 6, 1795, about the public opposition, “So general a burst of dissatisfaction never before appeared against any transaction. Those who understand the particular articles of it, condemn these articles. Those who do not understand them minutely, condemn it generally as wearing a hostile face to France.”

Neither was Washington satisfied with the treaty but he thought it was the country’s best chance to avoid another war with Britain, and opened up trade with Britain. Congress also opposed the treaty, and it was uncertain it would be ratified but the Senate passed it on June 24, and Washington signed it into law on August 18, 1795. Over the next year, Congress would remain divided as they worked on the appropriations bills to fulfill the treaty, and on April 30, 1796, the House passed with a vote of 51–48 the appropriations bills to fund the treaty.

In addition to keeping the nation out of war and increasing trade, it helped form the party-system in American politics. Historians Samuel Eliot Morison, Henry Steele Commager and William E. Leuchtenburg in The Growth of the American Republic, concluded, “The fight over appropriations for the Jay Treaty in the House marked the crystallization of the party system.” (Morison, Commager and Leuchtenburg, 308) Jay’s treaty staved off war as Washington hoped but was not a solution as Jefferson and Madison foresaw. The agreement threatened America’s trade neutrality, with Britain consumed in the Napoleonic Wars; America was caught in the middle. British impressments and blockades would only increase when Jefferson assumed the presidency and again put the country on the brink of war. Finally, Madison would take a stronger nation to war in 1812, to resolve finally British continual trade blockade and impressments.

Over 220 years later, the US is again confronted and divided by party over trade. Republican President Donald Trump’s protectionist and anti-trade America First policies, have his administration renegotiating or pulling out of the country’s free-trade agreements with its allies. Recently, Trump has taken his trade wars further imposing tariffs on trade partners unless they negotiate fair deals with the US. His policies contrast with the Democrats pro-free-trade ideology. Although the Democrats and the news media are treating Trump’s approach to trade as an abbreviation in American history, Jay’s Treaty and the uproar and opposition it caused proves trade agreements have always been controversial for the nation.

SOURCES AND READ MORE

Brookhiser, Richard. Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. New York: Free Press, 1996.

Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

Miller, John C. Alexander Hamilton and the Growth of the New Nation. New York: Harper and Row, 1964.

Walters, Raymond. Albert Gallatin, Jeffersonian Financier and Diplomat. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1969.

Wood, Gordon S. Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815. New York [etc.: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. She is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor, and a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

British-American Diplomacy
Jay Treaty : Senate Resolution June 24, 1795

Resolved, (two-thirds of the Senate concurring therein,) That they do consent to, and advise the President of the United States, to ratify the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, concluded at London, the 19th day of November, 1794, on condition that there be added to the said treaty an article, whereby it shall be agreed to suspend the operation of so much of the 12th article, as respects the trade which his said Majesty thereby consents may be carried on, between the United States and his islands in the West Indies, in the manner, and on the terms and conditions therein specified.

And the Senate recommend to the President to proceed, without delay, to further friendly negotiations with his Majesty, on the subject of the said trade, and of the terms and conditions in question.

Source:
Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
Edited by Hunter Miller
Volume 2
Documents 1-40 : 1776-1818
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931.

OTD in History… June 10, 1953, President Eisenhower rejects isolationism in the Cold War

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OTD in History… June 10, 1953, President Eisenhower rejects isolationism in the Cold War

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Getty Images

On this day in history June 10, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower delivered a speech National Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting in Minneapolis where he laid out his “New Look” foreign policy, which rejected isolationism in the Cold War and emphasized nuclear weapons for defense. Eisenhower used his speech to respond to two of his foreign policy critics; Senate Majority Leader Robert Taft (R-Ohio) and Air Force chief of staff Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg. Sixty-five years later, the nation is yet again faced growing isolationism within the Republican Party. President Donald Trump’s presidency is based on an “American First” policy that isolates the country on the world stage and practices protectionism, while he is presently engaged in a trade war with allied nations.

Six months into Eisenhower’s presidency, the United States was still fighting the Korean War, which formed the basis of Taft and Vandenberg’s complaintsto the president. Taft had long been a bone in Eisenhower’s side; Taft was a candidate for the Republican nomination in 1952 and his isolationist views and actions were the reasons Eisenhower decided to run for president. The two were rivals for the nomination, with Taft suspected of trying to block Eisenhower’s nomination at the convention. The two agreed to uneasy peace during the campaign, which did not last once Eisenhower was president. Taft wanted Eisenhower to withdraw from the United Nations, should they fail to make a peace deal with Korea, so that the US can devise their policy to deal with the warring nations which he called “the ‘fortress’ theory of defense.” Meanwhile, Vandenberg objected to Eisenhower’s Defense Secretary Charles Wilson cutting the Air Force’s budget by $5 billion.

Eisenhower “feared,” according to Thomas Zoumaras, in the book, “Reevaluating Eisenhower: American Foreign Policy in the 1950s,” “that an isolationist president would succumb to protectionism.” (p. 156) The President also believed “that world trade and foreign aid, during periods of economic and military crisis would strengthen the anti-Communist alliance system enough to guarantee peace of the U.S. defense budget.” (p. 156) Eisenhower’s “New Look” foreign policy looked to keep the American economy “vital” but “build” defenses to fight the Cold War, maintain nuclear weapons as a “deterrent,” use the CIA for covert actions and maintain and build alliances in the world. Part of the “New Look” policy was the philosophy of “more bang for the buck” when it came to defense spending.

Instead of arguing with Taft and Vandenberg, the President chose to respond to them in his speech National Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting. The speech emphasized national security and did not mention either one by name. Eisenhower declared, “It is no wonder that our national security is so vast a matter-for the struggle in which freedom today is engaged is quite literally a total and universal struggle. It engages every aspect of our lives. It is waged in every arena in which a challenged civilization must fight to live.”

In response to Taft, Eisenhower focused on the Cold War as an international “total struggle,” which “calls for total defense.” The President called the Cold War, “This whole struggle, in the deepest sense, is waged neither for land nor for food nor for power — but for the soul of man himself.” Eisenhower rebuked Taft’s isolationism’s, saying, “There is another theory of defense, another oversimplified concept, which I believe equally misleading and dangerous. It is what we might call the “fortress” theory of defense.” The President emphasized his international approach focusing on “unity,” stating, “We know that only with strength and with unity — is the future of freedom assured. And freedom, now and for the future, is our goal!”

To Vandenburg, he argued that nuclear weapons make the vast arsenals used in World War II useless, and instead, the defense can be more efficient, with the strategy, “fewer planes ‘on order,’ more in the air.” Eisenhower pointed out, “There is no wonderfully sure number of planes or ships or divisions, or billions of dollars, that can automatically guarantee security.” Both Taft and Vandenberg would be out of Eisenhower’s way soon enough; Vandenberg would retire at the end of June, while Taft died of cancer on July 31.

Throughout the Cold War, the US remained internationalists, sometimes too much so. As the country became involved over public objections in conflicts, in Vietnam and more recently Afghanistan and Iraq, Republicans have again developed a more isolationist approach. All of which culminated in Trump’s presidency, which resorts to a large extent to Taft’s views, while ignoring Eisenhower’s successful strategy.

SOURCES

Melanson, Richard A, and David A. Mayers. Reevaluating Eisenhower: American Foreign Policy in the 1950s. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

McClenahan, William M, and William H. Becker. Eisenhower and the Cold War Economy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a over dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Full-Text Political Transcripts May 8, 2018: Former President Barack Obama responds to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Former President Barack Obama responds to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal

Source: BG, 5-8-18
There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.
The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.
That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.
Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.
First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.
Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.
Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.
Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.
Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it.
Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.
In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.

Full-Text Political Transcripts May 8, 2018: President Donald Trump’s speech announcing the US is withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

President Donald Trump announces the US is withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal

Source: WH, 5-8-18

Diplomatic Reception Room

2:13 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans: Today, I want to update the world on our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al Qaeda.

Over the years, Iran and its proxies have bombed American embassies and military installations, murdered hundreds of American servicemembers, and kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured American citizens. The Iranian regime has funded its long reign of chaos and terror by plundering the wealth of its own people.

No action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them.

In 2015, the previous administration joined with other nations in a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program. This agreement was known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

In theory, the so-called “Iran deal” was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb, a weapon that will only endanger the survival of the Iranian regime. In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout.

The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behavior, including its sinister activities in Syria, Yemen, and other places all around the world.

In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.

A constructive deal could easily have been struck at the time, but it wasn’t. At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program.

Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.

The fact is this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.

In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent, while its economy is doing very badly. After the sanctions were lifted, the dictatorship used its new funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, support terrorism, and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal’s sunset provisions are totally unacceptable. If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.

Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating, and don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities.

Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.

Finally, the deal does nothing to constrain Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its support for terrorism. Since the agreement, Iran’s bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen.

