Wednesday, April 3, 2019

1600 Daily- This is What Our Southern Border Actually Looks Like

1600 Daily
The White House • April 3, 2019

This is what our southern border actually looks like

Congressional Democrats claim that replacing existing barriers on our southern border isn’t necessary. Maybe they haven't seen how these old fence sections actually work.

In just one example, on December 22, smugglers pushed a group of adults and children through a hole in the Sanchez Canal border infrastructure—an area of the wall that’s partially underwater. These smugglers profit off thousands of children brought along by adults on this terrifying journey.
The Trump Administration is treating the crisis on our southern border as the true national emergency that it is. Last night, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explained how U.S. law enforcement has broken up so-called “child recycling rings,” a horrid practice where smugglers kidnap children, give them to adults to cross the border posing as a family, and pass them back to other illegal immigrants, repeating the process.

“The smugglers . . . they are sicker than we have ever seen before,” Secretary Nielsen says.

Meanwhile, border apprehensions are skyrocketing, and U.S. facilities are overwhelmed. In February, more than 76,000 people crossed the border without authorization, the highest number in more than a decade. Today, we are quickly approaching a new era of 100,000 or more illegal immigrants apprehended per month.

A long-term solution can come only from Congress, but the Trump Administration is using the full extent of its executive authority to address the immediate crisis. This week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that 750 personnel would be temporarily reassigned to the southwest border. “We are doing everything we can to simply avoid a tragedy in a CBP facility,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan says.

President Trump is also using his presidential authority to properly enforce the immigration laws passed—and then ignored—by Congress. His national emergency declaration allocates up to $3.6 billion for barrier construction along our southwest border.

That’s good, because the state of America’s border is a disgrace for a modern republic.

Breaking: Illegal immigrant arrested on 100+ child sex crime charges

The new NATO under President Trump

Yesterday, President Trump welcomed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the White House, commemorating tomorrow’s 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

“Over the past two years, the Secretary General and I have developed a very strong working relationship. It’s been as good as it can be,” the President said yesterday. “We’re both committed to ensuring that NATO can address the full range of threats facing the Alliance today.”

From day one, President Trump promised that America would no longer foot the bill for NATO while other countries shirked their obligations. The message to our allies in Europe was simple: They should care about our collective security just as much as the United States does.

Message received. Since 2016, our NATO allies have added more than $40 billion in defense investments. By 2020, that figure will reach $100 billion.

Watch: President Trump meets with the Secretary General of NATO

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen
President Donald J. Trump meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg | April 2, 2019

West Wing Reads Securing Southern Border is President Trump’s Obligation

West Wing Reads

Securing Southern Border is President Trump’s Obligation

“Protecting the sovereignty and security of the United States are responsibilities of the commander in chief and if those elements are being compromised by an influx of immigrants at the southern border, President Trump must use the tools at his discretion to remedy the matter,” the Boston Herald editorial board writes.

Border apprehensions are skyrocketing according to Border Patrol officials, with more than 12,000 people in custody right now.

Click here to read more.
“Companies work painstakingly to earn consumer trust. But when you purchase brand-name goods through online third-party marketplaces like Alibaba, Amazon and eBay, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a counterfeit,” Director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro writes in The Wall Street Journal. Today, “President Trump will sign a presidential memorandum to help protect American consumers, manufacturers and factory workers from counterfeiting.”
“The left-leaning news media has suffered a serious blow to its credibility and to its influence,” Liz Peek writes in Fox News. “A recent CBS poll revealed just how significant the damage is, showing that 54 percent of the country believes Mueller’s investigation was politically motivated”—despite the “steady diet of baloney [from the media] tying the White House to the Kremlin.”
In the Washington Examiner, Erin Dunne writes that President Trump has taken criminal justice reform in the right direction, including by championing the bipartisan First Step Act. “If the first step was getting more people out of prison, the second step is helping those people get jobs — and that's exactly what President Trump said he plans on doing.”
“The White House is exploring all executive authorities in existing law that will allow an aggressive crackdown on illegal immigration and legal immigration fraud, senior adviser to the president Stephen Miller told The Daily Caller in an exclusive telephone interview,” Saagar Enjeti reports. “Now that this crisis is upon us, it’s the time to take that effort to the next level,” Miller says.

Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

Office of the Press Secretary
April 3, 2019

              AND BUDGET

SUBJECT:        Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and
                Pirated Goods

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

    Section 1.  Policy and Background.  (a)  It is the policy of my Administration to protect American businesses, intellectual property rights holders, consumers, national and economic security, and the American public from the dangers and negative effects of counterfeit and pirated goods, including those that are imported through online third-party marketplaces and other third-party intermediaries.  We must improve coordinated efforts within the Federal Government to address this challenge, which are led by the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, through the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, and the United States Trade Representative.

    (b)  Counterfeit trafficking impairs economic competitiveness by harming United States intellectual property rights holders and diminishing the reputations and trustworthiness of online markets; cheats consumers and poses risks to their health and safety; and may threaten national security and public safety through the introduction of counterfeit goods destined for the Department of Defense and other critical infrastructure supply chains.  An estimate from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicates the value of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods to be approximately half a trillion dollars per annum, with roughly 20 percent of this trade infringing upon intellectual property belonging to United States persons.  A recent Government Accountability Office report examined four categories of frequently counterfeited goods, and, based on a small sample of these goods purchased through various online third-party marketplaces, found that more than 40 percent were counterfeit.

    (c)  Preventing the manufacture, importation, and sale of counterfeit and pirated goods is a priority for Federal law enforcement agencies.

    (d)  Existing efforts within the Federal Government to deter online trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods through third-party intermediaries should be expanded and enhanced to better address the scale, scope, and consequences of counterfeit and pirated goods trafficking.

    (e)  Third-party intermediaries, including online third party marketplaces, carriers, customs brokers, payment providers, vendors, and others involved in international transactions, can all be beneficial partners in combating trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods.  In order to build on cooperative efforts that are already underway with such partners, a coordinated approach by the Federal Government, including its law enforcement agencies, and private industry is needed.

    (f)  Comprehensive data regarding the extent of counterfeit trafficking through online third-party marketplaces are lacking.

    Sec. 2.  Report on the State of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods Trafficking and Recommendations.  (a)  Within 210 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, and in consultation with the Attorney General, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the United States Trade Representative, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy, the heads of other executive departments and agencies (agencies) and offices as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall prepare and submit a report to the President through the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy.  In preparing the report, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, shall, consistent with applicable law, consult with intellectual property rights holders, third-party intermediaries, and other stakeholders.

    (b)  The report shall:

        (i)     Analyze available data and other information to develop a deeper understanding of the extent to which online third-party marketplaces and other third party intermediaries are used to facilitate the importation and sale of counterfeit and pirated goods; identify the factors that contribute to trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods; and describe any market incentives and distortions that may contribute to third-party intermediaries facilitating trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods.  This review should include data regarding the origins of counterfeit and pirated goods and the types of counterfeit and pirated goods that are trafficked, along with any other relevant data, and shall provide a foundation for any recommended administrative, regulatory, legislative, or policy changes.

        (ii)    Evaluate the existing policies and procedures of third-party intermediaries relating to trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods, and identify the practices of those entities that have been most effective in curbing the importation and sale of counterfeit and pirated goods, including those conveyed through online third-party marketplaces.  The report should also evaluate the effectiveness of Federal efforts, including the requirement for certain Federal contractors to establish and maintain a system to detect and avoid counterfeit electronic parts under the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.246-7007, as well as steps taken by foreign governments, such as France and Canada, to combat trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods.

        (iii)   To the extent that certain types of data are not currently available to the Federal Government, or accessible in a readily usable form, recommend changes to the data collection practices of agencies, including specification of categories of data that should be collected and appropriate standardization practices for data.

        (iv)    Identify appropriate administrative, statutory, regulatory, or other changes, including enhanced enforcement actions, that could substantially reduce trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods or promote more effective law enforcement regarding trafficking in such goods.  The report should address the practices of counterfeiters and pirates, including their shipping, fulfillment, and payment logistics, and assess means of mitigating the factors that facilitate trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods.

        (v)     Identify appropriate guidance that agencies may provide to third-party intermediaries to help them prevent the importation and sale of counterfeit and pirated goods.

        (vi)    Identify appropriate administrative, regulatory, legislative, or policy changes that would enable agencies, as appropriate, to more effectively share information regarding counterfeit and pirated goods, including suspected counterfeit and pirated goods, with intellectual property rights holders, consumers, and third-party intermediaries.

        (vii)   Evaluate the current and future resource needs of agencies and make appropriate recommendations for more effective detection, interdiction, investigation, and prosecution regarding trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods, including trafficking through online third-party marketplaces and other third-party intermediaries.  These recommendations should include suggestions for increasing the use of effective technologies and expanding collaboration with third party intermediaries, intellectual property rights holders, and other stakeholders.

        (viii)  Identify areas for collaboration between the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security on efforts to combat trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods.

    (c)  Within 30 days of submitting the report required by section 2(a) of this memorandum, the Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized and directed to prepare, consistent with applicable law, a public version of the report and publish it in the Federal Register.

    Sec. 3.  Definitions.

    For purposes of this memorandum and the reports described herein:

    (a)  "Counterfeit" means the use of a "counterfeit mark" as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2320(f)(1), in connection with goods, services, or labeling or packaging; or mislabeled, substandard, or fraudulently obtained goods, even when such goods do not involve a counterfeit mark.

    (b)  "Pirated" means the reproduction of copyrighted works in a tangible medium in violation of the rights of the copyright owner, as defined in 17 U.S.C. 501 et seq.

    (c)  "Online third-party marketplace" means any web-based platform that includes features primarily designed for arranging the sale, purchase, payment, or shipping of goods, or that enables sellers not directly affiliated with an operator of such platforms to sell physical goods to consumers located in the United States.

    (d)  "Third-party intermediaries" means online third-party marketplaces, carriers, customs brokers, payment providers, vendors, and other parties involved in international transactions.

    (e)  "Traffic" and "trafficking" have the same meaning as the term "traffic" in 18 U.S.C. 2320.

    Sec. 4.  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;

        (ii)   the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or

        (iii)  existing rights or obligations under international agreements.

    (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 agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

                        DONALD J. TRUMP

President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Nominees and United States Marshal Nominee

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Nominees
 and United States Marshal Nominee


Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate:

Steven D. Grimberg of Georgia, to serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Steven Grimberg is a Managing Director and General Counsel of Nardello & Co., where he heads the global investigation firm’s Atlanta, Georgia, office.  Before joining the firm in 2018, Mr. Grimberg prosecuted white collar crimes as an Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Section in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia and as a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Tax Division.  Mr. Grimberg also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Law, teaching courses on criminal procedure, criminal law, and trial advocacy.  He received his J.D., with distinction, from Emory University School of Law and B.A., with honors, from the University of Florida.

Frank W. Volk of West Virginia, to serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. 

Frank Volk is the Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, where he has served since his selection in 2015.  Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Volk served as a career law clerk on the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, working for both Judges John Copenhaver, Jr., and Charles H. Haden.  During that time, Judge Volk was an Adjunct Professor at the West Virginia University College of Law, where he taught courses on federal civil rights law and bankruptcy for more than a decade.  In addition to his tenure as a career clerk, Judge Volk served as a term law clerk to Judge M. Blane Michael of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and to Judge Haden upon graduating from law school.  Judge Volk received his J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law and B.A. from West Virginia University. 

Randall P. Huff of Wyoming, to serve as United States Marshal for the District of Wyoming. 

Randall Huff currently serves as IT Services Field Manager for the State of Wyoming’s Department of Enterprise Technology, where he provides technical support to law enforcement agencies throughout the State.  Before joining the Department of Enterprise Technology in 2012, Mr. Huff worked for TLO, LLC, working with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and 40 other countries to provide expertise on cyber-criminal investigations involving child exploitation.  Mr. Huff has also served as a Special Agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations and as a member of the Torrington Police Department.  Mr. Huff received his B.S. from the University of Wyoming and served in the United States Marine Corps.


Office of the Press Secretary

Oval Office
1:53 P.M. EDT

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  It's a great honor to have Secretary General Stoltenberg of NATO with us.  We have developed a very great relationship, and I'm very happy to say the Secretary General will be with us for quite a long time because he was just extended.  So congratulations on that.  


PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That's a big thing.  And I was with you 100 percent.  But you know that.  I felt very strongly about that.

We've worked together on getting some of our allies to pay their fair share.  It's called burden sharing.  And as you know, when I came, it wasn't so good, and now it's -- they're catching up.

We have 7 of the 28 countries are currently current and the rest are trying to catch up, and they will catch up.  And some of them have no problems because they haven't been paying and they're very rich.  But we're looking at the 2 percent of GDP level.  And at some point, I think it's going to have to go higher than that.  I think probably it should be higher.  But we're at a level of 7 out of the 28.

     The United States pays for a very big share of NATO -- a disproportionate share.  But the relationship with NATO has been very good.  The relationship with the Secretary General has been outstanding.  And I think tremendous progress has been made.

     If you look -- in fact, you showed me this originally, yourself -- if you look at the charts and the different things, if you go back 10 and 15 years, and it's a roller coaster ride down, in terms of payment.

