tv The Intelligence Report With Trish Regan FOX Business June 6, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm EDT
he's going to have dinner tonight with a couple of the more influential ones who have ideas to get this health care thing moved through. that's what they're hoping, get an agenda through, make some progress on that front. the markets are happy, the economy is churning and all of, everyone forgets the whole fbi thing. nice thought. to trish regan. trish: indeed, it is. hey there, neil. breaking this hour, we're going to be hearing from the white house any minute on the latest intel leak. an nsa contractor has been arrested for leaking top sret materials to the media. i am trish regan. welcome, everyone, to "the intelligence report." i want you to see it, this is 25-year-old reality winner, yeah, that's her name, reality winner. she is the nsa contractor accused of putting our national security at risk by leaking classified information on russian hacking efforts to a media outlet. so what are the legal repercussions that she's going to face? are we going to see more arrests? gregg jarrett is here.
he's got the intel. and president trump will be meeting with top republican lawmakers in the next hour to get his pro-growth agenda back on track. but how can the president get anything done when you've got the mainstream media, you've got the left, and you've even got people in the intelligence community all working to undermine you simultaneously? we are on it. plus, president trump says enough with being politically correct. if we want to protect our country, our citizens, we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries. is he right? we are asking a survivor of islamic terror. but first, i want to go to adam shapiro for the latest on that nsa contractor, 25 years old, and she was no fan of donald trump's, adam. >> reporter: no fan of donald trump's. in fact, she has on social media used the term resist. but let's get into who this woman is, because 25-year-old reality lee winter is going to be back in court thursday.
the fbi arrested her saturday, june 3rd. she was at her house in georgia. she's accused of taking classified materials from her government facility and mailing them to the news outlet. now, she's worked as a contractor, the company's pluribus international corporation, since february. and, trish, she had top secret clearance. according to doj, department of justice, she improperly removed classified intelligence documents and then mailed them to that web site, the intercept. the documents are part of a classified nsa report on russian efforts to hack u.s. elections and, again, they were published by the web site. lawmakers on capitol hill like senator joe manchin, they want her prosecuted. >> the leaks are extremely bothersome to me. this young lady, there's going to be -- i mean, she has a price to pay for that. i n assure you, when i take -- if i try to take something off the skiff in my intel meeting highly classified, i know there's going to be a horrific price for me to pay.
this person has to pay a price and everyone else that has access to this information is going to pay a price. so i think prosecution is in order. >> reporter: now, winter is an air force veteran, and fox news has been reporting he has a lengthy social media history which includes supporting environmental causes and, of course, the calls to -- and this is her quote -- resist president trump. according to her other social media posts, she likes to work out, and she donates time and money to veterans and children's charities. trish, it's important to point out here that this is the first official prosecution of somebody for leaking information during the trump administration, and the president has been talking about these leaks being a threat to national security since they began. trish: hey, adam, let me clarify something with you. so she was talking about resisting the president while she was a contractor for the u.s. government? >> reporter: that is correct. her tweets, she got clearance in february, but she has been tweeting since the president came into office and putting out social media posts where she talks, among other things, resist.
she uses language that the fcc won't allow us to use when she refers to president trump, and she has top secret clearance. trish: wow. all right, adam, thank you so much. this begs a lot of questions here, because you've got to wonder how is it that someone is getting the clearance, the security clearances that they need to get to get access to this information when they are making it abundantly clear they don't like this president, they don't like the direction of the country? joining me right now, fox news anchor and former defense attorney gregg jarrett, fox news contributor mercedes schlapp, and former chairman of the dnc, scott bolton. we went through this already with ed snowden. >> right. trish: she was given clearances he shouldn't have had. he was a contractor who then went out and leaked it all. why are we employing people that are risks? >> one is tempted to say you shouldn't give top secret clearance to a 25-year-old, but beyond that, this is the problem
with government contractors that are, you know, with private firms. there isn't enough vetting and background checks and, importantly as adam pointed out, there's not sufficient monitoring of their activities. she was an adamant trump hater on twitter and social media. that should have been a red flag. yeah, her name reality winner ought to have been a red flag -- trish: i keep wondering if that's real or some play on words -- >> her mother has the last name winner as a hyphen but, you know, she's about to get a reality check on being a loser, because they've got the goods on her, she confessed, and my guess is the judge will show no leniency, throw the book at her, ten years behind bars. and the first amendment is not a defense. trish: you know, mercedes, how do you get anything done in washington when you've got people in the intelligence community, frankly, conspiring against you? >> well, let's first say that, you know, as a contractor she doesn't necessarily have that
loyalty to, let's say, the organization as would someone, a career -- trish: i get it. but then why does she get access to the information? shouldn't we be more vigilant with the things we allow these pele to see? >> right. i think gregg is right, the vetting process is incredibly important. but even with the vetting process, it becomes -- there really is that unexpected situation where there could be someone who's going to leak information. in her case it was very clear based on her twitter activity, based on who she was following -- she follows wikileaks, edward snowden. i mean, there is a trend here where you look at her background and you have to ask yourself the question that despite the fact she speaks these languages that they need and this cryptic language center, she's not the right person to be sharing this information. but you -- you're going to have a mole in certain cases, and i think when it comes to these contractors, the risk is higher. trish: and do you think there is more, scott, where she came from? >> i certainly hope not. i'm never going to endorse
anyone leaking classified information. and if she's proven to do this, then she ought to be prosecuted. let's be real clear here, her political beliefs and her social media platform simply because she's against donald trump is not a litmus test in regards to whether or not she should have a security clearance, in fact, it would be inappropriate to bar her -- [inaudible conversations] because she doesn't support donald trump. trish: let's talk about judgment. you already heard adam say she was tweeting things out that we can't say because of fcc rules on television. that, to me, tells me someone does not have the judgment to be looking at classified information. you cannot -- >> simply because i tweet that i don't like the president and i use profanity? that's it? trish: yes, yes! >> that's it, because i use profanity, i can't get a security clearance? i don't know -- trish: scott, you have no judgment. >> that's not the law or the rule. if i don't like the president and i use profanity in blasting the president, i have a first amendment right to do that.
