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President Trump seems to be getting his legs back under him, pushing back on behalf of the forgotten Americans who suffer under the criminal gangs, aided and abetted by uni-party politicians and supposed civil rights groups, who have let the mask slip this year on their leftist core. At the same time, he is taking real action on regulatory reform that will be noticed in the suburbs.
- Monday, July 13: Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany the Monday press conference honoring the memories of two Texas police officers who were murdered as they responded to a domestic violence call, and the death of another baby by a bullet from urban thugs.
- Monday, July 13: President Trump met with a group of people who spoke up about the police being a positive force in their communities.
- Wednesday, July 15: President Trump announced results against MS-13 and pointed to next week for unilateral actions to address urban violence in cities controlled by Democrats who refuse to enforce real public safety on their own constituents’ streets.
- Wednesday, July 15: he rolled out a major administrative reform, not requiring any Congressional or court approval, to greatly shorten infrastructure project approval, making a difference in Americans’ lives. This will be felt in shorter commutes and safer driving conditions. At the same time, he slid in a critical attack on Biden and other leftists’ extortion scheme, tying highway funds to centralized planning, imposing multifamily housing and limiting single-family housing in the suburbs.
It is long past time for all of us, including the president, to make the daily refrain “Stand Up!“
Monday: Here is how the week started:
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany | 7/13/2020
Issued on: July 13, 2020
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:25 P.M. EDT
MS. MCENANY: Hello, everyone. President Trump will participate in a roundtable to hear stories of families positively impacted by law enforcement. That will be taking place shortly after this briefing concludes. The President stands with our police officers, our men and women across this country who valiantly patrol our streets and protect our protect our citizenry.
This President stands on the side of law and order to secure peace in our streets. That has always been his priority, and remains so today.
Tragically, this weekend, we saw a devastating ambush attack against brave law enforcement officers in McAllen, Texas: Officer Edelmiro Garza, Jr., who was 45 years old, and Officer Ismael Chavez, who was 39 years old. And while responding to a domestic disturbance call, Officers Garza and Chavez arrived on scene to protect the people that they serve. They were met with gunfire. They were ambushed by a violent and dangerous suspect who horrifically shot before they even drew their weapon or had a chance to call for backup.
We honor the lives and the service of Officer Garza and Officer Chavez. This President will always stand on the side of law enforcement and the heroes who protect and serve.
And with that, I’ll take questions.
[Predictably, the jackals had absolutely no concern for these two men of color, since their uniforms make them “white” in the uniparty’s eyes. Only Chanel Rion of One America News Network asked a real question in this press conference.]
MS. MCENANY: The argument is we will always put America first.
Q Thank you, Kayleigh. If you will expand on the difference between this time last month and now, when it comes to framing the discussion about law enforcement — last month, the President hosted a law enforcement roundtable, and at that roundtable, he said that he would not support defunding the police. And yet, one month later, we still have Democrat cities doing so — disbanding their police, defunding the police. How does the White House feel it should frame the debate now, with regards to defunding the police, so that a reasonable discussion can be had with these Democrat cities who are trying to do so?
MS. MCENANY: Yeah, it’s a very good question. We know that in Los Angeles, when they announced they would be defunding their police department by 150 million, they basically, immediately after, saw a 250 percent increase in homicides. When you have people out there, like Representative Ilhan Omar, saying, “We have to completely dismantle the police” and “police are cancer,” this is not how we should be talking about our heroes.
You have, most egregious of all, really, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying, Defund[ing] the police means defund[ing] the police.” She criticized, of course, the announcement of $1.5 billion being taken down from NYPD.
And this weekend, you know, when faced with — there were 28 shootings in New York, a 600 percent increase from this time last year — you have Representative Ocasio-Cortez saying this is just because people are trying to get food with their families. That is preposterous.
The reality is 63 percent of Americans in this country fear that criticism of our police departments will lead to no public safety in their streets, and 69 percent of black Americans. This is a real issue when you call our police “cancer,” when you talk about dismantling them. And then this weekend, in New York, you see a one-year-old killed in his stroller. His name was Davell Gardner, Jr. And that one-year- old will be in our prayers. Not only that — you see officers Garza and Chavez.
And to your question about how we should talk about the police and defund the police movement, the President stands against.
The two officers ambushed this weekend, one of them — Officer Chavez’s daughter wrote a very touching tribute online. She said, “Words cannot describe the pain I’m in, but I’m glad my dad is at peace. You were an amazing man and anyone who ever came across you knew that. I’m going to miss you so much. You died doing what you loved most. You died a hero.” And those touching words were written by Savannah Chavez, and I know she received vile and outrageous comments online that were absolutely atrocious for her touching sentiment to her dad.
I want Savannah to know: Your dad is a hero. His police department should never be defunded because most of our police officers are good, hardworking men and women, and heroes — much like Savannah’s dad. We’ll be praying for you, Savannah.
Thank you, guys.
END 1:49 P.M. EDT
Now, that last answer is weak sauce in terms of the question asked by a reporter representing the core of the voters who President Trump must get to turn out, and who must get other people to turn out for Trump in the presidential general election. The White House could have been stronger in the opening statement framing this week’s narrative. The president was preparing to host an event with people telling good stories about police helping them, and had a major announcement coming on Wednesday about removing gang leaders from the scene. The constant refrain should be “we stand up for . . . .”
The president spoke next, in an event that was not so strong from a visual perspective. The tight camera angle isolated President Trump from the expressions of the people he had invited to come to tell their stories. “Social distancing” is working entirely to the Fauci fraudster Democrats’ ends. Everyone had been tested on entry to the White House grounds, so there was no “scientific,” “medical” reason to create visuals that obviously weaken the power of a message that would contradict the Democrats and Bush/Ryan/McConnell/US Chamber interests.
Trapped in this Kafkaesque world, created in important part by Vice President Pence’s failure (again) as a leader, not forcing real public health policy to control the government bureaucrats’ “medical” recommendations and talking points, President Trump made the best of a poor hand, aided by media jackals who made his point by ignoring every one of these forgotten Americans. Consider the wide variety of examples presented, where police helped people in need. The DNC propagandists with press passes absolutely refused to engage any of the Americans who had come to the White House to tell their stories:
Remarks by President Trump in a Roundtable with Stakeholders Positively Impacted by Law Enforcement
LAW & JUSTICE | Issued on: July 13, 2020
2:14 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Great to have you here. Nice group. Some familiar faces. So thank you all very much for being at the White House. Very special house. Very special place. I’m grateful to be joined by citizens whose lives have been saved by law enforcement heroes. And that’s what they are: They’re heroes. And they’re being very unfairly treated over the last long period of time, but over the last few years. It’s terrible what’s happening.
We’re also joined by two amazing officers: South Carolina Deputy Sheriff William Kimbro. Where’s William? William? William? What happened to William? Okay.
MS. ROLLINS: Mr. President, he is holding a baby (inaudible).
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, okay.
MS. ROLLINS: The baby was crying, so he took (inaudible).
THE PRESIDENT: That’s a good excuse. That’s good. (Laughter.)
And Palm Beach County Deputy Sheriff Corey Reece. Hi, Corey. Good.
In recent weeks, our country’s police officers have been really under siege. I want to thank — first of all, I do want to thank Vice President Pence for all the work he’s done on this and, in particular, Attorney General Bill Barr, because the job he’s done has been amazing. It’s been — it’s been 24 hours a day. I guess I could say 28 hours a day. Right? It never ends, but it’s been a great job that you’ve both done. We appreciate it. Mike, we appreciate it very much.
But our officers have been under vicious assault, and hundreds of police have been injured and several murdered. You’ve been reading about it just like I’ve been seeing it.
Reckless politicians have defamed our law enforcement heroes as “the enemy.” They call them “the enemy.” They actually go and say they’re the enemy, and even call them “an invading army.”
These radical politicians want to defund and abolish the police from our nation. At first — when I first heard it, I said, “Well, that’s just something that they’re saying. That doesn’t…” But they actually are trying to do it. You look at what’s going on in Minneapolis, you look at what’s going in many, many Democrat-run areas. But they want to defund and they want to abolish.
