Friday, November 8, 2019

Presidential Proclamation on World Freedom Day, 2019

Office of the Press Secretary

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     Thirty years ago, the people of East and West Berlin came together to tear down a symbol of totalitarianism.  For more than 10,000 days, the Berlin Wall stood as a troubling reminder of a deeply divided world, an evil obstacle to freedom and individual liberty.  When the wall finally came down, it marked a triumphant defeat of communism, a monumental victory for democratic principles, and a righteous end to the nearly five‑decades-long Cold War.  On World Freedom Day, we remember those who suffered as they longed for freedom behind the Iron Curtain, and we recognize those relentlessly fighting today to break free from the shackles of oppression.

     Any system of government that impedes the God-given rights of the people is destined to fail because the flame of liberty cannot be extinguished.  As President Ronald Reagan said at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, "The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship."  On that fateful day in 1989, we saw -- with every falling piece of rubble -- that the human impulse for freedom cannot long be suppressed.  Regimes that attempt to stop the free flow of ideas, the right of a people to choose their own government, and the blessings of free enterprise will inevitably suffer the same fate as the Berlin Wall.

     While authoritarian powers seek to collapse the progress and alliances that have developed in the three decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States stands firm in our commitment to uphold the democratic values at the bedrock of every free society.  Today, our Nation works in tandem with our allies and partners to safeguard the precious freedoms that fuel prosperity and ensure stability around the globe.  Bad actors will continually try to weaken our cause and sow discord, but democratic bonds will always prevail.

     This World Freedom Day, we pay tribute to the heroes who helped liberate Eastern and Central Europe from communist oppression, securing liberty for millions.  We also reaffirm our support of those everywhere who pursue the noble cause of freedom.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 9, 2019, as World Freedom Day.  I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, reaffirming our dedication to freedom and democracy.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
eighth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

                             DONALD J. TRUMP


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Office of the Press Secretary

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

9:04 A.M. EST

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  Hello, everybody.  Thank you all for coming.  This is our week of weeks at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  This is the week that we honor the 41 million Americans who have put on the uniform since the first shots were fired at Lexington Green in April of 1775.

Last night, the President held a ceremony with the National commanders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and Rolling Thunder to permanently honor those POWs and MIAs who have been lost to the history books since our first war in the 1700s.  He ordered the flying of the POW and MIA flag at all federal departments and agencies.  And that was an important first step on this Veterans Day, 101 years after the end of the Great War.  And the President will be following that up with his attendance at the New York City Veterans Day Parade, the first President to attend America's largest parade, on Monday.

I am here to talk a little bit about the state of our VA.
It is -- it is my honor to have been the Secretary, now for a year and three months.  As General Mattis used to say, "I was born in khaki diapers."  So this is the world that I grew up in.  And I want to say that this President was the first in the post-World War Two history to make veterans not only the centerpiece of his campaign, but also the centerpiece of his administration.

And he has made true to his commitments by authorizing us to present to the Congress the largest budget in the history of this department: $220 billion calling for 400,000 employees.

We have, in the last year, achieved the highest patient satisfaction rates in VA's history, sitting somewhere at about 89.7 percent.

The annals of the American Medical Association and the annals of Internal Medicine have said, just in the last year, that VA's healthcare is as good or better than any in the private sector.  And our wait times are more than comparable with the private sector.

Under President Trump, our veterans are voting with their feet.  This year of 2019, we have already had 3 million more appointments at VA than we did last year.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars in their annual survey said that 9 out of 10 of their millions of members are completely satisfied with the way VA takes care of them.  And those 9 out of 10 said that they are recommending to their comrades, who are not in VA, to join with us.

We're also in the middle of the greatest transformational period in our history.  We have launched the MISSION Act -- the MISSION Act that finally integrates VA with the entire American healthcare system.  But more importantly, fulfilling the President's promise, this puts veterans at the center of their healthcare decisions, not the institutional prerogatives of VA, but veterans.

We finally give veterans the option of going into the private sector, if VA cannot provide them the healthcare that they need, or they live too far away from a VA Health Center that would not be conducive to their needs or their family's needs.

The other thing that we have done: We have finally put our veterans on the same plane as their neighbors.  America's veterans now have access to urgent care.  We are keeping them out of the emergency room with things like fever, the flu, or a sprained ankle.

