Aboard Air Force One
En Route Yuma, Arizona
1:05 P.M. EDT
Q What should we expect today? What are we going to see?
MS. MCENANY: You’re going to see the wall that the President has built — more than 200 miles. I believe it’s 212 now. Is that right?
ACTING COMMISSIONER MORGAN: Two hundred and twenty.
MS. MCENANY: Two hundred twenty. Two hundred twenty miles of the wall. You’ll hear from — about a roundtable on border security and the great progress and great strides that we’ve made. And then finally, we’ll go to the event with Charlie Kirk.
Q But of that wall, critics are saying that only a few miles are actually places where no barrier existed before.
MS. MCENANY: The CBP Commissioner can answer that question.
ACTING COMMISSIONER MORGAN: So, look, I keep getting asked that question again and again. Here is — here’s what the fact is: All 220 miles of wall system are brand-new miles of wall system. And I say “wall system” on purpose because the wall system is much more than a bunch of steel in the ground; it actually provides an enhanced capability that did not exist before. It’s got integrated technology, lighting, access roads, all the accessories that go with the actual steel — the most important things the Border Patrol agents on the frontlines have asked for and this President has delivered.
So my response is: All 220 miles are brand-new wall system.
Q So why do critics keep saying that, if you’re contending that that everything is brand new?
ACTING COMMISSONER MORGAN: Look, from my perspective — I’ve been in law enforcement a long time — that’s just a false political narrative. From an operational law enforcement perspective, those are new miles of wall system that are going into the ground — all 220.
MS. MCENANY: And you’ll be hearing more about that at the roundtable. So, yeah. Anything else? Any other —
Q Kayleigh, the President said this morning that he was not kidding when he talked about slowing down testing. Do you want to revise anything you said yesterday about that or what other White House officials have said?
MS. MCENANY: So, first, let me note — I’ve talked to the President about testing a lot today — he has made it abundantly clear that he appreciates testing, that we have tested more Americans than any other country has tested in their respective countries in the world.
But what he was making was a serious point, and that’s why he said, “I don’t kid.” He was noting he was making a serious point, but he was using sarcasm to do that at the rally. And the serious point he was making is that when you test more people, you identify more cases.
But that shouldn’t be — the cases should not be indicative of the progress we’ve made. What’s indicative of the progress we’ve made is the fact that, per capita, we have fewer fatalities than Europe by a large margin. So that’s the point he was making on testing.
But make no mistake: The President appreciates testing and is very proud of the great work that we’ve done.
Q Kayleigh, I may have misheard, but did he say he was maybe looking at an executive order? He didn’t sound as determined as he may have in the morning or something — on the statue stuff.
MS. MCENANY: So the President mentioned an executive order. I don’t want to get ahead of him on any further announcements on that front, but I — he did mention that this morning.
Q Right. But it seemed like — again, I may have misheard him, but it seemed like he was maybe just thinking about it, as opposed to ready to actually do it.
MS. MCENANY: Yeah. We are looking at an executive order, but I won’t get ahead of the President on announcing one way or the other.
Q Are you up to speed on the Balkans peace talks that are supposed to happen at the White House this weekend? We’re trying to figure out: What — what is the goal? What does the President want to see come out of that?
MS. MCENANY: Let me follow up with you on that. I’ll circle back and I’ll get you some information. So this weekend, you said — the Balkan peace talks?
MS. MCENANY: Okay, great. I’ll get some information. All right, guys. Thank you so much.
(The gaggle continues off the record.)
MS. MCENANY: And I can also say, just from our end, Hogan Gidley has been an invaluable member of the Trump administration. And you can use this on the record: He’s a hard worker. He’s a fighter. He’s exactly the type of person that can do it and do a great job in this role and excel.
Thank you, guys.
1:10 P.M. EDT