tv Sean Spicer Holds First Daily Briefing CSPAN January 24, 2017 12:47am-2:11am EST
morning. join the discussion. in his first official press briefing, white house spokesman sean spicer answered questions on his statement over the weekend about inauguration attendance. other topics included immigration, batting isis, the president's visit to the cia and withdrawinge order the u.s. from the transpacific partnership agreement. this is one hour 15 minutes. >> good afternoon everyone. we get started, i know that
josh earnest was voted most popular press secretary by the press corps. after reading my twitter feed, i shot him and email letting him know that he can rest easy that his title is secure for at least the next few days. the president has been closely monitoring the severe weather in the southeast. he offered his condolences and support. today president trump is focused on fulfilling his pledged to pursue trade policies that put america first. the president began his day with a breakfast with key u.s. business leaders with a focus on the manufacturing base. business leaders included , the ceo of whirlpool, the ceo of ford, the ceo of johnson and johnson, the ceo of lockheed martin, the ceo of architects, the ceo of dow steel,l, the ceo of u.s.
elon musk comic kevin plank of corningmour, the ceo of , chief of staff rice previous -- reince priebus. senior adviser stephen miller. the breakfast was an opportunity for the present to hear from america's top business leaders and take some suggestions about what policies and actions can be taken to allow them to grow our manufacturing base. the meeting included a great exchange of ideas, and the president has decided to reconvene the group in a month and have the meat on a quarterly basis. the president's vision is to negotiate fair trade deals, increase american wages and reduce american trade deficits. he has appointed a tough and smart number of trade experts who will fight on the half of american workers.
with that vision in mind, the president has taken several steps today. first he issued a presidential memorandum withdrawing the united states from the transpacific partnership. a multilateral agreement that includes the united states and 11 other countries. as the president said many other times, this type of multinational agreement is not in our best interests and he is moving quickly to advance trade policies that increase the competitiveness of the american worker. the trouble administration will pursue bilateral trade opportunity with allies from around the globe. this is a strong signal that trump once strong and free fair trade so the world. be reestablishing the mexico city policy saying the united states will and the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas, along with coercion abortions. finally, they issued a
memorandum. it counters the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years. filling vacant positions and creating new positions, except when necessary, to meet national or public security responsibilities. this does not apply to military personnel and ensures the american taxpayer gets effective and efficient government. theier in the day, president discussed ways to deepen the bilateral relationship and egypt's battle with terrorism. theident trump underscored united states remaining strongly committed to the bilateral relationship which has helped both countries overcome challenges in the region for decades. the president committed to working with continued assistance to egypt. commendedent also -- thent occ -- lcc
egyptian president for the reform programs. finally, the two leaders discussed the business of the united states in the future. they then recapped this morning's meeting and discussed next steps. they also had discussed plans to advance the presence legislative agenda to make more progress. also, designations were acting heads of departments and agencies to maintain continuity in those critical positions. at 3:00, union leaders and front-line workers will meet with the president to discuss his pro-worker agenda. include tomto -- flynn. terry o'sullivan. mcmanus, the general president of united association. donald mullins.
frank spencer, united brotherhood carpenters. , mark hold of ironworkers local five. joseph sellers junior, general president of the sheet metal workers union. frost invaders and allies local 24. united association local five. stephen dodd, the sheet metal workers union/smart union. the president has been honored tremendous support from union working men and women on election day and is dedicated to growing and deepening their support. they made a priority to meet with these workers on they want the white house. it has hit american workers particularly hard. the president's top priorities is to attract american jobs which have already seen happening through general motors
and so many more. at 5:00 the president will host a bicameral meeting with -- bipartisan meeting that will include the vice president, the senate, the senate minority whip, the house speaker, house majority leader, house democratic whip, the white house chief of staff, chief strategist , chief of staff to the vice president and chief of staff on those respective offices. the purpose of the meeting is to get the president agenda working through congress. the american people are frustrated with the lack of ingress and he was no delay forging strong bonds with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. one of the other subjects that it should come up is the status of the nominees. it is important to note that at this point in 2009, president obama had seven of his nominees confirmed on day one and five more in the first week. as it stands, we have two. democrats even held up the
confirmation of cia director mike pompeo, needlessly leaving one of our most important national security agencies without its top leader on day one. it is time for democrats to stop playing political games with the core functions of the government and to allow president trump's talented group of cabinet nominees to get to work on behalf of the american people. rounding out today's schedule, after the reception i mentioned, he will have dinner and a meeting with the house speaker paul ryan and they will discuss the house legislative agenda going forward. earlier today, nominated the next secretary of the air force. she grew up in new hampshire and made history as part of the third u.s. air force academy class that included women. she earned her master's degree and her doctoral degree as a rhodes scholar in england and served on the national security office under president george
h.w. bush. we are all about big viewership ships and large audiences here, so i want to tell you about an effort we are undertaking here in the present briefing room to offer up more access to a group of journalists around the country. i'm excited to announce we are your -- we are going to have four skype seats here in the briefing room that will open up the briefing room to journalists who lives 50 miles or beyond the washington, d.c., area and any organization is welcome to apply for a day pass. we want to open up the field to a diverse group of journalists from around the country who do not have the convenience or funding to travel to washington. this gives a platform to voice that is not necessarily based here in the beltway. looking ahead, the president will have a breakfast with the heads of the auto industry, including gm, chrysler, and ford. he looks forward to hearing their opinions about how we can bring more jobs back into this industry in particular.
on wednesday, the president will host a swearing-in ceremony for the new secretary of homeland security general john kelly and on friday we will do the same at secretary matus -- mattis the department of defense. welcome his first foreign head of state, british prime minister may. with that, i look forward to taking your questions. when will you start building the border wall? >> the president has noted this was a serious priority of his throughout the campaign. he has already started to work with congress on the appropriations avenue of that. he is doing everything he can to direct agencies and congress to work on that as soon as possible. >> with obamacare, are you in -- and forcing the mandate or not?