     And since I came to office, it's a rocket ship up.  We've picked up over $140 billion of additional money, and we look like we're going to have at least another $100 billion more in spending by the nations -- the 28 nations.  We're going to have -- and that's exclusive of the United States.  We'll have another $100 billion more by 2020 or a little bit into 2020.

     So tremendous progress has been made, and NATO is much stronger because of that progress.  And, Mr. Secretary General, it's a great to honor to have you with us at the White House.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

     SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  Thank you so much, Mr. President.  And once again, thank you for hosting me and my delegation, once again, in the White House.  And it's great to be back, great to see you.  And thank you for your strong commitment to NATO, to our alliance, and to our transatlantic bond, and especially for your very strong leadership on burden sharing.  Because as you just mentioned, after years of cutting defense budgets, NATO Allies have now started to invest more.  And by the end of next year, they will have added $100 billion more into their defense budgets since you took office.

     And that helps and it proves also that NATO is a strong alliance.  We have increased the readiness of forces.  We have stepped up in our joint fight against terrorism.  And we are investing more.

     So, actually, North America, United States, and Europe, we are doing more together now than have done for many, many years.  And that shows the strength of this alliance.  In the year, we actually are celebrating the 70th anniversary of NATO.

So it's great to see you.  I look forward to our meeting.  And thank you for your support.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, thank you.  And it has been an honor.  And we're very proud of what's happened over the last couple of years with respect to the relationship and to NATO.

A lot of the media doesn't understand what took place, but a tremendous amount of additional money was invested by other nations, which was a fair thing from the United States -- you know, from our standpoint, the standpoint of the United States.  And a lot more money will be invested.

But we've been picking up a tremendous and disproportionate share, and we just want fairness.  I have to have fairness for our taxpayer too.  And I think that's what's happening, and I very much appreciate it.  Thank you very much.

Thank you all very much.

Q    Mr. President, is your intention, sir, to close the border this weekend?  What would it take to not close the border?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I haven't made that intention known.  And I'm ready to close it, if I have to close it.

Mexico, as you know, as of yesterday, has been starting to apprehend a lot of people at their southern border coming in from Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador.  And they've -- they're really apprehending thousands of people.  And it's the first time, really, in decades that this has taken place.  And it should have taken place a long time ago.

You know, Mexico has the strongest immigration laws in the world.  There's nobody who has stronger.  I guess some have the same, but you can't get any stronger than what Mexico has.  And we don't want people coming up making that very dangerous journey and coming in.

Our system is absolutely maxed out.  And Border Patrol has done an incredible job, but the system is absolutely maxed out.  And it's a very unfair thing.

So Mexico has, as of yesterday, made a big difference.  You'll see that -- because few people, if any, are coming up.  And they say they're going to stop them.  Let's see.  They have the power to stop them.  They have the laws to stop them.

And what we have to do is Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal.  I could do it in 45 minutes.  We need to get rid of chain migration.  We need to get rid of catch and release and visa lottery.  And we have to do something about asylum.  And to be honest with you, you have to get rid of judges.

     Every time -- and you won't even believe this, Mr. Secretary General -- you catch somebody that's coming illegally into your country, and they bring them to a court.  But we can't bring them to a court because you could never have that many judges.  So they take their name, they take their information, and they release them.  Now, we don't release too many.  We keep them.  It's called "catch and keep."  But you don't have facilities for that.  But you have to bring them through a court system.  If they touch your land -- one foot on your land: "Welcome to being Perry Mason.  You now have a big trial."

     So what they've done over the years is they release them into the United States and they say, "Come back in four years for a trial."  And nobody comes back.  I guess 1 percent -- 1 to 2 percent, on average, come back.  And nobody can understand why they come back.  They're the only ones that come back.
     It is the worst, dumbest immigration system in the world.  The Democrats could change it with one meeting.  Everybody would agree.  But they don't want to change it because they don't want to give the Republicans a victory.  They don't want to change it because they want open borders, which means crimes -- and lots of other things coming in, including drugs.

     So we'll see what happens.  I think the Democrats -- today, I spoke to a couple of them and they -- all of a sudden, they're changing because they're seeing it really is a crisis.  It is a national emergency on the border.  And let's see if they can do it.

     But I want to thank -- it's a very short period of time, because for years this should have been done.  But Mexico is now stopping people coming -- very easy for them to do -- stopping people coming in through Mexico.  Let's see if they keep it done, if -- if they keep doing that.

