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tv   White House Briefing  CSPAN  April 4, 2018 3:12pm-3:58pm EDT

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computers and online lessons. in some places where there are teacher shortages, that's what they've turned to because they can't find teachers to fill the spots but that's kind of a last resort. >> is it pay that's the large driver of people abandoning the profession. >> it is a big facto. they're frustrated with policy and they want more autonomy but pay is a driving factor. >> compare the teacher salary to the administrators salary, the principal salary. is there a disparity. >> my apologies for the delay. today we solemnly remember the life and legacy of martin luther king jr. who is viciously gun down in memphis 50 years ago. and what would prove to be his final speech of his incredible life he said like anybody, i would like to live a long life.
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longevity has its place but i'm not concerned about that now. i just want to do god's will and he's allowed me to go to the mountain and i've looked over what i've seen the promised land. i may not get there with you but i want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land and i'm so happy tonight. i'm not worried about anything. i'm not fearing any man. my eyes have seen the coming of the glory of the lord. these words were from a man who found his identity and purpose through the lord and let a movement that changed the course of history. in honor of his sacrifice continue to protect our union by defending the truth of our founding principles that all men are created equal. looking ahead, the president will be traveling to west virginia tomorrow. he will participate in a roundtable with ceos and workers from companies who have provided pay raises and benefits as a result of the trump tax cut. also participating in the
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roundtable are families with more money in their pocket as a result of the new law which passed without a single democrat vote. this will be the president's fourth trip to west virginia since he took office. later he will welcome the decorated u.s. olympic and paralympic teams to the white house. this event will take place on april 27. he looks forward to celebrating with the athletes. before taking your questions, i have a special guest, secretary nielsen from the apartment of homeland security. as you know the president received a briefg on the administration strategy to confront the growing threat of illegal immigration, drugs and violent gang members coming across our border. the mobilization of the national guard will be an important part of the strategy. secretary nielsen will come up to deliver brief remarks and take your questions. after that'll be back up to answer questions of the day on other topics.
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>> good afternoon. i will give you some facts and perspective, hopefully i can put things in context but i want to start with a very simple statement for today's announcement which is border security is homeland security, which is national security. it's not a partisan issue. it is not something we can separate. it is core to being a sovereign nation for the president has reiterated this many times. he has specific lease at a sovereign nation that cannot or choose not to defend its border will soon cease to be a sovereign nation. the threat is real. we have talked about it over the past 18 months. the department of homeland security, since its creation 2003 has watched for current and emerging threats are despite a number of steps the ministration has taken, we continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal
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drugs, dangerous gang activity, transnational criminal organizations and illegal immigration flow across our border. this threatens the safety of our communities and children and our very rule of law under which our country was founded. it is time to act. let's talk about that today. in an effort to prevent such a consequence the president directed the department of defense and homeld secity work together with our governors to deploy the national guard to our southwest border to assist the border patrol. the president will be signing a proclamation to that effect today. when the president took office last year he issued a series of executive orders and directives that empower dhs for the first time in almost a decade to fully enforce our border security immigration law. at that time we saw a drop in unlawful border crossings. 44% down in the first few months after his inauguration. this trump affect as many of you
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have referred to it and we have as well was undeniable as smugglers and national criminal organizations and those responsible for illicit activity were forced to wait and see if it against efforts would scale back their criminal activity for good. in the past 15 months under the present leadership the administration has taken major steps to strengthen border security. let me give you a few. we stepped up the targeting of dangerous criminal gangs such as ms 13. we removed thousands of criminal aliens in the year prior and we no longer exempt entire classes of illegal aliens from the consequences of breaking our law. we began the new border wall system construction, we modified our system processing to adjudicate claims and we ended temporary immigration programs that were constitutionally dubious or administered in a
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manner that wasnconsistent with the purpose of the law or contrary to the intent of congress. despite these actions we recently seen the number of border crossings rise from 40 year low last april to back to previous levels. our current border security and immigration law failed the american people. the system rewards bad behavior. it does not punish lawbreakers. it undermines our nation's economic interest. make no mistake, introduction without the ability to properly remove those without legitimate cause is not border security. it is not national security. when the president took office, the traffickers, smugglers and illegal aliens paused to see what our border enforcement efforts would look like and if we could follow through on the deportation and removal.
