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White House Daily Briefing. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired June 6, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But we know that we have an unsettled and despondent president, to a great degree, who is complaining about this Russia investigation. And it seems to kind of -- this kind of grievance informs everything that he does. And when Sean goes out there in a few minutes, he's performing for one person, and that's the president of the United States, who will be watching him and who will be critiquing his performance in his defense of the president. So largely caused, as most of these things are, by the president himself.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It will be interesting to hear the messaging when Sean Spicer comes out. He always presents them before the media.
The president is going to meet with the GOP leadership in both the House as well as the Senate coming up at 3:00, which is when that meeting is supposed to happen, and they are supposed to talk about domestic agenda items.
But, John Kirby, it's kind of interesting that the president is working on the domestic agenda. We've got the Russia investigation, the things happening overseas, all of these happening all at once and it seems like the president is stalled on a lot of levels in terms of really accomplishing what he has said he wants to accomplish. He says he's going to win here, he's going to win there. He's getting a lot of push back not just from members of his own party but from members overseas, our allies.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: The world gets in the way, doesn't it? Things happen. Every president and every commander-in-chief has to deal with events, crises, and foreign relations predicaments around the world on a daily basis. And the thing is, back to his Twitter habit, even the world getting in the way would be manageable if he wasn't also then exacerbating some of these tensions and making them harder and distracting the work that his diplomats and his military leaders are trying to get done by getting on Twitter in an unscripted and undisciplined fashion.
On this Qatar thing, he's actually starting to unwind now some of the positive feedback and some of the progress that he might have started to be making when he went to Riyadh.
CABRERA: Does it hurt that he doesn't have a lot of his State Department positions filled?
KIRBY: Sure, it does. Look, there's six months into this now and it's really astounding how few ambassadors, political ambassadors they have nominated him on the way. Now it's true that they are having some problems getting people through Congress, and I get that. But when you have political talent -- and it's at the Pentagon, too -- you run the risk of not having good policy oversight and a good policy development process in place for the careerists, whether they are military or foreign service officers, who are doing a great job in the interim, but they need that policy oversight. They need to know that there's a linkage back to the White House, and that's not happening. Our allies and partners know that, too. They know that, absent some policy oversight and some guidance given to them from a political perspective, there's a limit to how much they will be able to get done. It's making it harder for us, I think over the long term, to deal with this in a strategic way.
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: If I may add --
CABRERA: Go ahead.
ZELDIN: The same thing occurs in the Justice Department. You saw yesterday the president really went after the attorney general, saying that he shouldn't have recused himself and they never should have moved away from the first travel ban. When he fired the U.S. attorneys, he was afraid. He fired all U.S. attorneys essentially and said we don't want those carry-over Obama people there. There's been almost no appointments of new U.S. attorneys. And that's problematic.
CABRERA: Michael, from a law enforcement standpoint, because of the Russia investigation, do you think that there's hesitation to make big moves in the Justice Department because of the Russia investigation, because there could be implications one way or another?
ZELDIN: Well, I think that people would like to work in the Justice Department. I think that they have a high regard for the type of work that you can do in the Justice Department. I'm a little more surprised about the U.S. attorneys in the field offices. Why are there new names not being put forth? Because that's a critical part of the complete overlay of justice implementation of policy across the United States.
[13:34:50] CABRERA: Michael, Sean Spicer is taking the podium. Sorry to interrupt. Let's listen in.
[14:34:55] SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Good afternoon.
I want to begin by taking a moment to recognize the more than 160,000 Allied troops who on this day in 1944 landed on the beaches of Normandy.
Thousands of Allied soldiers lost their lives and thousands more were wounded during the fight to liberate Europe from Nazi control.
SPICER: We all owe the brave troops who were involved in this critical operation an enormous debt of gratitude for the freedom that we all enjoy today. Last night, the president was truly honored, with the vice president, to host a reception, and first lady, here at the White House to pledge our love, support and undying gratitude to the Gold Star families who have experienced a similar sacrifice first-hand.
The story of every brave man and woman who has paid the ultimate price, from the opening battles of our Revolutionary War, to the ever- changing battlefields of today, is forever a part of our nation's proud history. And I hope everyone takes some time today to recognize the sacrifice that so many have made.
Now, with respect to the schedule today, later this afternoon the president will be hosting House and Senate leaders for a bicameral meeting to discuss his domestic policy agenda, specifically health care and tax reform. And later this evening, he will host a bicameral dinner of Republican members to discuss his recent overseas trip and the foreign policy challenges that he's ready to work with them to tackle.
President Trump, as you know, has already signed in 36 individual bills into law; 14 under the Congressional Review Act. He passed the repeal and replace of Obamacare through the House. And the president has embarked on a historic first trip overseas, showing how quickly and decisively he's asking -- he's acting to rebuild America's standing in the world. And we've become the first administration since 1881 to confirm a Supreme Court justice within the first 100 days.