>> the mandate? the president has made it clear that he is going to work with congress, and part of the conversation is going to have tonight is on how we can work to implement both the repeal and replace. >> of all the policy or action the president could of taking, that could have taken, he chose to reinstate a sitting policy. does he see the reduction of abortions as an american value? can americans expect him to put his hand on legislation that will defund planned parenthood? >> the president has made it clear that he is a pro-life president. he wants to stand up for all americans including the unborn. i think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes of that value but respects taxpayer funding as well. it ensures we are standing up not just for life, the life of the unborn, but also for
taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president and i think continue to further illustrate not just to the folks here in this country but around the world what a value we place on life. jennifer rodriguez. janet, i am sorry. >> what did he mean when he said he would work to congress to get a special -- something, we don't know what it is, and when can we expect that to happen? and when do we expect the white house spanish site to be back up? mr. spicer: two questions. let me start with the latter first. as you know, we hit the ground running on day one. we've done a lot of work on the website to make sure we are prepared to get as much information up as quickly as possible. we are continuing to build out the website on the issues area, but we have the i.t. folks working overtime right now to
continue to get all of that up to speed and trust me, it's just going to take a little more time but we will work piece by piece to get that done. president has been feared that -- bot he will prioritize the as dealing with the immigration system, both building the wall and making sure we address people who are in this country illegally. the president is very clear that we need to direct agencies to focus on those that are in this country illegally and have a record, a criminal record or pose a threat to the american people. that is where the priority will be and we will continue to work through the entire number of folks who are here illegally. right now the clear focus is on that. >> i want to ask you two questions. the president campaigned in the corporate tax cut rate of 15%.
today when he met with business leaders he mentioned that tax rate would drop to somewhere between 15%-20%. is he moving the goalposts there in any way? and on government spending, there's been reports of $10 trillion over the course of 10 years. is that accurate, and would you be willing to ramp up entitlements to get there? mr. spicer: on spending, there has been some degree of lack of respect for taxpayer dollars in this town for a long time. what the president is showing through the hiring freeze is that we have to respect the american taxpayer. they are sending us a ton of money and some people are working to or three jobs just to get by. to see money wasted is insulting to the hard work they do to pay their taxes. that comes to your question in overall spending as well. we have to look at how we are spending the american people's tax money. what the landing teams have been doing is going to these agencies
and departments and talking about ways that we can create greater efficiencies, eliminate duplicity, and maximize the tax dollar. it's more -- it's how do we respect the american tax dollar more going forward. the president is a very successful businessman and negotiator. he's going to sit down and work with congress to get the best deal possible for american businesses so they can hire more people and we can expand and grow the economy. he's going to work with congress on that. he understands better than anybody how to negotiate a great deal. he's going to negotiate the best you on behalf of the american worker and on behalf of the american businesses that are hiring them. that was a lot of the focus that went on today. the meeting was only supposed to last an hour. it overflow to another hour. he kept asking them, what ideas do you have, what regulations are stopping you from conducting more business?
what are the ways that we can give you more market access to other countries around the globe? that is where his focus is going to continue to be. had we create a market that benefits the american worker? it's about lifting up those jobs through higher wages. >> elijah cummings confirmed that president donald trump talked to him about the high price of prescription drugs. what does this -- when is this meeting going to be set, or is it coming up soon? will he meet with the full body of the congressional black caucus on these issues?
mr. spicer: i'm not aware of that conversation. i'm sure you're the president in the last couple of weeks talk about the price of pharmaceutical drugs and the need to get those prices down and bring manufacturing back in the pharmaceutical industry to benefit the country. it's an issue that he will continue to work on. he understands as we reform health care and repeal and replace obamacare, that getting hold of the cost of prescription drugs and to allow greater access is going to be a key part of it. that is going to happen. what you are saying with respect to the other meeting, it is working day one here. it's going to start with the leadership. he's going to have a great conversation with them, but i think you're going to see a right of meetings with all groups. he is someone who really enjoys that kind of conversation. i think you will see a lot of meetings occur like the ones that he did today. the business leaders coming in, the union workers. it is interesting.
the president was asking these folks today, how many of you have been in the oval office? three of them raised their hands. the union leaders, where hearing, we did not get a lot of attention. here it is day one and the president is reaching out to some of the best business leaders and union workers in line workers in bringing them in and saying i want to listen to what is going on in your life. what can we be doing to help you? i listening president who is engaged in trying to figure out what policies and actions he can take, that the government can take, that he can work with congress to make people's lives better and make their security better, to make their economic security better. you're going to see a lot of that. that is what he did during the transition and that's what he is going to do going forward. he appreciates the ideas and opinions that come through the oval office or small groups where he gets to share their perspective and their ideas and opinions. that's what is going to continue
to do later this afternoon. >> i want to go back to what the gentleman said about the mandate. he said something about the obamacare mandate. with the numbers in the news from an alteration day and on saturday, do you believe you have the mandate to be able to force through what you have talked about, displacing portions of obamacare that really subsidize a whole piece of it to help low income people to have health care? mr. spicer: what we have is a mandate to make health care more accessible and lower cost. that's what the american people were promised under obamacare. it's not a question about a mandate or about forcing anything. it's about doing the right thing. it's about writing people what they have been promised. you go around this country and you look at market aftermarket market, they are down to one plan. that's not what the american people were promised. in many cases you're seeing the
rates go up 30% or 50%. that is not what they were promised either. i think he is gone bipartisan support for this, to work with congress and take executive action where necessary to implement health care system that provides more people health care, truly allows them to keep the doctor and plan they are signing up for, lowers costs, create more competition. do i think he has a mandate? sure, but it's not on this issue. all leaders have a mandate from the american people to fix the system and make it better. >> there is some discrepancy between what the russians are saying what the pentagon is saying on potential joint action. can you clarify that, and generally is the president open to joint action in dealing with the russians? mr. spicer: i would refer you back to the department of defense. they are currently monitoring this and i would refer you back
to them on this. the president has been very clear that he will work with any country that shares our interest in defeating isis, not just on the national security front but on the -- economic front and allow u.s. small businesses and companies. >> joint military actions with an russia on syria? mr. spicer: if we have a shared national interest in that, sure, we will take it. >> on saturday he was talking about the u.s. not needing oil and saying there would be another chance for that. what did he mean by that? mr. spicer: too often the united states is going in with a lot of money and manpower and in many cases, having both loss of life -- we want to make sure our interests are protected when we are going into a country for a cause. it wants to make sure that america's getting something out of it for the commitment and