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while we have been apprehending aliens at the border with historic efficiency, these illegal smuggling group saw that our ability to remove those who come here illegally did not keep pace. they saw there were loopholes they could exploit to avoid detention and removal. let me give you some numbers on how that has changed our order security system. before 2013 approximately one out of every 100 arriving aliens claimed credible fear which is the first step in the united states asylum process. today more than one out of ten do so. why this matters is because this number, unfortunately demonstrates and is indicative of the rising level of fraud that plagues our system. this prevents us from helping those who really do need asylum when we have to deal with the fraud in the blac backlog we are unable to help those truly in need. before 2011 over 90% of arriving
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aliens were single adult male. 40% today are families and children. the traffickers and smugglers know that if you arrive with the family under our current legal and court system you have a much better chance of being released into the united states. we he seen them advertise this as an enticement and we have en tffkers fraudulently used children to gain entry into our country. before 2009, 90% of arriving aliens were mexican nationals. today 50% are from central america. the traffickers and smugglers know these individuals cannot, under u.s. law be easily removed in an expeditious way back to their country of origin. they exploit the loophole. each of these reflects the legislative loopholes that has made it more difficult to remove those they apprehend rather their criminals, traffickers, gangs or illegal aliens.
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those claiming asylum know if they use the magic words credible fear, because of the backlog, they will be released with work permits into the interior for many years before they see a judge. in 2012 wendy aca was offered families of children understood that deferred action was on the table and the possibility of future deferred action has caused more migration. this is exacerbated because of the deeply flawed florez settlement agreement. because of our inability to use expedited removal authority for all unaccompanied alien children. because of this we see many more central american families with children attempting to enter the country illegally. many more than a decade ago. smugglers are gaming the system. they take advantage of the loopholes in our law, they know that we cannot prosecute as we
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need to to stop their behavior and we know in some cases it takes many years for them to be removed. this, in addition, creates a magnet for more illegal immigration and criminal activity across our border. every day we rely on a number of partnerships to help us accomplish our mission to secure our border. state and local officials, interagency federal partners, congress and our international partners. i have been with and continue to work with these partners. this is a problem that requires all of our attention. this administration has also asked congress for help. congress makes immigration law. that is how our system works. congress decides which class of aliens are allowed into the country in which can be deported. we've asked for changes to existing law to close loopholes that exacerbate the challenges we have and often result in a court order or catch and
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release. the president terminated administrative catch and release last year but due to these loopholes we often find those with families must be released after 20 days. we asked congress for additional funds for the border wall system, for detention beds, personnel and the magnetic of lawlessness that draw people in the thousands to our border. why not attempt the journey if you have no fear you'll ever be caught. you must change the environment and reduce the pole factors. time and time again, congress has failed to act. we are still, some members of congress continually oppose efforts to secure the border. as a result of this in action, the administration has dropped legislation and we will be asking congress again to provide the legal authority and resources to address this crisis at our border. we will not allow illegal immigration levels to become the norm. more than 1000 people. day, 300,000.
