3/23/17: White House Press Briefing

3/23/17: White House Press Briefing

Mr. Spicer: Good
afternoon, everybody. I want to start by
acknowledging, as the President did a little
while ago, that a great American, Kurt Cochran,
was killed in the terror attack in London
yesterday. Our prayers are with
his family and friends. We’re aware of reports
that another American citizen was injured, as
well as the potential as this story continues to
develop — we stand ready to provide consular
assistance, but considering some privacy
concerns, I’m not going to further discuss the
current state of any of those individuals
at this time. As I said yesterday, the
President spoke with UK Prime Minister May to
offer his condolences and pledge the full
cooperation and support of the United States
government in responding to this attack and
bringing those responsible to justice. Now, a little bit on
today’s schedule. This morning, after
receiving his daily intelligence briefing, the
President met with over 30 members of the House
Freedom Caucus to discuss building momentum towards
replacing and repealing Obamacare with the
American Health Care Act. The members of the Freedom
Caucus thanked the President for engaging
with them throughout their negotiations, and the
President, likewise, thanked the group for
their willingness to work closely with the White
House and their colleagues to craft the strongest
possible bill. The group agreed that
their ultimate goal is to implement a system that
will drive down costs and increase access to
healthcare for millions of Americans, and this
meeting was, I think, a very positive step towards
achieving that goal. This was just the
latest in a series of discussions, in-person and
on the phone, that the President, the Vice
President and his team have had, holding with
Republican House members on the American
Health Care Act. This afternoon, we expect
the President to continue those meetings with
members of the Tuesday Group from the House, coming up here later today. Since the law was
introduced, the legislative affairs team
has been in constant contact with members the
American people will be counting on to fulfill
their promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare by
supporting this bill later tonight. In the past few days, the
President has been on the phone with scores of
Republican members, in addition to the in-persons
meetings you’ve seen with the Republican Study
Committee, the House Freedom Caucus and
the Tuesday Group. This bill has truly been a
collaborative effort from the beginning. Through an open and
deliberative process, the President and his team
have helped to negotiate a very, very strong bill. He was on the phone last
night well into the 11 o’clock hour with members
on an individual basis, discussing their
support for the bill. The amendments that have
been incorporated add important aspects to the
bill, like removing costly “essential health benefit”
insurance regulations; repealing Obamacare taxes
immediately, starting in 2017; reforming Medicaid
by allowing states to accept funding as a
block grant to implement able-bodied work
requirements; and blocking states from receiving
enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages if they expanded during the transition. We’ve already seen the
results, with many members coming out and saying
they’re going to be a “yes” tonight. As I’ve noted before,
today is actually the 7th — and we hope, the last
— anniversary of the day that President Obama
signed Obamacare. The President is looking
forward to seeing Republicans fulfill the
pledge tonight that they’ve been making to
their constituents for years that, with a
Republican in the White House and with them in
Congress, they would once and for all see the
end of Obamacare. The President — I assume
that President Obama must be feeling this time is
up for his signature law, since today he came out
with a rather lengthy statement about it. But he can’t change the
facts about where it stands. President Obama stated
that Americans received an “upgrade” in insurance. But the mandates Obamacare
placed on insurance forced millions off their
insurance and away from their doctor, which broke
the promise that they were given. President Obama attempted
to move the goal posts on costs, downplaying the
skyrocketing premiums, some in the case of over
100 percent in some places, and unaffordable
deductibles. Americans — he seems to
have forgotten that he pushed Obamacare on the
promise of reducing costs, not making health
care unaffordable. President Obama said
Obamacare isn’t — quote — in a “death spiral.” But enrollment is nowhere
near expectations, and this year it’s
actually declining. Insurers are fleeing the
exchanges and one in three counties in America
only has one insurer. President Obama may not
believe the Obamacare is a “job-killer” but the
new law, including its job-killing taxes,
mandates and regulations, speaks for itself. With the passage of the
American Health Care Act, we will begin the
process of rolling back Obamacare’s many
disastrous policies. And, of course, it’s not
just a big day on the House side. Over on the Senate, we
begin the final and fourth day of Judge Gorsuch’s
Senate Judiciary hearings. Earlier today, Senate
Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced that
Senate Democrats would be mounting a filibuster
against his nomination. From day one, we’ve said
that the President made an inspired choice with
the nomination of Judge Gorsuch. The American Bar
Association has given them their highest rating
of “well qualified.” This week, though, through
all four days, he has showcased his sterling
credentials and a brilliant legal mind. We find Senator Schumer’s
announcement truly disappointing, because it
breaks with the tradition of how the Senate has
handled Supreme Court confirmation votes in
modern time — and represents the type
of partisanship that Americans have
grown tired of. In the last half-century,
only three Supreme Court justices have ever
faced a filibuster. The most recent — Justice
Alito — was opposed by then-Senator Obama who
voted to uphold his filibuster, and later
admitted that his vote was a politically motivated
act that he regretted. In fact, Senate
Republicans didn’t filibuster his Supreme
Court nominees, Kagan and Sotomayor. We call on Senator Schumer
to follow Democrats to abandon this attempt to
block Judge Gorsuch from receiving a fair up or
down vote that he and the American people
have voted for. Back to the rest of the
President’s schedule. This afternoon, the
President, as I mentioned, will meet with members
of the Tuesday Group. He had lunch with
Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin and Nelson Peltz. At 3 o’clock today we hope
you’ll come out and join the President to welcome
the truck drivers and truck company CEOs who he
will be meeting with on the American Health Care
Act as they arrive to the White House alongside two
rather large big-rigs. One in every 16 Americans
work for the trucking industry. It’s the backbone of our
country’s domestic freight transportation and it
moves over 70 percent of domestic freight tonnage. But the trucking industry
has suffered greatly under Obamacare. Many truckers were forced
to buy healthcare plans that weren’t necessarily
right for them on the exchanges. Like millions of Americans
across the country, they saw their premiums rise
and their options plummet. And trucking companies,
classified as large employers under the law,
are mandated to provide insurance that we already
know doesn’t work. Instead of imposing
senseless restrictions from Washington, the
President’s three-pronged healthcare reform plan
will lower premiums and increase choice by
increasing competition. The President looks
forward to discussing how these policies, combined
with forthcoming tax, regulatory and trade
reforms, will provide much needed relief for the
trucking industry. Also today, the Vice
President met with President Hernandez
of Honduras. A readout on that meeting
is available from the Vice President’s office. And a few notes before I
get to your questions. As the President noted
during his first Cabinet meeting earlier this
month, while many of his spectacularly qualified
choices to lead his departments and agencies
are already in place and taking action to fulfill
the President’s ambitious agenda, there are still
some important positions that have not been filled,
in large part to to Senate Democrats’ obstruction. I wanted to give you a
quick update on still some of the outstanding
confirmations. Secretary of
Labor-designate Alex Acosta had a very
successful hearing yesterday, and we expect
markup next week. Secretary of
Agriculture-designate, former governor Sonny
Perdue is currently appearing before the
Senate Ag Committee. We expect Governor Perdue
to continue to show why he’s the best choice
to lead the USDA, and hopefully his markup to be
scheduled in the coming days. We also announced earlier
this afternoon that Prime Minister Rasmussen of
Denmark will be visiting the White House
on March 30th. We’ll have further details
on the visit in the upcoming days. Tomorrow, the President
will hose Medal of Honor recipients and their
guests in celebration of Medal of Honor Day, which
falls on Saturday of this year. We’ll have some more
details on that event coming forward. The President intends to
be here this weekend, so as we have updates on the
President’s weekend plans we will let you
know as well. I’ll also note that we’ve
got — coming up on a deadline related to
the Keystone pipeline. We’ll have an update on
that for you tomorrow. And finally, I’m proud to
announce that on April 19th, the anniversary of
the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the New
England Patriots will be visiting the White House
to celebrate their latest — and what will probably
be a continuation of many more to come —
Super Bowl win. And with that, I will
take your questions. Jeff Mason. The Press: Sean — The Press: This is a Patriot question. (Laughter.) The Press: No, it’s not. (Laughter.) Mr. Spicer: Do you know anything about Tom Brady’s jersey? Is this — The Press: I’ve got nothing on that. But I have a healthcare