The last few months since MISSION was kicked off on June 6th, we've had 70,000 urgent care visits.  In addition to that, we're seeing about 5,000 visits a week.  We've certified 6,000 urgent care facilities across America; we want to get up to 7,500.

In addition to what we have done that is visible to the entire country, the President has asked us to engage in fundamental reforms that are less visible to the general public.

Next year, we will be launching the electronic health record.  For the first time, anyone who enters the military through a military entrance processing station will have an electronic health record that will be accessible to VA once that young American leaves the service.  For the first time, we will prevent people, like my father, after 30 years of military service, from carting around an 800-page paper record, and we will have an entire history of that veteran's service stateside, in war, and overseas.

The other things that we have been doing: We have reformed our supply chain; we entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Defense to finally computerize and nationalize VA supply chain.  So we will no longer have stories about doctors at DCVA running across the street to MedStar to get equipment that they should have had to begin with.  In addition to that, we are reforming our HR system.

One of the things that I discovered when I began service on August 1st -- I asked a fundamental military question to senior leaders in our department: How many people do we have on the rolls?  I got two different answers.  And I asked for a manning document.  In the military, a manning document is a system of requirements, and the number of people you meet need to have those requirements met.  We now have a manning document.

In addition to that: Accountability.  In this President's term, we have we have relieved over 8,000 employees of their duty at VA.  The standard is, if you don’t live up to your oath, if you don’t live up to the standards that our veterans expect, that you will be asked to leave.  This is a transformational moment in our history.  We have relieved people as high as network directors to people at the other end of our employee chain.  After the scandals of Phoenix, the scandals of 2014 and 2015, this is, I think, one of the strongest statements that we can make: that it is a new day at VA.

And, finally, two other things about transformation:

On the opioid front, we have not been immune to the crisis that has impacted the United States.  But in the last year and a half, we have reduced the number of opioid prescriptions at VA by 51 percent.  We have offered, for the first time, alternative therapies that, in my father's day, would have been anathema to the ethos.  We now tell soldiers: Come in and try acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, music therapy.  We're getting at the sources of the pain rather than treating the brain as we have with traditional opioid therapies.

     And the last thing is suicide.  A bit of a history lesson: The United States Army began taking statistics on suicide during the administration of Benjamin Harrison, who is only known for one thing: He was in-between two non-successive terms of Grover Cleveland.  But Harrison, having been a general in the Civil War, recognized that there was a crisis in the frontier army.  This is the first time that we have begun a national conversation about suicide prevention.

Fourteen -- 60 percent -- of those warriors who take their lives on a daily basis are not in VA.  So we are calling for a national roadmap.  I will have a report for you sometime in March, where we bring together Indian Health, HHS, HUD, DOD, and the rest of the federal government to actually begin a national conversation, long overdue, on mental health and addiction.

So I will conclude by saying that we have never had a President who has given this much attention and this much effort to those who have borne the battle.  And it is my honor to be part of their team.

And I will stop.  Yes, sir.

Q    Mr. Secretary, can you address -- I recently spoke with veterans in Florida, Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Kentucky.  They say the wait times are still horrendous at the VA hospitals and that the claims that you make have not actually taken place.  Can you address the concerns of those VA members who say that we haven’t made those strides forward that you claim you've made?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Well, I will say that, in an organization of 400,000 with 9.5 million people, there will always be a hiccup in the system.  One of the things that the President has done by pushing MISSION is that when those wait times are complicated and they are overly long, we now give veterans the option of going into the private sector to make sure that those wait times are not a burden on that veteran.  And just in the last few months, since June 6th, we've sent well over a million veterans into the private sector when we haven’t met those wait times.

So there's always going to be hiccups in an organization this large.  I come from that world.  I understand it.  I think MISSION is the great step forward, when it comes to addressing the kind of concerns that you've heard.

Yes, sir.  Yes, sir.

Q    Speaking of the MISSION Act, the President frequently -- over 65 times, as of last April -- claims that he signed the VA Choice program, which has existed since 2014, when it was signed into law, under President Obama, into law.  Have you advised the President that this claim is not correct and that the program has been around since before he was President?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Well, what he was saying was that he superseded Choice.  He's given veterans choice under MISSION.  The Choice Act --

Q    (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Let me finish.  The Choice Act that we replaced, we replaced it because it wasn’t working.  So he has given -- he has given Choice in a --

Q    (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY WILKIE:  I just gave the statistics: over a million since June 6th.