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year violating our sovereignty as a nation will never be acceptable to this president. since becoming secretary of spoken with hundreds of people and i will continue to speak with anyone who will listen about the need to end catch and release and close these loopholes once and for all. based on conversations of congressional leadership i am optimistic. we are a country based on the rule of law. i asked congress to pass legislation with all urgency, i will work with you, let's get this done. in the meantime, the president has directed the national guard personnel to be deployed to the southern border. the department of defense has long supported the efforts of dhs to protect her nations border. this includes all ongoing narcotic missions, persistent surveillance operations training and aerial support throughout the western hemisphere. the poor department of defense's
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longtime partner of the department of homeland security and i thank them for their support. while plans are being finalized is our expectation that the national guard will deploy personnel in support of the border security mission. it will take time to have the details in place but we are beginning today and moving quickly. we are anxious to have the support. i have spoken with all of the governors and will continue these conversations. it's very encouraging that some of them have already taken dramatic steps in their own state to confront illegal immigration and to strengthen border security to prevent the criminal activity and the inflow of drugs. these leaders understand the importance of enforcement and border security and how it improves public safety. another forward to working with each of them. as a result, i will not provide full details today because much of which we will be doing in conjunction with the board of governors will be worked out
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through the appropriate processes as a house in the past. the urgency cannot be underscored. we will be doing this today under the president's direction. i will continue my conversation with the board of governors and they hope to have the path forward specified in the near future. i want to make sure before i turn it over for questions to mention that we've been in touch with counterparts in mexico regarding the action. they understand the administration's desire, much like their own to control illegal entry into our country. they understand and respect our national sovereignty. i tha thenk them fecent support in addressing the caravan as well as signing a mber of security related agreements last week. i value their partnership and do not expect this operation to affect that relationship. i want to close by saying the problems of catch and release and unsecured borders are solvable problems. congress has the ability and the opportunity to provide this administration and our country with the tools it needs for border security. in my conversations with members of congress they are for border
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security and the rule of law. the vulnerabilities we need to address are well known. the legislative fixes have been drafted and debated. the tools are tested and ready. all that's left is a will to act. i'm hoping that changes and i call on all members of congress to work with us to close these loopholes and end catch and release completely. let me be clear we are a welcoming nation. we support tens of millions of legal visitors every year as well as over 1 million legal immigrants. we will continue to do so, but as i said earlier, border security is national security. security of our nation is not a partisan issue. border security is national security. the foundational elements that in the very security of our systems in a homeland, the president is committed to securing our border and using all the tools he has available to him. i thank him for his leadership and support, i thank you for listening, and i look for to
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your questions. >> could you compare with the president is doing with what resident bush did with personnel and president obama did, is he contemplating something larger than that in something of a longer duration and how soon do you think whatever the number is the points will begin. >> with me to the last part first. we do hope the deployment begins immediately. i will be continuing to have conversations with the governors today. it is done through a memorandum of agreement so we are working to agree on that. we hope to specify the missions where we need support including everything from aerial surveillance which is party operation through system support functions that the guard was able to do under president bush in operation jumpstart. we've been very specific
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state-by-state of what cvp believes they need and we work in conjunction with the governors on the front line to see what they need and work within the national guard. as soon as possible. conversations are ongoing. >> i don't get ahead of the governors. there is a partnership with th them. we are giving them the opportunity to review our suggestions on how the national guard can support the border patrol. as soon as numbers are available we will provide those. >> it will be strong. it will be as many as needed to fill the gap that we have today. we will go through and make sure. >> in terms of the operation that the national guard will be involved in, operation jumpstart, they were only a support capacity to the border patrol. i think of of similar rules of engagement. >> we are working with the governors but we have had that conversation. as you know it's a partnership under title2 and there som we ae
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very interested to continue our conversation with them but we've discussed are support activities that are very similar to jumpstart. >> so there would be actual enforcement. >> correct, as of now. >> the president suggested he would use him the military appropriations from the construction of the border wall. does the president have the authority to use money that the congress has appropriated to the border wall. >> i'm not a lawyer over there but what he meant was there are some lands that the department of defense owns right on the border that are actually areas where we see illicit activity. as part of what dod does every day in terms of enforcement protection, we are looking into options for the military to build a wall on military
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installations on the border. other than that i can't speak to the legality of the question. >> can you give an estimate of what this will cost. >> i can't. i think looking at past numbers should be indicative but it really depends on the very specific mission set that they will provide. for example aerial surveillance is done by flight hours. to translate that into a number of people than i can tell you much people will cost. >> do you need approval for that. >> know we do not but we will do it in conjunction with the governors. >> how much wall can you build with the money currently have. >> currently appropriated will build about 150 miles so that is section 17 and 18 together. we have started building. >> to us, if there was a wall before that needs to be replaced it's being replaced by new wall. this is the trump border wall.
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in many cases -- >> what would count as new wall. >> yes, this would. >> what will it cost to complete the entirety of the wall. >> the border patrol has submitted a very specific plan to congress where we need the wall, what type of wall we need, we finished evaluating all the prototypes, we have a toolkit. some of the parts of the border are very different. one place we even had a wall that almost floats with the sand because of the conditions. another place there will be taller walls, again depending. some places we have levees. we are continuing to work it out based on the funding we have in the prototypes and we should have better estimates soon. >> it's still unclear what you think you will cost. >> have they're down payments to let them know what additional funds we need for what. >> i'm not sure i understand the urgency. it seems like it ramped up just over the last several days and over the weekend.
