Sarah Huckabee Sanders
White House Defends Presidents Tweets CSPAN June 29, 2017 2:04pm-2:52pm EDT
to ensuring survivors have legal support and access to comprehensive re-integration assistance. [ applause ] and from hungary, victoria sebeje. in recognition of her ground breaking academic contributions to reveal the prevalence of child sex trafficking in hungary, her ability to bring together government and civil society organizations to improve victim identification and services and her dedication to increasing awareness and understanding of human trafficking. [ applause ] from morocco, judge ami amina eufuki. --
>> we will leave the ceremony at
the white house to go to today's white house press briefing by treasury secretary steven mnuchin and principle deputy sar sarah huckabee sanders just getting underway. >> thank you. today the trump administration is continuing its efforts against the government of north korea. despite multiple u.n. security council resolutions, imposing international sanctions, the government of north korea continues its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. today treasury's financial crimes enforcement network has found the bank of dandong to be a foreign financial institution of primary money laundering concern under section 311 of the usa patriot act. this bank has served as a gateway for north korea
facilitating millions of transactions for companies involved in north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. the united states will not stand for such action. this will require u.s. banks to ensure that the bank of dandong does not access the u.s. financial system directly or indirectly through other foreign banks. this action reaffirms the treasury department's commitment to ensure that north korea is cut off from the u.s. financial system. in addition, the department of treasury's office of foreign asset control has sanctioned two individuals and one entity for their continued support of north korea's activities. while today's actions are directed at chinese individuals and entities, we look forward to continuing to work closely with
the government of china to stop illicit financing involving north korea. we are in no way targeting china with these actions. we will be meeting with china and other countries at the g20 next week to further our efforts to cut off north korea's illicit activities. north korea's provocative, destabilizing and inhumane behavior will not be tolerated. we are committed to targeting north korea's external enablers and maximizing economic pressure on the regime until it ceases its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. with that i'd be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you very much. on north korea, congressman introduced north korea travel bans, do you have any kind of -- for the north korean travel ban
act. >> i have no comments on that today, although i will say we will continue to look at a range of options as we are very serious about them stopping their activity. >> how do you quantity fie the financial activity you're trying to stop today and the access, direct and indirect, this particular bank had the u.s. financial markets? >> this is very significant since this is the first bank that we've cut off under this. and that we will continue to look at these actions and continue to roll out sanctions. as i said in this case it's millions of dollars, but we are committed to cutting off all illegal funds -- this bank will not be able to access the u.s. financial system either directly or indirectly. so it's a very significant action. >> secretary, you made clear this was not a punishment against china, but obviously the
white house wants to be putting pressure on beijing to take action against north korea. are you satisfied that china will see it that way? and with what china's doing currently against north korea? >> well, i think as you know president trump and president xi have had very productive conversations about north korea. and we appreciate their work and hope they will continue to work with us. notwithstanding that we are taking these actions to show the seriousness in which we are going to deal with this. in the back. >> thank you, mr. secretary. can you talk more about the link between the specific bank and the government of north korea? we're trying to get a better picture of what exactly they were funding in north korea. >> yeah, i'm not going to go into specifics of that because it does involve certain intelligence, but again, i can tell you we have very specific intelligence. again, we will follow the money and cut off the money. >> mr. secretary, would you be able to explain i know you did research the actual economic
