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President Trump and The First Lady Participate in a Military Families Picnic July 4, 2017 (video)

How blessed we are on this 4th of July, 2017, knowing we have President Donald J. Trump and his lovely wife and The First Lady Melania Trump in the White House?

We are thankful for this blessing from GOD to have an old-fashioned, Patriotic, Law & Order, God-Fearing President who loves America and who loves Us!  It is a dream come true and a Merciful gift from GOD to America and the World.

 

VIDEO FROM DAN SCAVINO JR. FROM THE ROSE GARDEN (Below):

Happy Independence Day! Join from the Rose Garden for a couple of minutes, LIVE! Love the Trump Train!! Dan Scavino Jr.

 

South Lawn

5:16 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Welcome, everyone.  The rain stopped just as we came out.  I don’t know what that means, but it’s not bad.  (Laughter.)  And Happy Fourth of July.  Great honor to have you with us.  (Applause.)  Melania and I truly appreciate and celebrate America’s independence with those who courageously defend our country — the men, women and families of the United States military.

It is because of you that well over 300 million American citizens can live in freedom.  There is one military family here today I am especially excited to recognize:  Our great Vice President, Mike Pence, and our Second Lady — never heard that term before, but that’s what they say — and she is some lady, that I can tell you — of the United States, Karen Pence, are here along with their son, Marine First Lieutenant Michael Pence.  Where is Michael?  (Applause.)  Great.  It’s great, Michael.  Michael, not only are your parents proud of you, not only am I proud of you, but America, Michael, is very proud of you.  Thank you.

And America is proud of all of the brave men and women who serve in every branch of our great military.  We have outstanding representatives of each service, each branch.  They’re with us today. We have Army.  We have Navy.  We have Air Force.  (Applause.)  We have Marines.  (Applause.)  We have the Coast Guard.  (Laughter.)  We love our Coast Guard.

Representing the United States Army is Captain Jean Gwon.  She served 14 years, and today she is Company Commander in support of Old Guard, where she oversees the 120 soldiers who protect the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It’s beautiful.  Captain Gwon is joined today by her husband, Captain James Folwell.  Thank you both for your service, and thank you to every soldier here with us today and serving our nation, and serving us all around the world.  You are truly the army of the free.  

From the Marines we have Marine Sergeant Yannick Tumukunde.  He’s with Marine Helicopter Squadron One, an outfit I’ve come to know and admire very much since arriving at the White House.  Sergeant Tumukunde is a senior technician and is the sole chief martial arts instructor and trainer for the entire squadron.  Thank you, and thank you for being here.  And also, we lay claim to a very special title.  You are a United States Marine.  That is a special title.  Thank you, Sergeant. 

From the Navy we have Lieutenant Commander Allison Maybrey, a Navy oceanographer.  Her leadership has improved the atmosphere.  And really what she’s done is so incredible, having to do with sensing, modeling, and predicting the electromagnetic warfare capabilities of various countries that hopefully we won’t be thinking about too much.  But she’s there, and she’s got the information like nobody has.  We thank Allison and her husband, Lieutenant Commander Michael Maybrey, here with their children, Emma, Lily, and Amelia.  Our incredible sailors embody the Navy credo: “Not for self, but for country.”  Thank you.

From the Air Force we have Technical Sergeant Ralph Bunnell.  Sergeant Bunnell is responsible for leading 50 security forces personnel that protect the President, the Vice President, and visiting foreign heads of state.  A big job, a very important job.  We want to thank you — to Ralph and to your wife, Patricia.  And thank you to every member of the Air Force who gives our nation total superiority in the air, striking fear into the hearts of our enemies, and inspiring hope in the hearts of our friends all around the world.

Finally, representing the Coast Guard we have Petty Officer First Class Tony Franklin.  Tony is a Gunner’s Mate and is directly responsible for the armament of 17 units.  He has led countless gunnery and pyrotechnic demonstrations — so I don’t think the fireworks are going to impress him very much, but I will tell you they’re going to impress you.  (Laughter.)  Thank you, Tony.  

I want to thank everyone in the Coast Guard.  I was at the Coast Guard Academy this year — gave the commencement address — and it was an amazing, incredible group of people and a really great day.  Thank you, Tony, very much.

Each of you here today represents that rare combination of patriotism, virtue, and courage that our citizens have always — and I mean always — admired and that our enemies have always feared.  At this moment, your brothers and sisters in arms are posted around the globe, fighting our enemies and standing watch to protect our nation.  They’re fighting for us.  We are thanking them, praying for them, and saluting them for their selfless sacrifice.

There could be no greater privilege than to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.  I pledge my unwavering support for you, for your families, and your missions.  I will always have your back.  I will always, under all circumstances — you’ll be coming back here, and I will always have your back. 

And I want to just tell you that our country is doing really, really well.  No matter where you look, the economy is blazing.  And on every front we’re doing well.  And we do have challenges, but we will handle those challenges — believe me.

You’re part of a new, and a truly great generation.  Two days ago I spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole, who served as the co-pilot of the lead B-25 bomber pilot — and piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle during the daring 1942 raid, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Lieutenant Colonel Cole and the rest of the Doolittle Raiders launched their aircraft into the sky knowing that they would not have enough fuel to return to friendly territory.  That’s not a good feeling.  That’s a lot of courage.
 
Our servicemen and women are preserving the legacy of courage and selfless service that they inherited from Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole and so many others. 

May God bless you all.  May God bless our military.  May God bless forever the United States of America.  

Thank you very much for being here.  Happy Fourth of July.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Happy Fourth of July, everybody.  Thank you very much.

END
5:24 P.M. EDT

Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, 6/30/2017

THIS PRESS BRIEFING WAS NOT TELEVISED – 

2:30 P.M. EDT

MS. SANDERS:  Good afternoon.  Happy Friday.  I have just a couple things I want to highlight here at the top before we get into questions.  We had another bad Obamacare news piece come out today out of Ohio.  Premier Health Plan is withdrawing from the state’s exchange, leaving 20 more counties with no insurance plans on the Obamacare exchange.  That’s on top of the 14 bare counties in Nevada we talked about yesterday. 

For the thousands of Americans now left with no choice when it comes to health insurance, these announcements are more than just words and numbers — it means that they will have to make tough choices when it comes to medical care for themselves and their families.

The President is determined to give these families a better option.  News like this is why it’s so important we repeal this failed law before it collapses completely.

Earlier today, Agriculture Secretary Perry — I’m sorry, Perdue sliced a Nebraska prime rib at a ceremony in China, formally marking the return of American beef to the $2.5 billion Chinese market after a 13-year hiatus.  I strongly encourage you all to take a look at the pictures of the Secretary and representatives from the American and Chinese industries standing around a pretty tasty-looking piece of prime rib, particularly going into this holiday weekend.  This is great news for American ranchers who now have access to the $2.5 billion Chinese beef market.  

Also this morning, the Department of Health and Human Services announced approximately $15 million that will be going to women, infants, and their families who have had or are at risk for lead exposure in Flint, Michigan.

President Trump promised during the campaign that he would address Flint’s water crisis quickly and effectively, and his Cabinet is hard at work keeping that promise to the people of Flint.

In the VA, Secretary Shulkin was in New York to unveil the LUKE bionic arm, the world’s most advanced commercial prosthetic that was made possible by VA research.  The LUKE arm is the product of nearly eight years of testing and research, and represents the amazing advances in technology that are possible when the government works in partnership with the private sector to care for our nation’s heroes.

The LUKE arm has the potential to significantly benefit the lives of veterans and others with upper extremity amputations, and the Trump administration was proud to be part of its rollout today.

Finally, yesterday John Gizzi asked if the United States was sending a delegation to the funeral service of the former German chancellor on the 1st of July, and I wanted to give an update, as I said I would get back.  We are sending an official delegation, which will be headed by the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, who is the former United States Ambassador to Germany.

And with that, I’ll take your questions.  And, folks, in honor of the Fourth of July, let’s try to save all our fireworks for Tuesday.  (Laughter.)  

John Roberts.

Q    Sarah, the President tweeted this morning about healthcare. 

MS. SANDERS:  He did.

Q    In which he said that if the senators can’t get a bill on repeal and replace together, then maybe the best idea would be — as Ben Sasse and Rand Paul have suggested — split them up into a repeal and then a replacement later.  This really runs counter to what the President has been promoting all through the campaign and earlier this year where he insisted that the two things had to be done, if not simultaneously, at least very close to each other.  What is the basis for his change in thinking on this particular point?

MS. SANDERS:  The President hasn’t changed his thinking at all.  I mean, he’s campaigned on, talked about since he was elected repealing and replacing Obamacare.  We’re still fully committed to pushing through with the Senate at this point.  But we’re looking at every possible option of repealing and replacing Obamacare.  We are focused on doing that.

As I said earlier, there is another large amount of counties that now have no Obamacare provider, and so we’re continuing to work hard to repeal and replace Obamacare, and that hasn’t changed.

Q    So how does it square this idea with repeal it now, replace it later with what you had said on repeated occasions before that these things needed to be done very close to each other in order to maintain continuity of coverage for many Americans?

MS. SANDERS:  Again, we’re still focused on trying to push through where are, and we’re going to continue moving forward and making progress on that front and looking at repealing and replacing Obamacare.  The bottom line is, we’re focused on the end product here, and that is to repeal and replace Obamacare with healthcare that works for all Americans.

Glenn.