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the house is not here, the senate is not here, why is this such an urgent priority right now. >> i would say that the numbers continue to increase. april, traditionally as a month in which we see more folks crossing the border without a legal right to do so. partly it's modeling, partly it's anticipating, we are seeing more advertising by the traffickers and smugglers to the south specific on how to get around our border control. we have cases of borrowing children and crossing the border in a fraudulent way. why today and not tomorrow, today's the day we want to start this process could. >> why not last year. what responsibility does the white house or the department have for not urging congress to do something more permanent rather than having national
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guard troops. >> that's a great question. i appreciate the opportunity to clarify. we do want congress to act. we had been hopeful we would be able to agree on a bipartisan bill. the president supported two of the four that were offered on the floor so what we're trying to do was get them to act but it has not gotten us where we need to be in terms of enforcing law. we are taking what actions we can and hope that we can soon again started the conversation with congress. >> what it also means is we do it in conjunction with the governor so to be very clear this is title 32, the governors getting control of the national guard within the region. not going to get ahead of them. the ones i have spoken to our
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reques. we will do it as expeditiously as possible. it is a process and we are working through that in real time. we talk about the urgencies. do i have something to do with the political pace? >> i think the president is frustrated. i think what you are seeing is the president taking his job very seriously in terms of securing our border in terms of doing everything we can without congress to do just that. i do's hope of the congress comes back we can work with them.
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>> for how long have you been working on this plan. >> it's always on the table and it's been done before. can you describe what sort of immigration bill that covers and would be acceptable or is the only build just one that restricts immigration. >> i don't think the bill. se, in some cases it's that the
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bill wasn't passed. all of that uncertainty gives the conversation wings in the south. how do you get here now. >> at the time, republicans who oppose the bill that passing this bill will cause people coming to take advantage. even though people who arrive now aren't eligible for the aca, it's interesting to see the similar programs. what else do you think would be a magnet. >> that's how the two go together. we want a permanent solution. >> every time this issue comes up and every time there is any sort of method administratively attempted to address this problem, same people every time
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say people are going to flood the borders trying to take advantage of it. i'm just curious if that's constantly a problem every time this issue comes up. how can you entertain any kind of comprehensive immigration bill. >> i understand the question. what i would say is if we put together a package, the conversation is over. those are those who will receive some sort of permanent status. he will not do half measures. we have to stop the actual pole. we have to have the ability to remove. he has been very clear and strong on this.
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we are being told by the smugglers go now, go now. it's not going to work anymore. thank you all for your time. please know that we will continue to give you details as we get them. >> we are running long so we will jump straight into question. >> back in january the president said he was looking forward to answer questions under oath from robert muller. is the president still intending to answer questions from the special counsel. >> he is working in conjunction with his legal team regarding that matter.
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he is continuing to be fully cooperative with the office of the stencil counsel and will continue to be cooperative until it comes to a full conclusion. >> so nothing has changed in his willingness to answer question. >> i refer you to his legal team. they will be making those decisions. >> learning that he is not a target although he is a suspect of the special counsel. >> i will not target on the ongoing and back-and-forth out of respect for the special counsel but as we said many times before there was no collusion between the president and russia. we know what we did and didn't do. some none of this comes as much of a surprise. >> does he agree with mcmaster.
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[inaudible] yesterday during the press conference he said no one has been tougher on russia than this president pretty also said other nations could do more and should do more. we continue to be tough on russia and we will be tough until we see a change. at the same time, as the president stated, it would be good for the world if there can be a relationship but we have to wait and see what happens. >> so the president thanks other nations need to be tougher but we have been as tough as we can. >> we will continue to be tough on russia. we are asking russia to make a change in her behavior and to be a good actor but absolutely other countries should step up.
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certainly you think others can step up to keep pressure on them. >> he tweeted no more dac a deal. >> we have tried and tried. democrats have continued to not want to participate and actually find a solution. they failed to show up and do their job as they were elected to do. the president has been very clear and put multiple proposals on the table to fix the problem and democrats have not been willing to take a deal that was actually really good deal and went much further than the previous administration and further than things they previously supported. frankly you should be asking me this question for the white house this question, you should be asking senate democrats and members of the house on why they aren't willing to fix something they claim to want to champion day after day.
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>> today they said negotiations are the most likely way that the trade dispute will be resolved. thdoes the president agree with that or does he want to continue to put tariffs on the table and make them real and see what happens. >> we are going through the review. we are very lucky that we have the best negotiator at the table in the president and we are going to go through the process. it will be a couple months before tariffs on either side would go into effect and be implanted, and we are hopeful china would do the right thing. china created this problem, not president trump. we actually have a president who is willing to stand up and say enough is enough, we are stopping the unfair trade practices. we are asking china to stop unfair practices and will work through that process.
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>> any change in chinese behavior and these tariffs will take effect. >> i'm not going to get ahead of the process of where we are. we are in the review process. certainly we expect china to make changes and stop the unfair practices they have participated in for decades. >> or tariffs will take effect. >> again, i'm not getting ahead of the review process but i would anticipate if there's no changes to their behavior and they don't stop unfair trade practices that we would move forward. >> in the meantime we've seen really wide swings in stock target which represents millions of dollars in real money. as the president worried that this saber rattling is causing many people to lose money. >> no, he is worried that we have countries that have been taking advantage of us for decades and he won't allow that to happen. we may have a short-term pain but we will certainly have long-term success and we are focused on long-term principles and making sure we have a strong and stable economy. >> a?
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amazon. the pentagon could allow award a very large contract to amazon. have you heard anything about amazon getting this contract and would he ever personally intervene. >> the president is not involved in the process. dod runs a competitive bidding process and i would refer you to the department of defense on the specifics of how that process would work. this is a process run by dod and its competitive bidding process so i refer you to them. >> the president railed against amazon over the past few weeks calling the deal they have with the united states postal service a sweetheart deal. my question to you has to deal with another sweetheart deal and that's $50 night payment that
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the epa administrator scott pruitt pays to a lobbyist with the epa. as you know the president promised to drain the swamp. his behavior seems very swamp like. why is the president okay with this. >> we are reviewing the situation. we have had the chance -- will have the chance to dive deeper, we will let you know. the president thas he has done a good job, particularly on again we take this seriously and we are looking into it and we will let you know. >> to questions. last week buz feed reported that christopher steele was claiming in a report with documented evidence that the fbi had a
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second report on the mysterious death of the founder of russia television and press secretary to vladimir putin. he died at the hotel dupont, originally it was said from a fall but this report said he was bludgeoned after by people hired by oligarchs close to vladimir putin. does the administration have any comment on this given the concatenation of commentary on russia and response to russian activities abroad. >> i don't have anything specific on that incident. >> the other thing is, could we have a readout from the foreign ministers meeting with white house staff, from the mexican prime minister. >> are you asking me if were going to have a readout. >> we are continuing and then after negotiation and we've made
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significant progress, we will keep you posted as that continues. >> the president has maintained all along that our focus has been on defeating isis. we have made significant progress since the president took office. under his leadership there has been a complete collapse of the caliphate. we continue to make progress and work with our allies and partners in the region, but we want to focus on transitioning to local enforcement and do that over this process to make sure there's no reemergence of basis and take away some of the progress we've made. that's what we are moving to. as this environment has changed because of the success under the presidents leadership, we are evaluating as we go.
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>> has his dissatisfaction with iran. [inaudible] wouldn't taking u.s. presence, taking it out of iran in embolden it even further. >> no. the purpose would be to transition the local enforcement as well as have our allies and partners in the region who have a lot more at risk to put more skin into the game and certainly that something the president wants to see happen, for them to step up and do more and that's what we are working with right now. >> the president said yesterday he wanted to see american trick area. >> the goal is to defeat isis. once we completely do that, we have made significant progress on there's no longer a need for troops to be there and we can transition to that local enforcement, that certainly would be the object of. >> what does that look like?
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what is the yardstick for measuring what that looks like in syria based on the conditions on the ground, and secondly, what did he tell his commander yesterday during a meeting that how he possibly wants to see that play out. >> as he's maintained since the beginning his not to put an arbitrary timeline. he is measuring it in actually winning the battle, not just putting some random number out there but making sure we actually win, which we've been doing we will continue to do. that determination will be made by the department of defense which the president has given the authority to do that. >> training and helping transition local forces to make sure there's not a reemergence of isis in syria. >> we been doing that we will will continue making sure they are prepared to pick up.
