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Aboard Air Force One
En Route Atlanta, Georgia

1:09 P.M. EDT

MR. SPICER:  Good morning.  The President is going to be speaking later, so I’ll try to keep this short and let his words carry the day.

Before we left, the President signed an executive order on offshore energy development.  I know the President made a statement on this order.  And during the signing ceremony, Secretary Zinke gave you a little detail during that briefing that occurred last night.  The main takeaway is that the order maintains our responsibility as stewards of the environment while moving us forward towards energy security.  Combined with the President’s previous actions reducing regulations and promoting clean and safe energy development, we are on the right track toward American energy independence.

As you guys know, we’re on our way to Atlanta, where the President will speak to the National Rifle Association’s Leadership Forum.  It’s a great way to end an incredible week leading up to the President’s official 100th day in office, which is tomorrow.  One of his most historic achievements was getting Judge Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court in his first 100 days, the first President to have a Supreme Court confirmation since 1881.  I know the NRA is glad to have a justice in that seat who will be such a staunch defender of our Constitution.
The President is going to speak again tomorrow about Judge Gorsuch:  his unprecedented regulatory reforms under the Congressional Review Act, renegotiating trade deals that are unfair for American workers, and the rest of his incredible accomplishments.  I’ll let him and the record for his action-packed first 100 days speak for itself on that.  As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve got the website up at that really details all that.  And he looks forward to a really exciting event tomorrow.

With that, I’m glad to —

Q    can you confirm that Senator Ted Cruz is on the plane?

MR. SPICER:  Yes.  Wow, that was a good one.


Q    What’s he doing?

MR. SPICER:  I believe Senator Cruz is also addressing the NRA.

Q    Sean, what’s the status of the healthcare effort?

MR. SPICER:  There was a great discussion this morning.  I think Whip Scalise was at the White House for the signing and had a chance to catch up with the President.  I think there’s continued progress that is being made.  Speaker Ryan noted that yesterday.

I don’t want to get too far ahead of where this thing is headed, but we feel very good and we continue to have — hold on tight.

Q    There’s no vote —

MR. SPICER:  No, no, no, there is not.

Q    Sean, obviously, the President tomorrow night is holding this rally during the Correspondents’ Dinner.  Is there any message he’s trying to send with those two things happening concurrently?

MR. SPICER:  Well, respectfully, it’s also his 100th day in office.  So I respectfully suggest that it’s not just about the Correspondents’ Dinner, it’s rather an opportunity for him to talk to voters that elected him and what he’s been able to accomplish in the first 100 days.

So I think it’s a sharp contrast, obviously, between what’s going to be happening on his first 100 days, and talking to voters about what he’s been able to do and how much more there is to do, and how committed he is to seeing the next 100 days and the 100 days after that produce real results for Americans.

Q    Can you give us an update on where things are with the spending plan?  I know there was a bill for one week.  But what about the long-term progress?

MR. SPICER:  I think, obviously, as you noted, my understanding is the Senate has passed the House spending plan that’s a one-week extension, and I feel really good that next week we’re really close to — we feel very good about making sure that the next thing will be the five-month extension to get us through the end of the fiscal year

Q    When we talked to him last night about South Korea, he mentioned the THAAD missile system.  Is he going to ask the South Koreans to pay for that?

MR. SPICER:  I think we’ll have more on that for you at some point.  Obviously, the President has talked a lot during the campaign about our national security and what we’re doing as a country in making sure that our taxpayers and our funding is — that we’ve got a lot of work to do at home, that we’re spending a lot of money on other places, and we want to discuss, whether it’s NATO or other places, where we’re spending a lot of money and make sure that other countries are contributing equally as well.

Q    Can you give us an update on — there was a meeting yesterday about the Paris agreement, where things stand.  What’s the state-of-play in the White House on that?

MR. SPICER:  It was a good discussion.  So part of the PC, Principals Committee, is for the different stakeholders to be able to provide input for the decision-making process for the President.  It was chaired by NEC Director Cohn.  And the participants gave him feedback in the different areas — diplomatic.  Secretary Perry had some energy issues.  Administrator Pruitt was there.

So again, a lot of this is an opportunity for the key stakeholders in this arena to share their ideas, opinions, and do further work on areas that need some follow-up before presenting to the President with various options.

Q    When will they do that?

MR. SPICER:  We should have an answer before we leave for Europe.

Q    Can you talk more about the NRA and the speech? About the NRA, about the forum, about his relationship with the NRA or about firearms policy, about guns?  Anything?

MR. SPICER:  He’ll talk about that in the speech.  He’ll talk about his commitment to the Second Amendment.  This is the first time — I think he’ll mention it in the speech — I think it’s 1983 since a sitting President.

But, look, they came out and supported him based on his strong commitment to the Second Amendment.  He’s going to reiterate his commitment to the Second Amendment today and to the Constitution today.

Q    Is he going to thank — that kind of speech, where he’s thanking —

MR. SPICER:  I mean, he talks about his commitment to the Second Amendment.  He’ll talk about where he’s going, where he wants to take this country, some of the accomplishments that he’s had.  But he’ll also talk about — I think he mentions — I’ve got a — sorry, I read it like an hour ago.

Q    Conceal and carry?

MR. SPICER:  I don’t know that he gets into that detail. I’ll have to look at it again.  But you’ll get it soon enough.  We’ll try to get you a copy of it.

Q    — his own views about guns?  His sons are hunters.

MR. SPICER:  He’ll mention, yeah.

Q    Sean, what about the trip to Israel?  Is that something that you guys can firm up?

MR. SPICER:  No, not yet.  Obviously, as you know, I can’t confirm that we had — we have an advance team that’s look at that as one option while we go abroad.  But we’re looking at a couple options, including Rome, as we’ve mentioned.  Hope to have some additional updates on travel.

Q    And what are the other options?  Rome, Israel, Saudi?

MR. SPICER:  We’ll see.

Q    (Inaudible) some things about FEMA director.  Is that coming soon?

MR. SPICER:  I can follow up.  We’ve got the PPO guys, one of them onboard.  And I’ll ask.  All right, we’ll catch up with you guys.

1:15 P.M. EDT