Sean Spicer Holds First Daily Briefing CSPAN January 23, 2017 9:48pm-11:12pm EST
c-span's washington journal, live every day with the news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, pennsylvania republican congressman will discuss president trump's relationship with congressional republicans and the house congressional agenda. bennett jim himes joins us to talk about the democratic agenda for the next legislative session. be sure to watch c-span washington journal at 70 and eastern on tuesday morning. join the discussion. announcer: in his first official press briefing, white house spokesman sean spicer answered questions on his statement over the weekend about inauguration attendance. other topics included immigration, combating isis, the presidential visit to the cia as the executive order withdrawing the u.s. from the transpacific ownership agreement. this is what hour and 15 minutes.
hour and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. thanks for coming out to our first official briefing. i'm going to start with a little recap of the inauguration. as i get started, i know that josh earnest was voted the most popular press secretary by the press corps. i shot josh and the mail last night letting him know he can rest easy that his title will be cared for for at least the next few days. the president has been severely monitoring -- closely monitoring the severe weather in the southeast. he spoke with the governor of georgia and offered his condolences and. -- support. he began the day with a breakfast with key u.s. business
leaders with a discussion focused on growing our manufacturing base. this meeting included the ceo of whirlpool, the ceo of johnson and johnson, the ceo of lockheed martin, the ceo cfo of spacex and sfo -- tesla. -- chief ofks, staff reince priebus, steve adviserand senior stephen miller. the breakfast was an opportunity for the president to hear ofectly from america's top the flanders the challenges they are facing and get some egyptians about what policies and actions can be taken to help
them create jobs and grow our manufacturing base. the meeting included a great exchange of ideas and the president has decided to reconvene the group in a month and have been the on a quarterly basis. president's mission is to reduce american trade deficits. he has appointed a tough and smart number of trade experts who will fight on behalf of american workers. with that vision in mind, the president has taken several steps today. issued a presidential memorandum withdrawing the united states from the transpacific partnership. tpp is a multilateral agreement that includes the united states and 11 other countries. at the president said many times, this type of multinational agreement is not in our best interest and he is moving quickly to pursue trade policies that increase the competitiveness of the american worker. this ushers in a new era of u.s.
trade policy in which the truck administration will pursue bilateral trade policies with countries around the globe. additionally the president issued a memorandum reestablishing the mexico city policy, stating that the united states will end the use of taxpayer funding to fund
abortions overseas. this maranda counters at the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce over recent years. it prevents filling vacant positions and creating new positions except when necessary to meet national or public security responsibility. it is not apply to military personnel and it ensures that the american taxpayers get effective and efficient government. earlier today the president spoke with the egyptian president to discuss ways to keep the bilateral relationship
fight against's terrorism. remains thisates -- workingted to the with egypt to ensure that egypt continues the fight against terrorism. the president also congratulated egypt's president and discussed helpthe united states can egypt's economic reform program. plans to had discussed advance the president's legislative agenda to make america safer and more prosperous. also today the president made designations to acting head of department to remain constitute
-- attendees include compliment of the united brotherhood of carpenters, sean, president of the construction trade department, kerry sullivan, president of the labor and national union of north america, the president of the united association, frank spencer, united brotherhood carpenters, doug, united president of the united brotherhood of carpenters, joseph, the general president of the chief metalworkers union, the heat and frost insulators and allies workers local 24, the united association, the sheet , the workers union
president has been honored to receive tremendous report -- support from working men and women on election day and is dedicated to growing -- deepening their support. the offshore inc. of american jobs and lack of economic growth in recent years has hit american workers particularly heart and the president's top priority is to retain and attract american beenwhich have already seen on his actions with carrier, general motors, and more. at 5:00 the president will host a bicameral, bipartisan meeting that will include the vice president, senate minority leader, senate minority whip, house speaker, house majority leader, house democratic leader, the white house chief of staff, and chief of staff from those prospective offices. the purpose of the meeting is to get the president's agenda movie through congress.
the american people are frustrated with the lack of progress here in washington. he is taking every opportunity to forge strong bonds with congressional leaders on both sides of the all. one of the other subjects is the status of the nominees. it is important to note that at this point in 2009, president obama had seven of his nominees confirmed on day one and five more in the first week. as it stands, we have two. thecrats even held up approval of mike pompeo, leaving one of our most important national security agencies without its top leader on day one. it is time for democrats to talentedsident trump's group of cabinet nominees to get to work on behalf of the american people. today schedule, after the reception i mentioned, he will have dinner and a meeting with the house speaker
paul ryan and they will discuss the house legislative agenda going forward. nominated the next secretary of the air force. he grew up in new hampshire and made history as part of the -- she grew up in new hampshire and made history as part of the third u.s. air force women's class in u.s. history. she served on the national security office under president george h.w. bush. large audiences here, so i want to tell you about an effort we are undertaking here in the present briefing room to offer up more access to a group of journalists around the country. i'm excited to announce we are going to have for skype seats here in the briefing room that will open up the briefing room to journalists who lives 50 miles or beyond the washington dc area. welcome toation is
apply for a day pass. we want to open up the field to a diverse group of journalists from around the country who do not have the funds or convenience to travel to washington. this gives a platform to voice is not based here in the beltway. looking ahead, the president will have a breakfast with the auto industry including head of gm, chrysler, and ford. he looks forward to hearing their opinions about how we can bring more jobs back into this industry in particular. on wednesday, the president will host a swearing-in ceremony for the new secretary of homeland security general john kelly and on friday we will do the same for secretary matches -- secretary matthis at the department of defense. he will love in his first foreign head of state, british prime minister may. with that, i look for to taking your questions.
we'll -- when will you start building the border wall? >> the president has noted this was a serious priority of his throughout the campaign. yesterday to work with congress on the appropriations avenue of that. he is doing everything he can to work on that as soon as possible. >> with obamacare, are you in forcing the mandate or not? >> the mandate? the president has made it clear that he is going to work with congress on how we can work to implement both the repeal and replace. policy or action the president could of taking, he chose to reinstate a sitting policy. does he see the reduction of abortions as an american value?
