Chopper pressers are the best pressers. As President Trump departs the White House for a trip to Wisconsin he stops for the assembled media pool. The president fielded questions on a variety of current topics leading off with the unfortunate resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. [ Watch Video and Transcript below]
[Full Transcript] – Q How do you think your Labor Secretary did?
THE PRESIDENT: I think he was a great Labor Secretary, not a good Labor Secretary. He’s done a fantastic job. He’s a friend of everybody in the administration. And I got a call this morning, early, from Alex. And I think he did a very good job yesterday. Under a lot of pressure, he did a fantastic job and he explained it. He made a deal that people were happy with, and then, 12 years later, they’re not happy with it. You’ll have to figure all of that out.
But the fact is, he has been a fantastic Secretary of Labor. And Alex called me this morning and he wanted to see me. And I actually said, “Well, we have the press right out here, so perhaps you just want to say it to the press.”
But I just want to let you know, this was him, not me, because I’m with him. He was a — he’s a tremendous talent. He’s a Hispanic man. He went to Harvard. A great student. And, in so many ways, I just hate what he’s saying now because we’re going to miss him.
But, please, Alex.
SECRETARY ACOSTA: Thank you, Mr. President. Over the last week, I’ve seen a lot of coverage of the Department of Labor, and what I have not seen is the incredible job creation that we’ve seen in this economy — more than 5 million jobs. I haven’t seen that workplace injuries are down, bucking a three-year trend; workplace fatalities are down, bucking a three-year trend; that we had the safest year ever in mining, the lowest number of fatalities ever in mining.
I have seen coverage of this case that is over 12 years old, that had input and vetting at multiple levels of the Department of Justice. And as I look forward, I do not think it is right and fair for this administration’s Labor Department to have Epstein as the focus, rather than the incredible economy that we have today.
And so I called the President this morning. I told him that I thought the right thing was to step aside. You know, Cabinet positions are temporary trusts. It would selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about a case that’s 12 years old, rather than about the amazing economy we have right now.
And so I submitted my resignation to the President –effective seven days from today, effective one week from today — earlier this morning.
Q If the Secretary explained himself, as you say he did two days ago, why the need for him to resign?
THE PRESIDENT: There’s no need at all, as far as I’m concerned. I would have — I watched Alex yesterday. I thought Alex did a great job. And, you know, you could always second guess people, and you could say it should have been tougher. They do it with me all the time. I make a great deal with anybody, and then they say — like, the Democrats — “Oh, it could have been better.”
I got $1.2 billion settlement fined from a company, from ZTE. And the next day — and everybody couldn’t believe it. The next day, the Democrats said, “Oh, he should have gotten more.” So you can always be second guessed. That’s what people do.
I just want to tell you: This is a person that I’ve gotten to know. There hasn’t been an ounce of controversy at the Department of Labor until this came up. And he’s doing this not for himself; he’s doing this for the administration.
And, Alex, I think you’ll agree. I said, “You don’t have to do this.” He doesn’t have to do this.
Q Why would you — why would you accept his resignation?
Q But you accepted the resignation. You accepted the — why did you accept the resignation if he hasn’t done anything wrong?
THE PRESIDENT: I do, and we have — we have — as everybody knows, we have Pat Pizzella, who right now is a deputy, and he’ll be Acting for a period of time. I think you know Pat. He’s a good man, highly recommended by Alex. But Pat is going to be Acting, and we’ve already informed him.
Q Why did you have a falling out with Jeffrey Epstein? Why did you have a falling out with Jeffrey Epstein? And did you ban him from Mar-a-Lago?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And I did have a falling out a long time ago. The reason doesn’t make any difference, frankly. But I haven’t spoken to him in probably 15 years or more. I wasn’t a big fan of Jeffrey Epstein, that I can tell you. And now, if you look, the remnants hurt this man. And I hate to see it happen.
I will say this, and I say it again and I say it loud and clear: Alex Acosta was a great Secretary of Labor. What he’s done with plans and — you see the plans coming one after another. You’re just about done with the 401(k) and —
SECRETARY ACOSTA: That’s correct.
THE PRESIDENT: — and that happened. Things that nobody would even think of. So it’s very sad. But at the same time, he wants the focus to be on accomplishments, not on what you’re talking about.
Q But do you believe — do you believe, Mr. President, that Epstein has become and Mr. Acosta has become a distraction to the Labor Department?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Alex believed that. I’m willing to live with anything, John. I think you know me. I’ve lived through things that you wouldn’t believe.
Alex felt that way. And he also felt — we’re so good; we’re doing so well. The economy — the stock market just hit the highest point yesterday in the history of our country. Our unemployment numbers are the best they’ve ever been. If you look at specifically certain groups — African American, Asian, Hispanic — the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country.
You know, there are so many good things, and he didn’t want to distract from that. And I understand that, 100 percent.
Q Did Paul Ryan prevent you from making any bad decisions?
THE PRESIDENT: For what?
Q Did Paul Ryan prevent you from making any bad decisions?
THE PRESIDENT: So Paul Ryan was not a talent. He wasn’t a leader. When the people in Freedom and great congressmen wanted to go after the Dems for things that they did very badly, he wouldn’t give subpoenas, whereas Nancy Pelosi hands them out like they’re cookies.
