Thursday, February 7, 2019


Office of the Press Secretary

Oval Office

1:59 P.M. EST
     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  We’re here today to launch the first-ever, U.S. government-wide initiative focused on economic empowerment for women in developing countries.  A lot of people have worked very hard, especially some of the people behind me.

     I want to thank Ivanka for the incredible job that she’s done in leading this initiative.  Thanks, also, to Secretary Mike Pompeo, Secretary Wilbur Ross, Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Ambassador John Bolton, Ambassador Mark Green, and Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen.  I want to thank you all very much.  I know how hard you’ve all worked.  And thank you.  Great job.  So important.

     I also want to thank Senator Chris Coons, who’s -- we just left.  We had a wonderful prayer breakfast this morning, which was a tremendous gathering of a lot of great people.  Along with Representatives Mark Meadows and Michael McCaul for being here.  Thank you all very much.

     We’re thrilled to have so many government and private sector leaders with us.

     As my National Security Strategy says, investing in women helps achieve greater peace and prosperity for nations -- not only our nations; this is all nations all over the world.  We're getting together.  We've developed a lot of really tremendous relationships because of what we're doing right here.

     American women demonstrate every day that when women are free to thrive and prosper, they create jobs, strengthen our communities, and bring greater peace and prosperity to our nation and all over the world.

     Today, we're here to take a historic step to achieve this goal.  In just a few moments, I will sign the National Security Presidential Memorandum to establish the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, also known as the W-GDP.  It's a good name.  (Applause.)  That’s one you should remember.

     Through this initiative, our goal is to reach 50 million women, and maybe more.  And it looks like it is probably going to be substantially more than that -- substantially more than 50 million women in the developing world.  And that will be done, Ivanka, by 2025, they say.

     The W-GDP will coordinate efforts.  It's sort of interesting -- GDP -- I'm thinking about "gross domestic product," but that's okay because that's what we --

     MS. TRUMP: That’s why.  (Laughs.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- you're actually increasing gross domestic product --

MS. TRUMP: That’s why.  Exactly right.

THE PRESIDENT:  -- when you do this well.

     The W-GDP will coordinate efforts across the federal government and work with other nations, organizations, and private-sector partners to help women in developing countries fully and freely participate in their local economics.

So this is a tremendous step for women.  Other leaders of other countries have asked to get involved and do it.  And through the people standing behind me, largely, that group has done something that a lot of people thought could not be done.

     I've directed the USAID to allocate an initial $50 million for a new W-GDP fund, which will implement our strategy of making smarter, metrics-based investments that catalyze private-sector dollars.

     This initiative will be prioritized in the upcoming future and in upcoming future budgets.  Our goal is to empower women to help their home countries become self-reliant and to allow a lot families -- millions of families throughout the world -- to become self-reliant, and also in the United States, very importantly.

     Today, we are honored to welcome women from many different countries -- and I'm going to have them say a few words -- who are already benefitting from U.S. government programs and who are achieving in their own countries, and elsewhere, some really incredible things.  Some amazing stories.

     I'd like to ask Ivanka to say a few words, introduce a few of the folks.  And, Ivanka, if you'd start off, maybe you could start right now and then we'll do a signing when we're all finished.

     MS. TRUMP:  Yeah, absolutely.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.

     MS. TRUMP:  Well, thank you for your tremendous leadership on this effort.  And I want to thank everyone who’s in this room for their contribution over the past year, through the interagency process.  As the President said, this is the first U.S. government, all-of-government approach to empowering women in the developing world.  And we're incredibly excited.

     We will hit 50 million women by 2025 through one of three pillars.  The first is women prospering in the workforce -- so helping with vocational applications that will enable them to secure jobs; giving them access to technology, which will enhance the productivity at the work that they're already doing.

     The second is helping women entrepreneurs gain access to finance and capital that enable them to scale and grow their businesses.  This will create a multiplier effect, lifting up communities.

     And the third is the enabling environments, and creating the conditions for women to thrive.

     We know that there is a very strong correlation between women's empowerment and peace.  That's been well established.  And thank you, Acting Secretary Shanahan, for your great work through this process to get us to today's PM.

     We also know that women, as 50 percent of the population, are absolutely critical to each country's prosperity.  And we want to further incentivize and fuel that, but make sure to have it be metric-driven and outcome-based.

     So we have rigorous metrics.  Our goal is to transform all the recipient countries from receivers of foreign aid and development assistance to self-reliant and, ultimately, trading partners with the United States.

     So I think some of the best examples of this are right here in this room, under programs launched under this administration.

     So perhaps Nino, from Georgia, if you could say a few words about your experience and how the U.S. government has helped support you and the effect it has had on your home community.

     MS. ZAMBAKHIDZE:  Thank you, Mr. President, Ivanka.  First of all, I would like to thank you for this great initiative, and take the opportunity and thank the U.S. taxpayers because they have to know that they are changing the lives of every single person all over the world for the better.

