Sean Spicer Briefs Reporters at the White House CSPAN January 31, 2017 1:11pm-1:55pm EST
under the previous order the senate will resume consideration of the nomination of the rex tillerson to be secretary of state, which the clerk will report. the clerk: department of state rex w. tillerson of texas to be secretary. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate stands in recess until 2:00 p.m.
to fully participate in the process and provide the best possible military advice to the president. i really hope that statement closes the book on this narrative. this should hopefully be the final time we have to address what was in the national security directive. the family of the president also had a very somber and
lengthy conversation with the family chief petty officer william ryan owens.the president offered his sincerest condolences to his wife, father and three children. chief owens was on his 12th deployment for what i understand. we can never repay the debt of gratitude that we owe him. the freedom he fought for and the sacrifice he made as well as the other members of the unit who were injured in this operation. today in the senate, to the president's nominees advanced the committee for the energy and natural resources committee approved the nomination of congressman ryan zinke of the next interior secretary in the nomination of former governor rick perry as the next secretary of energy. elaine chao also gratefully received the senate vote to become next secretary of transportation. i expect further guidance on her official swearing into come soon.
senate democrats have done everything in their power to do the work in the senate while the president takes action. just like he promised during ã it is fortunate to senate democrats remain so out of touch that the american people ãthis past november.the people want change, president trump is delivering that change. the only responsive senate democrats so far as you try to install the core functions of our government. another i see this every day but it is getting ridiculous. the idea that these people have qualifications and is being stalled because they are being ãthat they are not showing up to hearings is truly outrageous. i like to give a special shout out to c-span for making sure that all of these embarrassing actions by senate democrats get wall-to-wall coverage that they deserve. voters are going to remember this when president trump ãtry
to do this the next time the names on the ballot. i don't mean to sound like a broken record but numbers don't lie. 16 of the nominees are waiting to be confirmed. in 2009 president obama only had seven people waiting confirmation in 2001 president bush had to. moving on, at the white house this morning we reiterated the president's intentions to continue to enforce the executive order protecting employees from the anti-lgbt q discrimination while working for the federal government contractors. also this morning the president had a breakfast with major pharmaceutical company executives in the roosevelt room. johnson and johnson, merck, eli lilly and the former trade group were represented at that meeting. chairman growth walden, chairman of the house committee on energy and commerce also participated. during the meeting the president commended their progress in lowering drug
prices also reiterated his insistence that there is more work to be done. he promised to continue -- he was pleased to have the chairman discussed 1600 american jobs will be added by them. the ministration will continue to prioritize jobs and make it easier for businesses around the country to hire more americans. the president had lunch with mayor giuliani just a short time ago. who serves as the ceo of an international firm giuliani partners. he was asked to lend his expertise to the ministrations of cyber efforts. mayor giuliani was asked to initiate the process because of his long and very successful government career in law enforcement and his 15 years in private sector security providing solutions for the challenges we face in the cyber world.during the transition of president nancy intended to host a series of meetings with senior corporate executives from companies that are facing challenges such as hacking,
intrusion, disruptions and manipulation, identities and security information from technological infrastructures. these are the same issues facing government, public entities, businesses and the president believes solutions to these issues will often prompt from the private sector. following lunch of mayor giuliani the president will host a session with the cyber security experts and mayor giuliani. -- we do expect a spirited wide-ranging discussion regarding these threats own nation's patient lives afternoon the president will sign an executive order potentially someone that the federal government cybersecurity efforts and give leaders the tools they need to keep the country safe from cyber attacks.the order of three main things chris secures the federal networks we operate on behalf of the american people. it will work with industry to protect critical infrastructure. and maintain our way of life
and advance the cause of its net freedom.more information will be available this afternoon. the executive orders that is the first step in the president taking the address, new security challenges in the 21st century. the vice presidents they participated in the republican policy lunch in the senate. he will several meetings with members at capital health. beginning extensive research on the supreme court choice. the vice president will square in elaine chao and will have further updates at 5 o'clock in his ceremonial office. across the way in the old executive office building. secretary elaine chao is one of the most successful in american history. having been longest tenure secretary since world war ii also serving as debbie secretary of transportation under george w. bush's administration. she is a good choice for this and promises to be significant modernization and improvement. as already mentioned the last thing on the schedule tonight is the president's announcement of the next associate justice
for the supreme court. tomorrow is the kicker for black history month. and the white house is excited to as a series of advanced this month in recognition of it. in particular the us post office will hold a ceremony tomorrow celebrating the official issuance of the dorothy ãforever stamp your doctor height led the national council of negro women for four decades and is a true pioneer in the civil rights movement. finally a couple of administrative notes. our friend the president will depart from this white house to the winter white house and mar-a-lago. they will spend the weekend holding meetings for further guidance on both trips will be coming out throughout the week. i'm excited to announce that following up on our announcement of expanding to skype seats will officially be launching the briefing room tomorrow. the inaugural catalyst will be natlie across eight in cleveland ohio, larson of the lars larson show. chuck from joby publishing in
kentucky and kimberly ãfrom w pri in rhode island. i look forward to virtually welcoming them to the briefing room. with that, questions? don roberts. >> last night questions were raised with how the president will deal with ãdoes he see what she said yesterday in a difference of opinion and insubordination? how will the act on similar things in the future? >> there's a difference john between listening and sharing ideas and executing lawful orders. it is the right of every american to express the idea of an opinion. in fact that is what gives them the president do today.we are talking about leaving at the 2 o'clock hour incident on cyber experts. to get their opinions and ideas of how to protect our critical infrastructures. but there is a difference when she is the acting attorney general is not only responsible but required to execute lawful orders and defiantly says no.
