MAGAnomics – Despite Doom and Gloom Tariff Predictions Inflation Remains Low…


The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest consumer price information today which shows overall low inflation at 1.6 percent (with energy price deflation, and flat food prices).

Excluding food and energy costs the total CPI remains low at 2.2%.   This low inflation is the exact opposite of what financial media were predicting when President Trump began the series of import tariffs in 2017, which continued throughout last year.

(data link)

When President Trump began the tariffs against global Steel and Aluminum imports; and when President Trump began the first set of tariffs against Chinese imports; almost all financial media went into fits of apoplexy claiming we would see massive increases in prices.   Reality shows their doomsday predictions were completely over-hyped.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross using a can of Campbells soup to deconstruct the ridiculous predictions of a massive price increases over tariffs.

Back in 2015 and 2016 CTH outlined the potential if Candidate Trump could initiate his economic program; we now call that MAGAnomics:

No other economy in the world innovates like the U.S.A, Trump sees this as a key advantage across all industry – including manufacturing.  The benefit of cheap overseas labor, which is considered a global market disadvantage for the U.S., is offset by utilizing innovation and energy independence.

The third highest variable cost of goods beyond raw materials first, labor second, is energy. If the U.S. energy sector is unleashed -and fully developed- the manufacturing price of any given product will allow for global trade competition even with higher U.S. wage prices. (more)

What we are seeing in 2019 are the benefits of that exact program Donald Trump was campaigning with.

Real earnings are rising at a much more rapid rate than inflation, which means more spending money in the hands of American workers.  Additionally, it is the foreign manufacturers, and multinational corporations, who are absorbing the costs from U.S. tariffs while the U.S. manufacturing base is reestablished.

This inflation data follows on the heels of the BLS latest numbers showing significant decreases in trade deficits in November 2018.

The U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased in November 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The deficit decreased from $55.7 billion in October to $49.3 billion in November, as imports decreased more than exports.

The previously published October deficit was $55.5 billion.

The goods deficit decreased $6.7 billion in November to $71.6 billion. The services surplus decreased $0.3 billion in November to $22.3 billion.  (read more)

This is important data because the import values are deducted from our economy when calculations of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are announced.   Lower imports means higher GDP growth rates.  [The fourth quarter GDP figures are not out yet]

Inflation is low; wages are up; workers have more disposable income in their pockets.

Add that to lower import purchases during the holidays when shopping was high and you get lower overall durable good inventory…. Which means more manufacturing demand to fulfill orders….. Which means the U.S. economy is simultaneously self-sustaining and expanding.

The MAGAnomic plan is working.

U.S. Trade Delegation Likely to Meet Chairman Xi Jinping Friday….


Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer are currently leading another round of trade negotiations in China.  Recent reporting indicates the U.S. team will meet with Chairman Xi Jinping at the conclusion of this round of discussions.

At the conclusion of the previous round of discussions in Washington DC, President Trump invited the Chinese delegation to the Oval Office. The surface panda-face diplomacy appears to be based on reciprocity; however, there is no indication President Trump and Chairman Xi are making any efforts for a meeting.

BEIJING – China’s President Xi Jinping “is scheduled to meet” key members of the US trade talks delegation, including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in Beijing on Friday, according to sources close to the matter.

“Xi is scheduled to meet both Lighthizer and Mnuchin on Friday,” one source briefed on the arrangements told the South China Morning Post.

A second source said Xi was expected to meet the US delegation in Beijing this week, although the specific time had not been confirmed.

In addition, a banquet would be hosted for the US delegation in “a Chinese cuisine restaurant” in downtown Beijing later this week, with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He expected to toast the US delegates, the first source added.

[…] Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he would consider pushing back the March 1 deadline for trade negotiations with China if both sides were close to making a deal.

He said he could see himself “letting that slide for a little while”, referring to the looming deadline, at which point US tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase from 10 to 25 per cent.  “But generally speaking, I’m not inclined to do that,” he added.  (read more)

 

Pictures of the Day….


 

President Trump Delivers Oval Office Remarks Before Bilateral Meeting With President Duque…


President Trump delivers remarks from the oval office while introducing Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez.  The primary topic between the two leaders is the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.  President Trump praised interim Venezuelan president Juan Guaidó for being “brave”, and answered a variety of media questions.  [Video and transcript]:

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[Transcript] Oval Office – PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to be with President Duque of Colombia. We’ve been working very closely. And it’s so nice to meet your wife, First Lady. And you have a brilliant reputation. And thank you for coming. We very much appreciate it. I think, Melania, you’re both going to have lunch afterwards and get to know each other.

