Friday, March 29, 2019

The GoldFish Report No. 345 - POTUS Press Briefs for March 28 & 29, 2019

March 29, 2019

On The GoldFish Report No 345, Louisa reports on the President's Press Briefs for March 28 & 29, 2019.
This week's POTUS report week 114 link is here:

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A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America - National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     Every child deserves the security of a stable, loving, and nurturing home.  During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recognize the importance of all Americans working together each day in defense of the most vulnerable among us -- our children.  We must make every effort to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect, and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams in secure and healthy environments.

     The relationships that children have with parents, family members, teachers, and other caregivers profoundly shape their lives.  When they are subjected to abuse and neglect, they are exposed to toxic stress that can disrupt early brain development and increase the risk of depression, suicide, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, future violence, juvenile delinquency, and other unhealthy behaviors.  These and other devastating effects of child abuse can last a lifetime, and can even affect future generations.

     As a Nation, we must do everything within our power to stop child abuse and neglect before they occur.  The best defense against these menaces is a strong family led by loving and caring parents.  My Administration has a broad vision for strengthening families, which includes raising awareness, focusing on prevention, and working to help parents and children thrive.  For this reason, I signed into law the Family First Prevention Services Act -- an important step in helping move child welfare to a more prevention-based system.  This legislation increases the support available to at-risk families through services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment and parenting skill-based programs, so that more children may remain safely in their homes and communities.

     We cannot lose sight of the importance of the entire community in preventing child abuse and neglect.  It is critically important for our children to have parents who care for their physical, intellectual, and emotional needs.  But we also must acknowledge the friends, neighbors, educators, and faith leaders who help in promoting the well-being of children.  We are especially grateful for foster and adoptive parents who graciously open their homes and lives to children in need of love and support.  And we extend our deepest respect and gratitude to the professionals, volunteers, and organizations who work tirelessly to protect at-risk children and to care for those who have tragically experienced the traumas of abuse or neglect.

     We pray for all those who have suffered from the terrors of child abuse and neglect and who continue to suffer from its devastating psychological and physical impacts.  We honor the courageous survivors of abuse and neglect and hold in our hearts those cruelly taken from us.  We strengthen our resolve to eradicate abuse and neglect from our homes and communities, and we pledge our unwavering commitment to preserving the innocence and safety of our Nation's children.  Let us all strive each day to build a brighter future for them and for our country. 

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  I call upon all Americans to invest in the lives of our Nation's children, to be aware of their safety and well-being, and to support efforts that promote their psychological, physical, and emotional development.

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


                              DONALD J. TRUMP


A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America - Second Chance Month, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary

Second Chance Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     Americans have always believed in the power of redemption ‑‑ that those who have fallen can work toward brighter days ahead.  Almost all of the more than two million people in America's prisons will one day return to their communities.  In each case, they will have served their sentence and earned the chance to take their places back in society.  During Second Chance Month, we draw attention to the challenges that former inmates face and the steps we can take to ensure they have the opportunity to become contributing members of society.

     Inmates are often eager to leave behind the challenges presented by incarceration.  Too often, however, they find the transition to life outside of prison to be daunting.  If they are not able to find jobs and housing and rebuild relationships with family and friends, they may find it harder to escape the cycle of reoffending.  Sadly, 5 out of 6 State prisoners are rearrested within 9 years of their release, and more than a third of former Federal prisoners will be rearrested within 5 years of their release.  In addition to the harm caused to the victims of crime, these high recidivism rates place a significant financial burden on taxpayers, deprive our labor force of productive workers, and leave families without spouses, children, and parents.

     My Administration is committed to helping former prisoners reenter society as productive, law‑abiding citizens.  For this reason, I signed into law the bipartisan FIRST STEP Act.  This new legislation makes several positive reforms to increase the likelihood of successful prisoner reentry.  The legislation provides improved opportunities for inmates to engage in educational coursework and vocational training, and establishes pilot mentorship programs.  It also allows prisoners who successfully complete evidence‑based recidivism reduction programs to earn time credits to apply toward prerelease custody or supervised release, reducing their time in prison.  Because maintaining family and community ties is key to a successful reentry into society, the bill includes provisions that allow inmates to be placed in facilities closer to their home communities, facilitating family visitation during their time of incarceration.  Finally, the law makes adjustments to sentencing rules that will make our criminal justice system more fair, reducing penalties for certain drug offenders.

     This month, we celebrate those who have exited the prison system and successfully reentered society and renew our commitment to providing support and resources that former inmates need to meet their responsibilities, rediscover their self‑worth, and benefit from the gift of a second chance.  We also express our sincere gratitude to all those who play a significant role in helping reduce recidivism, including faith‑based and community organizations and employers willing to hire workers notwithstanding a criminal history.  By reducing recidivism and putting former inmates on the path to success, we can reduce crime and enhance the safety of our communities.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as Second Chance Month.  I call on all Americans to commemorate this month with events and activities that raise public awareness about preventing crime and providing those who have completed their sentences an opportunity for an honest second chance.

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

                              DONALD J. TRUMP

A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America - National Donate Life Month, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
National Donate Life Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     During National Donate Life Month, we recognize the courageous men and women who make the selfless decision to give the gift of life to their fellow Americans.  Through the generosity of organ and tissue donors, thousands of people have the chance to live longer and fuller lives.

