Saturday, March 23, 2019


Office of the Press Secretary

“American and coalition forces have had one military victory after another over the last two years against ISIS, including the retaking of both Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.  We’ve liberated more than 20,000 square miles of territory.” – President Donald J. Trump 

LIBERATING ALL ISIS-CONTROLLED TERRITORY: The territory once held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq is now 100 percent liberated.  
  • Upon taking office, President Donald J. Trump empowered our commanders in the field and enabled our allies and partners on the ground to take the fight to ISIS.
  • The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, including the United States, Iraqi Security Forces, and partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces, have liberated all of the territory previously held by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.   
    • The 79-member Coalition to Defeat ISIS is an unprecedented collection of nations and organizations aligned in a common cause to fight the evil of terrorism. 
    • Thousands of fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, Iraq Security Forces, and 6 members of the Coalition have sacrificed their lives fighting against ISIS.
  • Over the last two years, the United States and our Coalition partners have liberated more than 20,000 square miles of territory previously held by ISIS in Syria. 
  • Since January 2017, an estimated 5 million people have been freed from ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
  • Sixty high-value targets, 100 ISIS officials, and tens of thousands of ISIS fighters have been killed.
    • There are more than 1,000 foreign fighters from more than 40 countries in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces. 
  • Thanks to the defeat of the “caliphate,” ISIS now lacks a territorial base to launch attacks overseas and recruit foreign fighters.
MOVING FORWARD: The United States has begun the process of withdrawing troops from Syria in a deliberate and coordinated manner, while maintaining a small force there. 
  • President Trump is realigning our force now that ISIS’s territorial “caliphate” has been defeated.   
  • The President wants to draw down our presence in a safe, deliberate, and coordinated manner and remains in constant contact with our allies.
  • During this process, we will continue to inflict maximum damage on the remnants of ISIS.
  • A small contingent of United States Armed Forces will remain in Syria.
ENSURING ISIS NEVER RETURNS: The United States is committed to ensuring the remnants of ISIS are destroyed and that it can never regain its “caliphate.” 
  • The United Sates is confident that together with the Coalition, we will ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS.
  • Understanding the remaining threat from radical Islamist terrorism, the United States will continue to hunt down any remnants of ISIS. 
  • The United States remains committed to the Coalition and will continue to support its efforts.
  • The President has been clear that our allies and partners should step up their contributions to stabilize Syria and help ensure that ISIS cannot return.

President Donald J. Trump Approves Iowa Disaster Declaration

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Approves Iowa Disaster Declaration
Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Iowa and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms and flooding beginning on March 12, 2019, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is available to the State and to tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the counties of Adair, Allamakee, Audubon, Boone, Bremer, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dallas, Decatur, Dickinson, Emmet, Fayette, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, O’Brien, Osceola, Page, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Tama, Union, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, and Wright.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Timothy J. Scranton as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and additional areas may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.


Statement from the President on the Liberation of ISIS-Controlled Territory

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the President on the Liberation of ISIS-Controlled Territory

I am pleased to announce that, together with our partners in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, including the Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces, the United States has liberated all ISIS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq—100 Percent of the “caliphate.”

Just two years ago, ISIS controlled a vast amount of territory in both Iraq and Syria.  Since then, we have retaken more than 20,000 square miles of land and liberated millions of Syrians and Iraqis from ISIS’s “caliphate.”  ISIS’s loss of territory is further evidence of its false narrative, which tries to legitimize a record of savagery that includes brutal executions, the exploitation of children as soldiers, and the sexual abuse and murder of women and children.  To all of the young people on the internet believing in ISIS’s Propaganda, you will be dead if you join.  Think instead about having a great life.

While on occasion these cowards will resurface, they have lost all prestige and power.  They are losers and will always be losers.

