1/30/17: White House Press Briefing

Mr. Spicer: Welcome back. Great to see everybody. Thank you all for coming. It’s good to see the
interest is still there. I want to start off by
noting the President got off the phone just a short time
ago with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss
the vicious attack on a Quebec City
mosque last night. The President offered his
condolence as well as his thoughts and prayers to the
victims and their family and to all Canadians. This is another senseless
act of violence that cannot be tolerated. The President also pledged
to support the Canadian police and intelligence
service in any way necessary. Prime Minster Trudeau was
extremely appreciative, and he was also cautious to draw
conclusions on the motives at this stage of the
investigation, and the President shared
those thoughts. Canadian law enforcement
officials are actively investigating this matter. We condemn this attack in
the strongest possible terms. It’s a terrible reminder of
why we must remain vigilant, and why the President is
taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it
comes to our nation’s safety and security. We’re, of course, praying
for those injured in the attack and are keeping in
close contact with officials in Quebec and Canada. We’re moving into a quick
recap of the events of the past few days. As you all know, the
President had an extremely busy weekend. He followed up on a week of
— his first week of action with a weekend of action. On Saturday and Sunday
alone, the President spoke with eight foreign leaders. He signed executive orders
delivering on some of the biggest campaign promises
that he made to the American people. And he met with staff to
continue to plan another busy week. Also, over this weekend,
we carried out a very successful raid against
Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, which resulted in
the death of an estimated 14 AQAP members and the capture
of important intelligence that will better enable
us to counter and prevent future terrorist plots. Tragically, during this
raid, the life of a brave service member was taken
and four were wounded. Our thoughts and our prayers
are with the family of this fallen American hero, and
we also pray for a speedy recovery and complete
recovery of those service members who
sustained injuries. As a quick recap, on Friday
you saw the President’s enthusiastic reception at
the Department of Defense for the ceremonial swearing
in of Secretary Mattis as our Secretary of Defense. While at the Pentagon, the
President also signed two executive actions to protect
America from those who wish to do us harm. This focus on securing our
borders in our homeland was obviously a major part
of what the President campaigned on, and now he’s
doing exactly what the — he’s doing exactly what he
told the American people he would do. The President will always
put the safety and prosperity of our country
first and foremost. We kicked off Saturday
by launching the weekly address, which debuted for
the first time on Facebook Live. Nearly 11 million people
were reached by the address online. Over 1.1 million people
engaged with the post via comments, likes, and
other interactions. And as of this morning, the
video had been viewed almost 5 million times. And just as he did
throughout the campaign, this is another example of
the President being able to take his message directly
to the American people. On Saturday, the President
signed three executive actions on issues ranging
from government ethics to national security. As part of the President’s
plan to drain the swamp in Washington and return power
to the American people, he signed an executive
order imposing strict post-employment rules on all
federal political appointees including a five-year
lobbying ban and a lifetime ban for foreign government lobbying among other restrictions. The President continues to
make it very, very clear that if you want to be part
of a Trump administration you’re going to be putting
— serving the country, not yourself. The President also signed a
memorandum modernizing the structure of the National
Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. There’s been a lot of
misreporting this week about what this memo does
and does not do. So, let me walk you
through this real quick. There’s two issues at hand. One is the make-up of the
NSC, and the other is the make-up of the
Principals Committee. The Principal Committee is
merely the NSC minus the President. The idea that the chairmen
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the DNA are being
downgraded or removed is utter nonsense. They are at every NSC
meeting and are welcome to attend the Principals
meetings as well. To be clear, the memo lays
out that if there’s a Principals meeting that is
outside their scope, for example, a Homeland — a
domestic issue that doesn’t pertain to the military,
they’re not required but certainly welcome
to be in attendance. We recognize that certain
Homeland Security issues may not be military issues, and
it would not be in the best interest of the Joint
Chiefs’ valuable time to be at these meetings. Just yesterday, we called
several outlets who were severely misreporting this
topic to better inform them about what this memo means. Let me just walk through
this real quick. This is the 2001
NSC stand-up memo. This is the 2009 memo. And then this one is the —
I’ve got the ’13 here as well, or the 2017,
rather, right here. This is the language that
is in — the language that consists of the National
Security team, the director of the Central Intelligence,
and the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as
statutory advisors to the NSC, shall also
attend NSC meetings. That is the identical
language in 2017 as it was in 2009 when
Obama drafted his. Verbatim, identical. The make-up of the
Principals Committee from 2017 is exactly as it was in
both 2017 as it was in 2001. One-hundred percent
identical except we add the word “also.” I think it’s
pretty clear that if you look at all three of these,
that’s what it does. To be clear, the memo —
just yesterday we called that out, starting with
the membership of the NSC. As you can see here, the
language that’s part of the President’s memo is
identical to the language from President’s
Bush’s 2001. The only thing that’s
changed in this is the addition of the director of
National Intelligence as a position that didn’t
exist in 2001. For what it’s worth, it’s
the same as Obama’s, save for the word “also.” In
terms of the Principals Committee, as you can see
from the various language here, and this is — I’ll
give you 2017 on the Principals Committee — this
is the Principals Committee in 2017 and this is the
2001 Principals Committee. It is literally 100
percent the same. 2001 and 2017 are identical. So, this idea that there’s
been a change or a downgrade is utter nonsense. With respect to the Joint
Chiefs in particular, the President holds Chairman
Dunford in the highest regard. The suggestion that he would
downgrade the important role that the chairman plays in
matters of national security reveals a fundamental
misunderstanding of the tremendous respect that the
President holds for both the chairman himself and the
Joint Chiefs as a whole. For the record, I know
someone tweeted out, “Where was the CIA in this?” The CIA hasn’t been part of
the NSC since the DNI was sworn in for the
first time in 2005. That being said, the
President has such respect for Director Pompeo and the
men and women of the CIA that today the President
is announcing that he will amend the memo to add the
CIA back into the NSC. So, I know that there was
a tweet yesterday from the former national security
advisor that said, “Where is the CIA out of everything?” Well, I’d like to remind the
former national security advisor that when the memo
was drafted in 2009, I don’t see the Obama administration
including the CIA in theirs. It is President Trump that
is including the CIA, not the former administration. So just to be clear, when
it comes to the CIA, as you know, number one, it wasn’t
part of the restructuring of the NSC after the DNI was
named and sworn in in 2005, and we are the
administration that’s adding it back in to the NSC
and amending it in. It was the Obama
administration that didn’t have it in. So, to answer the former
national security advisor’s tweet, the CIA is in ours
and it wasn’t in theirs. With respect to over
— hold on one second. Moving on, the President
also signed another memo when he was at the
Department of Defense instructing the Joint Chiefs
of Staff in the next 30 days to deliver to him a
plan to defeat ISIS. This comprehensive strategy
and plan must include a recommendation to changes to
any rules of engagement and other police restrictions
that exceed the requirements of international law
regarding the use of ISIS; public diplomacy,
information, operations, and cyber strategies to isolate
and delegitimize ISIS and its radical Islamist
ideology; identification of new coalition partners in
the fight against ISIS and policies to empower
coalition partners to fight ISIS and its affiliates;
mechanisms to cut off ISIS financial support, including
financial transfers, money laundering, oil revenue,
human trafficking, the sales of looted art, historical
