President Trump Celebrates National Champion LSU Tigers at White House – Video and Transcript…

Earlier today President Trump honored NCAA Football Champion LSU Tigers with a celebration at the White House.  [Video and Transcript Below]


[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Well, this is an exciting day in the White House. We have very exciting days — more than most Presidents, I would say, times 10. (Laughter.) We like to keep it that way. The coach likes to keep it that way. But we really do. We just had a — I was just telling the coach; I said, “I know I just made some additional money. We just had another all-time high for our stock market. Just hit.” So that will be 149 times in less than three years. That’s not bad. Coach, that’s good, right? (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: Steve, that’s good. We’ll take that, Coach. Right?


THE PRESIDENT: But today, it’s about the coach and the team and that unbelievable quarterback, unbelievable players.

It’s really my great privilege to welcome to the White House the College Football National Champions: the Louisiana State University Tigers. (Applause.)

And, Coach, we have a lot of politicians out there. So many I won’t really mention all of them. Well, there’s one I have to. Hello, Bill — your senator. But we have a lot of great politicians out here and some football players. The politicians — I have — I really respect the football players a lot more — (laughter) — to be honest.

We’re joined by many loyal fans of the purple and gold, including Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, who just did our great deal. Where’s Robert? Just did our great two deals. We just made the two largest trade deals in history: one with China and the other one with Mexico, Canada. (Applause.) And with China, we’ll be taking in $250 billion a year. And with Mexico, Canada, we’ll be taking in hundreds of billions of dollars a year, Bill. So that’s pretty good, right? And it makes our country stronger and better.

And you did a fantastic job. You could almost stand up here. Mentally, you could; physically, I don’t think you have what it takes, if I must be honest. (Laughter.)

And again, Senator Bill Cassidy. Bill, you’ve been a tremendous supporter of the team and your state. And we appreciate your being here very much. Thank you very much.

Steve Scalise, a special man. Got a lot of courage. You know, I went to the hospital. (Applause.) Coach, I went to the hospital. He had a problem — you know that problem. And I went to the hospital and the doctor was saying, “It doesn’t look good, sir. It doesn’t look good.” And he looks better now than before the accident. (Laughter.) It’s a hell of a way to happen, but Steve Scalise got a lot of guts, I’ll tell you that.

COACH ORGERON: Fights like a Tiger!

THE PRESIDENT: He’s a tiger. He fights — he “fights like a Tiger” is right. (Applause.)

And Mike Johnson. Mike, you’re around here someplace. Mike? Good, Mike. Thank you very much for being here. And Garret Graves. Thank you very much, Garret. Thank you for being here.

Also here with us are Louisiana’s Attorney General — terrific guy — Jeff Landry, and Secretary of State Ardoin. You know that, huh? (Laughter.) Where is — where’s — where are you? Yes. Thank you very much. Thank you, folks.

To all of the incredible coaches and players and — this team, your head coach. I watched him on television. I said, “Man, that guy is all — he’s all man. He’s a big, strong-looking guy.” (Laughter.) I didn’t know if he had laryngitis or was that his real voice? (Laughter.) It’s true. I think it was a combination of both. It was tough to start with, and then he had a little laryngitis. But, man, whatever the hell it was, Ed Orgeron — and, Ed, it worked. It really worked. You did a job that few people will ever be able to do again. The team is said to be one of the greatest teams — maybe the greatest team in the history of college football. Right? (Applause.) And that’s pretty amazing.

As well as interim President of LSU, Thomas Galligan. Where’s Thomas? Thomas?

MR. GALLIGAN: Right behind you.

THE PRESIDENT: Behind me? You’ve done a good job. Interim. I think we got to make him permanent. Forget about it. (Laughter.) That’s a hell of a job you’ve done, Tom.

MR. GALLIGAN: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Pretty good job.

Your football program has inspired countless fans across the country, and it’s not just for what you have done on the football field — which is true.

In the face of a heartbreaking tragedy, you rallied together behind Offensive Coordinator Steve Ensminger. Where is Steve? Steve? Come up, Steve. (Applause.)

MR. ENSMINGER: (Inaudible.) (Off-mic.)

THE PRESIDENT: This guy. This guy. Come up here. Come up. Okay.

I mean what — your whole story — the whole — tragedy, and yet, so incredible the way you handled it. And the coach said you never wavered. The coach was just talking to me about it. You never wavered. So I want to thank you very much for being here. Thank you for everything you’ve done. Very inspirational, Steve. (Applause.)

This team showed the world what it means to look out for one another. And Steve is a real case study in that. But I want to thank you.

Three years ago, when LSU needed a head coach, they considered choosing someone younger. You’re a pretty young guy, right? Younger? That’s discrimination. You could sue them for that. (Laughter.) See, nowadays, you sue if you hear that. They want younger? Let’s sue them. (Laughter.) They made the right choice — that, I can tell you. And some might say a little bit less gruff. Does that make sense? And yet, to me, if I was casting a movie — I told him today, that’s my football coach. (Laughter.) There’s nobody in Hollywood that can play the role better than this guy. Right, Coach?

Instead, they put their faith in a hometown boy from Lafourche Parish. (Laughter.) Ed Orgeron did not let Louisiana down in any way. And today — Coach “O”, as they call him — you may well be the most beloved coach anywhere in the land. And we have some great coaches. (Applause.) We have some great coaches. And you played against a great coach, who was here last year. He’s a great coach. But we have great coaches. But the job you’ve done is incredible.

On the road to the title, this team overcame a brutal schedule. And I had no idea how brutal until I looked at these numbers: You defeated seven teams in the top 10, four in the top 5, and beat the national champions of the past four years. So what did you do? You get the schedule and you look at it. What did you do when you first saw the schedule, Coach? You weren’t happy.

COACH ORGERON: “Hopefully we have a great quarterback.” (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Now, think of that for a schedule. You know, you get your schedule and you say, “Wait a minute. Every team is like a great team we have to play.” You didn’t have too many easy weeks.

But your explosive offense pushed every opponent from the breaking point and to the breaking point. And for the first time since the legendary Coach Paul Dietzel — a name we all know — and the Fighting Tigers of 1958, LSU had a perfect, undefeated season. So rare. (Applause.) It’s really rare. And it’s amazing how seldom you see that, Coach, right? It’s really — it’s a hard thing to do.

But your opponents did not make it easy for you. In late October, number nine Auburn — really great football school, great school — headed to Death Valley, as they say, hoping to put a stop to the LSU juggernaut.

It was all tied up at the start of the second half when Auburn took the lead for the third time that game. An LSU touchdown in the third quarter put you on top. And from that point until the championship, you never trailed again for a single second in a single game. Although, I must tell you, in the championship you did. I was getting a little bit concerned. (Laughter.) You were a little behind there. I said, “Hey, what’s going on over here?” Must be a pretty unusual feeling, right? He didn’t — he didn’t know that feeling.