     I’m a grantee of Millennium Challenge Corporation, and I was the one who thought that the women in Georgia had no future.  But the breaking point was when Millennium Challenge gave me the opportunity to overcome the challenge.

     I started with two cows and I become one of the biggest farmer of Georgia in reality, and now am supporting my community in the terms of access to finance, education, and their prosperity.

     So, Mr. President, with your leadership, Georgian relationship with the U.S. flourished.  And each and every Georgian citizen feels that.  And I would like to thank for that.  And the cultural (inaudible), with your support and with the projects the U.S. government does in Georgia, really has been tremendous because women have future of Georgia.

You have thousands (inaudible) all over the world who cannot come here and could not say it.  So on behalf of the beneficiaries of U.S. project, I would like to thank you again.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Beautifully said.

     Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, please?

     SECRETARY POMPEO:  And I’d just like to add: This is an important project; State Department is fully behind it.  The women at the State Department are a central part of what we do.  And we will be -- through multiple programs -- we've got scholars here, from Fulbright, a long history.  And this will be an important addition to America’s efforts to empower women all across the world.  We’re proud to be a part of this, and we look forward to working on it in the days and weeks ahead.

     THE PRESIDENT:  That’s great.  Thank you very much, Mike.  John Bolton, please.

     AMBASSADOR BOLTON:  Well, Mr. President, this National Security Presidential Memorandum that you’re about to sign is founded in your National Security Strategy.  The ideas that Ivanka has been pursuing here are critical, we think, to some of the central pillars of that strategy -- very important for the United States to see this development around the world.  And it’s very exciting.  It really is a whole-of-government approach.  And everybody is behind it.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, John, very much.  Great job.  Senator?  Please.

     SENATOR COONS:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you, Ivanka.  It’s been great to work with you and to be here to help celebrate your signing of this next step in this critical women’s growth and prosperity and development initiative.  It dovetails nicely with the BUILD Act bipartisan bill you signed into law; with the WEEE Act, which recognizes this as a critical strategy.

In my limited experience in Africa, every extra development dollar the United States invests in women, they invest in skills, in creating jobs, in building employment, and in their children and the future.  And in societies where women’s entrepreneurship is strong, there is peace.  So I think this is a tremendous initiative.

Thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.  Mark Meadows?  I see you’re back there, Mark, and you were so instrumental.  (Laughter.) 

     REPRESENTATIVE MEADOWS:  Mr. President, thank you for your leadership.  And, Ivanka, thank you for your role.  But more importantly, thank you to all the people here in the room for your leadership on this issue.

     But it’s the stories that'll be told, Mr. President, that you’ll never hear in this Oval Office -- the lives that will be changed, the people that will be empowered -- that will be a lasting legacy of this effort today.  And I want to thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Mark, very much.  And, Wilbur, Commerce has a lot to do with what’s going on right now.  And this is a big part of Commerce.  What do you think?

     SECRETARY ROSS:  Well, it certainly is.  If this goal is achieved, it'll add $12 trillion to the world GDP in 2025.  That would be like creating another China, but without the trade deficit.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  And we won't have that for too long.

Would anybody like to like to say anything?  Michael?  Anybody?  Please.
REPRESENTATIVE MCCAUL:  Yeah, thank you, Mr. President.  I just want to thank Ivanka for her tremendous leadership on this issue.  And the WEEE was incredible to pass that.  As the father of four girls, women rule my house.  (Laughter.)  And this will impact 15 million women across the globe.  That's very significant.

And, Ambassador Bolton and Secretary, thank you for making this a part of your National Security Strategy, Mr. President, because it is a national security issue, and I appreciate that.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Would anyone like to say anything?

MS. TRUMP:  Acting Secretary Shanahan, would you --

ACTING SECRETARY SHANAHAN:  Sure.  Maybe just a couple quick words.  Economic stability is good defense policy.  The seeds of flawed ideology are born from the absence of economic security.  I'm hoping, Ivanka, your initiative will put me out of business.  (Laughter.)  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Very good.  Yes, please.

MS. ZANDE:  My name is Ella Zande, from Budala village, southern Malawi.


MS. ZANDE:  I am a founder and chairwoman of the Budala Women's Group.  I started a group in 2010 with 10 women.  Today, we have 65 women in three villages.  Over the past eight years, we had four Peace Corps volunteers who taught us many things, like we have businesses.  We are (inaudible).  So now I am happy to be here in America.  (Laughter.)

I am very proud and happy to be here on behalf of my group and my Malawi women.  Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Beautifully said.  (Applause.)

