tv White House Press Secretary Holds Briefing CSPAN May 16, 2020 1:52am-2:29am EDT
>> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, we'll look at how the coronavirus is affecting students, school districts and universities with the american enterprise institute ice fed ick kess on how k through 12 schools can prepare to return in the fall. then president lilian garcia on the future of u.s. education amid the coronavirus. and the unions recent polling on issues surrounding distanced learned. also devin diop, c.e.o. of the american health association looks at what colleges and universities can do to reopen while keeping staff and students safe. and terry hartle senior vice president of private and public afathers for the american council on education on the effect coronavirus is having on coronavirus -- colleges and
universities. be sure to watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. white house press secretary kayleigh enany answered questions abs the coronavirus bill. and n-95 mask left behindity obama administration and that obama officials acted illegal nto former national security advisor michael flynn. >> hello, everyone. sorry we're a little late today. as you know the president had two events this morning. so we didn't want our
unprecedented transparency to get in way of lunch. we had a few moments for you to eat and hopefully that will be help of to you guys. i have an announcement for our farmers. today sonny purdue and senior advisor ivanka trump announced the launch of the farmers to family food box program. this is a $3 billion program to support farmers and provide food to our vulnerable communities. ivanka trump and secretary purdue are doing good work. now i would like to talk about the coronavirus response. ome have erroneously said that they through time-out maggs ks left by the obama administration. but this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed robust pandemic response report commissioned by the trump administration. we exchange this one which i
will hand over to my assistant wendy for these two pandemic response plans. in 2018 the trump administration issued our pandemic crisis action plan, one of the binders that i just handed to lindy. further from august 13th to the 16th, the trump administration conducted the clemson contagion 2018 functional exercise. this was a pandemic stimulation to test the nation's ability to respond to a large scale outbreak in. january of 2020, h.h.s. issued the crimson con they jost john 2018 functional exercise after action reports. this exercise expounded upon exposed rather the shortcomings and legacy planning documents which informed president trump coronavirus response as early as january. those legacy planning documents were in fact, the papers that i just handed over that were
provided to us by the obama-biden administration. for example, the clemson after action report highlighted that the obama mollity directive from november to 16 and i'm quote being the the document does not provide the requiz it mechanism or processes to leave -- lead the coordination response. instead president trump put vice president pence in charge of the interagency response. these were effective decisions and they undoubtedly enhanced our response to the coronavirus. further more what clemson contagion taught us is that president trump was right all along about misguided economic and trade policys that left americans vulnerable to pandemics. in june 2016, so many, many years ago then businessman donald trump said this. "america became the world's dominant economy by becoming the world's dominant producer. i have visited cities and towns across the country where 1/3 of
manufactures jobs have been wiped out in the last 20 years. today, we import nearly 800 billion more in goods than we export. this is not some natural disaster it is politician-made issast -- disaster." and that contrasted with president obama who said trump just says i'm going to negotiate a deal. well, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? what magic wand do you have? that magic wand was ripping up the trans pacific partnership. it was ripping up nafta. it was replacing it with the u.s.-mexico-canada agreement, a great deal for our automakers and our farmers. it waser ending china's trade poling sys and negotiating a save one china deal. that's what the president has done. yesterday, president trump went to allentown, pennsylvania and visited owens and minor inc.
