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South Lawn

12:32 P.M. EDT

(“Hail to the Chief” is played.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Beautiful.  Thank you very much.  And thank you very much.  Terrific talent.

Please sit down.  Please.

I want welcome everyone to the White House.  We are very excited to be hosting our third annual Made in America Showcase.  It’s all about “Made in America.”  (Applause.)  We just started this, and this is my third already.  And I just went around and saw these incredible companies that make everything from the THAAD missiles to beautiful boats.  And I said, “How would that boat do against the THAAD missile?”  And it wasn’t a good answer.  (Laughter.)  The boat is going to have a little problem, but that’s okay.

But I just want to say the engineering — inside, as you know, we have incredible things.  I’m going in right now to look.  I saw some of it yesterday.  Incredible things.  Made in the USA.

We’re here today to celebrate and support the most incredible products in the world.  And this is just a very representative sampling, because we’re making more product here than we ever have.

Joining us today are manufacturers from all 50 states.  And they are terrific talents, terrific craftsmen, terrific businesspeople.  We have hats from Wyoming, sandals from Florida, tabasco from Louisiana, Airstream trailers — the Airstream is a great trailer; I’ve seen it for many years, and they’re doing better than ever — from Ohio, and custom-built motorcycles from the great state of Indiana.

We also have represented, and we have a lot of folks here from Litespeed Bikes, from Chattanooga, Tennessee.  As a result of moving certain of its operations back to the United States — I love to hear this, because that’s what I like: when they move back.  We don’t have to make product in other countries.  Its parent company has experienced a 70 percent — and that just happened.  They just announced 70 percent growth over the last two years.  So they moved their operations back, and they’re 70 percent up in growth.  So I want to congratulate you, Litespeed.  And I want to congratulate everybody.  That’s fantastic.  (Applause.)

And also, a very special thank-you to KC Andrews with Gameday Ironworks in Oklahoma for making this beautiful presidential seal.  It is a beauty.  I think we have it displayed someplace right here.  And I specifically said, “How much?”  Because I want to buy it.  I don’t know if they gave me a good price, but we’re going to get it.  We’ll get it.  We’ll put it up at the White House.  It’s beautiful, and so many of their other projects and products are incredible.  It was forged from American pride and with America pride and American craftsmanship.  And it was 100 percent American steel.

Our steel industry is doing very well.  We put massive tariffs on dumped steel.  They were dumping steel.  Our steel industry was going out of business.  If I hadn’t been elected, you would have no steel industry right now.  It would be gone.  And we have not only steel, energy, and so many other things.  We have — we’re vibrant.  We have the hottest economy anywhere on Earth right now.

Today, I also viewed boats that were proudly displayed by Cobalt Boats from Kansas and Freeman Boatworks from South Carolina, and a farm irrigation system from Nebraska’s T-L Irrigation.  I want to thank those three companies.  It’s not easy to get these big, beautiful products here, and you get them here.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.

I also want to share our appreciation to Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson for showing us the incredible THAAD Missile Defense System — the best in the world, by far — and for keeping the Sikorsky helicopter plant in Pennsylvania open, saving 465 jobs.

I called Marillyn a number of weeks ago.  I said, “I read a story where they’re going to be closing your helicopter plant in Pennsylvania.  We couldn’t do that.”  I said, “Marillyn, you got to do something.  I don’t want to…”  And I really appreciate it, Marillyn.  They’re keeping the plant open.  Everybody in Pennsylvania is happy.  (Applause.)  And we will continue to make Sikorsky helicopters in Pennsylvania.  Thank you, Marillyn.

Some of the manufacturers represented today have been around for a long time — more than a century, in a couple of cases.  Johnson Woolen Mills was founded in Vermont before the Civil War.  Today, Stacy Manosh is the fourth generation of her family to run the company.  And, Stacy, wherever you may be — hi, Stacy — please stand up, Stacy.  Congratulations.  That’s great.  (Applause.)

Others are just getting started, like the Snake Bite Company in Missouri.  I thought it might be a snake.  It has nothing to do with snakes.  I’m happy about that.  (Laughter.)  And I looked at your product last night and it’s incredible.  Kevin Kelly raised startup funding online just a few years ago, and now he’s selling specialty bottly [sic] — bottle openers and so many other things on two continents.  And the product is amazing.  And, Kevin, congratulations.  That’s a great job.  That’s a great job.  Thank you very much, Kevin.  (Applause.)  Where does “Snake Bite” come from?  Where does that term come from?