expect him toans put his hand on legislation that will be fund planned parenthood? >> the president has made it clear that he is a pro-life president. i think the reinstatement of this policy it insurers were standing up not just for life, the life of the unborn, but also for taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president and i think continue to further illustrate not just to the folks here in this country but around the world what a value we place on life. jennifer rodriguez. >> what did he mean when he said he would work to congress to get a special -- something, we don't know what it is, and when can we expect that to happen?
and when do we expect the white house spanish site to be back up? mr. spicer: two questions. let me start with the latter first. we hit the ground running on day one. we've done a lot of work on the website to make sure we are prepared to get as much information up as quickly as possible. we have the i.t. folks working overtime right now to continue to get all of that up to speed and trust me, it's just going to take a little more time but we will work piece by piece to get that done. president has been feared that he will prioritize the areas dealing with the immigration system, both building the wall and making sure we address people who are in this country illegally. the president is very clear that we need to direct agencies to focus on those that are in this country illegally and have a orord, a criminal record pose a threat to the american
people. that is where the priority will be and we will continue to work through the entire number of folks who are here illegally. right now the clear focus is on that. i want to ask you two questions. the president campaigned in the corporate tax cut rate of 15%. today when he met with business leaders he mentioned that tax rate would drop to somewhere between 15%-20%. is he moving the goalposts there in any way? and on government spending, there's been reports of $10 trillion over the course of 10 years. youhat accurate, and would be willing to ramp up entitlements to get there? mr. spicer: on spending, there lack of some degree of respect for taxpayer dollars in this town for a long time. what the president is showing through the hiring freeze is
that we have to respect the american taxpayer. us a ton ofding money and some people are working to or three jobs just to get by. is insultingwasted to the hard work they do to pay their taxes. that comes to your question in overall spending as well. we have to look at how we are spending the american people's tax money. what the landing teams have been doing is going to these agencies and departments and talking about ways that we can create greater efficiencies, eliminate duplicity, and maximize the tax dollar. wes more -- it's how do respect the american tax dollar more going forward. the president is a very successful businessman and negotiator. he's going to sit down and work with congress to get the best deal possible for american businesses so they can hire more
expand andwe can grow the economy. he's going to work with congress on that. he understands better than anybody how to negotiate a great deal. he's going to negotiate the best you on behalf of the american worker and on behalf of the american businesses that are hiring them. that was a lot of the focus that went on today. only supposed to last an hour. it overflow to another hour. he kept asking them, what ideas what regulations are stopping you from conducting more business? what are the ways that we can give you more market access to other countries around the globe? that is where his focus is going to continue to be. thate create a market benefits the american worker? it's about lifting up those jobs through higher wages.
>> elijah cummings confirm that president donald trump talk to him about the high price of prescription drugs. what does this -- when is this meeting on to be set, or is it coming up soon? will he meet with the full body of the congressional black caucus on these issues? mr. spicer: i'm not aware of that conversation. you're the president in the last couple of weeks talk about the price of pharmaceutical drugs and the need to get those prices down and bring manufacturing back in the pharmaceutical industry to benefit the country. it's an issue that he will continue to work on. reformrstands as we health care and repeal and replace obamacare, that getting hold of the cost of prescription drugs and to allow greater going to be a key part of it.
that is going to happen. what you are saying with respect isthe other meeting, it working day one here. it's going to start with the leadership. he's going to have a great conversation with them, but i think you're going to see a right of meetings with all groups. he is someone who really enjoys that kind of conversation. i think you will see a lot of meetings occur like the ones that he did today. the business leaders coming in, the union workers. it is interesting. the president was asking these folks today, how many of you have been in the oval office? three of them raised their hands. leaders, where hearing, we did not get a lot of attention. here it is day one and the president is reaching out to some of the best business leaders and union workers in line workers in bringing them in and saying i want to listen to what is going on in your life. what can we be doing to help you?
i listening president who is engaged in trying to figure out what policies and actions he can take, that the government can take, that he can work with congress to make people's lives better and make their security better, to make their economic security better. you're going to see a lot of that. that is what he did during the transition and that's what he is going to do going forward. he appreciates the ideas and opinions that come through the oval office or small groups where he gets to share their perspective and their ideas and opinions. that's what is going to continue to do later this afternoon. >> i want to go back to what the gentleman said about the mandate. theaid something about obamacare mandate. with the numbers in the news from an alteration day and on saturday, do you believe you have the mandate to be able to force through what you have talked about, displacing portions of obamacare that really subsidize a whole piece
of it to help low income people to have health care? is apicer: what we have mandate to make health care more accessible and lower cost. that's what the american people were promised under obamacare. it's not a question about a mandate or about forcing anything. it's about doing the right thing. it's about writing people what they have been promised. you go around this country and you look at market aftermarket market, they are down to one plan. that's not what the american people were promised. theany cases you're seeing rates go up 30% or 50%. that is not what they were promised either. is gone bipartisan support for this, to work with congress and take executive action where necessary to implement health care system that provides more people health care, truly allows them to keep the doctor and plan they are signing up for, lowers costs, create more competition. do i think he has a mandate?
