Trump’s CPAC Speech Transcript

Trump’s CPAC Speech Transcript

Source: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/24/14726584/transcript-donald-trump-cpac-speech

Great to be back at CPAC. It’s a place I have really — I love this place. I love you people. So thank you very much. First of all, I want to thank Matt Schlapp and his very, very incredible wife and boss, Mercedes, who have been fantastic friends and supporters and so great when I watch them on television defending me; nobody has a chance. So I want to thank Matt and Mercedes.

When Matt called and asked, I said absolutely I’ll be there with you.

The real reason I said it, I didn’t want him to go against me, so I said absolutely. And it really is an honor to be here. I wouldn’t miss a chance to talk to my friends. These are my friends. And we’ll see you again next year and the year after that. And I’ll be doing this with CPAC whenever I can, and I’ll make sure that we’re here a lot.

If you remember, my first major speech — sit down, everybody, come on.

You know, the dishonest media, they’ll say he didn’t get a standing ovation. You know why? No, you know why? Because everybody stood and nobody sat. So they’ll say he never got a standing ovation, right?

They are the worst.

So sit down. Donald Trump did not get a standing ovation. They leave out the part they never sat down. They leave that out. So I just want to thank you.

Trump is referring to his CIA visit after his inauguration where he did not tell the agents to sit down so they remained standing.  His interpretation of a standing ovation.

But you know, my first major speech was at CPAC, probably five or six years ago. First major political speech, and you were there. And it was — I loved it. I loved the people, I loved the commotion, and then they did these polls where I went through the roof and I wasn’t even running, right? But it gave me an idea. And I got a little bit concerned when I saw what was happening in the country, and I said let’s go to it. So it was very exciting.

I walked the stage on CPAC; I’ll never forget it, really. I had very little notes and even less preparation. So when you have practically no notes and no preparation and then you leave and everybody was thrilled, I said I think I like this business.

Trump’s 2015 speech at CPAC was when he mentioned that Russia was a problem and “getting away with” whatever they were doing.  That’s a big departure from what his administration is trying to say now.  He also mentioned his rich Saudi friends at the time as well.

I would have come last year, but I was worried that I’d be at that time too controversial. We wanted border security, we wanted very, very strong military. We wanted all of the things that we’re going to get, and people consider that controversial, but you didn’t consider it controversial. So I’ve been with CPAC for a long time. All of these years we’ve been together, and now you finally have a president, finally. Took you a long time. Took you a long time. And it’s patriots like you that made it happen, believe me. You did it because you love your country, because you want a better future for your children, and because you want to make America great again.

The media didn’t think we would win. The pundits — you’re right — they had an idea. The pundits didn’t think we’d win. The consultants that suck up all that money — oh, they suck it up — they’re so good. They’re not good at politics, but they’re really good at sucking up people’s money. Especially my opponents’, because I kept them down to a minimum. But the consultants didn’t think we would win. But they all underestimated the power of the people, you, and the people proved them totally wrong. This is so true, and this is what’s been happening. Never underestimate the people. Never. I don’t think it will ever happen again.

And I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake. Phony. Fake. A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said nine people have confirmed. There are no nine people. I don’t believe there was one or two people. Nine people. And I said give me a brea,k because I know the people. I know who they talked to. There were no nine people. But they say nine people. And somebody reads it and they say, oh, nine people, they have nine sources. They make up sources.

They’re very dishonest people. In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people — the fake news. They dropped off the word “fake”. And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word “fake” out. And now I’m saying, oh, no, this is no good. But that’s the way they are. So I’m not against the media, I’m not against the press. I don’t mind bad stories if I deserve them, and I tell you, I love good stories, but we won’t talk — I don’t get too many of them. But I am only against the fake news media or press. Fake. Fake. They have to leave that word.

I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out. A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being — let them say it to my face. Let there be no more sources. And remember this, and not in all cases. I mean, I had a story yesterday written about me in Reuters by a very honorable man that was a very fair story. There are some great reporters around, they are talented and honest as the day is long; that is great. But there are some terrible, dishonest people that do a tremendous disservice to our country, and to our people.

They are very dishonest people, and they shouldn’t use sources. They should put the name of the person. You will see stories dry up like you’ve never seen before. You have no idea how bad it is because if you are not part of the story — and I put myself in your position sometimes because many of you, you’re not part of the story — and if you’re not part of the story, you know, then you sort of know if you are part of the story, you know what they’re saying is true or not.

So when they make it up and they make up something else, and you saw that before the election — polls, polls. They come out with some of these polls — and some of them got it right. I must say, Los Angeles Times, shocking, they did a great job. We had a couple of others that were right. Generally speaking, I can tell you the network. Somebody said, “A poll came out.” I said what network is it?

And they’ll say a certain — let’s not even mention names, right? Shall we? Well, you have a lot of them. The Clinton News Network is one. Totally. Take a look, honestly. Take a look at their polls over the last two years. You’d think they’d fire the pollster, right? After years and years of getting battered. I mean, who knows, maybe they’re just bad at polling. Or maybe they’re not legit. But it’s one or the other. Look at how inaccurate. Look at CBS, look at ABC also. Look at NBC.

Trump believes anything negative about him is “fake news” while his own administration and himself is spouting lies, half-truths, or “alternative facts.”

Take a look at some of these polls. That were so bad, so inaccurate. And what that does is it creates a false narrative. It creates this narrative that it’s just like we’re not going to win. People say I love Trump but I’m not feeling great today. He can’t win, so I won’t go and vote. It creates a whole false deal, and we have to fight it, folks. We have to fight it. They’re very smart, they’re very cunning, and they’re very dishonest.

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Who would say that anything negative is “fake”?  That smells like propaganda and the first step of a dictator.  Even Republican Senator McCain agrees to this sentiment.

So just to conclude, it’s a very sensitive topic, and they get upset when we expose their false stories. They say that we can’t criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment. They always bring the the First Amendment. I love the First Amendment. Nobody loves it better than me. Nobody — who uses it more than I do? But the First Amendment gives all of us — it gives it to me it gives it to you, it gives it to all Americans — the right to speak our minds freely. It gives you the right and me the right to criticize fake news and criticize it strongly.

And many of these groups are part of large media corporations that have their own agenda. And it’s not your agenda and it’s not the country’s agenda, it’s their own agenda. They have a professional obligation as members of the press to report honestly, but as you saw throughout the entire campaign and even now, the fake news doesn’t tell the truth. Doesn’t tell the truth. So just in finishing, I say it doesn’t represent the people, it never will represent the people, and we’re going to do something about it because we have to go out and we have to speak our minds and we have to be honest.

Our victory was a win like nobody has ever seen before. And I’m here fighting for you, and I will continue to fight for you. The victory and the win was something that really was dedicated to a country and people that believe in freedom, security and the rule of law. Our victory was a victory and a win for conservative values. And our victory was a win for everyone who believes it’s time to stand up for America, to stand up for the American worker, and to stand up for the American flag. Yeah, there we should stand up. There we should stand up. And, by the way, we love our flag.

By the way, you folks are in here, the place is packed. There are lines that go back six blocks, and I tell you that because you won’t read about it, okay? But there are lines that go back six blocks. There is such love in this country for everything we stand for. You saw that on Election Day and you’re going to see it more and more. So we’re all part of this historic movement, a movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. There’s never been anything like this.

Trump is still obsessed with poll results, crowd size, ratings, and his belief that his president inauguration is the biggest ever.  We’re almost in March, folks, and he’s still talking about crowd size and voting back in November.

There’s been some movements, but there’s never been anything like this. There’s been some movements that petered out, like Bernie. Petered out. But it was a little rigged against him. Superdelegate, Superdelegate. She had so many delegates before the thing even started. I actually said to my people, how does that happen?

Not that Bernie — but a lot of Bernie people voted for Trump because you know why? He was right about trade. Our country is being absolutely devastated by trade deals, so we got a lot of support. So actually I like Bernie.

I’m here to tell you what this means for the future of the Republican Party and the future of America. First, we need to define what this great, great, unprecedented movement is and what it actually represents.

The core conviction of our movement is that we are a nation that will put its own citizens first.

For too long we’ve traded away our jobs to other countries, so terrible. We’ve defended other nations’ borders while leaving ours wide open — anybody can come in. Oh, we’re going to build a wall, don’t worry about it. We’re building the wall. We’re building the wall. In fact, it’s going to start soon. Way ahead of schedule. Way ahead of schedule. Way, way, way ahead of schedule.

Gen. Kelly, by the way, has done a fantastic job. Fantastic, the job he’s done. And remember, we are getting the bad ones out. These are bad dudes. We’re getting the bad ones out. Okay? We’re getting the bad — if you watch these people, it’s like oh, gee, that’s so sad. We were getting bad people out of this country. People who shouldn’t be, whether it’s drugs or murder. We’re getting bad ones out. They’re the ones that go first. I said it from day one.

Basically all I’ve done is keep my promise. We’ve spent trillions overseas while allowing our own infrastructure to fall into total disrepair and decay. In the Middle East we’ve spent, as of four weeks ago, $6 trillion. Think of it.

And, by the way, the Middle East is in what — I mean, it’s not even close —it’s in much worse shape than it was 15 years ago. If our presidents would have gone to the beach for 15 years, we would be in much better shape than we are right now. That I can tell you. Could have been a hell of a lot better. We could have rebuilt our country three times with that money.

This is the situation I inherited. I inherited a mess, believe me.

We also inherited a failed health care law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe. Now, I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work, folks. I could say, I could talk. And now people are starting to develop a little — but the people that you’re watching, they’re not you. They’re largely, many of them are the side that lost. They lost the election. It’s like, how many elections do we have to have? They lost the election.

But I always say Obamacare doesn’t work, and these same people two years ago and a year ago were complaining about Obamacare. And the bottom line, we’re changing it. We’re going to make it much better, we’re going to make it less expensive, we’re going to make it much better.

Obamacare covers very few people. And remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them. Was taken away from them. Millions of people were very happy with the health care. They had their doctor, they had their plan. Remember the lie? 28 times. You can keep your doctor. You can keep your plan. Over and over and over again, you heard it. So we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare.

And I tell Paul Ryan and all of the folks that we’re working with very hard, Dr. Tom Price — very talented guy — but I tell them from a purely political standpoint, the single best thing we can do is nothing. Let it implode completely. It’s already imploding. You see the carriers are all leaving. It’s a disaster. But two years, don’t do anything. The Democrats will come to us and beg for help. They’ll beg. And it’s their problem. But it’s not the right thing to do for the American people. It’s not the right thing to do.

Regardless of what Trump says about Obamacare or the ACA, there are some things that people are for such as Medicaid and Medicare coverage and the GOP’s version of Trumpdon’tcare will cover less people.

We inherited a national debt that has doubled in eight years. Think of it, $20 trillion. It’s doubled. And we inherited a foreign policy marked by one disaster after another. We don’t win anymore. When was the last time we won? Did we win a war? Did we win anything? Do we win anything? Do we win anything? We’re going to win. We’re going to win big, folks. We’re going to start winning again. Believe me.

But we’re taking a firm, bold, and decisive measure. We have to, to turn things around. The era of empty talk is over. It’s over. Now is the time for action. So let me tell you about the actions that we’re taking right now to deliver on our promise to the American people and on my promise to make America great again.

Trump never mentions who we really inherited the debt from…

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We’ve taken swift and strong action to secure the southern border of the United States and begin the construction of a great, great border wall. By doing this and with the help of our great border police, with the help of ICE, with the help of Gen. Kelly and all of the people that are so passionate about this. Our border patrol, what they do — they came and endorsed me, ICE came and endorsed me — they never endorsed a presidential candidate before. They might not be allowed to, but they were disgusted what they saw.