MR. KELLY:  (Off-mic.)  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Ah, yep.  I get it.  Okay.  Well, it’s been working, right?  It’s been working.

But while those here today create many different goods, you’re also devoted to one of the greatest missions on Earth: making the best products, from the best materials, with the best workers anywhere in the world, right here in the United States of America.  Right?  Made in America.  Made in the USA.  Call it either way, but that’s what we’re doing.  (Applause.)

And, you know, when I took office, I was told by the previous administration that manufacturing jobs would be disappearing.  There was no way.  They said you’d need a miracle.  Right?  You’d need a miracle.  Well, we have a miracle because we up — we’re up 600,000 manufacturing jobs since the election.  (Applause.)  So it’s been an extraordinary resurgence of American manufacturing.

We’ve added more than 6 million jobs since I was elected, including over 1 million jobs in manufacturing, engineering and construction.  As I said, 600,000 jobs in pure manufacturing, and that number is going to go substantially higher.

Japan and other countries are at my absolute request, order — call it whatever you want.  They’re sending tremendous and building tremendous plants now in the United States.  We hadn’t had auto plants built in many, many years.  And now we’re having many in Michigan, in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Florida, in North Carolina, South Carolina.  Many, many plants are being built and being expanded.  And that was not happening.  Our auto companies and many companies were leaving the United States.  Now they’re staying.  They have a big disincentive to leave.  We’re not happy when they leave.  When they leave, it’s not the same.

Last year, we saw the biggest increase in manufacturing jobs in more than 20 years.  Under my administration, manufacturing’s share of total job gains is the largest it’s been by any President in over one half a century.  And don’t forget, in the old days, they manufactured, so I’m competing against some pretty tough statistics, and yet it’s over 50 years.  Unemployment has also reached the lowest rate in our country in over 51 years.  (Applause.)

And many groups — I have to say, African American unemployment — if you look at African American, Asian American, Hispanic American unemployment, it’s the lowest it’s ever been in the history of our country.  Women’s unemployment — the lowest it’s ever been in over 70 years.  And soon we’re going to have the all-time record for women’s unemployment.

And today, American manufacturers are contributing $250 billion — think of that — $250 billion more to our economy than they contributed before this great election that took place in 2016.

We’re heeding the wisdom — and you people know because many of you are indeed manufacturers; in your own way, manufacturers with great talent — we’re heeding the wisdom of our Founding Fathers by restoring our economic independence and reawakening our industrial might.  And that’s what’s happened.  Whether it’s jobs or making something, that’s exactly what happened.

Previous administrations allowed foreign countries to steal our jobs and plunder our wealth.  They stole our wealth.  They stole so much, and it was allowed to go on so long.  But it’s not going on any longer.  You take a look at what’s happening.  Look at today’s front page in the Wall Street Journal.  You’ll see where China has had its worst year in 27 years.  And I’m not looking for that.  But we had a deal with China, and they decided not to make that deal.  They said, “Let’s renegotiate.”  I said, “No, thank you.”  And we put tariffs on China — very big tariffs on China.  (Applause.)

And we’re standing up for the American worker like our country has never stood up for the worker before — certainly not in the 100-year or 50-year era.  And I think we can probably go back right to the beginning, because nobody stood up for the worker like I’m standing up for the worker.

To protect our defense industrial base — which is probably about the most important, if you think — we placed tariffs on foreign aluminum and foreign steel, which brought it not to a complete halt — we still get some and they’re paying a lot of money right into the Treasury — but it’s been amazing the difference that it’s had.

And for our farmers, we’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China.  But China stopped dealing with our farmers, so I asked our great Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, “What kind of number are you talking about?  What have they left?”  He said, “Sixteen billion dollars, sir, taken off the table.”  I said, “That’s okay.”  We’ve taken in much, much more — many times that — in tariffs.  So I’m going to give the farmers — we’re going to help them out because they are great patriots.  We’re going to give them $16 billion.  And we just did.  Been approved.  Been everything.  And I approved it.  (Applause.)

So our farmers didn’t lose anything by the fact that China targeted our farmers.  They targeted the farmers.  They said, “You know, President Trump did great with the farmers.  The farmers love him and he loves them, so we’ll hurt the farmers.”  Well, the farmers are patriots.  I never — I hadn’t had one farmer say, “Please make a fast deal, sir.  Please make a fast deal.”  The biggest beneficiary will be the farmers.