Paul Ryan was a lame duck for a long time as Speaker. He was unable to raise money. He lost control of the House. The only success Paul Ryan had was the time that he was with me because we got taxes cut. I got regulation cuts. I did that mostly without him.
But for Paul Ryan to be complaining is pretty amazing. I remember a day in Wisconsin — a state that I won — where I stood up and made a speech, and then I introduced him and they booed him off the stage — 10,000 people.
So for him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible. But maybe he gets paid for that. Who knows? Maybe he gets paid for that.
Q Mr. President, the raids — can you — Mr. President, are you putting law enforcement at risk by having these raids? Is the public at risk now that everyone knows that the raids are coming?
THE PRESIDENT: So people come into our country illegally. We’re taking them out legally. It’s very simple. It’s not something I like doing, but people have come into our country illegally.
We’re focused on criminals. We’re focused on — if you look at MS-13 — but when people come into our country, we take those people out and we take them out very legally. They all have papers. And it’s a process. And I have an obligation to do it. They came in illegally; they go out legally.
What the Democrats should be doing now is they should be changing the loopholes. They should be changing asylum. I’ve been talking to that — to you about this for a long time. They should be changing asylum. There’s so many things.
Now, let me — let me give you the good news: Mexico has done an outstanding job so far. If you look at the border, it’s down now 30 percent, and that’s only one week inclusive where they’ve gotten it together.
The June numbers just came out. It’s down. It looks like it’s going to end up being a little bit above 30 percent down. It’s going to be down more and more. They have 21,000 — and I say “21,000” — Mexican soldiers on the borders — both their southern border and our southern border.
And we really have it in control. The problem is — we have a big problem. The laws are so bad. The Democrats have to help us fix the immigration laws. But even with that, because of the job that Mexico is doing — and, yes, they maybe did it because of tariffs, but they’re doing a great job and I appreciate it.
Q Democrats are portraying your action yesterday on the census citizenship question as backing down. Do you believe that you backed down?
THE PRESIDENT: No, no. Who said — who said that?
Q Democrats are saying you backed down. Do you believe you backed down?
THE PRESIDENT: Look, anything you do, the Democrats will say it’s not good. In the meantime, they had a disaster. They had these laws that are so bad — catch-and-release, and you look at the different laws — visa lottery, that was a Chuck Schumer law. It’s a disaster. A lottery. You pick them out. A lottery.
The Democrats have caused tremendous problems. What they’ve let China get away with — for years and years, China has been ripping us off. They’re not ripping us off anymore. Right now, companies are fleeing China because of the tariffs. And right now, we’re taking in billions of dollars. And, by the way, our people are not paying for it. They’re paying for it — they’re paying for it by depressing their currency and they’re putting a lot of money.
Look, nobody’s ever done what I’ve done with China. And that’s fine. And we’ll get along with China. But you know, when I see a guy like Biden, who is weak and ineffective — and everybody that knows him knows it. He’s a weak man. He’s an ineffective man. President Xi laughs at guys like that.
Now, with that being said, I would say this: President Xi, Putin, all of these guys go to bed at night and they pray that Joe Biden or somebody like him becomes President so they can continue to rip off our country.
Q Two questions, please. With regard to Jeffrey Epstein, did you have any suspicions that he was molesting young women, underaged women?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I had no idea. I had no idea. I haven’t spoken to him in many, many years. But I had — I didn’t have no idea.
Q Secretary Acosta, now that you’re resigning, do you regret that plea deal that you struck with Epstein (inaudible)?
SECRETARY ACOSTA: I’ve already — I’ve already talked about the Epstein matter. I gave a press conference that, according to the media, was longer than any other Cabinet official in this administration.
You know, I will reiterate what I said previously. My point here today is we have an amazing economy. We have unemployment lower than we have seen, literally, in my lifetime. And the focus needs to be on this economy and on job creation, on the decreased fatalities in the workplace and in mining. And going forward, that’s where this administration needs to focus, not on this matter.
Q Mr. President, following up on your Social — following up on the Social Media Summit, you’re instructing agencies to look into this. How long do you think this review is going to take —
THE PRESIDENT: We are looking into it. The platforms are absolutely, in my opinion, 100 percent crooked. They discriminate against Republicans and conservatives. They’re 100 percent dishonest. That’s my opinion. And something is going to be done.
But I can tell you, from personal experience, I see it. I had something happen this morning — I won’t tell you about it yet — but these platforms are 100 percent — they’re 100 percent dishonest.
Q Mr. President, the reason for your falling out with Mr. Epstein matters. Was it related to business or the abuse of underaged girls? People want to know.
THE PRESIDENT: I was not a fan of Jeffrey Epstein. And you watched people yesterday saying that I threw him out of a club. I didn’t want anything to do with him. That was many, many years ago. It shows you one thing: that I have good taste. Okay?
Now, other people, they went all over with him. They went to his island. They went all over the place. He was very well known in Palm Beach. His island — whatever his island was, wherever it is — I was never there. Find out the people that went to the island.
But Jeffrey Epstein was not somebody that I respected. I threw him out. In fact, I think the great James Patterson, who is a member of Mar-a-Lago, made a statement yesterday that, many years ago, I threw him out.
I’m not a fan of Jeffrey Epstein.
Q Mr. President, are you planning to move ahead with deportations intensities this weekend? Are you planning to —
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Yes.
