President Trumps Christmas Message to the Troops CSPAN December 25, 2018 1:46pm-2:21pm EST
and presidential historian john meacham is on c-span tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> this week, join washington journal for authors week featuring live, one-hour segments each morning with a new author beginning at 8:30 a.m. astern of the on wednesday uthor alan derder and thursday athor alisa court. on friday, author mona charron ith her book, "sex matters." saturday author sarah kensor with the view from fly over country. sunday author chris mcgreel with american overdose. join us for authors week each morning this week on "washington journal." >> this morning president trump
made christmas day calls to service members stationed in guam, bahrain, qatar and alaska. from the oval office, this is alf an hour. president trump: are you guys ready? merry christmas. hello and merry christmas, very special people. thank you very much. there is no greater privilege for me than to serve as your commander, and you know that being commander in chief of what we are building, what has been built, but what we are building is something really very special . you are a part of the greatest fighting force in the history of the world, the u.s. military. i am thrilled to speak to you on behalf of our country, for this beautiful and representing this beautiful christmas day in the united states. i know it's a great sacrifice for you to be away from your families, but i want you to know
that every american family is ee termly grateful to you -- eternally grateful to you and we are holding you close to our hearts, thoughts and prayers. we are praying for you. we love what you do. we love your work. you are amazing people. from anderson air force base in guam, i want to welcome the oldiers of task force talon, lieutenant colonel castro, i understand as part of the unit's responsibilities the task force played a critical role in securing and protecting assets and personnel when typhoon tutu struck earlier this year. i heard it was a big one, one of the biggest. that was one of the strongest storms ever to hit a u.s. territory, in fact, and we want to thank you for the incredible work, everybody is talking about it. they're all very grateful. so thank you for that incredible
work. i also want to welcome the marines from attack squadron 223 . known as the great american bulldogs, your squadron faced adversity before deploying when hurricane florence struck your home base at cherry point. yet the bulldogs were ready to go, and within 38 hours of arriving in bahrain, the squadron was flying combat missions. you were back very quickly. since then, you delivered thousands of pounds of ordnance against isis. lieutenant colonel wineman, these achievements are a lasting credit to the unstoppable tenacity of the bulldogs and i just want to thank you all. it was a great job you've done. i know it's a great job you will be doing for a long time. thank you very much. appreciate it. joining us from bahrain is albritton. amin
captain of the fifth fleet in our combined maritime forces strike fear into adversaries by projecting the awesome strength of american power. our mighty naval forces are unrivaled anywhere in the world. not even close. and as you know with our new and very, very increased military budgets, we are building more ships. we are building a lot of different things for all of our forces. $716 billion. so i know you are very happy. it's a lot of good equipment. you see it coming already. we are also pleased to welcome the 379th air expeditionary wing from the united states air force. the 378th is the largest expeditionary air wing anywhere in the world, performing tens of thousands of daring missions
every year. in fact, the 379th flies nearly 20% of all daily sorties, that dispenses more fuel than any of the next five air force bases combined. that's a big operation. brigadier general jason armagost is the commanding officer and i want to say merry christmas to ou and the airmen of the guard and the grand slam wing, and it is in fact, when i look at your work, it truly is a grand slam wing. great job, fellas. we really appreciate it, and folks. finally, joining us from juneau, alaska, are the men and women of the coast guard district 17. lieutenant matthew spado is the senior coast guard officer on call. in the last year, district 17
has saved 265 lives, assisted more than 600 others in istress, conducted 275 sponses, 156 law enforcement boardings and saved property. district 17 proves that the united states coast guard is always ready. i have been saying about the coast guard, when i was in texas, i've never seen anything like it. they saved thousands of lives. the coast guard is very special, and if there was ever a score on branding, i think the coast guard in this country would have probably increased by the highest score of any group. i am talking about businesses, i am talking about anything, the branding of the gun because of what you did in the hurricanes in texas and in florida and in puerto rico, all over. you were incredible. we want to thank you very much. it was a great job.