Far-left mayors are escalating the anti-cop crusade, and violent crime is spiraling in their cities. It’s all far-left cities where they have no understanding of what has to be done. They don’t have a clue. And I will say that we put on a very powerful rule and law that you get 10 years if you knock down a monument. If it’s a federal monument, you go to jail for 10 years. And if it’s anything else, we tell them we work with the states to help them. But if it’s — if you do anything where it’s a federal monument — and there are a lot of them up there — and nobody has been attacked, nothing has been attacked since we did 10 years in jail, monument or statue.
In one recent week in New York City — this is hard to believe — shootings were up 358 percent, and yet they spend all their time — they want to do Black Lives latter [sic] — Matter signs outside of Trump Tower. They ought to spend their time doing something else, because I’ll tell you what: 358 percent increase in shootings in New York.
Last month, over 300 people were shot. NYPD retirements have quadrupled, and they’re going up even further. And New York City is out of control, unfortunately. My place, I love it, but it’s out of control. It was doing so well.
Rudy Giuliani — whether you like Rudy or not, he did a great job. He was the greatest mayor in the history of New York.
Murders in Atlanta are up 133 percent compared to the same period last year. And one of the victims was an 8-year-old girl, and we’ve had younger than that in Chicago last weekend.
In the last two weeks, 105 Americans were shot in Philadelphia. In Minneapolis, the city voted to disband the police department and cut it way down, but disband it ultimately. The radical politicians are waging war on innocent Americans. That’s what you’re doing when you play with the police.
My administration is pro-safety, pro-police, and anti-crime. And I will say — I just see a new number came in from Chicago — this weekend was a scourge. This weekend was — I guess 20 people killed in many, many shootings — many, many shootings. Far worse than the last week.
So things are happening that nobody has ever seen happening, happen in cities that are liberally run. I call them “radical lib.” And yet, they’ll go and march on areas and rip everything down in front of them.
If that’s what you want for a country, you probably have to vote for Sleepy Joe Biden, because he doesn’t know what’s happening. But you’re not going to have it with me. So we’ve been very strong on law enforcement. We’ll be doing things that you’ll be, I think, very impressed with. Numbers are going to be coming down even if we have to go in and take over cities, because we can’t let that happen.
When you have 20 people killed, 22 people killed in one weekend in Chicago, and you have 88 shootings — it’s not even conceivable. That’s worse than Afghanistan. I hate to say it: That’s worse than any war zone that we’re in, by a lot. It makes them look like tame places by comparison. So we’re not going to let it go on.
We’re not supposed to — you’re supposed to wait for them to call, but they don’t call. We’ve asked Chicago, “Would you like us to go in and help?” And they don’t want to say anything. And we’ve called many of the cities, “Would you like us to go and help?”
We’ve done a great job in Portland. Portland was totally out of control, and they went in and, I guess, we have many people right now in jail. And we very much quelled it. And if it starts again, we’ll quell it again very easily. It’s not hard to do if you know what you’re doing.
So I just want to thank everybody for being here. I’d maybe ask Vice President Pence to say a couple of words and then I’d like Bill Barr to say something, and we’ll go around the room. Okay?
Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President It’s — it’s a real privilege to be here with the law enforcement officers who are gathered here and families whose lives have been impacted so profoundly by the courageous efforts of men and women in law enforcement.
I can assure you that while some are talking about defunding the police, under this President and this administration, we’re going to defend the police and we’re going to back the blue, because we understand that while tragedies happen — and we’ll always look for ways that we can improve public safety, and the President has taken steps and taken executive action to provide new resources to improve public safety and law enforcement around the country — I want to assure you that you have a President who knows what the people gathered around this table know, is that most of the men and women who put on the uniform of law enforcement every day are the best people in this country. They risk their lives every day to make — to make a difference in our communities, just like they’ve made a difference in all of your lives.
And so I want to thank you all. I want to thank you for being here at this — and for this conversation, as the American people will greatly benefit by being reminded of the incredible contributions that our law enforcement community makes each and every day. And I appreciate your willingness to tell that story.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mike. Bill, please.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Thank you, Mr. President. First, let me say what an honor it is for me to serve under a President who is such a strong supporter of law enforcement.
I’ve said repeatedly that, to my mind, there is no more noble profession in our country than serving as a law enforcement officer. The police put their lives and wellbeing on the line every day for us, and their jobs have never been more difficult than it is today.
Today, we suffer many unprecedented social ills: kids growing up without fathers; alienated young, angry men; gangs engaged in the most brutal kinds of violence; increasing mental illness and homelessness; and a drug epidemic inflicting casualties beyond anything that we’ve experienced in a major war; and an increase in sexual assaults and child exploitation. You name it.
And who is expected to deal with all of this? As other institutions fail and abdicate their responsibility, who is expected to stand their ground and pick up the pieces? The police are. And that’s why I say their job — the job we ask them to do today has never been more challenging.
I believe it’s important to understand that, just like any other institution, there’s always room for improvement. And over the past several decades, there’s unquestionably been a lot of progress and reforms in policing. Its improved policing and life for the officers, their families, and their communities. We have the most professional police in the world.
Now, obviously, the event in Minneapolis was ghastly, and I haven’t heard anyone attempt to defend it. And it has rightly brought about an urge to make sure that we continue reforming and we finish the job. And I think that law enforcement understands and agrees that the concerns of the African American community regarding excessive use of force must be addressed. But we also have to be careful and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
And so extremist reactions like “defund the police” are trying to pull us in exactly the opposite direction of where we have to go. We have to give law enforcement more support, more training and resources. And I think the executive order that the President signed last month strikes exactly the right balance: It’s supportive of the police, and it also addresses legitimate concerns about excessive force.
So our nation needs to gain a renewed appreciation of the noble work done by our police officers in protecting our communities. And I thank the President for convening this roundtable to highlight the good work done by our men and women in blue.
Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Bill. I appreciate it. Maybe what we’ll do is we’ll go around the room, and maybe you could introduce yourself and explain exactly what’s going on. You have an incredible story. Please.
MS. BOYD: Hi, my name is Kemira Boyd. I’m from Charleston, South Carolina. Well, on June 11th, 2019, my baby started choking on breast milk, and I start — the first thing I started to do was just run out the house and jump in the car. While leaving out of my neighborhood, Officer Kimbro came. He was coming into the neighborhood and he immediately pulled me over. And we immediately jumped out, and he just took her from my arms and proceeded helping her. And, yeah, thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Saved her. Saved her. Really —
MS. BOYD: Saved her.
THE PRESIDENT: Wow. You don’t hear those stories. That’s why I think it’s important to have a meeting like this, a little different than it’s — it’s the meeting that we should have about 100 times out of almost 100. This is the one — because the police do such a great job. And there’s an example that’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. And did you know the gentleman on your left? Huh?
Come on. Let’s go. Let’s — let’s tell that story, please.
MS. BOYD: What do you mean? Like —
THE PRESIDENT: Now, did you — you know? Do you want to go ahead? Please. Yes, go ahead.
DEPUTY KIMBRO: Mr. President, Vice President, Attorney General Barr, thank you for having us here as distinguished guests. My name is William Kimbro. I’m from Charleston, South Carolina. I work for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. As Kemira was saying, on July 10th of 2019, while I was trolling the unincorporated district of Summerville, South Carolina, I came across Kemira and her grandmother speeding in the car. I conducted a traffic stop on that vehicle, and as soon as those vehicles stopped, the lady later identified — was it your grandmother, Kemira?
MS. BOYD: It was my stepmom.
DEPUTY KIMBRO: Oh, your stepmom had jumped out of the vehicle and was frantic and said, “My baby! My baby! She can’t breathe.” And I kind — kind of stepped back and I said, “What?” And, you know, the rest was captured on my body cam video that’s since gone viral. But as soon as I made entrance over — stepped up to Kemira, I instantly asked her for the baby, who is now my goddaughter.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, wow.
DEPUTY KIMBRO: And god-mom over there, Noni. Hi, Noni. Say hi, Noni. And — so, yeah, we’ve — we’ve been blessed and we just — it’s been a wonderful experience. Wonderful.
