Thursday, July 25, 2019


Office of the Press Secretary


State Dining Room


3:45 P.M. EDT

     MS. TRUMP:  Welcome everyone.  Today, here we are here to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the White House's Pledge to America's Workers, a call to action for business and industry to create more and better jobs for Americans by providing education and skills for American students and workers.

     I’d like to thank Vice President Pence.  Mr. Vice President, I look forward to traveling with you to Florida tomorrow in support of this trade initiative.  Thank you for everything that you’ve done.

     Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Bernhardt, Secretary Ross, thank you for co-chairing this initiative with me at Commerce.  Acting Secretary Pizzella, Secretary Azar, it was great being with you in Iowa just last week.  Acting Secretary Administrator Wheeler, Acting Director Vought, Acting Administrator Pilkerton, Director Lawrence Kudlow -- who has continued to tell me that if a CNBC host can be reskilled, anyone can.  So I appreciate that.  (Laughter.)

     Director Joe Grogan, Representative Liz Cheney, and Representative Virginia Foxx, thank you.

     Each of you has done a tremendous job furthering our Pledge to America’s Workers.

     This campaign was born out of the tremendous economic resurgence happening across our country.  Today, more Americans are working than ever before.  Virtually every single demographic is achieving historically low unemployment rates.

     There are 7.3 million open jobs.  Wages are surging.  And with an unemployment rate at 3.7 percent, it is nearing the lowest rate in a half a century.

     Amazingly, if you look at the last quarter, the second quarter -- of all the new jobs created, 74 percent of new jobs were secured by Americans outside of the workforce on the sidelines of our economy.

     This administration believes that every American should have a chance to earn a great living doing work that they love.  The pledge reflects the President’s commitment to ensuring inclusive economic growth and making sure that all Americans are equipped with the skills they need to secure and retain good-paying jobs, whether they’re coming right out of high school and looking for their first career or entering their first career, or later on in their life cycle, needing to learn a new skill or a new trade because of the consequences and effects of automation in this rapidly changing, technological environment.

     The President’s call to action for the pledge has become a full-blown national movement.  Over the last year, more than 300 businesses -- 300 businesses -- have signed the pledge -- businesses large and small.  And today, we celebrate reaching 12 million pledged commitments.  (Applause.)

     I have personally traveled to over 20 states in support of this initiative and heard unbelievable stories of potential realized and dreams achieved.  This pledge is more than just a number.  Every single pledge is a commitment to the promise of an individual and his or her potential.

     The pledge is a commitment to 12 million American lives improved.  Twelve million individual opportunities that will impact families and whole communities.

     Today, we highlight the impact and the stories of lives transformed by companies investing in the greatest asset they have: the American worker.  We will hear from individuals like Johnny, from Orlando, Florida; and Sarah, from Littleton, Colorado -- Sarah and I were just together earlier this week; as they join us here at the White House.

     And now I would like to turn it over to the President of the United States.
Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, Ivanka.  (Applause.)  And I think I'm allowed to be proud of my daughter.  (Laughter.)  But the fact is that she's worked so hard at this.  And this started just about from the beginning, and she had lots of options to do certain things.  All she knew is she wanted to help people, and it really is that she settled down into jobs and training.

And she has done an incredible -- an incredible job herself, because I guess it's up to almost 12 million people, maybe even over 12 million people.  And who would have thought that was possible?  This started out -- I shouldn’t say this, Ivanka -- but she was looking to do 500,000, and she did that in her first week.  And you have to understand Ivanka to figure that one out.  But now she's over 12 million, and it's an incredible thing.  And she does it to make families happy.

Companies have stepped up, like Marillyn.  Thank you very much.  Lockheed Martin.  But companies have stepped up to the plate, and so many companies have done thousands and thousands of jobs and the training for these jobs.  It's not like the old days, where you go in and you do something that's much simpler today, with new technology and computers and all of the different things you have to know.  This is just not something that you can easily step into.  And companies can train so much better than governments.  Governments get into that, and they really don’t have a clue as to what they're doing.  And it costs a lot of money.

And I just want to congratulate a lot of the people in the room because you worked with Ivanka and you've done something very special.  All of our congresspeople and senators, and all of our fantastic people, like Ben -- thank you very much, Ben.  I know how much you've helped.  Ben Carson.  So much help has been given to Ivanka.  And, really, it's a big congratulations.  We're talking about a tremendous number.  Nothing like this has ever been done before.

So, congratulations, Ivanka.  Congratulations.  And keep it up.  So, when will you hit 24 million?  When are you going to be doubling?

MS. TRUMP:  At this pace, very soon.

THE PRESIDENT:  The way she goes, pretty soon.  (Laughter.)  So, thank you, honey.