question for you. First, do you expect there
to be a vote tonight? Mr. Spicer: That’s what I
understand the House has scheduled, yes. The Press: Any chance that
that’s going to be pushed back? Mr. Spicer: That would be
obviously up to Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy,
but I have been — nothing leads me to believe
that that’s the case. The Press: Is the
President concerned at all that as he draws support
for the bill from the Freedom Caucus that he may
lose support from more moderate groups
of the House? Mr. Spicer: He’s meeting
with members of the Tuesday Group today. Obviously this is
something that he understands — there’s a
little bit of a balancing act that goes on as you
try to get 216 in this case. But I think we continue to
make progress every day. We walked out with more
members in support of the American Health Care Act
today than we started the day with, and I continue
to see that number climb hour by hour. And I anticipate that
we will get there. Blake. The Press: Sean, Patrick
McHenry said “we have an offer that” — speaking of
the House Freedom Caucus — “can accept
it or reject it.” Is that the way that you
see it at this moment? Are you just waiting on
the House Freedom Caucus to come to your side? Are you at their
whims at this point? What’s their status
as far as you know? Mr. Spicer: I think there
are some members who, in the meeting, stood up and
told the President, I’m with you now. And I think member by
member, that’s how they’re going to vote. I think we’ve continued
to see that number rise. And the same thing with
the Tuesday Group. There are members that had
not been with us that are expressing their
willingness to want to be part of this. The President went over
several commitments and changes that had been made
to assuage different folks that have continued to
evolve, and I think that we continue to see
the number rise. But I think that we
continue to see the number go up not down, and that’s
a very positive sign. The Press: Do you know how
many came across and what it was that brought them
across in that meeting? Mr. Spicer: It depends. Again, I don’t think
there’s any singular issue in a lot of cases. There’s a lot — I think
we talked a little bit about sections of the bill
that there was an issue with. And so I think there’s a
couple areas that there is some common ground on. But there was over 30
members there today, and some of them had specific
aspects that they wanted to see improved, and some
of them, frankly, came to say, hey, thank you, I
think that what you guys have done already has
been an improvement. The Press: With them is it
essential health benefits? Is that their main
sticking point as far as you know? Mr. Spicer: In a lot of
cases — there were some members that that was
their number-one thing. But, again, it wasn’t universal across the board. But, again, I think some
of the measures that have been taken along the way
have really — and again, there’s also, beyond
that, there’s a lot of discussion about phase two
and phase three, and I think the President and
the Vice President both committed to continuing
working and improving and making commitments on
the totality and the comprehensive nature of
how we’re going to do this. For a lot of these guys
it really comes down to premium increases. They’re very concerned
about what they’re seeing their constituents face. And I think the President
and the Vice President, Secretary Price, Director
Mulvaney, Reince Priebus, the chief of staff, the
legislative affairs team — we’re all continuing
to work with them to talk about certain measures
that have been put in place to drive down cost. And I think when you
realize what we continue to talk about, that costs
are too high, premiums are spiking, deductibles are
going up, choices are going down — these
are real concerns for constituents of
these members. And I think that as they
see an overall and total commitment of this, it’s
making them feel a lot better about not just this
bill, but phases two and three. Matt. The Press: Two questions,
both on healthcare. First one — is the
President open to removing protections for
preexisting conditions from the bill? Mr. Spicer: I think that’s
been something that he’s been very clear needs
to stay in there. The Press: Okay. Secondly, about this
essential benefits protection. Obviously among those
is maternity leave. So how would removing that
jive with the President’s promise during the
campaign to expand maternity leave? Obviously this would take
it out and insurers would no longer have
to provide that. Mr. Spicer: Yeah, and
again, I don’t want to get into a benefit-by-benefit
discussion here, but I think that there’s a lot
of concerns, as I just said to Blake, that
part of the reason that premiums have spiked out
of control is because under Obamacare there were
these mandated services that had to be included. And what happened was is
that older men, older women who had gone past
maternity age were buying benefits that weren’t
necessary for them. People who were at the
younger end of the age scale were buying
end-of-life benefits. And I think this goes
back to the nut of this discussion, Matt, which is
we have now gone down to a system where in one-third
of all counties there’s one choice, and it’s this
potpourri of mandated benefits that
everyone has to have. We’ve lost
consumer choice. And so people are paying
for benefits that neither they, their spouse, their
family needs, which is driving up costs
for everybody. And so part of it isn’t
about necessarily a benefit. It’s about a series of
benefits being mandated for everybody. And so what has happened
is that the costs of healthcare for every
individual has gone up and the choice has gone down. And I think there is a
philosophical discussion that is going on about
what we can do to make sure that people have
actual coverage — something that we’ve
talked about before — but doing so in a way that
doesn’t drive up the cost for everybody. The Press: So one
follow-up on that then. Is the President concerned
that without having those essential benefits in
there, he’ll have a situation where women are
just de factor paying higher for health
insurance? Obviously they’d be paying
for maternity leave. Mr. Spicer: No, you could
have a family plan. In other words, the point
is, is that it’s not — again, you’re picking one
benefit and trying to extrapolate it. It’s also saying should
young people have to pay for end-of-life care. The idea is to instill
choice back into the market so that it’s not
just about one particular benefit, it’s allowing
people to tailor a plan and a cost point that’s
good for them or their family or them
and their spouse. But it’s not just about
one particular benefit, it’s about looking at this
and figuring out what are the cost drivers and how
do we give people the choice that they need. Sara. The Press: Thanks, Sean. The White House and House
leadership initially defended the way this bill
was written by saying it needed to be structured a
certain way and exclude certain things to be able
to proceed through the Senate through budget
reconciliation. So what’s changed to
put now these pretty substantive policy
changes on the table? What’s given the White
House and Republicans confidence that now it can
survive through that same process in the Senate? Mr. Spicer: I think
there’s a lot of discussion that goes on. Without getting too into
it, the issue at hand is the Byrd Rule and whether
or not it affects the budgetary — you can’t
have policymaking things that don’t have a
budgetary impact. There are certain things
that are being phrased in certain ways and crafted
in accordance with the rule. But there’s a lot of smart
people that are very familiar with the rules
and are trying to do things in a way to make
this bill conform in those ways. Zeke. The Press: Thanks, Sean. Two questions for you. One on the healthcare
bill first. A question about the way
this bill is now being modified to basically
pick up votes. On Monday night the
amendment included that special carve-out for
upstate New York — had a bunch of good nicknames
that I can’t do justice for — but they also
announced these latest (inaudible.) Is the
President concerned that this bill now looks a lot
like — procedurally, it looks a lot like what
Obamacare looked like seven years ago that
Republicans have spent seven years criticizing
the way that bill was brought to the floor, and
here they are seven years later on the same day
about to do the exact same thing? Mr. Spicer:
No, not at all. In fact, it’s doing
exactly what we intended to do. I mean, the exchange that
we had with Matt, it’s actually going — the two
goals that it set out to do it’s actually doing —
driving costs down, find ways to lower premiums,
keep deductibles within reason, or at least giving
people the option to choose a plan that fits
their budget, and then, secondly, is doing things
that instill competition, choice. So the things that are
being done actually achieve the goals that
have been set forth. The Press: Sean, just one
for you on a different question. Yesterday, Secretary
Mattis and Chairman Dunford testified on
Capitol Hill that they were willing to, before
Congress, have a public debate around a new AUMF. Is that something that —
traditionally, those have started in the
executive branch. Is the White House willing
to put one forward and willing to begin that
round of discussions? Mr. Spicer: I’d refer you
back to Secretary Mattis. I think that that is one
that’s the Department of Defense is — The Press:
So is that statement operative for the White
House, that the White House now is calling — Mr. Spicer: No, I think that that was brought
up in the context of a conversation that he is
willing to have with respect to overseas
contingencies that are existing right now in the
battle, especially with respect to ISIS, and the
current tools that we have to combat them. But I think that was a
discussion about whether or not we should have a
