Friday, October 18, 2019


Resolute Reads
Mike Pence: Turkey Agrees to Five-Day Cease-Fire to Withdraw Kurdish Fighters
-The Washington Times
Following four hours of talks and negotiation, a U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “was prepared to call off his military incursion into Syria,” Tom Howell Jr. reports. A 5-day halt in Turkish operations will allow the U.S. to help Kurdish fighters exit a 20-mile border buffer zone, and once complete, Erdogan’s forces will help the U.S. detain ISIS fighters in the region.
Quid Pro Nothing: Trump Accusers Don’t Care About the Facts
-New York Post
President Trump’s critics “went berserk Thursday, claiming that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had just admitted to a quid pro quo with Ukraine. Except that what Mulvaney ‘admitted’ is that the administration was doing what it should — pushing a foreign government to cooperate in getting to the bottom of foreign interference in the 2016 campaign,” the New York Post editorial board writes.

Must-read: “Schiff Pushed Volker to Say Ukraine Felt Pressure from Trump”
Trump Visit Brings the World to New Louis Vuitton Workshop in Johnson County
-The Dallas Morning News
“French luxury brand Louis Vuitton put Johnson County [Texas] on the map Thursday as the world followed President Donald Trump to the ribbon-cutting of the company’s new $50 million leather workshop,” Maria Halkias writes. “Louis Vuitton signed the president’s ‘pledge to America’s workers’ earlier this month,” which so far has generated more than 14 million new job and training opportunities for America’s great labor force.

 President Trump welcomes Louis Vuitton to Texas!
Blues Celebrate Championship with White House Visit
“After a championship parade, a Stanley Cup Tour around the world, a ring ceremony, a Hockey Hall of Fame visit and a banner-raising on Opening Night, only one more celebration remained for the Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues, and that was a visit to the White House,” Chris Pinkert writes. After falling to last place in the NHL midway through the season, the Blues’ dramatic turnaround is a true American comeback story.

 Watch: President Trump hosts the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions
Trip of a Lifetime! Trump Gives Little League Champs Ride Back to Louisiana Aboard Air Force One
-Media Research Center
After a visit to the White House last Friday to commemorate winning this year’s Little League World Series title, the kids of the Eastbank All-Stars team got one more surprise: an invitation from President Trump to ride back home in Air Force One. The President happened to be visiting their home state of Louisiana later that day, Nick Kangadis reports.

­čÄČ Little League World Series champs meet President Trump


Office of the Press Secretary


Administration Officials

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt: “The White House’s State Leadership Days are one of the many, inventive initiatives that the Trump Administration has put forth to both strengthen federal collaboration with state, local, and tribal partners and advance good neighbor policies. I appreciate the opportunities to visit with and learn from leaders across the country as their input and insight are invaluable in our work and service to the American people.”

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue: “As a former Governor, I have never seen an Administration do as much outreach to local and state elected officials and be so inclusive as President Trump and this Administration has been. State Leadership Days are a great opportunity for local leaders to come to Washington and advocate on behalf of the people they serve. I am pleased to be able to welcome them to our nation’s capital and update them on agricultural issues impacting their communities.”

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross: “As an outsider to the political circles of Washington DC, I know the critical impact a different perspective can have, especially when the effects of choices made here ripple across the country and fundamentally change the lives of people we would never see otherwise. This is why State Leadership days are such an invaluable opportunity – providing the decision makers of this great nation the chance to meet and discuss the topics that effect millions of Americans.”

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson: “State Leadership Days demonstrate President Trump’s commitment to help lift up all Americans across our nation. From housing to highways, every community has its own unique set of goals, and the Trump Administration has made it a priority to not only learn from local leaders about their needs, but to also address those needs.”

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao: “Good transportation infrastructure is vital to a growing economy and a better quality of life.  White House State Leadership days are helpful because they help build productive partnerships on transportation issues between national, state and local government. With local insights and knowledge provided during these events, the Department can provide better assistance to states and local communities.”

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry: “State constituencies are unique and deserve personalized attention, which is why State Leadership Days are so vital.  I am grateful that this Administration continues to place a high priority on providing such vehicles for grassroots leaders to speak truth to power. Our government is supposed to serve its people, not the other way around.  And so I am honored to hear directly from state leaders so we may better serve them and their citizens.”

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: “Decisions about education must be made at the most local level.  Those closest to students know best and play a key role in expanding education freedom.  White House State Leadership Days provide yet another way for the Cabinet to hear directly from state and local leaders about what’s working in their states and what we can do at the Federal level to get out of their way.  I’m grateful to the President for his leadership as we work together to expand education freedom and for elevating the voices of those closest to students to the White House.”

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler: “President Trump and his administration are listening to and working closely with communities that have long been neglected or written off, and the State Leadership Days play a critical role in those efforts. President Trump’s leadership has opened new lines of communication with hardworking Americans across the country, and because we are listening to their concerns we are making tremendous progress protecting public health and the environment while reducing burdensome regulations and providing greater regulatory certainty.”

Acting Administrator of the Small Business Administration Chris Pilkerton: “White House State Leadership Days are among some of the many beneficial engagement opportunities for local and state partners that have been prioritized by President Trump. I value the time that I’ve spent with leaders from around the country in order to hear directly from them about the impact of the Administration’s policies. From workforce development to Opportunity Zones to the resources and services provided by the SBA, it is clear that this Administration is creating jobs and fostering economic mobility in their communities.”

Local Leaders


National Association of Counties President, Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson (Douglas County, NE): “In-person communications and professional relationships are essential to building strong intergovernmental partnerships. Through this historic outreach, county leaders and top Administration officials discussed many issues important to our counties and communities, including disaster preparedness and recovery, infrastructure, Federal regulations, the opioid epidemic and substance abuse, and public lands management.”