But the $16 billion that wasn’t spent, we’re putting back into the farm and ag system.  And the farmers are thrilled, I must tell you that.  (Applause.)

And we’re taking the toughest-ever action to confront China’s chronic trade abuse.  They were doing numbers on us for many years.  I watched Sleepy Joe Biden the other day talking about China.  “We would fight China on trade.”  Well, he didn’t do it for — he’s been there for like 45 years.  And he didn’t do it in eight years because they ate our lunch during the Obama administration.

It was only recently that — well, I mean, “recently,” but lots of warnings for the last period of time.  And then you have statutory constraints where you can only go here, here, here.  And we did that, right at the beginning.  And now they’re paying a very big price, and hopefully we’ll see what happens.

We’re going to have good relationships with China.  President Xi is a friend of mine.  He’s a good friend.  I used to say he’s good friend of mine; we’re probably not quite as close now.  But I have to be for our country.  He’s for China and I’m for the USA, and that’s the way it’s got to be.  And this should have never been allowed to happen.

We’ve been losing four, five — and even more than that — hundred billion.  Think of it: five hundred billion dollars a year, to China.  That doesn’t include intellectual property theft and loss.  That doesn’t include — they say that’s $300 billion.  Who knows what that is?  A lot of people estimate it, but it’s a lot.  But they say it’s $300 billion.  So you add that to $500 billion.  So we’ve been losing $800 billion a year to China.

So, essentially, we rebuilt China.  They’ve done a great job.  I’m not going to take it away.  And I don’t blame China.  I blame our past Presidents and our past leaders for allowing a situation like that — so ridiculous — to happen.  And it’s that way — other than the size of the number, it’s that way also for many other countries.  And we’re working on a lot of them.

We just approved — and, again, it’s going to be subject to the House passing it, and, maybe, for political reasons, they don’t — the USMCA.  That’s Mexico and Canada.  Great deal for the manufacturers.  Great deal for Lockheed, as you know, Marillyn.  You’re telling me when is it going to happen.

So we have to get the Democrats to pass it.  They may or may not, depending on how they feel, politically.  It’s all politics, unfortunately.  It shouldn’t be.  It should be love of our country; it shouldn’t be politics.  There should be no politics involved.  (Applause.)

So the USMCA will create up to 600,000 new American jobs, including 75,000 new auto jobs.  And now we need Congress to pass it.  So call up your friends.  The Republicans are totally onboard.  Call the Democrats; get them to pass it.  It’s — believe it or not, it’s a deal loved by unions, by manufacturers, and maybe, especially, by the farmers.  It’s something that’s very, very popular.  So call your local Democrat congressmen.  I think the Senate will be, actually, very good.

We have a lot of bipartisan support, but they may not be able to show that support because the leaders may not allow that to happen because they think that’s a victory for Trump, and we don’t want to give Trump any victories, even though it would be very bad for our country.  But if it doesn’t happen, I have a better plan, okay?  So don’t worry about it.  You always have to have plan B, plan C — especially in politics, I can tell you.

We unleashed an American energy revolution.  And it is indeed a revolution.  Nobody thought it would be possible.  We’re now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas on the planet Earth.  Not even close.  (Applause.)

And I just had ANWR approved — one of the largest sites anywhere in the world.  They couldn’t do it with Ronald Reagan.  They couldn’t get it done.  They’ve been trying to get it done for many, many years.  Many, many decades they couldn’t get it approved.  I got it approved.  That’s in Alaska.  One of the biggest — maybe the biggest — the biggest site in the world for oil and natural gas.

We passed massive tax cuts so that American companies can beat their foreign competition.  Now, you have a tremendous advantage now because you had an impossible disadvantage before and now we’ve given you, with what we’ve done, a tremendous advantage.  And we did it to keep jobs where they belong, right here in the United States of America.

As a result, almost 1,400 companies have announced that they’re bringing their jobs back to the United States from overseas.   And that’s just last year.  Think of that — 1,400 companies bringing jobs back.  Who would think that’s even possible?  But now it’s the incentive.  They want to be in the United States.  (Applause.)