MS. TRUMP:  And one of the components of this initiative as well is the importance of catalyzing the private sector to achieve our shared goals.  So we'll be announcing today a partnership with UPS to help women entrepreneurs gain access to markets through their services, as well as a partnership with Pepsi, a co-investment with USAID.  So we really want to lean on the private sector to help us achieve these goals.

And the CEO of Deloitte, Cathy, is with us today, and has done tremendous work in this space.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Would you like to say something?


THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you so much.

MS. ENGELBERT:  Well, obviously, the benefits are well documented.  The barriers are well documented.  And we look forward to the bold strategy that's ahead of us.  So we're really looking forward to it.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much.  We appreciate what you did.  Thank you.  Let's sign.  Right?  Let's sign.

(The memorandum is signed.)  (Applause.)

Okay, who would like this pen?  Who would like this?  I think I know who I'm giving it to.  I'm giving it to her. (Applause.)

We have plenty for everybody.  Everybody gets a pen.  '

So here it is, folks.  This is a lot of -- a lot of very hard work.  I think this is something very, very special, and very special people.  Thank you all very much.  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much.

Q    Would you accept a compromise from the congressional committee?

THE PRESIDENT:  There could be.  I hear they're working on something.  We'll see what happens.  But I certainly hear that they're working on something.  And both sides are moving along.  We'll see what happens.  We need border security.  We have to have it.  It's not an option.  Let's see what happens.

Q    Should Matt Whitaker testify tomorrow, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  He's an outstanding person.  I would say, if he did testify, he'd do very well.  He's an outstanding person.  A very, very fine man.

Thank you all very much.

Q    He says he may (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT:  That, I don’t know.

Q    No meeting with Xi in the next month or so?

THE PRESIDENT:  Not yet.  Maybe.  Probably too soon.  Probably too soon.

Q    Not before the deadline, though, right?


                        END              2:15 P.M. EST     



Office of the Press Secretary


“Repairing existing infrastructure and building new projects will reduce traffic congestion, improve road conditions, and boost commerce throughout the nation.”

Dems and GOP should join with Trump to fund infrastructure improvements 
By Secretary Elaine Chao
Fox News

February 7, 2019


Today, aging and insufficient infrastructure threatens to impede America’s economic growth and impact quality of life in many areas. To address this and build a better future for all Americans, President Trump’s State of the Union message called upon Congress to address the urgent need to repair and modernize our country’s infrastructure.

Every day, tens of millions of Americans drive across bridges in need of repair. Too many roads that Americans depend upon are overcrowded or in poor condition. Many seaports and inland waterways essential for commerce are outdated or need improvements.

Rural communities – too many of which are still without broadband service – also suffer from outdated infrastructure.

To keep pace with the needs of a growing economy, the Trump administration is committed to improvements that address all facets of infrastructure. So the president is calling upon Congress to pass legislation that delivers new and important infrastructure investment to clear up the backlog of needed repairs and modernize America’s aging infrastructure.

But it’s not just about funding. Government red tape delays, and sometimes denies, needed infrastructure improvements.

President Trump also believes our country must invest in cutting-edge technologies that promise to shape our world for years to come, such as a secure 5G network, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and rural broadband.

This president is a builder, He understands that building up our infrastructure is key to economic growth and improving the quality of life of all Americans.

Read the full op-ed here.


Office of the Press Secretary
February 7, 2019


                 SECURITY AFFAIRS

SUBJECT:       Promoting Women's Global Development and

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby directed as follows:

    Section 1.  Policy.  It is the policy of the United States to enhance the opportunity for women to meaningfully participate in, contribute to, and benefit from economic opportunities as individuals, workers, consumers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors, so that they enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as men to participate in, contribute to, control, and benefit from economic activity.

    To advance a priority articulated in my National Security Strategy to empower women worldwide to participate more fully in civic and economic life, I hereby establish the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (Initiative).  As the National Security Strategy states:  "Societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful.  We will support efforts to advance women's equality, protect the rights of women and girls, and promote women and youth empowerment programs."

    Through the Initiative, we will aim to reach 50 million women across the developing world by 2025, and, in so doing, boost global gross domestic product and facilitate peace, security, and stability for all.  When women are empowered economically, they invest in their families and communities, spurring economic growth and creating more stable societies.  The larger the opportunity gap between men and women, the more likely a country is to be involved in violent conflict.  Conversely, nations in which women have equal opportunities are more likely to thrive and solve challenges peacefully.

    Accelerating women's economic empowerment around the world is integral to enabling developing countries to achieve economic self-reliance and to become greater trading partners with the United States.  This Initiative, accordingly, will focus on the United States Government's international efforts to help women reach their economic potential and secure opportunities in their local economies.  The United States will also continue to prioritize and support women's economic empowerment domestically.