We will remain vigilant against ISIS by aligning global counterterrorism efforts to fight ISIS until it is finally defeated wherever it operates.  The United States will defend American interests whenever and wherever necessary.  We will continue to work with our partners and allies to totally crush Radical Islamic Terrorists.


Resolute Reads
President Trump Visits the Last Tank Plant in America, Which He Helped Save
This week, President Donald J. Trump visited America’s only surviving tank plant in Lima, Ohio—“the first such presidential visit there since George W. Bush stopped by in 2003,” Loren Thompson writes. “President Obama never visited and the depressed level of military spending during his presidency nearly shut the place down. That is not an exaggeration.”

Watch: President Trump meets with factory workers in Ohio
ISIS Caliphate Has Crumbled and Last Stronghold Liberated
-Fox News
“The caliphate has crumbled, and the final offensive is over. While the official announcement hasn’t yet been made – Fox News has been told that this village, the last ISIS stronghold, is liberated,” Benjamin Hall reports. “Troops here are now bringing down the black flags of ISIS. The flags no longer fly over the town, instilling fear.”
Palestinian Lives Don’t Matter . . . Unless Israel Is to Blame
-The New York Times
“The people of the Gaza Strip are protesting again, and soldiers are shooting again, and civilians are being victimized again. Only this time you may have missed the story,” Bret Stephens writes. “That’s odd: Some media outlets are prepared to devote months of journalistic effort in order to trace the trajectory of a single bullet that accidentally kills a Palestinian — provided the bullet is Israeli. The difference this time is that the shots are being fired by Hamas.”

More: President Trump recognizes Golan Heights as a part of Israel
CNN Poll: 7 in 10 Say Economy in Good Shape -- and Trump May Reap the Benefits
“Americans give the nation's economy glowing reviews in a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS, and Donald Trump's approval rating may be reaping the benefits,” Jennifer Agiesta reports. “Overall, 71% say the nation's economy is in good shape, the highest share to say so since February 2001, and the best rating during Trump's presidency by two points.”

By the numbers: The blue-collar Trump Economy is working for all Americans
Ivanka Trump Leads New Campaign for ‘Good Paying Jobs,’ Fix Education
-Washington Examiner
Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump “is leading the administration’s latest bipartisan effort, this time to reform federal college education and job training, even for newly released prison inmates,” Paul Bedard reports. “With other bipartisan victories already under her belt, Trump this week turned to improving the Higher Education Act to help more poor students and bolster efforts to steer Americans to trades where the jobs are, including apprenticeships.”

Watch: Ivanka Trump says it’s time to modernize higher ed
Vice President Mike Pence: For the Future of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Must Go
-Miami Herald
“Maduro’s corruption and socialist policies have turned what once was one of the richest countries in the Western Hemisphere into one of the poorest . . . Nine out of 10 Venezuelans live in poverty,” Vice President Pence writes. “Since day one of this administration, President Trump has taken decisive action to isolate the dictator Maduro and to stand with the Venezuelan people as they reclaim their freedom.”

Confronting socialism: President Trump alongside the President of Brazil
Peter Navarro: “Why America Needs a Stronger Defense Industry”
-The New York Times
“The Trump defense budget is helping to create good manufacturing jobs at good wages, including in communities like Lima that have fallen behind economically,” White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro writes. “The revitalized Lima plant will directly employ a little more than 1,000 employees.”
Trump Admin is Providing Common Sense Solutions to Student Debt Crisis
“Most of us can agree that the current higher education system in our country is wildly expensive and unsustainable for future generations,” Boris Epshteyn writes. “With the rising burden of student loan debt becoming an increasingly critical issue, the Trump administration, with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump taking the lead, has proposed bold reforms that would modernize student loan borrowing and encourage responsible practices.”


Office of the Press Secretary

Palm Beach, Florida

2:23 P.M. EDT

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  We're honored to be with some terrific people that have been friends of mine -- in many cases, friends of mine.  They've done a wonderful job in their respective countries.