We’ll stop it, we’ll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. Pouring in. Pouring in. We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems. They get the cash. No good. No good. Going to stop.

By stopping the flow of illegal immigration, we will save countless tax dollars. That’s so important because the dollars that we’re losing are beyond anything that you can imagine. And the tax dollars that can be used to rebuild struggling American communities, including our inner cities. We are also going to save countless American lives. As we speak today, immigration officers are finding the gang members, the drug dealers, and the criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country. And we will not let them back in. They’re not coming back in, folks. They do, they’re going to have bigger problems than they ever dreamed of.

I’m also working with the Department of Justice to begin reducing violent crime. I mean, can you believe what’s happening in Chicago, as an example? Two days ago, seven people were shot. And I believe killed. Seven people. Seven people. Chicago. A great American city. Seven people shot and killed.

We will support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. Thank you and thank them.

I’ve also followed through on my campaign promise and withdrawn America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership so that we can protect our economic freedom. And we’re going to make trade deals, but we’re going to do one-on-one — one-on-one — and if they misbehave, we terminate the deal, and then they come back and we’ll make a better deal. None of these big quagmire deals that are disaster.

Just take a look at NAFTA, one of the worst deals ever made by any country having to do with economic development. It’s economic undevelopment as far as our country is concerned.

We’re preparing to repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare; we’re going to save Americans from this crisis and give them the access to the quality health care they need and deserve.

We have authorized the construction one day of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline and issued a new rule — this took place while I was getting ready to sign — I said who makes the pipes from the pipeline? Well, sir, comes from all over the world, isn’t that wonderful? I said, nope, comes from the United States or we’re not building it. American steel. If they want a pipeline in the United States, they’re going to use pipe that’s made in the United States. Do we agree?

But can you imagine — I told this story the other day. Can you imagine the gentleman, never met him, don’t even know the name of his country — I sort of know it, but I want to get it exactly correct.

Big, big company. They spend hundreds of millions on the pipeline. They got their approvals, everything in the case of Dakota, then all of a sudden they couldn’t connect it because they had people protesting that never showed up before. Before with the Keystone — so they spend hundreds of millions of dollars with bloodsucker consultants, sucking the blood out of the company: Don’t worry, I used them all my life, okay? Don’t worry, I’m going to get it approved, I’m connected, I’m a lobbyist, don’t worry.

Trump says that no one called about the Dakota  Pipeline and now he’s stating that there were no protesters before this.

Bottom line, Obama didn’t sign it. Could be 42,000 jobs, somewhere around there. Didn’t sign it. But can you imagine? He gave up. A year ago, it was dead. Now he’s doing nothing, calling his wife, hello, darling, I’m a little bored, you know that pipeline project, that has killed us, that has killed our company. Knock, knock. Mr. So and so. The Keystone pipeline, sir, out of nowhere has just been approved. Can you imagine the expression? You know the sad part?

The same bloodsucking consultants that hit him for all the money and failed, they’re now going to go back to him and say didn’t we do a great job? We want more money. That’s the way the system works — a little bit off — but that’s the way the system works.

We’re preparing bold action to lift the restrictions on American energy, including shale oil, natural gas, and beautiful, clean coal, and we’re going to put our miners back to work. Miners are going back to work. Miners are going back to work, folks. Sorry to tell you that, but they’re going back to work. We have begun a historic program to reduce the regulations that are crushing our economy. Crushing.

Reducing regulations may not be enough to jump-start the coal mining industries again.  This is like trying to revamp an industry that has past its prime in technology.  Even if you say that you can jump-start the cathode tube industry, I’m sure people will still go the semiconductor route.

And not only our economy, crushing our jobs because companies can’t hire. We’re going to put the regulation industry out of work and out of business. And, by the way, I want regulation. I want to protect our environment, I want regulations for safety, I want all of the regulations that we need, and I want them to be so strong and so tough, but we don’t need 75 percent of the repetitive regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs, make us noncompetitive overseas with other companies from other countries, that we don’t need. But we’re going to have regulation. It’s going to be really strong and really good, and we’re going to protect our environment and we’re going to protect the safety of our people and our workers, okay.

Another major promise is tax reform. We are going to massively lower taxes on the middle class, reduce taxes on American business, and make our tax code more simple and much more fair for everyone, including the people and the business. In anticipation of these and other changes, jobs are already starting to pour back into our country. You see that.

In fact, I think I did more than any other president. They say president-elect. President-elect is meeting with Ford, he’s meeting with Chrysler, he’s meeting with General Motors. I just wanted to save a little time because Ford and Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Intel, and so many others are now because of the election result making major investments in the United States, expanding production and hiring more workers. And they’re going back to Michigan and they’re going back to Ohio and they’re going back to Pennsylvania and they’re going back to North Carolina and to Florida.

It’s time for all Americans to get off of welfare and get back to work. You’re going to love it. You’re going to love it. You are going to love it.

We’re also putting in a massive budget request for our beloved military. And we will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything. Bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and hopefully we’ll never have to use it, but nobody’s going to mess with us, folks. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history. No one will dare question, as they have been, because we’re very depleted, very, very depleted sequester. Nobody will question our military might again.

We believe in peace through strength, and that’s what we will have. As part of my pledge to restore safety for the American people, I have also directed the defense community to develop a plan to totally obliterate ISIS. Working with our allies, we will eradicate this evil from the face of the earth.

At the same time, we fully understand that national security begins with border security. Foreign terrorists will not be able to strike America if they cannot get into our country. And, by the way, take a look at what’s happening in Europe, folks. Take a look at what’s happening in Europe. I took a lot of heat on Sweden. And then a day later I said, has anybody reported what’s going on? And it turned out that they didn’t — not too many of them did.

Take a look at what happened in Sweden. I love Sweden. Great country, great people, I love Sweden. They understand I’m right. The people there understand I’m right. Take a look at what’s happening in Sweden. Take a look at what’s happened in Germany. Take a look at what’s happened in France. Take a look at Nice and Paris.

I believe he’s still trying to clear up the confusion about the implied terrorist attack in Sweden that did not happen.

I have a friend, he’s a very, very substantial guy, he loves the city of lights. He loves Paris. For years, every year during the summer he would go to Paris. It was automatic. With his wife and his family. Hadn’t seen him in a while. And I said, Jim, let me ask you a question, how’s Paris doing? Paris? I don’t go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris. That was four years, four, five years, hasn’t gone there. He wouldn’t miss it for anything. Now he doesn’t even think in terms of going there.

Take a look at what’s happening to our world, folks. And we have to be smart. We have to be smart. We can’t let it happen to us. So let me state this as clearly as I can: We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.

We will not be deterred from this course, and in a matter of days we will be taking brand new action to protect our people and keep America safe. You will see the action. I will never, ever apologize for protecting the safety and security of the American people. I won’t do it. If it means I get bad press, if it means people speak badly of me, it’s okay, it doesn’t bother me.

The security of our people is number one, is number one. Our administration is running with great efficiency, even though I still don’t have my Cabinet approved. Nobody mentions that. Do you know I still have people out there waiting to be approved. And everyone knows they’re going to be approved. It’s just a delay, delay, delay. It’s really sad. It’s really sad. And these are great people. These are some great people.

We still don’t have our Cabinet. I assume we’re setting records for that. That’s the only thing good about it, we’re setting records. I love setting records. But I hate having a Cabinet meeting and I see all these empty seats.

I say Democrats, please, approve our Cabinet and get smart on health care, too, if you know me. But we’re taking meetings every day with top leaders in business, in science and industry. Yesterday I had 29 of the biggest business leaders in the world in my office. Caterpillar Tractor, Campbell Soup, we had everybody. We had everybody. I like Campbell Soup. We had everybody. And we came to a lot of very good conclusions, and a lot of those folks that are in that room are going to be building big, big, massive new plants and lots of jobs. You know what? They’re going to be building them in this country and not in some other countries. We’re meeting with unions, meeting with law enforcement and leaders from all around the world. They’re going to be building them in this country and not in some other countries.

We’re meeting with unions, meeting with law enforcement and leaders from all around the world. Where the White House doors — they were closed, folks, you don’t realize that, they were closed — they’re now wide open, and they’re open for people doing business for our country and putting people to work. And when they come into the White House, we’re translating these meetings into action.

One by one, we’re checking off the promises we made to the people of the United States. One by one. A lot of promises. And we will not stop until the job is done. We will reduce your taxes, we will cut your regulations, we will support our police, we will defend our flag.

We will rebuild our military. We will take care of our great, great veterans. We’re taking care of our veterans. We will fix our broken and embarrassing trade deals that are no good. None of them. You wonder where did the people come from that negotiated these deals? Where did they come from?

Well, they came also from campaign contributions, I must be honest with you. They’re not as stupid as you think. We will cut wasteful spending. We will promote our values. We will rebuild our inner cities. We will bring back our jobs and our dreams. So true. So true. And, by the way, we will protect our Second Amendment.

You know, Wayne and Chris are here from the NRA, and they didn’t have that on the list. It’s lucky I thought about it. But we will indeed. And they’re great people. And, by the way, they love our country. They love our country. The NRA has been a great supporter. They love our country.

So, now the NRA has a poster child as Trump?  Whatever happened to lobbyist not having a sway or influence on you, Trump?

The forgotten men and women of America will be forgotten no longer. That is the heart of this new movement and the future of the Republican Party. People came to vote and these people, the media, they said where are they coming from? What’s going on here? These are hard-working, great, great Americans. These are unbelievable people who have not been treated fairly. Hillary called them deplorable. They’re not deplorable. Who would have thought that a word was going to play so badly? That’s the problem in politics. One wrong word and it’s over. She also said irredeemable, but we won’t mention that.

The GOP will be from now on the party also of the American worker. You know, we haven’t been as a group given credit for this, but if you look at how much bigger our party has gotten during this cycle, during the early days when we had 17 people running, the primaries, millions and millions of people were joining. I won’t say it was because of me, but it was, okay? And we have an amazing, strong, powerful party that truly does want to see America be great again, and it will see it, and it’s going to see it a lot sooner than you think, believe me.

A lot sooner than you think. We will not answer to donors or lobbyists or special interests, but we will serve the citizens of the United States of America, believe me. Global cooperation, dealing with other countries, getting along with other countries is good. It’s very important, but there is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency, or a global flag. This is the United States of America that I’m representing. I’m not representing the globe. I’m representing your country.

There’s one allegiance that unites us all, and that is to America. America. It’s the allegiance to America. No matter our background or income or geography, we’re all citizens of this blessed land, and no matter our color or the blood, color of the blood we bleed, it’s the same red blood of great, great patriots. Remember great patriots. We all salute with pride the same American flag, and we all are equal, totally equal in the eyes of almighty God. We’re equal.

Thank you. And I want to thank, by the way, the evangelical community, the Christian community, communities of faith. Rabbis and priests and pastors, ministers because the support for me was a record, as you know, not only in terms of numbers of people but percentages of those numbers that voted for Trump. So I want to thank you folks. It was amazing, an amazing outpouring and I will not disappoint you. As long as we have faith in each other and trust in God, then there is no goal at all beyond our reach.

There is no dream too large, no task too great. We are Americans, and the future belongs to us — the future belongs to all of you. And America is coming about, it’s, and it’s coming back and it’s roaring and you can hear it. It’s going to be bigger and better. It is going to be, it is going to be. Remember. And it’s roaring. It’s going to be bigger and better and stronger than ever before.

