President Trump Hosts Family Education Roundtable – Video and Transcript…


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Earlier today President Trump and Vice-President Pence hosted a family education roundtable at the White House.  There were also questions from the media [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Okay, thank you very much. The IG report just came out, and I was just briefed on it, and it’s a disgrace what’s happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another President. It is incredible. Far worse than I would have ever thought possible. And it’s — it’s an embarrassment to our country. It’s dishonest. It’s everything that a lot of people thought it would be, except far worse.

So I’m going to get some very detailed briefing — briefings. But they are — it’s a very sad — it’s a very sad day when I see that; a very sad day when a lot of people see that. They had no nothing. It was concocted. And you say what you want — that was a — probably something that’s never happened in the history of our country.

Pam Bondi, I think you were able to look at some of the report and can address a little bit of it very well, if you might say a few words. I’d like to ask Kellyanne; I know you looked at it also. Please.

MS. BONDI: Sure, President. You know, so many of us who are career law enforcement today are outraged. And I think the American people really should be terrified that this could happen to you when we’re supposed to live in a society of integrity and honesty.

And this happened to the President — not just to the President. You know, this should be a good day, but it’s not. It’s a horrible day for the country that this could had happen to the President of the United States, that they could fabricate, falsify e-mails, lie, and omit exculpatory evidence in order to continue this witch hunt against the President of the United States.

And this is just the tip of iceberg. Now we have the Durham investigation.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Kellyanne, please?

MS. CONWAY: Mr. President, thank you. I was the campaign manager during that time, and I would ask a simple question: Why no defensive briefing? Why not contact the Trump campaign? Why not contact candidate Trump or Governor Pence, or Governor Christie, who at the time was arranging for the intelligence briefings for candidate Trump and was a public servant, a government official at that time, as Governor of New Jersey, with a full intelligence security clearance to receive that type of information.

So you can’t blame people for feeling that it was unfair and that the fix was in. And to think that perhaps people lied and spied and tried to subvert democracy just because they wanted someone else to win, or just because they have a different political point of view, that is not the way the world’s greatest democracy has been formed and can survive at a time such as this.

I will just repeat something that Attorney General Barr said today, Mr. President: that this was an intrusive investigation of the U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions. And that is chilling language for any of us who want our government to work for us and not against us.

I only wish they had have come and informed us, Mr. President, and we could have had the knowledge and the wherewithal to act at that time, and not put the taxpayers through two-plus protracted years of nonsense.

Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, they fabricated evidence and they lied to the courts, and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way. And this was something that we can never allow to happen again.

The report, actually — and especially when you look into it, and the details of the report — are far worse than anything I would have even imagined. What they were doing and what they would have done if I didn’t make a certain move — a certain move that was a very important move because it would have been even worse, if that’s possible. And they might have been able to succeed.

This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow. And a lot of people who were in on it, and they got caught. They got caught red-handed. And I look forward to the Durham report, which is coming out in the not-too-distant future. It’s got its own information, which is this information plus, plus, plus.

And it’s an incredible thing that happened, and we’re lucky we caught them. I think I’m going to put this down as one of our great achievements. Because what we found and what we saw never, ever should this happen again in our country.

With that, today we gather to discuss the urgent national priority that we’ve been working on so long and so hard: expanding education freedom through school choice so that every American child can get a great education.

We’re grateful to be joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Betsy DeVos, Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, Representative Bradley Byrne, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, Tennessee State Representative John DeBerry, and students, parents, and teachers from across the nation. Some wonderful, brilliant students are with us. And we’re going to be having a big session in a little while.

As President, I’m fighting every day for the forgotten American. We are looking [to] pass criminal justice reform. We got that done — criminal justice reform. They could have never done it without me. It was done by us. It wasn’t done by anybody else. They came to me. They’ve been trying to get it for many years. President Obama wouldn’t do it or couldn’t get it done. Maybe that means the same thing.

But I got criminal justice reform done, but the press doesn’t want to mention that we got it done. And we got it done soundly and good. And we had a lot of help, including from Mike Lee. Mike, that was something. When I heard Mike was in favor, I said, “Boy, he’s pretty conservative.” That’s pretty something. But it worked out. It’s working out very well. And it’s a big step, and we’re proud of it.

And I think when you look at the African American community in particular, they are the biggest beneficiaries of criminal justice reform. So we’re honored to have helped.

We passed the criminal justice reform and the legislation to target resources to distressed communities. Our economy is lifting up citizens of every background. You saw the new reports coming out on unemployment. They’re the best in the world — best we’ve ever had. The best this country has ever had. Historic records.

We have the lowest unemployment in the history of our country for African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans. And, overall, we’re just about going to break the all-time record. We’re very close.

But now is the time to fight for the forgotten child, and that’s what we’re doing with respect to education. For decades, countless children have been trapped in failing government schools. In my administration, these children are forgotten no longer. Just like I said I was going to do it for different groups of people, and we did it.

We have the strongest economy probably in the history of our country. The numbers came out, as you saw on Friday, with a number of jobs that nobody believed possible: 200- — well over 200,000. They were thinking about 50. Some people thought it would be 50,000, 60,000. You saw how badly Canada did. We had 266,000. Canada had an unbelievable period and is going through something. And yet, we are right there. And the whole world is not doing well. And we’re doing phenomenally well. We’re doing better than — we’re the hottest economy in the world. We’re doing great.

And frankly, it’s hard to believe we could even do better. But if the world were doing better, we’d do better. That’s the way it’s set up.

We’ve made tremendous progress in the last three years — far greater than anyone thought possible. So we have the hottest economy in the world, by far. Nobody close. If you look at Europe, if you look at Asia — China is having a very hard time. We’re doing well with China in our trade deal. But they’re having a tremendously difficult time. The worst time they’ve had in at least 57 — it was 57 two weeks ago; now it’s much more than that — number of years. Fifty-seven years. And yet, we do record-breaking numbers. So that’s great.

We broke the stock market record — I believe it’s 132 times, during the course of less than three years as President. So that’s something.

And, by the way, you were great on television this weekend. I admired that very — you did a fantastic job. Everyone is talking about it in a very positive way, too. So, congratulations, Ted. He’s a hater. He’s definitely a hater. That came out loud and clear. Congratulations.

Lawmakers in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have empowered some parents to choose a better future for their children, for their child. But school choice waitlists are growing, and, sadly, not everyone wants to give these students the education and freedom that they deserve. They’re locked into a school system that’s terrible, and we’re working on that very hard. Betsy is working on it, full-time. About 30 hours a day, I guess, Betsy. Right? That’s what she does.

But school choice waitlists are growing, and that’s a — that’s a incredible factor. Everyone wants school choice. And we have certain groups that are very powerfully against that, but we’re breaking through very strongly.

This year, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf denied 50,000 kids the promise of a better school. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, on the other hand, got 14,000 Florida students off of the waitlists. Really great. The waitlists were just ridiculous, and still are. I mean, they’re still very long. That’s where they want to go, Ron, I guess. Right? So congratulations to Ron DeSantis of Florida.

We believe that every parent should have educational freedom for their children. Earlier this year, I asked Congress to pass a federal tax credit to support state-based scholarship programs so we can provide over 1 million more students with school choice. People want school choice. They want to have their child go to a school that they want to have the child go to. It’s very simple.

I look forward to hearing from each of you today. We’re going to be discussing a lot of things that have happened in the last couple of years. Some great successes. And we’re in the process of getting more. Education is a very tough subject because it’s been grounded. And whether it works or doesn’t work, the areas that don’t work — people seem to want to come at a certain — a certain group of people. And it’s a very powerful group of people. They want it to stay that way. We don’t want it to stay that way.

Worldwide, we’re probably ranked about 36th, and yet we spend more per pupil than anyone other country in the world — far more per pupil. And we should be at the top of the list, not mired down toward the middle and even worse than that.

So I’d like to ask Mike Pence to say a few words. And we’re going to go around the table, and we’ll have a discussion. Thank you.

Mike?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for your leadership on education. It was one of the very first conversations that we had when you considered me for the position that I now hold. And you expressed to me then, in the summer of 2016, your belief that it ought to be parents that choose where their children go to school.

I want to join you in thanking Governor DeSantis for his leadership, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and the leadership represented by Senator Cruz, Senator Lee, and especially to be able to welcome the students, parents, and teachers who are here with us, at your invitation, to talk about how we advance your agenda.

As you mentioned, Mr. President, when I was governor of the state of Indiana, I was proud to be home — as Governor DeSantis is — to a state that’s been expanding educational choice for students for decades. And just like Governor DeSantis has done back when I was governor of the state of Indiana, we increased enrollment in our voucher program from 4,000 to 32,000. We actually expanded school choice for pre-K for several thousand disadvantaged children.

The American people deserve to know that this is a President who has been putting taxpayer resources to work to expand educational choice for disadvantaged families. We already expanded the [DEL: 521 :DEL] [529] college savings accounts to let parents use those resources for K-12 education.

And, Mr. President, participation in the D.C. voucher program, which has been a historic program that’s changed lives, changed our nation’s capital, is already up by more than 50 percent.

But today, we really look forward to hearing from the Secretary and all of those gathered here about your proposal for a $5 billion Education Freedom Scholarship program, as you said, which would, we believe, expand educational choice opportunities to more than a million students around America.

We really believe the key to success for any child is a good education. And we believe that parents are best equipped to choose what is the best education for their children.

So, Mr. President, again, thank you for your passion for educational choice. And I want to thank the Secretary. But, most especially, I want to thank the leaders and the parents and the students and the teachers that are gathered here for this important discussion.

THE PRESIDENT: All right, very Good. Thank you very much, Mike. Excellent job.

Mike Lee, would you like to say a few words —

SENATOR LEE: Sure, Mr. President. Sure.

THE PRESIDENT: — on your feelings on education?

SENATOR LEE: The Joint Economic Committee, which I chair, is releasing a report tomorrow on educational pluralism. Educational pluralism is a fancy word for a simple concept, which is that we ought to give more people more options in the area of K-through-12 public education, and do so rather than having a monopolistic system — one that dictates to parents, based on the neighborhood in which they live, where their child may and may not go to school.

We can do better, as a country, by giving parents more options. Families thrive when parents are given options as to where they should send their child to school.

Now, ordinarily, these are decisions that have to be made at the state and local level. Most K-through-12 public education is. There are a few areas at the margins where the federal government can make a difference. Sometimes it involves lifting federal restrictions, and that’s why I appreciate you having this meeting here today, Mr. President.