THE PRESIDENT: Great job.
DEPUTY KIMBRO: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s what I meant when I kiddingly said — (applause) — that’s what I meant when I kiddingly said, you know the gentleman on your left, because you really know him because —
MS. BOYD: Oh, okay. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: That’s what I meant. And great job you’ve done. Thank you very much, on behalf of all of us. And, Kemira, congratulations. That’s great.
MS. BOYD: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for being here.
MS. BOYD: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you both.
Please, go ahead.
MS. BOHON: It was about two weeks ago, I was lying in bed with my other three kids and — well, I forgot to introduce myself. Sorry. Sara Bohon. We have four kids, and we’re from Roanoke, Virginia.
I was lying in bed and my sister happened to be home. And my husband ended up calling her and asking her to count how many kids were home. And she got up and looked inside of my boy Spencer’s room, and he was not there, and his window was open.
And so we instantly saw that he was missing. And he is autistic, nonverbal, and doesn’t really have sense of danger. So when he goes missing, it’s like life or death. You got to find him as fast as you possibly can.
So we instantly called the police, and my husband rushed home from work. And they called the search dogs out, and within 12 minutes, they found him. He had ran up into the woods. Someone had spotted him sitting in the middle of the road. And he pulled over, and they tried to get him to come to him, but of course, he bolted and ran up into the woods. And following behind the dog, going in and out of the trees, it was actually really cool because I could imagine him doing that exact thing of going in and out of the trees and sliding down the creeks. And I’m sure he was having the time of his life because he was free.
But we were able to find him. And the dog’s ears perked up right when he was within 15 feet. And I yelled his name, and he sat down. And I instantly ran over to him and we were able to carry him back, and he was safe. And the only thing he had on him was four ticks, so he was good.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. So, again, the police did a great job, and the group did a great job. And — so Spencer has no sense of danger? So you would say, basically, he’s very brave. Okay? (Laughter.) View it — view it that way. Good.
[Here the president is giving the best public face to a family facing a lifetime of challenges with an autistic child.]
Thank you very much for being here. We appreciate it. Thank you.
MS. ROLLINS: Mr. President, thank you. I got to meet almost everyone. My name is Brooke Rollins. I have the extraordinary honor of serving this President as his Domestic Policy Chief every day in this White House. And I will say there’s a lot of brave people in the room, probably no one more so than our two officers. But this mom not only has, Mr. President, her 9-year-old here, but she has her 4-year-old, her 3-year-old, and her 10-month-old here. And her husband, Spencer, just took them into the other room.
So this is bravery at its finest for all the moms in the room who’ve sort of manhandled lots of children. So thank you for being here, and certainly you, too, and that beautiful baby girl. What an honor to have you and all of you with us today.
Mr. President, you mentioned New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia. The lack of leadership, I think, happening in some of our most ravaged cities around this country is really astonishing. But I think it’s really important to note that that failure is a choice. And it is a choice, Mr. President, that I know you would never make.
I have seen you, now more than two and a half years, stand with law enforcement, stand with the mothers and the fathers in this country who are fighting for a chance at the American Dream. That dream is not possible without a law enforcement that stands for the rule of law and for safe and secure communities.
So thank you so much for your leadership. Everyone here today, thank you for coming. What an honor it is to have you in your house here at the White House on this day. And a special thanks to the moms who were brave enough to bring the little ones in to tell their story on behalf of these amazing men and women serving in blue.
Thank you so much.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, Brooke. What’s more so astonishing to me is that we’ll call — Bill will call, Vice President will call, I’ll call — you’ll call leaders of these cities — Democrat leaders — and we don’t care if they’re Democrat or not; they happen to be in every case. But we’ll call them and we’ll say, “Do you need help?” And they’ll say, “No.” And I say, “But you just had 40 people shot and many people killed this weekend.” And they’ll say, “No, we’re okay.” And I’ll say, “What’s that all about?” And we’re tired of those answers. We’re tired of those answers. So thank you. To me, that’s astonishing.
Thank you very much, Brooke.
MR. BEARDEN: My name is Kenneth Bearden. I’m from Louisville, Kentucky. And I’m here today because I’m a man in recovery. At the age of 11 years old, I used substances for the first time. And by the end of that summer, I had overdosed seven times already. I’m one of them people that once I put a (inaudible) mood-altering substance in my body, I cannot stop.
I did not stop using alcohol or drugs until the age of 24. And through that time, at the age of 11 to 24, I’ve overdosed over 30 times. And at least a dozen of them times I’ve had police officers there on site, administering Narcan, saving my life. And my son would not have his father today if it wasn’t for the police officers, the men and the women who administered that Narcan.
And just that, my son gets to have his dad today because of that. And I get to help others along the way because of police officers, because of the people who have helped me along the way. And I’m truly grateful to be here.
THE PRESIDENT: And how you doing now then? So that’s been — that’s a lot of times that you had difficulty.
MR. BEARDEN: Yes. So —
THE PRESIDENT: How are you doing?
MR. BEARDEN: So I’ve got six years sober now.
THE PRESIDENT: Good.
MR. BEARDEN: And I am one semester — (applause) — I’m one semester away from having my bachelor’s degree in social work. I have a house. I have full custody of my son. I work for Addiction Recovery Care as a community liaison helping other alcoholics and addicts get into recovery and providing support for them. I’m living my purpose and my passion.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s a fantastic job. Thank you very much. That’s a — that’s an equally incredible statement. You understand what you’re doing now, so that’s great. Six years — almost six years. That’s fantastic. Good luck. We’ll see you in — let’s say, celebrate in 10. Okay? We’ll see you in 10.
MR. BEARDEN: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: So we’ll see you in another four years, all right? That’s fantastic news. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
[Remember that President Trump lost his brother to addiction. Here he is recognizing the importance of keeping this man focussed on sobriety for the future. He is pointing to four years from now, when he might be finishing up his second term, and making a date for a celebration of 10 years sobriety for Mr. Bearden.]
MS. NORRIS: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Thank you so much for having me here today.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
MS. NORRIS: My name is Rhonda Norris. My story started when I was coming home from school one day. I teach. And I was broadsided in an intersection by a truck who ran a red light. I have no recollection of the accident.
My first memory was a policeman reaching through the shattered window and checking for a pulse. And I was in and out of consciousness and he continuously urged me to stay awake and stay with him — very soothing, very calm — and was calling on his radio for an ambulance and first responders, which — his being there sped up the process dramatically. He’s the one who told me, “We’re going to put a sheet over you to cut you out of the vehicle.” I had — I couldn’t move. I was trapped in the vehicle. And also, my injuries made me incapable of movement.
He also followed the ambulance to the hospital. He gathered up all my personal belongings that he could find at the accident and brought them to my husband at the hospital, and explained to him that I had regained consciousness. Stayed with my husband until the tests were done. And they said, “She’s going to be okay.”
The most amazing thing to me about this state trooper is that he was off duty. He didn’t have to do any of that.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
MS. NORRIS: He was — just happened to be at the scene of the accident, and immediately responded and sped up my rescue. And I’m eternally grateful to him for doing that.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s great. Thank you very much. It’s an incredible story.
So how seriously — how long did it take to recover? How bad was it?
MS. NORRIS: I was — I missed five weeks of work. I still have some injuries that will never go away, but I am very, very thankful to be here.
THE PRESIDENT: Okay. That’s a great job. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
MS. NORRIS: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for being here. Please.
PASTOR CLEEK: Mr. President, I’m Perry Cleek, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Tennessee.
THE PRESIDENT: Good.
PASTOR CLEEK: And our church watched over the last few weeks, as the way that our police officers were treated all over the country. And it was all over the news about how they are such — you know, they’ve been demonized and disgraced and dishonored. And we got our heads together and thought, “What can we do as a small church in a small town to honor our police, and to let our voice be known?” Their voice is loud that blame all this on police officers. The voice of small town America is seldom heard.
So we just set up a little ceremony. We went through the chief of police and the public safety director, and we asked them if we could hold a public ceremony on the steps of the courthouse on Main Street in Jonesboro, on July 4th at 11 o’clock in the morning, and present each member of the Jonesboro Police Department with a check for $1,000. And we did that and it shouldn’t have, but it made national news.