    Women make up half of the world's population, yet they own only one-third of the world's formally registered small- and medium-sized enterprises; provide most of the world's unpaid child and elder care; are more likely to work in insecure, low-wage jobs in the informal economy; are more likely to face legal barriers to full participation in the economy; and have less access to finance, markets, and property than men.  Women face significant obstacles to fully and freely participating in the global economy.  These challenges impede prosperity for individuals, communities, firms, and nations.

    The constraints on economic empowerment for women are complex.  The United States will pursue a multi-pronged approach to addressing these constraints, involving the collaboration of the heads of the executive departments and agencies receiving this memorandum (agencies), as well as consultation with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private-sector partners.

    This Initiative will build on existing efforts and is intended to help coordinate and shape a growing portfolio of international women's economic empowerment programs launched since the start of my Administration, including the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative at the World Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) 2X Women's Initiative, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) WomenConnect Challenge.  This Initiative will serve as the overarching policy effort in this area for the United States Government, to which each of these programs contributes.

    My Administration will focus the efforts of the Initiative on three pillars:  (1) Women Prospering in the Workforce, which will support workforce development and skills training; (2) Women Succeeding as Entrepreneurs, which will focus on entrepreneurship and access to capital, markets, and networks; and (3) Women Enabled in the Economy, which will address the factors that affect women's ability to reach their economic potential, including applicable laws, regulations, policies, practices, and norms.

    Sec. 2.  Executive Branch Coordination on Efforts to Support the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.  (a)  There is hereby established a Working Group to support the objectives of this memorandum.  The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Advisor to the President shall serve as co-chairs of the Working Group and coordinate its work.

    (b)  In addition to the co-chairs, the Working Group shall consist of representatives from the following agencies:  the Departments of State, the Treasury, Commerce, and Labor, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Peace Corps, OPIC (or its successor agency, the United States International Development Finance Corporation), the Inter-American Foundation, and the United States African Development Foundation.

    (c)  Agencies represented on the Working Group shall assess how their programs can be most effective, consistent with existing authorizations and appropriations, in supporting the objectives set forth in section 1 of this memorandum.  The Working Group shall serve as a coordinating body to share expertise and ensure coordination on this policy priority across the executive branch.  The Working Group shall also develop and refine rigorous metrics to measure agency efforts to support the objectives set forth in section 1 of this memorandum.  The Working Group shall also review programs to determine which are effective, and shall, as appropriate, recommend that agencies seek to terminate any programs that are failing to meet their intended objectives and the objectives set forth in section 1 of this memorandum.
    Sec. 3.  Prioritizing Women's Economic Empowerment Programs. (a)  Agencies shall take into account the objectives set forth in section 1 of this memorandum and the guidance of the Working Group described in section 2 of this memorandum, as appropriate, when designing and implementing international programs.

    (b)  Agencies shall seek to prioritize and increase support for the Initiative within their budget proposals and within allocations of appropriated resources.

    (c)  Agencies shall, consistent with applicable law, subject to the availability of appropriations, and in coordination with the Working Group, seek to collectively attribute no less than $300 million per fiscal year to programs that further women's global economic empowerment.

    (d)  The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Fund within USAID (Fund), with its own dedicated resources and an initial proposed funding allocation of $50 million, has the potential to support the highest-priority and highest-impact proposals to enable women's economic empowerment across the developing world.  My Administration shall prioritize the Fund within the President's Budget and appropriated resources.

    (e)  In administering the Fund, USAID shall take into account strategic guidance from the Working Group described in section 2 of this memorandum.  USAID shall consult with the Working Group participants when reviewing proposals for the Fund.  As appropriate, USAID may also invite Working Group participants to help implement programs supported by the Fund.  USAID shall also consider applying the metrics developed by the Working Group in its efforts to track the Fund's progress toward meeting the objectives set forth in section 1 of this memorandum.

    Sec. 4.  Recognizing and Encouraging Efforts by Partners.  Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, confer with bilateral and multilateral institutions, NGOs, and private-sector partners to advance the objectives set forth in section 1 of this memorandum.  Where possible and consistent with applicable law, they shall seek to recognize and encourage contributions to women's economic empowerment from entities outside the United States Government.  These contributions may take the form of mentoring and training for students and young professionals in the developing world; loans, loan guarantees, grants, or other financial assistance to women-led businesses; innovative social programs designed to facilitate women's participation in economic life; skills training for women in supply chains; technical assistance for legal and regulatory reforms; and financial or in-kind contributions to women's economic empowerment initiatives.

    Sec. 5.  Reporting and Evaluating Progress.  No later than 120 days after the end of each fiscal year from fiscal year 2019, agencies shall report to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Advisor to the President regarding their activities carried out during the preceding fiscal year to achieve the goals of sections 1, 3, and 4 of this memorandum.  In particular, agencies shall document yearly progress toward the Initiative's goal of reaching 50 million women by 2025.

    Sec. 6.  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 shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (c)  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.