In light of these glaring flaws, I announced last October that the Iran deal must either be renegotiated or terminated.

Three months later, on January 12th, I repeated these conditions. I made clear that if the deal could not be fixed, the United States would no longer be a party to the agreement.

Over the past few months, we have engaged extensively with our allies and partners around the world, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We have also consulted with our friends from across the Middle East. We are unified in our understanding of the threat and in our conviction that Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.

After these consultations, it is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement.

The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.

Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

In a few moments, I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.

America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants “Death to America” to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth.

Today’s action sends a critical message: The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them. In fact, at this very moment, Secretary Pompeo is on his way to North Korea in preparation for my upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un. Plans are being made. Relationships are building. Hopefully, a deal will happen and, with the help of China, South Korea, and Japan, a future of great prosperity and security can be achieved for everyone.

As we exit the Iran deal, we will be working with our allies to find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear threat. This will include efforts to eliminate the threat of Iran’s ballistic missile program; to stop its terrorist activities worldwide; and to block its menacing activity across the Middle East. In the meantime, powerful sanctions will go into full effect. If the regime continues its nuclear aspirations, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.

Finally, I want to deliver a message to the long-suffering people of Iran: The people of America stand with you. It has now been almost 40 years since this dictatorship seized power and took a proud nation hostage. Most of Iran’s 80 million citizens have sadly never known an Iran that prospered in peace with its neighbors and commanded the admiration of the world.

But the future of Iran belongs to its people. They are the rightful heirs to a rich culture and an ancient land. And they deserve a nation that does justice to their dreams, honor to their history, and glory to God.

Iran’s leaders will naturally say that they refuse to negotiate a new deal; they refuse. And that’s fine. I’d probably say the same thing if I was in their position. But the fact is they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people. When they do, I am ready, willing, and able.

Great things can happen for Iran, and great things can happen for the peace and stability that we all want in the Middle East.

There has been enough suffering, death, and destruction. Let it end now.

Thank you. God bless you. Thank you.

(The presidential memorandum is signed.)

Q Mr. President, how does this make America safer? How does this make America safer?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. This will make America much safer. Thank you very much.

Q Is Secretary Pompeo bringing the detainees home?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Secretary Pompeo is, right now, going to North Korea. He will be there very shortly in a matter of virtual — probably an hour. He’s got meetings set up. We have our meeting scheduled. We have our meeting set. The location is picked — the time and the date. Everything is picked. And we look forward to having a very great success.

We think relationships are building with North Korea. We’ll see how it all works out. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But it can be a great thing for North Korea, South Korea, Japan and the entire world. We hope it all works out.

Thank you very much.

Q Are the Americans being freed?

Q Are the Americans coming home, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll all soon be finding out. We will soon be finding out. It would be a great thing if they are. We’ll soon be finding out. Thank you very much.

END

2:25 P.M. EDT

Full-Text Political Transcripts May 3, 2018: President Donald Trump’s Speech at the National Day of Prayer

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Source: WH, 5-3-18

Rose Garden

11:38 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Please. Thank you very much. What a day. What a beautiful day. And our country is doing very well. You’ll see some very good announcements very shortly.

It’s wonderful to be here on this glorious spring morning as we celebrate the National Day of Prayer at the White House in the Rose Garden. (Applause.)

I want to thank Vice President Mike Pence and Karen for joining us. Very special people. Thank you very much. (Applause.) We are truly blessed to have a Vice President and a Second Lady who believe in the power of prayer and the glory of God. And they do believe. I’m with them a lot; they believe. (Applause.) It’s good. Thank you, Mike.

Thanks, also, to the members of the Cabinet who have joined us today, along with so many amazing faith leaders from across the country, including my good friend Paula White, who’s done such an incredible job. Paula. Paula. Stand, Paula. Thank you, Paula. (Applause.) And the President of the National Day of Prayer, Dr. Ronnie Floyd. Thank you. Thank you, Doctor. Thank you. Thanks, Ronnie. (Applause.)

I especially want to recognize Cissie Graham. And I will now add that word “Lynch” because I always call her Cissie Graham, but it’s really Cissie Graham Lynch. You like it that way better, right? Don’t you think we — I like it that way, too. I like it that way because you’re married to a great gentleman. A fantastic man. So, Cissie, thank you very much for being here. We appreciate it very much. (Applause.)

Priest Narayanachar, Sister Bingham, Chaplain Agbere, Rabbi Shemtov, Cardinal Wuerl, and the Hope Christian Church Choir. I heard you, by the way, right inside the Oval Office. That was beautiful. That was great music. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

As we gather this morning, our thoughts also turn to the memory of a man who awakened the light of God in the hearts of millions of America’s pastors. And that’s the great, legendary, wonderful Billy Graham. Great, great man. Great. (Applause.) So, Cissie, I want to thank you for carrying on your grandfather’s incredible, towering legacy.

Today, we remember the words of Reverend Graham, “Prayer is the key that opens [to] us the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings.” Always beautiful. And when he said it, it meant so much. When I say it, it means something. But I liked when he said it better. (Laughter.) Right? I think he did that a little better than I do.

Reverend Graham’s words remind us that prayer has always been at the center of American life, because America is a nation of believers. Right? That’s very true. (Applause.)

The prayers of religious believers helped gain our independence, and the prayers of religious leaders like the Reverend Martin Luther King — great man — helped win the long struggle for civil rights. Faith has shaped our families, and it’s shaped our communities. It’s inspired our commitment to charity and our defense of liberty. And faith has forged the identity and the destiny of this great nation that we all love. (Applause.)

Americans of faith have built the hospitals that care for our sick, the homes that tend to our elderly, and the charities that house the orphaned, and they minister — and they really do, they minister to the poor, and so beautifully and with such love.

We are proud of our religious heritage. And as President, I will always protect religious liberty. We’ve been doing it. We’ve been doing it. (Applause.) Last year on this day, I took executive action to prevent the Johnson Amendment — a disaster — from interfering with our First Amendment rights. I was so proud of that. I’ve been saying from the beginning. You know that. (Applause.) I was saying for a long time we’re going to do that.

Across the government, we have taken action to defend the religious conscience of doctors, nurses, teachers, students, and groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor. (Applause.)

In January of this year, I was proud to be the first President to stand here in the Rose Garden to address the March for Life. A very special day. (Applause.)

And my administration has spoken out against religious persecution around the world, including the persecution of many, many Christians. What’s going on is horrible. And we’re taking action. We are taking action. (Applause.)

We condemn all crimes against people of faith, and today we are launching another historic action to promote religious freedom. I will soon be signing an executive order to create a faith initiative at the White House. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

The faith initiative will help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country. This office will also help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs.

We take this step because we know that, in solving the many, many problems and our great challenges, faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God. (Applause.)

With us today is a living reminder of this truth. His name is Jon Ponder, from Las Vegas, Nevada. Where’s Jon? Come on up here, Jon. Get up here, Jon. (Applause.)

Jon grew up without his father. As he tells it, “My mother was strong, but she wasn’t able to keep us out of the gangs and off the streets.” Right? Jon was in and out of jail for years until, at age 38, he was arrested for bank robbery. You don’t look like a bank robber, Jon. (Laughter.) He’s come a long way.

Jon soon ended up in federal prison, relegated to solitary confinement. That’s where God found him. Jon began to read the Bible and listen to Christian radio. Right? (Applause.) Incredible.

One morning, at 2 a.m., he woke up to the voice of the great Billy Graham. Reverend Graham’s words came through the airwaves, “Jesus wants to be Lord of your life.” That night, Jon dedicated his life to Christ. (Applause.)

He spent the rest of his time in prison praying, studying the Bible, and bringing the Lord to his fellow inmates. The day after Jon’s release, a visitor knocked on his door. It was the man who put him in jail, FBI Special Agent Richard Beasley — who is here. Richard. Come on up, Richard. (Applause.)

“I want you to know that I’ve been praying for you very strongly,” he said, that, “God called me to the FBI in part because of you, Jon.” The two are now lifelong friends.

Jon, do you like him?

PONDER: I love him.

THE PRESIDENT: You love him? That’s nice. (Applause.) That’s beautiful.

Jon runs a ministry that has helped more than 2,000 former inmates rejoin society, and he’s the talk of the country. The job Jon does is incredible.

Jon and Richard, you are a living testament to the power of prayer. (Applause.) Your story reminds us that prayer changes hearts and transforms lives. It uplifts the soul, inspires action, and unites us all as one nation, under God. So important.

And we say it here. You know, a lot of people — (applause) — they don’t say it. But you know what? They’re starting to say it more. Just like we’re starting to say, “Merry Christmas” when that day comes around. (Applause.) You notice the big difference between now and two or three years ago? It was — Paula, it was going in the other direction rapidly. Right? Now it’s straight up.

