tv Washington Journal News Headlines and Viewer Calls CSPAN April 11, 2017 6:59am-8:00am EDT
daylong conference on food policy with remarks from congressman jim mcgovern of massachusetts. include food waste, the meat and poultry industry, and we are live starting at 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span two. ♪ announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. announcer: coming up in one hour, npr political reporter on her piece "looking into the state of the affordable care act ." at a: 40 5 a.m., former special assistant to president obama to
the middle east. and the national security adviser to host: good morning. april, --, test it is today's special congressional election in kansas. we begin on the issue of airline passenger rights in the wake of the viral videos showing a customer being removed from an overbooked flight out of chicago . amid the outrage, some members of congress are calling for public hearings to find out what happened and why. we are asking you and -- you if congress needs to do more. phone lines this morning.
you can also write in on twitter and facebook. a very good tuesday morning. you can start calling and now on this topic of passenger rights as we should you want the viral videos from yesterday. [video clip] >> come on. >> get up. >> busted his lip. >> oh my god. oh my god. >> good work. host: that incident out of
chicago on sunday sparking these headlines this morning in today's paper. one of them from the "new york times." the front page of "usa today." federal regulations do not prevent carriers from selling more seats than a flight can accommodate. typically airlines will call -- will ask for volunteers in return for taking a different flight. if not enough volunteers are found, the airline has the power who gets bumped off a flight. several papers talking about this. several members of congress tweeting about this yesterday and some calling for congressional hearings. one of them is eleanor holmes norton, a democrat from here in
willie is up first from annapolis. for democrats. -- line for democrats. caller: i think nobody should have been treated that way. i thought it was very upholding. the other thing i felt that this gentleman was asian and i'm wondering was this racially motivated? it looks that way to me. that is my only comment. host: what would you want congress to do? caller: congress could do something to at least in reference to human rights that nobody should be treated like this. i don't think anybody should be responsible, an individual who pay their money for something a business is doing. it has got to stop. i think it is a lot of irresponsibility with the
airlines. host: here in washington, d.c., good morning. caller: good morning to you. fact thatbecomes the they let him on the plane in the first place. no different than a bus that is overcrowded because you'll see part of the video. you'll see the part where they approached him. he should've gotten off at some point without being pulled off. he should be compensated in regards to the treatment. if this is the biggest issue right now coming out of chicago, we have a greater issue with america's morality. we are talking about someone who was taken off the plane as opposed to talking about the hundreds of people fed up and killed already in chicago. we're talking about one person that was physically restrained and pulled off a plane.
there is a moral dilemma i see when i see someone talking about chicago and someone being inconvenienced. for those that have been murdered, i don't think they get very little representation. host: new york, barbara, good morning. caller: i was appalled at what happened to the man. i am not sure this is something that congress can do something about. it seems to me, someone on tv said the most compensation you can get from an airline a passenger to give up their seat is $1300. the airline could have offered him perks like free ticket next time or in upgrade to first class, or luxury overnight stay at a hotel, or a limo from the airport. a lot of perks the airline could've offered and if he would
not take it, somebody else would it -- would have. this is totally unnecessary. this is an example of what fascism looks like when the corporation looks -- with the corporation uses the power of the state. thanks john. $1350that number is depending on the amount of time a pastor has to wait for another flight -- a passenger has to wait for another flight. members of congress are weighing in on this incident. the democrat from hawaii -- congresswoman sheila jackson lee, democrat from texas, saying
todayn boyle tweeting is -- there is jan schakowsky, a democrat from illinois. we want to hear your statements. republicans -- is this a place where congress should get involved? is this something worthy of their attention? if so, what do you want to see? barbara, new york. -- er: host: let's go to carroll, rochester. caller: my understanding is that
the plane was not overbooked. these were employees that united wanted to fly to a different location. i think it is another example of how our society has evolved and people just exist for corporations to make money, whether it is through payday loans or selling your data on the internet. we exist so the corporations can make money. really, i traveled by train or car because i am not going to be treated like part of a herd of cattle getting on an airplane. host: the reporting so far that these passengers were being bumped were employees who needs to make a flight out of louisville. priscilla is up next, dover, delaware. good morning. that -- ibelieve believe they should stop the airlines from overbooking.
