Friday, September 20, 2019

Expected Attendees at Tonight’s Dinner in Honor of The Honorable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, and Mrs. Jennifer Morrison

Office of the First Lady
Expected Attendees at Tonight’s Dinner in Honor of The Honorable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, and Mrs. Jennifer Morrison

The Prime Minister of Australia and Mrs. Jennifer Morrison

Mr. David Abney and Mrs. Sherry Abney

Ms. Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia

Ms. Adrienne Arsht and The Honorable C. Boyden Gray

The Honorable Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services and Mrs. Jennifer Azar

The Honorable William Barr, Attorney General and Mrs. Christine Barr

Ms. Maria Bartiromo and Mr. Jonathan Steinberg

Mr. Adam Beren and Mrs. Ellen Beren

The Honorable Roy Blunt, United States Senator from Missouri and Mrs. Abigail Blunt

Mr. David Bohigian and Mrs. Catherine Bohigian

Mr. Donald Bollinger and Mrs. Joy Bollinger

Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbühl and Mrs. Michelle Brechbühl

The Honorable Gavin Buckley, Mayor of Annapolis and Mrs. Julie Buckley

The Honorable Sean Cairncross and Ms. Emily Skor

General Angus Campbell AO DSC, Chief of the Defense Force, Australia

Mr. Andrew Carswell, Press Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

Mr. Daniel Cathy and Mrs. Rhonda Cathy

Ms. Michelle Chan, National Security Advisor and Senior Advisor (International), Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Pasquale Cipollone and Mrs. Rebecca Cipollone

Air Vice Marshal Alan Clements CSC, Head of Australian Defense Staff, Embassy of Australia and Mrs. Helene Clements

The Honorable Kellyanne Conway

Her Excellency Katrina Cooper, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Australia and Mr. Keith Tuckwell

Mr. Nicholas Creevey, Senior Media Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Arthur Culvahouse, American Ambassador to Australia and Ms. Melanie Aitken

The Honorable Leonard Curry, Mayor of Jacksonville and Mrs. Molly Curry

The Honorable Ronald DeSantis, Governor of Florida and Mrs. Casey DeSantis

The Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education and Mr. Richard DeVos

Mr. Louis Dobbs and Mrs. Debi Dobbs

The Honorable Emma Doyle and Mr. Brett Doyle

The Honorable Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense and Mrs. Leah Esper

Mr. Yaron Finkelstein, Principal Private Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

Mr. Andrew Forrest AO and Mrs. Nicola Forrest AO

Mr. Saul Fox and Ms. Hannah Strobel

Mr. Philip Gaetjens, Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Ms. Sonia Gentile, Director of Program, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Rudolph Giuliani and Dr. Maria Ryan

Mr. James Gorman

The Reverend Franklin Graham and Mrs. Jane Graham

The Honorable Stephanie Grisham and The Honorable Max Miller

Mr. Jack Hampton, Assistant Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

Mr. Justin Hayhurst, First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia

The Honorable Katherine Henderson and Ms. Mary Screws

Ms. Diane Hendricks and Mr. Keith Rozolis

His Excellency Joseph Hockey, Ambassador of Australia to the United States and Ms. Melissa Babbage

Dr. Elizabeth Jens and Mr. Ross Allen

Ms. Tham Kannalikham

Mr. Howard Kessler and Mrs. Michele Kessler

The Honorable Henry Kissinger and Mrs. Nancy Kissinger

The Honorable Keith Krach and Mrs. Metta Krach

The Honorable Lawrence Kudlow and Mrs. Judith Kudlow

Dr. John Kunkel, Chief of Staff, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative and Ms. Claire Lighthizer

Mr. Andrew Liveris and Mr. Anthony Liveris

Mr. Nikolai Louw, Executive Officer, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Viola Lyles, Mayor of Charlotte and Mr. Jeffrey Young

The Honorable Derek Lyons and Ms. Elizabeth Horning

The Honorable David Malpass and Mrs. Adele Malpass

The Honorable Joseph Manchin, United States Senator from West Virginia and Mrs. Gayle Manchin

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, United States Representative from California and Ms. Meghan McCarthy

The Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and Mr. Bynum Hunter

Mrs. Gail McGovern and Mr. Donald McGovern

The Honorable Mark Meadows, United States Representative from North
Carolina and Mrs. Debbie Meadows

The Honorable Stephen Miller and Ms. Katie Waldman

General Mark Milley, United States Army

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury and Ms. Louise Linton

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney

Mr. Lachlan Murdoch and Mrs. Sarah Murdoch

Mr. Gregory Norman and Mrs. Kirsten Norman

Mr. Roger Norman and Mrs. Elise Norman

Mrs. Sandra Oudkirk and Mr. Scott Oudkirk

The Honorable Robert O’Brien and Mrs. Louisa O’Brein

The Vice President of the United States and Mrs. Karen Pence

Mr. Isaac Perlmutter and Mrs. Laura Perlmutter

The Honorable Michael Pompeo, Secretary of State and Mrs. Susan Pompeo

The Honorable Matthew Pottinger and Mrs. Yen Pottinger

Mr. Anthony Pratt and Ms. Claudine Revere

The Honorable Lindsay Reynolds

Mrs. Georgina Rinehart

The Honorable James Risch, United States Senator from Idaho and Mrs. Vicki Risch

Mr. Paul Ritchie, Senior Communications Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable John F.W. Rogers and Ms. Deborah Lehr

The Honorable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce and Mrs. Hilary Ross

Mr. Phillip Ruffin and Mrs. Oleksandra Ruffin

The Honorable Daniel Scavino

The Honorable Marc Short and Mrs. Kristen Short

Dr. Michelle Simmons AO and Dr. Thomas Barlow

Mr. David Solomon and Ms. Jan Wilson

The Honorable David Stilwell and Mrs. Jan Stilwell

Mr. Kerry Stokes AC and Mrs. Christine Simpson Stokes

Mr. Curtis Stone and Mrs. Lindsay Stone

The Honorable John Sullivan, Deputy Secretary of State and Ms. Graciela Rodriguez

Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States and Mrs. Virginia Thomas

Mr. Andrew Thomas AO

Mr. Robert Thomson and Ms. Ping Wang

Ms. Elizabeth Uihlein and Mr. Jacob Peters

The Honorable Daniel Walsh and Mrs. Deborah Walsh

Mrs. Kathy Warden and Mr. Eric Warden

Mr. Nicholas Warner AO PSM, Director-General of National Intelligence

Ms. Shemara Wikramanayake and Mr. Michael Silverton

Mr. Michael Wirth and Mrs. Julie Wirth


Office of the Press Secretary


Oval Office

10:20 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much everybody.  It’s a great honor to have the Prime Minister of Australia.  And congratulations and thank you very much, Mrs. Morrison.  Thank you very much for being here.  We appreciate it.  This was a lovely ceremony.  I hope you liked it.