as someone who is chosen to lead the department. she is rightfully removed. that is a position of leadership that is given to someone who is supposed to execute orders that are handed down to them properly. i wish that executive order was 100 percent done. ironically, it went through their offices, the department of justice office of legal compliance. so the idea that it went through the entire process of which they were part of and that she chooses not to execute it actually is bewildering as well as defiant. >> so is the president laying down a marker now? for all of his cabinet secretaries and all of his other officials to say, if i give you a directive and you do not follow it you are gone? >> i think that kind of comes with the job right? if you don't believe in the president's agenda, and i think everyone with cabinet members, every one of the appointees understand they serve at the
pleasure of the president. we talked about this at length during the transition. this is not about having the government execute your ideas or your initiatives. the president was very clear during the campaign whether his economic security or national security that he has an agenda that they articulated very clearly to the american people. ãhold on, thank you.and it is his job to lay that vision out and the people that he appoints and nominates and announces our staff members are cabinet members or agency heads, their job is to fulfill that. if they do not like it then it should not take the job. but it is the president's agenda that we are fulfilling here. >> the executive order today, how is it trump administration ensuring digital privacy and cybersecurity to. >> just to be clear on executive order.i think one of the things of the president, the reason the president wants mayor giuliani some of these experts to come is to get their ideas, to make sure that where we are headed and cybersecurity.
he is fulfilling the attempt to ensure the critical drop throughout the government and business are protected and secured. i just want to caution that we may or may not do today. i think the president has a pretty good idea where he will go but i think he wants mayor
giuliani and subject experts have to say about the steps that we can take in terms of executive action. that will help secure further critical infrastructures. april? >> i have a couple of questions. no. [inaudible] >> is not a travel ban. i think the secretary or one of the other individuals, a million people are not coming to this country. it is not a band. it is meant for the people who are coming in are vetted properly from seven countries that were identified by the obama administration. abandoning people cannot get in. you clearly seen hundreds of thousands of people come into
our country from other countries. sorry. >> . [inaudible question] >> i think april, one of the things we're doing is trying to make sure that people understand actually what happened. i saw reporting today that secretary kelly was out of the loop and he was on a plane and flying. and he was reported on one of the networks and major institutions about what happened to secretary kelly. he comes us as i was briefed on this and the edits came from my staff. i do not know how, i do not want to spend each of these briefings talking about misinformation. the end of the day a major newspaper and a major network
reported today, that they were kept out of the loop. the secretary detailed multiple occasions in which he was briefed. his staff made edits to it. i think part of what we are trying to do is make sure that people actually understand what happened, what the process was and what the order actually does. use words like travel ban, that mr. presents what it is. it is seven countries previously identified by
the obama administration. where frankly we do not get the information that we need for people coming into the country. what this is not about, not just the people, it is about the information that another country provides us. so we work with other countries. we have systems in place to ensure that when you travel from our country or their country to our country or vice versa, we are sharing information about passengers and citizens going in and out. the seven countries in particular, we do not have the
information necessary to make an accurate determination at the time of entry. into our country. so we are going to make sure that because that country does not have made the systems in place, or in some cases the willingness to provide us the information necessary to ensure that the people coming into the country are properly vetted. this is not about refugees. it's about travelers. and that's what this is about. part of what we are doing is frankly making sure other countries understand exactly what was in the order, how it applied, what visas and waivers and all of this stuff. but for the most part using a lot of people stopping reading order and realizing, that is it? and i think that is what we have tried to make sure people have the facts. [inaudible question] >> we are going out there and we are trying to measure people understand that the process is working correctly. is working very well, the government is doing what it is
supposed to protect its people. that is the number one thing we can do. yes? [inaudible question] >> my understanding is that congressman cummings was invited to the meeting. he had a scheduling conflict. we are looking at sending it back up. he was invited to the meeting today. he informed us he had a scheduling conflict. we're looking to get back on the bus as soon as possible. i expect at this point it will be one-on-one. >> does the president anticipate difficult confirmation for -- [inaudible] >> i think the democrats can obstruct but the american people will overcome that. what i mentioned at the outset of this, the advice and consent peace. he and our team have met with senators from both sides of the aisle.to make sure that we understand the quality that