the hotel will not sell you a booked room. [indiscernible] the flight was overbooked. they gave me hotel to sleep in. host: airlines do this to maximize the profits. are you saying we should not be allowed to maximize their profits? caller: if a flight is overbooked, don't sell no more tickets for that flight. host: united's ceo issuing a statement yesterday saying, --
from their twitter page the statement that was circulated. we want to hear from you. is this a place where congress should get involved? met -- michelle is in maryland. caller: i think it should of never gotten to the point where they did not have -- they have people boarding. if you have that many people and you have seats you need to get, whether it is employees are not, they should not have let everybody on the plane until it should've been situated. it is not fair they yanked him off. the way they took the german off was uncalled for just the gentleman off is uncalled for. aside from that, the man pit's money, he got on the plane because they let him. there was no reason for them to
yank him off. i don't know if congress can do anything. the practices need to change. host: jamestown, north dakota. will let the courts handle this. united is doing what they want to do. the passenger will simply sue united. start off with $1 million and bargain from their. i understand the police officer was suspended. he is going to go after united and do the same thing. start with $1 million and bargain from their host:. -- from their. host: let congress handle it? -- caller:st: what united is tried to do the best they can.
lake charles, louisiana, republican. caller: good morning. i feel like congress right now that too much on their plates. they are dealing with russia, syria, north korea and i feel needs to go on and do what they are doing. to me, it is up to the airlines. what they did was wrong. it could've been somebody's mother, father or sister. it could've been somebody can to to you.in host: when you say congress
should not get involved. when congress jumps on these of viral videos, do you think they are using them to help themselves when they jump on these incidents? grandstanding i guess is the question. caller: when you look at what is going on right now, all of these investigations with russia or whatever you have, right now, congress, you know, is in a role spent. -- in a world spend. the airline, it is up to them. while the question, i found what it was wrong. they violated his rights. host: on twitter -- anna is in chicago.
caller: good morning. i don't think the white house should get into it, but this man acted like a five-year-old. i am sorry. host: in what way? caller: the way he was screaming . to me, he acted like a five-year-old, lying on the floor and screaming. i cannot believe it. host: you think he should've gotten up and gotten off the plane? caller: yes, like a man. talk about it and let things go on. but to lay down on the floor -- i thought it was crazy. host: some of the reporting claimed he was a doctor and have patience to see. we'll see what more reporting comes out about it. in light of the videos, we're asking you should congress do more? to protect airline
passenger rights? we want to hear thoughts. brits in nevada, home of harry reid. line for independence. caller: i think congress should get involved in this. this man paid his fees the fly. known aheadhad been of time they needed to get these people to another flight. you don't have the right to assault anybody. i think everybody in america -- all these airlines have a right to do whatever they want. congress needs to get involved. anytime the overbook a flight should be $1 million a seat. see how often that >>.
they charge us for luggage. congress should pass a law that if you overbook flights, then you are accountable. that is all i've got to say. thank you for your time. good morning, everybody. int: facts on overbooking "usa today." darius, san diego. line for independents. caller: i have to agree with two
calls back that talked about make the airlines do with this. i don't know of congress can do anything. i don't know if we should write laws about what happened. we all saw it. it was a bad situation. if he had been me, i would've left and gotten on another plane. if you want congress to do something, get involved with school shootings that happened in san bernardino. that is more important. a teacher that killed and a student. there are some things -- i don't know, it seems more important to me than this incident, although it was bad. i think it could've been handled different. i don't know if congress needs to do anything. this is a corporation that needs to be handled between the corporation and the passenger. like one caller said, maybe give him some perks to smooth this thing over the next time around.
host: the term, the customer is always right. is it different for airline passengers? considering the security concerns surrounding airlines? is that not necessarily true in the case of airlines? caller: i don't know. i have been through airports just like anybody else. i try to follow the guidelines that are there. if the customer is always right -- i just think at the end of .he day, airlines are busy everybody else has busy lives. i just think if it were me, and this was the case, instead of making a big brouhaha out of it, i would've gotten out and said, can i get on another plane?