impact this is going to have on the kn-- north koreans and how that economic impact negatively may cause them a change in their position? >> well, i think as you know in iran the sanctions were very effective and that's what's brought iran to the table. we will continue to work with our allies and we will continue to speak to people at the g20. we are firmly committed to work with other nations to cut off illicit financing. >> thank you. >> mr. secretary, was china given a heads up in any way about the action you're announcing today? and you used a term that -- in your statement, is china an enabler as relates to north korea? >> again, i'm not going to comment specifically on our behind the scenes conversations. we've obviously had very productive conversations with them. again, as i said, this is not directed at china. this is directed at a bank as well as individuals and entities in china. again, whether in china or
anywhere else we will continue with sanctions. >> will north korea simply move their assets from this particular bank to another bank in china? >> again, if we find other activity, we will sanction other entities. nobody's off limits. >> quick follow-up on china, can you characterize whether you think china's doing enough. last week the president tweeted while i greatly appreciate the efforts of president xi and china to help with north korea, it has not worked out. at least i know china tried. sounded like he was giving up on china, has he? >> i don't think the president is giving up in any sense. we will continue to work with china and anyone else. the president is firmly committed we will cut the money off to north korea until they behave properly. >> -- south korean today -- >> different topics, one, how much do you feel china can move the needle on north korea? two, in terms of tax reform, you say you've got 100 folks over there roughly in the treasury department dealing with that
issue. are there any contingency plans in place in case health care doesn't get done? and thirdly, janet yellen, how much is the administration seriously considering her to -- >> that's an awful lot of questions. let me work backwards. again, no decisions have been made in regards to the fed chair. gary cohn and i will at some point make recommendations to the president, but no decisions have been made on that. in regards to tax reform, i think as you've heard gary and i say we are very committed to get tax reform done this year. it is one of the president's top priorities for economic growth, i think the people of america understand that tharwe need ecoc growth and committed to doing that. i expect health care hopefully will get done, but regardless we are committed to getting tax reform done. you had so many questions i forgot your first one. >> let me actually follow up with you on tax reform if you don't mind. paul ryan had said today that things are on track.
why should the american public believe things are actually on track with what we see going on with health care reform and it seems like the timeline keeps getting pushed? >> why shouldn't the american public believe it? of course they should believe it. we've said that, speaker ryan has said that, chairman hatch has said it. we're all 100% committed to getting tax reform done this year. >> mr. secretary, in february you received a letter from lawmakers suggesting the treasury department should consider sanctions the bank of china. my question to you is, have you reconsidered that idea? do you think that idea is on the table? and then the second question i had is about the debt ceiling. my understanding is that the debt ceiling drop time for you all is october. does that give congress additional time in your mind, or would you still like them to act earlier? >> i haven't given any specifics in regards to the drop dead date. what i have said is that i hope that congress acts before they
leave. yet we do have contingency plans if they don't so the market shouldn't be concerned. but again, i think for the benefit of everybody the sooner that they do this, the better. and as it relates to banks, again, i think as you've seen we've taken very significant action today. we will continue to take very significant action rolling out additional sanctions on north korea until they stop their behavior. >> mr. secretary, one question on indirect access to the banking system. are you aware of other banks providing similar access to the north koreans? to the international financial system? and what other banks are you prepared to take steps against going forward? >> again, let me just say we have a team of people both in treasury and working with the intelligence agencies. and as we see other banks or individuals or entities you can expect we will continue to roll out additional sanctions. this is something we take very seriously. we will be having discussions with our counterparties at the g20. this is a big priority of ours.
