3/13/17: White House Press Briefing
Articles,  Blog

3/13/17: White House Press Briefing

Mr. Spicer: How’s
my pin, John? The Press: It looks good. Mr. Spicer: Good The Press: The tie is good, the pin is good. Mr. Spicer: All right,
then we’re ready to go. The Press: Ready to go. Mr. Spicer: Good
afternoon, everyone. I hope you all had
a great weekend. The President spent his
weekend in a series of meetings with White
House staff and advisors planning for a full
and productive week. On Saturday, as many of
you saw, the President had a working lunch with
several members of his team, including Homeland
Security Kelly, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin,
Commerce Secretary Ross, Veterans Secretary
Shulkin, and members of his White House staff,
during which they discussed immigration
reform and their efforts to repeal and
replace Obamacare. Over the weekend, the Vice
President went down to Louisville, Kentucky. He was joined by Governor
Matt Bevin for a listening session with over a dozen
small-business owners from Kentucky to discuss the
burdens that Obamacare has inflicted on
their businesses. The Kentucky business
owners shared in detail how Obamacare is
negatively affecting their businesses, and reiterated
their support for repealing our current
healthcare system and replacing with one
that actually works. This morning, after
receiving his intelligence briefing, the President
led another listening session on healthcare with
Secretary of Health and Human Services,
Dr. Tom Price. The President and
Secretary Price heard from nine concerned Americans
from across the country who have been failed by
the broken promises of Obamacare, as well as two
doctors who have seen their patients suffer from
the law’s misguided rules and requirements. This listening session was
another important step in the process of crafting
and implementing an effective patient-centered
healthcare. Americans have been
watching their healthcare costs skyrocket while
their choices of providers and insurers have
dwindled for years. They’ve received those
cancellations in the mail as many as three times. They’ve seen urgent care
and emergency rooms filled with people who can’t
afford their high deductibles and resorted
to enduring the pain or sickness until they had
no choice but to go to a hospital. They’ve had family members
with chronic preexisting conditions whose cost of
healthcare has more than doubled. And they’ve been forced to
let go of valued employees or, frankly, unable
to hire more due to staggering workers’
compensation increases. The President campaigned
on a pledge to repeal and replace this
unraveling system. The American Health
Care Act is one part of fulfilling this pledge; it’s far from the only one. He’s using administrative
action to provide essential regulatory
relief to insurers, increasing coverage
choices, and providing lower-premium options to
individuals and families. He will continue to work
with Congress on the additional legislation,
part of this three-prong strategy to increase
choice while decreasing prices, including allowing
health insurance to be sold across state lines,
adding to the list of healthcare-related costs
patients conduct with their health savings
accounts, streamlining the process at the FDA so
that lower-priced generic medicine gets to the
market faster, inviting small business to band
together to negotiate for lower health insurance for
all their employees, and reforming the medical
malpractice lawsuit system so that doctors are
not forced to perform unnecessary and costly
procedures and tests out of fear of future
litigation. Our healthcare system
is large, complex, and critically important not
only to the health of our citizens, but to the
health of our economy. Through commonsense,
patient-focused reforms, the President will work
with Congress to create a new system that
doesn’t impose a one-size-fits-all,
government-knows-best vision on the
American people. We will empower the
American people to make their own choices about
healthcare that make them best work for themselves
and their family, that will bring costs
for everyone down. After the listening
session, the President had lunch with Vice President
Pence and Secretary of Transportation Chao. Later this afternoon, the
President will welcome all of his confirmed Cabinet
members to the White House for their first
Cabinet meeting. This meeting is an
important opportunity for the President to share his
vision with the country with his Cabinet members,
providing direction for them to bring back to
their agencies and departments, to ensure
that the entire administration is working
towards the same goals. Unfortunately, this
afternoon, you’ll see some empty chairs around the
table representing the President’s four nominees
who have yet to be confirmed by the
Senate — Secretary of Agriculture-designee
Governor Perdue, Secretary of Labor-designee Alex
Acosta; Director of National
Intelligence-designee, former Senator Coats,
and United States Trade Representative-designee,
Robert Lighthizer. Senate Democrats have
drawn out this entire process for way too long,
and these key agencies and departments will not
be represented at the President’s first
Cabinet meeting. The President is confident
in these unquestionable abilities of the confirmed
Cabinet members that will be in attendance. He is just as confident in
the demonstrated quality of the four individuals
who will not be able to attend. Their absence will
clearly be felt as this administration comes
together for the first time to receive guidance
from, and provide counsel to, the President on
these unique areas of jurisdiction. Following the Cabinet
meeting, the President will sign an executive
order to reorganize the federal government. This order requires a
thorough examination of every executive department
and agency to identify money — where money is
being wasted and how services can be improved,
and whether or not the programs are truly serving
the American people. This is the beginning
of a long-overdue reorganization of the
federal government and another significant step
towards the President’s often-stated goal of
making it more efficient, effective and accountable
to the American people. This evening, the
President will have dinner with Secretary of State
Tillerson and National Security Advisor McMaster. Also, he hopes to see
Seema Verma confirmed as the administrator of
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, another
unquestionably qualified nominee who’s been
shamelessly prevented from taking her position
at a critical post. Let me just kind of
touch on the week ahead. Tomorrow, based on the
current forecast, we are currently in conversations
— in contact with officials in the
Chancellor’s office in Germany regarding
the visit. We’ll have an update
regarding that visit later today. On Wednesday, the
President will visit Detroit for a trip
focusing on job creation and automobile
manufacturing. He will meet with auto
executives and workers and manufacturing suppliers
highlighting the need to eliminate burdensome
regulations that needlessly hinder
meaningful job growth. Also on Wednesday, the
President will visit Nashville, where he will
lay a wreath at President Andrew Jackson’s tomb
at the Hermitage. And as I told you last
week, on Thursday the President will welcome the
Taoiseach of Ireland for the traditional St.
Patrick’s Day visit. I can also confirm that
the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad
bin Salman, will have a meeting with the President
on Thursday of this week. I will have further
details on that visit for you soon. And on Friday, the
President will travel to Mar-a-Lago for
the weekend. Finally, the President is
aware of the forecast for the storm that’s currently
threatening the Northeast. The President has been
briefed by his Homeland Security Advisor and the
acting FEMA administrator on storm preparations. He has directed his
Intergovernmental Affairs staff to remain in contact
with governors and mayors in the path of the storm. He has directed his acting
FEMA administrator to lean forward and be prepared to
help states should they require federal
assistance. We urge everyone to listen
to state and local leaders and public safety
officials to follow their warning and
closure notice. They are the best source
of information during that storm. With that, I’d be glad
to take your questions. John. The Press: Sean, if I
could come back to the U.S. attorney for the southern
district of New York, Preet Bharara, who was
asked to resign along with 45 other U.S. attorneys. The President seemed to
indicate not too long ago that he wanted Mr. Bharara
to stay on in that job, and he was asked to resign
like the other attorneys. And then he says he was
fired on Saturday when he refused to resign. Did the President change
his mind about keeping him on? Or was it only supposed to
be for a finite period of time? Can you just fill us in? Mr. Spicer: I’m going
to refer you to the Department of
Justice on that. This is a standard
operating procedure for a new administration around
this time to ask for the resignation of
all the U.S. attorneys. We had most of them — or
a good chunk of them had already submitted their
resignation letter. This is just the final
swath of individuals who had not at this time. But this is common
practice of most administrations. The Press: I understand
that this happened at the DOJ and the request was
from the DOJ, but there seems to a White House
connection vis-à-vis the fact that the President
had actually asked him to stay on, and then the
President apparently called him a couple
of days before he was allegedly fired. Can you tell us what
that was all about? And did the President
change his mind? Mr. Spicer: No, the
President was calling to thank him for his service. This is, as I said, a
standard action that takes place at most
administrations. Then-Attorney General
Reno sent out an almost identical letter in 1993. The Bush administration
sent out a similar one, as well. So this is a very common
practice for all political appointees — not just in
the Department of Justice — but throughout
government when there’s a turnover administration to
ask for all individuals to do that. Major. The Press: Sean, yesterday
John McCain said the President should either
provide information about the allegation he put
on Twitter a week ago Saturday, about his phones
being tapped at Trump Tower, or retract
his statement. Today is the deadline. What’s the President
going to do? Mr. Spicer: Well, let’s be
clear — the Department of Justice was asked to
send information down to Congress. It wasn’t the White House
that was asked to do that. Just so we’re clear as far
as what the request was. The Press: But the tweet
came from the President of the United States. Mr. Spicer: I
understand that. And with the tweet — The Press: Does he have an obligation, as Senator
McCain said, to clear this up? Mr. Spicer: And I think
if you look at the President’s tweet, he said
very clearly “wiretapping” in quotes. There’s been substantial
discussion in several reports that Bret Baier
from Fox on March 3rd talked about evidence
of wiretapping. There’s been reports in
The New York Times and the BBC and other outlets
about other aspects of surveillance that
have occurred. The President was very
clear in his tweet that it was wiretapping, that that
spans a whole host of surveillance
types of options. The House and the Senate
intelligence committees will now look into that
and provide a report back. But I think that there has
been numerous reports from a variety of outlets over
the last couple months that seem to indicate that
there has been different types of surveillance that
occurred during the 2016 election. The Press: And so what
you’re saying is the President doesn’t have an
obligation to provide any evidence? Mr. Spicer: No, I’m not
saying that at all. Not at all. What I’m saying is the
request that was made from the House was to the
Department of Justice. I think that that’s an
appropriate question to ask them. What I’m telling you
is, from a White House perspective, there’s no
question that there have been an abundance of
reports regarding surveillance and other
type of activities that occurred during
the 2016 election. The Press: And that leads
us to believe that the President’s only evidence
are these reports? Mr. Spicer: No, no, that
leads you to believe that. I’m saying to you — The Press: I’m trying to — Mr. Spicer: And I’m saying
to you is that what we made clear on that Sunday
was that the House and Senate intelligence
committees have the means, the process, and the
access to go in and look at the entirety of the
evidence that’s being presented to them and make
a determination that they can report back to us. The Press: Thanks, Sean. Following up on Major’s
question, does the President feel he has
an obligation, once the investigation is over,
to release some sort of statement in response to
whatever the findings are? That’s my first question. I have a second
one for you. Mr. Spicer: Well,
let’s get there first. I think to start to
presume what the outcome is going to be before the
House and the Senate look at all of the evidence and
information and reports that are presented to
them would be a bit presumptuous. So I think — let’s slow
down a little, let them look at everything, and
then let them make some determinations. The Press: And then my
second question for you: Has President Trump
donated his paycheck from the month of February,
like he promised to do during the campaign? Mr. Spicer: The
President’s intention right now is to donate his
salary at the end of the year, and he has kindly
asked that you all help determine where that goes. The way that we can avoid
scrutiny is to let the press corps determine
where it should go. (Laughter.) The Press: Oh, we have a few ideas. Mr. Spicer: In all
seriousness, I think his view is he made a pledge
to the American people, he wants to donate
it to charity. And he’d love your help to
determine where it should go. The Press: May I suggest the Correspondents Association — Mr. Spicer:
That will be a great way — The Press:
Journalism scholarship. Mr. Spicer: That would
be a great way to do it. The Press: Thanks
a lot, Sean. I wanted to follow up with
you on questions regarding Michael Flynn, who’s
no longer in the administration. There’s a five-year
lobbying ban that’s been imposed upon all Trump
administration employees. Does that also apply
to Michael Flynn? Would he not be permitted
to lobby now for five years because of the
agreement that he signed when he became the
national security advisor? Mr. Spicer: That
would be correct. I’d have to check and
actually figure out when he signed or if he
signed the form. But yes, all
administration officials who come in are required
to sign that ethics pledge banning them from lobbying
for five years and then a lifetime ban on lobbying
on behalf of any foreign government. The Press: And then
related to that, what are the repercussions if
an employee of this administration lobbies
within five years? Where’s the teeth, what’s
the penalty, what’s the punishment that would be
imposed on that particular Trump administration
employee? Mr. Spicer: I’d have to
get back to you, John. I don’t know whether
that’s a Department of Justice aspect or not,
but I will get back. Yeah. The Press: I was
wondering, did the President ask Preet
Bharara to stay on during their conversation during
the transition or not? Mr. Spicer: I was
not privy to that conversation. Again, I’m not really sure
how it’s relevant at the end of the day. The Department of Justice
asked all remaining 46 at this time, that they asked
for all of them to submit their letters of
resignation based on the same kind of precedent
that was set during both the Clinton and then the
Bush administrations in terms of the
timeline and format. Jessica. The Press: I just wanted
to ask about the reports about President Xi Jinping
visiting Mar-a-Lago April 6th and 7th. Can you confirm that visit
and talk about what you want to accomplish with
that type of less formal visit? And secondly, with respect
to that visit, you still don’t have a confirmed
ambassador, you don’t have an assistant Secretary
of State for East Asia Affairs. House ow does that affect
your planning and ability to really properly brief
the President and make sure he has a
strong position? Mr. Spicer: Planning
is ongoing for a visit between President Trump
and President Xi at a date to be determined. We’re not ready to confirm
that, and we will have more details. It’s the purpose of this
meeting, of that kind of a meeting, to help defuse
tensions over North Korea and the recent deployment
of a THAAD military battery to South Korea. Any meeting between the
President of the United States and the People’s
Republic of China would necessarily cover a broad
range of topics of mutual concern. Secretary Tillerson is
traveling to the region now. So I think as we go
forward we will have additional details on
both the timing and the location of that
when we go forward. The Press: Is the
implication of you saying Tillerson is traveling
that he’s setting up the visit, Sean? Mr. Spicer: I’m sorry? The Press: Is the
implication of you talking about Tillerson’s visit
that he’s going to be laying the groundwork for
— Mr. Spicer: Well, he’s in the region. I’m sure that in his visit
to Japan, South Korea and then China that
preparations will come up as well as areas
of mutual concern. The Press: Sean, there’s
been a rash of — Mr. Spicer: What’s that? The Press: Is it me? Mr. Spicer: Sure. Let’s go one at a time. The Press: There’s been a
rash of attacks on LGBT community centers
throughout the nation. Over the weekend, the
community center here in D.C., Casa Ruby, was
attacked and a transgender staffer was assaulted. This follows similar
attacks that have taken place in recent days in
Orlando, Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma. This is not unlike the
anti-Semitism that the President has
already denounced. Will the President also
denounce these attacks? Mr. Spicer: Sure. I mean, I think that — I
think one of the points that we’ve made in
previous statements on this is that this is
not the way that we as Americans solve
our differences. We don’t attack
each other. We don’t engage in
this kind of behavior. I think we have a First
Amendment that allows us to express ourselves, and
that’s the appropriate way. But doing it when you’re
threatening violence or destruction or vandalism
is inappropriate in all of its forms. The Press: Is it connected
to the withdrawal of the transgender guidance,
do you think? Mr. Spicer: Is it what? The Press: Is it at all
connected — Mr. Spicer: I don’t believe there is any connection between — I think that that would be a
stretch, to say the least. Yes, ma’am. The Press: Thanks for
taking my question. I wanted to ask
about North Korea. You mentioned North Korea. Can you tell us a little
bit about the review of North Korea right now and
what direction you think the administration is
going in terms of the relationship — trying to
manage the threat from North Korea? Mr. Spicer: As I
mentioned, Secretary Tillerson is heading
to the region. He’ll meet with his
counterparts in South Korea, Japan, and then
ultimately in Beijing. That’s obviously going
to be a major subject. And as I mentioned, when
we ultimately meet with President Xi and others,
that will be a discussion; it’s something that’s he’s
talked about prior to the resignation of the last
South Korean President, and was something that has
been part of an ongoing discussion. So there’s an internal
review that we continue to have, but then there’s
obviously a geopolitical conversation we’re having
with partners in the region as we look to
contain North Korea’s military threat. The Press:
Thank you, Sean. Can you confirm that any
cooperation with Russia with regard to Syria
is off the table? And if not, is it fair to
say that the forthcoming anti-ISIS plan does
include some sort of cooperation with Russia? Mr. Spicer: I’m not going
to get into what the plan — I mean, the plan
is not done yet. As I mentioned a couple
days ago, Secretary Mattis was briefing the
principals, and that plan is continuing to evolve. So I’m not going to start
to rule out one country. But I think the President
has been very clear in the past that if a country
shares our commitment to defeating ISIS and we can
work with them in an area of shared, mutual concern,
then we will do so. The Press:
Second question. A Kremlin spokesperson
said that Russian President Putin and
President Trump will meet at the G-20. Can you confirm that? And would the White House
move on a possibility of a meeting before that? Mr. Spicer: I will
follow up on that. I don’t have a date. I know that the team is
working very actively with respect to bilateral
meetings at the G20. I don’t have anything
for you on that. Roberta. The Press: Director
Mulvaney said yesterday that he felt that the
Obama administration had been manipulating the
unemployment rate. I’m wondering if that’s a
view that the President shares. And what evidence is there of — Mr. Spicer: I think he was clearly referring
to Obamacare, the number of people. But I would refer you back
to him and his comments with respect to how he
characterized that. I think he can discuss the
precise nature of what he meant on that. The Press: Does the
President feel that the Obama administration had
been manipulating — Mr. Spicer: I think you
know what the President’s view is. He’s made very clear in
the past what his comments were on how those numbers
were articulated in the past. And I think there’s a
question between the total number of people that
are employed, and the President’s comments in
the past have reflected that his big concern was
getting to the bottom of how many people are
working in this country, and that the denominator
— meaning the percentage rate of the total number
of people — is not the most accurate reflection
of how many people are employed in this country. How many jobs are created,
how many people are getting back to work,
how many companies are committing to hiring more
people is a much more accurate assessment of
where we’re headed as our country — where our
employment is, where our economy is headed. But to look at a number
and say we have 4.7 or 4.8 or 5.9 percent
unemployment is not necessarily an accurate
reflection of how many people are actually
working, seeking work, or want to work. And if you know how they
conduct those surveys, there’s a lot of times
when people, whether they’re older or younger,
or because of how long they’ve been searching for
work, are not considered statistically viable anymore and they’re washed away. So I think how you look at
the percentage of people working can sometimes
be a manipulated number. The number of people that
are added to the roll every year — every month,
rather — is a much more accurate understanding of
what’s happening in the economy. Cecilia. The Press: I just want to
clarify your answer to Major’s question. So will the DOJ and/or the
administration comply with the deadline to supply
information today? Mr. Spicer: Remember, it’s
the — again, it’s not — the request was made of
the DOJ, and so the proper venue to ask that question of is the Department of Justice. The Press: But surely, the
White House knows whether there is or there
is not evidence. Mr. Spicer: You can’t —
because, it’s interesting, in the past whenever we’ve
had these conversations with another agency, the
accusation from the press corps is that we’re
interfering in something. So you can’t have
it both ways. You can’t say that we’re
interfering with someone when we talk to them; when
we don’t talk to them, it’s “surely
you must know.” So — The Press: So if the
President tweets something — Mr. Spicer: Hold on,
Cecilia is asking a question. The Press: — and then
say it’s the Department Justice’s obligation — The Press: This is to follow up on — Mr. Spicer: I understand that. I saw the tick-tock. I understand it. That doesn’t mean
you get to jump in. Cecilia. The Press: So to follow up
on Major’s point, though, this is a tweet
from the President. Doesn’t the President
have an obligation — Mr. Spicer: And he does,
and I think we’ve made it very — The Press: — to
make the evidence clear? Mr. Spicer: Right, and
we’ve made it very clear that we expect the
House and the Senate Intelligence Committees
to do their job. I think there’s a
preponderance of reports that continues to come out
about surveillance and actions that have occurred
during the 2016 election. Once they come up with
their report — and it was asked earlier today — I
think we can talk about the conclusions
of that report. But at this time, you
can’t say that we’re going to shift it off to the
House and Senate and then comment every day. That was the entire goal
of asking them to look into this further. The Press: But will DOJ
comply with this deadline today? The clock is ticking. The Press: The President
instructed them — Mr. Spicer: I understand. My understanding
is that they will. But again, I would ask
them what their intention is, and I believe there
are certain things that they can and can’t do in terms of classification and stuff. But I would leave it up to
the Department of Justice to answer for the
Department of Justice. Kaitlan. The Press: How is the
press making Obamacare look good? Mr. Spicer: Well, I think
when you see some of these comparisons that occur in
the — talk about who’s going to win and who’s
going to lose, it misses a lot of the competition
that’s going to take place. It doesn’t talk about
the increased choice. Right now, as the
President has noted, as Secretary Price has noted,
in a third of all counties in five states you
have one choice. Those analyses that are
very — trying to look at how much you’ll pay and
how much you won’t, A, don’t take into
consideration the competition that’s going
to occur, the choice that’s going to occur. I mean, right now, you
have one choice in a lot of places. You have no decision about
how much you’re going to pay and what you’re
going to get. Choice allows you to
determine what scale of healthcare you need, what
kind of package is good for you, your family
or for your business. And when you look at a lot
of these analyses when you open up various major
papers, they make it seem so simple: it’s how much
are you going to pay for on this plan, how much are
you going to pay for under the current plan. It misses an entirety of
the whole process, which is that you don’t have
competition, number one. Number two, and the bigger
point that I think the President and a lot of
others are getting to, is that the system is
failing on its own. It makes it seem like it’s
all rainbows and puppies. At the end of the day, if
you have a card and you’re getting a subsidy but
you’re not getting care, you have nothing. And so walking into a
doctor’s office where you can hand them a card and
say, I’ve got a $5,000 tax subsidy — if that doctor
doesn’t take the care or the deductible is so high,
then you really don’t have anything. And so to do an
apples-to-apples comparison is hardly an
accurate analysis of what the current situation is. Zeke. The Press: Just going back
to the counter-ISIS plan you mentioned earlier,
the plan isn’t don’t yet. The President during the
campaign said multiple times that within 30
days he wanted that plan presented to him. Obviously it’s undergoing
comments at the National Security Council
principals level. But is the President upset
that he hasn’t received it yet? And does that point to
a difference between campaigning and governing,
that things take longer than he thought? Mr. Spicer: No, I think
there’s a difference. The plan has been
received, right. The issue, as you
correctly point out in your question, is that now
that it becomes an aspect of the principals all
discussing different priorities, different
staffing levels, different funding levels. But the plan is here, as
we noted a few weeks ago. It’s being reviewed, and
they’re providing input from different members
of the principals and different members of
his national security apparatus to make sure
that the plan continues to evolve and is able to
attack ISIS in a way that — The Press: When is it
actually going to take effect? Mr. Spicer: Some pieces of
it are, in the sense of — he has talked to
commanders on the ground. We’ve noted before some of
the military action that’s been taken, some of the
authority that’s been given to some of the
commanders on the ground. That is actually taking
the fight to ISIS on a daily basis. I think the more holistic
approach that he asked for will continue to evolve
through the national security process. But make no mistake,
we’re on it right now. Sharon. The Press: Thanks, Sean. On the executive order
this afternoon, do you have a numeric goal for
either reducing the size of government or saving a
certain amount of money through the review
of agencies? Mr. Spicer: I don’t know
that Director Mulvaney has a target, per se. I think that’s part of
the issue, is that you go through each one of these
and you evaluate them on the merit of what they do
or don’t do, or whether or not they’ve become bloated
or duplicative, or, frankly, just outdated or in need of technological advances. But there’s a lot of —
there’s no set number that we’re driving down to as
we review government. Sometimes you just walk
into an agency and you realize that agency’s
mission is no longer relevant, or that it’s
duplicative in three other agencies, or that there
are too many people performing a function that
no longer exists for a variety of reasons. But that’s why the mission
is critical that Director Mulvaney was given the
mandate to go out and get all of these different
agencies and departments to review themselves and
to provide feedback for him as to where
we could go. Gabi. The Press: Thanks, Sean. You had said previously
that the Republican healthcare plan wouldn’t
be a one-size-fits-all approach, but the current
plan preserves Obamacare’s health benefits
requirements, which literally defines
insurance at the federal level. So how do you reconcile
those two things? Mr. Spicer: What’s missing
right now is choice. That’s the
number-one issue. We tried to solve a
problem — when I say “we,” the government —
with respect to Obamacare back in 2008, 2009. And the issue was, is
that in order to solve a problem for several
million people being without healthcare
insurance, we upended the system for everybody — so
if you had employer-based healthcare, if you had
TRICARE, Medicare or Medicaid. And it was exactly the
opposite approach. We went in to solve a
problem that a small fraction of Americans had,
and we upended the entire system, forcing premiums
to go up and choice to go down for everybody. And I think that when you
can institute choice and competition back in the
system, that’s something that’s going to
benefit everybody. And that’s exactly the
opposite of what’s happening. The Press: Would phase two
or three of this eliminate those requirements? Mr. Spicer: I think phase
two, the administrative phase, will look at a lot
of those requirements, and then phase three —
and again, they’re not necessarily — they can
run concurrently, and I think the House is looking
at starting a lot of that legislation. And so — and Dr. Price is
already starting to look through a lot of that
administration — a lot of administrative aspects
of it as well at HHS and figure out how do we start
to achieve some of this, unravel some of these
pieces that are there, but instilling choice and
competition, allowing people to buy their
insurance over state lines, allowing small
businesses to pool, allowing the expansion of
health savings accounts — all of those kind of
factors that are going to drive down costs, but
also having the insurance companies, frankly, be
able to offer additional choices and options for
people is in itself going to be a huge bonus. Charlie. The Press: A lot of
conservatives are complaining that — or
suggesting that the President doesn’t fully
back the Paul Ryan healthcare plan. Has the President spoken
with Paul Ryan about the plan? And have they had any
conversations about its future in Congress? Mr. Spicer: They
have spoken, yes. I don’t know when the
last time they have. But the President is fully
committed to this plan. I think you saw Secretary
Price and Director Mulvaney out discussing
that this weekend. They’re committed
to the plan. And, look, Director
Mulvaney made it very clear this weekend as
well that if through the process we can find some
ideas that make this a stronger, more
patient-centered piece of legislation that will
ultimately benefit Americans, then we’re
going to do it. We’re not saying this is
the only way forward. As it works its way
through the House and then ultimately through the
Senate, if there are ways that we can enhance
the bill through the legislative process,
we’re willing to do that. Peter. The Press: You want to
read us another — quickly — if there’s any details
of the — Mr. Spicer: Would you like to know? (Laughter.) The Press: Yes. Mr. Spicer:
Okay, thank you. The President spoke to the
Chancellor of Germany. They agreed, due to the
current weather, that the meeting should
be postponed. The meeting has been
rescheduled to March 17th, this Friday. Same schedule of
events on March 17th. The Press: All right, I’ll
ask my question if I can very quickly then. Mr. Spicer: Thank you for
your assistance with the — The Press: That’s news. You spoke on behalf of the
President, quoting him on the jobs report on Friday. You said they “may have
been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.” Mr. Spicer: They
are very real now. The Press: “They are very
real now.” Mr. Spicer: Just want to make
sure you get it right. The Press: The question
I wanted — when should Americans trust
the President? Should they trust the
President — is it phony or real when he says
that President Obama was wiretapping him? Mr. Spicer: Well,
again, let’s get back. I think there’s two things
that are important about what he said. I think recognizing that
it’s — he doesn’t really think that President Obama
went up and tapped his phone personally. The Press: What
does he think? Mr. Spicer: But I think
there’s no question that the Obama administration,
that there were actions about surveillance and
other activities that occurred in the
2016 election. That is a widely reported
activity that occurred back then. The President used the
word “wiretap” to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities during that. And that is, again,
something — it is interesting how many news
outlets reported that this activity was taking place
during the 2016 election cycle, and now we’re wondering where the proof is. It is many of the same
outlets in this room that talked about the
activities that were going on back then. The Press: So on the same
topic, on the CBO report, did the President think
it was real then, and is phony now? Mr. Spicer:
What CBO report? The Press: On the
expectation — the CBO report is coming out,
about which you said, “If you’re looking at the
CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the
wrong place.” Three years ago, you said
of the CBO report, that it confirms Obamacare is
bad for the economy. So the question is — Mr. Spicer: Well, it was bad for the economy. The Press: Okay, so
the bottom line of the question is, was it real
then, and now is now phony? As you have said, it’s
not the place to find accuracy? Mr. Spicer: Okay, so
let’s look at the CBO’s projection. It said their projection
on Obamacare was that, in 2016, it would have 24
million people on it. The actual figure is 10.4
million people — less than half the number of
people that it predicted would be insured were on
it, and it’s declining. So the only point, Peter,
is to make sure that people understand — if
you’re looking to get a bullseye accurate
prediction as to where it’s going, the CBO was
off by more than half last time. So it’s not — this
is not about what my understanding or my
belief of the CBO is. The last time they did
this they were wildly off, and the number
keeps declining. And so the question that
needs to get asked right now, or, frankly, the
awareness that needs to be brought up right now is
that if you were going to look at a number tonight,
I think you have to look through the scope of whether or not that number is. Now, it was bad
for the economy. That was right. You can glean that in
terms of the direction what the impact
that it had. But as far as their
numbers go — on the number of people that they
predicted back then would be covered now — they
were off by more than half. The Press: I guess the
question is, when can we trust the President when
he says something is phony and when he
says it’s real? Mr. Spicer: Hold
on, hold on. You asked a question
about CBO, and now you’re conflating it with the
question of the President. The question is — The Press: No, I asked a question about wiretapping first. And then we went on to CBO. So the question, in simple
terms is, when he says something, can we trust
that it’s real — Mr. Spicer: Yes. The Press: — or should we
assume that it’s phony? Well, no, no — Mr.
Spicer: You suggest that it’s real,
absolutely. The Press: How can we
believe that it’s real when you just told us that
it was phony then, but now it’s real? Mr. Spicer: I did not
tell you that, Peter. And you’re trying — The Press: You told us on Friday that the President
said — the President, you didn’t — the President
said the numbers were phony then but they’re
very real now. So how can we take
anything he says that he won’t later say, “actually
it was the opposite”? Mr. Spicer: Hold
on, hold on. I think the difference is,
the President was talking then and now about job
creation — the number of jobs. The issue that he brought
up in the quote that you’re talking about was
the percentage of people who are unemployed. And there is no question
that no matter how you look at this, whether you
talk about 4.7 or 4.8 or whatever the number is,
that number fluctuates by how people calculate who
is in the workforce. The Press: He said it was
in the twenties or more. Mr. Spicer: Okay, Peter, let me answer the question. The Press: I’m listening. Mr. Spicer: You’re not. Let me answer it. The bottom line is, the
percentage of people who are unemployed varies
widely by who you’re asking and the way you do
the analysis of who is actually in the workforce. The number of people who
are working and receiving a paycheck is a number
that we can look at. Secondly, when you’re
asking about the validity of the CBO report, again,
I would refer you to the CBO itself. The number that they
issued that would be insured in 2016 was
26 million people. The actual number is 10
— excuse me, 24 million. The actual number is 10.4. That’s not a question
of our credibility. It’s a question of theirs. Do you have anything more? (Laughter.) The Press: The bottom line is, the question that you still have not answered is — Mr. Spicer: I
have answered it. The Press: — can you
say affirmatively that whenever the President
says something, we can trust it to be real? Mr. Spicer: If he’s
not joking, of course. But in that case — The Press: So let’s start over again with joking. Mr. Spicer: But you’re
asking — hold on — okay, no, no. But your point is — I
mean, every time that he speaks authoritatively —
that he speaks — that he is speaking as President
of the United States. Like it’s — The Press: Three to five — more than 3 million Americans voted
illegally — was that, when he was speaking
— Mr. Spicer: Yes. And he still
believes that. The Press: — was he
joking or does he believe it? Mr. Spicer: He
does believe it. Thank you. Julie. The Press: Thanks, Sean. I have a healthcare
question. But first, can we just get
an answer one way or the other about whether the
President directed the Department of Justice
to respond to this? Mr. Spicer:
No, he did not. The Press: And
does he plan to? Mr. Spicer: I
answered the question. The Press: Okay, so on
healthcare, Secretary Price said on Sunday that
nobody will be worse off financially and more
people will be covered than are currently with
the plan that you guys are pushing. Paul Ryan acknowledged
that people are going to lose coverage. So what is the goal here? You just said you’re open
to modifications to the plan if you find that
there’s a better way to do it. Is the goal that people
not lose coverage? Or is the goal that — Mr. Spicer: Well, again — but there’s a false
argument there which is that they have coverage. People have cards, they’ve
been told they have things, but they can’t —
they keep walking in — the President met with
nine individuals this morning that they were
told they’re going to get coverage for something,
they are told that they’re going to have all
these subsidies. They walk in, and they
don’t get covered. They don’t have the
care that they need. There is a difference
between walking around with someone and saying,
hey, I’ve got a card, than I have care. And that is a big,
big difference. Right now, when you have a
third of the counties in this country that have one
choice and going down, and number of insurers leaving
markets, then the system is collapsing. So the question has to be,
to everybody who is not with us on this, is what
is your alternative? Because right now,
the current system of Obamacare is failing
every American who has Obamacare. And frankly, for those who
don’t have Obamacare, for those who have
employer-based insurance, for those who have TRICARE
or Medicare, it’s driving up the costs. And in the cases,
especially for those who have Medicaid, Medicare,
or TRICEARE, they’re going into doctors’ offices more
and more who are telling them, we don’t
accept that. The Press: But you’re
talking about quality and about cost. I’m asking about coverage. Mr. Spicer: Yeah, but
that’s the point, is that you’re missing the point. If you keep talking about
coverage — care is what matters. If you can’t walk in and
get seen, if you can’t get a doctor to see you, then
you don’t have coverage. I mean, that’s what
this is all about. Being told you have
coverage but you can’t go see a doctor, or you can’t
afford to see a doctor is not coverage. John Gizzi. Mr. Spicer:
Thank you, Sean. I have two questions. First, Democratic Leader
Pelosi said on Friday that every single Democrat
would vote against the American healthcare plan
— the plan backed by Republican members
of Congress and the administration. The Freedom Caucus in the
House has come out for Senator Paul’s plan. When one simply does the
arithmetic of Democratic members and Freedom Caucus
members, that’s a majority against the plan. How does the
administration plan to overcome the arithmetic? Mr. Spicer: We’re going
to continue to work with members of the House and then eventually the Senate. I feel very good, as the
President continues to engage with members, that
we will have the votes necessary. I think Speaker Ryan
agrees with that as well. We’re going to have the
votes, this thing will pass, and we’ll move
on to the Senate. The Press: The other
question is this: In recent weeks there’s been
considerable attention on the upcoming elections
in the Netherlands on Wednesday, and in
France in a few weeks. Candidate Geert Wilders of
the Netherlands was here for the CPAC conference. Representatives of Marine Le Pen of France were here. Many analogies were made
between these candidates and President Trump, and
they offered words of praise for him or
did so through their representatives. Is he aware of these
candidates in Europe who invoke his name and image? And if so, what does he
think of these would-be Trumps and Trumpettes? Mr. Spicer: I don’t know
the answer to that. I think most of these are
— we’ll allow sovereign nations to have their
own elections without interference. Alexis. The Press: Sean, can I
follow up on Peter and Julie’s questions? Mr. Spicer: Sure. The Press: Two
issues, again. Whether the President and
Director Mulvaney put a lot of faith in the
Congressional Budget Office, members of the
Senate will, when they get — if they get legislation
from the House. So my question is, what
does the President or the administration intend
to do to establish to senators’ satisfaction
that the numbers coming out of the Congressional
Budget Office, which the President will question,
are not substantial and can be countered by
other information? In other words, is OMB
doing its own kind of score? Is the President relying
on a think tank to counter the messaging? Because senators are
already indicating that they will put weight
in the CBO’s score. Mr. Spicer: And again, I
think this is part of an ongoing discussion
with members as far as philosophical, what do
they believe, and a lot of these aspects of this plan
in keeping with what they have supported
in the past. Obviously, they’re going
to look at the score — I get it. That’s part of it. And there are pieces of it
that may historically have more weighted than others. But I think this is going
to be — as I mentioned to John, I mean, it’s an
ongoing conversation with members of the House and
ultimately the Senate with respect to
whatever comes out. But in the same way that
members relied on the score last time,
they were way off. And I think that we have
to remind them that if this is what you’re basing
your vote on, you have to look at the historical
context in which that information was provided. I think that’s an
important aspect to how they do it. But I think there’s going
to be a ton of factors that people rely
on as they do this. The Press: Can I follow
— I have one follow-up. Mr. Spicer: Of course. The Press: I may be
confused about the wiretapping, your
answers, in terms of the President’s response. The President was the one
who tweeted this, right, and said that he
learned something. So can you just establish
for me, because I’m confused, the President
did discuss what it is that he had in mind, what
he tweeted, with the Department of Justice
before the Department 00 Mr. Spicer: No, I’m not
going to get into what the President knew or didn’t
know prior to it. I think we’ve already
commented on this multiple times. The Press: But how would
the Department of Justice have any idea — Mr. Spicer: I don’t know. This was a request made
of the House Intelligence Committee, not to us. So I don’t want to get
into starting to parse what we knew or
what we didn’t. That request did not come
to us, it went to the Department of Justice. Yes. The Press: Congressman
Steve King (inaudible) a tweet he put up, saying
that, “We can’t restore civilization with somebody
else’s babies.” Does the White House have any
reaction to that? Mr. Spicer: I will
definitely touch base with the President on that and
get back to you on that. Hallie. The Press: Sean,
two for you. I just want to go
back to something. You just said a minute ago
that “what the President meant when he tweeted
about the wiretapping was” — and you sort
of explained it. But you’ve also stood at
that podium and said the tweet speaks for itself. When do you decide when a
President’s tweets, when his words are open to
interpretation and when those words stand
on their own? Mr. Spicer: I’m sorry, can
you further explain what you’re asking? I mean, his tweets do
speak for themselves. The Press: You just sort
of interpreted it for Peter, saying, well, he
didn’t mean that President Obama had — Mr. Spicer: That’s not what I said. No, no, actually — The Press: You said when he meant wiretapping —
said it — he meant surveillance. That’s not what he said. Mr. Spicer: He literally
had it in quotes. The Press: So you’re
interpreting the tweet for us, it sounds like. Mr. Spicer: No, in some
cases I’ll ask him, what did the quotes mean, and
he’ll say — The Press: Did you ask
about this tweet? Mr. Spicer: I did. The Press: And
what did he say? Mr. Spicer: He said they
were in quotes, I was referring to
surveillance overall. It’s something that had
been referred to in other reports. The Press: So he cited
other reports in his conversation with you? Mr. Spicer: He did, yes. The Press: So was that
what he was basing that tweet on? Mr. Spicer: As I just
mentioned — it was a good try, but I’ve already
been clear on that. The Press: I have a
second for you, Sean. I want to go back to
this healthcare idea. Just yes or no: Are CBO
numbers legitimate, or not? Mr. Spicer: That’s not my
determination to make. I’m telling — The Press:
Does the President think those numbers
are legitimate? Mr. Spicer:
Hallie, it depends. There are a lot of things
at — hold on, Hallie. You guys have
like an NBC thing. Let me answer
the question. I think when you look at
whatever that number is, whether it’s budget
projections or whatever, I think there’s a track
record that goes along a lot of times with whether
or not the projections in certain areas — whether
it’s unemployment, budgetary numbers,
whatever — what the track record is. All I’m suggesting to you
is very clearly that the numbers that they gave the
last time they did health care were off by more than
50 percent when it came to the number of
people insured. That’s not my
interpretation, that’s a fact. And I think it’s important
for people to understand the differences. Eamon. The Press: Sean, on Preet
Bharara, I guess there are two possibilities here. One is the President made
a commitment to keep him back in November, and
the other one is that he didn’t. Preet Bharara came down to
the lobby of Trump Tower and said that the
President had made that commitment. Did the President, in
fact, make that commitment to Preet Bharara? Mr. Spicer: I don’t
think it really matters. At the end of the day, the
Attorney General followed a practice that existed
for the last several administrations and asked
every attorney general in the last administration to
submit their resignation. So, I mean, it is — The Press: It matters in ongoing investigations,
and it also matters in the sense that the President
made a commitment. If he made a commitment,
why did he change his mind? Why did he go back on it? Mr. Spicer: Well, again,
as I mentioned earlier, he called him to thank him
for his service last week. He followed in the past
practice of last several administration and asked
everybody to step down. And I think that’s the
appropriate thing. The Press: Sean, but
what’s changed from November to now? Mr. Spicer: I
called on someone. The Press:
Sean, thank you. Ronica Cleary from
Fox 5, thank you. I have two questions. The first, I think
especially in light of what has happened in the
room here today, the President tweeted this
morning that much of the media is being rude and
that we should be nice. So my question is, is
it our job to be nice? And do you think
we’re nice? (Laughter.) Mr. Spicer: Thank you, Ronica. I will just
leave it at this. I think that I’ve been
asked for my personal opinion several times. That’s not my job. I don’t get up here
to speak for myself. I speak for the President. I think that he has been
very clear that he doesn’t believe some of the
behavior and the reporting has been appropriate. And to Hallie’s point, I
will let the tweet speak for itself. Ronica, number two. The Press:
Second question. But this is about you. The interaction you had
at the Apple store this weekend — what would be,
I guess, your message to individuals who want to
maybe — I see that woman was, you could argue,
very aggressive. If somebody doesn’t want
to be aggressive and has a question for you, what
would you be your kind of message to a regular
citizen that has an issue? Mr. Spicer: Ask it. I interact with
individuals all day long. Ninety-nine percent of
them are pleasant, even with people who may not
agree with our philosophy or programs or whatever. But it’s a free country,
and the beauty of it is that people can act how
they want, no matter how that’s interpreted. And as long as they stay
on the right side of the First Amendment,
we’re good. Francesca. The Press:
Thank you, Sean. You said that when the
President said wiretapping in that tweet he meant a
whole host of surveillance types. So that we can be crystal
clear, what surveillance types was he
referring to then? What would you consider
part of that range? Mr. Spicer: Well, I mean,
I think there’s a whole host of tactics that
can be used to monitor somebody — either through
wiretap or other ways in which you can
surveil somebody. The Press: We took that to
mean monitoring his calls, specifically. So what else would you
include in that range? Mr. Spicer: I think
there’s a whole host of things that fall
into that category. So I’m not sure how you
took it, but there is a wide range of ways in
which somebody can be monitored or
followed up on. And I think that if you
contacted one of the law enforcement agencies, they
will provide you with a whole host of ways. Thank you, all. Be safe tomorrow
with the snow. Thank you very much. Take care. Stay safe.


  • Joe Harb

    I am of the opinion of giving Sean the type of podium on wheels snl used to run over some of these conniving press wanna be divas. bunch of unpatriotic miserable ants. Jesus Christ! they won't give up will they? lol

  • Connie Custer

    Once again, wasted hour. So what the hell was accomplished? Oh I know, The Same Shit Over And Over. Wired tapping. Wire tapping. Wire tapping!!! Move on Press!!!! Move the heck on!!! Let's get to the most important stuff!!! Let the cards fall as they may.

  • Ghost x Black

    Sean you fucking TRAITOR to our country why the hell do you give fake msm news all the questions!!! John in the front row must have you paid off big time

  • wlfrnfdjf

    Says a lot about the press…when they want POTUS to donate his salary to the correspondence association…when there's so many hungry/sick little kids in need of it😕

  • I Got Worked

    The media questioners are so tiresome. Why keep asking the same stupid questions over and over and over…do they really think there is going to suddenly be a different answer? Brain dead swamp creatures.

  • George Martin

    THE CHICK IN THE PURPLE TOP at 34:18 she has a nice rack…hot bod…these reporters let obama slide for 8 years…the reporters look more like extras you see in a film set

  • Tobias Forge

    Republican voters want a repeal of Obamacare… and most don't even want a replacement. I liked my old plan, which was "go to the doctor, pay the bill before you leave" Why is the President backing Paul Ryan's Obamacare lite plan ?
    The more the government gets involved, the higher my doctor bill is going to be and the more likely that the unemployed people are going to cheat the rest of us tax payers.

  • Donna B

    The Press corps is annoying me so much. The questions they ask are so petty. Why do they ask the same questions over and over again? The questions the press corps asks are a complete waste of time.

  • Mariano Loo

    50 days enough fiasco with signs Fake Trumpness worse than cancer-Bidenness total disaster, with blackmail FISA court that asked terrorist crime Obama by permission wiretap smarts appliance software CIA.FBI.NSA operating in Tower Trump. The communist fake Obamacare treason recycle ACHA-GOP so- Called Trumpcare, The state auditor, free competence, never competitor, unconstitutional law only cancels and transfer asset to private health insurance.  Trumpness following the plan that left the terrorist impostor danger Kenya Obama-Soetoro banned visa 7 countries an crime humanitarian, but fake Trumpness is very political correctness when allowing Fake Sharia Koran Muslim Islam Trojan rule of war not religion violating 1st Amendment in US territory celebrating in mosques Islam-Imam terrorist Muslim execution Attack Bush-Saudi 9.11.2001 against innocent Americans, for mission accomplishment planning and executing for Clinton-Bush that continues impunity. Trumpness danger governance follows dangerous dynasty Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trumpness. . .DJT was blackmail asked by terrorist Obama  were injured bring a court and resign, in the light of the facts you were very blackmailed, now resigned in defense of the life of the Republic of the United States of America.The so-called judges of ninth court have to be sanctioned to disassociate the executive order from the US military commander who banned visas from people from 7 countries even though this is unconstitutional, principle of authority. Equal form the supreme judges who prevaricating with non authorization for interpretation of US Constitution written clearly never non interpretation than them created unconstitutional rights for the marriage between the same sexes, relatives and mascots violating the sovereignty of the 50 states of the American union have to be sanctioned, and they have to have maximum term 79 years, never retire with salary life , And never belong to any league as so-called unconstitutional elite conservatives and liberals, because their resolutions are biased and absolutely unconstitutional to provide equal and impartial justice for all Americans, and these have no doubts and murmurings. in defend Us Constitution   y restore principle republican value  honesty and decency is urges for push stop vicious fake tool tyranny of more than 2 terms banned by XXII Amendment no other elect senator can be on the president. urge constitutional executive order that ANNUL  every senator with more than 2 terms. And equal forms urge push end center impunity of illegal immunity  of corruption public  lobby's so-called presidential libraries the citizen serve with honor. Big treason and violating continue Us Constitution.

  • P P

    Had no idea so few people signed up for Obamacare – only 10 million. And of those, they may have insurance cards but can't use them for health care to they really don't have health care. The illusion of Obamacare.

    That guy Peter in front row far right looks like another Ron Burgundy with his blow dry hair. Doofus!

  • Janes Dough

    Sean – how about allowing citizens to seek, and have paid for, alternative ways of "healthcare". I see no CARE in taking chemicals or bad judgements from some of these doctors who have no clue, nor do they want to. For too long now, the options that are available are choking the life out of us.

  • jimmy matho

    I FUCKING LOVE IT !!!!!!!
    Seriously though , you finally see a bit of the fog clear towards the end when it dawns on them that there is more ways than a FISA court to tap someone…….hahahahaahahaha
    the Fakestream media's lie is coming to an end,….the President can unilaterally, and secretly order surveillance on ANYONE!!!!!,…..executive order 12333.
    busted !

  • Sedwick

    This is great! Perfect example. Real reporters speak with intelligence and ask questions pertinent to the bigger picture. Then, a leftard opens his or her mouth. It's not a question. It's an argument; an argument about nothing of importance or based upon spurious facts; an argument at speeds and frequencies most unintelligible and quite unpleasant to the ear… and nerves.

  • why not me

    Everybody seems to want President Trump to apologize for everything he does-When is obama going to apologize for all the things he did. And by the way-When is clinton going to apologize for all she did.When is lynch going to apologize?????When is the media going to apologize for all their incorect reporting and being bias?????I think it is time to make reporters leave the briefing room, that keep trying to make our great President look bad.And, by the way media-The russia stuff is old news.

  • Steven C Collins - GMAIL

    I don't care for Sean Spicer .. but DAMN "The Donald" sure puts him in an awful position repeatedly .. ..

  • why not me

    Sean is a nice man-You reporters need to give him the respect, he deserves. If you were half the person he is, you would apologize to him and quit your nasty tactics.

  • why not me

    some of you reporters are a disgrace to your job. this is sickening. when they don't let you in the briefing room ,you people will be wondering why.

  • why not me

    Sean-I have a question-Do you go out of the room, laughing at these so-called reporters or do you cry, thinking, what ever happened to good and decent reporters that care what the heck happens to this country???????Remind me not to go to the school, these people went to, for an education on reporting and where the line is drawn, not to cross.

  • why not me

    Thank you all for the great job this administration is doing and the things you are trying to do if the other side would work with you. They are going to wonder why, in 2018, they lose a bunch more seats all over this country.

  • Thomas Swayngim

    Could The White House speak about why there may be such a disparity between the CBO report and the anticipation of the future of healthcare. I think the media will be more focused on substantiating their own claims, rather than opening conversations between The White House, and the people in America. Thank you for your services.

  • Zig Sharko

    These press briefings bring me such joy, watching these journalists getting 'spiced' by Mr Spicer himself. Excellent pick for press sec !

  • Thomas Swayngim

    Can the White House make a comment on the current state of insurance companies structuring their approvals only on an assessment of patients by symptoms, rather than a Doctors findings. Such an example would be the confirmed presence of disease that is not damaging the patients body at this time. The criteria implies strongly that the matter is a fact of the value of human life vs. costs. Is this an issue of Healthcare? Is this the same issue coverage?

  • wowthatsbs

    The contrast to me is so fascinating; watching 8 years of complete cooperation, borderline collusion, from all the national news outlets, with the executive branch, then immediately flipping to this daily hostility and hatred.

  • Lesnixonlive

    It must be tiresome taking gotcha questions from a room of people intent on trying to misunderstand and create headlines based on their own insincerity 🙁

  • Erin W. Hood

    If the press wants to know about the surveillance apparatus, they only need to look at Vault7. Beyond that, it was known years ago (Snowden) that the NSA gathers ALL information on ALL citizens, then pipes it over to Tel Aviv.
    Don't take my word for it….

  • In Love with this earth

    we love you Mr. President Trump Go Sean spicer!!!!You guys really are trying to make America Great Again

  • sjhtrueblue

    there are so many "help "wanted" signs, people who are begging for help but Trump needs to take away their government checks so they'll get off their lazy asses and work. I see many many young strong people sitting at home drawing tax payer money. Lazy lazy !!!

  • Katherine Richards

    Stop picking the haters in the front. Just looking at their disrespectful body language is getting old. Put them out of the room

  • Adella Adams

    The Cherokee Nation hates President Jackson and his memory should be abolished! It is a blood feud from generation to generation as my grandfather taught me. Why does anyone admire him?

  • Rob Donaldson

    HEY AMERICA, SOUNDS LIKE GOOD NEWS… because the Justice Department asked lawmakers for more time Monday to gather evidence related to President Trump's claim that President Obama ordered wiretaps. HOPE WE CAN THROW HIM IN JAIL! TRUMP MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!

  • KnightInShiningASMR

    White House Channel,can you put time stamps in the description of press briefing videos,for questions that haven't already been asked in past briefings please? I believe it would save us from the stupid questions too.If you do it,please be tough but fair.

  • Sherry Stoneback

    The new health care is not good- it is an immediate cut of 14 Million citizens' health care and a slow transfer of health care to the states, that can't afford it. It will be a tragedy if allowed to pass.

  • Frank Bowen

    This is amazing, Sean and Trump cutting right through all the fog of media to the people! What a great time for freedom and liberty! How do they plan on dealing with the Federal Reserve I wonder? They have not yet begun to resist in earnest but it looks like something is on the horizon and there influence is vast! There ability to rely on smear campaigns are greatly diminished now, actions speak louder then words so I doubt they can turn the public against President Trump. This is why we have to keep and protect the Internet from Globalism as well. Those are the real devils trying to manipulate the whole World to there benefit. I never thought it would be stopped, it looked like a runaway train but now, here we are!

    “The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control… Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.”
    — Congressman Larry P. McDonald, 1976, killed in the crash of a Korean Airlines 747

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
    — David Rockefeller (2000)

    “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”
    — Strobe Talbot, President Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, as quoted in Time, July 20th,

    Everyone should pick up a copy of this book and read it… It's a real eye opener.

    The Creature from Jekyll Island : A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

  • BeUnotATVrobot

    Mr. President my hat's off to you and your staff Sir! let's regain the respect of the world for our one of a kind wonderful blessed Nation the United States let's make our government small and our military bigger than it's ever been we will be a humanitarian military helping those most in need but nothing comes without a price some will lay their lives down but in doing so they will lift other lives up and the price of one of our soldiers is worth more than money but if another country wants us to lay the life of one of our soldiers down for them they're going to have to pay and they must pay big and they're going to owe us and maybe for the rest of their lives because we are the one and only the United States and whoever tries to divide these United States is a traitor and must pay the price for that, if one of our honest innocent hard-working soldiers gives their life for this amazing country then a traitor should give more no more traitors! and that includes the people in mass media our public school system Hollywood everybody no more traitors!

  • OzGuy

    That's Lauren Southern at the middle left of the press room. Only just turned independent and already at this breifing. Cool 😆

  • Clara Ueltschi

    Sean, make a tape recording about the servelance of Trump Tower… to hand out to these reporters who ask every day…

  • Clara Ueltschi

    purge the press .. when I taught jr. high they never listened to the answer given to another students questions… these guys don´t either.

  • Queen Puabi

    Exactly! Our insurance doesn't cover what it used to. Our healthcare went up drastically and as a middle class family with children, it's outrageous. If any of my children need emergency medical care we have to figure out how we will afford $350 out of pocket to go to the emergency room vs $50 that it used to be and that's on top of the $2000 yearly family deductible we have to figure out how to pay even after paying $$$ for the insurance coverage in the first place. #RepealAndReplace

  • Joseph Ward

    Send Hallie further to the back of the room. Her question about whether Trump's tweets need interpretation or not was totally useless. A 'no smoking' sign shouldn't need interpretation, but some of the infantile reporters in this room might need that to be interpreted for them, too.

  • Queen Puabi

    Let more independent journalists into these Press Briefings. We the People are sick of the gotcha bias questions.

  • Charles White

    Team Trump Are LAIRS! ! ! ! Team Trump Create Fake News Daily! ! ! ! Dictator wannabe Trump is clueless on how the USA Government operates and not willing to learn. Dictator wannabe Trump has fail to appoint experts into leadership position has open the door to incompetency and corruption. President Trump’s cabinet is shaping up to have a smaller percentage of women and nonwhites than the first cabinets of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush. Bannon is so extreme, that many say he is the most unhinged Trump political operative. He drafted the Muslim ban and openly pushes racist, sexist, and homophobic policies. Now, he's talking about going to war with everyone from China to Islam. He's not just a fanatic, he's a threat to global security. Attorney General Sessions will not be a champion for Voter’s Rights to vote, LGBT, Women and Minorities Civil and Human Rights. The Honorable Tillerson, Carson, Perry, Devos and Pruitt are not experts in the field they are expected to lead. Dictator wannabe Trump installed Putin allies like Michael Flynn and Rex Tillerson in his administration and by refusing to release his tax returns, he is hiding the true extent of his financial ties to Russia. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, along with the majority of Republicans in Congress, are refusing to investigate. As long as they can enact their radical agenda of giving your hard-earned tax dollars away to the rich and taking health care away from tens of millions, they're apparently willing to turn a blind eye to Dictator wannabe Trump's coordination with Russia. Dictator wannabe Trump is in direct, daily violation of the USA Constitution, for refusing to give up ownership of his business empire. There's a strong legal case for impeachment. Because foreign governments and lobbyists could already be paying millions into Trump’s businesses by renting out suites at the Trump International in DC and his hotels everywhere, he’s likely daily violating the Emolument Clause of the Constitution barring the President from accepting gifts from foreign states. Trump is not the SMARTEST person on Team Trump. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt or vile men. Dictator wannabe Trump is the first President since FDR not to be considered The Leader of the Free World and has over 50 lawsuits within his first month of service. Dictator wannabe Trump is MAKING AMERICA WEAKER and not Safer and Stronger. Google “Impeach Trump” to express your desires to put an end to Dictator wannabe Trump agenda.

  • Fscott

    “Madame, French people have no confidence in the media whatsoever, are you aware of that, or not?” asks Le Pen.


  • Songo

    34:40 Truth, I witnessed this with friends' families, take the card, go to the doctor, get denied. Even though the website says go here or there, but if all the doctors' office denies you. Then you have nothing. Or you may find a few who do take the card, but it's way out yonder. Have fun with that 1-3 hour drive while ill.

  • We Are More

    Let us no longer waste the people's time by bringing in dishonest, unintelligent, and ilintent media. There must now be a new process for allowing them in.
    "Dan S23 hours ago
    Flies are flying around journalists, what does it says about them?
    Reply 23
    It means that they're part of the "stinky SWAMP!"
    Reply 3
    Ryan Schooler16 hours ago
    I was thinking the same thing… the flies follow the BS."

  • Dawn Gaye

    I'm just getting caught up – a day late. Sean's patience and demeanor is to be commended. I'd be dreaming about tossing a grenade into the center of those idiots if I were him. Worth watching to hear about the beginnings of the President's overhaul of the entire government. This is fascinating and exciting! The press members got grossly annoying, especially at the end. I personally would lose it if I had Sean's job:)

  • John

    What happened to the local Skype calls? We're back in the bubble! What these sharks care about is NOT what I care about.

  • Joe Shmoe

    If you listen to Peter's questioning, his point is valid based on fact. I know that may not be convenient for some folks, but unfortunately Trump makes statements that are not based on any facts, and Spicer just did the same thing. These guys are totally dishonest. We should all be worried about this, because, even of you are a staunch Republican hardliner, you could be the next person that one of these guys lies pertains to.

  • Fred C

    On monday when at the end they asked if there will be a press briefing the next day he should tell them "no, you have already asked the whole weeks worth of dumb ass questions today"

  • Barry Sheridan

    It is interesting how many of these journalists continually try to invert events and facts to cast the President and his Administration in a poor light. For example when the Press Secretary was asked, 'When can we trust the President,' the implication of this being clear, he is not trustworthy, and this from a media that has consistently distorted events to suit an agenda that is clearly anti-Trump and, in the end anti-American. I cannot help but note how across western culture those who have influence are all too often dedicated to the destruction of the way of life they too enjoy. Surreal!!! Really surreal!

  • B B

    I like Spicer, but I find it difficult to watch these briefings. The press are bunch of gossiping, lying pieces of shit. I feel bad for the guy.

  • vic4rp

    President Trump should be asking the people that voted for him how to spend his salary that he is going to donate,not these Fake MSM Journalist.These reporters have been nothing but a determent to him and the American people that voted for him.
    Put the money towards building the Wall or helping the veterans.


    Ha! I just saw JD Roberts asking questions, I always wondered what happened to him after being a cheesy VJ on MuchMusic, the Canadian ripoff version of MTV! Not exactly at lot of Cronkites in that room was there?

  • Mo Sho

    "Stability of the Health Insurance Market
    Decisions about offering and purchasing health insurance depend on the stability of the health insurance market—that is, on having insurers participating in most areas of the country and on the likelihood of premiums’ not rising in an unsustainable spiral. The market for insurance purchased individually (that is, nongroup coverage) would be unstable, for example, if the people who wanted to buy coverage at any offered price would have average health care expenditures so high that offering the insurance would be unprofitable. In CBO and JCT’s assessment, however, the nongroup market would probably be stable in most areas under either current law or the legislation."
    — CBO https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52486

    Any sources or studies referenced in this meeting, you should take the time to read for yourself, and understand that these are estimations with a projected margin of error, not fact or certainty. Everyone in this room, the media or Spicer has an agenda to push. Take everything with an adjust portion of salt grains.

    Ultimately, in regards to healthcare reform, do you believe basic affordable and accessible healthcare should be an American right or another commodity or luxury consumer good?

  • James Wendel

    This is a FIGHT for true anti government…Let us choose our own heath care. if I want it I'll get it if not,,, that's on me…

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