President Trump Makes Major Trade Move – Requests Secretary Ross Consideration for 232 Investigation into Automobile Industry…

Big picture move by President Trump today that has massive, and generally misinterpreted, ramifications for any trade deal with China, EU and most importantly NAFTA.

China is using U.S. nuclear negotiations with North Korea as leverage for more beneficial trade outcomes; the communist regime is in full manipulative dragon-mode. President Trump can see through the economic play and is dropping the Panda outreach.  Eagle-one now hits back at Chairman Xi for deploying such dangerous tactics.

If you have been following trade nuance, the Automobile Sector is one of the biggest points of contention within varying trade negotiations. In the NAFTA discussion the auto-sector, via rules of origin, runs at the heart of NAFTA’s fatal flaw.

The fatal flaw is the use of Asian, mostly Chinese, auto components within auto manufacturing. Mexico and Canada arguing to allow more Chinese auto parts in North American manufacturing; and President Trump demanding more North American parts for North American auto manufacturing.

Many U.S. Auto manufacturers have moved to Mexico to exploit the NAFTA loophole (fatal flaw). Vehicles assembled in Mexico use cheaper Chinese parts and are shipped into the U.S. without any tariff under NAFTA rules.

It didn’t take long before EU auto-manufacturers, mostly German, to begin taking the same approach. Albeit to a lesser extent, German auto companies also invested in building vehicles in Mexico/Canada for tariff-free transfer into the U.S. This works out great for Canada and Mexico auto-workers, but not for the U.S.

In essence, the auto-sector is representative of much of the manufacturing exploitation by multinational corporations beyond vehicle production. China has supported this approach because they produce the components for multiple sectors (furniture, appliances etc).

Additionally, during President Obama’s administration General Motors also spent a great deal of money in China, and many of the GM brands are built exclusively -and entirely- in China.

The auto-sector is much more than just complete assembled vehicles. In many ways the core trade issues of part origination, manufacturing and assembly of multiple durable goods sectors are represented within the auto industry process.

Current trade negotiations with the EU, China and NAFTA have reached a loggerhead status around these core issues. Multinational ‘Wall Street’ corporations are unwilling to lose their prior multi-billion investments and take a new ‘America-First’ approach.  POTUS Trump is rightly angered by many of them because he specifically offset any investment losses with a new U.S. corporate tax structure.

All of that said, the issues with the auto-sector have now rippled out into other trade sectors with discussions coming to a standstill until the auto issues are resolved.

Enter President Trump with the plan.

Knowing all of the outlier, generally lesser, trade sectors are being impacted over the Chinese auto component issue, President Trump cuts the Gordian Knot and tells Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider a Section 232 review of the auto industry as it pertains to imports.

Statement from the President on Potential National Security Investigation into Automobile Imports

Today, I met with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to discuss the current state of our automobile industry. I instructed Secretary Ross to consider initiating a Section 232 investigation into imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts to determine their effects on Americas national security. Core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a Nation.  (link)

Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. §1862) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to conduct comprehensive investigations to determine the effects of imports of any article on the national security of the United States. As often stated by President Trump, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: “economic security is national security.”

Senator Chuck Grassley Demands Page/Strzok Text Message Redactions Be Removed….

This is an interesting development.  Until now, for some mysterious reason, no-one in congress has ever asked for the redactions of the Peter Strzok and Lisa Page text messages to be removed.  Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is the first politician to ask for all of the text messages without redactions.

In a letter today to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (full pdf below), Chairman Grassley cites examples of unnecessary redactions that are in place simply to avoid the embarrassment upon the DOJ and FBI.  Accordingly this is not an acceptable reason for hiding information from congress and the American people.

Based on the details within the approximately 400 pages of text messages, there is a tremendous amount of evidence that points directly to the motives and intents of the DOJ and FBI group who were conducting the operation to exonerate Hillary Clinton; and the group who was working on the surveillance operation against the Trump campaign.

Here’s the full letter from Grassley:


The first batch of text messages, approximately 350 pages, were received by the Office of Inspector General on July 20th, 2017. Those initial messages were from Lisa Page (FBI special counsel to Andrew McCabe).  Those redacted messages were provided to congress in mid-December after the original Page-Strzok text messaging story broke on December 2nd, 2017.  [First Batch HERE] [More Here]

The second -smaller- batch of text messages, approx 50 pages, were recovered by the OIG sometime later.  The second batch filled in a missing timeline from December 2016 to May 2017, and are from the Peter Strzok side of the discussion.  [Second Batch Here]

It could be surmised with the IG report on the Clinton investigation completed, the redactions toward that Clinton aspect of the corrupt FBI and DOJ endeavor are only purposeful for protecting criminal evidence.

President Trump Impromptu Presser Discussing “Spygate”, NAFTA, and The North Korea Summit…

Prior to departing for New York to attend an immigration roundtable President Trump held an impromptu press conference on the South Lawn.  The primary topic was the congressional leadership meeting tomorrow with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray and DOJ Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O’Callaghan (formerly from DOJ-NSD).

During the impromptu remarks the term “spygate” was coined.


President Trump Participates in Roundtable Discussion on Immigration – 2:00pm Livestream…

Today President Donald Trump is speaking about MS-13 gang violence and overall immigration issues at the Morrelli Center in Bethpage, NY.  Anticipated start time 2:00pm EST:

UPDATE: Video Added

WH Livestream LinkGST Livestream LinkRSBN Livestream Link

President Trump Keynote Speech – Susan B Anthony Gala for Life

President Trump delivers the keynote speech at the 11th Annual Susan B Anthony Gala for Life:

President Trump and South Korea President Moon Jae-In Conduct Press Availability….

An important meeting today in the Oval Office between U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.   Obviously the primary discussion was over the issues of North Korea nuclear program, and the possible denuclearization summit between President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un.

Due to the importance of the topics discussed the traditional Oval Office greeting was extended, and both President Trump and President Moon Jae-in used the opportunity for an impromptu press conference.


After a second meeting with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping, the voices behind Chairman Kim Jong-un changed their tone in media presentations and and became more hostile toward the goal of a denuclearization summit.  This example showcase Beijing exerting control over the DPRK to gain strategic trade and economic benefits.

Recap video:

Perfect Timing – Intelligence Community Gets New Inspector General…

Perfect timing today as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats celebrates last Thursday’s swearing in ceremony of Michael Atkinson as Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.

Coincidentally, or not, last Thursday was the release of the IG Draft Report on the DOJ-NSD and FBI activity in the Clinton investigation; and coincidentally, or not, today DNI Dan Coats participated in planning a new investigative approach to review the Obama Intelligence Community’s engagements in political surveillance:

Via DNI – “Last Thursday, I had the honor of swearing in Michael K. Atkinson as Inspector General of the Intelligence Community after the Senate confirmed his nomination last Monday. Michael is the second official to hold this position since its creation in 2010.

Michael moved from private law practice to public service following the September 11 attacks, and he brings professional shrewdness and dedication to an oversight mission that must operate with integrity, accountability, and objectivity.

Michael joins the IC from the Department of Justice’s leadership corps, where he served as an Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division. Ten years earlier, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including as Deputy Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section until 2015 and then the Section’s Acting Chief from 2015 until 2016.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Michael was a trial attorney in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice from 2002 to 2006.

I look forward to working with Michael in his new role and trust he will execute the statutory authorities of his position to the fullest to ensure there is not waste, fraud, or abuse in the IC—and to maintain the strength and integrity of our whistleblower program.”

Daniel R. Coats,
Director of National Intelligence

President Trump Hosts 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. and Team…

Earlier this afternoon President Donald Trump hosted 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. and the Furniture Row racing team at the White House:


WH South Lawn – 2:28 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Come on up here. A lot of courage, driving those cars. A lot of courage. Good afternoon. Today, I’m thrilled to welcome the 2017 NASCAR Champion, Martin Truex Jr. That is fantastic. (Applause.) And, Sherry, thank you. But I’m going to be mentioning you in a little while, Sherry. Thank you very much. And the entire Furniture Row Racing Team to the White House. Thank you, Furniture Row. (Applause.) Thank you. Great job.

Martin, I have to say, your car looks truly amazing. In fact, I want to get in that thing and just drive it right away. Do you mind? (Laughter.)

MR. TRUEX JR: No. (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: But it is. It’s beautiful. It’s incredible.

I want to thank Secretary Steven Mnuchin — thank you, Steve; Deputy HHS Secretary Eric Hargan; and the VA nominee Robert Wilkie, who is going to do an incredible job at the VA with our veterans. Thank you. Thank you, Robert, for joining us at today’s event. (Applause.)

I also want to recognize the many great members of Congress here today. We have a lot of them. But I see, in front of us, is Richard Burr — Senator Richard Burr. And, Richard — hi, Richard. You know these people very well from North Carolina, I’ll tell you that. (Applause.)

Jim Risch. Jim. Hi, Jim. Thank you. Great lawyer. Joni Ernst from a very wonderful state. You know the state? Called Iowa. (Laughter.) You don’t win Iowa, you got a problem. Right, Joni? (Laughter.) Got a big problem.

Also Representatives Jim Banks, Andy Barr, Mike Burgess, Rodney Davis, Ron DeSantis. Where’s Ron DeSantis? He’s always helping me on television. He’s so great. Thank you, Ron. Tom Garrett, Paul Gosar, Glenn Grothman, Richard Hudson — Richard, thank you. David Kustoff, Doug LaMalfa, Patrick McHenry. Where’s Patrick? Patrick McHenry. I always say, he’s got the greatest name in politics. The great Patrick McHenry. Thank you, Patrick. Markwayne Mullin, Rob Pittenger, Bill Posey, David Rouzer, John Rutherford. Where’s John? John Rutherford. Thank you, John. Claudia Tenney, Kevin Yoder, and Lee Zeldin. Thank you. Thank you, Lee.

My good friend Brian France is here. He is doing a fantastic job. I’ve had him as my friend for a long time, Martin. You wouldn’t believe that. Right? Different sides, different states, slightly. But we liked each other right from the beginning. Brian. Where’s Brian? Brian, thank you very much for being here. Congratulations, too, on everything that’s happened.

Brian is the Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. And Brian has been with us since the beginning, like so many others who love NASCAR. And he’s been, really, a supporter right from the beginning. He said, “We support Trump.” And so I want to thank you very much, Brian. That was incredible. That meant a lot. Thank you. (Applause.)

Martin, I want to congratulate you — team president Joe Garony. Where’s Joe? Joe Garony. Crew Chief Cole Pearn — Chief, pretty tough job, right? How do you change those tires so fast, Chief, huh? (Laughter.) Are you born with that talent or can you learn it, or sort of both, right? If you don’t have it, forget it. Right? Great job. I watched that. It’s pretty amazing. And all of the crewmembers who brought this team to NASCAR Championship, and what they did was truly incredible. It was an incredible season. Just incredible.

The entire NASCAR field spent 2017 chasing 78. I’ll tell you, they chased him. I’d be watching; they’re always chasing you. You won eight races, including four wins in the NASCAR Playoffs. Throughout the season, you earned 19 top 5 finishes and led more than 2,000 laps. Does it get lonely being in front?


THE PRESIDENT: Not at all. Never, right? (Laughter.)

MR. TRUEX JR: It’s great.

THE PRESIDENT: I had a feeling he might say that, folks.

Thanks to incredible speed, lightning fast pit stops, and exceptional driving, this team stood alone among NASCARs many contenders.

Despite the 78 teams success, the 2017 season was not without challenge or heartache. Team owner Barney Visser, who could not be here today, had health issues that kept him away from the track during the last weeks of the season. And Barney is a fantastic guy.

And sadly, crewmember Jim Wildman Watson passed away just before the critical race at Kansas Speedway. With your hearts broken over the loss of a teammate, Martin, you and the guys rallied and won the race. They won it for Jim. And today, Jim is up there, right up there. And he’s looking down at you. And he’s very proud. Very proud. So that’s incredible. Incredible story. (Applause.)

I also want to take a moment to recognize the amazing Sherry Pollex. She is the love of Martins life. Sherry. Beautiful. Thank you. (Applause.)

As many of you know, Sherry has bravely battled ovarian cancer. She is an incredible woman. And, Sherry, your determination in the face of adversity has been an inspiration to millions of Americans who know what you’re going through.

You have endured extremely tough treatments with grace, and grit, and a tremendous and beautiful smile. You are Sherry strong. We’re praying for you, and we are deeply honored to have you here today. And Martin, I can tell you, is so proud of you. Thank you very much, Sherry. Thank you, (inaudible). (Applause.)

This incredible NASCAR team bonded through tragedy, drew closer together, and willed themselves on to the title. The motto was, Never give up. I’ve heard that motto before. That’s a great motto. You don’t lose with that motto.

Never giving up is the story of 78 team. It’s a story that will forever be told in NASCAR and NASCARs incredible history with this team.

As many of you know, NASCAR grew from the back roads of Americas South and the bright shores of Daytona Beach — incredible place — to become one of the worlds premier and most beloved sports. I love it. People love that sport.

Built by names like Allison, Earnhardt, Petty, Pearson, Waltrip, this lively sport reflects our national spirit and our can-do attitude. At every NASCAR race, you will see thousands of patriotic Americans, from the grandstands to the pit stalls, proudly waving our flag and roaring with joy at the words, “Start your engines.” (Applause.)

And I will tell you, one thing I know about NASCAR, they do indeed, Brian, stand for the playing of the National Anthem. Right? (Applause.) They do indeed. Somebody said, “Maybe you shouldn’t say that. That will be controversial.” I said, “That’s okay. NASCAR is not going to mind it at all.” Right, fellas? (Laughter.) They don’t mind it at all.

Fast cars, burnt rubber, and great NASCAR champions thrill the American heart and excite the American soul. It’s true. A lot of courage. And so, it is truly fitting that we celebrate NASCARs 2017 champions here today at the White House. It’s called the Peoples House.

Congratulations again to these great, great champions, and to all of NASCAR on yet another incredible season.

And with that, I am pleased to welcome to the podium the 2017 NASCAR Champion, driver of the number 78, Martin Truex Jr. Congratulations, Martin. That’s really great. Congratulations. Fantastic job.

MR. TRUEX JR: I’m going to keep this short. But what an honor to be here today. Thank you, Mr. President, for having us, for having our whole entire team to represent the sport of NASCAR. My good buddy, Johnny Morris, from Bass Pro Shops, that has been a big part of my career to get me here.

But just really proud to be here today to represent the sport, to represent our millions of fans out there across the world. And I brought you a special gift I’d like to present right now. So this is a replica of the exact helmet I wore, which is a very special helmet to me, with a special paint job, with some special moments from our team, Sherry and I together, and some of the great accomplishments we had together.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s beautiful. Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. TRUEX JR: For you. Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Let’s get a picture. Come on, Sherry. Thank you, darling. Thank you.

MR. TRUEX JR: Thank you so much. What an honor.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you everybody. It’s been just a great honor. I’m a big fan. And, Martin, this is beautiful. And maybe if the team and the team members could come up, and we’ll get a big picture up here. The crew, come on up. Come on. Come on up. That’s beautiful. Bass Pro Shops. (Applause.)

That’s great. Thank you everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much. Let’s get a picture.

END 2:38 P.M. EDT

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Discusses China, Trade, ZTE, Suspended Tariffs and NAFTA….

Economic security is national security. “Economic growth, national security, those are the Presidents’ two most important priorities” ~ Secretary Mnuchin.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discusses the ongoing trade negotiation with China and the specifics of sector-by-sector agreements in principle. The overall approach by the Trump administration is to balance the trade relationship through opening of Chinese markets to U.S. exports and retain stability within U.S. manufacturing sectors.


The dragon is in the details…. and that’s where you find slayer-Secretary Wilbur Ross!

After over a year of discussions and structured way-points, China came into last weeks U.S. trade talks with outstretched steel fists. The delegation they sent to the negotiating table were some of the most loyal and die-hard communist leaders within their national economic team.

It was obvious China is projecting its interests in dragon-mode knowing they are dealing with an entirely different administration than they faced before.

President Trump uses the point of “deficits” because it has a familiar catch and understanding with the U.S. audience.  However, President Trump knows the real issue is the amount of domestic production -vs- the amount of imported foreign goods. If the Chinese team frame their analytic offers from deficit reduction pitches, the actual deals will never materialize.

President Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer, and Trade Adviser Peter Navarro are looking at sector by sector trade issues. It is not simply an import-export equation; it’s about a longer outlook and more balanced and stable manufacturing base.

President Trump is not focused on enhancing interdependency models (deficits), he is looking at expanding independence models sector by sector. Can this sector thrive independent of a need for imported material (raw good, part, service or intellectual property)?

The U.S. goal is for each individual sector (goods or services) not to be necessarily dependent or co-dependent on international import. This America-first approach reduces risk exposure and enhances investment perspectives favorably toward the U.S. by creating long-term economic stability.

President Trump Participates in Swearing-in Ceremony For CIA Director Gina Haspel

Washington, D.C. – 10:51 A.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. And good morning. I want to thank all of you and our distinguished guests for joining us today for a ceremony like few will ever have again — this is a very special one — including Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Chao, Secretary Perry, Secretary Nielsen, Director Coats, and my nominee for the VA Secretary, who will do a fantastic job, Robert Wilkie. Thank you very much.

I want to give a special thank-you for being here to Chairman and Senator Richard Burr. Thank you very much, Richard. And a very courageous man — he’s courageous — Congressman Devin Nunes. Thank you very much, Devin, for being here. Appreciate it.

Most especially, I want to thank you, the dedicated men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency. It is a true honor to stand here today before the most elite intelligence professionals on the planet Earth. Nobody even close.

You face down our enemies. You protect our families. You stand and watch over our great nation. You don’t do it for fame or fortune or glory. You do it for your country. America is forever grateful. Thank you very much.

We’re here today for the swearing-in of a very special person, your new CIA Director, someone who has served this agency with extraordinary skill and devotion for 30 years — Gina Haspel.

Gina, congratulations. There is no one in this country better qualified for this extraordinary office than you. By the way, if you don’t agree with that, please let me know now before it’s too late, okay? (Laughter.) Immediately. Have to do it quickly.

You live in the CIA, you live the CIA, you breathe the CIA. And now you will lead the CIA. Congratulations. (Applause.)

Okay, that mean we’re keeping her, right? (Laughter.) That was — that’s what we were waiting for. They love you. They respect you. They respect you, too.

A native of Ashland, Kentucky, Gina’s father served in the U.S. Air Force. She spent much of her childhood overseas. From a young age, she was instilled with a deep love of our country, which, combined with a thirst for adventure — that led her to the CIA.

Throughout her storied career at this agency, Gina has truly done it all. She’s completed seven field tours, served as a case officer, recruited assets, run stations, captured terrorists, and disrupted networks that proliferate deadly weapons. They send those weapons all over, and you catch them. You’re going to get even better now — better than ever before. You’re the best. You’re going to be better than ever before, and we’re getting you the resources to do it.

Our enemies will take note: Gina is tough. She is strong. And when it comes to defending America, Gina will never, ever back down. I know her. I spent a lot of time with Gina.

Gina played a crucial role in our fight against al Qaeda. Her first day in the job at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center was September 11th, 2001. And she tirelessly hunted terrorists for the next three years. She went on to become Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service, and most recently Deputy Director of the CIA.

During her decades of distinguished service, Gina has earned the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, and the Intelligence Medal of Merit. Most importantly, she has earned the universal respect, admiration, and trust of her colleagues here at the CIA, throughout the government, and all over the world. Gina is truly respected.

And today we also mark another proud milestone, as Gina becomes the first woman ever to lead the CIA. (Applause.) That’s big. That’s big. That’s big.

Now Gina will lead this agency into its next great chapter. Gina assumes the role of Director at a crucial moment in our history. We are reasserting American strength and American confidence. And, by the way, America is respected again. You see that.

Instead of apologizing for our nation, we are standing up for our nation, and we are standing up for the men and women who protect our nation. We will be counting on you to confront a wide array of threats we face, and to help usher in a new era of prosperity and of peace.

Since the CIA’s founding more than 70 years ago, its courageous operatives have combined ancient craft with modern marvels to achieve unsung victories in every corner of the globe. I see what you do, I understand what you do. And it’s incredible.

Marked on the hallowed walls of this building are the stars honoring the CIA’s fallen heroes who gave their last breath for our nation. Though many of their names remain secret, their stories of service and sacrifice and daring will live for all time.

Today, we think of them and we honor them by pledging that the patriots of the CIA will have the tools, the resources, and the support they need to accomplish their incredible, complicated, and oftentimes very dangerous mission. The exceptional men and women of this agency deserve exceptional leadership. And in Gina Haspel, that is exactly what you’re getting.

Director Haspel, congratulations again. I know that you will thrive as the Agency’s Director and help keep our nation safe, and strong, and proud, and free.

Good luck. God bless you. And God bless the men and women of the CIA. And God bless America.

And I just want to thank everybody in this room for doing such an incredible job, and for giving Gina that unbelievable support that she needed. It took courage for her to say “yes” in the face of a lot of very negative politics and what was supposed to be a negative vote. But I’ll tell you, when you testified before the committee, it was over. There was not much they could say. There was nobody more qualified than you. And you are going to do a fantastic job, Gina. Thank you very much. Thank you, Gina. (Applause.)

So with that, I’d like to ask our great Vice President to administer the oath of office. Thank you all very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

The Oath of Office is administered.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Congratulations. (Applause.)

DIRECTOR HASPEL: Good morning, everyone. And thank you, Mr. Vice President, for administering the Oath. Let me begin by thanking President Trump for joining us today and for offering those kind words. Mr. President, it means a great deal to me and to the agency that you made time to come out to Langley for this ceremony.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

DIRECTOR HASPEL: You have placed enormous trust in CIA throughout your presidency. And the men and women of CIA do not take that for granted. So thank you, Mr. President, for your confidence in me and your steadfast support of our mission and our people.

I am truly honored to have this opportunity to lead the best workforce in government. It has been nearly 50 years since an operations officer rose up through the ranks to become the Director. And after the experience of the last two months, I think I know why that is. (Laughter.)

I look out in the crowd today and I see a strong representation of the CIA’s past, present, and possibly even the future. I am looking at two young ladies, special guests, who join us today. CIA has been more than a career. It has been, for me — like many of you — a calling.

In this building and around the world today, there are officers carrying out a vital mission, sometimes at great personal risk. I want each of you to know that I took on the position of director because I want to represent you, as well as lead you.

My years at CIA have rewarded me in ways that I could never have imagined, and I will continue to give it and you my all. There are countless role models and mentors who have paved the way for me to stand here today. As the Director, I want the current CIA leadership team to be role models and mentors for our next generation of officers who will walk the streets of far-flung capitals and work the late nights here at headquarters and abroad.

For me, being Director is about doing right by all of you so that you have the tools and support needed to carry out our sacred mission.

Every CIA officer has taken the same oath that I just did to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies. And today I recommit that I will do everything in my power to justify the faith that President Trump and the American people have placed in us, and to make sure that CIA continues to provide the intelligence needed to keep our country safe.

I would be remiss if I did not also note the tremendous pride I take in being the first woman to serve as Director. I would not be standing before you today if not for the remarkable courage and dedication displayed by generations of OSS and Agency women in roles both large and small, who challenged stereotypes, broke down barriers, and opened doors for the rest of us.

I am deeply indebted to them, and I’m extremely proud to follow in their footsteps and to carry on their extraordinary legacy. I stand on the shoulders of heroines who never sought public acclaim but served as inspirations to the generations that came after them.

I also want express a special thank-you and welcome to Eliza and Zoe, who have joined us today. The notes from these two young ladies, ages six and seven, sent to me sat on my desk these last two months and motivated me daily. In their own words and pictures, they expressed their excitement about the opportunity my nomination represented. And to Eliza and Zoe, I would simply say, we did it. (Applause.)

Lastly, allow me just a moment to talk about the future of this agency. A little over a year ago, Secretary Pompeo first spoke to me about becoming the Deputy Director. At that time, he said, “CIA is the world’s preeminent intelligence service, and I want to make sure we position it to stay that way.” Mike was right; we are the best. And our challenge is to always be the best.

We cannot rest on our laurels. We must learn from the past, but we cannot dwell in the past. We must constantly learn, adjust, improve, and strive to be better. We demanded of ourselves, and America deserves nothing less.

That includes boosting our foreign language proficiency, strengthening our partnerships overseas and here at home, and deploying more of our officers to the foreign field. We are a foreign intelligence service, and our workforce and our priorities need to reflect that.

We also need greater focus and effort on the strategic threats our nation faces, as well as the persistent threat from global terrorism. As always, the key to our success against these challenges will be empowering the incredible talent that resides within CIA.

The men and women who serve here are a national treasure — from the operations officers who collect our intelligence, to the analysts who contextualize and evaluate it for senior policy makers, to the support officers who enable every aspect of our mission, to the scientists, engineers, and cyber specialists who give us a decisive edge over our adversaries.

The only way to confront these threats is to forge ahead with determination and with the same expeditionary spirit that has defined our agency since its founding more than 70 years ago. I am profoundly honored to lead you in that fight and to work alongside each one of you as we advance our vital mission.

So, Mr. President, thank you again for giving me the opportunity to serve, to represent the men and women of CIA, and to carry out the critical work of helping protect our country, our people, and our way of life. Thank you very much. (Applause.)