just go from there. that is my opinion. congress has a lot of things on its plate. i don't think this is something they should get involved in. there's a lot of things in chicago -- there's a lot more going on sick -- going on in chicago than this one incident. host: mike is in richmond, virginia. republicans. caller: congress should not get anywhere near this. it is none of their darn business. secondly, the airline -- stupid, stupid. the airline could've avoided the situation with all this bad publicity by renting out a corporate, private jet or small jet for higher and putting that crew on that jet and sending the crew off on to wherever they needed them to be so their
customer base and the public would maintain their confidence. these guys could've avoided everything just by getting a small jet, putting your crew on their and flying wherever they needed. caller: in terms of changing policies, so this doesn't happen. you don't see that as a place where congress could get involved to try and make airlines? caller: absolutely not. this is none of their darn business. this is private business. the airline reneged on a contract. that is a matter between the customer and the airline. it is not the business of congress. slight, whether real or imagined, there needs to be congressional action and legislation. congress has a heck of a lot
more important things to do. this is a private matter between the customer and a company. it should be handled that way. the company -- there was an easy solution and it didn't even cross anybody's mind. host: what would you say to the callers who say this is more than reneging on a contract with the blood that was on the man's face? other action are that can be taken. that is still a matter of lawsuit between the customer and airline. the customer and whatever agency that removed him. that is not a federal issue, i am sorry. let's stop rushing to save we have to get congress in. host: the senator from hawaii saying --
this is the old song and dance. we will centralize command-and-control to make life air. life is not fair and it will never be fared no matter how much congressional action that is taken. back off politicians. host: things for the call. just thanks for the call. manassas, virginia. caller: how are you doing? host: doing well. caller: i agree, congress should not be involved. corporation versus the consumer and with congress being just you know who was going to win in this battle. i wanted to say that to callers earlier who said the customer should've gotten up and left the plane.
if corporations continue to get him to do what they want, [indiscernible] no one told them they were accountable and they will keep doing it. something big happens and we the consumers and the taxpayers end up paying for it. i don't think congress should get involved. do you know who the other three pastors work? -- the other three passengers were? otherwise, they should have compensated him for more. [indiscernible] he might've had a surgery, some important business back at home. thank you very much. caller: you mentioned partisan battle. the headline from the "washington post" today.
we are talking about those viral videos getting your thoughts. whether congress needs to do more to protect airline passenger rights. we want to hear from you. david is waiting, detroit, michigan. democrat. caller: i can't for some reason think of the author. there's a quote that says, "when there's a darkness, sin will take place. the guilty one is not he who crates to send but the one who crates the darkness." when you go to the airport and they say -- i understand everything that took place after 9/11. when you have to rush to get to the airport to be there three
tors to go through tsa, create all of this tension and no one wants to sit there for two and three hours and go through this madness and i call it madness to get on an airplane, to wait in line and go all the different turnstiles -- to get on the airplane -- no one wants to go through that. i believe in my humble opinion that we should insist that our congress changed the landscape on how we go into the airport situation seen. i believe they can create a situation where it transitions from one point to another is not as hectic and i don't even like flying p i hate the flight. -- flying. i hate the flying. i can only imagine how the gentleman felt to go through all of that.
ohio, republican. good morning. caller: of course congress to it isvolved because congress through the faa who determine the amount of money. these airlines would not give people a penny if they didn't have to be at all congress has to do is say when you get bumped , will give you $3000. if they make a large enough, people will voluntary take the money. of course congress should get involved. host: marine, good morning. passengers payday money for the seats. those seats are not free. since congress doesn't regulate
the -- does regulate the airline, they should get involved until them you cannot do that for people who pay for the seats. if they pay for the seats, they have to voluntarily give it up. at least offer them something that will stir them to give it to them. don't just drag them off. that is so heartbreaking, especially for people who just started to fly. if this is someone's first time on the plane and they see something like that, it tends to make them very leery again about flying. they say that airline is not for me. they treat their people really bad and people are paying for this. i don't want to be involved. it says several bad precedent. congress should step in so it doesn't happen again. what if there is a woman of their? herman on children are in a situation where they need to get there and they bump them.
