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tv   White House Briefing  CSPAN  February 8, 2018 12:01am-12:25am EST

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the republican leader and i will continue to work together in this way to get things done for the american people. now, of course, we people. course, we week let's pass this budget into law alongside an extension of government -l funding. i hope the house will follow suit and president trump will sign it. i also hope that speaker ryan will do what senator mcconnell has agreed to do, allow a fair and open process to debate a dreamers bill on the house floor. this budget deal will be the best thing we've done for our economy, our military, our middle class, for a long t
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the daily white house briefing, a discussion on the budget agreement reached by congressional leaders. this is 20 minutes. right on time today. good afternoon. we are pleased congress has been able to meet our defense spending requirement, and come together on a two-year spending bill. this bill issues out of priority, a much-needed increase for national defense. this deal increases budget caps, ends the sequester, and provide certain tv the next two years. -- certainty for the next two years. the bottom line is that aims to president trump, we can have the
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strongest military has ever had. this increases the debt ceiling to march of 2019, which moves us away from crisis to crisis budgeting. includes other priorities, including rebuilding infrastructure, tackling the opioid epidemic, and taking care of our veterans. to discuss this from an in-depth military perspective, we have secretary mattis. he will make a brief statement and take a few questions on the importance of funding our armed forces. i will be back after him to answer questions on news today. sec. mattis: i spent the last day and a half briefing members on our 2018 national defense strategy. i am heartenedhe will make a brt that congress
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recognizes the sobering strategy on our nation's defense. two days from now i will visit our security assistance brigade as they prepare to deploy to afghanistan. to advance the security of our nation, these troops are putting themselves in harms way, in effect signing a blank check people to the american with their lives. our military has operated under debilitating military resolutions for more than 1000 days in the last decade. during last people with their week's stay the union address, president trump said weakness is the surest path to conflict. in a world of increasing threats, there is no room for complacency. failure to implement or fund the 2018 national defense strategy will leave us with a force that could dominate the last war, but be irrelevant to tomorrow's security.
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we need congress to lift defense spending caps for our military. america can afford survival. asked ourng we have military to carry along stoically with a success at any cost attitude. the fact our military performance so well is a credit to their professionalism. we expect the men and women of our military to be faithful in their service, even when going in harms way. we have a duty to remain faithful to them. absence of a budget this year, america's military will not be able to provide pay for our troops at the end of the year. we will not be able to recruit the thousands of soldiers and airmen required to fill critical shortfalls. we will not be able to maintain our ships at sea without the balance between
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operations and maintenance. we would have to ground aircraft due to a lack of balance between operations maintenance and spare parts, degrading pilot proficiency. we wouldwe would complete the tg and manpower required to deter war. we would delay contracts for vital acquisition programs to modernize our to modernize our forces. i cannot overstate the negative impact from all of this budget uncertainty. today's congressional action military canur defend our way of life, preserve the promise of prosperity, and pass on the freedoms you and i enjoy to the next generation. thank you. i can take a couple questions here. >> how damaging would a government shutdown be? if there was a decision to shut the government down, for example, because the law was not funded -- how bad would that be to the military?
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sec. mattis: shutting the government down would be damaging to the military for all the reasons i just cited, but aggravated by a shutdown itself. all nonuniformed personnel. doparalyzes everything we other than the active ongoing operations at sea. there the troops will continue to fight. military can defend our way ofthe ships will. training is delayed. the impact ripples through the force. it ripples onthe impact as peope not flying are no longer gaining the skill we associate with them a year from now. >> you have been spending the day on capitol hill. do you feel that the senate leadership on the republican side is equally enthusiastic? particularly the navy service
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secretary has said the funding problems are not a direct cost, but contributing to the deaths of seaman in the south china sea. can you tell the country if this money is provided, all the problems associated with training plaguing the military will be eliminated? sec. mattis: i am optimistic what the house and senate did ca n give us the budget that enables us to carry out the responsibilities. by ours, i means all of the leaders at the department of defense. a lot of work obviously goes into the execution and quality of the training. you can count on us. we will earn your trust. we will spend the money wisely. >> if i could ask you about the recently released nuclear posture review, calling on more nuclear weapons to be added to
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the arsenal. you are quoted saying every time a nuke is used, it is a strategic game changer. how will this posture review add to global stability? many believe you might be more inclined to use them. sec. mattis: we are talking about the nuclear determined. in that nuclear deterrent, we believe some nations could miscalculate, one in particular, if that nation could assumesec: they used in a conventional fight, a small yield bomb, we would not respond with a very large yield bomb. our response to this is to make a small yield bomb and say, don't miscalculate, it is a deterrent. deterrence is dynamic. it changes from decade to decade. we have to address deterrence in its current construct.
