2:53 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. We’ve had a very big day in the stock market today, as you know. That will be 133 days where we set a new record. And that’s fantastic. Our jobs numbers have come in fantastically well — really well. And we’re with some of our great governors and other leaders of areas of our country that are doing incredible things.
We’re talking about a lot of deregulation. We’re talking about various tax cuts and various tax incentives so they continue onward with what they’re doing. But this is a meeting that was set up and was set up a while ago.
And I think they’re very happy about the fact that we have cut regulations like nobody in the history of our country. We have — in less than three years, we’ve cut more regulations than any President for their full term, or terms — or, in one case, it’s beyond two terms. We know who that is, Asa, right? (Laughter.) In one case, you had a little longer than the eight.
And we’ve cut more than any President ever, and we’re going to cut a lot more. And we have a — we wanted to do one for two, and we’re going to be probably one for ten or twelve by the time we finish. I think we’re at about one for eight right now. So we’ve done some things that are pretty — pretty amazing.
We have a lot of military areas represented at the table. And those areas are doing very well; they’re thriving too. As an example: Alaska. But they’re really thriving. And our whole country is thriving. It’s thriving like never before. The jobs numbers are incredible — best in 51 years. And I think soon we’re going to be able to say “historic.” If we go a little bit lower, we’ll say, “In the history of our country, the best job numbers.”
With African Americans, with Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans we actually have the best in the history of our country. Best job numbers, best unemployment numbers, and the best employment numbers too. There is a slight difference.
More people are working today in the United States than at any time ever in our history. We were almost up to 160 million people; we’ve never been close. So that’s something really good.
I think what we’ll do is we’re going to go around the room quickly and say a few words about the area represented or the state represented. And I’ll start off with our great Vice President, Mike Pence, and then we’ll go around perhaps. Governor, we’ll start with you, okay?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President. And great to welcome not only members of our Cabinet, but really some of the most accomplished governors in the country to the table — people that have been leading in what you have defined as the Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation.
At the outset of this administration, you committed to revive the American economy. As you said, Mr. President, we cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses large and small. We’ve fought for free and fairer trade with deals that were just announced and headed to the floor: the USMCA next week, phase one on China, the Korea deal. We’ve worked to expand access to American energy.
But it’s been the regulatory initiative that you made a priority in this administration early on that’s also been driving 7 million jobs created by businesses large and small. And that record unemployment rate that you challenged us to work with governors around the country to make sure that states were also replicating the deregulatory effort that you initiated here at the federal level.
And we have gathered here some of the — some of the real champions of regulatory relief, of people that have been doing it. And the governor-elect from Mississippi has — in his role at lieutenant governor, has been a champion of regulatory reform.
And so today, really, is about how we keep the momentum in the economy by encouraging even a greater partnership on freeing up the American people to create jobs and create wealth and opportunity.
And I know they’re all grateful for your leadership, Mr. President, but I know how grateful you are for the governors gathered around here and all those that they represent who have been taking the principles you put into practice here, at our nation’s capital, and putting them into practice at the local and state level to create jobs and opportunities for Americans.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you, Mike, very much.
GOVERNOR LITTLE: Mr. President, following your leadership, my first executive order was the “two for one” — that for every new rule, we give up two.
I did pretty well.
THE PRESIDENT: You did well.
GOVERNOR LITTLE: I exceeded that by 4,000 percent. (Laughter.) We got rid of 82 rules for every new rule we’re implementing this year.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s fantastic. That’s great.
GOVERNOR LITTLE: But it — the whole effort of what it does, of reducing the friction costs, particularly startup and small businesses, and, you know, people that have a tougher time —
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
GOVERNOR LITTLE: — washing away that regulatory friction at both the federal level and the state level is a lot of that job creation. It’s just — and it’s a gift that keeps on giving. If you keep being diligent on it —
THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.
GOVERNOR LITTLE: — is that — that atmosphere for people to be successful — the great American story of entrepreneurial-ship — only happens if you reduce regulatory friction. And whether it’s in licensing, which we’re working on — about doing away with licensing requirements and making it to where military spouses don’t have to go over a hurdle when they transfer from one state to another, or whether it’s just rules to start. And then, when you get done, you got to make sure that it doesn’t build back up.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
GOVERNOR LITTLE: So we look forward to continuing to work with your administration on this.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Great job. Thank you very much, Brad.