MRS. RUIZ: We are. And I’m sure we’re going to enjoy it.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I know you’re going to enjoy it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

We’re working on many things together: the eradication of drugs in Colombia and outside of Colombia; and obviously, Venezuela and the military. So many different elements including trade. But I think, today, a lot of it will be devoted to discussing Venezuela and what’s happening in Venezuela. We have a very close picture. It’s in turmoil right now. People are being treated very badly. And it’s a very sad thing to witness, especially since we’re so close.

We fight all over the world, and then you look at what happens right at our front door. So I don’t like seeing it; I’m not happy about it. Let’s see how it all ends up.

But the President has been very helpful. A lot of people from Venezuela have gone to Colombia and you’re treating them well. We’re sending a lot of supplies because, in many cases, these people are starving or close to starving. And the people within Venezuela themselves are, in many cases — I mean, they’re in bad shape. They’re very hungry. I’ve seen what’s going on and they’re very hungry.

So I just want to thank the President for working with us. And we’re working together. Our militaries are very focused and working together. And let’s see how it all turns out. We’re going to make things turn out well. That’s what we do. We make things work.

So thank you very much for being here with us.

PRESIDENT DUQUE: Thank you so much, Mr. President. And I would also like to, first of all, express our gratitude for being here. The U.S. and Colombia have been long-term friends and we have received a lot of support from your administration in the tasks that we have before us: to fight drugs, to fight terrorism, to promote economic growth, and obviously, to strengthen trade.

But there’s something very important to highlight today, and is that we share values on democracy. And we want to work together to put an end to the brutal dictatorship that has been affecting the Venezuelan people. I am very happy that the diplomatic blockade is working like no time before it, and I think the days for this dictatorship are about to end. We have to continue working in those lines.

So thank you, Mr. President, for hosting us. Thank you, Madam First Lady, for inviting us to your house. And I’m very pleased that we will continue strengthening the relationship between Colombia and the U.S.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I appreciate it. Thank you.

One thing I might add: We have tremendous support — Colombia — but we have tremendous support all over South America, all over the world, really. We have a tremendous number of countries, not only that have joined, but want to do whatever they can do to help with the situation in Venezuela. So we’ll be seeing a lot over the next few weeks. Let’s see what happens. Okay?

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Q How much longer is the United States will be able to tolerate the presence of Nicolas Maduro in the Palacio de Miraflores?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right, yeah. Sure.

Q Because currently there is a new president that you recognized as official president. But he’s living in Miraflores. How much longer will you —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I have great respect for the man that most people — many people think is the real President of Venezuela. He’s very brave. It’s a very brave situation what’s he doing, as you know. I’ve seen what’s happened in the streets and I’ve seen what’s happened with executions, so I really give him a lot of credit. And I think it’s going to work out very well.

Q Do you still consider any military solution for Venezuela?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think there are a number of solutions, a number of different options. And we look at all options.

Q And are you thinking sending troops to Colombia, like —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I never talk about that.

PRESIDENT DUQUE: Let me add something on the first question that was raised by Vanessa.

President Guaidó, who is the person about to lead this transition in Venezuela, has a strong support. And we need to give him even stronger support. I think what happened with the EU has been very important. We will host the Lima Group next week in Bogotá, and we will — all the countries in the hemisphere — give him the stronger support he needs to lead the transition in Venezuela.

Q President Trump, if President Maduro stays in power, do you have a plan B?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I always have plan B — and C, and D, and E, and F. I have great flexibility. I probably have more flexibility than any man that’s ever been in this office. So we’ll see. But there are many plans, and we’ll see where we go.

Right now, we’re in an incredible period. I saw the tremendous numbers of people yesterday. You know, you’re talking about during the week, just these were just numbers that you rarely see anything like it — the protests.

So we’ll see what happens. A lot of things are happening in Venezuela that people don’t know about. And there’s a lot of support for what we’re doing and for the people that we’re talking to. A lot of support. Tremendous support.

Q (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: What?

Go ahead.

Q (Inaudible) aid at the border now with Venezuela, what is the plan? How is it going to get into the country?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, they have to be able to let the food in. And, in many cases, it’s getting in. They blocked one of the bridges, but they haven’t been able to block the others. They’d like to try. I think he’s making a terrible mistake by not allowing that to happen. It’s showing bad things.

And, really, we’re trying to get food to people that are starving. You have people starving in Venezuela, and it just shows what can happen with the wrong government. You have the wrong government; bad things happen. But you have many, many people that are in, really, trouble for just hunger.