you saw this administration taking action to restructure and secure our stockpile of medical supplies. president trump released a plan the strategic stockpile and he signed an executive order to make sure we build up our strategic stockpiles. the president's trump is an example of what he's been saying that america must manufacture. that america must produce here in our interior. the president launched project air bridge to bring supplies from all over the world support america's front line healthcare workers. he secured donations and production of p.p.e. and other medical supplies. and president trump leveraged the defense production act otherwise known as the d.p.a. to mobilize our country to manufacture and secure massive amounts of p.p.e. and ventilators. through project air bridge to te more than 1.4 million
respirators developed. 291 glovepes and gowns and more. the playbook and the whole of america response has far exceeded what the administration inherited. and finally, president trump took action before the pandemic to anticipate and game plan such scenarios. president trump streamlined the national security council in biodefense ting a directive. it did away with the confusing organizational chart that required experts to report to two bosses stulttains youly. they honed in on the threats and focused them more and housed them in a more coherent structure and with a more senior leader. this direct rat existed today that president trump
eliminated. i hope you're able to debunk this claim. recognizing the seriousness the biological threat president trump released a series of documents to his leadership is evident in the early days of this pandemic and in the preparation before that. in these actions i have outline today, plans i have noted have helped us as we approached what was an unprecedented crisis. it helped us to deploy our resources and deliver what i believe is one of the best responses we have seen in the country's history. with that i will take questions. >> you talked about the contagion back in august. did that say that early and extensive testing would be
critical in any response to a pandemic? >> i am not sure what it revealed in regard to testing. what it basically did was say to us some of the previous iterations of plans put h.h.s. in the lead. it plays a critical role in our response. one thing identified is you need a whole government response that is orchestrated from the highest levels. for also what that meant in real time was president trump saying we need a task force. we need the vice president leading this. we need the whitehouse at the helm coordinating agencies. that valuable piece of advice that we garnered from the exercise was able to be deployed in real time. it was a valuable exercise that we did in august of 2019. >> and going forward will early and extensive testing now be among recommendations that are put into any future plans? >> we have not outlined a future plan yet. we are still operating off the one issued in january of 2020.
we have learned a lot as we have moved forward and navigated this pandemic and navigated the deploying of more gloves and lion other things. we have an innovator private sector in this country. a business man at the helm in president trump was very effective and will become the playbook for dealing with future pecks. >> when you replaced the obama playbook with these, is it in there that testing needs to increase, and what about percentage protective equipment? >> well, personal protective equipment is very important, and i am proud of what this administration has done. i am very glad thaw asked about that because i have some supply numbers for you today. i actually shortchanged us a little bit there. 92.7 million n-95 masks, 137 million surgical masks. 2 gowns, 35 million fave
shields and almost one billion gloves. it has been deployed in this country in a way it has never been before. it will become the future playbook. >> did it say in that playbook that percentage protective gear should be increased, the production of it as tonight as a pandemic is you said way as with coronavirus? >> what it says is this is we need personal protective equipment. what did this administration do? we gave it. the playbook is on online, one is public, so you can look through that online. what we have done is remarkable, and that is exactly what you just asked me. does it say we need more ppe? we have delivered historic numbers of ppe, one billion gloves. we will continue to do that and fill the stockpile. we are ready for the fall. this administration has act inside a way that i don't believe certainly baylessed on what i ready in obama playbook
would deploy what this administration has done. >> it takes longer to get more masks. my other question is on rick bryce. the president said yesterday he probably shouldn't be working in federal government anymore. he is starting his new position next week. does the president welcome him starting that new position? what is that job >> rick bright habit showed up for a position. he was transferred to lead a bold new $1 billion testing program. he has not yet shown up for work. he takes a $285,000 salary. that is extraordinary for a federal government salary, and he is still on tax payer funded medical leave so he can work with partisan attorneys to malign the president. so mr. bright should perhaps show up forth job that he currently has. >> why does president trump choose not to wear a face mask?
>> that is his choice. he is tested every day. those of us around him in the oaf all office, i wear a face mask around him. he is very protected. he tests daily. that is his personal choice. i would note it is consistent with the c.d.c. died lines >> but to set an example forle american people. dr. birx and fauci had their masks on. >> he did set an example. he said i want all of you wearing facemasks in here. ago.id that two days that is over and above what the c.d.c. exangs. that is a pretty good. >> i want to ask you about the f.d.a. guidance on the other tests. you talked about all this preparation that the trump administration did. how come on scombran of 2020 the stockpile was as low as it
was? >> that is a really good question and important question. perhaps i should rely direct your question to president obama, who left the stockpile empty. there was you "usa today" fact check of. that he left the cupboard bare as the president noted there. is no indication that the obama administration took significant steps to resupply masks after the stockpile was depleted from repeated crisis. at the beginning of h1n1, it was full, and end of that it is empty. >> in 2018. president has now been in office for three years? >> we refilled that stockpile. we got the n-95 masks out. ventilators, a good exam. not a single american died for lack of a ventilator. three times the amount of n-95
respirators. we have delivered. we cleaned up the mess that was clearly left by president obama, and we got that out. and i would also note in terms of fixing the stockpile, it is also fixing domestic supply chains. this support a president who took on that issue and said we need to produce here. we can't ask china, who hoards ppe. this was a systemic fix that needed to happen, and president trump is the first president to my knowledge that has taken on that systemic fix. >> the test that you guys take every day, that we have been given evans i day. there are studies coming out, a third of cases missed, up to 48% of cases may be missed. does that whiff the white house pause or change the way you move forward? >> i am glad you asked that. it is very important. when the f.d.a. gets any information that calls into question a tels, they put it out there.