     2018 marked the sixth consecutive record‑setting year for transplants in the United States.  More than 36,500 organs were transplanted, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.  These generous donations help fulfill a need for lifesaving organs that remains staggeringly high.  Currently, there are nearly 114,000 people on the national transplant waiting list, and, tragically, 20 people die each day waiting for a needed organ.  We can close the gap between the availability of organs and people in need of organs:  Just 1 donor can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance up to 50 lives through tissue donation.

     In addition to those in need of organ donations, approximately 17,500 people in America are diagnosed each year with illnesses for which a bone marrow transplant is their best treatment option.  In about 70 percent of these cases, a person's family member will not be an appropriate match, requiring a volunteer donor.  Unfortunately, many patients cannot find a suitable match in time for the potentially lifesaving medical procedure among the 30 million adults who have offered to be donors.  In 2018, for example, there were only 5,000 blood stem cell transplants performed in the United States ‑‑ significantly fewer than the number of people who could benefit from such a procedure.

     This month, we express our gratitude to the compassionate Americans who join organ and tissue registries and to the healthcare and science professionals who make the gift of life possible through these transplants.  We also remember all those who have died waiting for matches.  To honor their lives and provide hope for the thousands of Americans on waiting lists across the country, I encourage all those who are capable to consider becoming organ or tissue donors.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as National Donate Life Month.  I call upon health professionals, volunteers, educators, government agencies, faith‑based and community groups, and private organizations to help raise awareness of the urgent need for organ and tissue donors throughout our Nation.

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

                              DONALD J. TRUMP


A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America - Cancer Control Month, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
Cancer Control Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     During Cancer Control Month, we recognize the fearless spirit of millions of Americans who are battling cancer and celebrate the nearly 17 million cancer survivors who are alive today.  We also solemnly remember and honor the memory of those beloved family members, friends, and neighbors who have been taken from us by this terrible disease.  As I have said many times, our Nation will never give up our search for effective and innovative medical procedures to treat and prevent all forms of cancer.

     Last year, more than 1.7 million Americans were diagnosed with some form of cancer and over 600,000 lost their lives to this disease -- the second leading cause of death in the United States.  There are, however, many hopeful signs of progress.  The combined rate of death from all cancers continues to decline among both men and women, and death rates for many of the most common types of cancer -- including lung, colon, and breast -- are trending downward.  These encouraging statistics reflect the outstanding work of our Nation's dedicated healthcare professionals to diagnose cancers at earlier stages and to improve prevention and treatment.

     Americans can take important steps to decrease their risk of developing cancer.  Maintaining a normal weight, practicing healthy eating habits, and engaging in regular physical activity are critical to preventing kidney, endometrial, esophageal, colon, and other forms of cancer.  Avoiding the use of tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol can also help the body prevent and fight cancers.  Americans should also discuss their family health histories with their doctors and get recommended cancer screenings, which can lead to early diagnosis and help increase the odds of beating the disease.

     My Administration is committed to supporting cutting-edge research and groundbreaking medical advances and treatments that better help cancer patients.  Researchers at the National Institutes of Health are actively pursuing new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers, with special emphasis in the developing fields of genomics, precision medicine, and immunotherapy.  Last year, I signed into law the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research Act of 2018 to advance research on childhood cancers and effective treatments, support survivors, and better identify and track pediatric cancer rates.  I also signed into law "Right to Try" legislation, which provides people diagnosed with terminal illnesses expanded options for care and treatment.  And I am working with the Congress to invest $500 million over the next decade in cancer-related research to enable our Nation's best scientists and doctors to learn from every child with cancer, creating new opportunities to understand the unique causes of and find the best cures for childhood cancer.

     We will control and defeat cancer, which has inflicted devastating suffering on too many American families.  I have complete confidence in our Nation's innovators and scientists to overcome every challenge as they work day in and day out to rid us of this disease.  Together, we will find the long-sought cure and eradicate the pain and death caused by the scourge of cancer.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as Cancer Control Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to speak with their doctors and healthcare providers to learn more about preventative measures that can save lives.  I encourage citizens, government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other interested groups to join in activities that will increase awareness of what Americans can do to prevent and control cancer.  I also invite the Governors of the States and Territories and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to join me in recognizing Cancer Control Month.

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

                              DONALD J. TRUMP

A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America - National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, 2019

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By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

     Sexual assault has shattered and scarred the lives of millions of women, men, and children.  During National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we reaffirm our commitment to eliminating sexual violence, empowering survivors and their families, and providing justice to the victims of this devastating crime.

     While our Nation has made significant progress in sexual assault prosecution and prevention, and in providing compassionate care for survivors dealing with physical and emotional trauma, the battle to eradicate violence and heal lives is ongoing.  My Administration supports innovative strategies to combat the many forms of sexual assault and to provide counseling, treatment, and advocacy for survivors nationwide.  For example, to care for victims in rural communities who may lack proximity to clinics and trained forensic examiners, the Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime is increasing access to exams through 24‑hour telemedicine administered by trained healthcare examiners.  The Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women has created an updated sexual assault forensic examinations virtual practicum, which employs cutting-edge technology and interactive training to prepare forensic professionals to collect evidence and treat survivors of sexual assault.  And the Department of Transportation has formed the National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force to assess how airlines respond to and report sexual misconduct allegations by passengers on commercial aircraft.

