Skip to main content

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
  White House Briefing  CSPAN  October 27, 2017 2:40pm-3:01pm EDT

2:40 pm
harassers, males, what do they tell you, why do they harass? guest: i am so glad that al noted -- while i would not call the eeoc a paper tiger, we would be a stronger tiger with more money. part of what we are trying to do -- we know we cannot help every -- sec. sanders: hey, guys. happy friday. good afternoon. it is great to see so many family faces in here, not that that is different than normal. obviously i am referring to the children around the room. welcome theed and kids of the press corps to the white house. they will love trick-or-treating in the executive office building, and i look forward to taking some questions, maybe
2:41 pm
even from some of the kids today. a couple of things to note -- yesterday was an important moment for our nation's fight against the drug addiction and opioid epidemic that has hurt so many families. by directing a nationwide health emergency to address the crisis, the president is mobilizing his entire administration to confront the issue. the president's remarks included a powerful story and set the for the country to unite behind his fight to save lives. in the wake of the announcement, several agency heads are traveling around the country for event related to the crisis. among those participating are attorney general sessions, secretary schultz and hearken. these events illustrate that the president truly has made this issue and administration-wide priority. on the economic front, the u.s.
2:42 pm
economy grew at 3% for the second quarter in a row despite the damage from this year's hurricane season. unemployment is at a 16-year low. the stock market continues to economic engines are soaring. it is fitting that we have some kids with us here today. ultimately, this tax plan is a brighter children -- future for their children. with that, i will take questions. >> i wanted to ask about the $300 million contract whitefish energy got to rebuilding electrical grid in puerto rico. does the white house 70 concerns about the way this contract went down and the fact that company has no experience of doing this to this magnitude? sec. sanders: this was confirmed
2:43 pm
by local authorities in puerto rico, not something the federal government played a role in. there is an ongoing audit. flags raised,ed and it can you say whether one of the primary investors in the company was a donor to the trump campaign is up and to do with this contract being awarded? sec. sanders: right. this is determined by the puerto rican government, and we will look for to the audit to see if there are other issues beyond that. >> a question on the russia sanctions the president said in august. recipients were supposed to be named on october 1, and that just came out today. i am wondering if you can explain the delay and how soon administration will act to implement those sanctions? sec. sanders: there is an interagency review that has been completed. that was the cause of the delay.
2:44 pm
guidance was issued by the state department. for further details, i would refer you to the state department. nancy: -- >> the president tweeted out this morning after months of costly looking. is the president suggesting that the mother special investment -- mueller special investigation is a waste of money? sec. sanders: i think the president has been clear throughout this process -- that is not the own investigation that has taken place. congress has spent a great deal of time on this, a better part of a year. all of your news organizations have spent a lot of money on this as well. i think our position has not changed since day one. i think we are seeing now if there was any collusion it was between the dnc and the clintons , and certainly not our campaign. >> important one on a 401(k). sec. sanders: we have to move around.
2:45 pm
maybe your colleagues will ask. >> do you have any comments on the events in catalonia? spain put out a statement. has the president made any phone calls on that? sec. sanders: i am not aware of any phone calls today, but we certainly go the state department and again reiterate our support for a unified spain. i am going to jump around. >> the president this morning with interior secretary zinke you -- did the president ask him directly if he has a knowledge of this deal? sec. sanders: the primate purpose of this meeting that has been on the schedule for several weeks was to discuss the secretary's monuments report that will be coming up shortly, and that was the reason for the meeting, but he did ask secretary zinke he just for clarification purposes, and he reiterated once again that we have no role -- the federal government, in -- and
2:46 pm
specifically he had no role in that contract. john? john: thanks a lot, sarah. on whitefsh energy, prior to hurricane maria they had two employees, and after hurricane maria it is awarded a $300 million plus contract. i realize you say it was a contract awarded by officials in puerto rico, but would you acknowledge that does not look right on the surface of things? sec. sanders: i am not going to comment before the audit is conducted. we certainly look for to seeing the results of that, and this is a state and local decision made by the puerto rican authorities, not the federal government. the president says there is a lot of corruption in puerto rico. woody think this falls under --would you think this falls under the umbrella of corruption? sec. sanders: i am not going to get into it until the audit. >> the president declared a national health emergency.