I want to thank you, and Matt and Mercedes, I want to thank the two of you, and all of the supporters I have all over the place, you are really great people. I want to thank you. And I want to say to you God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

Thank you, folks. Thank you. Thank you.

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Trump reverses on federal LGBT protection

Trump reverses on federal LGBT protection

Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/23/516837258/5-questions-about-the-trump-administrations-new-transgender-student-guidance & https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/trump-administration-rolls-back-protections-for-transgender-students/2017/02/22/550a83b4-f913-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?utm_term=.7d3ea4dadd59 

Trump and his administration rolled back federal protection of LGBT rights of Obama’s era in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Wednesday:

Source: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/departments-of-education-and-justice-roll-back-transgender-student-protections/2344/

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
February 22, 2017

Dear Colleague:

The purpose of this guidance is to inform you that the Department of Justice and the Department of Education are withdrawing the statements of policy and guidance reflected in:

• Letter to Emily Prince from James A. Ferg-Cadima, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education dated January 7, 2015; and

• Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students jointly issued by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education dated May 13, 2016.

These guidance documents take the position that the prohibitions on discrimination “on the basis of sex” in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, see, e.g., 34 C.F.R. § 106.33, require access to sex-segregated facilities based on gender identity. These guidance documents do not, however, contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.

This interpretation has given rise to significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concluded that the term “sex” in the regulations is ambiguous and deferred to what the court characterized as the “novel” interpretation advanced in the guidance. By contrast, a federal district court in Texas held that the term “sex” unambiguously refers to biological sex and that, in any event, the guidance was “legislative and substantive” and thus formal rulemaking should have occurred prior to the adoption of any such policy. In August of 2016, the Texas court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of the interpretation, and that nationwide injunction has not been overturned.

In addition, the Departments believe that, in this context, there must be due regard for the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing educational policy.

In these circumstances, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved. The Departments thus will not rely on the views expressed within them.

Please note that this withdrawal of these guidance documents does not leave students without protections from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. All schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment. The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights will continue its duty under law to hear all claims of discrimination and will explore every appropriate opportunity to protect all students and to encourage civility in our classrooms. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice are committed to the application of Title IX and other federal laws to ensure such protection.

This guidance does not add requirements to applicable law. If you have questions or are interested in commenting on this letter, please contact the Department of Education at ocr@ed.gov or 800-421-3481 (TDD: 800-877-8339); or the Department of Justice at education@usdoj.gov or 877-292-3804 (TTY: 800514-0383).

Sincerely,

Sandra Battle
Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education

T.E. Wheeler, II
Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Justice

This is just a first step in many rollbacks and rescinding of federal protection and federal acknowledge of issues (even the apology letter is gone).  Will the whole of Title IX be next?  Or, maybe dismantling bits and pieces until only a skeleton of protection shall remain.

Transcript of Trump and Netanyahu joint press conference

Transcript of Trump and Netanyahu joint press conference

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.771992

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Today I have the honor of welcoming my friend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the White House.  With this visit, the United States again reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel.  The partnership between our two countries built on our shared values has advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace.  These are the building blocks of democracy.

The state of Israel is a symbol to the world of resilience in the face of oppression — I can think of no other state that’s gone through what they’ve gone — and of survival in the face of genocide.  We will never forget what the Jewish people have endured.
Your perseverance in the face of hostility, your open democracy in the face of violence, and your success in the face of tall odds is truly inspirational.  The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which I’ve talked a lot about.  One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen is the Iran deal.  My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing — I mean ever — a nuclear weapon.
Our security assistance to Israel is currently at an all-time high, ensuring that Israel has the ability to defend itself from threats of which there are unfortunately many.  Both of our countries will continue and grow.  We have a long history of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the fight against those who do not value human life.  America and Israel are two nations that cherish the value of all human life.
This is one more reason why I reject unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations — just treated Israel, in my opinion, very, very unfairly — or other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel.  Our administration is committed to working with Israel and our common allies in the region towards greater security and stability.  That includes working toward a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.  The United States will encourage a peace and, really, a great peace deal.  We’ll be working on it very, very diligently.  Very important to me also — something we want to do.  But it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement.  We’ll be beside them; we’ll be working with them.
As with any successful negotiation, both sides will have to make compromises.  You know that, right?  (Laughter.)
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Both sides.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I want the Israeli people to know that the United States stands with Israel in the struggle against terrorism.  As you know, Mr. Prime Minister, our two nations will always condemn terrorist acts.  Peace requires nations to uphold the dignity of human life and to be a voice for all of those who are endangered and forgotten.
Those are the ideals to which we all, and will always, aspire and commit.  This will be the first of many productive meetings.  And I, again, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for being with us today.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  President Trump, thank you for the truly warm hospitality you and Melania have shown me, my wife Sara, our entire delegation.  I deeply value your friendship.  To me, to the state of Israel, it was so clearly evident in the words you just spoke — Israel has no better ally than the United States.  And I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.
Our alliance has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership I’m confident it will get even stronger.  I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field — in security, in technology, in cyber and trade, and so many others.  And I certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that Israel is treated fairly in international forums, and that the slander and boycotts of Israel are resisted mightily by the power and moral position of the United States of America.
As you have said, our alliance is based on a deep bond of common values and common interests.  And, increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force:  radical Islamic terror.  Mr. President, you’ve shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head-on.  You call for confronting Iran’s terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal.  And you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  You call for the defeat of ISIS.  Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam.  And in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you and I stand with you.
Mr. President, in rolling back militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity — because, for the first time in my lifetime, and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but, increasingly, as an ally.  And I believe that under your leadership, this change in our region creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen security and advance peace.
Let us seize this moment together.  Let us bolster security.  Let us seek new avenues of peace.  And let us bring the remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States to even greater heights.
Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  Again, thank you.
We’ll take a couple of questions.  David Brody, Christian Broadcasting.  David.
Q    Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister.  Both of you have criticized the Iran nuclear deal, and at times even called for its repeal.  I’m wondering if you’re concerned at all as it relates to not just the National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who is recently no longer here, but also some of those events that have been going on with communication in Russia — if that is going to hamper this deal at all, and whether or not it would keep Iran from becoming a nuclear state.
And secondly, on the settlement issue, are you both on the same page?  How do you exactly term that as it relates to the settlement issue?  Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Michael Flynn, General Flynn is a wonderful man.  I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media — as I call it, the fake media, in many cases.  And I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly.  I think, in addition to that, from intelligence — papers are being leaked, things are being leaked.  It’s criminal actions, criminal act, and it’s been going on for a long time — before me.  But now it’s really going on, and people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton.
I think it’s very, very unfair what’s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally — I stress that — illegally leaked.  Very, very unfair.
As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit.  We’ll work something out.  But I would like to see a deal be made.  I think a deal will be made.  I know that every President would like to.  Most of them have not started until late because they never thought it was possible.  And it wasn’t possible because they didn’t do it.
But Bibi and I have known each other a long time — a smart man, great negotiator.  And I think we’re going to make a deal.  It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand.  That’s a possibility.  So let’s see what we do.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Let’s try it.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Doesn’t sound too optimistic, but — (laughter) — he’s a good negotiator.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  That’s the “art of the deal.”  (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I also want to thank — I also want to thank — Sara, could you please stand up?  You’re so lovely and you’ve been so nice to Melania.  I appreciate it very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.
Your turn.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Yes, please.  Go ahead.
Q    Thank you very much.  Mr. President, in your vision for the new Middle East peace, are you ready to give up the notion of two-state solution that was adopted by previous administration?  And will you be willing to hear different ideas from the Prime Minister, as some of his partners are asking him to do, for example, annexation of parts of the West Bank and unrestricted settlement constructions?  And one more question:  Are you going to fulfill your promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem?  And if so, when?
And, Mr. Prime Minister, did you come here tonight to tell the President that you’re backing off the two-state solution?
Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.  (Laughter.)  I’m very happy with the one that both parties like.  I can live with either one.
I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two.  But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians — if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.
As far as the embassy moving to Jerusalem, I’d love to see that happen.  We’re looking at it very, very strongly.  We’re looking at it with great care — great care, believe me.  And we’ll see what happens.  Okay?
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Thank you.  I read yesterday that an American official said that if you ask five people what two states would look like, you’d get eight different answers.  Mr. President, if you ask five Israelis, you’d get 12 different answers.  (Laughter.)
But rather than deal with labels, I want to deal with substance.  It’s something I’ve hoped to do for years in a world that’s absolutely fixated on labels and not on substance.  So here’s the substance:  There are two prerequisites for peace that I laid out two years — several years ago, and they haven’t changed.
First, the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state.  They have to stop calling for Israel’s destruction.  They have to stop educating their people for Israel’s destruction.
Second, in any peace agreement, Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River.  Because if we don’t, we know what will happen — because otherwise we’ll get another radical Islamic terrorist state in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East.
Now, unfortunately, the Palestinians vehemently reject both prerequisites for peace.  First, they continue to call for Israel’s destruction — inside their schools, inside their mosques, inside the textbooks.  You have to read it to believe it.
They even deny, Mr. President, our historical connection to our homeland.  And I suppose you have to ask yourself:  Why do – – why are Jews called Jews?  Well, the Chinese are called Chinese because they come from China.  The Japanese are called Japanese because they come from Japan.  Well, Jews are called Jews because they come from Judea.  This is our ancestral homeland.  Jews are not foreign colonialists in Judea.
So, unfortunately, the Palestinians not only deny the past, they also poison the present.  They name public squares in honor of mass murderers who murdered Israelis, and I have to say also murdered Americans.  They fund — they pay monthly salaries to the families of murderers, like the family of the terrorist who killed Taylor Force, a wonderful young American, a West Point graduate, who was stabbed to death while visiting Israel.
So this is the source of the conflict — the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary; this persistent rejection.  That’s the reason we don’t have peace.  Now, that has to change.  I want it to change.  Not only have I not abandoned these two prerequisites of peace; they’ve become even more important because of the rising tide of fanaticism that has swept the Middle East and has also, unfortunately, infected Palestinian society.
So I want this to change.  I want those two prerequisites of peace — substance, not labels — I want them reinstated.  But if anyone believes that I, as Prime Minister of Israel, responsible for the security of my country, would blindly walk into a Palestinian terrorist state that seeks the destruction of my country, they’re gravely mistaken.
The two prerequisites of peace — recognition of the Jewish state, and Israel’s security needs west of the Jordan — they remain pertinent.  We have to look for new ways, new ideas on how to reinstate them and how to move peace forward.  And I believe that the great opportunity for peace comes from a regional approach from involving our newfound Arab partners in the pursuit of a broader peace and peace with the Palestinians.
And I greatly look forward to discussing this in detail with you, Mr. President, because I think that if we work together, we have a shot.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  And we have been discussing that, and it is something that is very different, hasn’t been discussed before.  And it’s actually a much bigger deal, a much more important deal, in a sense.  It would take in many, many countries and it would cover a very large territory.  So I didn’t know you were going to be mentioning that, but that’s — now that you did, I think it’s a terrific thing and I think we have some pretty good cooperation from people that in the past would never, ever have even thought about doing this.  So we’ll see how that works out.
Katie from Townhall.  Where’s Katie?  Right there.  Katie.
Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  You said in your earlier remarks that both sides will have to make compromises when it comes to a peace deal.  You’ve mentioned a halt on settlements.  Can you lay out a few more specific compromises that you have in mind, both for the Israelis and for the Palestinians?
And, Mr. Prime Minister, what expectations do you have from the new administration about how to either amend the Iran nuclear agreement or how to dismantle it altogether, and how to overall work with the new administration to combat Iran’s increased aggression, not only in the last couple of months but the past couple of years as well?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  It’s actually an interesting question.  I think that the Israelis are going to have to show some flexibility, which is hard, it’s hard to do.  They’re going to have to show the fact that they really want to make a deal.  I think our new concept that we’ve been discussing actually for a while is something that allows them to show more flexibility than they have in the past because you have a lot bigger canvas to play with.  And I think they’ll do that.
I think they very much would like to make a deal or I wouldn’t be happy and I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be as optimistic as I am.  I really think they — I can tell you from the standpoint of Bibi and from the standpoint of Israel, I really believe they want to make a deal and they’d like to see the big deal.
I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they’re taught from a very young age.  They’re taught tremendous hate.  I’ve seen what they’re taught.  And you can talk about flexibility there too, but it starts at a very young age and it starts in the school room.  And they have to acknowledge Israel — they’re going to have to do that.  There’s no way a deal can be made if they’re not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country.  And I think they’re going to be willing to do that also.  But now I also believe we’re going to have, Katie, other players at a very high level, and I think it might make it easier on both the Palestinians and Israel to get something done.
Okay?  Thank you.  Very interesting question.  Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  You asked about Iran.  One thing is preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons — something that President Trump and I think are deeply committed to do.  And we are obviously going to discuss that.
I think, beyond that, President Trump has led a very important effort in the past few weeks, just coming into the presidency.  He pointed out there are violations, Iranian violations on ballistic missile tests.  By the way, these ballistic missiles are inscribed in Hebrew, “Israel must be destroyed.”  The Palestinian — rather the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said, well, our ballistic missiles are not intended against any country.  No.  They write on the missile in Hebrew, “Israel must be destroyed.”
So challenging Iran on its violations of ballistic missiles, imposing sanctions on Hezbollah, preventing them, making them pay for the terrorism that they foment throughout the Middle East and beyond, well beyond — I think that’s a change that is clearly evident since President Trump took office.  I welcome that.  I think it’s — let me say this very openly:  I think it’s long overdue, and I think that if we work together — and not just the United States and Israel, but so many others in the region who see eye to eye on the great magnitude and danger of the Iranian threat, then I think we can roll back Iran’s aggression and danger.  And that’s something that is important for Israel, the Arab states, but I think it’s vitally important for America.  These guys are developing ICBMs.  They’re developing — they want to get to a nuclear arsenal, not a bomb, a hundred bombs.  And they want to have the ability to launch them everywhere on Earth, and including, and especially, eventually, the United States.
So this is something that is important for all of us.  I welcome the change, and I intend to work with President Trump very closely so that we can thwart this danger.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Great.  Do you have somebody?
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Moav (ph)?
Q    Mr. President, since your election campaign and even after your victory, we’ve seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States.  And I wonder what you say to those among the Jewish community in the States, and in Israel, and maybe around the world who believe and feel that your administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones.
And, Mr. Prime Minister, do you agree to what the President just said about the need for Israel to restrain or to stop settlement activity in the West Bank?  And a quick follow-up on my friend’s questions — simple question:  Do you back off from your vision to the end of the conflict of two-state solution as you laid out in Bar-Ilan speech, or you still support it?  Thank you.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I just want to say that we are very honored by the victory that we had — 306 Electoral College votes.  We were not supposed to crack 220.  You know that, right?  There was no way to 221, but then they said there’s no way to 270.  And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there.
I will say that we are going to have peace in this country.  We are going to stop crime in this country.  We are going to do everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on, because lot of bad things have been taking place over a long period of time.
I think one of the reasons I won the election is we have a very, very divided nation.  Very divided.  And, hopefully, I’ll be able to do something about that.  And, you know, it was something that was very important to me.
As far as people — Jewish people — so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren.  I think that you’re going to see a lot different United States of America over the next three, four, or eight years.  I think a lot of good things are happening, and you’re going to see a lot of love.  You’re going to see a lot of love.  Okay?  Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  I believe that the issue of the settlements is not the core of the conflict, nor does it really drive the conflict.  I think it’s an issue, it has to be resolved in the context of peace negotiations.  And I think we also are going to speak about it, President Trump and I, so we can arrive at an understanding so we don’t keep on bumping into each other all the time on this issue.  And we’re going to discuss this.
On the question you said, you just came back with your question to the problem that I said.  It’s the label.  What does Abu Mazen mean by two states, okay?  What does he mean?  A state that doesn’t recognize the Jewish state?  A state that basically is open for attack against Israel?  What are we talking about?  Are we talking about Costa Rica, or are we talking about another Iran?
So obviously it means different things.  I told you what are the conditions that I believe are necessary for an agreement:  It’s the recognition of the Jewish state and it’s Israel’s — Israel’s — security control of the entire area.  Otherwise we’re just fantasizing.  Otherwise we’ll get another failed state, another terrorist Islamist dictatorship that will not work for peace but work to destroy us but also destroy any hope — any hope — for a peaceful future for our people.
So I’ve been very clear about those conditions, and they haven’t changed.  I haven’t changed.  If you read what I said eight years ago, it’s exactly that.  And I repeated that again, and again, and again.  If you want to deal with labels, deal with labels.  I’ll deal with substance.
And finally, if I can respond to something that I know from personal experience.  I’ve known President Trump for many years, and to allude to him, or to his people — his team, some of whom I’ve known for many years, too.  Can I reveal, Jared, how long we’ve known you?  (Laughter.)  Well, he was never small.  He was always big.  He was always tall.
But I’ve known the President and I’ve known his family and his team for a long time, and there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump.  I think we should put that to rest.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Very nice.  I appreciate that very much.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU:  Thank you.