And maybe I'd like to have Mike Pence say a few words, please.  Vice President.  Thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you, Mr. President.  And I want to join you in commending Ivanka for the work that she's done on this, the work that members of our Cabinet have done, traveling all across the country.

It's astonishing to think, the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to America's Workers: 300 American companies committing to train people for 12 million good-paying American jobs.  That is an astonishing accomplishment, and it's a tribute to all the great companies represented here.

And I think, Mr. President, it's not only evidence of Ivanka's dedication and your team's dedication, but it's also your commitment to working Americans.  You said, three years ago, that the forgotten men and women would be forgotten no more.  And the policies that we've advanced have revived the American economy.  Six million new jobs created.  The unemployment rate is at a 50-year low.  But as Ivanka just said, there are millions of jobs going unfulfilled today.

And so, your initiative, Mr. President, with the Pledge to America's Workers, about making sure that people just like all the great Americans gathered in this room have the background and the training to be able to fill those jobs is a testament to your commitment to hardworking Americans.

I know you're hard on this.  I know that you're a President who believes that all honest work is honorable.  And your commitment to skills education, to vocational education is a testament to your determination to make the American economy great again for every American.

So I want to thank your daughter, but I want to invite everyone here to say "thank you" to you one more time for your commitment to America's workers.  (Applause.)

MS. TRUMP:  And I think that's a perfect segue into hearing from Jim.  Jim is the CEO of Toyota.  And just this past year, based on the policies put in place by this administration -- tax reform, deregulation -- Toyota announced a $13 billion commitment to investment in North America, which is going to create 600 new jobs.  Very, very exciting.  (Applause.)  So thank you, Jim, for that.

     In March of this past year, I had the privilege of traveling to Kentucky and seeing the largest car plant in North America and also explore some of the great training programs.  And there, Jim signed the Pledge to America's Workers: 200,000 pledge training opportunities.  And with him today is Shameka, who I met in Kentucky.  And it would be great to hear from both of you.  Maybe, Jim, if you want to kick us off.

     MR. LENTZ:  That'd be great.  Thank you very much.  You know, first off, congratulations on this milestone.  After one year, that's tremendous.  And thank you very much for visiting our plant in Kentucky.  It meant a lot to our team members.  And, in fact, that plant is now the number-one Toyota plant in the world.  So we're very excited about that.

     And we've made two major commitments to our team members.  Number one is the $13 billion.  That's -- thank you, Mr. President, for having such a strong economy for allowing us to be able to do that.  And that's $13 billion is not only for the new plant in Alabama and the new headquarters we built in Texas, but it's really to spend dollars in the areas of R&D and in all of our plants to make sure that our plants are the most competitive Toyota plants in the world.

     But, number two, and the reason we're here today: It's all about the development of our team members.  And whether it's development of the technicians in our dealerships or the development within manufacturing, that's probably what I'm most excited about.  And it's -- and Shameka is going to tell you in just a few minutes about her experience and her journey through that.

But we committed 200,000.  To date, we have already trained 18,000 of our team members.  And it's as a result of what was developed in Kentucky that allowed us to work with 27 now, across the country -- 27 community colleges across 11 states.  So every location that we are building cars, we have this relationship for training.

     And that's enough about me because this is really about Shameka today.  So, Shameka has been with us for about two years in our Kentucky plant.  She's a U.S. veteran.  And we'd love to hear about your journey.

     MS. GREEN:  Thank you.  It's an honor to be here.  My name is Shameka Green.  I am a team member at Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky.  I joined Toyota about two years ago with no automotive experience.  Luckily, I served four years in the U.S. Army prior to entering the workforce.  (Applause.)  The Army equipped me with leadership skills, a sense of resilience, and discipline.  And I was able to translate those skills onto the shop floor.

     And Toyota, like the military, invested in me, and they -- my supervisors encouraged me to take on new challenges and also provided opportunities for me to take advanced training courses.

So, in just two short years, I have taken on more responsibility, I have expanded my skillset, and been able to transition into more superior positions.  So I am grateful that Toyota has taken the pledge to American workers, because it reassures me that Toyota will continue to invest in me.  And as we come upon change in the future, Toyota will help me be prepared for those changes.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

     MS. TRUMP:  Amazing.  With us also is Johnny, from Orlando, Florida.  And Johnny is a prep cook with Aloft Hotels, and just has an amazing story.  And part of your journey and your training experience was a result of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s signing of our pledge.

     So if you could share with us, Johnny, a bit about your story -- very inspiring -- and the opportunity that the pledge has afforded you.

     MR. BRUMMIT:  First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone here today for allowing me to be here and also inviting me to speak amongst you guys.

