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  President Trump Hosts Governors at White House  CSPAN  February 25, 2019 2:58pm-3:36pm EST

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traveled to texas, asking folks, what does it mean to be american? >> what it means to be american is the great opportunities this nation gives to us. i'm very passionate about all the projects and great things we can do in this nation and i'm very excited we're going to go from -- [inaudible] -- >> being american is so much more than a nationality. it's an idea of who we are as a people and what we represent. the united states itself represents freedom and the liberty to allow others to do so. when you're an american, you step up for other people and allow yourself to present who you are, what you are, and you're never afraid to fight for you what believe in. as our founding fathers did. >> what does it mean to be an american? what doesn't it mean to be american? it's about re-invention and doing your own thing. it's going to be a -- [inaudible] -- it's punk rock. doing your own thing. independent spirit. reinventing yourself. it's second chances for people all around the world who come here, e pluribus unum, we all
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come together and make a brand new thing. not only did we do that in the past, we're doing it now and we're going to do it in the future. america. >> voices from the road on -span. >> early earlier today, president trump spoke about the u.s. economy, national security issues, and immigration. he was joined by several u.s. governors who are at the white house attending a business meeting. this is about half an hour. [applause] president trump: thank you very uch. thank you very much. please. thank you very much. as governors we all sort of get together and we have a good time, but we also, we're going to accomplish a lot. it's going to be a very good meeting. tremendous things are happening for our country. i'm now, right after this meeting i leave for vietnam where i meet with chairman kim and we talk about something
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that, frankly, he never spoke to anybody about, but we're speaking allowed and i think we can have a very good summit. i think we'll have a very tremendous summit. we want denuclearization and i think he'll have a country that will set a lot of records for speed in terms of an economy and i told you last night, it was a lovell dinner, but i told you -- lovely dinner, but i told you how well we did with our trade talks in china and it looks like they'll be coming back quickly again and we'll have another summit, we're going to have a signing summit, which is even better. so hopefully we can get that completed. but we're getting very, very close. apples a dore lighthizer, steve mnuchin -- ambassador lighthizer, steve mnuchin. first time in 54 years drug prices have actually gone down this year so, mr. secretary, thank you very much.
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that's a great thing. [applause] but it is my honor to welcome our nation's governors back to the white house after a wonderful evening last night and i'm deeply grateful for your presence, your partnership, and your friendship. many of you are such good friends, as we work together on behalf of all americans. we're here to forge bonds of cooperation between our federal, state, and local governments as we strive to deliver a safe, ripe, and prosperous future for every community in our magnificent nation. thank you, as well, for all of my cabinet secretaries who are here to share their devotion. they work so hard and they're doing a terrific job. they are few -- i say there are none, but there are fouad mferingses that have accomplished what we've accomplished over the last two years in the first two years.
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it's been pretty incredible with tax cuts and regulation cuts. more regulations than any other administration in history and that's very important and we still have regulation but you don't have 10 of identical regulations you have to get approved and wiped out from different departments. so we've really cut it down. a highway that would take 17 or 18 years of approval now takes probably two and we're trying to get it down to one and it may get rejected on various grounds including environmental but we have it down to two and we think we can get it down further. hat will be something. you have many highways and roadways and they are tied up for years. my state of the union addressed i outlined many bipartisan priorities that we all shared, delivering fair trade, rebuilding our nation's infrastructure which we are going to work very hard on because as governors, that has to be music to your ears. [applause]
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and i would like on infrastructure, i'd like you to call your senators and call your congress men and women and get it done because i'm ready. i want to sign. i am totally ready. we deucing the price of health care and prescription -- reducing the price of health care and prescription drugs and we made a lot of progress, as i years rst year in 54 that prescription prices have gone down which is a big statement. but we can get them a lot lower. we're in the process, mr. secretary, of doing that. creating a safe and lawful immigration system and keeping america safe. we're gathered today at a truly incredible time for our nation. things are happening like rarely ever before. since the election, we've created more than 5.3 million new jobs, including half a million brand new manufacturing jobs and that number's going to go over 600,000 manufacturing jobs in just a very short
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period of time. and if you remember, manufacturing jobs were never coming back to our country. well, they are coming back and they're coming back very strongly. we have companies opening up in the united states that we thought we lost that would never be back and some are coming back and some are brand new and they're big and they're coming in, they're moving in, which is one of the reasons we need people to come in. they have to come in through a legal process but with 3.7 million unemployment we need to have people coming in. we need workers, frankly, because we have all of these companies pouring in. we were just discussing our great new governor of michigan last night where you have some good news coming up very soon and we have car companies opening up in michigan and ohio and pennsylvania and so many other places. i was with prime minister abe of japan and he was saying, could be seven different plants in a very short period of time. not to mention all of the plants that have already opened. so we need people. we have to have people and they have to come in but they have to come in legally and through a merit.