Trump’s NSA, Michael Flynn, letter of resignation

Trump’s NSA, Michael Flynn, letter of resignation

Source: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/14/515199598/read-michael-flynns-resignation-letter-as-national-security-adviser

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON
February 13, 2017
In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors. These calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the President, his advisors and foreign leaders. Such calls are standard practice in any transition of this magnitude.

Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.

Throughout my over thirty three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the Presidentof the  United States.

I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way.

I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.

As I step away once again from serving my nation in this current capacity, I wish to thank President Trump for his personal loyalty, the friendship ofthose who I worked with throughout the hard fought campaign, the challenging period oftransition, and during the early days ofhis presidency.

I know with the strong leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the superb team they are assembling, this team will go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in US. history, and I firmly believe the American people will be well served as they all work together to help Make America Great Again.
Michael T. Flynn, LTG (Ret)

Assistant to the President / National Security Advisor

Trump claims media does not report terrorist attacks (like Bowling Green massacre)

Trump claims media does not report terrorist attacks (like Bowling Green massacre)

Source: http://time.com/4661658/donald-trump-terror-attacks-speech-macdill-air-force-base/

Trump also still mentions his inauguration, his election campaign, and the media. Seems like something he won’t be able to let go for a long time.

At MacDill Air Force Base, Trump’s speech in full:

TRUMP: Thank you, everybody.

(APPLAUSE) Thank you very much. It’s so nice. A lot or spirit. Great spirit for this country. Thank you all.

(APPLAUSE)

We have tremendous spirit, and I want to thank you.

We had a wonderful election, didn’t we?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And I saw those numbers, and you liked me, and I liked you. That’s the way it worked.

(LAUGHTER)

I’m honored to be here today among so many of our really and truly great heroes. I want to begin by thanking General Votel and General Thomas for their distinguished leadership and service on behalf of our country. Very, very outstanding people.

I’ll also like to thank General Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. That’s big stuff when you have the chairman.

Where is — Joe, stand up for a second. This is one of the great people.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

Also, Commander Vogel and everyone serving at MacDill Air Force Base. Quite a place. And we’re going to be loading it up with beautiful new planes and beautiful new equipment. You have been lacking a little equipment. We are going to load it up. You are going to get a lot of equipment. Believe me.

(APPLAUSE)

So importantly, also let me thank all of the coalition partners and their representatives assembled here today.

We proudly, very proudly, stand with you. And we will be fighting for your security. They’re fighting for our security and freedom.

TRUMP: Let me recognize our great governor and a very good friend of mine, and somebody who endorsed me. That makes him a better friend of mine.

(LAUGHTER)

If they don’t endorse, believe me. If you’re ever in this position, it’s never quite the same, OK? You can talk, but it never means the same.

But this man is a great, great governor and has done a fantastic job. Rick Scott, governor, stand up, please.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Rick.

Finally, on behalf of the entire nation, let me express our gratitude to all members. And I mean all members of our military serving in the United States Central Command and the United States Special Operations Command. We salute the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, along with our civilian defense personnel who are so important to the success of what we’re doing.

Let me also recognize the military families and spouses who bravely shoulder the burdens of war. I want every military family in this country to know that our administration is at your service. We stand with you 100 percent. We will protect those who protect us. And we will never, ever let you down.

As your president, I have no higher duty than to protect the American people, highest duty we have. I said it the other night. Great, great Supreme Court nominee. You all saw that.

(Inaudible) to myself, perhaps the only thing more important to me definitely is the defense of our nation. Supreme Court’s so important. But we have to defend our nation. And we will do that, believe me.

(APPLAUSE)

We will do that. And each and every one of you is central to that mission.

The men and women serving in CENTCOM and SOCOM have poured out their hearts and souls for this country. They’ve really experienced things that very few people get to experience.

You’ve shed your blood across the continents and the oceans. You’ve engaged the enemy on distant battlefields, toiled in the burning heat and bitter cold, and sacrificed everything so that we can remain safe and strong and free.

Our administration will always honor our sacred bond to those who serve. And we will never, ever forget you. Believe me, we will never, ever forget you.

We will ensure that the men and women of our military have the tools, equipment, resources, training and supplies you need to get the job done. You’ve seen me say we’ve been depleted.

Our Navy is at a point almost as low as World War I. That’s a long time ago. That’s a long time ago. It’s not going to happen anymore, folks. It’s not going to happen anymore. Not with me.

But we will ensure no taxpayer dollars are wasted. I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35. You know about that.

And I want to thank Lockheed Martin. And I want to thank Boeing. And I want to thank all of the companies that have really opened up.

And when I say opened up, Rick Scott understands this very well. Opened up and cut their prices, OK. Because that’s what they did. And we’ve got that program. It’s going to be back in really great shape from really being very troubled. And we are going to be taking care of our great veterans.

We will make a historic financial investment in the Armed Forces of the United States and show the entire world that America stands with those who stand in defense of freedom. We have your back every hour, every day now and always. That also means getting our allies to pay their fair share. Been a very unfair to us.

We strongly support NATO. We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper financial contributions to the NATO Alliance, which many of them have not been doing. Many of them have not been even close. And they have to do that.

TRUMP: Central Command and Central Operations Command are at the very center of our fight against radical Islamic terrorism. America stands in awe of your courage. Those serving at CENTCOM have bravely fought across the theater of war in the Middle East, and bravely battled a viscous enemy that has no respect for human life. Today we express our gratitude to everyone serving overseas, including our military personnel in Afghanistan.

SOCOM has dispatched its legendary warriors to the most secret, sensitive and daring missions in defense of the United States of America. No enemy stands a chance against our Special Force, not even a chance.

They don’t have a chance. And that’s the way we’re going to keep it. And you’re going to be better off because you’re going to have the finest equipment known to man. Going to be better off.

The proof that our nation has been blessed by God, look no further than the men and women of the United States military. They are the greatest fighters and the greatest force of justice on the face of the earth, and that the world has ever known.

