Pool report #3: Opioid quotes

From: Francesca Chambers [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:09 PM
Subject: Pool report #3: Opioid quotes

Trump thanked Kelly, who he said has “done an amazing job.”

“There’s great cooperation with Mexico and others, but we’re doing a good job. And we want to help those who have become so badly addicted.”

“Opioid abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States,” he said. “This is a total epidemic. And I think its almost untalked about compared to the severity that we’re witnessing.”

“Today we are bringing together leaders from inside our government and outside our government and courageous people who have been affected and really affected by this,” Trump said.

Trump called Christie a “a friend of mine, great friend of mine – a very, very early endorser. In fact an immediate endorser once he got out of the race. He liked himself more than he liked me,” he said, tapping Christie’s hand. “Other than that he’s been great, and he’s a very effective guy.”

He noted that opioid abuse was a focus on Christie’s presidential campaign.

Trump said he especially wanted to thank a woman in the room who would later speak about the loss of her son.

“He will not have died in vain,” Trump told her.

“Drug cartels have spread their deadly industry across our nation, and the availability of cheap narcotics, some of it comes in cheaper than candy, has devastated our communities. It’s really one of our biggest problems, our country has, and nobody really wants to talk about it.”

‘”More importantly we have to solve the problem.”

The president said the issue “takes a lot” of AG Sessions’ time.

He asked attendees to go around the table and introduce themselves. When he got to Mariano Rivera, he gave him a special shout out.

“You made the ball like it weighed 30 pounds,” he said of his pitching. “How many broken bats?”

Continuing, he thanked Jared Kushner for being there, and then Christie, who was to his right, who he asked to say a few words.

“This issue causes enormous pain and destruction to every day families in every state in this country,” Christie said.

The NJ governor said he was “thrilled” to work with the AG on this and “honored” to be working on this commission.

“Addiction is a disease, and it is a disease that can be treated,” he said. “Folks don’t talk about it….People are afraid and ashamed to talk about drug addiction.”

Christie then turned to the issue of “life”– something Trump had also mentioned.

“He and I are both pro-life,” Christie said of himself and Trump. “We're profile for the whole life.”

“Not just for the nine months in the womb, but for the whole life. Every life is an individual gift from god and is precious.. And no life is irredeemable.”

Christie said the commission would give the president and vice president the best suggestions about how to have a national fight against the drug epidemic.

He shook the president’s hands and told him, “Thank you for your confidence in all of us.”

After that came the speakers, Sessions and the DEA head. Sending separately.

Francesca Chambers

White House Correspondent

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