I think small towns all over America feel like we do: that we want our voice to be heard, that we love law enforcement — our local police officers. And if we can do something to support them and encourage them, then that’s what we want to do. And we feel very good about what we did.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s a great story. I thought you were going to tell me that they wanted to arrest you for giving them a couple of bucks. (Laughter.) And they deserve it very much. But, you know, I’ve — I’ve heard the other end of those stories also. You’re not allowed to do anything. And you’re right about it: They’ve been, what — what the police have been going through over the last number of years, in all fairness — it’s been starting and — but it’s never been like this, has it? It’s never been like this. It’s — it’s crazy. It’s crazy.
And they’ll find out it’ll go the opposite direction, unfortunately, at some point. It’ll go absolutely opposite when they see — and you’re going to have some defunding and abolishing, and you’ll see numbers like nobody would ever believe. And they’re going to say, “Let’s get our police back as soon as we can.” Right?
Well, that’s great what you just — that’s a fantastic thing.
PASTOR CLEEK: Yes, sir. We were thankful that it’s a small town and a small police department. It was only 23 employees. (Laughter.) So it wasn’t that big a hit, but —
THE PRESIDENT: That’s a lot.
PASTOR CLEEK: — it was a blessing to them.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s a lot. That’s — good job. Thank you very much.
PASTOR CLEEK: And, Mr. President, I’ve already heard — I got a note written to the church that didn’t identify the officer but said, “I’m an 83-year-old widower and one of the officers brought by a sum of money, and gave to me to put back to pay my utility bills this winter. And told me it was a gift from Lighthouse Baptist Church.” That’s what one officer — and it’s just a week ago — but that’s what one officer did with that gift that we gave them.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Great stories. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
MS. WINSER: Thank you, Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
MS. WINSER: — and Mr. Vice President, for having us. My name is Debby Wisner. I’m local; I live in Maryland. And my story is not very dramatic; it’s just one that my purse was stolen. My purse. People have it happen to them. My credit cards were canceled and my cell phone — we put a special note on it that said, “If found, please call this number.” Nothing came of it.
A couple nights later in the middle of the night, at midnight, the phone rings and it’s — a gentleman says, “I found your phone. I have your phone. Would you offer a reward for it?” And I said, “Of course.” And my husband said, “Are you nuts?” (Laughter.) And he said, “I’ll bring it to you.” I gave him my address and hung up the phone and called our police department, because that’s who we turn to when there’s a situation.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
MS. WINSER: My husband had another idea. He wanted to do something else, but I said, “No, we’re going to let the police do this. There’s no shooting tonight.” (Laughter.)
So he — the police came. They gave us their cell phone number. They went away around the corner and they said, “When he pulls up, give us a ring. We’ll be there.” Sure enough, he pulled up. He comes out of the car. It’s two o’clock in the morning now. And the police — two squad cars were there immediately, which is what we need in our communities.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
MS. WINSER: And they checked him out. He did, in fact, find the phone. And I gave him a reward and thanked my police officers.
And I’m grateful that we have community policemen that are willing to come at two in the morning and do this —
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
MS. WINSER: — silly thing.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Thank you very much.
MS. WINSER: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Two in the morning? Why did he — that’s a strange time. So you found him to be okay? Even though he came at two in the morning?
MS. WINSER: He came at two in the morning, but so were our policemen.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, no, they were there.
MS. WINSER: And that’s the only reason —
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great.
MS. WINSER: — we were okay with it.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you very much.
MS. WINSER: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Really nice.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE JONES: Mr. President, thank you so much. It’s an honor to be here. I, like many others — we support you in support our law enforcement officers in providing the safe communities.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for being here as well and your hard work. And obviously, to the Attorney General, Attorney General Barr, thank you. And to law enforcement officers that are here and their families, and to your staff, Mr. President.
Although it shouldn’t matter, Mr. President, I’m kind of a unique bird, if you will. I’m a Democrat. I’m an elected official. I’m African American. I have 8 years — or 12 years of experience in the Georgia House of Representatives, 8 years as county exec.
And as county exec, I’ve had to manage a very large — probably one of the largest police departments in the state of Georgia. But I’ve also had the unfortunate experience of having to meet with family members who lost a loved one from a police shooting. That was the very — probably the most difficult part of my job. But I’ve also had to deal on the other side, where I lost two police officers in one night, among several others I lost, but I lost two in one night.
By the way, they happen to have been African Americans. And going to meet with their family members as well, and young wives with young babies, and having to experience seeing them lose a loved one is nothing anybody would want to do.
But I can tell you this, Mr. President: By and large, most law enforcement officers — those men and women who honorably wear their uniforms each and every day to go out — when they’re running towards a situation, others are running from it. So we have to stand with them.
And I’ll say this; I have two words: We need more funding for police officers, not less funding. And here’s why I say that: When you look at law enforcement and the equipment, that’s important for them because it’s protecting and saving their lives as well as saving others’ lives.
But clearly, more money is needed to buy less lethal enforcement types of tools like the Bola — what they call the “BolaWrap.”
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
MR. JONES: We also need resources for them. Officers usually, almost always, only get the psychological exams prior of being hired, as part of examination of getting hired. But afterwards, they’re not given those type of psychological exams or assessments.
And when you look at them, they’ve been on the — let’s say, the beat four or five years, nonstop, and the number of calls they’re getting, the number situations — that’s a way we can detect: Are they burnt out? Do we need to put them somewhere else? That’s important.
And finally, Mr. President, community policing is important. That relationship, that trust being fair, but enforcing the law. And most people, including black people, they want law enforcement to be out there enforcing the law. I think people just want it to be — they want them to be fair. They want them to be swift in justice.
And we lost a baby girl too, in Atlanta, eight years old, and it wasn’t to a police officer. More people have died from the protests of Black Lives Matter than prior to that. And so, sometimes it’s hypocritical. It’s almost as if some black lives matter, but all black lives should matter, and all lives should matter.
So I thank you, Mr. President, for what you’re doing, and I stand solid with you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Appreciate it. Beautiful.
MS. YOUNG: Good afternoon, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Mr. Barr, and distinguished guests. I thank you for this opportunity to share our family’s story.
Eight years ago, our 15-year-old daughter was trafficked by MS-13 gang members. She was trafficked over a year-and-a-half time period throughout the DMV area. Law enforcement played a fundamental role in the rescue and the recovery of our daughter and were also vital in the protection and safety of our family, both then and now.
Initially, the officers handling our case, albeit well intentioned, were not trauma informed and not able to differentiate a runaway teen from a victim of human trafficking. Once we came in contact with trained personnel, former detective Bill Woolf, our situation improved.
We need to provide resources and training to law enforcement to properly address only — not only the offenders, but also to the victims and to their families. Because of Mr. Woolf’s expertise in this area, we were able to relocate our family to a safe location. We were able to get our daughter the proper resources and help so that she could heal and move on for her life.
The law enforcement is crucial to the rescue, to victims of human trafficking, and I believe we should support them with everything we have. Thank you.
[This sets context for President Trump’s Wednesday announcement in the Oval Office about MS-13 arrests across the country.]
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Great story. Thank you.
MR. SMITH: Thanks so much, Mr. President, for convening this listening session. And thank you for all of the passion and, you know, being able to share your stories here on national TV, and with the President, because it’s really important.
There’s so many people who don’t get a chance to have their voice lifted, and having this opportunity to tell your story to a President that’s not only going to listen to it, but take action, is extremely important to the work that we do. And I want you all to know that as you go back home, we’re still there with you, and we’re willing to come and do all we can to help create safer communities.
Since day one, this President has been really focused on that in a unique way. I’ve spent some time on the road and with my colleague Scott Turner, trying to get local leadership to work with us to not only change those communities, but empower people. But having these sessions here is extremely important because most people don’t know — some people don’t know the pain that you all go through. And so having that story told to millions of people is extremely important.
But I think what’s most important is that we take this session here and create action, work with our police department, empower our police department, empower our families so that we can change what’s happened over the last 20 years.