facts, and other revenue sources; and a detailed
strategy to robustly fund the plan. This presidential memorandum
is a profound statement that the President’s clear
objective is to defeat and destroy ISIS, and that
we are going to do it systematically. This is not only a necessary
step for America’s national security, it is also a
humanitarian imperative. If ISIS is left in power,
the threat it poses only grows. We know it has attempted to
develop chemical weapons capabilities; it maintains
the goal of recruiting homegrown terrorists and its
attacks against our allies and partners
continue to mount. The United States must
take decisive action. And the President is taking
the necessary steps. Over the weekend, the
President also held constructive phone calls
with the heads of government from Australia, France,
Germany, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea
and the United Arab Emirates. During the calls, the
President reaffirmed our partnerships and discussed
strengthening our mutual defenses in interests
throughout the world. The safety of the American
people and the security of American homeland continue
to be the President’s top priority. His outreach to these
leaders is a critical step in turning the page of the
failed foreign policies of the past eight years. Notably, he did all this
in the face of extreme obstructionism from
Democrats in the Senate who are holding up 17 of its
department or agency leads that require Senate
confirmation. In contrast, 10 days into
his term, President Obama had — only had seven in
these positions awaiting confirmation. President Bush had all
but four confirmed. If Senate Democrats think
that voters are going to be okay with them continuing
business as usual, dragging their heels and confirm
— confirming qualified nominees, they sorely
misunderstood the message this November. The truth is, these cabinet
members are unbelievably qualified and will all be
confirmed by the Senate. And Democrats know this. So, it’s time to stop
playing political games with the core functions
of our government. This morning, the
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative sent 12
letters officially notifying the nations to the
Trans-Pacific Partnership that the U.S. has withdrawn from the
agreement, the next step in fulfilling the President’s
campaign promise to get our country out of unacceptable
trade deals that don’t put America’s interests first. The President will continue
to negotiate new, better trade agreements that wills
bring jobs back, increased American wages and reduce
our trade deficit. The White House Office of
Intergovernmental Affairs has been hard at work making
sure that all lines of communication are open at
all levels of government throughout the country. As of today, the White House
has made contact with all governors’ office in every
state and territory and deeper dive conversations
on a range of issues has already taken place with 32
governors or their offices. Outreach efforts have
touched 22 of 50 state attorney generals; 32 of 50
states secretaries of state; 16 speakers of the house;
the leaders of the 10 largest federally recognized
tribes; and, the leaders of some of the country’s
largest counties and municipalities all have
expressed enthusiasm about working with the White House
on issues impacting their local communities
and families. The Inter-Governmental
Affairs Office is also preparing the National —
it’s preparing for the National Governors’
Association meeting in Washington at the end of
February, at which the President plans
to host a dinner. Today, the President started
his day with a — with a breakfast and listening
session with small business leaders; a list of attendees
is available if you’re interested. The meeting comes on the
heels of similar listening sessions that the President
held last week with some of the country’s top business
and union leaders and frontline workers. He’s made it clear in his
first week in office through numerous executive actions,
meetings and listening sessions, that he’s fully
committed to fighting on behalf of American workers
and small businesses. This morning, the Vice
President hosted a breakfast with King Abdullah II
of Jordan at the Naval Observatory and the
President expects to greet the King this Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast. The Vice President thanked
the King for his efforts in advance — in advancing
peace and stability in the Middle East and reaffirmed
the United States’ commitment to Jordan
security and economic development. The two leaders discussed
events in the region, including ways to accelerate
the coalition’s efforts to defeat ISIS and promote a
political solution to the Syrian conflict. The Vice President welcomes
the King’s views on potential changes
involving the U.S. Embassy in Israel and
reiterated that the United States is at the
early stages of this decision-making process. The two leaders also
discussed how to best make progress towards a
comprehensive agreement between Israel and
the Palestinians. The Vice President and King
Abdullah agreed on the importance of continuing
to strengthen the U.S. – Jordan relationship and
pledged to stay in close contact about events
in the region. Also, this morning, the
President signed an Executive Order reducing
regulation and controlling regulatory costs. The order instructs the
Director of Office and Management Budget to issue
guidelines that for every one new regulation, two
existing regulations in an agency be eliminated. We’re calling in
One In – Two Out. Additionally, the order
states that the cost of all new regulations finalized
in fiscal 2017 must be no greater than zero
for each agency. And beginning in 2018,
each agency will have an incremental cost cap set by
the director of OMB, beyond which it cannot
issue regulations. This Executive Order is the
first step in the President delivering on his promise to
slash bureaucratic red tape that is choking our
nation’s small businesses. Under the President’s
leadership, the federal government will no longer
punish Americans for working and doing business
in the United States. Every year, over regulation
cost our economy billions of dollars and reduces the
wealth of every American household. This Executive Order will
help get the economy back on track and is part of the
President’s bold plan to create 25 million new
American jobs in the next decade. It’s worth noting that this
order is perhaps the most significant administration
action in the world of regulatory reform since
President Reagan created the Office of Information
Regulatory Affairs in 1981. Finally, a few
administrative notes — I’m pleased to announce that
Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel will visit the United
States on February 15th. Our relationship with the
only democracy in the Middle East is crucial to the
security of both our nations and the President looks
forward to discussing continuously strategic,
technological, military and intelligence cooperation
with the Prime Minister. As you know,
tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. the President will announce
who he intends to nominate for the Supreme Court and
for a party preaching tolerance, it’s interesting
to see some Democrats have already come out against
this unnamed individual. So, with that, I’d be glad
to take a few questions. The Press: Sean? Mr. Spicer: Yeah. The Press: Sean, over the
weekend, President Trump requested that the King of
Saudi Arabia join him by supporting safe
zones in Syria. Mr. Spicer: Right. The Press: What type of
support does President Trump intend to provide and when
can Syrians expect to receive this support? Mr. Spicer: Well, I think it
came up in several of his calls and that’s
an important note. There is such strong
agreement with how we address this problem and
you’re seeing it from across the spectrum. It’s an important that we
have stability in the region and I think the idea that
this was an area of mutual discussion and agreement is
important when we talk about stability in the region. And so, we’ll have continued
discussions on it, but I think that first step of
getting both sides on the first page was a
huge step forward. Blake. The Press: Thanks, Sean. The President said today in
that on-camera session with the business leaders about
how tough — about how the market has run from —
during his last couple of months. I want to ask you a
question related to that. Today, coincidentally,
happens to be the biggest market drop since October
and one of the uncertainties for investors is that tax
reform might not get done this year. So my question to you is,
can the Administration commit to major
tax reform in 2017? Mr. Spicer: Well, that’s a
two-way street and I think that you’ve seen a
commitment from the President to fight on
behalf of small businesses. That’s what this regulation
thing was today. I mean, it really can’t
underscore how important it is. Since 1981, we haven’t seen
anything of this magnitude to address the regulation —
the regulatory impact that small businesses face. We’re going to continue to
work with both houses of Congress, both the Senate
Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means
Committee to develop a comprehensive tax plan. And I think there’s