Q You are.
Q But what about the families, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: You know what? You know what? They came in illegally. They have to go out.
We have millions of people standing on line waiting to become citizens of this country. They’ve taken tests. They’ve studied. They’ve learned English. They’ve done so much. It’s — they’ve been waiting seven, eight, nine years. We have some waiting 10 years to come in. It’s not fair that somebody walks across the line and now they’ve become citizens of the United States.
Q (Inaudible) British ambassador resign?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I wish the British ambassador well. Some people just told me — too bad — but they said he actually said very good things about me. He was sort of referring to other people. And I guess I quoted Lindsey Graham today; he said some things that were pretty nice from the British ambassador.
But look, I wish the British ambassador well. But they’ve got to stop their leaking problems there just like they have to stop them in our country.
Q Why have you pre-announced these ICE raids? Why have you given warning, essentially —
THE PRESIDENT: We’re not giving warning.
Q — to all of these illegals?
THE PRESIDENT: No, we’re not giving warning.
Q They know about the ICE raids, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: There’s nothing to be secret about.
Q They know about the ICE raids.
THE PRESIDENT: Can I tell you what?
THE PRESIDENT: There’s nothing to be secret about. ICE is law enforcement. They’re great patriots. They have a tough job. Nothing to be secret about. If the word gets out, it gets out. Because hundreds of people know about it. It’s a major operation.
So if the word gets out, it gets out. It starts on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries. Or they’re going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put in them in prison in the countries they came from. We’re focused on criminals as much as we can, before we do anything else.
THE PRESIDENT: For instance, MS-13 — very important — we’re taking them out by the thousands. We’ve already been taking — you know, we didn’t stop this. We’ve been taking criminals out for the last year. These people have been here for many years — MS-13. We’re taking them out by the thousands. We’re getting them out.
Q Mr. President, do you believe that using data to fill in the citizenship data on the census will be as effective as a question?
THE PRESIDENT: I think we’ll have it in the end where it’ll be actually more accurate than a census. Because we have information, gotten through other means, whether you look at Social Security or other places. We have — including loan applications — we have information that’s probably more accurate than the information we could get by going in and asking somebody, “Are you a citizen?” Because a lot of people aren’t going to tell the truth.
Q Did you back down on that (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT: No. No. Not only didn’t I back down, I backed up. Becau- — anybody else would’ve given this up a long time ago. The problem is we had three very unfriendly courts. They were judges that weren’t exactly in love with this whole thing. And they were wrong. But it would’ve taken a long time to get through those courts. You understand that better than anybody, John. It would’ve taken a long time back up to the Supreme Court.
So I asked, “Is there another way?” And somebody said there’s a way that might be better. It might be more accurate. They explained it. I said, “Then what are we wasting time — we’re going to be in court for the next two years. What are we wasting time for?”
In the meantime, we have to, by law, have the printing done. So the printing has starting and we’re already finding out who the citizens are and who they’re not — and, I think, more accurately.
So, when I heard this, I said, “I think that’s actually better. I think what we’re doing is actually better.” And only the fake news, which there’s plenty, would say differently.
Q Did Wilbur Ross let you down, Mr. President? Did Wilbur Ross let you down?
THE PRESIDENT: No, he didn’t let me down. No.
Q How many people are you targeting? How many people are you targeting during the raids? And, again, are you worried at all about law enforcement — putting them at risk because everybody knows about the raids? Two questions.
THE PRESIDENT: These are great professionals. These are people that have done this for a long time. We’re really looking for criminals as much as we can. We’re trying to find the criminal population, which has been coming into this country over the last 10 years. We know who they are, too. We’ve been taking them out by the thousands — specifically, gang members from MS-13 and other gangs. We’ve been taking them out by the thousands.
Q How many?
THE PRESIDENT: But we are really specifically looking for bad players, but we’re also looking for people that came into our country not through a process — they just walked over a line. They have to leave.
Q The mayors don’t want ICE raid. The mayors don’t want the ICE raids, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Some do. No. No. No. The mayors in sanctuary cities, like — a mayor like de Blasio, who is probably the worst mayor in the country — from New York. I don’t even know what his attitude is. Nobody does because he doesn’t work very hard. Nobody knows what the hell he does. But a guy like de Blasio probably wouldn’t want the raid. But many mayors do — most mayors do. You know why? They don’t want to have crimes in their cities or states.
Q What do you think about Christine Lagarde? What do you think about Christine Lagarde running?
Q On military families — what about military families? Will you’re- — is your administration going to reconsider ending the parole in — policy — place on military families and provide assurance —
THE PRESIDENT: So nobody has treated the military better than President Trump. Nobody. Nobody has even come close. And you see that with budgets, you see that with the pay increases, and you see that with medical. But you know where you see it more than any place is with the vets. Because the vets now have Choice. They never had Choice before. For forty- —
Q But can you guarantee that their loved ones won’t be deported?
THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Wait. Wait. For 44 years —
Q Can you guarantee that their loved ones won’t be deported?
THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Wait. For 44 years — we are looking at that. For 44 years, they’ve tried to get Veterans Choice. I got it. Nobody else could’ve gotten it.
Q What did you mean — what did you mean, Mr. President, when you said —
Q Turkey — Turkey is planning to take delivery of —
THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Go ahead.
Q What you would like Robert Mueller to tell Congress next week?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it.