     The hospitality industry is an industry where dreams come true and support systems are willing to support.  As for myself, being the youngest of four siblings, I was raised by my grandmother, which led me to want to cook in life and lead on her legacy.  (Laughter.)

     MS. TRUMP:  And Johnny’s grandmother is here, and it’s her birthday.  (Laughs.)


     MR. BRUMMIT:  I didn’t always make the correct choices as -- in life, as a kid.  But knowing that I had a praying grandmother and knowing where I was in life, that I wanted to do better for myself and for my family.

Not so fortunate in life, I didn’t know exactly what school I wanted to go to.  Well, I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know exactly how far I could go and if it was an -- and expensive for me.

     Given the suggestion by my aunt, she gave me the suggestion about Second Harvest, and I took on the -- I took on the opportunity to apply, and I knew that Second Harvest was going to be a life-changing moment for me.

     Second Harvest taught me cleaning, sanitation.  They also taught me how to manage myself properly, and also eye-catching skills with knives and presentation with the food.

     Transportation and funds were hard for me.  It was a small barrier for me at the time, but Second Harvest supplied me with transportation and many other goods.

     I want to thank -- I just want to thank the American Lodging Hotel Association for the pledge which benefitted me and other thousands with long-lasting careers, training, and education, scholarships and grants for schooling.

     And also, I would love to give a thanks for it because it benefitted me well.  It turned me into the young man that I am today.  It gave me a leadership guidance, and it has also given me a chance to grow.  Because not only in the hospitality industry is just cooking, you can also, you know, housekeeping, bartending.  And from there, I’ve been promoted.  Within six months -- August 12th, it will be six months for me -- I’ve already been promoted twice, and I’ve been doing good ever since.

     I work -- yeah, I wake up -- from 4:30 to 1:30 in the morning, and from there I still continue to go home and cook and clean and work from there.  So it’s really been a pleasure from the American Hotel and Lodging Association with this pledge that they have given and benefitted me.  (Applause.)

     MS. TRUMP:  That’s amazing, Johnny.  Now I’d like to introduce Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin.  And Marillyn was one of the first CEOs to sign our pledge when we launched this campaign a year ago, and was with us at the White House a year ago for the signing.

     Lockheed committed to 8,000 job and training opportunities over the next five years.  And just this past week, I was out in Colorado with you, Marillyn, and I met Sarah, who you brought with you to the White House today to learn about your apprentice program in advanced manufacturing.

     So, Marillyn, if you would like to share and introduce Sarah, that’d be great.

     MS. HEWSON:  Thank you, Ivanka, and thank you for all that you’re doing.  But importantly, Mr. President, thank you for your leadership, for putting a focus on this important initiative.

     We all know, as Ivanka said, that there is a skills gap.  So what you’re doing to help bridge that gap by focusing government, private industry, as well as academia on this, with your focus on workforce and the American worker, is what’s going to make a difference for this country.

     And as Ivanka said last year, where we were happy to pledge our 8,000 internships and apprenticeships and worker training initiatives, we also pledged $150 million towards STEM scholarships and start training for education for our workers, which came through tax reform and other opportunities that your administration has focused on so much.

     And I’m happy that one of the initiatives that we put underway is our Advanced Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program, which we expanded.  And Sarah Latham -- who I want to introduce to you today so that she can tell your story -- is someone who has positively benefitted from that.  So we -- I want to turn it over to her to let her tell you a little bit about what she’s accomplished.


     MS. LATHAM:  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President, for having me here today.  As mentioned, my name is Sarah Latham and I’m a graduate of AMTAP’s pilot program from 2016.  There are many benefits to AMTAP, but what I loved most about the program was the course content and the course structuring.

Joining Lockheed Martin through AMTAP was different than the traditional hiring process where you apply, interview, and then start on day one.  AMTAP’s process was a nine-week process where each week you learned a multitude of hands-on skills, and over the course of time you learned about accountability and ownership for your work.

     By the end of the program, you had not only graduated with newly developed manufacturing skills, you had also cultivated the desire to do well in your career.  Since graduating AMTAP, I have worked as a technician building flight hardware for space vehicles currently in orbit.  And recently, I accepted a new position as a manufacturing planner.

     Apprenticeship programs like AMTAP allow you to cultivate new skills in a STEM-related career without having a four-year degree in STEM.  So I’m honored to have been a part of this program.

     And thank you again for having me here today.  (Applause.)

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

     MS. TRUMP:  Thank you, Sarah.  And now I’d like to introduce Audra.  Audra is -- works with small business in Michigan, and I believe you met with Acting Secretary [Administrator] Pilkerton just this past week when he was touring in support of the Pledge to America’s Workers.  And he was so impressed by you that he shared your story with all of us, and we’d love to hear from you directly, Audra.