                              DONALD J. TRUMP

Readout from First Lady Melania Trump’s Visits to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Office of the First Lady
Readout from First Lady Melania Trump’s Visits to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Office of National Drug Control Policy
First Lady Melania Trump spoke to a room of over 500 youth this morning at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Leadership Forum.  The Forum is a four day event that mentors youth on how to be leaders within their communities.  The training focuses on substance abuse prevention and ensuring that these young adults are given proper skills and tools to help make a difference among their peers. 

Upon arrival at the convention, Mrs. Trump was greeted by CADCA’s Chairman and CEO, General Arthur Dean, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director, Jim Carroll.  The First Lady spoke to attendees about the importance of their training sessions and the power of their individual voices.

Following her remarks, the First Lady presented awards to recipients of CADCA’s “Agent of Change” and “Mentorship and Legacy” awards.

“It was inspiring to see first-hand the strength and spirit of these youth leaders during my visit this morning,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “The positive impact they can and will have on their peers is what will ultimately produce the change we want to see within our communities.  Thank you for allowing me to come speak with you and see the impressive work that is happening.”

In line with her Be Best campaign, Mrs. Trump then traveled to the Office of National Drug Control Policy and received an in-depth policy briefing on the nation’s opioid epidemic and all that ONDCP and its inter-agency partners are doing to combat the crisis.  The briefing included details on the latest fentanyl bust, and how the Trump Administration is working to lower the rates of drug trafficking – including how the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is working to improve the targeting and detection of synthetic drugs.  Mrs. Trump also participated in a conversation about current programs and treatment facilities available to young mothers and children suffering from substance abuse. The briefing also focused on Drug-Free Communities (DFCs) that teach leadership and prevention methods to youth across the country.

“I learned a lot from today’s briefing, and commend all that the ONDCP is doing around this vital issue,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “It is clear there is still much work to be done.  With the increased amounts of drug and tobacco products available to our children, we need to continue educating parents and communities about the dangerous results that come with substance abuse.  Thank you to Director Carroll and the many experts who took the time to participate in today’s briefing.”

Full Remarks Below

Thank you Director Carroll and General Dean.  Good morning, everyone!  It is great to be here and to take part in this important youth leadership conference.

I want to start by saying thank you to each of you for actively deciding to get involved and choosing to step up and be part of the solution.  As you know, our nation is facing an opioid crisis.  Part of my Be Best campaign focuses on understanding the harmful effects of opioid abuse on our children, and finding opportunities to help families and young mothers who have been affected by this very real problem.

In my time as First Lady, I have held babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome – a result of opioid addiction in pregnant mothers.  I have met with mothers like Betty Henderson, who lost their children to drug abuse.  And on Tuesday night, I was honored to have Ashley Evans join me at the State of the Union Address.  Ashley suffered from opioid and substance abuse for most of her life but found help through Brigid’s Path, a medical care facility in Ohio. This year, she is celebrating one year and one month in recovery, and next week, she will be reunited with her daughter.

Recovery is possible.  It is because of programs and organizations like Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America or Brigid’s Path that offer care, resources, and essential tools that can save lives and teach positive and life-saving ideas to those in need. These programs are so vital to our nation and within our communities.

Later today, I am visiting the Office of National Drug Control Policy to hear about the latest efforts in building a stronger and healthier society for our children.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy currently supports over 700 community coalitions through its Drug-Free Communities Support Program and I am so excited to learn more about what they are doing to keep our children and communities safe.

I want to thank all the government leaders, volunteer trainers, and experts in the field who are taking time to talk with our youth this week, and hope this time has provided you with great knowledge and motivation that you can take with you when you leave.  What you are learning in these workshops are vital tools that will help make a difference in our nation and our world.  You are our greatest agents for change.  Through your voices, you have the power to influence, transform, and lead your communities from within.  You can lead by example every day among your peers, your friends, your classmates, and your teammates.

I am honored to present awards today to some people who have done just that.  Their dedication to educating others on the importance of preventing substance use is inspiring and I applaud their commitment to nurturing and cultivating youth wherever they go.  They are a testament to the power of one’s voice.  Thank you to each of you for your devotion to this cause, I know you have touched many lives through your work.

Thank you again for having me here and may God Bless the United States of America.

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Rodney K. Brown of California, to be a Member of the Farm Credit Administration Board for a six-year term beginning October 14, 2018. 

Mr. Brown previously served as President and CEO of the California Bankers Association.  Prior to this, he served as President and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust in Santa Barbara, California, and held positions with First National Bank of Kansas City and Bank of America in San Francisco, California.

Christopher Scolese of New York, to be the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office. 

Mr. Scolese currently serves as the Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.  Previously, he served as the associate administrator at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and as NASA’s chief engineer.  Mr. Scolese is the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, the NASA Distinguished Leadership Medal, the Goddard Outstanding Leadership Medal, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) National Capital Section Young Engineer/Scientist of the Year award.