they are looking for in the next associate justice. and i think that we have done a very good job of getting a nominee in place that will be ã that will meet the criteria that is set forth. they may not like the political or philosophical background i think in terms of academia background, time on the bench, the expertise and criteria meets the intent about republican and democrats. john |>> so you can get nine democrats to support this? >> absolutely. i think at the end of the day one of the things it has been a time-honored tradition in the countries that we recognize the confirmation process, the fault is that if you're qualified ã for the position. the should be confirmed not the other way around. i think most democrats realize that at some point, having a court that is not fully operational is not the way, nothing political fight to
have. >> this is the obvious follow-up question appeared at least one republican senator has said democrats have removed the filibuster from just about every other appointment aside from the supreme court. and several republicans say that no tatian about moving for another nuclear option and democrats attempted filibuster of any of the possible nominees. is this something the president would support? and has he discussed it with members of the senate? >> i think first and foremost the last person i think will get benign senators regardless and i would not be surprised if we have more. when you look at, and i will be able to shed more light on this tomorrow in terms of background. but i think we have an individual that i think is hopefully going to garner widespread bipartisan support. because i think this individual has the qualifications and experience
in the judicial philosophy that should win bipartisan support. that being said, the end i would suggest senator mcconnell has done a phenomenal job of moving things along in the senate to the extent the democrats will let him and i believe any further questions on how the senate operates. [inaudible question] >> any of the, how he got there in the last | [laughter] in the last day or two who has he leaned onto kind of narrow this down? and then | >> i would say i would probably shed a lot more light on this tomorrow. i appreciate the effort to try to head that off. but tomorrow i think we might have a little more of a discussion. how the president came to this choice. he may touch on it a little tonight i will leave it to him.
but i appreciate that. >> what makes him so competent that he can drive down drug prices as far as administration's passing tried to do the same but have not been able to? i will he go about that in five. >> i think this during the entire administration. he is a successful businessman and negotiator. several people try to get the cross-complaint down here the cost of the m 35's and parts of the air force one. through a couple of conversations he did it. save billions of the possible. the f 35 and significant on the next generation of air force one. i think is a track record so far during the transition alone. but as a businessman he knows to negotiate.i think you will sit down with these individuals in the same way that he is getting people to understand the agenda and the regulatory and tax, but he wants. people are making a commitment to him to bring jobs and manufacturing back based on his
track record as a businessman and his word. they understand he's going to create a climate that supports the american worker and american manufacturing. i think you know, look over and over again the number of companies. want to come back and see part of the agenda to grow the economy and create jobs on behalf of taxpayers and you'll continue to see that. managers and challenges that -- allowing these prescription drugs prices to drop or get the best deal for the government whether his medicare or medicaid for such large fires in the va. you are not coming about such processing power not being utilized to the full extent. >> the president is meeting with mayor giuliani today what you think
of the mayor's claim to the executive order on the seven countries involved from the president is not accurate? >> i think that president has
talk about extreme democracy is very clear this is not a muslim
man.. the american state. all of the facts in the. / estimated county. that is his opinion. i'm just telling you what the president has said and with the president has done here to focus on keeping the country safe and the executive order that was drafted does just that. to make sure and to ensure people coming in from seven countries identified by the obama administration did not have the proper systems to know who is coming country. put in place and a 90 day period was also granted to ensure that we knew how to further address that in the future. >> spread over the weekend. can you confirm that |
[inaudible question] >> i will not go any further than what the department of defense has been leased. obviously we recovered a tremendous amount of information and killed an estimated 14 members of al qaeda and other individuals. and suffered the loss of life as a servicemember and four people were injured. that is as far as i'm willing to go at this time. kristen. [inaudible question] >> that is the where the meeting is using but at the end of the day, holland, hold on. it can't be | [inaudible] >> it cannot be a vanity or letting a million people in.