eagerness on behalf of Congress to do that as well. So, that — that is a very
promising thing, but I would also note that when you
look, not just at the ups and downs of a market,
but you look at consumer confidence and a lot of the
other market indicators. This — a Trump Presidency
brought a lot of confidence back to traders, to
investors — more importantly, to
job creators. And you look at the number
of individuals — the small businesses, the large
businesses, the auto makers — all coming in and saying
to the President, “I want to be part of your effort —
your agenda to make the country better; to grow jobs
here; to bring jobs back here.” I think it’s a
positive sign, not just on the ups and downs of one
day’s market fluctuation, but the overall commitment
that businesses have to — to want to work with
this Administration. To add jobs; to create
better jobs; to add benefits; to find out how
the President can ease the regulatory burden they face,
so it’s a holistic process that is being undertaken
to unleash the American economy. And it’s the approach that
he’s taking, not just in small businesses and large
businesses and with union workers, but he’s looking
the energy sector. How do we unleash America’s
natural resources, not just to help us make more in
energy independent, but how do we do that to create good
paying jobs in America as well and get that economic
boom that can come out of it? The Press: Thanks, Sean. The Press: Sean, two
questions — one, how important is national
security information to you? How would — you’re saying
that they’re at the table and they can come to the
table if they wanted some meetings, how — Mr. Spicer: Oh, no, no. That’s not what I said. Just to be clear — The Press: Okay. Mr. Spicer: — I just — I
don’t think I can underscore this enough. What we’re saying is,
nothing has changed. We’ve, in fact,
added grown this. The Director of National
Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
are, by statute, part of the — of the NSC — full stock. What we’ve done is made sure
that on issues of homeland security and domestic
policy, they are always welcome to attend, 100
percent, however, if the issue is on, you know,
pandemic flu or other domestic type natures that
don’t involve the military, it would be a waste of time
to drag the Chairman of the Joint Chief of staff over. If he wants to attend he’s
part of the committee. He can come any time. So, to try to talk about
downgrading or not taking this seriously is a
misreading of this. It’s really a disservice. And I think that for those
people who took the time to read it they
understand that. But I’ve seen so much
misreporting all this weekend about downgrading
this individual or upgrading. The language could
not be clearer. It is 100 percent identical. And so, any misreading of
it otherwise is a spread of misinformation. Plain and simple. The Press: Okay, so you’re
saying they’re at the table. But — Mr. Spicer: No, no, no. I’m saying they’ve always
been at the table and they continue to be and that he
has a tremendous amount of respect for him. And so, any reporting
otherwise is a misunderstanding
of it 100 percent. The Press: Sean, let
me ask my question. Mr. Spicer: Okay. The Press: Okay,
they’re at the table. But how important are
their suggestions or their statements to this
administration? Mr. Spicer: Unbelievable. When you look at Secretary Mattis who was in the Oval Office. He was on the phone with CIA
Director Pompeo this after — or this morning. He has had — he
values their opinion. I don’t think you can
express in words how much respect he has whether it’s
Chairman Dunford or General Mattis, General Kelley,
Secretary — I mean Director Pompeo. All of these individuals I
think he’s shown through deed and action and word how
much he cares about them. The first stop he made was
to the CIA because of how much he values the work that
they do and the respect that he has for them. So I don’t — I really don’t
know how much more he can do to show how much
he values them. The Press: My second
question, my last question. When you talk about these
seven countries — these Muslim majority countries —
talking to a former official in the Obama administration
from Homeland Security they’re saying that what
you’re doing is very different from what they did, and it’s much more restrictive. What do you say to that? Mr. Spicer: That we’re
going to put the safety of Americans first. We’re not going to wait and
react, as I said in the statement. The President’s going to
be very proactive with protecting this country. We’re not going to wait till
we get attacked and figure out how we can make sure
it doesn’t happen again. He’s going to do everything
in his power to stop every threat that we face in this
country and every potential threat. And that’s the
key point in this. How do we get
ahead of threats? How do we keep America ahead
of the curve when it comes to people who want
to do us harm? And that’s what the
President’s done. Is he’s made sure that every
way possible we get down the path of securing this
country, putting America’s safety and security first
and foremost bar none. Major Garrett. The Press: Sean, you
suggested over the weekend and so did Steven Miller
that the action taken on the executive order might
have been related to some specific intelligence and
it was necessary to prevent something from happening. And any questions about why
certain agencies may not have been as briefed up can
be explained in part because it needed to
happen right away. Can you — Mr. Spicer:
Well, no — yeah. Just to explain that. Yeah, thank you. I appreciate that
opportunity. I think what we’re trying to
say is you don’t know when the next threat’s coming. You don’t know when the
next attack’s coming. And so the best you can
do is to get ahead of it. Because if you wait, you’re
going to be reacting. And what I think I want
to be clear on is the President’s not
going to wait. He’s going to make sure he
does everything in his power when he can to protect the
homeland and his people. That’s it. And so getting ahead
of threats is the key. Not waiting till they
happen, not saying, “Hey, once it happens how do
we react to make sure it doesn’t happen again?” I think what I want to be
clear about is that since becoming President he’s
continued to take steps through executive order and
otherwise to make sure that this country is as safe as
can be and that we’re ahead of every threat. The Press: In other words,
it was not put in place on the timeline it was put in
place and the procedures it was put in place because of
specific intelligence that was suggesting
something needed — Mr. Spicer: No, no, no. No, no. I’m not saying that at all. The Press: Okay, I just
wanted to make sure on that. Mr. Spicer: All I’m saying
is that his view in general is not to wait to get
ahead of the curve. Are — his — there wasn’t
a specific threat that was saying, “You have
to do this Saturday. Sunday will be –” But we
just — the point that I’m trying to make is that we
don’t know when that hour comes. We don’t know when that
individual crosses into our border to do us harm. And so the idea of waiting
when you don’t know — could it be that night? Could it be the next day? Could it be the next week? And the President’s view
is, “I’m not going to wait. I’m going to make sure that
we protect the homeland and its people as soon as
possible with every measure that I can. John Roberts? The Press: Just following
up on that a little bit and I’ve got two
questions unrelated. So I’ll ask (inaudible). Number of legal challenges
against this executive order. What’s your level of
confidence that you will prevail legally and what’s
the basis for that level of confidence? Mr. Spicer: Well — and the
most prominent case is the one in the eastern
district of New York. And I think the — we won’t even have to prevail in that case. It doesn’t make any sense. It deals with people
who are being deported. The action never spoke to
it, never intended to deport people. It had to do with how do we
process people in and detain them until we ascertain
whether or not they can — they can — they sought
to do us any harm. And again, remember we’re
talking about a universe of 109 people. There were 325,000 people
that came into this country over a 24-hour period
from another country. One hundred and nine of them
were stopped for additional screening. This is — we’ve got to keep
this in proportion, folks. This is — this is 109
people being stopped out of 325 over a 24-hour period. And I know that everyone
likes to get where they want to get to as quick as
possible and I think the government did a phenomenal
job of making sure that we processed people through. But we did so knowing so
that the people who were coming in hadn’t done
anything that was seeking to do us harm. That’s it, plain and simple. And I think that’s an
important thing to know. That when you actually look
at the perspective of what’s going on and you note the
polls that were going up this morning — you know, a
majority of Americans agree with the President. They recognize the steps
that he’s taken were to keep this country safe and to
make sure that we didn’t look back and say, “I wish
we had done the following.” The Press: (inaudible)
Donnelly’s order is just one of a number. There’s four I
