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  President Trump Outgoing Labor Secretary Departure Remarks  CSPAN  July 12, 2019 2:56pm-3:30pm EDT

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the president his resignation because of a plea deal mr. acosta made with a sex offender when he was a prosecutor 12 years ago. this week, the same sex offenders was indicted on charges in new york for allegedly abusing underage girls. reporter: how do you think your labor secretary did? president trump: i think he was a great labor secretary. not a good labor secretary. he's done a fantastic job. he's a friend of everybody in the administration. and i got a call this morning early from alex and i think he did a very good job yesterday under a lot of pressure, he did a fantastic job. and he explained it. he made a deal that people are
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happy with and then 12 years later they're not happy wit. you'll have to figure all of that out. the fact is, he's been a fantastic secretary of labor. and alex called me this morning and he wanted to see me and i actually said well, we have the press right out here, perhaps you just want to say it to the press. but i just want to let you know, this was him, not me. because i'm with him. he was a -- he's a tremendous talent. he's a hispanic man he went to harvard. a great student. and in so many ways i just hate what he is saying now because we're going to miss him. but please, alex. mr. acosta: thank you, mr. president. over the last week i have seen a lot of coverage of the department of labor and what i have not seen is incredible job creeeags we see in this economy, more than five million jobs. i haven't seen that workplace injuries are down. bucking a three-year trend.
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workplace fatalities are down, bucking a trend. we have the safest year ever in mine, lowest ever fatalities ever in mining. i have seen coverage of this case that's over 12 years old that has input and vetting at multiple levels of the department of justice and as i look forward, i do not think it is right and fair for this administration's labor department to have epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy that we have today. so i called the president this morning, i told him i thought the right thing was to step aside. cabinet positions are temporary trusts. it would be selfish for me to stay in this position and continue talking about a case that's 12 years old rather than about the amazing economy we have right now and so i submitted my resignation to the president effective seven days from today, effective one week
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from today, earlier this morning. [inaudible] president trump: there's no need at all as far as i'm concerned. i watched alex yesterday. i thought alec did a great job. you can always say, should have been tougher. they do it with me all the time. i make a great deal with anybody and they say, like the democrat, it could have been better. i got $1.2 billion fines on the company from g.t.e. and the next day, everybody couldn't believe it. the next day the democrats said, should have goten more. you can always be second guessed. that's what people do. i want to tell you, this is a person that i've got ton know, that hasn't -- there hasn't been an ounce of controversy at the department of labor until this came up. and he is doing this not for himself, he's doing this for the
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administration and alex, i think you're -- i think you'll agree, i said you don't have to do this. e doesn't have to do this. we have, as everybody knows, we have pat who right now is a deputy and he'll acting for a period of time. i think you know pat. he's a good man. highly recommended. by alex. at is going to be acting now. [indiscernible] president trump: yes. he did have a falling out a long time ago. reason doesn't make any difference, frankly, but i haven't spoken to him in probably 15 years or more. i wasn't a big fan of jeffrey epstein, that i can tell you. if you look at the remnants, this man, and i hate to see it happen, i will say this and i
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say it again and i say it loud and clear. alex acosta was a great secretary of labor. what he's done with plans and you see the plans coming one after another, just about done with the 401-k. things nobody would even think of. so it's very sad. but at the same time he wants to focus to be on accomplishments. indiscernible] reporter: well, alex believes that. i'm willing to live with anything, john. i think you know me. i've lived through things you wouldn't believe. alex felt that way. and he also felt -- we're so good, we're doing so well. the economy. the stock market just hit the highest point yesterday in the history of our country. our unemployment numbers are the best they've ever been. if you look at specifically
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certain groups, african-american, asian, hispanic, the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country. you know, there are so many good things and he didn't want to distract from that. and i understand that 100%. [indiscernible] reporter: did paul ryan prevent you from [indiscernible] president trump: what? reporter: did paul ryan prevent you from making decisions? president trump: so paul ryan wasn't a talent. he wasn't a leader. when the people in freedom and great congressmen wanted to go after the dems for things they did very badly, he wouldn't give subpoenas. whereas nancy pelosi hands them out like they're cookies. paul ryan was a lame duck for a long time as speaker. he was unable to raise money. he lost control of the house. the only success paul ryan had was the time he was with me