>> mr. secretary, said this is not targeting china, but this is aimed at a chinese bank. does it speak to a message that you're trying to send to china in any way, specifically right before the g20? or is this really an indication of how limited your options are in terms of just dealing with north korea directly. >> well, first of all i wouldn't say in any way it's limited in what our options are. quite the contrary. we are committed and we will work with everybody, and nothing's off the table. where we see illicit financing we will stop it. and there's no message before the g20. the message to everybody at the g20 is this is a serious issue, we're going to work with everybody. but if there is illicit financing going on, we will cut it off from the u.s. financial system which has significant impacts. >> just to follow-up, you're saying in no way this is a message aimed at china? >> i specifically said in my comments this wasn't aimed at china. we continue to work with them. again, this is about north
korea, and this is about how serious we're taking this. and kind of whether it's china or anybody else we will take this seriously. >> will this help in the release -- >> i'm not going to make any comments about that. >> secretary. >> at the end of question you said the president is firmly committed we will cut money off to north korea until they behave properly. how are you defining success with that? in other words, what exactly are you looking for? >> i think you're going to know success when you see it. >> i'm asking how you -- >> i think everybody will know success. their behavior is unacceptable and it will be very clear kind of we want them to stop doing tests, the ballistic missile programs and others. it's very clear. >> mr. secretary, i want to ask you something that a lot of people don't understand and you're uniquely qualified to explain. the administration and congress are saying it will be $321 billion in savings from the health care bills that are out
there, but isn't that because people and benefits are being taken away? so isn't this really just a takeaway? >> not at all. okay. and one of the flaws of the scoring on the cbo on this when you look at the number of people is that, again, there's a lot of people when given the option will decide not to elect to take this health care because it's a bad deal. that doesn't mean people are losing health care. i think everybody knows obamacare was just a giant tax hike on the economy. it slowed down the economy. it's another reason why we've continued to have sub 2% growth for the last eight years. and this administration is 100% focused on creating economic growth, creating jobs, creating proper wages and getting this economy back to 3% or higher. yes, right here in the front. >> first of all, congratulations. >> thank you very much. >> i've had a couple dorky finance questions. could you talk about just push came to shove, would you advise
for prioritizing debt payments or not? and do you believe that sifus review china should be more involved. >> i do chair sifius, i take it very seriously and i can tell you the reviews are very careful and very involved no matter who's on the other side. it's very important for national security. and we will use that sto the maximum powers. in regards to prioritization, again, i think congress should act quickly, raise the debt ceiling and we should pay our debts on time. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i was going to say congratulations too. >> thank you. >> two questions. first, you were a participant along with madame lagarde at the last world imf meeting and you certainly know there was some concern about what the future u.s. policy is toward
involvement with the international monetary fund. what is the u.s. policy toward that and toward involvement in financial relief in the eurozone? >> so let me just say i've had the pleasure of meeting with christine, you know, at least a dozen times. i think the imf plays a very important role in looking at currency and world economies. the imf was very helpful in regards to stabilizing the greece situation and working with europe. i think that could have been a major problem this summer that would have had significant concerns to the markets and the economy. and i think she was a very important part of those negotiations. >> well, as my second question was, how do you feel about maintaining the u.s. level of support at the imf current level, and specifically as a part of the relief for greece? because the u.s. role is through the imf in relief of the greek
financial crisis. >> yeah, well, let me just comment. the imf commitment to greece was quite small. i'm not even sure greece are necessarily going to use that. so i think the significance was really more of a stamp of approval. again, there's no direct cost to the u.s. or the taxpayers. and we're supportive of the imf although we'll look at our contributions to the imf like we look at all contributions very carefully and making sure we're spending the taxpayers money properly. in the back, yes. >> clarify which entities are being sanctioned because the paperwork that opac sent out includes unity shipping to chinese individuals, does not mention the bank of dandong in that paperwork. so is it four total entities? >> so there's two different actions. there's a fin san action against the bank of dandong and the three sanctions as you've pointed out. >> so we should see a release from which part of treasury?
>> you will see fin sen the loss will be released on the bank. >> did you communicate this in advance to beijing? >> again, i'm not making any comments on our behind the scenes how we communicate. >> you're a mathematical man, what are the chances we get a 15% corporate tax rate or 25% corporate tax rate in the final bill? >> let me just comment. tax reform is a pass/fail exercise, okay? and we're going to get this passed for a plan that's good for the american public. so we are working closely with the house and the senate and we're goings to get a bill great for this economy, great for americans putting people back to work. [ overlapping speakers ] >> how is it possible -- funding source for the health care to lead to lower premiums and expanded coverage? >> again, i'm here primarily to talk about sanctions and tax reform, but i will comment again
on health care although it's not my primary area. the health care that's been in place is a bad deal for the american public. that's why a lot of people aren't using it. okay. it was a giant tax hike to the american economy, and premiums have been going up a ton. so we're looking at making the system more competitive so people can actually afford it. >> sir, we heard from your counterpart at homeland security that airports all around the world have to step up aviation security because there's this threat. this is the product of a months-long discussion with agency process that resulted in yesterday's decision. i'm wondering if you, sir, are convinced that the potential security risks -- are you satisfied that the security risk outweighs any potential economic risk if for example certain airlines are cut off or certain airports are cut off if they don't comply? >> let me just say, i can think of nobody better than general
kelly to protect our country in this position. again, i've had the opportunity to discuss these issues with him at the national security council. i'm not going to comment specifically, but let me make it clear the safety of the american public is our utmost concern. and we will never ever put economic issues, okay, where we will risk the lives ot american public. >> mr. secretary, on tax reform, are you going to be revenue neutral? and if the cbo and jct say you don't get the growth or the revenue, what are you going to do? >> okay, again, let me just first say there will be complete transparency when we come out with the plan. we are in the process of listening sessions. we've literally met with hundreds and hundreds of ceos, think tanks, various different groups. i was over at the house twice today talking to people at the house of representatives in groups. we've been at the senate.
we're listening. and as we develop this plan, we've said we're going to have a responsible plan that is paid for. and we do believe in dynamic scoring and we're going to take that into account. >> mr. secretary, the gdp first quarter slightly better than economists anticipated, but during the campaign the president repeatedly promised to have growth rates between 3% and 4%. two questions. first, how much of that 1.4 transcends to actions of this administration or inactions? and secondly, when are we going to start seeing the 3% to 4% growth rate the president promised? >> again, i think i've been very clear on what our projections are for growth and that we believe we can get to 3% or higher gdp. we've been very clear that's not this year. that's not next year. it will take some time to scale in. our projection over the ten-year period is actually 2.9%, which i think is quite conservative. scaling up to 3 and staying there, which i think both the
president and i believe we can do better than 3% so our projections in the budget are quite conservative. i think to the extent we can get health care passed to the extent we can get tax reform passed, to the extent we can roll back regulatory issues which we're working on very carefully both in financial and in energy and in other areas, we are very comfortable that we will hit these growth projections. i'm going to take two more questions and then i'm going to have to turn it over to the superstar over here. yes. >> thank you. the president said before that if china is not going to help solve the north korea problem, then the u.s. will. he's made it clear he doesn't think china is currently doing enough, so where does he stand on the u.s. taking unilateral action? and is there a deadline such as g20 maybe ultimatum or a deadline for which the u.s.
would need -- sorry, that china would need to do more? >> i think the president has made it very clear that if there are deadlines he's not going to advertise those deadlines. so i am not going to make any specific comments as to whether he has a deadline or if he has a deadline when it is, that would make absolutely no sense. i can assure you we will have conversations with our g20 counterparts next week. and we've been having these conversations and we will continue to do more on this. one more question. yeah, right here. >> mr. secretary, thank you. there was a little bit of a legislative snafu, but it does appear the house and senate will pass sanctions legislation related to russia including broader range of sanctions. i don't think we've gotten a straight answer from the white house on whether the president supports that, does the administration support that, is treasury prepared to implement those sanctions? >> let me be clear not only the sanctions we have on north korea today, we have sanctions on iran already, we will continue to put more sanctions on iran around
their ballistic missile and other programs. you've seen we used sanctions in other areas. we will continue to use these, so notwithstanding anything congress passes i can assure you this administration and the treasury department will use sanctions to the maximum amount available by law. we don't need congress to tell us to put on more. we're going to do more whether
they tell us or not. anyway, we look -- russia sanctions, we've got plenty of those on as well. again, thank you, everybody. a pleasure to be here. >> thank you, mr. secretary. at the top of yesterday's briefing you heard from tom homan and john humoouber about w important the two immigration bills being voted on today. this morning secretary kelly
spoke about kate's law and the no sanctuary for criminals act on the hill supported by 80% of americans. yesterday the president heard the tragic stories of the innocent american lives that were ended by a violent individual wlo should never have been allowed into our country or our communities. a star high school athlete from los angeles who was killed by a member of the 18th street gang while his mother was serving her second tour of duty in iraq, and joshua will kerson brutally beaten and tortured to death by his classmate in texas who then set his body on fire. kristi pena, a 14-year-old girl raped and murdered by a man who had multiple warrants out for other crimes involving kidnapping and rape. 25 years later he was finally located in his native mexico where he fled after murdering kristi in 19d 90. the president also heard from federal immigration officials and local sheriffs who are on the front lines of this fight to
protect innocent american lives. these laws will help to empower the federal government in partnership with local authorities to more easily locate and remove these violent individuals and prevent so-called sanctuary cities from receiving benefits from the very agency whose rules they are refusing to enforce. the president looks forward to seeing these common sense proposals pass the house today so we can be one step close tore helping fulfill his campaign promise to help stop these horrific crimes. yesterday we were disappointed to see that people living in 14 out of nevada's 18 counties will be left without a single choice on the state's obamacare exchanges. specifically citing difficulties due to a shrinking and deteriorating market. and to add insult to injury, the thousands of people living in nevada without access to health insurance on the obamacare exchanges will then be taxed for not having insurance that isn't even available to them.