The fact that you’re willing to ask questions that haven’t been asked in a long time is going to open the door for more Americans to get out of poverty and to climb into the middle class. And that’s what our country is about, and that’s why I’m so glad that you’re supportive of school choice and educational pluralism.

THE PRESIDENT: Very good. Thank you, Mike, very much.

Ted?

SENATOR CRUZ: Mr. President, I want to thank you for your leadership on education, and, in particular, school choice. You’ve already signed into law the most significant federal school choice legislation that’s ever passed in the history of our country. And that was — the Vice President referred to it — that was expanding college 529 plans, so that parents can use them for K-through-12 education.

I introduced that amendment in the Senate. It was during the tax cut fight. It was 50-50 on the floor of the Senate. The Vice President came down at one in the morning to cast the tiebreaking vote on groundbreaking legislation that made a difference for 50 million kids.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.

SENATOR CRUZ: This next step — and I’ve been proud to vote with Secretary DeVos; Secretary DeVos is doing an amazing job. She is a courageous and principled Education Secretary. But I’ve been proud to work hand in hand with her on legislation that would provide $100 billion in federal tax credits over 10 years for K-through-12 education and for workforce development.

If and when we pass this, this will be the most significant federal civil rights victory of modern times. This is all about millions of kids — millions of inner-city kids, millions of African American kids, millions of Hispanic kids, trapped right now, desperate for hope — and giving them scholarships. And it is only the corrupt bureaucracy that is telling them “no.”

And you are fighting — the men and women around this table are fighting to give every one of those kids a shot at the American Dream.

This is also about adults, about union members, about men and women out of work giving them workforce development and apprenticeships so that they can get good, high-paying jobs and provide for their family. There is nothing on the domestic front that I believe will have a longer lasting legacy in your presidency than if and when we get this done together. So thank you for that.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job, Ted. Thank you very much. Betsy?

SECRETARY DEVOS: Mr. President, we know that education freedom works. And so I’m grateful for your leadership on this issue. I’m also grateful to the other elected leadership here that is taking this issue on in the states, to the Vice President for his leadership in Indiana, and now with you.

I would love to hear from some of the students and the parents —

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

SECRETARY DEVOS: — who are here, and would suggest that we do that and start with Tera and Sam Myer.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Please.

MS. MYERS: Thank you. Thank you so much, Secretary. Thank you, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President, and all of the elected officials for your support on education freedom.

Our family in particular, specifically with my son Samuel, we were able to have a big part in the passage of the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship in the state of Ohio. It made a complete difference in the life of Samuel and our family. And not only that, but in a tremendous number of families in our state.

When Samuel was born, I was told not to have any high expectations for his life. And I said, “Well, that’s really something. He’s just an infant.” I waited to send him to school until his sister could attend with him. And when I got to school, they said, “There’s no need to be in rush. Why don’t you go home and take a six-and-a-half-hour break.” And, “We have all the way until he graduates to teach him how to read.” And I said, “That is completely unacceptable.”

I tried volunteering and trying to get things done. And finally, the fight was too big. And I went up and I said, “Why would you not want to do those things?” They said, “Maybe you should try somewhere else.” And so I did. I took that on as a personal challenge.

And there were options in the state of Ohio starting to emerge, but there weren’t any for children like Sam with special needs. And he was the forgotten child. And I thought, “Simply because of that need? You know what? He still has a purpose and a hope and a future in our community.”

And so Sam, being a very motivated individual, we took on that front as a family and we started lobbying at the state level and got the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship passed. And Sam was one of the first individuals to take part in that.

THE PRESIDENT: Great, Sam.

MS. MYERS: And it’s amazing what was able to happen. We were able to take part in starting a program, a functional learning program in our community. And there are hundreds of students that have benefitted, and I just want to say thank you for helping with that fight.

Teachers are being held hostage, in my opinion, in the public system, by not being able to give the opportunities that they could give with the resources that are available simply because unions are grasping and holding on tight to those funds. And that was one of my main platforms when I was trying to get things passed for children like Sam, saying we should be allowed to make those choices — we, the parents. We know the children better than anyone else. And given that opportunity and those resources, we’ve been able to make a better education.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

MS. MYERS: Sam, would you like to share a little bit about your experience?

MR. MYERS: So, President, thanks for the good school choice. And I am prepared to ask a questions about — I am Samuel Myers and I am 25 years old. School choice helped my dreams come true. And I have a job in my community. I volunteer and I do things with my friends and family because of the skills I learned, my school helped me learn that I was to fit in. I made many friends because they’re part of my community. My school and teachers helped me learn new skills and become the best I can be. I am thank for the school and my choice. And thanks for the President, and thank you for the (inaudible) to fight. So, thanks for you sharing my stories. Thank you so much, in my hearts.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ll tell you what: That was beautifully done and beautifully said. (Applause.) Good job. Good job.

That was a fantastic job. Thank you very much, Samuel. Appreciate it.

MR. MYERS: Yeah. And you’re too. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. That’s beautiful.

Ron DeSantis, you have done a fantastic job with Florida, and I know Rick was very much into it. And now you’ve taken over and what a job you’ve done. Could you give us a little clue how to get it done on a large basis — a very large basis?

GOVERNOR DESANTIS: Sure. And as a newly minted Florida resident, I think you’ll appreciate the — (laughter) — I think we are the number-one state for school choice. We have almost 120,000 students on scholarship programs for low-income families. We have a tax credit scholarship and then a new family empowerment scholarship that I was able to sign into law. And that is primarily single moms who are working hard, but they just don’t have the resources to be able to send their kids to the best fit. It is — 70 percent are African American and Hispanic who are in this. And the demand keeps growing because it’s work.

But we also have programs, a scholarship program — almost 30,000 students in Florida who are on McKay Scholarships, which are for students with disabilities. And then we have almost 12,000 students on — we call them Gardiner Scholarships; that’s for students with special needs, so things like autism.

We have 1,000 students on Hope Scholarships, which are scholarships that we created for students who are being bullied and are not being treated well in the school that their zoned for. They have an opportunity to get into a better environment.

And we have over 300,000 students in charter schools, which are public schools, but they’re just not run by the school district. They’re run by other operators.

And here’s an interesting stat. I just asked my education commissioner to give me something interesting coming up here. If you take all of those 300,000 students in Florida — and it’s 69 percent minority, 50-plus percent Title I — but if you take all of those charters and made that its own state for rankings on the nation’s report card — the NAEP scores — Florida charters would rank number five in the nation on the NAEP scores if they were its own state. So that’s pretty significant.

And then on our scholarship programs, particularly the need-based, if you’re on the program for four years or more, you’re 40 percent more likely to graduate from college than somebody who is similarly situated. And so the results have been good there.

But I think the thing that gets lost is the results have also been good for our school districts. So, for example, Miami-Dade County is the number-one performing large school district in the country. Seventy percent of the kids in Miami-Dade County do not go to the school that they were zoned for. And that’s a combination of private school choice, public charters. But they’ve also really embraced magnet programs and all these other things. So you have a big, diverse — all these languages being spoken. And yet the achievement has been better than other districts in the country.

And then the final thing I’ll say is: What school choice has done — and as a businessman, you’ll appreciate it — it’s given an opportunity for entrepreneurship. What we find happening is teachers, who are in particularly inner city, they’re public school teachers, and they go through this, and they’ve very experienced. And they say, “You know what? If I could make three or four changes, we could get better results. But I can’t because of the bureaucracy.” So they start their own private schools.

And because we have the scholarship program, they know that they can make it work — because, obviously, their market would not have enough income to be able to do it. So it’s allowed for these educational entrepreneurs to come and really do some great things in the state of Florida.

So I think, as a Florida resident, you should be proud of the stuff going on there, and obviously want to keep the momentum going.

THE PRESIDENT: And we’re also very proud: Florida had the best year, economically, it’s ever had in its history. And Okeechobee, as you know — a lot of money put into Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Dam and all other aspects of it. And that’s now on its way to being fixed, finally, after many, many decades of wanting to do it.

And we’ve also spent a lot of money on the Everglades, and they’ve done a fantastic job on the Everglades.

But you’ve had the best economic year you’ve ever had, so congratulations.

GOVERNOR DESANTIS: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job.

Walter? How about saying a few words?

MR. BLANKS: Absolutely. Well, first off, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President, thank you so much for having me here. Secretary DeVos, thank you for your leadership on this particular issue.

I always say that each and every one of you at this table fought for me before you even knew me, and you’re continuing to fight for millions of kids across the country. But we talk about the school-to-prison pipeline, and that is a very real thing, especially — I’m from Ohio. Growing up in Columbus, I saw it. I lived it.

While some of my friends were going to sleep to lullabies, I was going asleep to gunshots. And so my education was my way out of that. My family didn’t have a lot. They couldn’t really give me everything that I needed or wanted, but my education was my ticket out of that lifestyle. And so there were people that I grew up with that are either in prison now or six feet under, in the grave. And the only difference is: I had a way out. My education allowed me to get out of that situation, and it opened me up to so much more than what I could even understand at the time.

If you told fourth-grader Walter that he’d be sitting next to the President, speaking on a topic that he’s passionate about and that changed his life, he wouldn’t believe you. My parents, even to this day, would not have believed of the unlimited opportunity and potential that I have had because of my education journey.

And so that’s my story in a nutshell. But, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President, everyone around this table — Senator Cruz, Representative Byrne — leading this charge, thank you so much. To say that it means a lot is an understatement. This changed my life.

And for people in my neighborhood, it’s not — it’s not, you know, “maybe he’ll get a good education, maybe he won’t.” No. This is life or death. And because of the work that each and every one of you have done, I am here today. So I appreciate that. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: What a beautiful job.

MR. BLANKS: Thank you. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Come here. Great job. Man, how good was that? Great job. (Applause.)

So, Briana, how about a few words?

MS. GILCHRIST: Sure. My name is Briana Gilchrist. And so thank you so much for having me here today, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President. Thank you, Secretary DeVos and everyone around the table, for all your advocacy and the work that you’ve done.

Similar to Walter, I would not be here had it not been for the people around this table doing the work that they do. I’m originally from north New Jersey. I’m the product of a charter school, and my charter school literally saved my life and my family.

I remember when my mom first told me that I was transferring from my regular district school to a charter school. I was very upset because I didn’t want to go to a school and wear a uniform, I did not want to wake up early, I didn’t want to do the extra work. I just wanted — you know, basically, to just go to school and have fun.

