President Trump kicked off his West Coast trip yesterday by meeting with leaders from the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Committee.
“From the day I took office, I’ve done everything in my power to make sure that LA achieved the winning bid,” President Trump told local organizers. “Now, for the third time in history, the city of Los Angeles—the ‘City of Angels’—will once again raise up the Olympic Torch and welcome the world’s greatest competitors to the Summer Games.”
The 2028 Olympic Games will boost much more than America’s gold medal tally: It’s expected to be a major economic lift across Southern California. The Summer Games will add an extra 112,000 jobs and $18 billion in growth to an already thriving economy.
Our workers are predicted to see $7 billion in new and bigger wages as a result.
President Trump’s West Coast swing continues today, as he meets with rural leaders in Bakersfield, California, to discuss the crucial issue of water accessibility.
For years, Californians have seen major agricultural projects stifled because of outdated regulations. President Trump, meanwhile, is fighting to eliminate the bureaucratic headaches that derail these kinds of infrastructure priorities.
Today, building on his previous efforts, the President is signing a memorandum to simplify the approval process and deliver water supplies across California’s Central Valley.
The President’s next stop tonight is Phoenix, Arizona. Residents of the Grand Canyon State are seeing firsthand what pro-growth, pro-worker policies mean for their economy:
Strong job increases: Arizona employment has gone up 8.7 percent since last December, far outpacing the national average. The state has added 238,600 jobs.
Blue-collar boom: Manufacturing employment grew 12 percent in the same time period, adding 19,300 industrial jobs alone.
Soaring wages: Average hourly earnings have increased 4.4 percent in just one year—and an astonishing 8.3 percent for manufacturing workers.
First Lady Melania Trump was recognized today as the 2020 “Woman of Distinction” from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida.
“A spokeswoman for the school told The Hill last month that this year marked the first time the committee tasked with selecting honorees chose a first lady for the Woman of Distinction recognition since the university began the event in 1991,” Aris Folley reported.
The First Lady spoke about her work to promote the well-being of America’s children. “Two years ago, I launched Be Best, an initiative dedicated to ensuring that we as Americans are doing everything we can to take care of the next generation. When we teach our children to cherish our values and care for each other, they are better prepared to carry on America’s legacy of compassion, service, and patriotism,” she said.
Proceeds from the sold-out event will go to a scholarship fund for female students.
America’s long-broken mental health system is “turning business districts into homeless camps, forcing police to run shadow mental-health systems, causing chaos for families of mentally ill adults, and driving up costs.” President Trump’s new budget proposes closing a crucial loophole—“the most important thing federal government could do to improve care for the seriously mentally ill,” D.J. Jaffe writes in The Wall Street Journal.
“First Lady Melania Trump will be in Palm Beach Wednesday to accept a major honor. She has been named Palm Beach Atlantic University's 2020 Woman of Distinction. She's specifically being recognized for her contributions to the community and issues affecting children,” Victoria Lewis reports for WPTV.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice praised President Trump yesterday for pardoning Edward DeBartolo Jr., former owner of the San Francisco 49ers. “I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did,” Rice told reporters on the White House's North Lawn. “Several former NFL players met with Trump on Tuesday, including Rice, Jim Brown, Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley,” Scott Gleeson reports in USA Today.
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP IN A BRIEFING WITH THE U.S. OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE AND LA 2028 ORGANIZERS
Montage Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, California
February 18, 2020
5:22 P.M. PST
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. It’s a great pleasure to meet with the leaders of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Committee. They’ve done a fantastic job in bringing the Olympics here. They called me when I was President-elect. Casey, that was quite a call.
MR. WASSERMAN: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: And they asked me if I could get involved because the other administration refused to call the Olympic Committee, which is the one in -- the people that make the decision. So it was a little hard for them to make a decision.
And I did make the call, and -- it was a very long call. They were starving for love, and we gave them the love. And, Casey, you and everybody else have done a fantastic job. We got the Olympics to come to Los Angeles. And that was a big moment, and we knew it right away.
They really -- they were fantastic people that I dealt with. But because of your dedication and hard work, the United States will once again proudly host the Olympic Games. How exciting is that?
I want to thank the CEO of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Sarah Hirshland. Thank you very much. Fantastic job.
