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tv   Sean Spicer Fields Questions on Iran Sanctions  CSPAN  February 4, 2017 3:11am-3:46am EST

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>> [indiscernible] >> all right, guys, thank you very -- thank you. >> new sanctions against iran were put in place by president trump today, as well. this is after a missile test by iran earlier this week. a look at the bbc reporting the sanctions are actually against 13 people in a dozen different countries. the u.s. also moving a navy destroyer closer to the coast of yemen. and oil prices going up. you can read more of those details in the bbc. president trump is heading to mar-a-lago in florida. he is heading away from the white house for the weekend where he is expected to hold meetings at his estate in florida.
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he is scheduled to return to washington, d.c. on monday. he boarded marine one at the white house. press secretary sean spicer addressing those new sanctions against iran and other issues today. here is that briefing. sec. spicer: good afternoon everyone, happy friday. another busy day here at the white house. the first jobs report under the administration was released this morning. it is national wear red day. it is national catholic schools week. regulatory relief to lenders and borrowers. we are finishing up the second
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week really strong. yesterday, a deal was reached with lockheed martin. a total of 90 planes, 55 purchased for u.s. military that added up to $455 million savings for taxpayers.
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another big win the president has delivered on. speaking of good numbers, let's turn to the jobs report. the economy added over 227,000 new jobs, significantly more than what had been expected. the report reflects the consumer confidence that the trump presidency has inspired. according to a recent poll, economic confidence is at a new high, and there is strong private sector hiring. he wants to make sure that everyone who wants a job can get one. the labor force participation is he recognizes there's more work to be done. he has a big and bold agenda to create jobs. in his first two weeks in office he is met with more than 50 business leaders across many industries. this morning, he was in a policy forum with business leaders. the president understands the importance of an open dialogue with businesspeople.
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his firsthand experience as a success fall businessman helped to guide his and other creators. all of these meetings are focused on one goal, providing new and improved opportunities for all americans. we are looking at policy measures, regulatory relief tax and trade reform, rebuilding america's crumbling infrastructure. today in pursuit of that goal, the president will be signing two executive actions as part of his plan to overall our financial regulatory system and that will happen close to 1:00 hour. there are guideline principles that sets the table for a regulatory system that hit gates risk and encourages growth and protects consumers. the dodd-frank act is a disastrous policy that is hindering our markets reducing the availability of credit and krim pling our economy. it imposed hundreds of new regulations on financial
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institutions while establishing unaccountable and unconstitutional new agency that does not adequately protect consumers. despite its overreaching, dodd-frank did not address the causes of the financial crisis something we know must be done. it did not solve the too big to fail and the failure of a large bank will leave taxpayers on the hook. the presidential memorandum addresses the burdensome regulations in the department of labor's fiduciary role. there are better ways to protect investors and the trump administration is taking administration to do so. we are reviewing this rule. the rule's intent may be to have provided retirees with financial advice but its effects is to limit the financial services that are available to them. president trump did not intend to put unnecessary limits on economic activity. and this is exactly the kind of
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government regulatory reach the president was put in office to stop. we have to overhaul how we approach regulation. the president is taking action to protect american taxpayers and get people back to work. we announced we would be taking steps to address iran's recent actions. there are 25 individuals and entities that support support to the islamic receiveary guard. these designations are in response to iran's ongoing ballistic missile program and as well as iran's continued support for terrorism. we have taken these actions today after careful consideration and will continue to respond with appropriate action. these designations mark yet another stop in our continued effort to target iran's ballistic missile program and terrorism-related activities. secretary mattis is on a two day
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trip to asian visited korea yesterday and japan today. secretary mattis' visit emphasizes the position of the u.s. over in the senate, the president has now 11 cabinet nominees waiting a full senate vote on their confirmations and we are reviewing this rule. look forward to welcoming these individuals. the weekend's plans, the president will do a facebook live event this evening at 5:00 and recap another week of action. he will comment on his selection of judge gorsuch to be the next justice of the supreme court. he will discuss his vision to deliver more opportunity and safety for the african-american community. one more note, the lead-in to the president's remarks will feature the incredible art work by african-american art iferts. the president will be shifting
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the operation of the white house. he will hold meetings and calls with his staff to plan for another big week of action. we will provide readouts as they occur. the administration has racked up more than 60 significant actions, 21 executive actions, 16 meetings with foreign leaders and 10 stakeholder meetings. mcgill, the president will receive briefings and have lunch with the enlisted troops and all hands address to personnel. generals will be present for the meetings and the president will return to washington that evening. i go to my first question today. jackie.