Q What would you like Robert Mueller to tell Congress next week?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think, how many bites at the apple do you get?
THE PRESIDENT: We’ve gone through 500 witnesses, 2,500 subpoenas. I’ve let them interview my lawyers. I’ve let them inter- — because I had nothing to do with Russia. Now that’s come out. There was no collusion.
Q You didn’t do an interview, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: But how many — how many people and how many times — and this has been going on for two and a half years. Rush Limbaugh said there’s nobody else in the world that he knows that could’ve taken it. And on top of taking it, I’ve been a great President. I’ve done more —
Q But, sir, you did not sit down with the Special Counsel.
THE PRESIDENT: Listen. Listen. I’ve done more in two and a half years than any other President — nobody’s even close — including, we just said, Veterans Choice and all of the other things I’ve gotten.
But for two and a half years — so now they have Mueller go make a speech. That goes. Now they wanted to have him again. They want to go it again and again and again because they want to hurt the President for the election. Because I see what I’m running against. You got Sleepy Joe Biden. He doesn’t have the energy to be President. And the people that nipping on his heels — they don’t have what it takes.
And I can tell you that China and Russia — and I’ve been rougher on Russia than any President in the last 50 years. China and Russia and try North Korea — where I have a relationship. You don’t have a man testing nuclear anymore. You have a man —
Q Is there something you want Mueller to say in this hearing?
THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Wait. You have a man that was so happy to see me. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. You have a man that doesn’t smile a lot. But when he saw me, he smiled. He was happy. You have a man that, when I came into to office, all he was doing before under Obama was testing nuclear weapons and blowing up mountains. And now he’s not doing it.
Q But on Robert Mueller, is there anything you’d like Robert Mueller to say about you?
THE PRESIDENT: There’s nothing he can say. He’s written a report. The report said, “No collusion.” And it said, effectively, “No obstruction,” because there’s no obstruction. And the other thing, it’s very interesting —
Q But he couldn’t clear you on obstruction, sir.
Q Do you think he should (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT: So they find out there’s no collusion. The whole thing is about collusion. So they find out it’s no collusion. Now, actually, it was different; it was bad crimes committed by the other side. We’ll find out about that. I’m sure that’s being looked at right now.
Q Do you regret not talking to Mueller?
Q Do you think he should show up? Should he show up show, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: So — so there’s no collusion and there’s no obstruction.
Now, we have a great Attorney General now — he’s strong and he’s smart — and he read it and he studied it — along with Rod Rosenstein, who worked it from the beginning. And Rod Rosenstein and Bill Barr said, “There’s no obstruction.”
It’s also interesting — number one, there’s no crime. And how do you obstruct when there’s no crime?
Also, take a look at one other thing. It’s a thing called Article II. Nobody ever mentions Article II. It gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before. We don’t even talk about Article II.
So they ruled: no collusion, no objection. Very simple.
THE PRESIDENT: And you can only — by the way, you can only get so many bites at the apple. We got to get on to running a country. You got immigration, infrastructure, drug prices. The Democrats aren’t working. All they’re doing is trying to hurt people like Alex Acosta, a man who has done —
Q Do you think Democrats hurt Mr. Acosta?
THE PRESIDENT: — a man who has done — I have no idea. Are you a Democrat?
SECRETARY ACOSTA: I am not, no.
THE PRESIDENT: I have no idea. You know what I know? You know what I know about Alex? He was a great student at Harvard. He’s Hispanic, which I — which I so admire, because maybe it was a little tougher for him, and maybe not. But he did an unbelievable job as the Secretary of Labor. That’s what I know about him. I know one thing: He did a great job.
SECRETARY ACOSTA: And — and —
THE PRESIDENT: And until this came up, there was never an ounce of problem with this very good man.
SECRETARY ACOSTA: And let me — let me just add — let me — let me just add, you know, I hear a lot about how individuals got jobs and whatnot. Before our interview, we had never met, we had never talked. The President selected me as it should be done. It wasn’t that we knew each other. It’s not that we had a longstanding relationship. And I think that’s a testament to his selection process.
Q Mr. President, what do you make of the infighting going on among Democrats in Congress between Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her squad?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think Cortez — who kept Amazon out of New York, and they don’t like her for that; thousands and thousands of jobs — I think Cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody that’s been there a long time.
I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot, and we go back and forth and it’s fine. But I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful for her — to her. And you know what? I don’t think that Nancy can let that go on.
A group of people that came from — I don’t know where they came from. I’m looking at this Omar from Minnesota, and if one half of the things they’re saying about her are true, she shouldn’t even be in office.
But Cortez should treat Nancy Pelosi with respect. She should not be doing what she’s doing.
And I’ll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do: She is not a racist. Okay? She is not a racist. For them to call her a racist is a disgrace.
Q Mr. President, are you visiting an immigration detention center like the Vice President?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah — and very importantly, today, in a few hours, Vice President Pence and the head of Homeland Security are taking the press and congresspeople into detention centers. And we’re the ones that said they were crowded. They’re crowded because we have a lot of people. But they’re in good shape.
And the reason is because the fake-news New York Times wrote a phony story. What Border Patrol is doing — they’ve become nurses and janitors and doctors. And they’re not trained for that. What they’ve done is so incredible.