Q    Sarah, in terms of putting some more specifics on the replacement part, one of the issues that they’re having is you got 11 or 12 senators now who are not happy with what’s going on with Medicaid — they can deal with some of the repeal elements.  Can you give us the most specific — you were asked about this a couple of days ago — the most specific articulation of what you want to see in terms of Medicaid?  And do you agree with some of these senators who think what’s in the Senate bill, in terms of Medicaid phasing out, is, to point a phrase, too mean?

MS. SANDERS:  I think the President, again, is very focused on protecting those who are currently in the program.  That’s certainly a big priority for him, is making sure those people are protected and also adding additional resources.  That’s part of the Senate bill as it currently stands.  That’s something we would be most likely supportive of doing.

Q    How about sort of the specifics outlined in the CBO about the potential for, you know, 18 million — what is it — 23 million total, 15 million by next year.  Is that just too steep a drop-off for the President?

MS. SANDERS:  I’m sorry?

Q    In terms of the CBO articulation analysis of what would happen under Medicaid over the next three or four years, is that too steep a drop off in terms of Medicaid?  Does the President have any objection to what was in the Senate bill with regards to Medicaid?  

MS. SANDERS:  I haven’t had a direct conversation about a specific number.  Again, the priority is to protect everyone as best as possible and certainly those that are currently on the plan, and making sure that no one that is currently on that program gets taken off.  

Q    I’d like to follow up with that first.  Where did the President actually get the idea of separating them?  Was it through conversations with Senator Paul, or was it something that Senator Ben Sasse had said on the television program?   

MS. SANDERS:  I know people have been talking about this for quite some time.  I don’t know where, specifically, it may have come from.  But again, I’ve heard people talking about it for months.  I don’t think it’s new.

Blake.

Q    And then I wanted to ask about the Election Commission.  Does the President have any thoughts on the fact that so many governors and other state officials have said they’re not going to comply with this request for public information for the Election Integrity Commission?  

MS. SANDERS:  I think that that’s mostly a political stunt.  We’re asking — this is a commission that’s asking for publicly available data.  And the fact that these governors wouldn’t be willing to turn that over — this is something that’s been part of the Commission’s discussion, which has bipartisan support, and none of the members raised any concern whatsoever. 

Blake.  

Q    Thanks, Sarah.  Let me expand upon the tweet that John had brought up.  You just answered his question in part by saying we’re still focused on trying to push through where we are; the bottom line is we’re focused on the end product here.  Is this potential splitting up of the bill, is that plan B at this point? 

MS. SANDERS:  Look, again, as I’ve said before earlier this week.  We’re not focused on plan B, we’re focused on the overall process of repealing and replacing Obamacare.  And the end result right now — we’re still very much focused on the direction we’re on.

Q    And Ben Sasse said in his letter, and on television had mentioned, the first Monday coming back — which is either — I believe it’s July 10th — as to the date as to when they should do it.  Does the White House ascribe to that date?

MS. SANDERS:  No.  As we’ve said before, we’re less focused on the timeline and, again, focused on making sure we get the best deal and healthcare plan possible.

Justin.

Q    I wanted to ask about two separate policy things.  The first one is steel.  The President said today that he had secured some assurances from the Koreans on that.  I’m wondering if those were actual changes that we might see to KORUS or other trade agreements, or if it’s more “we’ll look at it and get back to you” type of assurance.  And then, broadly, if the report in — this morning was correct in that the President has determined he’s going to impose tariffs on steel.   

MS. SANDERS:  No, at this point the President has not made a final decision in regards to the tariffs issue.

Q    And on Korea?

MS. SANDERS:  On Korea, look, the President has been clear throughout the campaign and again during now, he’s looking for the best deal possible for American workers, specifically focused on reciprocal trade.  And that is the primary focus of the conversations that he’s had.  

Q    And then I have one on food aid.

MS. SANDERS:  Sorry, on what?

Q    Food aid.

MS. SANDERS:  Okay.

Q    The President is moving to require all food aid to be sent on U.S. flag carriers, but it’s a policy that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have actually been moving away towards.  AEI, which is not a liberal group, said that it would make food aid costs 46 percent more, it may take 14 weeks longer to reach people, unlikely to create new U.S. jobs.  We heard yesterday from senior administration officials about the President sees foreign aid as an important part of diplomacy and wants to cut costs here.  So I’m just trying to figure out how this is not just kind of a bumper sticker strategy, but why this is actually a good idea for the United States.

MS. SANDERS:  I’m sorry, what was the last part?

Q    Why this isn’t just a bumper sticker strategy of, you know, we’re putting it on U.S. ships, but why this actually makes sense from a policy standpoint. 

MS. SANDERS:  That’s something, honestly, I haven’t had a chance to dive into much, Justin.  But I’d be happy to circle back with you later today.

Major.

Q    Sarah, just to be clear, the preference of the White House is to go forward with the drafting of a repeal and replace in the Senate and see if that can pass.  That’s the correct position of the White House, right?

MS. SANDERS:  Correct, yes.  

Q    And so this idea of separating the two is only a backup, as an emergency, if this other process fails, correct?

MS. SANDERS:  Look, I think we want —

Q    The reason I ask —

MS. SANDERS:  No, I understand.  

Q    Is because if you take — if you separate them, as you know, one is reconciliation and the other one isn’t, which makes it much more difficult, and for people as you’ve identified in Nevada and Ohio, repeal only takes care of one of their problems.  It doesn’t deal with them being able to find new carriers or alternative plans as the replacement would.  So I’m just trying to figure out how much of an idea this really is that we should be focusing on, or should this attention still be on repeal and replace as the primary White House focus.

MS. SANDERS:  As I said earlier, the primary focus is repeal and replace through the current Senate legislation that is being discussed.  

Q    If you did separate them, it would complicate things.  Not only legislatively — 

MS. SANDERS:  I didn’t say that that’s true.

Q    What is — I’m asking.

MS. SANDERS:  I think that’s something we would have to review if we went that direction.  But at this point, again, we’re focused on the piece of legislation that does exist.  

Q    What does the President think about the idea of the cancellation of recess in August to focus on healthcare and other legislative ideas and agenda items?  That’s something 10 Republican senators suggested today.

MS. SANDERS:  Not cancelling the August recess?

Q    Cancelling the recess, staying in town, and working on healthcare and the sort of issues — the debt ceiling, tax cuts. Would the President endorse that?

MS. SANDERS:  I haven’t had a chance to have a conversation whether or not he wants to push Congress to cancel their recess.  I think that the timeline and that is really something that’s up to Congress, not the White House.

Q    On Chicago, with the ATF permanent taskforce there, is that a suggestion or a recognition that at least part of the problem in Chicago is a gun control problem or a firearms access control problem?  

MS. SANDERS:  I think that the problem there is pretty clear that it’s a crime problem.  I think crime is probably driven more by morality than anything else.  So I think that this is a law enforcement issue, and our focus is trying to add additional support.  

We’ve talked to people on a local level and asked for their input on how we best can be helpful, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.  That’s something the President talked about pretty extensively, and he’s focused on trying to help the people in Chicago.  

Alex.

Q    At his recent rally in Cedar Rapids, President Trump said the situation in the Middle East is worse than it was 16 years ago.  Is he concerned about how long the war in Afghanistan is dragging on for?

MS. SANDERS:  Look, I think he, as well as others, are always concerned about any war taking place.  He is deferring as much as possible to the generals that he put in place, his national security team to do everything we can to limit those types of things, but at the same time protect Americans and certainly our national security. 

Q    Does he want to see Americans in a combat role there by, say, 2020?

MS. SANDERS:  As we’ve said many times before, the President is never going to broadcast what plans he has or doesn’t have.

John Gizzi.

Q    Thank you, Sarah.  With all the furor and tumult in yesterday’s press conference — or press briefing, some have suggested that maybe it is time for the President to have another news conference and perhaps answer these questions himself, rather than subject spokespeople such as you and Sean to questions about recent controversy.  Does he plan an actual news conference in the near future?

MS. SANDERS:  I’m not sure if there’s one on the schedule.  But if there is, I guarantee you this room will be the first group to be notified.  (Laughter.)  

Q    The other thing is — my other question is:  Has the President today read The New York Magazine article by Gabriel Sherman about the White House and its involvement with Joe Scarborough at all?

MS. SANDERS:  I have no idea if he’s read that piece.  Sorry, John, can’t answer that.

Noah.

Q    Back to the question of trade, the President said today that he was negotiating with South Korea on the agreement.  Has the KORUS agreement been reopened?  And if it has been reopened, what’s the mechanism for that?  And how much concern, if any, is there about impacting other relationships, security relationships with South Korea?

MS. SANDERS:  At the direction of the President, Ambassador Lighthizer is calling a special joint committee meeting to start the process of renegotiating and amending the deal.  And as always, and as we’ve said many times before, the President is committed to making sure he gets the best deal and a better deal if possible when it comes to trade.  And that’s the current status of where they are.

Q    Any impact on the cooperation over North Korean aggression with South Korea?

MS. SANDERS:  I’m sorry?

Q    What concern is there about an impact on the cooperation with South Korea on the military issues and security issues with North Korea? 

MS. SANDERS:  Are you asking if we’re concerned about an impact?  

Q    Yes. Yes, yes.

MS. SANDERS:  I think the President laid out pretty clearly where he is on that in his statement earlier today.

John.

Q    Thanks a lot, Sarah.  I wanted to ask you about the travel ban.  It’s the first full day that it’s gone into effect, and it’s scheduled to last for 90 days.  And my question has to do with what are the next steps.  If it lasts for 90 days, that takes you up to the end of September.  Are there plans to extend the travel ban before this issue reaches the U.S. Supreme Court?

MS. SANDERS:  As of right now, for any specifics about the implementation process and anything beyond that, I would encourage you to contact the Department of Homeland Security, as they’ll be doing the review and recommendation on that process.

And, guys, I’m sorry, I know I was running late, and I hate to end early, but I was notified by note here just — 

Q    Just two quick questions here.

MS. SANDERS:  Hold on a second, I’m trying to finish a sentence — that the President is actually going to sign an executive order, and he’s going to do that in the next few minutes.  And so I’m going to step away.

We will be available this afternoon to answer more questions.

Q    On what?

MS. SANDERS:  On the Space Council.  And we’ll send out more details about that here in the next few minutes.

Thanks, guys.

END 
2:46 P.M. EDT

President Donald J. Trump’s Weekly Address – 6/30/2017 – White House

Kate’s Law was passed by the House of Representatives this week – Now the Senate needs to sign this law.

No Sanctuary for Criminals Act passed the House of Representatives this week also – Now the Senate needs to sign this also.

 

 

Transcript:

My fellow Americans,

This week, I was joined at the White House by American families whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigrants.

Many of these illegal immigrants had extensive criminal records and had been repeatedly deported.

Every single one of these deaths was preventable.

These beautiful American lives were stolen because our government refused to do its job.  If the government had simply enforced our immigration laws, these Americans would still be alive today.

That is why, since the day I took the oath of office, I have been restoring the enforcement of our immigration laws and the protection and defense of our borders.

These courageous Americans joined me at the White House to call on Congress to pass two bills that I campaigned on during the election.  If enacted, these bills will save countless Americans lives.  The first bill, Kate’s Law, is named for Kate Steinle, who was killed by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times.  This law will enhance criminal penalties for those who repeatedly re-enter our country illegally.

The second bill, the No Sanctuary For Criminals Act, will block federal grants to jurisdictions that shield dangerous criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement.

On Thursday, I am glad to report, these two bills passed the House of Representatives.  This represents a crucial step toward ensuring our public safety and national security.

I want to thank Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte for his dedicated work on these critical bills, as well as other crucial legislation that will soon be considered as well.  I also thank Leadership for advancing these life-saving measures.

I now call on the Senate to take up these bills and send them back to my desk for signature – as soon as possible.  We need security.  We need safety in our country.  And I call on members of both parties to stand united with victims to stop these terrible and senseless crimes from ever happening in the first place.

This legislation presents a simple choice: either vote to save and protect American lives, or vote to shield and comfort criminal aliens who threaten innocent lives – and they’ve been shielded too long.

As we head towards the Fourth of July, we remember now more than ever to cherish our freedom.  The foundation of freedom is the rule of law.  It forms the bedrock of our Constitution and the cornerstone of our way of life.

So this Independence Day, while we’re enjoying treasured time with our friends and loved ones, let us not forget the families who have an empty seat at the table this year.

And let us pledge that from now on, we will protect, defend and save American lives.

Thank you.

RESOLUTION 118 – HAS PASSED the Senate – Sponsor: SenKamala D. Harris(D-Ca) SenMarco Rubio (R-FL)(introduced 4/5/2017) – Passed/agreed to in Senate: Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.(consideration: CR S2371-2372; text: CR S2371) – Americans Should Be Concerned

This Information I am passing on to the general public is for education and information purposes only.  I am not advocating any form of hate or criminal action against anyone by PUBLISHING this information.  Remember, hate gets nothing.  Quiet, lawful Action is what works in a civil society.

Having said that:  I am EXTREMELY CONCERNED AND UPSET REGARDING THIS RESOLUTION 118.  

READ UP ON:  Four Arabic Words You Must Know: Taqiyya, Tawriya, Kitman and …

How come this type of bill was never passed before when Jews were being gassed, tested upon, burned alive, or left to die without food during the Concentration camps of WWII by the Nazis.  

How come this resolution was not passed while Catholics and Christians are being slaughtered as we speak in the Middle East and all over the world by ISIS and their demented, demonic criminal followers.  But now that Muslims think that they are being targeted, this resolution passes in the dark of night, without pubic input.

I don’t agree with targeting anyone and are not against Muslims, but I do believe this passed Resolution 118 is the beginning of attacking our First Amendment Rights in this Country.  Hate, or crimes against anyone is against God’s laws, but I also know what MURUNA is (shown above). 

I would love to hear from Senator Kamala Harris and Sen Marco Rubio as to why they decided to pass this in the dark of night, without the input of anyone in our society.  What ramifications does this law have in the future of America and our Rights under the First Amendment and the U.S. Constitution. Anyone who knows more than me, I invite you to educate me. I am open to learn. I have attached a flow chart of the:  Legislative Process: How a Senate Bill Becomes a Law

Below is where you go to watch a resolution become a bill:  Go in there and follow all bills in the Senate/House.  I am still learning. I need to read more.  If you have any other information, message me on Facebook.  Thank you.

Below are (2) screen shots of this website.    LOOK AT THE WORD CONDEMING

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 1.06.02 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 1.32.09 PM.png

U.S. Trying to Criminalize criminalize-free-speech (this link is to this other entirely separate article).

 

parts of the above article shown (in part) below:

  • The law already prohibits violence and threats of violence, and law enforcement authorities are supposed to prosecute those — intimidation, destruction, damage, vandalism, simple and aggravated assault. What “hate crimes” are not already covered by the law?
  • Why would the House of Representatives find it necessary to make such redundant statements, if not in order to redefine the concept of a hate crime? Perhaps by including “hate speech”? The current resolution includes most of the major ethnic and religious minorities in the United States, so it will have a far better chance of passing, as it will more easily fool Representatives into thinking that the contents of the resolution are harmless.
  • Would it not be appropriate for the politicians sponsoring and voting for these resolutions first of all to find out what drives the organizations responsible for drafting them? The Investigative Project on Terrorism has authored a damning 88-page report about the Muslim Public Affairs Council. American politicians do not seem to have taken much interest in it.

On April 4, 2017, the US Senate passed Senate Resolution 118, “Condemning hate crime and any other form of racism, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination, incitement to violence, or animus targeting a minority in the United States”. The resolution was drafted by a Muslim organization, EmgageUSA (formerly EmergeUSA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). On April 6, 2017, EmgageUSA wrote the following on their Facebook page:

“Thanks to the hard work of Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Susan Collins and Senator Kamala Harris we have achieved the approval of Senate Resolution 118, an anti-hate crimes bill drafted by Emerge-USA. It is days like this that Americans are reminded of this country’s founding principles: equal opportunity, freedom, justice. We are proud to help support the protection of these rights #amoreperfectunion #theamericandream”.

Senate Resolution 118 calls on

“…Federal law enforcement officials, working with State and local officials… to expeditiously investigate all credible reports of hate crimes and incidents and threats against minorities in the United States and to hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring the perpetrators to justice; encourages the Department of Justice and other Federal agencies to work to improve the reporting of hate crimes; and… encourages the development of an interagency task force led by the Attorney General to collaborate on the development of effective strategies and efforts to detect and deter hate crime in order to protect minority communities…”

The resolution refers to hate crimes against Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Hindus, and Sikhs and was sponsored by Senator Kamala Harris and co-sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Susan Collins.

On April 6, almost the exact same text was introduced as House Resolution H.Res. 257, “Condemning hate crime and any other form of racism, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination, incitement to violence, or animus targeting a minority in the United States”. A House Resolution can be reintroduced as legislation.

H.Res. 257 urges

“…the development of an interagency task force led by the Attorney General and bringing together the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education, the Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to collaborate on the development of effective strategies and efforts to detect and deter hate crime in order to protect minority communities”. The House Resolution was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on April 6 and from there it was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations on April 21.

Americans should be concerned about these resolutions, especially the part of the House Resolution, which urges the establishment of an “interagency task force led by the Attorney General … on the development of effective strategies and efforts to detect and deter hate crime in order to protect minority communities.”

MY THOUGHTS: ONCE YOU PUT SOMETHING OUT THERE AS A LAW – WITHOUT THE INPUT OF ITS CITIZENRY, INSPIRED BY THOSE OUTSIDE OF OUR COUNTRY, OR GROUPS OUTSIDE OF THIS COUNTRY, IT BECOMES WHAT? THINK OF IT?     CAIR, ISNA ARE INVOLVED – 

Want to know who helped Senators Kamala Harris, Marco Rubio , Dianne Feinstein, Susan Collins?  It was a group connected to CAIR –  EMERGENCE USA – 

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 5.10.51 PM.png

READ THIS LINK:   THIS LINK IS (A MUST READ ON CAIR)

 

AMERICA, I SMELL A RAT, and we better be very vigilant as to who passes what bills AND for what reason.  This bill looks innocent enough, but it’s not.  

 

WATCH THIS:  

 

These are the people we need to vote out and read their bills and see what they are up to.  

Pure research, peaceful thinking will be the only cure.  Vote them out.  KEEP YOUR MINDS COOL, YOUR SOUL PURE, FIGHT WITHIN THE LAW, WITH THE LAW, as they do.  Otherwise, we will never keep America and end up imprisoned by our own laws they manipulate.  Open your eyes America.  Stop being comfortable. I did, since June 2015 I have not stopped.  I am concerned with those that lie to President Trump, we are his eyes and ears.  He can’t be everywhere. We need to pray and calmly protest.  They will use our Own laws against Us, U.S. Citizens.

President Trump Gives Joint Statements with President Moon – 6/30/2017

President Trump gives Joint Statements with President Moon of South Korea at the Rose Garden, White House.  

 

UPCOMING – LIVE FEED – President Trump Gives Remarks at the Unleashing American Energy Event – 6/29/2017

 

President Trump is working to bring back energy jobs eliminated by President Obama.  Fossil Fuel still produces 81% of the nation’s energy.  Looking forward to hear about his plans to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain!!!

President Trump Meets with Immigration Crime Victims on 6/28/2017 – Today the House is about to pass these bills – 6/29/2017

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP invited illegal immigration crime victims families to the White House to hear their stories and to give them hope and to explain that Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, crafted two bills that address their concerns and that of all Americans.

NO SANCTUARY FOR CRIMINALS ACT – It has been in the works for a long time.  TODAY the House will vote on this act which will cut federal money grant to cities that shield dangerous criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement.

The House will also vote on KATE’S LAW – this law will enhance criminal penalties for those who repeatedly enter the country illegally.  Countless families have had members of their families killed by criminal illegal aliens with multiple deportations.  

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives will vote on two bills authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) and Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004). In an op-ed in The Hill today, Chairman Goodlatte explains why the reforms contained in these two bills are needed now to save American lives.

The House can bolster immigration enforcement by passing two bills
The Hill
By Rep. Bob Goodlatte
June 29, 2017

House Republicans are working diligently to deliver on our promises made to the American people. This week, we will take the first step in our commitment to strengthen immigration enforcement and secure the border by voting on two simple, straightforward bills in the House of Representatives. These bills, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate’s Law, target dangerous sanctuary city policies that permit criminals to go free and bolster public safety by enhancing penalties for deported felons who return to the U.S. These pieces of legislation are needed desperately.

For years, the lack of immigration enforcement and the spread of dangerous sanctuary policies have failed the American people and cost too many lives, including Kate Steinle, Sarah Root and Grant Ronnebeck.

Two years ago, Kate Steinle was taking a stroll with her father in San Francisco when Juan Francisco Sanchez-Lopez fired a stolen gun and struck and killed Kate. Sanchez-Lopez should have never been in the United States and he should not have been on the streets of San Francisco. He had already been deported five times and had multiple felony convictions. Despite his extensive rap sheet, he was released by San Francisco authorities prior to shooting Kate.

In January 2016, Edwin Mejia, an unlawful immigrant driving drunk and street racing, struck Sarah Root’s car and subsequently killed her. She had just graduated from college with a 4.0 grade point average. To make matters worse, Mejia was released from state custody and is still on the loose. Sarah Root’s mom testified that the suspect’s bond was less than the cost of her daughter’s funeral.

And in January 2015, Grant Ronnebeck, a 21-year-old store clerk at a convenience store in Arizona, was shot and killed over a pack of cigarettes by a convicted felon, Apolinar Altamirano, who was free on bond while facing deportation.

The deaths of innocent Americans like Kate, Sarah, Grant, and too many others, are tragic. Their deaths are especially devastating since they could have been prevented if our immigration laws had been enforced. We must take action to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives and prevent these senseless crimes from happening to others.

To do just that, the House will vote on the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. This bill strengthens the law to combat dangerous sanctuary policies that shield unlawful and criminal immigrants from federal immigration enforcement. Specifically, it clarifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer authority—the tool used by federal immigration enforcement officers to pick up criminal aliens from local jails—by establishing statutory probable cause standards to issue detainers for the first time. By providing a rigorous standard for ICE to meet before placing the detainer, the bill both protects civil liberties and fortifies the legal sufficiency of detainers.

The bill also protects jurisdictions that comply with detainers from being sued—a real problem that many cities, who in good faith are trying to follow the law, have faced. And it allows victims of crime to sue jurisdictions that refuse to comply and subsequently release criminal aliens onto the streets who then commit crimes that harm these victims.

To further compel cities to comply with the law, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act withholds certain federal law enforcement and homeland security grants from jurisdictions that prohibit their officers from cooperating with ICE in violation of long-standing federal law.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act also contains Sarah and Grant’s Law, named after Sarah Root and Grant Ronnebeck. This provision ensures unlawful immigrants convicted of drunk driving or arrested for other dangerous crimes are detained during their removal proceedings.

Additionally, the House will vote on Kate’s Law, named after Kate Steinle. Kate’s Law protects public safety by enhancing penalties for deported felons who illegally reenter the United States. It raises the maximum sentence for criminal aliens who come back to the United States after being removed, representing a true deterrent for criminals seeking to break the law yet again.

We have much work to do to make our immigration system work better for America. For example, we need to enact the comprehensive reforms contained in the Davis-Oliver Act to further increase public safety, secure the border, strengthen national security, and restore the rule of law. But the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate’s Law are a good first step toward addressing urgent problems facing our nation. We owe it to the families of those who have lost loved ones to take action to prevent such horrible crimes. They have waited far too long.

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. immigration law. He is also the sponsor of the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate’s Law.

 

Nobody died in Vein – President Donald J. Trump

The act shown below is in the works as we speak:

The Davies-Oliver Act – was named for detective Michael Davies and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver who were gunned downed in the line of duty by an illegal alien with two prior deportations. 

President Trump asked all members of Congress to honor grieving American families by passing these life-savings measures in the House, in the Senate and asked that they be sent to his desk for his very quick signature.  

President Trump said:  “It’s time to support our Police to protect our families and to save American lives and to get smart.”

We pray that the House and the Senate will pass these measures today.

 

Source:  WhiteHouse.gov – Judiciary.House.gov

 

Press Gaggle by Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan, U.S. Attorney for the State of Utah John Huber, and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders – 6/28/2017

Today, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders held an off-camera press gaggle.  The last time the White House held an off-camera gaggle, it was attacked by Reporter Jim Acosta of CNN.

 

It is amazing how the leftist press criticizes the mere fact that the cameras are not on, but never say that they have full access to the White House and to the Press Secretary.  This is a total shift of how the press used to react to President Obama.  For the eight-years that President Obama was there, the press would totally report  Fake News.  It was so bad that those of us that worked on the Trump Campaign on Facebook had to become reporters and vet all the fake news that the White House, Obama, and Hillary Clinton used to put out as real news for the American people.  They were manipulating the news content and half of the uninformed in America believed their deception.

 

Today, we have a Real President who loves America, a free press, an open White House and now the press complains about not having on camera briefings.  What a bunch of dishonest cry babies.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Press Gaggle by Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan, U.S. Attorney for the State of Utah John Huber, and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders – 6/28/2017

 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:36 P.M. EDT

MS. SANDERS:  Good afternoon.  First off, before we get started, I want to bring up Tom Homan, the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and John Huber, the United States Attorney from Utah, to tell you about two upcoming pieces of immigration legislation that will be voted on in the House later this week.  And after they finish, as always, I will come back and take some more questions.  

Thanks, guys. 

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Tom Homan, and I’m the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  I’m at the White House today to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Trump and other important stakeholders, including families of victims who have been killed by illegal aliens.  

ICE’s new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, otherwise known as the VOICE Office, is working with families like the ones we’ll be sitting with today to assist them in the aftermath of crimes that could have been prevented.  

More than 400 calls from victims have been referred to our community relations officers and victim specialists for assistance with accessing resources, getting more information about a specific case, and how the immigration process works.  Sanctuary jurisdictions pose a threat to the American public by refusing to work with ICE and allowing egregious criminal offenders back into the community to put the lives of the public at risk.  Not to mention the fact, it also puts my law enforcement officers at risk because they have to go back on the street to arrest somebody they could have arrested in a county jail.

When some law enforcement agencies fail to honor detainers or release serious criminal offenders, they — it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.  Most work with us, but many don’t in the largest cities, and that is where criminal aliens and criminal gangs flourish.  It is safer for everyone if we take custody of an alien in a controlled environment of another law enforcement agency as opposed to visiting an alien’s residence, place of work, or other public area.  Arresting a criminal in the safety, security, and privacy of the jail is the right thing to do.

Beyond the issue of sanctuary jurisdictions, the two executive orders signed by the President earlier this year have finally allowed my officers to do what they do best:  uphold the integrity of our borders and our immigration system by enforcing the laws as they were written.  

ICE’s job is to execute a mission within framework provided us, that framework meaning laws, policies, and executive orders.  Our job and our sworn duty is to enforce the laws of this country.  The current numbers show that the executive orders and the policies are working.  Immigration and illegal crossings on the border has significantly decreased.  No one can argue that.  
   
What many people don’t realize is ICE is comprised of three major law enforcement arms.  I want to talk briefly about them.  The Enforcement and Removal Operations referred to — ERO, Homeland Security Investigations, known as HSI, and the third enforcement program is ICE Attorney cores, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, OPLA.  

The mission of ICE’s ERO is to identify, arrest, and remove aliens who present a danger to national security, our public risk, public safety risk, and a risk to border security.  ICE conducts targeted enforcement operations in compliance with federal law and regulation.  We do not conduct sweeps, raids, roadblocks — this is important to know.  This is a targeted enforcement operation, which means we look for a specific person at a specific location based on intelligence and criminal investigative work.  They’re not raids.  They’re not sweeps.  

However, as Secretary Kelly has made clear, no class or category of removable aliens is exempt from enforcement.  As you may know, since the President’s executive orders on immigration enforcement were signed, we have arrested nearly 66,000 persons that were either known or suspected to be in the country illegally.  Forty-eight thousand of those were convicted criminal aliens.  Therefore, 73 percent — 73 percent — of everyone we have arrested were criminals, something that’s been lost in the messaging on immigration enforcement.  

As for Homeland Security Investigation, ICE special agents, officers, and attorneys enforce provisions of approximately 400 statutes.  ICE is very focused on breaking up gangs and transnational smuggling organizations by identifying, arresting, and prosecuting them, along with removing those that are illegally in the United States.  

Since the beginning of January, HSI has already arrested 3,311 gang members across the country in a number of targeted operations.  Project New Dawn, a recent gang surge led by HSI, netted 1,378 arrests.  Operation Matador in New York recently arrested 39 MS-13 gang members.  

In closing, as the executive orders make clear, ICE is ordered to faithfully execute the nation’s immigration laws.  Through a sustained commitment to enforcement, illegal immigration will come down and has come down.  When people ask us not to arrest those who are not serious criminals I say this:  Those who enter our country illegally violated our country’s laws.  It’s a crime to enter this country illegally — 8 U.S.C. 1325, illegal entry into the United States.  

The moment law enforcement starts carving out exemptions is the moment the rule of law starts to erode.  Again, ICE prioritizes those that are a threat to national security and public safety.  But prioritization doesn’t mean others that violated our laws are off the table and should be ignored.  I personally have been enforcing immigration law for 33 years.  The two pieces of legislation we’ll be discussing later today are the most significant pieces of immigration enforcement legislation I’ve seen in my entire career.  

This legislation will help the fine men and women of the Border Patrol and ICE to do their job in securing the border, enforcing the immigration laws within the interior of the United States, and make our nation and our communities safer as a result.  America deserves that.  Law enforcement is a dangerous job, we all know that.  This legislation and its effects will also help protect the law enforcement officers that work at ICE and the Border Patrol.  And those officers that leave their families every day to enforce the laws of this great nation deserve that.  

With that I’ll turn it over to the Department of Justice.

MR. HUBER:  Transnational gang members and criminal alien drug traffickers are a significant source of violent crime in the United States.  Just last month in Utah, a federal judge issued a sentence of life in prison plus 80 years to Roberto Roman.  Roberto Roman, prior to 2010, had been removed from our country no less than three times.  He had served a stint in state prison for drug trafficking.  And regardless, that was not enough to dissuade him from coming back to our country and selling methamphetamine to addicted persons in rural Utah.  

It was in January of 2010 that Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox — the first patrol deputy in the history of rural Millard County, Utah — was working with her partners late at night to interdict drug trafficking in the wide-open spaces of Utah.  She intercepted Roberto Roman’s Cadillac on a lonely highway in the west desert of Utah.  Roberto Roman is an amoral criminal who had no intention to follow the laws of the United States.  Without warning and without remorse, he pulled up his AK-47 style semi-automatic rifle and gunned down Deputy Fox in the middle of the road.  He left her to die there.  

In a different case, in 2011, in the pristine Dixie National Forest of southern Utah, Mexican cartels had set up an illegal marijuana farm, out of sight and hopefully out of mind of law enforcement.  Apparently to help with operational security, the cartel had recruited members of MS-13, three members, who were found with firearms, multiple firearms, protecting the site.  In 2011, a federal judge in Utah issued 15-year sentences to each of the three defendants for their role in the crime.

Although Utah has not suffered violence at the hands of MS-13 like occurs in California and here in the states of the East, their influence is creeping ever closer to Utah, where I live.  Even still, if MS-13 is not the common-day problem, other transnational gangs are.  Take, for example, the Surenos gangs that plague us in Utah.  These transnational drug-trafficking organizations and criminal gangs have an outsized influence on the public safety in Utah. 

I am a career prosecutor and I’m at the beginning of my third year as a United States attorney, which makes me, presently, one of the longest-tenured U.S. attorneys serving.  And both as a line prosecutor and as a lead prosecutor, I have dutifully served both Democrat and Republican administrations.  Utah perennially leads the interior states and districts in criminal alien prosecutions.  Every year, we prosecute hundreds of federal felony cases.  

Now to be clear, these are criminal aliens — drug traffickers, gang members, domestic violence abusers, human traffickers, child exploiters.  From my perspective, in Utah, where it should be a presumptively safe mountain haven, criminal aliens significantly impact our quality of life by exposing our nation to unwarranted risk of violence.  

That is why Attorney General Sessions has directed myself and my colleagues as U.S. attorneys to prioritize these cases in our prosecutions.  If it’s a problem in Utah — and it is; 40 percent of my caseload, my felony caseload in Utah are criminal alien prosecutions.  If it’s a problem in Utah, it’s a problem for the nation.  Law enforcement officers and prosecutors need more tools and unfettered coordination to address the challenge. 

So this pending legislation — Kate’s Law on one hand and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act on the other hand — advance the ball for law enforcement in keeping our communities safe.  The laws, if passed, would give officers and prosecutors more tools to protect the public.  Stiffer penalties for reentry offenders make sense.  It just does.  

The status quo is not deterring the criminals from returning.  As an example, just today in Salt Lake City, my office initiated one more prosecution in what is projected to be over 300 felony prosecutions this year against a criminal alien.  This defendant’s record indicates that he has been convicted four times for drug trafficking.  He has been convicted two times for unlawfully reentering the United States after deportation.  And, well, he’s back in Utah, and what do you know — in 2017 he was arrested yet again for drug trafficking.   

Kate’s Law enhances our ability to stem the tide of criminals who seem to almost always return to victimize us.  On the other hand, moving unnatural impediments between local and federal law enforcement will enable coordination that we need to keep our country and our neighborhoods safe.  The priority for public safety overrides and wins out against what these so-called sanctuary policies promise.  

We don’t gamble with our public safety.  Criminal aliens don’t need encouragement to reside in our beautiful cities. Criminal aliens warrant handcuffs and removal.  Law enforcement professionals are very good at what they do, and we should not impede them from their excellent work in keeping us safe.  

Thank you.  We can take a few questions on these topics if you’d like.

Yes, sir. 

Q    Specifically, could you tell us what you could do if these laws become passed and approved by the President that you can’t do now?  What would enlarge your capabilities that you don’t possess now?

MR. HUBER:  Case law — the gist of case is that it raises the maximum penalties for criminals who reenter our country.  And it’s a graded formula as it’s presently drafted.  So the more you have on your criminal record, or the more times you’ve been deported and reentered, the higher the penalties would be.

Now, that is a message that is sent — if Congress passes this, it’s sent to the executive branch that these are priority cases and they’re important.  So as high as 25-year maximum for one of these crimes, depending on your record, sends a message to me that that’s a priority for the nation.  It also sends a message to the judicial branch, to the judges that the more these people commit crimes in our communities, the more often they come back, the more serious the penalties will be.

Q    Anything else that — you talked about tools to improve law enforcement.  That’s just a penalty after a crime has been committed.  I’m just curious if there’s anything operationally that’s different or that would be different under these two laws?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  Well, under the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act law, there’s just specific actions — specific thing that changes for us.  The new legislation bans any restriction on compliance and cooperation with ICE.  The new legislation makes it clear that state and local law enforcement cannot be precluded from asking immigrants their status.  Any jurisdiction — a violating jurisdiction can be limited from receiving grants from the Department of Homeland Security or DOJ.

I think this new No Sanctuary for Criminals Act will bring more law enforcement agencies to the table to accept our detainers.  It also — there’s a piece of this legislation that if that jurisdiction gets sued for honoring our detainees, the government will take on that lawsuit.  So we provide immunity from lawsuits for following the detainer guidance.

That’s what my biggest concern is.  For the jurisdictions that don’t believe they’re going to honor our detainers, we think — DOJ and DHS thinks our detainers are legally defensible.  The lawsuits that have been pending in the past few years were a different form.  They didn’t require probable cause, didn’t accompany a warrant of arrest; the new detainer form does.  

So this is what I’m here today to talk about because those criminals that walk out of jails without ICE’s attention are going to reoffend.  Recidivism rates — if you look it up it’s between 45 percent to 70 percent, depending on the crime — they’re going to reoffend.  That’s a public safety issue and that’s an officer safety issue.  For every alien that I can’t arrest in a county jail, one of my officers have to knock on the door.  That’s unfair.  It’s dangerous and we can prevent this.

I think all law enforcement wants to work together to keep our community safe.

Q    I have a question, gentlemen.  Can I ask you about the Kate Steinle circumstance?  In your experience, can you sort of crystalize for us what that story, what that crime meant to you and why the American people should, frankly, rally behind this if you feel like this is something that they should be talking to their lawmakers about?  That particular story seemed to captivate a great many people in our country and I just want to draw on your experience from that story and why that is also why you’re here today.

MR. HUBER:  Kate Steinle and other cases like it are great motivators to us.  And we can’t bring her back.  She’s gone because of the hands of a criminal alien who was released rather than being handed over, according to lawful process, to federal law enforcement.  What a tragedy that was.  And if we can plug that hole through efforts like these bills try to advance, then that improves our society.

It’s a great motivator.  And to name it after her immortalizes the sacrifice that she made to bring this issue to our minds.  I don’t know where you stand on the political spectrum, but to have someone who should have been in jail, who had a lawful process requiring him to be in jail but is let out for some philosophical reason, and then to lose a dear family member — it just doesn’t make sense. 

Q    Was that AK-47 bought legally?

MR. HUBER:  AK-47 — any firearm cannot be possessed legally by an illegal alien.  So just him possessing him the firearm —

Q    — traced it back to the source?

MR. HUBER:  As soon as he took possession of a firearm, or — any alien, whether they have a criminal record or not, cannot lawfully possesses a firearm.

Q    But was it traced back to the source of where he got the AK-47?

MR. HUBER:  We’ve — yeah, he traded that — he traded drugs for that gun, which is a crime also.  And that’s part of his life-plus-80 sentence.  You can’t do that.  

Q    Can I get you to also respond to the Kate Steinle question, if you wouldn’t mind?

Q    Let me ask you a — I’d like to find out more.  When it comes to — thank you.  When it comes to not just enforcement of sanctuary cities but, for example, a border wall, I’m wondering, based on your expertise, do you believe that a physical border wall would have stopped, for example, the death of Kate Steinle, or other of these crimes that we’re seeing victims from immigrants?

MR. HUBER:  As with many of our public safety challenges in the United States, they’re multifaceted and they’re complicated.  Attorney General Sessions has made it clear that keeping people out in the first place is one way to solve or put off the problem.  They still make it to Utah.  Regardless of the security we have in place right now on the border, they make it to Utah by the hundreds and victimize us.

Q    And my second question to you — this is clearly a message that you think is important.  You’re here talking with us in the briefing room.  Do you believe this would have been more effective to do on camera so you could get your message out directly to the American people?

MR. HUBER:  That’s something for the White House to answer.  I’ve not a position on that.

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I’d like to respond to your question on the Kay Steinle thing.  Kay Steinle’s case kind of put this front and center, right?  But this happens every day across the country. 

Just this morning I looked at the statistics.  In FY12 — compared to FY12 to FY16 with this whole detainer litigation and the sanctuary city issues, we issued 196,000 less detainers in FY16 than we did in FY12.  I could sit here for the next three hours and talk about cases of aliens that we put detainers on in these sanctuary cities.  I’ll give you one — I read one this morning.  Someone gets arrested for domestic violence.  We put a detainer on him.  That’s not honored.  He gets out.  He kills the victim of domestic violence.  

I can go on and on about the number of DUIs — of aliens convicted of DUIs, arrested for DUIs we put detainers on.  They go out and reoffend — I read this morning killed a 12-year-old boy on a skateboard.  This happens every day across this country.  And that’s why this is so important to us.  

On the border wall, the border wall is one tool to help control the border.  And I hear a lot of times, well, the numbers are down, why build a border wall — why not?  We’re talking about securing this country, and a border wall is one tool.  You’re still going to need men and women on the border.  You’re still going to need border enforcement agents.  You’re still going to need a true interior enforcement strategy and enforcement of the laws in the interior.  But I have homeowner’s insurance, but I never used it.  But it’s to ensure the security of this country.  

So that border wall I think is a necessary tool in a whole toolbox of how we control the border and protect this country. 

Q    Sir, aren’t you concerned though about exacerbating fears about undocumented immigrants?  You’re making it sound as if undocumented immigrants commit more crimes than people who are just native-born Americans.  There was a Cato Institute study put out in March of this year that says all immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans relative to their shares of the population; even illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans.  What is your sense of the numbers on this?  Are undocumented people more likely or less likely to commit crimes?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I think you’re misinterpreting what I’m saying.  What I’m saying is two things.  Number one, people that enter this country illegally violate the laws of this country.  You can’t want to be a part of this great nation and not respect its laws.  So when you violate the laws of this country — and the taxpayers in this country spend billions of dollars a year on border security, immigration court, detention.  And they go through a process.  They get a decision from the immigration judge — most times will appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals, then to a circuit court.  When that due process is over, that final order from a federal judge needs to mean something or this whole system has no integrity.

I don’t know what other federal agency in this country is told to ignore a federal judge’s order from a bench.  We are simply doing our job.  Did I say aliens commit more crimes than U.S. citizens?  I didn’t say that.  I’m saying, number one, they’re in the country illegally.  They’re in the country — they already committed one crime by entering the country illegally.  But when they commit a crime against a citizen of this country, they draw our attention.

As far as fear in the immigrant community, I testified a couple weeks ago and I get a lot of media saying, well, you’re instilling fear in the immigrant community.  My purpose is to dispel the notion that if you enter this country illegally and violate the laws of this nation, you should not be comfortable.  None of us in this room would be comfortable if we go speeding down a highway.  We’re going to think, maybe I’ll get a ticket.  If you lie on your taxes you may get audited.  Well, if you enter this country illegally, you should be concerned that someone is looking for you.  You should be concerned because you violated the laws of this country.

Q    And nobody wants to excuse lawbreaking, but what do you do with a family where a mother brings her children across the border, she has committed a crime in your view at that point by crossing the border illegally, she’s in this country with her two young children, those children grow up, become the so-called DREAMers in this country.  Do you deport the mother and separate the mother from the family?  Because what you’re saying — if you look at this from a cold and clinical standpoint, what you’re saying is because the mother crossed the border illegally, committed a crime, that she should be separated from her children.  What do you say to that?  

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  Well, I got to tell you — 

Q    You’re not setting policy here.  You’re here to talk about enforcement.  

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I’m here — I’m here to — 

Q    But that enforcement has real impacts on people’s lives.

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  U.S. citizen families get separated every day when a parent or when a parent gets arrested for a criminal charge.  So those here illegally, they put themselves in that position.  

So when it comes to separating families, when someone chooses to enter this country illegally and they’re here illegally and they choose to have a child that’s a U.S. citizen, they’ve put themselves in that position, not the U.S. government, not the ICE officers.  So, again, we’re enforcing the law.

Look, if we don’t have border security, if we don’t enforce the laws that’s written in the books, you’re never going to control the border.  Why do you think we got 11 million to 12 million people in this country now?  Because there has been this notion that if you get by the Border Patrol, you get in the United States, you have a U.S. citizen kid, no one is looking for you.  But those days are over.

Q    So you should arrest the mothers, go after the mothers? 

Q    Sir, is that the message from this White House, you standing at this podium today that if you are an undocumented immigrant in this country right now listening to you that you should be fearful, that you should be concerned, you should be looking over your shoulder that ICE is looking for you?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  Well, you’re losing the message.

Q    No, I want to make sure that that’s what the message is.

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  No, I’m saying — let me just say it again.  ICE prioritizes our enforcement efforts on national security threats, public safety threats, those who have been ordered removed by a judge and failed to depart, and those who have been ordered removed, were removed, and reentered the country — which is — the legislation is about — that’s a felony when you reenter the country after removal.  That’s what I’m saying.  That’s our priorities.

However, what I’m saying, during the course of those operations if we find someone here illegally, we’re not going to turn the other way.  We’re going to put them in front of a judge.  They’re going to have their due process and let the criminal justice system work the way it’s been designed.

Again, we’re enforcing the laws enacted by Congress and signed by the President.  ICE officers, U.S. attorneys don’t make these laws up.  Our job is to execute the laws of the country. 

Q    Do you believe that should apply to children who are brought here illegally, the DREAMers?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I think the administration has been clear that the deferred action for childhood arrivals, they still have deferred action.  And the only DACA people that I know have been arrested are those that violated our policy by committing crime.

Q    Do you agree with that policy, that they should be allowed to stay?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  That’s above my pay grade.

MR. HUBER:  Yes, ma’am.

Q    Yes, okay, so a question.  Several of the families that have lost loved ones to illegal alien crime are here today at the White House.  And one of the things that I wanted to ask is, a lot them have issues of this alien was convicted of DUI twice and was still here and then hit my child, and then even then only served like 35 days in jail after that offense that killed her child — Sabina Durden is that one.  What about prosecutorial discretion?  I hear a lot of Border Patrol agents talk about the issue of catch and release, and that these — like drug crimes are not — they use prosecutorial discretion and then like don’t actually bring those cases?

MR. HUBER:  We are very motivated.  And with the leadership in the Department of Justice from Attorney General Sessions, we are mandated to make these cases a priority.  My heart goes out to the victims of these crimes.  And we can’t go backwards in time, but we can learn the lessons and move forward. 

In the words of the Attorney General, the times for drug traffickers and gang members to target us need to turn.  And the Department of Justice is committed to targeting them on our terms.  And that is where the instruction to me comes from. 

Q    And can I just give you a follow-up?  You mentioned Kate’s Law, you mentioned this other sanctuary cities law.  Do you think the sanctuary cities law that you talked about is strong enough?  And also what about Grant’s Law and Sarah’s Law?

MR. HUBER:  Well, one adage in our society is don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  These bills advance the ball for law enforcement. 

And with your question about victims and their families, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, if passed, provides an avenue for them to hold accountable noncompliant cities or counties for their decisions that endangered them.

Q    Sir, you have a piece in here talking about gangs.  And the President has been talking about gangs since he’s been here at the White House.  Is there anything in Kate’s Law that once you I guess handcuff the criminal repeat offender, criminal aliens — is there a piece in Kate’s Law that works also to break the backs of the gangs that you have pointed out?

MR. HUBER:  We are committed to dismantle gangs, criminal gangs.  What Kate’s Law does is give us one more tool that is fairly easy to use, because we’re not reliant upon witnesses who may be intimidated by the gangs or victimized by the gangs.  This enables us to, based on a person’s status and their criminal record and their deportation record, to simply prosecute them in federal court, obtain a prison sentence, and get them out of here.  That is one more tool for us to fight the gangs back.

Q    So but does this also allow for tentacles to go in to find out more information about the gang activity?  You get this one person who could be a component, who could be selling drugs with the gang.  Is there any kind of tentacle or piece that will allow you to do what the President wants, to break the backs of the gang once you infiltrate and get someone who is part of a gang?

MR. HUBER:  This is one more tool in my toolbox.  And the great special agents and local law enforcement officers who develop those leads and work their way up to the top of the chain so that we can dismantle these gangs organizationally, this is one more tool that will help us do that.

Q    Director Homan, you said — you’re talking about a tool kit and you’re talking about the border wall being part of the momentum of being able to deal with this issue.  A lot of people on the other side have said that comprehensive immigration reform might be a way to ease some of these stresses.  What do you think about comprehensive immigration reform as a tool in your tool kit?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I think — look, I think Congress enacts laws and they pass laws.  I think there’s always room for discussion.  I’ve certainly been around a long time.  

I want to follow up on something earlier — the gentleman mentioned “cold,” and people think I’m standing up here and I’m the devil.  Let me make something clear:  Why am I so strong about this?  I’ve been doing 33 years.  I started in the Border Patrol.  I was an investigator for 20 years.  I climbed the ladder.  If you saw what I saw the last 33 years, I wouldn’t get half the bad media that we get.  

People weren’t with me when I found dead aliens on a trail that were abandoned by smugglers.  People were not with me when I was in Phoenix, Arizona seeing these people being held hostage and their smuggling rates being doubled; the families couldn’t pay them so women were raped, children were molested, or the smuggled alien was killed at the hands of these organizations.  People weren’t with me in Victoria, Texas when I stood in the back of a tractor-trailer with 19 dead aliens, with a five-year-old that died in his father’s arms because he suffocated to death.  How do you think that five-year-old felt his last 10 minutes of his life looking at his father that couldn’t help him, or his father looking at his child that’s dying in his arms, can’t help him?

These organizations are callous.  They’re transnational, criminal organizations.  So the people that move these immigrants that come here for a better life are the same ones that move criminal aliens, are the same ones that moves — they smuggle weapons, they smuggle dope, and they can smuggle people that can come to this country to do us harm.  

So the more we endorse the non-enforcement of immigration laws, we bankroll these organizations.  

Q    But back to that question about immigration reform and a path to citizenship, this has been one of the really big issues and it cuts across party lines.  Do you think that having a path to citizenship and creating sort of a more rational process, in the minds of some opponents of this policy, would be helpful from an enforcement perspective?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I’ll say this.  Generally if we reward illegal behavior, why would that illegal behavior ever stop?  If people think they can enter this country illegally, get by the Border Patrol, the fine men and women of the Border Patrol — I was in the Border Patrol.  They’re a great organization.  But if you get by the Border Patrol and you hide in the United States long enough that you get something in the end?  That’s just a magnet to bring more illegal immigration.  I think this administration is doing the right thing.

They have put true consequence and deterrence on illegal, unlawful activity.  And if you see the numbers on what’s going on on the border, it is working.  The numbers are the lowest they’ve been in a long, long time.  And we’ve got to continue this pace.

Q    I just want to nail down — I think I heard the answer to this in one of your answers, but how many illegal immigrants do you believe are in this country?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I see the same estimates you see — 11 [million] to 12 million.

Q    Do you give any credence to the notion that there’s 30 million illegal immigrants in the country?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I never heard that figure.  

Q    It’s something the President Trump said on the campaign trail a lot last year.  I’m just wondering if you think there’s any truth to it.

Q    President Trump uses that figure.

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  The number I have always seen is 11 [million] to 12 million.

Q    Director, what do you say to some taxpayers who might agree with this bill on its substance but who are concerned that ultimately it’s going to cost them more money?  According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, it’s going to balloon the federal annual prison deficit by at least $2 billion and increase the number of people who are in prison by 57,000.  What do you say to those concerns?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I’d say what cost do you put on making communities safer?  What cost do you put on actually securing your border?  I mean, this administration — their policies are working.  Their numbers are down on the border.  We have better control of the border than we’ve ever had.  Look at the numbers.  Numbers speak for themselves.  

So I think — what cost do you put on national security and border safety and community safety?  I think that’s a question they’d have to answer.

Q    Do you think the message you just shared with us here would be of interest to the viewing public if the viewing public was allowed to view it on-camera?  

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  That what, sir?   

Q    Your message was strong.  We hear it.  Do you think it would be of interest to the viewing public if it was allowed to be viewed by the public on cameras?

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  I have no problem meeting with any congressional rep that wants to sit down and talk to me, any media person that wants to sit down and talk to me.  I think the message needs to get out.  I think what we’re trying to do here — and the statement I made is we need to send a clear message that if you violate the laws of this country you need to be held accountable, you need to be concerned.  Because this notion that it’s okay to violate laws of this country and be comfortable thinking there’s going to be no enforcement activity — that’s not the America I grew up in, and that’s not the America we should have.

Q    And that’s what — want to get out to the public, but yet the cameras aren’t rolling.

Q    Director, would you support allowing victims of illegal aliens to sue the city officials of sanctuary cities?

MS. SANDERS:  We’ll let this be the last question.

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  Yes.

Q    Would you support allowing victims of criminal aliens and sanctuary cities to sue the city officials?  

DIRECTOR HOMAN:  For those who make the decisions to release those alien citizens to the street, yes.  

MS. SANDERS:  Thank you, guys, very much.  Just to be clear, I know it’s been asked a couple of times about their availability to be on camera.  I believe the plan is that they will go to the sticks shortly after we conclude and be happy to take a few of your questions on camera.  My guess is if they had stood here, though, you probably wouldn’t have covered them like they were Secretary Perry, Secretary Shulkin when they opened the briefing just a few days — yesterday.  A couple of weeks ago, multiple networks didn’t cover those openings, so hopefully you guys will take the opportunity at the sticks and be sure to cover that.

Obviously this issue is something that the President spoke about very passionately on the campaign trail.  And given the fact that this legislation has 80 percent approval around the country, the President looks forward to seeing Congressman Goodlatte’s bills pass with bipartisan support.  

In regards to the rest of the President’s schedule for today, he continued Energy Week this morning by hosting a roundtable with tribal, state, and local leaders.  As Secretary Perry told you all yesterday, the Trump administration is looking to create an energy-dominant America.  An energy-dominant America will bring even more hard-working Americans into the high-skill, well-paying jobs and careers the energy sector offers.  When we can export American energy to markets around the world, the President will also be able to use it as an important tool to increase our global leadership and influence, advancing our global agenda and helping to keep our citizens safe.  

Before I take your questions, I wanted to highlight Samsung’s announcement this morning that it will be investing nearly $400 million in a new plant in South Carolina that is expected to create nearly 1,000 local jobs by 2020.  This is big news for the residents of Newberry County.  As Secretary Ross said this morning, it’s another sign that President Trump — America is becoming an even stronger destination for global businesses to look and grow.  

With that, I will take your questions.  Kristen.

Q    Sarah, thanks so much.  I want to just be clear on where the administration stands right now on Syria.  U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said earlier today, “I can tell you due to the President’s action, we did not see an incident.”

MS. SANDERS:  I’m sorry, we did not see — 

Q    “We did not see an incident.”  Is the sense that the threat from Bashar al Assad at least right now is over?  That he’s no longer planning an imminent chemical weapons attack?

MS. SANDERS:  Look, I can’t get into specific intelligence matters.  I think that the action that the U.S. took was successful.  

Q    And did the President ever consider taking preemptive military action, or was that statement the only thing that was on the table this week?

MS. SANDERS:  I know that was the action decided.  I’m not, of course, going to go into detailed conversations that may have taken place or may not have taken place.  I know that there have been, actually, a lot of questions about the timeline regarding Syria.  I know several of you in the room have asked about that.  
So, Kristen, to be clear, I’d be happy to walk you through, step-by-step, exactly how that process unfolded.  There were a lot of stories about the process not working or relevant agencies and people being out of the loop.  Those are simply false.  

At a regularly scheduled meeting, as I mentioned yesterday, the President was presented with information that indicated the Assad regime was preparing another chemical weapons attack.  The President proposed issuing a statement to warn the regime of consequences.  Senior administration officials, including NSA McMaster, DNI Director Coats, and DCI Pompeo were present when the statement was initially proposed.  They and their teams remained in the loop throughout the drafting process.  Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis remained in the loop and were consulted in-person later that day.  The military chain of command was also fully aware of the statement as it was being prepared and later released.  Secretary Tillerson also spoke to his Russian counterpart, and Lieutenant General Townsend engaged his Russian counterpart in Syria.  

The White House staff secretary’s office reviewed the statement and coordinated it with White House leadership.  And over the next few hours, the White House staff secretary used its typical coordination process to solicit comments from all relevant departments and agencies.  By the time the statement was issued, every relevant department and agency had ample opportunity to provide feedback and input.

As the President stated on April 6th, the use of chemical weapons threatens U.S. vital national interest, and the statement was clear and reinforces this message.  We have seen indications that the Syrian regime is preparing — was preparing a major chemical attack, and the President warned the regime of consequences should they proceed.    

Q    Just one more quick follow-up.  Is the use of chemical weapons the President’s only red line when it comes to Syria?

MS. SANDERS:  As we’ve said many times before, the President is never going to broadcast the decisions on matters like that.

Q    But he does see that as a red line, the use of chemical weapons?

MS. SANDERS:  I think he’s been clear on his position.  Kevin.

Q    Thank you, Sarah.  I want to ask you about the Kate Steinle announcement here today.  Is her father by chance going to be among the guests?  I know that — at least when we came out here — I hadn’t seen a list.  And secondarily, because you know that story very well, what does it mean to you to see the administration get to this point?  And I’d like to ask you a follow-up.

MS. SANDERS:  On the first part, I don’t believe that they are here but I will double check and let you know.  But as far I’m aware at this point, not that I know of.  I think any time we can take a step in protecting Americans, it’s a great step forward in the process.

Q    And also, if I could ask you about — yesterday you had a day to sort of look back.  Did you go to the gym and hit the heavy bag?  Did you laugh it off?  Many of us have covered multiple administrations and you hear worse, you see worse.  I’m just wondering what you were thinking and feeling a day later.  

MS. SANDERS:  I think that the White House had a great day yesterday, Kevin.  

Q    Thank you.  If the GOP healthcare plan fails, is the plan B really to let Obamacare implode?  What’s plan B for you guys? 

MS. SANDERS:  We’re focused on plan A, and that is repealing and replacing Obamacare.  The President is fully engaged as — along with his administration in working with House and Senate members to make sure that we repeal and replace Obamacare and put in place a healthcare reform system that is sustainable and that works and serves all Americans.  And that’s the focus right now, and that’s the only focus.  

Q    And I know you’ve seen the criticisms — and part of the criticism that’s been out there is that the President has not been fully engaged on this one.  Your response to that, and if you could detail his level of engagement for us.

MS. SANDERS:  Again, as I just said, the President’s been very engaged in this process, as have multiple members of his administration.  And he’s made a lot of calls directly to members.  He had roughly I think 46 members of the Senate here yesterday.  They had a long and lengthy and very good and productive conversation.  We’re going to continue doing that, just like he was with the House.  He was engaged and making sure that happened.  And he’s somebody — as we’ve said before, I would never underestimate this President, and if he’s committed to getting something done he will.  

Q    Thanks a lot, Sarah.  You said yesterday during the briefing that the President was optimistic about getting passage for the Senate healthcare bill.  As you know, there are at least nine Republican senators that have come out opposed to the healthcare bill as it’s now structured.  What gives the President reason for optimism given the way it looks to most people is perhaps a reason for pessimism?

MS. SANDERS:  I think it’s really simple.  Look, Republicans have been talking about doing this for a number of years, and they’re committed to getting it done.  And this is part of the process.  This is one of the reasons we’ve never been focused on a timeline of having to get it done on a certain day, by a certain holiday or anything else.  It’s about getting it done right.  

And the President, as you know, again, sat down with a lot of those members that you’re referencing yesterday.  Those same people are committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare and putting something in that actually works.  They’re committed to doing that, and that’s what we’re focused on.  That’s what we’re going to make sure happens.

Francesca.

Q    During that Q&A session, that meeting with those Republican senators, did the President hear anything from those opposed to the Senate healthcare bill that leads him to believe that they will change their minds as it relates to this legislation?

MS. SANDERS:  I think he heard — again, like I just said — what all of Americans have been hearing all of these members talk about is that this is something that has to happen.  Obamacare is simply not sustainable.  Even Democrats have recognized that.  And our path forward is to repeal and replace it.  It’s very simple.

Francesca.

Q    Sarah, you mentioned the meeting yesterday with the 46 members of Congress.  I believe you said also yesterday that he talked to four on the telephone.  We know that Rand Paul was here.  He had a meeting with GOP leaders about this.  Is there anything else that the President was doing?  I ask this specifically because Susan Collins had mentioned that they — that she feels that there could have been more personal engagement before this point in time.  And I’m wondering if the President could have done more, if you think the President could have done more, should have done more, and what he’s going to be doing moving forward to get this across the finish line?

Q    I mean, I think you’re talking about it as if it’s over, and it’s certainly not.  I mean, again, this is part of the process, is walking through.  We’ve said from the beginning that there were going to be changes that would probably take place within this piece of legislation.  That’s where we are. 

Again, the President has been directly engaged and will continue to be so.

Q    Sure.  On another topic, I want to ask you about an NPR and Marist poll that came out today.  One of the questions they asked was about the President’s tweeting.  Sixty-nine percent of Americans said that they found it distracting and it wasn’t helpful.  I know that you guys have said repeatedly that you think that the President is the best, the most effective messenger, and that you think the tweeting helps.  What do you — where are you guys getting that from when you see polls like this that say that a majority of Americans think that it’s a distraction?

MS. SANDERS:  I haven’t seen the poll that you’re referencing but I do know that the President speaking directly to the American people is always a good thing.  No matter who the President is, that’s a positive no matter what.

For the people to hear directly from their President, no matter what format that is in — whether it’s through social media platforms, whether it’s through speeches, whether it’s through interviews — that’s always a positive.  And I think most people agree.

Q    The President, as we all know, is having an event tonight at his hotel.  Is he running for reelection?

MS. SANDERS:  Of course he’s running for reelection.  I think it would be — but right now, he’s focused on his agenda, focused on the midterms.  That will be the first election.  He’s raising money for the party.  I don’t think that’s abnormal for any President. 

Q    We’d appreciate it if you could open that event up to coverage tonight?

MS. SANDERS:  I’ll be sure to pass that on.

Mara. 

Q    Thank you, Sarah.  You’ve focused a lot on the problems in the Obamacare exchanges and said today again that this situation is unsustainable.  Does the President believe that Medicaid in its current form is unsustainable?

MS. SANDERS:  I know that the plan as of right now and certainly in the most recent draft of the bill is to make sure that Medicaid is protected.  

Q    In its current form?

MS. SANDERS:  In its current form, that anybody who is currently on wouldn’t lose coverage. 

Q    But what about in the future?  Because this plan drastically changes Medicaid, which actually is a bigger chunk of the healthcare delivery system than the Obamacare exchanges?

MS. SANDERS:  Look, I think that’s — again, part of this process is working through that and figuring out the best way to provide medical care.

Q    Does he want changes in the Medicaid portion of the bill?

MS. SANDERS:  Not that I’m aware of, but I would have to speak directly to him.  I just don’t know the answer to that directly.

Q    Sarah, Paul Manafort, who was for a time the general chairman of the campaign, and Rick Gates who was a figure in the campaign and also the presidential inaugural committee, have registered retroactively as representatives of a foreign government to retroactively comply with a law which they were not in compliance with.  Does the White House regret that they were not in compliance with the law when they were working on behalf of candidate Trump or the inaugural committee?  Do you have any reaction to the fact that they’re now trying to retroactively do something they should have done long, long ago?

MS. SANDERS:  I certainly can’t speak for the campaign.  I’m here solely as a representative of the White House, and that would be a campaign matter.  And I couldn’t speak to that.

Q    Let me ask you about healthcare.  Yesterday, Senator Paul after his meeting with the President didn’t say directly, but he left the impression that part of their conversation was for Senator Paul to express that he didn’t believe the current draft fully repeals the Affordable Care Act, and that’s one of his grievances.  And he left the impression that the President might agree with him on that.  So I want to ask you directly:  Does the President believe that one of the flaws with the current draft is that it does not go far enough to repeal the Affordable Care Act?

MS. SANDERS:  I wasn’t part of that conversation.  I would be happy to ask that question and follow up with you maybe.

Jordan.

Q    Thank you, Sarah.  There’s a lot of changes being floated out there — changes to Medicaid, changes to U.S. coverage requirements.  Is there a change that’s being proposed that would be a nonstarter for President Trump that would be a deal-breaker, that if it was included he wouldn’t put his signature on the bill?

MS. SANDERS:  I’m sure that there are things.  I mean, there’s a lot of crazy things I’m sure that could be suggested that would be deal-breakers for all of the Senate.  But we haven’t sat down and made a list of deal-breakers.  If we have, I’m not aware of it.  But I can certainly ask if there is one and circle back.

Jennifer.  Jennifer.

Q    Thank you.  Sarah, at the State Department, the positions of Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism and the Ambassador for International Religious Freedom have — they remain vacant.  It’s my understanding that the special envoy position is going to expire or be empty in a few days.  This as anti-Semitism and religious persecution, of course, worldwide is on the rise.  These are values the President routinely raises.  Is this a missed opportunity?  Does the White House or does the State Department plan to fill these positions?  What’s going on here?

MS. SANDERS:  I mean, I think certainly one of the biggest missed opportunities is the ability for us to staff across the board.  We have seen obstruction like never before.  The average time that it’s taking for us to get somebody through the process and confirmed is significantly longer than any historical precedent by several weeks.

We have nearly a hundred people in the queue that are waiting to be pushed through.  And due to the lengthy process and the obstruction by Democrats, that’s held up a number of positions not just at the State Department, but across the federal government.  Hopefully we can get those positions filled.  And certainly I would imagine those would be on that list.

Q    Two things — to follow up on a question earlier.  Why is the White House choosing to keep the President’s remarks at the fundraiser tonight closed to the press?

MS. SANDERS:  I think that’s been tradition.  And as you’re shaking — 

Q    Only in private homes.  

MS. SANDERS:  — that’s actually not true.  There were actually quite a few instances during both of the two previous administrations not to open up fundraisers.  If that changes, I’ll certainly — 

Q    But we go — the pool goes in at the time.

Q    But what is this administration’s explanation for why that’s necessary?

MS. SANDERS:  I think it’s a political event and they’ve chosen to keep that separate for the time being.

Q    And then I also wanted to ask you about one of the President’s tweets earlier today when he talked about The Washington Post and Amazon, referring to Amazon not paying Internet taxes, he says, which they should.  What was the President referring to?

MS. SANDERS:  I’d have to check on that.  I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it.

Hallie. 

Q    Thank you.  I have two for you.  One on healthcare, the President in the West Wing here was talking about Senator Chuck Schumer.  He says that he’s done a lot of bad talking and doesn’t seem like a serious person.  There’s some discussion on the Hill that there needs to be a bipartisan solution with healthcare.  So given those comments about Senator Schumer, who presumably would have to come to the table, is the President abandoning Democratic cooperation?

MS. SANDERS:  I think Democrats abandoned the ability when they said that they were unwilling to come to the table and have, frankly, refused to be part of the conversation from the beginning.  And I think they set that tone and certainly set that standard by not participating, by not wanting to be part of the process.

Thanks so much, guys.

END
2:32 P.M. EDT