From: "Herndon, Astead"
Date: March 24, 2017 at 10:54:50 AM EDT
Subject: Print pool #1
The pool was called into the Oval Office around 10:10 a.m. Upon arrival, President Trump was seated behind his desk holding to be what he described as a "permit" for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline.
The President described his excitement that the project was going forward and said he knows it will be built with the "greatest technology known to man."
"It's a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence," Trump said. "I think it's a lot safer to have pipelines than to use other forms of transportation for your product.
The full remarks were carried live by television stations.
Standing around the President were Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, and Russ Girling, the president of TransCanada. Representatives from the building trades were also present.
After a few minutes, the President invited Girling to speak, who began by thanking the administration for its support before then touting the supposed benefits of the Keystone Pipeline, including tax revenue for local communities and job growth.
"We're not going to let you down," Girling said to Trump.
After he spoke, Trump asked Girling when he planned to start construction and Girling said the project still needed to secure permits in Nebraska.
The President said he would call Nebraska today and added that thought Pete Ricketts was a "great governor."
The press was then asked to leave.
After the event concluded, several poolers began asking the President questions in regards to today's scheduled House vote on the conservative overhaul of the health care system.
Initially, Trump ignored the questions but eventually he responded "we'll have to see what happens." It was unclear which question he was specifically responding to.
When one pooler asked if thought the President rushed into AHCA, he said "no."
Another pooler said the President responded "yes," when asked if Paul Ryan should stay one as speaker, even if the AHCA vote fails.
Your pooler cannot confirm that, as he was being ushered out the room by WH staff.
Astead W. Herndon
Globe Staff, Washington D.C.