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because we got taxes cut. i got regulation cut. i did that mostly without him. but for paul ryan to be complaining is pretty amazing. i remember a day in wisconsin, a state that i won, where i stood up and made a speech and then i introduced him and they booed him off the stage, 10,000 people. so for him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible. maybe he gets paid for that. who knows. maybe he gets paid for it. [indiscernible] reporter: are you putting law enforcement at risk [indiscernible] president trump: so people come into our country illegally. we're taking them out legally. very simple. it's not something i like doing, but people have come into our country illegally. we're focused on criminals. we're focused on, if you look at ms-13, but when people come into our country, we take those people out and we take them out very legally. they all have papers, and it's a process and i have an
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obligation to do it. they come in illegally. they go out legally. what the democrats should be doing now is they should be changing the loophole, they should be changing asylum. i have been talking to you about that for a long time. they should be changing asylum. there are so many things. now, let me give you the good news. mexico has done an outstanding job so far. if you look at the border, it's down 30% and that's only one week where they have gotten it together. the pew numbers came out and it looks like it will be above 30% down. it's going to be down more and more. they have 21,000, and i say 21,000 mexican soldiers on the border. both their southern border and our southern border. and we really have it in control. the problem is -- there is a big problem.
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the laws are so bad. the democrats have to help us fix the immigration laws. but even with that, because of the josh that mexico's -- job that mexico is doing -- maybe they are doing it because of tariffs but they're doing a great job. i appreciate it. indiscernible] president trump: no. no. who said that? [indiscernible] president trump: look, anything you do, the democrats will say it's not good. the meantime, they have a disaster. they have these laws so bad. catch and release. you look at the different laws. visa lottery. that was tkachuk schumer law. it's a -- it was tkachuk schumer law. you pick them -- it was a chuck schumer law. you pick them out. for years and years china has been ripping us off. they're not ripping us off anymore. right now companies are fleeing china because of the tariffs.
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and right now we're taking in billions of dollars. and by the way, our people are not paying for it. they're paying for it. they're paying for it by depressing their currency and they're putting a lot of money. look, nobody's ever done what i've done with china. and that's fine. and we'll get along with china. but you know what i see a guy like biden who's weak and ineffective and everybody that knows him knows he's a weak man. he's an ineffective man. president xi laughs at guys like that. now, with that being said, i would say this. president xi, putin, all of these guys go to bed at night and they pray that joe biden or somebody like him becomes president so they can continue o rip off our country. indiscernible] president trump: no, i had no
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idea. i haven't spoken to him in many, many years. mr. acosta: i gave a press conference, according to the media, was longer than any other cabinet official in this administration. i will reiterate what i said previously. my point here today is we have an amazing economy. we have unemployment lower than we have seen, literally, in my lifetime. and the focus needs to be on this economy and on job creation, on decrease fatalities in the workplace and in mining. that's where this administration needs to focus, not on this matter. [indiscernible] president trump: we are looking into it. the platforms are absolutely, in my opinion, 100% crooked.
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they discriminate against republicans and conservatives. they are 100% dishonest, that's my opinion. and something's going to be done. but i can tell you from personal experience, i see it. i had something happen this morning. i won't tell you about it yet, but these platforms are 100% -- hey're 100% disonnest. eporter: [indiscernible] president trump: i was not a fan of jeffrey epstein. and you watch people yesterday saying i threw him out of a club. i didn't want anything to do with him. that was many, many years ago. it shows you one thing, that i have good taste, ok. now, other people, they went all over with him. they went to his island. they went all over the place. he was very well-known in palm beach. his island, whatever his island
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was wherever it is, i was never there. find out the people that went to the island. but jeffrey epstein was not somebody that i respected. i threw him out. in fact, i think the great james patterson, who is a member of mir a lago, made a statement that i threw him out. i am not a fan of jeffrey epstein. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: yes, yes. you know what -- you know what, they came in illegally. they have to go out. we have millions of people standing in lines waiting to become citizens of this country. they've taken tests. they've studied. they've learned english. they've done so much. they've been waiting seven, eight, nine years. we have some waiting 10 years to come in. it's not fair that somebody walks across the line and they become citizens.