Our country was founded on prayer. Our communities are sustained by prayer. And our nation will be renewed by hard work, a lot of intelligence, and prayer. (Applause.)

Today we gather to remember this truth: We thank God for the faith of our people. We praise God for the blessings of freedom. And we ask God to forever bless this magnificent land that we all love so much.

America, thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States. Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you, Jon.

(The executive order is signed.) (Applause.)

Thank you very much, everybody. It’s a great day. Thank you.

END

11:52 A.M. EDT

Full-Text Political Transcripts May 2, 2018: Remarks by President Donald Trump at the National Teacher of the Year Reception

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Trump at the National Teacher of the Year Reception

Source: WH, 5-2-18

East Room

4:38 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  What beautiful singing I just heard from the glee club.  Thank you very much.  That was so beautiful.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Good afternoon.  I’m thrilled to be here with so many friends and colleagues and distinguished educators for our annual National Teacher of the Year celebration.

I’d like to thank Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for joining us, along with Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta.  Thank you very much, Betsy and Alex.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

And a very special thanks, again, to the Glee Club of the Walter B. Patterson Elementary School.  Brilliant talent, and great voices.  Big future.  Big future.  (Applause.)

Finally, congratulations to all of the Teachers of the Year representing their respective states, territories, and the District of Columbia.  Very, very special people.  Very important.

We’re joined by three amazing finalists for National Teacher of the Year: Amy Anderson, Jonathan Juravich, and Kara Ball.  Where’s Kara Ball?  Where is Kara?  Please stand up.  Jonathan, stand up.  All three, please stand up.  (Applause.)  That’s a great job.  Thank you, Kara.  Thank you.  Thank you, Jonathan.  Beautiful.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  I just met — we took pictures backstage, and it was my great honor.  It’s a tremendous achievement.

And it’s also my honor to host all of you — your families, your amazing friends — all right here at the White House.  A very, very special place.  We all agree.  You were saying before just how special it was, and it’s special.  Every time I walk into it or go to sleep upstairs — (laughter) — I say, “This is a very, very great place.”

Each of you has dedicated your lives to our nation’s single most important resource: our children.  Every President since Harry Truman has honored the National Teacher of the Year, and I’m proud to continue this tradition with this year’s recipient: Mandy Manning, of the state of Washington.  Great state.  Thank you.  Fantastic, Mandy.  (Applause.)  Outstanding job by Mandy — by everybody.  But outstanding job by Mandy.  Thank you.

Having begun her teaching career in the Peace Corps almost two decades ago, I know that Mandy will be pleased to see Dr. Jody Olsen, Director of the Peace Corps, joining us in her honor.  Thank you very much, Doctor.  Appreciate it.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Mandy took her passion for education from the Peace Corps to Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, where she has been teaching English and math for the past six years.

Her incredible devotion has earned her the adoration — total adoration, actually — and respect of students and colleagues throughout her school district, community, and the entire state.

Teachers like Mandy play a vital role in the well-being of our children, the strength of our communities, and the success of our nation.

The job of a teacher is not only to instruct the next generation of workers, but the next generation of citizens to teach our children to care for others, to think for themselves, to love their country, to be proud of our history, and to be true pillars of their families and their communities.  Such an important job.  There is no more important job.

We have teachers to thank for identifying and nurturing the boundless potential of America’s youth.  Sometimes, all it takes to begin the next great American success story is a teacher who really, really cares.

The legacy of a good teacher extends through many lifetimes.  As the great author Henry Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity.”  So true.

To Mandy and all of the amazing educators here today: Your tireless dedication doesn’t just inspire your students, it inspires all of us.  And I can tell you, it very much inspires me.  We honor you and every citizen called to the noble vocation of teaching.

Now, it is my privilege to present Mandy with the National Teacher of the Year Award.  This is a truly special award.  And, Mandy, congratulations.  (Applause.)

(The award is presented.)  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I just want to thank everybody again for being here.  I want to really wish you the best, for Mandy and for all of this incredible talent.  And that’s what it is.  This is talent.

I just want to say God bless you.  And God bless America.  Congratulations.  Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END

4:44 P.M. EDT

Full-Text Political Transcripts April 28, 2018: Michelle Wolf’s remarks comedy set speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Michelle Wolf’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Watch full remarks on C-SPAN

Source: WaPo, 4-28-18

Good evening. Good evening. Here we are, the White House correspondents’ dinner: Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with.

Yup, kiddos, this is who you’re getting tonight. I’m going to skip a lot of the normal pleasantries. We’re at a Hilton; it’s not nice. This is on C-SPAN; no one watches that. Trump is president; it’s not ideal.

The White House Correspondents’ Association, thank you for having me. The monkfish was fine.

And just a reminder to everyone, I’m here to make jokes. I have no agenda. I’m not trying to get anything accomplished. So everyone that’s here from Congress, you should feel right at home.

Yeah, before we get too far, a little bit about me. A lot of you might not know who I am. I’m 32 years old, which is an odd age: 10 years too young to host this event and 20 years too old for Roy Moore.

I know, he almost got elected, yeah. It was fun. It was fun.

Honestly, I never really thought I’d be a comedian. But I did take an aptitude test in seventh grade — and this is 100 percent true — I took an aptitude test in seventh grade, and it said in my best profession was a clown or a mime.

Well, at first it said clown, and then it heard my voice and then was like, “Or maybe mime. Think about mime.”

And I know as much as some of you might want me to, it’s 2018 and I am a woman, so you cannot shut me up — unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000. Michael, you can find me on Venmo under my porn star name, Reince Priebus.

Reince just gave a thumbs up. Okay.

Now, people are saying America is more divided than ever, but I think no matter what you support politically, we can all agree that this is a great time for craft stores. Because of all the protests, poster board has been flying off the shelves faster than Robert Mueller can say, “You’ve been subpoenaed.”

Thanks to Trump, pink yarn sales are through the roof. After Trump got elected, women started knitting those p—y hats. When I first saw them, I was like, “That’s a p—y?” I guess mine just has a lot more yarn on it.

Yeah, shoulda done more research before you got me to do this.

Now, there is a lot to cover tonight. There’s a lot to go over. I can’t get to everything. I know there’s a lot of people that want me to talk about Russia and Putin and collusion, but I’m not going to do that because there’s also a lot of liberal media here. And I’ve never really wanted to know what any of you look like when you orgasm.

Except for maybe you, Jake Tapper. I bet it’s something like this: “Okay, that’s all the time we have.”

It is kind of crazy that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn’t even in contact with Michigan. It’s a direct flight; it’s so close.

Of course, Trump isn’t here, if you haven’t noticed. He’s not here. And I know, I know, I would drag him here myself. But it turns out the president of the United States is the one p—y you’re not allowed to grab.

He said it first. Yeah, he did. Do you remember? Good.

Now, I know people really want me to go after Trump tonight, but I think we should give the president credit when he deserves it. Like, he pulled out the Paris agreement, and I think he should get credit for that because he said he was going to pull out and then he did. And that’s a refreshing quality in a man. Most men are like, “I forgot. I’ll get you next time.” Oh, there’s going to be a next time? People say romance is dead.

People call Trump names all the time. And, look, I could call Trump a racist, a misogynist or xenophobic or unstable or incompetent or impotent. But he’s heard all of those, and he doesn’t care. So, tonight, I’m going to try to make fun of the president in a new way — in a way that I think will really get him. Mr. President, I don’t think you’re very rich.

Like, I think you might be rich in Idaho, but in New York, you’re doing fine. Trump is the only person that still watches “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and thinks, “Me.”

Although, I’m not sure you’d get very far. He’d get to, like, the third question and be, like, “I have to phone a ‘Fox & Friend.’”

We’re going to try a fun new thing, okay? I’m going to say, “Trump is so broke,” and you guys go, “How broke is he?” All right?

Trump is so broke.

[AUDIENCE: How broke is he?]

He has to fly failed business class.

Trump is so broke.

[AUDIENCE: How broke is he?]

He looked for foreign oil in Don Jr.’s hair.

Trump is so broke.

[AUDIENCE: How broke is he?]

He — Southwest used him as one of their engines.

I know, it’s so soon. It’s so soon for that joke. Why did she tell it? It’s so soon.

Trump is so broke.

[AUDIENCE: How broke is he?]

He had to borrow money from the Russians, and now he’s compromised and not susceptible to blackmail and possibly responsible for the collapse of the republic.

Yay. It’s a fun game.

Trump is racist, though. He loves white nationalists, which is a weird term for a Nazi. Calling a Nazi a white nationalist is like calling a pedophile a kid friend or Harvey Weinstein a ladies’ man — which isn’t really fair; he also likes plants.Trump’s also an idea guy. He’s got loads of ideas. You gotta love him for that. He wants to give teachers guns, and I support that, ’cause then they can sell them for things they need, like supplies. A lot of protractors.

