Friday, September 6, 2019


Office of the Press Secretary

“As Congress prepares to return from its six-week-long recess, Americans deserve to know that Trump has been hard at work this summer, and every day since he took office, keeping his promises to the American people.”

The Washington Post’s lost summer
By Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley
Washington Examiner
September 5, 2019

[A]s the summer came to a close, the Post set out to ”report” the president’s summer accomplishments, but reporting is not what the Post does. Two of its writers published an opinion article they claimed was news but that instead pushed their own personal political narrative that President Trump had a “lost summer” of squandered opportunities and few accomplishments.
The truth is, Trump racked up many well-documented victories that directly benefited the American people at home and abroad. When the Post asked, the White House proudly provided it with a detailed list of the administration’s 26 most important successes of the summer. Of those 26 accomplishments, the Post chose to publish just four, which it buried under 11 paragraphs of editorialized critique.
Media bias comes in two forms. It plays a role in deciding what news is, and is not, covered, and also in deciding how that news is covered. In this instance, the Post's “reporters” are guilty of both.

The Post could have written about the president’s directive to ease all federal student loan debt for disabled veterans. They didn’t. They could have written about the first time in history a sitting United States president walked across the DMZ into North Korea. Not a chance. They could have written about the first stage of the president’s historic trade deal with Japan, which will give our American farmers even more access to one of the largest and most promising markets. Of course not. The president even fixed dangerous immigration loopholes to increase border security and make American communities safer, but these two reporters would not deviate from their preset narrative and write about that either.

It is impossible to trust the media when the executive director of the New York Times is caught on tape outlining plans to transition its coverage from the Russian hoax to another false narrative about Trump and racism. Or when TV networks accused the president of “manufacturing a crisis” at our southern border, only to later flip-flop and blame him for Congress’ refusal to fix that very crisis.

The most egregious and dangerous forms of this bias thrived this summer at media outlets like the Washington Post, which routinely masquerade opinion as news. Heading into the fall, the Post and others should at the very least pledge to sequester such breathless partisanship, rampant editorializing, and obvious bias to their opinion pages.

Read the full op-ed here.

Presidential Memorandum on Providing an Order of Succession Within the Council on Environmental Quality

Office of the Press Secretary
September 6, 2019


SUBJECT:    Providing an Order of Succession Within the
            Council on Environmental Quality

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq. (the "Act"), it is hereby ordered that:

    Section 1.  Order of Succession.  Subject to the provisions of section 2 of this memorandum and to the limitations set forth in the Act, the following officials of the Council on Environmental Quality, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (Chairman), during any period in which the Chairman has died, resigned, or otherwise becomes unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Chairman:

    (a)  Chief of Staff, CEQ;

    (b)  General Counsel, CEQ; and

    (c)  Associate Directors, CEQ, in the order in which they have been appointed as such.

    Sec. 2.  Exceptions.  (a)  No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1 of this memorandum in an acting capacity, by virtue of so serving, shall act as Chairman pursuant to this memorandum.

    (b)  No individual listed in section 1 of this memorandum shall act as Chairman unless that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Act.

    (c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this memorandum, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this memorandum in designating an acting Chairman.

    Sec. 3.  Revocation.  The Presidential Memorandum of January 13, 2017 (Providing an Order of Succession Within the Council on Environmental Quality), is hereby revoked.

    Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

        (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

        (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (b)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    (c)  You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

                        DONALD J. TRUMP


Guidance for President Donald J. Trump’s Remarks at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week Conference Washington, DC Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
Guidance for President Donald J. Trump’s Remarks at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week Conference   
Washington, DC
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Where: Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 2:15 PM EDT

Request Media Credentials:
Please register for credentials HERE by 6:00 PM EDT, Sunday, September 8, 2019, to request media credentials. Late requests will not be accepted. Once approved, you will receive additional logistics in a separate email. Credentials are non-transferable.

** For all on site and additional logistical questions, please direct them to Laura Lee Lewis at **


Office of the Press Secretary

“It is indeed well past time for our judiciary to re-examine a practice that embitters the political life of the nation, flouts constitutional principles, and stultifies sound judicial administration, all at the cost of public confidence in our institutions.”
End nationwide injunctions
By U.S. Attorney General William Barr
The Wall Street Journal
September 05, 2019

When a federal court issues an order against enforcement of a government policy, the ruling traditionally applies only to the plaintiff in that case. Over the past several decades, however, some lower court federal judges have increasingly resorted to a procedural device—the “nationwide injunction”—to prevent the government from enforcing a policy against anyone in the country. Shrewd lawyers have learned to “shop” for a sympathetic judge willing to issue such an injunction. These days, virtually every significant congressional or presidential initiative is enjoined—often within hours—threatening our democratic system and undermining the rule of law.

The best example of the harm done by these nationwide injunctions is the current litigation over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In 2012, after Congress repeatedly failed to grant legal status to so-called Dreamers, the Obama administration declined to enforce the immigration laws against them. Five years later, the Trump administration announced it would restore enforcement of federal law, prompting Democrats to negotiate in search of a broad solution. Just as a compromise appeared near, a district court judge in San Francisco entered a nationwide injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from ending DACA, thus awarding the Democrats by judicial fiat what they had been seeking through a political compromise.

Far from solving the problem, the DACA injunction proved catastrophic. The program’s recipients remain in legal limbo after nearly two years of bitter political division over immigration, including a government shutdown. A humanitarian crisis—including a surge of unaccompanied children—swells at the southern border, while legislative efforts remain frozen pending Supreme Court resolution of the DACA case.

Proponents of nationwide injunctions argue that they are necessary to ensure that the law is uniform throughout the country. But the federal judiciary wasn’t made to produce instant legal uniformity. To the contrary, the system—in which local district courts are supervised by regional courts of appeal—was constructed to allow a diversity of initial rulings until a single, national rule could be decided by the Supreme Court.

This system has many virtues. It prevents a solitary, unelected, life-tenured judge from overriding the political branches and imposing on the nation potentially idiosyncratic or mistaken views of the law. A Supreme Court justice must convince at least four colleagues to bind the federal government nationwide, whereas a district court judge issuing a nationwide injunction needn’t convince anyone.

Nationwide injunctions “are legally and historically dubious,” noted Justice Clarence Thomas, concurring in Trump v. Hawaii (2018). “If federal courts continue to issue them, this Court is dutybound to adjudicate their authority to do so.” It is indeed well past time for our judiciary to re-examine a practice that embitters the political life of the nation, flouts constitutional principles, and stultifies sound judicial administration, all at the cost of public confidence in our institutions.

Read the full op-ed here.


When MSM says "its not our story", it's time to become the news. Attending a town hall meeting is a public forum where citizens have the opportunity to ask for redress of their grievance by our elected officials. Our First Amendment, free speech, and freedom to assemble peacefully is guaranteed in our U.S. Constitution and is thus our un-a-lien-able right.  But what happens when the PTB actually use these public forums  to identify those who they would rather silence, and deny their first amendment? The result has been loss of child custody, financial ruin, and defamation of character through the strong arm of the government, the courts.  The message here is if you have children, give up your First Amendment or risk losing your children. This First and Fourteenth Amendment battle is in year 8 of litigation to get justice for this abuse of power under color of law, abuse of trust and quite frankly, a gangster enterprise.

After 8 years in state court, this battle is now in U.S Federal Court. This First Amendment battle is EVERY American's battle.  Follow up on this story will be posted as they develop.

C-SPAN video Clip of this Story

President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Nominees

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Nominees

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate:

Rahkel Bouchet of the District of Columbia, to serve as an Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. 

Rahkel Bouchet currently serves as a Magistrate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where her docket includes civil, family, and juvenile cases. Before taking the bench in 2016, Judge Bouchet was a Supervising Attorney for the Child Welfare Clinic at Howard University School of Law and a Principal at the Bouchet Law Firm, where her practice focused on child abuse, neglect, and family law. Judge Bouchet received her B.A., cum laude, from Howard University and J.D. from Howard University School of Law.

Mark Allen Robbins of the District of Columbia, to serve as an Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Mark Robbins is General Counsel of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), a position he also held from 2001 to 2006. Before working as OPM General Counsel, he served as Member and Acting Chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board. Mr. Robbins has previously served as General Counsel of the United States Election Assistance Commission, Senior Rule of Law Advisor for the Department of State in Iraq, and Executive Director of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Mr. Robbins earned his B.A from George Washington University and J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.


West Wing Reads Record 157,878,000 Employed in August

West Wing Reads

Record 157,878,000 Employed in August

“The number of people employed in the United States hit a record 157,878,000 in August, the 21st record set under President Donald Trump, according to the employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” Susan Jones reports for CNS News.

“The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent. For blacks, the unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 5.5 percent last month. And for Hispanics, the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in August, which ties the record low set earlier this year.”

Click here to read more.
“It’s been a lost summer for the Washington Post,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley write in the Washington Examiner. “Despite record-setting accomplishments in record-setting time, data shows the news coverage of Trump has been 92% negative. The most egregious and dangerous forms of this bias thrived this summer at media outlets like the Washington Post, which routinely masquerade opinion as news.”
“Ivanka Trump met Thursday with female entrepreneurs in the Argentine province of Jujuy as part of her five-day tour of South America,” The Associated Press reports. “The trip by U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and special adviser is aimed at promoting a White House initiative for the economic empowerment of women. In Argentina, she participated in a micro-financing class for female entrepreneurs who have received microcredits financed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC.”
“A great U.S. job market for workers at small firms got a little better in August. That’s according to the latest monthly employment survey from the National Federation of Independent Business,” James Freeman writes in The Wall Street Journal. “The news today on small business hiring is that recession is still nowhere in sight.”
“The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was ratified by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. In the 26 years since, the need to update and amend the agreement has become clear,” Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) writes in the Courier & Press. For example, “under USMCA, the portion of a car that needs to be produced in North America to avoid tariffs will increase from 62.5% to 75%. USMCA also requires at least 40% of parts from factories where the average wage is $16 an hour.”

First Lady Melania Trump Attends a Dedication Ceremony for the REACH at the Kennedy Center

Office of the First Lady

First Lady Melania Trump Attends a Dedication Ceremony for the REACH at the Kennedy Center
WASHINGTON, DC – First Lady Melania Trump attended a dedication ceremony  for the REACH, part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this evening.  As Honorary Chair of the Kennedy Center, the First Lady delivered opening remarks inside the new Welcome Pavilion.   Mrs. Trump acknowledged the Kennedy Center leadership, Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, and the generous donors who made the initiative possible.  Following the remarks, Mrs. Trump joined the guests for a performance in one of the new studios.

“This is a momentous occasion for the arts,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “The Kennedy Center has always been a powerful tool to bring people together.  This new addition will be so valuable to Washington D.C. and is so important to our community and to our nation as a whole.  I want to thank the Kennedy Center leadership and the generous supporters for inviting me to join them this evening and for the incredible work they are doing for our future generations.”

The REACH is the new expansion of the Kennedy Center and is set to open to the public this Saturday, September 7, 2019. 

The event was closed to the press.


Thank you David for your kind introduction.  Good evening.  It is a pleasure to join you tonight to celebrate this very special occasion.

For nearly 50 years, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been connecting people through entertainment and human expression.  So many historical figures have walked through its halls and performed on its stages.  The performing arts truly have the unique power to move us.  They have a special and deeply emotional impact on each of us as individuals, while also binding people together as a community through the power of the shared experience.

It is my honor to be part of the Grand Opening of the REACH.  Thank you to Mr. David Rubenstein, Chairman of the Kennedy Center and Cornerstone of the REACH; Ms. Deborah Rutter, President of the Kennedy Center; Mr. Michael Neidorff, Chariman of the Building the Future Campaign; the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees; and Steven Holl Architects, for all that you did to make this beautiful location possible.  I know it will be yet another of the treasures in our Nation’s capital.

We know that this great addition would not be here today if it were not for the generous donations made by each of you.  Thank you for your support and commitment to promoting the arts. I look forward to the incredible work that will come from this living theater.

In my time as First Lady, I have had the privilege of learning about many programs across our country focused on our future – especially for our children.    The REACH really is an investment in the future of the arts and humanities for our next generation.  From its architecture to its programs, I am confident that the Kennedy Center’s the REACH will be an amazing campus for people to gather and experience all the possibilities that music and the performing arts have to offer through both the indoor and outdoor spaces, studios and classrooms.