And so we are delivering, and we’re sending tremendous amounts of food and other things — supplies.

PRESIDENT DUQUE: Mr. President, if I may add to that, I think we have to give a very strong message to the dictatorship: Obstructing the access of humanitarian aid is a crime against humanity. And we have to ensure that the humanitarian aid gets to the Venezuelan people. And Colombia is highly committed to receive humanitarian aid from the U.S. and other countries so that it can access Venezuela and help the Venezuelan people face (inaudible).

Q Mr. President, the congressional legislation, will you sign it? On the border —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we haven’t gotten it yet. We’ll be getting it. We’ll be looking for landmines — because you could have that, you know. It’s been known to happen before to people. But we have not gotten it yet. It’ll be sent to us at some point, and we’ll take a very serious look at it.

We have a lot of things happening right now. We’re building a lot of wall right now, with money that we already have. And when people see what we’re doing, I think they’ll be very surprised. We’re doing a lot of work, and we have planned to do a lot of work, but I have not seen it yet.

I appreciate all the work the Republicans have done, because they’re really going against a radical left. It’s a radical left. And they’re going against it very hard and they’re fighting. But we’re in very good shape. And we’re going to take a look at it when it comes.

I don’t want to see a shutdown. A shutdown would be a terrible thing. I think a point was made with the last shutdown; people realized how bad the border is, how unsafe the border is. And I think a lot of good points were made. But I don’t want to see another one. There’s no reason for it.

And we’re going to look at the legislation when it comes, and I’ll make a determination then.

Q (Inaudible) this time, and what was on the table a few months ago?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Actually, it will be — regardless of what I do — you know, we already have, as you know, a lot of money where we’re building existing wall with the existing funds. But I have a lot of options — just like we do with Venezuela, we have on the border. And we have a lot of options, and a lot of things are happening. Very positive things.

You know, the numbers are almost $23 billion, which you don’t report too often. It’s about an 8 percent increase over last year. So if you look at the total funding, it’s over — it’s almost up to $23 billion. It’s about 8 percent higher.

The border area is happening. It’s going to happen at a really rapid pace. We’re giving out contracts right now. And we’re going to have a great wall. It’s going to be a great, powerful wall. People will not be able to get through that wall very easily. And I think you see that. I think you see it happening. It’s very important.

It’ll also have technology. It’ll have drones. It’ll have everything else we have. If you look at the other elements — ICE funding will be complete. We have other things happening, which people aren’t talking about. But we’ve got a lot of funds for a lot of other things.

But, with the wall, they want to be stingy. But we have options that most people don’t really understand.

Q Mr. President, are you considering sending 5,000 troops to Colombia?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You’ll see. You’ll see.

Q And would you be willing to go for the —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You’ll see.

Go ahead, any other questions?

Q (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Say it?

Q (Inaudible) trips in the past. When are you visiting Colombia? Because you’ve cancelled —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ll be visiting. I really want to. I want to visit Colombia. I look forward to visiting.

PRESIDENT DUQUE: We’re inviting you (inaudible) this year, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re working very, very closely on the drug situation.

Q Mr. President, would you consider an amnesty to Maduro? For Maduro?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s something we haven’t thought of. Something we haven’t thought of.

Q Your thoughts on Ted Cruz’s proposal to use El Chapo money to pay for the wall?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s always interesting. (Laughter.) Anything Ted does is interesting. So, that’s certainly an interesting one.

Q Mr. President, (inaudible) Colombia’s drug policy?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah. We’re working together so that Colombia eradicates some of what they’re growing in Colombia. I wouldn’t say that, at this moment, you’re ahead of schedule. But hopefully you will be at — sometime in the near future.

PRESIDENT DUQUE: But let me mention something to that question, Mr. President. In the first four months of our administration, we have eradicated 60,000 hectares — more than was eradicated in the previous eight months. We have a goal — and we will commit to that goal — because it is our moral duty to have Colombia free of illegal crops and free of narco-trafficking.

We have to deliver. We will deliver because it is our moral duty.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I just want to say before you leave: The economy is doing incredibly well. Numbers are really high, really good.

We have a big team of people — very talented people — over in China right now negotiating on the China deal. It’s going along very well. We’ll see what happens, but I think it’s going along very well. They’re showing us tremendous respect and — something which a lot of countries didn’t used to show the United States. They’re showing us respect now. Big difference from the old days, I will tell you that.

So the deal with China is going very well. The economy is doing fantastically. You saw the Gallup poll that came out: Sixty-nine percent or so say they’re going to be in better shape next year than even this year. And they’re very happy right now. And that’s the best numbers they’ve had in 16 or 17 years. But the economy is strong. We have a lot of companies coming into the United States. They want to come into the United States. So we have a lot of good things happening. And the wall is being built as we speak.

Thank you all very much.

[Transcript end]

RECAP:

President Trump and First Lady Melania Welcome Colombia President Iván Duque Márquez and First Lady Ruiz Sandoval…


Earlier today U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed Colombia President Iván Duque Márquez and First Lady Ruiz Sandoval to the White House for an official state visit.

The continuing crisis in neighboring Venezuela was the primary focus for both presidents during the visit.

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Bill O’Reilly on Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’


Published on Feb 8, 2019

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Bill O’Reilly on The Glenn Beck Show (2/8/2019) – 10 Insightful Books to Help You Understand What President Trump Is Actually up Against: https://goo.gl/62ewbj 📲 Sponsor me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ConservativeC…

If Pelosi Beats Trump on Border Wall Funding, How Can He Win Anything?


Published on Feb 13, 2019

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If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi beats President Trump on the border wall funding debate, how will Trump win anything from now until the midterms? Can Conservatives still stick with the guy whose main campaign promise was to build the wall? Right Angle — with Scott Ott, Bill Whittle and Stephen Green — is a production of the Members at http://BillWhittle.com

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Promises Vote on Green New Deal….


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that he will move forward on a plan to allow a senate vote on the far-left platform called “The Green New Deal”.

Now, McConnell obviously doesn’t support the GND because: (a) his benefactor, Tom Donohue, doesn’t want anything to do with it; and (b) the entire premise behind it is stunningly stupid.  As such, those who don’t fully understand how McConnell operates think that McConnell is toying with the Democrats and forcing them to take a position of support that is toxic to their interests…. But that’s not Mitch.  Beware.

Yes, McConnell knows the Green New Deal is toxic to the central political aspirations of the Democrats amid his chamber; and he knows many of the 2020 candidates would be forced to put-up their support, or shut-up their moonbat-wing.  However, that’s not his motive for supporting a vote.  The UniParty Mitch-move is to remove the sword of Damocles the GND represents from his UniParty alliance (both Democrats and Republicans).

McConnell absorbs all power. McConnell views himself as more powerful than all other political elements within Washington DC, including the office of the president. McConnell is the self-annointed emperor of the dark swamp forces.  To understand McConnell you have to reset traditional reference points.

It is precisely because the Green New Deal is politically toxic to the 2020 presidential race that Mitch McConnell will make a move to remove the political risk represented by the GND and again position himself as gatekeeper to the center of all power.

Mitch will remove the sword of Damocles from the 2020 politicians, protect the viability of any opponent to Trump, and simultaneously remove a very sharp arrow from the quiver of republican politicians in the 2020 campaign.  Mitch isn’t hurting democrats by announcing support for a vote; he is actually helping them.

That my friends, is how Mitch McConnell works.

By removing the threat represented by the GND, McConnell removes an attack weapon from his real adversary, Donald J Trump.  That’s Mitch…. That’s how Mitch operates… That’s the Decepticon DNA carried by McConnell that only close political followers can see.

Giving democrats an opportunity to vote against the silly GND is a way for McConnell to remain the almighty center of power and control.  If he didn’t take that approach, the weapon would be available for any exploitation.

That’s Mitch McConnell.

Now here’s the pantomime….

WASHINGTON – The Senate will hold a vote on the Green New Deal, an environmental and energy plan touted by progressives, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday.

McConnell told reporters after a meeting of the Senate Republican caucus that he has “great interest” in the plan, which would spell an end for coal, a key economic driver in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, while promising new jobs for out-of-work miners and other workers.

“We’ll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” McConnell said.

McConnell did not say when the vote would happen. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said the vote has not been scheduled.

[…] The deal has no chance of passing the Senate, where it will need 51 votes and faces united opposition from Republicans, who hold 53 of the chamber’s 100 seats.

But it will force Senate Democrats, including a slew of 2020 presidential candidates, to vote on the proposal — potentially providing votes for McConnell and the GOP to exploit politically.

“It’s astonishing to see this many presidential candidates moving so far to the left on a position that is going to raise energy costs for families, hurt jobs in America and really provide almost a government takeover of many of the industries in our country,” said Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and a member of GOP leadership. (read more)

Once you see the strings on the McConnell marionettes you can never go back to a time where you didn’t notice them.

…”Hey, Nancy would appreciate a little help with the AOC issue; do you think it would be possible for us to schedule-in a little sharp elbow room for her”?…

President Trump Remarks During Open Press Cabinet Meeting – Video and Transcript…


President Donald Trump again permits U.S. media to review the content of a cabinet meeting covering the majority of current national issues.  Most transparent administration in history.  [Full video and transcript]

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[Transcript] 11:54 A.M. EST – THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Thank you. Hi, Steve. So, maybe we can begin. I’ll ask Secretary Wilkie to say grace, please.

SECRETARY WILKIE: (Gives a prayer.)

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

Thank you all for being here. Before we begin, we’re thinking about certain things that we’re just starting to look at. David Bernhardt is, as you know, going through the process — becoming Secretary of Interior, from Acting. He’s done a fantastic job. And I think it will continue, and we look forward to that.

We’re thinking about doing, on the 4th of July or thereabouts, a parade. A “Salute to America” parade. It will be a — really, a gathering, as opposed to a parade, I’d guess you’d have to say. Perhaps at the Lincoln Memorial. We’re looking at sites. But we’re thinking about doing something, which would become, perhaps, a tradition. “Salute to America” on July 4th or July 4th weekend. Somewhere around that area.

And, David, you’re taking charge of that and you’ll see how it works out with schedules and everything else. And I think it could be a very exciting day. And the fireworks is there anyway, so we just saved on fireworks. We get free fireworks because it’s already being done. (Laughter.) So, that’s very good.

So, good morning and welcome to our Cabinet meeting. As I said in my State of the Union Address, I’m eager to work with both parties to deliver for all Americans. That’s what we have to start doing. There’s tremendous and quite unusual attitude on the other side. There’s a lot of anger. And they’re slipping extremely far left. And we don’t want that to happen to our country. So we’re working very hard with the other side, and hopefully positive things can take place.

Since the election, we’ve created 5.3 million jobs, including more than 300,000 last month alone. Blue-collar jobs have grown at their fastest pace in more than 30 years. And we’ve added half a million manufacturing jobs. That number is going to very soon be 600,009 because of certain things that are happening. And economic growth has nearly doubled since I took office.

We have a big team over in China right now, and they’re working very hard, dealing with the Chinese. We want very much to make a deal. We’ll see what happens. But the tariffs are bringing a tremendous amount of money to our Treasury. And as you read, of the 21 points — and actually, the number would be 25 now, on the areas that are taxed at 25. China is paying for 21, and we’re paying for 4. So that’s pretty good.

But we’re bringing billions and billions of dollars into our Treasury right now. We’ll see what happens, but they very much want to make a deal. Their economy has been hurt by the tariffs. And our economy is thriving like, really, never before. I mean, we’re doing incredibly well.

We have a lot of companies going to be announcing. They’ve already announced, in some cases — and in many cases, they have announced — they’re moving back into the country. They want to be a part of the United States. It’s like a miracle in the United States, what’s happening. But we have a lot of companies that have left. In many cases, they left our country and they’re moving back. And that means a lot of jobs.

Speaking of jobs, we have to have more people coming into our country because our real number is about 3.6, 3.7. It took a little blip up during the shutdown and went up to 4. And 4 — any country would take a 4. But we’re about 3.7; probably going lower. We need people. So we want to have people come into our country, but we want to have them come in through a merit system, and we want to have them come in legally. And that’s going to be happening. We’re doing very well in that regard.

But we have tremendous numbers of companies. And you’ve been reporting on them. A lot of car companies are coming back to the United States.

We want to keep the job boom going strong, and we must protect our economy. And we have to protect it from any attempts to impose socialism. Socialism does not work too well. And we don’t want that as part of our country and as part of our heritage. We just can’t have it. Everything would come to an end — and rapidly. And then, all of a sudden, you’d see things happening and you’d say, “What’s going on? Whatever happened?”

But we’re at a high point today, and we’re going to go a lot higher. We have a long way to go, frankly, as far as I’m concerned — especially where we make the good trade deals and make the good military deals.

As an example, as you know, South Korea — we defend them and lose a tremendous amount of money. Billions of dollars a year defending them. They agreed, at my request. And working with Secretary Pompeo and John Bolton, they agreed to pay, yesterday, $500 million more toward their defense. Five-hundred million, with a couple of phone calls. I said, “Why didn’t you do this before?” They said, “Nobody asked.” So — it’s got to go up. It’s got to go up.

Right now, it costs us $5 billion a year to defend. As an example, South Korea — we have a great relationship, and with President Moon. And we’re doing great things. And North Korea is coming along. South Korea is just an example. But South Korea is costing us $5 billion a year. And they pay — they were paying about $500 million for $5 billion worth of protection. And we have to do better than that. So they’ve agreed to pay $500 million more. And over the years, it will start going up, and they will be terrific. And they’ve been very good.

We’ve had a really strong — we made a new trade deal with South Korea. And the same thing will go with Japan. And the same thing will go with Saudi Arabia and many others. I mean, we protect Saudi Arabia. They’ve got nothing but cash. And we protect them with great subsidy. We give Saudi Arabia subsidy. Should be the other way around, as far as I’m concerned, right?

So a lot of things are happening. And all of this endures to the strength of our country and to our economy. And so we’re looking forward to seeing that.

The Mexico deal — as you know, Mexico/Canada trade deal, the USMCA is a tremendous deal. But one of the things — because NAFTA was one of the worst deals in the history of this country ever signed. It cleaned out our jobs and our company. It was just a terrible, terrible thing that we signed NAFTA.

So this is the NAFTA replacement. It has nothing to do with NAFTA. And one of the things that make it very hard — it’s very hard for a company, financially, to leave our country, under the USMCA. Very, very prohibitive to leave. And that was the thing I wanted more than any other element. I said, “I don’t want these companies going and leaving, and going to Mexico and Canada.” They’ve got their own companies. I don’t want to do that. We lost tremendous — we lost 25 percent of our automobile industry to Mexico. We lost 30 percent to a combination of both Canada and Mexico.

So that’s wielding its way through, and I guess it’s hitting Congress very shortly, and we’ll see how that does. But that’s a great deal. And it’s a very labor-friendly deal. It’s a deal that the workers of our country will love.

One in three women, as you know, are sexually assaulted on the long journey north. We want to stop that. We want to stop those journeys. The way you do that is with barrier security, a wall. And we’re making a lot of progress. In fact, I noticed yesterday, when I got to El Paso, they had signs, “Finish the Wall,” instead of “Build the Wall.” Because we’re doing a lot of wall right now. Just started a big portion of the wall in the Rio Grande Valley, which is now the biggest area for people coming in. We’ve sealed up a lot of the areas where people come in.

But they’re looking for the soft spots, and they come up in a caravan and they look for the areas without any barrier. And that’s why they like to come in. And we grab them, and it’s a very tough situation.

We could save billions and billions of dollars in cost and hundreds of billions of dollars in drugs and what they’re doing to us with drugs. And so much of it comes through. And don’t believe people when they say it all comes through the portals; it doesn’t — the ports of entry. It comes through — the big loads come through the border, where you don’t have wall, where they can drive a truck, a big truck, loaded up with drugs or loaded up with this thing called a “human cargo.” Human cargo. These are traffickers. These are the worst people on Earth. And they don’t come through the ports of entry with people in the back of a car tied up. Could never do that. They come through areas where there’s no barrier.

So we’ll see what happens. I got reports last night, when I was going out to speak. We had, by the way, a massive crowd. And my competitor had very few people, but the press didn’t report it that way. The press reported it like two speeches. We had a competitor that decided to challenge me with the crowds. And he failed very badly. From what I hear, he had less than a thousand people. And we had a packed arena, and we had probably 25,000 people outside of the arena. It was an incredible night in Texas, I can tell you that. It was really amazing.

But as I’m going on stage to speak, they’re telling me about the committee came out with a deal. And, you know, they went over it very briefly. Then I went over it briefly last night, but it was 3 o’clock in the morning. And I can’t say I’m happy. I can’t say I’m thrilled. But the wall is getting built, regardless. It doesn’t matter. Because we’re doing other things beyond what we’re talking about here. So we’ll see what happens.

We’re having a meeting on it later. It’s really obstruction. The Democrats want everybody to be able to come into our country. We have many criminals. When you look at the numbers of criminals that are nabbed — I mean, I’m looking at numbers that are incredible. This card was just given to me by Secretary Nielsen. And — assaults: 99,000 assaults. Larceny: 40,000. Burglary: 25,000. Fraudulent activities: 25,000. Damage and stolen property: 17,000. Sex offenses: 13,552. Sexual assaults: 10,468. That’s sexual assaults on people that live in our country by people that are coming illegally across our borders. In many cases, people that have come before I became — before I became President.

What happens is we are working very hard. We’re getting rid of tremendous numbers of MS-13. And the Democrats don’t like us to get rid of MS-13. Now, you figure that one out. These are violent people, and they don’t like us to get rid of MS-13.

So, robberies: 11,177. Kidnappings: 4,112. Murders: 3,914. Okay? So these are people that ICE is dealing with, and nobody can deal with them more effectively. There’s probably no group in this country that does so much and gets, really, so little respect or love as ICE. It’s really a terrible thing. They’re doing an incredible job.

One other thing I might want to say is that anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress. And Congressman Omar is terrible, what she said. And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. What she said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology — and that’s what it was; it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it — was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress, frankly. But at a minimum, she shouldn’t be on committees, and certainly that committee.

And with that, we’re going to have a meeting. Our Cabinet is doing really well. I’ll tell you, we’re doing great. Our country is doing great. The stock market is up tremendously today. Of course, I haven’t seen it in 15 minutes, so, you know, anything is — Larry Kudlow, anything is subject to change, right? But so far, so good. And we’re hitting new records with growth. We’re hitting new records with the economy. We’ve hit many new records on unemployment.

More people working today in the United States than at any time in the history of our country. We’re getting very close to 160 million people. And we’ve never had anything like that, which tells you that we have to have people come into our country — great people, from the areas that we’re talking about. But we want them to be productive, and they — we want people that are going to love our country and help our country.

So I want to thank our Cabinet. The Cabinet is doing a fantastic job. Really, unsung job. Because members of this Cabinet, there are those people that say this is one of the best Cabinets this country has ever had. I happen to agree. I happen to agree. We have great, great people in our Cabinet. And I want to thank you all very much for doing a fantastic job. Thank you very much.

And, Matt, I guess, maybe at some point there will be a vote, and —

ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL WHITAKER: Thursday, we hear. Thursday we are.

THE PRESIDENT: — maybe at some point you won’t be doing what you’re doing. Come here. I think you’ve done — you’ve taken a tremendous amount of abuse. You handled yourself incredibly last Friday. But on behalf of all of us, I want to thank you very much. Matt Whitaker. (Applause.)

It’s heartfelt, too — believe me.

Okay, thank you all very much.

Q Sir, will you sign Congress’s border deal?

THE PRESIDENT: I have to study it. I’m not happy about it. It’s not doing the trick. But I’m adding things to it. And when you add whatever I have to add, it’s all going to happen where we’re going to build a beautiful, big, strong wall that’s not going to let criminals and traffickers and drug dealers and drugs into our country. It’s very simple. It’s very simple.

We’re building a wall. And now I’m saying we’re finishing the wall. We just started a big, big section on the Rio Grande. You probably saw it. Some of you were there when they started. You went there; you didn’t believe it. You went there, and you see trucks all over the place. You said, “Hey, he’s not kidding.” I don’t kid. I never kid about construction. I love construction. (Laughter.) And I know how to do it for the right price. And we’re getting a beautiful-looking structure that’s also less expensive to build and works much better. That’s a good combination of events, because it was crazy what they were putting up.

In fact, I happen to think that the walls that they were building were so unattractive and so ugly that walls got bad names. Okay? If that means anything. But they were so ugly, with rusted steel and big ugly plates on top that were all tin-canned. It’s called tin-canned, where they’re wavy, because the heat makes them expand and contract, and they’re tin-canned.

I said, “Why didn’t you paint the steel?” “Well, sir, we save money by not painting.” And I said, “Yeah, but it’s going to rust. You have to paint.” I’ve never seen — I’ve ordered a lot of steel — I’ve never seen, in my whole life, steel come to me that was unpainted. This can only happen at the border. It wasn’t me; it was our past geniuses.

So, I can tell you that, am I happy at first glance? I just got to see it. The answer is no, I’m not. I’m not happy. But am I happy with where we’re going? I’m thrilled because we’re supplementing things and moving things around. And we’re doing things that are fantastic and taking from far less — really, from far less important areas. And the bottom line is we’re building a lot of wall. Right now, we’re building a lot of wall.

And you think it’s easy? We’re building in the face of tremendous obstruction and tremendous opposition from a small group of people. And one thing that happened that was, I think, very revealing — we had the biggest and best border agents and experts come up and see the committee. And they said, more than anything else, “You need a barrier. You need a wall.” And the recommendation was unacceptable to the committee. So that tells you more than anything else.

Q Mr. President, are ruling out the possibility of a government shutdown?