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the idea is to raise the threshold. don't even think about if they lowering a conventionalo a conventional fight, and escalating it to one small yield nuclear weapon, and them think our choice isame either surrender or suicide, as dr. kissinger put it. >> can you put where things are in the planning stages with the , president? sec. mattis: i think we are all aware in this country of the president's affection and respect for the military. we have been putting together some options. we will send them up to the white house for the session. >> following up on north korea. he laid out the argument for funding the military, why every dollar counts. why diverge time and resources to a parade, as the president
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said? sec. mattis: my responsibility is to make sure i lay out the strategy and for the oversight of congress to make a determination of fully funding us. as far as the parade goes, the president's respect and fondness for the military is reflected in asking for these options. >> can i ask you whether you war is actually nearer, or closer with north korea, than it was when the administration took office? do you support any communication between vice president mike and north korean officials? sec. mattis: vice president pence is quite makeable -- is quite capable of making the call.
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as far as theas far as the situh korea, it is firmly in the diplomatic lane. we have seen much stronger threeatic action the last united three united nations security council resolutions. they were unanimous. how often do you see friends, russia -- france, russia, great britain and other countries voting unanimously? this makes itthis makes it cleas firmly in the diplomatic lane. we back up secretary tillerson's foreign policy efforts as guided by the president as a viable military option. thank you very much. sec. sanders: thank you mr. secretary. jump intoing, we will questions for today with no further statement. >> nancy pelosi wants to add immigration to this emerging budget deal on the hill. is that something the president would like to see? sec. sanders: i think we have made clear the budget deal should be a budget deal, and
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members of congress like nancy pelosi should not hold our military hostage over a separate issue. we have laid out what we would like to see in immigration legislation. i think it is something and nort nancy pelosi should support, and hopefully she will come on board, we can get this budget deal done, and get immigration done. >> is the president committed to this march 5 deadline for daca, or is he going to extend it? sec. sanders: we are hopeful we will make a deal with congress. our goal is to get something done. we don't want to keep kicking the can down the road. we have laid out a plan to rethink addresses everyone -- plan we think addresses everyone's concerns. >> [inaudible] sec. sanders: we applaud the steps forward, but we need to see what is in the final bill.
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we arewe are happy with the dirn we are moving, particularly away from the crisis budgeting we have had in the past. >> [inaudible] sec. sanders: we would like to move forward on this front. we are supportive, primarily because it meets several things we laid out, includingwe are suy because it meets several things we laid out, including ending budget crisis and helps meet needs of the literary defense strategy. clarify the defense status of rob porter? we don't comment on security clearances. i can tell you that rob has been effective in his role in staff secretary. the president and chief of staff has full trust in his performance. more of an update on that front, statement that a
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i can read to you. "these outrageous allegations are simply false. i took the photos given to the media nearly 50 years ago, and the reality is nowhere close to what is being described. i have been truthful about these vinyl claims, but i will not -- vile claims, but i will not engage further in a public smear campaign. i have always treated others with respect. i am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve in the trump administration and will seek a smooth transition when i leave the white house." >> is he leaving the white house anytime soon? there was conversation a couple months ago he was contemplating it. sec. sanders: hewe are is goinge leaving the white house. it won't be immediate. resigning but will stay on to ensure there is a smooth transition. >> less than eight hours ago the white house released several
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statements praising robert porter's service. why would the president except his resignation -- accept his resignation if he thinks he did nothing wrong? is one he wasthat not pressured to do, but one he made on his own. >> did he have a security clearance? sec. sanders: i am not sure why this is complicated. in many circumstances, as has always been the policy at the white house, we don't discuss security clearances one way or the other. >> can i ask you about the democratic memo? we understand chief of staff kelly eliminated this memo was different than the republican memo was. general kelly said it is not as clean as the gop memo. republicans are saying it contains a substantial number of references to sources.