There’s no reason for places across the country in America to have more deaths than a war over in Iraq or Afghanistan. You know, that’s — that’s not the country that we’re about. And this President won’t stand for it. So thank you so much for your — Mr. President, for your leadership.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. You’re doing a great job too.
MS. JO ETTA NORTHCUTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I’m basically here in support of my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren. But I would like to say a personal thank you to Officer Reece, here, for saving my grandson. I will never forget it, and I’ll always be grateful.
And I would also like to add that I’m a state employee. I work in the city of Atlanta, and I have seen a drastic change in law enforcement coverage in that area. And I see the difference when law enforcement is not visible on the streets. So we’ve had our challenges there. And it’s peaceful now, but when there is a lack of law enforcement within a community, civility breaks down and crime increases. And I don’t have any answers, any solutions, but I can just speak on the fact that I have experienced it over the past three to four months. And I thank you for your invitation here and for your time.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.
DEPUTY REECE: First of all, Mr. President, Vice President, Attorney General, thank you very much for inviting me here today. It’s truly an honor to be here. I’m Deputy Corey Reece with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. I have been a deputy there for — going on three years now.
Last month, in June, I was staying with my wife at a Hampton Inn in Tampa — off-duty, of course. I work in Palm Beach County; this is Tampa. We were in the room relaxing, and I could hear a lady in the hallway screaming for help. And so I went outside to see what was going on, and the young lady to my left here was on the floor, clutching the child in her arms. She was screaming for help. The child was crying. And there was a man standing above them, grabbing at her and the child.
Now, my first thought was, it was a domestic situation, but clearly there was something going — something wasn’t right with the situation. So I separated him, and she said that she doesn’t know him, and he was trying to take her child.
And more and more people came pouring out of the rooms and were saying the same thing. So I immediately got him separated. I had him sit down in the hallway, and I had someone else call Tampa PD. And they arrived, and, at that point, I just was keeping the peace between everybody because there was some people getting quite aggressive, you know, with him. You know, it’s not, you know, the right time. You know, you have to let law enforcement handle it. You know, it’s not a time to take matters into your own hands. So, at that point, it was mostly peacekeeping.
But, you know, I didn’t think it would be as big of a deal as it ended up being until, you know, the next day, some people in the hallway were like, “The video has gone viral. There’s like a million views.” And then I’m getting a call saying I’m invited to the White House. (Laughter.) I mean, it just — it was completely unexpected. You know, I just — just doing what — you know, what I was trained to do, what I was told to do. You know, just being there at right time, right place, and that’s it.
Again, thank you for having me here.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s called “natural instinct” — right? — more than anything else. Thank you very much. Great job. Appreciate it. (Applause.)
MS. JAKEBIA NORTHCUTT: Hi, I’m — my name is Jakebia Northcutt. And I want to thank you, Mr. President and Vice President and everyone else, for having me here. I want to thank you. I don’t know what I would’ve done if you hadn’t come help me. So I just want to thank you.
(Ms. Andrews speaks to her son.) David, want to say thank you? He’s not too (inaudible). He’s still dealing with it. I don’t really want to speak on the case because it’s still open. But my — the main thing I wanted to address today is our police that helped.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you’ve said it all. So that’s a case that’s still going now? It’s still going?
MS. JAKEBIA NORTHCUTT: Well, as far as with the law. At the hotel — we entered our hotel room with a key, and that — and he came in and tried to take him away.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, well, good luck with it. Good luck. Beautiful guy, too.
MS. JAKEBIA NORTHCUTT: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful.
Okay, that’s just a few stories of the thousands and thousands of stories that we could tell. And we’ll probably be doing this again. But the police — they do a great job. They do a fantastic job, and they don’t get the kind of — I will say this: The people of this country appreciate the police; they appreciate all they’ve done. You don’t see that if you watch the news, for the most part. You don’t see things like this, but they’ve done a fantastic job.
Everybody here is a witness to that, and we see it a lot. The Attorney General sees it every day. But we see it a lot, and I just want to thank the various police departments, law enforcement. They’ve done an incredible job in this country. Where they’re allowed to do their work, they really do a job.
So thank you all very much for being here. Good luck with your case.
MS. JAKEBIA NORTHCUTT: Thank you, President.
THE PRESIDENT: And really terrific job, everybody. Terrific job. Thank you. (Applause.)
Would anybody from the media like to ask anybody a question here? Steve, go ahead, please.
Q Well, I was going to ask you about — if you’re in a good place with Dr. Fauci. There’s been some criticism of him over the last couple of days. Do you still appreciate his advice?
[It just goes down hill from there for the jackals. The president used a school question, pitting the leftist teacher unions against the parents and students, to bridge back to the topic of the event and close.]
Q Mr. President, Los Angeles just announced that they are delaying the opening of their schools. New York already said they were going to delay them. Other school districts are giving parents the choice whether to send their kids to school or not. What do you tell parents who look at this, who look at Arizona where a schoolteacher recently died teaching summer school; parents who are worried about the safety of their children in public schools?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Schools should be opened. Schools should be opened. There’s kids who want to go to school. You’re losing a lot of lives by keeping things closed. We did the right thing. We saved millions of lives. We saved millions of lives when we did the initial closure. Had we not done what we did, we would’ve had two to — Mike and I were talking about it before — two to three million lives lost.
But we did that. So we’re at about 135,000, and we’ll be at somewhat higher than that by the time it ends. And again, the vaccines are happening and the therapeutics are happening, but I’m not even talking about that.
So we’ll be at a somewhat higher. But we would’ve lost two million, three million lives had we not done it. Now we understand it also. We understand there are certain vulnerabilities — young children.
I was with — talking to Governor Murphy, and they have thousands of lives — I won’t even say how many; just thousands of lives, hard to believe — in New Jersey. And he said there was only one life that was 18 or younger. One person died and that was a person — a young man that had some medical difficulty.
So when you think of that — with thousands of lives, and you have one person that was under 18 — that’s something. That tells you, for some reason, I guess, the immune system is much stronger with young people than it is for others.
So we have to watch the group that does have the difficulty, does have the problem. We all know what that is, we all know who they are, especially if they have a medical problem. If they have a medical problem — diabetes or heart or anything — it’s a — it’s a big problem. But we’re being very careful.
But we have to open the schools. Would you agree with that? Do you agree? Yeah. We have to open the schools. We have to get them open. And I think there’s a lot of politics going along. I think they think they’ll do better if they can keep the schools closed in the election. I don’t think it’s going to help them, frankly, but I think they feel that by keeping schools closed, that’s a bad thing for the country and, therefore, that’s a good thing for them.
But they’re the ones whose city is burning. I mean, can you imagine if the country was run like Chicago and like New York and like some of these other Democrat, super radical-left cities are run? You wouldn’t have a country for very long, and the economy would crash.
So we just set a brand-new record today on NASDAQ again. This is now, I think, the 18th time since — and this is since after the problem. So we have a new stock market high for NASDAQ, and the other ones are getting very close.
When I came here, the stock market was up almost 500 points. Today, the economy is rebuilding, jobs are being produced at a record pace. We’ve never had a pace like this.
And I will tell you, if Biden got in, this economy would be destroyed. You know, he was in — he was in office for 48 years, and what he did was not great. Almost every decision was a wrong decision. And now he’s going to come in and try and help us.
We didn’t need any help. We built the greatest economy in history — greatest economy we’ve ever had; the greatest economy the world has ever seen. And then the plague came in from China and we started — we did the right thing. We had to close it down; now we’re opening it up. He can’t do it. He doesn’t have the capability to do it.
Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Good luck with everything. Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it. (Applause.)
END 3:09 P.M. EDT
Wednesday: President Trump upped the ante on supporting communities and the police against the gangs and the left. He laid out the fruits of a massive nationwide MS-13 crackdown. He said that one top MS-13 leader was facing the death penalty. “We believe the monsters who murder children should be put to death.”
Remarks by President Trump in Briefing on Keeping American Communities Safe: The Takedown of Key MS-13 Criminal Leaders
NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE | Issued on: July 15, 2020
[Notice the category, compared to other crime stories. This supports the “terrorism” prosecution.]