GOVERNOR RICKETTS: Well, Mr. President, thank you again for leading on the regulatory reform. It’s really a key thing, especially things — when you get rid of job-killing things like the Waters of the U.S.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
GOVERNOR RICKETTS: What you’ve been doing on occupational licensing reform — that’s a big thing we’ve been working on in Nebraska as well.
And just, it impacts so many people’s lives when you do that. So, for example, we have a woman who wanted to open up her own hair-braiding business in her home. But because of the rules and regulations in Nebraska, she would have had to have 2,100 hours of licensing — you know, classrooms to be able to get that license.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s a long time.
GOVERNOR RICKETTS: And now maybe I don’t get the whole hair-braiding thing — (laughter) — but nobody’s health or safety is put at risk by bad hair-braiding. And so one of the things we did is we took — you know, got rid of that requirement so she wouldn’t have to have that license so she could open up her own business —
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
GOVERNOR RICKETTS: — and be able to help add jobs to the economy. And that’s one of the things that your administration supported. So thank you very much for that. We really appreciate it.
And we’re continuing — I signed an executive order freezing all regulatory rulemaking until the regulations have been reviewed. We were able, for example, to cut the amount of regulation by 59 percent — our Department of Environment and Energy.
We’re working with your Federal Highway Administration, so we’re taking over the NEPA reviews. And that’s going to allow us to be able to get those environmental reviews done faster, still with your oversight. But we’re one of eight states that’s done that. I’d love to say we’re the smallest state, but Alaska actually has that distinction as being the smallest state doing that. But that’s an example of how we’re doing it.
And then, just process improvement, trying to make sure that we’re doing a good job of getting these things turned around quickly. We’ve saved about 300 hours of our teammates’ time, but what it’s allowed to do is be able to turn around permits in a third of the time it was taking before.
So all this is really helping to, again, get rid of that friction that Brad was talking about so that people and average Americans can get about their lives and go about creating the prosperity that we’ve experienced under your administration.
THE PRESIDENT: Any word on the pipeline permits?
GOVERNOR RICKETTS: So, we’re — actually, TC Energy right now is going through getting the easements for all the landholders that they hadn’t come to agreements with yet. And, of course, we’re still waiting on the lawsuit in Montana. But I expect that that’s — there’s going to be more action on that next year.
THE PRESIDENT: All right. Good. Thank you very much, Pete.
Please. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SAGE: I’d like to thank you. It is an honor to be here today, Mr. President and Mr. Vice President.
I don’t know if anybody is — or everybody is all familiar with where I’m from. I’m from the Southern Ute Indiana reservation in the southwest part of Colorado. We take a lot of pride in our culture and our heritage. What we have, we’d like to set an example for Indian Country.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN SAGE: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: Mr. President, thank you very much for what you’re doing. And I want you to know that what you’re doing not only makes a difference in New Mexico — which we appreciate — I know, from earlier conversations, it makes a difference all over the nation.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: New Mexico lives and breathes oil and gas. We’re your third-largest oil producer, sixth-largest natural gas producer. In the last two years, we had $2 billion of surplus revenue to that state because of this industry. It’s been amazing. God willing, we’ll have $174 billion of capital invested in this industry over the next couple of years. We have a lot of opportunities.
THE PRESIDENT: So what’s going to happen when they want to shut you down?
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: Well, we’re banking on you, Mr. President. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: You better bank on me.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: We’re banking on you.
THE PRESIDENT: You’re my friend, Jim. You have no choice. (Laughter.)
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: It’s a great honor to know that we have back-stock for what we’re trying to do. And I can tell you that —
THE PRESIDENT: It’s true.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: — there’s a whole bunch of folks out there that understand the risk associated with the oil and gas business. What they have trouble with is the risk associated with the politics.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: And what you’re doing is removing that risk, allowing us to deploy capital and make a lot of money for the nation, for our country, for our state, and our city. We’re growing like — I mean, unbelievably. I mean, the Permian and the Delaware are just prolific.
And recently, I had dinner with a lady that’s over the Lower 48, for a major company. She told me that only about 10 percent of those reserves currently are being tapped with technology.