And we'll be talking about many subjects –- trade; we always talk about trade.  But we'll also be discussing, I have a feeling, Venezuela.  That may come up in our conversation.  It's become a very big topic all over the world -- Venezuela.

And we look forward to spending a lot of time together this afternoon and discussing ways that we can be beneficial to you and you can be beneficial to us.  And we very much appreciate your being at Mar-a-Lago.  It's a great honor.  Thank you very much.  Thank you everybody.

     If you'd like to say something to the media -- maybe we'll start with you.

     PRIME MINISTER CHASTANET:  First of all, I want to thank you very much for extending the invitation to Saint Lucia to participate.  I want to thank you for the support and leadership that you've been providing in our region.

You know, the United States is our biggest trading partner.


PRIME MINISTER CHASTANET:  And we’d like to think of the amount of trade that also the U.S. benefits from in the Caribbean.

And so we're very much looking forward to these discussions today and seeing how we can enhance the relationship to our mutual benefits.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Very good.  Thank you.


     PRESIDENT MOÏSE:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you, Mr. President, on behalf of Haiti.  Haiti and the United States are two countries that are not only friends, but very close.  I am a friend, and Miami is actually less than two hours away from our islands.  And we are here this afternoon; we’ll have discussions of good things -- things that will be positive for both countries.  Thank you.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.

     PRESIDENT SÁNCHEZ:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you.  Thank you all.  Thank you, Mr. President, for your invitation.  We thank you.  The Dominican Republic and the United States of America are two important partners.  In fact, the United States is our main economic partner, and we are here to discuss issues of the region and we are here to your avail to collaborate.  Thank you.

     PRIME MINISTER HOLNESS:  Mr. President, thank you for the invitation.  We look forward to discussions on energy, on trade, but on security as well.  We look forward to discussing regional issues to do with the peace and stability of the region and how we can move forward with the prosperity of our people.  So we thank you again for the invitation.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER MINNIS:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.  I'm delighted to have been invited here today to discuss certain issues that are of mutual benefit to both of us.  The Bahamas -- the United States have been our number-one trading partner.  We are neighbors.  We have great relationship.  We will continue to foster such a relationship.  I know that the meetings and the discussion today will be very productive, and we expect to come out with positive views and feelings.  Thank you very much.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah, I think that'll happen.  Thank you very much.  We appreciate it, everybody.  And we look forward to the discussion.  Thank you.

Thank you all very much.  Thank you. 

                              END                 2:27 P.M. EDT


Statement by the Press Secretary on Sanctions Against Major Venezuelan Bank

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement by the Press Secretary on Sanctions Against Major Venezuelan Bank
President Donald J. Trump is committed to preventing Nicolas Maduro and his regime from further stealing Venezuela’s resources and wealth for their personal gain, while the people of Venezuela suffer from lack of food, medicine, and reliable power and water.  The United States will not tolerate the arrest of peaceful democratic actors, including members of the democratically-elected Venezuelan National Assembly and those Venezuelans working with Interim President Juan Guaido.

Today, the Department of the Treasury determined that Venezuela’s financial sector is subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13850, and sanctioned a major Venezuelan bank and four subsidiary banks used by Maduro and his regime as slush funds to evade United States sanctions and to move money out of Venezuela.  The United States will continue to take steps to pressure Maduro, his regime, and those who support him, until they step out of the way and allow a democratic transition to occur under Interim President Guaido and the National Assembly of Venezuela.

The White House Office of the Press Secretary FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 22, 2019 REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP UPON AIR FORCE ONE ARRIVAL Palm Beach International Airport Palm Beach, Florida

Office of the Press Secretary

Palm Beach International Airport
Palm Beach, Florida
12:13 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  So here is ISIS on Election Day.  Here's ISIS right now.  If you look -- so there's ISIS.  And that's what we have right now, as of last night.  That's what we have right now.

     You guys can have the map.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)  You’ll spread it around.