The next game, I was in the stands in Tuscaloosa where you beat your archrival Alabama in another great game — (applause) — and that was for the first time in eight years. Alabama also, great coach, great team. LSU was unstoppable, and soon you faced Oklahoma in the opening round of the playoffs. And Oklahoma had a great season.

You shut the Sooners down from the very first drive. LSU held Oklahoma to their lowest total yards in a single game since 2015 — I’m sure they weren’t happy — as wide receiver Justin Jefferson had 14 receptions for 227 receiving yards and four touchdowns. (Applause.) A college football playoff record.

Where is Justin? (Applause.) He’s going to be so rich. (Laughter.) Oh — we’re looking at money. (Laughter.) And this guy, Chase, wherever the hell he is, he was catching — (laughter) — where the hell is Chase? He was catching balls all over the place. You guys are going to make so much money. (Laughter.)

And I don’t think your quarterback is going to do too badly, Coach. I don’t know. (Laughter.) Right? I don’t think going to do too badly. You beat Oklahoma 63 to 28. That doesn’t happen to Oklahoma.

Then it was on to New Orleans. You needed one final big win against a truly great team. And one last time, LSU learned that its star quarterback, Joe Burrow, was something very special.

After breaking a bone in his hand playing at Ohio State, Joe sat on the bench and wasn’t happy about it. I heard he was not thrilled. (Laughter.) That was not your happiest moment.

MR. BURROW: Not my best one.

THE PRESIDENT: He didn’t like it. I heard stories. He was going a little crazy. Then the coach took charge and took a chance and brought him to LSU.

Joe soon became the best quarterback in all of college football — and not close — because he set an NCAA record with 60 touchdowns — I’ve never even heard of that, 60 — in a single season, averaging a touchdown every quarter, and won the Heisman Trophy by the largest margin in the history of the Heisman Trophy. (Applause.) That’s incredible.

And as he received the trophy, Joe fought back tears. I don’t know, I don’t think he’s ever cried in his life. I don’t believe it. Did you actually fight back tears?

MR. BURROW: A little bit. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: A little bit. (Laughter.) It’s like the coach: If you told me he cried, I — I don’t believe it. Maybe when he was a baby, but I doubt it. (Laughter.)

He dedicated it to the kids in his beloved hometown of Athens, Ohio — a great state. Within weeks, Joe’s heartfelt speech raised over a half a million dollars for the Athens County Food Pantry. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Joe.

And, Joe, I want to say, on behalf of the country, that you make our country very, very proud. You’re really an inspirational talent and all of that. But you’re an inspirational player and you’re an inspirational person. And you have a heart that’s incredible, and you have a team that respects you so much.

With Joe quarterbacking, and a team of unrivaled talent right alongside him and beside him, LSU had to beat the reigning champions — a team that was here last year, and nice guys and they were very large. (Laughter.) You know, we served them a lot of food. They ate so much food, we didn’t know what the hell to do. (Laughter.) They kept eating and eating. A team that had not lost a game in 741 days, the Clemson Tigers. They really are really special, right? Amazing.

Before the game, the First Lady and I were honored to walk out on the field escorted by the ROTC cadets from both schools. We then joined tens of thousands of proud, patriotic Americans to watch the battle of the titans. This was a great game. This was a tremendous game. And, Coach, they had tremendous ratings on television. The ratings came in, they were — not surprisingly, but they were tremendous — beyond what normally would be for even a championship game.

On your first drive — I think you might have had something to do with that, (inaudible), I don’t know. Although these two guys maybe too, but you had a lot to do with it.

On your first drive, the celebrated LSU offense was pinned back at your own goal line. I watched it. I’ve never seen — I bet you haven’t been pinned back that many times, because every time I saw you, you were on the three-yard line like — (laughter) — what happened? It was just, like, constantly. But you kept doing just fine. You did just fine, Coach.

COACH ORGERON: We were rope-a-dope —

THE PRESIDENT: You were — right, that was a rope-a -dope. (Laughter.) That’s true. The first time you got the ball — and then you made that great play and they called it back, as usual. You made the great pass. He’s all over the place. He’s — he was going to be tackled four times, like, on the first play.

And you threw the ball and everybody was excited, and then they said, “There’s a flag on the field.” Too many flags, Coach. Right? (Laughter.) Too many flags. You know, the referees, they want to get themselves in the limelight, but — (laughter) — that was a play that should have not been called back, but that’s all right.

You punted after a rare three and out, and soon Clemson struck first with a touchdown and for the first time. All season they were behind. Then, Ja’Marr Chase — that’s the man; I was watching him — caught a 52-yard bomb from Burrow to tie it up. By the end of the game, Ja’Marr had nine catches and two touchdowns, setting a playoff championship record with 221 receiving yards. That’s phenomenal. (Applause.) Come here, Ja’Marr. Come here. (Applause.)

I said, “You got to say something.”

MR. CHASE: How y’all doing? How y’all doing? I’m just happy to be in the White House, to be honest. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That was very good. (Applause.)
Hey, Coach, if I practiced, could I beat him in a race? What do you think? Could I beat him in a race? (Laughter.)

COACH ORGERON: You may need — may need a little head start. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) A little head start, right? I think I might need a head start.

Midway through the third quarter, it was a tight three-point game. You increased your lead with a touchdown. Then in the fourth quarter, Terrace Marshall stretched out and caught a beautiful 24-yard pass in the end zone, and LSU went up 42 to 25, and all hope of a Clemson comeback — and they were used to winning games. It was — they won, I think, 28 in a row or something, Coach. It’s a pretty unusual feeling for them too. Shows how great a team you have.

But all hope of a Clemson comeback came to an end when LSU forced a fumble. The ball was picked up by a true freshman cornerback who had spent the game shutting down Clemson’s offense — that’s for sure — on his side of the field: Derek Stingley, Jr. Where’s Derek? (Applause.) That was a good feeling, Coach. With that play, the game was over.

With an eye-popping 628 yards, the most passing touchdowns in a playoff championship game, and the SEC’s first-ever 15 and 0 season, LSU became the College Football National Champions.

And Coach Orgeron said after the game, “God had a plan…All I did was follow the plan.” The fact is God had a great coach here. This is a great, great coach. I really mean that, too. (Applause.) And the truth is, with a great coach, an outstanding quarterback, an entire team filled with heart and skill and hope, and courage and passion and strength, and unbreakable will to win — that’s what they have; they have an unbreakable will and confidence. They went into that game against a team, 28 and 0. They went into the game; I don’t think they had a doubt about what was going to be happening, I don’t think. Did you ever doubt?


THE PRESIDENT: Not even a little bit? (Laughter.)


THE PRESIDENT: Huh? (Laughs.) That’s — oh, he’s going to be so rich. (Laughter.) Looks sort of like a young Tom Brady. Does that make sense to you? We call him “young Tom Brady.”

This LSU team will long be remembered as one of the greatest in college football history. And I just want to say congratulations, and go Tigers! (Applause.) Go Tigers. (Applause.)

So, Coach, there’s another coach that I respect a lot. His name is Bill Belichick, right? Do you respect him? Yes. Everybody respects him. He has a lot of respect for you. I talked to him; he has a lot of respect for you. And he thinks you’re a great coach, and we know that. The results speak louder than anything — or anything I can say.