MS. HIRSHLAND: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: As well as all the terrific leadership of the LA 2028, Executive Chairperson Casey Wasserman. And, Casey, really a fantastic job right from the beginning.
MR. WASSERMAN: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: You were there right at the beginning. (Applause.)
The Chief Operating Officer, John Harper, and also Danny Koblin. Thank you very much, fellas. Great, great job. Appreciate it.
And Senior Advisors Dean Christopher and Doug Arnot. We’re grateful. Thank you, fellas, very much.
We’re grateful to be joined by Secretary Mnuchin, Acting Secretary Wolf, Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been incredible in so many different ways. The job he's done is just outstanding. He’ll soon be Speaker of the House and we look forward to that. I’m quite sure about that. I don’t know, the odds are probably about 35 to 40 percent. I would say 80 to 90 percent. Where is Kevin? Congratulations.
LEADER MCCARTHY: Right here. Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Although, let me congratulate you after the fact. (Laughter.)
And also a friend of mine and tremendous guy and a great senator, somebody who loves our country dearly: Senator Lindsey Graham. Thank you, Lindsey, for coming.
SENATOR GRAHAM: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate it.
From the day I took office, I’ve done everything in my power to make sure that LA achieved the winning bid. Now, for the third time in history, the city of Los Angeles -- the “City of Angels” -- will once again raise up the Olympic Torch and welcome the world’s greatest competitors to the Summer Games. How exciting.
The United States has won more Olympic medals than any other nation. That’s good. By far? By a lot? Or just by a little tiny bit?
MS. HIRSHLAND: By plenty, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: By a lot. (Laughter.) That’s good. And let’s keep it that way.
And we’ll never stop our relentless pursuit of excellence. I’m confident that Team USA will build on the winning tradition in Tokyo later this year and in Paris in 2024, and then in Los Angeles in 2028. I hope you remember me in 2028. Okay? Do you promise, Casey? Or will you --
MR. WASSERMAN: I promise, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: At least give me a seat, okay?
MR. WASSERMAN: Guaranteed.
THE PRESIDENT: If you don’t mind. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: These games will also be a major economic victory. The 2028 Olympics will create 112,000 jobs and add $18 billion to our economy, at least, including $7 billion in wages for American workers.
The LA Olympic Committee is accomplishing all of this at no cost to the American taxpayer. They’ve raised a lot of money and they’re utilizing stadiums that are world class, that are already built. Something nice about not having to build a lot of things. But they’re doing a fantastic job.
I’ll now sign a document pledging the federal government’s total support of LA in hosting the 2028 Olympics. And as soon as I sign, I’m going to ask Chad Wolf to say a few words. He’s done a fantastic job as head of Homeland Security. So we’re going to sign this right now.
And this is a big deal, isn’t it? Huh?
MR. WASSERMAN: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s a big deal.
(The document is signed.)
So because you were here right at the beginning when I made that very important call, I think you should get that, right? What do you think, Sarah? Don’t you agree?
MR. WASSERMAN: I appreciate it.
MS. HIRSHLAND: Wonderful.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Let’s go. Let’s get this out here. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Congratulations, Casey.
MR. WASSERMAN: Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Please, Chad.
ACTING SECRETARY WOLF: Thank you. Well, thank you, Mr. President. It’s an honor to join you before the committee as you pledge the federal government’s support for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
To echo the words of the President in this year’s State of the Union, “America’s future is blazing bright." And thanks to the work of President Trump and this committee, America will be blazed especially bright in 2028 when the Olympic Torch will be lit here again in the United States.
Planning and preparations are ready -- are already underway to execute the event with flawless precision. But to be successful, the Olympics must be secured. So the Department of Homeland Security and our federal partners stand ready to protect the 2028 Olympics.
The Department is no stranger to big events. DHS has helped secure every Super Bowl, every Presidential Inauguration, and every State of the Union since our Department’s inception, as well as the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Time and time again, the Department leads the federal response to large, complex, and challenging events. So rest assured that the department will be engaged on every front to ensure that the homeland, our people, and the Olympic athletes and fans are secure.
And when I do say "every front," I really do mean that: from cybersecurity, to counterterrorism, to immigration, to protection of international and national leaders, economic security, aviation security, and much, much more.
We’ll provide the best expertise and resources that the Department has to offer to make the 2028 Olympics as safe as possible.