     MRS. MORRISON:  We absolutely loved it.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It was in honor of you and Australia.

MRS. MORRISON:  Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Okay?  Thank you very much.
So we have a lot of things to talk about.  We’re talking trade.  We’re talking military.  We’ve been great allies for a long time.  There’s no better partnership.

And we’ve developed, on a personal basis, a tremendous friendship, and that helps.  That helps a lot.  But we’ll be meeting after this and having some very serious discussions about many things.

I do want to, if I may intercede for just a second: We have just sanctioned the Iranian National Bank.  That is their central banking system.  And it’s going to be at the highest level of sanctions.  So that just took place, and a couple of other things.

We have our Secretary of Treasury here, Steve Mnuchin.  If you want to say just a word, Steve, before we begin.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Mr. President, as you instructed me, we are continuing the maximum pressure campaign.  This is the last remaining source of funds.  So both the Central Bank of Iran, as well as the National Development Fund, which is their sovereign wealth fund, will be cut off from our banking system.  So this will mean no more funds going to the IRGC or to fund terror.  And this is on top of our oil sanctions and our financial institution sanctions.

     Thank you, Mr. President.

     Q    How big are sanctions, Mr. Secretary and Mr. President?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  This is very big.  We’ve now cut off all source of funds to Iran.

     Q    It goes all the way up to the very top?

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  That does.

     Q    Does that mean to the President of Iran?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Right to the top.

     Q    The Supreme Leader?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Right to the top.  Okay?

     Q    The Supreme Leader?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yes.  Right to the top.  Thank you very much, Steve.  Appreciate it.

     SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Thank you, Mr. President.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  So we’re dealing with many nations.  We’re dealing with some of the neighbors to Saudi Arabia.  And of course, we’re dealing with Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia is very much involved, from the standpoint of what we’re doing and what they’re doing.  And we’re working together with others.

     We’re also working on the cost of this whole endeavor.  And Saudi Arabia has been very generous.  We want to see if it works out.  And if it works out, that’s great.  And if it doesn’t work out, that’s great.  In the end, it always works out.  That’s the way it is: It always works out.

     So you’ll be seeing certain things happening, but a very major factor is what we did.  These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country.  We’ve never done it to this level.  And it’s too bad what’s happening with Iran.  It’s going to hell, doing poorly.  They are practically broke.  They are broke.  And they could -- they could solve the problem very easily.  All they have to do is stop with the terror.

They have been the number-one -- as you know, Scott, very well -- number-one country worldwide of terror, between sponsoring it and doing it themselves.  And we can’t have it.  They have a tremendous potential.  They have an incredible potential.  I can -- I think I can speak on behalf on Australia, too, in the sense that we’d like to see them do very well.

We were discussing it before -- the Prime Minister and myself.  We want to see them do well.  But it looks to me like, with what’s happening, maybe they want to keep going at it.  And when they go at it with us, there’s no way they win -- no way they win in any way or in any capacity.

So we wanted to let you know about that.  And that’s the way it is.  And thank you all very much.  We’re going to spend a lot of time with Australia today.  Today is our -- our -- a very special day for the United States because we’re honoring a great ally and a great friend.

Thank you.  Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Scott, would you like to say something?

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  It’s a tremendous honor for Australians for Jenny and I to be here with the President and Mrs. Trump.  It’s a very gracious invitation.  But it’s an invitation that recognizes not just, you know, the great relationship that the President and I have been able to forge so early, but this goes back a long way -- this relationship.

As the President often says, we've been in a lot of battles.  And those battles, of course, is what's happened in the field of conflicts, but we're battling continuously for a prosperous and a free world.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And we've never lost.

     PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Well, we've been doing great.  And we're going to keep doing great because --

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Keep it that way.  (Laughs.) 

     PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  -- we have to keep this -- this partnership together.  And it's a partnership where we both carry our own weight.  As I said outside, we look to America, but we don't leave it to America.

     Q    Prime Minister, the President said he spoke for Australia on Iran.  Does he?

     PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Well, he was saying that we both would like to see a prosperous Iran.  We'd like to see the people of Iran -- we want to see the people right across the world to be able to benefit from prosperous economies doing well.  That's what we want.  This is why Australia and the United States have always worked so closely together is because that's what we want for our own people; that's what we want for everyone.

     Q    Are our two countries heading to another conflict together?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And we've been speaking this subject -- the two of us.  We -- I think we have very similar views on the subject.


     Q    Mr. President, do you want to address this whistleblower story, sir?

     Q    Will you be asking -- will you be asking --

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Wait a moment, please.

     Q    Do you want to address this whistleblower story?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  What story?

     Q    The whistleblower, whether it was (inaudible)?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It's a ridiculous story.  It’s a partisan whistleblower.  Shouldn't even have information.  I've had conversations with many leaders.  They're always appropriate.  I think Scott can tell you that.  Always appropriate.  At the highest level, always appropriate.  And anything I do, I fight for this country.  I fight so strongly for this country.  It's just another political hack job.

     Q    Mr. President, on that point, did you discuss Joe Biden, his son, or his family with the leader of Ukraine?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It doesn't matter what I discuss.  But I will say this: Somebody ought to look into Joe Biden's statement, because it was disgraceful, where he talked about billions of dollars that he's not giving to a certain country unless a certain prosecutor is taken off the case.

     So, somebody ought to look into that.  And you wouldn't, because he's a Democrat.  And the Fake News doesn't look into things like that.  It's a disgrace.

     But I had a great conversation with numerous people.  I don't even know exactly who you're talking about, but I had a great conversation with numerous people -- numerous leaders.  And I always look for the conversation that's going to help the United States the most.  That's very important.

     Q    Mr. President, do you know the identity of the whistleblower?  Do you know the identity of the whistleblower?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don't know the identity of the whistleblower.  I just hear it's a partisan person, meaning it comes out from another party.  But I don't have any idea.  But I can say it was a totally appropriate conversation.  It was actually a beautiful conversation.