11:32 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. We have a very important announcement, and we’re going to state some facts and things that have happened recently that are very positive in terms of crime and crime prevention. This is about MS-13.
And we’ll have another announcement next week with the Attorney General, the FBI, and others concerning our cities, because the left-wing group of people that are running our cities are not doing the job that they’re supposed to be doing. And it’s not a very tough job to do if they knew what they were doing. So we’ll be talking about that next week and probably have an announcement as to what we’re planning to do to help them. They’re supposed to be asking for help, and they don’t want to ask. So maybe they’re proud or maybe they think it’s bad politically, but we can’t have happen what’s happening.
But we’re here today to provide an update on my administration’s all-out campaign to destroy MS-13, a vile and evil gang of people.
We’ve just concluded a historic operation, leading to the arrest and indictment of dozens of savage MS-13 members and leaders all across the country. So this is something that’s taken place over the last few days.
I want to thank Attorney General Barr for doing a great job, in many ways — many ways — not just here; Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Wolf; and FBI Director Wray for joining us today. And we’ll be discussing a little bit about what we did and where we’re going. But MS-13 has been a problem for our country for a long time. We’ve taken them out by the thousands.
While radical left-wing politicians have fought to open borders and welfare for illegal aliens, my administration has fought for safe streets. We want security for our people. We want the rule of law. We want law and order.
In the last three years, ICE has deported over 16,000 gang members and arrested over 2,000 members of MS-13. Think of those numbers: 16,000 and arrested over 2,000 members of MS-13. We’ve also deported a lot of the MS-13s out of our country.
This week’s action by the Joint Task Force Vulcan is the most recent offense to — we really — this has been a big offensive in my administration’s war on foreign gangs, of which we came into this administration and we said, “What’s going on?” We had gangs from countries that you wouldn’t believe. More than 20 of the criminals we indicted and arrested in the past seven days were illegal aliens.
Yesterday, for the first time ever, the Eastern District of Virginia — thank you very much — indicted MS-13 leaders on charges of terrorism. So we have the MS-13 leader on charges of terrorism. And that’s a first. Is that correct?
MR. TERWILLIGER: Yes, sir. Yes, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: We’re using “terrorism,” which gives us extra strength.
In New York and Nevada, 21 MS-13 members and leaders have been indicted on charges, including murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking.
The DOJ has also announced that it will seek the death penalty for a bloodthirsty MS-13 leader responsible for the despicable killing of seven Americans, including two teenage girls.
Over the past few days, the DOJ and DHS have made several arrests at high, high levels in these cases, including several immigration arrests. And I want to thank Chad Wolf for working along with the FBI and with the Attorney General. They’ve worked very closely together at the border. And the border, as you know, is setting new records for allowing people in that are allowed to come in, allowing people in legally.
We believe the monsters who murder children should be put to death. We seem to have quite a good agreement on that. These people murder children and they do it as slowly and viciously as possible. We will not allow these animals to terrorize our communities. And my administration will not rest until every member of MS-13 is brought to justice.
We’ve done a great job with MS-13, but now we’re stepping it up even to a higher level. This has never happened before. There’s never been any move like this before. Much of it’s already taken place; otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about it.
So when Biden and the radical left want to open borders for MS-13 and others, we want strong borders, we want — as I’ve said, we want borders. Without borders, you don’t have a country. And we have a great country, and it’s coming back stronger than ever, from job numbers to every other number. It’s coming back stronger than ever before. So we’re going to have a great third quarter, we’re going to have a great fourth quarter. And next year is going to be one of the strongest years economically we’ve ever had.
So I’m going to ask AG Barr to say a few words about the MS-13 and what we’ve done and what we’re doing and where we plan to go.
And next week, we’re going to have, I think, a very exciting news conference because we’re going to be talking about some of these cities that — where the Democrats running them have just lost control of the cities. So that’ll be very interesting.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: When I came into the Department as Attorney General, the President made it clear that one of his top priorities — to reduce violent crime in the United States — was to destroy MS-13 in the United States.
And what we’ve been in here discussing with the President is part of that effort, which is Project Vulcan, or Task Force Vulcan, which is targeting the higher-level players in the MS-13 operations in the United States.
MS-13 is somewhat unique in this sense: They have the street savagery that you would see in a gang; is not driven by commercial interests the way, for example, the Mafia traditionally was. It’s about honor of being the most savage, bloodthirsty person you can be and building up a reputation as a killer. So this is, in some ways, is a death cult.
And then they use the terror that they cause by their savagery to extort. And they’ve gotten increasingly into human trafficking and now narcotics trafficking. But that’s a sideline, to some extent, to their basic purpose, which is violence, terrorizing people.
Also, unlike a street gang, they’re highly organized as a transnational organization. They operate with a hierarchy, with programs — they call them “programs”; think of it as a crime family, essentially. And then under each program, they have different cliques. They have programs and cliques operating in the United States, while their center of gravity is in Central America. There are thousands that have come into the United States illegally. They’re virtually all illegal aliens. They come in now through the — although it’s harder to get across the border, but traditionally, they’ve come across the border into Houston and then fanned out across the United States into different centers of activity.
Today, we were talking with the President about three actions we took. Melgar Díaz was indicted in the Eastern District of Virginia — first time we’ve used terrorism charges against a member of MS-13. He was responsible for activities in 13 states — 20 cliques in the United States. He was also the person who would greenlight assassinations in the United States. The orders come from El Salvador — or they request to assassinate people who go down to El Salvador, and he would greenlight the hit.
We also took down — this was an HSI case in Las Vegas. We took down the Hollywood clique, which operated not only in Nevada, but also in California and in the Eastern District of New York — again, Long Island. And we took down 21 members and the leadership of that organization.
And then, finally — these are the New York indictees. And then, finally, I announced that we are going to seek the death penalty against Alexi Saenz who is a leader in the Eastern District of New York, a leader of MS-13 there.
The President made a trip to Brentwood, New York, earlier in his administration. And he met with the families of victims that have been killed by MS-13, including the family of two young girls who were butchered with machetes. And the person that we are seeking the death penalty against was involved in those murders, as well as the murder of two African Americans who they — who they just saw on the street and thought they were from a rival gang and just butchered.
So those are the actions that were taken. There is more coming as we are going to target the leadership of MS-13. We’re working very closely with the El Salvadorians on this; they’ve been very cooperative. And we have MS- — we have the HSI and the FBI with operations down in El Salvador.
THE PRESIDENT: In past administrations, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala did not cooperate with the United States at all. They wouldn’t let us bring people back. And under this administration, a long time ago, almost my — I would say my second or third day, I said, “That’s not going to work.” They’d bring them back and they’d say, “Get them out of here. We’re not taking them.” And they don’t say that anymore. They don’t even come close to saying that anymore.
So the — the operation is going to be very good. This is probably the meanest, worst gang anywhere in the world — the MS-13 group. And a big dent has put in them. It took place over the last few days and — and really over the last year. Heavy focus on MS-13.
They’re an evil group of people. They’re sick, they’re deranged, and we’re taking care of it. And I want to just thank these great crime fighters that are with us today. Thank you, fellas. Really fantastic.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: The U.S. Attorney from Nevada, Nick Trutanich; U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Virginia, Zach Terwilliger; obviously, you know the director of the FBI; Matthew Albence of the ICE; Michael Carvajal of Bureau of Prisons. You might ask the Bureau — why the Bureau of Prisons. Because they do like to try to operate out of prisons, and we have to make sure we collect intelligence in the prison system. And then Regina Lombardo of ATF; Tim Shea of DEA; and, of course, you know the Secretary of DHS, Chad Wolf.
THE PRESIDENT: So it’s central casting. We — we forgot one last one.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Oh, I’m sorry. The head of this program is John Durham, Jr. from the Eastern District of New York, who has spent — how many years recently, John?
MR. DURHAM: In the office 15; I’ve been doing MS-13 for 10 years.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR: Ten years on Long Island, which is one of the hotbeds of MS-13 activity, or at least was.
THE PRESIDENT: Good luck, John. Good luck. That’s really great. So important.