sacrifice we are making. he has been very clear throughout the campaign that he is committed to making sure that the american people, the american taxpayer sees some benefit and ensures that our interests overseas are not just sending like checks, that were doing something that either protects america or is in our best interest. >> this the president planned to take action to greenlight the keystone xl and dakota access pipeline? and on tpp, john mccain said it was a series mistake to do what the president did. why was tpp the right thing to do, to repeal? mr. spicer: i think i said it. when you enter into these multinational agreements, you are allowing any country, no
matter the size, to basically have the same stature as the united states in the agreement. we are basically on par with a very small companies are getting access to an amazing market with the united states, and in return, or negotiating at the lowest common denominator. when you look at big multilateral agreements, they are not always in the best interest of the united states. if any of the parties in the agreement decide at any time they want to get out of the agreement or they are not being treated fairly, they can renegotiate it much easier. in multinational agreements, that is not the case. in many cases all the other countries have to agree to an action or to let somebody out. that is not putting the u.s. interest first. i'm not going to get in front of the president's executive action but areas like dakota and the keystone pipeline, areas that we can increase jobs and economic growth and tap into america's energy supply more, that is something he has been very clear
about. not only in the campaign but around thanksgiving he was talking about that being a big priority. that is one of those ones where the energy sector in our natural resources are an area where the president is very keen on making sure that we maximize our natural resources to america's benefit. it's good for american energy and for jobs and growth. >> before i get to a policy question, a question about the nature of your job. is it your intention to always tell the truth from that podium, and will you pledge never to knowingly say something that is not factual? mr. spicer: it is. it is an honor to do this, and yes, i believe that we have to be honest with the american people. i think sometimes we can disagree on the facts. there are certain things that we may not fully understand when we come out, but our intention is never to lie to you, jonathan.
you are in the same boat. there are times when you guys tweet something out or write a story and you publish a correction. that doesn't mean that you are intentionally trying to deceive readers and the american people, does it? i think we should be afforded the same opportunity. there are times when we believe something to be true or we get something from an agency or react in haste because the information that is available is incomplete, but our desire to communicate with the american people, so we do it. but when you look-net, we are going to do our best every time we can. if we make a mistake, we will do our best to correct it. as i mentioned the other day, it is a two-way street. there are many mistakes that the media makes all the time. they don't report something, they get a fact wrong.
i don't think you should turn around and say you are intentionally lying. i think we all try to do our best job with the degree of integrity in our respective industries. question you have any corrections or clarifications that you would like to make? like the issue of metro ridership. mr. spicer: we were trying to provide numbers that we had been provided. >> do you stand by your statement that it was the most watched inaugural? mr. spicer: sure. it was the most watched inaugural. one network along got 16.9 million people online. tens of millions of people watched it online. the audience that was here, 31 million people watching on television, combined with the tens of millions of people that
watched it online or on a device, it is unquestionable. i don't see any numbers that dispute that. when you add up total audience including tablets, phones, on television, i would like to see any information that proves that otherwise. do you dispute that? >> i don't want to get into numbers. >> i do. i'm just saying if you're asking about my integrity, i'm saying if you add up the network streaming numbers, youtube, face book, all the various streaming numbers that we have information on, i don't think there's any question that it was the largest watched inauguration ever. i'm pretty sure that reagan didn't have youtube, facebook, or the internet. 41 million people watched his. let's just take the nielsen ratings which are 31 million and add it to cnn, 16.9 million. that's a little higher.
you are asking me for numbers, there are just two entities together. >> the approach that you took on saturday, any second thoughts on that? mr. spicer: i came out to read a statement, and i did it. i'm here today, i will stay here as long as you want. [laughter] mr. spicer: i think you guys might want to leave before i do. but i want to make sure that we have a healthy relationship. i'm not trying to rehash history, but you are asking the question, so i'm going to answer it. we had a tweet go out about martin luther king. think about how racially charged that is. someone rushes out and says to the entire press corps that the president of the united states
has removed the bust from his office. think about what this signal -- hold on. my colleagues, that is the exact quote. that report. tweeted around. where was the apology to the president of the united states? to millions of people who saw that and thought how racially insensitive that was. where was that apology? i'm asking, where was that apology? i'm just saying that when things like that happened, when he says he's never missed an inauguration and he has. we have to make sure that we correct the record. when you talking about integrity and telling the truth and facts, i don't know that it was malicious at all, but there's a point at which we have a right to go out there and correct the record. over and over again, there's this attempt to go after this president and say that cannot be
true and that is not right and the numbers were not there. it was a rush to judgment every time, and it's a two-way street. we want to have a healthy and open dialogue with the press corps in the american people about what he's doing to help this country and unite it. he keeps talking about uniting this nation, bringing people together. and then a tweet to a few thousand people saying he removed the bust of martin luther king, how do you think that goes over? >> to the media invent the feud between trump and the press community? mr. spicer i think you saw from : the response the other day, he walked into the cia, people were hooting and hollering, they gave him a five-minute standing ovation. there is a difference between having differences with intelligence leaders and leaders of that community who had strong differences with him, then the people and men and women who toil every single day in our intelligence community.
and it was reflected at the cia. they were so excited, there was a thousand people that applied for 300 plus seats. we ended up taking 400 people. they were excited, they were clapping and cheering when he walked in. and your reports made it sound like there was some fencemending that needed to happen. i'm going to move on. >> what is the u.s. strategic interest in moving the u.s. embassy in tel aviv to jerusalem? and in the chat today, was the status of the muslim brotherhood discussed? mr. spicer: i gave you the readout on the call and that speaks for itself, what was discussed. >> what is the u.s. strategic interest in moving the embassy? mr. spicer: as i noted yesterday, there's no decisions.
we are in the early stages of that decision-making process. >> will there be a detailed discussion when prime minister may comes on friday on what a trade deal might look like? is stopped from going to get a state visit back to the u.k. later in the year? mr. spicer: we are here working on day one. we are excited that prime minister may is coming on friday. i'm sure there will be a discussion on trade. i'm sure we will have an opportunity to brief you out. i don't believe we have any plan for joint dress conference, but that something our team will be working out with prime minister may, and we will keep you updated on that. >> what specific steps will president trump take to expand u.s. trade opportunities abroad? mr. spicer: he's going to have a great conversation about the potential for greater trade with the u.k.