Q    But, sir, he claims that the Choice program was created under his administration.  He's done it many, many times.  It's not true, whether -- you know, the MISSION Act did update and improve that program, as you say.


Q    But the program existed since 2014.  And I'm asking if you've advised the President that -- to claim that VA Choice was created during his administration is not true.

SECRETARY WILKIE:  I only go by what the President has done in the one year and three months that I have been Secretary.  Choice --

Q    Well, he’s told this lie many times --

SECRETARY WILKIE:  I'll just -- no, last time I'll say it --

     Q    -- while you’ve been Secretary, sir.

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  -- Choice has been replaced by his signature legislation, MISSION.  And MISSION is working in a way that, I think, has astounded most people in Washington.


     Q    Mr. Secretary, in a court settlement yesterday, the President acknowledged that $2.8 million that were supposed to go to veterans during the campaign actually went to the Trump campaign.  What's your reaction to that?

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  I have no reaction to that.  I've been focused on running the department.

     Q    Does that align with the President's vision for helping veterans though, sir?

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  I think the President's record speaks for itself.  I will tell you -- and I'm a pretty good historian and I grew up in this world: There has never been a President who has given this much attention to America's veterans or allowed for more transformation to go on in the lives of veterans in this department than this President has.

     Q    Secretary Wilkie --

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  Yes, ma'am.

     Q    In September, the Pentagon said that they saw a record number of suicide rates --


     Q    -- among active duty troops.


     Q    I know you talked about suicide.  Can you speak to that, specifically?  How urgent of a problem is that for you and how are you going to address that specifically?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Absolutely.  So in my previous life, I was Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness under General Mattis.  The military culture, as you imply in your question, has all be- -- always been one where you don’t talk about these thing; you don’t talk about what you see in yourself or what you see in your comrade.

We began changing that by offering education, as early as boot camp, to look at the signs that you might see in training, in your career.  We have to begin talking about the condition of our troops.  And we have to be- -- begin training, which we are, at the Department of Defense level, so that by the time that those Americans come to VA, they will already have had the cadence of mental health discussions before they reach us.  But it is a cultural change that needs to take place.

I’ll say one other thing to that: It’s -- to me, it’s  also a strategic imperative.  I’ll give you an example: In my father’s day -- he fought twice in Vietnam -- if he had expressed any concerns -- any anxiety -- that would have been a one-way ticket out of the service.  But it was also a one-way ticket out because people knew there were 10,000 draftees ready to fill that position.  We don’t have that luxury now with the all-volunteer force.  We have to do a better job, and I think we are, of taking care of our warriors when they enter the service.

Q    And that report that you said was coming out -- what is the timeline for that?  How much urgency?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  It should be in March.  It’s the PREVENTS Task Force.  It’s the whole-government, whole-health approach -- a roadmap on national suicide.  And I would also say, I think the greatest contribution that VA can make is that most Americans, at some level, understand what happens when an American puts on a uniform.  We are seeing suicide levels spike across the country.  New York Times just reported on a 56 percent increase in teen suicides.  It’s -- teen suicides, the largest cause of death among teenage Americans.  The New York City Police Department is having a crisis.  I think we can offer a way forward.

And last thing, what I hope to see out of this -- other than that medical roadmap -- is that we open the aperture, when it comes to support for the states and localities and the charities, to help us find those veterans that we have not contacted.

Q    Mr. Secretary, thank you.


Q    This week, Senators Ernst and Capito sent you a letter expressing concerns about sexual assault in the VA.


Q    Do you acknowledge that this is an ongoing problem?  And what are you doing to fix it?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Well, we certainly have been changing the culture.  I -- in fact, I addressed the Center for Women’s Veterans yesterday.  We have extensive training for all of our employees.

This is not my grandfather’s VA anymore.  Ten percent of those who use VA are women.  I expect that to go up to about 18 to 19 percent by 2025.  So we have women’s clinics.  Most of our facilities have separate entrances for women.  If anyone, veteran or employee, does something untoward -- certainly the employee is disciplined, but the veteran is removed and put on warning that you’re not going to be allowed back if you engage in that kind of behavior.