it is incumbent upon them to make sure the american people has up to date information. i spoke with dr. hong. he said we continue to recommend the test. the secretary said we have confidence in the test. that said, they take any indication of false negatives seriously. some of these stud impress the secretary says he believes there was user error in them, being the team transporting them might have affected the accuracy of the test. to that end, what the f.d.a. has said is that any negative test results that are not consistent with a patient's colinal sign, you should consider getting a second test. that is the guidance of now. >> the president ted yesterday that wasn't interested in talking to the chinese president right now. why is that? why would he not want to talk to him? >> he is very frustrated with china. i will leave it to the
president as to when he does resume speaking with the chinese leader. as i have shared with you guys before, on human to human transmission, it was important that the borland knew of that aspect of the zpeeze. that information was slow-you could bad through the w.h.o. the genetic sequencing likewise was not given until a professor in shanghai did so on his own. the. has repeatedly noted why are they letting flights out of china but not into china? these decisions put american lives at risk. not just american lives, but lives around the globe. we know that this disease came from china, and why that information was not shared, the information i just suggested is unacceptable. he is frustrated, and i will leave it to. >> the president has often talked about having a warm relationship with the chinese president. is that now over? has the chill set up? >> i will leave it to the president as to how to characterize their relationship. this is a president, if anyone
knows how to talk to china. it is him. he did get the phase one china deal, $250 billion purchasing of american production, a big teal for america. it took president trump to get that one. office, in the oval the president said the pentagon was developing a super duper missile? what was the president describing? >> i would refer you back to the. 's remarks in the pentagon. i don't hatch any new information on. that >> when did the administration start replenishing the stockpile of ppe? and does that report get into that? >> the president immediately when it was necessary to get more ppe for america's health care workers, immediately went into action. i listed out for you all the results of those actions, which have been extraordinary.
greatest mobilization of the private sector since world war ii. i would also 0 neat -- >> before january of 2020 regarding ppe and trying to replenish that? >> i did talk to the secretary yesterday. one of the things the secretary of secretary said to me is when we got to the federal government, we were on the brink -- we were in very hostile ontakeses with several powers because of the obama administration's foreign policy. there were real poi terrorism threats. that was the immediate threat that the administration focused on in terms of stockpile. immediately when it became clear a pandemic was the concern over bioterrorism, we transitioned as quickly as humanly possible and filled the empty cup boards left by president obama. i do have, if i if find it in here, new information on ventilators just to show how extraordinary this
administration's effort was on the stockpile. we shipped 766 ventilators overseas to our part nerlings. no one here has died for lack of a ventilator. we have done so well and over performed so much, we can say we committed over 15,000 ventilators to 40 countries by the end of july. that is american ingenuity. unprecedented partnership between this president and the private sector. >> switching gears, the president suggested people should be jailed for what he said earlier in the week was a very obvious crime. you are an attorney and the president's spokesperson. perhaps you could lay out the elements of this crime? what crime was committed and in what way? >> i assume you are referring to the obama administration. >> the president called it obama-gate. what are the elements that have crime? >> i am really glad you asked because there hasn't been a lot of journalistic curiosity on
this question. there were a number of questions raised by the actions of the obama administration. the steel dossier funneleded by the democratic national mmittee was used to obtain fiza warrants to listen in on people in the trump campaign thrsm was the won masking of michael flynn. we know in a january 5 meeting in the oval office with president obama, sally yates from the department of justice learned about the unmasking nolts from the department of justice or the f.b.i., he learned about it from president obama. he was stunned and could barely process what was happening. we know there was a lot of wrongdoing in the case of michael flynn. the f.b.i. notes, offense, that said should we, quote, get him to lie as they pontificated their strategy. we know the identity of this general was leaked to the
press, a criminal leak to the press of his identity,. these are very serious questions. they have been ignored by the media too long. i think that is the second question i have feeled on lieutenant general michael flynn. those questions matter. >> to be clear i heard you mention one thing you said was criminal, that was what? 0 error one thing i said was criminal? the leaking of his name and the questions i have raised. if you want to talk about wrongdoing, happy to go through andy mccabe leaking to the wall street and lying about it. happy to talk about james clapper lying before congress saying the n.s.a. does not monitor phone calls. that was an inaccuracy if not a lie. and john brennan telling congress the dossier played no roll, and it was in fact the basis of obtaining the warrants.