i mentioned earlier when he met with these many factors this morning, that was right at the top of the list. how can we get greater market access? what are the specific challenges these manufacturers are facing getting market access around the globe? is not just other countries, but within existing trade deals, we can figure out, is there a trade dispute that can be settled with the wto? there is a lot that can be done. there are things that congress can update to make sure we are importing and exporting more to benefit american businesses. >> will the president have even an informal chat with the prime minister before she comes here? mr. spicer: there are no plans for that now. it's always possible. he's been having a tremendous number of calls, i think well
over 80 now, the people who are called to congratulate him. he's met with canada and mexico and he talked to prime minister netanyahu yesterday. there will continue to be a robust number of world leaders. there is a tremendous excitement in the diplomatic corps and at the world leader level of people who are excited that president trump and this administration want to engage. there's a lot of times when he's talking to these folks and saying i have not heard from anyone in years. there's a genuine excitement to reengage the united states, especially in the area of trade and other economic interest but also international security. >> needless to say this is the big one, and it is the first. >> tpp was dead on arrival, so why is this anything more than symbolic? when will he start approaching bilateral -- it could be giving
time to make an inroad. mr. spicer: i would argue that bilateral deals is most of what china has been engaging in. most of them we have existing trade agreements with to begin with. this was an expansion of that in some areas, whether service industry or financial services, it allowed additional market access. this is not a deal that was in our country's best interest. a president could have come into office and renegotiated it and send people back to the drawing board. it had not gone to congress yet because it was not finalized. this president pulling out of the agreement is not just about this one agreement. i think it is symbolic both here in america and around the world of a new era in trade policy, one that will put american workers first and foremost, and
one that assures the rest of the world that the way we negotiate bilateral agreements is going to ensure that we get something out of these deals. the problem with multilateral agreements is that often it becomes the lowest common denominator on so many things. the u.s. already has low tariffs and other service industry benefits for countries. we have to be sure were going out in fighting for the american worker. we pulled out of tpp. we will have further updates on trade issues later this week. >> does the administration feel like you still need an executive order to remove yourself from nafta? mr. spicer: that's a great question. i believe there is a provision where you send notice to the other two countries, the exact nature of how that is described, i don't know, but there is a trigger within nafta, one of these sections allows the president of the united states
to notify them that we intend to do that. >> will there still be a north american trade block? mr. spicer: he has already spoken to the president of mexico and the prime minister of canada about his desire to renegotiate. as he meets with both of these individuals over the next 30 days or so, that will be the topic. if they come in and expressed a willingness to do that, you could negotiated within the current parameters and updated through the existing structure. if they don't, and he decides to pull out, then we would have to go back to the drawing table in the future. >> just to follow up on the china question, china actually has a regional remit and now
japan and australia are talking about joining that. does president trump see a national security component to these trade deals and easy concerned that china will write the rules for asia-pacific trade? mr. spicer: he has been very clear about china's place in the geopolitical landscape economically and national security wise. so he understands, that's part of the reason bilateral trade is important. but again, he's always going to be fighting for the interest of the country and american worker. how we engage and with whom is going to be decided on whether we can get a deal that benefits our country economically and in terms of national security. if there are things we can do economically that actually end up also benefiting us from a national security standpoint because of the economic relationship that exists between the two countries.
>> what is the average national unemployment rate? the overall unemployment rate. mr. spicer: the bureau of labor statistics puts it at -- there are ways that you can put out full employment. there is reason we put out several versions of that. one is the illustrative nature of how you count the unemployed, whether or not they are long-term unemployed or whether they are still seeking a job. but there's a reason you put out several statistics, it so that economist can view them and look at different landscape on how to make economic policy. >> at one point during the campaign he said it was 42%. mr. spicer: the economic team is going to look at a multitude of statistics. his goal is to get as many americans working, that's his ultimate goal.
the people who are hurting, who are unemployed, who cannot say for their kids future, that are having trouble with the health care costs, that's what he really cares about. it's not just a number to him. are their wages going up, can they find a better job, do they have access to education, whether it's college or a vo-tech kind of school so they can train for the skills of the next century? he is not focused on statistics as much is whether or not the american people are doing better as a whole and as a family. when we talked about carrier, that is a thousand jobs. during the holiday season, those people were unbelievably ecstatic that the president and vice president intervened. so every one of these meetings that you saw happen in trump tower, and now whether it's 2000 jobs are 20,000 jobs, that is the focus. it's making sure that small
businesses have greater opportunity to be successful and that american workers can have their wages lifted up. that their benefits in terms of health care and education or something that provide them the support they need. that is what this is all about. for too often in washington we get our heads wrapped around a number and a statistic. we forget the faces and families and the businesses that are behind those numbers. i think that is where his head is at, trying to look at those people who come to his rallies and events that he has met with in person that are struggling and saying i am working as hard as they can i am working two jobs, imed doing your thing by the rules and to keep getting screwed. that is what he is fighting for is that man or woman out there that is doing everything they can write but cannot catch a break. he addressed that in his inaugural speech when he talked about shifting power outside of washington, d.c. back to the american people.