i don't have any rights to leak classified information though, and she's going to be prosecuted. there's no bridge there -- trish: you're somehow -- i would just say we need a better standard in terms of people we're employing, because a 25-year-old thinks it's okay to be out there, i'll tell you, we've got 25-year-olds on the team right here, and they're not out there swearing their heads off on twitter. >> 25-year-olds that have a security clearance that don't have -- trish: all right, gregg, europe thoughts. >> she could be fired for a reason or no reason at all. >> as an employee, absolutely. >> she does not enjoy the same first amendment rights the rest of us do by virtue of her special, sensitive position as a government contractor. so forget about that. >> well, gregg, hold on -- trish: no, i'm going to jump in here. >> she didn't lose her individual constitutional right over that. trish: if you are, say, a consulting firm that's doing work for goldman sachs and you start tweeting out obscenities about goldman sachs, well, guess what? you're not going to be allowed to do that consulting work for goldman sachs. >> because goldman sachs --
trish: -- a different kind of standard. >> the other thing is i think you don't see these intelligence analysts occupant there necessarily -- analysts out there necessarily tweeting on political issues. in fact, many of them just stay clear of it because it becomes controversial for them. i mean, i've spoken to intelligence agents, analysts who you will ask them a question about a particular case, they will not comment on it. i mean, i think that they take their job very seriously in terms of insuring that, again, that their loyalty is to that organization and to the highest standards of that organization. so i think with winner it was very clear that her loyalty was to an outside cause, it was to the resistance, it was to something elsewhere she felt that she could break the law and release this classified information. >> and look at the damage she did. she horribly damaged u.s. intelligence gathering and national security because now the russians know how we went about detecting their cyber hacking and malware.
so now they're going to go around that, do something different. we're going to have to invent new methods. i mean, this is horrible -- trish: do you think she should get bail? >> absolutely no bail. she still is a security risk. she can communicate with other individuals about classified information that she has in her head. no bail, lock her up, go right to sentencing, thousand the book at her -- throw the book at her. >> i'm not sure gregg is going to be the judge on that. >> i wish i were. of. [laughter] >> i know you do, gregg. she could get bail, she could get home monitoring, and she still won't get out. again, trish, i want to get back to this point. i understand the fact that she leaked this secure information. i don't endorse that at all. but what i will say this is: if she was using profanity and she didn't support the president, she's free to do that under the first amendment. however, i think gregg is right about this too, that she would probably be fired if somebody was monitoring her better because of her profanity and if
it gets to an extreme level. trish trevor i agree, and i don't think that they're monitoring people that are contracted to work for the government enough. i snowden, we're seeing this through winner. guys, don't go anywhere. we are waiting on sean spicer, so i want you to stick around for that. in the meantime, president trump is douing down on s comments in the wake of the deadly london terror attack, tweeting, that's right, we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people. is he right? will a travel ban help protect americans from future attacks? joining me right now is act for america founder and they must be stopped author brigitte gabriel. good to have you here, brigitte. tell me, you know, is the travel ban enough? is it going to make a difference? >> we need the travel ban. we need to secure the country. there is no reason for this. why we need to welcome from libya, for example. libya doesn't even have a government.
remember, we can't even have an embassy in libya, can't put our personnel in libya because of how dangerous it is. how on earth are we going to monitor anybody coming from libya? why on earth would we allow anybody from libya to somewhere the united states? -- to enter the united states? trish: i had a proponent from the left the other day saying, look, you should be able to come here from iran, iraq or libya and it's unconstitutional for us not to allow them here. what do do you say? >> the constitution is for us american citizens and to protect american citizens. nothing in the constitution says we need to import criminals into our country and terrorists in particular, those who want to commit mass murder or make mass murder to come to the united states paid for by our tax dollars. there is nothing in the constitution that supports this. listen, we are at war, and we need to do everything we can to protect the country. and what he is talking about is only for 90 days. he's not saying, okay, we want
to stop immigration or islamic ban on all muslim countries. look how he's working with the sakis -- saudis, the summit he held in saudi arabia. they're not complaining. they don't have a problem with what he wants to do with the travel ban. this is why we need to get behind our president and make sure that as people we send a message to our government and especially to these judges, support the president, do what he was elected for and that is to protect the country. trish: theresa may has made the point that we need to have some difficult and, quote, sometimes embarrassing conversations right now. there are a lot of people here, also in europe who do not want to face a reality that we must face. explain to us how that's influencing the ability to say something as simple and enact something as simple as a travel ban. >> you know, notice how she kind of beat around the bush a little bit. we have a problem with islamic radicalization.