there are mrs. other real questions i hope you all will pursue. >> the president said those peoples should be jailed, >> i never said that. those >> words, not mine. that is the job of reporters to answer the questions i have laid out. i hope you guys take the time to do it and i find it interesting, if we want to start talking about fabrication of crimes, we can litigate that case publicly with james clapper, who said what president trump did with russia, d- thash what watergate pailed in compare. we can tarik about eric. we can talk about jeffery lying saying the president was a russia asset. there was a. evidence of collusion in sight when there was not. mark warner saying there was enormous amounts of collusions. we can talk about a cnn historian there was the smell of treason.
for three years you talked about collusion, and there was none. it was a huge injustice to the american people, who deserve truth not the alleging of false allegations against this president. >> thank you. >> one second. -- i will get to you next. >> a comment that the united states would be first in line for a vaccine if that comes about. does the administration think that the united states should ceive the first doses if the n.s.c. discovers that vaccine? >> i haven't spoken to the president about that. i don't have any announcements on that front. >> thank you, kayleigh. two brief questions. first a follow up to steve's question regarding china. 48 hours ago the federal retirement thrifflet investment board followed the president's suggestion and cut off any
investment of federal pensions for civilian and military workers into china on their markets. therefore cutting off funds that would be invested in state-run companies. will the president now urge private sector businesses -- and i think of black rock, which is invested in 137 chinese companies, to follow this example and get out of investing in china? >> well, i can't give any information as to what the president will or will not do next. it is a decisive move and his plans to halt funds into chinese companies was the right call. it protects our military, federal employees from risky investments. it avoids funding chinese defense contractors. and it was an important move by the president. but in terms of future action on this front, i would leave
that to the. . >> my other question was in turkey eventually there has been talk that the president would like the assistance of president trump with the currency in turkey, which is in very bad condition. will there be any u.s. support of the turkish currency, or does he think he should apply for anism f.m. loan? >> i don't have any answer to that. >> the president has called for transparency in what he callles obamagate. could he classify the transcript so everyone could see what was said? >> i have not idea asked them there. what he would like to see is the apparently lost 302, the summary of an interview the f.b.i. did with michael flynn that has apparently gone missing. we would really be quite curious to see what transpired
that 302 after the f.b.i. pontificated getting flynn to lie so they can get him fired or prosecuted. >> when will the white house open talks with speaker pelosiy ? have there been any informal talks occurring, and does the white house support aid to state and local government? >> the president has said he will talk about state and local aid, but it cannot become a pretext for blue states that have gotten themselves into financial trouble. while he is open to discussing it, he has no immediate plans to move forward with a phase four. he says it is something he is looking at, but he wants to take time to see what is in it. the plolesy bill has been unacceptable. one of the things i found funny in her bill, she requires that the president appoint a medical supply response coordinator who would serve as a point of
contact for the health care system, supply chain officials. i don't know if speaker pelosiy has just not been paying attention while out in california and we have been here working, but i happen to be siting by this so called medical response coordinator on air force one. vcek. me is admiral polu that admiral is cording this, and perhaps she doesn't know that. that is an example of how odd the pelosiy bill is, packed full of liberal wish lists. ensuring that illegal immigrants get direct payments so they don't look at social security numbers. elements like that are non-starters, and there are curious elements that suggest that the speaker is even paying attention. pelosiy ack, speaker
submitted it for a vote and you have members of her own party coming in and saying this is washington politics at its worst. does the white house get a sense that members of the democratic party are growing left question kept with pelosiy's leadership during this pandemic? >> i haven't spoken to them directly, but i have seen in of. comments you are talking about, and it would suggest that. we are in the middle of a pandemic, and what is nancy pelosi doing? she is exploiting the crisis and pushing for mass mail-in voting even though we know it is more susceptible to voting fraud. we are in the middle of a pandemic, and this is what she is interested in pushing. instead of real measures, like a tax break, she has interested in in removing a threshold for state and local tax. it would be a huge win for billionaires in california and new york. it is really interesting right now that you have the party that says they are for working americans saying let's remove