Early in my presidency, I ordered the federal government to live by two very simple but very crucial rules: Buy American and hire American.  You know, it’s called “America First,” folks.  It was never that way.

I mean, for many, many decades, it was everybody else first and we were the people that took care of other people’s borders.  We’d protect other people’s borders, but we don’t want to protect our own border.  We’d fight for the right of other countries to have a strong, powerful border so nobody could come in, but our border was like a leaking sieve.  And that’s changed so rapidly and so much.  A lot of things are happening.

We’re building a wall as we speak, even though we have about seven lawsuits trying to stop it, from the Democrats and others.  But we’re doing very well and we’re doing well on the border.

Mexico has been of great help.  I told them — I said, “Look, you’re going to help us.  If they walk through your country…” — 2,000-mile walk.  Horrible things happen during that walk to people, especially to women and children.  Horrible things.  Two thousand miles up from Guatemala.  They walk through our country.  So many — the percentage of rape, they say, is over 30 percent.  Think of it.  Remember when I mentioned that in my opening speech and everybody said, “Oh that’s such a — such a terrible thing to mention”?  Well, what I said is very small compared to the actual fact: over 30 percent.  The crime — human trafficking, mostly of children and women.  “Human trafficking,” sounds like an ancient term.  You wouldn’t think it’s possible.  Human trafficking.

But the Internet has made human trafficking a much bigger business than it was ever, hundreds or even thousands of years ago.  The Internet — a lot of good things happen with the Internet but a lot of bad things happen also.

So now our federal agencies are spending an additional $24 billion on buying your product.  We’re buying your product.  And I said specifically, “Let’s buy American.”  You have the advantage.  Before, you didn’t have any advantage at all.  Now you have an advantage.  If you make your product in America, you have a much better chance of getting the deal.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that we will begin our Buy American requirements, but even stronger.  Currently, a product can be 50 percent foreign, and it still counts as American-made.  Figure that one out.  In just a few moments, I will sign an executive order that will — that will eventually raise these standards up to 75 percent and above so that domestic goods will have to have 75 percent American, and 95 percent for things such
as iron and steel.  It’s going to be 95 percent.  We have great minds.  We produce great ore, great steel, great aluminum, great everything.  But we weren’t using them.  Most of them were closed.  And in some cases, they blame the environmentalists.  Most of them were closed.  They’re not closed anymore, or they won’t be closed very long.

The philosophy of my administration is simple: If we can build it, grow it, or make it in the United States, we will.

When we choose American-made, something truly wonderful happens: Our communities thrive and flourish, our neighborhoods bustle with commerce, our children dream bigger and bolder, and the bonds of loyalty that unite us as citizens become closer, richer, and deeper than ever before.

That’s how we carry on the “flaming torch of Americanism,” as President Warren G. Harding called it.  As Harding said, we are forever devoted “to safeguard America first, to stabilize America first, to prosper America first, to think of America first, to exalt America first, [and] to live for and revere America first.”  You never heard that before.  You’ve been doing this for a long time.

I was speaking to a couple of the folks that were responsible right here — Freeman, for this great boat, of which they are setting records right now.  Records by a lot.  Not even close.  He said over the last three years — where’s Freeman?  Where are you folks?  Where are you?  Stand up, please.  Great job.  (Applause.)  And they were saying how well they’re doing and that they’ve never heard this kind of talk before: “Build in America.”  They didn’t hear that.  In fact, it was the opposite.  They were trying to steal your business and build it overseas, build it in other countries, including China, many others.  But that’s not what this is all about.  And this is 100 percent made right here.  Thank you.  Congratulate everybody, too, please.  (Applause.)

So thank you all for showcasing your awe-inspiring products today.  And they are absolutely incredible.  Thank you for pouring out your heart, your sweat, and soul to make our nation even stronger.  Thank you for your unwavering commitment to this magnificent land that we love so much.

And I just want to end by saying, may God bless the United States of America.  May God bless you all.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.

Okay, you have any questions on how well our manufacturing business is doing, press?  The press.  Wow, that’s a lot of press.  Look.

Q    President Trump, who were you talking about in your tweet about going back to their home countries?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I don’t mention — I didn’t mention names.  And I didn’t do that.  But I will tell you, with our country — and I think everybody in this audience, these are great manufacturers, great workers in our audience too; they brought a lot of their workers here.  If you’re not happy here, then you can leave.  As far as I’m concerned, if you hate our country — (applause) — if you’re not happy here, you can leave.  And that’s what I say all the time.  That’s what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think is controversial.  A lot of people love it, by the way.  A lot of people love it.