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nearly five million americans have been lifted off of food stamps during this very short period of time. blue-collar jobs are growing at their fastest pace in many decades. the unemployment rates for african-americans and you've heard this many times, hispanic americans and asian americans have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. and with women, it's now 64 years, lowest in 64 years. soon it will be historic. so america now has really the hottest economy on earth. whenever i greet a prime minister or a president or any leaders of any country, they always start off by saying, congratulations on your economy. it's been incredible. congratulations. and many of them are trying to follow our formula which was cutting taxes, cutting regulations, and many other things. we work very hard getting companies to come back in. those companies that left, we, in particular, we want to work. they left our country. they fired all of their
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workers. they moved to another country. they're now coming back. it's a great thing. in a few moments, our first session on vocational training and workforce development will begin. we want every citizen to gain the cutting edge skills they need to enjoy a rewarding, life-long career. many of the governors here today have identified this as a very top priority. my daughter, ivanka, who's going to be speaking later, she's been so much involved, so incredibly involved. where's ivanka? ivanka, keep going. my daughter has created millions of jobs. don't know if you knew that but she's created millions of jobs. [applause] so because of our roaring economy, there are more there are more opportunities than ever before to get sideline workers. these are people that lost jobs that have never gotten them back but now they're coming back and very, very rapidly, get these sideline workers back into the labor force. last year my administration
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created the council for american worker and launched the pledge of america's workers where we gained commitments from private sector leaders to hire more than 6.5 million americans. think of that. 6.5 million americans. these are the jobs for the most part would not have happened. i was proud to sign a perkins career in technical education law. we believe two things, buy american and hire american. it used to be terrible when you said america first. people said all sorts of things. it's terrible. it's america first. it's make america great again. it's whatever you want to call it but that's the way it is. [applause] you know very well and some can say and some can say proudly, we focused on a lot of
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countries. we put those countries ahead of ours. we took those countries, put them ahead of ours. we can't do it. we are going to help other countries. we have great relationships but we can't do it anymore. it's america first. today, we also will discuss the bold action we took to address economic inequality by establishing opportunity zones as part of our historic tax cuts. it's incredible what's going on. i don't know. i think some of you really see it. ok. you see what's going on with the opportunity zones. far greater than anybody thought. we've done a lot of them and they have great incentives and money is being put in by very rich people and rich companies. in areas you would have said nobody will ever invest in. we established incentives for investment in more than 8,700 distressed areas that you have designated in each of your states. you're designating some tough places. i say, can they give us some tougher places than that? they are tough. and it's incredibly for the
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first time ever it's really working. the concept was always good. but it wasn't done properly. i want to thank you for partnering with us in this critical effort to lift up neglected and totally forgotten communities. i also want to thank every governor here today who is supporting our new u.s.-mexico-canada agreement. the usmca. [applause] i've long said that nafta is the worst trade deal that any country has ever signed. it emptied us out. we had a surplus with mexico and canada, and we went to $130 billion trade deficit with the combination of mexico and canada and this deal will bring it back. we're opening it up to farmers. we're opening canada, as an example, and mexico to farmers. they were closed. it was a closed shop. they had all sorts of
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nonmonitored trade barriers and they had monetary trade barriers. they were charging for certain agricultural products and almost 300% tariff. nobody talked about it. nobody ever knew about it. i'd go up to wisconsin and the farmers will say, sir, we can't compete. they're charging us 287%, to be exact. i said, you got to be kidding? and we did something about it. so the usmca is very important. it will help our dairy farmers in wisconsin, our wine makers in oregon and washington and california. our automakers in michigan and ohio and pennsylvania and all over. and dozens of other states and ranchers and farmers and growers and manufacturers from coast to coast. it's a very comprehensive deal. it's a deal that nobody thought we'd be able to get approved. i was able to get it approved by using tariffs. i was putting very substantial tariffs or getting ready to on canada who is tough to negotiate.
