Sunday, June 2, 2019

Statement from First Lady Melania Trump’s Visit to Ford’s Theatre

Office of the First Lady
Statement from First Lady Melania Trump’s Visit to Ford’s Theatre
First Lady Melania Trump joined the President in attending Ford’s Theatre tonight for their annual gala in tribute to former President Abraham Lincoln.  Mrs. Trump is an Honorary Chair of the Ford’s Theatre Gala and this is the third year that the Administration has hosted Ford’s Theatre for a pre-gala reception at the White House.

“We had a lovely evening at Ford’s Theatre,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Lincoln Medal.  The President and I thank each of you for the powerful impact your work has on so many of us.  Thank you to Ford’s Theatre Society for welcoming us and for your continued dedication to the arts – they are a vital part of our society.”


Office of the Press Secretary


Ford's Theatre
Washington, D.C.


6:56 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  What a place.  You look right there and that says it all.  That's history at its highest.

     Thank you very much for what you've done.  So many of you have been so helpful.  And I see Congress, I see Senate, I see congressmen.  They hate each other during the day, but tonight they love each other.  (Laughter and applause.)

     It's my pleasure to be with you once again at Ford's Theatre -- the annual gala.  Please join me in thanking all of the wonderful performers who have made this an unforgettable evening.  Great talent.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

     So tonight we come together to celebrate American life, history, culture, and the eternal legacy of President Abraham Lincoln.

     I want to thank all of the chairs of the gala, including your honorary co-chair, America's beloved First Lady.  Oh, I'd love to have her poll numbers.  (Applause.)  How do I get her poll numbers, Kevin, John?  (Applause.)  And they do love you.

     We're honored to be joined by many members of my Cabinet -- thank you very much; and members of Congress.  Many friends and distinguished guests -- very distinguished, as a matter of fact.  A special thanks to our host and my good friend for a long time, Larry Gatlin, and his brothers, as well as the chair of Ford's Theatre Board of Trustees, Phebe.  Thank you very much.  What a job.  What a job.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

     And finally to Paul Tetreault -- and the way you ran those stairs, Paul.  I was going to do it but I didn't want to take a chance.  (Laughter.)  And the entire staff of Ford’s Theatre, thank you very much for everything you've done.  This is an event that we hope to be here -- what do you figure? -- another six times, right?  (Laughter.)  Six times, at least.  At least.  (Applause.)  Because we do want to preserve this heritage and this center’s treasured legacy.

     I also want to congratulate tonight’s Lincoln Medal Recipients: a man I have a lot of respect for, General Colin Powell, and his wife Alma.  And maybe even more respect for you, Alma.  (Applause.)  Great job.  Great job.  Thank you and thank you for your service to our nation.  You have been outstanding.  Two people to really look up to.  Congratulations.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

     And congratulations as well to somebody I used to watch a lot, Mark Russell, who has been a devoted performer at Ford’s Theatre for many, many years.  Mark, congratulations.  Congratulations to him.  (Applause.)

     For decades, families from all around the world and all around the country have come to this very treasured place to gain a glimpse into President Lincoln’s life, and, in so doing, into one of the most vital chapters and probably one of the most interesting chapters in American history.

     During our nation’s greatest trial, President Lincoln stood for truth and freedom and human equality.  As President Lincoln’s friend, the renowned abolitionist Fredrick Douglass, said: “Abraham Lincoln was called upon to decide the fate of the Republic."  So true.  "He did not hesitate, he did not doubt, he did not falter…his faith was strong” and his unwavering in patriotism, like nobody else.  And he had great patriotism for this country and for countrymen.  That's a -- was quite a legacy, and quite a statement from another great man.

     The patriotism of President Lincoln has lived on in every subsequent generation that has risen to the call of destiny and
the demands of duty.  This week, we are commemorating another moment when our nation and the entire world was tested at the highest level: the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

     Right after this event, Melania and I will board Air Force One and travel to the United Kingdom, and then to Normandy, France.  On that precious soil, we will honor the more than 150,000 Allied troops who landed on D-Day, and the millions more who fought in the Second World War.

     As one people, America came together to pledge our resolve to protect the sacred rights and freedoms that these immortal patriots gave their very lives to secure.  We will never forget America’s heroes -- never, ever, ever.

     Our duty, and the duty of every patriot, is to pass on the inheritance of liberty and justice that is the cherished birthright of all Americans.

     Thank you again to Ford’s Theatre and everyone here tonight.  God bless you.  And God bless America.  Thank you very much for being here.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

                              END                 7:01 P.M. EDT


Presidential Message on National Cancer Survivors Day, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary
Presidential Message on National Cancer Survivors Day, 2019
On National Cancer Survivors Day, we honor the remarkable Americans who have survived cancer.  As we continue working toward a cure for this horrible disease, we are encouraged and inspired by the courageous spirit of survivors throughout our Nation and around the world.

The more than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide—including nearly 17 million in the United States—stand as a testament to the outstanding work of our Nation’s dedicated healthcare professionals and researchers to improve the prevention and treatment of all cancers.  Because of their tireless efforts, deaths from cancer continue to decline for both men and women.

With more than 15,000 children and adolescents diagnosed with pediatric cancer each year, we must continue our efforts to increase the survival rate for these brave young people and to give them hope for a better quality of life post-cancer.  Last year, I signed into law the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (“STAR”) Act of 2018, to help give our Nation’s children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer every advantage possible as they battle the disease.  This legislation will advance critical research on childhood cancers and effective treatments, better identify and track pediatric cancer rates, and support survivors.

Additionally, as I announced in my 2019 State of the Union address, I am working with Congress to invest $500 million over the next decade to give our Nation’s researchers and doctors expanded opportunities to comprehend fully the unique causes and the best cures for childhood cancer.

As we observe this National Cancer Survivors Day, we recognize the incredible strength and resolve of the millions of Americans who have overcome tremendous challenges while facing cancer.  Melania and I continue to keep all those living with this disease in our hearts and prayers.

Presidential Message in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s First Pilgrimage to Poland

Office of the Press Secretary
Presidential Message in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s First Pilgrimage to Poland

On this day, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II’s historic celebration of the Mass on June 2, 1979, in Warsaw, the opening of a nine-day visit to Poland that changed the course of history.  As we remember the long struggle of the Polish people against communism, we also acknowledge that millions of people now live in freedom because of St. Pope John Paul II and his extraordinary life as a follower of Jesus Christ and a champion for human dignity and religious liberty.

In his homily forty years ago, St. Pope John Paul II delivered a powerful message of hope to the crowd gathered in Warsaw, to all of Poland, and to the world.  His words stood tall against the repressive forces of communism throughout Poland and the rest of Europe.  He inspired courage in the hearts of millions of men and women to seek a better, freer life.

Today, we celebrate this historic moment and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that freedom always prevails.  The United States and our allies stand united against the shackles of communism and as a beacon of liberty and prosperity throughout the world.

Melania joins me in remembering St. Pope John Paul II, whose poignant address stirred the soul of the Polish people and eventually helped tear down the Iron Curtain of communism in Europe.  May we continue to be strengthened by his words and his call to God’s abundant compassion, strength, and glory.

President Donald J. Trump Approves Oklahoma Disaster Declaration

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Approves Oklahoma Disaster Declaration

Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Oklahoma and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding beginning on May 7, 2019, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Muskogee, Tulsa, and Wagoner.

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

Federal funding also is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, in the counties of Muskogee, Tulsa, and Wagoner.

Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided in the counties of Haskell, Kay, Le Flore, Noble, Osage, Pawnee, and Sequoyah.

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

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

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.  The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.