The challenges facing our nation, nevertheless, are very large, very, very large. We’re up against an enemy that celebrates death and totally worships destruction. You’ve seen that.

ISIS is on a campaign of genocide, committing atrocities across the world. Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe.

You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that.

So today we deliver a message in one very unified voice to these forces of death and destruction. America and its allies will defeat you. We will defeat them. We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism. And we will not allow it to take root in our country. Not going to allow it.

You’ve been seeing what’s been going on over the last few days. We need strong programs so that people that love us and want to love our country and will end up loving our country are allowed in. Not people that want to destroy us and destroy our country. (CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

Freedom, security and justice will prevail. In his first State of the Union message, President George Washington wrote that “to be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”

Almost 200 years later, as the general was also speaking about Ronald Reagan, he said that “wisdom comes in three very, very strong words. Peace through strength.”

I’ve said it many times during the campaign, speak it in front of tens of thousands of people at one sitting. And I’d always mention America first, a phrase that you probably never heard, “make America great again.”

(CHEERS)

Anybody ever heard that?

(APPLAUSE)

And “peace through strength.”

The men and women of the United States military provide the strength to bring peace to our troubled, troubled times. We stand behind you. We support your mission.

We love our country. We are loyal to our people. We respect our flag. We celebrate our traditions. We honor our heroes. You are our heroes. And we are prepared to fight. And we pray for peace.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you very much.

(CHEERS)

Thank you. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

(UNKNOWN): Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

END

Trump’s angry calls to Australian and Mexico leaders; Loosen sanctions on Russia; Wants easement of Church and State separation

Trump’s angry calls to Australian and Mexico leaders; Loosen sanctions on Russia; Wants easement of Church and State separation

Two phone calls that dug a deeper hole for US-Australian and US-Mexico ties (Source & . Trump supposively hung up with Australian leader, Turnbull, over the agreement of taking in, with vetting processes in place, a small number of refugee (1,100 to 1,250). Trump had supposively rounded up the number to 2k and mentioned it as “thousands of refugees.” With Mexican leaders, Trump accuses them for not taking care of the “tough hombres” or that the leadership haven’t done enough to curb violence. Both of these calls have shaken the relationships with both Australia and Mexico. Members of Congress have scrambled to assure allies of US support.

Also, Trump as has been vocal about reducing the separation of State and Church matters (Source). Specifically, allowing religious leaders to advocate and talk about political leaders.

“I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and openly without fear of retribution,” Trump said during the event, referring to a 1954 measure pushed by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson. “I will do that, remember.”

That’s not all. The adjustment of sanctions on Russia will become a rallying point for both Republicans and Democrats who haven’t forgotten the Ukrainian military actions and Crimea annexation (Source &  Source & Source). The adjustments included reducing sanctions on the Russian intelligence agency, FSB. The administration commented that this was only to help the sales of such things as tablets and cellphones. Trump has vocalize wanting better relations with Russia with even the Ukrainian and Crimea incidents looming overhead. Senator McCain has been vocal against this and that the US still needs to be cautious.

And, to cap this post off, here’s a record of Trump’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast (Source):

TRUMP: Thank you, Mark. So nice.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you very much, thank you. (APPLAUSE)

Thank you very much, it’s a great honor to be here this morning. And so many faith leaders — very, very important people to me — from across our magnificent nation, and so many leaders from all across the globe. Today we continue a tradition begun by President Eisenhower some 64 years ago.

This gathering is a testament to the power of faith and is one of the great customs of our nation. And I hope to be here seven more times with you.

(APPLAUSE)

I want very much to thank our co-chair Senator Boozman and Senator Coons. And all of the congressional leadership; they’re all over the place. We have a lot of very distinguished guests. And we have one guest who was just sworn in last night, Rex Tillerson, secretary of state.

(APPLAUSE)

Gonna do a great job.

(APPLAUSE)

Some people didn’t like Rex because he actually got along with leaders of the world. I said, no, you have to understand that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. He’s respected all over the world and I think he’s going to go down as one of our great, great secretaries.

We appreciate it.

Thank you, thank you, Rex.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you as well to Senate Chaplain Barry Black, for his moving words. And I don’t know Chaplain whether or not that’s an appointed position — is that an appointed position? I don’t even know if you’re Democrat or if you’re Republican, but I’m appointing you for another year, the hell with it.

(LAUGHTER)

And I think it’s not even my appointment, it’s the Senate’s appointment, but we’ll talk to them. You’re very — you’re — your son is here. Your job is very, very secure. OK?

(LAUGHTER)

Thank you, Barry. Appreciate it very much.

I also want to thank my great friends the Roma. Where’s Roma, beautiful Roma Downey, the voice of an angel. She’s got the voice — every time I hear that voice; it’s so beautiful. That — everything is so beautiful about Roma, including her husband because he’s a special, special friend. Mark Burnett for the wonderful introduction.

So true, so true. I said to the agent, I’m sorry, the only thing wrong — I actually got on the phone and fired him myself because he said, you don’t want to do it, it’ll never work, it’ll never, ever work, you don’t want to do it. I said, listen. When I really fired him after it became the number one show, it became so successful and he wanted a commission and he didn’t want to this.

That’s when I really said — but we had tremendous success on The Apprentice. And when I ran for president, I had to leave the show. That’s when I knew for sure that I was doing it. And they hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place. And we know how that turned out.

The ratings went down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster and Mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold if we can, for those ratings, OK?

(LAUGHTER)

But we’ve had an amazing life together the last 14, 15 years. And a — an outstanding man and thank you very much for introducing. Appreciate it. It’s a great honor.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I also want to thank my dear friend, Vice President Mike Pence, who has been incredible.

(APPLAUSE)

And incredible wife, Karen.

And every time I was in a little trouble with something where they were questioning me, they’d say, “But he picked Mike Pence.”

(LAUGHTER)

“So he has to know what he’s doing.”

(LAUGHTER)

And it’s true, he’s been — you know on the scale of zero to 10, I rate him a 12, OK?

So I wanna thank you, thank you very much, appreciate it.

(APPLAUSE)

But most importantly, today I wanna thank the American people. Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times. All around America, I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement have been a constant source of strength.

What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words that never, ever fail to touch my heart, that’s “I am praying for you.” I hear it so often, I am praying for you, Mr. President.

(APPLAUSE)

No one has inspired me more in my travels than the families of the United States military. Men and women who have put their lives on the line everyday for their country and their countrymen. I just came back yesterday, from Dover Air Force Base, to join the family of Chief William “Ryan” Owens as America’s fallen hero was returned home.

Very, very sad, but very, very beautiful, very, very beautiful. His family was there, incredible family, loved him so much, so devastated, he was so devastated, but the ceremony was amazing. He died in defense of our nation. He gave his life in defense of our people. Our debt to him and our debt to his family is eternal and everlasting. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

We will never forget the men and women who wear the uniform, believe me.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

From generation to generation, their vigilance has kept our liberty alive. Our freedom is won by their sacrifice and our security has been earned with their sweat and blood and tears. God has blessed this land to give us such incredible heroes and patriots. They are very, very special and we are going to take care of them.

(APPLAUSE)

Our soldiers understand that what matters is not party or ideology or creed, but the bonds of loyalty that link us all together as one. America is a nation of believers. In towns all across our land, it’s plain to see what we easily forget — so easily we forget this, that the quality of our lives is not defined by our material success, but by our spiritual success.

I will tell you that and I tell you that from somebody that has had material success and knows tremendous numbers of people with great material success, the most material success. Many of those people are very, very miserable, unhappy people.

And I know a lot of people without that, but they have great families. They have great faith; they don’t have money, at least, not nearly to the extent. And they’re happy. Those, to me, are the successful people, I have to tell you.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I was blessed to be raised in a churched home. My mother and father taught me that to whom much is given, much is expected. I was sworn in on the very Bible from which my mother would teach us as young children, and that faith lives on in my heart every single day.

The people in this room come from many, many backgrounds. You represent so many religions and so many views. But we are all united by our faith, in our creator and our firm knowledge that we are all equal in His eyes. We are not just flesh and bone and blood, we are human beings with souls. Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God.

(APPLAUSE)

It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, the God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Jefferson asked, can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God. Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that, remember.

(APPLAUSE)

Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is also a right under threat all around us, and the world is under serious, serious threat in so many different ways. And I’ve never seen it so much and so openly as since I took the position of president.

The world is in trouble, but we’re going to straighten it out. OK? That’s what I do. I fix things. We’re going to straighten it out.

(APPLAUSE)

Believe me. When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it. They’re tough. We have to tough. It’s time we’re going to be a little tough folks. We’re taking advantage of by every nation in the world virtually. It’s not going to happen anymore. It’s not going to happen anymore. We have seen unimaginable violence carried out in the name of religion. Acts of wantonness (inaudible) just minorities. Horrors on a scale that defy description.

Terrorism is a fundamental threat to religious freedom. It must be stopped and it will be stopped. It may not be pretty for a little while. It will be stopped. We have seen…

(APPLAUSE)

And by the way, General, as you know James “Mad Dog”, shouldn’t say it in this room, Mattis, now there’s a reason they call him “Mad Dog” Mattis, never lost a battle, always wins them, and always wins them fast. He’s our new secretary of Defense, will be working with Rex. He’s right now in South Korea, going to Japan, going to some other spots. I’ll tell you what, I’ve gotten to know him really well. He’s the real deal. We have somebody who’s the real deal working for us and that’s what we need. So, you watch. You just watch.

(APPLAUSE)

Things will be different. We have seen peace loving Muslims brutalize, victimize, murdered and oppressed by ISIS killers. We have seen threats of extermination against the Jewish people. We have seen a campaign of ISIS and genocide against Christians, where they cut of heads. Not since the Middle Ages have we seen that. We haven’t seen that, the cutting off of heads. Now they cut off the heads, they drown people in steel cages. Haven’t seen this. I haven’t seen this. Nobody’s seen this for many, many years.

TRUMP: All nations have a moral obligation to speak out against such violence. All nations have a duty to work together to confront it and to confront it viciously if we have to.

So I want to express clearly today, to the American people, that my administration will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty in our land. America must forever remain a tolerant society where all face are respected and where all of our citizens can feel safe and secure.

We have to feel safe and secure. In recent days, we have begun to take necessary action to achieve that goal. Our nation has the most generous immigration system in the world. But these are those and there are those that would exploit that generosity to undermine the values that we hold so dear. We need security.

There are those who would seek to enter our country for the purpose of spreading violence, or oppressing other people based upon their faith or their lifestyle, not right. We will not allow a beachhead of intolerance to spread in our nation. You look all over the world and you see what’s happening.

So in the coming days, we will develop a system to help ensure that those admitted into our country fully embrace our values of religious and personal liberty. And that they reject any form of oppression and discrimination. We want people to come into our nation, but we want people to love us and to love our values, not to hate us and to hate our values.

We will be a safe country, we will be a free country and we will be a country where all citizens can practice their beliefs without fear of hostility or a fear of violence. America will flourish, as long as our liberty, and in particular, our religious liberty is allowed to flourish.

(APPLAUSE)

America will succeed, as long as our most vulnerable citizens — and we have some that are so vulnerable — have a path to success. And America will thrive, as long as we continue to have faith in each other and faith in God.

(APPLAUSE)

That faith in God has inspired men and women to sacrifice for the needy, to deploy to wars overseas and to lock arms at home, to ensure equal rights for every man, woman and child in our land. It’s that faith that sent the pilgrims across the oceans, the pioneers across the plains and the young people all across America, to chase their dreams. They are chasing their dreams. We are going to bring those dreams back.