     Q    How do you feel about that?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think it’s about time.

(Gestures to map.)  Hey, folks, you'll spread that around?

     Q    Will you nominate Pat Shanahan now?


     Q    Are you ready to make that announcement?

     THE PRESIDENT:  He’s a great guy.  He's flying with us.  We'll see what happens.

I will be nominating Mr. Moore for the Fed.  You know who I'm talking about.  So he's going to be -- he's going to be a great.  He's going to be great on the Fed.
                             END                12:15 P.M. EDT


Office of the Press Secretary

South Lawn
9:45 A.M. EDT

     Q    Mr. President, do you expect the Mueller report to be submitted today?

THE PRESIDENT:  I have no idea about the Mueller report.

I'm going to Florida.  We have meetings with the five Caribbean leaders.  That'll be at Mar-a-Lago.  We have a lot of other meetings set up for this weekend on trade.  We have a lot of talks with China.  And a lot of things are happening.  We'll be doing it from Florida.  And a lot of very important things are happening.

Q    You said the Democrats are anti-Israel --


Q    You said the Democrats are anti-Israel and that they are anti-Jewish.  They're all skipping the AIPAC conference next week, but you're not going as well.

THE PRESIDENT:  The Democrats have very much proven to be anti-Israel.  There's no question about that.  And it's a disgrace.  I mean, I don’t know what's happened to them.  But they are totally anti-Israel.  Frankly, I think they're anti-Jewish.

Q    (Inaudible) reports that there were 100,000 illegal (inaudible) border (inaudible) --

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, we're being very, very strong on the border.  The number is enormous of people that we’ve captured, people that we’ve apprehended, but we’re going to take care of it.  We are being very, very tough at the border.

Q    Congressional investigations, Mr. President -- are you telling your staff not to comply?

THE PRESIDENT:  It's just a continuation of the same witch hunt.  They know it.  And behind closed doors, they laugh at it.  It's just a continuation of the same nonsense.  Everybody knows.
They ought to go to work, get infrastructure done, and get a lot of other things done instead of wasting everybody's time.

Q    Mr. President, what’s your reaction to the reports that --

THE PRESIDENT:  I can’t hear you.

Q    What's your reaction to the reports that Jared Kushner used an encrypted app to communicate with foreign officials?

THE PRESIDENT:  I know nothing about it.  I've never heard that.  I’ve never heard about it.

Q    Mr. President, if Robert Mueller is presiding over a hoax, do you think Robert Mueller is personally dishonest in this whole thing?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we're going to see what happens.  It's going to be very interesting.  But we'll see what happens.  There was no collusion.  There was no obstruction.  Everybody knows it.  It's all a big hoax.  It's -- I call it the witch hunt.  It's all a big hoax.

So we'll see what happens.  I know that the Attorney General, highly respected, ultimately will make a decision.

Q    Mr. President, is there (inaudible) process (inaudible) --

THE PRESIDENT:  There won't be.  And if there is, it'll only play to our advantage.

                         END                 9:48 A.M. EDT


West Wing Reads ‘ISIS Caliphate Has Crumbled and Last Stronghold Liberated’

West Wing Reads

‘ISIS Caliphate Has Crumbled and Last Stronghold Liberated’

"The caliphate has crumbled, and the final offensive is over. While the official announcement hasn’t yet been made – Fox News has been told that this village, the last ISIS stronghold, is liberated," Benjamin Hall reports from Syria for Fox News.

“Troops here are now bringing down the black flags of ISIS. The flags no longer fly over the town, instilling fear.”