to every servicemember listening and to those standing watch all around the world, it is because of your service and your courage and your willingness to be away from the ones you love that american families can celebrate at home in safety and in peace. it's an incredible thing you do. you are incredible people. on behalf of the first lady and the entire trump family, we thank god for each and every one of, and let's have a little fun now. we will go around and you can ask me any question you want. that doesn't mean i will let them do it, but you, i can do it, ok? so why don't we start with the army. lieutenant colonel john castro. john? john: mr. president, i am the commander of the task force. on behalf of the family members and contractors, we wish you a
happy holiday from the tropical .s. territory of guam. morale remains high. our soldiers remain proud to serve our great nation. along with our joint partners here at the air force base and remain ready , we to defend and protect our nation as the first line of defense. no questions from this side. president trump: thank you very much. john, how is it going in guam? how are things going? i've heard it's an incredible place in terms of the military operation. the people are terrific that you work with, but how is it doing in guam? john: mr. president, things are going really well here. you mentioned that the typhoon mentioned ive, you tropical storm tutu.
they were really active. it's nothing we train for. it's part of our readiness. president trump: i know when i first became president, the supplies on guam were very low, one of the first things i heard about. they were really low in terms of virtually every aspect of supply and now i know you are stocked up to the brim. is that correct? john: absolutely, mr. president. we have good reserves. president trump: but it is true, it was pretty low for a period of time, right? you had a lot of empty buildings. we filled them up fast. thanks a lot, john. i appreciate it. great job. great job. thank you. on the air force, brigadier general jason armagost. jason, how is it going? jason: great, sir. i would like to wish you a merry christmas on behalf of the 7,000 men and women at the air force here in doha.
the mission continues. are working 24/7, 365, on providing global strike, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, airlift and cargo and tanker operations, including defense of space control as well, across the entirety of satcom. keeps us busy. we are one of the strategic locations that goes afghanistan, iraq and syria every day, and the airmen are proud to do so. we also jointly operate here with soldiers, sailors, marines and coalition partners as part of the command and control. it's a fascinating operation that we have taken the time to wish a merry christmas back to you and the people of the united states. president trump: so how are they doing in qatar? how are they doing getting together with saudi arabia and u.a.e.? what is the latest word? you probably know better than anybody, but maybe i shouldn't be asking you that question. how are they doing getting together? do you see any signs of hope?
jason: well, sir, i will say that from within qatar, as a host they are fantastic. they take good care of us. they burden share with us. they are helping us improve our infrastructure and really make this kind of the crown jewel of a base. we don't track necessarily the political followings of u.a.e., but i will tell you they're fantastic hosts. they're great to us. it's a fascinating place to work and operate from. president trump: well, that's true. it is a great place. it's an incredible base as i understand it. we will get out to see you one day. thank you very much. fantastic job. thank you. >> yes, sir. president trump: now we have the navy and marines together. that's the way it should be, together. it's fantastic. you are in bahrain. so maybe i can ask, captain and lieutenant colonel, maybe you
could say a few words, please. >> yes, sir. good morning, mr. president. it's an absolute honor to speak to you today. we really appreciate this call of the on behalf of the u.s. navy and u.s. marine corps and also the u.s. coast guard team, we want to wish you a merry christmas and best wishes for 2019. would say at no other time in our history are we working in our operations together here in the central command area. we also work with our air force brothers and sisters to execute our strategy here in centcom is absolutely seamless. you mentioned about airplanes and ships, but i will tell you, the real secret factor to our success are our people. magnificent sailors like the one sitting incomes to me, sergeant major bauer, the commitment they have on a daily basis to execute
the mission is amazing, and that's the real x factor and that's what sets our force apart from any other force in the world. president trump: that's true. i know you do have great equipment being sent there. there is nothing like the personnel. you have to have people to use it. plenty of people have good equipment only if they buy from us because we have the best equipment and we make the best equipment. i can tell you this, that nobody can use it like us. that's one thing we have seen. we know it very well. we study it. nobody uses it like us. i just want to thank you. morninggo ahead.>> mr. presided from sergeant major bauer and myself. just wanted to wish you in all of the american people, especially our families back home holding down the fort a very merry christmas and happy holidays. i can tell you in your opening you talked about hurricane florence and what effect that had on my unit, and i can tell