As long as we have God, we are never, ever alone. Whether it’s the soldier on the night watch, or the single parent on the night shift, God will always give us solace and strength, and comfort. We need to carry on and to keep carrying on.

For us here in Washington, we must never, ever stop asking God for the wisdom to serve the public, according to his will. That’s why…

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

That’s why President Eisenhower and Senator Carlson had the wisdom to gather together 64 years ago, to begin this truly great tradition. But that’s not all they did together. Lemme tell you the rest of the story.

Just one year later, Senator Carlson was among the members of Congress to send to the president’s desk a joint resolution that added, “Under God,” to our Pledge of Allegiance. It’s a great thing.

(APPLAUSE)

Because that’s what we are and that is what we will always be and that is what our people want; one beautiful nation, under God.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Trump’s 1/25 interview with David Muir: can’t let go of popularity, claims being a victim, endorse torture

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transcript-abc-news-anchor-david-muir-interviews-president/story?id=45047602

Wednesday’s (1/26)  interview with ABC’s David Muir transcript:

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, it’s an honor to be here at the White House.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, David.

DAVID MUIR: Let me ask you, has the magnitude of this job hit you yet?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It has periodically hit me. And it is a tremendous magnitude. And where you really see it is when you’re talking to the generals about problems in the world. And we do have problems in the world. Big problems. The business also hits because the — the size of it. The size.

I was with the Ford yesterday. And with General Motors yesterday. The top representatives, great people. And they’re gonna do some tremendous work in the United States. They’re gonna build plants back in the United States. But when you see the size, even as a businessman, the size of the investment that these big companies are gonna make, it hits you even in that regard. But we’re gonna bring jobs back to America, like I promised on the campaign trail.

DAVID MUIR: And we’re gonna get to it all right here.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Good.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, I want to start — we’re five days in. And your campaign promises. I know today you plan on signing the order to build the wall.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Correct.

DAVID MUIR: Are you going to direct U.S. funds to pay for this wall? Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Ultimately it’ll come out of what’s happening with Mexico. We’re gonna be starting those negotiations relatively soon. And we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I will say …

DAVID MUIR: So, they’ll pay us back?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, absolutely, 100 percent.

DAVID MUIR: So, the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: All it is, is we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. Now, I could wait a year and I could hold off the wall. But I wanna build the wall. We have to build the wall. We have to stop drugs from pouring in. We have to stop people from just pouring into our country. We have no idea where they’re from. And I campaigned on the wall. And it’s very important. But that wall will cost us nothing.

DAVID MUIR: But you talked — often about Mexico paying for the wall. And you, again, say they’ll pay us back. Mexico’s president said in recent days that Mexico absolutely will not pay, adding that, “It goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans.” He says …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: David, he has to say that. He has to say that. But I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. And you have to understand what I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico.

We wanna have a very stable, very solid Mexico. Even more solid than it is right now. And they need it also. Lots of things are coming across Mexico that they don’t want. I think it’s going to be a good thing for both countries. And I think the relationship will be better than ever before.

You know, when we had a prisoner in Mexico, as you know, two years ago, that we were trying to get out. And Mexico was not helping us, I will tell you, those days are over. I think we’re gonna end up with a much better relationship with Mexico. We will have the wall and in a very serious form Mexico will pay for the wall.

DAVID MUIR: What are you gonna say to some of your supporters who might say, “Wait a minute, I thought Mexico was going to pay for this right at the start.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I’d say very simply that they are going to pay for it. I never said they’re gonna pay from the start. I said Mexico will pay for the wall. But what I will tell my supporters is, “Would you like me to wait two years or three years before I make this deal?” Because we have to make a deal on NAFTA. We have to make a new trade deal with Mexico because we’re getting clobbered.

We have a $60-billion trade deficit. So, if you want, I can wait two years and then we can do it nice and easily. I wanna start the wall immediately. Every supporter I have — I have had so many people calling and tweeting and — and writing letters saying they’re so happy about it. I wanna start the wall. We will be reimbursed for the wall.

DAVID MUIR: When does construction begin?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: As soon as we can. As soon as we can physically do it. We’re …

DAVID MUIR: Within months?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would say in months. Yeah, I would say in months. Certainly planning is starting immediately.

DAVID MUIR: People feel …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll be having some really good, really solid plans within a short period of time.

DAVID MUIR: When people learn of the news of this wall today there are gonna be a lot of people listening to this. And I wanna ask about undocumented immigrants who are here — in this country. Right now they’re protected as so-called dreamers — the children who were brought here, as you know, by their parents. Should they be worried — that they could be deported? And is there anything you can say to assure them right now that they’ll be allowed to stay?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: They shouldn’t be very worried. They are here illegally. They shouldn’t be very worried. I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody. We’re going to have a very strong border. We’re gonna have a very solid border. Where you have great people that are here that have done a good job, they should be far less worried. We’ll be coming out with policy on that over the next period of four weeks.

DAVID MUIR: But Mr. President, will they be allowed to stay?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m gonna tell you over the next four weeks. But I will tell you, we’re looking at this, the whole immigration situation, we’re looking at it with great heart. Now we have criminals that are here. We have really bad people that are here. Those people have to be worried ’cause they’re getting out. We’re gonna get them out. We’re gonna get ’em out fast. General Kelly is — I’ve given that as his number one priority.

DAVID MUIR: Senator Jeff Sessions, your pick for attorney general, as you know during his confirmation hearing said that ending DACA, this is President Obama’s policy protecting the dreamers — that, “Ending it certainly would be constitutional.” That you could end the protection of these dreamers. Is that a possibility?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re gonna be talking with — attorney general. He will soon be the attorney general. He’s done fantastically well. We’re all very proud of him. I thought he was treated very, very unfairly. He’s a brilliant man and he’s a very good man. He’ll do a fantastic job. I’ll be speaking to him as soon as he’s affirmed.

DAVID MUIR: So, it’s a possibility.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will be talking to the attorney general.

DAVID MUIR: I wanna ask you about something you said this week right here at the White House. You brought in congressional leaders to the White House. You spoke at length about the presidential election with them — telling them that you lost the popular vote because of millions of illegal votes, 3 to 5 million illegal votes. That would be the biggest electoral fraud in American history. Where is the evidence of that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, let me tell you first of all, it was so misrepresented. That was supposed to be a confidential meeting. And you weren’t supposed to go out and talk to the press as soon as you — but the Democrats viewed it not as a confidential meeting.

DAVID MUIR: But you have tweeted …

(OVERTALK)

DAVID MUIR: … about the millions of illegals …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Sure. And I do — and I’m very …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … and I mean it. But just so you — it was supposed to be a confidential meeting. They turned it into not a con… Number two, the conversation lasted for about a minute. They made it — somebody said it was, like, 25 percent of the … It wasn’t. It was hardly even discussed.

I said it. And I said it strongly because what’s going on with voter fraud is horrible. That’s number one. Number two, I would’ve won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote. I would’ve gone to California where I didn’t go at all. I would’ve gone to New York where I didn’t campaign at all.

I would’ve gone to a couple of places that I didn’t go to. And I would’ve won that much easier than winning the electoral college. But as you know, the electoral college is all that matters. It doesn’t make any difference. So, I would’ve won very, very easily. But it’s a different form of winning. You would campaign much differently. You would have a totally different campaign. So, but …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … you’re just asking a question. I would’ve easily won the popular vote, much easier, in my opinion, than winning the electoral college. I ended up going to 19 different states. I went to the state of Maine four times for one. I needed one.

I went to M– I got it, by the way. But it turned out I didn’t need it because we ended up winning by a massive amount, 306. I needed 270. We got 306. You and everybody said, “There’s no way you get to 270.” I mean, your network said and almost everybody said, “There’s no way you can get to …” So, I went to Maine four times. I went to various places. And that’s the beauty of the electoral college. With that being said, if you look at voter registration, you look at the dead people that are registered to vote who vote, you look at people that are registered in two states, you look at all of these different things that are happening with registration. You take a look at those registration for — you’re gonna s– find — and we’re gonna do an investigation on it.

DAVID MUIR: But 3 to 5 million illegal votes?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re gonna find out. But it could very well be that much. Absolutely.

DAVID MUIR: But …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: But we’re gonna find out.

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: In fact, I heard one of the other side, they were saying it’s not 3 to 5. It’s not 3 to 5. I said, “Well, Mr. Trump is talking about registration, tell–” He said, “You know we don’t wanna talk about registration.” They don’t wanna talk about registration.

You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states. You have people registered in two states. They’re registered in a New York and a New Jersey. They vote twice. There are millions of votes, in my opinion. Now …

DAVID MUIR: But again …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m doing an …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … investigation. David, David, David …

DAVID MUIR: You’re now, you’re now president of the United States when you say …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Of course, and I want the voting process to be legitimate.

DAVID MUIR: But what I’m asking …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: The people that …

DAVID MUIR: … what I’m asking that — when you say in your opinion millions of illegal votes, that is something that is extremely fundamental to our functioning democracy, a fair and free election.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Sure. Sure. Sure.

DAVID MUIR: You say you’re gonna launch an investigation.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Sure, done.

DAVID MUIR: What you have presented so far has been debunked. It’s been called …

(OVERTALK)

DAVID MUIR: … false.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. Take a look at the Pew reports.

DAVID MUIR: I called the author of the Pew report last night. And he told me that they found no evidence of voter

(OVERTALK)

DAVID MUIR: … fraud.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Really? Then why did he write the report?

DAVID MUIR: He said no evidence of voter fraud.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he write the report?

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: According to Pew report, then he’s — then he’s groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they wanna write something that you wanna hear but not necessarily millions of people wanna hear or have to hear.

DAVID MUIR: So, you’ve launched an investigation?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re gonna launch an investigation to find out. And then the next time — and I will say this, of those votes cast, none of ’em come to me. None of ’em come to me. They would all be for the other side. None of ’em come to me. But when you look at the people that are registered: dead, illegal and two states and some cases maybe three states — we have a lot to look into.

DAVID MUIR: House Speaker Paul Ryan has said, “I have seen no evidence. I have made this very, very clear.” Senator Lindsey Graham saying, “It’s the most inappropriate thing for a president to say without proof. He seems obsessed with the idea that he could not have possibly lost the popular vote without cheating and fraud.” I wanna ask you about something bigger here. Does it matter more now …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: There’s nothing bigger. There’s nothing bigger.

DAVID MUIR: But it is important because …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Let me just tell you, you know what’s important, millions of people agree with me when I say that if you would’ve looked on one of the other networks and all of the people that were calling in they’re saying, “We agree with Mr. Trump. We agree.” They’re very smart people.

The people that voted for me — lots of people are saying they saw things happen. I heard stories also. But you’re not talking about millions. But it’s a small little segment. I will tell you, it’s a good thing that we’re doing because at the end we’re gonna have an idea as to what’s going on. Now, you’re telling me Pew report has all of a sudden changed. But you have other reports and you have other statements. You take a look at the registrations, how many dead people are there? Take a look at the registrations as to the other things that I already presented.

DAVID MUIR: And you’re saying …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And you’re gonna find …

DAVID MUIR: … those people who are on the rolls voted, that there are millions of illegal votes?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I didn’t say there are millions. But I think there could very well be millions of people. That’s right.