So they’re touring detention centers. And that was my idea because I read a phony story in the New York Times today — or the other day — about the detention centers, about the conditions. And I had people calling me up at the highest levels from Border Patrol and ICE, almost crying, about that phony story.
And they never saw anything. They have phony sources. They don’t even have sources. They write whatever they want. The New York Times is a very dishonest newspaper. They write what they want. And what they do is a tremendous disservice to this country. They are truly the enemy of the people, I’ll tell you that. They are the enemy of the people. And what they wrote about detention centers is unfair.
Now, I believe it’s going to be the center they wrote about, but we’re taking a tour. They are — I’d love to be there, but I’m going to Ohio, Wisconsin.
Q Are you going to — are you going any time?
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll be going. I’ll be going.
But I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. And these centers are — I mean, to have Ocasio say, “They’re drinking out of toilets.” She made that up, okay? That’s a phony story. She made it up. And these people, they — I’ll tell you what, I’ve been with ICE and I’ve been with Border Patrol a lot. They love those people coming across the border. They love them. And I’ve seen it. They love them.
Q Does your administration have an estimate of how many illegals are living in the United States? Have they given you a number?
THE PRESIDENT: So one of the reasons the Democrats don’t want to have a census is because the number of people in the United States, for many years — you know, for years, you’ve heard 11 million; it’s far greater than that. But we’ll find out because I’m going to do something much more accurate than the way we — the way we did it in the census would never have been very accurate. What we’re doing will be much more accurate.
Q Anything on Iran, Mr. President? Anything on Iran?
THE PRESIDENT: The wall is being built. The wall is being built. We had a couple of very good decisions. We had one bad decision. It’s very tough.
Again, Paul Ryan let us down. Paul Ryan was a terrible Speaker. Frankly, he was a baby. He didn’t know what the hell he was doing. The wall let us down.
Now, in all fairness, the problem with — during — when we had both houses — in the Senate, you need 60 votes. Well, we don’t have 60 votes. We had 51 last time. Now we have 53 because we won during the ’18 election, which nobody wants to say, just so you understand.
So the wall is being built. We had one setback. We had one tremendous victory.
And I had a tremendous victory that was very rarely covered by the press. Two days ago, I won the emoluments case. That was the biggest case of them all. I won the emoluments case. People don’t know that, by being President, I lose billions of dollars. By my being President — and especially in money I can’t make because I don’t do deals. But I lose billions of dollars.
But, another thing, I get a salary of $400- or $450,000 a year. I don’t think any other President has ever given up — it’s a lot of money, almost a half a million dollars. I give it up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody say, “I give up my salary.” I’m not looking for credit, but I give up my salary. I get zero. I get zero.
But you know what makes me happy? That we’re doing a great job. And I want to thank Alex Acosta. He was a great, great Secretary.
Q Anything on Iran, sir? Sir, I asked about Iran. I asked about Iran — I asked about Iran, not the wall. Could you give us an update on your thoughts on Iran?
THE PRESIDENT: Iran better be careful. They’re treading on very dangerous territory. Iran, if you’re listening, you better be careful.
Q Mr. President, on Turkey: Will you sanction Turkey?
Q Should Epstein stay behind bars?
Q Yesterday you got a win in the Ninth Circuit court over Title X funding. What’s your reaction? And are you trying to completely defund Planned Parenthood?
THE PRESIDENT: They had a big win yesterday. We have some very big cases having to do with that. We’ll see where it (inaudible).
U.S. President Donald Trump is attending an event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, today to discuss the importance of a North American trade bloc and support the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal.
Anticipated start time approximately 2:25pm EST.
UPDATE: Video Added
Rather than listen to media pundits explain what President Trump and AG Bill Barr said today at the White House, here’s the transcript:
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much everyone. Are you a citizen of the United States of America? “Oh, gee, I’m sorry, I just can’t answer that question.” And that’s after spending billions and billions of dollars. There used to be a time when you could answer questions like that very easily. There used to be a time when you could proudly declare, “I am a citizen of the United States.”
Now they’re trying to erase the very existence of a very important word and a very important thing: citizenship. They’re even coming after the Pledge of Allegiance in Minnesota. I’m proud to be a citizen. You’re proud to be a citizen. The only people who are not proud to be citizens are the ones who are fighting us all the way about the word, “citizen.”
Today I’m here to say we are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population. I stand before you to outline new steps my administration is taking to ensure that citizenship is counted so that we know how many citizens we have in the United States. Makes sense?
We will defend the right of the American people to know the full facts about the population size of citizens and non-citizens in America. It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and non-citizens that make up the U.S. populations. Imperative.
Knowing this information is vital to formulating sound public policy, whether the issue is healthcare, education, civil rights, or immigration. We must have a reliable count of how many citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens are in our country.
The Department of Commerce sensibly decided to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census, as has been done many, many times throughout the history of the United States.
Unfortunately, this effort was delayed by meritless litigation. As shocking as it may be, far-left Democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst. They probably know the number is far greater, much higher than anyone would have believed before. Maybe that’s why they fight so hard.
This is part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen. And it’s very unfair to our country.
The Supreme Court ultimately affirmed our right to ask the citizenship question. And, very strongly, it was affirmed. But the Supreme Court ruled that we must provide further explanation that would have produced even more litigation and considerable time delays.