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reporter: good afternoon. on behalf of the viewers of south florida, thank you for this opportunity. a lot of focus on foreign affairs and new sanctions announced and miami is home to the largest cuban-american community in the country. and in the last days of the administration, he left thousands of cubans in limbo. my question is two-fold has there been any contact between your administration and the cuban government? are there any plans to change the current policy right now? mr. spicer: we are in the midst of review of policies towards cuba. the president is ensuring human rights for all citizens throughout the world and as we review those policies in cuba,
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that will be forefront in the policy discussions but nothing we have on that front at this point. reporter: sanctions on iran. previously this morning the president has said they were playing with fire and said appropriate actions will be taken. is this the action we are seeing right now and are military options still on the table? mr. spicer: one of the things that the president has said during the transition and since becoming president, he doesn't like to telegraph his options and believes you could have success. i'm not going to go into the full extent. today's sanctions represent a very, very strong stand against the actions that iran has been taking and make it clear that the deal they struck previously was not in the best interest of this country and president trump is going to do everything he can.
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reporter: it is possible that there are more sanctions coming though? mr. spicer: i wouldn't rule anything out. reporter: i wanted to ask about one of the members that has been announced as being part of president trump's team, gina. senator ron wyden has said that her background makes her unsuitable to be the c.i.a. deputy director and what he was referencing was her role in the enhanced interrogation program that the c.i.a. had during the course of the bush administration. do you believe that this background is a disqualifier? mr. spicer: she has had a distinctive career as a covert operative and gave that up to serve in that role at the request of director pompeo and
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she is a distinguished servant to the american people and highly qualified to that position. reporter: look forward to the patriots coming down there in a couple of months. for more than two years, public health and safety threat is the heroin and opioid crisis. the president promised to be swift, stopping the flow of drugs, increasingly, the problem lies in synthetic fentanyl. what is the administration doing on that as well as the treatment aspect of addiction and with the understanding it is a state issue, the state is going to be a right to work state. is it engaged in that effort and what is the general message from the white house?
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spicer: one of the thing is health issues. we have to look at the border issue. drugs ofof through the the southern border will go a to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the country up through the states. mades a big issue that he in new hampshire throughout the primary and continued through the campaign. as soon as tom price and others are confirmed in the department, it has a health component to it, a border issue to it. so there is a multigovernment approach that needs to be taken. with respect to right to work, you accurately portrayed it, the president believes in right to work.
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he wants to give workers and companies the flexibility to do what is in the best interest of what is in the best interest of job creators. the vice president has been a champion of it as well. and something that is a big deal in indiana and something that he has championed as well. reporter: i want to ask you about dodd-frank. beyond the executive order that's going to be signed hire momentarily, is the administration planning on or working with congress to overturn certain portions of the law. if so, what might that be and time line might be and could you say a full repeal of dodd-frank is actively being considered or not? >> there is the administration piece which he is starting to address and legislative piece. i think i would go back to what i said earlier, dodd-frank has
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been both a disaster in terms of the impact that it has had but hasn't achieved the goal. there's no question that the president talked about this extensively, the impact that it's had. and it's not an either or and not doing what it was set out to do. we are going to act not only through administrative action but congress. reporter: meeting with the australian ambassador, can you describe what that meeting was about and did the administration make a commitment that in fact all of those subjects of the obama administration agreement are still possible refugee settlers or some sort of process was communicated? on the iran actions, the acting treasury secretary was in charge of sanctions. these are long time developments. were they on his desk or been
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identified and that's what made them so not easy available to enact? mr. spicer: i think you settlers or some sort of process was communicated? on the iran actions, the acting treasury secretary was in charge correctly pointed out, he served in the last administration. these kind of sanctions don't happen quickly, but i think the timing of them was clearly a reaction of what we have seen over the last couple of days. we knew we had these options available to us because they had been worked through the process. but we acted swiftly and decisively today because the timing was right. they were in the pipeline and staffed and approved and the president made the decision now is the time to do it. chief of staff and chief strategist did make with the ambassador yesterday. they did have a very productive and candid discussion. we have tremendous amount of he respect for the ambassador and the prime minister.
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we are going to honor the commitments we have made meaning we are going to vet these people in accordance with the agreement that happened and continue to have further updates. reporter: the speaker last night on settlements in israel, a shift in u.s. policy while you said you didn't think they were helpful to achieving peace which would be a departure from obama and bush. there was no reaffirmation in a two-state solution. mr. spicer: the president is committed to peace. that's his goal. and i think when the president and president netanyahu meet here on the 15th, that will be the topic on that. at the end of the day, the goal is peace. and that's what you have to keep in mind. that is going to be a subject they discussed when they meet on the 15th and that's as far as i
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want to go on that. reporter: what is your position on settlements in terms of whether or not -- you said they were not an impede minute to peace but you don't want them building new ones. >> the statement is very clear on that. we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment but the construction or expansion of settlements beyond the current borders isn't going to be helpful. reporter: 17 members of congress requested that president trump not interfere. does the president intend to comply with the request. how many of the 227,000 jobs added in january attributes to his administration versus the obama administration? >> when you look at the confidence in numbers. i think that you have seen the
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actions you have taken whether it's carrier, sprint, clearly there is a desire for companies to want to be part of this trump agenda and create jobs and bring jobs back, but i'm not going to start parsing the reports as far as where that comes down. his team was pleased with the numbers this morning. we are pleased that 2727,000 jobs is a great kickoff. we hope they get better and there is a lot more work to do and the president continues to meet with business and union leaders to help grow the economy. reporter: over 100,000 visas have been revoked as a result of the president's travel ban. will the government begin -- mr. spicer: i have to get back to you on that. reporter: [inaudible] reporter: has the president seen
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the letter sent by senator mccain and he is looking into arming the ukranians? mr. spicer: i don't know. reporter: ambassador haley came out on a strong statement, does the administration have a plan to keep the sanctions against russia in place or adding more sanctions? mr. spicer: i commented on the sanctions that treasury put out, those are routine or the clarification there. routine clarification that occurs with respect to the sanctions, i think ambassador haley made it clear with
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russia's occupation of crimea. she spoke forcefully and clear on that. i would like to go to the third skype question. reporter: with the likely confirmation on the horizon with a new veterans affairs secretary there has been discussion about privatizing the v.a. and there are wait times and overall care and reports of suicide rate. what is the reform that the administration is seeking here? will the administration protect whistleblowers? second part of the question, we have seen here protests in phoenix and nationwide talking about the unity, what is the administration doing to bring more unity to the nation and more transparency. in phoenix, we saw the secret meeting on the tarmac. mr. spicer: first, the president mostly through deeds continues to show he wants to bring people together in this country and how to move the country forward.
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that is something he continues to show a desire for. talked about it in his inaugural address and prayer breakfast. he will go through words and deeds to move the country forward. go back to the first part. reporter: confirmation -- mr. spicer: i think first and foremost on v.a. reform, so many of these that i brought up in the past couple of days, hard to talk about how we are going to enact an agenda while senate democrats slowwalk these folks. he is the right to reform the v.a. the problems and challenges that we face in the v.a. these are people who served our nation and deserve the best care, whether mortgage lending, health care or variety of other
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stuff that the v.a. provides to our veterans. and i think what the president has done and talking to cleveland clinic and other business leaders about providing a better approach to serving the needs of our veterans. there are still wait times. there is care that is unacceptable and we have to address that. reporter: during the campaign, candidate trump said he was going to void the iran nuclear deal. is he going to do that? >> today's actions speak for itself in terms of the sanctions and made it very clear that the deal that was struck was a bad deal, that we gave iran too much and got too little for it. and he will be continue to be tough on iran. today's actions and the way we expedited those sanctions are another example of how we are going to stay tough. let me go to the fourth skype. reporter: thanks for taking
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questions from outside the elite media bubble there in d.c. my question is about immigration. donald trump made it the foundation of his campaign and the daca program still exists the daca program still exists and the trump administration is still issuing work permits. when are these programs going to be ended? and when will they stop issuing work permits to these individuals? mr. spicer: secretary kelly just assumed office and reviewing these programs. we will have further updates on immigration. the president has made significant progress on addressing the pledge he made to the american people regarding immigration problems we face and going to see more action on that in the next few weeks.
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reporter: yesterday, the president described nafta as a catastrophe. i'm wondering if you could outline some of the irritants that he finds along the canadian border and any talk of a meeting with prime minister trudeau? >> he has spoken to him. and a meeting set up shortly. >> russia's administration asking for further details on the president's details to establish safe zones and the president discussed this with king abdullah. when can we expect further details on that plan? >> in the readouts from last weekend, that has been a subject that has come up with the middle east leaders he has talked about and an area he feels strongly about and as he continues to have follow-up conversations, we can expect further details. secretary kelly just got sworn in, there will be further follow-up on that. [inaudible]
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mr. spicer: there is going to be a lot of trade and national security. if we get closer to that meeting. but right now, there is an economic aspect to this and national security aspect to this. reporter: you referenced that a poll came outwe've seen the approval rating drop during the transition period. he talked about polls a great deal during the campaign. a, what do you think that says about the way the american people are looking at these actions that he's taking? and, b, what do you think it
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says about his quest to unite the country? mr. spicer: i think there's also a poll that showed he had a 51% approval rating. there was a poll the other day that showed, again, i don't have it handy, a majority of people -- hold on. i understand that. i think that as the president's policies continue to get enacted, you know, for all the hysteria regarding his efforts to protect the country on those seven countries where we didn't have the proper vetting in place to secure -- to ensure that the american people were safe, what we did have was a very high response from the american people in support of that. his policies continue to do it. the president understands this is a marathon, not a sprint. as he continues to get people back to work, protect this country, i think the poll numbers will act in accord. reporter: [inaudible] -- cordray is the head of that agency. mr. spicer: i don't have a staff announcement on the cfpb right
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now. we'll see where we go. reporter: criticize the bureau broadly -- mr. spicer: i think we'll have further updates on that. that's an area that we need to work with congress on. reporter: two things. one, you said something about president trump talking on the facebook live, whatever that is, the address, that he was going to talk about black history month and issues pertaining to the african-american community. when he first came, a couple days into the administration, i asked you about the agenda. the black agenda that he had possibly formulated, was formulating, as he came out maybe the day before, but the issue of chicago. or the day after, somewhere around that time. chicago and sending the feds in if it doesn't change. has he now formulated a plan to deal with the black community, not just on issues of law and order, what is that -- mr. spicer: he had a meeting with african-american leaders the other day in the roosevelt room. part of this, it's not just law and order. it's jobs, it's education, health care, small business lending. there's a lot that goes along with that agenda. i think part of these business
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meetings that he has are about hiring and small business and job creation. all of those issues i think are at the forefront of small i think part of these business business -- or that community. so it's not just a single thing. i think there's a lot, whether it's crime and law and order and education, health care, small business, job creation, that impacts that entire segment of the population. whether they're living in a rural part of the country or inner city. i think that's what he's really focused on right now. reporter: i'm not finished. so he's not formulating the agenda -- mr. spicer: absolutely. reporter: the second question. c.b.e. what's on the table for that? mr. spicer: we're not getting -- i have nothing to announce on that. reporter: the people are concerned -- mr. spicer: i've understood we heard a lot of rumors. when we have something to announce on that, we will do it. i don't think it should be any surprise that the president, when it comes to rooting out radical islamic terrorism, which is what that initially was supposed to be focused on, he's going to make sure that that is a major focus of his keeping this country safe. so i don't have anything further for you on that. reporter: what about excluding -- there are reports --
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mr. spicer: there are reports. i don't have anything for you. i just said i don't have anything for you. i will be very clear this president's commitment to rooting out radical islamic terrorism is something that's at the forefront of his agenda and i know there's been a lot of reports about where that program or that effort is going to lie. reporter: [inaudible] mr. spicer: i have nothing else. thank you. reporter: [inaudible] -- tough language on iran, playing with fire. should americans be ready for the possibility of military action with iran? is that on the table? mr. spicer: i've said this before. the president's been very clear. he doesn't take options off the table. but he understands the impact of something like that. the sanctions today are going to be very, very strong and impactful. i hope that iran realizes that after the provocative measures that they've taken, that they understand that this president, this administration, is not going to sit back and take it lightly. reporter: thank you. monday, several published reports say that it will be a
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tie in the senate on the confirmation of betsy devos as secretary of education. and mike pence will have to cast a historic tie-breaking vote as vice president. should we be watching for any surprises? has the congressional affairs office perhaps gotten one more vote from the no camp into the yes, or do you expect the vice president to be on hand to confirm? mr. spicer: i would say this --betsy devos, as i mentioned before, is an unbelievable champion of education. for children, for teachers, for parents. i hope that that vote, you know, gets 60, 70 votes. she's an unbelievable, remarkable woman who has fought very hard to improve our nation's education system and to make sure that schools are serving children. i think that we're going to make sure we do everything we can and we feel 100% confident that she will be confirmed monday night and be the next secretary of education. thank you, guys. have a great weekend. the president's about to sign executive orders. i hope you all have a great weekend.
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for those of who you can't travel down to florida, we'll be gaggling on the plane on monday. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the white house issued a statement regarding the seattle judge's ruling which temporarily halted the president executive on immigration. it reads in part, the department of justice intends to file an emergencies of this outrageous order on immigration. and offend the executive order of the president, which we believe is lawful and appropriate. >> this weekend on -- featuring the rancho mirage festival. the coverage starts at 1:30 p.m. eastern. >> to me, diseases are verbs, not nouns. you are cancering, heart
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diseasing. one does not get cancer, it is something the body does. >> listen, resign, resign. you are a disgrace. i said, no. no. all i tried to do was find common ground. if you want to twist it, be my guest. >> panel discussions on the state of america's hospitals. life and politics in florida and the environment. and pulitzer prize winning author lawrence wright. >> if there is one lesson you learned from spending a long thatin the middle east is things can always get worse. >> on sunday beginning at 3 p.m. eastern, dennis krager. >> make a list of things that you think will make you happy. you would be temporarily happy. >> dr. gary small. >> if you can achieve bring out,
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that things can always get worse. then you will be able to remember and think about all of those decisions you need to make every day to keep your brain healthy. >> a panel discussion on national security. watch the writers festival today on book tv. >> monday on capitol hill, the bipartisan era when task force will look at of use of synthetic opioids. the hearing will be live at 4:00 eastern time on c-span3. you can also watch online at and stream on the free c-span radio app. the chair of the house ways and means committee, kevin brady, outlines his goals for overhauling the tax code during a tax policy forum hosted by georgetown university law center and cosponsored by the


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