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do you believe the white house is being put in a position by the democratic minority forcing you to make reductions or hold back this memo? makesanders: i will not speculations at this point. we are still going through the process we went through with republican memo. once that is completed, we will have something further to add. >> can you clarify? the president said yesterday he would like to shut the government down if he does not funding for the funding for th. is what he said yesterday now no longer operative? he will support a two-year spending bill without funding for the wall? sec. sanders: as i said yesterday, the focus for us has always been to get your budget deal. -- to get a two year budget deal. we have laid out priorities in immigration.
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we have made no secret the president wants funding for the wall, and he wants budget security. >> he wanted to shut the government down if he didn't get it. sec. sanders: the position has not changed. the president is making the point -- the only people that shut the government down are the democrats. we have not shut the government down. we have laid out what we want to happen. we are working towards achieving those goals. >> he said he wanted to shut the government down. i'm not understanding. sec. sanders: the point he is making when you put it into context, if we are going to have that fight, it is a fight that the democrats started and lost, and we think we would win again. we won a two year budget deal that does not kick the can down the road. >> how can the president still have confidence in his deputy attorney general when he says he
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feels vindicated by the nunes memo over rosenstein, and rosenstein overseas the russia -- sec. sanders: he feels like the rush investigation has been a politically motivated witchhunt for the last year. the memo vindicates the president position. he read the- has memo? sec. sanders: he has. >> general mattis says the president has great affection for the military, but he has yet to visit iraq and afghanistan. wouldn't that be the ultimate way to honor the troops rather than a parade? sec. sanders: i think there are a lot of different ways. nothing has been locked in stone. these are the early discussion phases. it is something the president is looking at, how the entire country can come together and show support and honor our
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military. >> does the president have any concerns about these domestic violence allegations against robert porter? sec. sanders: i have not spoken to him. >> you have not -- sec. sanders: i have not asked him that question. >> have you seen the photos of ife with a black eye? >> the president weighed in on the stock market. he has done so quite a bit in his first year in office. will you a black eye? >> the president expect the preo weigh in on the daily fluctuations of the stock market, or will he let it take its course? sec. sanders: i will not speculate what he may weigh in on, but the economy has been a big focus for the administration. it is something we will continue to talk about. we have a very strong economy. we feel very confident in the direction we are moving, and certainly the focus on the long-term economic fundamentals
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this administration has been advocating for. >> would the president be open to two pillars being part of an immigration deal -- funding for mexico,ration wall with and daca recipients? sec. sanders: we have laid out those four pillars. >> does the president believe there was a conspiracy in the fbi undermine his candidacy to help hillary clinton? can you explain more of his thinking in these text messages? sec. sanders: it further shows there is reason for us to have great cause for concern in this process. we hope it is thoroughly looked at moving forward. >> are there some specific personnel changes he would like to see at the fbi? sec. sanders: not that i am
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aware of. >> on the impropriety of this parade on pennsylvania avenue, many think that is not the way america's military should be prorated to the world. what do you think? sec. sanders: we have not made a final decision. the president exploring different ways he can highlight show the pride we have in the military, the people that have sacrificed to allow us the freedoms we have had. the president is very proud of the united states military and all that they do. showwe are simply exploring op. way tooit is speculative to start weighing in on whether certain things are appropriate when way nothing has been decided/ >> isn't it true that the president gave a directive to the defense department that this
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must happen? sec. sanders: no. the president asked them to explore different ways. >> to follow on these text messages, does the president believe president obama was involved in the investigation against him? sec. sanders: i am not aware of that specific concern. i think there is a lot within those text messages that gives us great cause for concern. we hope they investigate this process more fully. thanks so much guys. >> does the white house condemned domestic violence in all cases? [chatter]
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host: due to the possibility of a government shutdown at the end of the weekend, possible votes on a budget deal, house democrats move a retreat from cambridge, maryland back to the u.s. capitol. democratic leaders talk about that retreat and issues they plan to campaign on. this news conference is 20 minutes. >> thank you very much. good afternoon everyone. chair of the democratic caucus. i am joined by my colleagues, vice chair of the democratic caucus linda sanchez, and the chair of the dccc. we anticipate before this press conference ends we will be


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