And this is no different than -- you know, the press has had a very bad week with Justice Kavanaugh and all of those ridiculous charges and all of the mistakes made at the New York Times and other places.  You've had a very bad week.  And this will be better than all of them.  This is another one.  So keep -- so keep -- so keep playing it up, because you're going to look really bad when it falls.  You know, I guess I'm about -- I guess I'm about 22 and 0, and I'll keep it that way.

     Q    Did you mention Joe Biden during the conversation though, Mr. President?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don't want to talk about any conversation, other than to say -- other than to say: great conversation, totally appropriate conversation, couldn't have been better.  And keep asking questions and build it up as big as possible so you can have a bigger downfall.

     Q    Mr. President, will you be asking Australia to do more when it comes to China?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Say it.  What?

     Q    Will you be asking Australia to do more when it comes to China?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, we're talking about China all the time.  And Scott has very strong opinions on China.  And I think I'd let him, maybe, express those opinions.  Maybe you do it right now.  You're not going to get a better audience than this.  (Laughter.)

     PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  We -- we have a comprehensive strategic partnership with China.  We work well with China.  But, as we've spoken many times, we need to ensure that as countries develop and realize their potential, well, they come onto a whole new level.  And that means there can't be special rules around that.

     And we have a great relationship with China.  China's growth has been great for Australia.  But we need to make sure that we all compete on the same playing field.

And this is something that United States and Australia have been very consistent on, that we need to move into this new world where economies are changing, China is a big economy -- not as big as the United States, but it's a big economy.  And that means we've all got to get on the same page with how the rules work.  And that's what we're working to achieve.

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I will say this: We're making a lot of progress with China.  They're having a very bad year.  Worst year in 57 years.  The tariffs are coming into us.  We're taking in billions and billions of dollars of tariffs.  They're devaluing their currency, which means the tariffs are not costing us probably anything, but certainly not very much.  They're also adding a lot of money into their economy.  They're pouring money into their economy.

     But we're taking in many billions of dollars.  At some point in the not-too-distant future, it will be over $100 billion.  We've never taken in 100 cents from China.  It was always the other way around.

     With that, they've lost over 3 million jobs.  Their supply chain is crashing.  And they have a lot of problems.  And I can tell you, they want to make a deal.  That I can tell you.  They want to make a deal.

     So, we'll see what happens.  We’ll see what happens.

     Q    Are you prepared for military action against Iran, Mr. President?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Always prepared.  There's never been a country more prepared.

     Q    Are you planning for it?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  There's never been a country more prepared.  Look, I spent --

     Q    Is that going to happen?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I spent one and half trillion dollars.  And we're spending another $738 billion now.  But I've spent one and a half trillion dollars rebuilding our military.  We have the finest ships, the finest planes, the finest everything.

And actually, Scott and Australia, they've purchased a lot of great stuff from the United States, some of the best military equipment that you have.  We have the greatest missiles in the world, rockets in the world, jetfighters in the world, planes in the world, ships.  And we have, under construction, a number of the most powerful submarines ever built.  And they're getting very close to completion.

     We have the largest ship in the world right now -- the President Gerald Ford, the aircraft carrier.  It's the largest ship ever built.  And just flew over it yesterday, actually.  It's massive and beautiful.

     We have the greatest -- and I have to say this, when I got here, Scott, it was a different world.  It was a different world.  We were very depleted.  And I actually saw one of the related networks today saying how strongly and good and how well we've done with ISIS.  I defeated the caliphate.

     Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place.  I defeated the caliphate -- ISIS.  And now, we have thousands of prisoners of war -- ISIS fighters that are prisoners of war.  And we're asking the countries from which they came, Scott -- from Europe -- we're asking them to take back these prisoners of war.  And they can try them, do what they want.

So far, they've refused.  And at some point, I'm going to have to say, "I'm sorry, but you either take them back, or we're going to let them go at your border."  But they came out from Germany, they came out from France.  We captured them.  We did everyone a big favor.  We've taken over the caliphate 100 percent.

     If you remember, I was thinking about getting out when it was at 96, 97 percent.  But they were all over the place.  And we did it.  We did it in record time.  It was a total caliphate victory.  And now, I want the countries to take back the captured ISIS fighters.  And if they don't take them back, we're going to probably going to put them at the border and then they'll have to capture them again.

     Because the United States is not going to have thousands and thousands of people that we have captured stationed at Guantanamo Bay, held captive at Guantanamo Bay, for the next 50 years, and us spending billions and billions of dollars.  We've done Europe a tremendous favor -- they mostly come out of Europe.  And we've done them a tremendous favor.  And the United States is not going to pay the cost of thousands and thousands of ISIS fighter prisoners in Guantanamo Bay or someplace else.  We won't do it.

So, they have to make their decision.  Otherwise, we're releasing them at the border.

     Go ahead.  Next?

     Q    Will you be (inaudible) your national security team on Iran today?  What do you expect to hear from them?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  I have a great new person.  You know Robert O'Brien.  A lot of people wanted Robert very badly.  He was -- I -- look, I had 10, 12 people that I thought were fantastic for the job.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  He's a good friend of Australia, too -- Robert.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  He's a great friend of Australia.  Scott was telling me he was very happy with the choice.

Robert is going to be outstanding.  He just picked a deputy who was in the administration.  You all know him.  You know who the deputy is.  I guess they have to announce that separately, but he's fantastic.  And, essentially, he's already on the job.

But, you know, he did a tremendous job as hostage negotiator.  We are -- we have a tremendous record.  Nobody comes close to our record with hostages. 

Q    But are you going to be discussing the options for Iran today with your team?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Sure.  Sure.  But also with Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State.  We're discussing with everybody.  And, you know, the early move today was the Central Bank of Iran.  Okay?

Q    Mr. President, is the U.S. moving toward a military conflict?  And would you support that, Mr. Prime Minister -- a military strike?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It's always possible.

Q    Would you expect Australia to join in any military action?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We haven't discussed that.  We'll be discussing that later.  But we haven't discussed that yet.

Q    Sir, would you consider 50 percent tariffs or even 100 percent tariffs on China, as someone suggested?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I'm not going to get into that.  Right now, China is paying 30 percent on $250 billion.  That starts in another couple of weeks.