sure, but it's not on this issue. all leaders have a mandate from the american people to fix the system and make it better. >> there is some discrepancy between what the russians are saying what the pentagon is saying on potential joint action. can you clarify that, and generally is the president open to joint action in dealing with the russians? i would refer you back to the department of defense. they are currently monitoring this and i would refer you back to them on this. the president has been very clear that he will work with any country that shares our interest in defeating isis, not just on the national security front but -- >> joint military actions with russia on syria? have a shared we national interest in that, sure, we will take it. >> on saturday he was talking
oilt the u.s. not needing and saying there would be another chance for that. what did he mean by that? the united too often states is going in with a lot of money and manpower and in many life, having both loss of -- we want to make sure our interests are protected member going into a country for a cause. it wants to make sure that america's getting something out of it for the commitment and sacrifice we are making. he has been very clear throughout the campaign that he is committed to making sure that the american people, the american taxpayer sees some benefit and ensures that our interests overseas are not just sending like checks, that were doing something that either protects america or is in our best interest. president planned to the action to greenlight
keystone xl and dakota access pipeline? , john mccain said it was a series mistake to do what the president did. the right thing to do, to repeal? mr. spicer: i think i said it. when you enter into these multinational agreements, you are allowing any country, no matter the size, to basically have the same stature as the united states in the agreement. we are basically on par with a very small companies are getting access to an amazing market with the united states, and in return, or negotiating at the lowest common denominator. when you look at big multinational -- multilateral agreements, they are not always in the best interest of the united states. parties in the agreement decide at any time they want to get out of the agreement or they are not being
treated fairly, they can renegotiate it much easier. in multinational agreements, that is not the case. the otherses all countries have to agree to an action or to let somebody out. that is not putting the u.s. interest purse -- first. i'm not going to get in front of the president's executive action but areas like dakota and the westone pipeline, areas that can increase jobs and economic growth and tap into america's energy supply more, that is something he has been very clear about. not only in the campaign but around thanksgiving he was talking about that being a big priority. that is one of those ones where the energy sector in our natural resources are an area where the president is very keen on making our that we maximize natural resources to america's benefit. energyod for american and for jobs and growth. >> before i get to a policy
question, a question about the nature of your job. is it your intention to always tell the truth from that podium, and will you pledge never to knowingly say something that is not factual? mr. spicer: it is. it is an honor to do this, and yes, i believe that we have to be honest with the american people. i think sometimes we can disagree on the facts. there are certain things that we may not fully understand when we come out, but our intention is never to lie to you, jonathan. you are in the same boat. there are times when you guys tweet something out or write a story and you publish a correction. that doesn't mean that you are intentionally trying to deceive readers and the american people, does it? affordede should be the same opportunity. there are times when we believe something to be true or we get something from an agency or react in haste because the information that is available is but our desire to communicate with the american
people, so we do it. but when you look-net, we are going to do our best every time we can. if we make a mistake, we will do our best to correct it. day, ittioned the other is a two-way street. there are many mistakes that the media makes all the time. they don't report something, they get a fact wrong. don't think you should turn around and say you are intentionally lying. i think we all try to do our best job with the degree of integrity in our respective industries. question you have any corrections or clarifications that you would like to make? the ri issue of metrodersh. ip -- like the issue of metro ridership. mr. spicer: we were trying to
provide numbers that we had been provided. >> do you stand by your statement that it was the most watched inaugural? mr. spicer: sure. it was the most watched inaugural. one network along got 16.9 million people online. tens of millions of people watched it online. the audience that was here, 31 million people watching on television, combined with the tens of millions of people that watched it online or on a device, it is unquestionable. i don't see any numbers that dispute that. total audience including tablets, phones, on television, i would like to see any information that proves that otherwise. do you dispute that? >> i don't want to get into numbers. >> i do. i'm just saying if you're asking
about my integrity, i'm saying if you add up the network streaming numbers, youtube, face book, all the various streaming numbers that we have information on, i don't think there's any question that it was the largest watched inauguration ever. i'm pretty sure that reagan didn't have youtube, facebook, or the internet. 41 million people watched his. let's just take the nielsen ratings which are 31 million and million. cnn, 16.9 that's a little higher. numbers,sking me for there are just two entities together. >> the approach that you took on saturday, any second thoughts on that? mr. spicer: i came out to read a statement, and i did it. i'm here today, i will stay here as long as you want. [laughter] mr. spicer: i think you guys
might want to leave before i do. but i want to make sure that we have a healthy relationship. i'm not trying to rehash history, but you are asking the question, so i'm going to answer it. we had a tweet go out about martin luther king. think about how racially charged that is. someone rushes out and says to the entire press corps that the president of the united states has removed the bust from his office. think about what this signal -- hold on. my colleagues, that is the exact quote. that report. tweeted around. where was the apology to the president of the united states? to millions of people who saw that and thought how racially insensitive that was. where was that apology? i'm asking, where was that apology? i'm just saying that when things
when he sayspened, he's never missed an inauguration and he has. we have to make sure that we correct the record. when you talking about integrity and telling the truth and facts, i don't know that it was malicious at all, but there's a point at which we have a right to go out there and correct the record. over and over again, there's this attempt to go after this president and say that cannot be true and that is not right and the numbers were not there. it was a rush to judgment every time, and it's a two-way street. andant to have a healthy open dialogue with the press corps in the american people about what he's doing to help this country and unite it. he keeps talking about uniting this nation, bringing people together. tweet to a few
thousand people saying he removed the bust of martin luther king, how do you think that goes over? i think you saw from the response the other day, he walked into the cia, people were hooting and hollering, they gave him a five-minute standing ovation. there is a difference between having differences with intelligence leaders and leaders of that community who had strong differences with him, then the people and men and women who toil every single day in our intelligence community. and it was reflected at the cia. they were so excited, there was a thousand people that applied for 300 plus seats. we ended up taking 400 people. they were excited, they were clapping and cheering when he walked in. soundur reports made it like there was some fencemending that needed to happen. i'm going to move on.
>> what is the u.s. strategic interest in moving the u.s. embassy in tel aviv to jerusalem? today -- in the chat today, with the status of the muslim brotherhood discussed? mr. spicer: i gave you the readout on the call and that speaks for itself, what was discussed. >> what is the u.s. strategic interest in moving the embassy? as i noted yesterday, there's no decisions. we are in the early stages of that decision-making process. >> will there be a detailed discussion when prime minister may comes on friday on what a trade deal might look like? stopped from going to get a state visit back to the u.k. later in the year? mr. spicer: we are here working on day one. we are excited that prime minister may is coming on
friday. i'm sure there will be a discussion on trade. i'm sure we will have an opportunity to brief you out. i don't believe we have any plan for joint dress conference, but that something our team will be working out with prime minister may, and we will keep you updated on that. specific steps will president trump take to expand u.s. trade opportunities abroad? mr. spicer: he's going to have a great conversation about the potential for greater trade with the u.k. i mentioned earlier when he met with these many factors this morning, that was right at the top of the list. how can we get greater market access? what are the specific challenges these manufacturers are facing getting market access around the globe? is not just other countries, but within existing trade deals, we can figure out, is there a trade dispute that can be settled with the wto?
.here is a lot that can be done there are things that congress areupdate to make sure we importing and exporting more to benefit american businesses. >> will the president have even an informal chat with the prime minister before she comes here? mr. spicer: there are no plans for that now. it's always possible. he's been having a tremendous number of calls, i think well over 80 now, the people who are called to congratulate him. he's met with canada and mexico and he talked to prime minister netanyahu yesterday. there will continue to be a robust number of world leaders. there is a tremendous excitement in the diplomatic corps and at the world leader level of people who are excited that president trump and this administration want to engage.
there's a lot of times when he's talking to these folks and saying i have not heard from anyone in years. there's a genuine excitement to reengage the united states, especially in the area of trade and other economic interest but also international security. >> needless to say this is the big one, and it is the first. pp was dead on arrival, so why is this anything more than symbolic? when will he start approaching it could be giving time to make an inroad. mr. spicer: i would argue that bilateral deals is most of what china has been engaging in. most of them we have existing trade agreements with to begin with. this was an expansion of that in some areas, whether service
industry or financial services, it allowed additional market access. this is not a deal that was in our country's best interest. a president could have come into office and renegotiated it and send people back to the drawing board. it had not gone to congress yet because it was not finalized. this president pulling out of the agreement is not just about this one agreement. i think it is symbolic both here in america and around the world of a new era in trade policy, one that will put american workers first and foremost, and one that assures the rest of the world that the way we negotiate bilateral agreements is going to ensure that we get something out of these deals. the problem with multilateral agreements is that often it becomes the lowest common denominator on so many things. the u.s. already has low tariffs and other service industry benefits for countries. we have to be sure were going out in fighting for the american
worker. .e pulled out of tpp we will have further updates on trade issues later this week. >> does the administration feel like you still need an executive order to remove yourself from nafta? a greater: that's question. i believe there is a provision where you send notice to the other two countries, the exact nature of how that is described, i don't know, but there is a ofgger within nafta, one these sections allows the president of the united states to notify them that we intend to do that. were -- will there still be a north american trade block? mr. spicer: he has already spoken to the president of mexico and the prime minister of canada about his desire to renegotiate. as he meets with both of these individuals over the next 30 days or so, that will be the topic.
if they come in and expressed a willingness to do that, you could negotiated within the current parameters and updated through the existing structure. if they don't, and he decides to pull out, then we would have to go back to the drawing table in the future. >> just to follow up on the china question, china actually has a regional remit and now japan australia talking about joining that. does president trump see a national security component to these trade deals and easy concerned that china will write the rules for asia-pacific trade? mr. spicer: he has been very clear about china's place in the geopolitical landscape economically and national security wise. so he understands, that's part of the reason bilateral trade is important.
again, he's always going to be fighting for the interest of the country and american worker. how we engage and with whom is going to be decided on whether we can get a deal that benefits our country economically and in terms of national security. if there are things we can do economically that actually end up also benefiting us from a national security standpoint because of the economic relationship that exists between the two countries. >> what is the average national unemployment rate? the overall unemployment rate. mr. spicer: the bureau of labor statistics puts it at -- there are ways that you can put out full employment. there is reason we put out several versions of that. naturethe illustrative of how you count the unemployed,
whether or not they are long-term unemployed or whether they are still seeking a job. but there's a reason you put out several statistics, it so that economist can view them and look at different landscape on how to make economic policy. >> at one point during the campaign he said it was 42%. the economic team is going to look at a multitude of statistics. his goal is to get as many americans working, that's his ultimate goal. the people who are hurting, who are unemployed, who cannot say for their kids future, that are having trouble with the health care costs, that's what he really cares about. it's not just a number to him. are their wages going up, can they find a better job, do they have access to education, whether it's college or a vo-tech kind of school so they can train for the skills of the next century?
is not focused on statistics as much is whether or not the american people are doing better as a whole and as a family. carrier,alked about that is a thousand jobs. season, thoseiday people were unbelievably ecstatic that the president and vice president intervened. so every one of these meetings that you saw happen in trump tower, and now whether it's 2000 jobs are 20,000 jobs, that is the focus. it's making sure sure thatking american workers can have their wages lifted up, that the benefits that they receive in health care and education are something that provide them the support they need. but that's what this is all about. for too often in washington, we get our heads wrapped around a number and a statistic. and we look at, and we forget the faces and families and businesses that are behind those numbers. and so i think that's where his head's at, is trying to look at who come to his
rallies, that he's met with in person, that are struggling, and say, mr. trump, i'm working as hard as i can. i'm working two jobs, doing ierything by the rules, and keep getting screwed. that's what he's fighting for, is that man or woman out there that's doing everything they can right, but can't catch a break. and i think he addressed that in his inaugural speech when he talked about shifting power outside of washington d.c. back people.merican for too long it's been about and it's been about what number are we looking at as are we to what face looking at. >> on d.a.c.a., i was just the message to young people who may not qualify. should they enroll, going forward, those who are in the program now, seek removal? think -- what those people should know is that the president has laid out a list of priorities. the priorities are focused on making sure that people who done harm, or have
have a criminal record, are the focus. we've got a series of individuals who we've got to figure out, people who have visas,yed their committed crimes. we're going to go through that very systemic way. the focus is going to be on people who have done harm to our country. the hottest year on record in the last -- and the last three have been the hottest three on record. scientists say we're getting dangerously close to the point human civilization is threatened. to does mr. trump plan address this? >> i think he's going to meet with his team, figure out what for the are best environment. one of the things he talked about during the campaign is there's a balance. and he's trying to make sure we use our resources appropriately, that we maximize things to make we don't do so at the detriment of economic growth and there's aon, so balance. i don't think it's an either/or situation. sure we're doing
things smart for the environment as well as make sure that we're jobg things that create creation. >> what is the president's message to the millions of washington and around the country who were on saturday? and a follow-up after that. >> okay. very polite of you. has a healthy respect for the first amendment. know, -- this is, you what makes our country so beautiful, is that on one day inaugurate a president, on the next day, people can space to protest something. he's also cognizant that a lot were there toe protest an issue of concern to them and not against anything. dingle was onbie television, talking about -- i inaccurately quote her. she said, different women were reasons, butferent they were all there to make sure their core american values are be protected.