you all the marines out here getting them ready for flight everyday, i work them i a of theything was week and they have done a fantastic job. without the do that american people and especially our families. my wife and all of the families our23, they had our back in repairing our homes as we speak. over 10 homes of families completely destroyed. through the marine corps and what the u.s. military is all about, coming together, came together as a command, and got the job done. just my pleasure to be here serving. pres. trump: that is great. six bahrain and qatar, different ways of pronouncing to qatar, all of
them are acceptable. issa, which one? i guess they like me, you can say it whichever way you want. asking for a law or money than they have been paying over the , and for burden sharing those are examples. those are two countries that have the money, unlimited money. and we are asking them to put up a lot of money, and they are happy to do it because we are performing a service like nobody in the world can perform. we are keeping them safe. but we don't be subsidizing rich countries at a disadvantage to us so that makes me a little different than any other president because nobody used to ask these questions. if you look at what has been happening over the years, over many years, over decades, it is rather ridiculous. so that is all changing and all good for us. i will have two perfect examples. we have qatar an bahrain. -- and bahrain. you don't get much wealthier,
and they are agreeing to do a lot more than they have ever done, and we will max out. and it will be good. that will be great for our services. we can ask for a lot less money for our military because we are a policeman of the world and we are paying for it, and we can be the policeman of the world, but other countries have to help us. and i think everybody up there agrees. thank you very much from bahrain . that great. i love to see you getting together like you are. you have been together for a groups and have had a lot of victories. i have flags in th oval the oval office, and they all have ribbons. i don't know if the cameras can show you, but in some cases hundreds of ribbons from victories. we will only put up the victories but we only have victories but we only talk about the victories. thank you all very much. that's fantastic.
now we will go to the coast guard. we just ordered a coast guard qatar, an icebreaker the likes of which nobody has seen before. the bad part is the price. the good part is it is the most powerful in the world, and it can go just about anywhere. the ice is in big trouble when nothing gets finished. it will go right through it. but thaty expensive, is ok. we have to do the best that you will be very proud of it. highestnew design, technology. but with all of the technology, it still needs very thick steel when you get right down to it. it could be good technology but you need thick steel. it is likely border wall. we still need a wall. they can have all the drums they want flying up in the air and spinning around and all the technology.
i call it bells and whistles. but if you don't have the wall, they don't work. with the icebreaker thumb you need a lot of steel. and you happen. and it isd out incredible and you will get it soon. we gave out the contract and that is for the coast guard. we will call it a christmas present to the coast guard. and thank you for the great job you have done. matt, would you like to say something? >> yes, good morning president trump. and merry christmas on behalf of district 17 and all the coast guard surrounded here by some of our watch stators that stand duty at sector juneau and coast guard district and also some of the station crews that operate out of small boats stationed in juneau. we are just here and ready for any event that could be occurring, whether it is search-and-rescue, environmental pollution, law enforcement, or
any marine safety issue that might pop up. so far, we have had a calm day here in alaska, and we hope it stays that way and people stay safe out there on the waters. pres. trump: so how did you do in alaska with the recent problem we had with a big quake? they say we got lucky. very few people hurt. nobody died. it was big. it hit the proper location, i guess, if we have to say. how did you do with it? were you involved much? >> in juneau, alaska, we did not get much experience of the earthquake. but some of our members in english, they withstood some structural damage to the buildings there. luckily, there was no injuries to any of the personnel. everyone seems to be doing ok. things are coming along. pres. trump: we got lucky there. it was a really big one, but it
hit an area that i guess we were lucky that they. things that a little bit lucky. i want to wish everybody a merry christmas, a happy new year. just remember the people in our country, we are very proud of you. the country is doing well. we have a little bit of a shutdown because we believe in walls and we believe in borders and we believe in barriers. we have a special country. people have to come in through the legal process, not just walked in and we don't know who they are. we are stopping drones in a record rate, but we need some help and the help is the wall. we need a wall to help us, otherwise they flowed through no matter what you do. you people know that better than anybody. i know two of your groups built some very effective wall. s. the military built some effective wall spree the last four weeks on the southern them. and we have help -- held them.