As you know, President Xi called, through his top people.  And they have a 70th anniversary -- a very important day for them.  And it happens to be October 1st, which is the exact date of the increase in the tariff.  And they asked us, out of respect, would I delay the tariff a little bit.  I said, "How about if I move it forward?"  Let me move it forward a little bit because they didn’t want it to fall on the same day.  It's exactly October 1st.  So I said, "Let me move up a couple of weeks."  They said, "No. No. No.  Could you…"

So, out of respect for President Xi, who I do have great respect for, I moved it back two weeks.  But right now, it's 25 percent.  It goes up to 30 percent on October 15th.

     Q    Mr. President, on the whistleblower, have you read the complaint?  Have you read the complaint of the --

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, I haven’t.  It’s -- it’s --

     Q    Who in your White House has?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I just tell you, it is -- everybody has read it and they laugh at it.  And it's another --

     Q    But you haven’t read it?

     PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It's another media disaster.  The media has lost so much credibility in this country.  Our media has become the laughingstock of the world.

When you look at what they did to Justice Kavanaugh and so many other things last week, I think this is one of the worst weeks in the history of the fake news media.  You have been wrong on so many things and this one will be -- I wouldn’t say it will top the list, because I think you can't do worse than some of the stories you missed over the last week or two, but the media of our country is laughed at all over the world now.  You're a joke.

Okay, what else?

Q    Mr. President, (inaudible) clarify: When you talk about the conversation that you --

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Which conservation?

Q    Well, we're trying to figure out what conversation you’re --

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, figure it out.  You're supposed to be the media.  Figure it out.

Q    July 25th?  Was it July 25th?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:   It was -- which conversation?

Q    Was it July 25th, with the President of Ukraine?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I really don't know.  I don’t know.

Q    We think it was -- we think it was with one of the leaders --

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  He’s got one (inaudible) about space.

Q    Mr. Trump, can you talk about the exciting new space program to the moon, sir?  And what does that mean for both countries?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  So we're doing a great program.  We have -- Vice President Pence is very much involved.  And we have a tremendous space program.  If you look at our facilities, they were virtually closed up.  There was crabgrass growing on the runways and now they're vital.

And, you know, we're doing -- we're doing -- we're going to Mars.  We're stopping at the moon.  The moon is actually a launching pad.  That’s why we're stopping at the moon.  I said, "Hey, we've done the moon.  That’s not so exciting."  They said, "No, sir.  It's a launching pad for Mars."  So we'll be doing the Moon.  But we'll really be doing Mars.  And we'll be -- we're making tremendous progress.

In addition, rich people like to send up rocket ships.  So between Bezos and Elon Musk and others, we're leasing them our launch facilities, which you can't get.  There are no launch facilities like this.  This is big stuff.  So we're -- in Texas and Florida, we're leasing them our facilities so they can send up whatever they want to send up.  It's okay with us.  And they've actually done very well.  They've said they've had great success.

But rich people in this country -- I don’t know about your country -- but they like building rocket ships and sending them up, and it's okay with us.  (Laughter.)

Q    Will an Australian astronaut be onboard?


Q    Will an Australian astronaut be onboard?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I'll let it -- I think Scott and I would rather take a pass.  Though I don't know, would you like to be on there?  (Laughter.)  I think -- I think -- I'm not sure, but I know him pretty well.  I think he and I will take a pass.  But there are a lot people that want to go up.  And I have great respect for the astronauts.  That’s it.  That’s an incredible (inaudible).

Q    (Inaudible) critical minerals from Australia and how important is that industry?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Say it again.

Q    Do you want to buy more critical minerals from Australia?  And how important is that industry?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah.  Well, Australia's mineral industry is massive.  It’s far, far bigger than that.  I mean, very few -- very few countries have anything approaching what Australia has in terms of mineral wealth.  And you've really taken advantage of it.  And you've done it in a very environmentally-sensitive way.  I know that’s very important to you.


PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It's very important to Scott.  We talk about it a lot.  Because that business can get out of control a little bit, from the standpoint of environment.  And you have really approached it in an environmentally-sensitive way.

Coal, as an example: You're the leader of safety in coal digging.  And we've actually studied it because we're doing a lot of coal.  And you have very -- literally, you almost have no -- you know, you used to have a thing: black lung disease.  And in Australia, you almost don’t have it anymore.  You've got all of the dust down.  And, you know, they're very -- they become wet mines, basically.  But it's great.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Well, it's a very technologically-advanced industry in Australia.


PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  All of that resources industry are -- from the robotics that’s involved in the production and all the way through.

But that, critical metals, space -- these are the things we're going to be talking about because Australia has a wonderful partnership with the United States, not just militarily and not just strategically, but also economically.  And that’s going to be a big part of this conversation we have today.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And environmentally, I have to say --

Q    (Crosstalk.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And environmentally, the things that they have done, environmentally, with digging.  Digging is a -- you know, when you talk minerals, it's about digging.  And what you've been able to do with environ- -- with the environment, having to do with taking minerals out of the ground, including -- and, you know, I would say even especially -- because you're leading on coal.

I will tell you: I sent a whole crew over, because you're record is so good in terms of illnesses from digging.  Better than anybody in the world.  So we're going to catch you on that, okay?

Q    Have you invited the President to Australia?  And have you introduced him to the term “bubble” (inaudible)?

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  (Laughs.)  We'll talk about that over dinner tonight.  I'm sure he has another term for it here in Washington, I understand.

But, no, we have talked about whether if, his schedule and Mrs. Trump’s permits, will they take in the President’s Cup later in the year, which is going to be a great time.  There's a tremendous tournament.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That's great.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  The President knows a lot more about golf than I do, and he certainly swings a club way better than I do.  But he's got a busy year coming up next year.  He's going to do great there.  But if he has the opportunity, if Mrs. Trump has the opportunity, it's going to be a great spectacle down in Australia this year.

Q    Mr. President, are you planning to go?  Are you planning to go?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Interestingly, the PGA Tour invited me to go.  And I would love to do it.  We'll have to see what the schedule is, but I would love to do it.  It's a very exciting tournament.  Nothing more exciting.  And having at -- in Australia, where you have so many great golfers --

Greg Norman is a friend of mine --

Q    Yeah.  (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  -- and a great friend of yours, I know.  And I think he's going to be here tonight.


PRESIDENT TRUMP:  The First Lady has done an incredible job tonight.  We're going to have it, for either the first time or certainly one of the few times, in the Rose Garden.  And it's going to be -- I watched, yesterday, the rehearsal, and she was out there.  And it's going to be incredible.  Tonight's going to be a beautiful night.