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we think of "o canada. o canada is tough. you're tough. i said, look, you're either going to do this or we're going to put 20%, 25% tariffs on your cars when you ship in here. we said, don't worry about it. we'll put the tariffs on it it's fine. that's ok. we'll sign. it was tough -- it was a really tough negotiation. and same thing with mexico. but in the end we got it done. and it's a great deal for us. it's a very good deal, i think, for canada and for mexico. they have to get it approved, also. we have to get it approved. let's see what happens. i think it probably will be. it should -- i think from our standpoint -- i know how much they hate me. but they have to hate me even more not to get this deal approved. that's the only thing i can say. to be a prosperous nation we must also be a safe nation. we passed groundbreaking criminal justice reform, and i have to thank so many people for that. but this was where
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superconservatives got together with superliberals, believe it or not. i'm looking at names on both sides. right down the middle. criminal justice reform where people are put into a jail for a pretty minor act. there's nothing minor but a pretty minor act and they're put in jail for 45 years, 50 years and there's no chance of coming out. it's very tough, by the way. a lot of conservatives signed it and signed it very willingly. they were pushing it as hard as the other side. but it's very, very important. many states here today are following the same road map to help former inmates become productive and law-abiding citizens. and one of the things that's helping the inmates so much, you know this probably better than i do, the economy is so strong that inmates for the first time are getting jobs when they come out. i have a friend who's hired seven or eight. i can't say everyone was perfect but he said five are i'll always have them. they're great. they have a chance. nobody would hire them because
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they have that whatever it is in the background and it's a very tough situation for them in the past but the economy is so strong. the economy, the strength of the economy became our best friend. they couldn't get workers and now they're hiring people that they'd normally wouldn't have and the results are incredible. companies all over the country are saying, wow. they are really -- they're really doing a great job. it makes me very happy. i think without that very powerful economy, it couldn't happen. so finally, to protect our communities, we must secure the border against human trafficking, drug smuggling and crime of all types. the human trafficking is a tremendous problem where mostly women and they're tied up and they're taped up and they're put in the back of cars and the car does not come through the port of entry. you watch this everywhere it comes through. 90% of the drugs don't come through the port of entry. 90% of the drugs and the big stuff goes out to the desert, makes a left and goes where you don't have any wall.
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i'm going to call it wall. they like me to call it a barrier. it's a wall. it's a big, beautiful, powerful steel wall that you can see through which is very important to be able to see through. and if you don't have it, you're not going to have border, you're not going to have a country pretty soon. we're doing an incredible job. the border patrol has been amazing. the military has been amazing. i called in the military and they've been amazing. if we had a wall we would save a fortune not only on drugs being smuggled into the country and you're talking about billions and billions and billions of dollars worth of drugs, but would save it just on not having to pay military, not having to pay so much in the border patrol. the border patrol can go to other locations and other places. but i'll say this, border patrol and i.c.e., and i'm proud of i.c.e. because they go into a lot of areas where people don't want to go, including law enforcement. these are tough, tough people that they're dealing with. and you need tough people. the i.c.e. people, they're
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tough. but they're incredible. i mean, they're just incredible in so many ways, they're patriotic people. they love our country. they want it to work and they'll go into situations you want no part of. when you look at these ms-13 gangs, this was all over the country have told me, we are -- sheriffs all over the country have told me, we're very proud to have i.c.e. come in and take over. it's hard to understand how they could have developed this way. they're mean, they're sadistic. their crimes are incredible. we're taking them out by the thousands and we're bringing them back to where they came from and in some cases we're putting them in jail but, you know, then we pay for them for the next 40 years. but we're bringing them back where they came from and i told guatemala and i told honduras nd i told el salvador, three places where they send us tremendous numbers of people, and they're rough people. they're not sending us their
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finest. it doesn't make sense. why would they send their finest? they're sending us some very, as i would sometimes say, rough, hombres. many criminal people. i told these three countries, you know, we send them $500 million a year. i said, we're not sending it anymore. and you organize caravans and these caravans that are coming up -- i don't know if you've seen, we've gotten them broken up in many cases before they get here. you take a look at tijuana, mexico. thousands and thousands of people are sitting there trying to get into our country. and if we didn't have a wall there that we've totally renovated and fixed, if we didn't have that wall it would have been impossible, even for the military to stop them. don't forget, other countries -- i don't want to create controversy because i hate controversy. [laughter] president trump: but unlike other countries, we don't let people get shot.
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you know. we don't have people standing there with the most sophisticated machine guns in the world and use them. many countries do. many countries do. we can't do that. we can't do that. this country can't do that, but the barrier does it very simply. just doesn't let them in. you look at a place like tijuana and other places. it's incredit what i believe it's ll has done -- incredible what that wall has done. that is not the best of our walls. we have a great system, we have a prototype. we have -- i expect to have 250 to 300 miles of wall built in the very near future. secretary nielsen is here right now. we will shortly have about 200 miles under construction. we just started a 47-mile patch. we have different patches. we bidded out tough. better a much prototype. it's a beautiful wall. it's a beautiful looking -- actually -- i always said part
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of the wall is the previous administrations, when they did little walls, they built them so badly, so badly, so unattractive, so -- i wouldn't want them in my back yard. and the new one is incredible looking. it's a piece of art in a sense. still -- it's by the way more effective. it's more effective. so we are doing a job. we're getting it up. we have beautiful prototypes. we're working with the army corps of engineers who are total pros. i don't know if you saw what i put on twitter but i put on twitter a piece of it. that's not the new prototype. the new prototype is started in different locations. but we are going to be pretty soon having well over a couple hundred miles of wall up. we don't have to go 2,000. we never planned on going 2,000. it's 2,000 from the gulf to the pacific. it's 2,000 miles but you have many natural boundaries including really tough waters which you don't need the wall. we have very, very rugged mountain areas which you don't need the wall. actually if we do a really good
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job and if we have some money left over, we might even throw them in areas where you would say you don't need them because they'll figure a way. that will be the area. that will become the weak spot. it's like water. it seeks its own. but these people, they have -- the traffickers. they're vicious. they're smart. how about the name coyote? they have people tied up, put in the back of trucks and advance. they can't go through checkpoints. they have to go through open areas. can't walk through. can't go through it. even if they don't do much of an inspection of your truck or your car, they do open the back door or they do look through a window. you can't have women sitting there that are tied up. so when i hear the other side say -- and we have some of the other side here -- but when i hear the other said, oh, no, everything goes through the checkpoint, it's absolutely false. you have areas where you have roads carved in the sand that it's used so much. they hang a left and another
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left and welcome to the united states. there's nobody to talk to them. you are talking about 2,000 miles. you are talking about a lot of area. so we're doing really well on the wall. the emergency, window have an emergency. we have an emergency of people pouring into the country that we don't want, criminals, smugglers. we have drugs pouring into our country. we can't have it. we can't have it. we cannot allow this to happen to our country. most drugs, most of the major drugs are coming through the southern border. this will make it -- you're never going to stop it completely but we can stop it a lot. one of the things that ambassador lighthizer and steve and all of the people that are working with china, fentanyl is a tremendous problem. it seems to be made 100% in china. 100%. now, china's paying us right now billions and billions of dollars of tariffs a month. every month billions of dollars. i love it personally. i love it. but they're paying billions of dollars. and it's hurting them. it's not good for them. and i said to president xi, i
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said, president, you have to do me a favor. it's part of our trade deal. it has nothing to do with trade, or very little. we're having shipped over here from china fentanyl. it's killing 88,000 people a year, and probably more. than just the ones we know about. it's deadly. a little tiny spoonful can wipe out a state, it's hard to believe. can wipe out a little state. a spoonful of this stuff. and in china, they have a very, very tough penalty for drugs. it's called the death penalty. and i said to president xi, you don't have much of a drug problem. do you have a drug problem? no. no drug problem. i said, so you have 1.4 billion people and you don't have a drug problem? that's right. no drug problem. i said, what do you attribute that to? death penalty. quick trial. don't have trials that last 19 years. at the end of -- the judge dies, everybody dies.