DAVID MUIR: You tweeted though …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I also say this …

DAVID MUIR: … you tweeted, “If you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally, I won the popular vote.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: David, and I also say this, if I was going for the popular vote I would’ve won easily. But I would’ve been in California and New York. I wouldn’t have been in Maine. I wouldn’t have been in Iowa. I wouldn’t have been in Nebraska and all of those states that I had to win in order to win this. I would’ve been in New York, I would’ve been in California. I never even went there.

DAVID MUIR: Let me just ask you, you did win. You’re the president. You’re sitting …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s true.

DAVID MUIR: … across from me right now.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s true.

DAVID MUIR: Do you think that your words matter more now?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, very much.

DAVID MUIR: Do you think that that talking about millions of illegal votes is dangerous to this country without presenting the evidence?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, not at all.

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Not at all because many people feel the same way that I do. And …

DAVID MUIR: You don’t think it undermines your credibility if there’s no evidence?

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, not at all because they didn’t come to me. Believe me. Those were Hillary votes. And if you look at it they all voted for Hillary. They all voted for Hillary. They didn’t vote for me. I don’t believe I got one. Okay, these are people that voted for Hillary Clinton. And if they didn’t vote, it would’ve been different in the popular.

Now, you have to understand I — I focused on those four or five states that I had to win. Maybe she didn’t. She should’ve gone to Michigan. She thought she had it in the bag. She should’ve gone to Wisconsin, she thought she had it because you’re talking about 38 years of, you know, Democrat wins. But they didn’t. I went to Michigan, I went to Wisconsin. I went to Pennsylvania all the time. I went to all of the states that are — Florida and North Carolina. That’s all I focused on.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, it does strike me though that we’re relitigating the presidential campaign, the election …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, no. We’re looking at it for the next time. No, no, you have to understand, I had a tremendous victory, one of the great victories ever. In terms of counties I think the most ever or just about the most ever. When you look at a map it’s all red. Red meaning us, Republicans.

One of the greatest victories ever. But, again, I ran for the electoral college. I didn’t run for the popular vote. What I’m saying is if there are these problems that many people agree with me that there might be. Look, Barack Obama — if you look back — eight years ago when he first ran — he was running for office in Chicago for we needed Chicago vote.

And he was laughing at the system because he knew all of those votes were going to him. You look at Philadelphia, you look at what’s going on in Philadelphia. But take a look at the tape of Barack Obama who wrote me, by the way, a very beautiful letter in the drawer of the desk. Very beautiful. And I appreciate it. But look at what he said, it’s on tape. Look at what he said about voting in Chicago eight years ago. It’s not changed. It hasn’t changed, believe me. Chicago, look what’s going on in Chicago. It’s only gotten worse.

But he was smiling and laughing about the vote in Chicago. Now, once he became president he didn’t do that. All of a sudden it became this is the foundation of our country. So, here’s the point, you have a lot of stuff going on possibly. I say probably. But possibly. We’re gonna get to the bottom of it.

And then we’re gonna make sure it doesn’t happen again. If people are registered wrongly, if illegals are registered to vote, which they are, if dead people are registered to vote and voting, which they do. There are some. I don’t know how many. We’re gonna try finding that out and the other categories that we talk about, double states where they’re — registered in two states, we’re gonna get to the bottom of it because we have to stop it. Because I agree, so important. But the other side is trying to downplay this. Now, I’ll say this — I think that if that didn’t happen, first of all, would — would be a great thing if it didn’t happen. But I believe it did happen. And I believe a part of the vote would’ve been much different.

DAVID MUIR: And you believe millions of illegal votes …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re gonna find out.

DAVID MUIR: Let me ask you this …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re gonna find out. And — and, by the way, when I say you’re gonna find out. You can never really find, you know, there are gonna be — no matter what numbers we come up with there are gonna be lots of people that did things that we’re not going to find out about. But we will find out because we need a better system where that can’t happen.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, I just have one more question on this. And it’s — it’s bigger picture. You took some heat after your visit to the CIA in front of that hallowed wall, 117 stars — of those lost at the CIA. You talked about other things. But you also talked about crowd size at the inauguration, about the size of your rallies, about covers on Time magazine. And I just wanna ask you when does all of that matter just a little less? When do you let it roll off your back now that you’re the president?

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: OK, so I’m glad you asked. So, I went to the CIA, my first step. I have great respect for the people in intelligence and CIA. I’m — I don’t have a lot of respect for, in particular one of the leaders. But that’s okay. But I have a lot of respect for the people in the CIA.

That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, OK, I’ll mention you — we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming and — and they were all CIA. There was — somebody was asking Sean — “Well, were they Trump people that were put–” we don’t have Trump people. They were CIA people.

That location was given to me. Mike Pence went up before me, paid great homage to the wall. I then went up, paid great homage to the wall. I then spoke to the crowd. I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time. What you do is take — take out your tape — you probably ran it live. I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it. I could’ve …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … gotten …

DAVID MUIR: You would give the same speech if you went back …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Absolutely.

DAVID MUIR: … in front of that wall?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: People loved it. They loved it. They gave me a standing ovation for a long period of time. They never even sat down, most of them, during the speech. There was love in the room. You and other networks covered it very inaccurately. I hate to say this to you and you probably won’t put it on but turn on Fox and see how it was covered. And see how people respond to that speech.

That speech was a good speech. And you and a couple of other networks tried to downplay that speech. And it was very, very unfortunate that you did. The people of the CIA loved the speech. If I was going to take a vote in that room, there were, like, 300, 350 people, over 1,000 wanted to be there but they couldn’t. They were all CIA people. I would say I would’ve gotten 350 to nothing in that room. That’s what the vote would’ve been. That speech was a big hit, a big success — success. And then I came back and I watched you on television and a couple of others.

DAVID MUIR: Not me personally.

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And they tried to demean. Excuse me?

DAVID MUIR: Not me personally.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Not you personally but your network — and they tried to demean the speech. And I know when things are good or bad. A poll just came out on my inauguration speech which was extraordinary that people loved it. Loved and liked. And it was an extraordinary poll.

DAVID MUIR: I guess that’s what I’m getting at. You talked about the poll, the people loving your inaugural speech and the size of your …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, because you bring it up.

DAVID MUIR: I’m asking, well, on day one you …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you just brought it up. I didn’t bring it up. I didn’t wanna — talk about the inauguration speech. But I think I did a very good job and people really liked it. You saw the poll. Just came out this morning. You bring it up. I didn’t bring it up.

DAVID MUIR: So, polls and crowd size and covers on Time, those still matter now that you’re here as president.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you keep bringing it up. I had a massive amount of people here. They were showing pictures that were very unflattering, as unflattering — from certain angles — that were taken early and lots of other things. I’ll show you a picture later if you’d like of a massive crowd.

In terms of a total audience including television and everything else that you have we had supposedly the biggest crowd in history. The audience watching the show. And I think you would even agree to that. They say I had the biggest crowd in the history of inaugural speeches. I’m honored by that. But I didn’t bring it up. You just brought it up.

DAVID MUIR: See, I — I’m not interested in the inaugural crowd size. I think the American people can look at images side by side and decide for themselves. I am curious about the first full day here at the White House, choosing to send the press secretary out into the briefing room, summoning reporters to talk about the inaugural crowd size. Does that send a message to the American people that that’s — that’s more important than some of the very pressing issues?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Part of my whole victory was that the men and women of this country who have been forgotten will never be forgotten again. Part of that is when they try and demean me unfairly ’cause we had a massive crowd of people. We had a crowd — I looked over that sea of people and I said to myself, “Wow.”

And I’ve seen crowds before. Big, big crowds. That was some crowd. When I looked at the numbers that happened to come in from all of the various sources, we had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches. I said the men and women that I was talking to who came out and voted will never be forgotten again. Therefore I won’t allow you or other people like you to demean that crowd and to demean the people that came to Washington, D.C., from faraway places because they like me. But more importantly they like what I’m saying.

DAVID MUIR: I just wanna say I didn’t demean anyone who was in that crowd. We did coverage for hours …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I think you’re demeaning by talking the way you’re talking. I think you’re demeaning. And that’s why I think a lot of people turned on you and turned on a lot of other people. And that’s why you have a 17 percent approval rating, which is pretty bad.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. Trump, let’s talk about many of the things that have happened this week. Chicago. Last night you tweeted about the murder rate in Chicago saying, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible carnage going on I will send in the feds.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

DAVID MUIR: You will send in the feds? What do you mean by that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s carnage. You know, in my speech I got tremendous — from certain people the word carnage. It is carnage. It’s horrible carnage. This is Afghanistan — is not like what’s happening in Chicago. People are being shot left and right. Thousands of people over a period — over a short period of time.

This year, which has just started, is worse than last year, which was a catastrophe. They’re not doing the job. Now if they want help, I would love to help them. I will send in what we have to send in. Maybe they’re not gonna have to be so politically correct. Maybe they’re being overly political correct. Maybe there’s something going on. But you can’t have those killings going on in Chicago. Chicago is like a war zone. Chicago is worse than some of the people that you report in some of the places that you report about every night …

DAVID MUIR: So, I will send …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … in the Middle East.

DAVID MUIR: … you mentioned federal assistance. There’s federal assistance and then there’s sending in the feds. I’m just curious would you take action on your own?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I want them to fix the problem. You can’t have thousands of people being shot in a city, in a country that I happen to be president of. Maybe it’s okay if somebody else is president. I want them to fix the problem. They have a problem that’s very easily fixable.

They’re gonna have to get tougher and stronger and smarter. But they gotta fix the problem. I don’t want to have thousands of people shot in a city where essentially I’m the president. I love Chicago. I know Chicago. And Chicago is a great city, can be a great city.

DAVID MUIR: And if they’re unable to fix it?

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It can’t be a great city. Excuse me. It can’t be a great city if people are shot walking down the street for a loaf of bread. Can’t be a great city.

DAVID MUIR: And if they are unable to fix it, that’s when you would send in the feds?

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, so far they have been unable. It’s been going on for years. And I wasn’t president. So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can’t have that.

DAVID MUIR: Let me ask …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: They weren’t shot at the speech. But they were shot in the city of Chicago during his speech. What — what’s going on? So, all I’m saying is to the mayor who came up to my office recently — I say, “You have to smarten up and you have to toughen up because you can’t let that happen. That’s a war zone.”

DAVID MUIR: So, this is an “or else.” This is a warning?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I want them to straighten out the problem. It’s a big problem.

DAVID MUIR: Let me ask you about a new report that you were poised to lift a ban on so-called CIA black sites of prisons around the world that have been used in the past. Is that true?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I’ll be talking about that in about two hours. So, you’ll be there and you’ll be able to see it for yourself.

DAVID MUIR: Are you gonna lift the ban?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You’re gonna see in about two hours.

DAVID MUIR: The last president, President Obama, said the U.S. does not torture. Will you say that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I have a general who I have great respect for, General Mattis, who said — I was a little surprised — who said he’s not a believer in torture. As you know, Mr. Pompeo was just approved, affirmed by the Senate. He’s a fantastic guy, he’s gonna be the head of the CIA.

And you have somebody fabulous as opposed to the character that just got out who didn’t — was not fabulous at all. And he will I think do a great job. And he is — you know, I haven’t gone into great detail. But I will tell you I have spoken to others in intelligence. And they are big believers in, as an example, waterboarding.

DAVID MUIR: You did tell me …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Because they say it does work. It does work.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, you …

(OVERTALK)

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, you told me during one of the debates that you would bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would do …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would do — I wanna keep our country safe. I wanna keep our country safe.

DAVID MUIR: What does that mean?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: When they’re shooting — when they’re chopping off the heads of our people and other people, when they’re chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since Medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding?