i think many people like me were there for positive reasons and i president shares debbie dingle's views, that there were people who came to the mall, as they do all the time -- i think he reaches out to them in the way he started on won thet that he election. on the way he did on sending aon day, by message that talks about fighting for them. but more importantly, i think to showident is going through action and success that he's fighting for them and every american. we've the things that seen so often in this town is a lot of rhetoric about how much people care. think the president is going to show, through deed and action and success, that he for people'st health care. he wants to have a better education system. he wants a stronger america. he wants to go in and fix our inner cities. he wants to make sure our roads, ourure, our bridges -- i think more than anything, showing people through ision and deed and success where he's gonna prove to the american people how much he unite us and how much
he cares to make this america better and safer. >> the follow-up on the other this, another group -- >> i forgot. you did ask. >> i did. thank you for remembering. another group, just to follow up on the question a moment ago, lifewe have the march for here in washington, you said this is a pro-life president. concrete promises is he making? we haven't heard a lot object what that policy is going to look like. one.'s day >> yeah, but you've had a lot of time to make those promises. >> i know. but i think -- >> what should their expectation be? >> that he's going to stand up life, born or unborn, same as he said throughout the last year and a half, that he's up, protect life, promote it, and instill policies life, adoption, that help support young women, that help support funding of clinics that support women's health. i think that's what he's gonna all ofout, supporting life, the born, unborn, throughout life, making sure that we have health care that
support the american people and the american families. that's what he's gonna fight for. what he's going to be clear on. >> two questions. one, with the congressional meeting today and also at the retreat, you said, legislativet his agenda, besides health care, can or threeus one, two, legislative things that he wants to get through right away? >> right. immigration is obviously going to be high on that list. reform. regulatory reform. that's three and four. >> and immigration is not an overhaul, though? >> i think he's going to work the congress to get appropriations process going. it's not just building the wall. enact policies to make sure that what we have now doesn't happen again. with them.rking it's a comprehensive look at how we're keeping people out of this shouldn't be here, that people who come to visit are leaving when they're sure we're, to make
tailoring immigration policies, openke sure we're not an door for anyone to just walk in. that people who are here to our economy, are coming in, but i think we have to do immigration smartly. looking at.he's >> i had a second one. >> i'm sorry. you're right. that you haveeard said or someone else has said specifically, will the president -- has the president any of the intelligence agencies about the investigation into the russian and will he allow that to go on? >> i don't believe he has spoken aboutone specifically that. and i don't know that he has -- he has not made any indication he would stop an investigation of any sort. >> clarification. you said you're willing to work defeat they to islamic state. does that include bashar al-assad? think what it's -- we're going to smartly do this. clear. let's be part of it is to make sure they have america's interest in what they're doing and who they are.
so we're not going to get together with people under the isis, ifdefeating that's not truly their guise. so let's not take that too far. you. >> will the president release he hasts showing that left his -- >> i believe we have. >> left his businesses? >> yes. he has resigned from the he wouldas he said before he took office. fully inrica are charge of the company. >> the president -- the political priorities, what would message for the hispanic community in the u.s., taking one ofnsideration that the priorities has been the wall? relationd be the between this administration and the -- hispanic community in the u.s.? >> i think his relationship with the hispanic community is going great.
whether it's jobs or education or health care, the president is uniting all americans and working towards a better, safer, more secure, more prosperous america that benefits everybody. regardless of your background. he'ss something that committed to. yes? >> does mr. trump agree with rex that the u.s. should try and prevent china from accessing the islands in the china sea, runways and other kinds of facilities they're building? the south areas in china sea that are part of international waters, i think the u.s. is going to make sure protect our interests there. it's a question of, tb those if those islands are in fact in international waters and not china proper, we're sure we defend international territories from one country.ver by >> would you prevent china from -- >> i think i answered the question. i think as we develop further,
information.re >> thank you. >> i'll get to you, i promise. >> and welcome to your first day job.e >> thank you. >> very simply, there was an about jerusalem and the u.s. embassy there. lot of talk about executive orders. is this something the president by executiveh order? >> it is. but i think as i noted, john, it's very early in this process we're at the beginning stages and his team is going to continue to consult with stakeholders as we get there. >> so i have a follow-up on the housekeeping question about nafta. are we not to expect an executive order to renegotiate or will he wait until he meets with the president next week? he other question i had is, didn't mention latin america at speech.is inauguration does he plan to visit latin america this year? part, i thinkirst
we'll have further announcements week.de throughout the i think we're done with executive orders for the day. say, stand by. we do not have any intention to have additional executive orders today. but i believe there could be some additional ones throughout the week on trade. and we'll have further updates you on there. and then the second part? >> if he plans to visit latin that he left them out on his inauguration speech. >> well, i don't think he -- i don't think he left them out. he was focused on this country, our american workers. got into detail on any countries that i'm aware i can recall. i also think we're here on the first working day. announcing theresa may coming this fre friday. the primeted to have minister here. we already talked about setting up a meeting with canada and mexico. to prime minister netanyahu about having him come over. and president el-sisi. we'll get there.