We are working feverishly on expanding our services to those victims of military sexual trauma.  And I think we’re working pretty closely with the Department of Defense.  But again, I go back to the cultural changes that are taking place in this country and in -- certainly, in the military.  And I think we are doing a good job of catching up with that.

We have a zero tolerance policy and I stand by that.

Q    Do you have any new measures that you’ve implemented?  I’m sorry, I just want to follow up, because --


Q    -- you’ve talked about --

SECRETARY WILKIE:  No, we’ve trained -- we have training for all of our employees.  We have -- in our VA hospitals, we have notices.  We talk to the veterans.  Our employees are trained to intervene if someone does something like a catcall, which can be disquieting and certainly can -- is disquieting to some of our female veterans.  So we are -- we are changing -- changing that culture.

The other thing I will say is that, in several of the instances in that -- in that letter, we moved vigorously to prosecute.  The one that they reference about D.C. -- within minutes of me hearing that, I contacted the Deputy Attorney General.  I think that is another forceful way of handling that -- things like that.

Q    You mentioned that the VA has had to kind of clean house over the last couple of years to remove people that were kind of hurting the bureaucracy.  I’m curious: Do you envision more changes coming, in terms of personnel?  Do you have another cleaning of the house, if you will?  And how do you keep accountability intact, whether it be administration changes or --


Q    -- you know, position changes?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Cultural change.  Making sure that the standards are known by everyone. We are undergoing a transformation and an overhaul of our Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.  I intend to make that even more robust that it is.

Training, of course, goes on across VA.  I think though that the message that we send out -- because the story when I first came was that we were only firing custodians.  When network directors are removed, I think that sends a very powerful message, up and down the chain of command, that everyone is held to those exacting standards.

And I expect that, particularly as VA has moved in an incredibly positive direction, that those -- those standards and those practices will be maintained in the next few years.

Q    Is that still ongoing though -- where people are being pulled out of the system?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Oh, yeah.  Yes.  Oh, sure.  We do that on a daily basis.

Yes, sir.

Q    Mr. Secretary, McClatchy has found that veteran’s cancer rates have jumped over the last two decades of war.  Veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan say it’s tied to burn pit or other exposure.  But the VA is still denying their claims.  So why won’t the VA approve coverage for veterans now suffering?

SECRETARY WILKIE:  Well, you have to go back and see where our burn pit process is.  It’s -- right now, it’s with the Department of Defense.  The Department of Defense has responsibility.  And I’ve had conversations with advocates like General Petraeus about this.  My pledge is that we don’t experience what my father's generation experienced, and that was those decades-long wait after we knew people were exposed to Agent Orange.  I am waiting on DOD -- and I think they will give it to me shortly -- the results of all of their investigations into what went on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

     I would also note though that what I have approved is separate and apart from a burn pits category.  If we see -- have any veteran who has any of the medical issues that could come from burn pit exposure, we see them on that basis.  So I think we've seen about 50,000.

     Q    We understand that misdiagnoses are a huge factor in the number of veterans that are dying from cancer because the VA is catching the cancers too late.  So what additional expertise -- will there be a hire to improve its cancer care for veterans?

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  Well, we are world leaders in cancer research.  And we work collaboratively with the most important cancer research institutions in this country.  We have partnerships with MD Anderson.  We have partnerships with Stanford, Duke, Harvard, all of the great hospitals in Boston.  So we believe -- and I think the statistics show -- that we are on the cutting edge of cancer research.

And, you know, we are not divorced from many of the issues that impact America, writ large.  There is a shortage, in this country, not only of cancer providers, but there's a shortage in this country of mental health providers.  We are trying to be as creative as we can to bring more people in those categories to us.

     Yes, sir.

     Q    Mr. Secretary, thank you.  What do you -- some veterans still have to wait up to three years to get their hearing, their appeals resolved.  What are you doing about that backlog?

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  Well, we've undergone -- thanks to this President -- a massive appeals modernization program where we had hundreds of thousands of appeals on backlog from the last administration.  We're now down to the tens of thousands.  We've added employees to that.

We’ve actually done what hasn’t been done: We've computerized our appeals process.  When I was in, between administrations, the appeals were done primarily by hand, going from one hand to the next.  So we are in the middle of completely computerizing that system.