     Now, if they don't, or if we don't make a deal with Congress, the border is going to be closed, 100 percent.  And this should have been done by other Presidents.  So many things should have been done by other Presidents.

     But if we don't make a deal with Congress, or if Mexico -- and probably you can say "and/or" -- if Mexico doesn't do what they should be doing -- they shouldn't have people coming into their country either; this is their southern border that they have to protect -- then we're going to close the border.  That's going to be it.  Or we're going to close large sections of the border.  Maybe not all of it.  But it's the only way we're getting a response, and I'm totally ready to do it.

     And I will say this: Many people want me to do it, because we're being abused by a bad legal system that was put in by Democrats.  And that has to be changed.  And it can be changed in 45 minutes, if they want to change it.  Let's see what they do.

     Yes, Steve.

     Q    Do you worry about the impact on the U.S. economy by closing the border?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Sure.  It's going to be -- have a negative impact on the economy.  It's one of the biggest trade deals in the world that we've just done with the USMCA.
     It's a very big trading partner.  But to me, trading is very important, the borders are very important, but security is what is most important to me.  I have to have security.  This is what this gentleman is all about -- to my right.  And we're going to have security in this country.  That's more important than trade.
     Hey, all you hear me talking about is trade.  But let me just give you a little secret: Security is more important to me than trade.

     So we're going to have a strong border, or we're going to have a closed border.  And you know, when we close that border, we will stop hundreds of millions of dollars of drugs from coming in, because tremendous amounts of drugs come through our southern border.  And so that's one of the benefits.

     So I'm totally prepared to do it.  We're going to see what happens over the next few days.

     Q    It sounds like Mexico is doing enough to keep you from immediately closing the border, though, from all their apprehensions (inaudible).

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they made a big step over the last two days.  Look, they are apprehending people.  You see how many there are.  A lot.  It's a lot of people.  And the fact that they're doing that means fewer people are going to come.  But, you know, we pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador as a combination.  And what do they do?  They don't do anything for us.  You know, it's supposed be money well spent.  I understand the reason for it, but that money doesn't get there.
     So we're giving hundreds of millions of dollars to these three countries, and the money is not going to where it's supposed to be going, number one.  Number two, they're taking advantage of the United States, and they have been for many years.  So I cut off the payments yesterday.  I know what the payments are supposed to be for; they're supposed to be to help so that they don't have this problem.  But they don’t do that.  The money is gone.  It's not spent properly.

And they arrange -- I mean, the thing that bothers me more than anything: They arrange these caravans and they don’t put their best people in those caravans.  They put people in there that you don’t want to have in the United States.  And we're not going to have them in the United States.  It's very simple.  It's very, very simple.

     Q    Are you happy with Stoltenberg as leader of NATO?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Say it?

     Q    Why are you happy with Stoltenberg as the leader of NATO?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I think he's been a terrific leader.  And I can just say, during my time -- so it's already amazing, two and half years -- but we get along really well.  And he made -- his first statement was -- we had our first meeting, and I think I got them to put up -- the other countries, respectfully -- 27 countries; put up the other 27 -- $64 billion.  Sixty-four billion.  That’s a lot of money.

     And he went out and he said what a great job he did.  A lot of people don’t like giving credit.  Like the media never gives me credit, but he gave me credit.  Now we're up to way over a $100 billion, and it's going to be a lot higher than that by the end of 2020.

But I appreciate the job he's done.  He's done an excellent job.  And when it came time to renew -- because a lot of people wanted that job; that’s a great job.  I mean, it really is.  But a lot of people wanted it.  But I had no doubt in my mind who I wanted.

     Q    Have you ever contemplated moving the U.S. out of NATO?

     THE PRESIDENT:  People are paying, and I'm very happy with the fact that they're paying.


     Q    What kind of security threat do you think Russia poses to NATO?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I hope that it's not going to be a security threat.  I hope we have a good relationship with Russia and with, by the way, China and everybody else.  But I think the fact that we have NATO -- and NATO is a lot stronger since I've been President, would you say that's correct?  We've taken a lot more money and --
     SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  Allies are investing more, and that provides some new capabilities.  We need to maintain credible defense and defense for all NATO countries.

     THE PRESIDENT:  But I think we'll get along with Russia.  I do -- I do believe that.

     Q    Mr. President, on healthcare, why are you pushing a vote on a healthcare replacement until after the 2020 election?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Because I think we're going to have a great healthcare package.  I think the Republican Party will become the party of healthcare.  I see what the Democrats are doing; it’s a disaster what they're planning and everyone knows it.  You're going to lose 180 million people under private insurance.