A lot of people want Trump to be impeached. I do not. Because just when you think Trump is awful, you remember Mike Pence. Mike Pence is what happens when Anderson Cooper isn’t gay.

Mike Pence is the kind of guy that brushes his teeth and then drinks orange juice and thinks, “Mmm.” Mike Pence is also very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you got to get that baby out of there.

And, yes, sure, you can groan all you want. I know a lot of you are very antiabortion. You know, unless it’s the one you got for your secret mistress. It’s fun how values can waver. But good for you.

Mike Pence is a weirdo, though. He’s a weird little guy. He won’t meet with other women without his wife present. When people first heard this, they were like, “That’s crazy.” But now, in this current climate, they’re like, “That’s a good witness.”

Which, of course, brings me to the Me Too movement; it’s probably the reason I’m here. They were like, “A woman’s probably not going to jerk off in front of anyone, right?” And to that, I say, “Don’t count your chickens.” There’s a lot of party.

Now, I’ve worked in a lot of male-dominated fields. Before comedy, I worked at a tech company and, before that, I worked on Wall Street. And, honestly, I’ve never really been sexually harassed. That being said, I did work at Bear Stearns in 2008. So, although I haven’t been sexually harassed, I’ve definitely been f—ed. Yeah, that whole company went down on me without my consent. And no men got in trouble for that one either.

No, things are changing. Men are being held accountable. You know, Al Franken was ousted. That one really hurt liberals. But I believe it was the great Ted Kennedy who said, “Wow, that’s crazy; I murdered a woman.”

“Chappaquiddick” in theaters now.

I did have a lot of jokes — I had a lot of jokes about Cabinet members, but I had to scrap all of those because everyone has been fired. You guys are going through Cabinet members quicker than Starbucks throws out black people.

No, don’t worry, they’re having an afternoon. That’ll solve it. We just needed an afternoon.

Mitch McConnell isn’t here. He had a prior engagement. He’s finally getting his neck circumcised. Mazel.

Paul Ryan couldn’t make it. Of course, he’s already been circumcised. Unfortunately, while they were down there, they also took his b—s.

Yeah, bye, Paul. Great acting, though, in that video.

Republicans are easy to make fun of. It’s like shooting fish in a Chris Christie. But I also want to make fun of Democrats. Democrats are harder to make fun of because you guys don’t do anything.

People think you might flip the House and Senate this November, but you guys always find a way to mess it up. You’re somehow going to lose by 12 points to a guy named Jeff Pedophile Nazi Doctor. Oh, he’s a doctor?

We should definitely talk about the women in the Trump administration. There’s Kellyanne Conway. Man, she has the perfect last name for what she does: Conway. It’s like if my name was Michelle Jokes Frizzy Hair Small T–s.

You guys gotta stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don’t give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. It’s like that old saying: If a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree?

I’m not suggesting she gets hurt; just stuck. Stuck under a tree.

Incidentally, a tree falls in the woods is Scott Pruitt’s definition of porn. Yeah, we all have our kinks.

There’s also, of course, Ivanka. She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she’s about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. She’s done nothing to satisfy women. So, I guess, like father, like daughter.

Oh, you don’t think he’s good in bed. Come on.

She does clean up nice, though. Ivanka cleans up nice. She’s the Diaper Genie of the administration. On the outside, she looks sleek but the inside — it’s still full of s—.

And, of course, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We’re graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it.

Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get: you know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. “It’s shirts and skins, and this time, don’t be such a little b—-, Jim Acosta.”

I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. Like, she burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s lies.

It’s probably lies.

And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders. You know, is it Sarah Sanders? Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know: Aunt Coulter.

We’ve got our friends at CNN here. Welcome, guys, it’s great to have you. You guys love breaking news, and you did it. You broke it. Good work.

The most useful information on CNN is when Anthony Bourdain tells me where to eat noodles.

Fox News is here. So, you know what that means, ladies: Cover your drinks. Seriously.

People want me to make fun of Sean Hannity tonight, but I cannot do that; this dinner is for journalists.

We’ve got MSNBC here. MSNBC’s news slogan is, “This is who we are.” Guys, it’s not a good slogan. “This is who we are” is what your mom thinks the sad show on NBC is called. “Did you watch ‘This Is Who We Are’ this week? Someone left on a Crockpot, and everyone died.”

I watch “Morning Joe” every morning. We now know that Mika and Joe are engaged. Congratulations, you guys. It’s like when a Me Too works out.

We also have Rachel Maddow. We cannot forget about Rachel Maddow. She is the Peter Pan of MSNBC. But instead of never growing up, she never gets to the point. Watching Rachel Maddow is like going to Target. You went in for milk, but you left with shampoo, candles and the entire history of the Byzantine Empire. “I didn’t need this.”

And, of course, Megyn Kelly. What would I do without Megyn Kelly? You know, probably be more proud of women.

Megyn Kelly got paid $23 million by NBC, then NBC didn’t let Megyn go to the Winter Olympics. Why not? She’s so white, cold and expensive, she might as well be the Winter Olympics.

And, by the way, Megyn, Santa’s black. The weird old guy going through your chimney was Bill O’Reilly. You might want to put a flue on it or something.

There’s a lot of print media here. There’s a ton of you guys, but I’m not going to go after print media tonight because it’s illegal to attack an endangered species.

Buy newspapers.

There’s a ton of news right now; a lot is going on, and we have all these 24-hour news networks, and we could be covering everything. But, instead, we’re covering like three topics. Every hour, it’s Trump, Russia, Hillary and a panel of four people who remind you why you don’t go home for Thanksgiving.

“Milk comes from nuts now, all ’cause of the gays.”

You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you used to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric, but he has helped you.

He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him. And if you’re gonna profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn’t have any.

Trump is so broke.

[AUDIENCE: How broke is he?]

He grabs p—ies ’cause he thinks there might be loose change in them. All right, like an immigrant who was brought here by his parents and didn’t do anything wrong, I gotta get the f— out of here. Good night.

Flint still doesn’t have clean water.

Full-Text Political Transcripts April 25, 2018: France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s Joint Address to US Congress

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s Joint Address to US Congress

Source: Voltaire.net, 4-25-18

Mr. Vice President,
Honorable members of the United States Congress,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honour for France, for the French people, and for me, to be received in this sanctuary of democracy, where so much of the history of the United States has been written.

We are surrounded today with images, portraits and symbols, which remind us that France has participated – with heart in hand – in the story of this great nation. From the very beginning.

We have fought shoulder-to-shoulder many battles, starting with those that gave birth to the United States of America.

Since then, we have shared a common vision for humanity. Our two nations are rooted in the same soil, grounded in the same ideals of the American and French Revolutions. We have worked together for the universal ideals of liberty, tolerance, and equal rights.

And yet, this is also about our human, gutsy, personal bonds throughout history.

In 1778, the French philosopher Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin met in Paris. John Adams tells the story that after they had shaken hands, “they embraced each other by hugging one another in their arms and kissing each other’s cheeks”.

It can remind you of something!

And this morning, I stand under the protective gaze of La Fayette, right behind me. As a brave young man, he fought alongside George Washington and forged a tight relationship, fuelled by respect and affection. La Fayette used to call himself a “son of the United States”. And, in 1792, George Washington became a son of America and France, when our First Republic awarded citizenship to him.

Here we stand, in your beautiful capital city, whose plans were conceived by a French architect, Charles L’Enfant.

The miracle of the relationship between the United States and France is that we have never lost this special bond deeply rooted not only in our history, but also in our flesh.

This is why I invited President Donald Trump for the first Bastille Day Parade of my presidency, on 14 July last year. Today, President Trump’s decision to offer France his first state visit to Washington has a particular resonance, because it represents the continuity of our shared history, in a troubled world. And let me thank your president and the First Lady for this wonderful invitation to my wife and myself.

I am also very grateful and I would like also to thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for welcoming me on this occasion.

And I would like to especially thank you, Mr Speaker, for your invitation. I want you to know how much I appreciate this unique gesture. Thank you, sir!

The strength of our bonds is the source of our shared ideals.

This is what united us in the struggle against imperialism during the First World War. Then in the fight against Nazism during the Second World War. This is what united us again during the era of the Stalinist threat, and now we lean on that strength to fight against terrorist groups.

Let us for a moment transport ourselves to the past. Imagine, this is 4 July 1916. Back then, the United States had not entered World War I. And yet, a young American poet enlisted in the ranks of our Foreign Legion, because he loved France and he loved the cause of freedom.

This young American would fight and die on Independence Day at Belloy-en-Santerre, not far from Amiens, my home town, after having written these words: “I have a rendez-vous with death.” The name of this young American was Alan Seeger. A statue stands in his honour in Paris.

Since 1776, we, the American and French people, have had a rendez-vous with freedom.

And with it come sacrifices.