The case is already in three federal district courts that have been, to be totally honest, extremely unfriendly to us. These delays would have prevented us from completing the census on time. It’s deeply regrettable, but it will not stop us from collecting the needed information — and I think even in greater detail and more accurately. Therefore, we are pursuing a new option to ensure a complete and timely count of the non-citizen population.
Today, I will be issuing an executive order to put this very plan into effect immediately. I’m hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens in our country. They must furnish all legally accessible records in their possession immediately.
We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the non-citizen population, including databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.
We have great knowledge in many of our agencies. We will leave no stone unturned. The Census Bureau projected that using previously available records, it could determine citizenship for 90 percent of our population or more.
With today’s executive order, which eliminates long-standing obstacles to data sharing, we’re aiming to count everyone. Ultimately, this will allow us to have an even more complete count of citizens than through asking the single question alone. It will be, we think, far more accurate.
The Census Bureau can use this information, along with information collected through the questionnaire, to create the official census. In other words, as a result of today’s executive order, we will be able to ensure the 2020 Census generates an accurate count of how many citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens are in the United States of America. Not too much to ask.
This will greatly inform a wide array of public policy decisions. This information is also relevant to administering our elections. Some states may want to draw state and local legislative districts based upon the voter-eligible population.
Indeed, the same day the Supreme Court handed down the census decision, it also said it would not review certain types of districting decisions, which could encourage states to make such decisions based on voter eligibility.
With today’s order, we will collect all of the information we need to conduct an accurate census and to make responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in Congress.
In everything we do, we will faithfully represent the people of the United States of America.
I would like now to introduce Attorney General Bill Barr to the podium. Thank you. Thank you, Bill. (Applause.)
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Good evening. Thank you, Mr. President. And congratulations on today’s executive order, which will ensure that we finally have an accurate understanding of how many citizens and non-citizens live in our country.
As the Supreme Court recognized, it would be perfectly lawful for the federal government to ask on the census whether individuals are citizens of the United States. And it’s entirely reasonable to want to know how many citizens and non-citizens there are in the United States.
In fact, the federal government has routinely asked questions relating to citizenship ever since the 1820s. But while the Supreme Court correctly recognized that it would be entirely appropriate to include citizenship questions on the census, it nevertheless held that the Commerce Department did not adequately explain its decisions for doing so on the 2020 Census — because, as the Supreme Court recognized, the defect in the Commerce Department’s decision was curable with a better record.
The President asked me to work with Secretary Ross to determine whether there remained a viable path for including a citizenship question on the census. I did so.
In my view, the government has ample justification to inquire about citizenship status on the census, and could plainly provide rationales for doing so that would satisfy the Supreme Court. And therefore, there is no question that a new decision to add the question would ultimately survive legal review.
The problem is that any new decision would be subject to immediate challenge as a new claim in the three ongoing district court cases. In addition, there are injunctions currently in place that forbid adding the question. There is simply no way to litigate these issues and obtain relief from the current injunctions in time to implement any new decision without jeopardizing our ability to carry out the census, which we’re not going to do. We’re not going to jeopardize our ability to carry out the census.
So as a practical matter, the Supreme Court’s decision closed all paths to adding the question to the 2020 census. Put simply, the impediment was not — it was a logistical impediment, not a legal one. We simply cannot complete the litigation in time to carry out the census.
One other point on this: Some in the media have been suggesting, in the hysterical mode of the day, that the administration has been planning to add the citizenship question to the census by executive fiat without regard to contrary court orders or what the Supreme Court might say. This has been based on rank speculation and nothing more.
As should be obvious, there has never been under cons- — this has never been under consideration. We have always accepted that any new decision to add a citizenship question to the census would be subject to judicial review.
Turning to today, I applaud the President for recognizing in his executive order that including a question on the census is not the only way to obtain this vital information. The course the President has chosen today will bring unprecedented resources to bear on determining how many citizens and non-citizens are in our country, and will yield the best data the government has had on citizenship in many decades. That information will be used for countless purposes, as the President explained in his remarks today.
For example, there is a current dispute over whether illegal aliens can be included for apportionment purposes. Depending on the resolution of that dispute, this data may be relevant to those considerations. We will be studying this issue.
Congratulations again, Mr. President, on taking this effective action.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you, Bill. (Applause.) Thank you very much.
President Trump tweeted that he will discuss his latest efforts at including the citizenship question as part of the census. Two senior administration officials confirmed to CBS News that President Trump will announce an executive action to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census. The announcement is scheduled/anticipated for 5:00pm EST today. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is expected to be in attendance.
UPDATE: Video Added
USCG Frogmen Rule! The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro are back in San Diego after running a series of 14 separate drug smuggling vessel interdictions and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between May and July 2019. WATCH:
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members board a self-propelled semi-submersible suspected drug smuggling vessel (SPSS) June 18, 2019, while operating in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Purpose-build smuggling vessels like SPSSs are designed to hold large quantities of contraband while evading detection by law enforcement authorities.
As a result of their latest deployment the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro will offload more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth a combined estimated $569 million, which was seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to deliver remarks today at 2:45pm EST -from San Diego- while thanking the crews.
USCG Vice President Pence; James W. Carroll, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Uttam Dhillon, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, are scheduled to visit Munro and give remarks.
Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.
The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in districts across the nation.