lot of calls to return. there's a lot of excitement throughout the world. and a lot of people who are both to come here and to have the president visit them. yes, sir? week, the republicans, the republican group, delivered a white paper of the trump team urging the president to maintain an executive order from obama, banning lgbtq work discrimination against contractors. maintain this executive order? >> i don't know on that one. i'll have to get back to you on that one. know that we've gotten that far on the list of executive orders. but i'd be glad to get back to you. >> the president won't rescind them? >> i just don't know the answer. i'll try to get back to you on that one. immigration, he seemed to suggest that an executive order, the d.a.c.a. program, has been ruled out. is that officially ruled out, as forward?go
>> yes. >> and does the president support action in congress that essentially permanently protections?se >> i don't have anything further on the executive action front. but i think i've asked and piece ofthe d.a.c.a. this in terms of his priorities right now. >> does he support that legislation? inwe don't have anything front of us right now to sign on that. so give us a little bit of time. see what congress moves forward with. then we'll have a further readout. >> what's the status of the refugee resettlement program? >> i don't know. i'll have to get back to you on that one. i think the best thing to do thed be to contact department of state. >> we got an exit for american companies. does president try to improve the access to the -- [inaudible] >> by taking negotiations by any other means? toi think he's going increase market access wherever he can. he's in the process of reviewing our community trade
agreements. and looking at potential bilateral options going forward. it's in the e.u. or the the-pacific arena or in middle east, he's going to figure out where we can expand u.s. market access. that's what today's decision really start to show, that it's not about multilateral under a trump administration. it's about bilateral agreements, when we can figure out, country to country, how can we fight for the american worker, gain them to another market that is going to benefit our large and markets. >> why did the president choose the british prime minister as the first foreign leader for him to meet, and can we take from that he intends to make the relationship even closer? >> i think we've always had that relationship with britain. and he's gonna -- and that inlects in his first visit, the prime minister's first visit here. he's had a great conversation looks forward to
having her here. we can always be closer. >> what kingd of relationship -- what kind of relationship is trump looking for -- and on taiwan's issue, what kind of is he going to make on... please?s the last part, >> taiwan country relations. >> well, i think on china, he what a big market that is for u.s. goods and services when he met with the of alibaba a couple weeks ago, that was part of the point. it's not aes, two-way street. there's so many chinese businesses and individuals frankly who can have ease of access in the united states to sell their goods or services. think that whether or not you're talking about the financial services or the banking, you know, the other industries or manufacturing goods and services, or some of the i.p. problems that we have with china, that it really is not a two-way street. so he understands the market
china has. and our desire to further penetrate that market. there's a lot of concerns with how we are treated entering into china's market and we need to that. yes, ma'am? i think we'll have further updates on that. asking about -- part of the thinking of t.p.p. was to encircle china economically and i wonder if the president has a little bit about what kind of bilateral relationship in the region, the trade accomplish awould similar goal? and secondly, i heard you talking about nafta and a trigger, but i didn't hear you say you had triggered the trigger. >> we have not triggered the trigger. hasn't happened. we have existing relationships with many, many of the countries 12-nation makeup of t.p.p. and i think we're going to continue to explore how we can, in some cases, strengthen those relationships or look for bilateral agreements with oneons, that we didn't have
through t.p.p. >> sean, congratulations. you.ank >> social security and infrastructure. on social security, the president will be meeting with congressional leaders. what's he gonna do, given his campaign promise on not touching when paul ryan and mitch mcconnell send a bill that he included in a funding package, various cuts in security? and in infrastructure, has it radar screen or is it going to be a priority for the president? >> on security, i think he's with his clear priorities in terms of preserving and protecting this really important benefit to our seniors. he understands -- i mean, employed so many people over the years. he understands the struggles that people have later in life to make ends meet. i think he is keenly aware of program is tothis so many people in their later years. so he's going to continue to
fight to make sure that's a program that is preserved and protected. then on the infrastructure, of course, yes, he's continued to bring that up. he talked with the business executives today about how so many of our airports that are so to our comerg commerce system, getting planes to land roads, their ability to truck things across the country, if our infrastructure it inhibits our ability to have free commerce. coststs -- drives up the of goods and services when someone's got to take a different route or is limited in the opportunities they have because a runway might be closed or a rail line breaks down or, know, a highway is just not -- the wear and tear it puts on trucks. infrastructure continues to be a huge priority for him. >> two questions. national security council, staffing of the national security council, when do you to have those positions filled? >> we've got many of them
filled. to get back to you on the number, but it's fairly rebust. of holdovers.ot general flynn has been working that'stly to make sure filled out, ready to go. he's had countless meetings with and had several folks detailed over. robusts a very, very effort from day one. >> and to follow up on john you's question, so are retracting your claim on saturday that it was the largest crowd in person? said.t's not what i >> well, you said -- this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe. >> right. around the and globe. yes. total audience, it was. >> total audience, but not in person. >> but that's -- right. but, again, i didn't say in person. around theson and globe, to witness it. >> you're saying those together? >> no. i said.ctually what ha ha! it's not what i -- i don't know how you can interpret it differently.
