Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles, California
10:26 A.M. PDT
Q Mr. President, do you have a m- — do you have a message for those marching for their lives today in Washington on gun safety?
THE PRESIDENT: Sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.
Q Do you have a message for those at the March For Our Lives for gun safety today in Washington?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Keep marching. It’s important. Look, this has to become an election issue. The way people listen — senators, congressmen — is when people say, “I’m going to — this is going to affect my vote.”
Too many people are dying needlessly. And what — and what’s even being proposed in the House and Senate is marginal. I mean, it’s — it’s important, but it’s not all that needs to be done. The idea we’re not going to do background checks, the idea we’re not — anyway, the answer: march.
Q Have you gotten an update from Senator Murphy or any of the negotiators about where their talks stand?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, they’re still mildly optimistic. I spoke with Murphy several times. I spoke with him yesterday as well — yesterday afternoon. And so —
Q What about New Mexico, sir? They want you — the government to pay for all of the bills that they have from fighting this fire because it was started by the Forest Service. Are you willing to commit that?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I can’t — I can’t commit that on my own. That’s what’s being proposed by — in the Congress. And I support what they’re doing.
Q You support doing that? You support doing that? You actually — you said that Congress support —
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Yes. I support it.
Q Have you decided, sir, whether to go to Saudi Arabia?
THE PRESIDENT: No. Not yet.
Q What would be the — holding up the decision at this point? Are there commitments you’re waiting for from the Saudis or — on the negotiations over peace talks?
THE PRESIDENT: No, no. The commitments from the Saudis don’t relate to anything having to do with energy. It happens to be a larger meeting taking place in Saudi Arabia. That’s the reason I’m going. And it has to do with national security for them — for Israelis. I have a program — anyway. It has to do with much larger issues than having to do with the energy piece.
Q The average price of gas nationally today hit $5 a gallon for the first time. What’s your message to the American people, especially as we head into the summer months, who are really struggling with this?
THE PRESIDENT: This is — it’s outrageous what the war in — in Ukraine is causing. And we’re trying very hard to make sure that we can — we’ve significantly increased the number of barrels of oil that are being pumped out of the — the reserve we have. We got 240,000 barrels as well coming from other nations.
We’re going to keep pushing on it. It’s going to keep pushing. Okay. Thank you.
10:28 A.M. PDT