I just want to congratulate you. It’s great to get to know you. You have a real friend here.


THE PRESIDENT: If I can ever help you with rescheduling, like next year, where we give you a little bit easier schedule. What do you think? (Laughter.) Bill, we’ll work that out. But let’s have the coach say a few words. Boy, does he deserve it. It’s great to have you in the White House. (Applause.)

COACH ORGERON: Thank you, President Trump. What an honor to be here at the White House. I speak on behalf of our football team and our great assistant coach and staff. I do have the best organization in the world. One team, one heartbeat.

This is a player-driven program. It’s about the men behind me and the men in front of me. You guys did it. You guys set out on a plan, last year, January 17, that you were going to win the national championship. You never talked about it. You went about it through hard work, dedication, and you did it. And we’re so proud.

I’d like thank my wife Kelly, and my boys and my family, who are here to be with me. (Applause.) And all the coaches’ wives. I’d like to thank Scott Woodward, (inaudible) the administration, for all the great things that they did for us. One team, one heartbeat. Go Tigers! (Applause.)

At this time, I’m like to bring up our interim President, Tom Galligan.

MR. GALLIGAN: Thank you, Coach. Good morning.

AUDIENCE: Good morning.

MR. GALLIGAN: On behalf of everyone at Louisiana State University and the entire LSU Tiger family, I want to say what an honor it is for us to be here today at the White House representing our great university as national champions.

Now, while a trip to the White House is traditional for national champions, Mr. President, I don’t think you have ever had a team quite like ours visit before. The achievements of Coach O and these young men are truly historic. If I were a poet, I would say they are absolutely epic. This group will forever be known as one of the best to ever take the field in college football.

Now, as I’m sure you’ve heard and seen, there is no group of supporters more passionate and dedicated than LSU’s. And I can tell you that our entire university, our community, and our state take immense pride in what this team and what you all have done.

At LSU, we are champions on the football field, and we are champions in the classroom, in the laboratory, on the stage, in the art studio, in the Moot courtroom, and more.

Our state gives much to this great nation: from commerce, to culture, to cuisine, and always character. Now we have given the country what we believe is the greatest college football team ever. (Applause.)

Mr. President, Coach O and this team represent not only the best of LSU, but the best of Louisiana. Thank you, and go Tigers! (Applause.)

It’s now my privilege to introduce — originally from Athens, Ohio, but now we claim him in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — the most decorated player in college football history, the Heisman Trophy winner, and a man who is already rich, because he is a recent LSU graduate, Joe Burrow. (Applause.)

MR. BURROW: I’ll keep this short and sweet, because I’m sure Mr. President has some more pressing matters to get to. (Laughter.) But, no, I just want to say it’s truly an honor to be here. And thank you for having us so soon after the game so the seniors could be here. That means a lot to us. This is a moment we’ll never forget, and it truly does mean a lot that you — that you did that so soon. So thank you.


MR. BURROW: Um, yeah, it’s so awesome to be here. It’s a moment we’ll never forget. It was a great season, but this is a great way to cap it off. So thank you so much. And we got — we got a little jersey for you right here. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I thought he was going to give me the Heisman.

MR. BURROW: Sorry, you can’t have my Heisman. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I thought he was going to give me the Heisman Trophy. (Laughter.) He’s just giving me a jersey.

(A jersey is presented.) (Applause.)

So, Joe, I just told the coach, we don’t normally do this, but I’m doing it for this team: Anybody who would like to come with me to the Oval Office, we’ll take pictures in the Oval. It’s a special place. There’s no place like the Oval. They come from all over the world, they have their own big offices and everything; they go into the Oval and they say, “There’s no place like this.”

So, Coach, if you’d like, we can take whoever wants to come to the Oval Office. We’ll take pictures behind the Resolute Desk. It’s been there a long time. A lot of Presidents — some good, some not so good. (Laughter.) But you got a good one now, even though they’re trying to impeach the son of a bitch.

Can you believe that? (Laughter.) Can you believe that? Got the greatest economy we’ve ever had, Joe. We got the greatest military. We rebuilt it. We took out those terrorists like — like your football team would have taken out those terrorists, right? But we’re doing good.

So we’re going to go to the Oval Office with some of the players — and all of the players, I guess.

And again, I want to just congratulate the team. I want to congratulate your great representatives, all of you. You’ve been fantastic all season long — before they went on this big streak.

And it’s an honor to have everybody at the White House. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

[End Transcript]

Manufacturing President Jay Timmons: President Trump Made Promises, President Trump Kept Promises…

MAGAnomics – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons describes how President Donald Trump has “delivered” for manufacturers, noting that “promises are being kept” on tax reform, regulation, and trade.


The passage of USMCA in combination with incentives for domestic manufacturing investment in the U.S.; and overlayed with the framework of the China ‘phase-one’ agreement, has set the foundation for a competitive North American manufacturing alternative to southeast Asia.  The capital investment will follow.  America First!

Wow, The Economy is Hot – U.S. Housing Starts Jump 16.9% in December, 1.608 Million Units…

Jumpin’ ju-ju bones this is the best recession ever!  The Commerce Department announces U.S. housing starts in December jumped a whopping 16.9 percent in December with 1.608 million units.  Blowing away forecast expectation of 1.375 million units; with the largest gain since 2006.

Cross referencing the latest median wage report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics [Table 4] shows that average wages in the construction sector in the fourth quarter increased 9.3%.  There’s obviously a lot of demand for workers in the construction industry.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. homebuilding surged to a 13-year high in December as activity increased across the board, suggesting the housing market recovery was back on track amid low mortgage rates, and could help support the longest economic expansion on record.

There was also some encouraging news on manufacturing, with other data on Friday showing production at factories increasing for a second straight month in December.

[…] “The shockingly large rise in home construction is likely to provide an unexpected boost to growth,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

Housing starts jumped 16.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.608 million units last month, the highest level since December 2006. The percentage gain was the largest since October 2016. Groundbreaking activity last month was likely flattered by unseasonably mild weather and probably overstates the health of the housing market.

Data for November was revised higher to show homebuilding rising to a pace of 1.375 million units, instead of advancing to a rate of 1.365 million units as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts would increase to a pace of 1.375 million units in December. (read more)

One of the excellent details within the latest data is the single family home growth and specifically the regions with the largest gains.  Remember, MAGAnomics is the reversal of prior economic policy that was destroying the mid-west and upper-mid-west manufacturing centers (creating the rust belt).

(Via CNBC) Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, jumped 11.2% to a rate of 1.055 units in December, the highest level since June 2007. Single-family housing starts rose in the Midwest and the populous South. They, however, fell in the Northeast and West. (more)

A genuine MAGAnomic revitalization of the exact areas that were most impacted by the loss of manufacturing jobs driven to Asia.  This news is WINNING!

Home ownership is a big decision…. a decision at the heart of the middle-class American family.  These purchases are not made unless workers and families feel confident about their financial and employment stability.  Great news all around.