President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key position in his Administration:

James Michael Kulikowski of Virginia, to be the Coordinator of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Program and without additional compensation to serve concurrently as Coordinator for Overall Assistance and Economic Cooperation Strategy for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. 

Mr. Kulikowski currently serves as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Foreign Assistance Resources at the Department of State.  Previously, he served as Deputy Staff Director for the Appropriations Committee in the United States House of Representatives.  Additionally, Mr. Kulikowski served in the Office of Management and Budget as Chief of the State Department Branch, working in the Office of Global Health Affairs in the Secretary’s Office at the Department of Health and Human Services.  He assisted with the start-up of the Global Fund to Fight AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and served at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where he was the highest ranking American and a part of the Director General’s senior management team.  Mr. Kulikowski earned undergraduate, law, and public health degrees from Harvard University.


Office of the Press Secretary



“By investing in women around the world, we’ve investing in families, we’re investing in prosperity, and we’re investing in peace.” – President Donald J. Trump

PROMOTING ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT FOR WOMEN: The Trump Administration is launching a historic initiative to empower women globally to fulfill their economic potential.

•    Today, the Trump Administration launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, the first-ever whole-of-government approach focused on advancing women’s full and free participation in the global economy.
•    Through the W-GDP Initiative, the Administration will seize on the significant opportunity that promoting women in the economy represents for boosting global gross domestic product.
o    The aim is to reach 50 million women across the developing world from the start of the Trump Administration in 2017 to 2025.
o    The President signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum and directed the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to allocate an initial $50 million for the new W-GDP Fund.
•    The W-GDP Initiative will have three pillars of focus:
o    Helping women to prosper in the workforce by improving women’s access to quality education and skills training;
o    Continuing efforts to fund and support women’s entrepreneurship and access to capital, markets, technical assistance, and mentorship; and
o    Working to identify and reduce the policy, legal, and regulatory barriers to women’s participation in the global economy and promote improved practices.

SUPPORTING OPPORTUNITIES TO ENSURE GLOBAL STABILITY: When women are empowered, they spur economic growth and help create stable societies.

•    Everyone benefits from the growth and stability that economically empowered women add to the global economy:
o    When women are empowered economically, they invest in their families and communities, spurring economic growth and creating more stable societies.
o    Research shows that promoting global women’s economic participation, especially in developing countries, could boost global economic growth by $12 trillion by 2025.
•    Unfortunately, women in many countries face significant barriers to full and free participation in the global economy.
o    Women are legally restricted from working in specific jobs in 104 countries, preventing more than 2.7 billion women from having the same job choices as men.
•    Despite making up half of the world’s population, women only own one-third of formal businesses worldwide and have less—or no—access to financial services, markets, and property.

BUILDING ON OUR EFFORTS: Improving the role and ability of women to participate in the global economy is a critical issue and a high priority for President Donald J. Trump.

•    At the 2017 G20 Leaders’ Summit, President Trump and global partners announced the first-of-its-kind Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).
o    The initiative is on track to raise more than $1.6 billion in capital.
•    On International Women’s Day 2018, the Trump Administration launched the WomenConnect Challenge, to increase women’s access to digital technology and bridge the gender divide.
•    Through the Administration’s 2X Women’s Initiative, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is mobilizing $1 billion to support women in the developing world.
•    President Trump has signed bipartisan legislation, including the Women, Peace, and Security Act; the BUILD Act; and the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act.

W-GDP DELIVERABLES: The Trump Administration is excited to announce these new and expanded programs and partnerships as part of the W-GDP initiative.

•    The W-GDP Fund: With an initial $50 million, this new fund at USAID will support innovative and effective programs that advance women’s economic empowerment, including:
o    The Incentive Fund: $20 million will be dedicated incentivize new programming in the field, including partnerships with government agencies and the private sector.
o    The Women’s Impact Livelihood Bond II: A partial guarantee of $100 million in loans to women entrepreneurs and businesses that support women in South and Southeast Asia.
o    The PepsiCo Partnership: A USAID and PepsiCo partnership in West Bengal, India, to scale women’s economic empowerment throughout PepsiCo’s agriculture supply chains.
o    The Engendering Utilities Partner Expansion: Expanding a program to increase participation and leadership of women in the energy sector to Malawi, Mozambique, Kosovo, El Salvador, Ghana, and Liberia.
•    The USAID-UPS Memorandum of Understanding to improve the ability of women entrepreneurs to export their goods to markets, with an initial focus in Africa, Asia, and Central America.
•    The Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues will launch WE RISE to work with microfinance civil society organizations to reduce barriers faced by women entrepreneurs.
•    Overseas Private Investment Corporation initiatives:
o    Impact-First Development Fund: OPIC’s $50 million loan to Global Partnerships’ Impact First Fund will support organizations providing financial support to female borrowers.
o    Induced Bank Limited-Women Microentrepreneurs Facility: The OPIC $100 million loan will expand IndusInd’s microfinance lending to women in India.
•    Peace Corps commits to raising $1 million per year through 2025 from private donors supporting Community Economic Development, Agriculture, and Education projects.