     My Administration is also focused on eradicating sex trafficking, a form of sexual assault that amounts to modern‑day slavery.  Because many victims are trafficked online ‑‑ sometimes by intimate partners, spouses, parents, or other family members ‑‑ I signed into law the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017.  This law makes it easier to take legal action against individuals who use websites to facilitate sex trafficking and helps victims seek justice against the websites that profit from their exploitation.  It also clarifies that those who benefit from knowingly assisting, supporting, or facilitating an act of sex trafficking are in violation of Federal law.

     Thanks to the dedication of professionals, volunteers, and concerned citizens, we are continuing to make strides in the fight against sexual assault.  Young people are learning healthy dating and intimate relationship skills as a way to prevent sexual violence, and law enforcement officers and prosecutors are leading unprecedented efforts to fight sex trafficking.  Victim centered services are also supporting survivors to get the critical help they deserve.  By working together, we can prevent and end the sexual abuse and violence that devastate so many lives.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.  I urge all Americans, families, law enforcement personnel, healthcare providers, and community and faith‑based organizations to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.

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

                              DONALD J. TRUMP


Office of the Press Secretary

Palm Beach, Florida

4:17 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  Linda McMahon has done an incredible job as the head of the Small Business Administration.  She has been a superstar.  The fact is that I've known her for a long time.  I knew she was good, but I didn't know she was that good.  She has been one of our all-time favorites.  It was just so smooth.  She's helped so many people in the world of small business.

And she'll be leaving.  She's going to go and help us with a very, very important year and a half that we have coming up.  And -- the reelection, as they call it.  And we look forward to that.  And we're going to be working very strongly.  She's going to be doing a fantastic job.

So she's going to be leaving.  We'll be making the new nomination and appointment in the very short distance.  And that will be in consultation with Linda.

But I just have to say that this is an outstanding woman who's done an outstanding job.  And, Linda, I want to thank you very much.

ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON:  Thank you very much, sir.  I really appreciate that.

THE PRESIDENT:  I'd like to know what has been your highlight and what are some of the great things you've done, just so they all know so that we can put it right on the record.

ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON:  Well, the highlight has certainly been the fact that you asked me to take on this position.  It has been an honor to serve the country in your Cabinet, and to serve the administration and the people of the United States and small businesses.  You have 30 million small businesses; 99 percent of the businesses in this country are small businesses.

So we've been able to help them at SBA.  We've reimagined the SBA with the great team I have there.  They've just been awesome in helping us do everything.  We've had great outreach to the community of small businesses.

I have traveled all over the country.  I've been to all 50 states.  I've been to 68 district offices.  Met with over 800 business people, toured businesses.  So I've really gotten a feel.  When you talk about that optimism that's out there --

THE PRESIDENT:  Right, right.

ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON:  -- it is there.  It's palpable.

Businesses are happy.  They're taking their tax cut money.  They're expanding.  They're hiring more people.  They're giving wage increases.  It's incredibly powerful when you're out feeling it and talking to the businesses.

And so we've had great outreach.  More outreach to women entrepreneurs through a project that I've been working on with Ivanka.

THE PRESIDENT:  That's right.

ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON:  A learning platform.  We took your salary, that you donated, and we've developed a pilot program for our vets.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good.

     ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON:  And we've been working really closely with Sonny Perdue and USDA to go out to the Rural Prosperity order that you -- that you put in place.

     And I can tell you one thing that not many people know about SBA is how we move in when there is a natural disaster.  And I want to thank you for letting me go with you to Houston and Puerto Rico and my hometown of New Bern, North Carolina, and I got to see firsthand what it's like when the Commander-in-Chief is on the ground and the folks know that they -- that you're attending to them.

And so, I want to thank you again for serving.  It's been an honor and a privilege.  And I thank my great team at SBA because they are awesome.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Linda.
     ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON:  Thank you, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT:  I do have to say that I witnessed, firsthand, during the hurricanes -- because we had numerous hurricanes, and they were big, and tornadoes.  We had some vicious ones.  And we just left Alabama.  And I've watched Linda and her people, the great job they've done helping people that really needed help, and they needed it quickly.  And you have just been outstanding.

So -- and we're very, very thrilled at the great job you've done --

     ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON:  Thank you, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT:  -- and at the job you're going to be doing.  We're staying together.  Very importantly, we're staying together.

     And we'll be announcing the next administrator in the very near future.


     THE PRESIDENT:  And we pretty much know who that's going to be.  So we'll be putting it out there pretty soon.  Okay?

     Q    Give us a clue.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Somebody that's really good.


     THE PRESIDENT:  Somebody that we know very well.  And somebody that will fit in beautifully.  And, really, I think, somebody you're going to be very happy with.

     Q    Mr. President, the Attorney General said today that he intends to release the Mueller report in full to Congress and then the public.  Do you agree with that decision?  And do you want the White House to take a look over it for privilege (inaudible)?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I have great confidence in the Attorney General.  And if that's what he'd like to do, I have nothing to hide.  This was a hoax.  This was a witch hunt.  I have absolutely nothing to hide.  And I think a lot of things are coming out with respect to the other side.  But I have a lot of confidence in the Attorney General.

     Q    Mr. President, are you going to be talking to President Putin about Venezuela?

     THE PRESIDENT:  We will probably be talking at some point.  We're looking at Venezuela.  Venezuela right now is a big, fat mess.  The electricity is gone.  Power is gone.  Fuel is gone.  Gasoline for cars is gone.  They have a lot of electric cars.  That's all gone because they have no elec- -- they have nothing.  What a job.  When we talk about socialism, take a look at Venezuela.