Thank you again for your support and thank you to the Kennedy Center for the important impact you are having on the future of the performing arts for our children.  God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.

Presidential Proclamation on National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary

- - - - - - -



    During these National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, we come together to honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  The passage of time will never diminish the magnitude of the loss or the courage, compassion, strength, and unity displayed during one of our darkest hours.

     The horrific events of that September morning shook our Nation to its core as we watched in disbelief as the chaos unfolded.  Yet in the midst of loss and destruction, a renewed pride, patriotism, and appreciation for the precious blessings of life and liberty filled our soul.  We pause, therefore, to remember not merely our pain and sorrow from that day but also our will, our fortitude, and our reinvigorated unity and love for our fellow Americans.

     Since the founding of our Republic, we have proclaimed reliance on Almighty God.  Prayer has sustained and guided the leaders and citizens of this great Nation in times of peace and prosperity and in times of conflict and disaster.  Thus, it is fitting that we again turn to our Creator for wisdom, comfort, and peace on this somber occasion, praying for those who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and for all who bear the wounds, seen and unseen, of these tragedies.  We also pray for our first responders who risk their own lives to rescue others in peril, and continue to do so day in and day out, as well as for our men and women in the military who protect our homeland, serving a cause greater than themselves.

     The United States has endured many trials, yet few events have challenged our resolve as the events of September 11, 2001.  On that fateful day, our faith was challenged, but never lost; our Nation wept, but could not be defeated.  Through the devastation, we emerged stronger.  During these commemorative days, may we unite in prayer and remembrance and do our part to ensure that future generations never forget this immeasurable tragedy or ever doubt this Nation's extraordinary resilience.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 6, through Sunday, September 8, 2019, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance.  I ask that the people of the United States mark these National Days of Prayer and Remembrance with prayer, contemplation, memorial services, the visiting of memorials, the ringing of bells, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils.  I invite all people around the world to share in these Days of Prayer and Remembrance.

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

                              DONALD J. TRUMP



Office of the Press Secretary

Oval Office

4:50 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much for coming today.  It's my privilege to award our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to a remarkable man, Jerry West.  Jerry, I'd like to congratulate you on this tremendous achievement.  And congratulations to your family.  Congratulations, Jerry.  Fantastic.  (Applause.)

We're delighted to be joined by Jerry’s wife Karen and their wonderful family.  And -- thank you very much, everybody.  Look at that family, huh?  You did a good job.  It's beautiful.

We're also pleased to have with us Senator Joe Manchin and Governor Jim Justice -- two terrific people.  Jim?  Thank you.  Stand up, Jim -- (applause) -- in case they can't see you.  Now you can see him.  That's great.  Great to have you.  Joe, thank you very much.  Thank you both for being here.  They're busy.  They're very busy people, and I think we're going to meet on a certain subject later on, Joe.  And that's good.  

Jerry was born in Chelyan, West Virginia, in 1938, the fifth of six children.  He grew up hiking in the woods, fishing in the clear water, and exploring the beautiful mountains of West Virginia -- a great, great state.  I shouldn’t say this, Joe, but I won it by 43 points.

SENATOR MANCHIN:  Yes, you did.  I remember that.

THE PRESIDENT:  That's a lot.

SENATOR MANCHIN:  I remember it well.

THE PRESIDENT:  We love West Virginia.  Probably helped you getting this award today.  (Laughter.)  When you come from West Virginia, we like you, Jerry.

But more than anything else Jerry liked doing is playing basketball in West Virginia.  And starting at age six, he taught himself on the dirt surfaces of his neighborhood’s backyard.  When it rained, his sister would call him and say, it's called “the mud wallow.”   Do you remember that at all, Jerry?  The "mud wallow."

MR. WEST:  Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT:  But nothing ever stopped him.  Jerry later reflected that, “Everything I did, I tried to do perfectly.  Not just well, but perfectly.”  And it hasn’t changed, I don’t think, too much, has it?

We ended a great, great senior year.  Jerry spent it in high school with a West Virginia scoring record of 1,501 points.  Approximately 60 major colleges and universities tried to recruit Jerry, but he decided, very intelligently, to stay in West Virginia.  And he went to West Virginia University in 1956.