And when my mother put me into a school that was intentional in its approach with all of us, it wasn’t just about me going to school; it was a school that was created for the community, by the community, and to empower the community. And that school literally wrapped its arms around myself and my sisters. My sister went to a charter school, and now she’s in the Air Force. You know, we’re the first people in our family to graduate from college, which has literally changed our life.

And just to bring it a little full circle, one of my friends who was in — originally in charter school with me, who transferred out, she didn’t even make to her 24th birthday. She was swallowed up by her community, and not in a good way, because she didn’t have the community in her school to really be there for her.

And so I’m so thankful for my charter school and for all the people here who have done the work to allow more charter schools to open and more education scholarships to be open.

Thank you so much.

THE PRESIDENT: Great story. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

Go ahead.

MR. SLADE-BOWERS: Oh, myself?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

MR. SLADE-BOWERS: Well, hello, everyone. My name is Myles Slade-Bowers. I am a current student at Bishop McDevitt High School — one of the best schools in my home state of Pennsylvania.

I would just like to take a moment to thank all the leaders within the Trump administration, and those such as Mike Turzai, for their continuous work in advancing tax-credit scholarship programs — like the one that allows me to attend my school — just with their work and their continued dedication and their devotion, you know.

School choice opens up doors that would otherwise be slammed shut. You know, just speaking as — a perspective, as a young African American male in a low-income neighborhood, you know, it’s more likely that I would be a dropout of high school or even in prison at this very moment than speaking before you all, like all of you at this moment, just, you know, discussing the importance of education freedom for all children, despite, you know, zip codes, despite backgrounds, despite race.

And, you know, I believe that, in conjunction with — you know, with school choice nationwide — you know, available for all people — and also, you know, decisive and intentional investments into education reform, that we will see, you know, true change in our nation; that it will be just more than just, you know, one moment in life where this — it worked out for a few years; that this could be a true pillar in change. It could be true — the true foundations and (inaudible).

And I believe that all American children deserve a fair chance at education equality. And I just want to really thank you for your time and allowing me to speak today. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Great job.

So what do you want to do? After education, what do you want to do?

MR. SLADE-BOWERS: After my education, I plan to attend Penn State, one of the premier colleges in our state. And I also — I want to pursue or study biology, and minor in microbiology and biochemistry and hopefully move on to med school and become a practicing psychiatrist.

THE PRESIDENT: Wow. That’s good. I could use you. (Laughter.) That’s true. That’s great. Great job.

MR. SLADE-BOWERS: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Briana, what do you want to do?

MS. GILCHRIST: Well, I’m actually here, based in D.C. I work in education reform.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. And you love it, right?

MS. GILCHRIST: I love it. I love being able to advocate for students like myself.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s fantastic. Congratulations.

Samuel —

MR. MYERS: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: What about you? What do you want to do? You’re out there now, and you’re doing well. What do you have planned?

MR. MYERS: My plan is — I was in here from White House before I got many things at a new skills. And I need a business coffee cart, and like helping the coffee for the people.

THE PRESIDENT: Very good. That’s great. That’s a great ambition. That’s fantastic.

MS. MYERS: He’s working on it. (Laughs.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s good. Thanks, Samuel. Beautiful job. Thank you very much.

So, Walter, what do you have planned?

MR. BLANKS: I’m coming for the White House. (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: I can see that. (Inaudible.) Great job.

So, Denisha?

MS. MERRIWEATHER: Hi.

THE PRESIDENT: How are you?

MS. MERRIWEATHER: I’m doing good.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.

MS. MERRIWEATHER: Yeah. Well, thank you for having me.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

MS. MERRIWEATHER: And it’s been long since the joint address. So, I’m pleased to be here. And thanks for hearing our stories.

This is a very pressing issue. And I thank you for your assertive leadership and the need to ensure that more students have access to success like we have.

My name is Denisha Merriweather. And where I come from, I behold depleted buildings, lack of community resources, decadence, and poor public schools.

I failed the third grade twice, attending my Duval County public schools. I didn’t recei- — it wasn’t until I received the scholarship to attend a private school that my life really changed for the better.

Thanks to Education Freedom, I became the first in my family to receive a high school diploma and then a master’s degree. I now exercise school choice for my 17-year-old sister to ensure that she receives a high school diploma.

I want to personally thank my own Governor, DeSantis, for empowering more students in the state of Florida. Thank you.

This year, more students have clearly asked for more demand, with almost 18,000 low-income students wanting the new scholarship.

But the work is not done. I know that all of you here at the table will continue to fight so that every student has the opportunity to receive a great education.

Across this country, too many children are having adverse childhood experiences in school, and that’s just wrong. The proposed legislation can definitely help. All students deserve the freedom to choose. Action is required. Thank you so much for listening to our stories, and thank you for your action.

THE PRESIDENT: Great job. Great job. Thank you very much.

MS. MERRIWEATHER: Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: And Bradley? How about — you’ve had a lot of experience in exactly what we’re talk- — you’ve seen it all different ways. What do you think?

REPRESENTATIVE BYRNE: Mr. President, I want to thank you for your courage because we’re all arrayed against some very powerful forces out there. To step out on this like you have, like the Secretary has, means a lot.

There are 85 sponsors for this piece of legislation in the House — myself and 84 others — and it’s growing, because we’re seeing your courage as an example to the rest of us to do the same thing. Now, why would we do that? We would do that if you come from a state like Alabama that’s new to school choice, unlike Florida. We’re just beginning to see it. The Secretary and I got to tour the first charter school in Alabama a year and a half ago. And we met students that this is their last chance. They were high school students. And if this didn’t work, they were done.

Our newest charter school in Alabama is in Sumter County — a very rural county. This is the first time, I’m told, that they’ve had integrated schools in that county in 30 years. Quality brought people together.

When I was on the state school board 25 years ago in Alabama, we came up with the “failing school” list, which I guess every state has. Every year, it’s the same schools. And if we lock those parents and their children into those same failing schools, year after year, we’re going to get terrible results. And the worst part of that, Mr. President, is that you brought all of these jobs back to America. Well, it doesn’t do these people any good if they don’t have the education and skills it takes to fills those jobs.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

REPRESENTATIVE BYRNE: So to realize on your education dream, what’s your dream for the American economy — and we have to do this. So those 85 are just 85 of us today. But with the Secretary’s help, we’re going to continue to grow that. We’re going to get every Republican on this bill and start working on Democrats as well, because this issue shouldn’t be a Democrat issue or a Republican issue. It should be an American issue, because in America, we don’t take opportunity away from people, we give it to them. Thank you for your leadership on this.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Bradley. Great job. Thank you. Betsy, go ahead, please.

SECRETARY DEVOS: Mr. President, I was just going to suggest that you may call on State Representative John DeBerry over here because —

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

SECRETARY DEVOS: — I think he has some experience —

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely.

SECRETARY DEVOS: — from the opposite perspective — party perspective.

THE PRESIDENT: (Inaudible.)

REPRESENTATIVE DEBERRY: Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Secretary DeVos, I appreciate being here. And I appreciate the fact that you’re going to shepherd this thing through that we’ve been talking about so many years. And as we put a face on this, with these young folks sitting around the table who have already spoken, too often the kids get lost. They’re data, they’re statistics, they’re numbers. But they put a face on it.

I’ve heard many times — and we’ve talked about school choice over the years — that we’re going to cherry pick, and you’re going to get the best students and things of this sort. My answer has always been: Then, let’s put more cherries on the tree. (Laughter.)

The fact of the matter is, if we cherry-pick a young man who can prepare himself one day to come to the White House, or young men and women who can go to medical school, these kids would be left out because everybody cherry picks. Every medical school, every law school, every university, they go for the best and the brightest.

What we’ve got to do is make sure they are among the best and the brightest. And that’s why I support education choice. When the young man spoke about many of his colleagues, Mr. President, the schoolhouse, the jailhouse pipeline is wide open. Thank God for criminal justice reform that’s possibly going to help some of these folks. Hopefully, we can interdict with education to keep them from going.

And before I stop, my eldest daughter is an attorney. Passed the bar the first time. When she was in the second grade, she was going to a school — a neighborhood school that she was assigned to. She came home with a note on her jacket one day. And my wife — who is deceased now — but she was in the second grade, we went to the school. My wife said, “What’s this about?” The teacher said, “Your child can’t read.” And my wife said, “Well, that’s funny, she could read when I sent her to you.” (Laughter.)

And what we realized was, that school was not living up to what we expected for our child. I asked that my child be transferred from that class; they said no. I asked that she be transferred from that school; they said no. I went that same day — I got a second job, I put her in a private school, and we paid tuition, because she was my responsibility.

Parents want the right to make that choice for their children. They don’t want anybody else to make that choice for them. They pay taxes. Many of them are veterans. They pay for homes. They’ve worked hard. They just want to say, “I want my kid to go this school because I want them on a par with everybody else.”

I thank you so much again —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

REPRESENTATIVE DEBERRY: — for what you’ve done. I hope you will continue until this gets passed.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Appreciate it. Great job. Thank you. (Applause.)

MS. PRYOR: Thank you, Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

MS. PRYOR: — Mr. Vice President.

Distinguished roundtable attendees, I am Christina Pryor. I’m a native Washingtonian. I am a product of the District of Columbia public school system having graduated from the Teaching Profession’s Academy at Coolidge High School here in D.C.

I am the daughter of a retired DCPS educator and I am also a former educator who’s a parent to two wonderful boys, both of whom have earned need-based and merit-based scholarships. And they’ve been educated in DCPS and the private-school settings.

During his academic year — excuse me, during his academic career, our eldest son, Jeremy (ph), earned the Saint Ignatius Loyola Award, presented by then Attorney General, Mr. Eric Holder. Having graduated from college in May, he is now working in public relations. And after our youngest son’s school closed — his public charter school closed just this past year — our youngest son, Jaden (ph), is currently excelling in private school.

Through the years, I continued to see educators doing phenomenal work in the classroom. Whether it’s public private or otherwise, our children deserve to be educated in safe, loving, nurturing, and cultivating environments that are conducive to learning and growing and that produce results. But having access to excellent education is the key.

Education freedom means, to me, that as our children’s very first teachers, parents have the power and choice to set them up for a lifetime of success. Since every child is unique, there is no one cookie-cutter formula that works best for every person. The children — our children — certainly deserve access to any and all excellent educational experiences available. Scholarship opportunities certainly open these doors. And the keys to those doors should be accessible to all. Thank you for you your time.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job. Thank you very much.

MS. PRYOR: Thank you, sir. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dan, Lieutenant Governor of Texas and that is somebody that’s very much involved in education, and done a fantastic job. Please.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PATRICK: Thank you, Mr. President. A lot of us have been on this road a long time — for home school, school choice, charter schools. And to have your bold leadership on this issue, with the Vice President’s, means a lot to us.