that is putting their kids in a bad situation. so congress should step in, change that and make sure they never do that again because that man was a doctor. that means he has something important to do. that person on the other hand could have died anything could've happened because they took the initiative to do something so horrific. that is wrong. wrong, wrong, wrong. host: thank you for the call. more of your calls in just a few minutes. we want to turn to another story . a lot of events moving quickly yesterday. in alabama where robert bentley resigned from office yesterday p for more, we turn to the reporter from the alabama media group. moving very quickly. bring us up-to-date on why the governor eventually stepped down? guest: thank you. it was a very slow-moving
process as far as the last two years. we have been done with this since the governor's wife filed for divorce in august 2015. starting last week, it was an avalanche that moves quickly. the governor was found to have been accused that he had a lawsted campaign-finance and some other issues that he had misused state resources to cover up an affair with a chief aide. once the ethics commissioner found probable cause in the house impeachment committee least a very damming report, we moved at a breakneck pace to yesterday when the governor resigned. host: the governor fighting this for two years. what actually happened that caused him to decide he wasn't going to fight anymore? caller: i think the report that was released friday -- it was a day long court battle to get it
out. it hit all of a sudden was shocking, even those of us close to the situation. it was shocking and the sense -- not in just the sense of a lower detail -- but in a legal standpoint for using state police officers to threaten people, including members of his own staff. instance, he sent a state trooper -- one of his guards to question somebody, one of his own employees, about an audio tape where he and his alleged mistress are discussing their affair. details were so bad and then our speaker of the house called for his resignation. the president of the senate called for his but can it -- his resignation. if you know alabama, we are republican majority and the
state. once that happened, he entered into negotiations very quickly to stay out of jail. the resignation yesterday was a giant culmination of years of issues. really, a week of craziness. host: what consequences will he faced since a joint -- since avoiding jail time? guest: a lot of people say it is not that bad. he pled guilty to misdemeanor charges. he paid a little fine. he did have his mug shot taken. he can no longer hold office. he gave up his state retirement. he has to perform community service as a physician. he still has an active license. he is 73. it was not a huge penalty, but the fall for this man from where , beingted to yesterday
booked in the montgomery county jail was unbelievable. they are defending this settlement saying we are not going to to pay retirement or security protection. he gave that up as well. it was a savings for the state because we spent millions in this process discovering this to a fair two years ago. host: what happens to the leadership of the state? currently, our former speaker of the house was convicted last year. he is currently in jail on ethics violations. the head of our supreme court is suspended because he defied rules involving same-sex marriage. we have had three key people out of their job in the last year. governor.r -- i am not going to
see a breath test breath of fresh air but she certainly handled the transition well. we are hopeful. we have a governor's race in 2018 that people have already lined up to run. governor bentley--even if this had not happened, he was at the end of his term. we have had a smooth progression. yesterday went well. we are going to have to wait and see. i told someone recently if i hear anybody else is running around and there may be an audio tape, i may tell them i don't want to know pete we are tired of having to deal with this in our politicians. , thank you soe much for your time. guest: thank you so much. host: back to your calls. should congress do more to protect airline passenger rights asking in the wake of those viral videos that were around the internet yesterday.
want to hear thoughts. woodbridge, virginia, a republican. caller: i don't think congress to get involved. i saw the video and i think it is bad. this is commerce and united is going to pay dearly financially for this. loss fromrevenue people decided not to fly. think companies -- you handle this any of the way, there is an injustice whether it is a department store. boycott the airline and go fly another airline. a soon as it starts to hit their bottom dollar, then maybe they will stop overbooking. that is the problem. the fact that they can overbook to max out on the plane and go ahead and voluntarily -- like
you were saying, born to 30,000 last year with united alone. 40,000 of those people didn't want to leave voluntarily. somewhere along the line, this is going to be bad press and costs them more money than the overbooking is benefiting them, hopefully. host: d.c. delegate has asked for a hearing on this incident. her press release -- she is on the chance petition committee, but cannot call the hearing. we'll see what comes of this on capitol hill. robert is in stafford, virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. i think congress -- i don't think congress should get involved at all. they cannot get their work done. why should they get involved?
this has nothing to do with united. decidede associate who to handle things in their own hands. if there was someone else on duty, it would have been a different story. i went to a store one-time -- i don't think any company has a policy that you should pull somebody around. black to say -- if he was or some other race, this would have been a whole different story. we would've been talking about something different. that is my comment this morning. host: the sunday night flight from chicago to louisville was operated for united under contract by republic airways holding incorporated. robert is in frostburg, maryland. caller: good morning.