literally what i said. to witness it in person and around the globe. total audience, yes. >> but not in person? >> hold on. hold on. not -- but you're saying here, just to clarify, you're not saying and you weren't saying on saturday that it was the largest inaugural crowd in person? >> i am not. was the total largest audience, witnessed in person and around the globe. yes, sir. >> let's go back to one other said.you you're telling the news, knowledge of who was in the room, lobby at the c.i.a., that senior leadership were not among those hooting and hollering and there were some 40 people who were in the front rows who trump andht in by pence and pompeo? to like to give you a chance respond to that reporting. >> i don't think that's accurate. i think if you listen to the audio, you can hear the that exists there. there were some people that had to be off camera for obvious
when youbut i think look at the number of people who were there, the audio alone speaks volumes about what happened. i don't think there's any question about that. >> so the people in the front, keerm, those on were -- on camera, those were c.i.a. employees? >> honestly, i don't have a chart. i think we had a very small footprint going over there. went't know exactly who over. maybe 10 people at most. sarah was there. 10? we'r10 were in the travel, going over. so 10 of 400. >> but the people in the front rows, those were c.i.a. employees? >> some. >> some. so some were not? >> i'm sure we seated -- i can't i'm not really sure why this matters. i mean, 10 people didn't yell that loud. know, you said they hollering,g and there's not this rift between the intelligence community and the president? because senior authorities within the intelligence communities are telling the news they're uncomfortable with that that --l and the notion
>> all i can do is tell you to listen to the tape alone. i think you can hear a lot of that. >> a couple questions. i know you've within here for been here for a while. has the president formally advice onentagon stats? islamic state? >> i think he'll be in the department of defense to swear in general mattis, to go through the ceremony of that. ofis obviously the secretary defense. and so, you know, at that time, he will continue to have conversations about what he wants from them and the joint chiefs. follow-up, i don't mean to beat a dead horse on the embassy and u.s. israel, can you -- at the end of the president's first four years, if he's -- at the end of the next four years, will the united states embassy be in jerusalem? >> well, i think i've answered it twice now. we are at the early stages in
this decision making process. >> it's not whether, it's when and how? >> there's a reason you go through a decision making process. that's what we're in the process of starting right now. i just don't want to get ahead of -- if it was already a decision, we wouldn't be going through a process. say --you did >> i just answered the question. jim? >> first of all, congratulations. and thanks for taking the questions. getting back to saturday at the your statement here at the podium, why make this crowd size issue something to talk about at all? and why get into it? bother the president that much that he felt that you needed to come out here and out for us?hat and why did he choose the c.i.a. venue to talk about that? >> so two things. one, all of the people were no one in the front row was trump. c.i.a.re all >> front row. >> that's what you asked. >> i said first three rows. >> okay. i'll find out who the other two
were. i'm sorry. i just got you the front row. we're going to get to the fourth and fifth? okay. let me see what i can do. look, i think one of the things happened, jim, was that he kept hearing about this rift that existed. about it a couple weeks ago, after his briefing, how proud he is and how much he the intelligence community. and i think when he walked into it, he wanted to make sure that people knew that what you're hearing in or in reports about this rift, i have the utmost respect for you. service.our i'm proud of what you're doing and the sacrifices you're making. and i think he wanted them to hear all you see and this stuff on t.v. about this exists.t is so-called, clearly it doesn't matter, like don't believe what you're hearing, know i have a amount of respect for you. i appreciate everything you're doing. and i think that's why he wanted it, to make sure they heard firsthand how much he respects them, how much he
to dispel the myth that there was a rift. >> but in terms of the crowd issue, why bring that up at the c.i.a. and why did you come out saturday afternoon to talk about that? did he tell you, sean, i'm upset about this -- get intot going to conversations i've had with the president. but i will tell you, it's not crowd size.he it's about, he's not going to run. he runs, he can't win. then if he won -- oh. theme tothis constant undercut the enormous support he has. i think it's just unbelievably frustrating when you're continuing told it's not win.enough, you can't and -- hold on. because i think it's important. he's gone out there and defied the odds over and over and over again. and he keeps getting told what he can't do. by this narrative that's out there. and he exceeds it every single time. and i think there's an overall frustration when you turn on the againsion over and over
and get told that there's this narrative that you didn't win, run, you't going to can't pick up this state. that's a fool's errand to go to pennsylvania. is he in michigan? how silly. they'll never vote for him. republican hasn't won that state since '88. then the next narrative, must this.een because of then, oh, john lewis is the first person to skip his inauguration. not true. and over and over again, the m.l.k. bus, i think over and there's this constant attempt to undermine his credibility and the movement that he represents. and it's frustrating for not just him but i think so many of work toare trying to get this message out. and so i mentioned this to jonathan. two-way of this is a street. like we want to have a healthy with you but just with the american people, because he's fighting for jobs, fighting to make this country safer. when you're constantly getting told that can't be true, we doubt that you can do this, won't happy, and that's --
this won't happen, and that's the narrative, it's a little frustrating. and i think for those people around him, senior team thecially, but so many of other folks that are either here in the administration, that gave up their time during the tonsition, they left a job work for three, four weeks because they're so committed to nominees get through, it's a little demoralizing to the t.v. and hear, can't do this, this guy's not going to get confirmed -- >> isn't that just part of the conversation that happens in washington? and -- >> no, no. look, i've been doing this a long time. you've been doing this too. like this,seen it jim. and, again, i'm not looking to go back and forth. but you're asking for an explanation. and i think it's important to whether it's the president himself, the haven't vicepresident, the senior team, volunteers, or the people who are out there just in america for him or walked the
toeets or put up a sign, constantly be told, no, no, no, yes,o hear him go, yes, yes, it gets a little frustrating. seei think -- and so you this historic thing. there at the capitol and you look out. and it's an amazing view. so many people who got in long lines, who had to go stuff all this different to get in, and that was for the first time that we did have to fencing, that far out. and then to hear, well, look at shot, it wasn't that big. it's a little demoralizing, because when you're sitting out, and you're in awe of just how awesome that view is and how many people are go back and you turn on the television and you see shots, comparing this and know -- and, you then you look at the stuff that's happening, the nominees democrats.t out, the
there are two cabinet officials, ladies and gentlemen, that are taking their office today. the c.i.a. and a director that was considered a consensus candidate wasn't approved. where's the story? >> isn't it that you got bigger fish to fry? why worry about a couple of crowd size? >> that's what i'm saying. you're minimizing the point here, jim. tweet, notout one about one picture. it's about a constant theme. it's about sitting here every time and being told, no. can doe don't think he that. he'll never accomplish that. he can't win that. it won't be the biggest. that good.e the crowds aren't that big. he's not that successful. defaultative and the narrative is always negative. and it's demoralizing. siti think that when you here and you realize the sacrifice the guy made of successfulery, very business, because he really cares about this country, and he your to -- despite
partisan differences, he cares about making this country better for everybody. to make it safer for everybody. so when you wake up every day and that's what you're seeing and over again and you're not seeing stories about the puttingfolks that he's in or the success he's having trying to keep american jobs here, yeah, it is a little disappointing. so i just -- you know -- >> it's always going to be positive? >> no. sometimes we'll make mistakes, i promise you that. but it's not always gotta be jim.ive, some days we do do the right thing. some days we are successful. it's not -- part of this is saying, when we're right, say we're right. when we're wrong, say we're wrong. but it's not always wrong and negative. are things -- there's a lot of things he's done already, a lot of amazing people he's a lot of success he's having. and it would be nice, once in a to sayfor someone just report it straight up. he appointed this person. background.