Those are all things that I think will probably be discussed with some of these members of Congress today. And now that they're back from Memorial Day recess, we look forward to carrying on with the agenda.
On health care, as Sarah mentioned yesterday, we just don't have time to waste. Obamacare continues to collapse. I've mentioned before a third of the counties have only one provider on Obamacare. The average individual premiums have increased 105 percent on average from 2013 to 2017. And just today, Anthem, the only statewide insurer left in the state of Ohio, announced it will be pulling out of every county's Obamacare exchange, leaving 19,000 Ohioans without any options.
The American people have been saddled with a bill for Washington's inability to get this disaster taken care of. And it's simply not right for them to have to pay it any longer. It's time for us to provide them with the choice and control that all Americans want over their own health care.
The American people and the American economy have also been suffering under a burdensome, over-complicated tax system that stifles growth and takes too much money out of the pockets of working families. We're looking forward to working with Congress to change that by dramatically simplifying the system and delivering relief to middle- income earners.
Tax reform is a critical part of the president's agenda and his team is working with a wide range of stakeholders, from legislators to business leaders to long-time tax policy experts, to ensure that his plan that Congress ends up taking on will make sure that it gets to his desk so he can finally fix the system.
Later this afternoon, Director Cohn and Secretary Mnuchin will attend a listening session with business leaders from the transportation sector. This is one of about a dozen listening sessions that we plan to hold in the next couple of months with job creators in different parts of the economy, to hear about the reforms that would best allow them to thrive, expand and create well-paying jobs for American workers.
The vice president is also meeting with legislators on the Hill today to discuss these next steps on all of the above policies.
Elsewhere, the president's Cabinet remains focused on enacting his agenda in their departments and agencies. Secretary of Labor Acosta announced that the Department of Labor will strengthen its focus on preventing visa program abuse, and take every available legal action against those who abuse the program.
This includes reporting cases of criminal fraud to the Office of Inspector General; establishing a working group to coordinate the enforcement activities to maximize efficiency; using all tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce protection for the American worker provided by the visa program; and developing proposed changes to the current system to better identify violations and fraud and greater transparency.
The president obviously was elected on a promise to prioritize the American worker. And his entire team here in the White House and throughout government is working hard in their respective areas to fulfill that.
With that, I'd be glad to take a few questions.
QUESTION: Sean, moments ago, Mitch McConnell, who will be here in the next few minutes, reiterated that he is not a fan of the president's tweets. I understand, and you've explained several times, that the president likes to have this conduit where he can talk directly to the American people. But does he sometimes cross the line where his tweets become the news, become the agenda, and actually impedes his ability to get things done?
SPICER: Well, in the context of your question, I think you helped answer it.
The president is the most effective messenger on his agenda. And I think his use of social media -- he now has a collective total of close to 110 million people across different platforms -- gives him an opportunity to speak straight to the American people, which has proved to be a very, very effective tool.
QUESTION: Using it and using it wisely can be two different things.
SPICER: Right. And I think the same people who are critiquing his use of it now, critiqued it during the election and it turned out pretty well for him then.
QUESTION: Sean, let me ask you about health care.
You mentioned the meetings that are taking place. Senator Lindsey Graham said the other day that he, quote -- he was asked whether or not there will be a -- Senate will be able to get the bill together. He said, "I don't think there will be." Senator Burr said, "It's unlikely that we will get a health care deal."
So, are -- are they just misinformed? Where -- what's the difference between what Republican leadership and the White House is putting out and what some Republican senators are saying? They don't think a deal is possible at some point this year.
SPICER: Well, this is an opportunity -- I think today the president's going to talk about that when he meets with the leadership.
But they're going to work their will and I think they're all going to come together. These -- by and large, every elected Republican in the House and the Senate campaigned on this for the last seven years. And I think that they -- they will come together to make sure that they achieve the goals of lowering costs and providing greater access.
But I know there's a commitment by the leadership and the committee chairs and -- and we feel -- remain very hopeful that it's going to get done.
QUESTION: Let me ask about infrastructure.
Chuck Schumer just a little while ago called the infrastructure plan "an investment bank infrastructure plan, a Goldman Sachs plan." He said, "It is a sure loser here in Congress," his words.
Are you guys willing to commit more than the $200 billion -- the federal government -- to potentially meet Democrats whenever a bill comes forward to try to get that across the finish line?
SPICER: Well, look, I think that the American worker and our infrastructure are the president's priority, and it's putting people back to work, establishing -- fixing those roads and bridges that allow our economy to thrive and grow. He's talked -- the president that is, has talked about the impact of, you know, broken bridges and bad roads -- have an impact on the economy and the people -- the ability to -- people to deliver goods to market.