When I get weary in a fight, and the opposition is strong, all I have to do is be inspired by Myles and Walter and Sam.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you get weary? I don’t think you get weary. (Laughter.)

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PATRICK: Well, (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: I haven’t seen you weary. I’ve seen you in a lot of fights, but I’ve never seen you weary.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PATRICK: But you never — you never quit, because what you realize, and these parents and these students realize: You cannot live the American Dream without a quality job, and you can’t have quality job without a quality education. And when you deny a child an education, you take their entire life away from them. They never have a chance to recover.

And has been said, when you cut that pipeline from the schoolhouse to the jail, that will be the biggest prison reform bill we have all ever passed. And we’ve joined you on that. As you know, we —

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PATRICK: — we have led on that in Texas. And in Texas, we have a robust charter program. We’ve — we build them as fast we can. We still have 150,000 parents it seems like always in line, because they want that opportunity. And it’s to say we don’t have some great quality public schools — we do — but not every school is an “A” school.

And every child and every parent deserves an “A” school. One of the things that Florida has done, and we’ve done in Texas, is we now grade every public school district and every public school A through F. We grade the schools like they grade our kids.

And as you know, Governor, this made — it’s just a tremendous difference in creating competition and awareness of parents saying, “Wait a minute, I thought my school was good, but it’s only a C. I don’t want my kid going to a ‘C’ school.”

So it is — it is the civil right issue of our time, as Brooke said. And thank you for being bold on this. You know, in Texas, we have 6 million kids. That’s more kids in school than 32 states have people. So we’re a big system. And we’re with you on this. And thank you for leadership.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PATRICK: The future of the country depends on our success on this.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s true. Thank you very much.

Anybody else would like to say something?

MS. FRIEDRICHS: I’d love to.

THE PRESIDENT: Please.

MS. FRIEDRICHS: Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, and Secretary DeVos for your leadership on this very important issue. I’m Rebecca Friedrichs. Twenty-eight-year California public school teacher. I served as lead plaintiff in Friedrichs versus California Teachers Association, which led to freedom from forced unionism for all government employees in the United States. I’m also founder of For Kids and Country.

America’s great teachers support school choice because we believe in putting the children first. But self-serving unions infiltrated our profession, and they pour hundreds of millions of our dues’ money into defeating choice.

Unions claim to speak for teachers, but I’m here today to tell you they do not. The union I was forced to fund brought great damage to my own students, my profession, my own sons, and the ongoing harm to my niece Nicole.

Nicole has a seizure disorder, and even with special education support, she was earning Ds and Fs in public school and was severely depressed. We found an amazing charter school for Nicole, where the teachers and children were empowered. Nicole’s grades soared to As and Bs, and her self-worth skyrocketed too. But the status quo closed her high-performing school.

Now, Nicole is back to Ds and Fs, and she’ll once again tell me this Christmas that she’s dumb. And I’ll do all I can, again, to tell her that she’s brilliant and beautiful. But tragically, she won’t believe me because her report card and the unions get the final word.

Well, America’s great teachers have had enough. These abuses, and thousands more, are why we sued CTA and the NEA for freedom from forced unionism. The Obama administration and California leadership intervened against us. The unions labeled us the “spawns of Satan.”

But 10 courageous teachers stood in defense of children and our believed profession. We were poised to win, but Justice Scalia’s death led to a tragic deadlock in our case. But we blazed the trail for another case. And thanks to you, President Trump and your appointment of Justice Gorsuch, all teachers are now freed from forced unionism. Amazingly, we won on my birthday. (Laughter.)

But unions still have a stronghold. They’ve harshly bullied great teachers for decades. They’ve silenced our voices. And they are chasing many great teachers right out of the classroom.

So I am here today to give voice to great teachers. America’s great teachers believe that parents and teachers must be empowered to work together. All children should receive an outstanding education in a safe school of their family’s choice.

Unions masquerading as teachers will fight education freedom tooth and nail. You can count on it. But, Mr. President, America’s great teachers stand with you and Secretary DeVos for education freedom for every student. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Great story. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.) Please.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: Mr. President, thank you very much. I’m very honored. I’m the Speaker of the House in Pennsylvania.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: And to you and to Secretary DeVos, thank you for leading on educational freedom. It’s interesting, a lot of times the other side likes to paint it as not enough public money going to public schools. I’m going to use Myles’s public school district in Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, our capital city.

We spend well over $20,000 per student in that particular school district; it’s over twice the national average. Yet the performance rates, despite the fact that that school district has been in receivership a number of times: 7.1 percent proficiency in algebra, 9.3 percent proficiency in biology, and 13.6 percent proficiency in English.

The mayor of Harrisburg, the state representative who represents the particular community — each of them sends their children to private schools. Why wouldn’t everybody have that opportunity if they wanted to have that decision?

We see the opportunity of school choice as being a way that one size does not fit all, and parents and grandparents and guardians can make those decisions, like Jocelyn, who’s Myles’s mom, made that decision.

We think that an infused educational improvement tax credit program — we put one on the governor’s desk with an escalator. We already have the program in place. We have continued to increase it. We’ve kind of leveraged opportunities to increase it. But we really went big. He vetoed it. It was a mistake. Fifteen thousand students on waitlists who are not able now to take advantage of these particular scholarships. We’re going to continue to pursue that endeavor.

But the proposal that you, the Secretary, and Senator Cruz is putting on the table, where you’re going to work hand in hand with the state tax-credit scholarships, is going to provide so many opportunities for so many students all across the United States. And we truly support your work. We’re going to continue to work strong in our state. And thank you for your leadership.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Mike. And you’re doing a great job. And our state is doing a great job — one of our wonderful states. They’re doing a really well — the Commonwealth, as we say. And really good.

How are things going? How — economically? Records.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: Mr. President, the lowest unemployment rate in recorded time thanks to the great work you’re doing. And I will say, our Republican majorities in the State House and Senate have certainly been along a similar message as you and the Vice President. But without a doubt, you are bringing manufacturing opportunities and energy — growth opportunities and energy independence to the great state of Pennsylvania.

You were down in Beaver County, in the western part of the state.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: Sixty-five hundred skilled trades folks are building a petrochemical facilities on a brownfield site. And both national and state policy are moving in the right direction.

Our revenues, Mr. President, thanks to your tax cuts, your regulatory reform — our revenues on the state level, without increasing any taxes, like the governor wanted — without increasing any taxes, grew by 6.4 percent. We haven’t seen that kind of growth in a very long period of time. Without a doubt, your leadership is making that happen. Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And you have more good news, because your steel industry, as you know, are doing very well.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: Yes. Correct. Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Those are tariffs we taxed very heavily. We taxed the dumping of steel.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: Correct.

THE PRESIDENT: And the steel companies are doing incredibly well. They were finished.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: U.S. Steel just invested — or is about to invest a billion dollars —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: — because of your policies.

THE PRESIDENT: No, they were ready to close up — all of them — and now they’re doing great. It’s one of the really incredible, untold stories — the steel companies. And we need our steel companies — for defense, if nothing else. But we need our steel companies.

So you’ve had some very good news in Pennsylvania. Thank you, Mike, very much. I appreciate it.

STATE SPEAKER TURZAI: Thank you for having me.

THE PRESIDENT: So that’s the story. We’re working hard on education. Things are happening at a rapid rate like we haven’t seen before. And, Betsy, I want to thank you very much. Great job.

And we’ll get it done. I think this group will get it done. We have some fantastic representatives here, and you will — you’ll knock it out, Bradley. So good luck with everything, okay?

Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

Q Mr. President, what about USMCA? Do you have an update on USMCA?

THE PRESIDENT: I hear they’re doing very well on USMCA. I’m hearing very good things. I’m hearing from unions and others that it’s looking good. And I hope they put it up to a vote. And if they put it up to a vote, it’s going to pass. A lot of Democrats want to pass it too. And we look forward to that. But I’m hearing they’re doing very well.

It’s replacing probably the worst trade deal ever made, which was NAFTA. And this is one of the best trade deals ever made for our country.

And we have some other ones coming, too. We did Japan, we did South Korea, and some others that are very important. But this is a very big deal. That’s the biggest border in the world economically, believe it or not: our southern border. And our Canadian border does a lot of business. But the southern border, people don’t realize, the largest number — in terms of dollars, the biggest in the world by far. Not even close. And with Canada, very big.

So this is the USMCA, and I’m hearing a lot of strides have been made over the last 24 hours with unions and others. So thank you all very much.

Q Did you watch any of the hearings this morning, Mr. President? Did you watch any of the hearings this morning, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I did. I watched a little bit. Very little. It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace to our country. It’s a hoax. And it should never, ever be allowed to happen again.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.

END 2:43 P.M. EST

Crude Oil and Kanye: Two Signs of Up-Side Hope After Years of Plummeting


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Visit our friends at The Patriot Post: America’s News Digest: http://bit.ly/2RcxCwI —– The United States becomes a net exporter of crude oil, and Kanye West comes to Christ. Bill Whittle sees a connection, and great hope, in these two recent phenomena. After years of plummeting as a nation, the rate of descent has decreased, and we may now be on the up side. Here’s the video Steve mentions of the young rapper listening to Frank Sinatra for the first time: https://youtu.be/kQGmx1ZMmno Bill Whittle, Scott Ott and Stephen Green have made a panel discussion show five times each week for about 11 years, thanks to Members who contribute to their work. They enjoy some Members-only benefits at our website, but they do it mostly to make sure that these messages get out. – Become a Member at https://BillWhittle.com/register/ – Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/billwhittle – Listen to our shows on the go with your podcast app: http://bit.ly/BWN-Podcasts – Watch us now on Amazon’s Fire TV by downloading the Bill Whittle Network app. http://bit.ly/BWN-FireTV – Ask your Amazon smart device, “Alexa, play Bill Whittle Network on TuneIn radio.” – We’re on Bitchute too: http://bit.ly/BWN-Bitchute

 

President Trump Delivers Impromptu Remarks Departing White House – Video and Transcript…


Chopper pressers are the best pressers. Earlier today President Trump paused to deliver remarks on current events to the press pool as he departed the White House for a trip to Florida.  [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. That’s a very bright sun. Beautiful day in Washington.

I will say that we’ve had tremendous reports coming out of the economy — it’s been incredible — and numbers like we haven’t seen before. And we have the strongest economy in the world: 266,000 jobs; you can add another 40 [thousand] to that. It’s about 300,000 jobs. Very importantly, it’s 50- or 55,000 manufacturing jobs. We’re the envy of the world. Our economy is the envy of the world, and we’re going to keep it that way. So that’s very important.

I spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia. They are devastated in Saudi Arabia. We’re finding out what took place, whether it’s one person or a number of people. And the King will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones. He feels very strongly. He’s very, very devastated by what happened and what took place. Likewise, the Crown Prince. They are devastated by what took place in Pensacola. And I think they’re going to help out the families very greatly.

But, right now, they send their condolences. And, as you know, I’ve sent my condolences. It’s a very shocking thing. And we’ll find out — we’ll get to the bottom of it very quickly. This has been done for many decades. We’ve been doing this with other countries, foreign countries. I guess we’re going to have to look into the whole procedure. We’ll start that immediately.

And other than that, anybody have any questions?

Q Did Rudy Giuliani tell you why he was going to Europe? And do you approve?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I just know he came back from someplace, and he’s going to make a report, I think to the Attorney General and to Congress. He says he has a lot of good information. I have not spoken to him about that information.

But Rudy, as you know, has been one of the great crime fighters of the last 50 years. And he did get back from Europe just recently, and I know — he has not told me what he found, but I think he wants to go before Congress and say — and also to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. I hear he’s found plenty, yeah.

Q Mr. President, how do you plan on reengaging North Korea in the negotiations?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll see about North Korea. I’d be surprised if North Korea acted hostiley [sic]. I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. I think we both want to keep it that way. He knows I have an election coming up. I don’t think he wants to interfere with that. But we’ll have to see.

He’s somebody that I’ve gotten along with very well for three years, and he’s gotten along with me very well. So we’ll see how it goes. But I really don’t think he wants to interfere with the election. I think he’d like to see something happen. The relationship is very good, but, you know, there is certain hostility, there’s no question about it. I don’t know that his relationship with South Korea is very good, but we’re going to find out.

Q Mr. President, did the U.S. negotiate at all the other Americans held in Iran in this round of negotiations?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we’re very happy to have our hostage back. The whole Princeton University community is very thrilled. And there was a one-on-one hostage swap. And we are very — actually, I think it was a great thing for Iran. I think it was great to show that we can do something. It might have been a precursor as to what can be done.

But we have our hostage back. We’ve been trying to get him back. He was taken during the Obama administration. We got him back during the Trump administration, so we’re very happy about that.

Q Mr. President, will you testify in the Senate impeachment trial? Will you testify?

THE PRESIDENT: Say it? What?

Q Will you testify in the Senate —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know. I know this: That the impeachment thing is a total hoax. The numbers have totally swung our way. They don’t want to see impeachment, especially in the swing states; they’ve swung our way. I’ve never seen a swing like this. Because people realize it’s a total hoax. We had a perfect conversation. It was only a conversation. Nothing came out of the conversation except a good relationship with Ukraine. And the people see that it’s just a continuation of this three-year witch hunt.

And I’m looking forward to seeing the IG report. I hear they’re announcing it on Monday. And I look forward very much to seeing what happens with the Durham report, maybe even more importantly — because it’s a horrible thing that took place and it should never happen to another President.

So I’ll be going to Florida right now. We have a very, very big and successful meeting with Republicans, and we’re also meeting with Jewish committees — and separately; we’re doing two. And I believe you’re going to be covering at least one of them.

So I’ll see you in a little while. Thank you.

END 2:57 P.M. EST

Velvet Revolutionaries – Iran and U.S. Exchange Assets…


While the U.S. calls Xiyue Wang a “scholar” and Iran calls Massoud Soleimani a “scientist“, it’s likely both were not exactly forthcoming as as they presented themselves to the professional networks within each host nation.

Just my cynical opinion [nudge, nudge – wink, wink – say no more, say no more]…

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Princeton scholar held for three years in Iran on widely criticized espionage charges was freed Saturday as part of a prisoner exchange that saw America release a detained Iranian scientist, a rare diplomatic breakthrough between Tehran and Washington after months of tensions.

The trade on the tarmac of a Swiss airport saw Iranian officials hand over Chinese-American graduate student Xiyue Wang for scientist Massoud Soleimani, who had faced a federal trial in Georgia over charges he violated sanctions by trying to have biological material brought to Iran. (read more)

Statement from President Donald J. Trump on the Release of Xiyue Wang:

“After more than three years of being held prisoner in Iran, Xiyue Wang is returning to the United States. A Princeton University graduate student, Mr. Wang had been held under the pretense of espionage since August 2016. We thank our Swiss partners for their assistance in negotiating Mr. Wang’s release with Iran. The highest priority of the United States is the safety and well-being of its citizens. Freeing Americans held captive is of vital importance to my Administration, and we will continue to work hard to bring home all our citizens wrongfully held captive overseas.”  ~ President Donald Trump

Rivkin Project

 

Beijing Yanks DPRK Chain – North Korea Envoy: “denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiating table”…


China controls North Korea; essentially as a proxy province.  As a result Beijing controls the messaging from the DPRK.  Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping is the captor and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un is the captive – it’s essentially a hostage dynamic.  The historic objective has been to use DPRK aggression as a hedge against the west.

Predictably there was going to come a moment when Chairman Xi realized the trade negotiations by his adversary, President Trump, were a hall of mirrors.  The U.S. President has played China by using their own panda-mask strategy against them.

President Trump achieved his goal when no-one was paying attention. The goal was a decoupling from China on economic terms.  Strategic decoupling has been underway for over a year.   There is no actual intent to reach a trade deal with China where the U.S. drops the tariffs and returns to holding hands with a happy panda playing by new rules. This fictional narrative is a figment of fantasy being sold by a financial media that cannot fathom a U.S. President would be so bold as to just walk away from China.

For almost three years U.S. President Trump has been working on two connected objectives: (1) removing the threat posed by North Korea by severing the ability of Beijing to use the proxy province as a weapon (Kim is hostage to China); and (2) deconstructing the growing economic influence of China.

Both issues are directly connected to U.S. national security; and both issues are being approached by President Trump through the use of economic leverage to achieve national security results.

In the dynamic of the denuclearization of North Korea, the projected Beijing narrative was Chairman Xi Jinping playing the role of magnanimous panda and *guiding* Chairman Kim Jong Un into the world of nations.  This strategy was pure cunning; as it would look magnanimous to the world, but Xi would always retain control over Kim…

The Magnanimous Panda ploy was a false optic; and President Trump through direct contact with Chairman Kim knew it.

President Trump portrayed himself as buying-in to the Magnanimous Panda scheme of Chairman Xi.  However, the unorthodox approach of having frequent contact and direct communication with Chairman Kim Jong-un muted Beijing’s control as puppeteer.

The Beijing central authority, while negotiating with President Trump over trade issues, did not initially realize that President Trump was also wearing a panda mask.

President Trump looked like he was being earnest, deliberate and patient; but in reality President Trump was achieving his goal.  Here’s the ‘ah-ha’ moment.

….The current status with China was the final objective.

President Trump is not currently engaged in a substantive trade agreement in the formal way people are thinking about it.  Instead “Phase-One” is simply President Trump negotiating the terms of a big Agricultural purchase commitment from Beijing, and also protecting some very specific U.S. business interests (think Apple Co.) in the process.

The actual goal of President Trump’s U.S-China trade reset is a complete decoupling of U.S. critical manufacturing within China.  President Trump does not express angst, frustration, or even disappointment over the U.S-China trade discussions because the decoupling is well underway.

China is suffering a slow death by a thousand paper-cuts. The bleeding of cash in combination with the direct loss of $75 billion in annualized exported products that U.S. companies have now sourced from alternative ASEAN nations is biting hard.

The direct outcome is also a drop in China’s purchasing of industrial goods they would normally use in the manufacturing process. This lack of Chinese purchasing is one of the top reasons for the stall in the European economy.

Donald Trump spent 30-years openly advocating for the principle of restoring American wealth. That meant the economic pressure would continue until China was decoupled from influence over the U.S. economy.

President Trump used tariffs and threatened more consequential action as it relates to non-tariff barriers, IP protection, forced technology transfers etc as a result of China reneging on their May 2019 agreement.

Additionally, President Trump was openly engaged with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un throughout; telling the world North Korea was already no longer a threat, and muting the ability of Beijing to use DPRK aggression against the economic confrontation.

In hindsight every move since early 2017 including: (1) the warm welcome of Chairman Xi Jinping to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate; (2) the vociferous praise poured upon Xi; (3) the U.N. sanctions where China and Russia agreed; (4) the November 2017 “golden ticket’ tour of Asia; (5) the direct engagement with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un; (6) the strategic relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; and a host of smaller nuanced moves were all quietly building toward the goal of decoupling from China.

President Trump outmatched Chairman Xi in this economic confrontation by allowing Beijing to underestimate Trump’s resolve.  While Chairman Xi thought he was outmaneuvering his rival, it was President Trump who was wearing the Panda mask all along.

There was always going to be a moment when China realized what was happening.

It was also predictable China would react to the realization by returning to their historic leverage against such economic confrontation.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Saturday that denuclearization is off the negotiating table with the United States and lengthy talks with Washington are not needed.

Ambassador Kim Song’s comment appeared to go further than North Korea’s earlier warning that discussions related to its nuclear weapons program, the central focus of U.S. engagement with North Korea in the past two years, might have to be taken off the table given Washington’s refusal to offer concessions.

“We do not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now and denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiating table,” he said in the statement made available to Reuters. (more)

On December 15th the next round of tariffs against China are likely to go into effect.

There will possibly be North Korean missile launches.

There will possibly be North Korean ICBM launches.

All of it is controlled by Beijing and all of the activity is in direct proportion to Chairman Xi realizing that President Trump is decoupling the U.S. from China.

 

The Truth Behind the Headline: Trump Cuts 750,000 Off Food Stamps


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Visit our friends at The Patriot Post: America’s News Digest http://bit.ly/2OHfd9W —– The Bloomberg headline says “Trump Administration Moves to End Food Stamps for 750,000”, and that sounds bad during an election year. But as Scott Ott digs deeper into the story, he finds details that don’t make great anti-Trump clickbait. Bill Whittle Now with Scott Ott comes to you five times per week thanks to our Members, who enjoy backstage videos, a Member-written private blog, private messaging and a vigorous comments section. Produce these messages and find your people at https://BillWhtitle.com/register/ – Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/billwhittle – Listen to our shows on the go with your podcast app: http://bit.ly/BWN-Podcasts – Watch us now on Amazon’s Fire TV by downloading the Bill Whittle Network app. http://bit.ly/BWN-FireTV – Ask your Amazon smart device, “Alexa, play Bill Whittle Network on TuneIn radio.” – We’re on Bitchute too: http://bit.ly/BWN-Bitchute

President Trump Puts “Temporary Hold” on Designating Mexican Drug Cartels as Terrorist Organizations…


Following a visit to Mexico by U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, earlier today President Trump announced he was putting a “temporary hold” on the designation of Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

It looks like President Donald Trump has once again created a significant amount of leverage for Mexican President Lopez-Obrador to continue working with the Trump administration on a variety of security (border and immigration) and economic (USMCA) aspects.