look, the american people elect politicians to control and role and make rules to control our country. our politicians have sold out to these parasitic, corporate villains. now, everybody knows congress has no control over nothing. until congress gets back into the business of what we sent them to washington to do, they could easily resolve this. they have sold their votes to the corporate people who totally can tell them what to do and keep them divided. we are -- this is not only with the airlines. this is with everything. ,f congress takes control back to do what people send them in washington to do. host: what could they easily do to resolve this? congresshe thing is can't resolve this because they are on the payroll of these
corporate giants and these giants tell them what to do. people are wishing their votes because this congress sell their votes to these corporate predatory parasites. these villains are taking control of our country. host: what is a voter to do? caller: every time in our history when his carpet people take control of our government, we have chaos. when congress reestablishes themselves and gets control back, the regulation -- they told congress to deregulate everything so they can do whatever they want to do. if congress reestablishes themselves, we are going to have these problems. host: sasha is in new jersey. democrat. caller: hi. i want to say that i remember flying years ago before they allowed overbooking.
there were a lot of seats available for people who wanted .o fly standby a lot of us were college students and we were able to get on those planes. it would be very easy for congress to pass a law that goes back to the way it was and says, no overbooking. think about it, you are buying nothing if you're allowed to overbook. you are buying a raffle or you might get a seat or you might not. it is kind of like a gamble. host: what would you say to those that congress getting involved in keeping a company from maximizing its profits? caller: i think we have to look at what that means. maximizing profit at the consumer's expense. i don't think that is what our country is about. i think we have a congress so that people can represent we the consumer. we are much more less powerful than these corporations. we need our representatives to come in when big corporations
try to overrule us, the little guys. the constitution begins with "we the people." they were not talking about corporations. we do need our congress to represent us and represent what is best for us. what is best is to go back to the rule that says no overbooking. it is a gamble. you're not getting anything except the chance you might have a seat and that should be outlawed. we shouldn't be forced to gamble. host: who in congress do you think is doing that? standing up? caller: i don't see any real champions, except bernie sanders was trying to and it was a shame he didn't get the democratic election. .e wasn't allowed to be there i think some small people are
trying. the department of transportation should get involved. i just think the flying public need to get together and realize that, yes, we should have rights. we are supporting these big corporations and our voice should be heard. if it isn't, that is why we have a government to represent us, to get our voices heard with these corporations. i think they should outlaw overbooking. host: let's go to poughkeepsie, new york. caller: hello. from what i am hearing and from what i'm reading, you and many people are mischaracterizing what is happening. some people have said this already, this is not an overbooking situation. an overbooking arises when a
test with a silver suits to passengers than they have. airlinea case where an toits own volition decided put four of its employees on the plane to take forces away from passengers who are ready on the plane. that is not an overbooking. i am not sure what the law says. i wish people would stop calling this overbooking. i was people call it what it is which is basically a corporation imposing its own corporate will on its passengers. wanted to move four employees to another location only five hours
away so they can get there faster than if they drove. i don't see how this qualifies as an overbooking. i think it is far more serious than an overbooking. if there was a role for congress and this, i think it would be to prohibit this and have criminal or some other sort of fines for a corporation to engage in this kind of stuff. host: allow the overbooking process to keep happening but congress should get involved in this, try to bump people to get your employees on the plane? caller: i understand the overbooking issue. you never know if somebody's going to show up. even if this were a case of an overbooking, too many seats sold -- from my experience, the
airline would've screwed up is allowing them on the plane in the first place. everybody i have been in a situation like that, they settle the matter before you get on the plane so that they know you have gotten -- everyone has been let on the plane has a seat. that is why this is so egregious, because everyone -- because this is not an overbooking. because everyone got on the plane, it was a violation of something -- some of the right. basically, what they did -- everyone who got a ticket got on the plane had a seat, we are just going to take for them off and put our employees on. in andrbooking process of itself, i don't think it should go away entirely.
i think it is good for negotiation where a pastor takes money. you can have flexible tea. let's stop calling this an overbooking. host: the forces were given to -- the fouryees seats were given to united employees. louisiana.n live for democrats. caller: good morning. i am embarrassed as a retired .tewardess and pilot the airline's operation manager should have chartered a plane to fly this crew to wherever they had to go. allows theulations police to take off a passenger for interfering with a flight, but to beat someone up and drag them off a plane is terrible.
it could have been resolved easily from what information i have. why was this passenger chosen to be taken off? there are many questions at offer more money for passengers to volunteer to get off. thank you. caller: in your experience as a flight attendant and as a pilot, how often does that happen where an airline will charter another flight for their employees, rather than deal with something like this? seenr: i have never something so horrible as this happening to a passenger. this is deplorable. there are other ways to resolve this situation. how many times did this happen? i don't know. certainly it has never happened
in my experience that any passenger was beat up and dragged off an airplane p imm bears. thank you -- airplane. i am embarrassed. thank you. morning.aul, good host: i agree with the previous three callers. part of the issue here is the rules were made up for the benefit of the company's and technically, there is an ability for a person's comment when these rules were made up. we don't have access to this information like the company's. the roles are in their favor. sympathetic to the man who was thrown off the plane but he was thrown off the plane -- but he paid his money. .hey changed it
i've flown quite a bit and it has gotten to a point where i try to drive as much as i can because just this last week i was flying. if you are a few minutes late, you may miss it. the flight was supposed to come in at 7:10 and they said it was going to be pushed back in our because a flight crew needed more sleep. they figured this out today that the flight crew had to sleep. nobody looked at the scheduling? when it's on their end, it is great. i don't think that is a good way to run the airlines and we have no leverage with the airlines. it is taken or leave it, same thing as your cell phone or cable. it is taken or leave it. -- it is take it or leave it.
i really don't think that congress should get involved with a situation like this. even if they have a position to do that. even if they were right in doing so. imagine what would happen if congress stopped flights from overbooking? the cost of tickets is going to go up. consumers and airlines are going to share those costs. this problem is one that almost solves itself. when these to happen is the -- hopefully this type of scandal will cause them to reduce the number of overbooking's so that it is more reasonable. in the future seek other alternatives. if you need to get employees to louisville, then instead of dragging someone off the plane, maybe increase your bid or delay the flight into louisville. ultimately there is a cost to the airline, yes. that cost should not come at the
expense of the customer. are you a believer that the market will take care of the problem? caller: i am. some airlines are going to have incidents like this but they are going to self correct. after this weekend, united airlines is going to reduce the numbers of overbooking's bay have. -- overbooking's they have. marries up next. -- mary is up next. caller: do you realize c-span is my most favorite station? probably because of my inability to sleep because you're on at 4:00 in the morning. i love it. caller: you can watch on c-span.org -- host: you can
watch on c-span.org. caller: i am an old lady. i don't have these fancy phones. is not as comfortable as lying down and watching on a bigger screen. host: glad to have you, mary. i am surprised at the problem, because back in 1978, i'm in my late 70's, so computers were not at all as sophisticated as they are now. -- it is notstand just a matter of booking, it is a matter of having a boarding pass. back in 1978, we were sitting all of this is before this security stuff, but you still sat in front of your gate and waited for them to board the
plane. he had to walk up to the desk and get a boarding pass. doesn't the computer know how many seats the plane has? even though these four employees were on, they were assigned seats. timeachine new ahead of before they let anybody on the plane how many people were coming on. back in 1978, heard an announcement, it was funny because i was transferring in washington, d.c. going back to a duty station. overbookedced we are . do we have any volunteers? we have a later flight. this was around noon. we have an evening flight to transfer to and we are offering you -- if you choose to transfer , you can have a free round-trip anywhere in the country at a
later time. i volunteered. i don't understand how they could of let the guy on the plane and then forcibly taken them off just taken him off. -- taken him off. host: airlines can offer incentives to change your flight to $1350 depending on your length of delay and your flight and reservation. some of the stats from the department of transportation. roger is in corpus christi, texas. good morning. caller: hello? host: go ahead. caller: the biggest problem is corporations is treated the same as human beings. when you have a corporation treated the same way as human beings, the human being is
always going to be lower, because financially, we cannot compete with the corporation. it goes back to the congressman. corporations have enough money -- i forgotessman what you call it. host: are you talking about lobbying? caller: they have money to lobby all the laws they need. people don't. host: brenda is in houston, texas. good morning. caller: good morning and thanks for taking my call, john. i'm sitting here listening to your people call in. i'm a little puzzled as to why are they surprised? after all, they put a corporate person in the white house. this is just t