because for too long, it has been about stats and what number are we looking at as opposed to what base are we looking at. >> i was curious about the message from this administration to you people who may qualify, should they enroll going forward, those who are in the program -- mr. spicer: what those people should notice the president has laid out a list of priorities. priorities are focused on making sure people who can do harm or who have done harm and have a criminal record are the focus and as he said, we have a series of individuals with have to figure out, people who have overstayed visas, people have committed crime and we have to go through that any >> 2016 was the hottest year on record in the last -- and the last three have been the hottest three on record. scientists say we're getting dangerously close to the point
that human civilization is threatened. how does mr. trump plan to address this? >> i think he's going to meet with his team, figure out what policies are best for the environment. one of the things he talked about during the campaign is there's a balance. and he's trying to make sure we use our resources appropriately, that we maximize things to make sure we don't do so at the detriment of economic growth job creation, so there's a balance. i don't think it's an either/or situation. we can make sure we're doing things that are smart for the environment and longevity as well as make sure that we're doing things that create job creation. >> what is the president's message to the millions of people here in washington and around the country who were protesting on saturday? and a follow-up after that. >> okay. very polite of you. i think he has a healthy respect for the first amendment. and he -- this is, you know, what makes our country so beautiful, is that on one day
you can inaugurate a president, on the next day, people can occupy the same space to protest something. he's also cognizant that a lot of these people were there to protest an issue of concern to them and not against anything. i remember this morning, debbie dingle was on television -- i don't want it and accurately quote her. women wereifferent there for different reasons but they were all there to make sure their core american values are going to be protected. i think many people like me were there for positive reasons and i think the president shares debbie dingle's views, that there were people who came to the mall, as they do all the time, sometimes in smaller numbers. i think he reaches out to them in the way he started on the night that he won the election. on the way he did on inauguration day, by sending a message that talks about fighting for them. but more importantly, i think the president is going to show through action and success that
he is fighting for them and every american. one of the things that we've seen so often in this town is a lot of rhetoric about how much people care. and i think the president is going to show, through deed and action and success, that he wants to fight for people's health care. he wants to have a better education system. he wants a stronger america. he wants to go in and fix our inner cities. he wants to make sure our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges -- i think more than anything, showing people through action and deed and success is where he's gonna prove to the american people how much he scares to unite us and how much he cares to make this america better and safer. >> the follow-up on the other side of this, another group -- >> i forgot. you did ask. >> i did. thank you for remembering. another group, just a follow-up to the question of moment ago, when we have the march for life here in washington, you said this is a pro-life president. what concrete promises is he making? we haven't heard a lot object what that policy is going to look like. >> it's day one. >> yet, but you have had a lot
of time to make those promises. >> i know. but i think -- >> what should their expectation be? >> that he's going to stand up and value life, born or unborn, same as he said throughout the last year and a half, that he's going to stand up, protect life, promoted and instill policies that promote life, adoption, that help support young women, that help support funding of agencies and clinics that support women's health. i think that's what he's gonna talk about, supporting all of life, the born, unborn, throughout life, making sure that we have health care that can support the american people and the american families. that's what he's gonna fight for. that's what he's going to be clear on. >> two questions. first one, with the congressional meeting today and also at the retreat, you said, talking about his legislative agenda, besides health care, can you give us one, two, or three legislative things that he wants to get through right away? >> right. immigration is obviously going
to be high on that list. tax reform. regulatory reform. that's three and four. >> and immigration is not an overhaul, though? >> i think he's going to work with congress to get the appropriations process going. it's not just building the wall. it's how do we enact policies to make sure that what we have now doesn't happen again. so it is working with them. it's a comprehensive look at how we're keeping people out of this country that shouldn't be here, that people who come to visit are leaving when they're supposed to, to make sure we're tailoring immigration policies, to make sure we're not an open door for anyone to just walk in. that the people who are here to visit safely or bring jobs and support our economy are coming in. but i think we have to do immigration smartly. that's what he's looking at. >> i had a second one. >> i'm sorry. you're right. >> i haven't heard that you have said or someone else has said specifically, will the president -- has the president spoken to any of the intelligence agencies about the investigation into the russian
connection, and will he allow that to go on? >> i don't believe he has spoken to anyone specifically about that. and i don't know that he has -- he has not made any indication that he would stop an investigation of any sort. >> clarification. you said you're willing to work with anybody to defeat the islamic state. does that include bashar al-assad? >> well, i think what it's -- we're going to smartly do this. i mean, let's be clear. part of it is to make sure they have america's interest in what they're doing and who they are. so we're not going to get together with people under the guise of defeating isis, if that's not truly their guise. so let's not take that too far. thank you. >> will the president release documents showing that he has left his businesses? >> i believe we have. he has resigned from the company, as he said he would before he took office. don and erica are fully in
charge of the company. >> the president -- the political priorities, what would be the message for the hispanic community in the u.s., taking into consideration that one of the priorities has been the wall? what would be the relation between this administration and the hispanic community in the u.s.? >> i think his relationship with the hispanic community is going to be great. whether it's jobs or education or health care, the president is committed to uniting all americans and working towards a better, safer, more secure, more prosperous america that benefits everybody. regardless of your background. that's something that he's committed to. yes? >> does mr. trump agree with rex tillerson that the u.s. should try and prevent china from accessing the islands in the south china sea, runways and other kinds of facilities they're building?
>> i think areas in the south china sea that are part of international waters, i think the u.s. is going to make sure we protect our interests there. it's a question of, if those islands are in fact in international waters and not china proper, we're going to make sure we defend international territories from being taken over by one country. >> would you prevent china from -- >> i think i answered the question. i think as we develop further, we'll have more information. >> thank you. >> i'll get to you, i promise. >> and welcome to your first day on the job. >> thank you. >> very simply, there was an earlier question about jerusalem and the u.s. embassy there. and a lot of talk about executive orders. is this something the president can accomplish by executive order? >> it is. but i think as i noted, john, it's very early in this process
and we are at the beginning stages of the process, and his team is going to continue to consult with stakeholders as we get there. >> so i have a follow-up on the housekeeping question about nafta. are we not to expect an executive order to renegotiate nafta or will he wait until he meets with the president next week? the other question i had is, he didn't mention latin america at all in his inauguration speech. does he plan to visit latin america this year? >> so on the first part, i think we'll have further announcements on trade throughout the week. i think we're done with executive orders for the day. but as i always say, stand by. we do not have any intention to have additional executive orders today. but i believe there could be some additional ones throughout the week on trade. and we'll have further updates for you on there. and then the second part?
>> if he plans to visit latin america, given that he left them out on his inauguration speech. >> well, i don't think he -- i don't think he left them out. he was focused on this country, our american workers. i don't think he got into detail on any countries that i'm aware of or that i can recall. i also think we're here on the first working day. we're announcing theresa may coming this friday. we're excited to have the prime minister here. we already talked about setting up a meeting with canada and mexico. he's talked to prime minister netanyahu about having him come over. and president el-sisi. we'll get there. we've got a lot of calls to return. there's a lot of excitement throughout the world. and a lot of people who are really excited both to come here and to have the president visit them. yes, sir? >> last week, the republicans, the republican group, delivered a white paper of the trump team urging the president to maintain an executive order from president obama, banning lgbtq work discrimination against contractors. will he maintain this executive order?