Click here to read more.
“President Trump has recognized Israeli sovereignty over areas of the Golan Heights it currently controls. In doing so, Trump effectively formalizes something that everyone already knew. Namely, that the Golan Heights, which Israel seized following a 1967 Syrian-Egyptian-Jordanian effort to annihilate it, were unlikely to be Syrian again for a very long time,” Tom Rogan writes in the Washington Examiner.
“President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to promote free speech on college campuses by threatening colleges with the loss of federal research funding if they do not protect those rights,” Adam Shaw reports for Fox News. “We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values,” the President said, surrounded by conservative student advocates at the White House. “They’ve been under siege.”
“The man who killed a sheriff’s deputy and wounded a police officer in a central Washington state shootout was in the United States illegally,” The Associated Press reports. “The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said Thursday that 29-year-old Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro, who also died as a result of the shootout, was a citizen of Mexico.”
The President’s “commitment to strengthening the military isn’t just making America safer; it’s also saving and creating jobs – including a whole factory’s worth of them right here in Ohio,” former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell writes in The Cincinnati Enquirer. “The manufacturing facility in Lima is a symbol of the economic revival taking place throughout Ohio and the rest of the country.”

President signed into law: S. 49, which designates the outstation of the Department of Veterans Affairs in North Ogden, Utah, as the Major Brent Taylor Vet Center Outstation.

Office of the Press Secretary
On Thursday, March 21, 2019, the President signed into law:

S. 49, which designates the outstation of the Department of Veterans Affairs in North Ogden, Utah, as the Major Brent Taylor Vet Center Outstation.

1600 Daily The White House • March 21, 2019 Video of the day: ISIS, then and now

1600 Daily
The White House • March 21, 2019

Video of the day: ISIS, then and now

Just over two years ago, ISIS was considered one of the gravest threats to the future of the Middle East—and to the peace and security of the larger free world. Its captured territory stretched across 20,000 square miles from Iraq to Syria.

When President Donald J. Trump was sworn into office on January 20, 2017, it marked the beginning of the end for the self-declared caliphate.

Now, ISIS has been obliterated off the map–literally. “This is ISIS on Election Day,” the President said as he held up a side-by-side comparison yesterday. “And this is ISIS now.”

See for yourself: the ISIS caliphate two years ago vs. today

President Trump stands up for free speech on campus

“The past two weeks have been surreal,” Hayden Williams wrote earlier this month. On Feb. 19, while recruiting conservative students on campus at the University of California-Berkeley, I was assaulted by a violent leftist. A little more than a week later, I got to shake hands with the president of the United States.”

President Trump invited Williams onstage during the President’s speech at CPAC 2019 on March 3. “There’s so many conservative students across the country who are facing discrimination, harassment, and worse, if they dare to speak up on campus,” Williams said.

This afternoon, President Trump signed an Executive Order to protect free speech at our colleges and universities. The order directs Federal agencies to ensure that public education institutions fulfill their obligations under the First Amendment—and that private schools comply with their stated institutional policies regarding free speech.

The Department of Education will also improve transparency in American higher education by expanding the data available on its College Scorecard. These metrics will better organize data on program-level earnings, debt, and student loan repayment rates, helping families make better decisions about postsecondary education.

Watch: American students and values have been “under siege"

Wall Street Journal: “Trump to Issue Order Tying Federal Grants to Free Speech on Campus”

By the numbers: The American dream is back

When the White House unveiled the 2019 Economic Report of the President this week, there was no shortage of good news to share:
  • The economy outperformed expectations for the second year in a row in 2018.
  • American GDP grew 3.1% from the 4th quarter of 2017 to the 4th quarter of 2018, the fastest such growth in 13 years.
  • The unemployment rate remained at or below 4 percent for the past 12 months, the longest such streak in nearly five decades.
  • More than 2.6 million jobs were created in 2018—and the number of job openings passed the number of unemployed workers for the first time on record.
In everything we do and every action we take, we’re putting America first, and we are putting American workers first, for the first time in a long time,” the President told factory workers yesterday in Lima, Ohio.

See the full list – The Trump Economy’s banner year

Watch: President Trump saves the last tank plant in America 

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photos by Tia Dufour
President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with guests in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day | March 21, 2019