this is yet another reminder that obamacare is to collapse leaving millions around the country suffering in the consequences of this failed law. the vice president is back on the hill this afternoon for one-on-one meetings on health care as work continues this week towards repealing and replacing obamacare. we are keeping these american families, business owners and individuals at the front of our minds. they've been paying ever increasing premiums and still losing their plans and their doctors. and it's time for republicans in the senate to fulfill their promise to the american people and come together around a consensus plan to fix this broken system. in terms of the schedule for today, this afternoon the president will make a big speech on the importance of american energy dominance at the department of energy. the united states has been reliant on other countries for our energy for decades, but with new innovations and advances particularly in liquid natural gas we've had the opportunity to not only become energy independent but to use our abundant resources as an important tool in advancing our global interests.
i'm going to let the president get into more details on how we're going to do that later this afternoon, hopefully you'll all tune in. there've been a few questions asked this week that i and sean both said we'll get back to you on. i want to address a couple of those now. on monday sean was asked how we knew the supreme court's ruling on the president's travel executive order was 9-0 when the case was -- when the decision was announced. in fact, the decision which stayed the lower court's injunction on the president's executive order for all affected individuals without a bona fide connection to a person or entity in the united states was unanimous on the point that the stay should grant at least to that extent. three justices would have gone further and stayed the injunctions in full. no justice dissented on the point that the stay should be granted in part. and no justice indicated that he or she did not participate in the decision. jennifer jacobs from bloomberg also asked about the imf's projection about u.s. growth. this morning the commerce
department revised first quarter gdp upward but both the imf and commerce department's figures show we still have much more work to do. the president has spoken out clearly about the need for faster and more sustainable economic growth that will create jobs and raise incomes for americans. the imf has expressed support for a lot of the president's policies including more infrastructure spending, reforming our tax code, boosting educational outcomes and adopting family friendly policies. the president is also working to end job killing government regulations and negotiate good trade policies that help workers. lastly, jordan fabian from the hill asked what deal breaker exist in senate negotiations in the health care bill. the president isn't going to negotiate in public, but he has laid out his priorities to repeal and replace obamacare with a system that provides greater choices and better coverage at lower cost. i can tell you that obamacare is failing and new policy is around the corner. from our ongoing negotiations
we're confident that any amendments the senate agrees to will make the bill stronger. the other bill out there that's gained the support of majority of house democrats is the bernie sanders single payer plan that would cost the government $32 trillion over the next decades. 113 house democrats including the dnc vice chair have signed onto this approach. the president believes that it's completely unaffordable and creates a one-size fits all government approach to health care. that bill and others like it on the other side that have been proposed are clearly deal breakers. now that i've answered a couple of the questions from earlier this week, be happy to take a few now. john robert. >> sarah, in reference to the president's tweets this morning there's been a matter of some discussion today, you said earlier on fox news that the president has a right to defend himself when he's attacked. and it's no secret that this particular program has been very critical of him. however, the nature of the tweets this morning has drawn condemnation from people on capitol hill including the
speaker of the house, senator graham, senator susan collins, all of them are allies of the president. did the president go too far with his tweet in a deeply personal nature? >> i don't think so. i mean, i think that the president has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members on that program. and i think he's been very clear that when he gets attacked, he's going to hit back. i think the american people elected somebody who's tough, who's smart and who's a fighter. and that's donald trump. and i don't think that it's a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire. the things that this show has called him -- and not just him but numerous members of his staff including myself and many others are very deeply personal, so to then turn and pretend like this approach is -- i guess it's kind of like we're living in "the twilight zone," they do this day after day after day and then the president responds and
defends himself and everybody is appalled and blown away. frankly, if this had happened in the previous administration the types of attacks launched on this program, the things they say, stupid, mental disorder, constant personal attacks calling multiple members liars, liars to their faces while they're sitting on their programs, the rest of the media would have said, guys, no way, hold on. but nobody does that. but the president he's not going to step back. he's showed that. that's exactly what he did today. >> if i could just follow on that, sarah. a couple of the criticisms from supporters have been -- this particular tweet was beneath the dignity of the office. where does the president draw that line on the dignity of the office? >> look, i think that he shows that every day in the decisions that he's making, the focus and the priorities he's laid out in his agenda. but he's not going to sit back and be attacked by the liberal
media, hollywood elites. and when they hit him, he's going to hit back. >> sarah, i have a health care question, but on this just one other aspect of it. some have suggested in their tweet, response or public announcements today that the president misconstrued one of the messages that should have been gathered from a shooting that involved steve scalise and others, that the hostility of the verbal environment can create an atmosphere of violence. i'm not saying that, but members of congress have said that about this particular tweet. i know that episode affected the president and those here at the white
house personally very importantly and deeply. do you have any reaction to that sentiment that conversations like this create an atmosphere that is either dangerous or one we need to avoid? >> the president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. if anything quite the contrary. and he was simply pushing back and defending himself.
>> sarah, i do have a health care question. so you talked about the president's overall priorities. last night -- late last night as part of the amendment and evolution of the senate draft $45 billion to put on the table for opioid treatment and health savings accounts can be used according to this new draft to pay premiums in the future. does the president support those two initiatives? and why does he believe they make the bill better, specifically does he believe that opioid allocation will be sufficient? because many people do not, to address that problem. >> i'm not going to negotiate the details, the back and forth in public. but i can tell you the president has obviously made fighting the opioid crisis a priority for him. and i would imagine he would be supportive of pushing resources towards that. >> how about a health savings account? >> i think we're always looking for ways to add additional flexibilities in something certainly to be considered.
>> sarah, thank you. i want to go back to the shooting and remember what president trump said then. he said our country will perhaps become closer, more unified, so important. does his tweet this morning, his serio series of tweets help to unify the country? >> again, i think i've asked -- this question has been asked and i've answered it several times -- >> do his tweets help to unify the country to help do what he said he wanted to see happen in the wake of that shooting? >> again, i think that the president is pushing back against people who attack him day after day after day. where is the outrage on that? you guys are constantly coming and asking like is this okay, he does it one time, this is day after day after day. and it's not just the president. the only person that i see a war on is this president and everybody that works for him. >> sarah, two questions to follow up on that. one, i understand your point, but he is the president of the united states. they are cable news anchors, so
he has to stand to a higher standard, one. and two, you talk about criticism, he said the former president obama wasn't born in this country, right? so he clearly was a part of criticizing the past president who was not immune to criticism himself. so i wonder how you make that argument? >> again, i think i've been pretty clear that when the president gets hit, he's going to hit back harder, which is what he did here today. [ overlapping speakers ] >> doesn't he have to meet a higher standard than cable news anchors? >> look, i don't think you can expect someone to be personally attacked day after day minute by minute and sit back. look the american people elected a fighter. they didn't elect somebody to sit back and do nothing. they knew what they were getting when they voted for donald trump and he won overwhelmingly. >> what about the impact of statements like this -- there was a marist poll this week said
the president's tweets are reckless and distracting. only 22% say they're effective and informative. and republicans on this question are split down the middle. half of republicans say they're reckless and distracting. how can you argue this is something the president must do? >> i answered this question yesterday in regards to the poll. i think any time the president has a chance to speak directly to the american people it's a good thing. >> how do you feel about the president attacking another one specifically for her looks? and what does that show as an example to how men should be treating other women? >> look, everybody wants to make this an attack on a woman. what about the constant attacks that he receives or the rest of us? i'm a woman and i've been attacked by this show multiple times, but i don't cry foul because of it. you want to create this false narrative one hand treat everybody equally but on the other hand attack, attack,
attack and he responds and apparently that's wrong. i'm sorry, guys, i've answered this question -- >> this kind of gets to the point that's been made -- >> exactly, this is the point that's been made. i'm not sure why we're continuing to answer the same question. >> i just want to put it in because you talk about being personally affected by all of this as well and nothing is wrong with the president fighting fire with fire is the argument you're making. so i would ask this sort of on a personal level, you have stood here and talked about your family from this podium, are you going to tell your kids this behavior is okay? >> look, i've been asked before when it comes to role models, as a person of faith, i think we all have one perfect role model. and when i'm asked that question, i point to god. i point to my faith. and that's where i would tell my kids to look. none of us are perfect and certainly there's only one that is. and that's where i would point that direction. >> i want to ask you my follow-up question just on more policy points with the g20 coming up next week. >> that would be a change in tone, policy. >> i disagree with that.
we talk about policy a lot here, but i want to ask about his meeting with president putin coming up next week just confirmed by gary cohn and h.r. mcmaster, definitive answer on whether the president will bring up election interference. clearly the biggest topic between russia and u.s. right now, is the president going to press putin on that? >> obviously i'm not going to get ahead of the president's conversation as we typically do, i would imagine we'll have a readout after that conversation takes place. john. >> thanks. >> i'll come to you next. >> okay. thanks a lot, sarah. the president's tweet today, does it help his legislative agenda? does it help him win the votes of those nine senators who've come out against that senate bill, senator collins, senator murkowski, for instance? what's your view on that? >> again, i think we're just looking for new ways to rephrase this question. the president was attacked, he responded, there's nothing more i have to add than that. john.
>> legislative -- i'm not asking about the tweets -- i'm asking about whether or not this helps his legislative agenda. >> i think the president would love for us all to focus on the legislative agenda a whole lot more. you look at the coverage over the last month of the extended period between may and june, all of the major networks if you look at their coverage and what they're talking about, they spent one minute in the evening newscast talking about tax reform, three minutes on infrastructure, five minutes on the economy and jobs, 17 minutes on health care and 353 minutes, 353 minutes attacking the president and pushing a false narrative on russia. i mean, look at that in comparison. if you guys want to talk about legislative agenda and focus on policy and priorities, you guys get to help set that table. and 353 minutes of attacks
against the president and driving a false narrative and one minute on tax reform. that's over the course of a month. the numbers -- guys, the numbers don't lie. the media's focus on priorities they don't line up with the rest of america. right now we've got our economy's growing, the stock market's up, unemployment is down, jobs are back and isis is on the run. america is winning and that's what we'd like to talk about. but you guys constantly ignore that narrative. go ahead, john. >> all of those points -- >> i'm sorry, john. >> -- president's agenda are certainly true. all of those things are true. but the president today put out this tweet which takes away from all of that. and to you expect us here in this room to simply ignore that? i think that's the valley question that should be asked of you right now. should we just ignore this entirely? >> i think he's put out a number of tweets on health care, on the immigration bills that will be in the house today, but that's not being talked about. that's not being asked about.