And the only thing that can dampen it would be rain and we're not expecting any rain.  But if it rains, we head over to the State Room and we'll be just fine.  But we really expecting -- I hope you're going to be able to see it tonight for a little while.  Probably you will.  We'll sort of make sure that you do.  It's beautiful.

Q    On the U.N., how critical is it that you build a coalition to address Iran -- Iran's latest provocations?  And does that start today with the Prime Minister?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:   Well, I always like a coalition.  And sometimes you find that people have made a lot of money that you'd want in the coalition.  They've made a lot money with Iran, which is -- you know, when President Obama made that deal, not only was it a bad deal, but the United States didn’t partake, in a business sense.

And other countries -- Germany, France, Russia, many other countries -- made a lot of money with Iran.  And we didn’t make money with Iran, which -- that was just one of the many bad parts about the deal.  Everyone else is making money and we're not.

So, we'll see what happens.  Look, the United States is in a class by itself.  We have the most powerful military in the world, by far.  There's nobody close.  As you know, we've spent tremendous and hopefully -- and we pray to God we never have to use it, but we've totally renovated and bought new nuclear.  And the rest of our military is all brand new.

The nuclear now is at a level that’s it's never been before.  And I can only tell you because I know -- I know the problems of nuclear.  I know the damages that -- I know what happens.  And I want to tell you: We all hope, and Scott hopes -- we all pray that we never have to use nuclear.  But there's nobody that has anywhere close to what we have.

Q    What is your message at UNGA next week?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, UNGA is going to be very exciting, and we look forward to it.  We'll be there.  You'll be there?

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Yeah, I'll be later in the week.  Yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And, for you, it's a much longer trip.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  It is a bit, yeah.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  But we look forward to it.  We have a big message for UNGA.  We have a big message.  And I very much -- I haven’t been back to New York in a long time.

I see that our part-time mayor will be now going back to New York, so he'd be able to work a little bit harder.  But he dropped out of the presidential race a little while ago.  Too bad.  He had tremendous potential.  (Laughter.)  He only had one real asset.  You know what it was?  Height.  Other than that, he had nothing going.

Okay.  What else?

Q    Prime Minister, given that President Trump has indicated that you will be discussing military action in Iran this afternoon, what is Australia's attitude?

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Well, as I think the United States has taken a very measured and calibrated approach to date.  And the thing about our partnership is, we always listen to whatever requests are made, and Australia always considers them in our national interests, and we have good conversations about these things.

But the thing is, both of us, we never get ahead of ourselves on these things.  We just -- you know, you take this one step at a time.  And we keep talking to each other.  That’s what we've always done, wherever we've worked together.  And we're going to keep doing that.  We've got such an open line of communication.  I appreciate the fact the President and I talk about these things even when we're not together.  And we're going to keep doing that.  And we'll just take these things one step at a time.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  The easiest thing for me to do -- and maybe it's even a natural instinct, maybe I have to hold myself back.  I remember during the debates, and when I was running against Hillary and the Democrats and the media -- I view them all the same; I view that partnership very much the same.

But when I was running, everybody said, "Oh, he's going to get into war.  He's going to get into war.  He's going to blow everybody up.  He's going to get into war."  Well, the easiest thing I can do -- in fact, I could do it while you're here --would say, "Go ahead, fellas.  Go do it."  And that would be a very bad day for Iran.  That’s the easiest thing I could do.  It's so easy.

And for all of those that say, “Oh, they should do it.  It shows weakness.  It shows…”  Actually, in my opinion, it shows strength.  Because the easiest thing I could do, “Okay, go ahead.  Knock out 15 different major things in Iran.”  I could do that and -- all set to go.  It’s all set to go.  But I’m not looking to do that if I can.

And I think I’ve changed a lot of minds.  People are very surprised that -- and many people are extremely happy.  Many people are thrilled.  And many people are saying, “Oh, I wish you’d hit the hell the out of them.”  Well, let’s see what happens.  But it will take place in one minute; I could do it right here in front of you and that would be it.  And then you’d have a nice, big story to report.

And I think it shows far more strength to do it the way we’re doing it.  And again, whether it’s next week or two weeks or three weeks doesn’t make any difference.  Whether it’s now or in three weeks doesn’t make any difference.  But I think the strong person’s approach and the thing that does show strength would be showing a little bit of restraint.  Much easier to do it the other way.  It’s much easier.

     And Iran knows if they misbehave, they’re on borrowed time.  They’re not doing well.  I’d like to see them do great.  I’d love to see them do great, but they’re not doing well.  They’re doing very poorly.  They’re doing far worse than they’ve ever done before.  They’re having riots in their streets.  They’re having a lot of problems in Iran right now.  They could solve it very quickly.

But the easiest thing for me to do is say, “Okay, let’s go.  Let’s just do it.”  Very easy for me to do.  But it is interesting, because when I was campaigning, everybody here thought that I was going to be like -- it would be one day.  But what I have done is I’ve defeated ISIS, I’ve rebuilt our military to a level that it’s never been before, spent a lot of money.  The budgets are not so hard to fix for me, but when you’re spending one and a half trillion [dollars], so far.  Now, another $738 million -- billion -- on the military.  But think of it: one and a half trillion dollars.  And we have the greatest in the world.

But I think restraint is a good thing.  I think it’s a good thing.

Q    Mr. President, how do you plan to bring peace in Afghanistan -- peace in Afghanistan -- now that the process collapsed?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yeah, well, we were thinking about having a meeting.  I didn’t like the idea that they couldn’t produce a ceasefire.  I wasn’t in favor of that.  I said, “No.  If they can’t produce a ceasefire, then why are we bothering?”  And they thought that it was a sign of strength to kill 12 people, wound others -- badly wound some others.  And one of those 12 people was a young man -- young soldier from Puerto Rico, from our country.  And when I heard that, I said, “I don’t want to deal with them anymore.”

We have hit -- in Afghanistan, we have hit the Taliban harder than they’ve ever been hit in the entire 19 years of war.  They’ve been hit harder.  It’s come back to me through absolutely impeccable sources that they are saying, “Wow.  We made a mistake with this guy.  We made a big…”  They made a mistake.

I was totally willing to have a meeting.  I’ll meet with anybody.  I think meetings are good.  I think meetings are good.  There’s no such thing as, “Oh gee, we shouldn’t.”  I really believe meetings are good.  Worst that happens, it doesn’t work out.  That’s okay.  Even then, you get to know your opposition.  Don’t forget, I’m looking at them like they’re looking at me.  You get to know your opposition.  You can see if they’re real.  Sometimes you develop a relationship, like we do, but sometimes you develop -- and many times you won’t.  But you get to know your opposition.