we have a problem with islamic terrorism. not all muslims are bad. the majority of them are peace-loving people who do not want to kill people. but they are irrelevant because the radicals are driving the agenda. it is the radicals that kill, it is the radicals that commit terrorist attacks en masse. look what we're watching today, look what's happening at the notre dame in paris this morning. look what's happened in london over the weekend, in manchester last week. it's one thing after another. we need to have the difficult conversation. it's not embarrassing to us, but it is a difficult conversation to say what does islam as a political ideology have to do with what the terrorists are doing right now. this is not painting with a broad brush about all muslims. we're talking about shah' a ya and the fundamental -- sharia and the fundamental law that these radicals are basing their ideology on that gives them justification to kill en masse innocent civilns. that's the conversation the west needs to he. and by the way, we in america, we are holding national rallies
this saturday in 29 cities and 21 states educating about sharia. the rally is called march against sharia, march for human rights to educate people about what we are up against. trish: you know, one of the things you hear from members of the left is, well, you can't, you can't put forward a travel ban like this because it is discriminatory, it is effectively the religion that you're going after. you know, you make a very valid point here. he didn't put every muslim country in there, so i don't know how you come up with it being somehow a muslim ban, otherwise it would involve a lot more countries, would it not? >> right, exactly. and when you take syria, for example, this is not a muslim ban because when he put the ban on all these countries, he did not say, okay, christians from yemen can come here but muslims cannot. christians from syria can come here but muslims cannot. when you look at syria and the middle east in general, it is the christians who are being persecuted much more than the muslims.
yet the travel ban christians cannot even come here even if they are syrian christians and persecuted minority. trish: we just have a few seconds left, but one of the things i have always found troubling about islam, frankly, is its treatment of women, and it's bother ored me from the time i was a young girl and first learned of this. i do not know how we as a western culture that promotes women can be so accepting of a religion that wants to suppress all that we is celebrate. all that we celebrate. your final thoughts before we take a break. >> exactly. a woman's value in islam is half of that of a man. when you look at the islamic practices we are importing to america, female genital mutelylation, girls in america today are under threat of mutilation or have undergone the procedure. when you look at honor killing, between 23-26 crimes per year are committed in the united states. we are better as a nation.
we are better. trish: and we should be better at women. at women we also need to stick up for what's right, and this is not. brigitte, thank you so much. we are waiting, everyone, on sean spicer. he's coming up next. i'll see you right back here in two. / time's up, insufficient we're on prenatal care.es. and administrative paperwork... your days of drowning people are numbered. same goes for you, budget overruns. and rising costs, wipe that smile off your face. we're coming for you, too. for those who won't rest until the world is healthier, neither will we. optum. how well gets done.
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the world of fast food is being changed by faster networks. ♪ ♪ data, applications, customer experience. ♪ ♪ which is why comcast business delivers consistent network performance and speed across all your locations. fast connections everywhere. that's how you outmaneuver. trish: british police have identified the third london bridge attacker as a 22-year-old italian national of moroccan descent. he was not considered to be a subject of interest to intelligence officials. he was one of the three shot dead late saturday after driving a van into pedestrians and going on a stabbing spree in borough market. this is the third attack in britain in three months, and it comes days before major election for prime minister on thursday. ashley webster is in london, and he's been monitoring everything
there, talking to a lot of the people. and, ashley, we've got to ask you, how's this going to affect theresa may? >> reporter: yeah. well, it hasn't helped, i don't think, trish. you know, the third suspect you talked about there of italian and moroccan descent, italian authorities say they stopped that individual from flying to turkey last year, and when they looked at his phone, they found isis material. what did they do? they said they called u.k. authorities. another example, perhaps, of a radical islamist slipping through the net. and that does not reflect well on theresa may who, for six years, was home secretary here in the u.k. which is, basically, the u.k.'s version of homeland security. so she's been asked a lot of tough questions. she's also overseen a reduction of the british police force of some 20,000 officers during that time. she has been fighting back though saying, well, you know what? we've put more money into counterterrorism. but i think as the polls have suggested thursday's election's going to be a lot closer than we thought it was going to be just
four weeks ago. polls range from a 12-point lead to one poll saying she has just a 1-point lead. and all of this, what's at stake? ll, let's be honest, this country is trying to get its plan together to get out of the european union. and if we have a hung parliament, if the conservative party that's in power now doesn't win enough seats on thursday, then we could be in for a real mess because it will not lead, certainly, to a smooth brexit and all sorts of issues could come to light. a lot to be said. someone said to me just today they feel like theresa may is a lot more nervous than she has appeared in times past, maybe because we are just hours away from the election but also, trish, she has been facing quite a bit of heat over the terror attacks in the u.k., as you say, three in about ten weeks that have claimed 34 lives. trish: you know, and i do want to clarify something that i read there at the top, was that he was not considered to be of interest to intelligence
officials. i should specify to intelligence officials in the u.k. in other words, the italians knew -- >> reporter: right. trish: -- there was a bad guy that was trying to get to syria, ashley, so i think this speaks once again perhaps to the lack of information sharing that europe is so troubled with right now. >> reporter: yeah. i mean, you know, how did that happen, how did the u.k. didn't even know this individual existed? look, mi5 says they are -- have 500 investigations going on right now of some 3,000 known violent extremists. some 20,000 individuals, they believe, are sympathetic to radical islam. so the resources needed to do this properly is very hard to come by, and that's something that theresa may has been on the back foot, frankly, for the last three or four days. trish: she's saying enough is enough. they've got to find a way to top this. >> reporter: yeah. trish: but when you're talking about 20,000 people that are sympathetic to thi ashley, onevennow where you begin.