National Association of Counties Second Vice President, Judge/Executive Gary Moore (Boone County, KY): “I applaud President Trump and his Administration for reaching out to local governments for our input and a dialog about key issues impacting our country and our varying levels of government.  Counties are facing many challenges and having a strong Federal partner in addressing the needs of our citizens is greatly appreciated and badly needed.  We are stronger together and it is encouraging to know that our President gets it!”

City Council Member Colby Fulfer (Springdale, AR): “Over time the chasm that divides the Federal and local government has continued to expand.  Our greatest reach into Washington D.C. has been through our Congressmen and Senators, but never an opportunity to engage with the Executive branch of our government.  To say that I was surprised when I was invited to The White House this summer would be an incredible understatement…I was able to relay to the Administration the issues we face in our city as well as ask multiple questions. This was an unprecedented attempt to bridge the divide between the Federal and local government.  It was an honor to attend and look forward to future opportunities.”

Supervisor Bruce Bracker (Santa Cruz County, AZ): “Inviting county supervisors and other locally elected officials ensures that decision makers in Washington hear the realities of the situation at the local level and grasp the possible repercussions of policies being made, at times, several thousands of miles away.  For us, the ability to hear what resources may be available to help us is essential to support our economic development strategies to attract new investment, create jobs and grow our tax base.  The meetings at the White House helped us put a face to the name and allowed us to meet those that can be of direct assistance.  I hope that these efforts will continue!”

Supervisor Greg Cox (San Diego County, CA): “As a longtime local official and county supervisor, I cannot remember a White House Administration that has really reached out to counties like this. They have given us high-level briefings and allowed us to talk with high-ranking officials on issues facing counties across the nation.  This type of outreach is unprecedented, much welcome, and greatly appreciated.”

Commissioner Debbie Bell (Fremont County, CO): “We were pleased to be able to join this event to discuss challenges we all share. We not only listened to presentations from Federal officials at the highest levels, but we had the opportunity to engage with them and ask questions relevant to Fremont County. We also received contact information for many of the folks in Intergovernmental Affairs, allowing us to contact them in the future for one-on-one discussions.”

Supervisor Burlin Matthews (Clay County, IA): “I was extremely pleased to be invited to the Regional State Leadership Days Initiative.  It allowed me to bring back to our County and share with department heads and elected officials the contact information for each of the Federal departments that presented to us.  This is invaluable information when we have road blocks that occur at the county level.”

County Board Member Chris Guy (Madison County, IL): “This was an excellent opportunity to discuss issues concerning local government at the White House. The State Leadership Conference included question and answer sessions with key officials from the Administration. We discussed the ongoing opioid crisis, economic development, improving our infrastructure, the need for Congress to approve the USMCA, and learned how the Administration can help all levels of government succeed by working together. This was a bipartisan conference, when you receive the invite – don’t take it for granted – attend! The contacts you make will help you better serve your constituents as well as provide an opportunity to maintain a direct line with the White House.”

Mayor Kyle Moore (Quincy, IL): “I have had the opportunity to attend two state leadership days at the White House. Each time I walk away with a better understanding of the vast resources that are available to my city…and I’ve been able to develop partnerships that help me get right to a decision maker when it is necessary. This is a must do for any elected official who has a Federal program or investment in their community.”

Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt (Hamilton County, IN): “The State Leadership Days Event was a great opportunity to meet with other local officials and White House personnel to share common issues that affect our communities.  It was refreshing to see the White House Administration reach out to local officials to actually get our input.  The information learned from each speaker and the interaction with other elected officials was invaluable.  This is my second opportunity to attend this event and I truly appreciate the opportunity.”

Commissioner Mike Brown (Johnson County, KS): “As a County Commissioner it is so helpful to have first-hand information regarding initiatives and specific lines of focus from the White House and the Trump Administration. To have a name and phone number for a contact at every federal agency allows me access to information for my constituents to better help them in their personal lives and their businesses. I am honored to be asked to join in on the Regional State Leadership Summits the White House Office has orchestrated and I look forward to the convention next summer to once again find out first-hand what I know will immediately help my state, county, community, district, city and, in the bigger picture, America.”

Judge Executive Dan Ison (Shelby County, KY): “I was highly honored to join with elected officials from Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky for State Leadership Day at the White House.  Listening to various Cabinet Secretaries and department heads on issues impacting us on the local level was invaluable to me.  I compliment them and the President of the United States, for the foresight to communicate with elected leaders.”

Magistrate Doug Gorman (Warren County, KY): “The more involved you are, the more things can happen. I took it as a great opportunity to go up there and share some of the concerns of Warren County, Kentucky. It was a great experience and a great opportunity. I would hope to do it again. I’d love to be involved in the future as well.”

County Councilman Lenny Pfeffer (Dorchester County, MD): “As a newly elected county councilman, I came into office thinking the White House had little to no care about my rural county with a population of only 32,000 citizens.  The invitation to attend, and my subsequent trip to the White House changed my opinion of how this administration truly cares about local government and our citizens. Thank you for this opportunity!”

County Treasurer Leigh Smith (Aroostook County, ME): “Meeting with President Trump, his staff, department heads and other senior officials really cemented this Administration’s commitment to our country - and more importantly at the grassroots level. Connecting with other officials across our region within the context of local elected offices proved to be tremendously valuable. President Trump and his Administration truly do want our nation to succeed and they understand the importance of the boots on the ground work that is being done. Their interest in our success at the local level translates to nationwide success and their support in that is absolutely resounding.”

Commissioner Stan Ponstein (Kent County, MI): “What a great experience. When the White House staff described this as a briefing, they were correct. Department officials keep their remarks brief and left plenty of time for questions and concerns from local elected officials present. They wanted to hear from us and listen to what is working and what isn’t. We left knowing we all have to find ways to make the Federal and local government work better for the people we represent.”

Commissioner Clint Tracy (Cape Girardeau County, MO): “Having been a commissioner for the past 9 years, this is first White House that has reached out to county government and started a meaningful dialogue about local issues.  I was honored to be invited to the White House for meetings with the Secretary of the Interior, representation from the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, Homeland Security, Transportation, and FEMA to talk about disaster prevention, mitigation, and recovery as well as infrastructure, the national drug problem, and trade.  While this was just the first step, I look forward to a continuing local/ Federal dialogue about how to move America forward.”