     So I'll be talking about a lot of -- to a lot of people.  Perhaps President Putin.  Perhaps President Xi of China.  My people right now are in China.  We're negotiating the trade deal.  We'll see what happens.  But we're doing very well.

     Q    How did that round of talks go?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I think it's going very well.  I mean, the trade deal is going very well.  We'll see what happens.  But it's going very well.  They're in China right now, the highest level of our people meeting with their people.  Then they’ll be coming back here for another round.  It’s a very comprehensive -- to use a word that some people like, some people don’t like.  I think it’s okay.  But it is a very comprehensive, very detailed in listing of problems that we’ve had with China over the years.  And it’s going to have to be a great deal.  If it’s not a great deal, we can’t do it.  We can’t do it.

     Q    Do you plan to name a new Defense Secretary soon?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I’m very happy with Pat Shanahan.  I think he’s done a really great job.  We knocked out the caliphate.  We have now -- if you look at Syria, what happened in a very, very short period of time -- far shorter than people said it was even possible.

We’re working together very well on the wall and on the border.  I’m very upset with Mexico.  I think Mexico is doing a lot of talking.  They have the strongest immigration laws anywhere -- anywhere in the world.  They probably have the strongest.  And we have the worst.  We have the weakest, the most pathetic, the most laughed-at immigration laws anywhere in the world.  They’re the Democrats’ laws, and I got stuck with them.

And I hope Congress is going to change them rapidly.  They have a lot of opposition from Democrats -- not because the Democrats don’t think they’d be right in changing them; just because they don’t want to make anybody look good.  They want no victories.  They don’t care if the country suffers; they don’t want any victories.

We have two brand new caravans coming up, if you can believe it.  Two big ones.  And they’re coming up.  And Mexico could stop them very easily.  Mexico has a trade surplus with the United States, for many years, of $100 billion a year, at least.  And this is for many years.  Mexico has taken a big portion of our car business.  Mexico is doing very well because of the United States.  And, frankly, they have to stop the illegal immigration.

We’ve run out of room.  We have this ridiculous catch and release program, where you catch them and then you’re supposed to release them.  And you release them into our country.  And we’ve been very, very tough.  And the Border Patrol has been incredible, I have to tell you.  The people in the Border Patrol, the job they do is unbelievable.  ICE -- the same thing.  And law enforcement.

But Mexico is going to have to do something; otherwise, I’m closing the border.  I’ll just close the border.  And with a deficit like we have with Mexico and have had for many years, closing the border will be a profit-making operation.  When you close the border, also you will stop a lot of the drugs from coming in.  Because we take in tremendous drugs from Mexico, as you know as well as I do.

So you close up the border and you watch the drugs go way down too.  But I will close the border if Mexico doesn’t get with it, if Mexico doesn’t stop it.  They come in from Guatemala.  They come in from El Salvador.  They come in from Honduras.  They come in from all over.  And they come in from Mexico.

And we’re working very hard to stop it.  We’re building the wall.  But until the wall is completed -- and it’s really moving along well.  In fact, we’re going to have a news conference very shortly, over the next couple of weeks, at the wall, as it’s being completed and going up -- at sections of the wall.

It’s moving along rapidly, but still we have a current crisis.  We have a crisis.  I know that you can go back 30 years and you go back 40 years, but I can’t imagine it being any worse than it is right now.

Q    Sir, on that note, two children died around December in U.S. custody -- migrant children.  Do you believe, given the rising numbers of migrant families and children at the border, your administration is equipped to handle that in a way that it tries to ensure that children are not dying and being harmed?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think that it's been very well stated that we've done a fantastic job.  One of the children -- the father gave the child no water for a long period of time.  He actually admitted blame.  The other one was being brought to the hospital in an emergency -- on an emergency basis.

It is a very tough situation.  And that trek up is a long, hard trek.  And you see what's happening to women.  You see what's happening to children.  It's a horrible situation.  And Mexico could stop it right at their southern border.  They have a southern border, and they could -- and they have a border that could be very well structured.  It's very easy for them to stop people from coming up.  And they don’t choose to do it.

     Well, we're not going to give them hundreds of billions of dollars and tell them that they're not going to use their strong immigration laws to help the United States.  So there's a very good likelihood that I'll be closing the border next week, and that'll be just fine with me.

     Q    Mr. President, can you tell us why you overturned those North Korea-related sanctions?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un.  He's somebody that I get along with very well.  We understand each other.  They are suffering greatly in North Korea.  They're having a hard time in North Korea.  And I just didn’t think additional sanctions at this time were necessary.  It doesn’t mean I don’t put them on later, but I don’t -- I didn’t think that additional sanctions at this time were necessary.

     They are suffering greatly.  They're having a very hard time in North Korea.  And I think, because of the relationship -- relationship being a good thing, not a bad thing -- I think it's very important that you maintain that relationship at least as long as you can.

     But we get along very well.  We have a good understanding.  So I didn’t think that those sanctions were necessary at this time.
     Q    Have you spoken to Chairman Kim since, at all, sir?

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, I have not.

     Q    Were you upset that your Treasury Department put those sanctions in place?  Did they run those past you first?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Not at all.  Because they were intended to go.  People thought that they would go at that time.  They had the right to do that.  I just decided that I would not let it happen.  In a certain way, it's like the Special Olympics.  For many years, it hasn’t been approved, and then at some point it gets negotiated out in Congress.

Well, I went out and I said we're going to have funding for the Special Olympics.  So that's why I approved that.  It's a little bit of a similar situation with different parties, to put it mildly.

     So I just want to -- again, I want to thank the job you've done.  I'll tell you what: Linda has been so great.  And when somebody does that good a job, I'd rather do it this way than just say "bye-bye."  And so I'm doing it this way.  And I'll tell you, Linda McMahon is a very special person.  And now she's going to be working with me very hard so that we keep this miracle that we've built.

You saw what happened last night in Michigan.  We had -- if they would really report it -- many, many thousands of people outside of the arena.  And the arena was packed.  That arena was absolutely packed last night, and there was tremendous love in that arena.

     And you look at what's happening with Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida -- so many places.  North Carolina, South Carolina.  You look at what's going on.  Iowa.  Wait until you see what's going on in Iowa.  So many different places.  New Hampshire.  I have tremendous reports of something we did up in New Hampshire.

     Our country is doing really well.  We're the hottest country in the world, economically.  And it's going to stay that way for a long time to come.

Thank you all very much.  And, Linda, thank you very much.

                        END                4:32 P.M. EDT


Office of the Press Secretary

Lake Okeechobee
Canal Point, Florida

1:20 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  We’ve had a tremendous success right here, and -- come on over, folks.  Please.  Brian, come on over.

     We’ve had a tremendous construction success in Florida.  This is Lake Okeechobee, which I’ve known for a long time.  Lake Okeechobee.  It’s an incredible lake, but it’s had a lot of problems and it wasn’t properly funded for years.

     I want to introduce some of the folks here.  We all know Governor DeSantis and Mrs. DeSantis.  Thank you very much for being here.  You’ve done a fantastic job.  And Ron took over from a governor that a couple of you know -- Rick Scott -- who's been bugging me about getting this done for a long time.  And no sooner did Rick go to the Senate that Ron started bugging me the same way and we got it done.  We have the funding and we’re doing.

     I want to just thank the Army Corps of Engineers, who's been fantastic.  I said, “Let’s go.  We need a wall also on the border.”  You know that, right?  I’m looking at all these walls; I’m saying, “Southern border, too.  Don’t forget our southern border.”  And we’re right now building a lot of wall in the southern border.

     I want to thank Senator Marco Rubio, who's been very involved in this.  Marco, thank you very much.  It’s great.  Been very, very involved in it and very important.

     Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart.


     THE PRESIDENT:  Where are you, Mario?  Fantastic job, my friend.


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

     Brian Mast.


     THE PRESIDENT:  Congressman Brian Mast.  Brian, fantastic job.

     REPRESENTATIVE MAST:  Thank you, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Fantastic job.  We’re proud of you, Brian.

     Francis Rooney.  Where is Francis?

     REPRESENTATIVE ROONEY:  Right here, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  What a job -- what a job you do.  You know so much about it.  And a young, new congressman who has done really well, Greg Steube.  Where are you, Greg?  Come.  Greg Steube.

     So I just want to thank everybody for being here.  We have something that's very important.  It’s important in terms of safety.

Our Secretary, as you know, David Bernhardt, is with us.  He’s been really doing something very special for Interior.  Everybody respects him.  Everybody likes him.  He’s right now up, so I hope you guys can help him get his approvals, if you don’t mind.  Okay?  But he’s Acting, but soon he’ll be, hopefully, permanent.  He’s going through a process, and I hear David is doing very well.

And maybe I think it might be appropriate if I start with the Governor.  We’ll have -- everybody can say a few words about what we’re doing.  But what we’re doing is very, very important.  It was very dangerous and it’s a big project.  But it’s a great project for Florida.  And Florida is a state that's a phenomenal state.  A very important project.

So if I could ask our Governor to start, and then we’ll go around the horn.  Thank you very much.

GOVERNOR DESANTIS:  Mr. President, thank you for your support for Florida, and not just with this but with the hurricanes and other things that we’re working on.  We really appreciate it.

Really, if you look at what we need to do -- you have Okeechobee, and this goes all the way down, really, to Florida Bay, the Everglades, and our estuaries.  This is an important part, the EAA Reservoir, which the President is committed to supporting.  And obviously, at the state level, Governor Scott got that on line.  We’re going to push forward on that to get that done.  We’re going to try to get the additional funds from the federal government to raise the Tamiami Trail.

And then our state legislature, in this session, is out answering my call for historic support for water resources and water quality.  So I think it’s great that we have so many of our local officials, state government, and the federal government really seem to be singing the same tune right now.  So, Mr. President, thanks for helping us out.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  And I will say -- and I think I have to say, because it’s really to the credit of all of us together: This project was dying until we got involved.  This was really dying.

And, you know, in 1928, over 5,000 people died here.  Everything broke and they had a problem.  And the Corps was just explaining -- in 1928, they had a problem that turned out to be a total catastrophe.  And we’re making it stronger than it would ever have been.  And it’s really in great shape.

So, Marco, do you want to say a few words?

SENATOR RUBIO:  Well, we just want to thank you.  This is a -- the most important issue in Florida is water right now.  And it’s actually the algae blooms and all that that are destroying property values and economically threaten communities, where people come to have access to the water, and they can’t go in the water for three or four months a year because of the algae blooms.  This actually is related to that.

And your administration deserves credit.  You helped pull forward money -- used disaster relief money to finish this, which meant that now that money gets freed up for the rest of the Everglades.  And you have a chance, Mr. President, and your administration, to go down in history as the Everglades President -- as the person who helped save and restore the Everglades.  And we’re going to be very proud to be a part of that.

THE PRESIDENT:  We have a chance to go down as many things.  (Laughter.)  But the Everglades is very important and very important to me.


SENATOR SCOTT:  Sure.  Well, first off, my first years as governor, I kept asking the Obama administration for the money to fix the dike.  If you look at the risk here, just remember Irma.  We thought, at one time, Irma was going to come right across this lake.  The odds are we would have had a lot of problems south of the lake.  Anywhere that it burst would have been a big problem.  We’ve got locals here.  We've got the mayor of Clewiston here.  And it would have been a big issue.

     So we started bugging -- I started bugging the President as soon as he got elected that we had to get the dike fixed, and he came through.  He worked with Congress, and we got the money.  This dike will be done by 2022.  It would not have happened but for what President Trump did and the fact that he took charge of this.  He said, "This is an important issue."  He went to Congress and made sure we got the money.  And everybody up here that's been involved federally has done a great job making sure we have the money.

     We're not done.  We got a lot more work to do.  And I know the President is going to continue to be a big supporter.

     THE PRESIDENT:  I will be.  Absolutely.  David, could you say a few words, please?

     ACTING SECRETARY BERNHARDT:  Well, I think the one thing, Mr. President, that resonates here as an important issue is, first off, this is an incredible partnership of a split between the state and federal government.  And that's everybody pulling their fair share.  And then, you know, if you're a recreationist, want to be in the outdoors, this project fundamentally, long term, is a critical component to Florida lifestyle.

     THE PRESIDENT:  You're doing great.  Thank you.  Thank you very much, on behalf of a lot of people.

     Congressman, would you like to say a couple of words?

     REPRESENTATIVE STEUBE: I just want to thank you for your commitment to Florida.  You know, water is the lifeblood to Florida, both to Florida agriculture and our tourism industry.  So I just want to thank you for your commitment to Floridians.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.  My honor.


     REPRESENTATIVE MAST:  Sir, this is Florida's kidneys.  Unfortunately, we only have one of them, so we can't sacrifice it.  It means a great deal to everybody that you took the time to be here, present, to fund the projects, to pay attention to them.  And it means a lot to the entire state.  Thank you.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, Brian.  Appreciate it.  Great job you're doing.


     REPRESENTATIVE ROONEY:  Mr. President, I just want to thank you for this and for a lot of other things you've done to show when a businessperson gets involved in government, good things can happen.  And you are going to save the Everglades.  We're doing as much in three years, because of you, than we've done in the preceding 13 years.  So thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  In a lot of ways -- really, a lot of other locations too.  We're doing a lot.  Thank you very much, Francis.


     REPRESENTATIVE DIAZ-BALART:  Mr. President, just to reiterate that you have the mayor of Clewiston here.  You have state officials.  You have federal officials.  But it doesn’t happen without your leadership.  It doesn’t happen without you stepping forward, saying that this is important; putting, in essence, your effort, your leadership.  And all of us are here working together, but in particular to thank you because it would not have happened.  And what Francis says is right: You have done more for the environment, for Lake Okeechobee -- in essence, for Everglades restoration -- in your two years than we have seen in decades.  So thank you, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  And, you know, despite all of that, I saw the General, and I said, "General, tell me about this in a minute.  How are we doing on the southern border?"  And here he is, anyway.  Come on, General.  Say a few words about this place.

     MAJOR GENERAL SPELLMON:  Sir, thank you.  I shared with the President, down by the water, that it took us 13 years, with the funding that we had, to get this project to the halfway point.  And with his leadership and all the elected leadership here from the state of Florida, it'll only take us three years to get the remaining 50 percent.  And we have a great, strong relationship and partners here, sir.  So, thank you.
     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  You're doing a great job.

     Okay, folks, thank you very much.

     Q    Mr. President, if you close the border, would it be to all trade?  Would you close the border to trade?

     THE PRESIDENT:  It could be to all trade.  Mexico is making absolutely a fortune with the United States.  They have a trade surplus of over $100 billion, which is far bigger than anybody understands.  They've had it for many years.  And either they're going to stop -- they have the strongest immigration laws anywhere in the world.  And we have the weakest, the most pathetic laws.  Number one, Congress has to act.  And number two, Mexico -- they make so much money from the United States and so many other things, so many other assets, they have to grab it and they have to stop it.

     We have, right now, two big caravans coming up from Guatemala.  Massive caravans walking right through Mexico.  So, Mexico is tough.  They can stop them, but they chose not to.  Now they're going to stop them.  And if they don't stop them, we're closing the border.  They'll close it.  And we'll keep it closed for a long time.  I'm not playing games.  Mexico has to stop it.  They have people coming right through Mexico.  It's a long, very dangerous journey.  Mexico sends busses, they send trucks, they do absolutely -- they started, at one point, a little bit -- stopping.  They don’t do anything to stop it right now.

     So the caravan has formed.  I've ended payments to Guatemala, to Honduras, and to El Salvador.  No money goes there anymore.  We were giving them $500 million.  We were giving them tremendous aid.  We stopped payment to Honduras, to Guatemala, and to El Salvador.  We were paying them tremendous amounts of money, and we're not paying them anymore because they haven't done a thing for us.
     They set up these caravans.  In many cases, they put their worst people in the caravan; they're not going to put their best in.  They get rid of their problems.  And they march up here, and then they're coming into their country; we're not letting them in our country.