So on behalf of the Department, we look forward to working with you in the week, months, and years to come, and of course, cheering on Team USA right here in Los Angeles.
So thank you to the committee. And thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Great job. Thank you very much, Chad. I appreciate it.
Casey, would you like to say a few words, please?
MR. WASSERMAN: Sure, Mr. President.
Well, I want to thank you for formalizing the commitment of the federal government. Your leadership from the beginning has been instrumental in us achieving this goal of bringing the Games back to the United States. This is the third time for Los Angles, as you mentioned. And our goal is to create a safe, successful, and secure Olympic Games, and that’s not possible without the support you and the federal government have provided us.
I promise you we’ll remember you in 2028, to say the least, because it wouldn’t have happened without you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
MR. WASSERMAN: And so we greatly appreciate it.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
MR. WASSERMAN: And we want to give Team USA and our partners at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee the greatest home field advantage they’ve ever had. And we intend to do that in Los Angles.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you very much.
MR. WASSERMAN: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Sarah, please.
MS. HIRSHLAND: Wonderful. Thank you. Hello. And I’m here. We’re excited to be here. We’re grateful for your support. We will take a large delegation to Tokyo this summer as we continue our quest on behalf of Team USA and the support of the federal government. And the safety and security of our delegation in Tokyo this summer is also of utmost importance.
This administration and the federal government overall has been enormously helpful to us. We feel incredibly confident both in the performance of our team and that we’ll make this country proud, but also in the safety and security of our delegation. And we thank you for that, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. And good luck in the upcoming event.
MS. HIRSHLAND: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: That will be very exciting.
Lindsey, would you like to say a few words?
SENATOR GRAHAM: Well, the Olympics brings the world together, and I'm looking forward, God willing, to watch. (Laughter.) And I don’t think I'll be participating, but I'll be watching. But you never know.
THE PRESIDENT: You never know. With Lindsey, you never know.
SENATOR GRAHAM: I got my golf game (inaudible).
THE PRESIDENT: You never know. Thanks, Lindsey.
And, Kevin, you love this state a lot.
LEADER MCCARTHY: I love this state a lot.
THE PRESIDENT: And I think it's very important that you say something. Please.
LEADER MCCARTHY: Well, I want to thank the whole committee and I want to thank Casey. You guys have big shoes to fill. What Peter Ueberroth was able to pull off the last time the Olympics was in LA, everybody was so proud.
I feel very honored that the President -- he has a long history with the Olympics, even when I look in here and I see a picture of you carrying the torch.
THE PRESIDENT: That's true, actually. Yeah. (Laughter.)
LEADER MCCARTHY: One thing I know is we're going to be prepared, and once again, we'll have the best athletes and the best event. And I think it'll be a tremendous experience for the whole world to see, why America has really come back.
THE PRESIDENT: That's great. Fellas, would you like to say something? You've been very instrumental. We appreciate it. Would you like to say something?
MR. HARPER: Just on behalf of the organizing committee, we're so excited for this fascinating journey that we're on, and we can't wait to get to 2028. And thank you again for all the support.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. It'll be fantastic. It'll be really fantastic.
MR. ARNOT: We are very grateful for the support, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
MR. ARNOT: And I was really happy to hear the Secretary's comments about safety and security. That is our primary interest, and we look forward to working with you.
THE PRESIDENT: Right. We're going to give it the A-plus effort and we will do a great job.
MR. KOBLIN: I'm a lifelong Angeleno. And to see the Games come back here for the third time --
THE PRESIDENT: Exciting.
MR. KOBLIN: -- is a dream come true. So thank you for the opportunity.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.
MR. CHRISTOPHER: Looking forward to it in the next eight years. It's going to be great.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Well, we're all going to do a great job. And we appreciate it, and we appreciate your work. Not easy. Right? Not easy at all.
Thank you all very much. Very exciting.
Q Mr. President, will you go to Tokyo this summer?
THE PRESIDENT: I might. We were invited. I was invited by Prime Minister Abe, and we'll make that determination. We haven’t made it yet, but we might. We're going to try, if we can. Thank you.
Q How do we clean up LA's homeless situation before these Games? And what do you see as the federal government's role in doing that?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we had no role, but we're really taking a role in it. I see it. I see what's happening to LA. I see what's happening to San Francisco. I see what's happening to some great cities. And I've said to my people: Whether they like it not, we're going to have to do something.
