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Remarks by President Trump at a Roundtable on Empowering Families with Education Choice

Press Release:

White House Cabinet Room  •  Washington D.C.  •  December 9  •  1:49 P.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Okay, thank you very much. The IG report just came out, and I was just briefed on it, and it's a disgrace what's happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another President. It is incredible. Far worse than I would have ever thought possible. And it's - it's an embarrassment to our country. It's dishonest. It's everything that a lot of people thought it would be, except far worse.

    So I'm going to get some very detailed briefing - briefings. But they are - it's a very sad - it's a very sad day when I see that; a very sad day when a lot of people see that. They had no nothing. It was concocted. And you say what you want - that was a - probably something that's never happened in the history of our country.

    Pam Bondi, I think you were able to look at some of the report and can address a little bit of it very well, if you might say a few words. I'd like to ask Kellyanne; I know you looked at it also. Please.

    MS. BONDI: Sure, President. You know, so many of us who are career law enforcement today are outraged. And I think the American people really should be terrified that this could happen to you when we're supposed to live in a society of integrity and honesty.

    And this happened to the President - not just to the President. You know, this should be a good day, but it's not. It's a horrible day for the country that this could had happen to the President of the United States, that they could fabricate, falsify e-mails, lie, and omit exculpatory evidence in order to continue this witch hunt against the President of the United States.

    And this is just the tip of iceberg. Now we have the Durham investigation.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Kellyanne, please?

    MS. CONWAY: Mr. President, thank you. I was the campaign manager during that time, and I would ask a simple question: Why no defensive briefing? Why not contact the Trump campaign? Why not contact candidate Trump or Governor Pence, or Governor Christie, who at the time was arranging for the intelligence briefings for candidate Trump and was a public servant, a government official at that time, as Governor of New Jersey, with a full intelligence security clearance to receive that type of information.

    So you can't blame people for feeling that it was unfair and that the fix was in. And to think that perhaps people lied and spied and tried to subvert democracy just because they wanted someone else to win, or just because they have a different political point of view, that is not the way the world's greatest democracy has been formed and can survive at a time such as this.

    I will just repeat something that Attorney General Barr said today, Mr. President: that this was an intrusive investigation of the U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions. And that is chilling language for any of us who want our government to work for us and not against us.


    I only wish they had have come and informed us, Mr. President, and we could have had the knowledge and the wherewithal to act at that time, and not put the taxpayers through two-plus protracted years of nonsense.

    Thank you, sir.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, they fabricated evidence and they lied to the courts, and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way. And this was something that we can never allow to happen again.

    The report, actually - and especially when you look into it, and the details of the report - are far worse than anything I would have even imagined. What they were doing and what they would have done if I didn't make a certain move - a certain move that was a very important move because it would have been even worse, if that's possible. And they might have been able to succeed.

    This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow. And a lot of people who were in on it, and they got caught. They got caught red-handed. And I look forward to the Durham report, which is coming out in the not-too-distant future. It's got its own information, which is this information plus, plus, plus.

    And it's an incredible thing that happened, and we're lucky we caught them. I think I'm going to put this down as one of our great achievements. Because what we found and what we saw never, ever should this happen again in our country.

    With that, today we gather to discuss the urgent national priority that we've been working on so long and so hard: expanding education freedom through school choice so that every American child can get a great education.

    We're grateful to be joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Betsy DeVos, Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, Representative Bradley Byrne, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, Tennessee State Representative John DeBerry, and students, parents, and teachers from across the nation. Some wonderful, brilliant students are with us. And we're going to be having a big session in a little while.

    As President, I'm fighting every day for the forgotten American. We are looking [to] pass criminal justice reform. We got that done - criminal justice reform. They could have never done it without me. It was done by us. It wasn't done by anybody else. They came to me. They've been trying to get it for many years. President Obama wouldn't do it or couldn't get it done. Maybe that means the same thing.

    But I got criminal justice reform done, but the press doesn't want to mention that we got it done. And we got it done soundly and good. And we had a lot of help, including from Mike Lee. Mike, that was something. When I heard Mike was in favor, I said, "Boy, he's pretty conservative." That's pretty something. But it worked out. It's working out very well. And it's a big step, and we're proud of it.

    And I think when you look at the African American community in particular, they are the biggest beneficiaries of criminal justice reform. So we're honored to have helped.

    We passed the criminal justice reform and the legislation to target resources to distressed communities. Our economy is lifting up citizens of every background. You saw the new reports coming out on unemployment. They're the best in the world - best we've ever had. The best this country has ever had. Historic records.


    We have the lowest unemployment in the history of our country for African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans. And, overall, we're just about going to break the all-time record. We're very close.

    But now is the time to fight for the forgotten child, and that's what we're doing with respect to education. For decades, countless children have been trapped in failing government schools. In my administration, these children are forgotten no longer. Just like I said I was going to do it for different groups of people, and we did it.

    We have the strongest economy probably in the history of our country. The numbers came out, as you saw on Friday, with a number of jobs that nobody believed possible: 200- - well over 200,000. They were thinking about 50. Some people thought it would be 50,000, 60,000. You saw how badly Canada did. We had 266,000. Canada had an unbelievable period and is going through something. And yet, we are right there. And the whole world is not doing well. And we're doing phenomenally well. We're doing better than - we're the hottest economy in the world. We're doing great.

    And frankly, it's hard to believe we could even do better. But if the world were doing better, we'd do better. That's the way it's set up.

    We've made tremendous progress in the last three years - far greater than anyone thought possible. So we have the hottest economy in the world, by far. Nobody close. If you look at Europe, if you look at Asia - China is having a very hard time. We're doing well with China in our trade deal. But they're having a tremendously difficult time. The worst time they've had in at least 57 - it was 57 two weeks ago; now it's much more than that - number of years. Fifty-seven years. And yet, we do record-breaking numbers. So that's great.

    We broke the stock market record - I believe it's 132 times, during the course of less than three years as President. So that's something.

    And, by the way, you were great on television this weekend. I admired that very - you did a fantastic job. Everyone is talking about it in a very positive way, too. So, congratulations, Ted. He's a hater. He's definitely a hater. That came out loud and clear. Congratulations.

    Lawmakers in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have empowered some parents to choose a better future for their children, for their child. But school choice waitlists are growing, and, sadly, not everyone wants to give these students the education and freedom that they deserve. They're locked into a school system that's terrible, and we're working on that very hard. Betsy is working on it, full-time. About 30 hours a day, I guess, Betsy. Right? That's what she does.

    But school choice waitlists are growing, and that's a - that's a incredible factor. Everyone wants school choice. And we have certain groups that are very powerfully against that, but we're breaking through very strongly.

    This year, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf denied 50,000 kids the promise of a better school. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, on the other hand, got 14,000 Florida students off of the waitlists. Really great. The waitlists were just ridiculous, and still are. I mean, they're still very long. That's where they want to go, Ron, I guess. Right? So congratulations to Ron DeSantis of Florida.


    Read the full transcript HERE.

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