And I think, really, very important, Obamacare has been such a catastrophe because it's far too expensive.  It costs the people so much; they can't afford it.  And, of course, the premiums are very high: seven to eight thousand dollars on average.  So you have to spend over $8,000 before you even hit.

So, Obamacare has been bad.  So if we get back the House, and on the assumption we keep the Senate and we keep the presidency -- which I hope are two good assumptions -- we're going to have a phenomenal healthcare.

Q    Did Mitch McConnell ask you to delay this?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I wanted to delay it myself.  I want to put it after the election because we don’t have the House.  So even though the healthcare is good, really good -- it's much better than -- when the plan comes out, which we'll be showing you at the appropriate time, it's much better than Obamacare.

So when the plan comes out, you'll see it.  It's possible the Democrats would want to do it.  I mean, it's much better for the people, but I'm assuming they won't because the Democrats never do anything that necessarily is going to be anything other than political.

So what happens is we'll go through the election, we have a very good chance at retaking the House, and we have a very good chance of keeping the Senate.  And I think we will keep the Senate.  And I think we're going to keep the presidency and we'll vote in the best healthcare package we've ever had.

Q    Mr. President, what do you think that NATO has accomplished in 70 years?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think many things they've accomplished, but I think they also really stand for a signal of truth and of strength.  And we have a great leader.

Q    Are you going to talk about Germany today?  The news from --

THE PRESIDENT:  I'll be talking about Germany.  I always talk about Germany.  I mean, Germany, honestly, is not paying their fair share.  I have great respect for Angela and I have great respect for their country.  My father is German.  Right? Was German.  And born in a very wonderful place in Germany, and so I have a great feeling for Germany.

But they're not paying what they should be paying.  They're paying close to 1 percent, and they're supposed to be paying 2 percent.  And the United States, over the years, got to a point where it's paying 4.3 percent, which is very unfair.  And the U.S. GDP, especially under me -- because the GDP has gone up so much, because it's 4.3 of a much larger GDP.  So we're paying for a big proportion of NATO, which basically is protecting Europe.  So we’re protecting Europe.

     At the same time, they’ve taken advantage of us on trade.  So we have the best of all worlds: We’re protecting countries that have taken advantage of the United States on trade.  But it’s all changing.  It’ll take a little while, but it’s all changing.

     Q    Mr. President, there is going to be a vote in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow whether or not to authorize subpoenas to demand an unredacted version of the Mueller report and all of the background materials.  If they do vote out the authority for subpoenas, will the White House fight those?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think it’s ridiculous.  We went through two years of the Mueller investigation.  We have -- I mean, not only that.  You read the wording.  It was proven.  Who could go through that and get wording where it was no collusion, no nothing?

     So there’s no collusion.  The Attorney General now, and the Deputy Attorney General, ruled no obstruction.  They said no obstruction.  And so there’s no collusion.  There’s no obstruction.  And now we’re going to start this process all over again?  I think it’s a disgrace.

     These are just Democrats that want to try and demean this country.  And it shouldn’t be allowed.  And I’ll totally live by what the Attorney General -- I have great respect for the Attorney General.  I’ll live by what he said.

But I will tell you this: Nothing you give them, whether it’s Shifty Schiff or Jerry Nadler, who I’ve known -- he’s been fighting me for half of my life, in Manhattan, and I was very successful, thank you.  But Nadler has been fighting me for years and years in Manhattan -- not successfully.

     I will tell you: Anything we give them will never be enough.  We could give them -- it’s a 400-page report, right?  We could give them 800 pages and it wouldn’t be enough.  They’ll always come back and say, “It’s not enough.  It’s not enough.”

This thing has gone on for two years.  And, really, it started long before that.  It practically started from the time I came down the escalator, because this was a whole -- this was a whole plot, whether you want to use the insurance policy as a timeframe.  This was an insurance policy just in case she -- Hillary Clinton -- loses.  Well, she lost and she lost big.

This has been going on for years.  Now they want to keep it going on?  We had the most -- they spent over $30 million on an investigation.  They found no collusion -- which, by the way, was the most ridiculous premise I’ve ever heard of anyway, and you understand exactly what I mean.  No collusion.  There was no collusion.  There never was.

After $30 million, we’re going to start this process again because Jerry Nadler wants to start it or because Schiff wants to start it?  I’ll rely on the Attorney General to make decisions, but I will tell you: Anything that’s given to them will never be good enough.  You could give them more documents than they’ve ever seen and it would never be good enough.

