Wednesday, September 18, 2019

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP BEFORE AIR FORCE ONE DEPARTURE Los Angeles International Airport Los Angeles, California

Office of the Press Secretary

Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles, California

10:34 A.M. PDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  We’re with Robert O’Brien, who, as you know, is the new National Security Advisor.  He’s worked with me for quite a while now on hostages, and we’ve had a tremendous track record with respect to hostages.  Robert can tell you about it.

But we brought a lot of people back home and we haven’t spent any money.  So, that’s good, because you can’t do the money thing.  If you do the money thing, all of a sudden it will double and triple and quadruple.  You’ll say, “What’s going on?”

So, Robert has been fantastic.  We know each other well.  And maybe, Robert, say a few words.  Please.  
AMBASSADOR O’BRIEN:  Great.  Thank you.  Look, it’s a privilege to serve with the President and to -- and we look forward to another year and a half of peace through strength.  We’ve had tremendous foreign policy successes under President Trump’s leadership.  I expect those to continue.

We’ve got a number of challenges, but there’s a great team in place with Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Esper, Secretary Mnuchin, and others.  And I look forward to working with them and working with the President to keep America safe and continue to rebuild our military and really get us back to a peace-through-strength posture that will keep the American people safe from the many challenges around the world today.

Q    Mr. O’Brien, what advice do you have for the President about the situation in Saudi Arabia and any possible military strike on Iran?

AMBASSADOR O’BRIEN:  Yeah, so we’re looking at those issues now and getting briefed up.  And I think Secretary Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia now or is just coming home.  And any advice that I give the President will be something I give him confidentially.  But we’re monitoring that situation closely.

Q    And, Mr. President, any update on your thinking?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, I have nothing to report yet.  We’ll probably be speaking to you tomorrow, maybe the next day.  But nothing to report.  But it hasn’t changed very much.  I think my thinking pretty much remains the same.  And we haven’t learned much that we didn’t know.  But there is -- there is a certain -- a guarantee factor.  We're really at a point now where we know very much what happened.


     Q    Lindsey Graham said sanctions aren’t enough.  Will you do more on Iran?

     THE PRESIDENT:  We'll see what happens.  We'll see.  You'll watch.


     Q    Mr. President, should Rouhani come to New York next week?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me?

     Q    Should President Rouhani come to New York next week for (inaudible)?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I really don’t know.  I really don’t know.  That’s up to him.  I mean, I'm -- it's not up to me.  It's up to him.  We’ll see what happens.

     Q    (Inaudible) visas from Iranians to come?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we're going to see what happens.  I would let them come.  If it was up to me, I would let them come.

I've always felt the United Nations is very important.  I think it's got tremendous potential.  I don’t think it's ever lived up to the potential it has, but I would certainly not want to keep people out if they want to come.  So, that would be up to them.

     Q    (Inaudible) Senator Graham, who said that the failure to strike Iran this summer was a sign of -- taken by Iran as a sign of weakness?

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, I actually think it's a sign of strength.  We have the strongest military in the world now.  And I think it's a great sign of strength.  It's very easy to attack.

But if you ask Lindsey, ask him: How did going into the Middle East -- how did that work out?  And how did going in Iraq work out?

    So, we have a disagreement on that.  And, you know, there's plenty of time to do some dastardly things.  It's very easy to start.  And we'll see what happens.  We'll see what happens.

I think we have a lot of good capital.  If we have to do something, we'll do it without hesitation.

     Q    Mr. President, do you agree with the Secretary -- Mr. Pompeo -- that the attacks in Saudi were an “act of war”?  And if so, what's the response on the U.S. end?

     THE PRESIDENT:  He just came out with a statement.  He spoke to me a little while ago.  And we'll have an announcement.  Okay?

     Q    What does Mr. O'Brien bring to the table that you were looking for that maybe you didn’t get through Mr. Bolton?

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s very interesting.  Mr. O’Brien is highly respected.  He was highly respected by so many people that I didn’t even know really knew him.  He did a tremendous job on hostage negotiation -- really tremendous, like unparalleled.  We’ve had tremendous success in that regard.  Brought home many people.  And through hostage negotiation, I got to know him very well myself.  But also, a lot of people that I respect rated him as their absolute, number-one choice.

So, you know, I think we have a very good chemistry together, and I think we’re going to have a great relationship.  He is a very talented man.

Q    Mr. President, would you raise more sanctions on Iran today?


Q    Would you announce more sanctions on Iran?  What will they include?

THE PRESIDENT:  We’ll be adding some very significant sanctions onto Iran.

Q    And what will they include, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  We’ll be announcing it over the next 48 hours.

Q    And you said that there will be a further announcement on Iran.  Are you looking at a military strike?