THE PRESIDENT: Right. That’s what I hear.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: So you can just imagine what’s in front of us with a little entrepreneurship. So —
THE PRESIDENT: And we’re doing well out there, I understand.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: Yeah, it’s pretty nice right now. We appreciate it. Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s good. Thank you very much, Jim. Please. Asa?
GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON: Well, Mr. President, first of all, congratulations on both USMCA —
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON: — but also the first phase of the China trade. That is, as you know, very important to my farmers in Arkansas, but also our — we’re a global export in a lot of different areas. And so, that trade is very important to us. Congratulations to you. That’s — keep at it.
And then to — secondly, thanks for your leadership on regulatory reform. The fact that you and the Vice President have taken a leadership role — and it makes it easier whenever it comes to getting general assembly, legislative support — the public becomes more aware of this. And so we’ve made it a priority. It does impact the economy when we can reduce the burden of regulations and delays.
Just in the air permitting — which is required, of course, for a manufacturing facility — we have reduced the wait time for an air permit by 600 days. Now, that’s just startling to think that there would be that kind of a backlog. But that’s the kind of process improvement that helps industry either get a yes or a no more quickly.
And then we’ve taken on, of course, the licensure reform to help those that are coming into the state. And your leadership on that has been very important. So —
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Asa.
GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON: — thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: You’re doing a great job. Great job.
SECRETARY SCALIA: Well, Mr. President, as you know, just a little more than a week ago, we had this just extraordinary jobs report yet again.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
SECRETARY SCALIA: The market-watchers, the experts were saying we’d add about 180,000 jobs, which is a good number, and we just blew that out of the water with 266,000 additional jobs, and then adding 41 [thousand] for September and October.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
SECRETARY SCALIA: Just another great month. But, as the Vice President said, we have to maintain that momentum. We can’t rest content with what’s going on right now. We need to continue to look for ways to improve the economy. The USMCA is something that you and the Vice President and others have been championing as part of that solution for a long time.
But de-reg is such a good issue for you and the Vice President and others to be bringing out to the states. The jobs market that we’re experiencing, it didn’t just come about; there are reasons for it. And deregulation, as you’ve led it, is one of the prime reasons the states now can be examples of leadership as well.
And as Governor Hutchinson mentioned, occupational licensing — these requirements that you have a specialized license that varies from state to state — we’re very concerned about military spouses. The soldier moves from state to state, and the spouse comes along. Military spouses move from state to state seven times as much as average Americans. So this is a real burden on them. It’s a burden on their families, who are already sacrificing so much.
And so we’ve been working with the states and others, and with the Second Lady as well, in trying to address that problem.
THE PRESIDENT: Very good. Thank you very much, Gene.
And I have to say, Governor-elect Tate Reeves, he — we spent a couple of days with you and — governor-elect of a wonderful state, Mississippi. And he won, and he won easily. It was a tough race, it was a tight race, and people were watching it closely. And when he won easily, they don’t cover it. Why don’t they — why is that? (Laughter.) They didn’t mention a thing. But that’s okay; they know in your state.
But you’re going to do a fantastic job, and we appreciate you being here, Tate. Congratulations. That was a great race. You really ran a great one. It was pretty even, and he won by seven — and won by a lot. And we appreciate you being here.
Go ahead, please.
GOVERNOR-ELECT REEVES: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And as a good mutual friend of ours says, these guys behind us don’t ever cover airplanes that land safely. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I guess. I guess, yeah. Can I use it?
GOVERNOR-ELECT REEVES: The reality is that — and Secretary Scalia said this, which I think is very important — these job numbers, these — lowest unemployment rate in Mississippi’s history, in America’s history —
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.
GOVERNOR-ELECT REEVES: The highest employment rate — we actually have 88,000 more people working in Mississippi today than was working eight years ago.
And what’s important to note is: These things don’t just happen. It’s not just happenstance. It’s the fact that good policies work. They work for Mississippi’s economy and they work for America’s economy.
And so I just want to thank you very much for your leadership on regulatory reform, your leadership on cutting taxes, your leadership on lowering regulations, your leadership on the trade deals. It’s making a difference in my state, and it’s making a difference across the country.