It’s like central casting. People are like central casting. And you’re going to do a great job, and we appreciate it.
And we will be meeting you in a similar vein, but a little different subject next week, and that concerns our cities and, again, people that have lost control of some of our great cities. We’re going to straighten things out.
Thank you all very much. Thank you.
[Naturally, the jackals could not help themselves. Not one propagandist with a press pass had any interest in the black and brown communities terrorized by gangs, abetted by their allies on the left.]
Q Mr. President, you talked about taking over cities earlier this week. Is that what next week’s announcement is about?
THE PRESIDENT: You’ll be seeing next week. We’ll have a conference next week and we’ll tell you in great detail, but it’s something that I think, at this point, the American people want to see. They’ve been run very poorly, these cities, whether it’s Seattle, where we were getting ready to go in and they decided to go in, and that’s good. Minneapolis, where we had the National Guard go in, and as soon as they did that, we straightened that mess out. They should’ve been able to do it locally with their police. Their police are good; they were told not to do anything. Or many other cases. We’re doing a great job.
In Portland — Portland was very rough and they called us in, and we did a good job, to put it mildly. Many people in jail right now.
But we have other cities that are out of control; they’re like warzones. And if the cities are going to straighten it out, if local politicians, or in this case — I don’t say this for political reasons — they’re all Democrats. They’re liberal, left-wing Democrats. And it’s almost like they think this is going to be this way forever, where in Chicago, 68 people were shot and 18 died last week. We’re not going to put up with that. We’re not going to put up with that.
So that’s for our next discussion. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.
Q Mr. President. Mr. President —
Q (Inaudible) on Dr. Fauci?
THE PRESIDENT: I get along very well with Dr. Fauci. I get along very well with Dr. Fauci. I have a very good relationship.
Q Are you okay with the op-ed Peter Navarro wrote?[*]
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s Peter Navarro, but I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci.
Thank you very much.
END 11:45 A.M. EDT
Wednesday Afternoon: The same day that President Trump announced the first fruits of this massive operation against MS-13, he went down to Atlanta Georgia to both brag on Georgia Republican leaders and to tout significant changes to the highway construction permitting process, aimed at significantly shortening the time from application to approval or disapproval. This matters to everyone outside the Beltway Bubble and promises more good, skilled labor work for the dollars allocated. A Teamster driver, who happened to be African-American, was featured. At the same time, he put meat on the bones of ballot fraud concerns.** Plus, President Trump brought up a major Biden initiative, from the Obama administration, to jam down centralized planning, with multi-unit housing and limits on single-family homes in the suburbs.
Remarks by President Trump on the Rebuilding of America’s Infrastructure: Faster, Better, Stronger | Atlanta, GA
INFRASTRUCTURE & TECHNOLOGY | Issued on: July 15, 2020
UPS Hapeville Airport Hub
3:42 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Great honor. Please. Thank you. Sit down, please.
It’s great to be with you. Great company and wonderful location. Quick flight. It’s in and out, but we have some big things to say.
Carol, I want to thank you also for doing such an incredible job at this company. I look at your numbers and I’m very jealous. A lot of people are very jealous.
But I’m delighted to be back in Atlanta, Georgia — a special place. (Applause.) The hometown of one of the most amazing companies on Earth, UPS. They never fail. (Applause.) The dedicated men and women of UPS are an inspiration to us all.
In the face of every challenge, you always come through for your fellow citizens. Would you say that’s correct? I say it’s correct. (Applause.) Let me start by expressing my gratitude to every driver, worker, and employee who has contributed to this great success and continue to deliver for America throughout our battle against the China virus. It goes by many different names — about 21 that I can figure. We maybe will use a different one every time we hit it. But whatever it is, it was a terrible thing and it could have been stopped and it should have been stopped right where it started, in China.
Together we will defeat this virus and emerge stronger than ever before. We’re here today — (applause) — to celebrate a historic breakthrough that will transform the lives of workers and families all across our nation.
For decades, the single biggest obstacle to building a modern transportation system has been the mountains and mountains of bureaucratic red tape in Washington, D.C. Before I took office, reviews for highways ballooned to an average of nearly 750 pages in length. And they were the good ones; they were the short ones.
[. . .]
So we’re cutting the federal permitting timeline for a major project from up to 20 years or more — hard to believe — down to two years or less. So we have it down to about two years right now, Elaine, and I think two years or less. And our goal is one year. And you may get disapproved. It may — they may vote, at the end, they didn’t like something environmentally or safety-wise, and I’m all for that, but you’re not going to devote a lifetime to doing a project that doesn’t get approved or that gets approved.
And oftentimes, when it gets approved, it comes in at 10, 20, 30 times the cost. There’s a highway in a certain state — a short road, not even a highway, I guess; more of a roadway. And they put in. It was a straight line from point to point. By the time they finished it, 18 years later, it was this. (Gestures a wavy line.) It cost tens of times. It cost many, many, many times more than the original. It’s a dangerous roadway because there’s turns. You got to be in good shape. You got to be wide awake to make those turns. You got to see those things. You have to see the guardrails. Bom. They had a simple, straight roadway, and now they build it — they end up — it took 17 years to get it approved. Ended up costing many, many times what the original estimates were, and it’s no good. It’s not good.
Under the last administration, a mere 7 percent of reviews for federal highways were processed within two years. Now what we’re doing is the two years won’t be the exception; it’ll be the rule. So what we’re doing is, we’re going to have that coming down at a much steeper rate. This will reduce approval times for highways alone by at least 70 percent. But the 70 percent is a very unambitious number because the number is going to be actually much lower than that.
At the heart of the reforms is the One Federal Decision policy. It really spells it out when you hear that name: One Federal Decision. Before, applicants for infrastructure permits were forced to spend years and years navigating a labyrinth of federal agencies, and every single one had a power to stop a project. Anytime you went to an agency, they had a power to stop it. And it would stop the project — not only stop it; but right in its tracks it would stop it.
With our reforms, there will be one quick and fair decision. We’re going to give every project a clear answer: Yes or no. Yes or no. The two-year process, where just to submit is two years, is not acceptable. It’s going to be a very quick “yes” or “no,” after study, but the studies are going to go quickly and they’re going to go simultaneously.
So if you’re in numerous agencies, you’re all going at the same time. Instead of waiting for one, for two, for three — and oftentimes, you’d go through one, it would take you six months, and then you have to wait 90 days, and then you have a review period, and then you start the second one. And now you go for another four months, and then you wait 90 days, and you have a review period. And sometimes you had to go through 9, 10, 12 different agencies. So even if you did absolute rapid, it was many, many years before you could even think about starting it.
[President Trump laid out the old and new process on charts, showing the dramatic difference . . . .]
We want the United States to compete and win in the 21st century. And that means we will not allow our nation to be hamstrung by wasteful Washington regulations.
We’re the nation that built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years, the Hoover Dam in five years, and a lot of people don’t understand this, but it’s so true: We built the Empire State Building in less than a year. Can you imagine that?
The Biden administration, our past Vice President, opposes — think of this — all of our permitting reforms, and wants to increase the length of the permitting process. Think of this. This is in his Bernie Sanders deal.
Biden is happy to tie up projects in red tape, and we want to get things built. But they want to increase the length. So they want to increase it from that to much longer. Unbelievable.
Biden wants to massively re-regulate the energy economy, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, which would kill our energy totally. And you’d have to close 25 percent of your businesses and kill oil and gas development. They still haven’t explained what they’re going to do to power our great plants and factories, but at some point, I’m sure they will. We’ll learn that from AOC, who’s in charge of energy. (Laughter.) She’s in charge, along with Bernie. It’s AOC and Bernie are in charge of energy. I don’t think Texas is too happy about that. What do you think? You think we’ll call up the governor, Governor Abbott. Great governor. We’ll ask, “How do you like that, Governor?” I don’t think — I didn’t want to waste a phone call because I would know how he felt.
And Biden wants to hold hostage billions in federal Surface Transportation Grants for states and localities, unless the states and local suburban communities abolish single-family zoning rules. So they want low-income housing to be built in communities that, frankly, they don’t want it. They don’t want it. Hasn’t worked out. And we’re terminating that, as you know. I announced it two weeks ago. We’re going to be eliminating that rule. It’s a crazy rule and it’s very unfair to a lot of people. A lot of people are very unhappy.