     MS. THURSTON:  So, I’m an engineer at Calumet Electronics.  We are a 100 percent domestic supplier of circuit boards.  The circuit board industry was deeply affected by the offshoring to the Asian market.  And with President Trump’s initiatives and the Pledge to America’s Workers, we’ve been able to bring back training for workers, like myself, as well as resources to pursue advancing technology.

     So I was actually hired during the summer of the start of the pledge, and since then I have had an opportunity to continue my education, training under industry leaders and filling the gaps that are in the industry.

     I’ve had the opportunity to lead and participate in a team that is researching advanced manufacturing techniques that could help us compete with the offshore market.  And I’ve also been able to participate with our current intern class; that’s where I came from.  And since the program started with me, we’ve been able to triple the size of our intern class.  And I’ve been able to work with them and develop their skills.

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

     MS. TRUMP:  It’s amazing, Audra.  (Applause.)

     It’s been incredible how businesses large and small have signed on to the pledge and created these tremendous opportunities for their employees.  So thank you for representing great small business in Michigan: Calumet.

     And now I would like to turn it over to Jay Timmons.  Jay is the President and CEO of NAM, the National Association for Manufacturers.  And today he had a very, very exciting announcement about his commitment to this initiative and to the future of manufacturing here in the United States.

     Jay, would you like to share with us?

     MR. TIMMONS:  I would very much like to share it with you.  But first, thank you, Ivanka, for your great leadership on this initiative, and congratulations on the milestone.  And, Mr. President, thank you.

You know, when you addressed our board of directors at the end of 2017, you said that many of the policies that you were promoting would be rocket fuel for the economy, and indeed they were -- to the point that we have 500,000 open jobs in manufacturing today, which is part of that 7.3 million.

     So our commitment from the National Association of Manufacturers is to attract more workers to our sector through education programs and our Creators Wanted campaign that we’ve launched across the country.  And it’s also to retrain and upskill workers that are already in the manufacturing sector.  And so that’s why today we were very pleased and proud to be able to announce that we will commit the resources or that -- on behalf of manufacturers, we will commit the resources to provide training and upskilling opportunities for 1.186 million manufacturing workers.  (Applause.)

     But that’s really just a start.  We think that’s a conservative number.  Our members, as you know -- our manufacturers every single day are providing training opportunities.  And one of those companies is Staub Manufacturing.  I know you’re very familiar in the Dayton, Ohio area.

I brought with us today, a person you made the most famous welder in America, and that’s Corey Adams.  Corey, where are you?  Hold your hand up.  (Applause.)  You may remember Corey from the 2018 State of Manu- -- State of Manufacturing --(laughs) -- State if the Union Address here in Washington.  And, Mr. President, you recognized Corey.

As you know, he supported himself through high school and he got a job during the recession, only to lose it.  And then he was hired at Staub Manufacturing where, like our other manufacturers, Staub committed to providing the skills necessary for Corey to become a welder and to add to his career portfolio at the company and in manufacturing.

So, that's one example of many.  We look forward to working with you, and our manufacturing institute working with you, to continue to upskill the workforce in manufacturing.

     MS. TRUMP:  Amazing, Jay.  Thank you.  (Applause.)
     And I would like to recognize so many other great companies and workers from across the nation who have joined us here today: employees from Apple, from Samsung, from Siemens, and so many other great businesses.  So if you could all stand, we'd love to give you a round of applause.  (Applause.)

     One of the things that has been so impactful for us is to travel around the country and hear the individual stories of how new pathways have been opened up for you as a result of the training experiences you've undertaken.  And hearing from you today reinforces why this initiative is so important and why we’re so committed to it.  So, really, thank you.

And, Mr. President, if you'd like to say a few final words before we leave.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I can just say this is an incredible event to me because I was with you on day one when it started, and to see how far you've come and how far everybody has come, including my friend the welder back there who is now making a lot of money, and I'm proud of you.  (Laughter.)  And I heard you're doing a great job.  And he is probably the most famous welder right now.  Maybe in the world, come to think of it.  But it's going well, isn’t it?

I'll just tell you, it's been an incredible experience for me to watch this happen and for my Cabinet to watch it happen with me.  They have been doing an incredible job at trying to help out wherever possible.  And all of the really spectacular companies -- we have the greatest companies anywhere in the world.  We make the best jets and fighters and missiles, and we make the best everything.  We make the best product -- best product in the world.

And they're all coming back now.  They're coming back to the United States.  They want to be in the United States; it’s the hot place.  I hear it all the time.  I hear it from other, frankly, presidents and prime ministers and kings and queens.  They all say they want to come back to the United States.  And some of them, other countries, are not exactly thrilled.  But we are the hottest economy in the world.  We're the hottest place in the world.  And you're doing a fantastic job.  Thank you very much, Ivanka.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Thank you very much.

                         END                 4:07 P.M. EDT


Statement from the Press Secretary on the Visit of His Excellency Khaltmaagiin Battulga, President of Mongolia

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement from the Press Secretary on the Visit of 

His Excellency Khaltmaagiin Battulga, President of Mongolia


President Donald J. Trump will welcome President Khaltmaagiin Battulga of Mongolia to the White House on July 31, 2019. The visit will focus on deepening cooperation between the United States and Mongolia to strengthen security and promote prosperity for both our countries. President Trump and President Battulga will discuss a range of issues, including defense and security, trade and investment, and sovereignty and rule of law, with the goal of sustaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region and the enduring partnership between our two countries.


1600 Daily The White House • July 25, 2019 While the Left Feuded, President Trump Helped 12 Million Workers Change Their Lives

1600 Daily
The White House • July 25, 2019

While the left feuded, President Trump helped 12 million workers change their lives 

While Congressional Democrats spent the past year determined to undo the 2016 election—topped off by yesterday’s “spectacle” with Special Counsel Robert Mueller—President Donald J. Trump has kept one of his most important promises to voters.

Alongside other crucial actions such as signing historic criminal justice reform and dealing a major blow to America’s opioid crisis, President Trump joined with leaders across the private and nonprofit sectors to accomplish something extraordinary. With Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump leading the charge, the Pledge to America’s Workers secured more than 12.7 million opportunities for our workforce in just one year.

 Watch: Ivanka Trump – “12 Million American lives improved!” 

The Pledge is President Trump’s commitment to making sure the booming Trump Economy benefits every American worker. As the number of job openings soars and the unemployment rate plummets to a near-50-year low, American wages are starting to rise. But that great news comes with a distinct challenge, as U.S. companies struggle to find enough workers with the right skill sets to fill all these open jobs.  

That’s where the Pledge to America’s Workers comes in.

Last summer, President Trump introduced a new approach to bring more Americans off the sidelines and back into the labor force. He issued a challenge for businesses to create more career training opportunities for students and workers of all ages. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of that effort, the President invited the leaders of some of those companies—and the workers who have seen their lives change—to the White House today.

“Over the last year, more than 300 businesses and organizations, large and small, have signed our Pledge to America’s Workers, and today we celebrate reaching over 12 million pledges,” Ivanka Trump said.

Gathered in the State Dining Room of the White House earlier, the National Association of Manufacturers announced they will become the latest organization to meet the President’s challenge. With members that include American manufacturing giants such as Caterpillar and Boeing, more than 1.1 million blue-collar workers will have a chance to enhance their skills under NAM’s new pledge.

“Every single pledge is a commitment to the promise of an individual and his or her potential. We are changing the conversation on workforce development, so we can prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Ms. Trump said.

Thanks to President Trump, 12+ million commitments and counting!

More: US manufacturers pledge to train 1.2M workers amid skilled labor shortage

Video of the day: REAL results for the American people

House Democrats squandered more time that could have been spent helping the American people yesterday on what seems to be their only agenda item: never-ending obstruction and investigation. But like Charlie Brown missing the football, Democrat leaders keep doing the same thing over and over—with the same failed results.

But President Trump remains hard at work, delivering on the issues Americans actually care about: jobs, higher wages, border security, lower drug prices, a stronger military, and more. It’s been two and a half years of real results, and there’s much more to come.

  By the numbers: Zero collusion. Zero obstruction. $35 million taxpayer dollars.

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
President Donald J. Trump reviews troops at the Full Honors Ceremony for Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia | July 25, 2019

White House Bill Announcement

Office of the Press Secretary

On Thursday, July 25, 2019, the President signed into law:

H.R. 866, the "Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2019," which requires certain public buildings that are open to the public and contain a public restroom to provide a lactation room;

S. 744, the "Effective Prosecution of Possession of Biological Toxins and Agents Act of 2019," which expands criminal law prohibiting the possession of certain biological agents and toxins to include additional substances designated by Department of Health and Human Services regulation;

S. 998, the "Supporting and Treating Officers In Crisis Act of 2019," which reauthorizes, through fiscal year 2024, and expands certain Department of Justice grant programs to provide mental health, stress reduction, and suicide prevention services for law enforcement officers and their families; and

S. 1749, the "Protecting Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2019," which clarifies the seasoning requirements for certain refinanced mortgage loans.

