President Trump Steps In To Stop Treasury Sanctions Against China During Trade Negotiations…


Yesterday the U.S. Treasury announced sanctions against two Chinese shipping firms for violating ongoing sanctions against North Korea [TREASURY HERE].

With USTR Robert Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin set to travel this weekend to Beijing for ongoing trade discussion, the sanction timing complicates the dance with the dragon. Subsequently President Trump sends the following tweet:

Slamming China with sanctions (over DPRK dragon activity) while Beijing is showing the Panda mask (during Beijing trade negotiations) is not wise. If the Panda mask drops during trade negotiations to reveal the Dragon face, then ok. However, the majority of the West, driven by a misunderstanding of the China-DPRK relationship, does not know how directly a manipulative Beijing controls Pyongyang.

Taking aggressive sanction action against China could backfire with Beijing ordering those around Chairman Kim to test a missile.

President Trump and USTR Lighthizer know the nuance and subtlety needed in the dance with the dragon.  The larger issue of DPRK denuclearization, the bottom-line reason for the North Korea sanctions, will be solved within the U.S.-China trade discussion.

Of course the media, who have no concept of the dance with the dragon/panda; and no concept of Chairman Xi’s control over Chairman Kim; will jump in to say President Trump is only exhibiting short sighted egoism toward a relationship with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping.  President Trump is doing exactly the opposite of being short-sighted; in fact he’s looking at the much larger picture.

The White House puts out a statement: “President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”  Again, President Trump is playing to the current Panda mask position of Chairman Xi, and positioning U.S.T.R Lighthizer’s upcoming trip to China without the controversy of recent sanctions looming over the negotiations.

In the dance with the dragon, all action must take place toward the face that is currently visible.  Beijing is currently showing the Panda face.  The U.S. Team know the Panda mask is just that, a mask.  This is one of the nuances in dealing with China.

It would be poor form, and ultimately result in little progress, to approach the Panda mask using dragon hostility.  This is not how successful outcomes against the Chinese are reached.

The dragon weapons, in this case brutal sanctions, are saved for when the Panda mask is visibly removed; and/or when the Chinese opponent knows you are aware of their duplicity.  Deploy countermeasures too early, and your give an excuse for the Panda to drop the mask.

When dealing with China all negotiations must come from a place where China gains something.  From the Chinese position if it does not benefit China; if it does not gain them value; it is not done.  If there is nothing positive to gain from negotiations, then no action is taken.

The outcome of negotiating to ‘lose less’ is not a position that China accepts.

President Trump already has the Chinese government controlled economy in a state of worry.  That worry keeps companies away from engaging with China.  That worry is a negative position for Beijing.  The elimination of that worry is a positive outcome.  China will negotiate terms if they can gain the value of eliminating economic worry.

Thus, the dance with the dragon.

President Trump Impromptu Presser Departing White House…


Earlier this morning President Trump delivered remarks to the White House press pool as he departed for Mar-a-lago.   [Video and Transcript below]

[Transcript] – South Lawn – 9:45 A.M. EDT

Q Mr. President, do you expect the Mueller report to be submitted today?

THE PRESIDENT: I have no idea about the Mueller report.

I’m going to Florida. We have meetings with the five Caribbean leaders. That’ll be at Mar-a-Lago. We have a lot of other meetings set up for this weekend on trade. We have a lot of talks with China. And a lot of things are happening. We’ll be doing it from Florida. And a lot of very important things are happening.

Q You said the Democrats are anti-Israel —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q You said the Democrats are anti-Israel and that they are anti-Jewish. They’re all skipping the AIPAC conference next week, but you’re not going as well.

THE PRESIDENT: The Democrats have very much proven to be anti-Israel. There’s no question about that. And it’s a disgrace. I mean, I don’t know what’s happened to them. But they are totally anti-Israel. Frankly, I think they’re anti-Jewish.

Q (Inaudible) reports that there were 100,000 illegal (inaudible) border (inaudible) —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we’re being very, very strong on the border. The number is enormous of people that we’ve captured, people that we’ve apprehended, but we’re going to take care of it. We are being very, very tough at the border.

Q Congressional investigations, Mr. President — are you telling your staff not to comply?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s just a continuation of the same witch hunt. They know it. And behind closed doors, they laugh at it. It’s just a continuation of the same nonsense. Everybody knows.
They ought to go to work, get infrastructure done, and get a lot of other things done instead of wasting everybody’s time.

Q Mr. President, what’s your reaction to the reports that —

THE PRESIDENT: I can’t hear you.

Q What’s your reaction to the reports that Jared Kushner used an encrypted app to communicate with foreign officials?

THE PRESIDENT: I know nothing about it. I’ve never heard that. I’ve never heard about it.

Q Mr. President, if Robert Mueller is presiding over a hoax, do you think Robert Mueller is personally dishonest in this whole thing?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re going to see what happens. It’s going to be very interesting. But we’ll see what happens. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. Everybody knows it. It’s all a big hoax. It’s — I call it the witch hunt. It’s all a big hoax.

So we’ll see what happens. I know that the Attorney General, highly respected, ultimately will make a decision.

Q Mr. President, is there (inaudible) process (inaudible) —

THE PRESIDENT: There won’t be. And if there is, it’ll only play to our advantage.

END 9:48 A.M. EDT

Maria Bartiromo Interviews President Donald Trump…


Shortly before the president signed an executive order on affirming first amendment rights on college campuses yesterday, President Trump sat down for an extensive interview with Maria Bartiromo.

The interview covers a wide range of topics with a primary focus on the U.S. economy, ongoing trade discussions and issues that impact the U.S. workforce. One of the granular issues that surfaces is a subject we discuss frequently, the value of the ‘chicken tax‘; the 25% tariff on imported trucks and SUV’s.   WATCH:

President Trump Delivers Remarks During Free Speech Event at White House – 3:30pm Livestream…


President Trump participates in an Executive Order signing and delivers remarks on “improving free inquiry, transparency, and accountability on campus.”  Anticipated start time 3:20pm EST

UPDATE: Video and Transcript Added Today, President Donald J. Trump will deliver remarks on promoting and protecting free speech on college campuses and sign an Executive Order on “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities.”

The order instructs Federal agencies to ensure public and private institutions of higher education are upholding the First Amendment or their stated policies on free speech. Free inquiry and free speech are essential features of our Nation’s democracy. This order is part of the Trump Administration’s administrative and legislative efforts to support a focus on student outcomes and improve transparency, accountability, and affordability in post secondary education. (White House)

[Transcript] – East Room -3:43 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please be seated. I am truly delighted to welcome so many impressive young Americans to the White House. This is a very exciting day. What we’re doing is very important. And we’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values. They’ve been under siege.

In a few moments, I will be signing an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses. Just the thought of it sounds good. We’re grateful — (applause). It’s true.

We’re very grateful to be joined today by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Betsy? Where are you, Betsy? Hi, Betsy. (Laughter.) And Secretary of Health and Human Services, who has done a really great job — we have prescription drug prices coming down — first time in 51 years, so — Alex Azar. Thank you very much, Alex. (Applause.)

Most importantly, let me thank all of the college students and recent graduates here with me on stage. Incredible young people. These courageous Americans have stood up [DEL: for :DEL] [to] the forces of political indoctrinations — and they really stood up to it, too, like very few people have been able to; censorship; and coercion.

You refused to be silenced by powerful institutions and closed-minded critics, of which there are many. You faced down intimidation, pressure and abuse. You did it because you love your country and you believe in truth, justice, and freedom. And I want to thank you all, everybody in the room, including a lot of folks in the audience. Charlie. A lot of folks,

You’ve fought bravely for your rights and now you have a President who is also fighting for you. I’m with you all the way. Okay? All right? (Applause.)

In America, the very heart of the university’s mission is preparing students for life as citizens in a free society. But even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and to the First Amendment. You see it all the time.

You turn on the news and you see things that are horrible. You see people being punched hard in the face. But he didn’t go down. He didn’t go down. (Applause.) I said, “You have a better chin than Muhammad Ali, and he had a great chin.” (Laughter.) And you see the cowbell scene. You saw that horrible scene. That was a disgraceful thing at a school, at a university.

Under the guise of “speech codes” and “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings,” these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of great young Americans like those here today. These are great people.

All of that changes starting right now. We’re dealing with billions and billions and billions of dollars. (Applause.) Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions. And that’s exactly what they are: anti-First Amendment. Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech. (Applause.)

Today’s groundbreaking action is the first in a series of steps we will take to defend students’ rights. We are proudly joined by several young Americans who can speak directly about ideological intolerance on campus.

Here with us is Ellen Wittman, a junior at Miami University in Ohio. A great school. Ellen is the President of Students for Life.

In 2017, Ellen planned an annual event to display small wooden crosses representing the lives of the unborn. School officials informed Ellen that she would be required to post signs all over campus providing a “trigger warning” to other students regarding her display.

Ellen, please come up. Say a few words. Tell us your story, please. (Applause.) Thank you.

MS. WITTMAN: Well, thank you, Mr. President. This is a truly historic day in our country’s history. And I am so grateful that we have a President who recognizes that the First Amendment is under attack on our college campuses.

My story is so important because I have seen lives saved through my Students for Life efforts on campus. But I never imagined the hostility I would face when trying to express my beliefs. It’s ridiculous that it has gotten to this point.

Universities are supposed to be marketplaces of ideas. They should be encouraging free speech, not shutting it down. And speech is not free when university officials put conditions on student speech. The only permit we need to speak on campus is the First Amendment. Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: You watch, we will be witnessing today some great future political leaders. There’s plenty of them in the room. Not just up here, right? Out there too. We really appreciate it. That was beautiful. Thank you very much.

We’re also joined by Kaitlyn Mullen, a student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. While simply standing at a table to represent a conservative group on campus, Turning Point USA — which does such incredible work. And thank you very much, Charlie. It’s true. Come on. We can give him a hand. (Applause.) Thank you.

Kaitlyn was approached by staff and a graduate instructor, and was berated and cursed at. School officials tried to bully Kaitlyn into leaving, but she bravely stood her ground. Kaitlyn, please come up and say a few words. Okay, Kaitlyn? Thank you. (Applause.)

MS. MULLEN: Thank you, Mr. President. What happened to me is common on universities today and students are getting shut down and silenced on campus. So I’m really thankful that President Trump is addressing this issue because, as the future of America, it’s important that our universities are a place where we could speak freely and have healthy, respectful dialogue on campus.

So thank you so much, President Trump, for doing this. No other student should have to go through what I’ve gone through on campus. So thank you. (Applause.)

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

And I have to say that, you know, we have — in my opinion, we have more than they have. People don’t realize that. You see what’s going on.

I just came back from Ohio. The streets were lined with people. I came back recently from Alabama, where they had that horrible tornado. It was terrible. But the people were lined as far as the eye could see — lined up with people. And we’re here. This is the White House. I’m the President. And we’re together.

And hopefully, we can bring everybody together. That’s really what we want to do. And they can have different views. And if they do have different views, we encourage that. But they have to let you speak. They have to let you speak.

Also here with us today is Polly Olson, a student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Last year, Polly was handing out homemade Valentine’s Day cards with messages such as “You are special” and “Jesus loves you.”

College officials stopped her and told her that she would be restricted to so-called “free speech zone” because some people might find her cards offensive. I don’t. (Laughter.) I love that card. (Applause.) In fact, Polly, give me some. I’ll send them around to my friends. (Laughter.)

Polly, please say a few words. Polly. Polly, thank you. (Applause.)

MS. OLSON: So freedom of speech is near and dear to my heart. My mother told me while she was homeschooling me that I would need to know what my First Amendment rights were because someday they would be violated and I would have to stand up for them.

So I’m carrying on her legacy of handing out these little valentines encouraging people to know that they are loved and cared for. And within 15 minutes of setting foot on my campus this past year, I was told that I was soliciting and disrupting the learning environment and that it would not be tolerated and that I would have to stop handing out my valentines.

And I contacted some friends of mine and they sent me to WILL to have legal counsel because this wasn’t the first time the school had done it to me. They had stopped me a year — well, a few months after my mom died — and told me that I was not allowed to do it then. So I went through months of trying to get them to change this policy that they were enforcing, and they told me that they would do it. Well, that was five years ago.

So now it was time to take action and make them follow through with what they were telling me that they were going to do — trying to shut me up. I’m just one of many students that are out there that universities and schools are trying to shut down, sweep it under the rug, and make them be quiet.

And I told them I’m not going to be quiet this time. I’m going to talk to anyone and everyone I can about our freedom of speech in this country because it’s really the core of America’s freedom. And without freedom of speech, we don’t have America anymore.

And so I challenge America to learn to love one another as Christ did on the cross for each one of us. And that — speak your differences. It’s okay. We are in a country of freedom. And, really, that’s what’s important — is to embrace the diversity that we have here because that’s made America great in the first place.

And we need to carry on that legacy of protecting freedom of speech on campuses and in our workplaces. People at work should not be afraid to express their beliefs. It’s our right. It’s our freedom. Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: So thank you all for your courage.

Today, we are delivering a clear message to the professors and power structures trying to suppress dissent and keep young Americans — and all Americans, not just young Americans like Ellen and Kaitlyn and Polly — from challenging rigid, far-left ideology. People who are confident in their beliefs do not censor others — we don’t want to censor others — they welcome free, fair and open debate. And that’s what we’re demanding.

Under the policy I am announcing today, federal agencies will use their authority under various grant-making programs to ensure that public universities protect, cherish — protect the First Amendment and First Amendment rights of their students, or risk losing billions and billions of dollars of federal taxpayer dollars. (Applause.)

Every year, the federal government provides educational institutions with more than $35 billion in research funding. All of that money is now at stake. That’s a lot of money. (Laughter.) They are going to not have to like your views a lot, right? (Laughter.)

We will not stand idly by and allow public institutions to violate their students’ constitutional rights. If a college or university doesn’t allow you to speak, we will not give them money. It’s very simple. (Applause.)

At the same time, private universities should be held to their own policies on free speech. So, from now on, federal agencies will also use their grant-making authority to promote transparency for students at private schools. These colleges should not be able to promise free speech in theory, and then impose restrictive speech codes in practice, which is what many of them do.

Today’s action is just the beginning of our efforts to protect free speech and advance our students’ rights agenda. What I’ve been witnessing over the last long period of time, long before I became President — what I’ve been witnessing is outrageous.

This order will also empower students with vital information about the value of the programs they take on and — having to do with debt. Student loan debt. I’m going to work to fix it because it’s outrageous what’s happening. You’re not given that fair start. You’re too far down. It’s not right. And we’re going to work very, very hard to get it fixed.

But we’re going to start with 43 million people in the United States who are currently working to pay off student loans. And we’ll be talking about that very soon. We’re going to work on that very soon. I’ve always been very good with loans and — (laughter) — I love loans. (Laughter.) I love other people’s money. (Laughter and applause.) And we’re going to work on it. (Applause.) I made a lot of money with those loans, and you’re going to, too. You’re going to do something that’s going to be fair and good. But we’re going to work with you very closely.

The average student loan borrower owes roughly $35,000 dollars — that’s a lot — and, in many cases, much more than that. I’ve seen numbers that go over $200,000. You’re behind the eight ball before you start.

And yet, typically, students who take loans do not have access to critical information about what career outcomes they can expect from their programs, majors, or fields of study. They borrow more money than they can ever expect to pay off or pay back.

Many middle-class American families are getting ripped off, while tax-exempt colleges and large institutions, frankly — they take these tremendous endowments. You look at the money that they have. They’re making a fortune.

For that reason, I am directing the Department of Education and the Department of Treasury to publish detailed information on future earnings and loan repayment rates for every major and every program at every single school. It’s very important. (Applause.)

Today’s order also directs the Department of Education to propose a plan that will require colleges and universities to have skin in the game by sharing a portion of the financial risk of the student loan debt. I believe — (applause).

I believe that colleges and universities, their costs have gone up more than anything I can think of. I’ve watched this. And you watch companies, and they’ll keep it the same for years and years. And you watch these colleges and universities and certain institutions, where it just goes right through the roof.

And the reason — there’s no incentive to them to watch costs. You see people at the heads of the institutions being paid a fortune. They don’t care because the government loans the student the money, they pay the money to the college, and then the student graduates from college — maybe a very good college, but they graduate — or university — and they’re stuck with $200,000 in loans that they won’t be able to pay off for a long time.

So we’re going to make them have an incentive to keep their costs down. Right now, they have no incentive whatsoever. I watched this over a period of time, I figured it out very, very quickly. I’m good at that stuff, believe me. (Laughter.) And I just see their numbers go up so rapidly because they just don’t have the burden on them. And we’re going to put burden on the institutions.

We want them to get the best peop- — teachers and the professors and the administrators and the heads, but the numbers are out of reality. And certainly, they make it out of reality for students when you have to pay back those loans someday.

With today’s action and every action to come, the Trump administration will fight for America’s students. We’re fighting very hard.

And remember what I said: We’re going to give the student loans — where you have way, way over a trillion dollars in student loans — we’re going to start looking at that very seriously and help some of those students that are just mired in debt.

We know that freedom must prevail on college campuses if freedom is to prosper in America. It’s so important. And we believe that greatness must be practiced in our halls of learning if greatness is to thrive in our halls of government and our corridors of commerce.

You’re going to have great lives. But I want you to get off to a great start, not a start where you’re behind a barricade that just doesn’t let you succeed. And we’re going to make it much easier for you — this administration — and we’ve worked very hard on it already.

We’ll be having some meetings. And we’ll be having some very major discussions with some of the biggest colleges and universities. And we’re going to have them shoulder some of the responsibility and some of the money that’s necessary for you to use in order to get your education.

To every student and young American here today: Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you know is right, from asking questions, from challenging the powerful, or from speaking your mind. And that’s the primary reason we’re here right now. You’re going to speak your mind. You’re going to be fair. You’re going to reasonable. You’re going to do it well. And you’re going to speak your mind.

Never ever quit, never give in, and never back down. Keep standing up for your values, for your classmates, and for your country. And you can be certain that, every day of my presidency, we will always support your rights, and your freedoms, and your future.

Thank you all for being here. This is a great honor for me. I’ve been watching this for too long. I’ve been watching things that are unwatchable and I don’t like it. But we’re going to do something about it. See? We like to act, as opposed to just watching and saying, “Oh, isn’t that a shame?” We don’t say that. (Laughter.) We don’t say that. (Applause.)

And I want to congratulate everybody — everybody — for being here. You have just a tremendous future ahead of you and this will make it a lot easier. And you get that point of view across.

And listen to the other point of view. Maybe you can changed and maybe not. I doubt it. (Laughter.) But maybe. You never know. And you what? If you can, that’s okay. And you’ll change them, too. You’re going to change them, too. But, ultimately, it brings people together.

So congratulations. I’ll sign right now. Thank you all for being here. (Applause.)

(The executive order is signed.)

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END 4:06 P.M. EDT

WH Livestream Link – Fox News Livestream – Fox Business Livestream

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ISIS Geographic Caliphate Officially Ends – Insurgent ISIS Ideology Remains…


As of today the geographical ISIS caliphate, the open control over territory, has ended.  There is no longer a geographic land mass under the control and ownership of the extremist ISIS group known as ISIS.  All their territory has been removed.

An review of multiple DoD, State and Media reports essentially boils down to ISIS returning to an insurgency, a loosely connected ideological terror group without control over any specific area.

Interestingly, the foreign fighters who traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS were reported as the last ones to give up the caliphate fight.  Presumably because they would be unable to assimilate into the local communities, those foreign fighters were the last to be eliminated.

BAGHOUZ, Syria — The caliphate has crumbled, and the final offensive is over. While the official announcement hasn’t yet been made – Fox News has been told that this village, the last ISIS stronghold, is liberated.

It’s the first time since we’ve been here in Syria for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the caliphate – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone

The last five days, Fox News has witnessed the last major offensive up close -– with U.S.-backed SDF forces attacking ISIS from three sides, pushing the fighters back, house to house, then tent to tent, against the Euphrates River.

Inside Baghouz, it’s easy to see how they hid for so long – not just in tunnels but trenches and hundreds of cubby holes covered by tarpaulins, which blend in perfectly to the dirt.

In the end, the majority surrendered. In fact, since the start of the year about 60,000 have dripped into the desert, and most are now held in camps.

There is a major concern about what to do with the camps though. The SDF has asked for U.S. support in setting up a tribunal here to prosecute them. (read more)

President Trump took office with specific instructions to the U.S. military to use all options to eliminate the ISIS caliphate.

For four-and-a-half years, ISIS held this territory, ruling over it with an iron fist. It was the terrorist group’s heartland – and they were so dug in that the only way to push them back was to flatten whole villages. The devastation here goes on for miles – and craters like this are a reminder of the critical role played by U.S. airpower. Military jets still fly overhead.

SDF fighters are all so grateful to the U.S., not just for their help in the battle, but now for its decision to leave troops here when it’s done. (link)

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Kellyanne Conway Discusses George Conway -vs- Donald Trump…


White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway sits down for an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.  Within the interview Bartiromo asks Ms. Conway about her husband’s very public criticisms of President Trump…. and the conversation gets weird.

This is an unusual public conversation about an odd personal dynamic.

President Trump High Energy Remarks at Lima, Ohio, Army Tank Plant… (video)


Earlier this afternoon President Donald Trump delivered a speech in Lima, Ohio, at an Army tank plant.  The overall speech held a jobs and economic focus highlighting a strong U.S. economy that continues to expand.

Within the remarks President Trump mixed in a wide variety of current event topics including U.S. military success against ISIS; and the need for GM and the UAW to come to terms, then sell or re-lease the Lordstown, Ohio, auto plant.

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UPDATE Transcript Added – [Transcript] – 3:15 P.M. EDT – AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you better love me; I kept this place open, that I can tell you. (Applause.) They said, “We’re closing it.” And I said, “No, we’re not.” And now you’re doing record business. The job you do is incredible. And I’m thrilled to be here in Ohio with the hardworking men and women of Lima. (Applause.)

And this is some tank plant. There’s nothing like it in the world. You make the finest equipment in the world. You really know what you’re doing. They just gave me a little briefing on a couple of those tanks.

I want to get into them but then I remember when a man named Dukakis got into a tank. (Laughter.) And I remember him; he tanked when he got into the tank. (Laughter.) He tanked — I never saw anybody tank like that. So I said, maybe I’ll — but I’m a little bigger than him; I think it probably would work out okay. How would I look in a tank? Okay? (Applause.) Yeah, not bad. (Applause.) Not bad. The helmet was bigger than he was. That was not good. (Laughter.)

We’re here today to celebrate a resounding victory for all of you, for northwest Ohio, and for our great military, and for our entire country. Incredible victory. (Applause.)

After so many years of budget cuts and layoffs, today, jobs are coming back and pouring back, frankly, like never before. Companies are coming back into our country; they want the action. Production is ramping up in the biggest way. And the awesome M1 Abrams tank is once again thundering down the assembly line. (Applause.) A-1.

I want to thank Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan. He’s done an incredible job. In fact, ISIS — let me tell you about ISIS. They’re not doing so well. You know, we took over the caliphate. You’ll see it tonight. When I came in, it was a mess. Where the hell is that chart? (Laughter.) Folks, they gave me all economic charts. They didn’t give me the ISIS chart. But if you did — bring it up if anybody has it. Bring it up. When I took over, it was a mess. They were all over the place. All over the — all over Syria and Iraq. And you’d see it was a sea of red. And now you look at it and there’s no red. No red.

And you look at some of the economic numbers; nobody thought we’d ever see numbers like that in our country — not a for a long time, not for ever. And what we’re doing has been incredible. What you’re doing has been more incredible. You stuck it out and now you’ve got one of the most successful military plants anywhere in the world. It’s great. (Applause.) So thank you very much, Pat Shanahan.

Also thank you to the Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper. He’s been fantastic. Thank you.

Oh, good. Better late than never. (Laughter.)

Here’s the story: So, you know, I don’t want to have them make a big chart because it costs too much. You know, I’m a business guy. They said, “Sir, we could make a big chart.” I said, “How much does it cost?” Like it matters. But it matters to me. Does that make sense to you?

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

THE PRESIDENT: So, two maps, identical — except the one on top was Syria. See that? The one on top was Syria in November of ’16. You remember that date? November of ’16. November 8th. We had a little victory that night. (Applause.) We had a little victory.

But a lot of us weren’t surprised by it, but the other side said, “Where did all of those people come from?” (Laughter.) And I said, “They just didn’t like candidates for a lot of years. They didn’t vote.”

So what happens is — this is all ISIS. Now, on the bottom — that’s as of today — this is ISIS. There’s none. The caliphate is gone, as of tonight. (Applause.) Pretty good. That’s pretty good, right?

We took over a mess. We took over a mess with North Korea. We took over a mess in the Middle East. We took over. A lot of bad things were happening and the economy was not doing well. It was heading in the wrong direction. You remember that. It was going to go bad, and then we opened up with the regulation cuts and all of the other things we’ve done, including the big tax cut. (Applause.) But it made a big difference. Made a big difference. And we’ll show you some numbers in a little while.

I want to also thank Major General Brian Cummings for the incredible leadership and service you have done. An unbelievable job. Thank you, Brian. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

We’re also honored to be joined by several of the Ohio leaders, friends of mine — terrific people:

Senator Rob Portman. Rob, thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, Rob.

A man who I will never, I promise, wrestle. He was one of the best wrestlers in the history of college wrestling. His record is so ridiculously good. I said, “Were you as good as Dan Gable?” He said, “No.” See, if it were me, I would’ve said, “Yes, I was much better.” (Laughter.) You know who Dan Gable is. Jim Jordan, a great guy. (Applause.) And a great champion. A great, great athlete. Great champion. Thank you. He is tough. You’ll want to have him on your side.

Another one you want on your side always is Mike Turner. Mike, thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Mike. Great.

Warren Davidson. Warren, thank you. (Applause.) And, Bob Latta, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Warren and Bob. (Applause.)

And a man who we’re very proud of because, along with Mike, he ran a great race: Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted. He ran a great race for Governor. (Applause.) We came in that final day — they were a little bit down, against a tough opponent, who I was not a big fan of, and I didn’t like the people that were supporting him too much — Pocahontas and others. (Laughter.) And I came that final day, and we had a day that was incredible and they won by — what did you win by? Six or seven points, right? It was an incredible — huh? Even higher. That’s pretty good. Good. I’ll see Mike in a little while. That’s great. Thank you very much. Congratulations. Proud of you.

To our plant leaders, Lieutenant Colonel Travis Adkins and Henry Kennedy — (applause) — we appreciate everything you do to keep the Army “Rolling Along” full speed ahead. (Applause.) Incredible job.

We’re grateful to General Dynamics — incredible company — Phebe Novakovic. How did I do with that one? Novak-ovic. It’s a little tricky, but that’s okay. What a job you do. Thank you. Great job. Thank you for the tour, too. (Applause.) And the hardworking members of the United Auto Workers. (Applause.)

Now, you’ve got to get over to a place that I like a lot, Lordstown. And you’ve got to get that. You know, the only place — General — what’s going on with General Motors?

We have the best economy we’ve ever had. We have the lowest employment — unemployment that we’ve had in 51 years; soon will be the record of all time.

And what’s going on with General Motors? Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it. Everybody wants it. Sell it to somebody or open it yourselves. Get it going now and the UAW will help you. (Applause.) The UAW — you’re going to help. The UAW just promised they’re going to help. Get it open now. Don’t wait. They said they have discussions coming up in September, October. I said, why not tomorrow? Why not on Monday? What do you have to wait months for? Get the discussions going. Get it open.

Lordstown is a great area. I guess I like it because I won so big there. (Laughter.) But we’re doing a job, and this state has been — we’re very proud of what’s happened in Ohio under our federal auspices. We’ve gotten so many things done, and this plant is one of our great achievements.

To all of our active-duty service members and our wonderful veterans, thank you for serving your country — (applause) — with such tremendous distinction and honor.

And to every welder, and machinist, and assembler, and mechanic, and engineer, and electrician, and carpenter, and every patriot here at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center: Thank you for pouring out your heart and your sweat and your soul to help restore the might of the American military, which very soon will be stronger than it ever was. We’ve bought billions and billions of dollars’ worth of new planes and tanks and many other things. So, thank you all. Great job. (Applause.)

And the fact is we have the best tanks driven by the best soldiers, made by the best workers anywhere in the world. And that’s true.

A lot of people are asking, because they love me, and they ask me about a man named John McCain. And if you want, I could tell you about — should I or not? Yes? Yes?

AUDIENCE: Yes!

THE PRESIDENT: So, I have to be honest: I’ve never liked him much. Hasn’t been for me. I’ve really — probably never will. But there are certain reasons for it, and I’ll tell you. And I do this to save a little time with the press later on. John McCain received a fake and phony dossier. Did you hear about the dossier? It was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton. Right?

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: And John McCain got it. He got it. And what did he do? He didn’t call me. He turned it over to the FBI, hoping to put me in jeopardy. And that’s not the nicest thing to do. You know, when those people say — because I’m a very loyal person.

John McCain campaigned for years to repeal and replace Obamacare — for years, in Arizona. A great state. I love the people of Arizona. But he campaigned, for years, for “repeal and replace.” So did Rob and so did a lot of senators.

When he finally had the chance to do it, he voted against “repeal and replace.” He voted against, at 2 o’clock in the morning. Remember “thumbs down”? We said, “What the hell happened?” He said, two hours before, he was voting to repeal and replace. And then he went thumbs down, badly hurting the Republican Party, badly hurting our nation, and hurting many sick people who desperately wanted good, affordable healthcare. We would’ve had it.

This would’ve saved our country over a trillion dollars in entitlements, and we would have ended up making a great healthcare plan, frankly, with the Democrats because they would have had no choice.

McCain didn’t get the job done for our great vets and the VA, and they knew it. That’s why, when I had my dispute with him, I had such incredible support from the vets and from the military. The vets were on my side because I got the job done. I got Choice and I got Accountability. Accountability — meaning, if somebody mistreats our vets — for 45 years they were trying — they mistreat our vets, and we say, “Hey, you’re fired. Get out.” You can’t mistreat our vets. They never got it done. (Applause.)

And Choice — for year and years, decades, they wanted to get Choice. You know what Choice is. You’re a military person. You’re one of our great people. To me, one of the great people. For many decades, they couldn’t get it done. It was never done. I got it five months ago. I got it done — Choice. Instead of waiting in line — a vet fought for us, fought in these tanks; fought for us.

Instead of waiting in line for two days, two weeks, two months — people on line, they’re not very sick. By the time they see a doctor, they’re terminally ill. We gave them Choice. If you have to wait for any extended period of time, you go outside, you go to a local doctor. We pay the bill; you get yourself better. Go home to your family. And we got it passed. We got it done.

And the other thing is we’re in a war in the Middle East that McCain pushed so hard. He was calling Bush — President Bush — all the time: “Get into the Middle East. Get into the Middle East.”

So now we’re into that war for $7 trillion. Thousands and thousands of our people have been killed, millions of people overall. And frankly, we’re straightening it out now, but it’s been a disaster for our country. We’ve spent tremendous wealth — tremendous wealth — and tremendous lives in that war.

And what do we have? It’s worse than it was 19 years ago. I call them the “endless wars.” Nineteen years ago, when we started.

So, John McCain loved it. I endorsed him at his request, and I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted — which, as President, I had to approve. I don’t care about this. I didn’t get “thank you.” That’s okay. We sent him on the way. But I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.

So now, what we could say is: Now we’re all set. I don’t think I have to answer that question, but the press keeps, “What do you think of McCain? What do you think?” Not my kind of guy. But some people like him, and I think that’s great.

Now let’s get back and let’s get on to the subject of tanks and this economy. Because you know what? We love what we are and what we do more than anything else. We build great, we fight great, and we’re right now in Lima, and Lima is an incredible place, a place of strength and dedication.

Since 1941, this plant has built and serviced thousands of tanks and military vehicles that powered American forces through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. And the tanks are the best in the world — better than ever before. Every single Abrams tank in existence — the steel and the aluminum warhorse; they’re really a warhorse of American ground forces — it was built or serviced on these very grounds by you people. By you people.

But under the previous administration, this tank factory — the last of its kind anywhere in the Western Hemisphere — came very close to shutting down.

Four straight years, the number of U.S. tanks that were budgeted for upgrades was zero. Does anybody remember that? Raise your hands. Do you remember that? Zero. That was under your great President Obama. Our military readiness declined and your workforce was slashed by 60 percent.

But those days are over. We are rebuilding the American military. We are restoring American manufacturing. And we are once again fighting for our great American workers.

Over the last two years, we have secured nearly $1.5 trillion to provide our warfighters the finest aircraft, ships, missiles, and tanks anywhere on Earth. We make the best equipment on Earth. And we sell that equipment, as you know, to good allies. Although, sometimes the good ones turn out to be not so good, and then we do something. We figure it out. You know what you have to do? You figure it out.

This year, we’re asking for an additional $750 billion, which is a record. That includes funding to upgrade more than 160 mighty M1 Abrams tanks. Congratulations. (Applause.) Congratulations.

These historic investments are making America safer and our workforce stronger. From the awe-inspiring F-35 fighter in Texas to the Ford-class aircraft carriers in Virginia — we’re now building the largest aircraft carrier anywhere in the world. In fact, I’m hearing it’s actually the largest ship ever built. It is seriously big. I was there recently. It’s something — it’s like landing at an airport, although you have to be very talented, still, to land on those decks, no matter how you figure it. Some people can do it and some people can’t. Some very good pilots can.

To advance missile defense systems in Alabama, American workers are building the most cutting-edge, modern, and powerful military anywhere on the planet. At the heart of our military rebuilding is our investment in the legendary M1 Abrams tank. And I will tell you, the investment has paid off because the technology is so — if you look at this tank from now, and you go back 10 years and look at the tank, it’s a like a whole different — it’s a whole different deal, isn’t it? A whole different deal.

Over the next three years, we’re investing more than $6 billion in upgrades and modifications to these tanks — that’s going to keep you very busy here — almost twice the amount spent in the entire eight years of the previous administration, which was going down to nothing. Because you were closed; this place was closed.

And I heard about it. And I got calls from Jim Jordan and Rob, and everybody, saying, “You just can’t do this.” And after I studied the situation, I said, “We’re not only not going to close in Lima, we’re going to expand.” And that’s what took place. So you owe a lot to a lot of your great political leaders.

Our investment — (applause) — our investment in you is also a tremendous win for American taxpayers. By modernizing this plant and accelerating production, we will bring the cost down by 20 percent, saving taxpayers nearly $3 million on every single tank. That’s not bad.

With the help of everyone in this room, we are giving our warriors the most effective, reliable, and lethal battle tank in the history of war. Would you say that’s correct? (Applause.)

So how does this compare with the tanks made in China and Russia and other places? What do you think? Can we take them? (Applause.) They say it’s much better.

America does not need conflict. But if conflict comes, and you know the story — you’ve got to be strong if conflict comes — we will dominate the battlefield, and we will win, win, win. We’re now set up to win, win, win.

When I came in, we had some big problems. You look at what we’ve done on so many fronts. And we actually have better relationships. They respect our country more than they’ve ever respected it. Our country is respected again. The United States is respected again. (Applause.)

To help meet our military needs, I am very proud to report that 400 new jobs are coming here to Lima, compared to just a few years ago, and we’re doubling the size of your workforce. (Applause.) We need to.

Our investment will also support thousands of additional jobs across our nation to assemble these incredible Abrams tanks. The engines are from Alabama, transmissions are from Indiana, special armor from Idaho, and the 120-millimeter gun — and the gun parts from upstate New York and from Pennsylvania. All great places. In Ohio alone, almost 200 suppliers churn out parts and materials that go into every tank that rolls off this factory’s floor. Incredible.

What you achieve here at this plant is truly remarkable. And equally remarkable is that they wanted to close it. No good. Every day you start with a powerful, heavy, but sometimes rust-covered, hollowed-out hull — and with incredible skill and extraordinary care — you restore its unmatched power, strength, and glory with all brand new equipment inside. The best in the world.

The amazing restorations you accomplish every day are a perfect symbol for what we’re doing with American manufacturing all across our nation.

And we just came out — another chart — we just came out with numbers — the Economic Report of the President: 3.1 percent GDP. The first time in 14 years that we cracked 3, right? (Applause.) That’s pretty good — 3.1. The press tried to make it 2.9. I said, “It’s not 2.9.” What they did is they took odd months. I said, “No, no, no. You go from January to December. You don’t take certain months and add them up.” Because I said, “We’re going to break 3.” And we did. We did 3.1.

The fake news tried to change it but we caught them. (Laughter.) I said — I said, “You know, we didn’t break the 3. Oh, that’s terrible.” They said, “Yes, sir, you did. They just took odd months.” I said, “No, no, January to December.” 3.1 percent, first time in 14 years. Congratulations. (Applause.) Sort of incredible. It’s true.

This chart is a beauty. This is “Venture Capital Deals Surged Following the Passage of” — really, the election — rising nearly $17 billion. You know what that means. So here’s your charts — going along — and here’s us. See the red line there? It’s like a rocket ship. (Applause.) Can you see that? It’s small but cheap — (laughter) — and it gets the point across, right?

A couple of other things — because I think this report is incredible. So these are “Workers Coming Off the Sidelines,” and now it’s just — this is just partially. So, the blue. The blue. The red. That’s a big difference. That’s a tremendous difference. The most in many, many years.

And everyone said, “You couldn’t do it, couldn’t bring back manufacturing jobs.” Remember? “You’d need a magic wand.” We’re bringing them back beyond anybody’s expectations.

You see the red line here? These are “Wages are Rising for the Workers.” These are “Wages are Rising.” (Applause.) 3.4 percent — it’s one of the largest increases in 20 years. And for the most part, they were going down. They weren’t even rising.

I used to campaign — I’d be in Ohio, I’d be in Pennsylvania, I’d be all over, and I’d talk about wages where people would have to work three jobs and they were making less than they did 20 years ago. You remember that, Rob? Jim? I used to do it all the time. I’d be — it was just a part of my speech. I’d say, “You’re working three jobs. You make less money than you did 20 years ago.” And it was literally 21 years. And now wages are going up.

And you have something else that’s happening. If you don’t like working here — and you all do — and I don’t want to lose anybody. And who the hell would want to leave this place? This is what you call a great — a great place to work. (Applause.) But if for any reason — if for any reason you did, you can pick out six, seven, eight other jobs. In other words, you can finally have a job that you really like, where you like getting up in the morning. I do. I do, even though I have the fake news hounding me all the time. (Applause.) The fake and phony and corrupt. It’s fake. It’s corrupt. But we got to live with it, right? Got to live with it.

But you guys — you do; you get up in the morning, you love to come, and you love your job, or you wouldn’t be doing what I just witnessed back there when I looked at some of these incredible tanks.

And here’s another chart: “Deregulating and Saving” — through the roof.

Here’s a chart: “The American Energy.” The United States is the largest producer — that’s happened over the last short period of time — of crude oil and natural gas in the world, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia.

We’re also a net — do you think Russia is happy about this? I don’t think so. You know, Hillary wanted to put windmills all over the place. Let’s put up some windmills. “When the wind doesn’t blow, just turn off the television, darling, please.” (Laughter.) “No wind out today. There’s no wind. Please turn off the television, quickly.” (Laughter.) Put the windmills up and watch the value of your house — if you’re in sight of a windmill, watch the value of your house go down by 65 percent. Wonderful to have windmills.

And solar is wonderful too, but it’s not strong enough and it’s very, very expensive.

So the United States is now the largest producer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Happened all in that very short — you know, you guys are all so — (applause) — think of that. Think of that, beating out Saudi Arabia and Russia. They’re pretty good producers, right? Guess what? We do more than they do. And in a short period of time, as soon as we get some pipelines opened in Texas, we’ll be able to almost double it. Double it.

What we’re doing is incredible. We approved the Keystone Pipeline. Right? I did that. Forty-eight thousand jobs between that and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I got them approved, like almost my first couple of days in office. I said, “They’re approved.”

And what is it? It’s good environmentally. It’s underground. You’re not riding it over tracks. You’re not trucking it. It’s actually a great thing, environmentally.

But President Obama, after years and years and years, they said, “We’re not going to approve it.” I said, “We’ll approve it.” Forty-eight thousand jobs. Think of it. It’s being built right now. They’re both being built. One just got completed — Dakota Access. And many, many other cases like that. Plants all over the country are going up.

But the thing that’s the greatest is companies that left us — they no longer wanted to be in the USA — they’re coming roaring back. Toyota — $13.5 billion.

We’ve created more than almost 6 million jobs since the election. And if I would have said that to the fake news during the campaign, they would’ve said, “He exaggerates.” I’m not exaggerating, but nobody would’ve believed that could happen. Including almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs. We could’ve taken your jobs, all. If it weren’t for me, this place would’ve been closed. Would have been closed. (Applause.) Would have been closed, fellas. And you’re doing us a favor because of the great job you do. It’s not just a one-way street. You’re doing us a favor.

Last year, our manufacturers reported the highest level of optimism ever recorded in a 40-year-old poll. And this year we went up again. Went from 56 percent — and it stayed there for years, between 50 and 56 — to 94 percent. They’ve never had anything like it. That’s optimism. (Applause.)

And we — all of us — are living by two simple rules: Buy American and hire American. (Applause.) Very simple.

Unemployment has recently reached the lowest rate in 51 years. Other than that, we’re not doing well. (Laughter.) More — and think of this: More Americans are working today than ever before in the history of our country. Almost 160 million people. More than ever before, by far.

And if you look at African American — you’ve heard me say this many times — African American employment is at an all-time low — unemployment. Asian American unemployment is at an all-time low. Hispanic unemployment — an all-time low. Women’s unemployment — 65-year low. Soon it’ll be historic, meaning better than ever. And soon the basic number will be historic.

We’ve reduced the number of unemployed veterans by nearly 50 percent. I’m so proud of that. That’s why the veterans like me more than other people. (Applause.) That’s why they like me. (Applause.) Fifty percent since the election. And veteran unemployment is now at the lowest level ever, ever, ever recorded.

Thanks to our pro-American tax, regulatory, and trade policies — and, by the way, we’re doing great in our deal with China. They were taking out 500 billion a year for many years from our country. I consider that we’ve rebuilt China. Five hundred billion, not million. Think of what that means. Five-hundred billion dollars a year taken out of our country.

And now they’re paying us. They’re paying tariffs on the products they’re sending in, and we’re negotiating and they want to make a deal. And hopefully, we’ll make a deal. And if we don’t, that’s fine. And if we do, that’s fine. It’s got to be a good deal. It can’t be a bad deal. We’re so far down, it’s got to be a great deal. If it’s not a great deal, we’ll never catch up.

And their economy is way down. And I don’t want their economy to be down; I want their economy to be up. But their economy is down 32 to 38 percent. And our economy, if you look at the numbers, since my election, is up almost 50 percent. Fifty. That’s some difference. (Applause.)

And the world economy — the world economy is not good. And frankly, if the world economy were good, that would be, in a way, good for us. So we’re fighting there. We’re bucking. Europe is down, Asia is down — a lot of places. Almost every place is down. Except the United States is up. And we’re way up. And just think of what that would be. The world goes up; we go up with the world. The world is down, but we still go up. Something is happening. That wouldn’t happen under Barack Obama, that I can tell you. It wouldn’t happen under Crooked Hillary Clinton. (Laughter.)

Last week, as I said, Toyota announced a massive investment. They’re going to be expanding factories all across our nation. And they’re going to be soon building new ones. Ford is bringing hundreds of new jobs to Chicago and other places. Tremendous amount of car companies are coming into the great state of Michigan, and they’re coming into the great state of Ohio. Volkswagen is creating 1,000 brand new jobs in the state of Tennessee. And Chrysler is building Detroit’s first new car factory in a generation — so long ago — in a generation. (Applause.) Think of that. Michigan. Michigan.

