2020-D Chess!!


CHECKMATE!

Trump is good at 3-D chess, but the year 2020 has brought another complication—impeachment—so I decided to draw a cartoon showing our president playing 2020-D chess.

Led by Nancy Pelosi, the House Democrats have impeached our president and they did it without proper procedure, evidence or fairness.

The Democrats wanted Trump removed even before he was inaugurated. Their expensive Russia collusion hoax dragged on for several years before it finally collapsed. They then immediately moved on to another lie. If they can focus a perpetual laser beam of negativity onto Trump, it will hurt his chances of reelection. Or so they think.

Pelosi was on a recent episode of Bill Maher’s show and she used the word “Constitution” with every other breath. It was meant to distract us from what the House Democrats actually did. They trampled on our Constitution.

BEN GARRISON ORIGINAL TRUMP ART AVAILABLE

Our country has many important issues that deserve our attention. Instead we’ll be focused on an impeachment trial in the Senate, thanks to the Democrats’ all-consuming Trump Derangement Syndrome. If the case can’t be thrown out right away, then the trial needs to end quickly.

You lose, Pelosi. Checkmate!

—Ben Garrison

President Trump and Vice-President Pence Make Unscheduled Visit to MLK Memorial…


Moments ago President Trump and Vice President Pence made an unscheduled stop to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC to pay their holiday respects.

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The President is scheduled to depart the White House at 6:15pm ET, for a trip to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The White House has announced the schedule for several bilateral discussions including:

  • Dr. Barham Salih, President of the Republic of Iraq
  • Imran Khan of Pakistan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation
  • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
  • Nechirvan Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government
  • World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab

President Trump Convention Speech to American Farm Bureau – Video and Transcript…


Sunday evening President Donald Trump delivered a key-note speech during the American Farm Bureau National Convention.  [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Well, I want to thank you very much. And thank you to our great Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. Thank you, Sonny, very much. You’ve done a fantastic job. (Applause.) Sit down, everybody. Let’s stay for a while. Come on.

We did it. We did it. Remember? (Applause.)

They were all saying, “You’ll never get NAFTA changed.” We were stuck with one of the worst trade deals in history. “We’ll never do it. We’ll never get a deal done with China.” I’ve told everybody, “You got to buy a lot of land, and you’ve got to get much bigger tractors right now.” Because we did a great deal with China — great for our country. And hopefully, it’s great for China, too, because we’re going to sell them the greatest product you’ve ever seen, right? The greatest product you’ve ever seen. (Applause.)

But I am thrilled to be back in this incredible state of Texas. We’ve had a tremendous victory. And from what I understand, those polls are all saying we’re way higher than we were in ’16. Is that correct? That’s right, Dan. Thank you, Lieutenant Governor. My Dan. Great. Thank you very much. We’re doing good.

But this is where the people are known for being tough, and strong, and hardworking, loyal, fiercely patriotic — just like America’s incredible farmers.

My administration is fighting for the American farmer, and has been fighting for the farmer and the rancher every single day. And together, we’ve achieved something truly stunning. And, really, it was a historic number of victories — not one; we had numerous victories. A lot of them just — it sort of all came together. What good timing. I said, “Let’s see if we can get it done for this event.” Most Presidents don’t come. And when they do, they come once. This is my third time in a row, and I promise I’ll be here next year, too. (Applause.) We’ll be here next year.

In fact, a poll just came out — Wall Street Journal. It just came out. Look at this: “Farmer Approval of Trump Hits Record, Poll Shows… 83 percent of the farmers and ranchers approve of the President’s job performance.” 83 percent! (Applause.)

But, I want to know, really: Who are the 17 percent? Who are they? (Laughter.) Who the hell are the 17 percent? (Laughter.) Anybody in here from the 17 percent? Don’t raise your hand; it may be dangerous. (Laughter.) That’s pretty good, right?

But, on Wednesday, after two years of hard-fought negotiations, where the farmers and ranchers stood with me all the way — they knew we had to do it. It wasn’t done by other administrations. They didn’t want to do it because it was nasty. We signed a groundbreaking trade agreement with China. (Applause.)

Under this landmark agreement, China will now be purchasing $40- to $50 billion of American agricultural products every single year, tripling our agricultural exports to China.

You know, we had a deal: It was done at $20 [billion] — $20 billion — the most they ever purchased, according to Sonny Perdue. I said, “Sonny, we have to help the farmer because they were targeted.” And I’m not saying I blame China. You know, they want to win; we want to win. We all want to win, right? We like to win.

How is your team doing today, by the way? I don’t know. How is it going? (Applause.) Are they doing okay? We’ll soon find out. I said, “This is wonderful thing. I come to…” Look at this place; it’s packed. It’s sold out. Look at the crowd. It’s sold out. (Applause.) And you have a — you have a game with the team, known as “Texas.” But we’ll see how it does. Let’s — this is right now. This is the thing we have to focus on.

But, on Thursday of this week, we made a really historic — once again, the Senate passed — because this is in addition to China — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to replace the catastrophe, the disaster known as “NAFTA.” I’ve been complaining about it for many years. Our jobs left. Our factories closed. Our companies left, opened up. They made product. They sold it into the United States — no tax, no nothing.

We have just the opposite right now. It’s very painful if they want to do that. It’s very hard for them to do that, economically. The “USMCA,” as we call it, will massively boost exports for farmers, ranchers, growers, and agricultural producers from North to South, and from sea to shining sea. It also has tremendous impacts on manufacturers and all of the other things — good for everybody. But we won’t bother; we only care about the farmers today, and the ranchers. Right? So we don’t have to talk about the manufacturers. (Applause.)

But it’s fantastic for manufacturing and lots of other things. And our manufacturing numbers are fantastic. You see that. Remember? Manufacturing. Phil, you remember? “There’s no more manufacturing.” And then we have almost 600,000 jobs. They said, the last administration, “You’d need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing.” So I guess we found the magic wand. (Applause.) We found the magic wand.

Joining us today are a few of your strongest allies in Washington who helped make these achievements possible. Senators Pat Roberts and Cindy Hyde-Smith — where are they? (Applause.) Please. Please. Pat and Cindy Hyde. I’ll tell you: These are two people that love the farmer.

And Pat — I mean, every time I get a call — Pat. That meant like, “Come on. Come on, President. Let’s go, President.” But what a great career you’ve had. What an unbelievable number of election victories you’ve had. We’d love to keep you for a long time, but I don’t think we can talk about him out of it at this point. But, Pat, thank you very much. And Cindy Hyde-Smith, you have a done a fantastic job representing everybody, but representing the farmers and ranchers. Thank you very much. And, Pat, thank you very much. Great job. (Applause.)

And Representatives Randy Weber, Roger Williams, and John Carter. Please stand up. Warriors — they’re warriors. (Applause.)

And also, three friends of mine — Texas leaders at the highest level — Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. Please stand up. Please stand up. (Applause.) That’s great. Hi, Sid.

I remember 2016 — the election. And the fake news — these people back here — (laughter) — they were going — they were saying, “Trump — going to have a hard time winning Texas.” And we came. We made speeches, Sid. Remember? We’d have 25-, 30,000 people standing on line. Can’t get in. And I said, “Why am I going to have a hard time with Texas?”

And I remember, Sid Miller — I didn’t know Sid. But he was big, and he had the big, beautiful cowboy hat on. I love that hat. I wish we could wear them in Washington or New York because I would be the biggest buyer of that hat. (Laughter.) I just don’t know if it would play there, but I’ll wear them in Texas, I’ll tell you.

But Sid was sitting there with that hat on, and he looked great. And he said, “I don’t know about you, and I don’t know where you’re getting this information about a close race in Texas, but there’s going to be nothing close about this race in Texas. Trump is going to win this race by so much, you’re not going to believe it.” That’s exactly what happened.

So, thank you very much. I didn’t know Sid. He just said, “Trump is going to win by a lot.” And ever since then, I’ve liked Sid a lot, and you turned out to be right. Right, Sid? Thank you very much. Great job. (Applause.) Great job.

I also want to take a moment to send our love and support to the President of the American Farm Bureau — a great guy — Zippy Duvall. Sadly, Zippy’s wonderful wife — a tremendous woman, married for 40 years — Bonnie — passed away last night. And we want Zippy and his entire family to know we are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. And he was a very — it was a very special relationship, and I just want to wish the family well. And, Zippy, we’re with you 100 percent — 100 percent. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

So, I’m truly honored to be addressing the Farm Bureau’s annual convention for my third straight year. My administration understands that if we want to stand up for America, we must stand up for American farmers. So important. Incredible people. (Applause.) If we want America to thrive and grow, then we must ensure that America’s farms flourish and prosper. And that’s what we’re doing. You feed our people, you fuel our nation, you sustain our land, you uphold our values, and you preserve our cherished American way of life. We want our products made, grown, and raised right here in the USA — and that’s what’s happening. (Applause.)

I hope you all remember that, before I took office, American agriculture was being crushed by an onslaught of massive taxes; crippling regulations; burdensome federal mandates — you know about that. I released it. I released it all. And horrendous trade deals. And they were horrendous indeed. I actually used to say, “Who the hell would have negotiated a deal like this?”

When I ran for President, I vowed to use every power at my disposal to protect American farmers and restore the full strength of American agriculture. I promised that I would always have your back. And unlike the politicians who came before me — they talked a lot; they did nothing for you — I kept my promise. (Applause.)

Under the previous administration, net farm income plummeted by more than 20 percent. Under my administration — and, remember, these trade deals haven’t even really kicked in yet. I told China, a couple of months ago, “Do me a favor. We’re going to make a deal. Start buying. Start buying.” And they did. Not as much as I wanted, but they did. They wanted to wait until they got the signed agreement. Now we have the signed agreement. But they started buying. But it’s also Japan. It’s also other countries. But net farm income has gone up by more than $30 billion dollars –- an increase of nearly 50 percent in just three years. Remember that. (Applause.) And the big stuff is yet to come. The big numbers, in my opinion, are yet to come.

We are fixing problems and cleaning up messes that others have neglected for decades. They’ve treated you very unfairly. They’ve treated you very foolishly. Frankly, they’ve treated you stupidly — stupidly — to put our great farmers in this position. We are winning for our farmers, and we winning like never before. (Applause.)

And don’t forget: When I ran, I said, “We’re going to do this stuff. We’re going to do it.” But it was just words. “We’re going to do it.” Everybody said, “We’re going to do things.” But I did it. We got it done. And this is the time; I couldn’t say it last year. Last year, I said, “Hey…” You know, you were being targeted by China, in all fairness. You were being targeted. They stopped buying, purposely. Then I put the big tariffs on. Then I gave you a lot of the money, out of the tariffs. We had a lot of money left over, but we gave you — Sonny told you — $16 billion, and $12 billion the year before. And that made you do very well.

But, you know, the farmers came to me. They said, “We don’t want anything. We just want a level playing field.” And you have now even more than a level playing field. (Applause.)

The deal with China will tear down market barriers and pry open vast new markets for American beef, pork, poultry, seafood, soybeans, rice, dairy, infant formula, animal feed, biotechnology, and much, much more.

This is an incredible success for our entire country, and it was your fortitude, your perseverance, and your devotion that made it all possible. And I have to tell you, another benefit, and a very big benefit, is we now perhaps have the best relationship that we’ve had with China in many, many years. And China respects us now. They didn’t respect us. They couldn’t believe they were getting away with what they were getting away with. (Applause.)

Having a good relationship with China is good — and Russia, is good; and many other countries, is a good thing. But we don’t people taking advantage of us.

For years, China stole trade secrets from American agri-businesses, and plundered our intellectual property, illicitly subsidized grain procedures, and installed one barrier after another to block out our farmers and to block out our ranchers.

When my administration confronted these abusive and destructive trade practices, China targeted American agriculture for retaliation. They even took ads, saying what a bad person I was. But the farmers — only some of them believe that. And those people have come all the way back, too.

To defend our farmers, I authorized $28 billion dollars. And we’re getting that money, Sonny, to the small farmers also. There were some statements — big farmers — no, we get them to the small farmers. We get them to everybody — big farmers, small farmers. And we have a formula that I think has been working out, Sonny, very well. If it’s not, call me directly, and I’ll call Sonny and give him hell, okay? (Laughter.)

But we’re getting it to the small farmers, the big farmers, and everybody. And that’s a lot of money. And I am delighted to report that the final installment of all of those billions of dollars of that money will be coming very quickly, Sonny, I guess. Is that a correct statement? Yes? Thanks. You never backed down — (applause). Unless you don’t want it, because you’re making so much money now. If anybody would like to give it up, please raise your hand. (Laughter.)

You stayed in the fight. You protected our economy and our security. And, together, we all together — we prevailed. You were always with me. You never even thought of giving up. And we got it done. And there were times when, you know, the — the media was trying to cause trouble. They’d come into Iowa. “Isn’t it terrible with the practices and the trade.” And the farmers would say, “No, the President is doing the right thing. It’s tough, but the President is doing the right thing.”

But then we started doing the big tariffs — taking in literally tens of billions of dollars. And we started giving money back. I went to Sonny Perdue. I said, “Sonny, what did China — what was the number that China did last year?” He said, “Sir, they bought $16 billion.” I said, “Oh, that’s good. What did they do the year before?” “Sir, they bought $12 billion worth of product.” I said, “Good.”

So it’s $12 billion. We gave you the $12 billion. Then, $16 billion. We gave you the $16 billion so you weren’t hurt. And now we have a position that I don’t think the farmers and ranchers have been in this position maybe ever. I don’t think so. And I think it’s going to work out good. And I think China is going to go all out to prove that the agreement that was signed is a good agreement.

And we have very, very strong stipulations in there. But that it’s a — an agreement that is a fair agreement and good for the farmer. I think they’re looking to prove that it’s going to be great for the farmer. But even bigger and better than we ever thought possible — that’s what this agreement is. It’s much bigger and much better than I ever thought we’d get.

And, frankly, there were times when I didn’t think we were going to get anything because I cancelled every meeting — how many times have you seen me cancel with the Iran deal? You didn’t see Kerry cancel ever. He just took one bad point after another bad point, and then he signed a bad agreement, and then we terminated that deal. But that’s a little different than the farmer stuff.

But you didn’t any walking. We walked from this deal a lot. And sometimes, you have to walk from a deal in order to make the right deal. And we walked from this one a lot, didn’t we? Phil was talking to me, and our great past governor. It’s sad to say that, but you have a great new governor. Right, Phil?

But we were talking about it, and he says, “You got to do what you got to do. If you can’t make the right deal, you got to walk.” It’s true. So we walked a lot. And we always got called back. “Let’s do it the way you want.”

On behalf of every American worker and family, thank you for standing strong for America. Thank you very much to the farmers and ranchers for standing with me; for saying, “The President is right. Yes, it’s tough right now, but the President is doing the right thing.” Thank you. (Applause.)

More than anything else, it proved to me that farmers love America. And I just want to tell you that America loves our farmers. Thank you. (Applause.)

Under the deal, China has agreed to spend many billions of dollars on American services, energy, and manufactured goods. China has made substantial commitments regarding the protection of American ideas, trade secrets, patents, and trademarks. China has also pledged firm action to confront pirated and counterfeit goods. Most important of all, the deal is enforceable — very, very powerfully enforceable. In fact, it was probably the thing that we negotiated the most. And rest assured, we will vigorously enforce its terms. Hopefully, we won’t have to. Hopefully, it’ll go just as we anticipate.

In a matter of days, we will achieve another tremendous victory for the American agricultural businesses, when I sign the USMCA into law. So, we just passed it in the Senate, and it was a wonderful vote, and I sign it very soon. It’s being prepared now — beautifully prepared. I’m going to Europe to talk to world leaders and to talk to business people about coming. Everybody wants to come back to America. Everybody wants to come back to the United States. We’re now where the action is. They’re all coming back.

And when I come back, we’ll have a ceremony, probably in the White House. We also may go to some of the farming communities and we’re going to sign the deal.

Under the USMCA, Canada will finally provide greater access for American dairy. You know, Canada was charging us 287 percent tariffs. Nobody knew that. Nobody knew that. I knew it. So, you basically couldn’t even deal with Canada.

But those days are gone. Our dairy exports are set to increase by more than $300 million dollars per year. Poultry exports to Canada could jump by nearly 50 percent. (Applause.) Exports of eggs to both Canada and Mexico could skyrocket by as much as 500 percent, and maybe even 1,000 percent. Very importantly, Canada will finally give fair treatment to American-grown wheat, which is a big deal to you people. What the hell do I know about it? (Applause.) I don’t know anything about it; I just know you had a problem with it.

I said to a couple of the farmers — I’d have a lot of farmers at the White House. They were incredible. I said, “What’s the big thing?” “Wheat, sir.” “Tell me about it.” And they told me about it. I’m a very quick study; I figured it out quickly. I said, “I know nothing about it, but that sounds right to me.” So we got it in the contract. (Laughter.)

The two momentous trade deals we completed last week are just the beginning of a really incredible story. Because nobody thought we’d ever get here. They’d say the deal with China would be impossible to make, and getting rid of NAFTA would be totally impossible. One of the reasons it was totally possible: It was such a bad deal for us — good for the other countries; not good for us.

We’re achieving what no administration has ever achieved before. And what do I get out it? Tell me. I get impeached! That’s what I get out of it. (Laughter.) By these radical left lunatics, I get impeached. But that’s okay, the farmers are sticking with Trump. They’re sticking with Trump. (Applause.) These people. These people. It could have been so much easier.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: In just — (laughs) — thank you very much. (Laughter.) In just the past few months, we persuaded Japan to slash tariffs on $7 billion of U.S. agricultural products. Over 90 percent of our agricultural exports to Japan will now receive preferential treatment. Nobody thought that was possible. And, in many cases, we will be completely duty free — and you’ve never heard that before. (Applause.) That’s a $40 billion deal, by the way. That’s in addition to China, and Canada, and Mexico, and South Korea.

We secured guaranteed access for American beef to the EU — European Union — a deal that will nearly triple our beef exports to Europe in the coming years. And, as you know, Europe has had tremendous barriers to us doing business with them. All those barriers are coming down. They have to come down. If they don’t come down, we’re going to have to do things that are very bad for them. (Laughter.)

No, we’ve been taken advantage of by everybody. There’s nobody that — we — we’ve been taken advantage of by everybody. Europe. Who would think Europe? Europe was, in many ways, more difficult — and is more difficult — than China. Nobody would believe that.

I was saying to Sonny and some of the people before, “Dealing with Europe, in many ways, has been worse and tougher than dealing with China.” Not fair.

We have secured record market access for U.S. rice in South Korea; it was a big one. We won tariff exemptions in Ecuador for wheat and soybeans. They were tariffing us out of business. We opened up Vietnam for American orange growers. We got Brazil to raise its quotas for purchases of our wheat and ethanol. We opened up Guatemala and Tunisia to American eggs. And in November, we ended China’s years-long ban on American poultry. You know that very well — years-long.

And part of it was: I asked. I said, “You got to do this.” They said, “But nobody has ever asked before.” I said, “But I’m asking. Thank you very much.” Nobody ever asked. Half of it, nobody asked. (Applause.)

If we harvest or herd it in the United States, I want to help you sell it all around the world. To make American agriculture even more competitive, we passed the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history, by far. And to help you keep your family farm, and keep it in the family, we virtually eliminated the deeply unfair estate tax, or “death tax.” We got rid of it for small farms, ranchers, and small businesses. (Applause.)

So, if you love your children, you can now leave your farms and your ranches and your small businesses to your children, and you don’t have to pay tax. (Applause.) If you love your children, you don’t have to pay the estate tax or the death tax. If you do not love your children, you don’t really care about that provision. (Laughter.)

Is there anybody here that does not love their children and does not want to leave their beautiful farm to their children? Anybody here? Come on, you have guts. I think farmers have a lot of guts. Come on. You mean there’s not one person that dislikes your children because they’re brats — because they’re spoiled rotten brats? (Laughter.) Okay, well, that’s a pretty good group of people. Well, that’s the farmers for you, right? That’s the farmers. (Applause.)

But think of that. You know, people were wanting to pass along their farm. And they’d pass away, and their children would take it. And then the tax people would come along, and the tax would be monumental. And the income wouldn’t be so good, but the value of the farm was a lot. And they’d go out and they’d mortgage the farm to the hilt. And within a short period of time, the banks are foreclosing on the farm, and taking the farm, and putting the farm up for sale.

You don’t have to worry about that anymore. There’s no more estate tax. There’s no more death tax on those farms. So, good. That’s good. That’s really good. (Applause.) That’s very important. That was a hard thing to get. That was hard to get by the wonderful Democrats that we have to deal with every day.

Thanks to our pro-American tax cuts, trade reforms, and regulatory reductions, America now has the hottest economy anywhere on Earth, and there’s no place even close. Everybody is coming back.

Since my election, the United States has gained more than 7 million jobs — un-thought of. If I would have said that on the campaign trail, the fake news would have gone crazy. (Applause.)

The unemployment rate is now 3.5 percent — the lowest in over 51 years, half a century. (Applause.) The African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment rates have reached the all-time historic lows — lowest in the history of our country. More Americans are working today than ever before — almost 160 million. Never even been close to that.

Under the so-called “Trump Economy,” the lowest-paid earners are reaping the biggest, fastest, and largest percentage gains. This is a blue-collar boom. Everybody is booming, frankly, but it’s a blue-collar boom. Net worth for the bottom 50 percent of wage earners has grown 15 times more under my administration. Think of that: 15 times. You know, 15 times more than under the three prior administrations.

Wages for the bottom 10 percent are rising faster than for the top 10 percent. And that’s okay for the rich people. Let somebody else enjoy life a little bit, right? Does any rich person — of which we probably have a lot in this room — any rich person have a problem with that? Please stand up. (Laughter.) I don’t think we’re going to see that person standing.

Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded. Think of that: highest ever recorded. You know, in the Bush administration, for eight years: $450. In the Obama administration, for eight years: $975. In the Trump administration, for less than three years: almost $10,000, when you include the tax cuts, the energy savings, and the regulation cuts. Nobody can believe it. (Applause.) Nobody can believe it. Think of that — isn’t that amazing? — $450, $975. And that’s been in eight years, eight years. And then you have less than three years — because it was done as of a few months ago — and you have almost $10,000.

To power our future, America is boldly embracing energy independence. The United States is now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, which means lower prices for farmers and consumers. And you see how the prices are: They’re stable to low. And it means America is no longer reliant on foreign nations. Isn’t that nice? (Applause.)

And we are also proudly promoting American ethanol. Chuck Grassley calls me. Joni Ernst calls me. Deb Fischer calls me. They all call — everybody. Pat calls me. Ethanol. They love ethanol. And I recently approved E-15 to be used all year round, instead of eight months. And that’s a big thing for the American farmer. We’re providing unprecedented support to ethanol — support like they’ve never had before.

Yet, the radical left in Washington wants to demolish these gains. And they, frankly, want to destroy your way of life. They are not for the farmer. They are not for our military. They are not for secure borders. They want open borders. They want sanctuary cities. Essentially, what they’re saying is, “We want crime.” And they don’t want crime, but that’s what you get when you have open borders.

And, by the way, just so you know, the wall is being built at a very rapid pace. We’re over 100 miles now. (Applause.) We think we’ll be over 400 miles by the end of next year. And shortly thereafter, we’ll have a completed wall.

And you probably also — this was a big news story. They saw people — they had to capture them. They couldn’t get over the wall. They had to send trucks and ladders and firepeople because they got stuck on the top of the wall. They couldn’t get down. Loaded up with drugs on their back.

So it’s very successful. It’s going to be very, very successful. It’s having a big impact already because we’re setting records now — what we’re doing, in terms of people coming into our country illegally.

We want them to come into our country, by the way. We want them to come in, though, through merit. We want them to come in legally. And we want them to come so they can help the farmer, just so you understand. Because I want them to be able to come in to help our farmers. (Applause.) And we’re going to give you plenty of help. Because without that, it’s very difficult.

Taking their cues from socialists like Bernie Sanders, or a fake socialist like Pocahontas — (laughter). She’s actually worse than a socialist, but she doesn’t want to admit it. But the far left, they want to massively raise your taxes, crush your — your businesses with regulations, take away your healthcare, and send bureaucrats to interfere with your property and second guess every decision that you make. They want to take it away, and they want to load you up with regulations, so you can’t live, you can’t breathe.

Left-wing politicians want to shut down oil and gas production in the United States. And if they succeed, they will cost our farmers and ranchers billions of dollars per year in royalty payments alone. But more importantly, you’re not going to be able to afford the energy that you need to run your farms. We will never let it happen. (Applause.)

There are no better stewards of our precious natural resources than the American farmers who depend on the land and the environment for their very livelihood. You love your land. You’re going to take care of your land. You don’t need some bureaucrat in Washington telling everybody what the hell to do with your land. You love your land. (Applause.)

When it comes to the environment, I will always trust a farmer over a Washington bureaucrat or a left-wing extremist. (Applause.)

To help producers expand, I signed a Farm Bill that doubles the amount you can borrow to improve your farm. You like that — that Farm Bill. And, Pat — stand up again, Pat. Boy, he was brutal in that Farm Bill. I’d get a call every two minutes from Pat. (Applause.) I’d say, “Tell him I’ll call him back next week.” Great job.

We also protected the crop insurance programs that producers rely on in times of disaster. Through fires, floods, and freezing weather, we will always support our great American farmers. You have my word. (Applause.)

We have liberated American agriculture from an avalanche of federal regulations. In the Trump administration, we know that the role of government is not to harass our citizens; it is to serve our citizens, to make life easy, and to make you hire lots of people, and have a great farm, and have tremendous success, and make lots of money, and send your children to school — be safe, be free.

Our law enforcement — we are going to protect our law enforcement just like they protect us. (Applause.)

When I took office, I issued an order requiring that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. Instead of two for one, we have now cut more than eight for one. Nobody thought that was possible. (Applause.) As a result, the average American household will save $3,100 dollars a year, just on regulation cuts and sensible regulation.

Earlier this month, I took decisive action to slash regulatory and approval times for critical infrastructure used to transport goods and produce. Currently, environmental reviews can take 10 years or more. I’ve been through it myself. You want to build a building, and you fear it’s going to take 12 years to get permits. I say, “Twelve years?” I’ve been through it, so I understand what you go through.

But our proposals will limit the process to two years — and, in many cases, less than one year. (Applause.) And you may get rejected for environmental or safety reasons, but it’s going to go very quickly. We will soon build new roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.

I terminated one of the most ridiculous regulations of all: the last administration’s disastrous Waters of the United States rule. (Applause.) Thank you. It’s gone. That was a rule that basically took your property away from you.

I’ll never forget: At the White House signing, I had probably 30, 35 people behind me — farmers and homebuilders and others — people that haven’t cried in many years. People that weren’t — some of them were so tough, they never cried. They didn’t cry when they were babies. And they were crying. (Laughter.) No, we gave them their life back.

We did it in Minnesota, with the iron ore. We opened it up. They took it away — the Obama administration. Minnesota now has the greatest fields in the world — iron ore. But we did it in a lot of ways.

But, in this case, it had such a beautiful name, right? It was so beautiful. I said, “Oh, this is disaster, but I’m going to do it because I knew it was the right thing to do.” And everybody loved it. And now you’re back in business. You’re doing what you have to do. They really took away your property, and they took away your property rights. (Applause.)

So, this rule gave bureaucrats virtually unlimited authority to regulate stock tanks, drainage ditches, and isolated ponds as navigable waterways and navigable water. You believe that? Sometimes, you’d have a puddle — a little puddle. And they’d consider that a lake. As long as I’m President, government will never micromanage America’s farmers. You’re going to micromanage your own farm, and that’s the way it should be. (Applause.)

And, today, I’m proud to announce that I am taking yet another step to protect the water rights of American farmers and ranchers. Under the previous administration, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a new Water Supply rule that would give the federal government vast and unlimited power to restrict farmers’ access to water. That’s not a good thing. Is anybody happy with being restricted to water if you have a farm? Please stand up if you are happy about that. Because this authority rightfully belongs to the states, not the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

That is why I am directing the Corps of Engineers to immediately withdraw the proposed rule — just submitted recently, meaning last administration — and allow states to manage their water resources based on their own needs and based on what their farmers and ranchers want. (Applause.) Water is the lifeblood of agriculture, and we will always protect your water supply. (Applause.)

Since my inauguration, we have also devoted nearly $1 billion dollars to rural broadband, connecting a quarter of a million rural households, and we’re moving at a rapid pace. The USDA will soon award another $1.1 billion, and the FCC will soon vote on a plan to direct $20 billion to rural broadband. It’s about time. You know, they take care of their cities, but they don’t take care of you. (Applause.) They take care of their cities, but not you.

In everything we do, we are putting the needs of American workers, families, and farmers first. We are putting America first. (Applause.)

The great men and women in this room are the stewards of a inheritance and a noble tradition that’s unrivaled. It’s handed down from one generation to the next, all the way back to the very beginning of our country. You take pride in your work, joy in your calling, and deep satisfaction in your vital contributions to the life and health and success of our republic.

America has always been a farming nation — founded, built, and grown by people just like you, who pour out their heart, soul, and sweat into this land; who wake up at the crack of dawn; who plow the soil, plant the seed, and tend the fields from the dawn to dusk; and do not rest until that job is beautifully, perfectly done. Does that sound familiar? I think so, right? (Applause.) It’s true. That’s the American farmer, rancher.

You embody the spirit of optimism that has always defined this magnificent country. You look at an empty field in the dead of winter, and you envision the spark of life in the peak of spring. That’s what you see. You see differently than other people.

Farmers have always been the keepers of our great American values. You champion the love of family, the dignity of work, and the glory of God. You teach your children to celebrate our nation, defend our freedom, honor our values, and to always respect and cherish our great American flag. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT: With your faith, your grit, your tenacity, your talent, and your patriotism, the best days for America and the best days for America’s farmers and ranchers are yet to come.

I want to thank everybody. This has been such an incredible turnout, and I appreciate everybody for being here. We’re taking care of our farmers. We’re taking care of our ranchers. We’re taking care of our manufacturers. We’re taking care of our military and our vets. We’re taking care of our country. It’s “Make America Great Again.” It’s “Keep America Great.” It’s whatever you want to call it. We’re the greatest country anywhere in the world, and we’re taking care of you.

So thank you all very much. This is a great honor, and I’m glad we’ve been successful. We got those deals done. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

[End Transcript]

Cheers Greet Trump at College Championship: Leftists Prove It Never Happened


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When President Trump and First Lady Melania walked onto the Superdome field before the LSU v. Clemson national championship college football game, the students and alumni erupted in raucous applause and cheers. Within minutes Leftists on Twitter and elsewhere had several theories to prove why it never happened. After all, college-educated Americans couldn’t possibly be glad to see Trump. Right Angle is a production of our Members. Join us: https://BillWhittle.com/register/ How’d you like to enjoy three nights sailing the Caribbean with the kind of people who would cheer the President of the United States? Find out how at http://bit.ly/StratoCruise2020

President Trump Official Response to Senate Trial Notification…


A response to the formal summons from the Senate, notifying the Executive Office of the President of impeachment proceedings, was due at 6:00pm ET today.   The White House has responded [WH pdf link – and embed below] with a seven-page position answer.

[Via White House] THE HONORABLE DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HEREBY RESPONDS:

The Articles of Impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President. This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election—now just months away. The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated and continues to this day.

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Previously adopted by unanimous consent:

  • A Summons to the White House notifying them of the impeachment trial will be issued by the Senate.  A deadline for WH response: Saturday January 18th, 2020, 6:00pm,
  • The House of Representatives (impeachment managers) have a deadline of 5:00pm Saturday, January 18th, 2020, for the filing of their impeachment brief to the Senate.
  • The White House (defense lawyers) have a response deadline of 5:00pm Monday, January 20th, for their response to the House impeachment brief.
  • The House of Representatives (impeachment managers) have a deadline of Noon Tuesday, January 21st, for their rebuttal brief to the White House defense brief.
  • The Senate Trial begins at 1:00pm Eastern, Tuesday January 21st, 2020.

Senators will not be allowed to bring their cell phones or any electronic device into the Senate chamber while the trial is underway.

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


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

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

COACH ORGERON: It is.

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

COACH ORGERON: Yes, sir.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COACH ORGERON: Fights like a Tiger!

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

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

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

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

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

MR. GALLIGAN: Right behind you.

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

MR. GALLIGAN: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Pretty good job.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MR. BURROW: Not my best one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COACH ORGERON: We were rope-a-dope —

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

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

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

I said, “You got to say something.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MR. BURROW: No.

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

MR. BURROW: No.

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

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

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

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

COACH ORGERON: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDIENCE: Good morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

(A jersey is presented.) (Applause.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

[End Transcript]

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sec. Wilbur Ross

@SecretaryRoss

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

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

2020 is off to a great start!

309 people are talking about this

BenTallmadge@BenKTallmadge

US housing starts jump 16.9% to an annual rate of 1,608 million units in December 2019, the highest level since 2006 –
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/17/us-housing-starts-december-2019.html 

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

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

cnbc.com

206 people are talking about this

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


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

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

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

A comparison of First-Term Unemployment Rates – LINK HERE

 

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


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

The president also answered questions from the attending press pool:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MS. ALLEN: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling. Right here.

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Well —

MS. ALLEN: And —

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

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

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

MS. ALLEN: We are.

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

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

MS. RHAMES: I’m right here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SECRETARY DEVOS: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, Betsy. Please.

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

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

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

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

MR. MCLEOD: William.

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

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY DEVOS: — for your leadership.

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

Jeff?

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROSEN: — by the First Amendment.

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

So again, Mr. President, I thank you —

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Jeff. Good job.

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

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

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Paula.

PASTOR WHITE: — religious liberties.

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

Would anybody like to say anything? Go ahead.

MR. MCLEOD: Can I tell my story?

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Oh.

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

THE PRESIDENT: Wow.

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

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

MR. MCLEOD: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: All right?

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

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

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

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

MR. MCLEOD: (Nods head.)

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

Come here. Give me that hand.

Anybody over here? Anybody? Sure.

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

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

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

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

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

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

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

MR. WINDEBANK: Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes?

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

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

MS. HIJAZ: Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling.

MS. HIJAZ: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. Thank you very much.

MS. HOBLIN: Mr. President?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

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

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

MS. HOBLIN: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MR. KENNEDY: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.

MR. KENNEDY: Coach Kennedy.

THE PRESIDENT: Coach.

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

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

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

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

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

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Coach.

MR. KENNEDY: Oorah. (Laughter.)

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

MR. KENNEDY: Thank you.

MS. CHANEY: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much.

Yes?

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

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

MS. CHANEY: Pikeville, Kentucky.

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MS. CHANEY: Thank you.

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

MS. CHANEY: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay? We’re all set?

DR. RICHBURG: Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.

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

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

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

You were going to say something?

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

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

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

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

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

MR. BUEHRER: It has.

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

Well, thank you all very much. Go ahead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q But he says that —

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

Q He says that you know what you were —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Certainly —

Q So when he said Mulvaney knew about this —

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

Q — that Bolton knew about this —

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

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

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

THE PRESIDENT: So — go ahead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff, go ahead.

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

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

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

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

Go ahead.

Q What was —

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

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

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

Q And witnesses? What about those?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And for absolutely no reason —

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

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

Q Can you address that?

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

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