Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bà Nguyễn Văn Thiệu & Giấc Mơ Hồi Hương

Đức Hà
Việt Mercury

An nghỉ giấc ngàn thu trên đất mẹ hay theo truyền thuyết thời vua Hùng rải tro trên núi và xuống biển là điều trăn trối cuối cùng của Tổng Thống Nguyễn Văn Thiệu trước khi lìa trần ngày 29 tháng Chín, 2001 vừa qua ở Boston.
“Tôi mong có dịp về lại Việt Nam thăm mồ mả ông bà và mang tro cốt của ổng về khi đất nước bình yên; Ông Già có trối rằng nếu được thì đem chôn tại quê ông ở Phan Rang, Ninh Thuận nếu không thì rải một nửa xuống biển và một nửa trên núi,” bà Nguyễn Văn Thiệu đã nói như vậy về ước vọng của bà như một phụ nữ Việt Nam bình thường không quên ơn tổ tiên dòng họ.
Lần đầu tiên người ta được biết thêm đôi chút về gia đình cựu nguyên thủ Việt Nam Cộng Hòa kể từ khi hai ông bà và những người con ra khỏi Dinh Độc Lập tháng Tư năm 1975 để sống ẩn dật tại bên ngoài thành phố Boston, Massachusetts.
Bà Nguyễn Văn Thiệu

Từ hơn 26 năm nay người ta không được biết gì nhiều cho đến khi ông bất ngờ qua đời cách nay 100 ngày với một đám tang lớn gây ngạc nhiên cho cả vùng Boston. Ông mãn phần ở tuổi 78.
Bà Nguyễn Văn Thiệu đến San Jose cùng với hai người con, Nguyễn Tuấn Anh và Nguyễn Thiệu Long, để dự lễ Tuần Bách Nhật cố Tổng Thống Thiệu do Hội Đền Hùng Hải Ngoại cùng với nhiều hội đoàn Vùng Vịnh phối hợp tổ chức. Hơn 500 người đã đến dự lễ trong đó có nhiều chính khách, quan chức chính quyền và tướng lãnh Việt Nam Cộng Hòa trước đây.
Nếu so với những bức hình chụp chung khi ông còn sống thì bà Nguyễn Thị Mai Anh, năm nay 71 tuổi quê ở Mỹ Tho thuộc một gia đình Công Giáo khá giả, không thay đổi bao nhiêu khi bà xuất hiện tại San Jose cuối tuần vừa qua. Một phụ nữ cố tình đến hội trường American G.I. Forum trên đường Story chỉ để nhìn bà cho biết, có nói rằng “bả đẹp và sang quá.”
Dáng người thấp, tròn trịa, mái tóc bạc trắng chải gọn ghẽ, một tướng đi khoan thai và giọng nói nhỏ nhẹ chậm rãi, bà Mai Anh trong chiếc áo dài gấm đen có điểm những chữ thọ trắng, là cái đinh của buổi lễ.
Khách đến với bà đông đảo và vẫn trân trọng bà như là phu nhân của người từng nắm nhiều quyền uy của đất nước với lập trường chống cộng đến cùng chứ không phải như vợ của một lãnh tụ bị thất sủng về vườn. Tuy vậy nếu với bạn bè thân thiết trong nội các cũ của chồng, bà chuyện trò cởi mở thì với báo chí bà tỏ ra ngần ngại và e dè. Ngay cả khi được mời lên tiếng cám ơn quan khách tại buổi lễ bà cũng nhường cho trưởng nữ Tuấn Anh. Cho đến buổi chiều tại đền Quốc Tổ và sau nhiều lần nài nỉ câu trả lời của bà vẫn là “thôi cho tôi miễn đi, tôi có biết gì đâu mà nói.”
Nhưng sau cùng thì bà cũng nhận lời cho chương trình truyền hình Diễn Đàn Việt Nam, chương trình phát thanh của cộng đồng người Việt và Việt Mercury một vài phút tâm tình.
“Chỉ nói chuyện gia đình thôi nha, tôi không biết chuyện chính trị gì đâu,” bà dặn trước.
“Việc ổng đi đột ngột cũng làm cho gia đình hơi bối rối; mới hôm trước ổng đi khám bác sĩ cho thấy tim mạch đều tốt mà qua ngày hôm sau áp huyết tăng cao đưa đến hôn mê rồi ổng đi luôn sau khi cho biết bị nhức đầu quá.”
“Bây giờ thì tinh thần ổn định rồi, con cái cũng dắt đi đây đi đó khuây khỏa,” bà nói.

Trong suốt buổi lễ với phần nhắc lại tiểu sử của chồng cùng những đoạn phim thời sự, người ta chỉ thấy Tuấn Anh nhiều lần thấm nước mắt và phải lấy kiếng đen ra đeo còn bà Mai Anh tỏ ra bình tĩnh hơn nhưng ngồi bất động trên chiếc ghế sắt như mọi người khác chứ không được dành riêng một cái ghế bành trịnh trọng như vẫn thường thấy khi bà còn là Đệ Nhất Phu Nhân VNCH.
“Ông Già làm gì, liên lạc với ai, mấy mẹ con tôi không biết gì đâu,” bà kể lại về những sinh hoạt của ông Thiệu khi sinh sống tại vùng Boston. Bà cho biết Ông Già là tên gọi thân mật trong gia đình.
“Tôi có hỏi thì ổng chỉ nói ‘Có gì đâu chỉ nói chuyện với bạn bè thôi. Ổng kín đáo lắm, tôi hoàn toàn không biết gì nhưng với vợ con thì Ông Già rất vui vẻ tử tế.”
Bà nói thêm rằng chồng bà không chỉ kín đáo trong việc làm mà ngay cả trong tình cảm ông cũng kín đáo và theo phong tục cổ xưa.
“Các con hay hỏi tôi rằng sao không thấy ba hôn mẹ hay nói điều gì âu yếm với mẹ; tánh ổng vậy đó,” bà nói.

Lúc còn cầm quyền ông Thiệu được xem là người nhẫn nại, thận trọng và mưu trí.
Trước năm 75 người dân Sài Gòn còn đồn đãi nhau về những chuyện buôn lậu tham nhũng bên cạnh chuyện ông Thiệu có liên hệ tình cảm với một vài ca sĩ và cả với một chủ nhà hàng ăn bên ngoài Sài Gòn. “Tất cả cũng chỉ là những tin đồn, không ai biết thực hư ra sao,” theo lời một nhân vật thân cận trong chính quyền trước đây không muốn nêu danh tính.
“Bà là một người đứng cạnh chồng, một người chỉ biết lo cho gia đình, không phải người của quần chúng.”
Người này còn công nhận bà Thiệu là người đáng kính, không có cái kênh kiệu vênh váo của một người có quyền thế. Thỉnh thoảng và cũng rất ít, bà xuất hiện đi ủy lạo cho thương bệnh binh và chưa hề tuyên bố một điều gì.
Vì thế việc bà nhận trả lời phỏng vấn của báo chí mới hôm Chúa Nhựt vừa qua là cả một sự phá bỏ thông lệ bà vẫn giữ từ xưa đến nay.

