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Oval Office

1:59 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Come on in, folks.  Enjoy yourselves.  Come on.  Hello.  Some incredible people behind me.  I want to just say that I’m honored to have the heroic crew and passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 at the White House today.  I also want to thank Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao — who’s doing an incredible job, by the way — for her leadership.  Thank you very much, Elaine.  Really fantastic job in so many ways.

While I’m in route from New York and while they were flying — I’ve taken that route many, many times.  I’ve landed at LaGuardia many, many times.  They went from LaGuardia to Dallas’s Love Field last month — an engine failed, crippling the aircraft piloted by Captain Tammie Jo Shults.  Where’s Tammie?  (Applause.)  Good job.  And her son who is — come here — going to the Air Force Academy.  (Laughter.)  Right?

MR. SHULTS:  Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  I tell you, good genes.  You believe in genes?  (Laughter.)  He’s got good genes.

But Tammie did an incredible job.  And First Officer Darren Ellisor, who joins us today, also.  Darren, great job.  Is he pretty good?

CAPTAIN SHULTS:  He’s excellent.

THE PRESIDENT:  All right.  That’s what I hear.  Good.  Thank you very much.

Our hearts break for the family of the passenger who tragically lost her life, Jennifer Riordan.  We send our prayers to Jennifer’s husband and their two beautiful young children.  We ask God to hold this family close as they grieve the loss of a loving wife and mother.  And I’ve seen so much about Jennifer, and she looks — she must have been a fantastic woman.  Really, a fantastic woman.

We’re also joined by crewmembers Kathryn Sandoval, Seanique Mallory, and Rachel Fernheimer, who displayed exemplary leadership in making an emergency landing in Philadelphia.  And I want to just thank you folks.  Fantastic job.  That’s really fantastic.  You were a little bit nervous up there?

MS. MALLORY:  Not at all.  We did what —

THE PRESIDENT:  You knew who was piloting the plane, so you had no problem.  Right?  (Laughter.)  That’s a fantastic job.  Really, they said you were calm and strong and cool.  Thank you very much.

Captain Shults, I especially want to commend you for your lifesaving actions.  Everybody is talking about it.  They’re still talking about.  They’ll be talking about it for a long time.

I understand you were one of the first women ever to fly tactical fighter aircraft in the United States Navy.  You drew from years of training and safety, and you knew how to land that plane.  We salute you and every member of this crew.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

Finally, we’re indebted to the passengers aboard the flight, including Tim McGinty, Andrew Needum, and Peggy Phillips, who are also with us.  Thank you, folks.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

Tim and Andrew risked their safety to pull Jennifer back inside the aircraft.  Peggy Phillips, a retired nurse, helped administer CPR until the plane landed in Philadelphia.  While there was nothing more they could do, these Americans responded with tremendous bravery.  And everybody is talking about it.  So your bravery, your compassion, we really appreciate it.  Thank you all.

The actions of the crew and passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 show the great character of our nation.  We’re very, very proud of them.  And God bless you all, and thank you very much for being at the White House.  It is really an honor to meet you all.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you very much, everybody.

Q    (Inaudible) Nobel Peace Prize?

THE PRESIDENT:  Nobel Peace Prize?

Q    Yes, sir.  Nobel.

THE PRESIDENT:  I just think that President Moon was very nice when he suggested it.  I want to get peace.  It’s the main thing.  We want to get peace.  That was a big problem, and I think it’s going to work out well.  We’ll see.  We’re setting up meetings right now, and I think it’s probably going to be announced over the next couple of days — location and date.

But I thought it was very generous of President Moon of South Korea to make that statement, and I appreciate it.  But the main thing is to get it done.  I want to get it done.

Thank you all.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Q    Are you going to Jerusalem?

THE PRESIDENT:  I may.  I may.  I’m not sure.  Thank you.  Thank you, everyone.


2:03 P.M. EDT