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>> the sense of urgency about bringing the national guard to the border. does this have anything to do with the report that the president saw on fox news. >> i think it has everything to do with protecting the people of this country. this shouldn't come as a surprise. he has been talking about securing the border since he started on the campaign trail. he wanted to work for congress but he asked them to do their job. he asked them to pass legislation that would close loopholes and secure our border and build the wall. he asked them to do a number of things. they failed time and time again. now he is making sure that in between the congress doing something he is doing what he can to protect the people of this country and he will continue to do that and look at different measures whether it's through the national guard or whether it is through other administrator backs that he has the authority to carry out without having to involve congress and say simply
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democrats apparently can't show up and actually do their job. >> this announcement of sending the military to the borders, a week before he is making his first ever trip. what consider have consideration have they given to signal that region in the long history and how does that affect his abili ability. a lot of countries have tougher law than the united states. i think they would understand that the loopholes that we have our problem and we want to be able to work with them to address it. we want to be able to come here we want them to come here legally and when i just going to have an open border drugs and gangs.
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>> you're saying it's coming to a rapid end. the president said we should never ever have left referring to iraq. why wouldn't leaving control over local forces allow for a new vacuum just as heromised would not happen. >> will make that determination. we are evaluating this as we go. progress has clearly been made with the complete collapse of the caliphate and we want to make sure there isn't a reemergence and we are counting on the secretary of defense and our troops and commanders on the ground to help make that determination. >> said some point his confidence that local forces independently will be able to manage those areas. >> we are working with them and training the local forces, but we also want all of our allies
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and partners in the region to step up and do more. again, they have far greater risk being right there in the region with isis of any chance of them reemerging, they are the greatest risk so they should be stepping up and doing more in the president is calling on other countries to do just that. >> i'm just going to keep going because were running light on time. >> have a? scott pruitt. the president called him the other night. why. >> because he works for the president. it's pretty routine that the president would speak to members of his own staff and cabinet. >> did he call him to say buck up and keep fighting? >> i'm not going to get into private conversation. i can tell you we are reviewing allegations and we don't have anything beyond that at this point. >> the arizona governor said
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using the national guard is very expensive. the cost would give homeless veterans food and shelter for a year. >>e sees securing the border as a national security issue and protecting americans and if that congressman is so concerned maybe you should show up and support legislation to fix these problems instead of blaming the president who is actually trying to do something about it. we would like to see him work with us in partnership and actually do something instead of complain about it. thank you so much. i hope you have a great day. [inaudible conversation] >> today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of martin luther king jr.
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tonight, american history tv will be live at 8:00 p.m. on c-span three from memphis. vernon been looking at the legacy of doctor king and the direction of the civil rights movement today. >> this weekend, c-span city tour take you to norman oklahoma with the help of arc medication cable partners, we will ask for the literary scene in history. saturday at noon eastern on book tv, the author discusses the complex history and division in our nation with the book most american. notes from a wounded place. >> this is the man that gave birth to 20th century america athletes. this weight workingman hero,. [inaudible] on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern we visit the national weather center on the campus of the university of oklahoma.
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>> this does not exist anywhere else in our galaxy. this is the only national weather center. we are destination for the state of oklahoma. everyone is interested in seeing what's going on in our facility. >> been here about the congressional research and study center at the university of oklahoma which houses the papers of 58 former members of the united states congress. >> this is labeled personal and confidential. it lays out what should albert do if he becomes president. you can look, step one tak the oath of office. step two. [inaudible] step three, resigned from the house. this is another thing he would've had to do pretty would
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have to resign his speaker speakership temporarily to move up. i think this is a really interesting piece of history that many people don't know about. we sort of think about the other things that could've happened in the time. >> watch c-span cities tour of norman oklahoma saturday at noon eastern on c-span to book tv. sunday at 2:00 p.m. on c-span three, working with our cable affiliates as we explore ameri america. >> doctor jerome adams, the u.s. surgeon general delivered keynote remarks at the american public health association national forearm in washington. he spoke about his priorities as surgeon general. >> good afternoon everyone.


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