they had caravans and we stopped them.we stopped them cold. they are heading back . for the most part, they are heading back or staying in mexico. i will tell you i know the work you do, and it has been amazing. i will see you all. i know i will meet you all. i will see you all, but on behalf of the country, merry christmas, happy new year. keep doing the job. we are proud of you. nobody can do what you do. nobody. and we are very proud of you.and it is my honor to send you the brand-new equipment, whether you get the planes were the ships or the rifles or any of the things you get, you are getting the best in the world. a little changed in some of the uniforms to put it mildly. i hope you like them. it is going to mean you have to be in perfect shape to wear those uniforms. that is one thing but probably that is good. that is a big change that has been done in 50 years. we are buying the new uniforms that will be incredible. you know what i'm talking about, right, general?
icu. thank you all very much. countryiate it and the appreciate it. merry christmas. thank you. >> thank you. >> what about the fed chair? pres. trump: they are raising interest rates too fast. interestraising rates too fast. but i think that they will get it. i really do. the fact is that the economy is doing so well that they raise interest rates, and that is a form of safety in a way. president obama did not do much of that. he had a very low interest rate. meansalized interest rate
good for a lot of people. they have money in the bank. for many years, nobody got interest. but i have great confidence. i have great confidence in our companies. our companies are the greatest in the world. record kinds of numbers. i think it is a tremendous opportunity to buy. really is a great opportunity. can't tell you when the government will be open. i can tell you it will not be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would to call it. i will call it whatever they want, but it is all the same thing. it is a barrier stopping people from coming into our country with drugs. it is a barrier.that is a problem in this world today called human trafficking. one of theicking is hard to believe problems. we are not going to let that take place. we are working so hard to catch
these traffickers. they are bad people. we cannot do it without a barrier. we cannot do it without a wall. drugs and human trafficking. you have a legal people coming into our country. we can't do that. in the caribbean, 618 people. very bad in some cases, criminals. you saw the one man who was wanted for murder. i don't want them in the country. the only way you can do it is to have a physical barrier, meaning a wall. if you don't have that, then what is that opening? yesterday, 115 miles with the wall. 115 miles in texas. it is going to be built hopefully rapidly. i'm going there at the end of january, the start of construction.that is a big stretch . we are talking about 500 to 550 miles. border, but mile
much of it has mountains and region where you cannot get across. so we are looking at between 500 and 550, so we gave out 115 yesterday. we gave it out at a great price. a great wall there and other sections to give out. one other thing people don't understand or know or whatever, because they are not told, we have renovated massive amounts of very good wall, wall that was good but in bad shape. we don't have to replace it, but you have to renovate it. we renovated a massive amount of wall. in addition to that, i think very importantly, we built a lot of new wall. so it is all being built. the new piece, the new section is very exciting, what is going on there. you will see it because in january i'm going there. groundbreaking of such a big section. probably the biggest section. so while we are fighting over funding, we are also building.
and it is my hope to have this all 500 to 550, miles, to have renovated or brand-new by -- >> the contract, who did that go to? pres. trump: different people. highly bid. >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: it's obligated because we are getting $25 million. but that is for everything. that is for homeland security. that includes, as we say, the bells and whistles. plus, we have some wall money. we want the wall money to be increased because we want to finish it. what people have to understand is a lot of areas -- if you look at san diego, it is on complete.interestingly
, it is california, which has been difficult because the governor is very difficult to deal with. but the people of san diego complaint and wanted the wall built their. i wanted to do it last but they really wanted it. they were all streaming for a wall. but the wall is beautiful. the job they have done is fantastic. san diego is largely built and will be completed very shortly. they came to us, the people, and they were asking. they needed border protection. people were walking through mexico writing to san diego. right over people's from bonds -- front lawns, by the hundreds, by the thousands. they came to us. a drone is not going to stop it. technology is not going to stop it. the only thing that stops it -- when the democrats talk about awol does not mean anything, well, in israel, they got a big
problem. they put up a wall. people weree stopped from coming in. we will have the exact same thing. we have a long border. we will have the exact same thing. the case of an olympic champion can get over the wall, but for the most part, you are not able to do it. very hard. much of it is 30 feet high. in some areas, we have it as high as 30 feet. so we are making great progress on renovation, fixing, and great progress towards building new walls. most excitingly, we gave out our largest section yesterday. and network is starting next week. we will have completed fairly .uickly >> [indiscernible] pres. trump: i think they are understanding what is happening. they want border security.
people of this country want border security. it is not a question of me. i would rather not have things shut down. i've been at the white house. i thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family. my families in florida, palm beach. i do not want to go around and be there when other people are hurting. but it is going to all worked out. as many of those workers have said to me, communicated, state out until you get the funding for the wall. the federal workers want the wall. the only one that does not want the wall are the democrats because they don't mind open borders. but open borders mean massive amounts of crime. the democrats don't want it because they don't want open borders. yet every one of those democrats approved a wall or a fence or a very substantial barrier. every single one. i don't think there is one. less use the word almost every
one approved a wall or a fence or exactly what we are talking about. three years ago. but over the years, every one of them. the only time they went against it, the only time they went against it, it was only one time, when donald trump said we want to build a wall. it is like, take another example. everybody hated comey. they thought he did a horrible job.the democrats hated him . they were calling for his resignation, calling for his firing, including schumer, including nancy pelosi. until i hired him. once i fired him, everybody said, why did you fire him? why did you fire him? take a look at some of these people. this is what we are doing now. take a look at some of these people. literally a day before i fired him they said he should be fired.
as soon as i fired him, they him? why did you fire it is a disgrace what is happening in our country. other than that, i wish everybody a very merry christmas. thank you very much. thank you. sure. be with them, i will always be with them. hopefully we are making progress on the wall or barrier or whatever you want to call it. >> in january, when democrats take the house -- pres. trump: it is probably presidential, the last thing. we know how to handle that. after two years, no collusion. there has been collusion but it has been by democrats. no collusion. you are talking about millions and millions and millions of dollars of wasted money. there has been absolutely no collusion, but there has been a lot of collusion by the democrats with russia and with a lot of other people that maybe they should not have been dealing with, including very dishonest people.
thank you very much, everybody. send them some pictures. make sure they get some pictures. your wife will be very upset. this christmas day is day 4 of a partial government shutdown. the house and senate return thursday as negotiations continue on a spending bill to reopen the federal government. as the debate continues, you can watch live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. 116t congress will have over 100 new members of the house and senate. five represent the state of virginia. gloriats remai elaine was elected.
is a naval academy graduate and one of the first women to attend the u.s. naval nuclear power. she retired from the navy in 2017. her and her husband own a boutique that sells mermaid and dolphin figurines. in the fifth district, denver riggelman is a former's u.s. air force intelligence officer and national security agency contractor. he retired from the intelligence community to open a distillery outside of charlottesville. he previously had one for virginia governor inslee 17 but dropped out of the race prior to the republican primary. the other republican joining virginia's congressional delegation is that klein, who early in his career served as the chief of staff to the man he succeeds in virginia's sixth congressional district, chairman bob goodlatte. mr. klein also once ran a sales to marketing for in addition being a public prosecutor attorney in private practice. he has also served in the virginia house of delegates
since 2002. democrat abigail will represent virginia's seventh district. she is a former postal inspector and cia officer. she later worked for a company that helps colleges and universities develop more diverse student bodies, and democrat jennifer wexton was elected to virginia's 10th congressional district. she has served as a public prosecutor and attorney in private practice. elected to the virginia senate in 2013. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. a look now at the arrival of the white house christmas tree in mid-november. following this, the holiday decorations inside the white house. then, the national christmas tree lighting ceremony with president trump and first lady by the trump followed capitol christmas tree light