Sec. Wilbur Ross


What a week of historic wins for the US economy and President @realDonaldTrump!

✅US homebuilding soared to a 13-year high.
✅Two major wins on trade.
✅Rising consumer confidence & retail sales.
✅Stocks set record highs.

2020 is off to a great start!

309 people are talking about this


US housing starts jump 16.9% to an annual rate of 1,608 million units in December 2019, the highest level since 2006 – 

US housing starts totaled 1.608 million in December, vs 1.375 million expected

U.S. housing starts were expected to total 1.375 million in December, up from the 1.365 million reported a month earlier.

206 people are talking about this

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Discusses MAGAnomics, China Trade and USMCA…

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the coolest cat in the crew, appeared tonight for a discussion on economics and trade with Lou Dobbs.  Secretary Ross discusses the current status of the economy and how the two trade agreements have established the foundation for a completely restructured U.S. trade relationship for years to come.

Wilburine notes the Europeans are nervous thinking about the wolverine teeth that will soon be heading in their direction.  Good Stuff.  WATCH:


What makes the Trump economic team so effective is their independence from any influence outside of the America-First agenda.  President Trump, Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Secretary Steven Mnuchin were already independent billionaires -with wealth gained from private industry- before they entered office.  There is no financial influence upon them except to see Main Street USA thrive….

A comparison of First-Term Unemployment Rates – LINK HERE


President Trump Delivers Remarks on Constitutional Prayer in School (W/ Presser) – Video and Transcript…

Earlier today President Trump held an oval office event focused on protecting every student’s constitutional right to pray in school. The president is updating Federal guidance regarding protected prayer and religious expression in public schools (not updated since 2003).  The new guidance makes clear that students can read religious texts or pray during recess and other non-instructional periods, organize prayer groups, and express their religious beliefs in their assignments.  [Video and Transcript Below]

The president also answered questions from the attending press pool:


[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. A couple of things happened today that are very exciting. The USMCA passed the Senate. It’s one of the biggest trade bills ever made.

And then, yesterday, as you know, China passed, and that’s something that is extraordinary. And it’s going to have tremendous far-reaching effects, including our relationship, long term, with China, our farmers and manufacturers and bankers, and everybody. It’s jobs. It’s jobs like we’ve never seen before, and that’s going to be something very special. And USMCA today, which just passed by a very comfortable vote — a very high vote — we are very proud to have that.

So we’ve done two of the biggest trade deals. They are the two biggest trade deals in the world ever done. And we’re honored to have done them in a short period of time.

We are gathered in the Oval Office for the National Religious Freedom Day — something very important and very special, and special to me and the people that are gathered around me.

This afternoon, we’re proudly announcing historic steps to protect the First Amendment right to pray in public schools. So you have the right to pray. And that’s a very important and powerful right. There’s nothing more important than that, I would say.

We’re joined by the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos; Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen; and students and advocates from across America. And advocates they were. They’ve been calling and writing by the thousands. And you’re representing that large group of people.

In a sacred principle of our Republic that government must never stand between the people and God. Yet, in public schools around the country, authorities are stopping students and teachers from praying, sharing their faith, or following their religious beliefs. It is totally unacceptable. You see it on the football field. You see it so many times where they’re stopped from praying. And we are doing something to stop that.

Tragically, there is a growing totalitarian impulse on the far-left that seeks to punish, restrict, and even prohibit religious expression. Something that, if you go back 10 years or 15 years or 20 years, it was un-thought of that a thing like that could even happen — that anybody would even think of something like that happening.

That is why, today, my administration is issuing strong new guidance to protect religious liberty in our public schools. The right of students and teachers to freely exercise their faith will always be protected, including the right to pray.

So we call this the “Right to Pray.” Is that a good idea? Good? Right? You like that, right? (Laughter.)

Nine federal agencies are also proposing new rules to roll back discriminatory regulations. So we have rules to roll back discriminatory regulations on religious service organizations. And earlier this afternoon, my White House released a new memo to make sure federal funding is never used to violate the First Amendment — which is a very big deal.

With us today is Hannah Allen, a high school freshman from Texas. Hannah, would you tell us what happened at your school with respect to you and prayer? Hannah?

MS. ALLEN: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling. Right here.

MS. ALLEN: So, me and a group of students from our school wanted to pray for our former classmate’s brother who had got hurt in an accident.

After the prayer, our principal told us, “Don’t do that again.” So the next day, parents had called and complained. He told us that we could pray, but he said we had to hide in the gym or behind a curtain, or somewhere away from everyone else.

And I know that if this can happen in a small town in Texas, it can happen anywhere across America, and that’s not right. No one should feel ashamed of their faith, especially in school or anywhere.


MS. ALLEN: And —

THE PRESIDENT: So what ultimately happened? How was that resolved?

MS. ALLEN: So we got with First Liberty. They’ve been amazing. They supported us the whole way. And they sent the school a letter, and the school complied with the letter, and they changed the — yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: And now you’re able to do that?

MS. ALLEN: We are.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Well, now it’s going to be much easier yet. Okay? All right? Thank you, darling. That was beautiful. Thank you very much.

We’re also joined by Marilyn Rhames, a former teacher and the founder of Teachers Who Pray. Marilyn, if you could, let us know — where is —

MS. RHAMES: I’m right here.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you very much. Maybe you give us a little bit about what happened?

MS. RHAMES: Yes. So, thank you. I’m Marilyn Rhames. I’m the founder and president of Teachers Who Pray. And I founded Teachers Who Pray because I, as a teacher, believe in the beauty of every child and the unlimited potential that resides within. However, the students that I was getting weren’t set up for success because they were so significantly behind grade level. And I taught in Chicago public schools for 14 years. And during that time, we were losing students every year to gun violence. And one year, it was like 30, 32 students getting killed.

And I was overwhelmed with the heaviness of the work, so I thought about quitting, and I decided not to. I was going to fight. And I was going to pray and uplift my spirit so that I can do the job that I knew God had called me to do.

So I began praying with other teachers in the building who were like-minded, and we really supported each other, built community, built more hope, built more joy in the work despite it being so difficult. And we grew. Like, right now, there’s over 150 chapters of Teachers Who Pray because teachers need that spiritual support and guidance.

And today, I believe it’s super important because there is a myth out there that what Teachers Who Pray does and other organizations do for teachers, spiritual wealth is not legal. And it absolutely is.

And I’m here to tell teachers that we need to pray for your faith. We need to pray. We need to buckle and just do what we have to do for our kids because they need us and they’re depending on us. And if we’re not strong, we can’t make them strong. So that’s why I’m here.

THE PRESIDENT: That was really beautifully said. Thank you very much. That was beautiful. Thanks, Marilyn.

So, while I’m President, which will be hopefully for five years — and, I don’t know, maybe we’ll work on, with the media, we’ll work on a major extension of that. Right? (Laughter.) But we will not let anyone push God from the public square. We will uphold religious liberty for all.