The Coast Guard increased U.S. and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy. During at-sea interdictions, a suspect vessel is initially detected and monitored by allied, military or law enforcement personnel coordinated by Joint Interagency Task Force-South based in Key West, Florida.
The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, California. The interdictions, including the actual boarding, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard. (Link)
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members aboard the cutter’s 35-foot Long Range Interceptor small boat supervising the intentional sinking of suspected drug-smuggling boats May 17, 2019, following the seizure of cocaine from the boats during an at-sea interdiction while Munro’s crew patrolled international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Due to the distance from land, inadequate tow points and flooding in the engine rooms of the boats, the boats were sunk as a hazard to navigation. U.S. Coast Guard photo
Re-Posted from The Conservative Tree House on July 10, 2019 by sundance
U.K. Ambassador Kim Darroch (pictured left) wrote disparaging diplomatic cables about U.S. President Donald Trump. The cables were leaked to the media. Embarrassed by the publicity of the content Ambassador Darroch has resigned after President Trump called him a “pompous fool” and said the administration wouldn’t work with him.
The British Ambassador writes:
“Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador. I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like. Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador.“
Various British politicians are upset about the resignation, saying the U.K. government should have done more to support their embattled Ambassador. Ultimately this is all a little funny…. The British are going bananas; and President Trump doesn’t care.
White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on the U.S.-China trade talks where recontact has been established and now officially restarted. As noted, President Trump is in no hurry; the status-quo is leverage in our favor.
Additionally Director Kudlow discusses the potential benefits of the USMCA trade deal and whether the Federal Reserve should lower interest rates.
Regarding “inflation” these pundits just don’t get it. For over three years CTH has been explaining how President Trump’s maganomic policy would reverse three decades of stagnant Main Street economic growth. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) consistently confirms our earlier predictions releasing data where inflation is essentially nonexistent.
Since the mid-to-late 1980’s the U.S. economy split into two divergent economic engines. One traditional engine powered by Main Street, and a second engine powered by Wall Street. For thirty-plus years the distance between those engines was growing as federal monetary policy provided low interest rate support for investment, but the end destination for the investment was NOT in the U.S. [Hence, globalism]
For more than 30 years monetary policy has been driven by Wall Street influence. FED interest rates made borrowing cheap, but the money -the actual investment itself- flowed out of the United States. The end product from the investment, steered by multinationals, created products overseas. Within this flow of capital there was no benefit to Main Street.
President Trump’s America-First policy has reversed the dynamic. As a result of his focus and demand, the end product(s) from capital investment are now here in the U.S.A.
The MOUSE is money or investment. The CHEESE is end products, manufactured stuff.
Rather than beg the Wall Street investment mouse to change direction in the manufacturing maze, president Trump has simply moved the cheese to Main Street. The mouse’s travel changed accordingly.
The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.7 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter (table 4). The PCE price index increased 0.4 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.0 percent, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent. (link)
As companies reevaluate the best place for investment (highest return), and they see that Trump’s policies (corp taxes, tariffs, material and labor costs) focus on greatest benefit being inside the U.S, then companies return to Main Street. This is what has been happening since Trump took office; and it continues through today.
The prices of highly consumable goods (food, fuel, energy) is kept low by Trump policies that increase energy production and return a genuine supply-side dynamic to domestic production prices. [The battle with Big AG]
Meanwhile multinationals, and some foreign governments, fight to keep their footing abroad (original investment) by keeping down the price of durable goods manufactured overseas. This is done by: currency devaluation, increasing productivity, adjusted supply chains and retention incentives afforded by the benefiting nation. This is done to offset Trump tariffs which are designed to influence a shift in the manufacturing process.
The end result of both production dynamics, domestic and abroad, is low inflation.
This price dynamic is happening at the location of output, internal to the operations that are determining the output price, based on their determination of what U.S. market prices will absorb and a need to retain export position.
Key Point – The pricing is NOT a result of decision-making on new investment; and therefore the pricing dynamic is not able to be impacted or influenced by FED monetary policy.
Only when the majority of manufacturing investment fully returns to the U.S. will FED policy have any significant bearing on manufacturing prices. This is the parity point where Main Street’s economic engine is recoupled to inflation.
There was 30 years of distance in the FED disconnect, and it will take more than a few years for the recoupling of Main Street to FED monetary policy.
This dynamic is the basic thesis behind THE THEORY HERE.
DECEMBER 2016 – […] Additionally, inflation on durable goods will be insignificant – even as international trade agreements are renegotiated. Why? Simply because the originating nations of those products are going to go through the same type of economic detachment described above.
Those global manufacturing economies will first respond to any increases in export costs (tariffs etc.), by driving their own productivity higher as an initial offset, in the same manner American workers went through in the past two decades. The manufacturing enterprise and the financial sector remain focused on the pricing.
♦ Inflation on imported durable goods sold in America, while necessary, will ultimately be minimal during this initial period; and expand more significantly as time progresses and off-shored manufacturing finds less and less ways to be productive. Over time, durable good prices will increase – but it will come much later.
♦ Inflation on domestic consumable goods ‘may‘ indeed rise at a faster pace. However, it can be expected that U.S. wage rates will respond faster, naturally faster, than any monetary policy because inflation on fast-turn consumable goods become re-coupled to the ability of wage rates to afford them.