President Donald J. Trump Announces Presidential Delegation to Attend the Presidential Inauguration of His Excellency Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Announces Presidential Delegation to Attend 
the Presidential Inauguration of His Excellency Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Nouakchott, Mauritania, to attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani on August 1, 2019.

Mr. John Deaver Alexander III, Senior Advisor for Energy, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, will lead the delegation.

Member of the Presidential Delegation:

The Honorable Michael J. Dodman, United States Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Passing of President Beji Caid Essebsi of the Republic of Tunisia

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Passing of President Beji Caid Essebsi of the Republic of Tunisia


President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump join the Tunisian people in mourning the passing of their beloved President, Beji Caid Essebsi. President Caid Essebsi was a tireless advocate for the Tunisian people. The President and First Lady join many around the world in remembering his tremendous leadership and honoring his great legacy as the first democratically elected president of Tunisia after its 2011 revolution. The President and First Lady’s prayers are with President Caid Essebsi’s family at this difficult time.


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

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Individuals to Key Administration Posts

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

David Carey Woll, Jr., of Connecticut, to be Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Community Planning and Development).

Mr. Woll is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development.  He oversees $8 billion annually for affordable housing, homelessness, and community revitalization initiatives across America.  He also oversees HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program, which has an $87 billion portfolio to assist disaster-impacted communities.  Other assignments include service as Deputy General Counsel for Enforcement and Fair Housing at HUD and Senior Policy Advisor and Compliance Director in the Governor and Attorney General’s offices in New Jersey.  Mr. Woll has also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in D.C. and the Eastern District of New York.  Mr. Woll earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Maryland and his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Alina L. Romanowski, of Illinois, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Kuwait.

Ms. Romanowski, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State. Previously, she served as the Coordinator for United States Assistance to Europe and Eurasia in the Department’s Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs, and the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development.  Ms. Romanowski was twice a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.  At the Defense Department, she was the founding Director of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.  Ms. Romanowski earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.  She is the recipient of a Presidential Distinguished Rank Award and two Presidential Meritorious Rank Awards.  She speaks French and has studied Arabic and Hebrew.



Office of the Press Secretary


The Pentagon
Arlington, Virginia


11:56 A.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much to our great Vice President, and thank you to all of the extraordinary patriots here at the United States Department of Defense, the world's largest building.  I've heard for many years, the world's largest building.  And it's under great leadership.

     Your devotion, strength, and courage keep America safe, strong, and free.  It's because of you that the United States military is the most powerful fighting force on the face of the Earth.

     I want to express our gratitude to the Old Guard and to all of the service members in today's review for their extraordinary commitment to excellence and their unwavering loyalty to our nation.  It is the greatest honor of my life to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.

Let me also recognize the incredible U.S. Navy Sea Chanters and the band for that beautiful rendition of our National Anthem.  It was really beautiful, and thank you very much.  Fantastic job.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.

     We're gathered here today to celebrate the swearing-in of America's new Secretary of Defense, Mark T. Esper.  Secretary Esper, your lifetime of noble service has prepared you for this immense responsibility.  And that’s what it is: immense responsibility.

     On behalf of our entire country, thank you and congratulations.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

     I have no doubt -- I know you well -- that you will thrive in the performance of your duties and make all Americans -- everybody in this great country -- all Americans very, very proud.  They're right now very proud, but they're going to be even more so as time goes by.  People love our country more than ever, and our country is respected again.  Remember that.

     I'm delighted that many members of your family could be here for this special occasion, including your wonderful wife Leah, your mother Polly, and your children Luke and Katherine.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Congratulations to a great family.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Great family.

     Also joining us are Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton, Director Dan Coats, representatives Kay Granger, John Rice Carter, and many members of the diplomatic corps.

     With us, as well, are many distinguished military leaders: Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul Selva.  Where is Paul?  Paul?  Paul.

Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy.  Ryan?  Hi, Ryan.  Stand up, Ryan.  You're doing a great job.  (Applause.)  You're filling big shoes, Ryan.

Acting Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Secretary.  (Applause.)

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.  Thank you, Thomas.  Great.  (Applause.)

Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley.  Mark?  Thank you, Mark.  (Applause.)  Congratulations to Mark. 

Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl Shultz.  Thank you, Admiral.  (Applause.)

Marine Corps Commandant, General David Berger.  General, thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Goldfein.  General, thank you very much.  (Applause.)
And Chief of Naval Operations Admiral, John Richardson.  Thank you all.  Thank you, Admiral.  (Applause.)

     Over many decades, in times of war and peace, Mark Esper has answered the call of duty.  He's never failed.  He hails from Uniontown, Pennsylvania -- the hometown of his personal hero, the legendary former Secretary of Defense and a great one, George Marshall.