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reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: well, i wish the british ambassador well. some people just told me, too bad, but they said he actually said very good things about me. referring to other people. i guess i quoted lindsey graham today, he said some pretty nice things from the british ambassador. look, i wish the british ambassador well, but they got to stop their leaking problems there just like they have to top them in our country. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: we're not giving warning. no, we're not givings warning. there's nothing to be secret about. can i tell you what? there's nothing to be secret about. i.c.e. is law enforcement. they're great patriots. they have a tough job. nothing to be secret about. if the word gets out, it gets out, because hundreds of people know about it. it's a major operation. so if the word gets out, it gets out. it starts on sunday and they are going to take people out
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and they are going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from. we're focused on criminals as much as we can before we do anything else. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: for instance, ms-13, very important. we're taking them out by the thousands. we've already been taking -- we didn't stop this. we've been taking criminals out for the last year. these people have been here for many years, ms-13. we're taking them out by the thousands. we're getting them out. eporter: [indiscernible] president trump: i think we'll have it in the end where it will be more accurate than the census because we have information gotten through other means, whether you look at social security or other places, we have -- including loan applications, we have information that's probably
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more accurate than the information we could get by going in and asking somebody, are you a citizen? a lot of people aren't going to ell the truth. no. no. not only didn't i back down, i backed up. anybody else would have given this up a long time ago. the problem is we had three very unfriendly courts. they were judges that weren't exactly in love with this whole thing. and they were wrong. but it would have taken a long time to get through those courts. you understand that better than anybody, john. would have taken a long time back up to the supreme court. so i asked, is there another way? and somebody said there's a way that might be better. might be more accurate. they explained it. i said, then why are we wasting time? we'll be in court for the next two years. what are we wasting time for? we have to, by law, have the printing done. so the printing has started and we're already finding out who
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the citizens are and who they're not, and i think more accurately. so when i heard this i said, i think that's actually better. i think what we're doing is actually better. and only the fake news, which there's plenty -- reporter: wilbur ross [indiscernible] resident trump: no, he didn't. reporter: how many people [indiscernible] are you worried about law enforcement [indiscernible] everybody knows about the raid. president trump: these are great professionals. these are people that have done this for a long time. we're really looking for criminals as much as we can. we're trying to find the criminal population which has been coming into this country in the last 10 years. we know who they are, too. we've been taking them out by the thousands. specifically gang members from ms-13 and other gangs. we've been taking them out by the thousands. so we are really specifically looking for bad players, but we're also looking for people
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that came into our country, not through a process. they just walked over a line. they have to leave. reporter: [indiscernible] the mayors don't want the i.c.e. raids. president trump: some do. no. no. the mayors in sanctuary cities, like a mayor like deblasio, probably the worst mayor in the country, from new york, i don't even know what his attitude is. nobody does because he doesn't work very hard. nobody notes what the hell he does. but a guy like de blasio probably wouldn't want the raid. but many mayors do. most mayors do. you know why? they don't want to have crimes in their cities or states. eporter: [indiscernible] president trump: so nobody has treated the military better than president trump. nobody. nobody's even come close. you see that with budgets. you see that with the pay
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increases. you see that with medical. you know where you see it more than any place? the vets. the vets now have choice. they never had choice before. wait, wait, wait. for 44 years -- wait. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: wait. for 44 years -- we are looking at that. for 44 years, they tried to get veterans' choice. i got it. nobody else could have gotten it. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: ok. go ahead. reporter: [indiscernible] robert mueller -- president trump: we've gone through 500 witnesses. 2,500 subpoenas. i've let them interview my lawyers. i've let them -- because i had nothing to do with russia. now that's come out. there was no collusion. but how many -- how many people and how many times -- and this
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has been going on for 2 1/2 years. rush limbaugh said there's nobody else in the world that knows could have taken it. on top of taking it, i've been a great president. i've done more. listen. listen. i've done more in 2 1/2 years than any other president. nobody's even close, including --, we just said, veterans' choice and all of the other things i've gotten. but for 2 1/2 years. so now they have mueller go make a speech. that goes. now they want to have him again. they want to go it again and again and again because they want to hurt the president for the election because i see what i'm running against. you have sleepy joe biden. he doesn't have the energy to be president. and the people that are nipping on his heels, they don't have what it takes. i can tell you that china and russia -- and i've been rougher on russia than any president in the last 50 years. china and russia and try north korea where i have a relationship. you don't have a man testing
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nuclear anymore. you have a man -- wait. wait. you have a man that was so happy to see me. that's a good thing. not a bad thing. you have a man that doesn't smile a lot. but when he saw me he smiled. he was happy. you have a man when i came into office all he was doing before under obama was testing nuclear weapons and blowing up mountains. and now he's not doing it. there's nothing he can say. he's written a report. the report said, no collusion, and it said effectively, no obstruction. because there's no obstruction. and the other thing is very interesting. so they find out there's no collusion. the whole thing is about collusion. so they find out there's no collusion. ow, actually, it was different. there was bad crimes from the other side. i'm sure it's being looked at right now.
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so, so there's no collusion and there's no obstruction. now, we have a great attorney general now. he's strong and he's smart, and he read it and he studied it along with rod rosenstein who worked it from the beginning and rod rosenstein and bill barr said there's no obstruction. it's also interesting. number one, there's no crime. and how do you obstruct when there's no crime? also, take a look at one other thing. it's a thing called article 2. nobody ever mentioned article 2. it gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before. we don't even talk about article 2. so they ruled no collusion, no obstruction. very simple. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: and you can -- by the way, you can only get so many bites at the apple. we have to get on to running a country. you got immigration,
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infrastructure, drug prices. the democrats aren't working. all they're doing is trying to hurt people, like alex acosta, a man who has done -- a man -- i have no idea. are you a democrat? mr. acosta: no. president trump: you know what i know about alex? he was a great student at harvard. he's hispanic, which i -- which i so admire because maybe it was a little tougher for him and maybe not. but he did an unbelievable job as the secretary of labor. that's what i know about him. i know one thing, he did a great job. until this came up, there was never an ounce of problem with this very good man. go ahead. mr. acosta: let me just add -- let me just add, you know, i hear a lot about how individuals got jobs and what not. before our interview, we had never met, we had never talked.
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the president selected me as it should be done. it wasn't that we knew each other. it's not that we had a long-standing relationship. i think that's a testament to his selection process. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: well, i think cortez, who kept amazon out of new york and they don't like her for that, thousands and thousands of jobs, i think cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody that's been there a long time. i deal with nancy pelosi a lot, and we go back and forth and it's fine. but i think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her. and you know what, i don't think that nancy can let that go on. a group of people that came from -- i don't know where they
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came from. i'm looking at this omar from minnesota, and if one half of the things they're saying about her are true, she shouldn't even be in office. cortez should treat nancy pelosi with respect. she should not be doing what she's doing. and i will tell you something about nancy pelosi that you know better than i do, she's not a racist, ok. she's not a racist. for them to call her a racist is a disgrace. reporter: [indiscernible] president trump: yeah. a y importantly, today, in few hours, vice president pence and the head of homeland security are taking the press and congresspeople into detention centers and we're the ones that said they're crowded. they are crowded because they have a lot of people. they're in good shape. the reason is because the fake news, "new york times" wrote
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phony stories. what border patrol is doing, they've become nurses and janitors and doctors. and they're not trained for that. what they've done is so incredible. so they're touring detention centers and that was my idea. because i read a phony story in "the new york times" today or the other day about the detention centers, about the conditions, and i had people calling me up at the highest levels from border patrol and i.c.e. almost crying about that phony story and they never saw anything. they have phony sources. they don't have sources. they write whatever they want. "the new york times" is a very dishonest newspaper. they write whatever they want. what they do is a tremendous disservice to this country. they are truly the enemy of the people. i'll tell you that. they are the enemy of the people. and what they wrote about detention centers is unfair. now, i believe it's going to be