believe, right? Mr. Spicer: And I don’t
think any of the others are pertaining. All of the action — all of
the enforcement and action regarding the executive
order is in place and it still remains right now. And we feel pretty confident
that if there’s any problems we’ll prevail. It is — again, this is a
national security issue. These seven countries were
derived from what the Obama administration had deemed
as needing further travel restriction. We followed through on that
and as we continue to go through this 90-day process
review, we’re going to make sure that we put a system in
place that vets — extreme vets these people who are
coming into our country that could potentially
do us harm. Plain and simple. John Gizzi. The Press: Second
question for you, Sean. Mr. Spicer: I forgot,
John said two. The Press: You can’t
forget things like that. Mr. Spicer: I — well. The Press: What’s the
President’s response to Iran flagrantly thumbing its nose
at the UN Security Council? Mr. Spicer:
We’re aware of — The Press: Or — and
if I could just finish. Prime Minister Netanyahu who
you mentioned will be coming here on the 15th is looking
to the White House for more sanctions against Iran. Mr. Spicer: And I think
we’re looking into that. We’re aware that Iran
fired that missile. We’re looking into the exact
nature of it, and I’ll try to have more for you later The Press: Thank you, Sean. Mr. Spicer: John Gizzi. The Press: Thank
you very much. Two brief questions. First, the President of ZOA
— Zionists of America — put out a statement
following the President’s proclamation on the
Holocaust saying that they omission of Jews and what
they experienced was “painful.” Is the President aware of
some criticism from the American Jewish community? And does he plan to
do anything about it? Mr. Spicer: Well, I think
he’s aware of what people have been saying, but I
think by and large he’s been praised for it. I think the President
recognized the tremendous loss of life that came
from the Holocaust. But I think with respect to,
you know, Israel and the Jewish people specifically
there’s been no better friend than Donald Trump
when it comes to protecting Israel, building a better
friendship with Israel. You look at what Prime
Minister Netanyahu’s talked about. He welcomes this
administration. He appreciates the
friendship and respect that he has shown to Israel
and to the Jewish people. But to suggest otherwise,
John, I frankly — I got to be honest. The President went out of
his way to recognize the Holocaust and the suffering
that went through it and the people that were affected
by it and the loss of life. And to make sure that
America never forgets what so many people went through
whether they were Jews, they’re Gypsies, gays,
disability — I mean priests — and I’m not — I get it. But at the end of the day I
don’t think when you look at the state of Israel or the
Jewish people themselves — I think there has been no
better friend to Donald Trump. Especially after the
last eight years. The tremendous respect that
he’s shown Israel, the Jewish people — and to
suggest anything otherwise is frankly a little
disappointing. I’m sorry — okay. The Press: Second question. Mr. Spicer: We’re getting way too good at second questions. The Press: Thank you. The — several NGOs that
have helped people from the countries affected have
said they specifically have focused on people who
interpreted for our military. Mr. Spicer: Right. The Press: And said they
would be affected by this. I believe Secretary Mattis
said he hoped you specify that to give these people
a better shot at it. Is there going
to be any change? Mr. Spicer: Well you look
at that one — that one interpreter yesterday came
back who was interviewed on television said, “I
love Donald Trump.” I think we recognize that
people who’ve served this country we should make sure
that in those cases they’re helped out. But that doesn’t mean that
we just give them a pass. The Obama administration, I
think it was 2009, let two people through the
Iraqi program in. Those people came to the
United States and tried to plan an attack in Kentucky. I think that we’ve got to
recognize that people who have helped this country or
served this nation might not be citizens at the time want
to come here — that we need to appreciate the service
that they’ve had. That doesn’t mean that we
don’t let them in without a certain degree of vetting. And I think that’s what
we’re going to do to make sure again, that the onus
is on us to make sure that we’re protecting the
American people and that people want to come into
this country do so in a peaceful way. Margaret, sorry The Press: In the departure,
I’d like to ask you about Dodd-Frank. President Trump said this
morning he’s going to do a big number on Dodd-Frank and
I wanted to know what was the timeframe for
the big number? Is this legislation that
you’re looking at teaming up with Republican
lawmakers on? Or do you think that the big
number can mostly be handled through an executive action? Mr. Spicer: I think we’re
continuing to work with the legislative affairs
team on that. But I think today what you
saw was the first step down the path of regulatory
relief to our nation’s small and large
businesses as well. And I think that he
understands — especially as a business man himself and
someone who’s been involved in financing — that the
impact that Dodd-Frank has had on lending in particular
and the impact that it has on small and
large businesses. So, I’m not — I think we’re
going to continue to walk — work with Congress on reform
and we’ll have more for you on that at some
point in the future. I’m sorry. We’re doing two-for days. The Press: Oh that’s great. Okay. I’m wondering any — do you
expect an EO on H1Bs as part of all this coming
any time soon? And also, I just wanted you
to be aware that President Obama, through his
spokesman, has now issued a statement on the
executive order. Mr. Spicer: Okay, thank you. I think with respect to H1Bs
and other Visas, it’s part of a larger immigration
reform effort that the President will continue to
talk about through executive order and through
working with Congress. But you’ve already seen a
lot of action on immigration and I think whether it’s
that or the spousal visas or other types of visas, I
think there’s an overall need to look at
all these programs. And you’ll see both through
executive action and through comprehensive legislative
measures a way to address immigration as a whole
and the Visa program. Zeke? The Press: Since we’re doing
two, I got two for you. On the — on the — on the
NSC reorganization with regards to the President’s
Chief Strategist being on the NSC, that wasn’t
something that existed certainly in President
Obama’s tenure. What does that speak about
Mr. Bannon’s role within the White House, within the
policy decision making structure? Mr. Spicer: Well, let’s
be — let’s be honest. I mean, David Axelrod walked
in and out of NSC meetings quite frequently by his own
account and by several of your accounts. What this shows is that this
administration is being rather transparent. That it’s putting out in the
public who’s going to be going in and out of those
meetings not just letting people go in willy nilly. I think it shows that this
administration’s trying to make sure that we don’t hide
things and wait for them to come out after the fact. So, it recognizes the role
that he’s going to play. But Steve’s not going
to be in every meeting. Like Axelrod, he’ll come
in and out when needed. But I think we wanted to be
up front about it and make sure that was stated so it
wasn’t a story when he did. Yeah? The Press: One more. Mr. Spicer: I’m sorry. I forgot. The Press: Sorry. Just on the Yemen strike
over the weekend, can you talk a little bit about
the President’s personal involvement? I mean, this seems to be
the first major order he’s given. And separately, does he
intend to speak with the family of the fallen
service member? Mr. Spicer: Thanks. He was — you know,
obviously aware of the strike occurring. He was kept in constant
contact Saturday night of the status of the mission of
both the success that it had and the — and the tragic
loss of life that occurred to that member. We are currently following
Department of Defense next of kin procedures and as
soon as it is appropriate the President will be speaking with the family members. Yes? The Press: (inaudible) on
North Korea ICBM, North Korea announced that if the
United States intercept ICBM, it would be the war. How did you
response on this? Mr. Spicer: How did we what? The Press: How did you
response on North Korea it would be the war if you
intercept those ICBM? Mr. Spicer: I’m sorry — The Press: How
did you respond? How did you respond? Mr. Spicer: How did we
respond to North Korea? The Press: Yes. Mr. Spicer: We’re working
through diplomatic channels on that. I don’t have any further
readout on that. The Press: One more. Yesterday — I’m sorry —
President Trump called with acting President (inaudible)
Korea and also, they said that U.S. and South Korea agreed to
strengthen jointed defense abilities. What is that
particulars of — Mr. Spicer: They spoke
last night about 7:00. There was a readout provided
to that call and I think we’ll have further steps to
announce in follow up to that call, but I think the