And thank you and to the Vice President for everything that you’re doing. I look forward to working with you for the next four years.
THE PRESIDENT: Good job. Good job, Tate.
GOVERNOR-ELECT REEVES: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate it.
Russ? You want to say something?
ACTING DIRECTOR VOUGHT: Yeah, I just wanted to build on the momentum of where we are. So, in the first three years, the President has been able to lower regulatory costs by $50 billion over three years. We’re going to double that in the year 2020. What that looks like is about $220 billion of savings to the economy per year, so substantial growth from deregulatory initiatives.
That’s about $3,100 per family that’s going to benefit when we’re all said and done — when the President and the Vice President are all said and done — of real money in households’ pockets. That looks like about three mortgage payments. That’s about the size of a family’s entire gas bill for the year. So this is real money, real benefit, and it’s only just begun.
THE PRESIDENT: Great. Thank you very much.
GOVERNOR HOLCOMB: Well, let me pile on the praise and tell you why it’s so easy to do so, in terms of a few Indiana indicators. When the Vice President handed me the keys in Indiana, we were heading in the right direction — humming along. But since that period of time, we just closed — we just — our budget committee just threw out our revenue numbers for the first five months of the year. We’re $200 million-plus above where it was projected to be. We got about 13.9 percent in our cash reserves.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Wow.
GOVERNOR HOLCOMB: About $2.29 billion in cash reserves.
We’ve got more people working, just like in Mississippi, than ever before in our state’s history. We’ve tripled the foreign direct investment in the last three years.
And so we are moving in the right direction. And it’s because of — as good as it was three years ago, it is great right now because of this partnership and because the tax and the regulatory environments work.
THE PRESIDENT: Big difference.
GOVERNOR HOLCOMB: Yeah.
THE PRESIDENT: Big difference.
GOVERNOR HOLCOMB: Huge. It is the difference.
THE PRESIDENT: Great job you’re doing. Thank you very much.
SECRETARY BERNHARDT: Well, sir, we manage a lot of land. Some of that land is Indian land that we manage with the tribes.
And so, today, Chairman Sage and I began a process with the rulemaking that will allow them to better define how they want to have their land managed, and then we’ll approve a single permit that then they can manage the land going forward. So it’s really exciting.
Interior has been a leader in the deregulation effort. We’ve issued the second-most deregulatory number of regulations, and we’ve really punched above our weight, and our permitting times are down. And revenue for oil and gas is nearly double
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great.
SECRETARY BERNHARDT: — from where it was when the President took over.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Thank you very much, David.
Please, Governor, go ahead.
GOVERNOR DUNLEAVY: Mr. President, it’s a pleasure to be here. I want to thank you for all of things that you’re doing. Because I don’t think what people realize is that numbers don’t lie; the numbers don’t lie when you’re talking about unemployment, investment, et cetera.
And what you’re doing for the country is, obviously, helping Alaska tremendously. Kind of far away, tucked up there in the north — but we now have record unemployment in Alaska. Our GDP is up now two quarters in a row. Personal income is up higher than it’s been in 10 years. More personal wealth is being created in Alaska.
I also want to do a shout-out from the troops. I don’t know if folks know this, but whenever the President flies over to Asia, he lands in Alaska and refuels. But unlike some others in the past, he gets out of the plane, and he goes and he meets the troops. And they talk about it all of the time. All of the time.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s true. Every time. Every time.
GOVERNOR DUNLEAVY: And I get an opportunity to talk with the President. And it’s not just a “BS” session, but it’s about: What can we do to help Alaska? What’s happening in your state? What do we need to work with?
And I would say, Mr. President — and I’m being honest — I can’t think of a President that’s helped Alaska more than you have, with trying to deregulate a number of the projects that we’ve been working on, helping us gain a leg up again to be one of the top energy-producing states in the country. And I just want to thank you.
And, in terms of regulation, in terms of helping the military spouses, we’re doing our part. We’re looking at 239 different regulations to either modify or roll back in over 100 professions.
We have a large indigenous population in the state of Alaska. About 15 percent of our people are Alaska natives. And your work on — working on missing indigenous women, your work on public safety, your work on opioids — again, the numbers don’t lie.