discussion on authorized use of force or not,
and how to have that. Jim. The Press: Now that Chuck
Schumer has announced a definite filibuster of
Judge Neil Gorsuch, do you think it’s time for the
White House to take a stand on eliminating the
filibuster for Supreme Court nominees? Mr. Spicer: I am not going
to — I’ll let — Senator McConnell is a much more
apt user and understanding of the Senate rules. I’m not going to start to
tell Senator McConnell what he should be
doing from here. The Press: He’s your
nominee, and — Mr. Spicer: I
understand that. And it’s his rules and his
chamber that he leads. So I’m going to
let that — John. The Press:
Sean, thank you. Has anybody from the
national security team or the homeland security
folks been in touch with their counterparts in
London in the last 24 hours or so? Mr. Spicer: Yes. The Press: Can you
expound on that at all? Mr. Spicer: Only to the
extent to say that they’ve been in touch to evaluate,
offer assistance. And again, I’m not going
to get into a classified discussion about what
we may or may not be discussing. The Press: A supportive
effort needless to say. Mr. Spicer: Yes. The Press: Thanks, Sean. Chairman Nunes today
refused to definitively rule out that he received
the information he announced yesterday on
surveillance, that he got that from the White House. So will you rule out that
the White House or anyone in the Trump
administration gave Chairman Nunes
that information? Mr. Spicer: I don’t know
what he actually briefed the President on, but I
don’t know why he would come up to brief the
President on something that we gave him. The Press: Well, that’s
why it was confusing to many of us, so I was
wondering — Mr. Spicer: I don’t know that
that makes sense. I did not sit in
on that briefing. I’m not — it just doesn’t
— so I don’t know why he would brief the Speaker
and then come down here to brief us on something that
we would have briefed him on. It doesn’t really seem
to make a ton of sense. So I’m not aware of it,
but it doesn’t really pass the smell test. Hallie. The Press: Thanks, Sean. On healthcare, a
couple for you. Mark Meadows says — came
out of a meeting and said there is no deal. Does the President
acknowledge that this bill appears to be in
trouble right now? Mr. Spicer: No, I think
that we’re going to continue — I mean, it’s
not a question of trouble. There was no deal. We weren’t asking
for a deal. The President — The Press: You wouldn’t call the essential health
benefits package a deal? Mr. Spicer: No, I think
for a lot of members it was. And I think some of
them stood up and said, Mr. President,
we’re with you. I think a lot of them
said, we’re going to go back and think about it. But there was no — the
meeting didn’t conclude by saying, “do we
have a deal?” That’s not why we had it. I think for some members
this has been — The Press: No final offer
before it is — Mr. Spicer: No, I think
this was a discussion that the President
continues to have. I think we have been very,
very pleased with the direction it’s going in
and the number of members who have expressed
their support for it. We’ll continue that
discussion with the Tuesday Group. But the number is growing,
the number of members who have shared concerns, and
I think that we have been very responsive, as well
as Speaker Ryan, to the concerns and ideas that
members have expressed from across the spectrum. The Press: Two quick
clarifications. You said that
there’s only plan A. At this point, is there
an acknowledgement that perhaps there does need to
be a plan B if this vote doesn’t happen tonight? Mr. Spicer: No. Plan A. The Press: Okay, then the
next follow-up is just, has the President asked
Speaker Ryan to delay this vote while he works with
some of these members to try to convince them
to come on board. Mr. Spicer: I’m
sorry, what’s that? The Press: Did the
President asked Speaker Ryan — Mr. Spicer: No. The Press: — to
delay the vote? Mr. Spicer: Steven. The Press: I was going to
offer you the opportunity to respond to what Leader
Pelosi said today. She said that it’s a
“rookie mistake” to set a date for a bill before
there’s consensus from the Republican caucus. What’s your
response to that? Mr. Spicer: Thank you. I appreciate that. I think we have a pretty
strong record on the Republican side of getting
bills passed, getting things done. And so — I know that
they have a pretty strong record of passing things
and telling people that they can read the
bill afterwards. I think we have done this
the right way, and I think — we know that we’ve done
it with the support that voters told members and
the President that they wanted. Jonathan. The Press: And
related, if I might. Mr. Spicer:
Yeah, of course. The Press: There are some
former White House lawyers who served in the prior
administration who say that by tweeting from his
official POTUS account this morning a video that
was put out on official social media channels,
that the President and the White House have violated
the anti-lobbying law because they’re
using money that was appropriated by Congress. Is that a concern
you guys appreciate? Is that something that’s
been talked about here? Mr. Spicer: It is not. The President — that is
not applicable to the President, no. So there is no — I
believe you’re referring to 18 U.S. Code 1913, if I’m correct. (Laughter.) I think we’re pretty good on it. Jonathan. The Press: Thanks, Sean. The President wrote a book
called “The Art of the Deal.” He’s considered the
ultimate closer when it comes to negotiations. If this deal falls
through, if this bill does not pass, would he accept
the blame for its failure? And if not, who would? Mr. Spicer: Let’s get
to the vote tonight. I’m not going to start —
I think the President has done a phenomenal job,
there’s no question. And I think when you look
at the effort that he’s put in, the number of
meetings that he’s had, and the changes that have
been made to the bill, there’s no question how
hard the President and his team, the Vice President have worked to get this done. And it’s in response —
at the end of the day we can’t force somebody to
vote, but I think, as I mentioned to Hallie and
several other folks, I like the direction that
this thing is going. I think that we continue
to see support go with us. We’re not seeing people
fall off, we’re seeing people come on board. That’s a great trajectory
to have, and so I like where we’re headed. The Press: Two very quick
clarifications on previous answers and then I
have a third question. I think the issue was not
what the President had done but what White House
staffers were doing with their official
Twitter accounts. So while the law does not
apply to the President it was a question about
White House staff. Mr. Spicer: Okay, so you
want me to answer that one? The Press: Sure. Mr. Spicer: Let me read
for you from 18 U.S. Code 1913. “The Department of Justice
consistently has construed that the Anti-Lobbying Act
as limiting the lobbying activities personally
undertaken by the President, his aides
and assistants with the Executive Office of the
President, the Vice President, Cabinet members
within their areas of responsibilities, and
others confirmed officials appointed by the President
responsibility.” So there’s clearly a
carve-out for that. Next. The Press: When you were
talking about the Byrd Rule earlier, can we read
from your answer that Vice President Pence does not
at any point intend to overrule the Senate
parliamentarian? Mr. Spicer: It’s not a
question of overrule. You don’t overrule. The Senate parliamentarian
makes interpretations. It’s up to the
presiding officer. The Press: — right? Mr. Spicer: I do, but I
also understand how the Senate works. And the presiding officer
determines — the Senate parliamentarian has
asked for guidance. The Press: Sure, and if
the guidance from the Senate parliamentarian
is that something would violate the Byrd Rule,
would Vice President Pence — Mr. Spicer: I’m
not going to answer hypotheticals about what
he may do, not on this bill or any other. The Press: Just finally,
CNN reported yesterday that U.S. officials believe that —
are investigating that associates of President
Trump communicated with suspected Russian
operatives to coordinate the release of information
damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I’m wondering if you can
respond to that or say definitely that
they did not do so. Mr. Spicer: So let’s
actually look at what CNN reported. They reported that
anonymous U.S. officials have told them
that information indicates that association of the
campaign and suspected operatives coordinated,
which they admit is not conclusive of anything, is
bordering on collusion. The last line of the thing
said, “The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion
took place.” I think there’s probably
more evidence that CNN colluded with the Clinton
campaign to give her debate questions than the
Trump campaign gave any kind of collusion. So I think when it comes
down to that reporting, it is filled with a bunch of
subjective terms about this person may have done
this, possibly could have done that. And at the end of the
story, if you wade to the very bottom it says, “The
FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place.” So I’ve addressed this
type of reporting in the past, and this
fits right in. John. The Press: Without getting
too deep in the weeds on exactly what this strategy
is in the Senate to get this bill through the Byrd
Rule, is the President confident that the
strategy that’s being developed in the Senate
will result in a bill that can pass muster? Mr. Spicer: Yes. The Press: And the
President told us several weeks ago that if it
looked like the Democrats were going to filibuster
Judge Gorsuch, he would encourage Mitch McConnell to invoke the nuclear option. Has the President’s
position on that changed at all? Mr. Spicer: The President
has not spoken to Senator McConnell yet. I think Senator Schumer,
as you know, within the last hour or so came
out with his position. I’m sure that after we
get through tonight the President will have some