Mark attended the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Graduated in 1986, receiving a commission in the infantry.

     Soon, he earned his tab -- Ranger Tab -- and fought with the famed 101st Airborne Division in the Gulf War.  He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge for his service.  Brave guy.  They all told me he was a brave guy.  I knew that anyway.

     In total, Mark served in our nation's military for 21 years.  He completed his final active-duty assignment right here at the Pentagon on the Army staff and then returned six years later as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy.

     Over his career, Mark has advanced our national security in a variety of other government and private sector roles.  He has worked in both houses of Congress, advising lawmakers.  I can see he had some talent because he won -- was it 98 to what?  No, you got 90, right?  Can you believe this?  I don't believe it.  I heard a "Ninety."  Ninety to eight, right?  (Applause.)  I don't know.  I haven't heard that sound in a long time, Mark.  (Laughter.)  Now I'm worried.  Ninety to eight.  Wow.

     He served as Vice President of Raytheon.  Along the way, Mark earned a master's degree at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a PhD at George Washington University.

     In 2017, Mark was sworn in as Secretary of the United States Army, a position in which he earned universal admiration and respect.  Tremendous respect.

     At the Department of Defense, Secretary Esper will work with more than 2 million service members and hundreds of thousands of civilian employees all dedicated to one critical mission: the defense of the nation and of this great nation's people.

     I have absolute confidence that Mark will ensure that our incredible military is fully prepared to deter conflict and to defeat any foe.  No enemy can match the awesome might of the American Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the United States Marines.

     We had a budget approved when I first came in.  Billions and billions of dollars more than it was previously, in the previous administration: $700 billion.  Then I went to $716 billion.  And I won't even tell you what this one is.  I can only tell you it's even more.  Because we have rebuilt things that nobody ever even thought of rebuilding.  We've added the greatest planes in the world, the greatest missiles in the world.  We've upgraded our nuclear very, very powerfully, including new.  We never want to have to use it.  Pray to God that we never have to use it.  But we have the best in the world in every aspect of military.

     The sight of American warriors brings solace into the hearts of our friends and strikes fear into the hearts of our enemies.  Our military today is more powerful, by far, than ever before.  And three years ago, we could not have said that, could we, Mark?

     We're giving our warfighters the tools they need to fight and win with overwhelming force.  After years and years of budget cuts and all of the things that they've been doing to set us back with our military, we have more than made up for all of it.

     We're building new tanks and ships and submarines and planes and missile systems to ensure that our warriors operate with unrivaled capability in conflict.  Any battlefield will be a battlefield on which we win.

     We have given our service members their largest pay raise in nearly a decade.  And under this administration, we have faced the challenge of our time with clear eyes, fresh thinking, and bold determination.

     Our first priority is always the safety and sovereignty of our nation and our citizens.  Here at home, we have deployed military forces to confront the grave national security crisis on our southern border.  And I want to thank all of the great military leaders for the help you've given us on our southern border.

     And, as you know, Mexico has now deployed 21,000 troops, which is something they've never done before.  And they've been a tremendous help.  Tremendous difference in the numbers -- very rapidly.  And we want to thank the country of Mexico and the President.

     No nation can be safe or secure that fails to control its borders.  In Syria and Iraq, thanks to the bravery of our warriors and their allies, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent and just absolutely destroyed.  And we did it in a very quick moment of time.  As soon as I said, “I want to do it and I want to do it fast,” our military kicked in and it happened very, very quickly.

     Today, we stand not far from where terrorists attacked the Pentagon on 9/11, claiming 184 precious lives.  We will never forget the immortal sacrifice of those American patriots.  We vow to do whatever it takes to protect our homeland, to safeguard our people from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, and to preserve American freedom.

     Around the world, America faces new threats and strategic rivals, it seems like all the time.  We have met this competition with unmatched confidence, purpose, and resolve.  We talk to all of them and they talk to us with great, great respect.  They respect our country so much more than they have for many, many decades.  Right now, they respect us more than they have in many, many years.  And it’s only going to get more so.

     We are ensuring American dominance across every warfighting domain -- land, air, sea, cyber, and now space.  That is why, under Secretary Esper’s leadership, we will -- as Mike and Mark have already said, but it’s so exciting to say.  And whenever I make a speech, people start going wild.  They stand up and they clap, and I can’t sit them down.  And I have to wait because I say, "We’re launching the United States Space Force."  They go absolutely wild.  They understand that’s where it’s going to be at.  And we’re going to be there, and we’re going to be there in every way that you can.

     As we aim ever higher, I know the men and women of this department will never let up and never rest easy.  Together, we will fulfill our sacred mission to protect the greatest nation in the history of the world: the United States of America.  With unyielding strength, we will defend our country, we will defend our people, and we will proudly defend our great American flag.