Bà Mai Anh cho hay “Ông Già rất khắt khe trong việc dạy dỗ con cái, ổng theo xưa chớ không chịu lối giáo dục phương Tây.”
Cũng vì thế người con trai út, Nguyễn Thiệu Long sinh bên Anh năm 1976 nói tiếng Việt rất rành. Nếu có ai tưởng lầm, hỏi chuyện bằng tiếng Anh mới thấy Long trả lời sành sõi bằng tiếng Việt, tuy phát âm không rõ lắm.
Chị lớn của Long, Tuấn Anh, người con gái từng làm cả Sài Gòn phải chú ý khi thành hôn trong một đám cưới quy mô tổ chức tại Vương Cung Thánh Đường Sài Gòn và dạ tiệc tại nhà hàng Caravelle năm 1973, cũng có mặt ở San Jose.
Với một chiếc áo dài đen, dáng người thấp và mảnh khảnh, Tuấn Anh luôn luôn đi sát mẹ tại buổi lễ cũng như tại Đền Hùng trên đường số Chín. Việt Mercury cố hỏi cô một vài câu thì cô chỉ cười rồi chỉ tay sang mẹ Mai Anh.
Hỏi bà Thiệu rằng sao gia đình lại chọn Boston thay vì ở vùng có khí hậu ấm áp hay nơi có đông đảo người Việt cho bớt nhớ nhà. Bà đáp:
“Ổng nói rằng ở xa xa đặng thở cho dễ.”

Ông bà Thiệu có ba người con ruột, hai trai và một gái; người con gái nữa trong gia đình, Nguyễn Thị Phương Anh, là con của anh ông Thiệu mà hai ông bà nhận về nuôi khi mẹ ruột Phương Anh qua đời. “Cháu nó coi tôi như mẹ ruột vậy,” bà cho biết.
Lúc đầu cả gia đình sang sống tại Đài Loan, nơi trước đó anh ông Thiệu - Nguyễn Văn Kiểu làm đại sứ.
Sau khi con trai thứ hai, Nguyễn Văn Lộc sang Anh học thì cả nhà lại sang sống tại London, Anh quốc cho đến khi mấy người con sang Mỹ tiếp tục học vấn thì cả nhà cũng đến định cư tại Boston năm 1985 và bà Mai Anh nói rằng sẽ ở tại đó luôn cho gần con cái.
“Thôi ở đó luôn, chớ dọn nhà không nổi đâu.”

Buổi lễ tại hội trường trên đường Story diễn ra long trọng với nghi thức tế lễ đầy đủ theo phong tục cổ truyền Việt Nam với tiếng trống tiếng chiêng và nhiều quan khách Việt Mỹ tham gia.
Bữa cơm tối tại Quốc Tổ Vọng Từ thì đầy những thân tình ấm áp của một buổi họp mặt bằng hữu với mâm cỗ bình dân như gà luộc chấm muối tiêu chanh, đồ xào bóng da heo, dưa cải chua, canh măng nấm đông cô và xôi chè.
Tuy vậy vào lúc sáng ở bên ngoài hội trường hành lễ cũng có một phụ nữ đơn độc phân phát đến mọi người bức thư ký tên Nancy Trần và một số điện thoại ở San Jose với nội dung đả phá việc làm của Hội Đền Hùng là “ngu xuẩn, thiếu suy nghĩ” và gọi ông Thiệu là “tội đồ của dân tộc Việt Nam.”
Sau ngày 30 tháng Tư, 1975 ông Thiệu đã bị chỉ trích nhiều nhứt và bị coi như người phải gánh chịu tất cả trách nhiệm khiến Miền Nam sụp đổ đưa đến việc cả triệu người phải bỏ nước ra đi.
Vào những ngày cuối đời, Tướng Dương Văn Minh có cho biết muốn về an nghỉ vĩnh viễn tại quê nhà trước khi qua đời, giờ đây người ta lại biết thêm Tướng Nguyễn Văn Thiệu cũng có ước muốn tương tự.
Không ai biết đến bao giờ hai ông mới về lại được quê hương, nơi mà có lúc một nửa phần đất nước hiện nay nằm trọn trong tay hai ông.

       Bài viết được đăng trên Viet Mercury số 155 ngày 11 Tháng Giêng 2002



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Đệ Nhất Cẩu

Đức Hà

Giầy dép đều có số? Đương nhiên.
Con người chắc là có số. 100%, không tranh cãi.
Thế còn thú vật như chó, mèo cũng có số chăng? Có chứ.

Này nhá, trong khi chó nuôi tại Việt Nam, Hàn Quốc … hàng ngày đều được tuyển chọn hay trộm và được lên bàn thớt để chế biến thành món “Cờ Tây” rựa mận khoái khẩu thì chó tại Mỹ được ôm vào người, được cưng trên giường ngủ, được đưa đi tắm, gội, tiả, cắt, sấy, ép, nhuộm, high light, kể cả đi may quần áo, và đôi khi được mang chức “Đệ Nhất Cẩu – First Dog” nếu may mắn sanh ra vào ngày giờ cực tốt để trở thành thành viên trong Tòa Bạch Ốc.
Người Mỹ gọi phu nhân của tổng thống là “First Lady” do đó chó nhập hộ khẩu của Tòa Bạch Ốc được mang danh hiệu “First Dog.”
Vậy rõ ràng là chó có số phải không nào?
Chó Barney họp báo

Chó Barney

Vì đeo lon Đệ Nhất Cẩu nên chú Barney có cả trang web thiết kế riêng cho mình cạnh trang nhà của lãnh tụ nhiều quyền lực nhứt thế giới. Ghi chú: Trang web http://www.whitehouse.gov/barney đã bị đóng cửa khi ông chủ George W. Bush mãn nhiệm cuối năm 2009. Thưa rằng Barney là tên của chú Terrier sinh sống tại địa chỉ 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C., nơi đặt văn phòng làm việc và nơi ở của tất cả các vị tổng thống Hoa Kỳ.
Theo trang web, chú chó đực giống Scottish Terrier (loại chó có lông phủ hai bên mõm) sinh ngày 30 tháng Chín năm 2000 - tức tuổi Thìn đúng là mệnh rồng không sai vào đâu được và theo tuổi Tây là Thiên Xứng. Quê nội của Barney là ở bang New Jersey (cách Washington D.C. khoảng 5 giờ lái xe) là nơi Barney ra đời với mẹ tên Coors thuộc giống Scottish Terrier và cha tên Kelly, giống Champion Motherwell Stormwarning. Do lý lịch rất trong sáng, không phạm pháp, và quan trọng hơn cả là không liên hệ gì với khủng bố nên chủ nhân của Barney là cựu Tổng Giám Đốc cơ quan bảo vệ môi sinh EPA Christine Todd Whitman bèn làm quà tặng cho Tổng Thống George W. Bush và bà Laura Bush.
Thế là cuộc đời của Barney bỗng chốc đảo ngược hẳn. Cầm tinh con Rồng có khác! Đang từ hàng con cháu vô danh tiểu tốt trong một gia đình tổng giám đốc ở tiểu bang xa lại nhảy vọt lên thủ đô và nhập hộ khẩu chung với hộ gia đình danh tiếng nhứt thế giới. Bản tiểu sử không nói rõ Barney phải chờ bao lâu để bộ nội vụ tra cứu lý lịch trước khi cho gia nhập Tòa Bạch Ốc.