>> reporter: i don't either. she's talked about trying to shut down what she called safe spaces on the internet where radicals can spread their message, and she said if internet companies don't cooperate, then the u.k. government may be force toed to block access to those sites. this country, much like the united states, has very liberal laws, and they're going to have to change quite a few of those laws if they're going to find a way to clamp down -- trish: what i would recommend they do, very quickly, is start watching israel and look at what israel has had to deal with and how they have responded, because though they still face a lot of challenges -- and, granted, some of the challenges are different -- they have been able to contain this issue. it means really stepping up security in big, major ways. ashley webster, thank you very much. all right. critics, everyone, of president trump say that he is undermining his own travel plan by sending tweets calling it a, quote, travel ban. but is he really? the supreme court will rule on
this law, not on what he says on twitter. we're going to talk about this and how he's going to get things done. can he get things done right now given all the distractions in washington? we'll get the intel next. [vo] when it comes to investing, looking from a fresh perspective can make all the difference. it can provide what we call an unlock: a realization that often reveals a better path forward. at wells fargo, it's our expertise in finding this kind of insight that has lead us to become one of the largest investment and wealth management firms in the country. discover how we can help find your unlock.
trish: all right. many in washington are saying that the president is creating new headaches for himself with some of his tweets he's put out, especially concerning his tweets about the so-called travel ban. as his executive order heads to the supreme court. now, one of the key defense strategies for the justice department has been to just avoid the word "ban" altogether. they don't like the word "ban" because, of course, it makes everyone think of the muslim ban, and you can't ban just based on religion. but the president is tweeting we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries, not some politically-correct term that won't help us protect our people, and the justice department should ask for an expedited hearing of the
watered-down travel ban before thpreme court. he goes on to write: the justice department should have stayed with the original travel ban, and people, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but i'm calling it what we need and what it is: a travel ban. gregg jarrett is back with me. gregg, does it matter what you call it? >> doesn't matter one bit whether you call it a travel ban or a restriction on immigration. the supreme court in the obamacare case back in 2012 sort of dismissed all of that language when it said doesn't matter if the president, president obama, calls it a mandate penalty or a tax. we look at the law itself, we determine it's collected as a tax, it must, therefore, be a tax. and we don't care what anybody else calls it. same principle applies here. now, if the president had said it's a muslim ban, arguably that's different. that's not what he said. so, you know, what's in a word? trish: well, the only thing i keep going back to is i would like to have faith that if the
president of the united states has gotten some kind of intelligence that leads him to think we need to seal the borders altogether for whatever reason, you don't suddenly turn around can and have a pretty9ically-motivated judge -- politically-motivated judge questioning that, because i guarantee you the president of the united states has access to better intelligence than that judge. >> well. and the -- well, and the supreme court has said congress and the president have plenary power over whether to exclude aliens. that's their word, not mine. and congress then in 1952 delegated that sole power to the president of the united states. so that's exactly what the president is doing. as long as he justifies it properly. heaid these arterrorist nations, they sponsor terror, they harbor terrorist organizations. and second of all, we don't -- they don't cooperate with us in doing background checks and vetting -- trish: that's true. they can't, they don't even have any of the infrastructure, syria has no idea who's there. same thing with iran and iraq
and, you know, libya and other places. i do want to shift gears right now -- >> sure. trish: we're waiting on sean spicer who's going to be briefing reporters. don't forget, he took yesterday off, and sarah huckabee sanders said he's seen his job elevated, and that's why she was doing yesterday's event. we will now see him come forward and speak to reporters today, and i think one of the big things that should come up, that will come up is the idea that we have contractors working for the united states government that are, that are not, that are not with us, that want to actually see harm come to the president and his administration. in the case of this woman, this 25-year-old woman, reality winner is her name, and we were talking about her earlier. what are the things that we need to do as a nation to prevent this kind of stuff from happening, and what can the administration do to prevent -- >> well, the president can issue an executive order that mandates
a top-to-bottom review of private contractors working for the government. and that would include monitoring the outside activities of those contractors, and in this day and age it's very easy to do. and reality winner is a perfect example. trish: that's amazing to me, i've got to say. if you're an employee at a private organization, publicly-held private organization to, doesn't matter. chances are your boss or somebody within the company is monitoring some of what you're doing online with social media. the idea that this woman could be out there tweeting obscenities about the president and resistance, no one clued into that. >> it's a huge red flag. they should have been doing it, they didn't do it. we have to the start doing it more effectively. you know, the irony in all this is if she was trying to damage president trump, she actually did the opposite. because what she released showed russian hackers hacking on their
own with no assistance from the trump campaign organization or the president himself which, of course, is what he's being accused of, colluding with the russians. you know, her report shows just the opposite. trish: but it's just -- i don't know how you as a president really are able to go forward with your agenda when you have so much hate there against you. i mean, not just from the media, not just from the left, but now from the intelligence community. and one would have to think there's more where she came from? >> oh, absolutely. and part of the problem is you're in the infancy of the trump administration, so you have a lot of holdovers in various departments. and, you know, somebody obviously leaked michael flynn's name in intel collection, incidental collection. that is a horrendous felony that is prosecutable by many years behind bars. they need to find out who is that individual. and then, you know, for example, we may find out on thursday when