kind of conversation with Senator McConnell and
discuss Senate strategy. We’re not there yet. The Press: Thanks, Sean. Following up on Jordan’s
question and then I have a follow-up on
Hallie’s question. How did Chairman Nunes
end up at the White House yesterday? This morning he said he
invited himself here, but that’s sort of an uncommon
way to end up here. Can you take us through
sort of the tick-tock of what happened? Mr. Spicer: No. I don’t know
how he got here. I assume in a car. (Laughter.) But I also don’t track him. I don’t keep his
schedule either. The Press: You know who he
spoke with at the White House? Mr. Spicer: No, I don’t. He literally gave a press
conference as we were starting and saying I’m
going to go down to the White House after
we brief the press. The Press: Was this the
first time that the White House was made aware of
the surveillance that he brought to the
President yesterday? Mr. Spicer: I believe that
the information that he shared with the
President was new. The Press: And then the
follow-up on healthcare. Is there any sort of plan
if the bill does not pass tonight? Mr. Spicer: No. The Press: What
is the plan B? Mr. Spicer: No,
it’s going to pass. So that’s it. Kaitlan. The Press: Now that you’ve
been briefed — I know yesterday you hadn’t been
on everything had just happened — can you say if
the information that Nunes had is the same
information that the President said he had that would be revealed this week? Mr. Spicer: We’re
not going to — my understanding, because I
was not briefed on the contents of that, was that
he spoke generally about what he had seen in these
reports that he had been made privy to, but that
there was further details he wanted the President to
know what he had seen and that it wasn’t
related to Russia. But he’s continuing, as,
again — all of his public comments are that he is
going to continue to pursue this and that he’ll have further updates later. But I’m not aware of the
specific nature of it. Cecilia. The Press: Wait,
one more question. What will the President’s
reaction be to Republicans who vote against the
healthcare bill tonight? And are they being
encouraged the vote their conscience? Mr. Spicer: Well, I think
I’ve addressed this before, but I think the
President has made very clear that Republicans in
particular have made a commitment to constituents
and to the American people that if given the
opportunity to have a Republican President, a
Republican Senate and a Republican House, that
they would enact a repeal-and-replace and put
into it a patient-centered healthcare. He believes, as he
mentioned during –when he met with the House
conference, as he mentioned with the members
of the Freedom Caucus today, and I think in
several meetings, that this is something that
we’ve talked about. You’ve taken a bunch of
these free votes when it didn’t matter because you
didn’t have a Republican President. And you got to vote for
repeal and go back and tell your constituents
something like 50 times — well, this is a
live ball now. And this is for real, and
we’re going to do what we pledged to the American
people and keep our word. And he’s made it very
clear that part of the reason that he got elected
is because he went out and made a series of bold
pledges to the American people about what he would
do if he were President, and he’s acting on those. And he’s acting swiftly
and boldly with respect to this in particular — and
that he believes that not just him, but that members
of the House and the Senate have an obligation
to fulfill the promise and the pledge that they made
to the American people. Cecilia. The Press: Regardless of
what happens tonight, will we hear from
the President? Will he come out and
make a statement? Mr. Spicer: I think it’s
going to depend on what time the vote is. So I don’t want to commit
— I’m sure in some way, shape or form we’ll have
some kind of comment. The Press: And similar
to the question you were asked here, but is the
President, no matter what happens, prepared to take
responsibility for the outcome of this bill? Mr. Spicer: In what way? The Press: Whether it
succeeds or fails? His name is on it. A lot of people think so. Mr. Spicer: Well, I think
that in the sense that we’ve been very clear
about this is a priority of ours and we’ve
worked with him. But again, I go back to —
at the end of the day, we can’t make people vote. We’ve done everything we
can to listen to them, to incorporate their
thoughts, to incorporate their ideas to make the
bill as best we can. But it’s a balancing act,
make no mistake about it, that there’s a full
spectrum of folks in the House that have
disparate desires. But I think we can all
commit that this is the one vehicle that’s going
to repeal something that almost every single
Republican that I’m aware of has pledged to do if they were reelected or elected. And I think that there’s
a desire that — we understand that not every
member is going to find this perfect. That’s what happens when
you need to get, in this case, 216 votes. But it’s the best
bill that takes into consideration all of the
concerns and all of the goals and all the values
— and I understand that in a lot of cases, some of
it isn’t a question of the policy, it’s a question of
the timing and some of the things that people want
that are happening in phase three and phase one. But as we’ve addressed,
the Byrd Rule, which is — to most people, this
arcane thing probably even in the House that don’t
have to deal with it — in the Senate that deals with
whether or not — and if there is a — if it is
loaded up with things that are stricken, then it
doesn’t serve us any good. I think that we have
put together a very comprehensive approach to
addressing how to actually repeal and how to
actually replace. I think the President
walked through with the House Freedom Caucus
today several of the administrative acts that
Secretary Price would be taking in accordance with
the authority that was granted to him by the
Obamacare legislation and by some of the actions
that Secretary Sebelius took back in 2009. There’s a lot of concern
among members about some of the sequencing on
things, and I think that we have continued to not
— so this isn’t just about policy. Some of it’s about
sequencing and timing. And I think the President
and the Vice President and the rest of the team have
done a lot to reassure them on the sequencing and
how this thing is going to act. So that discussion I think
has continued to be very productive to reassure
members how this thing is going to happen
and take place. Eamon. The Press: Thanks, Sean. A moment ago you said that
there was some members of the House Freedom Caucus
in the meeting today who were “no’s” who stood up
and said, Mr. President, I’m with you. Can you tell us how many
of those there were and what their names were? Mr. Spicer: Not yet. And I’m not trying to
be cute about this. I think as we do this —
as we do the whip count, I think as you can imagine,
that we’ve got to make sure that we don’t — that
this balancing act — and you’ve got to now make
sure that certain people don’t fall off the end as you pick up certain people. And so we’re keeping that
vote total rather tight right now. But I feel very buoyed by
the direction that we’re headed in. The Press: And can you
give us a sense of what specific offer was made? There’s been reporting
that the final offer was put on the table
for these guys. What specific changes did
the President offer them today that were new that
we haven’t seen before? Mr. Spicer: It’s
not just changes. As I mentioned to Cecilia,
part of this is some of the administrative stuff
and making sure that they have reassurances that
certain things that Secretary Sebelius enacted
when she enrolled the bill — or, excuse me, enacted
the bill that will be acted upon immediately. And so there was an
enumeration of some of those things and a
commitment on some of the other aspects of support
that would be given for the phase three bill about
buying across state lines, increasing HHS — HSAs. There was a lot of
talk about that. And that’s where I think a
lot of this comes down to right now, especially
among those members. They feel very good about
the changes that have been made in the manager’s
amendment and they feel very good. There is some question
about the commitment and changes that might take
place in the Senate, and so that — there was a lot
of can we count on this when this happens. So I just want to — some
of this is working that way. Goyal. The Press: Thank
you very much, Sean. Two questions please. One, as far as 68
countries representing against terrorism or
against ISIS at the State Department under the
leadership of Secretary of State Tillerson — there
was an advisor to the President of Afghanistan
coming here speaking at CSIS. And also, the day before
yesterday, at the (inaudible) he was
addressing Mr. Rabbani, who is the foreign
minister of Afghanistan. What both were saying or
addressing to the audience at these two think tanks
that unless we control two countries who are
financing and training — Saudi Arabia is financing
in the name of charities, and Pakistan is training. So what is the
presidential message to this group? At the same time, there is
a Mr. Abdel Said, who is wanted by the U.S., $10
million — there’s a bounty on him. And he’s openly spewing
hatred against the U.S. and India and Pakistan. So where do we
go from here? Mr. Spicer: So, look,
Secretary Tillerson is the meeting of — have been
going through this meeting with 68 of those members
that are committed to addressing Syria and ISIS. I’m not going to get
ahead of the internal discussions that Secretary
Tillerson is having related to the
administration’s review of Syria’s policy
in particular. But I would stay in touch
with the State Department on that. John. The Press: The second part
of my question please. Mr. Spicer: Okay. The Press: As far as
President’s relation with the Indian American
community is concerned, that 40 years it was 1976
when a spiritual leader came from — all the way
from India to New York City, and he wanted to
have a parade, Festival of India in New York, but
they didn’t have any resources or sources,
but Mr. Trump that time, Donald Trump, came out and
helped the group to go on this festival. But now, candidate Trump
was also among the Indian American community
celebrating Diwali in New Jersey — same group who
has been now at the White House this weekend, a
peaceful prayer and vigil. They’re asking the
President to come out or meet the Indian American
community against hate crimes or somebody
from the White House. Mr. Spicer: Well, I think
we’ve discussed the nature of hate crimes in the past
and we’ve condemned the act that happened in
Kansas earlier this year. Obviously I’m sure that
this is a very important issue for them. The President is right now
focused in particular on getting Obamacare repealed
and replaced, the issue in London — there’s a lot
that’s occupying his time. And I’m sure that we will
continue to monitor that situation as well. Mara. The Press: Will he come —
Mr. Spicer: Maybe someday. We’ll see. The Press: I have a
question about essential health benefits. The President said to
Tucker Carlson that he wasn’t going to — if his
people weren’t taken care of, he wasn’t going
to sign anything. And I’m wondering what he
says to people who voted for him who relied on the
provisions for opioid addiction — things that
were included in those essential health benefits,
if they go away. Mr. Spicer: But — yeah, I
— respectfully, I think that’s a false choice. Again, the problem with
Obamacare is it took all of these benefits,
mandated that they had to be offered, and what
happened is it spiked insurance rates, it spiked
deductibles, and choices went away. And the point isn’t making
a benefit go away or not. And that’s why I think
it’s, respectfully, a false choice. It’s actually offering
options to people. It’s literally like any
other service or product that we have here in this
country where you can buy what you want. Sometimes it’s at a lower
price point because that’s what you can afford. Sometimes you buy features
on a product because you want those features. Sometimes you determine
that you don’t need — but people should have choice
in the healthcare market just the same way that
they do in almost every other industry. I mean, that’s the point. It’s not about giving or
taking, it’s about the point that they are being
mandated in a way — and that’s the point, is that
people should buy what they want, and what is
appropriate for themselves or their family. I mean that — The Press:
Right now, where do the essential health
benefits stand? That they’re going to be
part of this bill, or still — Mr. Spicer: I
think my understanding is they’re part of
the House bill. The Press: They’re going
to be part of this bill? Mr. Spicer: Yeah. Alexis. The Press: Sean, just
to follow up on Mara’s question. I think part of the
inherent question is, a lot of people buy
insurance not knowing what they’re going to need. Mr. Spicer: Well, I think
if you’re an older man, you can generally say that
you’re not going to need maternity care. The Press:
That’s possible. But here is the question
Mara was suggesting: Opioi0d and drug addiction
— you don’t buy your insurance and say, I
really need that back-up coverage because I think
I’m going to get addicted to painkillers
or opioid drugs. So the question is, is the
President confident that the kind of choice he has
ambitions for would be offered by insurance
companies on their own volition? Mr. Spicer: I think
several plans, I’m sure — I mean, again, you’re
asking — I think there’s a market for things, but
like anything else, I don’t think you buy
insurance for anything, Alexis, guessing saying,
hey, I assume that if my house burns down, I’m
going to need to replace all these things. You buy insurance —
that’s the whole point of insurance. And I think when people
look at it, they’re going to buy what they
may not need. But they’re going to
evaluate it, and that’s the same thing when you
look at a retirement plan, or a car insurance,
or any else. You evaluate what your
needs are, and then make the decision what’s best
for you and your family. The Press: Sean, can you
say unequivocally that associates of President
Trump did not collude with suspected Russian
operatives and coordinate on the release — Mr. Spicer: So say the first part of it again. The Press: Can you say
unequivocally that associates of Donald Trump — Mr. Spicer: See, I think this is — with all
due — and this is — the way that the term
“associates” is flown around, I don’t understand
what that means. If you’re talking about
employees of the campaign, employees of the
transition or in the White House, that’s one thing. But the way that this term
“associates” gets thrown out — and again, we
talked about this yesterday — you pull
out a gentleman who was employed by someone for
five months and talk about a client that he
had 10 years ago? No, I can’t unequivocally
say that nobody ever in his past, who may or not
have come in contact with him, sat next to him in a
plane, who grew up with him in grade school —
because that’s, a lot of times, this — The Press: This gentleman, Paul Manafort, you’re referring
to was a campaign chairman — Mr. Spicer:
No, I get it. And you’re — I
understand who he is. Thank you. I’m well aware of Paul,
I read it out yesterday. But the point that I’m
making is, when you use a term like “associate,”
and you use all of these subjective terms, there’s
a reason that you’re doing it, which is because
you don’t have anything concrete. If you do, come back to me
and ask, “does anyone in the White House,” “is
anyone in the transition.” But when you throw out a
vague term like that, it’s a catch-all. Can you be certain that
no one who works for Time Life Turner has ever
done anything illegal? I think that’s a pretty
broad way of casting a net — or who has
visited the building. I mean, that’s what you’re
equivocally saying. The Press: And also on
the question of anonymous sources. I mean, you clearly have
an issue with the way that they have been used among the intelligence officials. But people in this White
House are often on background, they are often
appearing as anonymous sources. Devin Nunes has used
an anonymous source to present his intelligence. So why is it acceptable in
that case but not in this case? Mr. Spicer: First of all,
there’s two issues here. Number one is, what I
have a problem with, and specific with the
reporting that your networks did yesterday, is
it was one subjective term after another. It was associates that
may or may not be there. One subjective term after
another, with no concrete proof that
anything happened. When you use a term like
“associates,” you don’t even put a time
frame around it. It’s a little bit nebulous
at best to suggest that somebody over and over
again, making a claim the way you do and the
narrative continues without any
substantiation. When you’re talking about
Nunes, there’s a reason that someone who’s
dealing with classified information can’t go out
into public and reveal certain things, because — The Press: He said the information wasn’t
classified. Mr. Spicer: No, that’s
not what he said. I don’t think he ever
said that anything wasn’t classified. But there are certain
things that the methods — The Press: He said he was
able to talk about it because it was
not classified. Mr. Spicer: No, no. He’s able to talk about
the subject; he cannot talk about the specifics,
would be my suggestion — that you can’t talk about
specifics of a case in terms of the sources
and methods and the individuals. Because part of what’s
happened is a lot of the individuals who have been
masked or unmasked are supposed to be classified. So just because something
has gone into the public domain doesn’t make it
any less unclassified. That’s the problem. The Press: Sean, the
nuclear posture review is commencing with this
administration. Can you assure us that
everything is on the table, including a lifting
of a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing, and also
developing new nuclear warheads? Mr. Spicer: I don’t have
a full readout on that at this point. I’ll either get back to
you or have someone from the NSC get back to you. Katie. The Press: Sean, you keep
saying that there’s not a plan B for healthcare. President Trump has
repeatedly said that Republicans should just
allow Obamacare to collapse because Democrats
will own that, and therefore maybe we
shouldn’t do anything about it, but it’s not
fair to the American people to do that. Is the reason there’s not
a plan B is because the President’s plan is
to allow Obamacare to collapse? Mr. Spicer: No. The President’s plan is to
pass the bill tonight, get it on to the Senate, and
then sign a bill once it goes through conference. That’s the President’s
plan, and that’s why the President has been
fighting for it. That’s why the President
has been trying to make it stronger and
stronger every day. But I think he states a
very clear reality, which is, if it doesn’t do this,
then it is a false choice to compare what we’re
doing with Obamacare because Obamacare is
collapsing — the premiums are skyrocketing, the
choices are going down, the deductibles
are going up. There is no equivalency. Something is failing, and
we’re actually trying to get rid of it to help
the American people. And the point the
President is making is, the politically expedient
answer is to do nothing, but I think for the sake
of the American people and the needs that they have
in terms of healthcare, I think we owe it to them
to do the right thing. The Press: So a follow-up
question: Who is the President holding
accountable for a split in the Republican Party not
being able to get this bill done, the struggle
that it’s taking to get the bill to the
last minute? Is he holding Republican
leadership, Paul Ryan, accountable for bringing a
bill to the table without having consensus from
the Freedom Caucus? Or is he holding the
Freedom Caucus accountable for opposing it? Mr. Spicer: I think right
now we’re not focused on blaming, we’re focused
on getting it done and winning. The Press: Sean, you’ve
criticized President Obama for the way he sold
Obamacare, and there may be some validity to that. Mr. Spicer: Thank you. The Press: But candidate
Trump, President-elect Trump, and now President
Trump have been selling this legislation as
coverage for everybody, lower premiums, lower
deductibles, and better healthcare. Hasn’t he put Republicans
on the spot with this legislation by
selling it that way? Mr. Spicer: But it is. So, yes, thank you for
the advertisement, I appreciate it. I think — The Press: Can it do that? Mr. Spicer: Of
course, it can. I will do that. And that’s what
the point is. But I think that there has
been — A, I think there is some concern, as I
mentioned earlier, about the timing. And I think we have
continued to allay a lot of those concerns because
of the rule that they are. And again, one of the
things that is tough to explain to a lot — or not
tough to explain, but just the reality, is that if we
don’t do it the way that we’re going to do
it, we need 60 votes. And we’re not going to get
60 votes in the Senate for this bill. The Democrats are united
in stopping any progress being made on this. And so I think the point
that we’ve had to make over and over
again is, I get it. In a perfect world, if we
had 60 votes, we could do this in a very, very
different way and have a much more comprehensive
legislative strategy, but in the same way that
the Democrats use reconciliation, as
do we, to undo it. And the reason that
it is a three-pronged, three-phase approach is
because of the nature that it has to get dealt with. And I think for a lot of
folks, many of them are new to the process, many
of them want to see it done in a different way. And I think we are trying
to do it in the most responsible way, so that
when it gets sent over the Senate, we don’t have to
have a huge parliamentary fight about what’s
“Byrd-able” or not. And that’s — while most
people don’t want to fully appreciate the nuances of
that, it’s a reality that we have to face if we
actually want to get it done. And I think that makes
a big, big difference. Peter. The Press: Sean, yesterday
when Chairman Nunes was here, we heard
his comments. Today, behind closed
doors, he apologized to the committee for not
coming to them before he came to the press. And then he expressed
regret for the way he handled this — going
public and going to the President before speaking
to the members of his own committee. So I guess my question is,
why was it appropriate? Why does the White House
believe it was appropriate for Chairman Nunes to come
and give this information to the President regarding
an investigation about the President’s own associates
during the campaign? Mr. Spicer:
Well, two things. One is, it wasn’t — as
has been asked before, to ask me why he did
something — he made a decision, he briefed —
hold on, you’re getting there. I’ve seen enough
of you, Peter. I know where
you were going. (Laughter.) But the reality is, is that he made a decision. He briefed the
press first. No one had a problem, by
the way, in the press corps getting briefed
before anybody else. He went down and he
briefed your colleagues before he briefed
anybody else. I don’t hear too much
crying about that. The reality is — and then
he made a statement and said, I’m going to come
down to the White House and share this information
with the President, as has just been noted. He didn’t give
us a heads-up. He told us he made an
announcement, he said I’m coming down to the White
House, asked for time to share this with
the President. And I think part of the
reason, to be clear and to your question, is
specifically to say that there’s a big difference
between any discussion about what’s going on
in Russia and why this intelligence
was picked up. His comments yesterday
were very clear the intelligence and the
information that he picked up had nothing to
do with Russia. And I think he felt as
though, according to his own words, that he had an
obligation to make sure the President knew
what he had discovered. That’s it, plain
and simple. The Press: So to be clear,
though, just because appearances matter on
this, doesn’t the White House have a concern that
it creates the appearance that there was potentially
interference by the President that he was
included in conversations about the investigation
because it was completed? Mr. Spicer: My concern, to
be perfectly blunt with you, is that it’s always
— you seem to have an obsession with the process
and not the substance. At some point, isn’t — The Press: Isn’t the President — Mr. Spicer: No, no, hold on, hold on. The Press: The President
is the one who wants the conclusion. He asked for it. Mr. Spicer: I
understand that. The Press: So I’m asking,
why didn’t he ask for details before
it was completed? Mr. Spicer: Because as
Chairman Nunes said — and again, I’m just going to
make it clear — because he said that he wanted to
make it very clear that the discussion and the
revelations that he had were not — did not regard
anything to do with Russia, and he wanted the President to understand that. But there seems to be
this obsession with the process: how did he get
here, when did he go, what was the reaction. At some point, there
should be a concern about the substance. That’s a very serious
revelation that he’s made about what happened during
the 2016 election with respect to our side and
some of the things that happened. And at some point, I would
implore, urge, beg some of you to use some of your
investigative skills to look into what actually
did happen, why did it happen, what was going on
back there, who knew what when. But I think that there
should be a similar concern, as opposed to
figuring out whether he took a skateboard or a
car here to exactly what happened and
why it happened. And the reality is, is
that whether he briefed us first or he briefed the
Democratic members — and that’s up to him to decide
— the substance of what he shared should be
troubling to everybody. And that’s what I think
is the important thing. The Press: To follow on
this thought, I want to ask you — at CPAC,
President Trump said, people “shouldn’t be
allowed to use sources unless they use
someone’s name.” He said, it does
“tremendous disservice.” This is following up on
the conversation you started with
Sarah earlier. So, I guess, the simple
question is — Chairman Nunes came out; he noted
sources that he couldn’t create and
provide publicly. So why, when it’s
politically advantageous, is that use of sourcing
okay, but when it’s politically damaging,
it’s not okay? Mr. Spicer: No, I think
there’s a difference — he came out and briefed
people on what he knew at the time, and said he was
literally going to get further briefs and would
have further updates. That’s a big difference
than reporting and making a serious allegation. In fact, he was doing
quite the opposite. He was vindicating the
President and saying there is something that you
need to know about the substance of the
allegations that are being made against you. And while that may or may
not be the case, because some of what I’ve seen —
The Press: But if he had not been vindicating him,
wouldn’t it have been just as important for the
President to learn? Mr. Spicer: Sure. And I think maybe he
would have, and then you probably wouldn’t have any
concern with that, would you? The Press: My
question is to you. Mr. Spicer: Margaret. The Press: Following on
that, two questions. You said again, the
word “vindicated.” The President said he
felt somewhat vindicated. Did he feel that having
Chairman Nunes come down here helped his
own credibility? Mr. Spicer: I think it’s
reassuring to know that what he discussed —
while, again, the Chairman made it very clear that
he’s not final in any of his processes, that what
he had seen so far gave him grave concern — or
whatever the exact phrase before I get — but to use
the phrase that Chairman Nunes needed to say
— that he said. That it gave him concern
and pause for what he had seen, and wanted the
President to be aware of the activity that he had
seen that occurred during the transition period. I think that’s an
important — so I think, yes, the President did —
it was helpful for the President to know that the
investigation, as he had asked for, was
starting to bear fruit. And again, I think the
equally important thing to note about yesterday was
that part of what Chairman Nunes said was that it had
nothing to do with these allegations and
narrative about Russia. And I think that is a
very, very important narrative to be clear on. The Press: And are they
going to meet again? And after conversations,
since they spoke directly, did the President accept
Chairman Nunes’s finding that there was no
wiretapping at Trump Tower, which he
said yesterday? Mr. Spicer: Well, one, I
don’t think that — the first one wasn’t planned. There’s nothing planned
for the Chairman to come down again. But second of all, I think
I have and the President has very clearly explained
that the tweet wasn’t to be taken literally in
the sense of the word “wiretap” — that he was
talking about surveillance in general. And yes, I think that when
— yes, once what Chairman Nunes said is that
there was evidence of surveillance that occurred
during the election. And I think that is
important to note. Again, I think the
obsession is with the process of how he got
here, and what time he left, and who he briefed
first, as opposed to the substance of this issue. But I’m not going to —
all I’ll tell you is the public comments that he
made to you and your colleagues both here and
up on Capitol Hill was that he was very concerned
with the surveillance that he had seen and reports
of surveillance and individuals who had been
masked and unmasked during especially the
transition period. I think that should
express concern for a lot of individuals. The Press: Sot the
President is confident that Chairman Nunes can
continue to lead this investigation, and, in
his view, be impartial? Mr. Spicer: Absolutely. The Press: Because there
have been some questions about that, including
from Republicans. Mr. Spicer: Yes. Thank you guys very much. Have a great one.


  1. Get those freaking leftists outta there!ย  Give their seats to BONA FIDE journalists that will do their job!ย  How much longer do we have to suffer with leftists attacks?

  2. view count has dropped to sub 10k and only the diehard sheepelatrds are still hanging onto the fantasy of a non-Trump (NEVER AGAIN) executive. Give it up folks! THE MAN KILLED #TPP ON DAY ONE, BERNIE SANDERS IS A

  3. So what all this illustrates is that we must track down the one who altered the space time continuum and created this Biff Tannan dictated reality. Great Scott, this is heavy!

  4. Great job, Spicey! I really enjoyed listening to you chastise the media on the Nunes information! ๐Ÿ‘ Too bad they don't have any investigative skills.

  5. Hmmmmm no vote yet!! Stalled off by your Republican members…….Careful what you wish for………all you right wingers are close to getting it!!If there are going to be tax cuts for wealthy employers…….that money has to get replaced from somewhere…..hmmmmmm where might that be?

  6. Why don't they admit that trump thinks with his mouth.
    He's that type of person.
    Thus the reason he speaks with such disagreement from everybody and why he changes his statements constantly…that what he claims apparently is his transparency to the public.
    Saying everything and then going back and picking and choosing as to what sounds good.

  7. Strong man spicer holding his ground, representing and emulating the trump administration. Controlling the language and the narrative, returning respect to the White House! Danm reporters are fools sometimes.

    I know trump is fighting for us, he's compromised a bit on healthcare, and he could easily disarm Isis, by an internal coup probably. Not an all war since we created and control them, Steve peizenik feels the same. But trump is still our champion , and we'll hold his feet to fire when he derails. Never forget the agenda, trump!

    Lol, Michael savage said that, trump isn't condenming the terror attacks in London, not even a tweet, even on record Trump said "big news in London" big news? No it's called a terror attack, and it proves his point on the survaillence of terrorist and mosques! Say it proud and loud trump! . none the less we pray for trump.

  8. Quote from Sarah Palin; "How long does he get to ride the train?"

  9. *Today a 14 year old girl was raped inside her school bathroom by two 18 year old illegal immigrants*. Montgomery County, Maryland

  10. The mainstream media is an embarrassment. They have absolutely not interest in reporting news with substance, only subjective bias opinions that fit their little created narrative worlds. America is NOT buying it!

  11. There was yet another terrorist attack and yet the Muslim community says nothing.
    We allow them to immigrate to escape the hell they're in and look at how they treat their host countries. Look at how they come and get our jobs and schooling, only to stab their saviors in the backs. Why Trump, why?
    and it's always about US having to change for THEM, do for THEM.
    They come, they move in. They bring their sharia with them, soon after they are expecting our women to cover up "out of respect".
    I'm tired of being PC about this. I want my country back!
    We've been too accommodating to them. We've been too PC for too long.

  12. Repeal this bullshit Obamacare and don't replace with more bullshit free give always. Goddamn collectivist bullshit!

  13. Shawn, is a "bad mamma jamma"; he knows codes, he knows when the "press snakes" are setting him up and attempting to bite him, with their truck questions. When will they learn Shawn, is about 95 % smooth and 5 % (oops)…

  14. Sean is a breath of fresh air compared to his filthy slimy predecessors (don't even want to mention their names). I hope the sheeple eventually see through the MSM. If not we are toast.

  15. Thanks again, Sean. If we had to depend on the media for our news, we would all be as clueless as them.

  16. Shawn, is a "bad mamma jamma"; he knows codes, he knows when the "press snakes" are setting him up and attempting to bite him, with their truck questions. When will they learn Shawn, is about 95 % smooth and 5 % (oops)…

  17. 43:21 Katie Pavlich finally shows she has some brains and starts Dechipering why the God Emperor always wins.

    Kelly Ann Conway was right.ย So I guess you can GO FUCK YOURSELF STEPHEN COLBERT.

  19. Your right Sean, they worry about how he came to the White House instead of the "substance" that could actually doom their Democratic party .Its hard to take these "hack" reporters seriously.

  20. And to think, the 9th Circus Court wants MORE of the people in this country that did the terrorist attack in London while Trump tries to protect us.

  21. Did anyone hear the Indian gentleman mention that in 1976, the Indian community in New York wanted to holdย a religious festival but they didn't have the funds and Donald Trump came and helped them out? I keep learning new things about the President and he may be gruff and tough but he is also very kind-hearted.

  22. After the next eight years are over, you might want to consider teaching kindergarten. You are getting great job experience for it! Another great job, Sean. God bless all of you.

  23. The 'substance' (as opposed to the process) never seems to concern the fake news media unless it suits their agenda.

  24. Sean Spicer's, expression, in response of when the reporter asked him to respond to what Nancy Pelosi said regarding the health care bill was priceless.

  25. Repeal aca "obamacare" . . . I'm an American . . . Our government can never tell us Citizens WHAT to buy . NEVER ! ! !

  26. Well i guess we will see if they are going to take away health care for millions and millions and millions of poor people. If this passes shame on them

  27. Its BIG LEAGUE now !!๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

  28. I'll NEVER understand why the hell Sean Spicer chooses to meet with this group of LIBERAL RETARDS every friken day! He KNOWS that immediately after they get up and leave, they'll go and print a false narrative and version of EVERY friken thing he informed them about the President?! They act like we NEED them. The President communicates just fine with all of America through Twitter and Facebook. We don't need any of these overpaid retarded morons versions. They're just pissed off that their bitch didn't win the election. YOU LOST YOU QUEERS GET OVER IT!

  29. We buy car insurance, we pick what we want to cover and pay for only that… Health insurance should give options that people can pick and chose from… I do not need birth control or baby making coverage.. why would I pay for it? Someone that needs it can add it to their policy and pay for it… it is really that simple…

  30. Why aren't Muslims banned from my country yet?
    "I am calling for a complete moratorium on Muslim travel to this country, until we figure out what the hell is going on."
    You didn't even try to do this and you still failed. You rolled over to some totally corrupt swamp thing judges nakedly abusing powers and yet they still breathe.

  31. I want to see more independent smaller journalists get White House access. Let's throw out the elite media and bring in journalists only beholden to themselves and their own integrity.

  32. 30:07 "Is the president no matter what happens prepared to take responsibility for the outcome of this bill?….whether it succeeds or fails his name is on it"

    What kind of question is that?? What do you expect Spicer to say? "No he is not prepared to take responsibility"? OF COURSE HE TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BILL!! It goes without saying that ANY politician is responsible for the bills they push. God the level of stupidity in these reporters is unreal.

  33. I've been researching the history of health care in America, and as the POTUS said " its complicated ". We missed out on getting this right on several occasions. This fairly young, highly industrialized nation will turn 240 this year, so it's understandable that we might not get everything right off the bat, but we claim #1 to so much, well one would think we'd have the best C.Y.A health care in the world, or at least amonst the other industrialized countries that have their citizens covered in some manor universally. Needless to say, we're the only one that doesn't, and probably never will. POTUS said he should let the ACA crash and burn, ( he should ) but he's going to pull a Mighty Mouse and save the day. Yeah right, with what? 7yrs of moaning and when the day of reckoning arrives, the moment everybody and their mothers have been waiting for finally smacks face, what's brought to the table? 90 sheets typed up over night like a rushed job on a college (HS) essay. It's better because it's a smaller stack I'm told. This isn't all of it, we have more phases to be rolled out at an undetermined date, and though we have giving those phases their respective labels, we really have no ideal what they'll actually be, just let us shove this at you to get the ball rolling, once folks start getting rolled then will know what the next phase will be.
    Potus, promising America the world help you get where you're at. Some Americans are desperately seeking change,some have quit, some are just watching and waiting. Me? part of the latter, but I'm not hating. I didn't cast my vote, but I'm casting prayers.
    Please, don't let those who don't have the nation's best interests at heart sway you any further from the current state of reality you're existing in at the present. I recall Obama saying something about "what the realities of the oval office can bring for one to bear." Please, get a grip for this isn't going to be an easy trip. Now this
    Repeal & Replace? The only thing being repealed & replaced is who's doing the peeling and who's getting peeled. Pray for the POTUS
    for he's not only standing in need of, but he's also standing knee-deep…. Shit's complicated.
    May peace prevail

  34. the media looks like the mafia..what a waste of time dealing with them..all they do is try to start arguements!

  35. let the obamacare replacement die start over let someone else take the lead rand paul or someone whos not trying to stab you in the back and undermind you paul ryan doesnt support trump hes a obama/hillary ass kisser he let obama get away with everything he let hillary get away with everything paul ryan hasnt done nothing in 8 yrs and hasnt done nothing since hes been the speaker

  36. It staggers me how Mr Spicer finds the capacity to stomach the relentless bias of the Press corp. Some of these journalists are contemptible for their attitudes and continual efforts to denigrate the first President since Ronald Reagan who actually wants to do something for ordinary American citizens. Unless you inhabit Planet Zog and have not been here lately you will be fully aware that the President has gone out of his way to talk to all and sundry about the efforts to repeal and replace Obama Care. This focus has sought opinion of every shade in a bid to produce something that will work, yet he gets no credit from this group of self satisfied arrogant hacks. It is little wonder that the Press Secretary find it distasteful, he is fully justified in doing so.

  37. Pack of fucking LIES from the most CORRUPT administration EVER.
    Fuck Trump and the WHORES he rode in on.

  38. treason charges are on their way….trump probably won't be charged but his lackeys will be jumping all over the place to take the bullet … oooo, maybe this is 'fake' news … doubt it.

  39. 7:22 Really, Democrats are just going to obstruct job appointments from the current administration just to sabotage? Petty, that's just petty. Every time offices change hands of course there will be new appointments.

  40. repeal obamacare its redundant paperwork and punitive regulations takes away from direct quality patient care

  41. Sean Spicer, the Chuck Norris of press secretaries
    Reporters should ask each other before hand if their question sounds stupid or misinformed, because there are only a few in the crowd who ask relevant and interesting questions. I have no reporting experience but you give me hope if nothing else.

  42. This administration is NOT listening to the majority of the AMERICAN people. They only listen to the ones who agree with them. Unfortunately the ones who agree are sadly misinformed and misguided. Don't give the power back to the insurance companies. Don't build more pipelines.

  43. now the brutal liberal fake news "journalists" fully tamed – I can recall like a nice father Sean conduct a class for nice behave Christian students

  44. Please keep the affordable Care Act for the people of middle-class and poor. I can barely afford to pay insurance premiums let alone use it. With this new Trump medical insurance plan, you are trying to pass many of us will be so worse off with skyrocketing fees. Many will die because they will not be able to afford it. Please do not pass this! Please try to work off the existing and help the middle-class and poor. We don't need tax right offs. We need to be able to have money day to day.

  45. Repeal obamacare and replace it with nothing. True American government should be about securing out Liberty.

  46. ACA is on life support because it does not work. Democrats are NOT working to fix healthcare, why do they want to kill healthcare in this country.

  47. I enjoy the daily press updates , also President Trump meetings, ,,really good to connect with public ,,,,UK

  48. Total Waste of time & money. More time is spent by Spicer fending off attacks on Trump than the issues at hand. I've yet to hear an educated question on a real issue, be it a potential Korean threat, immigration of islamics, beefed up military, you name it. Forget the dislike of Trump, move the hell on in service of your country, America.

  49. The narrative presented by the White House concerning the failings of the ACA, and further projected by Sean Spicer, a spokesman with the linguistic skills of an ADHD striken teen, is composed of limited truth. The ACA is most defently imperfect. It is, at its base, a neo-liberal ploy to enrich insurance companies; given that understanding, providing healthcare to Americans became a secondary concern. However, imperfect the ACA is, the oft repeated idea that it is failing due to increased premiums, is in-arguably the result of a House Bill presented by Marco Rubio in the summer of '16 that eliminated the federal governments oath to reimburse the insurance companies, who now had to cover all Americans, including the "high risk" pool of individuals with pre-existing conditions. Without the promise of a financial safety net, many of the providers pulled out or began to drastically raise premiums, granting CERTAIN politicians the ability to criticize not just the law itself, but the very concept of healthcare as a right. The obvious solution, one in which would save both the country and its citizens over 600 million dollars, would be to eliminate the profit-motive for the middlemen, health insurance companies, by following suit with other developed nations by instituting single payer heathcare.

  50. I love direct information from public officials. It's way better than getting it from the corrupt media. Keep it coming!

  51. Great job, Sir! You handled the press skillfully and honestly even though the questions were sometimes worded as "traps" for you to step into but you evaded those traps with finesse. Thank you!

  52. All those years the republicans could have done things to make ACA better for their constituents but they spent so much money and time and wasted taxpayer dollars so they could get rid of it. Yes it had problems but they had no desire to work WITH the President and for what Americans needed, they were obstructionists for 8 yrs. Sad losers, all of them.

  53. OK NEXT Job for Trump to add on the list IS age Discrimination for those Over 40. TRUMP IS AWESOME OH who gave the House of reps the Right to Control the president's Choices ? That to me means they have too much power the house of reps the senate and the President all have different Jobs and Power one cannot control the other ,

  54. Repeal it. Forget about the fight of replacement. Obamacare is a FAILURE. Fix VA healthcare program, then hopefully you will have learned something. THEN you have A success. Meantime, begin to construct an award winning healthcare program and if you cant, then forget it. We are paying for something that is NOT delivering ANYTHING but failure.

  55. How can we the people have Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer impeached? These two crybabys need to go!! I am sure there is some way to get them out NOW!!!

  56. Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide in the strife of truth with falsehood for the good or evil side. Now occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth. They must Upward still and Onward Who would keep abreast of TRUTH

  57. As a person empowered into a Governmental Office. We are sworn in, by an appointed Higharchy Representative. Presenting the documents of Office which is witnessed, sometimes in a serimony. Which is held in open. Attended by others like Employees and or Officers. Also friends and family are in Attendence. Duties and responsibilities that are entailed and tradionally expected are known and accepted duties. The Event is attended by the Media and Press. Usually are sometimes Televised, Video Archived. At that time, contractual acceptence are signed and Legal and binding Oath of Office. Hands are shook. Sometimes a cerimonial meeting and attendies may or may not be able to meet and talk with the cellabrent. Vows are made in open. The United States Constitution. Is written to protect the People of the United States Proud and Trusting Citizens. I can say with pride. God Bless America. Must be read at some point before these Oaths of office are agreed upon and entered by any party. It is a trumendous responsibility, Never to be entered into lightly. All offiliations must be revealed before said ceremony. These Oaths are binding contractual agreements. Multiple Copies made for the different ffices for future referalnand refrence.Not ever to be changed or altered to suit the Persons religious beliefs and or an agreement with alterior duty to an Association, Club or Secret Society. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. Not withstanding. Example. A traitor says one thing, but does another. If you promise aa Oath to the United States Of America. That you will fulfill your duties of Office. Which usually comes with a Title and a Pay Cheque refecting rewarding occupant. Said person promisses to for example keep a secret. Telling them you'll keep his or her secret, but instead you blab it to everyone. Question. Are you considered a traitor.Traitor also applies to a person who betrays his country by committing treason: turning against his own government, perhaps by selling. You fill in the rest of the questionable activities.

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