granted 25,000 people from another country cannot win.by nature it is not abandon. [inaudible question] >> i'm not confusing think the words being used to describe this derived from the media calling this.he has been very clear this is extreme vetting. [inaudible question] >> first of all i think we have a just that. we could have either telegraphed this days in advance in which people could have gotten on plans to come over here. which have undermined the exact nature of what socrates forgot. or we could have done this in a way that inconvenienced some folks for a while. >>. [inaudible] and i presented the question? your people told general kelly who is unaware of what was
going on moments when you get financing. sometimes i can breathe. with all the respect you have been part of the confusion here you have caused this. general kelly stands up and says this is how many times i've been reading this is how much is involved. get you out there | [inaudible] >> nbc news is reporting based on "the new york times" false reporting. how can it be accurate reporting glenn | [inaudible] >> the secretary of homeland security just get up so you're calling him a liar and five jonathan ãi'm talking to ãyou said there was a report in the new york times about that he was unaware of the band. >>. [inaudible] you said yesterday about anyone who does not agree in terms of bureaucracy should hit the road. you had a statement that
president trump made their he accused the attorney general of the train from department by expressing a counter opinion. do not think that kind of language has a chilling effect on the public and the transition | >> i think ãthink about the process. the department of justice is, they vetted the executive order presented back to us saying it was completely in the -- if the acting attorney general has an office under her jurisdiction that says something is legal and compliant, and then she gets up and says i'm not going to enforce this. does not sound like an attorney general that is upholding the duty that she swore to uphold. [inaudible] at the end of the day she should step down. at the end of the day, the attorney general either had a problem with her own division
approving something but it was not the president she had a problem with. the president follow the process. so i would be back through the agency review, had other departments sign off despite the reporting that sediments otherwise. >>. [inaudible] >> why don't we just let me answer glenn so we can be polite now. what the answer is, went through the process. the office of legal compliance to methods of this is a compliant executive order. it is totally legal and it can be executed. then for the attorney general to turn around and say i'm not going to uphold this lawful executive order is clearly a dereliction of duty and she should have been removed and she was. so i just ãit is odd to me were having a discussion about somebody whose job it is to execute lawful orders who chose not to do it.hold on. you chose not to do it and then we are questioning whether or not we have a right to remove her. that is the right thing to do. and if you look at the folks in
the right and the left constitutional scholars this morning, they said we might not agree with some of the policies of the political or the part of the president but he was right to do this. he had every right. [inaudible] >> the department's job is ã they are the department of justice and if you have a legally executed order and the attorney general says i'm not going to execute it, that truly and clearly is a betrayal of what she ãi am not going to define the words. [inaudible] >> love, the secretary was briefed on multiple occasions with the length of the order. i do not know how you can say that any other way. [inaudible]
>> antonio i do not believe "the new york times" reporting was accurate. he was breathing but they were part of the drafting process. it went through not only that, just back up. they get consulted and brief. go to the office of legal compliance. then it was the nfc and homeland security council. this was through a very extensive process. so whether not have fully reviewed ãhe was raised multiple times, so the language. his staff made edits and came back multiple times. i'm not sure my home with marie thing you can do. >> the australian government | [inaudible question] >> can you confirm that the deal is still on and exempt from what you describe as this
vetting or will it be delayed? >> it is a 1250 people. mostly in new guinea being held. those people part of the deal is that they have to be vetted in the same manner we are doing up here there will be extreme vetting applied all of them. that is part and parcel as the deal that was made. and it was made by the obama administration with the backing of the united states government. the president in accordance with that deal can honor had been up agreed upon in the nicest government and ensuring that the vetting will take place. in the same manner we are doing now. that will go forward. [inaudible] >> he said he was going to gather us altogether, bring us together any actions taken in the first 10 days. that seems to indicate otherwise for people in his own party for the use of the word betrayal. how is this president going to address the fact that people
are looking to him to bring people together and yet, his own words seem to be driving us apart. >> that is a very one-sided way of looking at this. i think he has brought unions together, business leaders together, republicans, democrats, independents i think someone who does not carry out an act and using that as a way to describe is not funneling the country together is not exactly a representation. >>. [inaudible] >> the president has done a tremendous amount for what is said and done more importantly to start to bring the country together. his policies rightly are focused on keeping every american state and getting a better paying jobs. that is something that benefits all of us.[inaudible question]