That is why we are very honoured by the presence today of Robert Jackson Ewald, a World War II veteran. Robert Jackson Ewald took part in the D-Day landing. He fought for our freedom, 74 years ago. Sir, on behalf of France: thank you. I bow to your courage and your devotion.

In recent years, our nations have suffered wrenching losses simply because of our values and our taste for freedom. Because these values are the very ones those terrorists precisely hate.

Tragically, on 11 September 2001, many Americans had an unexpected rendez-vous with death. Over the last five years, my country and Europe also experienced terrible terrorist attacks.

And we shall never forget these innocent victims, nor the incredible resilience of our people in the aftermath. It is a horrific price to pay for freedom, for democracy.

That is why we stand together in Syria and in the Sahel today, to fight together against these terrorist groups who seek to destroy everything for which we stand.

We have encountered countless rendez-vous with death, because we have this constant attachment to freedom and democracy. As emblazoned on the flags of the French revolutionaries, “Vivre libre ou mourir”. Live free or die.

Thankfully, freedom is also the source of all that is worth living for. Freedom is a call to think and to love. It is a call to our will. That is why, in times of peace, France and the United States were able to forge unbreakable bonds, from the grist of painful memories.

The most indestructible, the most powerful, the most definitive knot between us is the one that ties the true purpose of our peoples to advance, as Abraham Lincoln said, the “unfinished business” of democracy.

Indeed, our two societies have stood up to advance human rights for all. They have engaged in a continual dialogue to unpack this “unfinished business”.

In this Capitol Rotunda, the bust of Martin Luther King, assassinated 50 years ago, reminds us of the spiration of African-American leaders, artists, writers who have become part of our common heritage. We celebrate among them James Baldwin and Richard Wright, whom France hosted on our soil.

We have shared the history of civil rights. France’s Simone de Beauvoir became a respected figure in the movement for gender equality in America in the 70s. Women’s rights have long been a fundamental driver for our societies on both sides of the Atlantic. This explains why the #MeToo movement has recently had such a deep resonance in France.

Democracy is made of day-to-day conversations and mutual understanding between citizens.

It is easier and deeper when we have the ability to speak each other’s language. The heart of Francophonie also beats here, in the United States, from New Orleans to Seattle. I want this heart to beat even harder in American schools all across the country.

Democracy relies also on the faculty of freely describing the present and the capacity to invent the future. This is what culture brings.

Thousands of examples come to mind when we think of the exchanges between our cultures across the centuries. From Thomas Jefferson, who was Ambassador to France and built his house in Monticello based on a building he loved in Paris, to Hemingway’s novel Moveable Feast celebrating the capital city of France. From our great 19th-century French writer Chateaubriand bringing to the French people the dream of America’s open spaces, forests and mountains to Faulkner’s novels crafted in the deep South, but first read in France where they quickly gained literary praise. From jazz coming from Louisiana and the blues from Mississippi finding in France an enthusiastic public to the American fascination for Impressionists, and the French modern and contemporary arts. These exchanges are vibrant in so many fields, from cinema to fashion, from design to high cuisine, from sports to visual arts.

Medicine and scientific research as well as business and innovation are also a significant part of our shared journey. The United States is France’s first scientific partner.

Our economic ties create hundreds of thousands of jobs, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The story of France and the United States is a story of an endless dialogue made of common dreams, of a common struggle for dignity and progress. It is the best achievement of our democratic principles and values.

This is this very special relationship.

But we must remember the warning of President Theodore Roosevelt: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, handed on for them to do the same”.

This is an urgent reminder indeed. Because now, going beyond our bilateral ties, beyond our very special relationship, Europe and the United States must face together the global challenges of this century. And we cannot take for granted our transatlantic history and bonds. At the core, our Western values themselves are at risk.

We have to succeed facing these challenges, and we cannot succeed forgetting our principles and our history.

In fact, the 21st century has brought a series of new threats and new challenges that our ancestors might not ever have imagined.

Our strongest beliefs are challenged by the rise of a yet unknown new world order. Our societies are concerned about the future of their children.

All of us gathered here in this noble Chamber, we – elected officials – all share the responsibility to demonstrate that democracy remains the best answer to the questions and doubts that arise today.

Even if the foundations of our progress are disrupted, we must stand firmly and fight to make our principles prevail.

But we bear another responsibility inherited from our collective history. Today, the international community needs to step up our game and build the 21st century world order, based on the perennial principles we established together after World War II.

The rule of law, the fundamental values on which we secured peace for 70 years are now questioned by urgent issues that require our joint action.

Together with our international allies and partners, we are facing inequalities created by globalization; threats to the planet, our common good; attacks on democracies through the rise of illiberalism; and the destabilization of our international community by new powers and criminal states.

All these risks aggrieve our citizens.

Both in the United States and in Europe we are living in a time of anger and fear, because of these current global threats.

But these feelings do not build anything. You can play with fears and anger for a time. But they do not construct anything. Anger only freezes and weakens us. And, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt said during his first inaugural speech, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

Therefore, let me say we have two possible ways ahead.

We can choose isolationism, withdrawal, and nationalism. This is an option.

It can be tempting to us as a temporary remedy to our fears.

But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world. It will not douse, but inflame, the fears of our citizens. We have to keep our eyes wide open to the new risks, right in front of us.

I am convinced that if we decide to open our eyes wider, we will be stronger. We will overcome the dangers. We will not let the rampaging work of extreme nationalism shake a world full of hopes for greater prosperity.

It is a critical moment. If we do not act with urgency as a global community, I am convinced that the international institutions, including the United Nations and NATO, will no longer be able to exercise their mandate and stabilizing influence. We would then inevitably and severely undermine the liberal order we built after World War II.

Other powers, with a stronger strategy and ambition, will then fill the void we would leave empty.

Other powers will not hesitate one second to advocate their own model, to shape the 21st century world order.

Personally, if you ask me, I do not share the fascination for new strong powers, the abandonment of freedom, and the illusion of nationalism.

Therefore, distinguished members of Congress, let us push them aside, write our own history and birth the future we want.

We have to shape our common answers to the global threats that we are facing.

The only option then is to strengthen our cooperation. We can build the 21st century world order, based on a new breed of multilateralism. Based on a more effective, accountable, and results-oriented multilateralism. A strong multilateralism.

This requires more than ever the United States’ involvement, as your role was decisive for creating and safeguarding today’s free world. The United States invented this multilateralism. You are the one now who has to help to preserve and reinvent it.

This strong multilateralism will not outshine our national cultures and national identities. It is exactly the other way around. A strong multilateralism will allow our cultures and identities to be respected, to be protected and to flourish freely together.

Why? Because precisely our own culture is based, on both sides of the Atlantic, on this unique taste for freedom, on this unique attachment to liberty and peace. This strong multilateralism is the unique option compatible with our nations, our cultures, our identities.

With the US President, with the support of every 535 members of this joint session, representing the whole American nation, we can actively contribute together to building the 21st-century world order, for our people.

The United States and Europe have a historical role in this respect, because it is the only way to defend what we believe in, to promote our universal values, to express strongly that human rights, the rights of minorities and shared liberty are the true answer to the disorders of the world.

I believe in these rights and values.

I believe that against ignorance, we have education. Against inequalities, development. Against cynicism, trust and good faith. Against fanaticism, culture. Against disease and epidemics, medicine. Against the threats on the planet, science.

I believe in concrete action. I believe the solutions are in our hands.

I believe in the liberation of the individual, and in the freedom and responsibility of everyone to build their own lives and pursue happiness.

I believe in the power of intelligently-regulated market economies. We are experiencing the positive impact of our current economic globalization, with innovation, with job creation. We see, however, the abuses of globalized capitalism, and digital disruptions, which jeopardize the stability of our economies and democracies.

I believe facing these challenges requires the opposite of massive deregulation and extreme nationalism. Commercial war is not the proper answer to these evolutions. We need free and fair trade, for sure. A commercial war opposing allies is not consistent with our mission, with our history, with our current commitments to global security. At the end of the day, it would destroy jobs, increase prices, and the middle class will have to pay for it.

I believe we can build the right answers to legitimate concerns regarding trade imbalances, excesses and overcapacities, by negotiating through the World Trade Organization and building cooperative solutions. We wrote these rules; we should follow them.

I believe we can address our citizens’ concerns regarding privacy and personal data. The recent Facebook hearings highlighted the necessity to preserve our citizens’ digital rights, all over the world, and protect their confidence in today’s digital tools of life.

The European Union passed a new regulation for data protection. I believe the United States and the European Union should cooperate to find the right balance between innovation and ethics, and harness the best of today’s revolutions in digital data and artificial intelligence.

I believe facing inequalities should push us to improve policy coordination within the G20 to reduce financial speculation, and create mechanisms to protect the middle class’s interest, because our middle classes are the backbone of our democracies.

I believe in building a better future for our children, which requires offering them a planet that is still habitable in 25 years.