You know, the nice part about running for President this time, as opposed to last time — last time, you know, I said I was going to do it, but I didn’t do it. But I said I was going to do it. This time, I’ve done it far greater than I said I was going to do it. So it’s going to be really easy on the debate stage when they hit me with nonsense and I say, “Really? But African American unemployment — the best it’s ever been.” Hispanic, Asian, women, everybody — it’s all the best it’s ever been.

How do you top that in a debate? What are they going to say? “Uh, well, it could be better”? (Laughter.) No, the easy part — and I say this to all of your political leaders here — if you do a good job, it’s a lot easier that second time. But nobody has done the job that we’ve done. And I say “we” because you’ve been on our side. Your union leaders aren’t on my side, by the way. I watched them on television. They’re not. But the unions — the people that work there are on our side. It’s true. (Applause.) It’s true. I had —

AUDIENCE: Trump! Trump! Trump!

THE PRESIDENT: I had union leaders in the White House a few months ago — the biggest guys. Nice guys, but they’re Democrats no matter what. Okay? And you see where that’s taken you. That would’ve been catastrophic. But I had them in, and we explained how good it was for the car industry, for this, for that. They said, “Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, this is unbelievable. Thank you, sir.”

But then I see one of the guys the next day on a television show. The — I think it was called “Deface the Nation.” (Laughter.) And — ladies and gentlemen, “Deface the Nation.” And he’s saying how he’s a Democrat and he wants Democrat policies — which were, by the way, putting everybody in the poorhouse.

But I just left the guy. He’s hugging me, kissing me, telling him what an unbelievable deal. Nobody else could do it. And the next day, he’s on there talking about stuff. And I really said, “I sort of don’t want to meet these guys. I want to deal with the people in the union, not the heads of the union.” (Applause.) Because the heads of the union are not honest people. They’re not honest, and they ought to lower your dues, by the way. They ought to stop with the dues. They — you’re paying too much dues. (Applause.)

As an example, they could’ve kept General Motors. They could’ve kept it in that gorgeous plant at Lordstown. They could’ve kept it. Lower your dues. Lower your dues.

America’s Founders understood that to be strong and powerful as a nation, we must also be a great manufacturing nation. President Obama said, “You’ll never bring manufacturing back.” I said, “What are you talking about?” It’s all about manufacturing. And we’re bringing it back in record numbers. (Applause.) Nobody can believe it.

And these are talented jobs. These are great jobs. These are genius jobs. And these are really well-paying jobs, as you people know. You get a lot of money. Let’s negotiate. (Laughter.)

We must not be dependent upon others for the resources we need to protect our people. When we open this plant, a couple of my people — I have some good business people — they said, “Let’s make a deal with the workers before we open it. We’ll make a great deal.” I said, “I agree we can do that, but we’re not going to do that. These people have suffered enough.” We’re going to open the plant and everybody is going to be happy. You understand what I mean by that.

That’s why my administration is restoring America’s defense industrial base by bringing great jobs and great wages to plants just like this in Lima. Economy and strength is security. And it’s all about security and national security. It’s about loving our country. It’s about loving our flag. You know that. (Applause.)

Now, as result of my very tough trade actions — something I’m very proud of — America’s steel and our steel mills are roaring back to life. You know that. You see it all over. We put a big, fat beautiful tariff on that dumped steel. It’s sand steel. It’s mud steel. It’s crap steel. And they’re dumping it all over. I said, “That’s okay, you can dump but we’re going to charge you 25 percent when you come in and think you’re going to take our jobs and give us bad steel.” I know a lot about — I’ve used a lot of steel.

Right here in Ohio, Nucor has just announced an $85 million upgrade in Marion. (Applause.) Charter Steel announced plans to build a brand new, 150-million-dollar steel plant in Cuyahoga Heights. JSW Steel is restarting the furnace — that’s a massive furnace — and investing $500 million in Mingo Junction. And Cleveland Cliffs announced a brand new, 700-million-dollar plant in Toledo, Ohio. (Applause.) Don’t leave here, though. Don’t leave here. Don’t get any ideas. Don’t get leave here. Just stay here. Just relax. Stay here. We don’t want you going to Mingo Junction.

We’re also finally fixing the horrible trade deals that have cost our nation trillions of dollars and where we’ve lost millions and millions and millions of jobs, like we were stupid people. They closed a plant; they move it to Mexico. They make the product; they sell it right in the United States. No tax. All we end up with is loss and no jobs. We get no taxes. We get nothing. That doesn’t happen anymore.

Under our new deal, there’s a tremendous financial disincentive to close up plants and move them to other countries. You’re not going to see that anymore. (Applause.)

And we’re getting rid of the disaster known as NAFTA, one of the worst trade deals ever negotiated in the history of the world. (Applause.) All over the country, you still see empty plants, when they haven’t been converted to nursing homes and apartments, right? It’s not the same thing as a plant. I love apartments. I love the business. But that’s not the same thing as a plant where you have 5,000 people working. Not the same thing.

And replacing it — we’re replacing NAFTA with the great U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. Like the song. If you can’t remember — YMCA, right? We’ll play the song for you, everybody. USMCA.

We’ve taken historic action to confront China’s trading abuses, because the days of stealing American jobs and our ideas and our wealth have come to an end, folks. They’ve come to an idea, all right? They’ve come to an end. (Applause.)

We’ve made some progress. That’s why you see these numbers. Look at that chart. Look at that. You don’t have to know what’s on it. What difference — look at the line. (Laughter.) You don’t have to know what the hell is on it. All you know is that’s a good line. (Laughter.)

Technological positive change. That’s okay, right? It’s all like that. That’s what it is. Rob, Jim, that’s what it is. Turner, see that? Look. That’s what we fight for, right? Huh? That’s what we’re all fighting for.

In everything we do and every action we take, we’re putting America first, and we are putting American workers first, for the first time in a long time. (Applause.)

So just in closing, I’d like to now introduce a couple of truly incredible workers from right here — I guess you know these folks — right here at the tank plant to share quickly their stories with you.

Adam Stahler is a Quality Engineer who has worked at the plant for 10 years. His son, Derek, is a Specialist with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas. Great Place. Derek operates and maintains Stryker personnel carriers, one of the vehicles produced right here in Lima. Adam, thank you for everything your family has done for our nation. Please come up and say a few words. Adam, thank you. (Applause.)

MR. STAHLER: Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be up here today as a representative of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.

For those of you who don’t me, my name is Adam Stahler. I’m a Quality Systems Engineer employed here going on 10 years. Growing up in the area and currently living in Wapakoneta, I have witnessed the highs and lows the economy has had on this facility and the region.

I’m proud that this administration recognizes the importance of this facility and the value we provide to the warfighter. It is very rewarding to have a son serving the United States military, where he is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, working on a quality vehicle produced by my brothers and sisters at JSMC. My son thanks you. And for that, I thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Boy, you’re a young guy. How old are you?

MR. STAHLER: Forty-five.

THE PRESIDENT: Wow. You look like your son.

MR. STAHLER: Oh, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.)

I thought Adam was the son. Look how young he looks. (Laughter.) He’s got a son working out there? Wow. Whatever you’re eating, Adam, keep eating it. (Laughter.) It’s working.

Jay Baldwin is a Boiler Operator and a proud Army veteran. After serving as a tank crewman on the M1, now Jay helps build the M1 right here. You know him. Jay, please come on up. (Applause.)

MR. BALDWIN: Thank you, Mr. President, for coming to our plant in Lima, Ohio. As a former Army M1 tanker, I can honestly say that we make the best tank in the entire world. (Applause.)

Our workers here are very proud to be making such a fine product for our soldiers to have the benefit and best capabilities on the battlefield. And thanks to our great President, his military and economic policies have rejuvenated this facility to increase production of armored vehicles and hiring of more skilled workers.

And finally, it is my personal opinion that God was looking after our country when you were elected. (Applause.) Mr. President, thank you for everything you have done. (Applause.) Thank you, truthfully.

THE PRESIDENT: Wow. Thank you. Thank you. That’s so nice, Jay and Adam. I appreciate it.

You never know what you get when you come up. It’s live. (Laughter.) But you couldn’t do better than that, right? That’s great. Thank you, fellas. That’s great.

I want to also thank all of the patriots here today. You remind us that the might of America’s armed forces also depends upon the skill and devotion of all of America’s workers. And you really are doing a job. We’re very proud of you.

For nearly 80 years, the exceptional workers at this plant has embodied the strength of the American spirit. Those who choose to work here are drawn not just by the promise of a good paycheck but by the power of patriotism — every single one of you is a patriot — the chance to go to work every morning to help protect this nation that we so deeply love.

That’s why veterans make up more than one third of the workforce at this wonderful plant. We very much stress: We want, wherever we can, we want veterans. That’s why you check — (applause) — right? That’s right. And that’s why you check and recheck every bolt, every single thing having to do with that incredible tank — every pin, every wire, every square inch of each tank before it leaves the floor.

And I just got a little news that was given to me as I was walking up. U.S. forces, in the last month, have killed the terrorists responsible for the attack in Syria that killed four Americans, the Paris theater attack in 2015, and the USS Cole bombing in 2000. We killed them all. (Applause.) We killed them all. We killed them all. We killed them all. They’re bad people.

But that’s why you show up early and you stay late, and always get the job done right. You’re proud of your work. You do it better than anyone, anywhere in the world — what you do. No country on Earth can match you and no country can match what you do.

In just a few months, we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of one of the many victories that workers at the Lima Army Tank Plant helped make possible: the Normandy landings on D-Day, June 6, 1944, in the Second World War. It was right here on these very grounds that thousands of American workers modified M4 Sherman tanks in preparation for a battle that would forever change the course of human history. Right here. (Applause.)

The workers who rallied to the Lima plant came from all over northwest Ohio and beyond. They were farmers and refinery workers and shopkeepers and homemakers who rolled up their sleeves and got to work when their country needed them the most. Normandy. Many of them had full-time jobs elsewhere. They punched out at one job, then came here and punched right back in. Not for the money. They knew and fully understood the importance of what they did and what they represented. And if they were lucky, they might catch a few hours’ sleep on the loading dock before doing it all again, day after day, day after day.

In just three years, the patriots of Ohio cranked out more than 100,000 military vehicles — a truly amazing feat that helped give America the power to vanquish tyranny, defeat our enemies, and save freedom for the entire world.

This is the legacy that each of you inherits. And America knows you will carry it forward with the same purpose and passion that you’ve poured into this factory each and every day. We love you.

We see your legacy in every battlefield victory, in the smiling faces of every soldier that returns home safely, and every time a citizen proudly salutes our great American flag. Because it is here in Lima — right here — that American greatness is forged with American hands, with American heart, and with American pride. (Applause.) True. True.

We don’t know what challenges will come, what dangers we must face, or what opportunities we must seize. But we know that America will always be ready because of you and your strength, and your skill and your drive, and your unbreakable spirit.

Because of hardworking citizens like you, the people of Lima, the people of Ohio, and the people of America will always fight on to victory, victory, victory. You don’t know how to lose. You never will have to find out. You’ll never have to find out about losing. Together, we shall forever be one nation, under God. (Applause.)

So I want to thank you. I want to say God bless you, God bless Ohio, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much everybody. Thank you. (Applause.)

END 4:08 P.M. EDT

Interesting tweet from Bloomberg reporter:

Jennifer Jacobs

@JenniferJJacobs

Trump again said GM should sell Lordstown plant if not making cars there.

GM tells @margarettalev: “We have received inquiries from interested parties related to the Lordstown Complex and the Chevrolet Cruze.
We will consider any that are truly viable business opportunities.”

59 people are talking about this

Looks like President Trump drawing attention to the opportunity has led to GM receiving multiple inquiries….

President Trump Impromptu Press Remarks Departing White House (Video and Transcript)…


President Trump delivers remarks to the White House press pool as he departs for Lima Ohio. [Video and Transcript below]

.

[Transcript] South Lawn 12:25 P.M. EDT

Q Do you know when the Mueller report will be released, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: I have no idea. No collusion. No collusion. I have no idea when it’s going to be released. It’s interesting that a man gets appointed by a deputy; he writes a report. You know — never figured that one out. A man gets appointed by a deputy; he writes a report.

I had the greatest electoral victory — one of them — in the history of our country. Tremendous success. Tens of millions of voters. And now somebody is going to write a report who never got a vote.

So we’ll see what the report says. Let’s see if it’s fair. I have no idea when it’s going to be released.

Q Have you reversed your policy on Syria?

THE PRESIDENT: No, no. We’re — in Syria, we’re leaving 200 people there and 200 people in another place in Syria, closer to Israel, for a period of time. I brought this out for you because this is a map of — everything in the red — this was on Election Night in 2016. Everything red is ISIS. When I took it over, it was a mess.

Now, on the bottom, that’s the exact same. There is no red. In fact, there’s actually a tiny spot, which will be gone by tonight.

So that’s ISIS — red, right there — and the bottom one is how it is today. This just came out 20 minutes ago. So this is ISIS on Election Day — my election day — and this is ISIS now. So that’s the way it goes.

Q Mr. President, does the American public have a right to see the Mueller report?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t mind. I mean, frankly, I told the House, “If you want, let them see it.” Again, I say: A deputy — because of the fact that the Attorney General didn’t have the courage to do it himself, a deputy that’s appointed appoints another man to write a report. I just won an election with 63 million votes or so. Sixty-three million. I had 206 to 223 in the Electoral College — 306 to 223.

And I’m saying to myself, wait a minute, I just won one of the greatest elections of all time in the history of this country — and even you will admit that — and now I have somebody writing a report that never got a vote. It’s called the Mueller report.

So explain that, because my voters don’t get it. And I don’t get it.

Now, at the same time, let it come out. Let people see it. That’s up to the Attorney General. We have a very good Attorney General; he’s a very highly respected man. And we’ll see what happens.

But it’s sort of interesting that a man, out of the blue, just writes a report. I got 306 electoral votes against 223. That’s a tremendous victory. I got 63 million more. I got 63 million votes. And now somebody just writes a report? I think it’s ridiculous.

But I want to see the report. And you know who will want to see it? The tens of millions of people that love the fact that we have the greatest economy we’ve ever had.

I’m going to Ohio right now. They were going to close the plant; it’s where they make the tanks. It was going to be closed, and I stopped them from closing it. And now it’s thriving and doing great. And the people of Ohio, they like Trump because I’ve done a great job in Ohio. And I’ve done a great job all over the country. That’s what the people want to hear.

Q Are you saying that Bob Mueller is a bad actor?

THE PRESIDENT: I know nothing about it. I know that he’s conflicted and I know that his best friend is Comey, who’s a bad cop. And I know that there are other things, obviously. You know I had a business transaction with him that I’ve reported many times that you people don’t talk about. But I had a nasty business transaction with him and other things. I know that he put 13 highly conflicted and, you know, very angry — I call them angry — Democrats in. So, you know — so, what it is.

Now, let’s see whether or not it’s legit. You know better than anybody there’s no collusion. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no nothing. But it’s sort of an amazing thing that when you have a great victory, somebody comes and does a report out of nowhere — tell me how that makes sense — who never got a vote; who the day before he was retained to become Special Counsel, I told him he wouldn’t be working at the FBI. And then the following day, they get him for this. I don’t think so. I don’t think people get it.

With all of that being said, I look forward to seeing the report.

Q On the China trade deal, once you have an agreement with President Xi, will you immediately lift the China tariffs? Will you remove the tariffs right away?

THE PRESIDENT: No. We’re not talking about removing them. We’re talking about leaving them and for a substantial period of time, because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China, that China lives by the deal. Because they’ve had a lot of problems living by certain deals and we have to make sure.

Now, no President has ever done what I’ve done with China. China had free reign over our country, taking out $500 billion a year for many years. We actually rebuilt China, in the truest sense of the word. We rebuilt China.

But we’re getting along with China very well. President Xi is a friend of mine. The deal is coming along nicely. We have our top representatives going there this weekend to further the deal. But, no, we have — we’re taking in billions and billions of dollars right now in tariff money. And for a period of time, that will stay.

Q Mr. President, your tweets about George Conway, how do they fit the standard of the First Lady’s BE BEST campaign?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know him. Yeah, I don’t know him. He’s a whack job, there’s no question about it. But I really don’t know him. He — I think he’s doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful wife. Kellyanne is a wonderful woman. And I call him “Mr. Kellyanne.” The fact is that he’s doing a tremendous disservice to a wife and family. She’s a wonderful woman.

Q The 232 tariff reform: What are the recommendations?

THE PRESIDENT: Well — are you talking about the one that you just —

Q The auto tariffs. The auto tariffs.

THE PRESIDENT: — found out about having to do with cars?

Q Correct.

THE PRESIDENT: No recommendation. It’s up for review, and the European Union has been very tough on the United States for many years but nobody talked about it. And so we’re looking at something to combat it.

Not only do they charge our companies — if you look, it was 1.6 billion to Google; it just happened yesterday. And a lot of other things. A lot of litigation.

But I say the European Union has been as tough on the United States as China, just not as much money involved.

Q Are you leaning towards tariffs?

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll see what happens. We’ll see whether or not they negotiate a deal. If they negotiate a deal, a fair deal, that’s a different story.

Q Mr. President, are (inaudible) beneath the dignity of the office you hold?

THE PRESIDENT: Uh, yeah, go ahead.

Q Will you answer that question, Mr. President?

Q (Inaudible) from your Twitter account?

THE PRESIDENT: I think that Twitter is a way that I get out the word when we have a corrupt media. And it is corrupt and it’s fake. So Twitter is a way that I can get out the word. Because our media is so dishonest — a lot of it — the mainstream. A lot of it. They don’t report the facts. They don’t report — as an example that I just showed you, they don’t want to report this, so I figure I might as well show it.

So when I do Twitter statements, I get out the word from a fake and corrupt media.

And I have, on five sites —

Q But is it beneath the office you hold?

THE PRESIDENT: Please. Please.

Q Is it beneath your office?

THE PRESIDENT: Please.

On five sites, I have over 100 million people, and that includes Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and everything. And it’s a way that I can get honesty out, because there’s tremendous dishonesty with respect to the fake-news media.

Q Mr. President, what was your reaction — Mr. President, what was your reaction —

Q Your Secretary of State for African Affairs went to Angola this week and he showed the support of the United States to Angola.

THE PRESIDENT: Good.

Q About the work that of President, João Lourenço, doing in Angola — João Lourenço, the new President of Angola, he’s combatting corruption really hard in Angola. What do you think about that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll take a look at that. I’ll speak to the Secretary.

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: Pakistan — we’ll be meeting with Pakistan. I think our relationship right now is very good with Pakistan.

Thank you.

END – 12:35 P.M. EDT

Julian II – The Trump of Rome?


QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; You seem to have studied history more than any professor I ever met. So I am directing this question to you. Did Rome have their Trump who tried to drain the swamp? Or was everyone just immersed in the swamp?

LR

ANSWER: History repeats because human nature never changes no matter how much we progress technologically. So many people think history is irrelevant and you will often hear that this time it’s different. I have found no exceptions whatsoever and I have really searched very hard by studying the rise and fall of empires, nations, and city-states.

Flavius Claudius Julianus, known to history as Julian II, was born in Constantinople around 332 AD, the son of Julius Constantius who was the half-brother of Constantine the Great. His father was born by his grandfather’s second wife, Theodora. When Constantine the Great died in 337 AD, his son, Constantine II launched a midnight Palace Massacre whereby all persons who might be his rival for the throne and were not the direct descendant of Constantine I’s first wife were slaughtered. Fortunately for Julian, he managed to escape the Palace Massacre only due to his extremely young age. Julian was restored to the imperial favor as he grew and was given the rank of Caesar (Vice President) on November 6th, 355 AD, about the same time he married Constantius’ youngest sister, Helena.

Yet the Palace Massacre left a deep mark upon his character whereby he saw Christianity as just another cult and the preachings of thou shalt not kill  meant really nothing when power was at stake. As a result, he was dubbed by theologians as Julian the Apostate. Julian’s coinage changed when he became Emperor. He grew a beard which was taken as a sign of being a pagan whereas Christians were clean-shaven. His coins would often display pagan motifs as well. Julian began his reign by throwing off his Christian cloak and declaring that all religions would be tolerated. He gave especially large donations to the pagan causes. He dismissed his Christian teachers and ended state subsidies for the church. He then took an active role in organizing pagan worship throughout all the provinces.

Julian’s own philosophical beliefs led him to idealize the reigns of Hadrian (117-138 AD) and Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD). He described the ideal ruler as being essentially primus inter pares (“first among equals”), and thus not above the same laws that applied to everyone else. Julian frequently attended the Senate, participating in debates and making speeches. He was opposed to the traditional royal court operations that were used by his predecessors as inefficient, corrupt, and highly expensive. He cut the bureaucratic waste dismissing thousands of servants, eunuchs, and duplicated officials drastically reducing the cost of government for the taxpayers. He went as far as to prosecute corruption in government establishing the Chalcedon tribunal under the supervision of a magister militum Arbitio. He prosecuted former official under Constantius including the chamberlain Eusebius who ran the royal court finding them guilty and this sentenced to death. Yet Julian did not attend these proceedings that some argued meant he did not approve of these actions yet he took no steps to prevent them.

Julian also adopted the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson whereby he tried to reduce the federal bureaucracy expanding state and local authority at the expense of the imperial bureaucracy as Julian sought to reduce direct imperial involvement in urban affairs. For example, he went as far as to return city land owned by the imperial government and city council members were then compelled to resume civic authority.

There was really a massive invasion of people from the north as the climate began to turn colder. It was more than just barbarians seeking plunder. They were migrating due to climate change. In 357AD Julian, had defeated the barbarians known as the Alamanni giving him the prestige and political power to be respected. He stepped in and prevented a tax increase by the Gallic (France) praetorian prefect Florentius and personally took charge of the province of Belgica Secunda. Julian now cross from military to civil administration, where he demonstrated his philosopher training being influenced by his liberal education in Greece.

Julian’s first priority, still as Caesar and not Augustus (Emperor), was to drive out the barbarians who had breached the Rhine frontier. Thereafter, he won the support of the civil population by his fairness. He set out to rebuild the region creating a stable and peaceful economy following the barbarian invasions. Julian clashed with Florentius over the latter’s support of tax increases and the prevailing corruption within the bureaucracy.

Julian’s handling of tax reform was brilliant. As far as taxes upon the cities, Julian actually reasonably made the tribute in gold by the cities called the aurum coronarium astonishingly voluntary rather than a compulsory tax. Like Hadrian, who rectified tax situations and is said to have defended the weak against the strong, Julian followed his role model. Any arrears concerning land taxes were simply canceled. This was an essential reform reducing the power of corrupt imperial officials, as the unpaid taxes on land were often hard to calculate or higher than the value of the land itself. Forgiving back taxes both made Julian more popular and allowed him to increase collections of current taxes.

Clearly, Julian ceded much of the authority of the imperial government to the cities decentralizing the government in what we would call state-rights today. His actions, no doubt, provided the backdrop to Thomas Jefferson who studied everything he could about the Roman Empire and perhaps accounted for his anti-Federalist position.

Julian also took more direct control of the affairs of state to eliminate corruption himself. For example, new taxes and corvées had to be approved by him directly rather than left to the judgment of some bureaucrat. Julian was well aware of the need for society to be properly managed politically, but he also saw the religious side that had led to the horrendous and violent dislocation of religion during the 3rd century.

Julian purged the bureaucrats draining the swamp that were career appointees of previous administrations and instead drew heavily from the intellectual and professional classes with knowledge and experience – very novel in those days. His choice of consuls for the year 362 AD was highly controversial since he surprisingly chooses Nevitta, who had been Julian’s trusted Frankish general. Some argued that this appointment was showing his reliance upon the power of the army while others claim he was seeking the maintenance the support of the Western army that made him emperor.

Julian was convinced that an all-out war would become necessary against the Persians who had for centuries constantly caused the eastern provinces great trouble. In March of 363, Julian departed for his invasion of Persia taking 65,000 infantry and Calvary. After some minor success, he reached Ctesiphon, the capital of Persia, in June, but his food supply was running low. Realizing that he could not take the city, Julian ordered a retreat down the Tigris. Julian was injured by a spear. There was speculation that he was killed by a member of his own troops because of his religious beliefs. But this was only speculation.

 

We have less than 100 silver Siliqua that are from a very famous hoard discovered in Britain. This is known as the Harptree Hoard discovered in 1887. This hoard was discovered in the village of East Harptree, located approximately 16 miles southwest of Bath. The hoard consisted of 1496 silver coins, five silver ingots, and a Roman silver ring set with a carnelian intaglio stone. The coins are 4th century, covering the period of Constantine the Great to Gratian (circa 306 to 383 AD).

The landowner, Mr. William Kettlewell, made the hoard available to the British Museum under the law, and it was first written up by John Evans in The Numismatic Chronicle of 1888 (pp. 22-46). The British Museum kept 25 of the most interesting coins from the hoard, and the rest of hoard was returned to the owner. We have purchased a portion of that hoard and are offering here the coins of Julian II (360-363 AD). Again, the quality of these coins is exceptional and grade Very Fine or better.

Price AR Silver Siliqua $350

Click here to visit our online store.

REPORT: Rosenstein Departure from DOJ Delayed….


A report from earlier today notes the anticipated departure of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, initially scheduled for mid-March, has been delayed… There’s a brutally obvious reason.

WASHINGTON DC – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has reached an agreement with Attorney General William Barr to stay on at the Justice Department “a little while longer,” a source familiar with their conversation told Fox News – despite initial plans to step down by now.

Fox News and other outlets previously reported that Rosenstein had planned to step down in mid-March. However, sources close to the deputy attorney general say Rosenstein has not yet given his two weeks notice.

He remains at the DOJ as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe enters what is widely believed to be its final phases.

DOJ sources confirmed to Fox News that Rosenstein is still the primary liaison between department headquarters and Mueller’s office, even though the recently confirmed Barr has ultimate oversight over the Russia investigation. (read more)

Taking in all of the recent developments, the simple explanation here is that new Attorney General William Barr is not letting Rosenstein exit the DOJ until the DAG cleans up the mess he created by initiating the Robert Mueller special counsel probe.

Any incoming executive would not want to be left holding the bag of consequence for a legal and political fiasco created by a subordinate executive who now attempts to head for the exits.  One can reasonably project that AG Barr would tell DAG Rosenstein he ain’t leaving until the mass of crap he created has been resolved, reconciled and reduced to a manageable level.

Ask any effective senior executive and they’ll affirm:

…”Sorry skippy, once you start the bus, you ain’t getting off til the rides over”…