Office of the Press Secretary

Washington Hilton
Washington, D.C.

9:23 A.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  I will never let you down.  I can say that.  Never.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  I am honored to be here with leaders from across the country and all around the world who are all united by a shared belief in the glory of God and the power of prayer.

I want to thank Senator Coons and Senator Lankford for the introduction and for carrying on this wonderful and uplifting bipartisan tradition.  Thank you both very much.  Thank you, Senators.  Senators, thank you very much.  (Applause.)

We're thrilled to be joined by our tremendous Vice President Mike Pence, along with our incredible Second Lady Karen Pence.  And, by the way -- (applause) -- by the way, I've gotten to know Karen so well.  She is a Marine Corps mom, a tremendous woman, a proud supporter of military families, and she just recently went back to teaching art classes at a Christian school.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you, Karen.  Terrific woman.

We're also thankful to be joined by the countless faith leaders, foreign dignitaries, and members of Congress, along with many members of my cabinet, including Secretary Mike Pompeo, Sonny Perdue, Alex Acosta, Alex Azar, Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.  Thank you all for being here.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

And thanks also to Gary Haugen for those very powerful words and for rescuing people around the world from the bondage of human trafficking.  You are truly doing the Lord’s work, and, as you know, our administration is doing everything we can to make your work easier.  We're working very closely together.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Gary.  (Applause.)

On Tuesday, it was my profound honor to address the nation from the House Chamber of the State of the Union.  And our union, as you heard me say, is very, very strong.  (Applause.)  As I said in my address, there is no limit to what we can achieve if we follow the path of cooperation, compromise, and the common good.  America’s potential is unlimited because our extraordinary people are just something that is number one, no matter where you go.  We have people -- they love our country and they love their faith.

We are graced by those extraordinary heroes from Tuesday night:

The SWAT Officer Timothy Matson, who raced and raced through a very, very bullet-filled doorway.  He was shot many, many times.  He has been operated on many times, and, unfortunately, he is going back for more.  But he was really stopped from having something as bad as it was.  The Tree of Life synagogue was a horrible, horrible event, and he really did do a job.  He made it so much better.  It was so good to see him.  I saw him in the hospital, and he was suffering, and he's still suffering.  But he told me the other night he is so proud to have been a part.  He was just a great, great gentleman.  We introduced him the other night.

The wonderful, young girl Grace, who overcame brain cancer -- had no idea this was going to happen to her -- and bravely rallied an entire community.

And the intrepid soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy in the Allied liberation of Europe.  On D-Day, all those warriors set out on their mission of liberation; President Franklin Delano Roosevelt led our nation in prayer.  In a national radio address, President Roosevelt began with these solemn words: “Almighty God: Our sons, the pride of our Nation, on this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization.”

Since the founding of our nation, many of our greatest strides -- from gaining our independence, to abolition, of [to] civil rights, to extending the vote for women -- have been led by people of faith and started in prayer.

When we open our hearts to faith, we fill our hearts with love.  Many of the people in this room lead and support the charities and faith-based institutions that bring hope to the lives of our citizens, comfort to those in despair, and solace to those in grief, aid to those in need, and a helping hand to the struggling people all around the world, of which there are so many.

With us today are leaders involved with Prison Fellowship, started by the late Chuck Colson -- a man transformed by leaders of this breakfast.  Today, Prison Fellowship ministers to more than 300,000 prisoners across America to help others like Alice Johnson and Matthew Charles, who we saw Tuesday night, transform their lives through the mercy and grace of God.

And faith leaders helped us achieve historic bipartisan criminal justice reform.  (Applause.)  They've been wanting to do that for many, many years, and we all together got it done.  We just passed the FIRST STEP Act into law.  So thank you very much, everybody in the room, for that help.  That was a very big thing for our country.  (Applause.)

America is a nation that believes in redemption.  Every day, the people in this room demonstrate the power of faith to transform lives, heal communities, and lift up the forgotten.
Some of those in this room are among the Muslim and Christian faith leaders from Minnesota who partnered to send millions of meals to Somalia last year.

Also with us today are Catholics, Evangelicals, and members of the Jewish faith who help build homes for our fellow citizens through Habitat for Humanity.

As President, I will always cherish, honor, and protect the believers who uplift our communities and sustain our nation.
To ensure that people of faith can always contribute to our society, my administration has taken historic action to protect religious liberty.  (Applause.)