Some people think that securing current industries – and their jobs – is more urgent than transforming our economies to meet the global challenge of climate change. I hear these concerns, but we must find a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy.

Because what is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, while sacrificing the future of our children?

What is the meaning of our life if our decision, our conscious decision, is to reduce the opportunities for our children and grandchildren?

By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions and destroying our biodiversity, we are killing our planet. Let us face it: there is no Planet B.

On this issue it may happen we have a disagreement between the United States and France. It may happen, like in all families. But that is, for me, a short-term disagreement. In the long run, we will have to face the same realities. We are citizens of the same planet.

We have to face it. Beyond some short-term disagreements, we have to work together.

With business leaders and local communities, in order to make our planet great again, and create new jobs and new opportunities, while safeguarding our Earth. And I am sure one day, the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement. And I am sure we can work together to fulfil with you the ambitions of the Global Compact on the environment.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I believe in democracy.

Many of our forebears were slain for the cause of freedom and human rights. With the great inheritance they gave us comes the responsibility to continue their mission in this new century and to preserve the perennial values handed to us and assure that today’s unprecedented innovations in science and technology remain in the service of liberty and in the preservation of our planet for the next generations.

To protect our democracies, we have to fight against the ever-growing virus of fake news, which exposes our people to irrational fear and imaginary risks. And let me attribute the fair copyright for this expression “fake news”, especially here.

Without reason, without truth, there is no real democracy — because democracy is about true choices and rational decisions. The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies.

We also have to fight against the terrorist propaganda that spreads out its fanaticism on the Internet. It has a gripping influence on some of our citizens and children. I want this fight to be part of our bilateral commitment, and we discussed with your President the importance of such an agenda.

I want this fight to be part of the G7 agenda because it deeply harms our rights and shared values.

The terrorist threat is even more dangerous when it is combined with the nuclear proliferation threat. We must therefore be stricter than ever with countries seeking to acquire the nuclear bomb.

That is why France supports fully the United States in its efforts to bring Pyongyang, through sanctions and negotiations, towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

As for Iran, our objective is clear: Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons. Not now, not in 5 years, not in 10 years. Never.

But this policy should never lead us to war in the Middle East. We must ensure stability, and respect sovereignty of the nations, including that one of Iran, which represents a great civilization.

Let us not replicate past mistakes in the region. Let us not be naïve on one side. Let us not create new walls ourselves on the other side.

There is an existing framework – called the JCPOA – to control the nuclear activity of Iran. We signed it at the initiative of the United States. We signed it, both the United States and France. That is why we cannot say we should get rid of it like that. But it is true to say that this agreement may not address all concerns, very important concerns. This is true. But we should not abandon it without having something substantial, more substantial, instead. That is my position. That is why France will not leave the JCPOA, because we signed it.

Your President and your country will have to take, in the current days and weeks, their responsibilities regarding this issue.

What I want to do, and what we decided together with your President, is that we can work on a more comprehensive deal addressing all these concerns. That is why we have to work on this more comprehensive deal based – as discussed with President Trump yesterday – on four pillars: the substance of the existing agreement, especially if you decide to leave it, the post-2025 period, in order to be sure that we will never have any military nuclear activity for Iran, the containment of the military influence of the Iranian regime in the region, and the monitoring of ballistic activity.

I think these four pillars, the ones I addressed before the General Assembly of the United Nations last September, are the ones which cover the legitimate fears of the United States and our allies in the region.

I think we have to start working now on these four pillars to build this new, comprehensive framework and to be sure that, whatever the decision of the United States will be, we will not leave the floor to the absence of rules.

We will not leave the floor to these conflicts of power in the Middle East, we will not fuel ourselves in increasing tensions and potential war.

That is my position, and I think we can work together to build this comprehensive deal for the whole region, for our people, because I think it fairly addresses our concerns. That is my position.

And this containment – I mentioned it one of these pillars – Is necessary in Yemen, in Lebanon, in Iraq and also in Syria.

Building a sustainable peace in a united and inclusive Syria requires, indeed, that all powers in the region respect the sovereignty of its people, and the diversity of its communities.

In Syria, we work very closely together. After prohibited weapons were used against the population by the regime of Bashar al-Assad two weeks ago, the United States and France, together with the United Kingdom, acted to destroy chemical facilities and to restore the credibility of the international community.

This action was one of the best evidences of this strong multilateralism. And I want to pay a special tribute for our soldiers, because they did a great job in this region and on this occasion.

Beyond this action, we will together work for a humanitarian solution in the short term, on the ground, and contribute actively to a lasting political solution to put an end to this tragic conflict. And I think one of the very important decisions we took together with President Trump was precisely to include Syria in this large framework for the overall region, and to decide to work together on this political roadmap for Syria, for Syrian people, even after our war against ISIS.

In the Sahel, where terrorist networks span a footprint as large as Europe, French and American soldiers are confronting the same enemy and risking their lives together.

Here, I would like to pay special tribute to the American soldiers who fell this past fall in the region, and to their French comrades who lost their lives early this year in Mali. Better than anyone, I think, our troops know what the alliance and friendship between our countries means.

I believe, facing all these challenges, all these fears, all this anger, our duty, our destiny is to work together and to build this new, strong multilateralism.

Distinguished members of Congress,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On 25 April 1960, General de Gaulle affirmed in this Chamber that nothing was as important to France as “the reason, the resolution, the friendship of the great people of the United States”.

Fifty-eight years later, to this very day, I come here to convey the warmest feelings of the French nation, and to tell you that our people cherish the friendship of the American people, with as much intensity as ever.

The United States and the American people are an essential part of our confidence in the future, in democracy, in what women and men can accomplish in this world when we are driven by high ideals and an unbreakable trust in humanity and progress.

Today the call we hear is the call of history. This is a time of determination and courage. What we cherish is at stake. What we love is in danger. We have no choice but to prevail.

And together, we shall prevail.

Vive les Etats-Unis d’Amérique!

Long live the friendship between France and the United States of America!

Vive la République!

Vive la France!

Vive notre amitié.

Merci.

Thank you.

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Trump at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner

Source: WH, 3-20-18

Issued on: 

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.

END

7:56 P.M. EDT

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

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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.

END

11:28 A.M. EST

 

 

 

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Trump at the 66th Annual National Prayer Breakfast

Source: WH, 2-8-18

Issued on: 

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.)

END

9:02 A.M. EST

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address

Source: WH, 1-30-18

U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.

9:10 P.M. EST

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

Less than one 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 very 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. (Applause.)

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 have 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 totally 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. (Applause.) Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during the Hurricane Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water to help save more than 40 lives. Ashlee, we all thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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

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

Thank you to David and the brave people of California. Thank you very much, David. Great job.

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. (Applause.) I think they like you, Steve. (Laughter.)

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; some in this room. In the aftermath — (applause) — yes. Yes.

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. This is really the key. These are the people we were elected to serve. (Applause.)

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’s a challenge, we tame it. If there’s an opportunity, we seize it.

So let’s begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong. (Applause.) And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including — (applause) — including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. Tremendous numbers. (Applause.) After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages. (Applause.)

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. (Applause.) It’s something I’m very proud of. African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded. (Applause.) And Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history. (Applause.)

Small-business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion, and more, in value in just this short period of time. The great news — (applause) — the great news for Americans’ 401(k), retirement, pension, and college savings accounts have gone through the roof.

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. (Applause.)

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small business. To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. (Applause.) Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. (Applause.) We also doubled the child tax credit. (Applause.) A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000, slashing their tax bill in half. (Applause.)

In April, this will be the last time you will ever file under the old and very broken system, and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month — a lot more. (Applause.)

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 couldn’t afford government-ordered health plans. (Applause.) We repealed the core of the disastrous Obamacare. The individual mandate is now gone. Thank heaven. (Applause.)

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 else anywhere in the world. (Applause.) These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000. A lot of money. (Applause.)

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, beautiful business in Ohio. They’ve just finished the best year in their 20-year history. (Applause.) Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door. Good feeling. (Applause.)

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. Corey, please stand. (Applause.) And he’s a great welder. (Laughter.) I was told that by the man that owns that company that’s doing so well. So congratulations, Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands and thousands of dollars per worker. And it’s getting more every month, every week. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers. (Applause.) And just a little while ago, ExxonMobil announced a $50 billion investment in the United States, just a little while ago. (Applause.)

This, in fact, 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’ve been, or where you’ve 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 absolutely anything. (Applause.)

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

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

Together, we are rediscovering the American way. In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. The motto is, “In God We Trust.” (Applause.)

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

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 all by himself to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes. (Applause.) Preston, a job well done. (Applause.)

Young patriots, like Preston, teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. And I met Preston a little while ago, and he is something very special — that I can tell you. Great future. Thank you very much for all you’ve done, Preston. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of 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. (Applause.)

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. (Applause.)