You’re doing a tremendous job. And I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Alaska, because what you’re doing is helping us tremendously as well.
THE PRESIDENT: And now logging — we did a big thing on logging.
GOVERNOR DUNLEAVY: Absolutely. (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: And we did a very big thing on ANWR, which is potentially the biggest in the world. We’ll see what it is ultimately, but it’s potentially the biggest site in the world. So it’ll be very interesting to see how that turns out.
Great job. Thank you very much.
Anybody else? Would anybody like to say? Would you like to say something? Go ahead.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Senator Obhof.
STATE SENATOR OBHOF: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks, Senator.
STATE SENATOR OBHOF: First of all, I think we’ve heard some people say congratulations on the USMCA. I’d like to congratulate you, too. But, more importantly, I’d like to thank you for keeping your promises to the people of this country — that when you said you would renegotiate NAFTA, you did so. And we appreciate the follow-through.
Ohio is doing great right now. Our employment numbers are good. We’re running a surplus as well. But we’re also following your lead on regulatory reforms. So, in the state budget that Governor DeWine signed this past summer, we adopted the “one in, two out” rule. We actually passed legislation in the last week related to military spouses so that they can get reciprocity and get working quicker.
And we have new legislation that was just introduced — similar to what has happened in Arizona — that would, for many areas of occupational licensure, grant reciprocity from other states.
THE PRESIDENT: And you have a lot of car company expansions, and you’re doing really good.
STATE SENATOR OBHOF: We’ve had some very good news in Lordstown in the last few weeks.
THE PRESIDENT: I know that. I know it very — I’ve been pushing it very hard. That’s good. Kristi?
GOVERNOR NOEM: Yes, Mr. President. First of all, thank you for making your senior staff available to us today. We sat down for an hour and a half, and it was just really nice to have a give-and-take —
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
GOVERNOR NOEM: — and really hear from them some of the details of things that we can dig further into, things that you’re doing that maybe we won’t have time to discuss right here.
But also from — on behalf of South Dakota, thank you for the trade agreements. You know, we have had the largest natural disaster in our state’s history this year. We have more unplanted acres than any other state in the nation, and we’ve been devastated. So I’ve been tightening our belt. But these trade agreements, on a tough year where farmers are struggling, to have that good news come right before Christmas —
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
GOVERNOR NOEM: — really did help them quite a bit.
And you never quit, which — I love that you did it until you got it done and you won. And, by turn, we get to win because we’re going to get to keep our family farms and we’re going to get to keep South Dakota wonderful. And so I appreciate that.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s a great place. And you also are going to have a very exciting Fourth of July.
GOVERNOR NOEM: We are. We’re going to have fireworks.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
GOVERNOR NOEM: And I’m hoping you will —
THE PRESIDENT: For many years — for many years, the fireworks —
GOVERNOR NOEM: — you will come — at Mount Rushmore.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re going to think about it. Mount Rushmore. They ended the fireworks. How many years ago? A long time.
GOVERNOR NOEM: Gosh, it was at least 10 years ago. So —
THE PRESIDENT: Nobody knows why, but you just couldn’t have it. And now you’re going to have fireworks. And the Governor called, and she said, “You got to do me a favor.” Right?
GOVERNOR NOEM: And you did.
THE PRESIDENT: And we worked it out. And we got it done. And you’re going to have fireworks.
And I appreciate what you said on the trade deals. They’re incredible deals.
GOVERNOR NOEM: They are.
THE PRESIDENT: And they’re big. And they’re big. And every once in a while, you’ll hear a critic. There’s never been deals like this made.
But you have some globalists — you know, they want us to lose money. Sometimes you have a globalist get on — I watch it: “Who cares about the United States? Let’s lose money.” I’m the opposite. When I have deficits — I don’t like deficits. You have some people that don’t mind deficits. The deficits — I don’t like factories closing and plants closing in this country, going to another country, taking our jobs.
So, I’ve never really been one to want to put up with it even. I’ve been watching it for — it’s probably one of the reasons I’m President. I’ve watched that for so many years, where your factories and your plants all over — whether it’s Indiana or any other state. Even you, Asa. Right? I mean, once and a while, they’ll close one over there.
