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Oval Office
12:50 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Shane Bouvet was a big supporter.  He worked hard for the campaign.  Ran into great difficulty, but he wanted to the go to the Inauguration, and he threw everything he had — he spent his last dime to get to the Inauguration.

I read a story about it — happened to be in The Washington Post, surprisingly.  But I read a story about him.  And it was a very inspiring story, how he literally — I mean, every single penny he spent to be able to be at the Inauguration.

And I met him.  I said, “I’d like to meet him.”  Nice young man, had a lot of difficulty.  And I gave him some money for himself — $10,000.  His father, Donald — good name — (laughter) — was suffering and really on a pretty final path toward losing his life with cancer.

Shane took the $10,000, and, rather than spending it on himself, he gave it to his father.  And his father went to a very good cancer clinic or hospital because he was at hospitals before and they didn’t do so well.


THE PRESIDENT:  It was a bad result.  And they did a fantastic job, and Donald is now cancer-free.  And I think it’s an incredible story where a son would give 100 percent of the money to his father, who he loves, obviously.

MR. SHANE BOUVET:  Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT:  A hundred percent.  He didn’t say — because I said, “How much did you give him.”  He said, “All of it.”  I said, “But you didn’t have anything, and you gave all of it.”

His father then took the money and, because of some very good doctors and good talent, he is now cancer-free for 13 months.  And they think they have it, right?  It’s in great shape.

Donald, maybe you could just say a few words as to how that happened.  That’s an incredible son.

MR. DONALD BOUVET:  Yes, I have a very incredible son.  The cancer was bad, and I did go to hospitals around my area.  And it came across a TV, so I called them.  I didn’t have the money to go.

And he came home, and said — well, first, I talked to Mr. Trump on the — President Trump on the phone, and I couldn’t believe it because he told me I had a cool name first, too — (laughter) — and I said, “So do you, sir.”  And he said he’s going to take care of it.

And he wrote my son a $10,000 check — for him, in his name.  And when he got home, he said, “Dad, I want to give you this check.”  And, I said, “He gave that to you.”  And he said, “No, he gave it to me but then I’m giving it to you.”  I’m sorry.

It’s very emotional because I’ve always told Shane and everybody I’ve talked to, no matter who is was — one day I wanted to come here, or meet you somewhere, shake your hand, look you in the eye, and say, “Thank you for saving my life.”  And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t know this full story.  I just knew that Shane was somebody that really believed in what we were saying, and he fought so hard to be here at the Inauguration that weekend.

I didn’t know too much about your father having the difficulty.  I knew about you having a difficulty, but that you would go home and take that and give it to your father to try and —

MR. SHANE BOUVET:  Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT:  — recover from a prognosis which was really bad.  This was bladder cancer.


THE PRESIDENT:  A really bad prognosis.  I just tell you, I think it’s fantastic.

MR. SHANE BOUVET:  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I heard that story, and I said, “That’s a story the world should hear about — about a great son.”  I didn’t think you were going to be giving your money to anybody except yourself.  So, well, perhaps you might say a few words, Shane?

MR. SHANE BOUVET:  Yeah, I want to thank Mr. President for everything and the blessings that he’s done for me and my family.

You know, my dad is life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.  We started out in a trailer, to a house, and, when he joined the military — so I felt like it was my right to give him that check.  He deserves it for his hard work and the (inaudible), and I just want to give back to my dad.  So I was glad to give him that check so he could get the treatments that he needed.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I just want to thank you.  And I just think it’s an incredible story.  Very rarely do I hear a story like this.

They were just coming in to say hello, and I didn’t know much about the father.  I just knew that we had a great supporter here.


THE PRESIDENT:  And when I heard — and now we have two.  (Laughter.)  But I know we had two, even before.  But when I heard about the illness, and — the tremendous illness.  Incredible.  Incredible.

Congratulate your doctors.  And keep checking anyway.  You know that, right?


THE PRESIDENT:  You keep checking anyway.  But that is a tremendous story of the love of a father by his son.  You just don’t see it often.

And one of the beautiful things — I’m just sitting here, I’m saying, “But how much did you give him?”  I figured he’d say, “Yeah, I gave him five [thousand].”  He gave him the whole thing.  Just gave it.  And this is at a time where Shane had very, very big problems, including family problems.

So I just want to thank you both — Shane, Donald.  I think it’s an incredible story.  Thank you.  It’s a beautiful story.  Thank you very much.

MR. SHANE BOUVET:  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you all very much.  I appreciate it.

Q    Do you have a comment on Mr. Porter?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we wish him well.  He worked very hard.  I found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it.  But we certainly wish him well.

It’s a, obviously, tough time for him.  He did a very good job when he was in the White House.  And we hope he has a wonderful career, and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him.  But it was very sad when we heard about it.  And, certainly, he’s also very sad.

Now he also — as you probably know, he says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that.  He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent.  So you’ll have to talk to him about that.  But we absolutely wish him well.  Did a very good job while he was at the White House.

Thank you very much everybody.  Thank you.

Q    (Inaudible) memo?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.  It’s going to be released soon.  We’re going to release a letter soon.

Thank you very much.


12:56 P.M. EST