Tuy nhiên ngày Barney được đưa vào dinh là ngày truyền thông vào báo chí Mỹ dành nhiều trang báo và giờ phát hình phát thanh để nói về diễn biến này. Chẳng là vì lúc đó ngự trị trong dinh là Đệ Nhất Cẩu Spot thuộc giống Springer Spaniel và người ta hồi hộp thắc mắc là liệu hai chú terrier và spaniel có hòa hợp hòa giải không khi phải sống chung hòa bình dưới một mái nhà. Theo hình chụp phổ biến thì Barney có vẻ chịu lép vế trước đàn anh già nua (11 tuổi) và rất khéo léo đi theo con đường kính lão đắc thọ. Tiểu sử của Spot rất rõ ràng: sinh tại Tòa Bạch Ốc ngày 17 tháng Ba, 1989 và là con gái của mẹ Millie. Millie là chó cưng của ông bà thân sinh ra ông Bush có chữ W. Spot, có bộ lông trắng điểm đốm nâu là thế hệ thứ hai duy nhứt sinh ra và lớn lên ở trong Tòa Bạch Ốc.
Tivi, báo in lại đưa tin nhiều về hai chó Spot và Barney khi chứng kiến tận mắt Tổng Thống Bush ăn pretzel, nghẹn cổ và ngất xỉu té xuống ghế sofa khi đang xem football vào một chiều thứ Bảy. Theo phát ngôn viên Tòa Bạch Ốc Ari Fleischer, khi tỉnh dạy tổng thống thấy hai chó cưng vẫn đứng nguyên một chỗ, không cựa quậy và nhìn chủ nhân với đôi mắt ngạc nhiên có vẻ như hỏi “ủa ông làm gì kỳ vậy?”
Thế rồi Spot qua đời, để lại vô vàn tiếc thương nhưng lại là cơ hội ngàn vàng để Barney thăng chức và chính thức trở thành Đệ Nhất Chó. Kể từ đó trong khi chủ nhân là Tổng Thống Bush phải đối phó với trăm công nghìn việc từ Iraq đến Katrina, từ Iran đến Bắc Hàn … bạc cả đầu thì Barney dành nhiều thời gian để đi đóng phim hoặc chơi bóng đá, chơi golf và ưa thích nhứt là chơi ném móng ngựa. Người ta cũng được thấy nhiều lần trên tivi chó Barney tháp tùng tổng thống trên các chuyến bay đi nghỉ mát, có lúc cột dây đi trước có lúc được bồng trên tay. Nhưng những quân nhân dàn chào hai bên cầu thang máy bay đều phải nghiêm chỉnh chào cả vị nguyên thủ quốc gia lẫn chó Barney.

Ngày 6 tháng Giêng, 2005 diễn ra một sự kiện cực kỳ quan trọng đối với cuộc sống tình cảm của Barney, một bước ngoặt lịch sử khi em Beazley được giới thiệu với báo giới tại thảm cỏ phía nam Tòa Bạch Ốc. Beazley, cũng thuộc giống Scottish Terrier, là quà sinh nhựt của tổng thống dành cho phu nhân Laura. Miss Beazley sinh ngày 28 tháng Mười, 2004 với mẹ tên Bethz, giống Black Watch Elizabeth và cha tên Clinton, thuộc giống Champion Motherwell Alberta Clipper.
Tin từ Tòa Bạch Ốc lọt ra ngoài cho hay Beazley thích quanh quẩn trong Phòng Bầu Dục hơn là vui chơi thể thao ngoài sân cỏ với Barney. Vì ở trong nhà suốt nên Beazley đánh bạn với mèo Willie và thường rủ nhau nhảy tap dancing. (Tap dancing là điệu nhảy tập thể dùng nhân gõ nhịp trên sàn gỗ). Thế ai nói chó mèo không hạp nhau?
Đó là vài dòng về sinh hoạt chó mèo trong Tòa Bạch Ốc triều đại Bush.

Chó Buddy

Trước đó dưới thời Tổng Thống Clinton cũng có hai nhân vật thú cưng được nhắc đến là mèo Socks và chó Buddy. Mèo Socks đã gây chấn động thiên hạ khi khi mãn nhiệm kỳ và dọn về nhà riêng ở New York, ông bà Clinton đã quyết định để Socks ở lại và chỉ mang Buddy theo. Người ta đã phải ào ạt tổ chức trưng cầu ý dân trên mạng là ra đi bỏ … mèo lại có đúng hay không? Có vẻ họ Clinton kỵ ... mèo, cho dù mèo bốn chân. Buddy, với bộ lông nâu tuyền thuộc giống Labrador Retriever, rất thường được thấy xuất hiện chung với ông Clinton trong các chuyến đi nghỉ mát hay ngoài sân cỏ Tòa Bạch Ốc. Lời đồn nói rằng sau vụ tai tiếng tình ái Monica Lewinsky bùng nổ - khiến Tổng Thống Clinton xuýt mất job, ông chỉ còn làm bạn với Buddy mà thôi. Nhưng Buddy không thọ, hồi năm 2002 trong lúc đang lang thang ngoài xa lộ 117 thuộc vùng Chappaqua, New York - nhà riêng của ông bà Clinton thì bị xe cán chết. Thế là những bí mật chưa từng tiết lộ bên trong tòa nhà nổi tiếng đã được Buddy mang hết xuống tuyền đài.

Chó Bo

Khi chủ mãn nhiệm và đổi danh hiệu thành cựu tổng thống và chuyển nhà ra khỏi Tòa Bạch Ốc thì thú cưng cũng phải đi. Chó Bo cũng vậy. Bo là đệ nhất chó thời Tổng Thống Obama. Thuộc giống Portuguese Water Dog là quà của Thượng Nghị Sĩ Ted Kennedy. Bo chính thức gia nhập hộ khẩu cùng với hộ Obama ngày 14 tháng Tư 2009. Điều ngẫu nhiên thú vị là Bo có bộ lông đen tuyền với chấm trắng ở ngực và bốn chân rất hạp với gia đình da màu đầu tiên làm tổng thống nước USA. Không thể biết khuynh hướng chính trị của chó Bo, nhưng chắc chắn phải là Dân Chủ.