But it was — the fact is, I would watch as they close plants, everybody gets fired. They move to Mexico or some other place, including China. And, in China, they don’t move; they just buy the product. And some people are happy. But, no, not me. We keep our jobs. They’re moving back.
The agreement is very tough. The USMCA is very, very tough. It’s very hard to move. Economically, it makes it really prohibitive to get out. And it was very important to me.
But no, I’m not a globalist. I love this country, and we’re going to take care of our country. The deal with China is a massive deal, from a manufacturing standpoint. But the farmers — I mean, the farmers, I guess, maybe will be the —
GOVERNOR NOEM: They will.
THE PRESIDENT: — biggest beneficiary of all. You see that already.
GOVERNOR NOEM: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: And China has already started to buy. I told them — four, five weeks ago it looked like we were going to get to a deal. I said, “Start buying now. You’re going to start buying now.” And they did. And they were doing a lot of business with the farmers and China. And so the deal will be finalized over the next couple of weeks.
It’s actually — translation is the biggest thing. The deal was finished, but the translation is very important. (Laughter.) I said, “Make sure you have the right translators.” Because you can lose a lot with bad translation.
GOVERNOR NOEM: That’s true.
THE PRESIDENT: So we’re working on getting that done, but it’s going to be a really a big —
GOVERNOR NOEM: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: — it’s going to be a — and I think you already see it. I think most of you see that now with China, right? They’ve already come in and they’re buying — they’re buying very big. So, anyway.
We have a tremendously successful country. I think, economically, it’s the most successful it’s ever been. Our military is totally rebuilt. Our vets are being taken care of. We have Choice and we have Accountability.
You know, people don’t talk about Accountability. We had a situation in Arizona where you couldn’t fire people. They did horrible things and you couldn’t fire them. Now you can fire them. And it took — 55 years, they’ve been trying to get that approved and they couldn’t. And we got it approved.
That means that — people are bad, they don’t treat our vets well, they don’t treat them with respect — they get fired. That’s the way it is. And more than 8,000 people have been let go that were — were not good for us, were not good for the vets. And they’ve been trying to do this for decades and they couldn’t get it. So we got Accountability done.
And we have Choice done. Choice is a big deal. From your standpoint, it’s a big — most of you — all of you have big vet areas — everyone in this room.
But now you can — you can tell somebody, if he’s got to wait two weeks to see a doctor — or four weeks or nine weeks, in some cases; it’s the craziest thing — you go right outside, you see a doctor — a local doctor. You pick the doctor. We pay the bill. And they get — they’re better.
We’ve had cases where they had to wait so long. They were just — not very sick. Pretty routine stuff. They end up terminally ill because they couldn’t get to see a doctor. So we finally got Choice done. And they’ve been trying that one for 44 years. For 44 years, they’ve been trying to get Choice done. And we got it done. So, the vets are very happy with us.
Big on Second Amendment. This is a big Second Amendment group. I think, for the most part, I can say that. I don’t think anybody is going to raise their hand and fight me on that one, Jim.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOWNSEND: (Laughs.) No.
THE PRESIDENT: But this is a big Second Amendment room — these governors, every one of them. And we’re very strong on our Second Amendment.
So, our country is doing fantastically well. Thank you all very much. Thank you very much.
Q Mr. President, are you concerned about North Korea at all right now — the developments in North Korea?
THE PRESIDENT: We’re watching it. We’ll see. I’d be disappointed if something would be in the works. And if it is, we’ll take care of it. But we’ll see. We’re watching it very closely. We’re watching North Korea — we’re watching many places, actually, very closely. But North Korea, we are watching very closely.
Q Mr. President, how much has Giuliani shared with you about his recent trip to Ukraine?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, not too much, but he’s a very great crime fighter. He was probably the greatest crime fighter over the last 50 years. Very smart. He was the best mayor in the history of the city of New York. He’s a great person who loves our country. And he does this out of love, believe me. He does it out of love.
He sees what goes on. He sees what’s happening. He sees all of the hoax that happens when they talk about impeachment hoax or the Russian collusion delusion. And he sees it and he’s a — he’s a great gentleman. And he was, again, the greatest mayor in the history of New York, and probably the greatest crime fighter in the last 50 years. He knows what he’s doing.
Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
3:22 P.M. EST