james comey testifies, the question i would ask is who did you give your memo to, your colleagues at the fbi? because one of them read it over e telephone to a member of "the new york times." that's a crime. trish: a lot of people say that perhaps -- >> tell me your, the names, the three people you gave it to, because one of the three did it. trish: thank you very much. president trump, everyone, blasting the media today, tweeting, quote: sorry, folks, but if i had relied on the fake news of cnn, nbc, abc, cbs, washington post or new york times, i would have had zero chance winning white house. all this as he defends his use of twitter. is twitter really good in this particular case? we have intel for you next.
trish: sean spicer, speak at the white house now. let's listen. >> a moment to recognize the more than 160,000 allied troops who on this day in 1944 landed on the beaches of normandy. thousands of allied soldiers lost their lives, and thousands more were wounded during the fight to liberate europe from nazi control. we all owe the brave troops who were involved in this critical operation an enormous debt of gratitude for the freedom that we all enjoy today. last night the president was truly honored with the vice president to host a reception, and first lady, here at the white house to pledge our love, support and undying gratitude to the gold star families who have experienced a similar sacrifice rsthan the story of every brave man and woman who has paid the ultimate price from the opening battles of our revolutionary war to the ever-changing battlefields of today is forever a part of our
nation's proud history, and i hope everyone takes some time today to recognize the sacrifice that so many have made. now, with respect to the schedule today, later this afternoon the president will be hosting house and senate leaders for a bicameral meeting to discuss his domestic policy agenda; specifically, health care and tax reform. and later this evening he will host a bicameral dinner of republican members to discuss his overseas trip and the foreign policy challenges that he's ready to work with them to tackle. president trump, as you know, has already signed in 36 individual bills into law, 14 under the congressional review act. he passed the repeal and replace of obamacare through the house, and the president has embarked on a historic first trip overseas showing how quickly and decisively he's acting to rebuild america's standing in the world. and we've become the first administration since 1881 to confirm a supreme court justice within the first 100 days.
no those are all things -- those are all things that i think will probably be discussed with some of these members of congress today, and we really look forward to carrying on with the agenda. on health care, as sarah mentioned yesterday, we just don't have time to waste. obamacare continues to collapse. i mentioned before, a third of the counties have only one provider on obamacare. the average individual premiums have increased 105% on average from 2013 to 2017. and just today anthem, the only statewide insurer left in the state of ohio, announced it'll be pullingut of evy counties' obamacare exchange leaving 19,000 ohioans without any options. the american people have been saddled with the bill for washington's inability to get this disaster taken care of, and it's simply not right for them to have to pay it any longer. it's time for us to provide them with the choice and control that all americans want over their own health care. the american people and the american economy have also been suffering under a burdensome,
overcomplicated tax system that stifles growth and takes too much money out of the pockets of working families. we're looking forward to working with congress to change that by dramatically simplifying the system and delivering relief to middle income earners. tax reform is a critical part of the president's agenda, and his team is working with a ride range of stakeholders from legislators to business leaders to longtime tax policy experts to insure that his plan that congress ends up taking on will make sure it gets to his desk so he can finally fix the system. later this afternoon director cohn and secretary mnuchin attend a listening session with business leaders from the transportation sector. this is one of about a dozen listening sessions that we plan to hold in the next couple months with job creators in different parts of the economy to hear about the reforms that would best allow them to thrive, expand and create well-paying jobs for american workers. the vice president's also meeting with legislators on the hill today to discuss these next steps on all of the above
policies. elsewhere the president's cabinet remains focused on enacting his agenda in their departments and agencies. the secretary announced the department will focus on strengthening visa abuse. th includereporting cases of criminal fraud to the ofce of inspector general, establishing a working group to coordinate the enforcement activities to maximize efficiency, using all tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce protection for the american worker provided by the visa programs and developing proposed changes to the current system to better identify violations in fraud and greater transparency. the president, obviously, was elected on a promise to prioritize the american worker, and his swire team here -- entire team here in the white house and throughout government is working hard in their respective areas to fulfill that. with that, be glad to take a few questions. john. >> sean, moments ago mitch
mcconnell -- who will be here in the next few minutes -- reiterated that he is not a fan of the president's tweets. i understand you've explained several time that is the president likes to have to his conduit where he can talk directly to the american people. but does he sometimes cross the line where his tweets become the news, become the agenda and it actually impedes his ability to get things done? >> well, in the context of your question, i think you helped answer. the president is the most effective messenger or on his agenda, and i think his use of social media -- he now has a collect i total of close to 110 million people across different platforms -- gives him an opportunity to speak straight to the american people which has proved to be a very, very effective tool. >> but using it and using it wisely can be two different things. >> right. and i think the same people who are critiquing his use of it now critiqued it during the election, and it turned out pretty well for him then. blake. >> sean, let me ask you about health care. you mentioned the meetings that are taking place.
senator lindsey graham said the other day, he, quote -- he was asked whether or not the senate will be able to get a deal together, he said i don't think it will be. senator burr said it's unlikely that we will get a health care deal. so are they just misinformed? where -- or what's the difference between republican leadership in the white house is putting out and what republican senators are saying they don't think a deal is possible at some point this year? >> well, this is an opportunity, i think, today. the president's going to talk about that when he meets with the leadership. but they're going to work their will, and i think they're all going to come together. these, by and large every elected republican in the house and senate campaigned on this for the last seven years, and i think that they will come together to make sure they achieve the goals of lowering costs and providing greater access. i know there's a commitment by the leadership and the committee chairs, and we remain very hopeful that it's going to get done. >> infrastructure, chuck schumer just a little while ago called the infrastructure plan an investment bank infrastructure plan at goldman sachs.
he said it is a sure loser here in congress, his words. are you guys willing to commit more than the $200 billion the federal government to potentially meet democrats whenever a bill comes forward to try to get that across the finish line? >> well, look, i think the american worker and our infrastructure are the president's priority, and it's putting people back to work, establishing -- fixing those roads and bridges that allow our economy to thrive and grow. he's talked, the president that is, has talked about the impact of, you know, broken bridges and bad roads have an impact on the economy and the ability of people to deliver goods to market. so he's going to create that public/priva partnership that assures th wmaximize dollars, that we put people back to work and get things done. and you saw that yesterday in the air traffic control proposal he put forward where you had union support, you had bipartisan support. because the president's approach at this is that of a businessman, of understanding
how you can utilize that public/private partnership to maximize dollars, put people back to work and not just transfer federal dollars to state dollars which doesn't really do, have the same economic impact as really engaging the private sector in this. >> and let me ask you one question about tax reform. jamie dimon said today, quoting: the urgency for tax reform cannot be overstated. here we are in the early phases of june. again, nothing concrete at this point. where is the urgency at this point from the administration in. >> again, that's subject that's going to be discussed today with the leadership. something the president has talked about. as i just mentioned, secretary mnuchin and director cohn have been out talking to industry groups. we haven't had come come comprex reform since 1986, so it is a big undertaking. when you're talking about the magnitude of this on the corporate and individual side and the impact on our economy and job creation, we need to get this right. we need to involve stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds,
and that's what the president and his team are doing. someone asked the other day where our skype folks are. david from fox 29 in philadelphia. >> sean, thank you very much for taking the time here. we really appreciate it here in philadelphia and the greater delaware valley. we do have a question about the president's budget proposal, specifically the proposal to eliminate the deductions for local and state taxes, property taxes. in new jersey folks reportedly pay the highest amount of property taxes in the nation. there was a quinnipiac poll that said 57% of folks surveyed -- [inaudible] get rid of those deductions. so the question is what do you say to the folks who are worried they may take major hit? >> well, david, thank you for asking. i think if you look at the principles outlined by director cohn and secretary mnuchin, one of the principles was increasing
the standard deduction. so for a middle income family, you're talking about a doubling of that to $24,000. we don't -- we estimate that about 95% of the folks that file now would not take individual deductions because of the increase, the large increase that would happen. most middle income americans would actually save more under the president's plan because of the large increase that would exist with respect to the standard deduction. >> sorry, sorry. >> thanks, sean. just moments ago, the u.s.-led coalition announced they've truck pro-assad forces in syria. has the president been briefed? >> he has. >> and a quick follow-up on the president's tweets. are they considered official white house statements? >> well, the president is the president of the united states, so they're considered official statements by the president of the united states. >> if i can foul on that question, is president trump at all concerned that his tweets could be used against him at the level of the supreme court when
the aclu takes on this travel ban case? >> i think we've made it clear with respect to that that the court should follow the law. and i think the danger is real, the law is clear, and there's n question that we should prevail at the supreme court. eamon. >> thank you, sean. can you tell us what the president's going to be doing on thursday at 10 a.m.? is he going to watch director comey's testimony on capitol hill? >> he's got a full day on thursday, there's an infrastructure meeting with mayors and governors to talk about what we just, some of the projects that need to get added, that public/private partnership that i just discussed. he's giving a speech midday to the faith and freedom coalition downtown. there's going to be a very busy day as all of his days are. >> is he going to watch -- >> as i just said, the president's going to have a very, very busy day, and i think his focus is going to be on pursuing the ageneral da and -- agenda. i'm going to get to our second
guy here, scott hen man at kfyr in the dakotas. >> hi, sean, good to talk with you. i host a radio show in north and south dakota, minnesota and have the blessing of talking with listeners who are enormously frustrated with the way washington works. they're not fond of the swamp, like the president. i'm curious if the infrastructure debate will be different. our governor will be part of the governors and mayors that are coming on thursday. does he believe infrastructure is more than roads and bridges, like drones and vehicles, flood protection which is all creating jobs here right now, and will the infrastructure debate be better received there than the health care and tax reform debates have been so far? might it be the chance you have to begin draining the swamp in. >> well, thanks for the question. as you know, your governor will be here on thursday with a variety of other governors and mayors to talk about infrastructure, and that'll be an opportunity for your governor to talk about the challenges
that you guys face in the dakotas. i know in north dakota alone, there are several critical projects, roads and bridges, that need to get addressed, how the governor prioritizes them. one of th issues that has been discussed is creating different fools of projects that allow for innovation, for prioritization. so that will be something that, again, in partnership with localities, with states to figure out what their priorities are, what they can do to help raise the necessary funds and really do this in a business-like, innovative way. so we've got a ways to go. mara? >> sean, thank you. in saudi arabia the president signed a lot of letters of intent with the saudis to buy american weapons. have there been any actual contracts signed with saudi arabia, and if not, when will they? >> that's a great question. the department of defense has the lead on that. we had about $110 billion of defense procurement items that
were military sales with saudi arabia initially that was totaled up to $350 billion over the next couple of years. the immediate $110, i believe, were signed -- >> actual contracts? >> i believe so. the totality could lead to about $350 billion over the next three years, and there's another almost over $350 million on the commercial side that the department of commerce can probably provide you a better list with separate -- >> i don't know what was actually signed. i know there was the defense side and the commercial side. you saw the press in the room when the commercial side was done. i believe most of the defense stuff, the initial $110 billion of the $310, i believe, was up front and done. >> i wanted to ask about the
president this morning -- [inaudible] isolation of qatar. i had two questions. the first was the president seemed to be taking credit for the action -- [inaudible] and did esident or anybody in the administration speak to the saudis before it happened about -- [inaudible] >> this issue is not new. it's been, there's been tension among qatar's neighbors for quite some time, and the situation was notified through the proper diplomatic channels. the united states continues to be involved with all parties to restore cooperation which is so important to regional security there. his message of toughness on terror finance and extremism is being heeded by countries in the region. but the u.s. still wants to see this issue de-escalated and resolved immediately, keeping with the principles that the president laid out in terms of defeating terror financing and extremism. [inaudible conversations]
>> there's a lot of concerns in qatar that the move, especially with the support from the president, is aimed at removing the emir or his family from power. considering that the president believes the government there is financing terror groups, would regime change there be beneficial or detrimental? >> the president had a very, very constructive conversation with the emir during his visit in riyadh. at that time he was very heartened by the emir's commitment to formally joining the terrorist financing targeting center and showing their commitment to this issue. >> sean? [inaudible] >> major. >> so you mentioned tax reform at the top. mark short had a little bit of trouble yesterday trying to resolve what the administration's position on revenue neutrality is. and the reason i raise is this because mick mulvaney last week was quoted as saying several folks in the white house have
said they are interested in pushing a larger tax bill that would add to the deficit. that's mick mulvaney talking about deliberations here about what this ultimate package would look like. mark wasn't really sure yesterday about how to guide us through whether revenue neutrality is a key priority for the administration in tax reform or not. can you assist us? >> part of that is because there's a discussion ongoing with congress. director mulvaney, secretary mnuchin and others, gary cohn, are working with congress to talk about the plan going forward. so that's a conversation, as i mentioned at the top, the president's going to have a conversation in the next several minutes with house and senate leadership, and that will, i'm sure, be a topic they will discuss. >> so an increase in the deficit is something that the administration would find acceptable -- >> well, i think i would put it more like this, if there is a conversation that is going to go on with congress about how to proceed, and it's not -- at this time i'm not going to get in front of that discussion.