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the only one living is the one that did the damage. they have what's called a quick trial. goes quick. doesn't take a lot of time. and if you're a drug dealer, you know what, maybe i'll stay out of china. singapore, the same thing. so i said to president xi, i said, you know, if you would criminalize the sale of fentanyl into the united states you would be saving many, many lives. took me one minute and he agreed. because it's not criminalized. i think they view it as an industrial drug or something. it's in the criminalized. as part of our deal involved, don't forget to put that down, but as part of our deal i think we'll get a criminalization of fentanyl being sold into the united states. it will stop. [applause] very important. i have to tell you. i have to thank president xi. he has been a big help with
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respect to north korea. i have a very, very good relationship with kim jong un. very, very good. but we need all the help we can get. as you know, about 92% of the goods going into north korea go through china. and president xi has been very good. he's been very, very good. now, you know, it helps we are in a strong trading position. but nevertheless, we have been strong. at the beginning he was perfect. i told him at the beginning you are perfect. now you're good. you have to get better. maybe we can make a deal and we won't have to worry about that longer. they have been great. fentanyl, they are already working on that process. i said, do you need any other approvals? no. i said, well, that works a lot different than this country. when i got the basketball players out, the three basketball players, that was a beautiful scene. i was in china and you have these three potential stars and i guess they're going into the
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nba draft or just have. but i said, would you do me a favor? three players were just arrested. they were arrested for stealing. sunglasses.tton they never gave our country credit for having them gotten them out. stealing in a store in china is a very big offense. i said, would you do me a favor? i was having dinner with him at this incredible show. a ballroom the likes a few has ever seen. melania is here. i'm talking and it just happened. they were arrested. they were put in jail. i said, mr. president, could you do me a favor? could you let the three basketball players out? he didn't know about it. he called all his people. has 10 people standing behind. everyone is central casting. central casting. glasses. boom. he was over.
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he came back, he reported within two minutes, explained, basketball players. i said it would be a great thing if you could possibly let them out. he goes, so be it. they were out. i said, is this different than our country? just a little bit different. and we got them out. then we came back and the one -- we all know trump helped. i sent a consultant. that consultant would have gotten nowhere. we just have a great relationship with so many of these countries. i think in some cases it's tough. there are many countries that take advantage of us very seriously. both at nato and trade. the european union is very, very tough. they don't allow our products in. farming. many of you represent farm states. they won't -- you know that better than anybody. they won't allow our farm products. they don't take any. they have these non-- you know, monetary barriers that are
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brutal. they are worse than others. the cars, they charge us big tariffs. and it's very hard for a car to get in number one. if they do they charge a big tariff. we charge them almost nothing. mercedes, b.m.w. we are taking care of it. we informed them, we won't play ball, president obama in eight years couldn't do a thing. they wouldn't meet with him. we have no intention of meeting. they wouldn't meet with president obama. they wouldn't meet with president bush. e.u. is one of the toughest, maybe the toughest, maybe in certain ways tougher than china. just smaller from our standpoint. but they have to meet. and we told them, have to meet. sorry. if you don't meet we'll tariff the hell out of you. er in' going to meet. they are -- they're going to meet. they're going to meet. we lost last year with the european union $151 billion. this has been going on for many years. think of it, $151 billion. we take their product, they don't take ours.
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we don't charge them tariffs. they charge us tariffs. other than that it's a very fair arrangement. by the way, we pay for their military because we pay almost getting close to 100% for their military. i've gotten them to put up over $100 billion toward nato which has made a big impact. so they have to treat us fairly. we want to have a great relationship. i have a great relationship with the leaders but we have to be treated fairly. so overall we're doing a great job for our country. our country has rarely done better. maybe never done better from an economy standpoint. we're very proud of it. and we have tremendous potential. when we fix these trade deals, because we're being ripped by everybody, we are just being ripped. we lose $800 billion a year on trade. think of it. it's -- $800 billion. nobody knows what that means. we're fixing that all up. we start with mexico, canada, china. china is the big one. china is 50% of the number. even more. and we're doing very well. it could happen fairly soon or
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might not happen at all. i think it could happen and soon. fairly the relationship is great. so i just want to thank all of the governors for being here. you are all special people. i think we have 17 brand new governors, right? brand new ones, very smart ones like my friend, huh, congratulations. it's a great -- you have such an easy state. [laughter] that's so easy. great state of illinois. what an easy state. i don't know. huh. have you found it to be easier or tougher? >> well, you're going to help us out. president trump: i help everybody out. congratulations. it's an honor to have you all at the white house. thank you very much. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> u.s. house is in recess for
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now but members will be back live at 4:30 eastern for work on several bills, including one aiming to train veterans for careers in science, technology, engineering and math. votes and speeches later this afternoon starting at 6:30 eastern. tomorrow, members will debate a resolution that terminates president trump's national emergency declaration over immigration. and later this week, work on a bill expanding background checks for gun purchases. follow the house live on c-span when members return at 4:30 eastern. also this afternoon, more about that resolution related to president trump's national emergency declaration with the house rules committee meeting. you can see that live at 5:00 p.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span3. >> tonight on "the communicators," christopher shelton, president of the communications workers of america. talks about their opposition to the proposed t-mobile-sprint merger. he's joined by howard, executive senior editor of
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"communications daily." christopher: we think it's a very bad idea. we think it will destroy about 30,000 jobs in the united states for a german government-owned company and a japanese billionaire company. and we don't see why the german japanese or japanese billionaires should seek to make money off of american jobs. but that's what that merger will do. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> earlier today, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein spoke about the process for special prosecutor robert mueller's report and the career of current attorney general william barr. here's a look. suzanne: i understand and explaining process, i understand and certainly respect your general ammunition that you talk about ongoing investigations but i think it might be helpful for folks to
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understand, if you can, discuss kind of generally what the process is with respect to something like the special prosecutor's report, what is the -- what is the process then that may not be completely visible to americans but that they ought to understand is taking place? r. rosenstein: the answer is -- i can't generalize about it because the special counsel regulation has only been invoked on a few occasions. but the -- it's important to understand the context and i don't have time to give you the whole context here but before this regulation was adopted in 1999, there were special counsels. it wasn't a regulation for how
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to operate. a couple deng aids before the special counsel regulation there were independent counsels and most americans do not know the difference between a special and independent counsel but to me it's a critical difference. an independent counsel under the federal statute that existed up until 1999, it was post-watergate reform, created a prosecutor who was independent from the department of justice, appointed by the judiciary, not accountable to the executive branch. by 9-there was broad agreement between republicans and democrats it wasn't a good idea, that the prosecutorial power should not be vested in somebody who is independent of the executive branch and accountable only to judges and so we returned to the traditional model and they codified it in the special regulations to provide guidance about what they believe that is the folks who wrote regulations was the best way to operate so we are now operating under those rules and under those rules the special counsel is
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accountable to the department of justice. there is a lot of confusion about this. there is no confusion by bob raoul mueller or me or people working with bus the accountability of the special counsel. mr. rosenstein: the goal is to ensure the acting attorney general believed it was appropriate that we would establish a process whereby there would be some structural independence and that comes in if the special counsel proposes to take an action and is overruled by the attorney general or acting attorney general is required that report that to congress.
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the special counsel is a subordinate employee who reports to the acting attorney general and complies with the requirement to obtain approval just like an acting united states attorney would need to do. so i can't answer your question because that's will be a decision the attorney general makes as to what to do with whatever information is provided to him but i can tell you that the legislation was appropriately written that we can be confident that the investigation was conducted in an independent way and if the and beyond that i think attorney general barr -- we can trust him to do that. bill barr when he was attorney general first go round in the course of his 14 months or so he appointed a couple special counsels in that era that were not subject to this regulation, obviously but i think we can count on him to do the right
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thing. >> just a portion of what deputy attorney general rod rosenstein had to see today. you can see his entire remarks tonight at 9:30 eastern here on c-span. other primetime programming tonight beginning at 9:00 eastern on c-span, the house rules committee meets to discuss a resolution related to president trump's border security national emergency declaration. and at 8:00 eastern on c-span3, current and former u.s. governors speak at an american investment summit hosted by the u.s. chamber of commerce. on capitol hill and in host: foreign-policy discussions across the globe it will be a busy week for politics and policy. looking at the week ahead in washington, white house correspondent for the associated press darlene superville joins us. mike debonis of the washington post who covers congress. mike kelly will start for you and the headline for one of your pieces.