I think the best thing that’s happened to this country is the fact that, at least for three years, the fact that I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un.  I think that’s a positive.  His country has tremendous potential.  He knows that.  But our country has been playing around for 50 years and getting nothing.  And we have a relationship.  There’s never been a relationship with them.

We’ll see what happens.  It might work out.  It might not work out.  I’m not saying it will, but in the meantime, he hasn’t been testing any nuclear.  You’ve had no nuclear tests since -- since -- for a long time.  And he has been doing some short-range missiles, but so does every other country -- do short short-range missiles.  Every country is doing them.  They’re pretty standard fare.

But, no, I will tell you that we’ve never had a country so strong.  We’re just a couple of points away from a new stock market all-time high.  And I think we’ve done it over 112 times.  There’s a certain number -- whatever it may be.  I don’t want to be specific, because if I give you the wrong number, we’ll have breaking news.  It will be one every newspaper that I said -- I said “112” and it was actually 111.  And it will be breaking news.  They’ll give me Pinocchio.

Q    Mr. President --

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  But let me just say -- let me just say, the country has never been in this position.  We have the strongest military we’ve ever had.  And now we’ve rebuilt it.  After this $738 billion, we really have a built -- we have rebuilt military.  It’s a great thing.  And some of our friends are doing the same thing.

I can tell you, Australia’s military is unbelievable.  I saw the order that they put in for some of our most sophisticated equipment and I said, “That’s really great what you’re doing.”  They’ve really upped it.  And I want to congratulate you.  I mean, you have really done a job on your military.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  We have.  Up to 2 percent of GDP next year.


PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  So we’re in the middle of a $200 billion upgrade.


PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Biggest increase in our defense, as a share of GDP, since the Second World War.


Q    Mr. President, you praised WikiLeaks continuously during the election campaign.  Is it right that the United States is prosecuting its Australian founder, Julian Assange?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, you know, that’s a question I haven’t heard in a long time.  I’ll leave that for you to determine.

Q    Mr. President, could I get some clarity from you on your thinking on China?  Is it just a trade issue for you or do you see China as a strategic threat to the United States?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, obviously, China is a threat to the world in a sense, because they’re building a military faster than anybody.  And, frankly, they’re using U.S. money.  Presidents before me have allowed China to take out $500 billion a year, and it’s really more than that.  They’ve allowed China to steal our intellectual property and property rights.  And I’m not doing that.

And we actually were very close to having a deal.  You know, we were very close.  We had intellectual property; all of the tough things were negotiated.  And then, at the last moment, Scott --


PRESIDENT TRUMP:  -- they said, “We cannot agree to this.”  I said, “That’s all right, we’re charging you 25 percent tariffs and then it’s going up.”  And it’ll continue to go up.  And, frankly, we’re making so many hundreds of -- the numbers that we’re taking into our Treasury --

And you see it, because sometimes you’ll see -- look at the good reports.  Look at the great reports that came out two days ago on retailing, on consumers, on numbers that nobody believes.  Well, I think a lot of it -- we’re taking in hundreds of millions, potentially, over a short period of time.  Hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of money is coming in from China that never came in before.

So China wants to make a deal.  I think we want to make a deal.  We’ll see what happens.  But I view China in many different ways, but right now I’m thinking about trade.

But, you know, trade equals military.  Because if we allow China to take $500 billion out of the hide of the United States -- that money goes into military and other things.

Q    Mr. President, your reaction to Justin Trudeau.  Can he survive this controversy?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I was hoping I wouldn’t be asked that question.  It had to be you that asks it.  You’ve -- you had to ask me that question, right?  Justin.

I’m surprised.  And I was more surprised when I saw the number of times.  And, you know, I’ve always had a good relationship with Justin.  I just don’t know what to tell you.  It’s -- I was surprised by it, actually.

Q    Mr. President, the last Australian Prime Minister to receive an official State Visit was described by the then President as “a man of steel.”  How do you describe our Prime Minister?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I would say a “man of titanium.”  (Laughter.)  You know, titanium is much tougher than steel.  (Laughter.)  He’s a man of titanium.  Believe me, I have to deal with this guy.  He’s not easy.  (Laughter.)  You might think he’s a nice guy, okay?  He’s a man of real, real strength, and a great guy.  And his wife is lovely.  And I want to thank you.  I want to thank Melania for the work.


PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And I hope you’re going to be able to see it, because Melania has -- she’s worked very hard for Australia.


MRS. MORRISON:  I know.  It’s been beautiful.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And you’ve done a fantas- -- it’s so beautiful.  And it will be so different.  And we look up to the skies and we’re just going to hope that it’s not going rain.  And if it is --

MRS. MORRISON:  It’s not going to rain.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  -- that’s okay, too, because that will work out also.  It always works out.

Thank you all very much.  Thank you.

Q    Should Congress see the complaint and the transcript of your call to clear any confusion?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  There is nothing.  It’s nothing.

Q    Should Congress see it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  There’s nothing.

Q    Mr. Morrison, what do you think of your first time in the White House?


Q    What does Mr. Morrison think of his first time in the White House and you hosting him?

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  It’s a great honor to be here.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  A little different.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Tremendous honor to be here.


Q    Did you want to -- you were finishing the question.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much everybody.  Thank you.  Thank you everybody.

                      END                10:54 A.M. EDT



Office of the Press Secretary

South Lawn

9:20 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  Prime Minister Morrison, Mrs. Morrison, members of the Australian delegation, and distinguished guests: Today we celebrate the long, cherished, and unwavering friendship between the United States and Australia.

The First Lady and I are honored to welcome you and Jennifer to the White House, and we look forward to hosting you for a State Dinner tonight in the Rose Garden.  It will be quite something.

The unbreakable bond between America and Australia is rooted in eternal ties of history, culture, and tradition.  Last year, our nations commemorated “100 Years of Mateship” since our gallant service members fought together in World War One.  Today, we vow to carry on the righteous legacy of our exceptional alliance.

The close relationship between our two countries dates back to the earliest days of the American Republic.  In 1792, during George Washington’s first term, the American ship “Philadelphia” became the first foreign trading vessel to enter an Australian port.  In the coming decades, American prospectors, whalers, and merchants traveled to Australia for opportunity and adventure. They found in your people a kindred spirit.  Americans and Aussies are loyal, bold, independent, and very, very resilient.