As far as I’m concerned we have to fight fire with fire. Now, with that being said I’m going with General Mattis. I’m going with my secretary because I think Pompeo’s gonna be phenomenal. I’m gonna go with what they say. But I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence. And I asked them the question, “Does it work? Does torture work?” And the answer was, “Yes, absolutely.”

DAVID MUIR: You’re now the president. Do you want waterboarding?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t want people to chop off the citizens or anybody’s heads in the Middle East. Okay? Because they’re Christian or Muslim or anything else. I don’t want — look, you are old enough to have seen a time that was much different. You never saw heads chopped off until a few years ago.

Now they chop ’em off and they put ’em on camera and they send ’em all over the world. So we have that and we’re not allowed to do anything. We’re not playing on an even field. I will say this, I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group. And if they don’t wanna do, that’s fine. If they do wanna do, then I will work for that end.

I wanna do everything within the bounds of what you’re allowed to do legally. But do I feel it works? Absolutely I feel it works. Have I spoken to people at the top levels and people that have seen it work? I haven’t seen it work. But I think it works. Have I spoken to people that feel strongly about it? Absolutely.

DAVID MUIR: So, you’d be okay with it as …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I wanna keep …

DAVID MUIR: … president?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … no, I wanna — I will rely on General Mattis. And I’m gonna rely on those two people and others. And if they don’t wanna do it, it’s 100 percent okay with me. Do I think it works? Absolutely.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, I wanna ask you about refugees. You’re about to sign a sweeping executive action to suspend immigration to this country.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Right.

DAVID MUIR: Who are we talking about? Is this the Muslim ban?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re talking about — no it’s not the Muslim ban. But it’s countries that have tremendous terror. It’s countries that we’re going to be spelling out in a little while in the same speech. And it’s countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems. Our country has enough problems without allowing people to come in who, in many cases or in some cases, are looking to do tremendous destruction.

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You look at what’s happening …

DAVID MUIR: Which countries are we talking about?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … you’ll be hearing about it in two hours because I have a whole list. You’ll be very thrilled. You’re looking at people that come in, in many cases, in some cases with evil intentions. I don’t want that. They’re ISIS. They’re coming under false pretense. I don’t want that.

I’m gonna be the president of a safe country. We have enough problems. Now I’ll absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people. I think that Europe has made a tremendous mistake by allowing these millions of people to go into Germany and various other countries. And all you have to do is take a look. It’s — it’s a disaster what’s happening over there.

I don’t want that to happen here. Now with that being said, President Obama and Hillary Clinton have, and Kerry have allowed tens of thousands of people into our country. The FBI is now investigating more people than ever before having to do with terror. They — and it’s from the group of people that came in. So look, look, our country has a lot of problems. Believe me. I know what the problems are even better than you do. They’re deep problems, they’re serious problems. We don’t need more.

DAVID MUIR: Let me ask you about some of the countries that won’t be on the list, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. Why are we going to allow people to come into this country …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You’re going to see — you’re going to see. We’re going to have extreme vetting in all cases. And I mean extreme. And we’re not letting people in if we think there’s even a little chance of some problem.

DAVID MUIR: Are you at all …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We are excluding certain countries. But for other countries we’re gonna have extreme vetting. It’s going to be very hard to come in. Right now it’s very easy to come in. It’s gonna be very, very hard. I don’t want terror in this country. You look at what happened in San Bernardino. You look at what happened all over. You look at what happened in the World Trade Center. Okay, I mean, take that as an example.

DAVID MUIR: Are you at all …

(OVERTALK)

DAVID MUIR: … concerned — are you at all concerned it’s going to cause more anger among Muslims …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Anger?

DAVID MUIR: … the world?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: There’s plenty of anger right now. How can you have more?

DAVID MUIR: You don’t think it’ll …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Look, David …

DAVID MUIR: … exacerbate the problem?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … David, I mean, I know you’re a sophisticated guy. The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. What? You think this is gonna cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place. All of this has happened. We went into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq. We shouldn’t have gotten out the way we got out.

The world is a total mess. Take a look at what’s happening with Aleppo. Take a look what’s happening in Mosul. Take a look what’s going on in the Middle East. And people are fleeing and they’re going into Europe and all over the place. The world is a mess, David.

DAVID MUIR: You brought up Iraq and something you said that could affect American troops in recent days. You said, “We should’ve kept the oil but okay maybe we’ll have another chance.” What did you mean by that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we should’ve kept the oil when we got out. And, you know, it’s very interesting, had we taken the oil, you wouldn’t have ISIS because they fuel themselves with the oil. That’s where they got the money. They got the money from leaving — when we left, we left Iraq, which wasn’t a government. It’s not a government now.

And by the way, and I said something else, if we go in and do this. You have two nations, Iraq and Iran. And they were essentially the same military strength. And they’d fight for decades and decades. They’d fight forever. And they’d keep fighting and it would go — it was just a way of life. We got in, we decapitated one of those nations, Iraq. I said, “Iran is taking over Iraq.” That’s essentially what happened.

DAVID MUIR: So, you believe we can go in and take the oil.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We should have taken the oil. You wouldn’t have ISIS if we took the oil. Now I wasn’t talking about it from the standpoint of ISIS because the way we got out was horrible. We created a vacuum and ISIS formed. But had we taken the oil something else would’ve very good happened. They would not have been able to fuel their rather unbelievable drive to destroy large portions of the world.

DAVID MUIR: You’ve heard the critics who say that would break all international law, taking the oil. But I wanna get to the words …

(OVERTALK)

DAVID MUIR: … that you …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Wait, wait, can you believe that? Who are the critics who say that? Fools.

DAVID MUIR: Let, let me …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t call them critics. I call them fools.

DAVID MUIR: … let me talk about your words …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We should’ve kept — excuse me. We should’ve taken the oil. And if we took the oil you wouldn’t have ISIS. And we would have had wealth. We have spent right now $6 trillion in the Middle East. And our country is falling apart.

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Our roads — excuse me. Our roads, our bridges, our schools, it’s falling apart. We have spent as of one month ago $6 trillion in the Middle East. And in our country we can’t afford to build a school in Brooklyn or we can’t afford to build a school in Los Angeles. And we can’t afford to fix up our inner cities. We can’t afford to do anything. Look, it’s time. It’s been our longest war. We’ve been in there for 15, 16 years. Nobody even knows what the date is because they don’t really know when did we start. But it’s time. It’s time.

DAVID MUIR: What got my attention, Mr. President, was when you said, “Maybe we’ll have another chance.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, don’t let it get your attention too much because we’ll see what happens. I mean, we’re gonna see what happens. You know, I told you and I told everybody else that wants to talk when it comes to the military I don’t wanna discuss things.

I wanna let — I wanna let the action take place before the talk takes place. I watched in Mosul when a number of months ago generals and politicians would get up and say, “We’re going into Mosul in four months.” Then they’d say, “We’re going in in three months, two months, one month. We’re going in next week.”

Okay, and I kept saying to myself, “Gee, why do they have to keep talking about going in?” All right, so now they go in and it is tough because they’re giving the enemy all this time to prepare. I don’t wanna do a lot of talking on the military. I wanna talk after it’s finished, not before it starts.

DAVID MUIR: Let me ask you, Mr. President, about another promise involving Obamacare to repeal it. And you told The Washington Post that your plan to replace Obamacare will include insurance for everybody. That sounds an awful lot like universal coverage.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s going to be — what my plan is is that I wanna take care of everybody. I’m not gonna leave the lower 20 percent that can’t afford insurance. Just so you understand people talk about Obamacare. And I told the Republicans this, the best thing we could do is nothing for two years, let it explode. And then we’ll go in and we’ll do a new plan and — and the Democrats will vote for it. Believe me.

Because this year you’ll have 150 percent increases. Last year in Arizona 116 perecent increase, Minnesota 60 some-odd percent increase. And I told them, except for one problem, I wanna get it fixed. The best thing I could do as the leader of this country– but as wanting to get something approved with support of the Democrats, if I didn’t do anything for two years they’d be begging me to do something. But I don’t wanna do that. So just so you unders– Obamacare is a disaster.

It’s too expensive. It’s horrible health care. It doesn’t cover what you have to cover. It’s a disaster. You know it and I know it. And I said to the Republican folks– and they’re terrific folks, Mitch and Paul Ryan, I said, “Look, if you go fast — and I’m okay in doing it because it’s the right thing to do. We wanna get good coverage at much less cost.” I said, “If you go fast we then own Obamacare. They’re gonna put it on us. And Obamacare is a disaster waiting to explode. If you sit back and let it explode it’s gonna be much easier.” That’s the thing to do. But the right thing to do is to get something done now.

DAVID MUIR: But you …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So I wanna make sure that nobody’s dying on the streets when I’m president. Nobody’s gonna be dying on the streets. We will unleash something that’s gonna be terrific. And remember this, before Obamacare you had a lot of people that were very, very happy with their health care.

And now those people in many cases don’t even have health care. They don’t even have anything that’s acceptable to them. Remember this, keep your doctor, keep your plan, 100 percent. Remember the $5 billion website? Remember the website fiasco. I mean, you do admit that I think, right? The website fiasco.

Obamacare is a disaster. We are going to come up with a new plan ideally not an amended plan because right now if you look at the pages they’re this high. We’re gonna come up with a new plan that’s going to be better health care for more people at a lesser cost.

DAVID MUIR: Last question because I know you’re gonna show me around the White House. Last question on this. You’ve seen the estimate that 18 million Americans could lose their health insurance if Obamacare is repealed and there is no replacement. Can you assure those Americans watching this right now that they will not lose their health insurance or end up with anything less?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: So nobody ever deducts all the people that have already lost their health insurance that liked it. You had millions of people that liked their health insurance and their health care and their doctor and where they went. You had millions of people that now aren’t insured anymore.

DAVID MUIR: I’m just asking about the people …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, no.

DAVID MUIR: … who are nervous and watching …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We …

DAVID MUIR: … you for reassurance.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … here’s what I can assure you, we are going to have a better plan, much better health care, much better service treatment, a plan where you can have access to the doctor that you want and the plan that you want. We’re gonna have a much better health care plan at much less money.

And remember Obamacare is ready to explode. And you interviewed me a couple of years ago. I said ’17 — right now, this year, “’17 is going to be a disaster.” I’m very good at this stuff. “’17 is going to be a disaster cost-wise for Obamacare. It’s going to explode in ’17.”

And why not? Obama’s a smart guy. So let it all come do because that’s what’s happening. It’s all coming do in ’17. We’re gonna have an explosion. And to do it right, sit back, let it explode and let the Democrats come begging us to help them because it’s on them. But I don’t wanna do that. I wanna give great health care at a much lower cost.

DAVID MUIR: So, no one who has this health insurance through Obamacare will lose it or end up …

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, when you …

DAVID MUIR: ... with anything less?

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: … say no one I think no one. Ideally, in the real world, you’re talking about millions of people. Will no one. And then, you know, knowing ABC, you’ll have this one person on television saying how they were hurt. Okay. We want no one. We want the answer to be no one.

But I will say millions of people will be happy. Right now you have millions and millions and millions of people that are unhappy. It’s too expensive and it’s no good. And the governor of Minnesota who unfortunately had a very, very sad incident yesterday ’cause he’s a very nice guy but — a couple of months ago he said that the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable.

He’s a staunch Democrat. Very strong Democrat. He said it’s no longer affordable. He made that statement. And Bill Clinton on the campaign trail — and he probably had a bad night that night when he went home — but he said, “Obamacare is crazy. It’s crazy.” And you know what, they were both right.

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, thank you.

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

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