     Secretary Esper, congratulations again to you and your family.  This is an incredible day in the life and fabled history of the United States.

Secretary of Defense, do you ever see that, looking into -- do you ever see that one?  As I watch all of these great men and women -- you’re going to do a great job, I have no doubt.  Absolutely no doubt.  (Applause.)  No doubt.

     We cannot wait to see all that you will achieve for our nation as the new Secretary of Defense.  I want to thank everybody for being here.  Very special people.  God bless you.  God bless our military.  And God bless America.

Thank you very much everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

                                        END                 12:10 P.M. EDT



Office of the Press Secretary

“The Trump administration is fulfilling its promise to create good jobs for American workers. Over the next five years, millions of American workers will be equipped with the skills they need to grow and thrive in the modern economy.”
White House creating good jobs for workers 
By Secretary Wilbur Ross
The Virginian-Pilot
July 23, 2019

From day one, the Trump administration has fulfilled its promise to create good jobs for American workers.

To ensure that all Americans are prepared for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs and that the historic economic expansion continues, President Trump has called on his administration to create the first-ever National Workforce Strategy. It is essential that this strategy responds to the needs of business and America’s workers.

To that end, he created the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which I co-chair with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump.

The board was created by executive order in July 2018 and brings together 25 of our top leaders from business, education, organized labor, state and local governments, trade associations, and non-profits to build out the National Workforce Strategy. The board is currently working on recommendations for the president to promote the many pathways to good careers, provide greater jobs data transparency, increase skills-based hiring, and measure and encourage employer-led training.

The Pledge to America’s Workers, a core component of that effort, is already a resounding success. The pledge celebrates and encourages an invisible cornerstone of the U.S. education and training system employer-provided training. Through apprenticeships, university and community college classes, boot camps, on-the-job training, online learning, and many other paths, American companies are increasing the skills of millions of workers.

Already, more than 280 companies and organizations have pledged nearly 10 million enhanced training and career opportunities for American students and workers over the next five years. By building worker training programs tailored to their needs, both employers and prospective employees win.

Through our work, and that of the Trump administration, all Americans will benefit from the country’s economic success.

Read the full op-ed here.

West Wing Reads The Do-Over Delusion

West Wing Reads

The Do-Over Delusion

“No matter how many times Democrats demand a do-over, the results won’t change.”

The Washington Times editorial board writes that “facing the klieg lights on national TV Wednesday, Mr. Mueller appeared overwhelmed by the moment, unfamiliar with his brief, a figurehead set in place by mischievous hands.” For a less confused account, look at the Special Counsel’s actual 448-page report. “Each copy spells out in black and white the failure to find that Mr. Trump committed a crime.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows this, and she must be itching “to slam the door on impeachment proceedings,” the editors add. The question is: Will the far left let her?

Click here to read more.
“Democrats are, without question, worse off now than they were before former special counsel Robert Mueller gave his five hours of testimony,” Eddie Scarry writes in the Washington Examiner. “Anyone who watched the back-to-back hearings Wednesday got exactly nothing new from Mueller . . . but Democrats thought it wise to drag out this never-ending nightmare.”
“Manufacturers are promising to upskill nearly 1.2 million workers, a major training commitment that comes as U.S. companies prepare to try to fill millions of open positions over the next decade amid a labor shortage,” Joe Williams reports for Fox Business. “We are thrilled to have [the National Association of Manufacturers] make this huge investment into our future and current manufacturers,” Ivanka Trump said.

Watch live at 3:30 p.m. ET: 1-year celebration of the Pledge to America’s Workers
“Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe blasted former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Wednesday for his report” violating a basic principle of justice, Brooke Singman reports for Fox News. When asked, Mueller couldn’t name a single example of when the Justice Department wouldn’t exonerate an investigated person because their innocence couldn’t be proved. “The bedrock principle of our justice system is a presumption of innocence—everyone is entitled to it, including a sitting president,” Rep. Ratcliffe said.
“House Democrats hoped that Wednesday’s hearings would allow them to highlight their favorite portions of the Mueller report for people who haven’t read it. Democrats didn’t expect this segment of Americans to include the author,” James Freeman writes in The Wall Street Journal. Regarding “a document with which he seemed strangely unfamiliar, former Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller let stand the report’s finding of no Trump-Russia collusion.”
“Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony Wednesday before two House committees confirmed what we already knew: his two-year investigation of Russia’s meddling in our 2016 presidential election was fatally tainted by deep political bias and was in fact designed to harass and derail President Trump,” Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, writes in Fox News.

More: Voter skepticism about Mueller investigation grows, says Politico poll