[See Paul Mirengoff’s short introduction with links to get the details of this scheme and President Trump’s reaction in “Trump presses attack on Biden’s war on the suburbs.”]
It should not take 10 years or more just to get approval for a simple stretch of road. Special interests in Washington will never begin — they will never begin to let you breathe. They will never — that’s not their business. Their business is the opposite. And we will do vetoes wherever necessary in order to make sure everything happens, and happens quickly. We’re not giving a veto for one thing: America’s future. There will never be a veto for America’s future. (Applause.)
So my goal, my mission, and my commitment to each of you is very simple: America’s infrastructure will be the envy of the entire world, as it was many, many years ago.
We built the Interstate Highway System during the Eisenhower administration — a long time ago. And since then, it’s gotten worse and worse and worse, and more bureaucratic and more bureaucratic. And now we’re freeing up and we’re going back probably to around 1952. We’re going back to a long time ago.
And again, you have to get permits. We want safety. We want to be totally involved with the environment. We want our environment to be better than it would be the other way — the long way. But you’re going to get your answers quickly. One way or the other, you’re going to get those answers very quickly. And if the answer is a big, beautiful “yes,” you’re going to start construction immediately. You’re not going to wait around for 10, 12, and 20 years.
Our bridges, tunnels, freeways, and airports will no longer be the sight of shame, but they’ll be a source of pride. From coast to coast, town to town, we’re constructing new roads, railways, runways, and waterways.
You know, we had a — in many cases where they’ll get federal funding to build a highway, then it’ll take them forever to get the approval. And by the time they have it approved, they need 10 times more money. They come back to the federal government, and the government would usually turn them down. They’d say, “That wasn’t the deal.” But sometimes they’d just pay 10 times more. We’re not going to do that anymore.
We’re linking our cities with gleaming highways and blazing-fast broadworks [networks]. And if you think, when you look at the farmers of this country, what they’ve gone through with the broadband — broadband is so bad in the middle section — that beautiful middle section of our country. Our farmers, our ranchers are hurt very badly.
So we’re getting fast broadband networks, and we’re carving them out and towering beautiful new monuments to American greatness. And that’s what they will be. But our farmers have to be thought of also. Nobody thought of our farmers. Our farmers are incredible, and they’re doing an incredible job. (Applause.) Doing an incredible job.
So for the farmers out there: Broadband, here we come. Broadband — they’ve been trying to get it for a long time. Many years. (Applause.)
Together, we’re building our incredible future with American hands, American heart, and American steel. As your President, I am more determined than ever that America’s infrastructure will be second to none.
And in Georgia, you’re going to have an infrastructure and you’re going to have some projects announced that almost all of the people in this room do not know about. Most people have given up on them, Brian, I think. They’ve given up. They gave up with the rest of them. But we have some things planned in Georgia that’ll be really incredible. And everybody is going to want it, both Democrat, by the way, and Republican.
The problem is nobody was able to get it done. We get it done. One thing I know: I know how to get things done. Because under this administration — (applause) — and under this administration, we will always put America first. We were putting other countries first; now we’re putting America first.
So I want to thank everybody for being here. I want to thank and congratulate UPS on having a great run — many years, but a great run recently. You’ve done a fantastic job, whether it’s the SkyBridge or anything else that we’ve done with you. You’ve been fantastic. I want to apprec- — I really appreciate it.
But especially, I appreciate a state called Georgia. It’s a special place. It’s a great place. (Applause.) And it’s an honor to be with you, and it’s an honor — this is where I’m announcing. This is good for the whole country, not only Georgia. This is for the whole country. But I’m announcing it in Georgia because we have some great things planned for you. You are special people.
* The Peter Navarro op-ed was unofficial, but spoke truths all the forgotten Americans can see. President Trump is absolutely not going to fire Peter Navarro. The pressure, instead, should be mounting on Vice President Pence to actually lead and start driving real science and real medicine in the government’s talk about COVID-19 and all the rest of Americans’ health negatively affected by the Fauci fraud of “public health” and “science.” I quote the Peter Navarro USA Today op-ed in its entirety before USA Today completely caves and removes it:
Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on: Peter Navarro
When you ask me whether I listen to his advice, my answer is only with skepticism and caution: Opposing view
July 14, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.
In late January, when I was making the case on behalf of the president to take down the flights from China, Fauci fought against the president’s courageous decision — which might well have saved hundreds of thousands of American lives.
When I warned in late January in a memo of a possibly deadly pandemic, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was telling the news media not to worry.
When I was working feverishly on behalf of the president in February to help engineer the fastest industrial mobilization of the health care sector in our history, Fauci was still telling the public the China virus was low risk.
When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks.
And when Fauci was telling the White House Coronavirus Task Force that there was only anecdotal evidence in support of hydroxychloroquine to fight the virus, I confronted him with scientific studies providing evidence of safety and efficacy. A recent Detroit hospital study showed a 50% reduction in the mortality rate when the medicine is used in early treatment.
Now Fauci says a falling mortality rate doesn’t matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening. The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open.
See how far McNews has already backpedaled:
** Excerpt from infrastructure remarks in Georgia:
Governor Brian Kemp. (Applause.) I’ll tell you, what a — what a warrior he is. He is tough. He’s tough. And he’s done a great job, and you’ve done a great job in every aspect of running this incredible state. And I’ve always been there for you. He was saying when we met at the plane, “Everything we’ve needed in Georgia, you’ve been there for.” And that’s right. That’s right. (Applause.)
Perhaps more important than Brian, however — right? — far more important is Georgia First Lady, Marty Kemp. Thank you very much, Marty. (Applause.)
And watch, please, those mail-in ballots. You’re going to watch that for me because, you know, they have a lot of problems all over the country. They just had Paterson, New Jersey, where massive percentages of the vote was a fraud. Mail-in ballots. Be careful. Be careful. They would understand, because they deliver. In fact, I’m going to have to be very nice to UPS. (Laughter.) UPS — I love you, Carol. Wherever you are, Carol. I love you, Carol.
No, it’s very bad what’s going on with mail-in ballots — okay? — as differentiated from absentee ballots, where you have to go and you go through a process because you can’t be there for some reason. But the mail-in ballots is going to be — they’re going to be rigged. They’re going to be a terrible situation. And you have to be careful in Georgia, but you have to be careful everywhere where they’re doing it.
You know, we went through a First World War and a Second World War and people went to vote. Now they’re saying, “Let’s use this as a chance not to vote.” And there’s been tremendous corruption — tremendous corruption — on mail-in ballots. So absentee ballot: Great. Mail-in ballot: Absolutely no good. It makes no sense. A governor sends out millions of ballots all over the place; they don’t know where they’re going. They’re going to wherever.
I have a friend who got one for his daughter, another one for his daughter, and then a second one for the first daughter. They didn’t know what to do with them. I had another friend — a really wonderful guy — who lost his son seven years ago: Robert. His son Robert. And his son was sent a mail-in ballot. He called me. He said, “What do I do? I just got a mail-in ballot for Robert.” Robert died seven years ago.
So it’s — it’s a terrible situation if they decide to use it. And we’ll see what happens. There’s a lot of litigation. A lot of court cases right now. And it makes sense. Just think of it: millions of ballots. In California, they’re sending out millions of ballots. They don’t even know who. Maybe they know too well who they’re sending them to, and maybe it’s the people that don’t get it. Maybe it’s an area of Republicans or Democrats that don’t happen to get any ballots.
We’ve had a lot of problems. Just take a look at what’s gone on over the last month, and take a look at Paterson, New Jersey, a small city in New Jersey. I think they said something like 20 percent of the ballots were corrupted or something happened with them. Twenty percent.
And even in the 2016 election, 1 percent are in question. But I don’t want to talk about that one because I won, so I don’t want anyone going back and looking. All right? (Laughter.) I’m not going to talk about 2016. That was the greatest election. And now we have to do something very important. We have to keep it going, or this country will be in big, big trouble. (Applause.)