Chó Bo theo chủ dọn nhà đi vào cuối năm 2016 và chủ mới hiện không hay chưa có ý định nuôi một thú cưng trong Tòa Bạch Ốc. Điều này cũng dễ hiểu thôi: ngay cả chính phủ cho đến nay đã tám tháng rồi mà vẫn chưa đủ người bổ xung vào các bộ, chưa kể phải đối phó với không biết bao nhiêu các cuộc điều tra, điều trần, soi mói vào cả quá khứ, kể cả lời bóng gió đàn hạch và công tác vét sạch đầm bùn lầy cực kỳ nhiêu khê ở thủ đô, triệt hạ các nguồn tiết lộ tin nằm vùng ... thì chuyện tuyển một chú chó cưng, mèo cưng vào làm đẹp White House vào lúc này là nhiệm vụ có thể nói bất khả thi. Nếu khi nào chuyện này xảy ra thì ông chủ sẽ Tweet ngay để bàn dân thiên hạ biết.
Thế nhưng Tổng Thống Harry S. Truman đã có lần phát biểu rằng "muốn có bạn (tốt) ở Washington hãy nuôi một em chó." Câu nói này bị các sử gia tranh cãi không do chính ông Truman nói nhưng về ý nghĩa không sai một ly nào, nếu so với tình hình rối răm hiện nay ở Washington D.C.

Để kết luận thì chúng ta có thể khẳng định rằng khi một người nào đó có thể là hận tình, thua bạc, phá sản, mất vợ, lạc chồng. bị đào đá … than trời rằng cuộc đời này sao “chó má” hay văng tục “chó đẻ” có nghiã rằng người đó đang so sánh mình với diã cầy tơ luộc kèm lá mơ và mắm tôm củ riềng trên bàn nhậu chứ không so sánh với đệ nhất chó cao sang quyền quí.
Và sau cùng nếu có ai thắc mắc muốn hỏi thăm chuyện "chó má" trong Tòa Bạch Ốc thì trang web cũng có địa chỉ i-meo để bà con phản hồi và đặt vấn đề đại khái như "sao chó còn sướng hơn … người."


Xem thêm chi tiết về các loại thú sống trong Tòa Bạch Ốc từ ngày đầu tiên đến nay tại trang web http://www.presidentialpetmuseum.com/whitehousepets-1.htm

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

President Trump's Congress speech

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and Citizens of America:

Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation's path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.
Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice --- in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present.


That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world. I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart.
A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning.
A new national pride is sweeping across our Nation.
And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp.
What we are witnessing today is the Renewal of the American Spirit.
Our allies will find that America is once again ready to lead.
All the nations of the world -- friend or foe -- will find that America is strong, America is proud, and America is free.

In 9 years, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our founding -- 250 years since the day we declared our Independence.
It will be one of the great milestones in the history of the world.
But what will America look like as we reach our 250th year? What kind of country will we leave for our children?
I will not allow the mistakes of recent decades past to define the course of our future.
For too long, we've watched our middle class shrink as we've exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries.
We've financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit -- and so many other places throughout our land.
We've defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross -- and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate.
And we've spent trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled.
Then, in 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet. The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds --- families who just wanted a fair shot for their children, and a fair hearing for their concerns.
But then the quiet voices became a loud chorus -- as thousands of citizens now spoke out together, from cities small and large, all across our country.
Finally, the chorus became an earthquake -- and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first ... because only then, can we truly MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
Dying industries will come roaring back to life. Heroic veterans will get the care they so desperately need.
Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve.
Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land.
Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately, stop.
And our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety, and opportunity.
Above all else, we will keep our promises to the American people.
It's been a little over a month since my inauguration, and I want to take this moment to update the Nation on the progress I've made in keeping those promises.

Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.
The stock market has gained almost three trillion dollars in value since the election on November 8th, a record. We've saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of the fantastic new F-35 jet fighter, and will be saving billions more dollars on contracts all across our Government. We have placed a hiring freeze on non-military and non-essential Federal workers.
We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a 5 year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials --- and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government.
We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job‑crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every 1 new regulation, 2 old regulations must be eliminated; and stopping a regulation that threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.
We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines -- thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs -- and I've issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel.
We have withdrawn the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.
With the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have formed a Council with our neighbors in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams.

To protect our citizens, I have directed the Department of Justice to form a Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime.
I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our Nation.
We will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth -- and we will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.
At the same time, my Administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security. By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. We want all Americans to succeed --- but that can't happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders.
For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.
As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.

To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?
Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our Nation from Radical Islamic Terrorism.
According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home --- from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.
We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.
It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.
We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America -- we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.
That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe -- and to keep out those who would do us harm.
As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS -- a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.
I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran's ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the State of Israel.

Finally, I have kept my promise to appoint a Justice to the United States Supreme Court -- from my list of 20 judges -- who will defend our Constitution. I am honored to have Maureen Scalia with us in the gallery tonight. Her late, great husband, Antonin Scalia, will forever be a symbol of American justice. To fill his seat, we have chosen Judge Neil Gorsuch, a man of incredible skill, and deep devotion to the law. He was confirmed unanimously to the Court of Appeals, and I am asking the Senate to swiftly approve his nomination.
Tonight, as I outline the next steps we must take as a country, we must honestly acknowledge the circumstances we inherited.
Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force.
Over 43 million people are now living in poverty, and over 43 million Americans are on food stamps.
More than 1 in 5 people in their prime working years are not working.
We have the worst financial recovery in 65 years.
In the last 8 years, the past Administration has put on more new debt than nearly all other Presidents combined.
We've lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we've lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars.

And overseas, we have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters.
Solving these, and so many other pressing problems, will require us to work past the differences of party. It will require us to tap into the American spirit that has overcome every challenge throughout our long and storied history.
But to accomplish our goals at home and abroad, we must restart the engine of the American economy -- making it easier for companies to do business in the United States, and much harder for companies to leave.
Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world.
My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.
We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers.
Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes -- but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing.
I just met with officials and workers from a great American company, Harley-Davidson. In fact, they proudly displayed five of their magnificent motorcycles, made in the USA, on the front lawn of the White House.
At our meeting, I asked them, how are you doing, how is business? They said that it's good. I asked them further how they are doing with other countries, mainly international sales. They told me -- without even complaining because they have been mistreated for so long that they have become used to it -- that it is very hard to do business with other countries because they tax our goods at such a high rate. They said that in one case another country taxed their motorcycles at 100 percent.
They weren't even asking for change. But I am.
I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be FAIR TRADE.

The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned that the "abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government [will] produce want and ruin among our people."
Lincoln was right -- and it is time we heeded his words. I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers, be taken advantage of anymore.
I am going to bring back millions of jobs. Protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration. The current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers, and puts great pressure on taxpayers.
Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others --- have a merit-based immigration system. It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon. According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.
Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, will have many benefits: it will save countless dollars, raise workers' wages, and help struggling families --- including immigrant families --- enter the middle class.
I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation's security, and to restore respect for our laws.
If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.
Another Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program --- the building of the interstate highway system. The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.
America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this six trillion dollars we could have rebuilt our country --- twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate.