The fiscal policy impact lag, caused by the distance between federal monetary action and the domestic Main Street economy, will now work in our favor. That is, in favor of the middle-class.
Within the aforementioned distance between “X” and “Y”, a result of three decades traveled by two divergent economic engines, is our new economic dimension….
Earlier today President Donald Trump welcomed Amir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani from Qatar to the White House. Qatar came under considerable scrutiny from President Trump as part of the 2017 mid-east alliance due to their connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, terrorist financing, and regional issues in conflict with Saudi and Egyptian allies.
When President Trump formed the mid-east coalition, & referencing extremist elements, said: “drive them out”, the target audience was Qatar. [Video and Transcript below]
[Transcript] PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to be with the Amir of Qatar — a highly respected man, a real leader in a large part of the world and a very important part of the world. And we’ve known each other a long time. We’ve been friends for a long time.
And we’re doing a lot of work now. They’re investing very heavily in our country. They’re creating a lot of jobs. They’re buying tremendous amounts of military equipment, including planes. And they’re buying commercial planes, as you know — very large numbers of commercial planes from Boeing. And we very much appreciate it.
We’re going to be signing a document today — a very large transaction. You’re going to be invited to the signing. It’s a transaction that will be purchasing a lot of Boeing jets and a lot of money spent in our country, and that means a lot of jobs.
So, we just appreciate everything. We have a great operation — military operation — right now in Qatar. They built one of the great military bases, I would say, anywhere in the world. And it’s just been expanded, with runways and everything else. It’s been really a great honor to work with my friend. Thank you very much for being here.
AMIR AL THANI: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.
AMIR AL THANI: Thank you. Mr. President, I am very happy and honored to be here. And thank you very much for your hospitality. As you mentioned, we enjoy a very great relationship between Qatar and the United States of America.
We’re doing a lot together. As you mentioned, President, we’re signing a few documents today. And our economic partnership has been more than $185 billion, and we’re planning to double this number. We have a lot of investments in the U.S. We trust the economy here. We do a lot in the infrastructure, and we’re planning to do more investments.
Yes, we host at Al Udeid Base, and it’s — we’re working very closely together. You’re invited to come and see Qatar and also to visit the base at any time, Mr. President.
And I really enjoy the personal friendship with you. Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much.
And I will say the base is incredible. It’s — what they’ve done there is absolutely — and a great place to have it, right in the middle of the Middle East. And so it’s — obviously, it’s a very important location.
So thank you all very much. Yes.
Q Mr. President, do you have any reaction to the subpoenas — the new subpoenas of Jared Kushner and other members of your administration?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t know anything about it.
Q Mr. President, can I ask you about Iran? How long are you going to wait before you see the Iranian enrich — before you take that action?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re going to see what happens with Iran. Iran is doing a lot of bad things right now and they better be very careful.
Q Mr. President, do you have full confidence in Secretary Acosta right now and in the future?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you know, I met Secretary Acosta — the first time, I know — when I made the deal to bring him on into the administration. I can tell you that for two and a half years he’s been just an excellent Secretary of Labor. He’s done a fantastic job.
Now, part of it is our economy is so good; our unemployment numbers are at record lows. You know, so many good things are happening.
But the fact is he’s been a very good Secretary of Labor. What happened 12 or 15 years ago with respect to when he was a U.S. Attorney, I think in Miami — is it Miami?
Q Yeah. Southern District of Florida.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, if you go back and look at everybody else’s decisions, whether it’s a U.S. Attorney or an Assistant U.S. Attorney or a judge — you go back 12 or 15 years ago or 20 years ago, and look at their past decisions, I would think you’d probably find that they would wish they’d maybe did it a different way.
I do hear that there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him.
I can only say this: From what I know — and what I do know is that he’s been a great — really great Secretary of Labor. The rest of it we’ll have to look at. We’ll have to look at it very carefully. But you’re talking about a long time ago. And again, it was a decision made, I think, not by him but by a lot of people.
So we’re going to look at it very carefully. We’ll be looking at that very carefully. Okay?
Okay. Anything else?
Q Do you still think Jeffrey Epstein is a “terrific guy”?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan.
Q What was all that about?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I was not — yeah, a long time ago. I’d say maybe 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you. I was not a fan of his.
So I feel very badly, actually, for Secretary Acosta because I’ve known him as being somebody that works so hard and has done such a good job. I feel very badly about that whole situation.
But we’re going to be looking at that and looking at it very closely.
We’re also going to be signing a big contract in a little while, so we’re going to see you in a little while in a different room, in a different part of the White House where we’re going to be signing up a big deal with Boeing. Thank you very much. We’ll see you in a couple of minutes.
Yesterday AG Bill Barr affirmed he was recused from the DOJ prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein. However, according to new media reporting, based on information from the office of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, the Attorney General has consulted with DOJ officials and modified his recusal position:
It would appear Bill Barr is recused from aspects surrounding Epstein that connect to the earlier Florida prosecution; and prosecutorial position of the DOJ at the time-frame of the Florida plea agreement (via U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta); however, Bill Barr is not recused from the current SDNY prosecution in 2019 (via U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman).
For the Florida case Barr is recused. For the SDNY case, Barr is not recused. So AG Barr will have oversight during the SDNY case against Jeffrey Epstein.
This position would reconcile the statement made by AG Barr yesterday: