1/28/2019 White House Briefing

 

 

Good afternoon miss you guys under president Trump’s leadership the United States economy is growing at record levels putting the president in a strong position to fix long-standing trade concerns with China on Thursday the president will meet with the Chinese vice premier who is here this week to continue talks president Trump is committed to achieving greater market access for US exports and better treatment for our farmers ranchers and businesses fair and reciprocal trade with China will boost long-term economic growth not only in the United States but globally as the president said last week the United States proudly stands with the people of Venezuela who have courageously spoken out against the corrupt and illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro, Maduro must do what’s right and allow for free fair and credible elections in accordance with democratic principles to speak more about US policy towards Venezuela and to take your questions I’d like to welcome to the podium national security adviser Ambassador John Bolton, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow and after that I will be able to take other questions of the day.

Thanks thank you very much Sarah as you know on January the 23rd President Trump officially recognized the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly Juan go as the interim president of Venezuela assembly invoked article 233 of the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate this action was a statement that the people of Venezuela have had enough of oppression corruption and economic hardship since then 21 other governments in the region and across the world had joined the United States and recognizing gwido as Venezuela’s interim president today and I’ll turn the podium over to Steven minuchin for this purpose we’re going to announce sanctions against petróleos de Venezuela Sociedad aneema or paid of ASA as it’s known by its Spanish acronym the state-owned oil monopoly we have continued to expose the corruption of Maduro and his cronies and today’s action ensures they can no longer loot the assets of the Venezuelan people we expect and secretary minuchin will go into this in more detail that today’s measure totals seven billion dollars in assets block today plus over eleven billion dollars in lost export proceeds over the next year we also today call on the Venezuelan military and security forces to accept the peaceful democratic and constitutional transfer of power and to a certain extent this has already begun we have seen Venezuelan official and military personnel heeding this call the Venezuelan defense attache here in Washington recognized President Guido a few days ago and just within the past hours the first consul of Venezuela’s consulate in Miami Scarlett Salazar has also declared for interim president Guido.

I call on all responsible nations to recognize interim president why doe immediately Maduro has made clear he will not recognize guido or call for new elections now is the time to stand for democracy and prosperity in Venezuela I reiterate that the United States will hold Venezuelans security forces responsible for the safety of all US diplomatic personnel the National Assembly and president Guido any violence against these groups would signify a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response now let me give the floor to Stephen minuchin who will describe the sanctions that were imposed thank you today Treasury took action against Venezuela state-owned oil company pedigo say to help prevent the further diversion of Venezuela’s assets by former president Maduro the United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline we will continue to use all of our diplomatic and economic tools to support interim president Guido the National Assembly and the Venezuelans people’s efforts to restore their democracy petah visa has long been a vehicle for embezzlement for corruption for Venezuelan officials in businessman today’s designation of payday visa will help prevent further diversion of Venezuela’s assets by Maduro and will preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela where they belong the path to sanctions relief for ped of ASA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the interim president or a subsequent democratically elected government who is committed to taking concrete and meaningful actions to combat corruption today’s actions against pay to be so follows my determination that persons operating in the Venezuelan oil sector may now be subject to sanctions today o FAC also issued a number of general licenses that authorize certain transactions in activities with paid a visa for limited periods of time to minimize any immediate disruptions and support of ongoing humanitarian efforts citko assets in the United States will be able to continue to operate provided that any funds that would otherwise go to petit visa instead will go into a blocked account in the United States.

Refineries in the United States have already been taking steps to reduce the reliance on imports from Venezuela those imports have fallen substantially in recent months we have also issued generalized sentences to ensure that certain European and Caribbean countries can make an orderly transition we continue to call on all of our allies and partners to join the United States and recognizing interim president Guido and blocking Maduro from being able to access pay to visa funds thank you with that and I’d be happy to answer some questions well we’re not going to define it because we want the Venezuelan security forces to know how strongly we think that president Guido the National Assembly the opposition and most importantly American personnel are not harmed this is an unequivocal statement on our part is there any circumstance under which American forces would get involved look the president has made it very clear on this on this matter that all options are on the table sure well let me just comment that we will be releasing a fake use with the general licenses to explain a lot of these issues but effective immediately any purchases of Venezuelan oil by us entities money will have to go into blocked accounts.

I’ve been in touch with many of the the refineries there is a significant amount of oil that’s at sea that’s already been paid for that oil will continue to come to the United States if the people in Venezuela want to continue to sell us oil as long as that money goes into blocked accounts will continue to take it otherwise we will not be buying it and and again we have issued general licenses so the refineries in the United States can continue to operate so I expect in the short term very modest impacts on the US refineries we’ve been working with them closely on these issues through what’s gonna happen here in advance or are they hearing about this the first time they’re hearing about this now but you know I generally say we have obviously we made a press release recently I think we’ve indicated certain things so we had not disclosed to anybody these sanctions in advance but I think a lot of people have been preparing for this over the last month with the blocked accounts what would be the mechanism and what we the timeline if there is this peaceful transfer of government how would the money go for the blocked accounts back then would be one why Toby the operating person to take it back and receive it back if he’s put into power so let me just comment that in general okay as we’ve said in the past the purpose of sanctions is to change behavior so when there is a recognition that payday visa is the property of the rightful rulers the likely rightful leaders as president then then indeed that money will be available to glide oh we will be working with them on the money at the in the blocked account and whether that can be used for them could you explain to the country what the strategic interest the United States are in Venezuela now in abeyance if this transfer of government well we think stability and democracy in Venezuela are in the direct national interest of the United States right now under the Chavez Maduro government civil society in Venezuela is disintegrating the economy is in a state of collapse something in the range of three to four million refugees have already fled the country for neighboring countries in the United States and the authoritarian regime of Chavez and Maduro has allowed penetration by adversaries of the United States not least of which is Cuba some called the country now Cuba’s whele reflecting the grip the Cuba’s military and security forces have on the Maduro regime that we think that’s a strategic significant threat to the United States and there are others as well including Iran interest in Venezuelans uranium deposits let me just comment this is a country that is very rich in oil resources there’s no reason why these resources shouldn’t be used for the economic benefit of the people there there’s no reason for the poverty and the starvation and the humanitarian crisis the United States has talked a lot about a potentially far go on sales of oil and also stopping selling of oil products to Venezuela those been considered yet so there will be as part of this limitations on selling oil products as part of the sanctions as regards to an embargo we’re not going to make any comment on that today we don’t comment on future action mr.

Maduro seemed to anticipate the actions that you’ve announced today in the briefing room he warned that Citgo is the property of the Venezuelan state and he further said that we are the only ones who can decide its fate what is your response to Mr. Maduro, again it’s the property of the Venezuelan people and the proper and rightful leaders of the country so we agree with that he’s not the proper leader of the country at this time and I’ve said these these are valuable assets that we are protecting for the benefit of Venezuelan people little American drivers needs to know about the possible events price of the pump if any off well first let me say you know there’s been a big reduction and the overall price of oil and particularly since we instituted the Iran sanctions I think you know we’ve been very careful in making sure that these costs don’t impact the American consumer gas prices are almost as low as they’ve been in a very long period of time these refineries impact a specific part of the country and I think as you’ve said we’re very comfortable that they have enough supply that we don’t expect any big impact in the short term involving your position or the ability of netted States is able to take these measures as a result of the low gas prices or low oil prices on the whole into setting will increase the United States leverage in this debate I would just say we are very determined whether it’s in the case of Iran or it’s the case in here to use sanctions to use them in the right way and we’re very comfortable that we’ve coordinated the Department of Energy and other people on this mechanism yeah Thank You mr.

Secretary there have been reports that there an estimated 25,000 Cuban troops in Venezuela troops or secret police which is a clear violation of the OAS Charter chapter four article 21 about troops of another country in a sovereign nation will the United States raise a complaint if nothing else with the havana regime of investor 11 as you know Secretary of State Pompeo addressed the OAS General Assembly a few days ago we expect other meetings of the OAS on this and related subjects in the coming days because as both secretary minuchin I’ve said we know what the legitimate government of Venezuela is and it’s our mission now to make a full reality in Venezuela what the people of Venezuela themselves want here the talks with China in your opinion where does all of that stand right now are you comfortable with progress that’s been made in the last couple of weeks Larry Kudlow has said that the talks over the next couple days will be determinative is that your assessment right there I think we’ve had very productive conversations going back between the meeting between the two presidents which was a very important time I think you know we sent a team over to Beijing there were very significant discussions for that period of time we’ve had conversations since then ambassador a light hyzer and I are looking forward to the to day of talks President Trump is going to meet with Vice Premier Li ohuh at the end of those now let me just remind people we do have another 30 after this so my expectation is that we’ll make significant progress at these meetings but I would just emphasize these are complicated issues we have a timeline of how we’ve mapped out the ninety days how much progress has been made in the last month if you can sort of characterize again I would just comment that I think I think there’s been significant movement and we’re working through what are still very complicated issues I will go back to gas prices I’m Hugh qualifying quantify understand that you’re saying the gas prices are low now but in the midst of this with all of this that’s happening with Venezuela how long do you believe that this wolf or gas crisis will move up to a modest impact on the oil industry and we quantify by how much sense by tens of cents or even by dollars for me Madison well let me comment that in general I’ve said this before markets are not always efficient they move in different directions so I want to be careful and not speculating on markets I mean I think kind of oil went up a lot right before the Iran sanctions we were surprised that it went up so much I think you know President Trump had been on the phone with many world leaders and making sure there was ample supply prices came down the u.s.

Is a big exporter of oil so there’s a balance here in but you know I think we’re all prices are now reflect the supply and demand in the market and as I’ve said we’re dealing with Venezuelan oil that is a rather modest part of our overall supply again we’re in that exporter of energy we are particularly concerned that there were a handful of refineries that had a dependence on Venezuelan oil I think they read the tea leaves they reduced that dependence significantly along the way most of them have in the neighborhood of ten percent or less of their dependent on Venezuelan oil so I don’t expect that people will see an impact on the gas pumps Venezuela sweet or sour cream again I’m not going to get into all the specifics of the different oil markets but let me just say that most of these refineries this is this is about 10% or less there’s plenty of supply at sea that’s already been paid for so there’s inventories there’s there there’s been excess oil I’m sure many of our friends in the Middle East will be happy to make up the supply as we push down than as well as supply but let me again just emphasize you know the right outcome is a transition for peda visa the right outcome for the Venezuelan people is to have these companies rebuilt and to make sure that they get out of poverty it’s a complete tragedy to have the manatorian crisis in a country that has very rich resources you would just address we’ve heard this word enforcement quite a bit and that being a priority for the administration it is that enforcement will definitely be one of the topics than ambassador light hyzer and i have on the agenda and i mean i think this is pretty obvious but we want to make sure that we expect when we get a deal that that deal will be enforced and i would say in the conversations we had previously with them there’s been an acknowledgment with China that they understand that now the details of how we do that are very complicated that needs to be negotiated but IP protection no more force joint ventures and the enforcement are three of the most important issues on the agenda and if so you start that over again clear has the president spoken directly with president wide doe if so can you summarize that conversation and how safe does the president believe our diplomats are.

Currently the vice president has had several conversations with interim president Guido including most recently the night before we granted recognition he’ll be meeting with interim president Guido’s ambassador here in the near future in terms of and official personnel has been an absolute top priority for president Trump the vice president secretary Pompeo and myself we have drawn down significantly personnel at the Embassy all dependent personnel are gone we believe we are now prepared as prepared as we can be were re-evaluating the safety conditions at all time and it’s why we have said we’ve presented credentials to interim president Guido we recognize him as the legitimate president he has asked for us to stay we have made very clear to what’s left of the Maduro regime that we hold them responsible and we take their commitment to do that very seriously what is your assessment of the relationship between Nicolas Maduro and his military do you believe support it’s fracturing and do you believe that the Russians are playing any kind of role in trying to support the military well our assessment based on numerous contacts on the ground is that the rank and file of the Venezuelan military is acutely aware of the desperate economic conditions in the country and we think they look for ways to support the National Assembly government we think the junior officer ranks and the mid-level officer ranks are the same and we are also aware of significant contacts between general officers of the Venezuelan military and supporters of the National Assembly so you may have seen a statement last week by the defense minister Vladimir Padrino flanked by a number of generals in uniform what they didn’t know was how many of them were already talking to the National Assembly.

Do we have a timeline where we’re going to reassess as to whether or not these sanctions are working and what the next step would be is there a timeline in place for that and secondly can you speak to the administration’s critics who say that since the government shut down the administration and is in disarray well let me first say we on sanctions we always evaluate sanctions continuously both existing sanctions as well as future saying so we will carefully be looking at the effectiveness of these and whether we need additional sanctions now I would just tell you speaking for Treasury I want to thank all the the the large number of government workers who came in I will tell you as it relates to specifically the sanctions area people have been working around the clock and we couldn’t have gotten this done without the enormous support of all the people who came in so quite the contrary we weren’t in disarray again I want to thank all the important people who helped out on this very briefly I’m gonna have Larry Kudlow come up give a quick economic update take a couple questions on that and I’ll be back up for good thanks um I’ll just say as I have for a while that I still think the economy is very strong I know there’s some disagreements but I think as the numbers shakeout Commerce Department is reopening or gonna get a GDP report probably next week we’ll get a jobs report this Friday so that’ll work out based on things we’ve talked about here unemployment claims low industrial production strong business investment strong holiday sales very strong I still think we’re on a 3% trendline growth rate I’m proud of that I think that the program of lower tax rates and regulatory rollback and opening up energy and so forth as happen is working and is continuing to work and I think frankly the optimist the guys that took the over are gonna be right because major do you consider valid the estimates that the shutdown cost the US economy between a you know I looked at them I think your furnace CBO numbers that came out today we frequently disagree with CBO with all respect they’re doing the best job they can I get that no I don’t I won’t acknowledge any of that right now and you know in it 20 trillion dollar economy it’s awfully hard to make even the best guesstimate of those kinds of small fractions of numbers that’s what you’re looking at here let’s see how it rolls out we’ll get a GDP report in about a week for q4 it’ll take longer for the first quarter as I’ve said many times that I think you have just a whole bunch of very temporary factors and now that the government is reopened the switch goes right back on there’s certainly no no no permanent damage to the economy so I just again with the greatest respect to my friends at CBO who often disagree with us and do not acknowledge the importance of our pro-growth tax cuts just to put in editorial and no I don’t really agree sorry how disruptive was this not at all look the hardships for individuals was always the key problem here in my judgment and his Steve notion said and others you know I’m glad we’re back to work I’m glad all the federal employees and bled all the people furloughed TSA you can go right down the line.

I think those individual hardships were the biggest issue and I think everybody’s glad we can reopen and put folks back to work regarding the macro economy major I don’t think it was a factor I just saw Larry get done if the negotiations did not bear fruit and the government shuts down again gave a lengthy shutdown reopening and then another shutdown could that come Talon any economic effect or a hardship effect on this federal yeah I just don’t want to speculate on what ifs we’ve got a process laid out here let’s see if it bears for us don’t speculate on any of the what-ifs again that you know that the state of the economy to me my colleagues kevin has stood up for it looks very strong and I don’t think that was disruptive I don’t I know things have been written in their individual hardship cases again I’ll repeat that but in the aggregate you know the numbers we saw low unemployment claims unbelievably strong same state same store retail sales the industrial production number from the Federal Reserve where business equipment went up for the seventh straight month just a scattered look at all those kinds of data points suggests to us that we’re still in a very strong mode right now and I use the you know 3% is our longer-term view but I also think it’s going to pan out in the short run so we will see yes we’ll see the framework for a deal emerged.

I don’t want to sing on that secretary munitions correct I don’t want to make any predictions on that these are very difficult very very important only comment I’ll make is I’ve said this before the scope of these talks will be the broadest and deepest in us-china history we’ve never had anything this comprehensive and I regard that as a big plus how these things have worked out we’ll have to wait and see the president has expressed some I would say guarded optimism about the talks Leo hay is coming with his top people and that’s very important and our top people will be negotiating but it’s encouraging to me that where everything is on the table I know that’s a cliche in other areas but in trade talks it is – having said that I do want to reiterate I don’t recall whose point it was enforcement issues will be very important and I know ambassador like Iser has said that and key part of this discussion yes favorite government contractors who are furloughed also getting back pay I’m not sure how some of them do I think the defense related ones will but I’m not sure I’m not an expert on that I’d have to I’d have to go and check that I’d have to take a look at the scope of it.

I honestly don’t know yes deficit for fiscal year 19 is gonna be roughly 900 billion starting in 2022 trillion dollars a year after year after year after that 2029 93 percent that’s the GDP and they say it is simply unsustainable the path that we’re on does the White House agree with that and if it is unsustainable is the White House planning to do anything to change it you know we have a fundamental disagreement with that agency regarding the growth outlook economic growth is the single biggest factor in compiling any of these numbers so they have had a very low growth estimate in response to Trump policies on taxes and deregulation and we’ve had a much higher one about one percentage point differential more or less we’re at three there are two more or less so the differential over ten years is very significant it could be as much as three a half trillion dollars in deficit reduction if we are right all I’m saying is that in the first two years of the Trump administration our view has essentially been correct and they’re pessimistic view has essentially not been correct now again I’m not here to you know rail on against CBO they have a point of view we have a different of view they’re professionals and I respect that but that’s the single biggest difference now I would say one other matter we anticipate a very strong tough budget coming out to hold down spending president has talked about this at least 5% reduction in the non-defense accounts across the board and I think that’s going to help and then finally my own view has always been economic growth is absolutely essential to reducing the deficit share of GDP which is the burden on the economy and if you look at our numbers which are moving somewhat but not enormously we anticipate a much lower deficit share of GDP and that’s probably another reason we disagree Caterpillar and NVIDIA says that a slowdown in demand in China is negatively impacting their businesses is the administration at all worried that it’s putting too much pressure on the Chinese economy and that it’s a boomerang and negatively impact the US economy.

That is a slowdown there could spread to a slowdown here well look we’re you know we’re the kind of trade openings that we’re talking about and other structural factors are all pro-growth every one of we if  the trade negotiations you know turn out positively insofar as lower barriers let’s say and much better treatment of private property rights and as Steve munition said before very important ending the forced transfer of Technology things like that look we will export I believe this strongly the United States give us give us give our people that the chance to sell to China we will export a ton our export sales will roar and it’ll be much great if they open their markets and that’s going to help China’s economy and it’s going to help our economy I’ve always believed that and you know the question here’s fairness and reciprocity is the president is emphasized I completely agree but it’s also a matter of economic growth lower barriers United States my judgment is the most competitive economy in the world today we are the hottest economy and the most competitive economy I think that Davos serve they just pushed us back to the number one spot and proud of that so the China talks what’s at stake here.

I think is you know the possibility of spreading prosperity frankly in both countries all right along with these need to make you know legal reforms and receipe reciprocal reforms we’ve got time for one more yes I just don’t want to make any comments on that we will see what happens as I said before there is a process that’s if it works is the president really willing to go through another shutdown if you can’t get any money that the Democrats for the Florida walk the president doesn’t want to go through another shutdown that’s not the goal the goal is were security I’m protecting the American people ideally Democrats would take these next three weeks to negotiate in good faith as they’ve indicated that they would and come up with a deal that makes sense that actually fixes the problem so we don’t have to go through that process those like Republican Rob Portman and others who say that a shutdown should be taken off the table in fact to pass a law that basically says that shutdown can never be an option in the future what the president support that look I’m not gonna get into the hypotheticals of taking that off the table I haven’t seen a piece of legislation for us to even consider at this point that would make that a reality but what I do know is that the president is committed to fixing the problem and it’s pretty simple we have three weeks to work with Democrats as the presidents indicated on a number of occasions they could get this done in 15 minutes we agree on the fundamentals that border security is important we agree on the fact that there is a problem and we should do something about it.

So let’s spend some time over the next three weeks let’s get it done the presidents opened the government on the basis that Democrats have signaled to us that they’re willing to actually get serious about a real deal and get serious about fixing the problem at the border including funding for a border wall because of those proposals for the protecting the dreamer children some of the other concessions he made in this immigration speech are though still on the table look I’m not going to negotiate here that’s why they have the conference’s for congressional members to work through some of those things to come back to the president with a deal the president has laid out things in the past that he’s willing to do we’ll see what they come back with but what I do know is if they don’t come back with a deal that means Democrats get virtually nothing that will make the President and force him to have to take executive action that does not give Democrats the things that they want so this is a perfect time and the table has been perfectly set by the president in order for a good deal to come together where everybody gets a little bit of something they’re looking for.

Josh described illegal immigration objectives accommodation as the perilous threat and I said that they’re taking American workers jobs you explain why the president hired an employee that’s somebody undocumented we’re going to this club for years that do more to prevent them from staying employed and working there look I can’t get into specifics about the president’s organization outside of the White House I’m only allowed to speak on behalf of the president in his official capacity I do know that the Trump Organization has put out a statement addressing that issue I would refer you to that in to them for further questions I think should happen to a business that you know employs illegal immigrants and doesn’t use systems to check and make sure that I’m doing well it’s one of the reasons that the president wants to actually fix the problem he’s one of the people that’s identified the fact that we have a problem and we should fix our immigration system if Democrats want to get serious about fixing that they have a president that’s more than happy to sit down with them and do exactly that since I know so little about this let me ask you a couple of questions you see if I can educate without agreement on something.

Senator Joe Manchin said yesterday that if the president were to move further on daca and offer at least a path to status if not about the citizenship you’d likely get more Democrats to come to his idea about the need for a borders area the president has been resistant to going any further than that offering three years of more protections what’s the reason why the president doesn’t believe that doctor recipients should have a balanced test again I’m not gonna negotiate up here that’s the reason that they’re going into can’t believe that they deserve or should have a path again I’m not gonna get into negotiating immigration reform up here that’s why we have the conference that’s why the president has asked that that take place over these three weeks whether or not that happens during this time or after the focus of this right now is border security we’d like to see that happen and the president would love to deal with the overall problem of illegal immigration fixing a number of the loopholes that would prevent some of those things from happening so that we can move forward with a system that actually works in functions you look more well rested than you should it’s we’re not gonna have a representative representative in these meetings I’m not aware of a specific lighthouse attendee that would participate certainly will be engaged with members across the board both those that are part of the conference as well as the back and forth that’ll take place before and after we’ll keep you posted when White House is in attendance.

What’s your data point here on the idea that Democrats are ready to as you said get serious about immigration reform what what does the similar president specifically got from Democrats we’ve had a number of Democrats that have both publicly stated support for border security including a wall including barriers we’ve also had a lot of private conversations in which Democrats have signaled their willingness if the government is open to sit down and negotiate the president is taking them at their word in hopes that they’ll negotiate in good faith and we hope that we’ll see that happen thanks Sarah, Stephen Miller Senator Joe Manchinis quoted in a cliff Simms book is saying I would be happy it’s not a single refugee foot ever again touched American soil is the policy of this administration to eventually get refugee resettlement down to zero I’m not aware of any statement like that that Stephen Miller has ever made and certainly not the policy of the administration Jerry is the president could have a physical exam soon the president will as always undergo a yearly physical exam we’ll keep you posted on the date and time when that happens two questions one I want to go back to what Darlene asked can’t this economy sustain another mind speaking of I’m sorry I’m going back to what Darlene asked mr.

Penlow in this economy sustained with another government shaking again as I as I told Jonathan we don’t want another government shutdown we want a deal that actually addresses border security it seems like it should be so simple we’re all in agreement that we need it we’re all in agreement that there’s a problem so let’s fix it so we don’t have to go down our process and you know can the economy Larry Kudlow was very hopeful and optimistic even though the numbers show otherwise actually the numbers don’t show otherwise the numbers show that we have an incredibly strong economy that a numbers show that jobs continue to grow wages continue to rise unemployment continues to drop the numbers are actually very much in the favor of the things that Larry laid out again do we want another shutdown no but the president and his team have focused on long-term economic stability long-term economic fundamentals and we think that if we had to we could sustain that but sir we don’t want to that’s not the goal so there are several people that are now indicted that have some kind of connection to either the campaign or the president have these people tried to make contact with the president via their mutual friends I’m not aware of any contact from those individuals John thanks a lot Sarah on the State of the Union address it was supposed to take place tomorrow night I know that House speaker Pelosi said that she would extend an invitation to the president once the government has reopened its reopened as she extended an invitation to the president do you believe Sarah that she’s acting in good faith in this regard.

I certainly don’t think she acted in good faith on the front end considering she cited security concerns that didn’t exist but we’re certainly hopeful that moving forward in the future that she will the president as he always does looks forward to addressing the American people and we’ll do that as soon as that invitations receive do you expect her to extend an invitation to the president in the course of this three-week window while negotiations are ongoing that’s a better question for Speaker Pelosi you’re not exactly ruling out another shutdown and many federal workers who came back today are concerned that there could be another shutdown what’s your advice or message to them in this three weeks said they’d be saving their money should they be concerned that they might not get another paycheck so soon my advice would be to call your Democrat members of Congress and ask them to PhysX them to fix the problem so that we don’t have to continue having this process and so that we actually secure the border and protect American citizens the president tweeted over the weekend and said that he made no concessions whatsoever but influential conservatives are saying that he has made concessions in this because he originally said that he would not sign any legislation that did not include money for the border wall and then he went ahead and did that and granted it only keeps the government open for the next three weeks he said he wouldn’t do that either and so how can the president say that he made absolutely no concessions to Democrats on this legislation because the negotiations are still ongoing and I would argue that conservatives that actually have influence have supported the president throughout this process they believe in border security they believe in protecting Americans just like the President and they stand with him again this is a simple fix it’s easy for Democrats to sit down and come to an agreement and work with us to get border security.

John thank you Sarah the president has spoken increasingly of declaring a state of emergency after February 15th and using funds already there for the building of the wall under the aegis of national security and Homeland Security several conservatives who are normally supporters of the president warned not to go in that direction that it would create too many problems with federal authority interceding with state authority President Bush in 2005 wouldn’t declare a state of emergency over Katia because he did not want to get into that argument with governor’s as the president considered this and the criticisms and warnings of fellow Republicans notably senator from Missouri certainly the president listens to members of Congress as well as constituents across the country but the president’s number one duty and the number one responsibility he sees as commander-in-chief is protecting the American people he sees the crisis at the border to be a real one I don’t think anybody in the country can argue the fact that there is a real problem at our border it needs to be fixed and the president’s gonna do what it takes to address it cally I have a question for you on the shutdown but first I want to ask has the president ruled out a pardon for Roger stone I’m not aware of that haven’t had any conversations regarding that matter with him and let us know I’m not gonna get into that at this point but if need be we’ll let you know about the possibility the president may use his executive authority he has put that option on the table many times most recently Friday in the Rose Garden if the president truly believes that what’s happening is an emergency why would he wait three weeks to declare it because it’s real simple the Pres the president has said as most of us in the administration have said on a number of fronts the best fix is to be able to do it legislatively but if Congress particularly Democrats in Congress would rather play political games and actually do their jobs and fix the problem then the president will be forced to take a different path again ideally that doesn’t happen but we’ll see what happens you Sarah or it’s not an emergency you can’t have a half emergency right now you’re missing the point it is not just an emergency it’s a crisis at the border but the national security and a humanitarian crisis but there’s a process in which the president wants to exhaust all options primarily doing what we feel is the best one which is a legislative fix but if Congress doesn’t do their job then the president will be forced to make up for all of their shortcomings.

Main question Sarah you talked about what’s what you’re not going to negotiate I’d like to ask you is the five point seven billion dollar request from the president not a vote again I’m not going to negotiate from here that’s the whole point of the conference is to iron out those details and come back to the president with the deal at the end of the day the biggest thing that has to happen is there has to be real and adequate funding for border security including funding for a wall and we’ll see what the conference comes back with would be a number of possibly less than again major I’m not I’m not gonna negotiate with you that’s not my role my job my job is to communicate where we are in the process and right now we’re in the process of letting the conference do its job negotiate a deal and come back to the president first on the government shutdown the president made several he made several promises to families particularly those who have been affected by crimes committed by illegal immigrants that they would have a wall at the end of this government shutdown at the end of this promise can he maintain that promise that there will be to those families that there will be a wall on the southern border by the end of his first term again as you know the president and his administration have engaged and built roughly a hundred or contracted to build roughly a hundred and fifteen miles of the border this three week package that just passed that Democrats actually voted for included over two hundred million dollars in funding for the wall and the president’s not going to stop until the border is secured and that includes having a border wall there’s talk in Afghanistan but we fight a US envoy of a deal that would basically pull US forces out of the country in exchange for a guarantee from the Taliban that there will be no terrorists who remain in the country is that a plan that has the White House’s support is the president support that sort of plan and would that be a victory for the United States after almost seventeen years our priority is to end the war in Afghanistan and to ensure that there is never a base for terrorism in Afghanistan again negotiations are gonna continue for anything specific I can’t get into that right now but ever refer you the State Department the other thank you just to follow up quickly on your answer to Hallie you said I’m not aware of that when asked if the President had ruled out a pardon for Roger stone so does that mean he hasn’t ruled out a fart again I’m not aware of any conversation even regarding that or a need for it you get it Sarah just to follow up can you guarantee that the president won’t pardon Roger sir again I’m not gonna talk about hypotheticals that are just ridiculous of things I haven’t talked about I’m sorry I didn’t hear the last part Marco Rubio said over the weekend that working with WikiLeaks should be considered a crime does the president agree look I think every single outlet that are that you all represent looked for and searched for information that WikiLeaks was providing including reporting on it so I think there’s a responsibility by members of the media I’m not aware of anybody here ever working with WikiLeaks in any capacity but I do know that every individual that represents a media organization here looked for that information most of you reported on that information so I think you’re just as accountable as anybody else in that process.

Roger stone last week Paul Manafort. Michael Cohen and Michael Flynn are you concerned is the president concerned that has more and more business associates former aides are brought into this investigation or indicted week guilty in this investigation that this presidency isn’t over not at all in fact I think nothing could be further from the truth the more that this goes on the more and more we see that none of these things have anything to do with the president in Roger stones case the charges of that indictment have literally nothing to do with the president and have to do with his communications with Congress so in fact I think the further we get into the process the more and more we see that this has nothing to do with president truck by May and can you assure the American people that during these conversations that that Roger stone had with with WikiLeaks and individuals who were tying to the dumping of that material that at no time the President had any interactions with Roger stone that that nobody close to the president had interactions with Roger stone who may have told the president what was going on in those conversations all of this when it comes to Roger stone is a complete surprise to the president he didn’t know about any of this is that what you’re saying what I can tell you is that the President did nothing wrong throughout this process and the charges of the indictment against mr.

Stone have absolutely nothing to do with the president take one last question see yes Sarah we’re expecting in a few moments that the US government will announce some criminal actions against flawed way the Chinese telecom company and we’re just about to have this Chinese delegation here are these two at all lengths are you taking some sort of carrot and stick approach with China what’s the strategy here no those two things are not linked they’re a totally separate process the negotiations on the trade front will continue to be ongoing and I believe on that other question and thing that you mentioned may be coming I believe they’re waiting on me to finish so that they can do that so with that I will say good afternoon we’ll see you next time thank you