City Councilman Garrett Christianson (Elk River, MN): “The 2019 State Leadership Day Conference with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana local officials was a success. It really highlighted the continued commitment by the President and his Administration to build and foster relationships with local leaders in our region. Opening the lines of communication with all three levels of government for the common good of the people shows the dedication our President has to our country.”

Mayor Tim Cutts (Ackerman, MS): “I was very impressed with, not only the efforts to obtain feedback from the grassroots organizations within municipalities, but also from the efforts to broaden our education about ways the Federal government is working to help ‘Main Street America.’  The presence of top leaders like Secretary Purdue, Secretary Perry, DOT officials, economic development officials and every other speaker was invaluable. This Administration knows and appreciates the role of small towns as well as large cities. Even today, months later, we are still referencing those meetings.”

Mayor Dane Maxwell (Pascagoula, MS): “Since President Trump was sworn in, we have had an unprecedented relationship with the White House. For years, we’ve depended on our Federal delegation to share our needs and concerns to the White House and our President. Not under this Administration! THEY reach out to us!! We have had the opportunity to speak directly to White House Intergovernmental Affairs office very frequently regarding our needs here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They have also given us a list of contacts for all Federal agencies for us to contact should we need assistance. They have established a bridge between the local government and Federal government and they have gone above and beyond taking care of our needs!”

Commissioner Kevin Austin (Yadkin County, NC): “When I arrived at the White House, I had no idea what we were in for. I was blown away by how friendly and accessible this administration is. All the information shared was very inspiring, and the contact information we were give is priceless. Thank you to all for giving a voice to County Commissioners.”

Mayor Timothy McDonough (Hope, NJ): “As a mayor of a small rural community, I was very grateful to be part of the White House briefings. The impressive group of senior Administration officials were there to listen and get local input from leaders who walk the streets of their cities every day. President Trump and his Administration know how important it is to partner with local officials, and that is a breath of fresh air. I had a question regarding a HUD program and within two days of the briefing, I had a call from the Secretary’s staff. This is what government is all about.”

Freeholder Susan Soloway (Hunterdon County, NJ): “The leadership day conference was a valuable opportunity to hear firsthand from significant Administration officials, like Secretary Ross and Larry Kudlow, the director of the President’s National Economic Council, regarding public policy matters that are important to county government. The session was also an opportunity to network with other county officials from around the northeast, to share our common concerns and ideas. I was honored to represent Hunterdon County.”

Commissioner Jonathan Sena (Lea County, NM): “I appreciate President Trump, Vice-President Pence and the entire Administration for taking time to reach out to county commissioners like myself. We are grateful for their willingness to engage us on the issues that matter most to us, such as public safety, infrastructure, jobs, and immigration reform. I am grateful that President Trump and his amazing team care about the American people of all demographics, especially the Latino community of which I am part. I look forward to continuing to engage the Administration to better serve the people of Lea County, New Mexico.”

Commissioner Jay Block (Sandoval County, NM): “I’d like to thank the White House for inviting us to Washington to have substantive talks about issues facing our state(s). The knowledge the staff possessed about our local issues was nothing short of impressive. I heard from other elected officials in the Southwest who echoed those sentiments and they also very much appreciated the staff reaching out to us to solve critical and complicated issues.”

Commissioner Rex Steninger (Elko County, NV): “The Regional State Leadership Day was a fantastic opportunity to bring our concerns directly to the people running the departments that regulate affairs in our counties. No middlemen to water down our message and nowhere for the Administration officials to pass the buck. The Leadership Days are a great example of how President Trump values the opinions at the local level. The visit from Vice President Mike Pence was more proof of the pudding and a real treat. Thank you for the opportunity.”

Mayor Richard David (Binghamton, NY): “The White House State Leadership Day provides elected officials on the front lines of their community with an opportunity to connect with Federal officials at the highest levels. I appreciate the fact that the White House, and President specifically, wants to make sure there is no disconnect between the Federal and local level, and that key Federal decision makers are accessible and responsive to the needs of mayors such as myself. To me it shows the White House is committed to making the Federal resources we need available so we can do the job of effectively managing and improving America’s cities.”

Commissioner Julie Ehemann (Shelby County, OH): “I was pleased to be able to participate and hear directly from the agencies on how programs are being directed to help our local communities. From broadband to brownfields to addressing the opiates crisis, the Federal agencies have expressed a willingness to help local governments access the tools and funding necessary so that we can address local problems with local solutions.”

Commissioner Matt Old (Erie County, OH): “The message was crystal clear from the President’s chief economic adviser, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Education, EPA Administrator and many other top-level officials: ‘We are here to help you cut through the bureaucracy and get government moving.’ We all know that government is typically slow and expensive. The officials who we met with are all looking for ways to simplify the cumbersome regulations that are placed on businesses and local government.”

Commissioner Steve Shoffner (Erie County, OH): “To be able to have an open door like this and come straight to the Administration is tremendous.”

Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt (Grant County, OK): “Our government works best when we work together – Federal, state and local. We appreciate the ongoing dialogue. It gives us a seat at the table when it comes to decisions that impact our residents…Counties play a fundamental role in our intergovernmental system with significant policy, service delivery and administrative roles and responsibilities.  Federal policy decisions impact counties and the residents we serve…The good news is we have an open door here at the White House. We thank the Administration for their partnership and dialogue. We look forward to continuing important conversations about serving our joint constituencies and achieving our shared goals – healthy, safe and vibrant counties across America.”

Commissioner Colleen Roberts (Jackson County, OR): “What an outstanding honor to receive the recent invitation to the White House! Through my experiences while there, a bridge was built from the majestic beauty of southern Oregon to the grand splendor of our Nation’s Capital. This opportunity has created connections for our county to reach most any Federal agency, and stirred a hope that our local voices and concerns matter, not only mine but those of my many hard-working constituents. Thank you for events like State Leadership Days, which has re-energized our combined, dedicated and coordinated efforts that benefit the citizens we all serve. During my visit the genuine sincerity that greeted me at all levels, congressional staffers on up to President Donald Trump himself, fortified my confidence in our Republic, and the very Constitution this Country is built on!”

