TOWOIT #284: Fun with DACA

January 24, 2018

  • (Zeke Miller, AP) Thanks, Sarah. Two for you. First on that immigration announcement. Does that legislative framework you said is a permanent solution for DACA, does that include a path to citizenship for the recipients?

Well, if I told you now, it would kind of take away the fun for Monday.” Sarah H. Sanders, suggesting there is something fun about the DACA situation  

  • And separately, you mentioned the Davos trip. Secretary Mnuchin made some news over there earlier today when he said that — said that he supported — that he was pleased to see that there’s a weaker dollar. And that was a break from previous Treasury secretaries. Does that reflect accurately the President’s view of U.S. currency?
  • So the White House prefers a strong dollar versus a weaker dollar?
  • (Cecilia Vega, ABC News) Does the President make a habit of asking career government officials how they voted?
  • Did he ask Andrew McCabe how he voted?
  • But that’s kind of a yes-or-no question — he did or didn’t ask.
  • (Pamela Brown, CNN News) But does the President trust the FBI and the people who work at the FBI?
  • (Kevin Corke, Fox News) Thank you, Sarah. The Justice Department is threatening 23 so-called sanctuary cities — including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles — with subpoenas if they fail to provide documents to show whether the local law enforcement officials are sharing information with federal immigration authorities. What is the White House’s view on this? And the fallout from that appears to have affected the attendance of some mayors to today’s event. If you would comment on that, I’d appreciate it.
  • How will that impact the White House’s relationship with some of the larger-city mayors in this country with whom this White House has pledged to not only work hand-in-hand on some major policy issues, in particular with infrastructure? How does that (inaudible).
  • (Major Garrett, CBS News) Sarah, in the development of this compromise framework that you’re going to release on Monday, how closely did the President and his staff work with the House Republican leadership?
  • Will it be the President’s belief that, once that’s presented, that would be a package that could pass the House of Representatives?
  • With Republican leadership.
  • So it’s your belief it would be able to pass the House and the Senate, and that’s the —
  • No, no, no, but you understand the — you understand the difference. The perception is, in the Senate it would come down in one form and would not be passable in the House. My question is: Do you think you can bridge that? And is the point of this framework, based on your conversations, to do precisely that?
  • And therefore, it’s different than what you’ve previously discussed, either with Senator Schumer or Lindsey Graham, or Dick Durbin, or Representative Goodlatte?
  • (Jon Decker, Fox Radio News) Thanks a lot, Sarah. Steve Bannon, the former Chief Strategist for the President, in the next few weeks will likely come before the Special Counsel’s office to submit to an interview with the Special Counsel’s office. Will the President be invoking executive privilege to prevent any part of his testimony?
  • The privilege of executive privilege is one that only the President can invoke, and as you may recall, he did not invoke it for when former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. As you’ve mentioned many times, the President has mentioned many times, there is no collusion. What — why —
  • Yeah, we hear it a lot.

MS. SANDERS:  If you could say [no collusion] more and more when you’re on your networks, that would be really helpful.

  • Why would the President want to invoke executive privilege? After all, he didn’t do so for the former FBI Director.
  • (I don’t know who this guy is but he looks and sounds like a muppet) Yes, so the President’s own immigration seems to have positioned himself in a center between the House and the Democrats in the Senate. The Democrats seem to be moving further left, including bait-and-switch on the border-wall funding. What is the benefit of the President being in that position as negotiations move forward?
  • (Kristen Welker, NBC News) Thanks. What was the President’s reaction to learning that his former national security advisor Michael Flynn didn’t immediately tell him that he was interviewed by the FBI here at the White House?
  • But is the President frustrated by that?
  • Can you say when the last time is he spoke with Michael Flynn?
  • And does the President still think that Michael Flynn is a “wonderful man”?
  • And one final question, Sarah. You told Cecilia that you hadn’t asked the President whether he asked how Andrew McCabe had voted. That’s one of the stories — THE leading story of the day. You didn’t talk to the President —?
  • You didn’t talk to the President about one of the big stories — ?
  • Can you ask him?
  • Can you ask him and get us an answer?
  • (John Gizzi, Newsmax) Thank you, Sarah. Two brief questions. First, a housekeeping matter. It has been reported, unofficially, that the President will host French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife at his first state dinner coming up this April, I believe. Will you confirm that President Macron will be his guest and make a state visit here?
  • And my other question is: Recently, district courts in Moscow have ruled that Mr. Navalny, the dissident against the Kremlin, will not be allowed on the ballot, and he repeatedly has run into efforts that have kept him from having a competitive election against President Putin. Does the White House have any feelings about that and about the Russian elections?
  • (Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal–a conservative website) Thanks, Sarah. Yeah, I had two questions. First, could you comment on the President nominating Charles Rettig to be the IRS Commissioner?
  • Okay. And another question. In light of the “fake news awards” last week, I wanted to ask — there’s been some reports about a cover-up. The EU Commission has set up a panel to investigate fake news. Other European democracies — allies — have set up panels to look into fake news, saying that they’re trying to protect democracy.
  • This has some people concerned about governments actually looking in to saying what’s true and not true. Can you say, in light of what the President has talked about in fake news, that this is not something the U.S. government should ever do?
Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 6.58.47 PM
Story filed by Fred Lucas yesterday
  • (Hunter Walker, Yahoo! News) Thank you, Sarah. Was the President speaking more metaphorically when he promised to build a solid wall that was over 30 to 50 feet high along the border?
  • At this point, what does his ACTUAL vision of the wall look like, though?
  • And has that evolved at all from the 30- to 50-foot physical barrier?