this state and local tax threshold so that millionaires and billionaires get big pay-outs in states like california and new york. and the party of president trump saying let's lower the payroll tax so that the americans get a tax break. it is interesting the current posture of the two parties. >> can i ask a question about the obama is stockpile. was there any knowledge that when the transition between the obama administration into the trump administration, did ybody from the obama administration brief the trump stration about the stockpile? at one point the ppe masks went down to the low 2% from what the national kneeled was. it anybody from the obama administration warn the trump administration? >> good question. not to my knowledge. the two things they were warned
about, north korea and michael flynn. the obama administration weren't throwing vincente into the stockpile. they were unmasking michael flynn. >> the subject of the payroll tax consult. the. has said that should be a part of the next stimulus bill, but he has also indicated there are discussions for more direct payments. does he favor one or the other, or does he think can you do both? remember hasn't indicated anything is a condition, or a starter or non-starter. he told us ideas he would like to see in a phase four. at this point he is looking closely as what we need to spend if a phase four needs to occur. on tax payer dollars he wants to move forward wisely, but i haven't heard of anything being a condition or a non-starter, other than the hero's act is a non-starter. >> thank you. in a previous life as a howard aw student, you were vocally
against the supreme court's decisions. >> i am not up here to give my personal views. i am proud of this administration, which has been fair, equitable and just to all americans and open to all americans. i think our views are entirely consistent. i am not up here to give my views by the supreme court many years ago. >> but -- >> i stand behind the president and his views. i am here to represent the president and not pontificate about supreme court cases. >> i want to get quickly a follow up. any day now there is going to be another decision by the supreme court related to lgbtq rights. is the administration doing any sort of planning for that decision? >> i am not going to get ahead of the supreme court or give a supreme court court case projection or outcome. it is not my position to do that. i have no ysm for you on that at this time.
>> president trump has indicated he was going to donate ventilators to india. do you know how many ventilators the u.s. is donating to india? >> i don't know that. but the president just extoled our great relationship with india. india has been a great partner to us for quite sometimes. i am encouraged to hear that india is getting ventilators. this. has done well on ventilators, 100,000 in 100 days that we are able to repurpose them and sends them around the world. >> i did not hear the first part of your question. > a report stated most americans mostly vote for the democrats and not republicans. do you agree with that assessment? >> that it would be a question
for the campaign than >> the president has said before he would like to see 100 million doses of a viable vaccine by fall and 300 million by january. today he didn't mention 100 million by the fall, but he did mention hopefully getting a vaccine by the new year. is he tempering expectations of what might be possible? is he still hoping for 100 million doses by the fall? >> no, this president is not tempering expectations. we should be very encouraged about what we heard today, that the early data from clinical trials from coronavirus vaccine data makes him confident that we will have a vaccine by the end of 2020. operation warp speed is a great new innovative operation that i think will take us to getting a vaccine in short order. in consultation he is doing .his with a four-star general it is going to be a great effort, and i think by the fall we will see one as has been
predicted. this president wants to see one process fast as one. he got us into phase one trial faster than dr. fauci has ever seen in his career. that is because the. has put the fire under the private sector and the f.d.a. get t 92 authorizations to to clippingal trials faster than ever. i think i got two questions for me to do. i enjoyed speaking with you all. have a great weekend, and i like your pink blazer. >> a little while later the president left for camp david, maryland. house minority leader, kevin marc mccarthy, mark meadows and several other house g.o.p. lawmakers plan to join the president there over the weekend.
-boarding marine one, the president stopped to talk briefly with reporters gathered on the south lawn. >> we will be going to camp david. we have a lot of meetings scheduled. i think they will be very successful meetings. we are getting a lot of gear out. we are getting a lot of fwouns out and protective equipment. the governors have all been very thankful. we received a lot of calls today from governors. they are very first half for the job we are doing, and that is good. do you have any questions? [inaudible question]