read out speaks for itself. Mike? The Press: I want to ask
about the Supreme Court pick. Can you talk about why
he’s moved that pick up to tomorrow night,
it sounds like? Can you tell us
who the pick is? And is the pick off the
list he’s been using? Is he 100 percent sure
that this is the pick? Mr. Spicer: He is 100
percent sure he’s the pick. This individual is part of
the list that he put out. It maintains exactly what
he said he was going to do. But I’m not going to share
any further guidance on that. I appreciate the try. The Press: You
said he, Sean? When you said he’s? Mr. Spicer: I said
the individual. (laughter) The Press: You also said he. You said, “He’s the one.” The Press: Sean, just
following up on the President’s comments last
week that three million illegal immigrants
voted in the election. You guys said that he would
have an executive order on the subject. Is he still
planning to do that? Or has he changed his mind? Mr. Spicer: Yes. He still has
plans to do that. The Press: And then a second
— just a second follow up on your statement about
the Holocaust statement. Last night, the Republican
Jewish Coalition called it an unfortunate omission that
your — that the White House did not acknowledge
the Jewish people or anti-Semitism — Mr. Spicer: They weren’t
in President Bush’s acknowledgement either. The Press: — explicitly. It was — President Bush did
mention anti-Semitism, so — Mr. Spicer: I think — The Press: — can you
explain why you decided to depart from bipartisan
tradition of two Presidents. Mr. Spicer: It’s not — the
statement was written with the help of an individual
who’s both Jewish and the descendants of
Holocaust survivors. To suggest that remembering
the Holocaust and acknowledging all of the
people Jewish, Gypsies, priests, disabled, gays, and
lesbian — I mean, it’s — I — it is pathetic that
people are picking on a statement. I remember we issued a
statement at Christmas time calling Christ the king and
many of the reporters that are in this room and
otherwise started wondering whether we were referring
to the king as the President-elect. Do you know how offensive
that was to Christians? I mean I — the idea
that you’re nitpicking a statement that’s sought to
remember this tragic event that occurred and the people
who died in it is just ridiculous. I think he acknowledged the
suffering that existed and wants to make sure that it’s
enshrined in the American people’s memory, so that
something like this never, ever happens again. And I think to sit there and
suggest that he was trying to single out anything and a
people of which he has shown such tremendous respect for
and such a willingness in terms of the state of Israel
to go out there and show the partnership that needs to
exist between us and the respect. And when you contrast that,
frankly, a statement — a statement and you look at
the actions of the last administration. The Iran Nuclear deal, them
giving Palestine an equal footing in terms of the
amendment that was passed through the UN Security
Council on their way out the door — to compare a
statement that remembers the Holocaust with the actions
of the last eight years and the disrespect that
was shown to Israel is unbelievable. Where were the questions
about the UN Security Council resolution
that came forward? And the idea of this
unprecedented step that the outgoing administration took
as a massive slap in the face of Israel. Where were the
questions then? The Press: You said Jared
Kushner wrote the statement, Sean? Mr. Spicer: No, I didn’t. Did I say that? No. The Press: You
mentioned that a — Mr. Spicer: I know what I
said, I didn’t say Jared’s name. The Press: You’re
saying it was not Jared? Mr. Spicer: I’m not — but
I’m just saying — no, I’m not getting into who wrote
it, but he has several members of the Jewish faith
on his senior staff and to suggest that it was an
omission of anything else is kind of ridiculous. Yeah. The Press: Sean, there’s a
— I think I’m sure you’re aware there’s a dissent
cable that’s being circulated inside the State
Department and takes issue with the executive order. Are you aware of it? What’s your reaction to it? And are you concerned that
you are facing a bureaucracy at the State Department that
may not be working in the same direction you are? And if — since it is
two-for Monday, the second thing is, if I could press
you a little bit on the very first question you were
asked on safe zones. President Trump said a
couple of times before the election that he wanted
Persian Gulf countries not only to be open to
this, but to support it. To pay for it. Does the — is that the
request he made of the King of Saudi Arabia in the phone
call over the weekend? Mr. Spicer: So, on the first
part — the first part dealt with? The Press: The dissent. Mr. Spicer: Yes,
we’re aware of that. This is a procedure that
is part of the State Department’s way of letting
career officials — career foreign service officers
express themselves. Obviously, we’re
aware of it. But I think that any
government official or anyone who doesn’t
understand the President’s goal in this and what this
actually was — again, I think this has been blown
way out of proportion and exaggerated. Again, you talk about in
a 24-hour period 325,000 people from other countries
flew in through our airports. And we’re talking about 109
people from seven countries that the Obama
administration identified. And these career bureaucrats
have a problem with it? I think that they should
either get with the program, or they can go. The Press: Sean — Mr. Spicer: Hold
on, hold on. This is about the safety of
America and there’s a reason that the majority of
Americans agree with the President. It’s because they understand
that’s his number one priority and it’s his number
one duty, as it should be with any leader, to keep our
people and our institutions safe from attack, and that
these steps are, frankly, common sense steps that the
President’s taking to make sure that we’re never
looking in the rearview mirror saying, “We should
have done something like this.” And then — The Press: So, he asked
for them to pay for this (inaudible)? Mr. Spicer: He did have a
conversation about financing with them as well, yes. Cecilia? The Press: Thank you, Sean. President Obama — his
statement that was just referenced earlier — said
that he’s heartened by the level of engagement taking
place in communities around the country. Does President Trump have a
message for the protesters, and does he have a message
for the 109 people that you just mentioned? And since it’s
two-for-Monday, on this memo about the plan to defeat
ISIS, the President campaigned and said that he
had a plan to defeat ISIS. Does he? Mr. Spicer: Yes, he does,
and he’s talking to his generals to make sure that
they provide him with the feedback necessary
to implement it. That is an ongoing
conversation that he continues to have with both
the Joint Chiefs, Secretary of State designee, the
Homeland Security Secretary, and the Secretary
of Defense. But he has been having that
conversation within his national security council,
within his advisers, to make sure that he has that. He has tasked the Joint
Chiefs with a plan to come up with and implement some
of his recommendations and some of theirs to make sure
that we can defeat ISIS. The Press: And on the
message, please, to protesters, and
specifically, to the families who this weekend
were caught up in this? Mr. Spicer: Yeah. I think that it’s a
shame that people were inconvenienced, obviously,
but at the end of the day, we’re talking about
a couple hours. I would rather — you know,
I’m sorry that some folks may have had to wait a
little while, but I think the President would much
rather know that he’s not placing a call to someone
who was killed because someone was let in this
country to commit a terrorist act, or keep — if
you weigh the calls that we have to have, someone being
temporarily inconvenienced coming into an airport —
and I think when you do talk to some of those people —
as I mentioned, a couple of them were interviewed and
said, “We understand that the President was doing this
in the best interest of the country.” Look, coming into this
country is still a privilege. We’re the greatest country
on earth and being able to come to America is a
privilege, not a right. It is our duty, and it is
the President’s goal, to make sure that everybody who
comes into this country, to the best of our ability, is
here because they want to enjoy this country and
come in peacefully. And so, he takes that
obligation extremely seriously, and I — and so
— hold on, I’m going to just finish Cecilia’s
question since she’s so good on the second one — that to
make sure that somebody’s inconvenienced a little. People experience this all
the time sometimes, going in and out of TSA. We have to wait in lines,
too, but we do so to make sure that we’re getting on
a plane to make sure that we’re going to a
destination, not committing a nefarious act. I think that the safety of
our country, the safety of our people, is always going
to be at the forefront of this President’s head, and
this is where he wants to go. Again, I think that we’ve
got to keep all of this into proportion. We had 109 people that
were temporarily detained. They’re all in, but they