Mayor Dwan Walker (Aliquippa, PA): “We were able to meet and discuss with the top people in the Trump Administration from the Office of American Innovation, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Office of EPA, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Department of Energy. We were given key contact information for all of these departments. You just have to thank God for opportunities like this true story.”

County Councilwoman Jenny Honeycutt (Charleston County, SC): “I was honored to attend the White House Intergovernmental Affairs briefing. I was able to connect with federal agency representatives who could advance critical initiatives in my district.”

County Mayor Chad Graham (Bedford County, TN): “The President’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, spent over thirty minutes discussing issues that directly affect rural counties like community revitalization, disaster recovery, economic development and the opioid crisis which is impacting everyone in this country. It was especially interesting to hear how the President, his staff and the directors of this huge list of Federal agencies understand how these particular issues affect funding for counties like us. We were very encouraged by our conversation with Mr. Mulvaney…We fully intend to follow-up on the relationships we built for Bedford County on this trip.”

Commissioner Greg Vick (Bedford County, TN): “When the Secretary of Agricultural Sonny Perdue talks, people listen. Perdue, a former Governor of Georgia, told us he recognizes access to broadband as the single most important issue which can help level the playing field on competition with larger metropolitan areas. He also said the President was totally behind rural broadband, as evidenced by his support of the recently passed Ag Bill…I was very encouraged.”

County Mayor Glenn Jacobs (Knox County, TN): “During our meetings, we had the opportunity to speak with the White House Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. Providing local elected officials with the ability to build relationships with top federal officials is invaluable and I am very grateful to the Trump Administration for this particular initiative as well as all the work the Administration is doing to foster constructive working relationships with state and local officials.”

Commissioner Tangi Smith (Montgomery County, TN): “When I attended the regional conference at the White House this past August I truly wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I am absolutely delighted to say that everything and everyone that participated in the conference greatly exceeded my expectations. I was amazed to hear all the great things that this administration has done and is STILL doing. Everyone was so openly transparent and down to earth. They went out of their way to ensure that we were thoroughly accommodated and all our concerns involving our local government were met expeditiously. I would also like to compliment everyone on their levels of respect, accommodation and the sheer willingness to help our Women Veterans. I cannot wait to expand on the amazing working relationship that has been established with the conference.  I am sure the President and his Administration will continue to support us and keep its promises to its citizens.”

Judge Paul Lilly (Brown County, TX): “For the first time in a long time we now have an Administration that seems to genuinely be interested in the opinions and input of local officials. This is a fantastic program that has allowed us local officials to make solid and lasting contacts within the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Because of this program we have formed a strong working relationship with the White House that will endure.”

Commissioner Mark Beauchamp (Wichita County, TX): “It is unprecedented that an Administration would understand that for their policies and programs to be successfully implemented, they must work as a partner with leaders at every level of government.  It was truly an honor to be included as part of the discussion on how together we can keep America great from the steps of the county courthouse all the way to the White House.”

Commissioner Bob Stevenson (Davis County, UT): “Having served in the capacity of both Mayor and County Commissioner, this experience reflects the importance the Trump Administration puts on local government…The opportunity to interact with the Federal leaders strengthens the team attitude we need throughout all levels of government.  Thanks for the opportunity and look forward to another invite in the near future.”

Supervisor Janette Braverman (Ozaukee County, WI): “I am honored to have been invited to the Regional State Leadership Conference this year as well as attend a similar event hosted exclusively for WI Supervisors last year. It’s great to hear first-hand from our leaders about the initiatives occurring across our country. I appreciate our Administration’s thoughtfulness around staying connected to state and local officials, and for giving us direct access to the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs for support as needed.”

Mayor Stephen Williams (Huntington, WV): “I found the leadership event to be informative and most important, productive. We were able to have a robust discussion with members of the Administration about issues that are important to our communities. It was particularly helpful to be with fellow elected officials from throughout the region. The opportunity for networking with our peers was a priceless opportunity.”

Commissioner Jim Willox (Converse County, WY)  Vice President, WY County Commissioners Association: “I was really pleased that this event was not about the talking to us, but about listening to us.  All of the Administration officials spent most of their time taking questions and listing to our concerns.  I appreciated the minutiae that we were able to address.  One of the most valuable take a ways was the list of local government contacts in every department.  That is extremely helpful!”

Commissioner Robert Short (Converse County, WY): “Government by, for, and of the people, is exemplified in the approach this administration is executing. Inviting leaders closest to the people to engage with federal leaders is a path to ensuring the voice of the people is heard. Engaging local leaders in a meaningful way to build communication pathways and understanding, strengthens the bonds between the agencies and the people we all serve. We are grateful for the dedication the administration has shown and for the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to helping build a great country.”

Supervisor Ruby Brabo (King George County, VA): “The ability to have face to face engagement and discussions with the White House Administration through multiple venues is unprecedented.  This kind of dialogue between the Federal level of government and the local level of government has been a missing component that is necessary to solving many of our communities’ challenges.”


Presidential Proclamation on National Forest Products Week, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
National Forest Products Week, 2019

- - - - - - -

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     Our Nation's forests and woodlands provide millions of Americans with an abundance of job opportunities, goods, and recreational activities.  During National Forest Products Week, we pay tribute to the forest products industry for the important contributions it makes to our society and economy, and we recommit to keeping our wooded landscapes vibrant and strong.

     Ninety-six percent of the industrial wood used in the United States comes directly from domestic supplies, making the forest products sector a truly American industry.  The millions of acres of forests across our country supply the resources for paper and packaging materials, lumber for our homes, renewable energy materials, and countless other products.  In addition to the tremendous impact the forest products industry has on our economy, businesses in this sector are at the forefront of conservation efforts, practicing responsible resource management and maintaining a strong commitment to preserving our abundant forests.

