REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP AT THE WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER SERVICE
4:04 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please. Thank you. Be seated, please. And, Melania, thank you very much, on the second anniversary of the BE BEST Initiative. You've done a fantastic job. And everybody appreciates it. But I want to -- (applause) -- thank you. And I want to thank you, on behalf of the entire nation, for all that you do for America's children and on fighting the drug addiction problem that we have in this country. It's all over the world. But I want to thank you very much. Great job you do. You work so hard.
On this National Day of Prayer, America is engaged in a fierce battle against a very terrible disease. Throughout our history, in times of challenge, our people have always called upon the gift of faith, the blessing of belief, the power of prayer, and the eternal glory of God.
I ask all Americans to join their voices and their hearts in spiritual union as we ask our Lord in Heaven for strength and solace, for courage and comfort, for hope and healing, for recovery and for renewal.
In recent days and weeks, our country has endured a grave hardship. We pray for every family stricken with grief and devastated with a tragic loss. We pray for the doctors, the nurses, and first responders waging war against the invisible enemy. We pray for the scientists and researchers, who pioneer treatments, that they find therapies and vaccines and that they find them soon. We pray for the frontline workers keeping our nation fed, nourished, and safe and secure. May God watch over them all.
We are honored to have with us today our amazing Vice President, Mike Pence, and his wonderful wife, Karen. Great friends of our nation and great friends of mine and Melania’s. And somebody is doing an incredible job, not only as Vice President, but as heading the task force, which has come up with so many solutions and ideas and things that we didn’t even think about two months ago.
We’re also profoundly grateful to be joined by many faith leaders who are helping to care for our neighbors in their hour of need. Thank you all for providing meals to families, medical supplies to hospitals, and for providing spiritual strength and encouragement to your communities. You’re very important people, very respected people, and very much loved people.
In every part of our country, we have seen the Grace of God through the love and devotion of our fellow citizens. As Scripture assures us, “The Lord your God is not [in] your midst, a mighty one who will save.” And I think it’s -- I think it’s so true. Think of that: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save.”
We have been reminded once again that God has blessed our land with heroes of faith.
Here with us is Brittany Akinsola from Charlotte, North Carolina. Brittany is a nurse, a pastor, a wife, a mother. When she saw the dire situation in New York City, she volunteered to work at the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital in Central Park. There, she worked 13-hour shifts in the intensive care unit for weeks, praying for each patient while giving them the very best care. As Brittany said, “We just keep sharing the love of Christ through our gifts of nursing.”
Brittany, America is forever indebted to you and the incredible job you’re -- you have done. And we very much appreciate it, Brittany. Please come up. Please, come up, Brittany, and say a few words. (Applause.) Thank you.
MS. AKINSOLA: Thank you so much, Mr. President. It has been a great honor and privilege to be able to travel around the world with Samaritan's Purse and help people in their time of crisis and need.
And I most recently had the opportunity to go to New York City, as you shared. And I will tell you that, just to be able to combine both my skills of nursing and the gifting of pastoring at such a time as this in our nation and to serve the people of New York City was truly one of the greatest honors of my life.
And I know that I am one of many frontline workers that are serving our country right now. And so to all of my colleagues at Samaritan's Purse, and to everyone that is doing such an incredible job sharing their gifts to help those in need, I just want to say thank you so much. Thank you for being just a light of hope in a time that is such a hopeless time for so many people.
I would love to just leave you with a Scripture that has helped me so much through this time. And it's Galatians 6:9, and what it says is, “Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And the harvest that I'm believing for our country is one of restoration and hope. I am believing for healing in the name of Jesus, and I am believing that unity -- that unity would thrive during this time. So thank you so much, and God bless you all.
THE PRESIDENT: Wow, Brittany. That’s great. Wow. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Brittany -- no notes, no nothing. You know your stuff, don’t you? Huh? Thank you very much. Fantastic person.
Also with us is Mario Salerno, a landlord auto-shop owner in Brooklyn. Last month, Mario waived rent for all 200 of his tenants. Oh, I got to see you on television, actually. I said, “What kind of a landlord is that?” (Laughter.) That's a great landlord, right? That's very nice. I got to see that. He wanted to make sure that they could put food on the table, and he wanted to take care of their families even though he's losing a lot of income -- which he could always use. We can always use it. Right, Mario? But that was a big thing. Mario says that's irrelevant compared to the value of human life. Fantastic thing, Mario.
He also believes he has two callings in his wonderful world -- usually wonderful world; we live in a world that's very complex -- to do good to people and to keep his faith. As Mario puts it, “Faith is a lot more powerful than fear.” That's true.
Mario, if you would, would you please step up and say a few words? Thank you very much.
MR. SALERNO: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I'm honored. On this special day of prayer, I have nothing written. I just want to thank the good Lord.
Every morning when I wake up, at 3:30 in the morning, get ready, put my feet, I pray and I ask the good Lord, “Please, conquer this vicious virus. He's making us all stumble.” And besides me praying to the Good Lord, I pray for our dear President. And I tell God, “Please, give him the strength and the power, because he's not only our leader of the great United States; the whole world is following this gentleman.”
And I can't say anything else, but let's please pray for this wonderful man. Faith before fear. And, Mr. President, I'm honored to be here. And I pray for you every day. God bless America and God bless you, Mr. President. Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mario. Wow. That’s so great. Thank you, Mario. That’s really nice. I appreciate it. And, by the way, I love your tie, but I love your words even more. Thank you very much.
In every age and in every generation, the prayers of our people and the faith of our families has willed us on to victory. No obstacle, no enemy, and no danger can overcome the mighty spirit and soul of our nation.
In every battle against poverty, against disease, against tyranny and evil, we have placed our loyalty in each other and our trust in God. And we have prevailed. We will continue to prevail. We will prevail again. We will vanquish the virus. We will defeat the enemy. We will not fail.
So, once more, we call upon our Creator to guide us through these very complex steps, protect our people, rebuild our communities, and restore our beloved nation to even greater heights. We will never forget, however, those that have been lost, those incredible souls, and the families of those souls that are going through so much. We will never forget you. We will be there for you.
May God continue to strengthen our hearts and sustain our souls. May God continue to shed His divine grace upon this land. And may God forever bless the United States of America.
And now I'd like to ask the faith leaders of our country -- some of the most important of our faith leaders, people respected by everybody -- to say a few words.
Please, Sister Anida Martinez, if you would, perhaps begin. Sister, thank you very much.
SISTER MARTINEZ: Thank you, Mr. President.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to grant us, in this moment, to be in your most holy presence. In the presence of our mother Mary, of Saint Joseph, our protector and guide, of all the angels and of all the saints, I ask you to please grant us the grace to be one in body and in spirit, all of your children of the Earth. Please be with us so that with one voice, with the voice of the Church, we may pray together to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus, Son of God, you were sent by the Father to bear our weakness. Be with us in this time of crisis. Merciful savior, heal and comfort the sick, so that with health restored, they may give you praise.
Divine physician, accompany our caregivers so that serving You with patience, they may heal wisely. Eternal wisdom, guide our leaders so that seeking remedies, they may follow Your light. Christ, the anointed, protect us in body and spirit so that freed from harm, we may be delivered from all affliction.
Beloved Son of the Father, grant us the grace to grow in love for Him, that we may love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength. You who live in reign, in the unity of God the Father with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
We thank you, Father, for this moment. We thank you for your love for us. We ask you, in the name of Christ our Lord, to bless us with His most precious blood, to bless our nation, to bless our world. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Sister, very much. Thank you. It's beautiful.
Pujari Harish Brahmbhatt.
MR. BRAHMBHATT: Thank you, Mr. President. In these troubled times of COVID-19, social distancing, and the lockdown, it's not unusual for people to feel anxious or not at peace. The Shanti Paath, or the peace prayer, is a prayer that does not seek worldly riches, success, fame, nor is it a prayer for any desire for heaven. It is a beautiful Hindu prayer for peace -- Shanti. It's a Vedic prayer derived from the Yajurveda. And the prayer goes:
Om Dyau Shanti Rantariksha Gwam ShantiPrithvi Shanti Rapah Shanti Roshadhayah Shanti Vanas Patayah Shanti Vishwed Devah Shanti Brahma Sarvag Wam Shanti Shanti Reva Shanti Sa Ma Shanti Redhi Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
The prayer translates into:
Onto the heavens, be peace. Onto the sky and Earth, be peace. Peace be onto the water. Onto the herbs and trees, be peace. Onto all the crops, be peace. Onto Brahma and onto all, be peace. And may we realize that peace. Peace. Peace. Peace.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Would Bishop Dwight Green please come up?
BISHOP GREEN: Thank you. Good afternoon to the President, Vice President, and all those that are assembled today at the National Day of Prayer.
Let us pray:
To the eternal sovereign God of creation, You have summoned your people, once again, to prayer. And the presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ and the membership of our organization around the world has, for the last 12 weeks, been joined together interceding for the deliverance of our nation and our world that God would deliver us from the coronavirus pandemic and all of other debilitating plagues present in our world.
We believe that the suffering and the loss of life, which continues to threaten the socioeconomic and geopolitical balance of our country can be curtailed when the people of God pray.
You said in Psalms 107: “He will send His word to heal and deliver us from destruction.”
Our systems are broken, no longer trusted, nor effective, because we have strayed from your commandments. And our people are wounded, ailing, bewildered, frustrated by empty promises.
We need you to transform us to the likeness of your Son, Jesus the Christ. We need your word of healing that will restore confidence in our justice system that will reflect fairness and provide rehabilitation for redeemable offenders. We need your word to heal that promise quality early childhood education and equitable distribution of opportunities for wealth-building for blacks, browns, and disadvantaged whites.
We need your word of healing that will speak to the physical, emotional, and spiritual deficiencies of our nation; your word that will cause us to recognize we are all God's children and He has called us to love and good works.
You declared a house divided against itself will self-destruct. So, Father, have mercy on us as we repent today for our miscarriage of justice. I repent of all offenses and disobedience of our nation to your commandments, and humbly seek your forgiveness and pray for mercy that you will deliver us from this evil affliction of the coronavirus.
And grant to our President, Mr. Trump, the Vice President, Congress, and the religious leaders of our nation your divine insight to navigate this pandemic, in the name of Jesus Christ the Savior.
And we pray divine comfort for the grieving families of those that have been lost and those that are yet struggling with the affliction inflicted by this virus. We pray your comfort, your deliverance, and your peace.
In Jesus’s name, thank God. Amen.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Bishop, very much. Thank you.
Pastor Paula White, please come up. Thank you, Paula.
PASTOR WHITE: What an honor to be here with you, President and First Lady, Vice President, Second Lady. It's a beautiful day to lift up our Lord and Savior. He is a certain God in uncertain times. And the Bible says, if two or three of us agree as touching anything, it will be done.
Job 22, verse 28 says: If you decree a thing and declare a thing, it will be established. So, God, we come in agreement with your word and with your name -- the name of Jesus.
Psalm 40, verse 17 says: You are my help and my deliver. Do not delay, Oh God. I declare no more delays to the deliverance of COVID-19. No more delays to healing and a vaccination. No more delays to restoration of this great nation, the United States of America.
For Psalm 71:2 says: In your righteousness, deliver us and rescue us, incline your ear and save us.
Psalm 107 says: You deliver us out of the stress and out of destruction.
Your word will not return void, according to Isaiah chapter 55, verse 11. So I declare your word. I declare divine intervention and supernatural turnaround. You will restore this land.
According to Psalm 118:25: Save our nation, oh Lord, and send prosperity now.
For Deuteronomy 28:8 says: Command your blessing upon this land. You said in Deuteronomy 8:9 to bring us into good land without any lack.
For your word declares in Psalm 33:2: Blessed is the nation whose God is Lord.
So I declare you right now to be Lord over this nation, over the United States of America, and we receive your blessing over any plague, over any economic distress.
You will stay the hand of the enemy, according to Second Samuel chapter 21, verse 16: When 70,000 men died by a plague, David cried out as he covered himself in prayer. And the Lord answered and said, “It is enough.”
Stay now thine hand. Lord, let that be the cry today, and let that be your answer. Lord, enough coronavirus, enough to death, enough to fear, enough to poverty. Stay thine your hand.
We pray over President Trump and First Lady, Vice President and Second Lady, and this administration. I declare Psalm 89, verse 21: Let your hand establish President Trump, and let your arm strengthen him. I declare Psalm 98:1 that your right hand and your holy arm will give Him victory. We declare victory in the name of Jesus.
Isaiah 58:11 says: Guide him continually. And you said in Psalm 78:72 that you would guide him by the skillfulness of your hand.
You declared in Psalm 43 that send out your light and truth and let him lead his household, his administration, in the name of Jesus.
Now, Lord, we pray for your mercies, for they are new every single day. And every morning, your mercies are new. Your steadfast love never ceases. I declare new mercies for hospital workers, new mercies for doctors and nurses, moms and dads, pastors and clergies, CEOs and employers, for the President and Vice President.
God, your love is steadfast and it endures forever. So right now, wrap your arms of love around every person who is hurting, every person who is confused, scared, tired, weary sick, lonely. Let them know your love. Let them know that you will never leave them and you will never forsake them.
And in conclusion, I declare Isaiah chapter 43, verse 19: I ask the Lord to do a new thing in our nation by giving waters in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
Malachi 4:2 says: Jesus, arise over the nation with healing in your wings.
President, one last word: Like David, who had had victory, after victory, after victory, after victory, would face his biggest battle -- it was called Ziklag. And they would take his wives and his children, and the city would be burned down. And he cried and he wept, and he began to pray out to God. And God gave him a word.
And through fasting and praying, I believe this is the word for you and for this nation: The Lord spoke to him and said: Pursue and go after them, and you shall, without fail, recover all.
Sir, the word of the Lord, I believe, for this nation and for this administration is: You will recover all.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, Paula. Incredible, Paula. Thank you.
Next is Chaplain Ibraheem Raheem. Thank you, Chaplain.
CHAPLAIN RAHEEM: Thank you, Mr. President.
Let us pray:
Gracious and merciful Lord, I pray for our nation. I bring the needs of our citizens before you and ask that you be with all of us through the challenges we endure from COVID-19.
I pray for the victims and families of victims that have lost their lives, as well as those that are fighting for their lives today.
I pray for the many without jobs, food, and shelter. I ask that you would give all of our nation’s leaders the wisdom and courage to lead us through this pandemic.
I pray for our President, Vice President, First Lady, and Second Lady. I ask that you help us to work together as a nation. I ask that you bless our Congress and all of those in leadership positions to restore our nation back to full operation. I pray for your protection to cover all of our valiant healthcare workers, our courageous first responders, law enforcement community, and brave men and women of our military. I pray for all essential workers. I pray for the soundness of mind for our governors and judges across the land.
I pray for every faith community and their leaders. And I ask your blessings upon those in my community who are observing the collective fast of Ramadan.
I ask these blessings in your gracious and merciful name. Amen.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
Sister Debbie Harrison. Sister Harrison, thank you very much.
SISTER HARRISON: Thank you, Mr. President.
Our Dear Heavenly Father, we are grateful, this day, to be gathered together with representatives from many faiths, united in prayer to appeal to thee thy mercy and grace, and helping us and our nation.
We are grateful to be in a country where we have the right to exercise our religious beliefs. And we pray and cherish that those freedoms that we have will be protected and not be diminished.
We are united in prayer today to ask a special blessing of deliverance -- deliverance from this pandemic that has covered the Earth in a devastating sickness. We ask that our doctors, nurses, and caregivers can be blessed with special protection in recognition of their sacrifices and hard work.
Please bless our scientists and doctors to develop effective treatments for those who are sick and who may become sick. We pray that a safe and effective vaccine can be developed quickly to protect us, so that life can return to normal.
Bless the leaders of this great nation to be inspired by thee, to have wisdom and judgment to make good decisions and to get the economy running again. Amplify their talents.
Bless our leaders to work together in harmony and unity to do what is best for the citizens of this nation.
We pray for those that mourn for lost loved ones and ask that you send thy Holy Spirit to comfort them and give them assurance that they can be reunited again through the power of our savior Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
We know that without thy strengthening help, we will fail. But with thy help and tender mercies, we can do all things and we will not fail.
We pray we can look to thee in every thought, doubt not, and fear not.
We love thee, Heavenly Father, and we call down the powers of Heaven to help us, unite us, and deliver us from these troubled times.
I say these things in deep gratitude for all of our blessings in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our healer and redeemer.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Sister. Thank you.
Rabbi Ariel Sadwin. Thank you, Rabbi.
RABBI SADWIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
King Solomon, in his great wisdom, writes in the second chapter of Song of Songs, "There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice." The Midrash commentary explains this to be referring to Almighty God at a time when his presence is not visible, nor is it readily apparent. "But fear not," says King Solomon, "he is right there in the background, watching you through the window, and the lattice. (Speaks Hebrew.) Oh, our merciful Father.”
This idea is so apparent and reminiscent to this most challenging time during which we find ourselves. Our relationship with you seems so different from what it always has been. We have not been in your house, our holy synagogues, in nearly two months. These sacred places where we go to seek you and to derive inspiration three times a day, every day, are empty, dark, and shuttered. Instead, all we have had is the sanctuary of our own homes and the limited allowable interactions.
There is fear, there is sickness, there is death wherever we turn and whenever we listen. But yet, we know you are still there, watching over us as always. (Speaks Hebrew.) Master of the world, you are the Rofei chol basar, the healer of all flesh. We implore you to eradicate this awful plague from your Earth, heal those who suffer, comfort those who mourn, sustain those who have lost livelihood.
Please bless our President, our First Lady, our Vice President, our Second Lady, and the entire administration, as well as the leaders of state and local governments who must make critical decisions each and every day.
Please bless the doctors, nurses, first responders, and all medical personnel who dedicate their lives to save others. Please bless the selfless community and civic leaders who are doing their part to help those in need. And please bless each and every one of your 330 million children who make up the United States of America.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Rabbi, very much.
Now I'd like to ask the Spirit of Faith Christian Center Choir to come up and conclude the event by leading us in the singing of "God Bless America."
MR. BOWMAN, JR.: It is my prayer and desire as we join together to sing "God Bless America" that we will all reciprocate and begin to bless God.
("God Bless America" is sung.)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. That was -- that was great. Thank you.
You know, while you're up here -- so this is totally unexpected, but you're so good. Do you have one song that you'd like to sing for the group and for the whole world that's watching right now? You have a lot of cameras out there.
Go ahead. We'll put a little pressure on you. You can handle it.
MR. BOWMAN, JR.: Let's do this.
THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.
("I Lift My Eyes Up" is sung.)
THE PRESIDENT: That's fantastic. A lot of people were watching. Thank you. Great talent, beautiful.
Thank you all very much. Great day of prayer. Thank you very much, Mike. (Applause.) Thank you all very much.
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP IN MEETING WITH GOVERNOR ABBOTT OF TEXAS
2:37 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to have Governor Greg Abbott with us. He’s a very special governor. He’s a done a phenomenal job. Texas is -- well, it’s sort of like the U.S. We were both booming, and now it’s still booming, but it’s going to be booming at the highest level very soon, I project.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Exactly.
THE PRESIDENT: I think we both feel we’re going to have a transition period in the third quarter, and we’re going to have a very good fourth quarter. I think next year has a chance to be one of our really great years, economically. So we’re looking forward to getting on with it. The only thing is we pay our respects for the fallen. We pay our respects for those that have died, the families of those that have died.
It’s a horrible, horrible thing that was given to our country. It could’ve been stopped. It should’ve been stopped right at the site, where it came from.
But I want to just thank the Governor for being here. I want to congratulate him on truly being, Mike -- I think we talk about this a lot -- one of the great governors in this country.
And, Greg, it’s an honor. Thank you very much.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Thank you so very much. And, listen, thank you so much for what you’ve done. As you know, you and I have had the chance to talk a whole lot on the phone during the course of this pandemic. But the staff that you provided -- the Vice President, I spoke with this past week, in response; Dr. Birx, I speak to frequently, getting her advice. And the team that you provided to us, the resources that you’ve provided to us helped us respond very robustly.
Talking about the economy: Before this pandemic occurred, Texas was the leading nation for creating jobs. Texas was the leading nation for gross domestic product growth. And so we were the economic powerhouse of the United States, and we are ready to get there again. So we’re going about the process of slowly opening back up, doing the right strategies to make sure we can open up while, at the same time, reduce the spread.
I want to thank the people of Texas. It’s the people of Texas who have done a great job of slowing the spread: washing your hands, wearing masks, practicing distancing practices to make sure we reduce the spread. Because of that, we are now seeing more and more businesses that are opening up gradually to make sure we don’t expand the spread, but we’re doing so in a way that we’ll make sure Texas will once again reclaim its position as being the number one economy in the United States.
THE PRESIDENT: Right. And I’m sure that’ll happen.
Do you have any questions, please?
Q Can we ask you a question, Mr. President? How is it possible that someone that tested positive for COVID-19 got so close to you?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think probably that has to do with the fact that we all believe in tests. We have the best tests in the world. But they were tested -- I believe they’re tested on a weekly basis.
I just had a test, as you probably heard. In fact, I had one yesterday and I had one today, and it’s negative. Mike just had a test, and it’s negative. But they do the tests, and it just shows you that the fallacy -- it’s what I’ve been saying: Testing is not a perfect art. No matter what you do, testing is not a perfect art. So we test once a week. Now we’re going to go testing once a day. But even when you test once a day, somebody could -- something happens where they catch something.
But we -- we --
Q Once a day for you or for everyone?
THE PRESIDENT: I’ve had very little contact, personal contact, with this gentleman. I know who he is. Good person. But I’ve had very little contact. Mike has had very little contact with him. But Mike was tested and I was tested. We were both tested.
Q Did it spook you? I mean, it can be scary for some people.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, it’s a little bit strange, but it’s one of those things. As I said -- you know, I said yesterday, Governor: All people are warriors in this country. Right now, we’re all warriors. You’re warriors, we’re warriors. You can be with somebody, everything is fine, and then something happens to that person, and all of a sudden, you test positive. And we’re all warriors together. I am. You are. We all are.
It’s what we were saying before: It shows that testing -- we have the best tests in the world, but what happens in between when you got tested and just a couple of days later? So, in this case, there were a number of days missed, and it was a long weekend and things, and so you never know. But we both tested in a negative fashion, I guess you would call it.
Any other question?
Q Mr. President, could we get your reaction to some breaking news? The Justice Department has decided to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn. Are you aware of that?
THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t know that was happening at this moment. I felt it was going to happen, just by watching and seeing, like everybody else does. He was an innocent man. He is a great gentleman. He was targeted by the Obama administration, and he was targeted in order to try and take down a President. And what they’ve done is a disgrace, and I hope a big price is going to be paid. A big price should be paid. There’s never been anything like this in the history of our country.
What they did -- what the Obama administration did is unprecedented. It’s never happened. Never happened. A thing like this has never happened before, in the history of our country. And I hope a lot of people are going to pay a big price because they’re dishonest, crooked people. They’re scum. And I say it a lot: They’re scum. They’re human scum. This should never have happened in this country. A duly elected President.
And they went after him by going after fine people. And those fine people said, “No, I’m not going to lie. I can’t lie.” He’s not the only one. There are many of them. And they all said, “I can’t lie.” They could’ve said something like, “Oh, make up a lie. Trump loves somebody or something or some country.” And they said, “Oh, you wouldn’t have any problem.” That’s what they were trying to do. And it’s disgrace.
The Obama administration Justice Department was a disgrace. And they got caught. They got caught. Very dishonest people. But much more than dishonest; it’s treason. It’s treason.
So I’m very happy for General Flynn. He was a great warrior and he still is a great warrior. Now, in my book, he’s an even greater warrior. What happened to him should never happen again. And what happened to this presidency -- to go through all of that and still do more than any President has ever done in the first three years is pretty amazing when you think of it, with what we’ve done with regulations and tax cuts and Second Amendment and all of the things we’ve done. It’s never happened.
And until two months ago, we had the greatest economy in history. Unfortunately, we had to -- like you did in Texas -- we had to close it down. But for these people to have done that, I am very proud of General Flynn, I can tell you that right now.
Q Who would you like to see pay a price for this?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, the people should pay a big price for what they’ve done to this country. They should pay a big price. And their partner, very complicit, is a thing called the media. The media is totally guilty.
And all of those writers and so-called journalists -- they’re not journalists; they’re thieves -- all of those journalists that received a Pulitzer Prize should be forced to give those Pulitzer Prizes back because they were all wrong. There was no -- because if you saw today, more documents came out, saying there was absolutely no collusion with Russia. It came out very loud and clear.
And they wrote for years because they tried to do a number on the presidency and this President. It happened to be me. Pulitzer Prizes should all be returned. Because you know what? They were given out falsely. It was fake news. They’re all fake news. Those Pulitzer Prizes should be given back immediately.
And the Pulitzer committee, or whoever gives the prizes, they’re a disgrace, unless they take those prizes back. Because they got Pulitzer Prizes for what turned out to be false stories. And Pulitzer Prizes should be given to the ones that got it right, and I could give you a long list of those names too. And you know who I’m talking about.
Q You spoke to President Putin today.
THE PRESIDENT: I did.
Q Did he ask for any ventilators or any equipment for his pandemic?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. We -- we are helping various countries. As you know, Russia is having a hard time with the same COVID-19. They got hit like everybody else got hit. And we had a long talk.
And also, the 75th year -- and you know what the 75th year means. It was very nice. He called me because we were partners, so to speak, for a very big, successful war. And it was very nice. He called to -- as a congratulatory call, as a call of celebration, because it was the 75th year.
And also, I suggested if they need -- because we have a lot of ventilators -- if they need ventilators, we’d love to send them some, and we will do that at the appropriate time. We’ll send them some ventilators.
Q Did he take you up on it? Did he say --
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. We’ll be doing that.
THE PRESIDENT: And that was a very nice call. And remember this: The Russia hoax made it very hard for Russia and the United States to deal with each other. They’re a very important nation. We’re the most powerful nation; they’re a very powerful nation. Why would we not be dealing with each other.
But the Russia hoax is -- absolute, dishonest hoax. Made it very difficult for our nation and their nation to deal. And we discussed that. I said, “You know, it’s a very appropriate time.” Because things are falling out now and coming in line, showing what a hoax this whole investigation was. It was a total disgrace. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a lot of things happen over the next number of weeks. This is just one piece of a very dishonest puzzle.
Q And you’ve been trying to arrange an arms control summit with President Putin and President Xi. Is that getting anywhere?
THE PRESIDENT: We are talking about arms control with Russia, and we will go forward with that. And we are talking about it very seriously -- having arms control. They have many nuclear weapons, and so do we. And we’re talking about a arms control with Russia. Yeah. They’d like to do it. We’d like to do it.
Q Sir, can I ask you about the economy? Today, we’ve now learned that 33 million jobs have been lost in the last seven weeks. Will there be more jobs lost in May, or is that number going to start coming down next month?
THE PRESIDENT: Well -- yeah, Peter, the number will start coming down at an appropriate time, whatever that is. I’m viewing the third quarter as being a very important quarter because that’s -- as I said, that’ll be a transition. I think you could almost say a “transition into greatness,” because I think next year we’re going to have a phenomenal year -- a phenomenal year, economically.
And we’re working very hard now. The governor is working along with us. The relationship with Texas has been phenomenal. And Texas is opening up, and a lot of places are opening up. And we want to do it, and I’m not sure that we even have a choice. I think we have to do it. You know, we -- this country can’t stay closed and locked down for years. Somebody could say, “Let’s keep it closed for a couple of years.”
The United States of America -- the greatest economy in history, two months ago -- in the history of our country, in the history of the world. We had a far greater economy than anybody, including China, by a lot. And we had to close it down in order to really do something about the plague.
But we did something and we did a lot. And we also -- you know what, Governor? We learned a lot about it.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: We did.
THE PRESIDENT: We know that you may have fires every once and a while at certain locations -- some little ones, maybe some big ones, but you know how to shut it down.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: That’s exactly right.
THE PRESIDENT: You might want to speak about that.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Sure. I would, yeah. I was talking with Dr. Birx about that. And so what we’ve done: We’ve been able to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Texas, but at the same time, we created these surge forces that will go out to regions where there are flair-ups, and it’s like putting out a fire.
We have a surge force working in the Panhandle in Texas right now, up in Amarillo and just north of Amarillo, because of an outbreak at a meatpacking plant. There’s several other issues with other meatpacking plants in Texas. Basically, there’s only three categories causing any type of outbreak: There are meatpacking plants, there are jails, and there are senior centers. And so we have task forces that focus on those three areas. If it weren’t for those three categories, the people in Texas testing positive would be very minimal.
THE PRESIDENT: And the governor and I have spoken about what he’s doing with senior citizen centers is incredible, that the time and effort and love that you’re giving to senior citizens, they were just -- what has gone on throughout the country, in some instances, as you know, senior citizens areas. And the Governor has really made that a point, really, almost before anybody I can think of.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Because of that, we have one of the lowest death rates in the United States of America.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.
Q Governor Abbott, in Odessa, Texas, police were used with an armored vehicle and guns drawn to shut down a bar that had opened up in -- going against the order. What role do police have in enforcing these kind of lockdown and social-distancing orders?
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Well, there’s different standards used in different communities. However, today I made one thing clear, and that is: As we go through this process of trying to maintain order in our states, as we are asking the people in our state to comply with these orders, we should not be taking these people and putting them behind bars -- these people who have spent their life building up a business and being told to shut it down and lose every penny they have. And then, if they don’t follow every little, you know, fine point of all the rules, they suddenly are subject to arrest, that is wrong. And that’s why I issued another executive order today, saying that, in the state of Texas, no one can be put behind bars because they’re --
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: -- not following an executive order. It’s common sense.
THE PRESIDENT: So that includes the woman that I’ve been reading about --
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: She’s --
THE PRESIDENT: -- with the beauty salon.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: She’s free today.
THE PRESIDENT: Good.
Q Sir, following up on the coronavirus: Has the West Wing, has the Oval Office been deep cleaned? Are you contact tracing the people around this area that would have had contact with this person? And is there a 14-day quarantine -- or should there be for those who were in touch with this person?
THE PRESIDENT: They’re doing everything that you can do, again, within the limits of testing. And you know what that is. We have the ultimate testing. We have the best tests in the world. And we gave more than anybody else.
But we al- -- I have always said testing is somewhat overrated, because what happens after somebody takes a test? What’s going on there? And Mike was just saying the word “essential” -- essential workers. And, as you know, essential workers are immune from the -- Mike, do you want to maybe mention that?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, from the CDC guidance, we’ve been very clear that, from the beginning of this outbreak, for anyone that comes into contact with someone with coronavirus, we, early on, recommended that people self-quarantine. That recommendation, of course, was before we had done, at this point, some 7.7 million tests around the country. And states like Texas are distributing tests very quickly to people that either have symptoms or are suspected to possibly have contracted the coronavirus.
But with regard to essential workers the President referred to, we’ve always had an exception: people to keep food on the table, people that are involved in public safety, most especially healthcare workers. We’ve asked them to continue to go to work by taking other countermeasures, including testing, to ensure that they’ve not contracted the disease.
And as the President indicated, the White House now has initiated an effort that the President and I not only will be tested every day, but I think everyone that comes into contact with the President will be tested every day. And so keeping the essential work here at the White House moving forward and our national response is the priority going forward.
THE PRESIDENT: And the big thing is we’ve been tested.
Q Mr. President, can I ask Dr. Birx a question about Texas?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.
Q Dr. Birx, do you think that the Texas reopening plan is great? Are you thumbs up with them doing the 25 percent capacity for movie theaters and restaurants and the like?
DR. BIRX: Yeah. No, we had a long discussion. We had a particular discussion, and I think many people know I don’t understand the nail salon piece because I’ve never had my nails done, so I couldn’t understand --
THE PRESIDENT: Is that true? (Laughter.)
DR. BIRX: It’s true. So I didn’t really understand it. So we talked about, you know, not having them in the first opening wave, because you can’t really physical distance. And we had that discussion and he agreed. And we’ve moved forward together. And I think it’s those kind of dialogues.
And I think what’s really been impressive to me by the governors is how much they know about epidemiology, so they will never be confused in another pandemic ever again -- because he came with all of his data about what county had what; what -- that was a prison, that was a -- and, believe me, I had all my data with me, and he was able to answer every county and what the issue was.
And I think, when you look at Houston, when you look at Dallas, and you see the ability to really contain and mitigate those epidemics, but at the same time, contain epidemics, then not allow them to spread in the community, this is what we’ve been asking governors to do with the test and using focus testing to really find asymptomatic cases and protect the vulnerable. And the ability to go into prison, to go into meatpacking plants, and go into the senior care centers and proactively test is really quite extraordinary.
And I think we still remain concerned about asymptomatic spread, and we think that the progress that they’re making on testing in a focused way to protect others is really a way that we can move forward together to protect everyone in the community.
Q So Texas is a role model for other states? Or --
DR. BIRX: Every state is different. So I don’t want to get in comparison with the governors, because I’ve talked to some incredible governors who are all doing quite a good job.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s true.
Q Dr. Birx, a follow-up. Mr. President, 20 states, by the account of multiple organizations right now, that haven’t met the guidelines that you set here have either partially or completely reopened. What do you say to those states that haven’t met the guidelines and are already starting that process now?
THE PRESIDENT: We’ve looked at all of them, and we’ve spoken to many of the governors -- most of the governors. As you know, we give leeway to the governors. And these are governors that have done a good job in, I think, all cases. I have some that I don’t think are doing a particularly good job. But for the most part, they have, and these governors have. And we give them the leeway. They have to do what they’re doing.
Like Governor Abbott, when you look at the job he’s done in Texas, I rely on his judgment. And you have parts of Texas, vast parts of Texas where there’s no problem whatsoever. I mean, there’s like literally nothing. And it would be a shame to keep that closed. I mean --
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Half of -- half of our counties either have no cases or five or fewer cases.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. That’s -- so, the governors have great -- have great power as to that, given by us. We want them to do that. We rely on them. We trust them. And hopefully they’re making the right decisions.
Q Can I ask about Georgia? Right now there’s been some dramatic video of an unarmed, black Georgia man who was shot by police while on a jog. Been a lot of protests about this. Have you seen the video? And your reaction to that situation?
THE PRESIDENT: So I’m getting a full report on it this evening. My heart goes out to the parents and to the loved ones of the young gentleman. It’s a very sad thing. But I will be given a full report this evening.
Q Haven’t seen the video yet, to be clear?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I haven’t.
Q Mr. President, there is a report about Saudi Arabia, that the U.S. is considering removing anti-missile Patriot missile systems from Saudi Arabia. Can you confirm, is that true?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t want to talk about it. But we’re doing some things. We’re making a lot of moves in the Middle East and elsewhere.
We're doing a lot of things all over the world, militarily. We've been taken advantage of all over the world, our military, and in the sense that we're -- and this has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia; this has to do with other countries, frankly, much more.
We have the most powerful military in the world. We've spent $1.5 trillion since I've been here -- more than that -- $1.5 trillion on a military that we now have the strongest military we've ever had. We have the best equipment, the best missiles, planes -- the best of everything.
We're authorizing, and just authorized ships, new ships being built. They're all being built in the United States. And they’re beauties. We have the best submarines in the world, by far. And we have submarines being built.
And we go around and protect other countries, and other countries don't respect us like they should. In some cases, they don't even like us. And those days are over. Those days are over. So things are moving.
And I'm not putting Saudi in that thing, but we are doing certain things that will be positive for us and, I think, very positive for them too. Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy country, and they've agreed to help defray some of the costs, which nobody else would ever ask for, of course. You probably have to have a good businessperson in charge of a country to be -- you know, I don't want to sound overly anything. I just want to tell you that very wealthy countries we were protecting for nothing -- for nothing, or very little.
South Korea has agreed to pay substantial money to us, which we appreciate very much. And we ask countries to help us.
We’re spending $1.5 trillion. We're spending all of this money. It costs us a lot of money. Our military budget is three times more, and even four times more than the second largest spender of money. All right? It's more than that. Four times more, plus. And if we're going to defend countries, they should also respect us by making a contribution.
Q So it sounds like you’re negotiating for maybe Saudi Arabia to pay (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT: I negotiate with everything. And, frankly, this country was taken advantage of by friend and foe, but not any longer.
Q What about pulling U.S. troops out of the Sinai? I’ve seen reports about that. Is that something you’re talking about?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we have pulled a lot of troops out of different places. You know, we were guarding the border between Turkey and Syria, and for years, and we had thousands of people there. And I said, “Wait a minute, let me ask you this: Turkey, Syria, two big countries, they know how to guard their border. They've been fighting with each other for years. Why do we have thousands of soldiers?” Ultimately, we got it down to 57 soldiers and then 27 soldiers. And then they were getting a little hostile toward each other. I said, “Get my 27 soldiers out.” And that was about a year ago.
And I took a lot of heat. People said, “Oh, that's terrible.” I said, “No, it’s not terrible.” Nothing has happened on the border. They've been fighting each other for 1,000 years, under different names. From probably a lot longer than 1,000 years. I said, “I don’t want my troops there.”
So we're essentially out of Syria, other than we kept the oil. We kept the oil. Of course, that was better two months ago than it is now. You know, keeping the oil today is not as good as it would have been two months ago. Two months ago was a wise thing. Today it’s like --
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Give it a year. Give it a year.
THE PRESIDENT: Today -- I think so. I think so.
And, by the way, oil prices have gone up --
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Right.
THE PRESIDENT: -- which is great for your oil industry.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Exactly.
THE PRESIDENT: And it’s great for jobs. Because it’s millions of jobs. We built the greatest energy country in the world by far. And prices are -- are inching up. And I saw at 25 today actually, right?
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Right. It’s good for our economy .
THE PRESIDENT: Twenty-five dollars a barrel.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: It’s good for jobs.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s good for jobs. That’s what we want: jobs.
Yes, go ahead, Jennifer.
Q Governor Abbott said something about businesses and liability. Can you say, sir: Do you support Mitch McConnell’s liability reform for U.S. --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think you have to have something having to do with liability for COVID. Because you can't have a restaurant -- and a guy is going to open, and it’s a nice business, but it’s not exactly the oil business in its prime. Right? And somebody leaves, and they say, “Oh, I’m going to sue them,” because they caught the plague. And now, whether he was guilty or not, the legal fees will drive him out of business. You can't do that.
So I think you’re probably have to have something. Yeah, I would support that. I mean, you go to a game, and you sue the team owner, or you go to some place and -- it would be litigation heaven. And you’ll never know where they caught it. You never know where they catch it. So we have to have something like that, otherwise there's going to be lawsuits all -- I mean, there already is in this country. But you'd have lawsuits all over the place. Right?
Q The national travel restrictions that you imposed on China and all around the world --
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q -- do you see any scenario of easing them anytime soon?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, at some point, when they clean up and when everybody cleans up and when this -- when the plague disappears, sure. I mean, you want to have international travel. Our airlines are going to do very well again. We saved the airlines with $25 billion and another $25 billion.
But, no, you want to have international travel, but you don’t want to have it when -- France is having a hard time. They’re -- you know, they’ve done another shutdown. And Spain is having a terrible time. And Italy, I don’t even have to tell you about.
No, but we want to have -- we want to be open to those countries at the appropriate time. Absolutely.
Q And Germany has been apparently quite successful in taking on the pandemic and now opening up the country.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
Q Have you considered calling the German Chancellor to ask for, sort of, advice?
THE PRESIDENT: Now, Germany -- we’re very close to Germany. We have a very good relationship with Germany. Germany has done very good. They have a very low mortality rate like we do. We have a low mortality rate also. And, frankly, if you took New York out of the equation, we would really have a low mortality rate.
But -- no, but I speak to her all the time. We -- we communicate. We communicate. Our countries communicate, especially.
Q So how much -- how much influence does Fox News have over your thinking on the pandemic?
THE PRESIDENT: No different than anybody else. I mean, I watch Fox News and I watch others, and I read a lot of newspapers, and I get a lot of information from my people. I think I’m very well versed when it comes to not only the pandemic, but everything. I mean, I’m -- I enjoy that and I think I have an obligation to do it.
So -- but they are certainly a more honorable source than some. I mean, some -- some is fake. If you look at CNN, it’s fake news. If you look at “MSDNC” -- I call it “MSDNC.” You know what that means, right? “Democratic National Committee.”
You look at NBC. NBC, to me, is very dishonest news. And that’s why they fired Andy Lack, I guess. You’ll have to ask them, but Andy Lack was a hack, and they fired him. And they did a big favor to the world and to this country. But, no, I find NBC to be very dishonest. I find -- which is a Comcast division. I call it “Con-cast,” with -- with an “N.” I don’t use the “M.” I always call it “Concast.”
ABC, I thought he gave me a very fair interview the other night. Very good professional. I've had very good relationships with him, as you know.
CBS is having a hard time, but they're not getting it straight. In fact, last night, I read where they did a false report where they actually got people to make it look like it was a tur- -- did you see what happened? They got people -- “Let’s get some people” -- because they wanted to make it look like it was turmoil. And they do that with this White House all the time. They -- they love -- they love the word “chaos,” when there's no chaos whatsoever. They love the word, “chaos.”
But what happened at CBS yesterday was terrible, where they got a lot of people to try and pretend like it was a mass amount of chaos and disorder. You saw that. It was terrible.
So the news media in our country is a mess. But they fired Andy Lack and that was a good thing. That’s a big step forward.
Q Could you envision a scenario where restrictions would have to be re-imposed, that -- there are spikes in places and you would have to come back and (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT: I hope not. I don’t think so. I think you’re going to have embers, as I say. I think you’re going to have some fires, some -- maybe some fairly big fires, by comparison to what people would even think.
But this gentleman is a total professional. I -- I think we've learned a lot. If you would’ve said that question a number of months ago, it would’ve been different.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Right.
THE PRESIDENT: The answer would’ve been different. But today, I think we've learned a lot. And you’re going to have some areas in Texas where you’ll have to put them out. And he’ll put them out.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Right. Well, I -- and we have learned so much the past few months. And we -- we now know, first, how to go in and contain, but also we now have the resources to go in and -- and to contain it.
So we’re going into these meatpacking facilities. We’re testing everybody. Or we’ll go into a jail and we’ll test everybody. And -- and we will separate those that test positive from those who test negative.
But, most importantly, we go into these senior centers because their lives are so vulnerable. And we focus on the seniors and we focus on ways to reduce their deaths.
And so, we now have all these strategies to make sure that we are able to contain any type of outbreak, and that allows the rest of the economy -- of big states like Texas -- to continue to go and grow while we manage and contain the outbreaks where they exist.
THE PRESIDENT: That we wouldn’t have known two months ago. Or he couldn’t have given that answer -- the Governor couldn’t have given that answer two months ago. But we've learned. There's still things we don’t know about this crazy plague, this particular virus. But the answer that Greg just gave, which was so good, I don’t think you could have that ans- -- and I wouldn't have known that answer either two months ago. So we've learned a lot.
Q On the Wuhan lab, Mr. President, you had said on Sunday that there would be a very strong report coming out soon --
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q -- about the connection between the lab and the virus. Is that still coming? When should we expect that?
THE PRESIDENT: It's coming. I don’t know that I'm going to give it to you. We're going to learn. Look, it came out of China. Okay? Whether people like to say it or not, everybody knows that. I guess, they pretty much -- I think that's pretty much known. They tried to blame Europe. They were saying it came out of Europe; it came out of China. It went to Europe. It went here. It went to 184 countries -- probably more than that now. That was a week ago: 184 countries. Can you believe it?
And it could’ve been stopped at the point. It could've been stopped right at the source. And it would’ve been easy to do, but something happened. Something happened. Either they made a terrible mistake -- probably it was incompetence. Somebody was stupid, and they didn’t do the job that they should've done. It's too bad.
Q Are you considering other economic measures to help people that you don’t have to go through Congress on, like another delay on filing federal taxes, that sort of thing?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Things could happen like that. We have to help people. I was watching the salon owner. She looked so great, so professional, so good. And she was talking about, you know, her children. She has to feed her children. It was great. And we can do things, ministerially -- through executive order or otherwise -- that can help a lot of people. As an example, like delays. We could do delays of various filings.
And yeah, I can see that happening, Steve. I think a thing like that could happen.
Q Mr. President, people have lived off $1,200 -- those checks. A lot of them for a couple months. Should they be expected to live of that same $1,200 for the next couple of months or is more money coming?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, something could happen. There is talk about something happening, and we'll see what -- what's going on. But you know the --
Q Is $1,200 enough, I guess?
THE PRESIDENT: You know the greatest thing that can happen? If we could get our country open again and get it going again and have people have these great jobs again. And what we've done is we’ve been able to have all of these thousands and hundreds of thousands of small businesses pay their employees, even though there was no income coming in. So they're ready to rock, and they're ready to go.
And if, when Texas opens and other places -- you're already starting the process -- the best thing we can do, Peter, is get our country going, get it open, and get it open safely. And we'll put out those little fires or those big fires if we have to, but we have to get our country going.
Q About the -- last thought on the masks, you were talking about --
Q On visa suspensions: There are four GOP senators who are encouraging you to suspend visas, including for technical and professional workers. Is that something the White House is considering doing?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it again. What?
Q On visa suspensions.
THE PRESIDENT: Visa, yeah.
Q Cotton and Grassley --
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
Q -- and those guys are asking you to suspend some --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we're talking to them about it.
Q -- work visas.
THE PRESIDENT: They're good senators.
Q So you're not --
THE PRESIDENT: We're talking.
Q -- not decided yet?
THE PRESIDENT: No, we're talking to them about it.
Q So you have not decided yet? Okay.
Q Sir, we were told some time ago that you would sign a Buy American executive order. Whatever -- what is the status of that?
THE PRESIDENT: I've been saying "Buy American" ever since I announced I was running for office and long before that.
Q But the executive order?
THE PRESIDENT: No, we're bringing a lot of companies back. We were doing that long before this happened. You know, Japan is having big plants built here. We have many -- we have many Japanese plants coming, where they're building their cars in the United -- I said, "You have to do it. You have to do it." And they were doing it.
We have many, many companies coming back to the United States. Then this hit. And when this is gone, it'll continue. But maybe it'll continue even more so because we've learned a lot. You know, we've learned more than just about this particular invisible enemy. We've learned a lot. We've learned a lot about the economics and the importance of making things in our country like we used to.
You know, we used to make things here. And then, all of sudden, somebody became a great globalist. Some great genius became a globalist. But now he's not such a genius anymore. Maybe he's not even a smart person. We got to make things in our country. That includes medicine. It includes steel.
You know, our steel companies, we had it very good. We made it very difficult for steel dumping, and some of the companies were doing very well. Now, of course, we got that waylaid a little bit, but we'll always help our steel companies.
But we have to make our product in this country. And I've been saying that for a long time. Globalists have cost us a lot of money.
Q Sir, should --
THE PRESIDENT: And a lot of -- a lot of security.
Q Sir, should valets be wearing masks?
THE PRESIDENT: Uh, yeah. Which ones -- which valets are you talking about? Valets are all over the place.
Q Well, they’re -- I mean the valets -- sorry -- your personal valets.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. And they are and they do. They are and they do.
Q Oh, they do wear a mask?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Yeah, they do.
Q Your personal valet was wearing a mask in your interaction with him?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. They do. They wear masks, yeah. A lot of people in the White House wear masks. And frankly, a lot of people want to wear masks, until this thing goes away. But we have a lot of people in White House -- I see it all the time, where they're wearing masks. And just a little while ago, they were wearing a mask. There's one of them. You were wearing a mask a little while ago. And -- but I noticed a lot of the reporters aren’t wearing masks.
Thank you very much everybody. Thank you.
Q Have you talked to General Flynn? Have you talked to General Flynn?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it.
Q Are you going to reach out to General Flynn?
THE PRESIDENT: I will. Yeah. I think it's -- you know, at the appropriate time. I think he's a hero. It's a scam. It was a scam and a hoax. I think he's a hero, the general.
Q Your wife and daughter -- excuse me, your wife and son --
Military spouses, who stand alongside our men and women in uniform, share in our service members' heroic endeavors through selfless service, immeasurable contributions, and noble sacrifices. Through their dedication to their loved ones, military spouses support the mission of our Armed Forces to defend our Nation and preserve our liberty. On Military Spouse Day, we pay tribute to these extraordinary individuals who strengthen and enrich our fighting forces, our communities, and our Republic.
The abiding capacity of our Nation's military spouses to balance the many demands of military life reflects their unwavering spirit, fortitude, and grace. They support loved ones who have answered our country's call to duty, raise children far from extended family, and invest in their communities through volunteer service. At the same time, demonstrating their loyal devotion to a cause greater than self, many of them pursue their own educational and career goals and routinely face the stress and uncertainty of frequent moves, as well as the heartache and loneliness of deployment. Their individual stories, interests, and talents are unique, but military spouses share the common bonds of selflessness, strength of character, and faithfulness to a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, or member of the Space Force.
Our Nation's military spouses bring considerable talent, expertise, and experience to the workplace, and their employment is critical to military recruitment, retention, and readiness. My Administration recognizes that our military spouses face unique obstacles in obtaining and retaining employment. Occupational licensing requirements disproportionally affect them; they earn substantially less than other labor market participants earn; and they currently face an elevated unemployment rate. To help solve this problem, last December, I signed into law legislation that changed residency requirements to allow military spouses to retain their State of residency for business purposes, eliminating the long and expensive process of having to re-register their business following a change in duty station. This legislation also doubled the reimbursement amount for occupational licensing and recertification costs from $500 to $1,000 for military spouses who have a permanent change of station, helping to defray costs for those who work in fields that require documentation.
My Administration is also working with the private, public, and non-profit sectors to help create meaningful jobs, careers, and economic empowerment for military spouses. Through the Department of Defense's Military Spouse Employment Partnership program, we have secured commitments from more than 400 American companies and 13 Federal agencies to recruit, hire, train, retrain, and support military spouses. Additionally, last year, we held two business summits at the White House that resulted in participating companies pledging to work to improve military employment opportunities for military spouses. These patriotic employers are making efforts to review and reduce requirements for certain jobs, partner with other companies to assist with job relocation after a change in duty station, and educate managers on the lifestyle of military spouses and the challenges they face.
Today, we salute the spirit and patriotism of the exceptional women and men who serve as military spouses and embody the best of America. Military spouses are among our country's unsung heroes, serving as the heart of the home front and providing tremendous strength to our Armed Forces. On this Military Spouse Day, the First Lady and I urge our fellow Americans to extend sincere gratitude to our Nation's incredible military spouses.
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 May 8, 2020, as Military Spouse Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
At the White House today, the President joined Vice President Mike Pence, First Lady Melania Trump, and Second Lady Karen Pence in leading a National Day of Prayer. The President’s Proclamation explains why this Day of Prayer is especially meaningful:
Today, as much as ever, our prayerful tradition continues as our Nation combats the coronavirus. During the past weeks and months, our heads have bowed at places outside of our typical houses of worship, whispering in silent solitude for God to renew our spirit and carry us through unforeseen and seemingly unbearable hardships. Even though we have been unable to gather together in fellowship with our church families, we are still connected through prayer and the calming reassurance that God will lead us through life’s many valleys.
Americans of all faiths have risen to this moment to help slow the spread of disease. Soon, our places of worship will be full once more. For now, we pray together for those who are sick, for those who lost loved ones, and for those working hard to keep us safe.
In May 2018, First Lady Melania Trump launched a major campaign to encourage America’s children to “be best” in their individual paths through life. In the 2 years since, she has traveled the globe spreading that message in schools, hospitals, and more.
“On this second anniversary of my Be Best initiative,” she tweets, “I am reminded that now, more than ever, we must continue to work together and champion the issues that face our children in order to strengthen, protect and provide them with a safe and more secure future.”
The mission of Be Best is imparting the values of kindness, compassion, and healthy living to our next generation. In particular, it focuses on the three pillars of childhood well-being, online and social media safety, and the scourge of opioid abuse.
TheFirst Lady has carried that message far and wide, speaking to nearly 4,000 students across the globe. She’s joined in summits, met with governors and lawmakers, and toured nearly 20 hospitals to thank healthcare workers personally for their efforts.
As a result, Be Best has led to some incredible moments: