White House print pool report No, 2 (Cabinet comments)

From: Shawn Donnan [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2017 1:06 PM
Subject: White House print pool report No, 2 (Cabinet comments)

We have a lunch lid until 2:30pm with exception of Sean Spicer's 1:30pm briefing...

So for your lunchtime reading:

After POTUS spoke at the beginning of today's meeting cabinet members each introduced themselves and said a few words about how happy they were to be there. At the end POTUS ignored a question about whether or not tapes existed of his private conversations with former FBI director James Comey, saying only "Thank you".

Some highlights of the cabinet introductions:

Vice President Mike Pence: “It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve as vice president. The president is keeping his word to the American people.”

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Attorney-General Jeff Sessions said he had been receiving support from law enforcement officers all over America. “They are so thrilled that we have new ideas and that we support them.”

POTUS responded: “Great success. Including MS13. They are being thrown out in record numbers and rapidly. They are being depleted. They will all be gone very soon.”

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Rick Perry, Energy Secretary, said he had been in China last week. “Good timing. They needed to hear why America was stepping away from the Paris accord and they did. And how America is not stepping back but we’re stepping into place and sending some messages. We are still going to be leaders in the world when it comes to the climate. But we are not going to be held hostage to some executive order that was ill thought out. My hats off to you for taking that stand and sending a clear message around the world.”

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Nikki Haley, ambassador to the UNL

“Mr President it is a new day at the United Nations. We now have a very strong voice. People know what the United States is for. They know what we are against. And they see us in a new way across the board. I think the international community knows we are back.”

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Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State. “Clearly we are engaged with our allies to ensure that they know where our common interests are. Our expectation is that America will continue to be a leader. But they must do more. They must meet their obligations. … And for our adversaries, we are engaging and will engage. But they have to know that we are engaging from a position of strength.”

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Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce: “Thank you for the opportunity to help fix the trade deficit. … Other countries are gradually getting used to the fact that the free rides are over now. They are not happy with it. But I think there is a growing recognition that [some things (inaudible)] will have to change.”

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John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security, said there had been a 70 per cent drop in the number of illegal immigrants coming over the border. “While we still welcome legal immigrants to the tune of over 2 million a year we are no longer a friendly environment for [people who arrive illegally].”

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Robert Lighthizer, US trade representative, had a joke: “Mr President, first of all I want to apologise for being late for work. For four months I got bogged down in that swamp that you want to drain.” (Lighthizer was one of the last cabinet members confirmed by the Senate)

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Mike Pompeo, CIA director: “I am not going to say a damn thing in front of the media.”

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Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, responded to the large number of cabinet members mentioning their international trips: “While we are bragging about international travel I just got back from Mississippi and they like you there.”

(ends)

Shawn Donnan

World Trade Editor, Financial Times

+xxx-xxx-xxxx (Direct)

+xxx-xxx-xxxx (Mobile)

Twitter: @sdonnan

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