(US DOJ) […] Attorney General Barr and Mexican Government counterparts discussed a broad range of issues including their shared commitment to protecting the security and safety of the citizens of both the United States and Mexico from transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) as well as how our countries work together to combat drug, human, and arms trafficking. They talked about the importance of targeting illicit financial networks and disrupting the illicit movement of cash, weapons, and drugs, combatting corruption, and strengthening cooperation on bringing members of TCOs to justice. (more)

President Trump Hosts White House Small Business Roundtable – Video and Transcript…


Earlier today President Trump hosted a small business roundtable at the White House with various business owners to discuss the economy and the removal of regulatory hurdles. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, everyone. King Salman of Saudi Arabia, he just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack that took place just recently, just this morning, in Pensacola, Florida.

The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter and that this person, in no way, shape, or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people so much.

So that was just given to me by the King of Saudi Arabia. And I can tell you, it’s a horrible thing that took place. And we’re getting to the bottom of it. All of the investigators are there now, and they’re studying it very closely. And a terrible thing. And our condolences go to the families and to everybody involved, including the wounded. We have some badly wounded people also. And we have to extend our condolences to them, and we’ll be working with them all very closely.

So I just wanted to let you know that was from King Salman.

And today, we’re here to talk to some of the very hardworking citizens who are benefitting from our historic record-setting campaign to eliminate job-killing regulations. I will tell you, the market is up 325 points today on great job numbers. The numbers have been phenomenal, actually. Some people said — so spot on, so good — that they’ve actually never seen anything like it. And it’s a long way from when people were rooting for a recession because they thought they could maybe win an election. But we don’t root for a recession; we root for success. And we’re having tremendous success.

I want to thank Vice President Mike Pence, who’s here, right here — Mike, thank you — as well as Secretary Gene Scalia, Secretary Elaine Chao, Acting OMB Director Russ Vought, and Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. Thank you all very much for being here. Appreciate it. Appreciate it very much.

It’s been an incredible period of time, economically, for our country. Probably the best ever. And we have the best unemployment numbers in over 54 years. We have the best numbers for African Americans. This came out today. Again, African American, Hispanic, Asian American — the best numbers we’ve ever had. Numbers for women are at a record number. We think that it will probably — if it keeps going like this — very shortly be totally historic. But they’re at numbers that nobody ever believed possible. Nobody would have believed it. Frankly, in the campaign, I would have never said it, but I felt we were going to do very well.

That’s despite the fact that we’re paying interest to people that have their money in the bank and other countries are not. So they have a great competitive advantage, and yet we’re, by far, far and away, the most successful economy anywhere in the world. We’re doing better than any other economy in the world. And, you know, we’ve created many trillions of dollars of wealth since the election. Other countries have lost many trillions of dollars.

We’re, by far, the largest economy in the world, and that was going to change. For many years, they were saying that was going to change, we were going to go to number two during this presidency. That was years ago. And I guess that — the wrong President got elected from the standpoint that there are a lot of people very unhappy about it. So they wish — they certainly think it was the wrong President; they would have rather had somebody else because they’re not number one. We’re number one. And we’re so far ahead that people can’t even believe it.

So we’ve had tremendous success. We’ve had it together. This has been a great group of Cabinet members. And the people in the administration have done a really good job.

It was just reported that we added another 266,000 jobs in November and we’ve also had very favorable numbers outside of the 266 [thousand], including some of the past numbers have been corrected in a very positive way also. So we have 266,000 jobs, plus we’ve created 7 million jobs, since my election. Unemployment is at the lowest rate, as I told you, in many years. And in many ways, I think we can probably, very soon, say “historically.”

A record 158 million Americans are now working. That’s the largest number in the history of our country. We’ve never had 158 million people working. And we should be breaking the 160 million magic mark fairly soon.

The stock market today, as you know, it’s up 325. We’ve hit another record high. I believe that’s 128 times — something like that — that we’ve broken the record, the all-time record for stock market highs. And think of that: about 128 times, and we’ve been here for less than three years. So it’s — and that, I can tell you, is a record.

2.5 million Americans have been lifted out of poverty. African American, Hispanic America, Asian American poverties — poverty levels, in the positive sense, have hit record lows. That’s something that nobody thought was going to be possible in a short period of time either. So they’ve all hit record lows.

Our regulatory reform efforts are delivering prosperity to forgotten men, women, and children of America. We are seeing a middle-class boom led by blue-collar jobs. And that’s one of the things that’s so great: The blue-collar workers — great workers of our country — they’re really benefitting tremendously from what we’ve done with the tax cuts and all of the other things that we’ve done.

And very big, I think, is the regulation cuts. Because even before we were able to get the tax cuts so successfully from Congress, we started cutting regulations immediately, and that had a big impact. And that’s why we went up so much between the election victory. So you’d say, really, from November 9th, the day after the election, up until January 20th, the Inauguration, the stock markets and jobs went — literally, went through the roof. And if the election were lost, it would have gone right through the floor. It would have been a disaster.

The soaring stock market is boosting pensions, 401(k)s, and college savings accounts at record levels. We’ve added $10 trillion in value to the economy, helping the small businesses that create two out of three new jobs. Nearly every single state has seen record numbers. Almost every state — I can tell you, every state I’ve been to in the last three months is having the best year they’ve ever had. And that’s because of the federal policy. And they’re very thankful. The governors are very thankful. The senators are very thankful. They’re all very thankful.

So things have happened that nobody thought would be possible. But, literally, every state I go to is setting a record for their state — individual states. And one of the states had just reported, and it’s because of our actions, not because of their actions, this I can tell you — because their actions are very negative. California is doing much better than anyone anticipated because of what we’ve done at the federal level. So, I’m very happy about that.

Next year, we will continue our bold deregulatory campaign. We’ll remove costly burdens to make cars safer and more affordable. I don’t know if you know what’s going on. We’re in a dispute with California. California, in order to save a tiny amount of fuel, of which we have plenty — and we have numbers that nobody would have believed possible. We’re the largest energy producer now in the world, and we’re an exporter of energy for the first in our history, really.

But we can make cars much less expensive, much better, much stronger, and about the same, from an environmental standpoint. Very close. But then, when you realize that many old cars will be taken off the road because they don’t want to get rid of them because they don’t want to buy the new cars because, frankly, they don’t work very well. That little — like this: You take that. (Points at a glass of water.) Sometimes, it’s about that much gasoline.

It’s a difference between $3,500, extra computers put on the engines, and all of the other things that you have to do. But the cars are much safer. Our cars are much safer. They’re much cheaper. They’re much better. And the reason they’re safer is because they can be heavier because, right now, the cars are made out of papier-mâché. (Laughter.) And ours are actually — we allow steel content. (Laughter.)

And so people are getting very excited about it. We have some good support with the auto companies. The only ones that don’t support are the car companies that want to be politically correct. But we’ll end up in some litigation with California. But just remember: Our cars are safer — and they are much safer, by the way — and they’re better. They operate better.

And, in every way, we think it’s going to be terrific. And we have a lot of support from the car industry. And you’re talking about a saving of $3,500 on average, per car. That’s a tremendous saving.

And one of the other things, from an environmental standpoint, many of the old gas guzzlers are — that are spewing out bad things are going to be coming off the road. Cars that are 10 years old and older, people will be going to the new cars because the pricing is better. And the net result of what happens environmentally is a very positive result because a lot of old cars are going to come off the road. And they won’t come off the road with the California standard, but they’ll come off the road with our standard. So you have a better car for less money, and it will be safer.

We’ll end the regulatory assault on franchise small businesses, which a lot of the people around the table want to do, because they’re very, very strongly affected. We’ll provide greater financial freedom and flexibility for U.S. truckers. The trucking industry has gotten — right, Elaine? — out of control. You might want to say a few words about that in a minute. But it’s gotten out of control.

And we’re doing other things. The lightbulb: They got rid of the lightbulb that people got used to. The new bulb is many times more expensive. And I hate to say it, it doesn’t make you look as good. Of course, being a vain person, that’s very important to me. (Laughter.) It’s like a — it gives you an orange look. I don’t want an orange look. (Laughter.) Has anyone noticed that? (Laughter.) So we’ll have to change those bulbs in at least a couple of rooms where I am in the White House. (Laughter.)

But we’re going back to the — it’s a double standard. We have a standard of the new bulbs, and we have the old bulbs. And they’re already making the old bulbs. Many people were complaining that the new bulbs were much, much more expensive. Many times, in some cases, more expensive. And the other thing, they’re considered a hazardous waste that, because it’s largely a gas technology, when the bulb is disposed of, you’re supposed to bring it to a hazardous waste site. I said, “How many people do that?” “No- — nobody does it.” And, you know, that’s a bad thing.

So you probably heard about it. You probably read about it. And you’ll be able to buy lightbulbs that actually are better lighting, in the opinion of many — and, I tell you, in my opinion — and for a lot less money. And so we’re doing that. But you’ll also be able — if you want, you can buy the other bulbs also. And I’ll tell you, even the bulb companies are very happy about that.

But together, we’re defending the American workers. We’re using common sense. We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where you turn the faucet on — in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it — and you don’t get any water. You turn on the faucet; you don’t get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out. It’s dripping out — very quietly dripping out. People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So, EPA is looking at that very strongly, at my suggestion.

You go into a new building or a new house or a new home, and they have standards, “Oh, you don’t get water.” You can’t wash your hands, practically, there’s so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands. You end up using the same amount of water.

So we’re looking at, very seriously, at opening up the standard. And there may be some areas where we’ll go the other route — desert areas. But for the most part, you have many states where they have so much water that it comes down — it’s called rain — (laughter) — that they don’t know — they don’t know what to do with it.

So we’re going to be opening up that, I believe. And we’re looking at changing the standards very soon. And that’s a little bit like the lightbulb, where you get a bulb that’s better for much less money. We go back — but you have the other alternative. And you’ll keep the other alternative with sinks and showers, et cetera, too. But that’s been a big problem.

So a lot — a lot of the things we do are based on common sense. Somebody said, “Is that a conservative, is it a liberal thing? Is it — what is it? What are we doing?” I said, “It’s a commonsense thing.” In so many — so many of the things that we do, it’s based on common sense, like the car. The car will end up with that net tremendous saving, environmentally, when you think of all the cars, the old cars, that will come off the road. You’ll end up with a very — a better car. And you’ll end up — environmentally, it will be ultimately much better.

So, with that, I’d like to introduce Mike Pence, our great Vice President. And, Mike, you might want to saw a few words and, very importantly, go around the table with a couple other people you want to introduce.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We will. Thank you, Mr. President. And it’s a great day in America, where we cleared the threshold of 7 million jobs created. And I assured all these business leaders and owners around the table earlier, Mr. President, that they have a President who understands that, while you — you’ve advanced tax cuts and tax reform at a historic level, unleashed American energy, fought to open markets, free and fair trade, and rolled back regulation at a historic level, that — that you, as someone who built a lifetime in a business and grew up in a family business, understand that it’s — it’s businesses that create those jobs.

And we really have a group around us that’s done an incredible job, being a part of that extraordinary economic boom that’s underway.

But I assured them that, for all that we’ve accomplished, it’s just what you consider to be a good start. And today, several of them have welcomed the opportunity to share their stories of what, particularly, cutting federal red tape has meant to their businesses and how we can continue to build the momentum in this economy through more regulatory reform.

I’m going to introduce all three of them first, and then they can just go at — at their timing and yours.

Barb Smith is the President of Journey Steel, which was founded 10 years ago and based in Cincinnati. Ryan Newby is Vice President of the Bank of Laverne in Laverne, Oklahoma. And Drew DeWalt is Co-Founder of Rhumbix, Incorporated — a field data capture company that’s revolutionizing aspects of the construction industry — and also a Navy veteran.

And I’ll also encourage you to hear from Dana Weber, whose family business was started 50 years ago by her dad. And she told me she’s worked there for 48 of those years, growing up, and is a part of a burgeoning and growing pipe business in this country that’s benefitted by the efforts that you’ve taken on steel.

THE PRESIDENT: Good. Yeah.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: So these are great job creators. And I’ve told all of them how grateful we were to have them here, for what they’re doing, and how anxious you are to hear how we can continue to build the momentum in this booming economy.

So, Barb.

THE PRESIDENT: Please. Yes.

MS. SMITH: So, thank you very much, Mr. President and Vice President, for giving me this incredible opportunity to be at this session. As said, my name is Barb Smith, and I’m the President of Journey Steel. Journey Steel is a self-performing steel fabrication and erection company. We’re headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

My partner and I established Journey in 2009, built on passion, integrity, and dependability. We provide on-time, safety-driven, in-budget projects to our clients, while also impacting the community.

We have a year-round paid, pre-apprenticeship program that targets inner-city high school seniors. So upon their graduation, we get them started on their career in the construction industry.

My company is certified 8(a), WOSB, MBE, and, on a state level, EDGE and DBE, which — these programs are put in place to help small, minority-women-owned businesses to grow. However, some of the regulations that are in place really hinder that opportunity for us.

If I may share an analogy —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, go ahead.

MS. SMITH: I’m Dorothy. The ruby-red slippers are the certifications that I have. And the agencies point me on the yellow brick road. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way. They’ve been very supportive on my journey to the Emerald City. (Laughter.) But when I got to the Emerald City, those big doors closed in my face because of some of the regulations that told me to go back, jump through some wicked hoops —

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

MS. SMITH: — which I managed to do. Got back; the doors were then opened, only for me to find another set of regulations behind the curtain.

So my ask of this administration would be: Remove those regulations. Let us get to the man behind the curtain who knows the power and those ruby-red slippers that they’ve given us to open those doors for contracts so that we can truly unpack them.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, did you write those regulations down? Did you think they’re — I assume you think they’re unnecessary. Because some regulation is needed.

MS. SMITH: They’re not — I won’t say they’re unnecessary. Like I said, great people in the SBA. I’ll use that as part of it. Like I said, they are tremendous. They know their job.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you know the ones that Barb is talking about?

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR PILKERTON: I gave her my direct line and e-mail. So we’re going to talk about that afterwards.

MS. SMITH: We’re going to talk about that later.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that right?

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR PILKERTON: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

MS. SMITH: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: And if we can do it, you do it.

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR PILKERTON: Yes, sir.

MS. SMITH: Yes. And they’re just simple. With the regulations, with a new 8(a) firm, being small, minority-women-owned, some of the things that we need — the biggest thing we need is a mentor. And in order to get a mentor who has the past performances, who has the bonding capabilities, who knows how to work for the government, which is one of the biggest spins in the construction industry, as you know; you spend billions and billions of dollars.

But for the small, minority-women-owned business, who can’t get to that company that’s already been there, the regulations are in place where these agencies can’t give me a list, they can’t help me find that mentor. And even though I may knock on the door, I may not get to the right person.

So that’s just a simple regulation that hopefully would be able to be removed — because if we’re able to get to the right people, understand that, get the mentors in place that help us grow so that we can hire more people, change the economy, get more people to work, that would truly benefit — which is what these programs, I believe, was established for to begin with, is to help the minority, small businesses be able to access federal contracts.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Good. Thank you, Barb, very much. Thank you.

MS. SMITH: Thank you. Thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: That’s great. That’s great.

Ryan.

MR. NEWBY: Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, thank you for the opportunity and your time today. I appreciate it very much. Ryan Newby, from Laverne, Oklahoma — northwest part of the state. I represent a small community bank in the Oklahoma Panhandle. And I say “small” — we’re $58 million in total assets, $26 million in loans.

A few points that I wanted to hit on was the reform and repeal of Dodd-Frank. We, like a lot of other banks in Oklahoma, got out of the mortgage-lending business due to the compliance red tape that we were having to deal with. Forty percent of the banks in Oklahoma got out the mortgage-lending business at that time.

And with your deregulation, we’ve been able to get back into that and serve our customers. We were sending them, you know, 40, 50 miles down the road to competition. So that’s been a big plus for banks like us.

A couple other points I’d like to make are — it probably don’t seem like big things to other people, but longer exam cycles for well-capitalized banks — you know, 18-month exam cycles, which helps cut down on compliance costs. We don’t have to deal with examiners as much; we can serve our customers. And also, the corporate tax rate being lowered from 34 percent to 21 percent saves us thousands of dollars a year to reinvest in our community and make more loans for our customers.

So, again, thank you —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Ryan.

MR. NEWBY: — for everything you guys have been doing.

THE PRESIDENT: Good job you’re doing. I’ve heard some good things. Great. Thank you very much.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: That’s great.

Drew.

MR. DEWALT: Thank you. Mr. President, it’s an honor to be here today. My grandfather was a World War Two Navy veteran and spent the rest of his career running a small business — a construction company. And so I guess you could say I followed in his footsteps.

I’m also a Navy veteran. Got into construction afterwards. I actually developed into building large infrastructure projects and then started my own small business. It’s a technology company providing technologies for construction companies to operate more efficiently.

I really think, until we started our business, Rhumbix — my co-founder is actually a Navy veteran as well.

THE PRESIDENT: Great.

MR. DEWALT: So until we started our business, nobody had built technology and software solutions for the men and women actually building construction. You don’t get it built and somebody’s hands get put on it. So that’s what our business does to really drive efficiency in the construction industry.

And through this experience, I’ve gained a great appreciation for the construction industry — all the good that it does. But, as you well know, with all of your building completed, it’s a — it can get pretty complicated, costly, and inefficient. So I love the dereg- — deregulation approach we’re taking here.

As part of my business, I get to go to construction companies — boots on the ground — across the country. And I’ve seen the drag that over- — overdue-for-a-good-look regulation has on the industry.

That being said, none of the builders that I meet with and work with have ever seen the industry booming as much as it has right now. They have the largest work backlogs that they’ve ever had. And the only thing constraining the industry right now is finding enough people to do the work.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.

MR. DEWALT: So if we can — sidebar — drive more people and encourage more people to join the trades, which is a lucrative individual business and can prop up this part of the economy, that would be welcomed.

But there’s still more issues to be solved. You know, I think — I see a lot of companies doing federal contracting work that have added costs to their business — of specific software and overhead and head count just for compliance. No other economic result on the business, other than making sure you’re compliant or you’re going to get fined later.

THE PRESIDENT: Sure. It’s too much. I agree.

MR. DEWALT: And then I see good projects getting done, and they’re still not out of risk, because — I had a contractor tell me: About six months after a job being completed, they got sued for payroll noncompliance. They had to fly somebody from the U.S. to Australia to dig through the garage of a former employee for a legal box, looking for the right paperwork to verify so they didn’t get sued.

You’ve done enough building, I’m sure you’ve been in a similar situation. It’s crazy. These inefficiencies still exist, and I think there’s just such a good opportunity.

I think what I do on the technology front is important for taking an industry that’s trying to move forward, actually to take that next step. But I think the regulation piece, candidly, is a bigger opportunity — that everybody is championing around this table — so that you can actually look for opportunities to remove duplicative regulations from the federal, state, and local level that actually drive even more efficiency. Because it’s the second-largest industry in the nation, and if you can put more juice in the tank there, you can get even better results.

And I’d love to help anyway I can, but I appreciate you inviting me here today to share my story.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Yeah, thank you very much. Good job. Good job you’re doing.

You know, we have a lot of things that we’re working on. One of them is — to build a road can take 22 years to get approvals. And we’ve got it way down now. We had — we have roads where they’ve been going for many, many — they’ve been going for decades. Elaine knows this better than anybody. And at the end of 20 years —

SECRETARY CHAO: I’m taking notes. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Right? At the end of 20 years, you’re literally — you go for a vote, and you get turned down. So they’ve been trying to get an approval for 20 years, and then they get turned down, like 3-2 or something.

And we’ve got that process down to four and a half years. It’s going to be — I think it’s going to be two years. We’re going to try and get it down to almost one year. That doesn’t mean a road or a highway doesn’t get approved. But if they don’t get approved, it goes quickly, so they get rejected quickly.

MR. DEWALT: Right.

THE PRESIDENT: But they also, mostly, will get approved quickly.

And Elaine is doing a fantastic job in bringing that down. We’ve had so many — so many examples of roads that took 17, 18, 19 years to get approved. And by the time they get approved, they cost 50 times more and they have to do all sorts of turns to get out of certain areas, from an environmental standpoint, instead of being a straight and much safer road.