not why they're not going to get nominated, not why it's not gonna happen. >> thanks, john. >> hold on. one last thing. hold on. getting-- i know we're really into like facts, so just to be clear, there were no trump house folks sitting down. they were all in the c.i.a. one throughws anything, from what i'm told. hold on. want to -- i've got halle. john, you've got one. give me a second. questions here, if you don't mind. first one on russia, the administration was -- were those conversations
about anything else? why has that conversation not happened?
been one call talking about for subjects. one was the loss of life that occurred in the plane crash. -- number was the three was to talk about syria. and to talk about after the inauguration, setting up a call between president clinton
and president vladimir putin and president trump. they talked about how to facilitate that call. there has been a total of two calls. the second call came three days ago to say once he gets into office, can we set up that call. to my knowledge it has not occurred yet. i am saying is during the transition i asked general flynn
whether or not there were any other conversations beyond the ambassadors and he said no. >> a statement the president made on saturday, can you unequivocally state this administration will not send more troops into iraq to, as the president put it, take the oil. secretary spicer: he has not taken options update table. that is not a good negotiating skill. there is a reason has been successful, it is because he does not telegraph when he is putting on and taking off the table. -- "indiscernible -- end ofernible] -- at the president obama's
administration, the number of -- secretary spicer: i think will have a nomination in the next couple weeks. he will continue to make that a priority. i think you will see further action. this has been discussed. it is in his current decision-making process how he wants to handle that. president disagreed with the assessment of risk. did you -- what you say about his tweet about -- secretary spicer: he was talking about the process not the people. it is a different thing. [indiscernible] -- manipulator, posing
congressional term limits. -- secretary spicer: we will continue to sequence those out. we don't want to spend the entire day signing executive orders. we want to get the promises to the american people done posthaste but not in a way that jams up the firehose. give the american people's issues the attention they deserve. if we put them all out in one day, they get lost in the ether i think. he made these promises and pledges because they are important to him. so -- is the president going to shake up the leadership for the limits. term
secretary spicer: no decision has been made yet. >> on obamacare, has he finished his plans? , has he started ?o have conversations secretary's bicycle and obamacare, he will continue the discussion tonight with speaker ryan them particular. the -- i'mes to sorry the other part was not the. he discussed -- was nafta. he discussed with both leaders his desire to reform it but his goal is to have that discussion and person. the foreign minister of mexico will come to sort of set the table and have the meetings ahead of time.
now that he is officially in office -- secretary spicer: this is his first working day. he has been pretty robust and busy not just today but in the other two and half days. you will see a lot more come out. there are a lot of things that have to do done and a lot of things we're working on as a staff. they queue. i appreciate it. this was a good first one. go ahead. [crosstalk] inc. tomy question is i have gone two and inauguration balls. people --ose -- fortune 500
companies to and from india, my instion is where do we go europe and asia with business relationships? secretary speiser: thank you for the question. i think whether it is india or other countries, the goal is to figure out where we want to benefit the american worker and grow the industry. that is a place we will continue. we have a robust agenda. thank you. god bless. thank you. talking] [laughter]
[indiscernible conversation] announcer: next, the senate foreign relation debates and then votes on the nomination of >> tillerson. then, members of congress, business leaders and union leaders. later, the first white house briefing with press secretary sean spicer. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, pennsylvania republican congressman well discuss president trump's relationship with congressional republicans and the house agenda. then, we talk about the democratic agenda for the new legislative session.
we sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. tuesday morning. join me discussion. >> coming up tuesday morning, considering the nomination of georgia congressman tom price to be the next health and human secretary. you can watch on c-span3, c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. senior reporter with politico joining us from capitol hill were the house is taking up a bill on abortion funding. billfer, what would this do what and what is significant about the house picking it up this week. > this bill would prevent
federal money from going toward our abortion and would prohibit abortion coverage in obamacare or affordable care plans if they cover abortion. this comes because the march for life is scheduled for this weekend. specifically, in recent years when the house was by republicans. host: are they allowing any exceptions in the abortion will? jennifer: yes. for the life of the mother. and in cases of rape. beforebeen controversial because it was not in there but it is in this. senate has never taken those bills up under threat of veto by then-president obama. what is different this time? jennifer: president trump is more likely to sign this bill if it makes it to his desk. he has made it clear he wants to be a pro-life president. he went back and forth on some
issues like planned parenthood funding but over the weekend he issued essentially the mexico city policy or the global gag rule which prevents funding to go to nongovernment organizations that operate overseas if they do anything to promote or provide or even educate women about abortion seeingop host: we are the headline, trump revives funding bantu groups providing abortion overseas. what is the difference in the history and other administrations? this is interesting because every republican presidents and ronald reagan has policy within couple days of their inauguration. they have always rescinded. it always goes back and forth between republicans and democrats. president trump was expected to do this. we had it kind of planned in advance this would