were temporarily detained to make sure that the safety
of the other 324 million Americans was put first. I don’t see how
that’s a big problem. The Press: Sean, I have a
follow up on the extreme vetting. Advocacy groups are saying
that we already have extreme vetting; it takes anywhere
from 18 to 24 months for people who are applying for
asylum or refugee status to go through that
vetting process. How do you justify making
it even more extreme — Mr. Spicer: I think
that’s what — The Press: And do you plan
to add more countries to this list since — Mr. Spicer: It’s a
90-day review period. The Press: — some of
the 9/11 terrorists — Mr. Spicer: Yeah. It’s a 90-day review period,
and if you’ve got other countries, please
let us know. The Press: Saudi
Arabia, for instance. Mr. Spicer: Again,
I understand that. It’s interesting, though,
that you’re talking about adding countries when I keep
hearing all these questions about, “Was it too
much and too quick?” You can’t have it both ways. You can’t argue that we
should add more countries and yet you didn’t like
— we’re having all these issues with the first — The Press: I think the
problem is that some of the countries that have problems
with terrorism are not in the list — Mr. Spicer: Right, and we’re
reviewing the entire process over this period of time to
make sure that we do this right. But I don’t think you have
to look any farther than the families of — that were —
of the Boston Marathon, in Atlanta, in San Bernardino,
to ask if we can go further. There’s obviously steps that
we can and should be taking, and I think the President’s
going to continue to do what he can to make sure that
this country is as safe as possible. The Press: What about
the vetting process? The Press: Sean, last night
we were told by senior administration officials
that top immigration staffers on Capitol Hill and
other offices were involved in drafting the
executive order. Mr. Spicer: [affirmative]. The Press: That doesn’t jive
with the reporting that we have. We’re hearing from offices
that they weren’t involved. Can you say which offices — Mr. Spicer: So you’re
talking offices that weren’t involved, but — The Press: We’re talking any
offices on Capitol Hill. Mr. Spicer: There’s 535
offices, plus territories. Did you talk to them all? The Press: Well, my question
for you is which members were involved. Mr. Spicer: I’m not under an
obligation, just because you called one of 535 offices,
to tell you which ones we talked to. As was told to you last
night, there were staff from appropriate committees and
leadership offices that were involved. Yeah? The Press: Sean, thank you. Mr. Spicer: Go ahead. The Press: Thank you. Thank you very much, Sean. Two questions, please. One, on behalf of the
Indian-American community, they are thanking President
Trump for the cabinet level post of Ambassador
Nikki Haley. Mr. Spicer: Right. The Press: My question is
that under President Trump’s administration, do you think
India will be a member of the U.N. Security Council and what changes do you think we can see at the United Nations? Mr. Spicer: Well, obviously,
the President’s very pleased with Ambassador Haley being
confirmed and spending her first week up
there in New York. She’s going to do a fine job
representing us, and I’m not going to get any further
with respect to seats on the Security Council. The Press: And
second, my question — Mr. Spicer: Yeah, of course. The Press: Thank you, sir. As far as President Trump
and Prime Minister Modi, they’ve spoken
three times — Mr. Spicer: That’s right. The Press: — since
President Trump’s victory to “make America great again.” My question is, both
leaders, I understand, are on the same vote because
thinkings are the same, but my question that — how the
vote will work out for where U.S.-India relations are
concerned, and India is waiting to welcome
President Trump. Mr. Spicer: I
appreciate that. They had a great
conversation the other day and the relationship between
the two countries is going to continue to grow
stronger in this country. Yes? The Press: Thanks, Sean. Mr. Spicer: Yeah? The Press: First, I wanted
to follow up on Zeke’s question. My understanding is, the
wheels were already in motion on this raid over
the weekend, but did the President specifically
have to okay it? Mr. Spicer: He did, yes. He okayed it. The Press: And then, there’s
a report in the Independent in the U.K. that the President plans
to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement
within days. Can you confirm that or
shed any light on it? Mr. Spicer: I don’t have
anything for you on that. I’ll have to
get back to you. Yeah? The Press: Yes, I have
two on immigration. Mr. Spicer: Okay. The Press: The first one is
that the President always says he’s a great
counterpuncher, but he attacked Senator Schumer
this morning over fake tears. He said it was 95 percent,
basically, that he had shed fake tears over the weekend. But Senator Schumer did not
attack President Trump; he went after his policy. Was this gracious
of the President? Mr. Spicer: Look, I think
the President’s tweet speaks very clearly for itself. He knows what he’s — he
understands Senator Schumer. I think Kellyanne pointed
out this morning, you know, where has Senator Schumer’s
tears been for all the other problems that are going on
in this country, for the homeless, for the people
throughout New York that are starving for jobs? It’s interesting that in
eight years, with all the stuff that’s going on in
this country in terms of crime and the economy, I
haven’t seen too many tears come from Senator Schumer. So, you know — The Press: My other question
is you said it’s been 109 people. Mr. Spicer: Yeah. The Press: But the
Associated Press is reporting that the
congressionally approved program by which 300 Iranian
Christians, Jews, and Baha’is, who are at threat
of persecution in that country and were coming to
Austria as a waystation to come to the United States,
have been blocked from coming to Austria. Mr. Spicer: Right, 109
were detained in the U.S. temporarily. The Press: But that’s
another 300 who have been blocked from coming. Mr. Spicer: Okay. The Press: So that’s 409. Mr. Spicer: No, no, no. No, no, that’s
not what I said. The Press: So, I’m saying
there’s an additional 300 people. Mr. Spicer: I said there
were 109 people detained. Hold on, let me
answer the question. There were 109 people
detained in the United States. They were processed through
in a way to make sure that they weren’t causing anyone
in the United States harm. They were processed right
through the system just as well. That’s what I said. That’s exactly
what happened. Scott? The Press: Yeah, Sean,
what’s your level of concern about any kickback from some
of these countries that are on that list of seven as far
as how relations may work in the future? Some people obviously are
critical of the fact you have countries like — for
example have mentioned, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan,
where we have had attacks on U.S. soil with connections to those countries. Do you foresee
those being added? Mr. Spicer: Are you asking
what is our concern with their reaction to us? The Press: Absolutely. Mr. Spicer: Yeah, look, I
think the President’s number one goal is the protection
and safety of the United States and its people. If they want to act in a way
that’s inconsistent with their concerns, then that’s
up to them to do as a sovereign nation, but it is
our duty and it is his duty to make sure that this
country and its people are protected first
and foremost. Yes, sir? The Press: Sean, the LGBT
group The Human Rights Campaign has issued a
statement saying that — setting rumors that
President Trump is about to sign a religious freedom
executive order that would undermine LGBT rights. Is the President considering
any kind of religious freedom order? Mr. Spicer: I’m not going to
get ahead of the executive orders that we may
or may not issue. There’s a lot of executive
orders, a lot of things that the President has talked
about and will continue to fulfill, but we have
nothing on that front now. The Press: You’re
denying it, then? It’s not true? The Press:
(inaudible), Sean. The Press: Any chance of the
90-day ban being extended indefinitely? Mr. Spicer: Right
now, it is what it is. The executive order calls
for 90 days to review the seven countries. And again, at the end of
that, that’s — we’ll see where we go from there. But for right now,
that’s the goal of this. The Press: And then, on
the Supreme Court, I don’t believe you answered
this question earlier. What was the reason that
President Trump decided to move up his announcement
from Thursday night to tomorrow night? Mr. Spicer: Because
he wanted to. I mean — The Press: Was it a way —
you know, flip the script here? Mr. Spicer: Because he
wanted to move it up. He was ready to go. As he mentioned on Friday,
he was making his decisions, he made the decision, and
the President chose to go with it, plain and simple. There’s really nothing more. Daniel? The Press: The New York
Immigration Coalition claims that a Syrian refugee with a
visa was among the detainees released from custody
at JFK airport. Why was that individual
allowed to enter the country, and was it a
violation of President Trump’s executive order? Mr. Spicer: Well, I think
every individual that’s gone through the process has gone
through vetting to make sure that they don’t pose a
threat to this country, so the individual must have
gone through the system. I mean, that’s pretty
plain and simple. The Press: But I
thought that you — Mr. Spicer: Yeah? The Press: The daily
briefings were not on the President’s schedule
Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday of last week. It’s not on there
today either. Can you confirm that he
has not received the daily briefing on those days? Mr. Spicer: No, he
gets it every day. The Press: He gets it —
who does he get it from? Mr. Spicer: He
gets it every day. I just answered
the question. Kristen? The Press: Sean, thanks. Jihadist groups celebrated
news of the travel ban over the weekend, indicating that
they see it as a recruiting tool. Former CIA and NSA director
Michael Hayden said that he believes this travel
ban could make the U.S. less safe. What do you say to those who
argue this travel ban will make the country less safe? Mr. Spicer: Okay, let’s go
back and look at what it is: seven countries that the
Obama administration had already identified needed
further travel restrictions. The Press: But they
didn’t issue a ban. Mr. Spicer: I
understand that. But what I’m saying is that
the President recognizes that it is his duty and
obligation to make sure that we keep this country safe,
and by instituting a process by which we look at these
countries over a 90-day period and the process by
which people can come in and out of this country to
ensure the safety of each and every one of us, I
think, is something that makes a heck of
a lot of sense. I understand, and I think in
a lot of cases — and I say this respectfully — that I
think some people have not read what exactly the order
says and are reading it through misguided
media reports. That’s — when you actually
read the report and understand the nexus of it
and how it’s working, and again, look at how it worked
— when you talk about the 325,000 people, 109 were
temporarily inconvenienced for the safety of us all — The Press: One of them was a
five-year-old from Iran for five hours being separated
from his mother. Mr. Spicer: And they were
processed through, Kristen. That’s the process. I get my — the point is
that you can go through and nitpick and say, “Well, this
individual is” — but that’s why we slow it down a little
and to make sure that if they are a five-year-old,
that maybe they’re with their parents and they
don’t pose a threat. But to assume that just
because of someone’s age or gender or whatever that they
don’t pose a threat would be misguided and wrong. The Press: Let me just ask
you about the roll-out as well. Did Secretary Kelly find out
about the executive order as it was being signed, and did
Secretary Mattis find out only hours earlier? Mr. Spicer: No, I — look,
what I’m going to tell you is what has been briefed out
previously, which is that all appropriate agencies and
individuals that needed to be part of the process were. Everybody was kept in the
loop at the level necessary to make sure that we
rolled it out properly. Vivian? The Press: Do you want to respond to the former President? The Press: On that note, how
much — how well were those departments briefed? I mean, you just said
yourself that the President is willing to act very
quickly when he has to to keep the country safe. So is there a lesson to be
learned from what happened last week in terms of
maybe better preparing the departments that are
relevant (inaudible) the information necessary? Mr. Spicer: I understand the
question that you’re asking, but there’s two things that
have to be cleared up. One is, if we announced this
a lot earlier it would have given people plenty of time
to flood into the country. It could have done us harm. That’s not exactly
a sound strategy. Right? The people that needed to be
kept in the loop were kept in the loop; the people that
needed to be briefed were. And if you — again, I think that this is largely overblown. When you look at the context
of how big this was and the number of people that caught
up, it’s relatively minor as a percentage of
the overall total. When you look at how this
worked on a Saturday, 109 people out of 325,000 were
slowed down going in. I truly believe that it
is being blown out of proportion, the extent to
which this actually was for what it did, and I think,
frankly, government functioned very well. We made sure that the people
coming in weren’t coming in to do us harm. We made sure that the people
who said that they went back to a country that was one of
those seven did so without any intent to do this
country or our people harm, and they all got
in after screening. The system actually
worked really well. I mean, that’s the takeaway
from this, that the system worked well. The country is safer for it. The Press: Sean, do you want
to respond to the former President? The Press: Can you answer
how many — I know you said 109 over the last 24 hours
since the executive order. How many went through —
since that 24 hours, have been detained for
a number of hours. Mr. Spicer: To my knowledge
— I can try to get you that number — I don’t
believe it’s many. The idea was those were the
folks that were basically caught in transit when the
executive order was issued. Then it becomes a
prospective thing, that they’re applying
through their country. Again, it almost should be
a minimal amount, if any, because that primary,
initial wave were the people that were in transit when the executive order was executed. The rest of them weren’t
allowed to actually enter back and are going through
the process through the consulate and
regular systems. So, it is actually a pretty
easy way of ensuring that this system worked well. Yeah? The Press: Just to clean up
something you said earlier in the briefing, you said
with respect to the career diplomats at the State
Department who disagreed and are signing this cable, that
they should get with the program or they can go. Mr. Spicer: [affirmative]. The Press: Are you
suggesting they should resign their post in
the State department? Mr. Spicer: Well, I’m just
saying that the President has a very clear vision —
he’s been clear on it since the campaign, he’s been
clear on it since taking office — that he’s going
to put the safety of this country first, he’s going to
implement things that are in the best interest of
protecting this country prospectively, not
reactively, and if somebody has a problem with that
agenda, then they should — then, you know, that does
call into question whether or not they should continue
in that post or not. But the President was
elected and I think, again, look at the polls that
have come out so far. The American people support
what the President is doing. Everyone in here needs to
get out of Washington once in a while and go talk to
people throughout America that are pleased that this
President is taking the steps necessary to
protect this country. I do — look, I know the
President appreciates the people who serve this
nation, and the public servants, but at some point,
if they have a big problem with the policies that he’s
instituting to keep the country safe, then that’s up
to them to question whether or not they want
to stay or not. But I do think that, again,
you’ve got to remember the goal of what the
President’s doing. David Brody? The Press: Thanks, Sean. What’s the President’s
message, Sean, to Senate Democrats who have clearly
signaled their intention to filibuster his
Supreme Court nominee? What is the President’s
thinking on this? Mr. Spicer: It’s not just
the President’s message, I think it’s the American
people’s message. They want change; they wanted bold and decisive leadership. That’s what they voted for
in Donald Trump in November. And I think for Senate
Democrats to look at this opportunity after the
election to slow-walk and play political games with
these people who are unbelievably qualified to
lead the candidates, or the choice that they’ve made
before — I mean, think about this, he met with a
bunch of Senate Democrats to talk about the qualities
they wanted in a judge, and before they’ve even heard
who this individual is, you’ve got some of them
saying “absolutely no.” I mean, that just shows
you that it’s all about politics; it’s not
about qualification. The President has a right to
have his nominees taken up. That is part of — and so,
for them, it is going — the default used to be “unless
qualified, confirm” and it is now going to “always no”
and I think that’s a pretty sad message. Not just what they heard
from the President, but I think they heard loud and
clear from the American people, and especially if
you think about where the Democratic party has gone
in the last eight years. They have lost seats
at every level. They were supposed to take
back the Senate; they didn’t. They’re at a very — Republicans did very well in the House. We won the Presidency. The President won nine of
13 battleground states, 33 states overall,
2,600 counties. The message came through
loud and clear that the American people wanted
decisive leadership. They’re getting it. I think if you’re a Senate
Democrat you’ve got to wonder whether or not
you’re getting outside of Washington enough. Thank you guys very much. I’ll see you tomorrow.

62 thoughts on “1/30/17: White House Press Briefing

  • Trump has 8 companies that are based in Saudi Arabia, but its not on the ban list

    Sean dodges the question about why Saudi Arabia is not on the list by saying "you complain that there is even a list in the first place"

  • A little inconvenience v a threat to security. Why is it so difficult for the media to understand ? Trump is smart and tough. Nothing less should be expected.

  • Someone ask this guy what Trump plans to do about the CHEMTRAILING!!!!!…………..

    I won't hold my breath for an answer.

  • One positive I think we can all agree on, right or left, is that more people are engaged and watching these daily briefings than before.

  • Me siento como si el presidente se preocupa más por cumplir a los que votaron por él en ves de gananarse la mayoría que no lo apoya ojalá y acabe esta división tan dolorosa para este gran país

  • Why do ALL these Journalist ask such STUPID QUESTIONS.!???? And who's paying them to tell BALD FACED LIES. And then they got the GALL to act hurt when they are caught at it.!!! Maybe all these guys and gals aught to be put out and bring in a more HONEST GROUP OF REPORYERS.

  • No other elected officer senator and representative has legality over 2 terms that establishes for the president who is the first elected officer, no one is above, is a great offense, injury, felony and high treason against law and order. Now time of acts by The Constitutional President Donald J Trump who has that make enforce US Constitution by issuing constitutional executive order that declares null and void by unconstitutional to senators and representatives that currently this with more than two terms. Urge constitutional remedy against vicious betrayals that make systematic and collusion confident in the monstrous impunity that makes conservative elite and liberal bipartisan that have assassinated to the separation and independence of the powers to block the political control constitutional check and balance assassinated to the work of the democracy for destroy USA republic. Donald J Trump has issue immediately Executive order declared null and void more 2 terms senators and representatives established 2 terms president no other elect is above them, It's the law of laws US constitution XXII Amendment, ratified 27,1951. America Forever !!!

  • We love President Trump! We love President Trump! We love President Trump! Drain that Swamp! Make America Great Again!

  • Thank you Sean in that guy's creepy voice lol…Trump for life: Eric, Don, Ivanka and Barron ( 8 years each in the white house) Democrats will lose their minds like you've never seen before.

  • Amazing that not being a sniveling coward and following through with his promises to the people is now considered unacceptable by the leftists.

    Sorry snowflakes, we need a man with some fucking balls in charge willing to do whatever is necessary for the nation.

    Trump will go down as one of the greats!

  • the education pick is not..schools need guns because bears. and doesnt know the difference between basic terms for the job.

  • hjacked democracy, he thinks he's a king!. hey wondering why some parts of the country only gets their news through fox news? no other source. trump supporters really believe his inauguration was the biggest in history. poor people are being lied to so bad, I was there it was empty as hell.

  • It is incredible how people besides thinking what can you do about anything been talked in this video to protect their family, they value to talked about everyone else but themselves. I think on "HOW CAN I" do better in different aspects to secure a longer living living for my family because is obvious ny life here would end as some point. Such a little Maturity is disgusting sometime to read. 😣

  • THE MEDIA SUCK. They don't inform- just confuse. They just write nonsense and sensationalise to fill newspapers and profit from advertising. This YouTube channel is excellent and I really have respect from Sean – 100% no-bullshit spokesman.

  • Finally some real news straight of the horses mouth every day! No excuse anymore to believe anything news anchors and papers spew out!


  • 2/1/17; (1), i'm listening to ol 'limpballs', (who by the way, was fired at ESPN), & the poor dumb bastard reminds me of a guy who has been dumped into the middle of the pacific ocean, with no life raft, & no life vest. he's 'dog peddaling' furriously trying to stay 'afloat'. but however hard he tries, he's inevitably 'going under'.

  • at 51:55 Sean Spicer talks about the report that we should read into.
    Where exactly can the common man like me find the report ?

  • 2/1/17; (2), it's the same with 'conservatism'. no matter how hard 'conservatives' try to revive, & keep 'conservatism' alive, it's inevitably going under. look, the wheels of destiny have turned. & those wheels are taking this country in the opposite direction away from 'conservatism'. once a people knows what it's like not living under slavery & institutionalized racism, they're never going back. once people knows what it's like to have 'reproductive rights', they're never going back. once people knows what it's like to have 'full voting rights', they're never going back. once people knows what it's like to have 'affordable healthcare', they're never going back. once people know what it's like to have 'social security', they're never going back. once people knows what it's like not living in a 'walled off country', they're never going back. once people knows what it's like living in a country where no group is 'banned' from entering, they're never going back.

  • 2/1/17; (3), every instance i've just cited, 'conservatives' take the opposite position. 'conservatism' looks to the past. 'conservatives' long for, 'the good ol days'. that's the whole purpose behind trump & his administration. trump is 'conservatives', 'big middle finger' to the rest of the world. he's a white male, & his cabinate is full of white males, (just like the 'good ol days'). & we all know what they all mean when 'conservatives' tell us that they want to, 'make america 'great' again', don't we?

  • 2/1/17; (4), again, the wheels of destiny have turned. america is moving forward, & thus, away from 'conservatism'. look, right now we are in an 'unatural state'. we have a country that is roughly 50-50, (with Democrats probably the actual majority), & yet the 'conservative' gop has all the power. that's an extremely 'volatile' mix. you have a minority, (by virtue of the 'electoral college'), ramming their 'conservative agenda' down the throats of the rest of us. if we go by the number of votes, the people did not vote to repeal 'Obamacare'. the people did not vote to ban muslims. the people did not vote to put up a 'wall'. the people did not vote to put a staunch 'conservative' on the supreme court. & yet because of an anacronistic rule in the 'constitution', the 'conservatives' get to 'run wild'.

  • 2/1/17; (5), i'm listening to 'limpballs', (who by the way, used to sneak down to the dominican republic for underaged prostitutes), & he's interviewing vice president mike 'dense', (he's complaining that they didn't have a 'honeymoon'), & he's talking about trump building up the military. & just as he's talking about it, i see a news flash, that the US, "just put iran 'on notice'". here it comes folks. i told you that this administration is going put us into a massive war. you see, they have a 'hit list' as part of their, 'make america great again', campaign; (in other words, trumps re-election campaign). & at the top of the list, is iran. & then, (in descending order), n.korea, syria, yemen, ukraine, & even cuba. donald trump is a 'man of destiny'. throughout history, 'men of destiny', all end in disaster. some of you are going to 'rue the day', that you rejected Hillary because of Her e-mails.

  • 2/1/17; (6), & as far as this supreme court nominee goes; i urge you to please use the 'nuclear option'. by all means. but just remember, one day the Democrats will be back in power.

  • 2/1/17; (7), hey 'hanniot', let the trump administration continue to 'boycott' CNN. they're only hurting themselves. you'll then have a major news organization who would then be free to frame the narrative the way they want to, & a whitehouse who would not be able to 'correct the record' with the CNN audience. brilliant strategy by the trump administration.

  • wow I'm super glad this channel exists. I was only able to catch CNN's explanation and I was like "that's weird to cut out the chairman of the JCOS" turns out that's horse shit

  • 2/1/17; (8), hey 'hanniot', after we, "bomb the crap out of iran", then what? do you think iran is just going to sit back & take it, with no response? you don't think irans 'surrogates' won't be 'activated'? see, 'hanniot', we already know you're not the 'brightest bulb' in the chandelier, but really, you have to try to think a little harder.

  • Changing words to enact a bigoted policy technically legal doesn't make you a protector. It makes you petty.

    "Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    'Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she
    With silent lips. 'Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'"

  • Sean Spicer is an incredible Press Secretary! Dealing with the sleazy and rude mainstream media must be really hard. Please keep up the great work!

  • Wait, let me get this straight. A gay guy is editor-in-chief at Breitbart? That's just extremely ironic. LOL. Honestly I can careless what happens to the left or the right. When you belong to the 1%, it really doesn't matter. Ask, Donny. He's no better than Hilary when it comes to sleeping with Wall St. What's great is that Trump's team did such a good job of brainwashing the right into believing in his duties, I can talk about Trump's true ulterior motive of making the rich richer like my family and their corporation, JP Morgan, etc, and they'll still deny it. Probably the greatest trick a party has ever pulled. Prey on the weak for faith is born in the time of need. That's how Scientology and the Moonies came to prominence.

  • This guy is an ACE…Take not shits give no shits just like we wanted. All you little snowflakes could melt in peace. Score Board.

  • Christ the king being offensive to atheists. or saying " our prayers are with them", is inappropriate as a USA federal level representative of the united States people. This influenced church having control in government. you are not representing me, I am atheist.

  • Be professionals and respect separation of church and state I do not believe in gods or religion please stop representing me by saying we are sending our prayers.

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