With incredible optimism and grit, our forefathers built homes and nations in lands of endless beauty and possibility. Together, we share common customs, common values, common dreams, and common heroes.

In the First World War, our bond was sealed in blood at the Battle of Hamel in France.  In the words of Australian General John Monash, the events that took place there “live forever in the annals of our respective nations.”

General Monash led the operation, and began the offensive on the 4th of July, 1918, to honor the Americans under his command.  On that Independence Day, the mighty Aussie and American forces charged uphill to push the enemy from the high ground and retake the strategically vital towns.  In just 93 minutes, they liberated the village and helped turn the tide on the Western Front.  It went very, very quickly.

As General Monash later wrote, the Americans "were ever after received by the Australians as blood brothers.”  Since that day, Australians and Americans have fought together, side-by-side, in every major conflict.

In World War Two, the Aussies held the line against Rommel for eight harrowing months -- Tobruk.  They sacrificed [with]* our sailors during the Battle of Coral Sea.  And 75 years ago, Aussie pilots patrolled the skies above Normandy on D-Day as we battled together to defeat the Nazis and rescue civilization.

The United States and Australia formalized our security alliance in 1951.  Decades later, on September 10th, 2001, right here at the White House, our nations celebrated the 50th anniversary of that treaty.  The next morning, September 11th, America was attacked and Australia invoked the treaty’s mutual defense commitment for the first time ever.  In the weeks that followed, as our beloved sons and daughters deployed to defend our freedom, we took comfort in knowing that they would have Australian warriors right by their side.

Today, on National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day, we pledge to forever honor our service members captured or still missing from battle throughout our history.  We work and pray for the day when all of our heroes return home.

On behalf of every American, I extend my profound thanks to the people of Australia for sacrificing with us in our shared fights against the menace of fascism, communism, and radical Islamic terrorism.

In the past century, the friendship between our nations has not only withstood the tests of time and war here on Earth, but also led our nations into the stars.

This year, the United States commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  Today, we give thanks to the nation of Australia for its vital contributions to the extraordinary achievement.  On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong planted our great American flag on the face of the moon, the ground station broadcasting this iconic image to the world was Australian.

Together, our people have laid down their lives to protect our civilization from tyranny.  We have pioneered some of the most remarkable advances in human history.  And every shared endeavor, we have shown the world what it truly means to be friends, mates, and allies.

As we begin the next century of our truly extraordinary partnership, I know that America and Australia will remain forever united in defense of our liberty, our sovereignty, and our most treasured values.

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless Australia.  And God bless the United States of America.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Well, as I just said to the President, "Thanks, mate."  (Laughter.)

Mr. President, Mrs. Trump, honored guests, distinguished guests, friends one and all, here in this land of liberty: Thank you, Mr. President and Mrs. Trump, for the honor you have bestowed on my country here today with this extraordinary welcome.  Jenny and I bring with us and our delegation the amity, the thanks, and respect of 25 million Australians for this great country of these United States of America.

Fifty years ago, another Australian Prime Minister visited the White House.  And he said, "There are too many bonds between our two countries for any Australian Prime Minister to feel that he is stranger."  So once again, as another Prime Minister returns as a friend to celebrate with you, Mr. President, one of our oldest and dearest friendships, it is wonderful to be here.

Australians and Americans understand each other like few other peoples.  And it is true that you and I have established a very early understanding, for which I am grateful.  No two peoples in the world make better friends easier than ours.  Your respect for Australia, Mr. President, your personal encouragement, and the example afforded by your passion for what makes America great makes ours a very easy connection.

     For a century, as you have recounted, we have done what true friends do: stick by each other.  Ronald Reagan spoke of the “truths and traditions” that define the United States.  Australians share these truths and traditions.  We see the world through the same lens.  From the cornfields of Hamel, to the jungles of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, to the dust of Tarin Kowt, and now, even the waters of the Straits of Hormuz, Australians and Americans continue to stand together.

     I’m reminded of a story of a young American soldier in the First World War calling out to Australian soldiers for help to attend to the wounded.  And an Australian soldiers replied in the notorious, blunt language of soldiers, which I will censor here.  (Laughter.)  But he said, “Sure, Yank, I’ll go.  We’re in this thing together.”  (Laughter.)

Mr. President -- (laughter) -- Australia may often -- look, he’s a New Yorker.  (Laughter.)  Mr. President, Australia may often look to the United States, but we have never been a country that been prepared to leave it to the United States.  We don’t.  That’s not our way.  We pull our weight.

Like you, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor are found in our willingness to stand for what we believe.  We believe, as Teddy Roosevelt declared, that national strength is found in the ability of citizens to live out their lives with “self-restraint, self-mastery, common sense, the power of accepting individual responsibility,” and the ability to act “in conjunction with others” and with “courage and resolution.”

We believe in the capacity of enterprise and free markets to create wealth and to lift all, and for free and fair trade to bring nations closer together.  We believe that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed and that the ballot box and democracy is the surest foundation for peace and security.  And we believe in the rule of law and freedom of association.

These beliefs spurred this country to build a mighty canal; to stand up to fascism and militarism; to rebuild the modern world after winning a great peace; inspired the fascination, wonder, and joy of the world’s children through a little mouse who could whistle a tune; who took humanity to the moon -- and, indeed, we’re going back again; tore down a wall that separated liberty from oppression; and imagined, engineered, and built a digital world that has connected humanity in a way that we now can’t imagine living without.  America reminds the world that it can be done.  How great is America?

The world is a better place because of this country living out its moral purpose -- a world not just more secure, but more prosperous as well.  The new economies of the world lifting hundreds of millions from poverty do so because they first saw the United States define a century and do that first, and then invited and supported them to follow.

Mr. President, I know that the leaders of more powerful nations will indeed visit this home known throughout the world and will be welcomed as friends.  But you won’t find a more sure and steadfast friend -- a better mate -- than Australia.

It is a coincidence of history that on the very day Pearl Harbor was attacked, Australia gifted a 99-year lease to the United States to build its embassy on our capital.  And 60 years later, as the President has remarked, on September 11, another Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, was here in Washington at our embassy and he invoked our treaty with you and pledged our country to stand with you against the architects of terror as we do to this day.

When President Reagan welcomed another Australian Prime Minister on this lawn, he reminded us, “Liberty is not an inevitable state, and there is no law which guarantees that once achieved it will survive.”