>> i don't know on that one. i'll have to get back to you on that one. i don't know that we've gotten that far on the list of executive orders. but i'd be glad to get back to you. >> the president won't rescind them? >> i just don't know the answer. i'll try to get back to you on that one. >> on immigration, he seemed to suggest that an executive order, shutting down the d.a.c.a. program, has been ruled out. is that officially ruled out, as you guys go forward? >> yes. >> and does the president support action in congress that would essentially permanently establish those protections? >> i don't have anything further on the executive action front. but i think i've asked and answered the d.a.c.a. piece of this in terms of his priorities right now. >> does he support that legislation? >> we don't have anything in front of us right now to sign on that. so give us a little bit of time. we'll see what congress moves forward with. then we'll have a further readout.
>> what's the status of the refugee resettlement program? >> i don't know. i'll have to get back to you on that one. i think the best thing to do would be to contact the department of state. >> we got an exit for american companies. does president try to improve the access to the -- [inaudible] -- by taking negotiations by any other means? >> i think he's going to increase market access wherever he can. he's in the process of reviewing all of our community trade agreements. and looking at potential bilateral options going forward. whether it's in the e.u. or the asia-pacific arena or in the middle east, he's going to figure out where we can expand u.s. market access. i think that's what today's decision really start to show, that it's not about multilateral agreements under a trump administration. it's about bilateral agreements, when we can figure out, country to country, how can we fight for the american worker, gain them
access to another market that is going to benefit our large and small business? >> why did the president choose the british prime minister as the first foreign leader for him to meet, and can we take from that that he intends to make the relationship even closer? >> i think we've always had that special relationship with britain. and he's gonna -- and that reflects in his first visit, in the prime minister's first visit here. he's had a great conversation with her and he looks forward to having her here. we can always be closer. >> what kind of relationship is trump looking for to deal with china, and on taiwan's issue, what kind of since the sea going to make on taiwan country relations. >> well, i think on china, he understands what a big market that is for u.s. goods and
services when he met with the head of alibaba a couple weeks ago, that was part of the point. there is a huge market issue there. in many cases, it's not a two-way street. there's so many chinese businesses and individuals frankly who can have ease of access in the united states to sell their goods or services. i think that whether or not you're talking about the financial services or the banking, you know, the other service industries or manufacturing goods and services, or some of the i.p. problems that we have with china, that it really is not a two-way street. so he understands the market that china has. and our desire to further penetrate that market. there's a lot of concerns with how we are treated entering into china's market and we need to review that. yes, ma'am? i think we'll have further updates on that. >> welcome. about tpp, and
part of the thinking of tpp was to encircle china economically and i wonder if the president has thought a little bit about what kind of bilateral relationship in the region, the trade relationship would accomplish a similar goal? and secondly, i heard you talking about nafta and a trigger, but i didn't hear you say you had triggered the trigger. >> we have not triggered the trigger. hasn't happened. we have existing relationships with many of the countries part of the 12-nation makeup of t.p.p. and i think we're going to continue to explore how we can, in some cases, strengthen those relationships or look for bilateral agreements with nations, that we didn't have one through t.p.p. >> sean, congratulations. >> thank you. >> social security and infrastructure. on social security, the president will be meeting tonight with congressional leaders. what's he gonna do, given his campaign promise on not touching social security when paul ryan and mitch mcconnell send a bill that he included in a funding
package, various cuts in social security? and in infrastructure, has it flown off the radar screen or is it going to be a priority for the president? >> on security, i think he's been very clear with his priorities in terms of preserving and protecting this really important benefit to our seniors. he understands -- i mean, mr. trump has employed so many people over the years. he understands the struggles that people have later in life to continue to make ends meet. i think he is keenly aware of how important this program is to so many people in their later years. so he's going to continue to fight to make sure that's a program that is preserved and protected. and then on the infrastructure, of course, yes, he's continued to bring that up. he talked with the business executives today about how so many of our airports that are so important to our commerce system, getting planes to land in and out, roads, their ability to truck things across the country, if our infrastructure is not strong, it inhibits our ability to have free commerce,
drives up the costs of goods and services when someone's got to take a different route or is limited in the opportunities they have because a runway might be closed or a rail line breaks down or, you know, a highway is just not -- the wear and tear it puts on trucks. infrastructure continues to be a huge priority for him. >> two questions. the national security council, staffing of the national security council, when do you expect to have those positions filled? >> we've got many of them filled. i have to get back to you on the number, but it's fairly rebust. there were a lot of holdovers. general flynn has been working diligently to make sure that's filled out, ready to go. he's had countless meetings with counterparts and had several folks detailed over. but it's a very, very robust effort from day one. >> and to follow up on john carl's question, so are you retracting your claim on saturday that it was the largest crowd in person?
>> that's not what i said. >> well, you said -- this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe. >> right. to witness, and around the globe. yes. total audience, it was. >> total audience, but not simply in person. >> right. but, again, i didn't say in person. both in person and around the globe, to witness it. >> you're saying those together? >> no. that's actually what i said. it's not what i -- i don't know how you can interpret it differently. that's literally what i said. to witness it in person and around the globe. total audience, yes. >> but not in person? >> hold on. hold on. >> but not -- but you're saying here, just to clarify, you're not saying and you weren't saying on saturday that it was the largest inaugural crowd in person? >> i am not. i'm saying it was the total largest audience, witnessed in person and around the globe. yes, sir.