2:47 pm
the declaration did not come with a request for money from congress. how much does the president want congress to put toward this crisis, and when will he put in a formal request for the money? there was $45 million originally in the health care plan that the president supported and no democrat in the country supported. ideally it would have been done through that, but it wasn't. we're hoping congress will come together and it will be bipartisan support to put behind the opioid crisis and join the president in dealing with this effort. >> based on your answer just now, $45 billion is what you would like to see as an initial approach and done during the budget deal. sec. sanders: i am not going to negotiate with you from the podium, but that was the number we outlined in the health care bill. there has been $1 billion spent to date. we do feel of the $45 billion would have been a good number in
2:48 pm
the health care bill. that is what we supported. we will continue looking at that and determine future numbers. -- placet a good way to start with congress? >> in the meeting the president had with secretary zinke it, did he agree to shrink the size of the national monument in utah? sec. sanders: i will not get ahead of the president's announcement on the specifics of that, but i can tell you he will be going to utah in the first part of early december and we will be releasing more details at that point and he also spoke with both senators hatch annalee through the course of that meeting. -- and lee through the course of the meeting. >> central harassment has been in the news. 16 women accuse the president of sexual harassing them. during the press cap is in the rose garden, he called it fake news. is it the official white house statement that all these women are lying? sec. sanders: we have been clear about that from the beginning
2:49 pm
and the president talked about it. >> last weekend former president jimmy carter offered his availability as a go between with the north korean regime in the hopes of resolving the differences between this country and pyongyang. he has a history with the family of the current leader in north korea, meeting with his grandfather in 1994. in contactnistration with president carter, and doesn't have any plans to use them as a go between or an envoy to pyongyang? sec. sanders: i don't think that is part of our process at this time. if the changes, we will certainly let you know. that is not part of our current plan or thinking for how to deal with north korea. >> i will ask the 401k question. sec. sanders: you have friends helping you out. and you did not think anyone likes you here, john. >> i have john's back. is the president considering
2:50 pm
dropping the amount of pretax contribution americans can put into the 401(k)? does the president support taking the $18,000 to a level and potentially lowering that? sec. sanders: the president wants to continue to fight and push for protection of americans retirement, and that is not changed, but i'm not going to negotiate any deals beyond that. that is the president's position, and that is the same today as it was earlier this week. >> there have been a number of politicians over the past week, including chris christie at the white house yesterday who said rob mueller should step aside from certain investigations at the special counsel. does the president share those views? sec. sanders: the president wants to see this completed. we think we are continuing to see day in, day out, as this investigation moves to completion, the same as it started -- there is no evidence of collusion between the president and anyone.
2:51 pm
if any collusion took place, it would be between the dnc and the clintons, and we're starting to see all the things the democrats accuse this president of doing they are guilty of themselves and that is a problem that should be looked at. , me?rah sec. sanders: sure. arehe lawmakers in egypt preparing a measure that would criminalize someone's sexuality with up to five years in prison. would you condemn the measure? sec. sanders: i'm not aware of the specifics, so i would have to look into it before i can make a response. >> thank you, sarah -- at the risk of wasting my question, i will ask about the fed. since the last time you are up here, there's been a couple of reports, one that the president will make an announcement next week. do you confirm that he will make an announcement, and can you give us time and. second, there have been reports that chairman yellen is out of the running and jerome powell is at the top of the list. i can confirm the
2:52 pm
president plans to make an announcement next week. beyond that, i do not have anything else to say. about a comment sebastian gorka made for -- on fox news. he does not work for the white house, but he claims to be still involved in what is going on here, and he was talking about the uranium one deal and hillary clinton and said had this happened in the 1950's, there will be people on treason charges. this is the equivalent of what the rosenberg's did, and those people got the chair. think about it. does the president agree with those statements? sec. sanders: i have not seen the comments. i will not comment on sebastian gorka or docking -- comment on that. it should be looked into, but i cannot, then someone outside of the administration's comments. >> question on the upcoming asia trip -- can you talk more about the criteria you use to decide
2:53 pm
which of the multilateral meetings he attended, and can you confirm he will not be at the east asia summit, and why? sec. sanders: he is participating in at least the opening ceremony and some of the other parts of that event. in terms of the specifics, we will do a full and more detailed briefing on that next week. i will wait until we get to next week because the final details of some of those things are being worked out. >> the president said on twitter that he can dredge related pressprich -- president xi on his extraordinary elevation. does he get -- does he have any misgivings on the way it occurred or the impact on the nation? sec. sanders: that i'm aware of. >> i was wondering why did the president involved himself in the uranium one investigation? are you trying to gin up your own russian investigation to rival won a cap he'll, and where is the evidence of hillary clinton colluded with the russians as he tweeted this morning? sec. sanders: the president has