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

And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. (Applause.) Last year, Congress also passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. (Applause.) 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. (Applause.)

And 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. (Applause.)

All Americans deserve accountability and respect, and that’s what we are giving to our wonderful heroes, our veterans. Thank you. (Applause.)

So, tonight, I call on 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. (Applause.)

In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in the history of our country. (Applause.)

We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal. (Applause.) We are now very proudly an exporter of energy to the world. (Applause.)

In Detroit, I halted government mandates that crippled America’s great, beautiful autoworkers so that we can get Motor City revving its engines again. And that’s what’s happening. (Applause.) Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we haven’t seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan. Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama — a big one. And we haven’t seen this in a long time. It’s all coming back. (Applause.)

Very soon, auto plants and other plants will be opening up all over our country. This is all news Americans are totally unaccustomed to hearing. For many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are roaring back. They’re coming back. They want to be where the action is. They want to be in the United States of America. That’s where they want to be. (Applause.)

Exciting progress is happening every single 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 country’s history. (Applause.)

We also believe that patients with terminal conditions, and terminal illness, should have access to experimental treatment immediately 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’s time for Congress to give these wonderful, incredible Americans the right to try. (Applause.)

One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. (Applause.) In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. And it’s very, very unfair. That is why I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of my top priorities for the year. (Applause.) And prices will come down substantially. Watch.

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 wealth. Our nation has lost its wealth, but we’re getting it back so fast. The era of economic surrender is totally over. From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and, very importantly, reciprocal. (Applause.)

We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones. And they’ll be good ones, but they’ll be fair. And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property through strong enforcement of our trade rules. (Applause.)

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

America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year. Isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a minor permit approved for the building of a simple road? (Applause.) I am asking both parties to come together to give us safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure that our economy needs and our people deserve. (Applause.)

Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs. 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. And we can do it. (Applause.)
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 great building heritage. (Applause.)

We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land. And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit. (Applause.)

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 all love so much. We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity. (Applause.)

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

As America regains its strength, 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 at life. (Applause.)

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’ve 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 — such a happy time it should have been — neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown.

Six members of the savage MS-13 gang 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 illegal, 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. Please stand. Thank you very much. (Applause.) I want you to know that 320 million hearts are right now breaking for you. We love you. Thank you. (Applause.)

While we cannot imagine the depths of that kind of sorrow, we can make sure that other families never have to endure this kind of pain.

Tonight, I am calling on Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminal gangs, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws and support our ICE and Border Patrol agents — these are great people; these are great, great people — that work so hard in the midst of such danger so that this can never happen again. (Applause.)

The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country anywhere in the world 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, 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. (Applause.) 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. (Applause.)

Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez. He goes by “DJ” and “CJ.” He said, “Call me either one.” So we’ll call you “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 of our streets. Tough job.

At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder. And they wanted it to happen quickly. But he did not cave to threats or to 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 MS-13 gang members.

And I have to tell you, what the Border Patrol and ICE have done — we have sent thousands and thousands and thousands of MS-13 horrible people out of this country or into our prisons.

So I just want to congratulate you, CJ. You’re a brave guy. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

And I asked CJ, “What’s the secret?” He said, “We’re just tougher than they are.” And I like that answer. (Laughter and applause.) Now let’s get Congress to send you — and all of the people in this great chamber have to do it; we have no choice. CJ, we’re going to send you reinforcements, and we’re going to send them to you quickly. It’s what you need. (Applause.)

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 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 and must have. (Applause.)

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 covered. (Applause.) 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 over a 12-year period. (Applause.)

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

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 American people. (Applause.) It’s 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. (Applause.)

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. (Applause.) 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. (Applause.) This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security and for the future of America.

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 just no longer afford. (Applause.)

It’s time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century. (Applause.)

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 sign a bill that puts America first. (Applause.) So let’s come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done. (Applause.)

These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction. Never before has it been like it is now. It is terrible. We have to do something about it. In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses — 174 deaths per day; 7 per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge. (Applause.)

My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need, for those who have been so terribly hurt. The struggle will be long and it will be difficult, but as Americans always do — in the end, we will succeed. We will prevail. (Applause.)

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, an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He’s here tonight with his wife Rebecca. (Applause.) Thank you, Ryan.

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 didn’t 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 heard those words. 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. (Applause.) Thank you, Ryan and Rebecca.

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 horrible dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means to our true and great defense.

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

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 so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else. (Applause.)

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, sadly.

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 very close to 100 percent of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and in Syria and in other locations, as well. (Applause.) 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 explosive so that civilians could return to that city hopefully soon, and hopefully safely.

Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion. Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped and unbelievably dangerous and unsafe building, and found Kenton, but in very, very 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 two and a half hours and through emergency surgery.

Kenton Stacy would have died if it were not for Justin’s selfless love for his 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. (Applause.)

Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we have no choice but to 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. (Applause.) And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.

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

So today, I’m keeping another promise. I just signed, prior to walking in, an order directing Secretary Mattis, who is doing a great job, thank you — (applause) — to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay. (Applause.)

I am asking Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists, wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And in many cases, for them, it will now be Guantanamo Bay. (Applause.)

At the same time, as of a few months ago, our warriors in Afghanistan have new rules of engagement. (Applause.)

Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans. (Applause.)

Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the U.S. Senate just months before. I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Applause.)

Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this decision. In 2016, American taxpayers generously sent those same countries more than $20 billion in aid.

That is why, tonight, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America. (Applause.)

As we strengthen friendships all 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. (Applause.)

I am asking 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. (Applause.)

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 ever 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 very 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 to our allies.

Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia — and a great student he was. 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 wonderful parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are here with us tonight, along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. Please. (Applause.) Incredible people. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength truly inspires us all. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with total American resolve. Thank you. (Applause.)

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, which were very hard to get. 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 or the hurt. 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’d met any Christians. He had — and he resolved, after that, to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches all 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 most: the truth.
Today, he has a new leg. But, Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those old crutches as a reminder of how far you’ve come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all. Please. Thank you. (Applause.) 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. 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 entire 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, and 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 all over Asia.
And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol — this living monument — this is the moment to the American people. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT: We’re a people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us, defending hope, pride, and defending 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. And they are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, and police officers, and border agents, medics, and Marines. But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, this nation, belongs entirely to them. (Applause.)

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, ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it’s the people who are making America great again. (Applause.)

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 never 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. Goodnight. (Applause.)

END 10:30 P.M. EST

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Trump to the World Economic Forum

Source: WH, 1-26-18

Issued on: 

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

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yes.

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.

END

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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.)

END

1:19 P.M. EST

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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

HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

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.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

 

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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.
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: … wait so long (inaudible)?
TRUMP: I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long.
(CROSSTALK)
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…
(CROSSTALK)
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.
(CROSSTALK)
TRUMP: They don’t. They don’t.
(CROSSTALK)
TRUMP: How about a couple of…
(CROSSTALK)
TRUMP: How about a couple of infrastructure questions?
(CROSSTALK)
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…
(CROSSTALK)
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…
(CROSSTALK)
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.
OK…
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: Was it — two questions. Was it terrorism? And can you tell us what you’re feeling about your…
(CROSSTALK)
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…
(CROSSTALK)
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…
(CROSSTALK)
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.
QUESTION: Sir…
TRUMP: As far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.
Wait a minute, I’m not finished.
(CROSSTALK)
I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day…
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)
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.
(CROSSTALK)
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.
(CROSSTALK)
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.
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: … on both sides, sir?
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides. Are…
(CROSSTALK)
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.
(CROSSTALK)
TRUMP: And — and — and if you reported it accurately, you would say (inaudible).
(CROSSTALK)
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.
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same (inaudible)…
(CROSSTALK)
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?
(CROSSTALK)
TRUMP: How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him?
(CROSSTALK)
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…
(CROSSTALK)
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…
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: What makes you think you can get an infrastructure bill? You didn’t get health care. You…
(CROSSTALK)
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.
(CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: Mr. President, have you spoken to the family — have you spoken to the family of the victim of the car…
(CROSSTALK)
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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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.

END
12:43 P.M. EDT

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

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

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

President Trump Press Conference 

Source: White House, 8-10-17

 

 

Full Text Political Transcripts July 31, 2017: President Donald Trump’s Remarks at Presentation of Medal of Honor to Specialist Five James C. McCloughan, U.S. Army

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENCY & 115TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Trump at Presentation of Medal of Honor to Specialist Five James C. McCloughan, U.S. Army

Source: WH,  7-31-17

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East Room

3:15 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Please be seated.  Thank you, Chaplain Hurley.  Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Mattis, Secretary Shulkin, Senator Stabenow, Congressman Upton, and members of the Armed Forces:  Thank you for joining us as we award our nation’s highest military honor to Specialist Five James C. McCloughan.