>> let's go back to one other thing you said. you are telling cbs news, those with the knowledge of who was in the room, lobby at the c.i.a., that senior leadership were not among those hooting and hollering and that there were some 40 people who were in the front rows who were brought in by trump and pence and pompeo? i'd like to give you a chance to respond to that reporting. >> i don't think that's accurate. i think if you listen to the audio, you can hear the excitement that exists there. there were some people that had to be off camera for obvious reasons, but i think when you look at the number of people who were there, the audio alone speaks volumes about what happened. i don't think there's any question about that. >> so the people in the front, who were seen on camera, those were c.i.a. employees? >> honestly, i don't have a seating chart. i think we had a very small footprint going over there. i don't know exactly who went over. maybe 10 people at most. sarah was there. 10? 10 were in the travel, going over.
so 10 of 400. >> but the people in the front rows, those were c.i.a. employees? >> some. >> some. so some were not? >> i'm sure we seated -- i can't say i -- i'm not really sure why this matters. i mean, 10 people didn't yell that loud. >> but, you know, you said they were hooting and hollering, there's not this rift between the intelligence community and the president? because senior authorities within the intelligence communities are telling the news they're uncomfortable with that portrayal and the notion that -- >> all i can do is tell you to listen to the tape alone. i think you can hear a lot of that. >> a couple questions. i know you've been here for a while. has the president formally requested or received pentagon advice on the campaign on islamic state? >> i think he is ordered it. he'll be in the department of defense to swear in general mattis, to go through the ceremony of that. he is obviously the secretary of
defense. and so, you know, at that time, he will continue to have conversations about what he wants from them and the joint chiefs. >> just to follow-up, i don't mean to beat a dead horse on the issue of the u.s. embassy and israel, can you -- at the end of the president's first four years, if he's -- at the end of the next four years, will the united states embassy be in jerusalem? >> well, i think i've answered it twice now. we are at the early stages in this decision making process. >> it's not whether, it's when and how? >> there's a reason you go through a decision making process. that's what we're in the process of starting right now. i just don't want to get ahead of -- if it was already a decision, we wouldn't be going through a process. >> but you did say -- >> i just answered the question. jim? >> first of all, congratulations. and thanks for taking the questions. getting back to saturday at the c.i.a. and your statement here at the podium, why make this
crowd size issue something to talk about at all? why get into it? did it bother the president that much that he felt that you needed to come out here and straighten that out for us? and why did he choose the c.i.a. as the venue to talk about that? >> so two things. one, all of the people were not -- no one in the front row was trump. they were all c.i.a. >> front row. >> that's what you asked. >> i said first three rows. >> okay. i'll find out who the other two were. i'm sorry. i just got you the front row. we're going to get to the fourth and fifth? okay. let me see what i can do. look, i think one of the things that happened, jim, was that he kept hearing about this rift that existed. he talked about it a couple weeks ago, after his briefing, how proud he is and how much he respects the intelligence community. and i think when he walked into that and he saw it, he wanted to make sure that people knew that
what you are hearing on television or in reports about this rift, i have the utmost respect for you. i honor your service. i'm proud of what you're doing and the sacrifices you're making. and i think he wanted them to know that you see and hear all this stuff on t.v. about this rift that so-called exist. clearly it doesn't matter, like don't believe what you're hearing, know i have a tremendous amount of respect for you. i appreciate everything you're doing. and i think that's why he wanted to do it, to make sure they heard firsthand how much he respects them, how much he wanted to dispel the myth that there was a rift. >> but in terms of the crowd size issue, why bring that up at the c.i.a. and why did you come out saturday afternoon to talk about that? did he tell you, sean, i'm upset about this -- >> i'm not going to get into conversations i've had with the president. but i will tell you, it's not just about the crowd size. it's about, he's not going to run. then if he runs, he can't win. there is no way he can win
pennsylvania or michigan. there is this constant theme to undercut the enormous support he has. and i think it's just unbelievably frustrating when you are continuously told it's not good enough and you cannot win. and -- hold on. because i think it's important. he's gone out there and defied the odds over and over and over again. and he keeps getting told what he can't do. by this narrative that's out there. and he exceeds it every single time. and i think there's an overall frustration when you turn on the television over and over again and get told that there's this narrative that you didn't win, you weren't going to run, you can't pick up this state. that's a fool's errand to go to pennsylvania. why is he in michigan? how silly. they'll never vote for him. a republican hasn't won that state since '88. then the next narrative, must have been because of this. then, oh, john lewis is the first person to skip his inauguration. not true. and over and over again, the
mlk bust. i think over and over again, there's this constant attempt to undermine his credibility and the movement that he represents. and it's frustrating for not just him but i think so many of us that are trying to work to get this message out. and so i mentioned this to jonathan. but part of this is a two-way street. like we want to have a healthy dialogue, not just with you but with the american people, because he's fighting for jobs, fighting to make this country safer. but when you're constantly getting told that can't be true, we doubt that you can do this, this won't happen, and that is the narrative when you turn on television every single day, it is a little frustrating. and i think for those people around him, senior team especially, but so many of the other folks that are either here in the administration, that gave up their time during the transition, they left a job to work for three, four weeks because they're so committed to having his nominees get through, it's a little demoralizing to turn on the t.v. and hear, can't do this, this guy's not going to
get confirmed, no way it is going to go through. >> isn't that just part of the conversation that happens in washington? and what comes with being president? >> no, no. look, i've been doing this a long time. you've been doing this too. i've never seen it like this, jim. and, again, i'm not looking to go back and forth. but you're asking for an explanation. and i think it's important to understand that whether it's the president himself, the vice president, the senior team, volunteers, or the people who are out there just in america that voted for him or walked the streets or put up a sign, to constantly be told, no, no, no, and to hear him go, yes, yes, yes, it gets a little frustrating. and i think -- and so you see this historic thing. he stands there at the capitol and you look out. and it's an amazing view. and it's just so many people who
got in long lines, who had to go around all this different stuff to get in, and that was for the first time that we did have to go through fencing, that far out. and then to hear, well, look at the shot, it wasn't that big. it's a little demoralizing, because when you're sitting there, looking out, and you're in awe of just how awesome that view is and how many people are there, and you go back and you turn on the television and you see shots, comparing this and that, i mean, you know -- and then you look at the stuff that's happening, the nominees that you put out, the democrats. there are two cabinet officials, ladies and gentlemen, that are taking their office today. he visited the c.i.a. and a director that was considered a consensus candidate wasn't approved. where's the story? >> isn't it that you got bigger fish to fry? why worry about a couple of tweets about crowd size? >> that's what i'm saying. you're minimizing the point here, jim. it's not about one tweet, not about one picture. it's about a constant theme.