THE PRESIDENT:  We’ll see what happens.

Q    What are the options, Mr. President, that you’re considering?  You just said that there were some very bad things you’re thinking about.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, there are many options, as you know, Phil.  There are many options.  And there’s the ultimate option, and there are options that are a lot less than that.  And we’ll see.  We’re in a very powerful position.  Right now, we’re in a very, very powerful position.

Q    When you say “the ultimate option,” are you talking about a nuclear strike?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I’m saying “the ultimate option,” meaning go in -- war.  No, I’m not talking about -- I’m not talking about that ultimate option.  No.

Q    Okay.


Q    How do you see the role of National Security Advisor changing with Mr. O’Brien?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think it’s a very important role.  It’s really a role that, if the President respects the person that’s the advisor, I think it really plays a very, very important role.

Okay?  Thank you.  Peter, thank you.

Q    You’re heading to the border today?

THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to the border later.  Are you all with me?

Q    Yes.

     THE PRESIDENT:  We’re going to show you a lot of wall.  We’re building a lot of wall.  We won the big case and a couple of other cases, as you know.  We’re building a lot of wall.

     So, we’ll be talking.  We’ll be talking to you later on.  Okay?

     Q    Have you spoken to Netanyahu?

     THE PRESIDENT:  I have not.  Those results are coming in, and it’s very close.  Do you have any updates?  Any updates?  Because you people usually should know before the President, right?

     Q    Are you suspicious at all about the results?

     THE PRESIDENT:  No, I’m not.  No, I’m not.  Everybody knew it was going to be very close, and we’ll see what happens.  And, look, our relationship is with Israel.  We’ll see what happens.

Thank you.  Thank you everybody.

                             END                10:41 A.M. PDT


West Wing Reads The NYT Kavanaugh Smear Shows Why the Press is the Least-Trusted Institution in America

West Wing Reads

The NYT Kavanaugh Smear Shows Why the Press is the Least-Trusted Institution in America

“A Columbia Journalism Review poll released this year found that half of all Americans have ‘hardly any confidence at all’ in the media, which beat out even Congress as the institution for which the public has the lowest confidence,” Marc Thiessen writes in The Washington Post.

“It’s not hard to see why. Last week, CNN reported that the CIA was forced to pull a highly placed source inside the Kremlin because of concerns that President Trump might burn him — when it turns out the decision to extract the source was made before Trump took office because of leaks from senior Obama administration officials.”

Then over the weekend, The New York Times published a story claiming a “previously unreported” sexual assault allegation against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “One small problem: In the book, Pogrebin and Kelly write that the female student in question ‘refused to discuss the incident’ and that ‘several of her friends said she does not recall it.’” The Times left that part out of its initial story, later adding a “clarification.”

One more thing the Times decided not to mention: The man accusing Kavanaugh in its story “was a member of Bill Clinton’s legal team at the same time that Kavanaugh was working for independent counsel Kenneth Starr” during the Lewinsky investigation.

Click here to read more.
“President Trump’s immigration policies are steadily curbing the flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border — but some Democrats are determined to keep the humanitarian catastrophe going for as long as possible for political gain and at America’s expense,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd writes in RealClearPolitics. According to Politico, some House Democrats are looking for “payback” at the President for taking action to address illegal immigration.
Optimism in America’s construction industry is at an all-time high, Paul Bedard reports for the Washington Examiner. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which helped compile the new index, “noted that the industry is running short of workers and that 61% of commercial contractors plan to hire in the next six months.”
By applying maximum pressure against terrorist networks, “the American people know President Trump’s priority is the safety of our nation from coast to coast and all of our troops around the world,” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) writes in the Aiken Standard.

Presidential Message on the 72nd Birthday of the United States Air Force

Office of the Press Secretary
Presidential Message on the 72nd Birthday of the United States Air Force
As Commander in Chief, I am proud to join a grateful Nation in wishing the United States Air Force a happy 72nd birthday.

Established after the conclusion of World War II and with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, the United States Air Force is the world’s most dominant fighting force in air, space, and cyberspace.  For more than seven decades, America’s airmen have been at the forefront of protecting our citizens and helping the United States promote global peace and prosperity.  In their endeavor to always Aim High, these patriots use unrivaled technology and ingenuity to safeguard America’s military installations and assets, support our operations in all environments, and defend our cherished freedoms.

Today, the United States Air Force continues to uphold this standard of excellence and readiness.  Around the world, our aircraft—both manned and unmanned—dominate the skies, our satellite and cyber operations protect and secure the flow of information for our Armed Services and our Intelligence Community, and our innovative airmen find new and lasting ways to Fly, Fight, and Win.