To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States -- financed through both public and private capital --- creating millions of new jobs.
This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and Hire American.
Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare.
Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.
Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone. Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his State -- it is unsustainable and collapsing.
One third of counties have only one insurer on the exchanges --- leaving many Americans with no choice at all.
Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor, and keep your plan?
We now know that all of those promises have been broken.
Obamacare is collapsing --- and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice --- it is a necessity.
So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.
Here are the principles that should guide the Congress as we move to create a better healthcare system for all Americans:
First, we should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges.
Secondly, we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts --- but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government.
Thirdly, we should give our great State Governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.
Fourthly, we should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance -- and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.
Finally, the time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across State lines --- creating a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring cost way down and provide far better care.

Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing, and hope.
Our citizens deserve this, and so much more --- so why not join forces to finally get it done? On this and so many other things, Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country, and for the good of the American people.
My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make childcare accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women's health, and to promote clean air and clear water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure.
True love for our people requires us to find common ground, to advance the common good, and to cooperate on behalf of every American child who deserves a brighter future.
An incredible young woman is with us this evening who should serve as an inspiration to us all.
Today is Rare Disease day, and joining us in the gallery is a Rare Disease Survivor, Megan Crowley. Megan was diagnosed with Pompe Disease, a rare and serious illness, when she was 15 months old. She was not expected to live past 5.
On receiving this news, Megan's dad, John, fought with everything he had to save the life of his precious child. He founded a company to look for a cure, and helped develop the drug that saved Megan's life. Today she is 20 years old -- and a sophomore at Notre Dame.
Megan's story is about the unbounded power of a father's love for a daughter.
But our slow and burdensome approval process at the Food and Drug Administration keeps too many advances, like the one that saved Megan's life, from reaching those in need.
If we slash the restraints, not just at the FDA but across our Government, then we will be blessed with far more miracles like Megan.
In fact, our children will grow up in a Nation of miracles.
But to achieve this future, we must enrich the mind --- and the souls --- of every American child.

Education is the civil rights issue of our time.
I am calling upon Members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.
Joining us tonight in the gallery is a remarkable woman, Denisha Merriweather. As a young girl, Denisha struggled in school and failed third grade twice. But then she was able to enroll in a private center for learning, with the help of a tax credit scholarship program. Today, she is the first in her family to graduate, not just from high school, but from college. Later this year she will get her masters degree in social work.
We want all children to be able to break the cycle of poverty just like Denisha.
But to break the cycle of poverty, we must also break the cycle of violence.
The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century.
In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone --- and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher.
This is not acceptable in our society.
Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school, and to have access to a high-paying job.
But to create this future, we must work with --- not against --- the men and women of law enforcement.
We must build bridges of cooperation and trust --- not drive the wedge of disunity and division.
Police and sheriffs are members of our community. They are friends and neighbors, they are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters -- and they leave behind loved ones every day who worry whether or not they'll come home safe and sound.
We must support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.
And we must support the victims of crime.
I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American Victims. The office is called VOICE --- Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.
Joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave Americans whose government failed them.
Their names are Jamiel Shaw, Susan Oliver, Jenna Oliver, and Jessica Davis.
Jamiel's 17-year-old son was viciously murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member, who had just been released from prison. Jamiel Shaw Jr. was an incredible young man, with unlimited potential who was getting ready to go to college where he would have excelled as a great quarterback. But he never got the chance. His father, who is in the audience tonight, has become a good friend of mine.
Also with us are Susan Oliver and Jessica Davis. Their husbands --- Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis --- were slain in the line of duty in California. They were pillars of their community. These brave men were viciously gunned down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations.
Sitting with Susan is her daughter, Jenna. Jenna: I want you to know that your father was a hero, and that tonight you have the love of an entire country supporting you and praying for you.
To Jamiel, Jenna, Susan and Jessica: I want you to know --- we will never stop fighting for justice. Your loved ones will never be forgotten, we will always honor their memory.

Finally, to keep America Safe we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and --- if they must --- to fight and to win.
I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.
My budget will also increase funding for our veterans.
Our veterans have delivered for this Nation --- and now we must deliver for them.
The challenges we face as a Nation are great. But our people are even greater.
And none are greater or braver than those who fight for America in uniform.
We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William "Ryan" Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero --- battling against terrorism and securing our Nation.
I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, "Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies." Ryan's legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom --- we will never forget him.
To those allies who wonder what kind of friend America will be, look no further than the heroes who wear our uniform.

Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world. It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies across the globe.
We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism.
But our partners must meet their financial obligations.
And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.
We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific --- to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost.
We will respect historic institutions, but we will also respect the sovereign rights of nations.
Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people --- and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America. But we know that America is better off, when there is less conflict -- not more.
We must learn from the mistakes of the past --- we have seen the war and destruction that have raged across our world.
The only long-term solution for these humanitarian disasters is to create the conditions where displaced persons can safely return home and begin the long process of rebuilding.
America is willing to find new friends, and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict.
We want peace, wherever peace can be found. America is friends today with former enemies. Some of our closest allies, decades ago, fought on the opposite side of these World Wars. This history should give us all faith in the possibilities for a better world.

Hopefully, the 250th year for America will see a world that is more peaceful, more just and more free.
On our 100th anniversary, in 1876, citizens from across our Nation came to Philadelphia to celebrate America's centennial. At that celebration, the country's builders and artists and inventors showed off their creations.
Alexander Graham Bell displayed his telephone for the first time.
Remington unveiled the first typewriter. An early attempt was made at electric light.
Thomas Edison showed an automatic telegraph and an electric pen.
Imagine the wonders our country could know in America's 250th year.
Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people.
Cures to illnesses that have always plagued us are not too much to hope.
American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream.
Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect.
And streets where mothers are safe from fear -- schools where children learn in peace -- and jobs where Americans prosper and grow -- are not too much to ask.
When we have all of this, we will have made America greater than ever before. For all Americans.

This is our vision. This is our mission.
But we can only get there together.
We are one people, with one destiny.
We all bleed the same blood.
We all salute the same flag.
And we are all made by the same God.
And when we fulfill this vision; when we celebrate our 250 years of glorious freedom, we will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of American Greatness began.
The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us.
We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.
The bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls.
And the confidence to turn those hopes and dreams to action.
From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears --- inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past ---
and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts.

I am asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American Spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country. And I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment and --
Believe in yourselves.
Believe in your future.
And believe, once more, in America.


Thank you, God bless you, and God Bless these United States.

Friday, February 24, 2017

President Trump’s CPAC speech


Great to be back at CPAC.

It's a place I have really — I love this place. I love you people. So thank you very much. First of all, I want to thank Matt Schlapp and his very, very incredible wife and boss, Mercedes, who have been fantastic friends and supporters and so great when I watch them on television defending me; nobody has a chance. So I want to thank Matt and Mercedes.
When Matt called and asked, I said absolutely I'll be there with you.
The real reason I said it, I didn't want him to go against me, so I said absolutely. And it really is an honor to be here. I wouldn't miss a chance to talk to my friends. These are my friends. And we'll see you again next year and the year after that. And I'll be doing this with CPAC whenever I can, and I'll make sure that we're here a lot.

If you remember, my first major speech — sit down, everybody, come on.
You know, the dishonest media, they'll say he didn't get a standing ovation. You know why? No, you know why? Because everybody stood and nobody sat. So they'll say he never got a standing ovation, right?
They are the worst.
So sit down. Donald Trump did not get a standing ovation. They leave out the part they never sat down. They leave that out. So I just want to thank you.
But you know, my first major speech was at CPAC, probably five or six years ago. First major political speech, and you were there. And it was — I loved it. I loved the people, I loved the commotion, and then they did these polls where I went through the roof and I wasn't even running, right? But it gave me an idea. And I got a little bit concerned when I saw what was happening in the country, and I said let's go to it. So it was very exciting.
I walked the stage on CPAC; I'll never forget it, really. I had very little notes and even less preparation. So when you have practically no notes and no preparation and then you leave and everybody was thrilled, I said I think I like this business.

I would have come last year, but I was worried that I'd be at that time too controversial. We wanted border security, we wanted very, very strong military. We wanted all of the things that we're going to get, and people consider that controversial, but you didn't consider it controversial. So I've been with CPAC for a long time. All of these years we've been together, and now you finally have a president, finally. Took you a long time. Took you a long time. And it's patriots like you that made it happen, believe me. You did it because you love your country, because you want a better future for your children, and because you want to make America great again.
The media didn't think we would win. The pundits — you're right — they had an idea. The pundits didn’t think we'd win. The consultants that suck up all that money — oh, they suck it up — they're so good. They're not good at politics, but they're really good at sucking up people's money. Especially my opponents’, because I kept them down to a minimum. But the consultants didn't think we would win. But they all underestimated the power of the people, you, and the people proved them totally wrong. This is so true, and this is what's been happening. Never underestimate the people. Never. I don't think it will ever happen again.

And I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news. It's fake. Phony. Fake. A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said nine people have confirmed. There are no nine people. I don't believe there was one or two people. Nine people. And I said give me a break because I know the people. I know who they talked to. There were no nine people. But they say nine people. And somebody reads it and they say, oh, nine people, they have nine sources. They make up sources.
They're very dishonest people. In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people — the fake news. They dropped off the word “fake”. And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word “fake” out. And now I'm saying, oh, no, this is no good. But that's the way they are. So I'm not against the media, I'm not against the press. I don't mind bad stories if I deserve them, and I tell you, I love good stories, but we won't talk — I don't get too many of them. But I am only against the fake news media or press. Fake. Fake. They have to leave that word.
I'm against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out. A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being — let them say it to my face. Let there be no more sources. And remember this, and not in all cases. I mean, I had a story yesterday written about me in Reuters by a very honorable man that was a very fair story. There are some great reporters around, they are talented and honest as the day is long; that is great. But there are some terrible, dishonest people that do a tremendous disservice to our country, and to our people.
They are very dishonest people, and they shouldn't use sources. They should put the name of the person. You will see stories dry up like you've never seen before. You have no idea how bad it is because if you are not part of the story — and I put myself in your position sometimes because many of you, you're not part of the story — and if you're not part of the story, you know, then you sort of know if you are part of the story, you know what they're saying is true or not.
So when they make it up and they make up something else, and you saw that before the election — polls, polls. They come out with some of these polls — and some of them got it right. I must say, Los Angeles Times, shocking, they did a great job. We had a couple of others that were right. Generally speaking, I can tell you the network. Somebody said, "A poll came out." I said what network is it?
And they'll say a certain — let's not even mention names, right? Shall we? Well, you have a lot of them. The Clinton News Network is one. Totally. Take a look, honestly. Take a look at their polls over the last two years. You'd think they'd fire the pollster, right? After years and years of getting battered. I mean, who knows, maybe they're just bad at polling. Or maybe they're not legit. But it's one or the other. Look at how inaccurate. Look at CBS, look at ABC also. Look at NBC.
Take a look at some of these polls. That were so bad, so inaccurate. And what that does is it creates a false narrative. It creates this narrative that it's just like we're not going to win. People say I love Trump but I'm not feeling great today. He can't win, so I won't go and vote. It creates a whole false deal, and we have to fight it, folks. We have to fight it. They're very smart, they're very cunning, and they're very dishonest.

So just to conclude, it's a very sensitive topic, and they get upset when we expose their false stories. They say that we can't criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment. They always bring the the First Amendment. I love the First Amendment. Nobody loves it better than me. Nobody — who uses it more than I do? But the First Amendment gives all of us — it gives it to me it gives it to you, it gives it to all Americans — the right to speak our minds freely. It gives you the right and me the right to criticize fake news and criticize it strongly.
And many of these groups are part of large media corporations that have their own agenda. And it's not your agenda and it's not the country's agenda, it's their own agenda. They have a professional obligation as members of the press to report honestly, but as you saw throughout the entire campaign and even now, the fake news doesn't tell the truth. Doesn't tell the truth. So just in finishing, I say it doesn't represent the people, it never will represent the people, and we're going to do something about it because we have to go out and we have to speak our minds and we have to be honest.

Our victory was a win like nobody has ever seen before. And I'm here fighting for you, and I will continue to fight for you. The victory and the win was something that really was dedicated to a country and people that believe in freedom, security and the rule of law. Our victory was a victory and a win for conservative values. And our victory was a win for everyone who believes it's time to stand up for America, to stand up for the American worker, and to stand up for the American flag. Yeah, there we should stand up. There we should stand up. And, by the way, we love our flag.
By the way, you folks are in here, the place is packed. There are lines that go back six blocks, and I tell you that because you won't read about it, okay? But there are lines that go back six blocks. There is such love in this country for everything we stand for. You saw that on Election Day and you're going to see it more and more. So we're all part of this historic movement, a movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. There's never been anything like this.
There's been some movements, but there's never been anything like this. There's been some movements that petered out, like Bernie. Petered out. But it was a little rigged against him. Superdelegate, Superdelegate. She had so many delegates before the thing even started. I actually said to my people, how does that happen?
Not that Bernie — but a lot of Bernie people voted for Trump because you know why? He was right about trade. Our country is being absolutely devastated by trade deals, so we got a lot of support. So actually I like Bernie.