Today, we pay tribute to a veteran who went above and beyond the call of duty to protect our comrades, our country, and our freedom.

Joining Jim today is his wife Cherie, his brothers Mike and Tom, his sons Jamie and Matt, and many other members of his very large and beautiful family.

We’re also gratified to be joined by eight previous Medal of Honor recipients.  Now, Jim’s name will stand forever alongside theirs in our history and in our hearts.  I want to take a few minutes to tell you about Jim and how he earned this place among legends.

Jim was raised in Bangor, Michigan.  His father built their house from scratch and worked 40 years at a piano factory.  Jim’s dad taught him a simple but powerful lesson:  Never do anything halfway.  Always do your best.  Jim took that lesson very much to heart.  He played for four varsity sports in high school and three in college.

In August of 1968, Jim was drafted into the Army.  Within six months, he was trained as a medic and arrived in Vietnam. Right away, Jim poured all of himself into his duties treating the sick and the wounded.  Before long, all his fellow soldiers called him “Doc.”

On May 13, 1969, less than three months after he arrived, Jim was one of 89 men in Charlie Company to embark on a mission to secure a transportation route near Nui Yon.  As Jim and his men jumped out of the helicopter, it quickly became clear that they were surrounded by enemy troops.  Within minutes, two choppers were shot down, and one of his men was badly wounded in the middle of an open field.

Jim did not hesitate.  He blazed through 100 meters of enemy fire to carry the wounded and the soldier to safety.  But this was only the first of many heroic deeds Jim would perform over the next 48 hours.

After tending to the first wounded soldier, Jim joined a mission to advance toward the enemy, and advance they did.  Before long, they were ambushed.  Again, he ran into danger to rescue his men.  As he cared for two soldiers, shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade slashed open the back of Jim’s body from head to foot.

Yet that terrible wound didn’t stop Jim from pulling those two men to safety, nor did it stop him from answering the plea of another wounded comrade and carrying him to safety atop his own badly injured body.  He was badly injured.

And so it went, shot after shot, blast upon blast.  As one of his comrades recalled, whoever called “medic” could immediately count on McCloughan.  He’s a brave guy.

As day turned to dusk, nearly all of those who could and really, really had to make it back — they were finally within their night defensive position, except for one soldier whose plea Jim could not ignore.

Again, “Doc” did not hesitate.  He crawled through a rice paddy thick with steel rain.  That means bullets all over the place.  As soldiers watched him, they were sure that was the last time they would see “Doc.”  They thought that was the end of their friend, Jim.

But after several minutes passed, Jim emerged from the smoke and fire carrying yet another soldier.  He immediately badgered [bandaged] and fixed and worked, but he got the wounds fixed and lifted the soldier to a medevac helicopter.

His lieutenant ordered Jim to get in, too.  “Get in,” he said, “get in.”  But Jim refused.  He said, “You’re going to need me here.”  As Jim now says, “I would have rather died on the battlefield than know that men died because they did not have a medic.”

Over the next 24 hours, Jim fired at enemy soldiers, suffered a bullet wound to his arm, and continued to race into gunfire to save more and more lives.

And yet, as night approached again, after nearly two days of no food, no water, and no rest, Jim volunteered to hold a blinking light in an open field to signal for a supply drop.  He would not yield, he would not rest, he would not stop, and he would not flinch in the face of sure death and definite danger.

Though he was thousands of miles from home, it was as if the strength and pride of our whole nation was beating inside of Jim’s heart.  Jim did what his father had taught him — he gave it his all and then he just kept giving.

In those 48 hours, Jim rescued 10 American soldiers and tended to countless others.  He was one of 32 men who fought until the end.  They held their ground against more than 2,000 enemy troops.

Jim, I know I speak for every person here when I say that we are in awe of your actions and your bravery.  But let me tell you one thing, and one more story about Jim.  On the second day of that bloody fight, Jim found a few soldiers and a fellow soldier who had been shot badly in the stomach.  He knew the soldier wouldn’t make it if he flung him on the back, so he lifted him up and carried him in his arms.

As Jim was carrying the soldier, a thought flashed through his mind.  Although Jim had always been very close to his father, he realized that it was not since he had been a young boy that he had told his dad those three very simple but beautiful words:  “I love you.”

In that moment, Jim offered up a prayer.  He asked God, “If you get me out of this hell on Earth so I can tell my dad I love him, I’ll be the best coach and the best father you could ever ask for.”  As he prayed, a great peace came over him.  And if it was God’s will for him to live, he’d keep his promise to God as soon as he had the chance.

Jim made it out of that hell on Earth.  He made it; here he is.  And the first thing he did when he arrived back on American soil was to say those beautiful words:  “I love you, Dad.  I love you.”  Jim said those words over and over again for the next 22 years until the last time he saw his father, the night before his dad passed on.

Today, I’d venture to say his dad is the proudest father in heaven.  Jim fought with all of the love and courage in his soul.  He was prepared to lay down his life so his brothers-in-arms could live theirs.

With us today are 10 of the men who fought alongside Jim, and five of those he saved.  To Bill, Randy, Mike, Joe, Kent, Robert, John, Charles, Michael, Orestes — thank you for your service and sacrifice.  Stand up wherever you may be.  Where are you?  Where are you?  (Applause.)  Thank you, fellas.  That’s great.

For over two centuries, our brave men and women in uniform have overcome tyranny, fascism, communism, and every threat to our freedom — every single threat they’ve overcome.  And we’ve overcome these threats because of titans like Jim whose spirit could never be conquered.

That’s what this award is, and Jim’s life represents so well:  America’s unbreakable spirit.  It’s been 48 years since Jim’s battle in Vietnam.  He is now a husband, a father, and a grandfather.  He coached high school football, wrestling, and baseball for 38 years, just like he said he would.  And he brought together every member he could find of his beloved Charlie Company.

To many people in this room, Specialist Five McCloughan has always been their friend, “Jim.”  To others, he’s been “Coach.” To those who bravely served with him in Vietnam, he’s still called their “Doc.”  To his parents Scotty and Margaret, both watching from heaven, he will always be their son.  But today, [to] 320 million grateful American hearts, Private McCloughan carries one immortal title — and that title is “hero.”

Specialist Five McCloughan:  We honor you.  We salute you. And with God as your witness, we thank you for what you did for all of us.

Now I would like the military aide to come forward and read the citation.

MILITARY AIDE:  The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Private First Class James C. McCloughan, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.

Private First Class [James] C. McCloughan distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty from May 13th through 15th, 1969, while serving as a combat medic with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division.

The company air assaulted into an area near Tam Ky and Nui Yon Hill.  On May 13th, with complete disregard for his life, he ran 100 meters in an open field through heavy fire to rescue a comrade too injured to move and carried him to safety.  That same day, 2nd Platoon was ordered to search the area near Nui Yon Hill when the platoon was ambushed by a large North Vietnamese Army force and sustained heavy casualties.

With complete disregard for his life and personal safety, Private First Class McCloughan led two Americans into the safety of a trench while being wounded by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade.  He ignored a direct order to stay back, and braved an enemy assault while moving into the “kill zone” on four more occasions to extract wounded comrades.

He treated the injured, prepared the evacuation, and though bleeding heavily from shrapnel wounds on his head and entire body, refused evacuation to safety in order to remain at the battle site with his fellow soldiers who were heavily outnumbered by the North Vietnamese Army forces.

On May 14th, the platoon was again ordered to move out towards Nui Yon Hill.  Private First Class McCloughan was wounded a second time by small arms fire and shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade while rendering aid to two soldiers in an open rice paddy.  In the final phases of the attack, two companies from 2nd North Vietnamese Army Division and an element of 700 soldiers from a Viet Cong regiment descended upon Charlie Company’s position on three sides.

Private First Class McCloughan, again with complete disregard for his life, went into the crossfire numerous times throughout the battle to extract the wounded soldiers, while also fighting the enemy.  His relentless and courageous actions inspired and motivated his comrades to fight for their survival.  When supplies ran low, Private First Class McCloughan volunteered to hold a blinking strobe light in an open area as a marker for a nighttime resupply drop.  He remained steadfast while bullets landed all around him and rocket-propelled grenades flew over his prone, exposed body.

During the morning darkness of May 15th, Private First Class McCloughan knocked out a rocket-propelled grenade position with a grenade, fought and eliminated enemy soldiers, treated numerous casualties, kept two critically-wounded soldiers alive through the night, and organized the dead and wounded for evacuation at daylight.  His timely and courageous actions were instrumental in saving the lives of his fellow soldiers.

Private First Class McCloughan’s personal heroism, professional competence, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Americal Division, and the United States Army.

(The Medal of Honor is presented.)  (Applause.)

(A prayer is given.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Jim, thank you.  God bless you.  God bless your family.  God bless the United States of America.  Thank you, Jim.  (Applause.)

END
3:35 P.M. EDT

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