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Jared Kushner
  Jared Kushner at Wall Street Journal CEO Council Meeting  CSPAN  December 10, 2019 1:25pm-2:09pm EST

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and when people enjoy art, music, theater, and whatever, and laugh together and cry together and be inspired together, and when you use imagination to put yourself in someone else's position, it is i think what is very healing for our country, and very repairing, and we do need to repair. but as we repair, and i say it to the members all of the time, our founders gave us much guidance in many ways and one of them was e plur bis unum and from many we are one. and so they had the fights of the central government versus the local, bun. with -- but we have one. we have one. i didn't wear the pin now, but what i had on one country, one desti destiny, and that is something that we value, and we are so
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blessed to live in this great country that let's make the most of it working, working together for the good of our country. thank you. >> and nancy pelosi, thank you. >> it won't be long you'll see. and are you packed for mexico tomorrow? >> we will see what happens. >> are you going? >> i will be somewhere tomorrow, but as i have learned in the business things start early and end late and always changing, but right now, we are make good progress. >> describe the progress, because you heard the speaker just now. is there a deal? close to a deal? a deal that has to be negotiated further with the mexicans or simply close odd d out? >> so, if you are looking at where we are with the usmca and the president ran on re-doing the nafta, and previous presidents ran on, that and t ty
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didn't get around to it, because it is a very difficult thing to do, and we got to an agreement with mexico and canada within a year. so it is praised because it is a good arrangement for american workers and companies and it is going to protect the industries and modernizes a lot of areas that need modernization, and nafta was done 20 years ago and outdated. we came to a great agreement with mexico and canada and took maneuvering and negotiating and, you know, strategy to get that done. but over the last year, we have been talking with the democrats to figure out the best balance and they have tried to push for a couple of things that we some of them agree with that the labor protections are enforceab enforceable, and we have done a good job in the original agreement, but they have suggestions to potentially make it better, and we are hopefully closer to compromises to push it forward. >> and the tougher issues are the last ones by definition, because the easy ones get resolved earlier, and the last
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ones are the tough ones, and so what are the handful of ones that you have to worry ant in the next day or two? >> i would not necessarily agree with the premise, because the hard issues are the ones that we have resolved in terms of the part of negotiating which was making sure that the big percentage of the automobiles are produced in north america and have a higher percentage of the american content and out of the content make shoog ur thinge content was done in north america, and we got the content up to 25% to 55%, and so that is the hardest part. and then the components, and so we then had the rules and regulations to be done as well. now, we are making sure that everything that we are doing is enforceable so it can be done. i think that the president sought to do a deal that would appeal to all parts, and he was not trying to do a all
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republican deal, and when the republicans controlled the house and the senate, and there were people from the republican party saying get it done quickly, but the president's trade policy is different from the traditional republican way of looking at it and something that is very pro worker, but pro industry. so we have cut a deal that goes along that path. >> so in that vein, i mean, things that happen in washington are more durable if there is bipartisan support. so assuming that in the next few days that you cross the finish line here, and what level of bipartisan support will there be and how many democrats will jump on board here? >> there is a lot of support, and support from the local communities and the agriculture communities and very much the small businesses are for this, and the businesses and manufacturers are for this, and so i would think they would get it through, and the republicans and democrats there is a strong demand, so we will see where the deal comes out, because
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negotiation around the clock. hopefully the right outcome, because it is good for the country. the reason that we focused on this first is that 40% of the exports are to mexico and canada and this is a $1.43 trillion trade deal and the biggest in the history of the world, and it has a lot of features to it that is really going to make it unique and modernizing trade and creating a whole new set of standards and speaker pelosi says it sets a template for the future trade deals and in a lot of the provisions, it sets benchmarks for the modern economy that we should have in america's trade deals and one thing they love and i am not sure that t"the wall street journal" editorial board does, but over time they will love it and a 16-year sunset provision, and as someone who has done a lot of real estate before i got into government, you don't want to sell the asset, but lease the asset, because over time it is worth more, so in the trade deals, we would make the trade
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deals and sell the market access. there was no mechanism to readjust the trade deals and no fair market value renewal clause and so the way we devised this is the 16-year trade deal with evaluation period every 16 years, so as you are re-evaluating you will work out the problems as the economies change, and the constituencies where there is not balances and work to rebalance in a shorter increment, and one reason that it was so painful to negotiate with canada and mexico is because you had 24 years of deferred issues and people were complaining for a long time, but nobody had the courage to fix it. so it has a lot of great feature, and it is great for the country, and the high end on the estimate is adding a half million jobs and add a point of gdp to the economy forever. >> and so it is fascinating because we are at an inflection moment at not only usmc deal,
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and now china and tariffs that would be implemented the 15th of december. >> and one thing that is great about working for the president is that he keeps it exciting and keeps us on our toes and the other side on their toes. so i think that the president is a deal guy. and so when you are a deal guy, you don't say this is my final position, i'm going to stick to it, and he is flexible. that is a very good attribute, and he creates uncertainty for the other side and he is not predictable in what he is going to do and how he is going to negotiate. >> we have noticed. >> and that is a long answer for short to say i don't know what his position is going to be, but he would like to take the outcomes that the president would like to achieve and work hard to get to the outcomes and then bring him the option of seeing if he wants to move forward. right now, we are trading detailed paper and doing for it six months. it is very substantive discussions, and it is going to
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be up to the will of the two leaders to see if they want to finish this or not. >> and by whatever, and using whatever adjectives you choose, how close are we? >> i believe it is the binary, and you are either done or not done. i think that there is some good optimistic scenarios that you could make, but again, i think that we are heading in a good direction. >> so do you have a sense that though, you have democratic support on this as well, and this is lost in the translation around here a lot. but, i am not sure that there is a huge amount of distance between the chuck schumer on the democratic side and the president on the other side when it comes to china and the necessity of starting over with the trade arrangements, and this is a bipartisan agreement potentially? >> i would say it is a bipartisan effort. what i find in washington is that people can tell you what they are against, but not very
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often what they are for. when they are telling you what they are for, it is very difficult to compromise a particular set of detail of what an outcome can look like. so china, people have been complaining for it for a long time and complaining about the unfair trade practices and how state-subsidized companies are unfairly competing with our industry, and they have been complaining about lack of symmetrical market access and intellectual property and a lot of issue, but nobody has done anything about it. so president trump was the first person to take it on. and he has been quite successful of bringing everyone along as a leader to agree on what the fight should be, and how to impose it, and you are working with ambassador lighthizer and secretary mnuchin with the 301 and that is an important effort on trying to bring them to the table and to get to a place. i think that if we can get to
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the phase one deal, it is going to lower the tensions and allow to us work on the continuation of issues maybe with a slightly de-escalated posture. at the end of the day, there are some people who are just absolutists who say that we should stop trading with china and they will not change. they may be right, but i think that the president will hopefully find the right calibration to determine what the appropriate action is at this time. >> and so to be fair, the phase one is not on those issues that you articulated and leaves a number of them unresolved and a resolution for 2020? >> well, you will see what is on the deal, and you will see that they are address and if they stick it to with the agreement, and so, it is a deal that you take a shot, and in the president is following it closely and managing the negotiations on all of these things. it is one of the things that is amazing is that the president will call probably ambassador
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lighthizer one or two times a day, and most of the past presidents spoke to him two to three times a year. and so he is a deal deal and he has a lot of deals going, and we have a great deal done with south korea and japan and 95% of the tpp, but really, the paid for with a lot less of the costs, and tpp would have given up the whole auto industry, and usmc is a much better trade deal, and with china, we are looking at the tariffs now, and get to the area to get more market access and fix the intellectual property issues and work on the more difficult issues over time. >> and there is another issue around town this week, and you may have heard of it, it is impeachment. and a how judiciary hearing today. tell me what the white house strategy is in handling what is happening in the house right now, and when the issue gets to the senate which likely will, what is the white house approach
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going to be or the strategy na you are pursuing? >> well, sure. we have been hearing about impeachment since the day i got the washington. they have been attacking the president, and a lot of people did not expect him to win. a lot of people were unhappy that he won and they were not able to deal with it. first they said that there was a conspiracy with russia, and that turned out to be false after about two years. i think that led to a situation where the democrats promised their base that the president was going to be gone, because of these investigations, and i mean, i have watched some of the left wing cable news shows and it is extraordinary the conspiracies they were pushing and the things they were saying about me and the things they were fantasizing and got the people worked up. i got a call this summer from a friend of mine who is a donor no democrats -- donor to the democrats and he said they will impeach, because they are losing the base. so that is being more prompted by the left wing radicals and so
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impeachment was more of a ing, this and so people who are more reasonable had to go to that and they made the decision ultimately before the whole ukraine thing came up. so we were prepared for it. once they announced they were going on the ukraine thing, we were shocked they went for that, we were shocked, because it is such a non-event and we said we will deal with it like anything else. so we said, get all of the facts and make sure that all of the facts down to whatever e-mails will come out and whatever are in line with our recollection of the incident. so we collected that and then we said, well, if they are doing this, this is a big political mistake for them. let's make sure that we are making them pay as big of a political price as possible. so in the 31 swing districts that president trump won that are held by democrats there is an aggressive effort to speak to the voters and the people here said they were going to congress to try to work on your issues and work for the country, and this is what they are spending
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your time on. >> from the campaign? >> from the campaign and the rnc and the republican party has never been more united in this, and thing is that the president did nothing wrong here, and the fact that we did that is allowing to us fight so hard. so get organize and get going, and then we have been focused of doing the business of the people. looking at the jobs report coming out last week, and 266,000 jobs and unemployment is down to the low level and talking about the wage growth and for first time in 20 years, you have wages growing at 3.1%. i was just given a statistic today in the opportunity zones which are the most impoverished areas the wages are growing at 8% which is amazing over the last year. so we are seeing the spectacular results, and our biggest challenge is not to let the whole impeachment saga start and end to distract us from getting the policies done. and the president's policies by
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and large are working. >> but if the case is that strong why not participate in the process and why not have white house representatives at the hearing and boycott it, and if the case is strong enough to put it to bed, why avoid it? >> it is a predetermined outcome. they never gave the due process and in the beginning, the depositions in the basement and not allowing the white house lawyers to come, and not allowing the agency lawyers to come, and not respecting the executive privilege in a lot of the established norms that have been litigated over time. i heard somebody saying on television the other day which i thought that was very smart they say it is an existential threat and emergency and why all of this time off in between all of the hearings if it is a threat. you know what was done. so, again, i think that at the end of the day, they had a whistle-blower who basically said something was done wrong, but he had not heard the call, and the president says, okay, let's see the transcript, and release it. the quid pro quo is to
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investigate a political opponent, and which when you saw the transcript that is not what he was asking for. >> he did say do me a favor in that transcript. >> he said do us a favor. the country has been through a lot and speak to the attorney general about it, and that is not to speak to my personal attorney and then try to do something, and so there was never an investigation started and they are doing that in exchange for the aid being held up, and the aid was paid. so at the end of the day, the whole thing was nonsense, but we are focused on trying to do the business of the american people, and we will let that work it out. >> do you think that he wishes that he had done anything different on ukraine? >> the president? >> yes. >> the president thinks that he did absolutely nothing wrong, and by the way, looking at the ukraine policy, it is under the obama administration that crimea was taken over, and so one thing that is consistent is that the state department people said that we may not have liked the way they did it, and may not have liked the process that ran,
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but we love the result, because trump's policy has been substantially better by sending them the aid they needed when they were under attack. and i will say with president trump consistent across everything, that he is different and people sent him to washington, because they wanted something different. the people who are the traditional politicians came to washington to promise all of these things and never got it done, and promised nafta and to move the embassy to jerusalem and promised them and they did not do it. so you have a lot of the career folks who love to work for the president because he is empowering them to do their jobs and increased the metabolism of government in an incredible way, but there is a lot of people who wish that we did things in the traditional way but they want us to get the results that we are. so looking at where we are today versus where we are when we started three years ago, we have done incredible things. our country is safer. and we have pushed hard on the trade deals and lowered, tas and regulations. and we have appointed a ton of
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conservative judges and done a lot of things this to make this country stronger and training the workforce of the future and it is an exciting time. >> i am curious when you heard about the ukraine call for the first time? >> well, there was the news about the whistle-blower, and so that is when i found out about it it. >> let me turn to something else that you have been involved in which is immigration. there is a gap that seems to be growing in the town although two years ago it was a deal to be done on immigration. are you going to have another run at that? if so, how do you go about doing that? >> so i hope that we have a chance to do that. i think that it is one of the most important issues. first of all, it is a divisive issue in the country and bringing a resolution to it would help us to patch that up which would be great. and second of all, i think that economically for us, it is a tremendous issue. if you are looking at a country like australia with a merit-based immigration system,
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they have not had a recession in 28 years and a lot of the companies that we meet with in the high-tech industry, they want to bring people into the country, and opening up offices in other place, because they can't get some of the most skilled people who are high wage earners and gdp workers into the country. so we need a fundamental change to the immigration system and not just for the high-tech companies, but for the construction industry and a lot of the industries in the country. so what the president did in the first one, he had negotiation that did not come together for whatever reason. but what he has done now is to have us work to take his ideas and come up in a time when there is not energy, and i find out in washington, you have a crisis and everybody says find a solution it to, but people don't spend the time doing the detail work in times when there is not a crisis. so we have a detailed bill that we drafted on the merit-based immigration which we studied in canada, and australia and new zealand and modified for what we want in america, and how it is going to fit our economy the best. and then what we did is a bit on
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the border security as well, and what is the rolls royce version of the border security to make sure that all of the points of entry are modernized and anything legal comes in quickly, and things th thas that are ill out quick, drugs, counterfeit weapon, and that type of thing is stopped so that trade can happen quicker, because you are facilitating and the packages meant to get in are getting in quicker. so we have put together a very good package on that and hoping to unify a lot of the republican party around the merit-based system, and the immigration, and the border security. >> you say unifying the republican party and the democratic party and do you have any hope of going around that idea and the approach that you are talking about? >> i think it is up to the president if he wants to engage with them, and i think it is important to have the republicans unified on what they want to do before they go to the negotiation and so if you are thinking of the last 17 effort
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you had three versions of what border security was, and the republicans were arguing amongst themselves of what the adequate border security was, and among the democrats as well. so if you are going back to the 13th try, you have people on the republican side who say that the border security proposal is not adequate and then others who say it is the best ever, and then people on the right say that the merit-based system would lead to lower wage, and i think that is a valid concern based on the way it was done. >> and in the 2018 episode, the white house backed away from the potential deal because the president's base was not there with him. is that a problem as you put it together? >> no, i think that is a mischaracterization. i think that when the president makes a deal, he knows how to stick to the deal. the people working with him, didn't know how to make sure that he had the information that he needed to get the decision. an example, when we were doing
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the prison reform. he came in, and it is not a issue that he had spent a lot of time he had spent with in entertainment and building, and i found out that people who came out were committing crimes and so if they were in prison, 70% of them were in prison before, and if we had done the job right the first time, it would have saved us a number of times and so the element of the human appeal was appealing to him. so we said it is they come outed and they don't have job training and hurdles to deal with, and parole, and he said, work with us on this. and he gave us the endorsement to go forward. we got it through the house, and great effort. then to go through the senate, we had to make a deal on the sentencing rerm tfreform, and t more controversial.
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so i brought into the president's office four republicans and explained the sentencing reform and he said that is reasonable and let's go forward and the guys said that is a yes. i said, no, that is a soft yes, because i now have to bring in the people who hate what you are proposing and then to convince him why it is a terrible thing, and then once he has heard from them, we will have a debate and knowing what is the pros and the cons. you cannot present the positive side without the full information and then make a decision. so what happened on the immigration is that the people who were negotiating the tedeal didn't know how to get to yes. so we have done that on the trade deal and the president knows how to makes the deals when he has the right people around him doing it. >> and so there are some rumblings in the last few weeks about another tax cut, the and 2020 tax cut proposal and one coming from the white house? >> i know that larry kudlow and
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secretary mnuchin are working on one, but i don't want to get ahead of them. >> larry is here tomorrow, and so he can tell us. >> he will tell you that we will have growth. >> he says growth in every other sentence. >> yes, he is great. >> so you have spent a lot of time dealing with the saudi account, and incident in pensacola a tragic one in a few days ago in which the saudi aviation student shot and killed americans on the base. and so what do we conclude from the fact that there is a saudi national who did such a thing on the american soil? >> well, it is a terrible tragedy what happened and i know that we are still getting more information as we speak. look, i think that the president's efforts when he went to saudi arabia for the first trip were geared towards establishing the priorities for the region. number one countering iran, and number two, unifying everybody to defeat isis and number three, to figuring out how to win the
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long-term battle against extremism, and how do we solve the palestinian and israeli issue to create some normalcy in that region. saudi arabia for a long time had a lot of issues in the mosques and then in a lot of the problems that were emanating from there and other places. the new leadership there is taking a very, very hard-line on try to clean out the mosques and trying to figure out how to bring, going against the extremism and bring islam back to, back to where it should be, and that is a very, very important fight and one that we cannot underestimate. so we see that there is a lot of work to do. and i think that saudi arabia recognizes that when you are addressing these problems, you don't have them solved overnight, but long term, they are doing a lot of the things that america had hoped, had always hoped they would do, and we are seeing a lot of results in terms the of modernizing the society giving more rights to women, and trying to open up the country, but you can't do this stuff overnight.
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>> and it to open up the unca country. >> the government and the primaries is in some peril. the iranians are in deep economic stress, syria seems to be in a transition to some kind of a new version of non-american, russian protectionism, and i think the question of extremism has not been resolved. how dangerous is the middle east right now? >> i think the middle east for 20 years has been a major problem, probably much longer than that. if you think about ever since the iraq war and the afghanistan war, you've had a lot of destabilization in the region which has bled out. you look at the last administration, they basically empowered iran, weakened the alliance with israel and the
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gulf states, allowed yemen to be disabled and almost lost egypt. i would say that we weren't starting from a very strong position in the middle east. by the way, and they allowed the caliphate of isis to form which was the size of a major state in america. what we've done since we've gotten there, we've shored up our relationship with israel, with saudi, jordan, egypt, the gulf countries and tried to strengthen those relationships. number two is, we've worked very hard to not allow iran, which is the number one state sponsor of terror, to have access to all the resources they've had. if you think about the houthis in yemen, their funding has gone down dramatically and they're getting closer to making a deal. a lot of it was driven by a fact that iran sent a missile into saudi arabia. you look at hezbollah, you look at hamas, much more weakened because of the restraints we've
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put on iran's money. we believe iran was a big cause of a lot of the issues in the region and so our view is we're going to work to make it as good as possible. i will tell you this, i would hear people say the big divide in the middle east is between the shias and others. but i think it's a divide between leaders who want to use traditional religious excuses to try to destabilize and radicalize people. if we can give people an alternative path which is one where you should be looking towards a better future, creating jobs, having investment, i think those people will be much more likely to not go down a path of extremism. >> i have a few questions that were turned in earlier. before i get to that, one last question i wanted to ask you which is about the 2020 election. you were involved in 2016,
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particularly in setting up a digital marketing strategy for the 2016 campaign. we're now in 2020. it's probably the same idea but on steroids. what does that look like next year or what does it look like right now in terms of a digital marketing strategy for the trump re-election campaign? >> so we basically have been very, very focused on the re-election basically from day one. and we've left some of the people behind to -- in the campaign to really focus on how do you build it out. we built a very sophisticated operation that can adjust to whatever the issue of the day is and figure out how do we fight on the issue using the modern tools available. we've developed sophistication with all of the different mediums, facebook, google, youtube and we've done a good job of building that out. the thing that gets me excited is the data and the microtargeting that we've had.
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we've invested $60 million just in our data, refining our data and making sure that we have a very good sense of how to spend our money. i'm a big believer in -- lincoln had a quote if you have six hours to chop down a tree you would spend the first four sharpening an ax. we've doubled and tripled down on everything that worked in the last campaign. we're ready to go. i think the president is looking very strong. one thing i am seeing now is that when he was running the last time, he was a successful businessman who said i'm going to give it a shot and people said all kinds of terrible things about him and predicted if he was elected president the world would end and the economy would crash, and he's got elected, he's kept all of his promises and every morning the sunrises and the sun sets and the market is up 50% and a lot of good things are happening.
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the people who voted for him love him, they feel like things like impeachment and the mueller investigation, those are a tax on them. the people in washington, we think we know better than that, trying to say they were wrong to vote the way they did. but the mexican president, when i sat with him the first time, i realized his election was very similar to ours. it wasn't about right versus left, it was about inside versus outside. they're saying that they don't believe washington is working for us and we want somebody who's going to fight for us being a representative in washington. and what i've seen with the president, in all different groups, we got 29% of the hispanic vote, we're showing now he's above 40%. there's been seven polls out in the black community that show the president between 17% and 35% now. he got 8% in the election. and so what we've tried to do is
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employ a president for all americans and i think the policy that is we've put in place are working for all people. the president has a great argument to make. i would say over the last three years, we've probably been a lot better at doing than telling. but a campaign is about telling and putting the ideas out and articulating the vision. and we believe this country has tremendous potential and we're excited to hopefully keep going to make it happen. >> let me pose a question to you that came -- comes from adam johnson. it's a very broad but i think important question. our country is suffering. what is your plan for a return to civility and compromise? >> there's different schools of thought. i've been able to work on some bipartisan issues. i found we're able to do it one on one. criminal justice reform was one of the few bipartisan bright spots. hopefully what we get done on u.s. msa is a bright spot.$x
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and i think it's almost like the media and the democrats call the presidents all these horrible things and when he fights back strongly and doesn't play the rules they get mad that he's fighting back the way he is. he feels like when he's fighting for the people, he plays it like he's got nothing to lose, he feels like the people gave him their votes and he has to deliver on the promises that he made to them in order to get the votes. so he's going to keep fighting. and, look, the president, as you've seen many times, there's a of people who he was fighting with who he's now very close with, whether it's -- think about mexico. everyone thought we were going to go to war with mexico. now him and the president of mexico have a strong relationship, we're working together on immigration, we're working together on organizations. people thought we were going to
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war with china, half the republican party. the president wants to get along with people but i find that the biggest mistake people do is they think that they want to go on tv and criticize him and same bad things as opposed to picking up the phone, calling him, can i come over and work this out, he's very commercial. he wants to get things done. i believe he's a pragmatist and that's why america is lucky to have a president who wants to get things done and i think the results he's achieved are showing that's the case. >> but the gaps in the division feel so acute at this point. after impeachment is it possible to work on things? >> we're always ready. but he's been under assault since the day he got to washington. first they said he wasn't going to run, then they said he wasn't going to win the nomination, then he was going to drop out of the election, then lose, and they said he's going to leave in the first year or he colluded
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with russia, but despite all that, i think the that the president is fighting nonstep. he knows what he wants to get done and he's going to accomplish it. >> the ceo of grant thornton, who do you consider to be your key stakeholders? >> i think the american people are the key stakeholders and you have to deliver the best results for them. president trump delivered a corporate tax cut, he delivered a middle income tax cut but he believed that the corporations had the ability to create a lot of jobs which lead to higher wages and he put forward with regulatio regulations you put in place a deregulatory agenda where the cost of regulation didn't go up, the year before he got elected,
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there were 6 million man hours spent complying with regulations. i think for -- we promised to repeal two regulations for every one we put in place. and we've repealed nine regulations for every one put in place. you can spend your money better than the governmental. the corporations do now how to create jobs. but we want to be a partnership in doing that. my wife has done a great program where i find, again, in government you only get credit when you solve a crisis, when there's a real problem, right? and on the business side, you don't get paid for solving crisis, you get paid for avoiding crisis and problems and creating future opportunities. there's no issue that i've seen that is closer to that than workforce training in this country. my wife said we have a lot of industries that are becoming
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obsolete and we have a lot of new industries that are being created where they're looking for workers to fill those jobs. she worked with a lot of you and the corporations to say you have programs, let's raise the awareness of investing in your workforce as a way to have return on investment for your companies and as a way to retain your employees, allow your employees to grow and create opportunity. she's gotten over 14 million pledges from the corporate world to reskill and apprenticeship programs. do you believe in workforce training and the need, she would say absolutely. we believe that the private sector can be a create partner in finding ways to accomplish those objectives. >> last question comes from a colleague of mine who wants to know, since every issue seems to land in your portfolio sooner or
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later, what's a day in the life of jared kushner like? >> the president is nonstep. he said to me once, this was about a year ago, he says, do you think this person is tired? i said with all due respect, we're all tired. you're the only one who's not tired. and i do think that he's -- he doesn't stop. he'll give two or three speeches in a day. he tells everyone to do their job. he busts through bureaucracy, he demands results and accountability. and i think that we just do your best to try to keep up with him. my typical day will start early, start with "the wall street journal" about 6:00, if it gets there on time. sometimes my delivery guy gets there a little bit late. i still go the old-fashioned way, one of maybe six people who do. but i do. and i try to see my kids for a couple minutes, get to the office about 7:15, 7:30 and then it starts. and then we do a lot of internal meetings and then it's always issue of the day. but the big thing for me that i
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had the luxury of doing is figuring out -- i always try 80% of my time was focusing on issues i want to accomplish. you have endless amount of people who want to meet and it's hard to prioritize to make sure you can say these are the things i want to accomplish this year, these are the things i want to accomplish this month. how do you make sure you're putting led on the target and focusing on getting that done. in government, the power from the white house is tremendous. you can get -- you can breakthrough bureaucracy, you have to be focused, you have to be vigilant, but you have to have tremendous people. and i'll say also the president came in, he wasn't a mayor, he wasn't a governor. he didn't have previous governing experience. so we came in and we brought in a lot of unconventional people from washington. one of the best decisions he
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made was people who signed pledges against him in these letters. he didn't allow to work in the administration. it weeded out people who were from the conventional way who were basically auditions for jobs with a different campaign. when you think about what it takes to be kre denled in government. i will admit, it's an adjustment period. it's a different business. being in government than being in the business world, but what president trump's done is he's brought in a new crop of people to washington who wouldn't have come into washington otherwise and i think most of them have worked out. some of them haven't. we've cycled them out. but i do think that it's -- that it's been great and i think that because of the fearlessness that he brings, we're able to attack all of these different problems. the president gives me the issues that he feels he wants to
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make sure it gets done and i think i've got a good track record for delivering. and i'll say this last thing which is just, i have one person i'm recruiting now into the government from the private sector and they said what's the difference between working in the private sector and working in government? and i said, well, in the private sector, you're on firm ground, you're on flat ground. you know where you stand. you get to pick which battles you're fighting. you get to pick which opportunities you're pursuing, you get to pick who you work with. you control your environment. in government, it's almost like you're standing on a ball and the trick is, how do you accomplish the objectives you're trying to do, how do you pick which pitches to swing at and make sure you're successful without falling off the ball. and so it's a different skill set. i've gained a lot of respect for the people in washington, people i agree with or disagree with on the issues. it takes a lot of talent to be successful in this business. it's a hard business. but i think we've figured it out
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and we've been able to bring a lot of results and that's something i'm proud of. i say this all the time too which is that people get lost in the day-to-day. it's almost like an ocean, where you look at the waves, and i've got four screens in my office, i'll see the news and they're hyper ventilating about the issue of the day, if you look underneath the surface, there's a lot of good work happening. when the chapter -- when the book is written on this president, they'll see that he was one of the most prolific presidents, one of the most successful presidents, he was able to jump start our economy. the results have been extraordinary and i think the american people get it and that's why this election will be a lot of fun because we get to talk about all the things that we've done. we get to compare those policies to some of the things that i hear them proposing which quite frankly trying to figure out why those are good policies and why they think they're good politics to propose them. and we get to talk to the people and push forward. >> we'll have you back a year
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from now and you can tell us whether it was as much fun as you said in 2020. thank you for coming by. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> you're watching c-span and we're live now on capitol hill for a hearing on iraq and middle east policy. lawmakers will hear from deputy secretary for near eastern affairs, joey hood. they are delayed a little bit here. there's a series of votes on the house floor.