2:54 pm
push for transparency, if that is what you are referring to when dealing with congress. that is something new for a president to push for transparency, and that is what he has done. that was the purpose of what he was trying to do in the process. the president made a charge that hillary clinton -- sec. sanders: i have addressed that thoroughly. >> so you are saying -- you sec. sanders: i am saying i am calling on your colleague. leader the majority attacking steve bannon --i am wondering if the white house has an opinion on that. is mr. bannon fair game, is he viewed as helpful to the president's cause, and has the president had any success offing him out of backing on some of the incumbents. sec. sanders: in terms of how a i wouldd their money, direct you to the pit we do not comment on political
2:55 pm
conjugations from the podium. >> monday is going to be the one-month anniversary the las vegas shooting. shooter increased the speed of his fire by using bump stocks. at first he did not want to comment on that, but i am. to know, does the president think the atf should prohibit their sales? is he going to ask them to, this he think only congress can do it, or does he think bump stocks are not the problem? sec. sanders: he has asked that the process be reviewed and we are waiting for the details to take place, but a decision has not been finalized on that. we're looking at that and it is certainly under review. i'm going to cut it a little short today and i have one last announcement i wanted to make. the president asked me to let all of you know -- those of you that have your kids here for trick-or-treating, before they go over to the executive office building for trick-or-treating, he has invited them to come into the oval, so if you would like
2:56 pm
to have your kids participate, please meet us here, and we will walk them over shortly, and then give them back to you so that you can sugar them up and take them home to your house to run wild. thanks so much, and have a good friday. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> well, some questions on the republican tax proposal. the house approved a rough outline as part of the 2018 federal budget resolution that calls for congressional committees to begin working on overhaul in the u.s. tax code. the chairman of the ways and means committee, kevin brady, says the gop tax bill will be introduced next was the, november 1, and the committee will begin marking up the legislation on monday, november 6. you can read the proposal and tax outline at other news from congress -- majority leader kevin mccarthy
2:57 pm
and house democratic whip steny hoyer are leading a congressional delegate -- delegation this weekend to tour devastation and recovery efforts in the u.s. virgin islands, puerto rico, and the florida keys after the recent hurricanes. they are being joined by rob bishop and other members of congress, including the delegates from puerto rico and the virgin islands. a tweet from one of those delegates with a photo from the roundtable. a working session in the virgin islands with a member -- members of congress. our live schedule on c-span -- supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg speaks to a group called equal justice works. that is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. eastern, and you can watch live coverage right here. q&a, -- eek on >> there was shoving and jostling. the target was charles murray. i was a little bit behind him. it intensified.
2:58 pm
it looked like he was going to fall to the ground. at the time he was a 74-year-old man. i did what any decent human would do, when you see a 74-year-old man on the verge of falling to the ground, to grab him by the arm, to make sure he did not fall, but i was also thinking in a large -- i was fearful of being separated from them and being left behind. when i took his arm, that is when it turned on me. the somebody pulled my hair and somebody body slam me. a allison stinger discusses following ay lecture from charles murphy. e on here this orning with our conversation harassment.l the national women's law center in washington, d.c. is here, you for tin, thank
2:59 pm
being here. what role does the national women's law center play in this sexual tion about harassment uest: we are a women's rights advocacy organization, engage with policy makers at the to ral level and the states strengthen legal protection against harassment. the courts, e in arguing for robust thatpretations of the laws protect women from harassment nd we recently launched legal network for gender equity to help connect women who are harassment and other forms of discrimination with attorneys willing to take cases on. host: is that your recommendation? if a woman has been harassed, immediately get a lawyer? guest: well, i think that it is often really help to feel have a sense of what your rights are, mean you immediately go to court and file a complaint. there often are other strategies that make sense as a first step,
3:00 pm
informaltalking to your support networks, friend, what es, strategize responses might be productive here. bringing complaint internally to hr, often is the appropriate first step. but if you have the ability to to an attorney to get attorney to get an understanding not,ether this is legal or and what would happen if you did file a legal complaint, i think that kind of information is always helpful. what legal obligation does human resources at a company have, when somebody goes to them with a complaint. if human resources doesn't investigate a sexual harassment complaint, they are opening themselves to legal liability.