But if you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time — very simply, you can leave.  You can leave right now.  Come back if you want; don’t come back.  It’s okay too.  But if you’re not happy, you can leave.  (Applause.)

Q    Speaker Pelosi (inaudible).  Is that true?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s just a very racist statement, somebody that would say that.  So, Speaker Pelosi said, “Make America white again.”  Let me tell you, that’s a very racist — that’s a very racist statement.  I’m surprised she’d say that.

John, go ahead.

Q    Mr. President, three of the congresswomen that you talked about were born in America.  (Inaudible.)  What were you talking about?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, they’re very unhappy.  I’m watching them; all they do is complain.  So all I’m saying is, if they want to leave, they can leave, John.  They can leave.

I mean, I look at the one — I look at Omar — I don’t know, I never met her.  I hear the way she talks about al Qaeda.  Al Qaeda has killed many Americans.  She said, “You can hold your chest out, you can — when I think of America…huh…when I think of al Qaeda, I can hold my chest out.”  When she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down, “Some people.”  You remember the famous “some people.”  These are people that, in my opinion, hate our country.

Now, you can say what you want, but get a list of all of the statements they’ve made.  And all I’m saying: that if they’re not happy here, they can leave.  They can leave.  And you know what?  I’m sure that there’ll be many people that won’t miss them.

Q    But they’re American citizens.  What do you make of the fact that they’re American citizens?

THE PRESIDENT:  But they have to love — they have to love our country.  They’re Congress people.  And I never used any names.  But these are people —

Q    Are you okay with people thinking your tweets are racist, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  Quiet.  Quiet.  Quiet.  Quiet.

Q    Mr. President, are you okay with people thinking your tweets are racist, sir?


Q    I’m asking a question, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  These are people that if they don’t like it here, they can leave.  And I’d be — I don’t know who’s going to miss them, but I guess some people will.  One of them is polling — one of them is polling at 8 — one of them is polling at 8 percent.  (Applause.)  One of them is polling at 8 percent.

So when — when I hear people speaking about how wonderful al Qaeda is, when I hear people talking about “some people” — “some” people with the World Trade Center — “some people”?  No, not “some people.”  Much more than “some people.”

When I hear the statements that they’ve made — and in one case, you have somebody that comes from Somalia, which is a failed government, a failed state — who left Somalia, who ultimately came here, and now is a Congresswoman who’s never happy; says horrible things about Israel.  Hates Israel.  Hates Jews.  Hates Jews.  It’s very simple.

And if the Democrats want to wrap their bows around this group of four people — one of them kept Amazon out of New York, tens of thousands of jobs.  It would’ve been a great thing.  And she kept Amazon from going — it would’ve been a good deal.  I mean, could he have made better?  Maybe.  But tens of thousands of jobs, and New York has not been the same since that happened.  It’s really hurt New York and New York City.  Amazon was going to go there.  They were going to relocate a major section of their business in New York.  She kept them out.  That was a terrible thing she did.  A terrible thing she did.

So here’s the story — here’s the story: I see them complaining.  They’re complaining constantly.  I watched Lindsey Graham today on Fox & Friends talking about the same subject —

Q    He says you went too far, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:   — and, frankly, even stronger than what I’m saying.

Q    He says you went too far, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  He said they’re “communists.”  I’m saying that they’re socialists definitely.  As to whether to not they’re communists, I would think they might be, but this isn’t what our country is about.  Nevertheless, they’re free to leave if they want.  And if they want to leave, that’s fine.  And if they want to stay, that’s fine.  But the people have to know.

And politicians can’t be afraid to take them on.  A politician that hears somebody, where we’re at war with al Qaeda, and sees somebody talking about how great al Qaeda is — pick out her statement — that was Omar.  How great al Qaeda is — when you hear that — and we’re losing great soldiers to al Qaeda.

When you see the World Trade Center gets knocked down, and you see the statements made about the World Trade Center — all the death and destruction — I’ll tell you what: I’m not happy with them.  And it’s very easy to be — say, “Oh, gee.  Well, it’s okay.”  If weak politicians want to say — and the Democrats, in this case — if they want to gear their wagons around these four people, I think they’re going to have a very tough election because I don’t think the people of United States will stand for it.  (Applause.)