Here with us this morning are Melissa and Chad Buck from Holt, Michigan.  In 2009, they decided to adopt.  Soon, they got a call about three young siblings in a terribly abusive home.  Melissa and Chad had only a few minutes to decide, and they said yes to all three.  Today, the Bucks have five beautiful adopted children.  As Melissa has said, “They are the sweetest, most lovable children.  They have the most unique gifts.”  Two of them have joined us for this breakfast: 10-year-old Max and 9-year-old Liz.

To Max, Liz, and the entire Buck family, thank you for inspiring us all.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.

Unfortunately, the Michigan adoption charity that brought the Buck family together is now defending itself in court for living by the values of its Catholic faith.  We will always protect our country’s long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption.  (Applause.)  My administration is working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their forever families, while following their deeply held beliefs.  (Applause.)

My administration is also speaking out against religious persecution around the world, including against religious minorities, Christians, and the Jewish community.  (Applause.) 

This week, I appointed a new Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and with us -- thank you very much -- Elon Carr.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  A very effective person.

The courageous Holocaust survivors in the gallery on Tuesday night powerfully remind us, and remind us all, of our solemn pledge: Never again.  (Applause.)

My administration is also continuing to fight for American hostages who have been imprisoned overseas for their religious beliefs.  Last October, we reached an agreement with Turkey to release Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is now free and joins us here this morning.  Where is Andrew?  (Applause.)  He was there for a long time before I got there, and I said, "You've got to let him out."  (Laughter.)  "You better let him out."  And they let you out.  (Laughter.)  It was a miracle.  (Applause.)  Right?  We spent a lot of time together.  Terrific man.  Terrific family.  Thank you very much, Andrew.

This Saturday, Pastor Brunson will walk his daughter down the aisle.  Wow, that’s great.  Congratulations.  Was I invited?  I don’t know.  Was I invited?  (Laughter.)  He said, "Yes."  Thank you.  (Laughter.)

To protect the dignity and worth of every person, my administration has taken historic action to combat human trafficking.

Last year, I directed the State Department to cut off development aid to nations that do not demonstrate a commitment to ending human trafficking in their own countries.  (Applause.)  And we are fighting every day to stop the tragedy of human trafficking all along our southern border.

Together, we will end the scourge of modern-day slavery that, because of the Internet, is at levels that nobody can believe.  The Internet came along, and some good things happened.  But some very bad things happened, and this is one of them.

As part of our commitment to building a just and loving society, we must build a culture that cherishes the dignity and sanctity of innocent human life.  (Applause.)  All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

Every life is sacred, and every soul is a precious gift from Heaven.  As the Lord says in Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you… Before you were born, I set you apart.”

Here with us today are Nikki and Tyler Watkinson.  Our wonderful First Lady Melania, who is right now working very hard with a group of people and saying a few words on opioids -- she's very much involved; she wanted to be here so badly, but she'll be here with us next year -- recently met with them and, when she visited them at Children’s Hospital, was so impressed.

Last year, Nikki went into early labor during a blizzard.  As she and Tyler were driving to the hospital, their son Grayson was born in the front seat.  He was born four months premature, and weighed only 1 pound and 11 ounces.  But he let out little, tiny cries, and he made it to the hospital alive.  Nikki and Taylor’s [Tyler's] entire community began to lift up Grayson in their prayers, and, to the surprise of doctors, he kept on improving, improving, improving.  After four months in the hospital, Nikki and Tyler brought home their beautiful baby boy.  Just a few weeks ago, Grayson celebrated his first birthday.  He is a beautiful, happy, healthy guy.  (Applause.)

Are they here?  Where?  Oh, good.  (Applause.)  Good.  That's great.  Beautiful.  That's great.  Thank you.

As his mom, Nikki, has said, “He was put on this Earth to do big things.”  He may be here someday -- right here.  Nikki, he already has and he will do more and more as he grows older.

As Jesus promises in the Bible, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  We are blessed to live in a land of faith where all things are possible.  Our only limits are those we place on ourselves.  So true.

On Tuesday, I asked Americans to choose greatness.  And everybody in that room stood and applauded.  We asked for greatness -- it's greatness for our country -- and to renew our love and loyalty to one another -- as friends, as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots, and as Americans.

There could be no better way to begin this exciting national adventure than the way America has always begun our greatest adventures: by coming together in prayer.

So today, and every day, let us pray for the future of our country.  Let us pray for the courage to pursue justice and the wisdom to forge peace.  Let us pray for a future where every child has a warm, safe, and loving home.  Let us come together for the good of our people, for the strength of our families, for the safety of our citizens, for the fulfillment of our deepest hopes and our highest potential.  And let us always give thanks for the miracle of life, the majesty of creation, and the grace of Almighty God.

Thank you.  It is an honor to be with you.  God bless you.  And God bless America.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)
                   END                     9:43 A.M. EST