So we’ve been able to do that. And I think those people in the steel industry have been greatly helped by the tariffs, because the tariffs made the steel industry — it’s incredible what’s happening — the money that is being spent on steel today. I don’t think we would have had a steel industry. If I — if I didn’t get elected, you wouldn’t have a steel industry, because, ultimately, every steel mill was closing. They were dumping steel at a level that nobody has ever seen before. And they were dumping it in order to, really, destroy our steel industry so that we had to buy from them.

And now the steel industry — if you look at what’s going on, the industry is doing incredibly well. They’re building a lot of extensions. They’re building brand-new plants where they never — you know this, Russell — they never built a new plant. I mean, they hadn’t built one in years, and now they’re building new plants all over the country. They’re expanding existing plants all over the country. And the steel industry is doing great. And it will start doing even better with what we’re doing.

So it’s been very exciting, especially since the economy is now even stronger than at the beginning.

And I think what I’d like to do is ask Larry Kudlow — the great Larry Kudlow — to say a few words. The numbers came out today — the job numbers and —

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: If I may, just based on what you just said, Dana Weber is in the steel industry —

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Let’s go. I hope you back me up.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: — and had a few things she wanted to share before —

THE PRESIDENT: I hope I get backed up here. (Laughter.)

MS. WEBER: I am absolutely going to back you up.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

MS. WEBER: I’m going to tell you that — first of all, you’re the first President in the 40 years plus I’ve been in this business that’s actually stood up for manufacturing. And I want to say thank you.

The tariffs and the trade policies that you have, have made a huge difference for us and a big difference. We are investing at record levels — we have over the last three years. We are paying profit-sharing bonuses and wage increases at record levels over the last years. And we are having companies, customers come out of the woodwork that we didn’t even know existed — coming to us because — to inquire and to buy steel from us. We made specialty steel tubing.

So you have made a tremendous difference.

THE PRESIDENT: Great, Dana. That’s great.

MS. WEBER: And that’s on top of all the tax relief and the regulatory burdens that I just want to — as I said earlier, please keep doing what you’re doing for at least five more years. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Good. We love the word, “at least,” — the words. (Laughter.) They like to hear that. Thank you, Dana.

No, it’s been a big difference in the steel indus- — and many industries. But the steel industry, in particular, was — we weren’t going to have a steel industry. And that’s so unacceptable, even from a defense standpoint. I mean, can you imagine if we have to — if we need — if we need steel and we have to go to another country to get steel? And that was what was happening. Everything was closing down — and very unfairly and done with purpose. I mean, these people were coming in with a purpose — a negative purpose.

So they’re not too happy, but our people are very happy. And the industry is doing fantastically well. It will soon be at numbers that will be almost like the old days and maybe like the old days.

Larry Kudlow, you also had good manufacturing numbers today. I noticed 50,000 jobs or something created over a short period of time. And the previous administration said — manufacturing — “you’d need the magic wand.” You know, we’ve all heard the statement. But they basically said it was a dead business, when in fact it’s one of the most important sets of jobs I think you can have anywhere.

Could you give a little discussion as to what took place today when they announced the numbers early in the morning?

Mr. KUDLOW: I would be happy to. Thank you, sir. By the way, you’re right; we’re still running over 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. So that’s a big plus.

Just a couple of quick ones: The report today was plus-266,000 jobs for the month of November, but the prior two months were revised higher by 41,000. So actually, today’s number is 307,000. After you and I spoke last night, I went back and crosschecked. And sure enough, this is the fourth-straight month of upward revisions from the prior period. And that’s a leading indicator of a strong economy.

A couple of other quickies on this: 3.5 percent unemployment rate; that’s near the 50-year low. Since you’ve been President, the average working family — right? — husband, wife, two kids — after inflation, after taxes, has gone up $5,000. That’s take-home pay — $5,000. The prior two administrations were basically flat.

And then, part of this worker boom — this American worker boom theme — so since you’ve been President, the production workers are increasing their wages at a 3.7 percent annual rate. Okay? Production workers: 3.7 percent annual increase. Their managers’ wages are rising 1.6.

So, the folks on the line — the folks wearing the blue collars or whatever, the folks getting their hands dirty — they are working so well, their wage gains are almost twice the gains of their own managers. You know what? I’ve never seen it before and, as you know, I’ve been around three or four centuries. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Great job. You did great this morning, too.

MR. KUDLOW: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: A lot of shows, and really did fantastic. Well, they’re easy numbers really to work with, aren’t they? Those numbers were great.

MR. KUDLOW: It’s a sunny day, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. No, it’s very good. Really, very good.

Elaine, maybe you want to discuss a little bit about transportation and, in particular, the highway and the building of the highways and the roads and everything that we’re working on so hard?

SECRETARY CHAO: Well, this is a President that really cares about the condition of our infrastructure. And we continue to want to work with the Congress on a bipartisan basis. You’ve always said that.

As a down payment to the President’s proposal — infrastructure — the Department spends about $70 billion every single year to address, to refurbish, rehabilitate bridges, roads, highways. And so we remain very focused on our goal, as the President has wanted. He has also asked us to look at the permitting process and how important that is to, I know, several of you around this table and others, of course, who are in this business.

So, he’s been a very strict taskmaster. He has asked that for every two new — every one new regulation, we’ve got to withdraw at least two. And I think the whole administration has done much better. Brooke mentioned that, for every one new regulation, about 7.5 — seven and a half regulations have been withdrawn. So, this is a tremendous, you know, lifting of the burden on people’s backs — small businesses in particular.

And I want also want to mention one other thing the President mentioned about the Safe Vehicle Act. You know, when we have — we all care about the environment, but when cars cost too much people, don’t trade in their cars. And when that happens and people keep older cars, that’s actually unsafe.

So our new fuel economy standard will be one of this administration’s biggest legacies, in terms of a deregulatory action. And it’s going to introduce and improve safety on top of that, because also cars that are too light are not safe.

So, Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: And you’re working on — yeah.

SECRETARY CHAO: — you’ve also led the way on that.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And you’re working on air traffic control?

SECRETARY CHAO: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And that’s something that, to me, is very important — because we have a system that’s obsolete. It’s ridiculous. It’s a ground-based system, which nobody can even imagine because that’s a 40-year-old system. They’ve spent billions and billions and billions of dollars over the years trying to upgrade it when you can buy a new system — brand-new, with the top of the line. There are basically four companies that are in that business. But you can buy a new system for less money than it costs to renovate little pieces of this old, obsolete system.

I’ve been in planes where the pilots don’t even want to use our system. They use another country’s system to land in New York City or to land in other parts of the country, like Oklahoma. (Laughter.) But they’ll use somebody else’s — they’ll use somebody else’s system. Air traffic control — it’s obsolete, and we’re working on a project where we make a deal to get a great system. And we’ll — hopefully, we can meet on that soon. Maybe with your people we’ll talk about it, okay?

SECRETARY CHAO: May I ask —

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.

SECRETARY CHAO: I have one more thing. The Vice President and you are both here. You have a tremendous interest in commercial space. And six years ago, the U.S. was way behind all other countries. In the last three — two and a half years, under your leadership and the Vice President’s leadership of the Space Council, America is once again number one in commercial space launches.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Number one. Number one by far. So, we’ve done very well with space.

Gene Scalia, you’ve done a good job in that first short period of time. Right? Secretary of Labor. You want to just say what’s going on? I know you called me this morning to say how great the numbers are.

SECRETARY SCALIA: Yeah. I called you this morning. I’ve been in this job two months. I mean, it’s such a treat to be able to report these numbers —

THE PRESIDENT: What a job — what a job he’s done. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY SCALIA: Four hundred and twenty-two thousand jobs in the two months that I’ve been in the position. And I get to talk to the American people about these results.

And, you know, this is cause and effect, right? It’s cause and effect. The effect is unprecedented numbers. They’re spectacular. And wages. I mean, that’s so important. And wages at the lower level are going up more, as Larry was saying.

And the effect and the cause, we know what it is. Right? It’s what we’re here talking about. It’s the tax cuts. It’s the deregulation. And so it’s cause and effect.

And I bet you, if we went around the table, apart from wanting to deal with regulations, and keep at that — right? — apart from that, I bet that one of the biggest things on these folks’ minds right now is finding workers. That’s a challenge to small business. That’s how strong our economy is. When you talk to business people, one of the biggest worries they have is finding workers.

And so, we heard — Michael was talking a little about helping with reentry. Barb, you were talking about apprenticeships. Those are things that, Mr. President, you’re focusing on, and the Vice President, too. So we’re addressing that, but I mention it just to show how strong the economy is right now. And you know — and again, that’s the effect of the things that you’ve been causing through these policies.

THE PRESIDENT: Great job. Great job.

So thank you very much, everybody. Very successful period of time for our country. The most successful probably in the history of our country. We’ve never done anything like that. We’ve never had these unemployment numbers or employment numbers. And we’re very happy about it. A lot of hard work.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, what can you tell us about the shooter in the Pensacola incident?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s all being studied now. We’ll have a full report on it very shortly.

Q Is this — could this be considered a terrorism act?

THE PRESIDENT: We’re not going to report on that yet, but we’ll be talking about it very soon. It could — we have a lot of great people looking at it and interviewing people in depth. And it’ll be a report, and the report will come out very soon.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.

Q How do you plan to respond to Jerry Nadler’s invitation? Jerry Nadler’s invitation?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

Q What’s your thinking about the tariffs, Mr. President?

Q (Inaudible) five o’clock? Five o’clock?

THE PRESIDENT: Could be. Could be.

Q Jerry Nadler’s invitation?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

END 2:56 P.M. EST

NEC Director Larry Kudlow: “President Trump Has Restructured The U.S. Economy” – Main Street USA is Back On Top…


National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow appears on Fox Business news to discuss the November jobs report, economic growth and the China trade discussions.

Kudlow highlights the primary point that President Trump has reestablished Main Street USA as the primary focus of policy.  U.S. companies invested in the U.S. economy are doing exceptionally well and receiving the majority benefit.  U.S. multinational companies who are invested overseas are not benefiting as much.  Wall St -vs- Main Street.

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Director Kudlow is correct, if the House can ratify the USMCA trade deal, North America will see a massive influx of investment.

In essence Titan Trump is winning the economic battle by: (a) repatriating wealth (trade policy); (b) blocking exfiltration (main street policy); (c) creating new and modern economic alliances based on reciprocity (bilateral deals); and (d) dismantling the post WWII Marshal plan of global trade and one-way tariffs (de-globalization).