So I think it’s somewhat of a waste of time.  This is just politics at a very low level.

Q    What about the fact that Congressman Nadler opposed the release of the Starr report in 1998?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s a good thing.  That’s very nice that you bring that up.  The fact is that Jerry Nadler was on the opposite side of this.  And he thought it was a disgusting, terrible thing to even think about giving the Starr report but now we should give the Mueller report.

And actually, the Mueller report is actually much tighter because the Starr report went to Congress.  The Mueller report goes to the Attorney General.  So there’s a big difference.  They made that because the Starr report got out of control with respect to going to Congress, because I guess lots of people had it that maybe shouldn’t have had it and did bad things with it.

So now they limited it to the Attorney General and they did that specifically for that reason.  So Jerry Nadler thought the concept of giving the Starr report was absolutely something you could never do.  But when it comes to the Mueller report, which is different on our side, that would be something that he should get.  It’s hypocrisy and it’s a disgrace.

I will say this: Look, there was no collusion.  There was no obstruction.  They were very disappointed.  I don’t know what they were thinking, because they all know.  I guarantee you, they go into a room -- between Nadler, Schiff, and the group -- and they laugh like hell at how they’ve kept this thing going for two years.  They laugh like hell.

And I hope that this investigation now, which is finished -- it’s totally finished.  No collusion.  No obstruction.  I hope they now go and take a look at the oringes [origins] -- the origins of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation.  If you look at the origin of the investigation -- where it started; how it started; who started it, whether it’s McCabe or Comey or a lot of them; where does it go; how high up in the White House did it go -- you will all get Pulitzer Prizes, okay?  You’d all get Pulitzer Prizes.  You should have looked at it a long time ago.

And that’s the only thing that’s disappointing to me about the Mueller report.  The Mueller report, I wish, covered the oringes [origins] of how it started -- the beginnings of the investigation and how it started.  It didn’t cover that.  And for some reason, none of that was discussed.

Now, if you look at the IG report, it’s very serious.  Now, we have another IG report coming out, hopefully, very soon.  And I think you’re going to learn a lot.

But you should look at the beginnings and where it started -- the whole situation.  Because this has been a very, very bad thing for our country.  The question was asked before about Russia, about Germany, about all of the different things that you and I discuss so often.

This has been a very bad thing for the United States.  It’s been a total waste of time.  But what hasn’t been a waste of time is some very bad people started something that should have never been started.  And I hope that’s going to continue forward because people did things that were very, very bad for our country and very, very illegal and, you could even say, “treasonous.”  Okay?

Thank you very much everybody.
                            END                2:16 P.M. EDT

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:

Allison Herren Lee of Colorado, to be a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission for a five-year term expiring June 5, 2022.

Allison Herren Lee is a veteran securities law practitioner of more than two decades.  She served at the Securities and Exchange Commission from 2005 to 2018 in various roles including Senior Counsel in the Complex Financial Instruments Unit, and as Counsel to Commissioner Kara M. Stein.  She has also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, and prior to government service, was a litigation partner at Sherman & Howard, LLC in Denver, Colorado.  Since leaving the SEC, she has, among other things, lectured and taught courses in financial regulation and corporate law at Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and LUISS Universita Guido Carli, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza in Rome, Italy.

Alma L. Golden of Texas, to be Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (Bureau for Global Health).

Dr. Alma Golden currently serves as the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Global Health.  A pediatrician by training, Dr. Golden has worked in private pediatrics, indigent health services, academic medicine, public health, healthcare administration, and health policy.  Dr. Golden has served as faculty at both the Texas A&M Health Science Center and University of Texas Medical Branch.  Under President George W. Bush, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Population Affairs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Dr. Golden earned her M.D. and post-doctoral training from the University of Texas and B.A. from Houston Baptist College. 

Richard B. Norland of Iowa, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the State of Libya.

Richard B. Norland, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2016.  He served twice as U.S. Ambassador – first in Uzbekistan and then in Georgia.  Ambassador Norland was the Deputy Commandant and International Affairs Advisor at the National War College, Fort McNair, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassies in Afghanistan and Latvia, and a Director on the NSC Staff.   He earned a B.S. from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, a Masters of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a Masters of National Security Strategy degree from the National War College.   Ambassador Norland is the recipient of a Presidential Distinguished Service Award.  His foreign languages include French, Russian, and Norwegian.

Michelle Bowman of Missouri, to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Community Bank Representative) for a 14-year term beginning February 1, 2020.

Ms. Bowman currently serves as a Governor on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the first Governor designated with community banking expertise. Previously, Ms. Bowman served as the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, a position to which she was the first woman appointed and confirmed by the Kansas State Senate.  She served as the State Bank Commissioner until November 2018. Ms. Bowman also served as an executive at Farmers and Drovers bank.  Additionally, she has served on the staff of Senator Bob Dole, as counsel for several U.S. House committees, as Director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Policy Advisor to Secretary Tom Ridge at the Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Bowman graduated from the University of Kansas and received a J.D. from Washburn University School of Law.”
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to appoint the following individual to a key position in his Administration:

Frederick M. Nutt of Virginia, to be an Assistant Administrator (Management) at the United States Agency for International Development.

Mr. Nutt is currently Senior Advisor at the Office of Management and Budget where he is supporting the implementation of the President’s Management Agenda and other financial management policies. He previously served as Managing Director and Senior Advisor for Management at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation where he was responsible for managing financial resources and overseeing the acquisition of information technology, facilities, and security operations.

Prior to serving in these roles, Mr. Nutt was at the then newly authorized Millennium Challenge Corporation, starting up the management operations, including financial and management information systems. Previously, Mr. Nutt was Senior Advisor to the Chief Financial Officer at the Environmental Protection Agency where he worked on the migration of financial management systems to federal shared service providers. He also worked on budget and appropriations legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, while serving in the Office of the Speaker. Mr. Nutt is from Reedville, Virginia and is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

1600 Daily The White House • April 2, 2019 Obama Border Patrol Chief Perfectly Explains our Immigration Crisis

1600 Daily
The White House • April 2, 2019

Obama Border Patrol chief perfectly explains our immigration crisis

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced yesterday that more than 750 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will be temporarily reassigned to America’s southwest border. “The situation at our southern border has gone from a crisis to near system-wide meltdown,” the Secretary wrote yesterday.

While President Donald J. Trump has taken action to address our national emergency at the border, Congressional Democrats still refuse to acknowledge a problem even exists—much less present any serious plan to address it.

They should listen to Mark Morgan, head of the U.S. Border Patrol under former President Obama.

The problem starts with glaring loopholes in America’s immigration laws, particularly those governing the asylum process. The intelligence shows that most asylum-seekers “are coming here for two reasons,” Morgan says. “Economic equality and family reunification. They are not fleeing persecution or violence, and the stats show that.”

But it gets worse. “The incentives to come here are overwhelming,” he says. “They’re willing to take this dangerous trek because they know: Grab a kid, set one foot on American soil, and you’re allowed . . . to remain here unchecked.”

No modern immigration system should function that way. “The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it,” Secretary Nielsen says. “We will not stand idly by while Congress fails to act yet again, so all options are on the table.”

Immigration official: We are facing an unprecedented crisis.

A message on World Autism Awareness Day

“On World Autism Awareness Day, we honor the millions of Americans living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who, in spite of the challenges they may face, continue to make extraordinary contributions to their families, their communities, our Nation, and the world,” President Trump writes in his Proclamation this week. “We also express our sincere appreciation to the families, friends, medical professionals, and caregivers who help Americans with ASD pursue the American Dream.”

As a country, it’s crucial that we continue to support all Americans with ASD. The Trump Administration has secured funding for cutting-edge research while enhancing all available resources and treatments to help both those affected by ASD and their families, communities, and caregivers.

“Today, we celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of Americans with ASD and reaffirm our commitment to work together to ensure that every member of our society is afforded equal opportunities to reach their full potential.”

Read President Trump’s Proclamation for Autism Awareness Day.

Video of the day: First Lady takes ‘Be Best’ to Florida

First Lady Melania Trump visits with students at West Gate Elementary School. 
Last week, First Lady Melania Trump took time to visit with students at West Gate Elementary School in Palm Beach, Florida. Dovetailing with the First Lady’s Be Best initiative, the school offers a unique program specifically designed to eliminate bullying in the classroom.

The First Lady has placed a heavy emphasis on the well-being of children, and she continually highlights programs that live up to this calling. West Gate Elementary School commits itself to removing bullying from the learning environment by setting aside time for biweekly meetings between teachers and students. The goal of their program is to develop strong emotional intelligence through peer-to-peer interactions.

“I believe it is important for schools to focus on the overall well-being of our youngest citizens, which will help them develop in their earliest years so that they can reach their full potential as our next generation,” the First Lady said.

More on the First Lady’s visit to West Gate Elementary School