Q    Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT:  John, go ahead.  Go ahead, John.

Q    Mr. President, let me see if I can sum up, sort of, what people are talking about here.


Q    Does it concern you that that tweet was seen as racist?  Lindsey Graham said — he encouraged you to aim higher.  And does it trouble you —

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no.  He didn’t say about the — he just said, “Don’t go…”  See, I disagree with Lindsey.

Q    Oh, okay.  But can I just finish?

THE PRESIDENT:  These are congresswomen.  What am I supposed to do?  Just wait for senators?  No.  These are four — so I disagree with Lindsey on that.  That was the only thing.  He said, “Aim higher.  Shoot higher.”  What am I going to do?  Wait until we get somebody else in a higher position?  A higher office?  These are people that hate our country.

Q    But — but —

THE PRESIDENT:  Hey, John.  They hate our country.  They hate it, I think, with a passion.  Now, it’s possible I’m wrong.  The voter will decide.  But when I hear the way they talk about our country, when I hear the anti-Semitic language they use, when I hear the hatred they have for Israel, and the love they have for enemies like al Qaeda — then you know what?
I will tell you that I do not believe this is good for the Democrat Party.  Certainly, it’s not the party that I’ve known over the years.

Q    But could I get — could I just finish?  Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?

THE PRESIDENT:  It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.  And all I’m saying — they want to leave, they can leave.  Now, it doesn’t say leave forever.  It says leave, if you want.

But what it says — and what that — John, what that says is: If they’re not happy with the United States, if they’re doing nothing but criticizing us all the time — you see these people walking down, criticizing the United States.

We just hit the highest stock market in history.  All of these incredible manufacturers that are in — these are great business people.  They employ many people, and we have workers with us, too.  They’re having the best year they’ve ever had.  Can I say that?  Is that a correct statement?  (Applause.)

So — and they’re hiring more people than they’ve had.  And more people are making a good living than they’ve ever had.  We just hit 27,000-plus on the Dow.  It’s the highest the stock market has ever been.  And you have to go by the election because the markets started going up the day after I won.  You know, they like to add all of that tremendous gain.  They like to try and give it to Obama.  The fact is, if I would’ve lost, the stock market would crash.  And if these people that I watch in those debates ever got their hands on the United States government, 401(k)s, the values of your company, everything else that we talk about we’re so proud of, it’s down the tubes.  People will lose their money.  They’ll lose their wealth.  You’ll have a crash like you’ve never seen before.  And I’m really good at this stuff; I know what I’m talking about.

Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Q    Mr. President, why didn’t your threats about the ICE raids — Mr. President, ICE raids.  Why didn’t they happen?  Was it (inaudible) scare people?

THE PRESIDENT:  The ICE raids — the ICE raids —

Q    Was that just to scare people, Mr. President?  Why didn’t your threats match the action?

THE PRESIDENT:  The ICE raids were very successful.  People came into our country illegally.  Illegally.  Many were felons.  Many were convicted of crimes.  Many, many were taken out on Sunday.  You just didn’t know about it.

Q    How many?

THE PRESIDENT:  In fact, I went to a — I spoke to the head of ICE.  I spoke to a couple of people.  We had many people — it was a very successful day.  But you didn’t see a lot of it because it was done —

Q    How many?

THE PRESIDENT:  A lot.  You’ll speak to them.  And I don’t — I’m not even sure they should be telling you, but it was a lot.  And it wouldn’t have to be Sunday.

We’ve been doing this — look, we have been removing MS-13.  They’re monsters.  We’ve been removing MS-13 by the thousands during my administration.  And I tell my people — it’s much easier to go the other route — but I say, “Focus on the criminals.  Focus on the people that are killing people, that are causing crime.  Focus on them.”  Much easier just to go to general population.  That’s easy.  But I don’t do it the easy way.

We’re getting tremendous numbers of criminals.  And yesterday, it was just reported to me before I walked — because I said, “How did that go yesterday?”  It didn’t have to start yesterday.  The truth is it started a number of days before yesterday, but yesterday was very successful.

People come into our country illegally, and they go out legally.  Every person taken out had papers and we had court orders.  Okay, thank you.

How about getting the manufacturers up here?  Come on up.  Come on up.

(The executive order is signed.)


1:07 P.M. EDT