     Our Border Patrol, the job they've done, is incredible.  The job that ICE is doing is incredible.  And we have run out of space.  We can't hold people anymore.  And Mexico can stop it so easily.  They don't go through a court system every time somebody steps on our land.  You step on our land: "Welcome to the United States."  It's ridiculous.

     So Congress -- and I know you guys are going to work hard on it -- but Congress has to fix our broken immigration laws.  We're the laughing stock all over the world.  People pour into this country and we stop them because Border Patrol is so incredible.  But there's a point at which you can't stop them anymore.  We have no detention space, no nothing.

     So, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador have done nothing.  Mexico has done nothing.  And I'll tell you something: Colombia -- you have your new President of Colombia.  Really good guy.  I've met him.  We had him at the White House.  He said how he's going to stop drugs.  More drugs are coming out of Colombia right now than before he was President.  So he has done nothing for us.

     Okay.  Thank you very much.

     Q    Will you put DACA back on the table to speed up deportations?

     THE PRESIDENT:  It's in the Supreme Court right now.  After the Supreme Court.

     Q    Any comment on Linda McMahon, sir?  Any comment on Linda McMahon?

     THE PRESIDENT:  She's great.  We're going to have a news conference at Mar-a-Lago, I think at 4 o'clock, about Linda.

     Q    What about more money for the Everglades restoration?

     THE PRESIDENT:  We're going to be doing more.  We're going to be doing more.

     Q    When?  How much?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Soon.  A lot.  More than you would ever believe.

     Q    What about the healthcare ruling yesterday?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Healthcare is going well.  Healthcare is going well.  We are going to have a plan that's so much better than Obamacare.  Obamacare is a disaster.  We're going to have a plan that is so much better than Obamacare.  So the healthcare is going very well.

     And we're going to take care of -- we're going to always take care of preexisting conditions.  Just remember that.  Always preexisting conditions.

     But Obamacare is too costly for people.  They can't afford it.  And the deductible, which averages more than $7,000, meaning, unless somebody has got really big problems, can't even use it.

     Obamacare is a disaster.  Right now it's losing in court.  Right now, in the Texas court, as you know, probably ends up in the Supreme Court.  But we're plan- -- we're doing something that is going to be much less expensive than Obamacare for the people.  I'm not saying government; I'm saying for the people.

     And we're going to have preexisting conditions, and we'll have a much lower deductible.  So -- and I've been saying it:  The Republicans are going to end up being the party of healthcare.

     Thank you very much.
                             END                1:34 P.M. EDT



Office of the Press Secretary


      By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States of America, I hereby grant permission, subject to the conditions herein set forth, to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (hereinafter referred to as the "permittee"), to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the international border of the United States and Canada at Phillips County, Montana, for the import of oil from Canada to the United States.  The permittee is a limited partnership organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, owned by affiliates of TransCanada Corporation, a Canadian public company organized under the laws of Canada.

      This permit supersedes the Presidential permit issued to the permittee, dated March 23, 2017.  For the avoidance of doubt, I hereby revoke that March 23, 2017, permit.  Furthermore, this permit grants the permission described in the previous paragraph and revokes the March 23, 2017, permit notwithstanding Executive Order 13337 of April 30, 2004 (Issuance of Permits With Respect to Certain Energy-Related Facilities and Land Transportation Crossings on the International Boundaries of the United States) and the Presidential Memorandum of January 24, 2017 (Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline).

      The term "Facilities," as used in this permit, means the portion in the United States of the international pipeline project associated with the permittee's application for a Presidential permit filed on May 4, 2012, and resubmitted on January 26, 2017, and any land, structures, installations, or equipment appurtenant thereto.

      The term "Border facilities," as used in this permit, means those parts of the Facilities consisting of a 36-inch diameter pipeline extending from the international border between the United States and Canada at a point in Phillips County, Montana, to and including the first mainline shut-off valve in the United States located approximately 1.2 miles from the international border, and any land, structures, installations, or equipment appurtenant thereto.

      This permit is subject to the following conditions:

      Article 1.  (1)  The Border facilities herein described, and all aspects of their operation, shall be subject to all the conditions, provisions, and requirements of this permit and any subsequent Presidential amendment to it.  This permit may be terminated, revoked, or amended at any time at the sole discretion of the President of the United States (the "President"), with or without advice provided by any executive department or agency (agency).  The permittee shall make no substantial change in the Border facilities, in the location of the Border facilities, or in the operation authorized by this permit until the permittee has notified the President or his designee of such change and the President has approved the change.

      (2)  The construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Facilities (not including the route) shall be, in all material respects and as consistent with applicable law, as described in the permittee's application for a Presidential permit filed on May 4, 2012, and resubmitted on January 26, 2017.

      Article 2.  The standards for, and the manner of, construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Border facilities shall be subject to inspection by the representatives of appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies.  Officers and employees of such agencies who are duly authorized and performing their official duties shall be granted free and unrestricted access to the Border facilities by the permittee.  Consistent with Article 10, this permit shall remain in effect until terminated, revoked, or amended by the President.

      Article 3.  Upon the termination, revocation, or surrender of this permit, unless otherwise decided by the President, the permittee, at its own expense, shall remove the Border facilities within such time as the President may specify.  If the permittee fails to comply with an order to remove, or to take such other appropriate action with respect to, the Border facilities, the President may direct that possession of such Border facilities be taken -- or that they be removed or that other action be taken -- at the expense of the permittee.  The permittee shall have no claim for damages caused by any such possession, removal, or other action.

      Article 4.  When, in the judgment of the President, ensuring the national security of the United States requires entering upon and taking possession of any of the Border facilities or parts thereof, and retaining possession, management, or control thereof for such a length of time as the President may deem necessary, the United States shall have the right to do so, provided that the President or his designee has given due notice to the permittee.  The United States shall also have the right thereafter to restore possession and control to the permittee.  In the event that the United States shall exercise the rights described in this article, it shall pay to the permittee just and fair compensation for the use of such Border facilities, upon the basis of a reasonable profit in normal conditions, and shall bear the cost of restoring Border facilities to their previous condition, less the reasonable value of any improvements that may have been made by the United States.

      Article 5.  Any transfer of ownership or control of the Border facilities, or any part thereof, shall be immediately communicated in writing to the President or his designee, and shall include information identifying the transferee.  Notwithstanding any transfer of ownership or control of the Border facilities, or any part thereof, this permit shall remain in force subject to all of its conditions, permissions, and requirements, and any amendments thereto, unless subsequently terminated, revoked, or amended by the President.

      Article 6.  (1)  The permittee is responsible for acquiring any right-of-way grants or easements, permits, and other authorizations as may become necessary or appropriate.

      (2)  The permittee shall hold harmless and indemnify the United States from any claimed or adjudged liability arising out of construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the Facilities, including environmental contamination from the release, threatened release, or discharge of hazardous substances or hazardous waste.

      (3)  To ensure the safe operation of the Border facilities, the permittee shall maintain them and every part of them in a condition of good repair and in compliance with applicable law.

      Article 7.  The permittee shall file with the President or his designee, and with appropriate agencies, such sworn statements or reports with respect to the Border facilities, or the permittee's activities and operations in connection therewith, as are now, or may hereafter, be required under any law or regulation of the United States Government or its agencies.  These reporting obligations do not alter the intent that this permit be operative as a directive issued by the President alone.

      Article 8.  Upon request, the permittee shall provide appropriate information to the President or his designee with regard to the Border facilities.  Such requests could include, for example, information concerning current conditions or anticipated changes in ownership or control, construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the Border facilities.

      Article 9.  The permittee shall provide written notice to the President or his designee at the time that the construction authorized by this permit begins, at such time as such construction is completed, interrupted, or discontinued, and at other times as may be requested by the President.

      Article 10.  This permit shall expire 5 years from the date of its issuance if the permittee has not commenced construction of the Border facilities by that date.

      Article 11.  This permit 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.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, have hereunto set my hand this twenty ninth day of March, 2019, in the City of Washington, District of Columbia.

                        DONALD J. TRUMP

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 individual to a key position in his Administration:

Scott Soles of Texas, to be the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Agriculture. 

Mr. Soles is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience in internal and external financial auditing, consulting, and finance operations.  He currently works as a Senior Special Financial Projects Analyst and has previously served in roles at global Fortune 500 companies, one of the world’s leading accounting firms, and as a sole proprietor.  Mr. Soles earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) from Southwest Texas State University.  Mr. Soles lives with his wife in the Houston, Texas, area.


Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to be Members of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for the remainder of a 3-year term:

Paul Winfree of Virginia, expiring September 22, 2021. 

Heather Nauert of New York, expiring September 22, 2021.

Kevin R. Hanrahan of Texas, expiring September 22, 2020.

West Wing Reads The Trump-Russia Collusion Hall of Shame

West Wing Reads

The Trump-Russia Collusion Hall of Shame

“The news that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III ‘did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government’ has left a lot of people in Washington with a lot of explaining to do,” Marc Thiessen writes in The Washington Post.

The worst offenders are those who had access to classified intelligence and lied that they had seen actual evidence of collusion, Thiessen explains. “We have long since passed the point where Americans expect objectivity from the press. But we should hold our elected and appointed officials handling sensitive national security issues to a higher standard.”

Click here to read more.
In a visit yesterday to Georgetown, Kentucky, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump toured the world’s largest Toyota manufacturing plant with Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY). She carried the Trump Administration’s message “that U.S. businesses have to become more prominent in working with the federal government to boost worker training and skills development,” Grace Schneider reports for the Courier-Journal. Toyota answered the call to action and “committed to boosting the skills of 200,000 workers.”

“Catherine Toney began February in prison and ended the month with a job at Walmart after White House adviser Jared Kushner called the Arkansas-based retailer on her behalf,” Steven Nelson writes in the Washington Examiner. “Toney, 55, is believed to be the first woman freed by the FIRST STEP Act, which President Trump signed in December.”
“The Mueller report confirms that the Obama administration, without evidence, turned the surveillance powers of the federal government against the presidential campaign of the party out of power,” James Freeman writes in The Wall Street Journal. “It’s time for Mr. Obama, who oddly receives few mentions in stories about his government’s spying on associates of the 2016 Trump campaign, to say what he knew and did not know about the targeting of his party’s opponents.”
“Support for a southern border wall among conservatives has jumped since President Trump came to office, reaching a new high of 99 percent,” Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner. “The survey . . . found that support for Trump’s border wall has increased 85 percent since he became president.”
First Lady Melania Trump “continues to make an impact with her ‘Be Best’ initiative as she made a surprise visit to West Gate Elementary School in Palm Beach County, Florida, to discuss bullying and encourage empathy among students,” Madison Summers reports for Independent Journal Review.