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 7.00.59 PM

  • (mere mortal Maggie Haberman, New York Times) Thanks, Sarah. The President has said repeatedly there was no collusion between the campaign and Russia. Can you define what he means when he says “collusion”? Is he talking about meetings between officials? Is he talking about information exchanging hands? What does that mean?
  • Sarah, just to follow up. Does he think that the reporting from the intelligence community saying that there was hacking that went on, done by Russia — he rejects that or does he accept it?
  • Right. Does he mean that about himself or about campaign officials? When he says collusion between the campaign, does he mean himself, or does he mean that no one on his campaign could have known anything?
  • (Roberta Rampton, Reuters) Sarah, you talked about the stability of the U.S. dollar. But today, when Secretary Mnuchin spoke about the U.S. dollar, it went — his remarks sent the dollar down to a three-year low. So I’m wondering whether the White House has concerns about the way he casually talked about the value of the dollar and whether you can say unequivocally whether the White House believes in a strong dollar policy.
  • (Sajir?) Thanks, Sarah. Does the White House still maintain its commitment to Representative Meadows and to Senator Tom Cotton that they would have consultation and signoff on any bill? And were they consulted in this legislative framework?
  • (Peter Alexander, NBC News) Sarah, let me ask you — on Tuesday, it was a high school in Kentucky; Monday, a school cafeteria outside Dallas; a charter school parking lot in New Orleans as well. There have been 11 shootings at schools in the first 23 days of this year. In October, after the Vegas shooting, you said it was an “unspeakable tragedy” from that podium, said it was a day for consoling survivors and mourning those who we lost. You said there is a time and place for political debate. What has the President done in the time since October to try to prevent any of these shootings from taking place? (She tried to abruptly leave the room at this point, but Peter got her attention for a follow-up before she could leave the podium)
  • So to be clear, Sarah — wait, Sarah, to be clear, you said, we all agree that we want students to be safe at schools. That’s not in dispute. And we all agree we don’t want there to be crime. But what is the President specifically doing? You guys said at the time, today was not the day, but we should have these policies — you said it —
  • But you said we should have the policy conversation. So the question is, what is the policy the President is willing to pursue, or actively direct others to pursue, to help make sure that these students are safe?
  • But are school shootings crime waves? Schools shootings seem to be their own category. We agree we don’t want crime.
  • Will the President come before the nation and tell Americans how he feels about this issue, and try to do what he can with the bully pulpit to help?
  • He hasn’t. He said now is not the time.
  • He’s already said now is not the time.
  • I’ll listen. (She just chastised him for not letting her finish her point)
  • I’m not. It’s HIS advertisement that accuses the Democrats of being complicit on a different topic. I’m not accusing the President of anything. I’m concerned about the students in America and want to know what he’s going to do.

Sarah just keeps lumping it into “crime” and how the president is tough on crime and speaking in generalities about gangs and prosecutions.

I always wanted to like Peter Alexander, ever since I read a news article about his colleague Kristen Welker’s wedding, in which she referred to Peter as her best friend.

Parting tweet:

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