Earlier this year, I was honored to address the next generation of airmen graduating from the prestigious United States Air Force Academy during their commencement exercises in Colorado.  It was my honor to shake the hand of the nearly 1,000 cadets who had bravely answered our Nation’s call of duty, and I was moved by their fearless commitment to serving our country.

I am grateful to the men and women of the United States Air Force and all of our military personnel and their families for their immeasurable sacrifice.  We salute you for your honorable service and your commitment to keeping America safe, strong, and free.

Statement from the Press Secretary

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary
The United States strongly condemns the Taliban’s cowardly attacks against the Afghan people.  Today’s bombing of the election rally in Parwan province killed nearly 30 Afghan civilians, including women and children, while the suicide attack in Kabul near the Afghan Ministry of Defense and U.S. Embassy compound killed more than 20 Afghans.  The President has made clear that he will not negotiate a peace agreement while the Taliban continues such attacks.

1600 Daily The White House • September 17, 2019 At the White House today, 28 People Become Americans

1600 Daily
The White House • September 17, 2019

At the White House today, 28 people become Americans 

On this day 232 years ago, the Framers met in Philadelphia to sign our Constitution, setting our nation on a bold course to becoming a more perfect Union.

John Adams called the drafting of our Constitution “the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen.” During Constitution Week, we celebrate the American citizens who have devoted their lives to implementing the Framers’ vision of the world’s grandest, most successful experiment in self-government.

In honor of that vision, Vice President Mike Pence led a White House naturalization ceremony today, where 28 new Americans officially became United States citizens.

  In photos: “Welcome to the American family,” Vice President Pence says.

“It is Constitution Day in America, but this is your day—your first day as American citizens—and you have our congratulations,” the Vice President said. “Welcome to the American family.”

This moving ceremony represents everything that our great Constitution stands for. These 28 individuals all came from different walks of life, but each one hoped to be a part of the American Dream that’s seen as a symbol of hope throughout the world. This week, nearly 34,000 other individuals like these 28 will be welcomed with open arms as the newest citizens of the United States of America.

“You all have one thing in common: You aspired to be Americans,” Vice President Pence said. “You stepped forward, you followed the law, you went through the process, and, today, you are American citizens. Well done.”

See President Trump’s proclamation on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

More: This Constitution Week, America welcomes 34,000 new legal citizens

President Trump arrives in California!

President Donald J. Trump continues his tour out West today, arriving in sunny California after spending last night in New Mexico.

Despite liberal state leaders who often fail to address the state’s most pressing challenges, Californians have seen incredible results under President Trump’s economic program. Job creation has rebounded in a big way, with more than 870,000 jobs added since President Trump’s election. Perhaps even more impressive, in that same time period California’s unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent to 4.1 percent—a record low.

The difference-maker wasn’t more high-tax, big-government policies that the people of California have grown accustomed to seeing from their leaders. It was the pro-growth, workers-first agenda that President Trump began implementing on day one.

But despite these gains, California cities continue to be hampered by a severe homelessness problem that the state’s left-wing leaders consistently fail to address.

Nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. homeless population resides in California—about 130,000 people. Today, four of the five major American cities with the highest rates of unsheltered homelessness are in the state. To illustrate how dire the problem is, San Francisco has a rate of unsheltered homelessness of 60 per 10,000—10 times greater than the national average.

How did this happen? There is plenty of blame to go around in the state’s leadership, but in general, left-wing policies such as overregulation have deepened the crisis, driving up the prices of homes and leaving more people unable to afford a roof over their heads.

Making matters worse, many liberal leaders continue to ignore the rule of law—and the will of the people—by enabling massive illegal immigration. In the end, it’s their own constituents who pay the price. San Francisco’s leaders have loudly pushed for open-border policies even while their communities face a worsening homelessness crisis.

President Trump is calling them out. His Administration is paving the way for more affordable housing development and bringing needed reforms to America’s housing finance system. Real work is already being done to reduce the risk factors for homelessness, such as improving addiction treatment and mental healthcare, as well as promoting career opportunities for former prisoners. Hopefully California leaders take note.

 Something to share: President Trump has delivered big results for California!

The New York Times: “America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals.”

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
President Donald J. Trump disembarks Air Force One at Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View, California | September 17, 2019

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Visit of President Sauli Niinistö of the Republic of Finland

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Visit of President Sauli Niinistö of the Republic of Finland
President Donald J. Trump will welcome President Sauli Niinistö of the Republic of Finland to the White House on October 2, 2019. President Trump and President Niinistö will discuss enhancing cooperation between the United States and Finland, including opportunities to promote European and Arctic security. They will also reaffirm their shared interest in commercial and technological cooperation. This meeting will occur during the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Finland, and the President looks forward to celebrating this important anniversary with President Niinistö.