I'm here to tell you what this means for the future of the Republican Party and the future of America. First, we need to define what this great, great, unprecedented movement is and what it actually represents.
The core conviction of our movement is that we are a nation that will put its own citizens first.
For too long we've traded away our jobs to other countries, so terrible. We've defended other nations’ borders while leaving ours wide open — anybody can come in. Oh, we're going to build a wall, don't worry about it. We're building the wall. We're building the wall. In fact, it's going to start soon. Way ahead of schedule. Way ahead of schedule. Way, way, way ahead of schedule.
Gen. Kelly, by the way, has done a fantastic job. Fantastic, the job he's done. And remember, we are getting the bad ones out. These are bad dudes. We're getting the bad ones out. Okay? We're getting the bad — if you watch these people, it’s like oh, gee, that's so sad. We were getting bad people out of this country. People who shouldn't be, whether it's drugs or murder. We're getting bad ones out. They're the ones that go first. I said it from day one.
Basically all I've done is keep my promise. We've spent trillions overseas while allowing our own infrastructure to fall into total disrepair and decay. In the Middle East we've spent, as of four weeks ago, $6 trillion. Think of it.
And, by the way, the Middle East is in what — I mean, it's not even close —it's in much worse shape than it was 15 years ago. If our presidents would have gone to the beach for 15 years, we would be in much better shape than we are right now. That I can tell you. Could have been a hell of a lot better. We could have rebuilt our country three times with that money.

This is the situation I inherited. I inherited a mess, believe me.
We also inherited a failed health care law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe. Now, I've been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn't work, folks. I could say, I could talk. And now people are starting to develop a little — but the people that you're watching, they're not you. They're largely, many of them are the side that lost. They lost the election. It's like, how many elections do we have to have? They lost the election.
But I always say Obamacare doesn't work, and these same people two years ago and a year ago were complaining about Obamacare. And the bottom line, we're changing it. We're going to make it much better, we're going to make it less expensive, we're going to make it much better.
Obamacare covers very few people. And remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them. Was taken away from them. Millions of people were very happy with the health care. They had their doctor, they had their plan. Remember the lie? 28 times. You can keep your doctor. You can keep your plan. Over and over and over again, you heard it. So we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare.
And I tell Paul Ryan and all of the folks that we're working with very hard, Dr. Tom Price — very talented guy — but I tell them from a purely political standpoint, the single best thing we can do is nothing. Let it implode completely. It's already imploding. You see the carriers are all leaving. It's a disaster. But two years, don't do anything. The Democrats will come to us and beg for help. They'll beg. And it's their problem. But it's not the right thing to do for the American people. It's not the right thing to do.

We inherited a national debt that has doubled in eight years. Think of it, $20 trillion. It's doubled. And we inherited a foreign policy marked by one disaster after another. We don't win anymore. When was the last time we won? Did we win a war? Did we win anything? Do we win anything? Do we win anything? We're going to win. We're going to win big, folks. We're going to start winning again. Believe me.
But we're taking a firm, bold, and decisive measure. We have to, to turn things around. The era of empty talk is over. It's over. Now is the time for action. So let me tell you about the actions that we're taking right now to deliver on our promise to the American people and on my promise to make America great again.
We've taken swift and strong action to secure the southern border of the United States and begin the construction of a great, great border wall. By doing this and with the help of our great border police, with the help of ICE, with the help of Gen. Kelly and all of the people that are so passionate about this. Our border patrol, what they do — they came and endorsed me, ICE came and endorsed me — they never endorsed a presidential candidate before. They might not be allowed to, but they were disgusted what they saw.
We'll stop it, we'll stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. Pouring in. Pouring in. We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems. They get the cash. No good. No good. Going to stop.
By stopping the flow of illegal immigration, we will save countless tax dollars. That's so important because the dollars that we're losing are beyond anything that you can imagine. And the tax dollars that can be used to rebuild struggling American communities, including our inner cities. We are also going to save countless American lives. As we speak today, immigration officers are finding the gang members, the drug dealers, and the criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country. And we will not let them back in. They're not coming back in, folks. They do, they're going to have bigger problems than they ever dreamed of.

I'm also working with the Department of Justice to begin reducing violent crime. I mean, can you believe what's happening in Chicago, as an example? Two days ago, seven people were shot. And I believe killed. Seven people. Seven people. Chicago. A great American city. Seven people shot and killed.
We will support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. Thank you and thank them.
I've also followed through on my campaign promise and withdrawn America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership so that we can protect our economic freedom. And we're going to make trade deals, but we're going to do one-on-one — one-on-one — and if they misbehave, we terminate the deal, and then they come back and we'll make a better deal. None of these big quagmire deals that are disaster.
Just take a look at NAFTA, one of the worst deals ever made by any country having to do with economic development. It's economic underdevelopment as far as our country is concerned.
We're preparing to repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare; we're going to save Americans from this crisis and give them the access to the quality health care they need and deserve.
We have authorized the construction one day of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline and issued a new rule — this took place while I was getting ready to sign — I said who makes the pipes from the pipeline? Well, sir, comes from all over the world, isn't that wonderful? I said, nope, comes from the United States or we're not building it. American steel. If they want a pipeline in the United States, they're going to use pipe that's made in the United States. Do we agree?
But can you imagine — I told this story the other day. Can you imagine the gentleman, never met him, don't even know the name of his country — I sort of know it, but I want to get it exactly correct.
Big, big company. They spend hundreds of millions on the pipeline. They got their approvals, everything in the case of Dakota, then all of a sudden they couldn't connect it because they had people protesting that never showed up before. Before with the Keystone — so they spend hundreds of millions of dollars with bloodsucker consultants, sucking the blood out of the company: Don't worry, I used them all my life, okay? Don't worry, I'm going to get it approved, I'm connected, I'm a lobbyist, don't worry.

Bottom line, Obama didn't sign it. Could be 42,000 jobs, somewhere around there. Didn't sign it. But can you imagine? He gave up. A year ago, it was dead. Now he's doing nothing, calling his wife, hello, darling, I'm a little bored, you know that pipeline project, that has killed us, that has killed our company. Knock, knock. Mr. So and so. The Keystone pipeline, sir, out of nowhere has just been approved. Can you imagine the expression? You know the sad part?
The same bloodsucking consultants that hit him for all the money and failed, they're now going to go back to him and say didn't we do a great job? We want more money. That's the way the system works — a little bit off — but that's the way the system works.
We're preparing bold action to lift the restrictions on American energy, including shale oil, natural gas, and beautiful, clean coal, and we're going to put our miners back to work. Miners are going back to work. Miners are going back to work, folks. Sorry to tell you that, but they're going back to work. We have begun a historic program to reduce the regulations that are crushing our economy. Crushing.
And not only our economy, crushing our jobs because companies can't hire. We're going to put the regulation industry out of work and out of business. And, by the way, I want regulation. I want to protect our environment, I want regulations for safety, I want all of the regulations that we need, and I want them to be so strong and so tough, but we don't need 75 percent of the repetitive regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs, make us noncompetitive overseas with other companies from other countries, that we don't need. But we're going to have regulation. It's going to be really strong and really good, and we're going to protect our environment and we're going to protect the safety of our people and our workers, okay.