     And I expect that those numbers that have gone from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands will be even smaller in the next few years.

     Yes, sir.

     Q    Just go back, briefly, to the suicide reports.  There seems to be a disproportionate number of National Guard and Reserve victims who had not previously deployed.  Is there any early sense -- have you guys gleaned anything on that?  And is this a population that needs more --

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  Yes.  It's -- of the 20 who take their lives every day, I think one, perhaps as many as two, a day, are from the Guard.  It has been a problem that the Army began to notice, actually, in World War One, where people who did not deploy had disproportionate numbers of suicide.  We are working with the states.  We provide -- I'll give you an example, in Tennessee.  We will send out, to National Guard encampments, mobile VA centers to talk with the guardsmen, to work with the states.

It is a -- it is a problem particular to those in uniform, and we are looking for as many creative ways as possible.  I'm looking at proposed changes that can be made to the law because, most of the time, when these tragic things happen, the individual is not in federal status, and has not been, and is an employee of the state.  But we are aggressively cooperating with the states on that.  And you've hit on a very tragic but telling issue.

     One more.

     Q    What is your biggest --

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  Oh, no.  I'm sorry.  Yes.

     Q    What is your biggest remaining complaint?


     Q    What is the biggest remaining complaint to the VA?

     SECRETARY WILKIE:  Okay.  I will -- well, let me take a step back and tell you: As I said at the beginning, I've been blessed in my career; I've worked for Condi Rice, Bob Gates, Jim Mattis, and Don Rumsfeld.  This is the most exceptional professional experience I have ever had.

     I was born in khaki diapers.  I didn’t expect it.  But I will say that it is the most noble mission in the federal government.  And I am surrounded by people who've dedicated their lives to veterans.

     I will tell you what the most frustrating part of the job is.  There are many people who still look at VA as if it were 2014, 2015, and 2016, when there was a scandal -- a systematic scandal -- a day.  And that, as I said in my opening remarks, we were 17 out of 17, in terms of best places to work.  Our patient satisfaction rates were below 50.  I want people to take an unfiltered look at what we are doing and the breadth of the change that has been made, the support that we've been given by this President.  It's unprecedented.

     And I think when you do that, when you have an unjaundiced view of VA that is untethered from what has gone on in the past, I think it's an institution that most Americans can be very proud of.  Thank you all very much.
                             END                9:28 A.M. EST

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Visit of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of the Republic of Bulgaria

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Visit of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of the Republic of Bulgaria
President Donald J. Trump will welcome Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of the Republic of Bulgaria to the White House on November 25, 2019, to celebrate the strong and enduring relationship that exists between the two nations.  The United States and Bulgaria are NATO Allies and the President looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen the two nations’ common security interests, especially in ensuring stability in the Black Sea region, facilitating energy diversification, and countering malign influence threatening Bulgaria’s sovereignty. President Trump looks forward to Prime Minister Borissov’s visit and celebrating the ties that underpin the bilateral relationship.   


Office of the Press Secretary

East Room

6:38 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Please.  Thank you.  Great to be with you.  And thank you all for being here.  

Today, it's my honor to present an award reserved for those who perform exemplary deeds or acts of service for this great nation and its citizens -- the Presidential Citizens Medal.  And it's a big deal.  (Applause.)

This evening, we come together to pay tribute to a fallen hero who devoted his life to defending freedom and who made the supreme sacrifice to save others on September 11, 2001: Colonel Richard Rescorla.  Richard was a great gentleman.  He's looking down proudly on this wonderful family.  And congratulations, this is a big -- this is a big evening.  And it's great to have you at the White House because there's no place like it.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

We are profoundly grateful to have with us Rick’s beloved family.  Please join me in welcoming his wife, Susan.  Thank you, Susan.  (Applause.)  His son Trevor, and his daughter Kim.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  And to each of you -- we cannot fathom all that you have endured, but today we express the gratitude of 329 million Americans.  It's a lot of people.

Rick was born in Cornwall, England, in 1939.  As a boy, he met American soldiers preparing for the Normandy landing and dreamed of one day serving in uniform.  It's a big thing for Rick.

Soon, he had his chance and joined the British Army.  He spent six years fighting communism, then flew to America, found the recruiting center in Times Square, and joined the United States Army.  He wanted to continue his fight against communists.
In 1965, Rick deployed to Vietnam.  As a platoon leader, he fought in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley.  Facing overwhelming odds, Rick helped to beat back hundreds and hundreds of enemy soldiers.  His Commander, General Hal Moore -- who was a great general, by the way -- said Rick was, quote, "an extraordinary battlefield leader; quite simply the best platoon leader of infantry I have ever known in two wars.”  He saw plenty of action. 

For his actions in Vietnam, Rick received two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

We are thankful to be joined today by 60 soldiers who fought in Vietnam with Rick, including six veterans who just returned from Ia Drang on a trip to honor him.  Would you all please stand?  It's great to have you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Whoa.  (Applause.)  That’s pretty good.  That’s pretty good.

And you're all looking good.  You're looking good.  That’s great.  That’s really fan- -- do I see a Medal of Honor winner in our midst?  Oh, that’s great.  Stand up please.  (Applause.)  And I know them all.  Congratulations.  Thank you for being here.  Very nice.  You've earned our everlasting gratitude.

When Rick came home to America, he received a bachelor’s of -- a master’s degree in literature, and earned a law degree in Oklahoma.  He taught at the University of South Carolina, but soon realized he would not be happy until he was protecting others.  That’s what he liked to do -- protect others.  He was born to serve.

In 1984, Rick became director of security for Dean Witter Securities, which soon moved to the World Trade Center’s South Tower.

Rick was there in 1993, when terrorists detonated a 1,200-pound bomb in the World Trade Center’s garage.  In the midst of danger and confusion, Rick climbed on top of a desk, took command, and directed the evacuation.  He helped a lot of people.  That was a rough time.

After that bombing, Rick analyzed threats, outlined potential attacks, and told building officials that the next assault on the Towers could come from the air.  He understood what was happening.  He did everything he could to prepare for the worst.

In 1997, Dean Witter merged with Morgan Stanley, and Rick was promoted to Executive Vice President of Security for the largest tenant in the entire World Trade Center.  In 1998, he met Susan and they married within a year.  That was good.  Right?  (Laughter.)  That was good.  They were both happy.  They were both very happy.  That was a good move for both.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Rick got up early, put on his blue, pinstriped suit, and just before he left his home in Morristown, New Jersey, he kissed Susan, and told her, “I’ve never felt better in my life.  I love you so.”  Very nice.  That’s very nice.

Rick arrived in his office before 7:30 a.m.  A little more than an hour later, he heard an explosion, and looked out the window to see the North Tower consumed by flames.

Bullhorn in hand, Rick told everyone to ignore the P.A. system that was instructing them to remain at their desks.  He directed them to start marching down the stairs, two-by-two.  "Get out and start marching.  Just do it."  And they had practiced before.  Because of him, they had practiced before.

Rick ran up and down over 20 floors, telling employees to keep moving.  “Keep moving.  Get out.  Keep moving."  Many recall him saying, “Today is a day to be tra- -- proud to be an American.  Tomorrow, the world will be looking at you!”

At 9:03 a.m., a plane crashed into now the South Tower.  As terrified victims ran to escape the suffocating fumes, Rick remained calm and resolute in his mission.  When others told Rick to run to safety, he responded, “As soon as I’ve got everybody in this building out.”

The South Tower collapsed while Rick was still inside. Through his extraordinary actions, he helped save 2,700 lives. That night, those 2,700 people went home to their loved ones.
In the 18 years since, they have raised families, sent their children to college, walked their sons and daughters down the aisle, held their grandchildren thanks, in great measure, to one extraordinary American.

Here with us today are 12 brave first responders of 9/11, along with 5 veterans who fought in the war on terror -- and very, very successfully fought.  Please stand.  Please.  (Applause.)   Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you, fellas.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Great respect. I know the city well.  (Laughter.)  Fantastic job.

Rick’s entire life paints a beautiful picture of selfless service, and his legacy endures.  Monuments and gardens have been built in his honor.  A passenger train in England has been named after him.  And they just gave me the most beautiful model of that train; it'll be in the Oval Office.  And poems and books and even an opera have been written to memorialize his story.

No one has done more to preserve Rick’s memory than his wife, Susan.  After 9/11, Susan traveled the country and told of Rick’s courage.  Rick used to stay and say that Susan’s spirit could “lift him up in just a minute.”  Susan, you have really helped to lift up an entire nation.  And we want to really thank you.  And you have been so incredible.  And this evening is a very special one.  This is a very special house, it's a very special home, and it's a very special country.

So, to Susan, Trevor, Kim, and every one of Rick’s family members who are here: Our debt to you is beyond measure.  We can never reverse the horrors of that day.  We can never replace the precious lives we lost.  But on behalf of our entire nation, I pledge that we will forever and always remember this incredible American hero, Colonel Rick Rescorla.  We will never, ever forget.

Now, it is my privilege to ask Susan to join me onstage to accept the Presidential Citizens Medal on behalf of her great husband.  (Applause.)

Would the military aide please come forward and read the citation.  Thank you.  Thank you, Susan.

MILITARY AIDE:  Richard Cyril Rescorla.  At the cost of his own, Richard Rescorla helped save the lives of nearly 2,700 people at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001.

In the midst of the attack on the Twin Towers, Rescorla ignored advice to shelter people in place and instead aided their efforts to escape to safety.  He did not, however, join the evacuation.  He continued working to save lives until the tower collapsed, killing him and hundreds more.

The United States is proud to honor Rick Rescorla, whose valiant and selfless sacrifice for his fellow Americans on one of our Nation’s darkest days will never be forgotten.

(The Presidential Citizens Medal is presented.)  (Applause.)

MRS. RESCORLA:  Good evening, President Trump and all of you, this day of November the 7th, in the year of our Lord, 2019.  And thank you so much for meeting with Rick's family and I so privately before the ceremony.

Today is a day to honor a proud American.  Eighteen years is a long time, and I thank our President for honoring Rick with the Presidential Citizens Medal.

I had asked myself, "And why now?"  Because this was to be.  It's all about the journey, which has revealed so much more.  Of all of the accolades, all of the tributes, both here and in the United Kingdom -- 60 or more, over the years, and each one so unique -- and all of the people along the journey who have touched my life, each is so memorable because I was able to learn more about this incredible man in death than in the short time we had together on Earth.  And thank God we were blessed by a deeply meaningful time together.

Mr. President, we have about 200 people here who are all great women and men.  And I will be honoring them at the gala event at the Plaza Hotel this evening.  I know Rick would have wanted them all to be here today, and we both salute you all.

And now, on this incredible day, we are gathered here at our White House with the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in the country we love, with the flag we salute with so much respect.  And looking out on you all, each one of you is so special.

On that fatal day, September 11, 2001, Rick was seen fiercely herding the people out of the building.  And then he and his three men followed the firemen going further up into the South Tower.  There's even a recorder of them talking to one another.  “Leave no man behind” was the core of the 7th Cavalry, and I know Rick was thinking about his men in those final moments.

The days after 9/11, so many people called me and asked me, "Did Rick make it out?"  Or to tell me what Rick was saying to them as he was bringing them out of the building to safety.  He was singing Cornish songs.  And sometimes even whispering in their ears, "Get the hell out.  Just leave.  Get out."  (Laughter.)

But the -- and -- anyway, what was I going to say?  Today is a day to be proud to be an American because the world is still looking at us.  And all of you here have contributed to keeping Rick's work and story alive so it will be in the forefront of the American memory.

But before I say the last statement, I would like to tell you something about what Rick said to me.  On our first date, he said to me, "What are you about?"  And I said, "What do you mean, Rick?"  And he said, "Well, when I was a very young man, I declared what I wanted to be.  And I knew that if I stayed on that path, that at the end of my life, that I would have done the very best that I could."  And that’s exactly what Rick did.

Thank you, Mr. President.  And God bless America.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Susan.  (Applause.) 

                         END                 6:55 P.M. EST


The GoldFish Report No. 404: Dragon Interview- Transition to Gold Backed Currency

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On The GoldFish Report No. 404, Louisa and co-host Steve welcome back the Ambassador of the Red Dragon family and Benjamin Fulford of the White Dragon Society to discuss the global financial transition to gold backed currency and the geopolitics that influence this process. Also, Louisa announces The GoldFish report Road to the White House Fund Drive and encourages viewers who wish to see The GoldFish Social Media reporting from The White House. To contribute please visit these links to pay pal or Patreon on our website at There will be Iive streams and special interviews from the White House from the Alternative media, finally!! Only the viewers can make this happen since this is a commercial-free, viewer supported social media channel. To receive our Reports you can subscribe to our BITCHUTE Channel at and to become a Patron of The GoldFish Report you can go to our Patreon page at . You can also subscribe to our "NEW" YouTube channel at, and, follow us on Twitter at @ReportGoldfish, you can also follow us and like us on our 24/7 research news page at and to help support these and other programs please visit to make a donation. Thank you for your support and Thank you for viewing. To subscribe to Benjamin's weekly Geopolitical reports, please visit his website at : The Red Dragon Ambassador's website is at www.globalmissionof To View The GoldFish Report's POTUS Reports, you can visit our BitCHute page or view the unlisted report on YouTube from our POTUS Report page on our website at The GoldFish Report Archives can be found on our new Vimeo Video on Demand channel here: DISCLAIMER The following videos were created for educational purposes only. The content of this material strictly for research purposes, and readily available to the general public via the Internet. Viewing of the GoldFish Reports acknowledges that senders and recipients hereby agree to this disclaimer, thus releasing the source author from any and all personal liability. Also, individuals who alter or deviate from this source material, may be exposing themselves to the full extent of law. THE OPINIONS AND HYPOTHESES OF OUR GUESTS AND GUEST CO-HOSTS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE GOLDFISH REPORT POTUS UPDATE. AN OPINION AND HYPOTHESIS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITH NEWLY PRESENTED RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE. THE GOLDFISH REPORT POTUS REPORT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INFORMATION THAT MAY BE UNKNOWINGLY INACCURATE, ALTHOUGH WE DO OUR BEST TO PRESENT FACTS, OUR GOAL IS TO HAVE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES OF WORLD EVENTS AND HOW THOSE MAKING THE DECISIONS MAY IMPACT OUR LIVES. VIEWER DISCERNMENT IS ADVISED. Copyright 2019 The GoldFish Report. All rights Reserved.

The GoldFish Report No. 400 - Special Edition: Space Policy & Earth Dilemma w/ Alex Collier

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On The GoldFish Report No. 400 Special Edition, Louisa and Steve welcome Andromedan Contactee Alex Collier to discuss the progress humanity is making to free ourselves from the dark and what we need to do in preparation for Ascension. For more information about Alex Collier and his messages for humanity please visit Special Thanks to James Gilliland and Eceti Stargate for permission to share copyrighted video with us for this special presentation. To receive our Reports you can subscribe to our BITCHUTE Channel at and to become a Patron of The GoldFish Report you can go to our Patreon page at . You can also subscribe to our "NEW" YouTube channel at, and, follow us on Twitter at @ReportGoldfish, you can also follow us and like us on our 24/7 research news page at and to help support these and other programs please visit to make a donation. Thank you for your support and Thank you for viewing. Visit our NEW Vimeo on Demand to view our Educational Country Roads Reports at this link here: To View our NEW Educational Bullet Points Reports use this link here: For viewer support of The GoldFish Report's Project "The Road to the White House", Please donate at at out PayPal or become a patron at To View The GoldFish Report's POTUS Reports, you can visit our BitChute page or view the unlisted report on YouTube from our POTUS Report page on our website at DISCLAIMER The following videos were created for educational purposes only. The content of this material strictly for research purposes, and readily available to the general public via the Internet. Viewing of the GoldFish Reports acknowledges that senders and recipients hereby agree to this disclaimer, thus releasing the source author from any and all personal liability. Also, individuals who alter or deviate from this source material, may be exposing themselves to the full extent of law. THE OPINIONS AND HYPOTHESES OF OUR GUESTS AND GUEST CO-HOSTS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE GOLDFISH REPORT POTUS UPDATE. AN OPINION AND HYPOTHESIS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITH NEWLY PRESENTED RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE. THE GOLDFISH REPORT POTUS REPORT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INFORMATION THAT MAY BE UNKNOWINGLY INACCURATE, ALTHOUGH WE DO OUR BEST TO PRESENT FACTS, OUR GOAL IS TO HAVE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES OF WORLD EVENTS AND HOW THOSE MAKING THE DECISIONS MAY IMPACT OUR LIVES. VIEWER DISCERNMENT IS ADVISED. FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Copyright 2019 The GoldFish Report. All rights Reserved.