     My Administration is working to protect our Nation's forests so that the forest products industry can continue to manufacture goods for domestic and global markets.  Last year, I signed an Executive Order aimed at increasing responsible forest management and coordinating Federal, State, tribal, and local assets to prevent and combat the wildfires that have sadly devastated parts of our Nation's woodlands.  I also signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which will help preserve the health of our forests and increase economic opportunities for the entire forest products sector.  This bipartisan legislation promotes active management of natural resources, including our forests, and maintains strong rural development and research initiatives that benefit communities where the forest products industry drives local economies.  It also promotes using America's forest materials, like cross-laminated timber -- a strong, resilient product -- as an innovative approach to constructing tall wooden buildings.

     This week, we recognize the importance of the raw materials our forested lands supply for the production of goods throughout our country and around the world.  We also pledge to support the proper management of our forests and woodlands so that they can continue to help power our economy and provide recreational opportunities for Americans for generations to come.

     Recognizing the economic value of the products yielded in our Nation's forests, the Congress, by Public Law 86–753 (36 U.S.C. 123), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as "National Forest Products Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

     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 October 20 through October 26, 2019, as National Forest Products Week.  I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to reaffirm our commitment to our Nation's forests.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of October, 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


Roosevelt Room

12:28 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Okay.  Thank you very much.  I think we’re getting ready to do something very exciting.  Jim, do you want to take over?

     ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  Sure.  So this is a --

     OPERATOR:  Christina and Jessica, please stand by for a call from the President of the United States.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Where’s my camera?

     ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  (Laughs.)  I guess it’s over to you at this point.

Sir --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Where’s -- where’s my camera?  You tell me.  (Laughter.)  There are a lot of cameras.

     ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  It is.  It’s an exciting day.

     THE PRESIDENT:  It is.

     ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  The first all-women spacewalk underway right now.  They’re doing very important work.  Just so everybody knows, we’re -- this is a short window for the downlink, and also they’ve got very busy work to do.  They’re on the outside of the station.  But what a big day.  We’re thrilled to be here, Mr. President.  It’s over to you for communicating with them.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’m thrilled also.  And if they’re ready, I’m ready.


     MS. TRUMP:  Can we confirm that the link is live?

     ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  Sir, the link is live.

     AIDE:  The link is live.

ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  The link is live.  They're listening.  They are on the outside of the Space Station.

THE PRESIDENT:  Station, this is President Donald Trump.  Do you hear me?

MS. KOCH:  We can hear you.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s great.  (Laughter.)  (Applause.)  

MS. TRUMP:  Yes!

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s great.  I was starting to get worried about you.  (Applause.)  I was starting to get worried about you.  (Laughter.)  You’re in an interesting place.

I thought we may have to be -- a little emergency work.  I don’t think that will ever be necessary with you.  The job that you do is incredible.

And I’m here with Vice President Mike Pence, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, and my daughter, Ivanka.  We’re thrilled to be speaking live with two brave American astronauts who are making history.

Joining us during their spacewalk outside the International Space Station -- and this is the first time for a woman outside of the Space Station -- are Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Flight Engineer Jessica Meir.

And I just want to congratulate you.  What you do is incredible.  It’s so -- you’re very brave people.  I don’t think I want to do it, I must tell you that.  But you are amazing people.

They're conducting the first-ever female spacewalk to replace an exterior part of the Space Station.  They’re doing some work, and they’re doing it in a very high altitude -- an altitude that very few people will ever see.

Congratulations, Christina and Jessica, on this historic event.  This is truly historic.  And you’re right now on television all over the world, so don’t get nervous.  (Laughter.)

I’d like to ask you a question: What would you like to tell everyone listening and watching today, especially young women --

DR. MEIR:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  -- who are interested in space?

ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  There’s about a four- or five-second delay.


DR. MEIR:  Hello.  Thank you.  First -- first of all, we don’t want to take too much credit, because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us.  This is just the first time that there have been two women outside at the same time.

And it’s really interesting for us.  We’ve talked a lot about it up here.  You know, for us, this is really just us doing our job.  It’s something we’ve been training for, for six years, and preparing for.  And so, it didn’t really, you know -- for us, it’s just coming out here and doing our job today.  And we were the -- we were the crew that was tasked with this assignment.

At the same time, we recognize that it is a historic achievement, and we do, of course, want to give credit to all of those that came before us.  There has been a long line of female scientists, explorers, engineers, and astronauts, and we have followed in their footsteps to get us where we are today.

We hope that we can provide an inspiration to everybody, not only (inaudible), but to everybody that has a dream and has a big dream and that is willing to work hard to make that dream come true -- something that all of us that have made our way up here have done all throughout our lives.  And I can tell you, the hard work certainly did pay off.

I’ve only been up here a few weeks, actually -- about three weeks I’ve been in space -- and this is my first flight and my very first spacewalk.  So it is a pretty incredible feeling.  I’m sure you can all imagine.  And it’s one that I will never forget.

I’m extremely fortunate to be sharing this moment with Christina Koch, who’s not only my colleague, but also a very, very close and dear friend.

So it’s really our honor to be out here working today and to be representing whatever it is that's significant to whatever -- whatever individuals’ desires and hearts. 

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Christina and Jessica, I would like to, if I could, just thank you.  Jessica, I know that you’ve been doing this and you’ve been working hard.  And, Christina, I've studied your r├ęsum├ę.  It's really incredible what you've done, what you've both done.  Your lives have been incredible.  And now you're in a place that, as I said, very few people will ever get that experience.  You're doing an incredible job.

This is a first step -- because we're going to the Moon, and then we're going to Mars.  We're launching from the Moon most likely.  They seem to think that's the best way of doing it, Jim.  So we're launching from the Moon.
And I just want to congratulate you both.  You're very brave, brilliant women, and you represent this country so well.  And our country is very proud of you, and we are very proud of you.  Millions and millions of people are watching you right now.  But I will tell you: What you do is really something very special.
So, first the Moon, and then we go to Mars.  Thank you both very much.  Have a good time.
 ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  I'm wondering if we might have lost the link at this time.
THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t know.  Maybe they didn’t like my message.  (Laughter.)  Could be.
Anyway, two great women.  Two great people.  And, you know, it's a big danger.  Not easy.  It's not an easy thing to do.  A lot of people would take a pass on that one.  But they're great women.
OPERATOR:  Back to the scoop.
THE PRESIDENT:  I think I heard that.
THE VICE PRESIDENT:  There's the link.
THE PRESIDENT:  That's the link.
THE PRESIDENT:  That’s the end of the link.  So they heard my message and they tried to respond and -- (laughter) --
MS. TRUMP:  Not the easiest of phone calls.  (Laughs.)
THE PRESIDENT:  I assume they're okay.  I assume they're okay.  Anyway, they're actually outside of the ship.  So that's something.  Right?  That’s the first time it's --
MS. TRUMP:  The first time since 1969 that a President has spoken to astronauts outside of the spaceship.  So, it's incredible.
THE PRESIDENT:  That was a great -- that was a great -- it's a great thing.  And when are they coming back?  What's the timing?
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  So each one is different.  Christina Koch is actually going to be -- have the longest single endurance mission.  So she's going to be on the Space Station for, I think, it's a little -- about 10 months, which the longest --
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  -- we've ever had a woman on the Space Station ever.
THE PRESIDENT:  What's the longest for a man?
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  Three hundred and forty five days.  So --
THE PRESIDENT:  So why don’t you have the woman break the record?
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  Well, we have a very tight schedule when it comes to windows to get back and forth to the International Space Station.  But that’s within the realm of what is possible.  We're working on schedules, sir.
MS. TRUMP:  And next, a woman on the Moon, right?
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  That’s right.  The -- by direction of the President, we will have the first man -- or, I should say, the first woman and next man on the south pole of the Moon will be Americans.  (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT:  And what's your timing on that?
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we better not say it too fast.  Get it done before you talk about it.  (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Go ahead.
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  The goal is 2024, sir.  We're at -- if all things go according to plan, 2024 is within the realm of what is possible.  And we're working hard to make that a reality.
THE PRESIDENT:  And because of the fact that we've been there, as I have said to you many times -- we've been there, a long time ago -- it's really being done as a launch for Mars.  Is that correct?
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  That’s right.  We're building a habitat in orbit around the Moon -- a space station, in orbit around the Moon.  And that will be launching in 2022.
And once that is deployed, that will be modified into a Mars ship that will take us all the way to Mars.  And between now and then, we want to build a sustainable architecture at the Moon.  We need to learn how to live and work on another world for long periods of time.  And then, we go to Mars.  Because when you go to Mars -- Earth and Mars, we're only aligned on the same side of the Sun once every 24 months -- or 26 months.  What that means is we have to be willing to stay.
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  We need to learn how to live and work on another world.
THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, I see.  Yeah.  Right.
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  So that's what the Moon is all about.
THE PRESIDENT:  That’s going to be very interesting.  Well, it's very exciting.  Exciting times.  And that whole program was dead when I took it over, when we came into office.  And something that Mike liked very much and I liked very much.  And you're both doing a fantastic job.  And everybody is doing a fantastic job.  It's been totally reinvigorated, I think, to a level that it's never been at.
And we're also thinking in terms of defense.  We have the Space Force happening.  That’s going along very nicely, as you know.  We're creating a new force, and it's called the "Space Force."  And that’s a big thing.  And that'll be working along very closely with you.  So that’s beyond going to the Moon and Mars.  That's also defense of our nation, which is very important.
ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE:  That’s right.  Anywhere there's commerce, it needs to be defended.  And we are industrializing space.  It's going to be an export for the United States.  And that’s going to be very positive.  In fact, it already is.  We need to grow it.  And so we're working very hard to commercialize it, make it an export.  And, of course, that requires it to be defended just like the high seas for trade.
THE PRESIDENT:  That’s fantastic.  Thank you very much.  Great job.
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, everybody.  That was very exciting.  And these are two great people.  And they put themselves at risk for our nation and because they love doing it.  And there are few people that have the ability to something like that, I will say that.  It takes a great ability.
So thank you all for being here.  It's very nice.  Thank you.

     Q    Mr. President, do you mind clarifying what Mick Mulvaney said yesterday?  Was the aid -- 

     THE PRESIDENT:  I think he -- I think he clarified it.

     Q    -- to Ukraine contingent upon investigating the Democrats?

     THE PRESIDENT:  And I do have to say this: We, yesterday, had a tremendous day in Texas.  We opened a Louis Vuitton plant.  One of the great brands of the world.  And they opened it right in the heart of Texas.  Lone Star State.  And then, we went over to Dallas and had an event like few people have ever seen.  We had a packed arena with thousands and thousands of people outside.  It was an incredible evening.  Got back very, very late.

I did actually get to hear about Ambassador Kent.  This is the witch hunt, you know.  Their -- their Crooked Schiff is coming after the Republican Party.  He's coming after the Republican Party as hard as he can, considering he's really -- he's been compromised very sadly and badly because of the fact, as you know -- I think, as the press knows -- he made a statement and he made a virtual speech about what I said, and then it turned out that I didn't say any of it because he fraudulently made this statement to Congress.

I thought what he did was one of the worst things.  I understand he has immunity, but he doesn't have immunity when he puts it on his Twitter, which he did.  And he doesn't have immunity when he speaks to press, which he did.  And he certainly won't have immunity if we ever get him into Congress and can swear him under oath.  Because what he did was a very bad thing.

But what just happened is, Ambassador Kent -- who I have never had the privilege, I don't believe, of meeting; I don't know him -- and they brought him in as a witness against me, even though I don't know him.  And he excoriated, from what they reported on the news -- and, of course, maybe, in this case, it won't be fake news -- but he excoriated the Obama administration and Joe Biden and Joe Biden's son, saying that he has tremendous problems -- tremendous problems with Joe Biden's son and the Ukraine.