So we're, right now, working in LA. They're also contacting San Francisco. They have to clean it up. You have needles. You have things that we don’t want to discuss all over the streets, flowing into the oceans. And you have beaches, and it shouldn’t happen. And if they can't do it themselves, we're going to do it. The federal government is going to take it over and we're going to do it.
So we're working right now with LA in particular, I would say, and the others are also sort of wanting to work along with us. But it's -- it's not thinkable what they've allowed to happen to these cities. Incredible.
Q What's your message to those that are resisting in terms of immigration policy in this state, especially talking about security going forward towards the Games?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it's terrible. I think sanctuary cities, as you know, are very dangerous. You just look at some of the horrific crimes that are committed. That wouldn’t happen if you didn’t have sanctuary for criminals.
And with LA, San Francisco, and other places -- but they have one thing in common: the leadership. There's no reason that this should have ever happened -- our greatest cities. And number one, you look at the homeless and how horrible a situation that is. But also, look what it's doing to your cities. It's so disgraceful. These are cities that 10 years ago were the most beautiful cities, and now people walk away and leave, and they just say horrible things. Can't let that happen.
So if they don’t get it cleaned up fast, we're going to come in and do it.
Q You're such a master at TV production. What would your advice be to these guys in terms of putting on a good show for the world, for America?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think with Casey and with Sarah and all of the people, I think they're going to do a great show. And with Chad and -- you know, Steve lives in this town. Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of Treasury, he lives here.
And everybody is going to be working on it very hard. We're going to -- you know we're starting working now. It's a long time; it's eight years. But we're really starting right now. And it's going to be a fantastic show. It'll be -- I really believe it has a chance to be the best.
And the Olympic Committee really wanted to come here. They just wanted some support, and they were not getting it at all from the past administration. We're going to give them tremendous support. You need the support of the federal government to make it really work. And we have it. It's going to be a fantastic Olympics.
Presidential Message on the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima
In the long record of American heroism in combat, few episodes capture the indomitable will and the stouthearted spirit of the American warrior better than the triumphs on the island of Iwo Jima in early 1945. Seventy-five years later, we pay tribute to the immeasurable sacrifice of those killed in action on Iwo Jima, and we honor the heroic efforts of all who took part in one of the most costly and significant battles in our country’s history.
By February 1945, despite American forces possessing aerial and naval supremacy, the Japanese forces at Iwo Jima were well dug-in and prepared to fight to the last man for the strategically important airfields on this small piece of land. This was the first time in World War II that the Japanese were defending what they considered home soil. For 5 weeks, our Marines and Navy sailors endured a harrowing trial by fire, fighting to secure this remote volcanic island from more than 20,000 determined Japanese soldiers. Nearly 7,000 Americans died in the effort.
The fighting on Iwo Jima was some of the bloodiest and most costly in all of World War II, but it also gave rise to some of the greatest examples of patriotism and heroism in our Nation’s history, inspiring Admiral Chester Nimitz’s famous statement that “uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Few images evoke as much emotion from the American soul as Joe Rosenthal’s photo of six Marines raising our Flag atop Mount Suribachi in the opening days of the battle. In addition, 27 Medals of Honor—the highest honor given to members of the military—were awarded for actions of conspicuous gallantry during the battle. Of these, 22 medals went to Marines, making up more than 25 percent of the total Medals of Honor awarded to Marines throughout the entirety of the war.
Among the heroes at Iwo Jima were non-combatants, like Rabbi Roland Gittelsohn. In the days following the battle, Rabbi Gittelsohn delivered a powerful, stirring message at the Fifth Marine Division cemetery on Iwo Jima. There, he stated, “Here lie officers and privates, blacks and whites, rich and poor together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews together. Here no man prefers another because of his color.” For his service ministering to men in the thick of the combat zone, Rabbi Gittelsohn was awarded three service ribbons, and today his words resonate as a powerful testament to the founding principle of our Nation that liberty and democracy are the rights of all men and women of every race, religion, and creed.
On this anniversary, we honor those who answered the call of duty and ensured that the forces of freedom emerged victorious in that fateful battle. As a Nation, we remain forever indebted to the Greatest Generation.