Q Do you really want to go through another shutdown?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think you’re going to see a shutdown. I wouldn’t want to go to it, no. If you did have it, it’s the Democrats’ fault. And I accepted the first one, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished because people learned during that shutdown all about the problems coming in from the southern border. I accept — I’ve always accepted it.

But this one I would never accept if it happens, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. But this would be totally on the Democrats. Okay?

Q Mr. President, are you saying that you may amend and send back the proposed compromise, or that you may grudgingly accept it and then move forward with the executive action?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s always nice to negotiate a little bit, right? So, you know, whatever you get. But I would hope that there won’t be a shutdown. I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us. It’s sad. It’s sad. They’re doing the country no favor. They are hurting our country very badly. But we certainly don’t want to see a shutdown. But you’ll be hearing fairly soon.
The bottom line is — on the wall — we’re building the wall. And we’re using other methods, other than this and in addition to this. We have a lot of things going. We have a lot of money in this country, and we’re using some of that money — a small percentage of that money — to build the wall, which we desperately need.

Q Mr. President, do you plan to meet with President Xi at the end of March?

THE PRESIDENT: Not at this moment. We have our people over there now. I just got a report. Things are going well with China. China wants to make a deal very badly. I want it to be a real deal, not just a deal that makes — you know, cosmetically looks good for a year. We have a chance to really make a deal — a real deal with China. We’ve never been in this position before. We’ve always been the lame duck. And we’re not the lame duck anymore. And we’ve gone up tremendously in value as a country, in economic value. Tremendously.

Larry, we’ve gone up what — $11 trillion, $14 trillion? And China has gone down close to $20 trillion since we’ve started this whole —

MR. KUDLOW: Worst performing stock market in the world.

THE PRESIDENT: Say it?

MR. KUDLOW: China — worst performing stock market in the world.

THE PRESIDENT: Has anybody ever heard of Larry Kudlow? (Laughter.) That voice. I hear that voice, and you think money. Right, Larry? (Laughter.)

MR. KUDLOW: Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: So, I didn’t even know that. That’s — China, he said, has the worst performing stock market right now in the world. And we don’t want that. We want China to do — but — and that’s because of us. And we’re — have to be one of the best performing stock markets, but we are the best performing country and we have a lot of potential for further growth.

So we’re doing very well over in China. Our people are there. You know the people very well. And I think we’re going to have some good answers. I think — either way, I’m happy. I’m happy either way. I could live receiving billions and billions of dollars a month from China. China never gave us 10 cents. It was always the opposite way. Now they’re paying billions of dollars a month for the privilege of coming into the United States and, honestly, taking advantage of our country. So we’ll see how it works out.

But at some point, I expect to meet with President Xi — who I have a lot of respect for and like a lot — and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make. That’s the way deals happen.

Q Will the March 1st deadline slide, do you think?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thus far, I’ve said — as you know, the tariffs tick up for us. In other words, we take in much more money because the tariff — and there’s nothing they can do that’s comparable, so it’s not like tit for tat. The tariffs kick in; they go up.

Right now, they’re paying — they’re paying 25 percent on $50 billion. Okay? And they are paying 10 percent on $200 billion. So we have $250 billion. We have $267 billion that we were very nice about and we’re not taxing. On the $200 billion, we’re paying the 10 percent. The 10 percent on $200 billion goes up to 25 percent on March 1st. And so far, I’ve said don’t do that.

Now, if we’re close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal, and it’s going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while. But generally speaking, I’m not inclined to do that. Okay?

Q If Congress sends you a deal that you disagree with, would you consider declaring a national emergency to build the wall?

THE PRESIDENT: I consider everything. I’m considering everything. You know, we already have national emergencies out there. You know, President Obama, President Clinton, President Bush — they’ve declared many national — this is not unique. They’ve declared many national emergencies. Many, many. And you have some out there that we can use in addition to one that we can declare if we want to do it.

Thank you very much everybody. Thank you. Thank you.

Q Sir, were you aware that AMI was investigating Jeff Bezos?

THE PRESIDENT: No. No, I wasn’t.

END

The Beginning of The End – MSNBC Reporting Senate Democrats Agree No Russian Collusion….


Mark the calendars; today is an important date.  CTH has noted, repeatedly, how extremely difficult it would be for the media to walk-back over three years of false reporting on the insufferable and manufactured “Muh Russia” collusion narrative.

However, remarkably, today that process actually begins.  WATCH:

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There’s way more to this shift. WAY more. ABC News, home of the resistance insider operative George Stephanopoulos, is also starting to use an atypical process to control distribution of the let-down as they back toward the ‘muh Russia’ exits.