Another major promise is tax reform. We are going to massively lower taxes on the middle class, reduce taxes on American business, and make our tax code more simple and much more fair for everyone, including the people and the business. In anticipation of these and other changes, jobs are already starting to pour back into our country. You see that.
In fact, I think I did more than any other president. They say president-elect. President-elect is meeting with Ford, he's meeting with Chrysler, he's meeting with General Motors. I just wanted to save a little time because Ford and Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Intel, and so many others are now because of the election result making major investments in the United States, expanding production and hiring more workers. And they're going back to Michigan and they're going back to Ohio and they're going back to Pennsylvania and they're going back to North Carolina and to Florida.
It's time for all Americans to get off of welfare and get back to work. You're going to love it. You're going to love it. You are going to love it.

We're also putting in a massive budget request for our beloved military. And we will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything. Bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and hopefully we'll never have to use it, but nobody's going to mess with us, folks. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history. No one will dare question, as they have been, because we're very depleted, very, very depleted sequester. Nobody will question our military might again.
We believe in peace through strength, and that's what we will have. As part of my pledge to restore safety for the American people, I have also directed the defense community to develop a plan to totally obliterate ISIS. Working with our allies, we will eradicate this evil from the face of the earth.
At the same time, we fully understand that national security begins with border security. Foreign terrorists will not be able to strike America if they cannot get into our country. And, by the way, take a look at what's happening in Europe, folks. Take a look at what's happening in Europe. I took a lot of heat on Sweden. And then a day later I said, has anybody reported what's going on? And it turned out that they didn't — not too many of them did.
Take a look at what happened in Sweden. I love Sweden. Great country, great people, I love Sweden. They understand I'm right. The people there understand I'm right. Take a look at what's happening in Sweden. Take a look at what's happened in Germany. Take a look at what's happened in France. Take a look at Nice and Paris.
I have a friend, he's a very, very substantial guy, he loves the city of lights. He loves Paris. For years, every year during the summer he would go to Paris. It was automatic. With his wife and his family. Hadn't seen him in a while. And I said, Jim, let me ask you a question, how's Paris doing? Paris? I don't go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris. That was four years, four, five years, hasn't gone there. He wouldn't miss it for anything. Now he doesn't even think in terms of going there.
Take a look at what's happening to our world, folks. And we have to be smart. We have to be smart. We can't let it happen to us. So let me state this as clearly as I can: We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.

We will not be deterred from this course, and in a matter of days we will be taking brand new action to protect our people and keep America safe. You will see the action. I will never, ever apologize for protecting the safety and security of the American people. I won't do it. If it means I get bad press, if it means people speak badly of me, it’s okay, it doesn't bother me.
The security of our people is number one, is number one. Our administration is running with great efficiency, even though I still don't have my Cabinet approved. Nobody mentions that. Do you know I still have people out there waiting to be approved. And everyone knows they're going to be approved. It's just a delay, delay, delay. It's really sad. It's really sad. And these are great people. These are some great people.
We still don't have our Cabinet. I assume we're setting records for that. That's the only thing good about it, we're setting records. I love setting records. But I hate having a Cabinet meeting and I see all these empty seats.

I say Democrats, please, approve our Cabinet and get smart on health care, too, if you know me. But we're taking meetings every day with top leaders in business, in science and industry. Yesterday I had 29 of the biggest business leaders in the world in my office. Caterpillar Tractor, Campbell Soup, we had everybody. We had everybody. I like Campbell Soup. We had everybody. And we came to a lot of very good conclusions, and a lot of those folks that are in that room are going to be building big, big, massive new plants and lots of jobs. You know what? They're going to be building them in this country and not in some other countries. We're meeting with unions, meeting with law enforcement and leaders from all around the world. They're going to be building them in this country and not in some other countries.
We're meeting with unions, meeting with law enforcement and leaders from all around the world. Where the White House doors — they were closed, folks, you don't realize that, they were closed — they're now wide open, and they're open for people doing business for our country and putting people to work. And when they come into the White House, we're translating these meetings into action.

One by one, we're checking off the promises we made to the people of the United States. One by one. A lot of promises. And we will not stop until the job is done. We will reduce your taxes, we will cut your regulations, we will support our police, we will defend our flag.
We will rebuild our military. We will take care of our great, great veterans. We're taking care of our veterans. We will fix our broken and embarrassing trade deals that are no good. None of them. You wonder where did the people come from that negotiated these deals? Where did they come from?
Well, they came also from campaign contributions, I must be honest with you. They're not as stupid as you think. We will cut wasteful spending. We will promote our values. We will rebuild our inner cities. We will bring back our jobs and our dreams. So true. So true. And, by the way, we will protect our Second Amendment.
You know, Wayne and Chris are here from the NRA, and they didn't have that on the list. It's lucky I thought about it. But we will indeed. And they're great people. And, by the way, they love our country. They love our country. The NRA has been a great supporter. They love our country.

The forgotten men and women of America will be forgotten no longer. That is the heart of this new movement and the future of the Republican Party. People came to vote and these people, the media, they said where are they coming from? What's going on here? These are hard-working, great, great Americans. These are unbelievable people who have not been treated fairly. Hillary called them deplorable. They're not deplorable. Who would have thought that a word was going to play so badly? That's the problem in politics. One wrong word and it's over. She also said irredeemable, but we won't mention that.
The GOP will be from now on the party also of the American worker. You know, we haven't been as a group given credit for this, but if you look at how much bigger our party has gotten during this cycle, during the early days when we had 17 people running, the primaries, millions and millions of people were joining. I won't say it was because of me, but it was, okay? And we have an amazing, strong, powerful party that truly does want to see America be great again, and it will see it, and it's going to see it a lot sooner than you think, believe me.
A lot sooner than you think. We will not answer to donors or lobbyists or special interests, but we will serve the citizens of the United States of America, believe me. Global cooperation, dealing with other countries, getting along with other countries is good. It's very important, but there is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency, or a global flag. This is the United States of America that I'm representing. I'm not representing the globe. I'm representing your country.
There's one allegiance that unites us all, and that is to America. America. It's the allegiance to America. No matter our background or income or geography, we're all citizens of this blessed land, and no matter our color or the blood, color of the blood we bleed, it's the same red blood of great, great patriots. Remember great patriots. We all salute with pride the same American flag, and we all are equal, totally equal in the eyes of almighty God. We're equal.

Thank you. And I want to thank, by the way, the evangelical community, the Christian community, communities of faith. Rabbis and priests and pastors, ministers because the support for me was a record, as you know, not only in terms of numbers of people but percentages of those numbers that voted for Trump. So I want to thank you folks. It was amazing, an amazing outpouring and I will not disappoint you. As long as we have faith in each other and trust in God, then there is no goal at all beyond our reach.
There is no dream too large, no task too great. We are Americans, and the future belongs to us — the future belongs to all of you. And America is coming about, it's, and it's coming back and it's roaring and you can hear it. It's going to be bigger and better. It is going to be, it is going to be. Remember. And it's roaring. It's going to be bigger and better and stronger than ever before.
I want to thank you, and Matt and Mercedes, I want to thank the two of you, and all of the supporters I have all over the place, you are really great people. I want to thank you. And I want to say to you God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

Thank you, folks. Thank you. Thank you.