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the -- we are taking a tour. i'd love to be there but i'm going to ohio, wisconsin. i'll be going. but i've seen it. i've seen it. and these centers are -- i mean, to have ocasio say they're drinking out of toilets. she made that up, ok. it's a phony story. she made it up. these people -- i tell you what, i've been with i.c.e. and i've been with border patrol a lot. they love those people coming across the border. they love them and i've seen it. they love them. eporter: [indiscernible] president trump: so one of the reasons the democrats don't want to have a census is because the number of people in the united states for many years -- you know, for years you heard 11 million. it's far greater than that, but we'll find out because i'm going to do something much more accurate than the way we -- the
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way we did it in the census would never have been very accurate. what we're doing will be much more accurate. the wall is being built. the wall is being built. we had a couple very good decisions. we had one bad decision. it's very tough. again, paul ryan let us down. paul ryan was a terrible speaker. frankly, he was a baby. he didn't know what the hell he was doing. the wallet us down. now, in all fairness, the problem with -- when we had both houses, in the senate, you need 60 votes. well, we don't have 60 votes. we had 51 last time. now we have 53 because we won during the 2018 election which nobody wants to say, so you understand. we had one set back. we had one victory. i had one tremendous victory that was very rarely covered by the press. i won the emoluments case.
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i won the emoluments case. people don't know my being president, i lose billions of dollars -- and especially money i can't make because i don't do deals. but i lose billions of dollars. another thing. i get a salary of $400,000 or $450,000 a year. i don't think any other president ever -- it's a lot of money. almost half a million dollars. i give it up. i don't think i've anybody say i give up my salary. i am not looking for credit. i give up my salary. i get zero. i get zero. you know what makes me happy? that we're doing a great job. i want to thank alex acosta. he was a great, great secretary. reporter: i asked about -- not a wall. president trump: iran better be
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careful. iran, if you're listening. you ought to be careful. eporter: [indiscernible] defund planned parenthood? president trump: we have big cases having to do with that. that was a -- do ter: [indiscernible] you have any evidence, sir? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> democratic presidential candidate corey booker holds a campaign event in new hampshire on saturday. it's scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
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eastern. and we'll bring it to you live here on c-span. then, sunday, another democratic candidate, kamala harris, campaigns in guilford, new hampshire. that's at 1:15 eastern. also live here on c-span. >> this month marks the 50th anniversary of apollo 11, man's first landing on the moon, and shows span/ipso poll there's interest in the event. nearly 3/4 of americans say they either watched the event live on tv or saw footage of it later. but the poll also shows there's little interest to return to the moon. we spoke with florida today space reporter rachel joy about the findings. rachel: i think the headline really is that americans really still support nasa
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overwhelmingly have a positive and favorable view of nasa but very few really think that a return manned mission to the moon is a high priority. host: does that number surprise you, only 8% of americans say a manned moon mission is a top priority? rachael: i think it is low, especially on the eave of the apollo anniversary. especially considering months ago the trump administration charged nasa with returning to the moon within five years. so there's a lot of talk. you know, there's a lot of press, essentially, about this excitement and this new mission and yet polls are still coming out showing, you know, very little in terms of support. what was interesting about the poll is when they phrase the question in the presence of a competition, somewhat similar to what we had going on in the apollo era.
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you know, it was the space race between the united states and russia. when that is presented that way now, as a space race between china or israel, support shoots up to 49%. so, you know, that kind of thinking gets our competitive juices going. then we have that apollo era competition, you know, spirit happening, but not right now. >> you can find all of the results at including the findings on americans' attitudes towards space force and the privatization of space exploration. we are back with congressman tom cole, republican of oklahoma. let's talk about getting votes. no plan devote n -- devote -- to vote no. guest: it's about $15 billion less than the president requested. there are some policy changes i disagree with.