And I want to thank you all, and God bless you all for being here. It’s a great time in our country. We’re doing things that nobody thought was possible.

I’d like to ask, if I might, Secretary DeVos and Deputy Attorney General Rosen to say a few words about our actions, if you don’t mind. Please.

SECRETARY DEVOS: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, Betsy. Please.

SECRETARY DEVOS: Thank you for your leadership, your courage, and your friendship to people of faith, especially our nation’s children. Too many misinterpret a separation of church and state as an invitation for government to separate people from their faith.

In reality, our Constitution doesn’t exist to protect us from religion; it exists to protect religion from government. The First Amendment affirms our free exercise of religion, and we don’t forfeit that first freedom to anyone or in any place, especially in public schools.

After all, it’s been noted that as long as there are final exams in schools, there will be always be prayer in schools. (Laughter.)

Thanks to your leadership, Mr. President, today we remind schools of the law with respect to religious expression — something that hasn’t been done in more than 15 years. And where there are violations, we now make clear that the law requires states to establish a clear process for students like Hannah and Michael —

MR. MCLEOD: William.

SECRETARY DEVOS: William — parents and teachers like Marilyn to report them.

It also notes that the law directs states to tell us about any and all complaints as well.

This administration and you is, and always will be, committed to ensuring all believers have the freedom to learn, to pursue our passions, to use our talents, and to live in accordance with the unique purpose that God has called us each to do.

If we embrace that freedom, our faith will be a light no darkness can overcome. Thank you again, Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY DEVOS: — for your leadership.

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. Thank you, Betsy, very much.


DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROSEN: Well, thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you for your leadership on this really critical issue. There are — the fundamental freedom that you’ve been supporting for Americans to practice their faith is so important and is so appreciated by millions and millions of Americans.

And at the Department of Justice, we remain firmly committed to enforcing Americans’ constitutional rights, including this one. So that’s part of why I’m very honored and privileged to be a part of today’s announcement on the new guidance document about prayer in school.

I think sometimes people don’t appreciate that there are many, many Americans who feel called to pray during the day, and our First Amendment to our Constitution protects that. And sometimes I think there’s a confusion about this issue as to whether it’s trying to force people to pray who don’t want to, but that’s not what this is about. This is about protecting the rights of those who do to have the liberty to do that on school grounds. And that is protected —


DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROSEN: — by the First Amendment.

So today’s guidance reaffirms and clarifies and spells out for Americans what that freedom is with regards to prayer and religious expression. And I really think that the courage of people of faith, such as the folks we have here today, is really a reminder of how important our constitutional liberties are and of the great action that your administration is taking to ensure that they remain legally protected.

So again, Mr. President, I thank you —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Jeff. Good job.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROSEN: — and the Secretary DeVos and the whole administration for the efforts to make this happen.

THE PRESIDENT: Very good job. Thank you very much, Jeff.

Paula, would you like to say something? Go ahead.

PASTOR WHITE: Yes, sir. It’s such an honor to stand here with you, President Trump, and with this amazing team. And the policy and everyone who had made this — this is a huge thing. So we said it is a constitutional right, a First Amendment right. And, President, you continue to be such a fighter for people’s freedoms, for their liberties. As you often say, “We worship God, not government.”

Perceived and perception has often been — people have been bullied, harassed, stopped from practicing their faith. You have so many people that have walked out here, very brave, with horrific stories of being persecuted because they simply wanted to pray. And prayers, we know, makes a huge difference. So thank you for standing for all —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Paula.

PASTOR WHITE: — religious liberties.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Thank you very much.

Would anybody like to say anything? Go ahead.

MR. MCLEOD: Can I tell my story?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go ahead. (Laughter.) Go ahead.

MR. MCLEOD: So it all started when I walked in the classroom. I was — it was Ash Wednesday and I had my ashes on my forehead, and all the kids in the classroom was like, “Is that dirt on your forehead?” Because they don’t know, because they aren’t Catholic and they were all Mormon.


MR. MCLEOD: So — because I was like — they’re — that was like — I was like the only Catholic in that school. So then the teacher came up and was like, “It’s unacceptable. Wipe it off.” And I told her four times, and she didn’t listen and she made me wipe it off in front of all the kids.


MR. MCLEOD: That’s my story. So, thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s not going to be happening anymore. Okay?

MR. MCLEOD: Thank you, Mr. President.


MR. MCLEOD: I just don’t want anyone to feel like that.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s a beautiful — it’s a beautiful story. Well told, because it sets such a good plate out there for people. I mean, you hear a story like that, it’s such a shocking — Jeff, that’s a shocking story, right? You were the only Catholic in the school?

MR. MCLEOD: (Nods head.) Well, I think there’s one more.

THE PRESIDENT: But they didn’t have any idea. It was just — and the teacher did not treat you properly, right?

MR. MCLEOD: (Nods head.)

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. We’re changing that. Okay? Great job. That was beautiful.

Come here. Give me that hand.

Anybody over here? Anybody? Sure.

MR. WINDEBANK: Mr. President, thank you so much for the opportunity to be in the Oval Office. So much history has taken place here. It’s surreal. Thank you, sir.


MR. WINDEBANK: My name is Chase Windebank. I started a small group of students praying in high school during a free period. And by my senior year, it had grown to a community of 90 students. It was so encouraging. But later in senior year, the administration wound up banning us from praying during school hours — not even during lunch.

And so I remember thinking I didn’t want to file a lawsuit at all, but after many meetings unsuccessful with the administration, I wound up realizing it was the only way to secure future students’ rights to pray. And so thank you, sir, that now I get to have the opportunity to tell students to live out their faith in big and small ways —

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right. That’s right.

MR. WINDEBANK: — in the future. And you guys are making sure that the Founding Fathers are living on in our nation. So thank you, sir, very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. Thank you very much. That’s very nice.

MR. WINDEBANK: Thank you, sir.


MS. HIJAZ: I pray five times day. Oh, my name is Malak Hijaz. I pray five times a day and I have to pray at lunch. And I would bring the hijab to cover my hair and kids would make fun of me, harass me, and attack me. And I would tell the principal, and the principal actually blamed everything on me. At the end, me and my mom complained so many times, and I didn’t have a good education at the end. So, yeah, everything was blamed on me.

THE PRESIDENT: And we’re going to take care of that, right?

MS. HIJAZ: Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling.

MS. HIJAZ: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. Thank you very much.

MS. HOBLIN: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, we’ll I want to thank everybody for being here.

Did I hear somebody else? Yes, please. Go ahead.

MS. HOBLIN: Hi, my name is Ariana Hoblin. I’m a high school student in South Florida. And in my middle school, I was the only Jewish person and I was very open with my religion. I would announce when I would have Shabbat plans, which is a day of prayer and rest.

And when we started our Holocaust unit, it ended with everybody being nice to me because I spoke out about it. And I wanted to inform people and I wanted to help people learn. And the students started to write swastikas on my belongings, on my arms. I was pushed and shoved in the hallway.

They even went so far as to take my face and put it on Anne Frank’s body. And it was sent around to three different schools. And I was terrified to say I was Jewish. And that should never be in anyone’s mind. Anyone in school should be able to say, “I am what whatever religion I am. And I practice this and I believe this.”

And it’s been three or four years since middle school. I’m a junior in high school and I have continuously fought for anyone to have the right to exercise their constitutional rights in school.

And I just want to thank you so much for everything you’ve done, and for Israel and for everything that you’ve truly done for all of us.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. So beautiful. Thank you. It’s working out better now? Or is it sort of similar?

MS. HOBLIN: Yes, my high school is extremely supportive of me. I go to Wellington High School.


MS. HOBLIN: And they’ve helped me be a leader in the Jewish community now.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, this is going to help too.

MS. HOBLIN: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MR. KENNEDY: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.

MR. KENNEDY: Coach Kennedy.


MR. KENNEDY: We talked a few times. I coach up in Bremerton High School —


MR. KENNEDY: — in Bremerton, Washington. And I was fired for praying after football games.


MR. KENNEDY: And it’s just so nice to have First Liberty representing me and having a President that has the guts to stand up for us. So, I appreciate you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Coach.

MR. KENNEDY: Oorah. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Good coach, too. He’s a good coach.

MR. KENNEDY: Thank you.

MS. CHANEY: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much.


MS. CHANEY: My name is Emily Chaney. I’m a sophomore at East Ridge High School. And I started a prayer locker at my school, and it really helped a lot of people who had different prayer requests. Just —

THE PRESIDENT: Where do you come from with that beautiful accent? (Laughter.) I love the accent. Where do you come from?

MS. CHANEY: Pikeville, Kentucky.

THE PRESIDENT: Kentucky. Oh, we love Kentucky. (Laughter.) We love Kentucky.

MS. CHANEY: I started a prayer locker at my school and it helped a lot of kids who have many different prayer requests just to let them know that someone was there for them and cared for them. And Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter to our board of education that the prayer lockers needed to be taken down.

And whenever my teacher told me my school was notified that I had to take my prayer locker down, I was heartbroke, because I had like 10 prayer requests a day. And that was — I just feel like it really helped move in our community, in our schools. And I just — I’m just so thankful for you and all you’ve done for our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MS. CHANEY: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Say hello to everybody in Kentucky for me, okay? (Laughter.) And beyond. And beyond Kentucky.

MS. CHANEY: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay? We’re all set?

DR. RICHBURG: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.

DR. RICHBURG: I come from a heritage and from a faith persuasion that every day of my life, from childhood to now, was grounded in faith. And it is my belief that, had we not had that freedom to exercise that faith, we would not be where we are today.

And so, for that reason, we look at this moment as epic, and an opportunity to return to where we have one time been — the opportunity to freely express ourselves and to share with others, who might feel the same way, how far we’ve been brought and how far we must come through faith.

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. So nicely stated. Thank you very much.

You were going to say something?

MR. BUEHRER: Yes, Mr. President, I wanted to thank you. Eric Buehrer, with Gateways to Better Education. And these guidelines haven’t been updated and reissued since 2003.


MR. BUEHRER: And when we saw that and contacted the Department of Education, we were so gratified of the response from Secretary DeVos and others on your staff that said, “Yes, we need to address this and update these.” Other administrations should have done it every two years, and it hadn’t been done.

So thank you so much for stepping up and really supporting religious freedom in schools.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we covered a lot of territory in here, as you know, because, you’re right, it’s been many years since they were updated.

MR. BUEHRER: It has.

THE PRESIDENT: So I think it’s very important.

Well, thank you all very much. Go ahead.

Q Yeah, Mr. President, tell me a little bit about what many folks, especially folks of faith, view as a cultural war out there. Prayer, a lot of things going on in society — what are your views on this cultural war that we hear so much about?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it is a cultural war, and you have two sides. And you have a side that believes so strongly in prayer, and they’re being restricted, and it’s getting worse and worse. And I think we’ve made a big impact. And we’re loosening up a lot, and I want to loosen it up totally.

But you do have — you have things happening today that 10 or 15 years ago would have been unthinkable, what’s happening. Taking the word “God” down, taking the word “Christmas” out. You know, I think we’ve turned that one around very good. I think we’ve turned both of them around very good. But we’re not going to let it happen. We’re never going to let that happen. And we’re fighting it hard. You know better than anybody, we’re fighting it very hard. And we’re opening it up, and we’re opening up again.

So stories like you hear — but so many other stories — hopefully, in the future, you’re not going to be hearing too much about that. Okay? Thank you. Good question.

Q Mr. President, what is your response to Lev Parnas, who says that your efforts in Ukraine were all about 2020 — that you just wanted Joe Biden out? What’s your response to that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know him. I don’t know Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people, including people today that I didn’t meet. But — just met them. I don’t know him at all. Don’t know what he’s about. Don’t know where he comes from. Know nothing about him.

I can only tell you: This thing is a big hoax. It’s a big hoax. We call it — this is the current hoax. We’ve gone through the Russian witch hunt. We’ve gone through a lot of them — from probably before I came down the escalator, but certainly since I came down the escalator. You take a look at what’s happened.

Q But he says that —

THE PRESIDENT: And, in the meantime, our country —

Q He says that you know what you were —

THE PRESIDENT: It doesn’t matter what he says. He’s trying to probably make a deal for himself.

Q But he says that you knew what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine, that you knew what he was doing —

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t even know who this man is, other than I guess he attended fundraisers, so I take a picture with him. I’m in a room; I take pictures with people. I take thousands and thousands of pictures with people all the time — thousands — during the course of the year. And, oftentimes, I’ll be taking a picture with somebody. I’ll say, “I wonder what newspaper that one is going to appear in.”

No, I don’t know him. Perhaps he’s a fine man; perhaps he’s not. I know nothing about him. But I can tell you this —

Q He described a situation that was more than just taking pictures, Mr. President. He says that —

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know him. I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken with him.

Q — he was with Giuliani when you were on the phone with Giuliani. And he said that there was a —

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him. I meet thousands of people —

Q — that there was a pressure campaign on the President of Ukraine.

THE PRESIDENT: I meet thousands and thousands of people, as President. I take thousands of pictures. And I do — and I do it openly and I do it gladly. And then, if I have a picture where I’m standing with somebody at a fundraiser — like, I believe I saw a picture with this — this man. But I don’t know him. I had never had a conversation that I remember with him.

Certainly —

Q So when he said Mulvaney knew about this —

THE PRESIDENT: Let me just tell you: You just have to take a look at the polls.

Q — that Bolton knew about this —

THE PRESIDENT: Quiet. You just have to take a look at the pictures. You just have to take a look at the polls. You see I don’t need anybody’s help. We’re doing phenomenally well. The economy is the best it’s ever been in — we have never had an economy like this in history. We just made the two best trade deals in the history of our country. We are doing well.

I don’t need the help of a man I never met before, other than perhaps taking a picture at a fundraiser or something, if that’s where it was taken.

Q He makes it sound like this was just about taking out Joe Biden.

THE PRESIDENT: So — go ahead.

Q Are you still going to Davos? And if you are, what’s the message you want to send being —

THE PRESIDENT: I will probably be going to Davos. I’ve been invited. We have tremendous world leaders, and we also have the great business leaders. And we want those business leaders all to come to the United States. Some of the businesses left the United States because they were disgusted with what happened. And now they’re all coming back.

We are booming. Our country is the hottest country anywhere in the world. There’s nothing even close. Every world leader sees me and they say, “What have you done? This is the most incredible thing that we’ve ever seen.”

I understand the stock market, today, broke 29,000. When I came in, it was a fraction of that. It was a number that, frankly, would have gone and it would have been cut in half had the other person or the other party won. The number would have been cut in half.

We are doing so well. And I want to get more. We have tremendous room for growth in our country, in terms of the economy. We have tremendous, powerful room for growth.

So I’m going to be going to Davos. I’ll be meeting the biggest business leaders in the world; getting them to come here. I’ll also be meeting with foreign leaders. Okay?

Q Mr. President, you’ve been talking about prayer and faith today. What’s your message to the millions of Catholics in the United States? Why should they vote for you in the upcoming election — Catholics?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have a great relationship with Catholics. I’ve done so much for Catholics. You take look at the abortion issue. You take a look at many of these — you have Mexico City; you take a look at so many of the different issues. My relationship with Catholics and the Catholic Church has been very, very good, as you know very well.

Jeff, go ahead.

Q Mr. President, Rudy Giuliani wrote a letter to Zelensky requesting a private meeting, and he said it was in his capacity as private counsel to President Donald J. Trump — this was before the inauguration. Did you authorize him to write that letter? And what was your understanding of what the meeting was supposed to be about?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know anything about the letter. But certainly Rudy is one of the great crime fighters in the history of our country. He’s certainly probably the best over the last 50 years. He was also the greatest mayor in the history of the city of New York. I think Rudy was truly an outstanding mayor.

As an example, his endorsement of Bloomberg — he got Bloomberg elected. He wouldn’t have even been mayor. But Rudy was the greatest crime fighter. And Rudy is somebody that, frankly, having him on my side was a great honor for me, and it has been a great honor for me.

Rudy Giuliani — Rudy Giuliani did a phenomenal job over a long period of time in fighting crime. And frankly, he’s a very legitimate guy, a very straight shooter. I didn’t know about his specific letter, but if he wrote a letter, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Rudy was always in — it was very important to Rudy that I be a great President, and that’s okay with me. It was very important to a lot of people, because our country was going to hell and now our country is on a path that we haven’t seen in decades and decades. We’ve never done better.

Go ahead.

Q What was —

THE PRESIDENT: No, no. Not you. Go ahead.

Q The trial is starting next week. What’s your view on how long it should take and what witnesses you —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it should go very quickly. It’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. Everybody knows that. It’s a —

Q And witnesses? What about those?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s a complete hoax — the whole thing with Ukraine. So you have a perfect phone call. This is a call fortunate- — it was actually two phone calls. You people don’t report that. There were two calls. They were both perfect calls. In fact, probably among the nicest calls I’ve ever met — made to foreign leaders.

Now, so you have these perfect calls, and everybody says it now. Before they knew they were so good — because, fortunately, they were transcribed — you had other people saying terrible things about the calls. You had a fake whistleblower that wrote a report that bore no relationship to what was said. Everything was false.

You have now the Ukrainian President and the Foreign Minister of Ukraine saying there was nothing done wrong. In fact, they said there was absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Everything was perfect. And they impeach. It’s totally partisan. We had 195 to nothing, Republican votes. I guess we got a Democrat actually came over to the Republican side. We had 195 to nothing.

This is a hoax. It’s a sham. I did the biggest deal ever done in the history of our country yesterday in terms of trade — and probably other things too, if you think about it: the deal with China. And that was the second story to a total hoax.

Today we just had passed the USMCA. It’s going to take the place of NAFTA, which was a terrible deal. And the USMCA will probably be second to this witch-hunt hoax, which hopefully everyone knows is not going anywhere. There was nothing done wrong. This was a perfect phone call. Think of it: The President of the United States, who’s led the greatest growth — the greatest — the greatest economic revival of any country anywhere in the world is the United States, as big as it is. We’re doing better than any other country, by far.

Our unemployment numbers are the best they’ve been in over 50 years. African American, Asian American, Hispanic American unemployment, the best in the history of our country. And I’ve got to go through a hoax, a phony hoax, put out by the Democrats so they can try and win an election that hopefully they’re not going to win.

It was put out for purposes of winning an election. Our country is doing great. Our country has never done better. So they figure the only thing they can do — they failed on the Mueller report; that was a bomb. After two and a half years, they failed. Now they said, “What can we do?” And they pick up a phone call that was perfect. But they didn’t know it was perfect. They only found out later. They made up a phone call.

What they did — look, what they did — you have a corrupt person — he’s a corrupt politician named Adam Schiff, and he made up a phone call. He went out — you’ll hear about this as you grow older. (Laughter.) He went out and he said things that — “He said quid pro quo eight times.” It was no times. He said, “Don’t call me; I’ll call you.” That’s a mob statement. I never said that.

Fortunately, I released the transcript of the call. The transcript was perfectly accurate. And now everybody agrees because it went through a lot and they said, “Well, could you add one word here?” Our lieutenant colonel said, “Well, I think they should add…” — they added the word. Everything — everyone agrees the transcript is perfecto, done by total professionals, right?

But I released that after they had done these fraudulent acts. And you get impeached on this.

We have the greatest economy in the history of our country. We have the highest job numbers. Today, it was just announced, we have more people working in the United States than ever before in the history of our country — almost 160 million people. We’re doing an incredible job.

And for absolutely no reason —

Q Mr. President, during that call, you said Marie Yovanovitch was “going to go through some things.”

THE PRESIDENT: — and for absolutely no reason, I got impeached.

Q Can you address that?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s a disgrace and it’s a hoax. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

[End Transcript]

Peter Navarro: “The Two Greatest Days in U.S. Trade Policy History”…

White House Manufacturing Policy Advisor, Peter Navarro, appears on Fox Business with Charles Payne to discuss the ramification of China ‘phase-one’ and the USMCA for the middle-class blue-collar economy.  Excellent interview, WATCH:

Food Stamp Participation

MAGAnomics – Commerce Dept: December Retail Sales Jumped +5.8% vs Last Year…

Excellent sales report from the Dept. of Commerce reflects a 5.8 percent increase year-over year for December 2019.  U.S. consumer sales drive two-thirds of GDP; the December result is another indicator the GDP growth in the fourth quarter will likely be much higher than expected.

(Via CNBC) […] The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales increased 0.3% last month. Data for November was revised up to show retail sales gaining 0.3% instead of rising 0.2% as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales would gain 0.3% in December. Compared to December last year, retail sales accelerated 5.8%.

It is weird to see how CNBC takes the good news, cites the factual impact of retail sales on GDP, and then proclaims the economy is likely faltering.  What the heck?

[…] Though a report last week showed a slowdown in job growth in December and the increase in the annual wage gain retreating to below 3.0%, consumers will continue to shoulder the longest economic expansion on record, now in its 11th year, thanks to higher savings, rising house prices and a bullish stock market.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a 3.2% annualized rate in the third quarter.

Growth in consumer spending is expected to have slowed to around or below a 2.5% rate in the fourth quarter. The economy expanded at a 2.1% pace in the July-September period.

Growth estimates for the fourth quarter are as high as a 2.5% rate, in part because of a drop in imports, which compressed the trade deficit.  (link)

Retail sales account for more than two-thirds of GDP.  So, November sales were revised up; December sales were exceptionally strong with +5.8% year-over-year… and yet “consumer spending is expected to have slowed below 2.5% in the fourth quarter”?

Oh well, I guess the growing wealth of the U.S. middle class means we have to “shoulder the burden” of an astoundingly good U.S. economy…. or something.  Go figure.

Apparently CNBC views the American economy as too much winning….

Sec. Wilbur Ross


Closing out a year of positive economic growth, retail sales increased in December and increased 5.8% from one year ago. Coupled with this week’s historic gains in the stock market, 2020 is off to a great start for yet another prosperous year for the U.S. economy! 

U.S. Commerce Dept.


#News: Retail sales increased 0.3% in December, while November sales were revised up to show a gain of 0.3%, the Commerce Department said. @uscensusbureau @CNBC 

169 people are talking about this


Senate Ratifies USMCA Trade Agreement with 89-10 Vote…

In advance of the Senate beginning the impeachment trial of President Trump, the upper chamber ratified the USMCA trade agreement with an 89-10 vote.  The agreement now moves to the White House where President Trump will sign it.

The final ratification is the result of two-years worth of renegotiated trade reform, and the outcome gained bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.  The only republican senator who voted against the deal was Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania who is concerned the USMCA will weaken the position of Wall Street multinationals.

Nine democrat senators did not support the agreement because there wasn’t enough verbiage to support their climate change priorities, and the USMCA does not align with the Paris Climate Accord.  [Vote Tally Here]

USMCA gives American producers better access to Canadian dairy markets, and creates a cornerstone for a revitalized U.S. manufacturing base.  The deal has much more strict rules of origination for the auto-sector with 75% of parts and materials must be made in north America.  Combined with the requirement that 40% of those industrial parts must come from plants where workers make a minimum of $16/hr, the U.S. auto-industry will gain significant benefits.

USMCA closes the loophole where imported manufactured goods were delivered into Mexico and Canada, assembled, and then shipped into the U.S. market.  The agreement requires the creation of the goods in North America in order to avoid tariffs.

Other major changes include modernized rules for digital trade and enhanced copyright protections for intellectual property.   The economic gains from the agreement will be felt over many years as manufacturers now have a concrete way to estimate the total cost of production in North America as compared to Asia.  The initial estimates highlight GDP gains around .35% with an additional 176,000 jobs for American manufacturing workers.

Mexico has already ratified the agreement and with U.S. ratification the deal is now only waiting on ratification within Canada before it goes into full effect.

U.S. Commerce Dept.


: is expected to boost economic growth and job creation. Estimates say it will increase GDP by 0.35% and create 176,000 jobs. @CNBC 

Senate passes new North American trade deal, sending it to Trump

The Senate rushed to pass the USMCA trade agreement before the expected start of Trump’s impeachment trial next week.

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President Trump and Vice-Premier Liu Deliver Remarks During Luncheon Celebrating U.S-China Trade Agreement – Video and Transcript…

After the signing ceremony to celebrate a historic U.S-China ‘phase-one’ trade agreement, President Trump and the U.S. trade delegation hosted Vice-Premier Liu He and the Chinese delegation for a luncheon. [Video and Transcript Below]


[Transcript] – PRESIDENT TRUMP: I thought that we would do it the way other; that the more I thought about this, the better it is. It’s — you can get your arms around it better the way we’ve got it. I like it better the way we’ve done it.

I just want to say this is a great day for both China and the United States. This is an agreement that people have been talking about for 40 years and never were able to get even a piece of paper signed. And we never had an agreement. And this is going to be a great agreement for both countries. It’s far greater than $200 billion, and it’ll grow every year. It also unifies the countries.

And President Xi has been so nice as to talk about other things having to do — outside of the agreement — such as fentanyl; we’re working on that.

We’re going to be working very closely together on North Korea. And as I said inside, it’s like a world-class chess match or poker match. We are going to work together, and we’re going to work together for the benefit of our countries, but also, very importantly, for the benefit of the world.

So this is very big day for the United States. This is a very big day for China. This is a day that nobody thought could happen, and it did happen. So it’s my honor to be here.

And I have to say, Mr. Vice Premier, it’s been a great honor to become your friend. Thank you very much.


(As interpreted.) Mr. President, I very much agree with your words. This is an agreement that is good for China, good for the United States, and good for the whole world.

Well, the agreement is an economic and trade agreement, but its implication goes far beyond the economic and trade field. The world today is full of uncertainties. And with this agreement, I believe it will be something that is conducive to world peace and prosperity.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. And it’s a great honor to have you. Please. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, can we ask some questions?

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

Q What is your vision for future U.S.-China relations?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Great. Great relationship.

Q Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have a great relationship. Could not be better. I would say the highest, the best that’s it has ever been between China and the United States. Our relationship is great both on trade and even in military cooperation. This will lead to so many other things. So we have a great — really, well-knit relationship, but the best it’s ever been.

You have to remember, we’ve never had an agreement; this was like a free-for-all. This is a great agreement, and phase two will start soon.

But this was far more comprehensive than anybody thought or knew about in the press, because it covers so many other subjects, from intellectual property to currency to so many different things. So nobody knew that. Nobody really understood the deal until today, when we released it. So it’s a much bigger deal than people thought. It’s a tremendous step toward an unbelievable relationship.

But, right now, our relationship with China is the best it’s ever been.

Thank you all very much.

Q When will you visit China, Mr. President?


[End Transcript]

NEC Director Larry Kudlow Discusses Implications of U.S-China Trade Deal…

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow appears on FOX Business for his first interview since the signing of the U.S.-China trade deal.  Mr. Kudlow is optimistic but also shares notes of caution for the compliance and enforcement aspects.


In the background of the delegation it should be noted Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping sent a hard-line handler, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, to accompany the more moderate Vice-Premier Liu He.  Zhong Shan was noted at the center of the signing ceremony and directly opposite Robert Lighthizer at the luncheon.

The two Beijing representatives highlight the ongoing Dragon -vs- Panda dynamic within China.

Internal to Chinese politics…. If the reformers are successful (Liu He) the compliance and enforcement mechanisms will succeed and ‘phase-one’ will lead to future negotiations.  However, if the hardliners block reform (Zhong Shan), then the compliance and enforcement mechanisms will fail and ‘phase-one’ becomes a dead end.