So he's got tremendous problems with Biden's son and Ukraine.  And it's inappropriate.  And all of the horrible things -- I mean, you could get it; you could see it.  It's been a big deal.  And I heard Schiff is going, "No, no.  We don't want to talk about that.  We don't want to talk about that."  But he talked about it.  And it's one of those things.  So, this is a terrible witch hunt.  This is so bad for our country.

I just spoke to President Erdo─čan of Turkey.  We're doing very, very well with Turkey.  There's a ceasefire, or a pause, or whatever you want to call it.  There was some sniper fire this morning.  There was mortar fire this morning that was eliminated quickly.  And they're back to the full pause.

We have ISIS totally under guard.  Turkey is also guarding, separately.  They're watching over everything.  So you have the Kurds, who we're dealing with and are very happy about the way things are going, I must say.  The Kurds.  And you also have the Turks watching, just secondarily watching.  So we have ISIS under control.

We've taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that we're talking about; the oil that everybody was worried about.  We have -- the U.S. has control of that.  And there are no shots being fired.  And a lot of people are doing a lot of things.

This is a deal that should have been made 15 years ago, 10 years ago, over the last number of years, under the Obama administration.  The real number is over a million people were killed.  We have lost no -- not a drop of blood since we've started what I've started.  And it was -- so far, it's working out.

Look, it's a complicated region.  Many, many people have gone down.  I have to watch in great interest as I see people talking about what we should be doing.  And these are the same people that have been failing for the last 20 years, didn't know what they were doing, especially when they went in and did what they did.  They shouldn't have been there.

But we're doing a very, very significant amount of great work.  We'll see if it works.  It's very fragile.  It's been fragile for years.  They've been fighting each other for centuries.  Literally, for centuries, they've been fighting each other.  And years ago, we injected ourselves right into the middle of it.  And we won't go into whether or not that was a good thing or a bad thing.  You know how I feel about it.

But we've had tremendous success, I think, over the last couple of days.  A little bit unconventional, a little bit of hard love.  I told you that.  A little -- there was a lot -- a lot of pain for a couple of days.  And sometimes you have to go through some pain before you can get a good solution.  But the Kurds are very happy about it.  President Erdo─čan and Turkey is satisfied with it.  And we are in a very strong position.

We are also in a position where we can put tremendous, powerful sanctions on Turkey or whoever else we want to.  Our country is a financially much stronger country than when I took it over.  China would have been, right now, the strongest economy in the world, the number-one economy in the world.  And right now, China is way behind us.  We picked up trillions of dollars in value, in worth.  And they've lost trillions and trillions of dollars.  And they're having the worst year they've had in 57 years.

With that being said, we're working with China very well.  We've done, subject to getting it signed -- and I think it will get signed quite easily, hopefully by the summit in Chile, where President Xi and I will both be.

But a lot of good things are happening.  Our farmers are taken care of.  Our bankers and financial services are going to have access, the likes of which they've never had to -- the largest or second largest, depending on your definitions.  About 1.4 billion people, population, whether it's India or China.  They're pretty close.  And we've done some great things.

So, we had -- but, I just want to say, I want to thank the people of Dallas and the people of Fort Worth and the people of Texas, because yesterday was incredible.

I want to thank Bernard Arnault, one of the great businessmen of the world, for agreeing to do something that was a first.  He's built this incredible plant right in our great state of Texas.  And they're going to make super luxury and super product.  They have already started.  It's opened.  A big investment.  And we're very proud of it.

That was done with me and with the election with -- even prior to the election, I said, "You have to open up a plant someplace in the United States."  He said, "What do you think about Texas?"  I said, "I love Texas.  That would be good."  And I said, "If you do it, I'll be there."  And so I fulfilled that commitment.  But he opened up a beautiful plant.  We think over 1,000 people will soon be working there.

So, thank you all very much.  Yesterday was a big day.  We had a great talk with President Erdo─čan, and it's going very well.  Thank you very much. 

                             END       12:45 P.M. EDT    

Statement from the Press Secretary Congratulating NASA Astronauts Aboard the International Space Station

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary Congratulating NASA Astronauts Aboard the International Space Station
Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts Christa Koch and Jessica Meir during the first all-woman spacewalk from the International Space Station (ISS). Both Koch and Meir were members of NASA’s 2013 astronaut class, half of whom were women. Koch is currently serving on an extended mission to the ISS and is scheduled to achieve the record for the longest stay in space by a woman. The President was joined on the call by Vice President Mike Pence, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Since taking office, President Trump has put a renewed focus on space and human space exploration. In March, the President charged NASA with returning Americans to the Moon by 2024, one step closer to the American goal of exploring Mars. This spacewalk highlights the advancements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) – an initiative that has been championed by both the President and Ivanka Trump. In September 2017, the President issued a memorandum to increase access to high-quality STEM and computer science education for American students of all backgrounds. The memorandum directed the Department of Education to allocate a minimum of $200 million in annual funding to make STEM and computer science education a priority for relevant competitive grant programs. Adding to that commitment, Ivanka urged private-sector leaders to commit an additional $300 million in computer science and STEM education.

For the first time in American history, college-educated women are a majority of the college-educated labor force. Young women are increasingly enrolling in STEM-related coursework, which develops foundational skills needed for many jobs of the future. In fact, during the 2018 to 2019 school year, the number of female students taking Advanced Placement computer science increased by an astonishing 32 percent. President Trump, Advisor Trump, and the Trump Administration applaud these great strides and continue to encourage women from all backgrounds to reach their fullest potential academically and professionally.