>> sarah said yesterday in response to a question about who it was that changed the president's nato speech taking out the article v language, she would check on that and get back to us. i know you didn't make that commitment, but she did. can you give us a -- >> i don't -- >> -- answer to that question? >> i don't know. i will ask sarah to follow up with you. >> can you confirm that that, in fact, is what happened? there was one speech and a different one was prepared late in the process, and that speech did, in fact, take some of those who believed they were aware of the first speech by surprise? >> i think as we've commented before the president's speech at the top talked about article v. we were at a nato article v commemoration. the idea that we would recommit ourselves to something that we are clearly there to celebrate seems a bit silly. i don't know about the contents of the speech but i think, frankly, it's a bit of a silly discussion because as we addressed at the time the president's presence at an article v commemoration and his
discussion about nato invoking article v for the first time ever after 9/11 pretty much speaks for itself in terms of our commitment to both nato and all 13 articles that are part of that treaty. >> would it be a silly exercise to find out exactly what happened? >> well, again, there's a lot of things that happened -- >> [inaudible] reporting that there was one version, and another version was delivered -- >> i would argue there's a lot of things that go on behind the scenes in terms of every speech, every meeting the president has in terms of preparation until the president gets a version that he feels is appropriate on any number of subjects. it's not appropriate for us to go out there and share it. but i will follow up with sarah on that. but i think to the broader point is that the president remains entirely committed to nato and to all of the articles, not just article v. >> last question. how would you describe the president's level of confidence in the attorney general, jeff sessions? >> i have not had a discussion with him about that. >> last time you said that, there was a development. >> i'm asking -- i'm answering a
question which is i have not had that discussion with him. >> [inaudible] >> confident in his attorney general? >> i don't, if i haven't had a discussion with him about a subject, i tend not to speak about it. >> sean, the chinese government rejected a call from the state department to release three activists who were detained in a chinese shoe company -- [inaudible] ivanka trump and others. does the white house have any specific comment on these detentions? does the president, ivanka trump want these people released? >> i think the state department has made it very clear the u.s. position on that, and we'll continue to exert the proper diplomatic pressure on that. >> [inaudible] >> it's a state department issue, and i would suggest you follow up with them. to live yea. i'm sorry, hold on -- >> -- saying that the president should no longer -- [inaudible] has he been invited? >> he has. he appreciates her majesty's gracious invitation. >> thank you, sean. two on afghanistan. before the foreign trip, the president's first foreign trip, senior officials were delling us
you -- telling us you guys would unveil the president's decision making after the foreign trip. do you have a timeline for us? when can we expect? >> i think the president will continue to discuss that with secretary mattis, general mcmaster and others, and when he feels as though he's comfortable with the plan that he wants to push forward, we'll let you know. >> and what does victory look like in afghanistan? >> i think a stable government, us free from threats -- and that's, again, i think we've commented on that before, we want to make sure that we root out all forms of terrorism and provide stability in the region. dave. >> sean, yesterday there was a first case of a leaker -- [inaudible] being arrested. the justice department announced the charges. and it seems pretty clear from reading her social media posts that she is an opponent of the president and his policies. first of all, was the president made aware, did he have a reaction to this arrest? >> i don't know. as you guys know with respect to all kinds of ongoing investigations, we would never comment on an ongoing investigation.
that being said, i think tt you've heard the president very clearly talk about the concern that he has about unauthorized disclosures of classified and sensitive information and the threat that they can pose to national security. so while i don't want to comment on any specific case or allegation, i think it is important to note that any disclosure of classified or sensitive information can clearly threaten our national security. john. >> thanks a lot, sean. you have said on many occasions from the podium that the president's tweets speak for themselves. yesterday the president faulted the department of justice for its defense of the president's executive order on immigration given that he has faulted the doj, does he also fault the person who leads the doj, attorney general sessions?
>> i think i've answered -- [inaudible conversations] >> oh, you said john? sorry, john. despite what you just said in the persian gulf, it's clear the president's' taking sides on this. why? >> in what way? >> he said today on twitter all -- [inaudible] pointed at qatar, perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism. >> i mean, i commented on that. he's noting the message of toughness on terror financing. >> [inaudible] >> that's not what i said. i think he had a very productive discussion with the emir during his visit inly squad. he was very cheesed that they joined -- pleased that they joined with the other gulf nations in their support of the that out, and he's pleased witht e vements he's taken. obviously, he is very concerned about terror financing and stomping out isis and all forms of terrorism. john. >> thank you, sean. two questions. first, is the president comfortable with robert mueller as the special prosecutor, and does he believe that a president
has the right to replace the special prosecutor if he or she exceeds his mandate in that position? >> i literally have not discussed that with the president. >> my other question is this. on sunday the president put out a forceful commemoration of the battle of midway 70 years ago. he did not note anything about the 25th anniversary of tiananmen square in china. is there going to be any statement about the brave uprising in china of a quarter century ago? >> i'll look into that, john, for you. with that, guys, the house and senate leadership are here, so thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] >> we waited so long. [laughter] cheryl: sean spicer just wrapping up the daily press briefing talking about major items on the president's domestic agenda, health care and
tax reform, also taking questions about leaks, national security, the travel ban. oh, and the trump tweets. they keep piling in, leaving reporters in the room and investors asking, do they get his message out or do they impede his agenda? thank you so much for joining us, and we have breaking news right now. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell saying just moments ago thatop replicans are, quote, getting closer to having a health care proposal. mcconnell declined to give an exact timeline for the health care plan going to the senate floor for a vote. all of this coming as republican congressional leaders are gearing up to meet with president trump any moment now at the white house to discuss the status of health care reform, tax cuts. but while senate republicans struggle right now to come to a consensus, the nightmare of obamacare continues to get worse. we've received breaking news that yet another major insurer, anthem, will exit the obamacare insurance marketplace in ohio next year. we are joined now live from the white house by the press