it's about sitting here every time and being told, no. well, we don't think he can do that. he'll never accomplish that. he can't win that. it won't be the biggest. it is not going to be that good. the crowds aren't that big. he's not that successful. the narrative and the default narrative is always negative. and it's demoralizing. and i think that when you sit here and you realize the sacrifice the guy made of leaving a very, very successful business, because he really cares about this country, and he wants to -- despite your partisan differences, he cares about making this country better for everybody. he wants to make it safer for everybody. so when you wake up every day and that's what you're seeing over and over again and you're not seeing stories about the cabinet folks that he's putting in or the success he's having trying to keep american jobs here, yeah, it is a little disappointing. so i just -- you know -- >> it's always going to be positive? >> no. sometimes we'll make mistakes, i promise you that. but it's not always gotta be
negative, jim. some days we do do the right thing. some days we are successful. so it's not -- part of this is saying, when we're right, say we're right. when we're wrong, say we're wrong. but it's not always wrong and negative. there are things -- there's a lot of things he's done already, a lot of amazing people he's appointed, a lot of success he's having. and it would be nice, once in a while, for someone just to say report it straight up. he appointed this person. here's their background. not why they're not going to get nominated, not why it's not gonna happen. >> thanks, john. >> hold on. one last thing. hold on. i can't -- i know we're getting really into like facts, so just to be clear, there were no trump or white house folks sitting down. they were all in the c.i.a. so not in rows one through anything, from what i'm told. i appreciate your effort.
i've got halle. john, you've got one. give me a second. >> a couple of questions here, if you don't mind. first one on russia. the administration was asked about multiple interactions. between mike flynn and a russian ambassador. the call was made to set up a discussion with vladimir putin. for those discussion about anything else other than setting up the discussion and why has the discussion not yet happened? >> there has been one call. i talked to general flynn about this last night. one call, for subjects. when was the loss of life that occurred in the plane crash that took their military choir. to work christmas and holiday greetings. was syria. for was to talk about after the inauguration, setting up a call between president vladimir putin
and president trump. i don't believe that has been set up yet. they talked about how to facilitate that call. there has been a total of two calls. the second call came three days ago to say once he gets into office, can we set up that call. to my knowledge it has not occurred yet. what i am saying is during the transition i asked general flynn whether or not there were any other conversations beyond the ambassadors and he said no. >> one more follow-up from earlier on a statement the president made on saturday, can you unequivocally state this administration will not send more troops into iraq to, as the president put it, take the oil. sec. spicer: he has not taken options off the table. that is not a good negotiating
skill. there is a reason has been successful at negotiation, it is because he does not telegraph when he is putting on and taking off the table. >> [indiscernible] -- at the end of president obama's administration, the number of prisoners in guantanamo bay was reduced to 40. i wondered -- sec. spicer: i think will have a nomination in the next couple weeks. he will continue to make that a weeks. priority. think you are going to see further action. i don't want to get ahead of the president, but this is something has been discussed and in the current decision mason -- decision-making process how he wants to handle that. >> the president disagreed with
the characterization of risk with the intelligent community. tweet about the comparison to not to germany? sec. spicer: he was talking about the process not the people. it is a different thing. >> day one promises, he called it the contract of the american worker. -- labeling china a currency manipulator, proposing congressional term limits. why not do all those things on day one as he promised, as opposed to others? sec. spicer: we will continue to sequence those out. i think part of it is that we don't want to spend the entire day signing executive orders. so weis a way to do this are getting all of these promises to the american people done posthaste and doing it in a way that doesn't jam up the fire hose. part of it is insurance and we
thesece these, giving issues the proper attention they need. if we put them all out on one day, they lose -- they get lost in the ether. pledgesthe promises and to the american people because they are important to him. >> is the president going to 5 -- up the leadership of [indiscernible] has heyou clarify, started to have discussions with the leaders of canada and mexico? i think he will continue discussion tonight with speaker ryan at the meeting after the reception. -- the other to
part was nafta. he discussed on the phone with both leaders his desire. but his goal was to have that hediscussion when they come in person. i mentioned yesterday, the foreign minister of new -- mexico is going to come to set the table and have meetings ahead of president opinion you nieto. this has been his first day. it has been pretty robust. you are going to see a lot more come out. things thatlot of have to get done and a lot of things we're working on as a staff to get prepared. he will continue to have a robust week. thank you, guys. appreciate it. this is the first one.
tillerson to be the next secretary of state. argument regarding colorado's process of not refunding court fees to those convicted of crimes that are later reversed. argument incourt andrew fv douglas schools regarding student disabilities. c-span's washington journal, live everyday with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, pennsylvania republican congressman will discuss 's relationship with congressional republicans and the white house agenda. and jim himes joins us to talk about the democratic agenda for the new legislative session. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live on 7:00 eastern on tuesday morning. join the discussion.
coming up tuesday morning, the senate finance committee hearing to consider the nomination of georgia congressman tom price to be the next health and human services secretary. it can see it live at 10:00 a.m. on c-span3. you can also watch live on c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. tuesday, the senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee considers the confirmation of nick maldini to be white house pledged director. you can stream it live at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> me to you something. i have done everything i can to protect my country, and i am not
afraid of you, i am not afraid of president bush, and i am not afraid of everybody. if i have been given in order to protect my country, i will. any kind of defensive missile, whether it is arms -- but i did not give that order. wait, just said, calm down. >> sunday night, former cia analyst john nixon talks about his book, debriefing the president. >> saddam was a realist in the use of power and the way political power is exercised and the political power game. i think he saw that when you are playing at his level -- the presidency, the top level in the country, when you win, you win big. when you lose, you also lose big. sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q and a.
>> the senate foreign relations committee met to consider rex monday tillerson's nomination to be the next secretary of state. members voted 7-10 to move the it to the full senate for a confirmation vote. this meeting of the committee is about one hour. senator corker: the foreign relation business meeting will come to order. we all consider it a privilege. a privilege to play the role we play on behalf of our country and the states. it is a privilege to participate in democracy in this way. i hope everyone will keep their