The Trump Administration has prioritized access to STEM education, and the growing use of technology across many sectors of the economy make it more important than ever that all Americans have the STEM skills necessary to remain competitive. To ensure all learners have access to high-quality STEM education, the Federal Government, in partnership with stakeholders from across the country, developed, and are currently implementing a strategy to build strong foundations for STEM literacy, increase diversity and inclusion in STEM, and prepare the STEM workforce for the future. Events like this are an exciting example of what can be accomplished when STEM is prioritized.
“Women and girls around the world are seeing some of their earliest dreams realized today with this historic all-woman spacewalk. Women in STEM are a force to be reckoned with and advocating for increased access to these fundamental educational skills has been some of the most important work I’ve been able do.” – Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump

“With today’s first all-woman spacewalk on the International Space Station led by NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, America once again sets a precedent for women to lead in human space exploration. Today’s historic effort continues to lay the foundation for our Artemis program when the first woman and next man walk on the surface of the Moon in preparation for the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.” – NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine


Office of the Press Secretary


Louis Vuitton Workshop-Rochambeau
Alvarado, Texas

4:59 P.M. CDT

     Q    Hello, Mr. President.  

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello.  How are you?  Okay.  She's good.

Q    Do you have a special relationship with Mr. Arnault?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I do.  And he was so nice to me.  And I said, "I'd love you to open up something in Texas or someplace in the U.S."  And he's a great gentleman, a great businessman.  And he's really an artist.  To me, Bernard is an artist.  And what he's done is incredible, not only here, but in terms of the branding -- the world of brands.  And it's an honor to have him in Texas.  And he's going to be very happy.

Q    Thank you.  Tomorrow, there will be tariffs on European products.  Why do you want to tax French wines and French cheese?  And why won't you tax Mr. Arnault's handbags or champagne?  For example --

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I can't tax him because he moved to the United States.  So he was --

Q    Did you discuss it?

THE PRESIDENT:  He was way ahead.  I actually did discuss it.  He has no tariffs whatsoever because he's in the United States.  So we're very happy about that.  Very happy.

Q    What about the wines and the cheese?  Why --

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s a different story, but --

Q    Sure.

THE PRESIDENT:  But they owe us a lot of money.  Thank you very much.

Q    Do you have confidence in Mick Mulvaney, Mr. President?

Q    Did you watch Mick Mulvaney's press conference, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I didn’t.  I wasn't able to see it.

Q    Are you aware that he suggested that there was some sort of a quid pro quo involved in Ukraine?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I didn’t.  I heard he -- somebody said he did a very nice job.

Q    Do you know when Rick Perry is going to leave?

THE PRESIDENT:  You know what I've been focused on today, very much?  All of this, and also, if you look, Turkey and the great thing that happened in Syria.

I don’t know.  But Mick is a good man.  I don’t know.  I have not heard anything about that.

Q    Do you still have confidence in Mick?

THE PRESIDENT:  I have a lot of confidence.

Q    About Syria, Mr. Trump, are you very satisfied with the ceasefire?  Is it the end of the crisis?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think this is beautiful.  I really think this is beautiful.  I think the plant is incredible, and a great company.  Thank you very much.

Q    Mr. President, did Rick Perry offer his resignation to you, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  I know Rick has been with me three years.  He's right here.  He's with us, right here.  And he's been outstanding.  And we already have his replacement.  Rick has a done a fantastic job in energy.  But it was time.  Yeah, three years is a long time.  And he'll be leaving toward the end of the year -- at the end of the year.

But his -- in fact, I was going to announce it tonight at the rally in Texas.

Q    Who are you looking at?

THE PRESIDENT:  We have the man that we're going to -- it's a man, in this case, we're going to be putting in Rick's place.  We'll be announcing it very shortly.  Okay?

How are you?  How are you?  Good job, you do.

Q    About the ceasefire, Mr. Trump, it's a big deal.  How did you manage to get it?  Is it the end of the crisis?

THE PRESIDENT:  This is a great deal.  This is a great deal for Texas and for our country.  And to have this incredible company and brand in Texas is an honor for all us.

Q    No, but I mean with Syria.  What you got today --

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we're very happy.  And I want to thank President Erdo─čan of Turkey.  I want to thank all of the leaders of the Kurds.  Many people came into store for this.  And it was unconventional, but they saw that was not working out, what they were doing.  And we're very happy with the way that worked out.  Very, very successful.

And now, over the next number of days, things are going to happen that are going to be very positive.  There's a lot of goodwill going on right now in Turkey with the Kurds and with everybody involved.  Many, many people are involved.  But I want to thank Mike Pence.  I want to thank Mike Pompeo.  They did a fantastic job.  All of my representatives who went over there two days ago, late in the evening, and got there -- and not easy to do, and little bit dangerous to do, also -- they did a fantastic job.

Q    And do you think it's solved?  It's over?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, I do.  I think it'll all work out now.  I think they needed an unconventional touch.  And I am very unconventional, right?

Q    Were you surprised by Rick Perry's announcement -- decision?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I knew six months ago.  He told me at the end of the year he'd like to go.  And he's got some ideas for doing something else.  He's a terrific guy.  He's here with us now.  Here's here.  He's right here.

Q    Can we talk to him?

Q    So what happened on the plane today?  Did he just formalize it and hand you the letter?

THE PRESIDENT:  With what?  Rick?

Q    Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no.  Rick and I have been talking for six months.  In fact, I thought he might go a little bit sooner.  But he's got some very big plans.  He's going to be very successful.  We have his successor.  We'll announce it pretty soon.

     Q    Is it Governor Abbott?

     THE PRESIDENT:  He'd be a good one. 

     Q    Is it the Governor of Alaska?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I'll tell you, he would be a -- they would be both be very good.  No, it's not.  But they both would be very good.

     Q    Do you have any comment, sir, for Fort Worth, on the death of Atatiana Jefferson, the woman who was found killed in her home?  You just came from Fort Worth.

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, I think it was terrible.  I think it was a terrible thing.

     Q    You have very low unemployment rate in the U.S., and we have a very high unemployment rate in France.  How come?  What's the recipe for --

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, maybe we have a better President than you do.  (Laughter.)
     Q    Are you any closer to sending Anne Sacoolas back to the UK?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.

                              END                 5:03 P.M. CDT