>> there is no change in the role. as announced ã. [inaudible] >> he has to be confirmed first. clearly the leader of negotiating trade deals. there is a great unbelievably robust team continuing to work on behalf of deals and renegotiating and it is a two-step process. number one we are going to re-examine all of the current trade deals. figure out if we can improve them. but secondly i think we're going to start talking to other countries around the globe including some of the partners of the 11 other countries, hugging them rip current trade deals with. he would examine those to see if we can improve upon them. and then look at the other countries in there and see if there's a willingness to engage with factories. >> the president had previously
indicated he would interrogate | [inaudible] >> when did he say that? >>. [inaudible] >> i think he is clear that when it comes to seeking out isis and other terrorists he will lean on pompeo, general medicine and seek their opinions on such things. [inaudible] >>. [inaudible question] >> i think all of those actions are being currently reviewed. we do not have anything further at this time. >> the obama administrations finding that the president still plan to revoke the power
plan and would have perhaps go even further and try and revoke the endangerment finding way. >> i think the president has been very clear with the energy policy. he wants to review all of the options that we have seasonal natural resources to better the country program, power, solar, clean coal. we are in the process of reviewing all of the energy policies. i directly note that we do not have an energy secretary confirmed right now. the senate has not yet moved forward with that. hope that once that is that we will have further updates on energy. [inaudible question] how many more from the government at this time with transition and confirmation process and do expect from any other ones? >> in some cases where individuals we help them because of a critical position government.
in some cases we named folks as acting. it is a case-by-case basis. again, i think part of it right now with the present wanting to focus on getting his cabinet up and complete. will continue with nominations both are deputy under and secretary level. but in key agencies, it is being one of them, there are 30 other agencies where we need acting has to ensure that as we move through the confirmation process we have somebody in that position to ensure continuity of government. [inaudible question] >> first of all just to be clear, what they are talking about is the number of people who were not allowed to board a plane coming in. so they were stopped at the port of entry. we had to get additional clearance and then take off. there's a big difference. the numbers which organize the initial group of people that
were in transit at the time the executive order was signed. then there is another of the people in the department of homeland security and they have those numbers up to date on their website. when they're talking about people stop at the port of entry to ensure they are properly vetted before they board a plane. it is a very very delicate distinction between people who were on the plane coming into this country when the executive order was signed. all of who had been vetted and cleared.the people have been stopped in the port of entry, were from one of the seven countries to ensure the proper vetting took place.before they were able to move on. >> the question about us civilians being targeted | [inaudible question] >> no american citizen will ever be targeted. yes we. >> if you're qualified for the position you said earlier if you're qualified for the vision, you should get
confirmed. that is not how ãwas treated. >> one fourth term, someone that late in the election cycle that had never occurred before. i think that the senate republicans are very clear. we should wait and let the voters have a choice. that is exactly what happened. as i noted at the beginning of this, 70 percent of people thought the president's choice for the next supreme court was a major decision. that was something he campaigned on. i think when you're that way in a term and it never happened before ãand the goal was to make sure that the voters had a safe and allowing that to happen. i think that clearly it works. the voters looked at that as a major reason in which they voted for the president. i think as we move forward that is why i think will get the support we need. [inaudible question] >> there is a lot of cases i
think in that you might not have potential. i think the idea is to get this individual confirmed as soon as possible. just to get the docket moving. that is probably the biggest priority right now. thank you guys very much.have a great day. i'll see you tonight. love, 8 o'clock. good luck, 8 o'clock. [inaudible conversations] >>. [inaudible conversations]
confirmed elaine chao as transportation secretary. the vote was 93 ãsix with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell voting present on his wife's confirmation. now it is out of session while similes meet in their weekly lunch meetings. vice president mike pence is 20 republicans today and respect senate lawmakers to return to the floor in a few moments at 2:00 p.m. eastern. of course live coverage here on c-span2. other nominations are waiting possible action on the senate floor to your secretary of state off the floor a number of committees have been considering nominations during the health committee meeting this morning republican senator lisa murkowski said education secretary nonny betsy devos can't count on her boat. practically mr. chairman. we have had an opportunity to speak about the nominee before us at great length. i think you have heard the concerns i have expressed not only to you but the concerns i have expressed to mrs. devos before the