So we pledge ourselves here at this dawn of a second century of mateship between our nations to renew and modernize our alliance for a new century, to continue to be vigilant and strong, and to build the economic strength that our world needs that contributes to the peace and prosperity of all.

Whatever lies ahead in this century, I know that Australian and the United States will go on to meet it with the same courage, the same daring, the same unbreakable bond that has defined the first century of mateship.

Mr. President and Mrs. Trump, thank you again for welcoming Jen and me here -- and here as true friends.  May God bless you.  May God bless the good peoples of the Commonwealth of Australia and these United States of America.  (Applause.)
                              END                 9:34 A.M. EDT

West Wing Reads Green and Gold for Australia at Trump’s 2nd State Dinner

West Wing Reads

Green and Gold for Australia at Trump’s 2nd State Dinner

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will dine "under the stars in a Rose Garden arrayed in shades of green and gold in tribute to his country’s national colors when President Donald Trump hosts his first state dinner in more than a year on Friday,” Darlene Superville reports in The Associated Press.

This morning, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, to the White House with a military arrival ceremony on the South Lawn. A day filled with meetings and special events will conclude with an elegant State Dinner in the Rose Garden, just outside the Oval Office.

“As he arrived in Washington on Thursday night, Morrison said he looked forward to celebrating 100 years of ‘mateship’ between the U.S. and Australia.”

Click here to read more.
“In an exclusive interview on ‘Fox & Friends’ Thursday, President Trump told Fox News' Ed Henry that ‘brand-new’ wall sections have been built along the U.S.-Mexico border, contrary to claims by some Democrats,” Edmund DeMarche writes. “Trump said the new wall sections include 14 miles at the site in California, where the interview was held. ‘This was not here two weeks ago. This is all brand-new wall. ... We're building on many different sites all up and down along the border,’ he said, adding that the new 30-foot barrier was impenetrable even by ‘championship mountain climbers.’”
The immigration crisis isn’t just a matter of scope—at its root, it’s a humanitarian problem, too, John Hostettler writes in the Washington Examiner. “The violence in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has created a demand for human traffickers whose empty promises and exorbitant fees drive and direct the flow of migrants to the border.” By keeping his campaign promise to secure our border with a wall, “President Trump is laying the groundwork for the other reforms we need to staunch the flow of human trafficking. The next step toward ending human trafficking is to fairly and uniformly enforce our asylum laws.”
“The Trump administration will continue to take a tough line with China in trade talks, Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday,” John Carney reports in Breitbart. Speaking at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference, the Vice President said that President Trump “would continue to insist that China make significant reforms to its economic system, including abandoning trade barriers, forced technology transfers, and predatory subsidies for ‘national champion’ businesses,” Carney writes.

“The era of economic surrender is over,” the Vice President said.

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:

Patrick J. Bumatay of California, to serve as Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  

Patrick Bumatay is an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, where he is a member of the Appellate and Narcotics Sections. He previously served as Counselor to the Attorney General on various criminal issues, including the national opioid strategy and transnational organized crime. Mr. Bumatay has also served in other positions in the Department of Justice, including the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office of the Associate Attorney General, where he was responsible for overseeing various aspects of the Department’s civil enforcement programs, and the Office of Legal Policy. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Bumatay served as a law clerk to Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He also clerked for Judge Sandra L. Townes of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Bumatay earned his B.A., cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, and the Federal Bar Association.

Lawrence VanDyke of Nevada, to serve as Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Lawrence VanDyke currently serves as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice. From 2015 to 2019, Mr. VanDyke served as the Nevada Solicitor General, where he served as the State’s top appellate attorney and litigated numerous cases on behalf of the State of Nevada in the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Nevada Supreme Court, and State and Federal district courts. Before his service in Nevada, Mr. VanDyke served as the Solicitor General of Montana, where he litigated many of that State’s most consequential cases. Mr. VanDyke also worked in private practice with Gibson Dunn and Crutcher LLP. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. VanDyke served as a law clerk to Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Mr. VanDyke earned his B.S., with highest honors, from Montana State University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

John W. Holcomb of California, to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California. 

John Holcomb is a Partner with Greenberg Gross LLP in Costa Mesa, California, where his practice focuses on intellectual property and bankruptcy litigation.  Before joining his present firm, Mr. Holcomb operated his own private practice and prior to that was a Partner at Knobbe Martens in Riverside and Irvine, California until 2018, where his practice focused on intellectual property law and litigation. Mr. Holcomb also served in the United States Navy from 1980 to 1989, and he was on active duty as a Commissioned Officer from 1984 to 1989. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Holcomb served as a law clerk to Judge Ronald Barliant of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Holcomb earned his S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Knut S. Johnson of California, to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Knut Johnson operates the Law Office of Knut S. Johnson, where he maintains a varied and broad-based criminal defense practice. Mr. Johnson is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he has taught Criminal Procedure since 2016, and he served as an Adjunct Professor at California Western School of Law from 1995 to 1999. Mr. Johnson earned his B.S., with honors, from Tulane University and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Steve Kim of California, to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Steve Kim currently serves as a United States Magistrate Judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Before taking the bench in 2016, Judge Kim was the Managing Director for Stroz Friedberg, LLC, where he advised clients in cybersecurity compliance, data privacy, and law and technology issues. Before joining Stroz Friedberg, Judge Kim served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Kim served as a law clerk to Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Judge Kim earned his B.A., with special distinction, from the University of Oklahoma and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and served as Notes & Comments Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.

Michelle M. Pettit of California, to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. 

Michelle Pettit is an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, where she is a member of the National Security and Cybercrimes Section. Before joining the United States Attorney’s Office in 2007, Ms. Pettit served as Senior Trial Counsel for the United States Navy on Active Duty stationed in San Diego. Since 2015, Ms. Holcomb has also served as a Judge in the United States Navy Reserves. Ms. Pettit earned her B.S., with distinction, from the United States Naval Academy, and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif and served as Managing Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Thomas Michael O’Connor of Texas, to serve as United States Marshal for the Southern District of Texas. 

T. Michael O’Connor is the Sheriff of the Police Department of Victoria County, Texas and has served in that role for over 14 years.  Previously, Sheriff O’Connor served in various positions in the Sheriff’s Offices for Refugio, Goliad, and Victoria Counties, including as a member of the Victoria County Sherriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT).  Sheriff O’Connor also taught Law Enforcement Professionalism and Ethics at Victoria College Law Enforcement Academy from 2002 to 2004 and earned his B.S. from Texas A&M University.