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The Pentagon

Washington, D.C.

11:06 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  We’re just here to support the General and all of the generals.  We’re here to support our country’s military.

If the country shuts down, which could very well be, the budget should be handled a lot differently than it’s been handled over the last long period of time — many years.

But if for any reason it shuts down, the worst thing is what happens to our military.  We’re rebuilding our military, we’re making us — we’re bringing it to a level that it’s never been at.  And the worst thing is for our military; we don’t want that to happen.  I’m here to support our military.

Our military has to be the best in the world, by far.  And as you know, it’s been depleted over the last long period of time.  And when we finish, there won’t be anything like it.  We need that now almost more than at any time in the past.

So I’m here for our military, I’m here to support our great, great, and very powerful military.  And we’re going to keep it that way, but we’re going to make it much better and that’s what we’re doing.

It also means jobs.  You see what’s happening with respect to jobs.  You see what happened yesterday — Apple, and now it was just announced that they’re giving each employee a lot of money.

So our tax cuts and our tax reform has turned out to be far greater than anybody ever anticipated, and I’m sure the Democrats would like to blunt that by shutting down government.

But again, the group that loses big would be the military.  And we’re never letting our military lose at any point.  We’re going to fund our military.  We’re going to have a military like we’ve never had before because we just about — just about never needed our military more than now.

Thank you all very much.  Thank you.

Q    Mr. President, are you responsible if there’s a government shutdown, sir?

Q    What does this mean (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT:  Could happen.  We’ll see what happens.  It’s up to the Democrats.


11:08 A.M. EST