but the discrepancy, again, 353 minutes, you can't say that you want to talk about policy and then you look at the numbers and they just don't lie. you can't expect for that amount of attack and intensity to come on a president and him to never respond. sean -- i said i was going to john gizzy next. >> two questions for you, sarah. first, did the u.s. administration send a representative to the funeral mass for chancellor cole or will they send anyone to official service july 1st? >> i do believe there is an official delegation. i'll have to get details back to you on that. >> my other question is this, you've had people turn down nominations to be deputy secretary of the treasury, the president's on his third appointee, i believe, for secretary of the army and the ambassador to ireland has declined the nomination and
there's no candidates for ambassador to germany or france, both major allies, or greece for that matter, an important country. is the president having trouble recruiting people to fill some of the key slots that remain unfilled after six months? >> no, john, actually the trouble isn't in the recruitment. it's in the vetting and getting them through the process. like i mentioned yesterday, there are over i believe 100 candidates in the cue waiting to be pushed through, but due to the historic obstruction it's taking much longer than normal to get a lot of those nominees through. and frankly a lot of the people that are part of that process, one of the number one reasons we've had people take a step back is because that process is so lengthy. hold on, i've got a skype question from chris berg in north dakota and we'll go to that. >> hey, sarah, thank you so
much. i don't want to talk about tweets, i want to talk about making america great again part of the energy -- during the the pipeline protest we had some pretty scary times here in north dakota. just a couple weeks ago a judge [ inaudible ] suggesting the army corps of engineer -- issued some permits -- my question is this, what specifically is the administration going to do to give these companies more certainty, more clarity as they make these multi-billion-dollar infrastructure improvements to improve our energy -- [ inaudible ] >> that was a little difficult to hear, but i believe the question was focused on energy production specific to dakota
access. and i think we've been talking consistently about this. the president is dedicated to increasing production in the united states and we're doing part of the review of the dakota access pipeline, the administration working with those tribal leaders and stakeholders throughout the process to make it as successful as possible. a lot of the tribal leaders want to expand energy production and development in their area and we're going to work continuously with them to try to make that as successful as possible. jordan. >> thank you, sarah. i want to ask you again about sanctions. if as treasury secretary mnuchin said the administration wants to go to the upper limits of the law and sanctions on russia, then why not support this legislation that basically keeps what has been slapped down in place? >> again, we're continuing to review that process until there's final legislation there. i've got another skype question from greg merryweather in
louisiana. hopefully we'll be able to hear him better. >> sarah, my question is on health care. specifically our governor put out perhaps hundreds of thousands of people in indiana will lose their health care if this bill goes through. if you add the other states that kind of puts it into the billion, is there a acceptable number to go -- of people losing coverage. >> again, i'm having a little difficulty hearing, but as best i could understand you're looking at how obamacare repeal and replace would affect the state of louisiana. i mean, frankly louisiana's been one of the hardest hit states in the country by obamacare. their insurance premiums have gone up over 125%. the goal here is to give people in the country choices. no one who currently has medicaid will have their benefits cut. we're looking across the board the health care plans that will lower taxes, reduce premiums and offer more choices for people in
louisiana and across the country. hopefully that somewhat addressed your question as best i could. margaret. >> having an isis news conference to update people on the situation within the next couple weeks. which is now-ish. but we're coming up on -- >> is now-ish? >> now-ish. do you expect that we would get the update, whether it's a news conference or just remarks, before the upcoming foreign trip? or whether we need to wait. and i also wanted to ask you, it looked like there might be some cov coverage over remarks with the fundraiser, it didn't work out. are you beginning to do that now for fundraisers of a certain size, to have some transparency? >> yesterday it was a logistical issue trying to make that and accommodate that at the last minute, it was going to be accommodated.
certainly on the table for future events. as for the first question we'll keep you posted when we have an announcement on that as you guys know, the president is getting ready to depart for the department of energy and we'll be speaking on that. >> no apology for the president, sarah? as the press conference comes to a close, as you heard, president trump and vice president pence are heading over to the department of energy this afternoon when they are expected to talk about their energy agenda. we'll have it for you live at c-span 3, it starts at about 3:15 eastern. right now we'll show you a portion of the daily briefing with house minority leader, nancy pelosi. >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you for being here. i'm honored this morning or