Donning his famous number “44” jersey, he set 17 Mountaineer records, was named the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player in 1959, and was a two-time consensus All-American.  Wow.  West Virginia won 87 percent of the games in which Jerry was in the lineup and won the Southern Conference all three years he played varsity.

After graduating, Jerry played on the 1960 USA Olympic Team, which swept every matchup, including a much-anticipated showdown with the Soviet Union.  In that game, Jerry was the highest scorer, accounting for nearly a quarter of America’s points.  And to this day, the Olympic Gold Medal is his most prized possession.  Is that still so?

MR. WEST:  That's right.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that's pretty good, Jerry.  You have plenty of possessions.  I don't know, maybe we'll top it today.  I don't know.  We're going to see.

Jerry then joined the Los Angeles Lakers; we all know that.  And in the years that followed, he was to become a legend and made plays that will be remembered forever.  I know many of them.

In a January 1962 game against the New York Knicks, Jerry scored nearly half of the Lakers' total, setting a personal scoring record of 63 points in less than 40 minutes.  In Game 3 of 1962 Finals against the Celtics, Jerry rallied the Lakers and tried it.  And tried very hard, I will tell you.  He tried so hard, and that was a great rally, and he was up 115 to 115, with only three seconds left.

The Celtics had the ball, and Sam Jones -- he was a good one too, wasn’t he, huh?  Sam Jones.  They're all good on that team.  Passed to the legendary Bob Cousy, who was here a few weeks ago.  And I don't know if he'd want this story told, so we won't; we'll tell it very quietly.  But Jerry suddenly rushed forward, stole the ball before it reached Cousy, and made a layup in the final second to win the game.  In that iconic 1962 season, Jerry earned the nickname of “Mr. Clutch" -- a name that stuck.

Over the course of his 14 NBA seasons, he broke the record for the most points scored in the history of the Lakers, was named the NBA Finals MVP, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  But perhaps the greatest commemoration of his legacy was the legendary playing career -- is the NBA Logo.  Today, the silhouette of Jerry West is displayed on every uniform, court, and basketball in the league.  Still the same one, Jerry, right?  Huh?  We don’t want them to change it, do we?  Better not change it.

MR. WEST:  You never know today.

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t know.  You never know.

     After his playing career ended in 1974, Jerry went on to coach the Lakers for three seasons and later served as General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for nearly 20 years.

In the summer of 1996, he succeeded in securing both Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal -- two truly great players -- creating an unstoppable force in the NBA.  Under his management, the Lakers won four championships and he was named Executive of the Year in 1995.

Jerry went on to serve as the President of Basketball Operations for the struggling Memphis Grizzlies, where he took them to the playoffs three times and was named Executive of the Year again in 2004.  He then joined the executive board of the Warriors.

Recently, he became a consultant for the Clippers and helped sign Kawhi Leonard, who really has played -- he’s some player.  We were talking about that.  And the combination of the two of them is going to be a very interesting season.  I think you’re pretty proud of that group, huh?

MR. WEST:  Yes.

THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to see.  You had some great ones.

Jerry is one of the greatest negotiators, managers, and executives in the history of the NBA.

In addition to his sterling professional career, Jerry helped raise millions of dollars for charity in Los Angeles, contributed to a flood of relief efforts in West Virginia, and, generally, just incredible supporter of West Virginia and West Virginia University.

He has also brought awareness to the risks of atrial fibrillation.  Oh, I didn’t know that, Jerry.  That’s very good.  That’s big stuff for you, right?  That’s very good.

MR. WEST:  That's all good.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s very good.  And is a passionate supporter of our nation’s veterans.  Jerry works harder than just about anybody I can imagine, helping our nation’s veterans.  Jerry West is one extraordinary American.

And I’d now like to ask the military aide to come forward and present Jerry Alan West with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  This is so richly deserved.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Jerry.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

MILITARY AIDE:  Jerry Alan West is one of the greatest basketball players and sports executives of all time.  After an outstanding collegiate career at West Virginia University, Mr. West played 14 seasons in the NBA, all with the Los Angeles Lakers, making the All-Star team each year.

In 1972, “Mr. Clutch” helped lead the Lakers to their first championship.  A few years later, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

After his playing career, Mr. West was a legendary NBA general manager responsible for building the Laker juggernauts of the 1980s and 2000s.

The United States now proudly honors Jerry West, whose excellence and determination have made him a true basketball icon.

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

MR. WEST:  Well, first of all, thank you, Mr. President.  Where shall I begin?  You know, it never ceases to amaze me the places you can go in this world chasing a bouncing ball.  My chase began in Chelyan, West Virginia, where I strung a wire basket with no net to the side of a bridge.  If your shot didn’t go in, the ball rolled down a long bank and you would be chasing it forever.  So you better make it.

I was a dreamer.  My family didn’t have much, but we had a clear view of the Appalachian Mountains, and I like -- I’d sit alone on our front porch and wonder, “If I ever make it to the top of that mountain, what will I see on the other side?”  Well, I did make it to the other side, and my dreams have come true.  I’ve been able to see the sides thanks to all the -- thanks to that bouncing ball.

I spent my childhood in West Virginia and my adulthood in Los Angeles -- two of the most profoundly different places in this country -- and I’ve been shaped by wonderful people in both.

     I would have never made it through West Virginia University without Ann Dinardi, a surrogate mother of sorts, who gave me a room in her house and constantly fed me to pack weight on my 160-pound frame.  She cussed me when I needed it, and, boy, that was a lot -- like the time I fled back home before my freshman year personally convinced that I did not belong in college, and hugged me when I needed, which was probably at the same time.  Ann was strong, sassy, Italian.  Not so much different than another incredible woman that I eventually met in Los Angeles and married.

Thank you, Karen, for accompanying me and tolerating me on this long, rich, American journey.

     I’ve experienced a country at war, a country at peace, a time when we huddled around a radio with terrible reception to hear President Roosevelt’s weekly addresses to a time when we read on our cell phone President Trump’s instantaneous tweets.  You’re pretty good at that, by the way.  (Laughter.)

     I suffered excruciating losses, both personally and professionally.  I’m not going to say how many NBA Final losses -- those damn Celtics -- (laughter) -- and exhilarating victories.  But the one I cherish most was with a group of fellow Amer- -- amateurs at the 1960 Olympics.

As I stood on the Gold Medal Stand in Rome next to my friend and soon-to-be adversary, Oscar Robertson, I thought about my brother, David, who had died fighting in Korea when I was 13 and how proud I was to represent the United States of America and West Virginia -- and the state of West Virginia.

I tried in my life to do for others what David did for me: lead, protect, and assist whenever possible.  The David West and Willie Akers Academic Center at West Virginia University is a place where I hope young men and women in my home state can also dream about the top of the mountain and take the first steps towards realizing those dreams.

I am surrounded here today by my wonderful family.  Although my sister, Hannah and Barbara are not able to make this trip, I’ve been blessed with five remarkable sons: David, Michael, Mark, Ryan, and Jonnie.

I’ve been privileged to work for four fantastic basketball franchises: The Los Angeles Lakers, where I celebrated the most memorable triumphs, where I mourned the most painful setbacks and partnered with a true visionary, Jerry Buss, who changed the landscape of professional sports; Michael Heisley, the Memphis Grizzlies, gave me an opportunity to rebuild a franchise looking for its way; the Golden State Warriors, where I witnessed some of the most beautiful basketball ever played alongside a most unique and successful ownership group; and now the LA Clippers.  I work with an incredible and an inspirational leader, Steve Ballmer, and maybe I’m being prejudice, but the best staff that I’ve ever known.

I’ve had many great coaches and teammates I will never forget.  As a player, I was flanked by the great Elgin Baylor, the most supportive and the greatest player of that era, and later, the great Wilt Chamberlain.

As an executive, I’ve been just as fortunate.  I have been involved with a truly incredible group of the greatest players who have ever played this game: Kareem, Worthy, Magic, Shaquille, Kobe, with the Lakers; Steph, Klay, Kevin, at the Golden State Warriors; and now Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Clippers.  I marvel at them, at the joy they brought basketball fans all over the world.

The bouncing ball brought me there and here.  When Karen first read on the Internet that I was going to receive the medal -- Presidential Medal of Freedom, we were both shocked and surprised and amused.  I thought it was a joke.  Then, when West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin confirmed the honor -- I’m sure he had a big part in the selection.  Thank you, Joe, for being here today.  And also, my friend, the Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice.  I appreciate you here today also, Jim.

I looked at the list of other honorees and was inspired by the names of some on that page: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, philanthropic champions; Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, César Chávez, Simon Wiesenthal, and Desmond Tutu, legendary leaders; Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, athlete activists; Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Stevie Wonder, excellence personified; John Wooden, Frank Robinson, Arnold Palmer, and Vince Scully, friends I try to emulate.  I swear my name is going to look like a misprint on this list.

Mr. President, thanks for you for including me on this incredible group of people.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Great job, Jerry.

     MR. WEST:  Thank you.  (Applause.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  Congratulations to Jerry.  And also, Jonnie, congratulations on your marriage to a great golfer, Michelle Wie, who is here today.  And thank you, Michelle, for being here.

Thank you, everybody.  It's a great honor.  He's a great man, a great player.  And you're going to be around a long time.

MR. WEST:  Well, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Jerry, very much.  (Applause.)

MR. WEST:  I appreciate it.

                                   END                5:07 P.M. EDT


1600 Daily The White House • September 5, 2019 An update on Hurricane Dorian

1600 Daily
The White House • September 5, 2019

An update on Hurricane Dorian

The Trump Administration is closely monitoring Hurricane Dorian as the storm makes its way up the Eastern seaboard. As always, the safety of American families remains the top priority for President Donald J. Trump and the Federal Government.

The President asks all residents of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia to follow the instructions of their local officials this week. Yesterday, he announced that at the request of the Government of the Bahamas, the United States is sending additional support to help with ongoing recovery efforts. Both U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection officials are on the ground in the Bahamas now conducting rescue operations. More relief will be provided in the coming days.

Stay prepared: Up-to-date FEMA resources and information on Hurricane Dorian

Video of the day: Ivanka Trump pushes for women’s empowerment in Latin America

This week, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump is in South America, with visits to Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay to promote a key White House project. The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, or W-GDP, aims to help 50 million women worldwide achieve their full economic potential by 2025.

In Bogota, Colombia, Ms. Trump began her trip by launching the new Academy of Women Entrepreneurs. The first participants of the new initiative were a dynamic group of 40 female leaders, each of whom will have a tremendous impact on their local economies. They embody the very spirit of W-GDP.

The new academy is “designed to equip women with the practical skills they need to create sustainable businesses and to participate more fully in the global economy,” Ms. Trump said. “This is particularly important in Colombia, where women play an increasingly critical role in the country’s economic development and continued transition to peace.”

Yesterday, Ms. Trump met with Venezuelan members of Interim President Juan Guaido’s coalition, reaffirming President Trump’s continued support for the Venezuelan people in their pursuit of democracy and freedom from the Maduro regime. The delegation also spoke with Venezuelan and Colombian migrant women to hear about their collective experiences and struggles. Before departing, Ms. Trump had a major announcement: $120 million in additional assistance from the U.S. will be going to countries in the region that are providing a safe haven for Venezuela’s refugees.

“We stand with the people of Venezuela in their struggle to restore democracy, freedom and rule of law. It was deeply moving to meet female leaders of the Guaido coalition as well as some of the women impacted most by the brutal Maduro dictatorship,” she said.

In photos: Ivanka Trump visits woman-owned organic strawberry farm in Colombia.

More: Ivanka Trump announces $120 million in US aid for displaced Venezuelans

Basketball legend Jerry West receives Medal of Freedom

Today, President Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jerry Alan West, one of the all-time greatest basketball players and leaders in the game.

Jerry West became known as “Mr. Clutch,” a nickname that was well-earned during his 14 seasons in the NBA—all of them with the Los Angeles Lakers. His career accolades speak for themselves: West made the All-Star team each year he played and led the 1972 Lakers to their first championship in Los Angeles. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame just a few years later.

Off the court, West became a legendary NBA General Manager, credited with building two separate dynasties for his Lakers—once in the 1980s and again in the 2000s.

Watch President Trump honor basketball legend Jerry West in the Oval Office.

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
President Trump awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jerry West | September 5, 2019