So he's going to create that public/private partnership that assures that we maximize dollars, we put people back to work and get -- get things done.
And you saw that yesterday in the air traffic control proposal that he put forward, where you had union support, you had bipartisan support.
Because the president's approach at this is that of a businessman, of understanding how you can utilize that public/private partnership to maximize dollars, put people back to work and not just transfer federal dollars to state dollars, which doesn't really do -- have the same economic impact as really engaging the private sector in this.
QUESTION: And let me ask you one question about tax reform.
Jamie Dimon said today, quoting from him, "The urgency for tax reform cannot be overstated." Here we are in the early stages of June; again nothing concrete at this point. Where is the urgency at this point from the administration?
SPICER: Well, again, that's a subject that's going to be discussed today with the leadership. Something that the president's talked about, as I just mentioned. Secretary Mnuchin and Director Cohn have been out talking to industry groups.
It's -- we haven't had comprehensive tax reform since 1986. So it is something that is -- is a big undertaking. When you're talking about the magnitude of this, both on a corporate side and on the individual side, and the impact that it's going to have on our economy and job creation, we need to get this right. We need to involve stakeholders from a variety of -- of backgrounds to make sure that we get it right, and that's what the president and his team are doing.
I want to talk -- someone asked the other day where our Skype folks are. I just want to make sure. David from Fox 29 in Philadelphia.
QUESTION: Sean, thank you so much for taking the time here. We really appreciate it here in Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley.
We do have a question about the president's budget proposal, specifically the proposal to eliminate the deductions for local and state taxes, property taxes. In New Jersey, folks reportedly pay the highest amount of property taxes in the nation. There was a Quinnipiac poll that said 57 percent of folks surveyed do not support the proposal to get rid of those deductions.
So the question is, what do you say to the folks who are worried they may take a major hit?
SPICER: Well, David, thank you for asking.
I think if you look at the principles outlined by Director Cohn and Secretary Mnuchin when they talked about the president's tax reform agenda, one of the principles was increasing the standard deduction. So for a middle-income family, you're talking about a doubling of that to $24,000.
We don't -- we estimate that about 95 percent of the folks that file now would not take individual deductions because of the increase -- the large increase that would happen. Most middle- income Americans would actually save more under the president's plan because of the large increase that would exist with respect to the standard deduction.
QUESTION: Sean? SPICER: Blake -- Trey, sorry.
QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.
Just moments ago the U.S.-led coalition announced that they've struck pro-Assad regime forces in southern Syria. Has the president been briefed on the situation?
SPICER: He has.
QUESTION: And a -- a quick follow-up question on the president's tweets: Are President Trump's tweets considered official White House statements?
SPICER: Well, the president is the president of the United States, so they're considered official statements by the president of the United States.
QUESTION: If I can follow-up on that question, is President Trump at all concerned that his tweets could be used against him at the level of the Supreme Court when the ACLU takes on the travel ban case?
SPICER: Well, I think we've made it clear with respect to that that the court should follow the law. And I think the danger is real, the law is clear and there's no question that -- that we should prevail at the Supreme Court.
QUESTION: Thank you, Sean.
Can you tell us where the president's going to be and what he's going to be doing on Thursday at 10 a.m.? Is he going to watch former Director Comey's testimony up on Capitol Hill?
SPICER: The president's got a full day on Thursday. There's an infrastructure meeting with mayors and governors to talk about what we just -- some of the -- the projects that needs to get (inaudible) -- that public/private partnership that I just discussed. He's giving a speech mid-day to the Faith and Freedom Coalition downtown.
There's going to be a very busy day, as all of his days are.
QUESTION: But is he going to watch...
SPICER: I -- look, as I just said, the president's going to have a very, very busy day. And -- as he does all the time. And I think his focus is going to be on pursuing the agenda and the priorities that he was elected to do.
I'm going to get to our second guy here, Scott Hennen at KFYR in the Dakotas.
QUESTION: Hi, Sean. Good to talk with you. I host a radio show here in, as you mentioned, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northern plains, and have the blessing of talking to listeners every day who are enormously frustrated right now with the way Washington works. Like the president they're not fond of the swamp.
I'm curious if the infrastructure debate will be different. The president focusing on that. Our governor will be part of the governors and mayors that are coming on Thursday.
Does -- does he believe infrastructure is more than roads than bridges, like UAS and drones, autonomous vehicles, pipelines, broadband, flood protection, which is all creating jobs here right now?
And will the infrastructure be better received there than the health care and tax -- tax reform debates have been so far? Might -- might it be the -- the chance you have to begin draining the swamp?
SPICER: Well, thanks for the question.
As you know, your governor will be here on Thursday, with a variety of other governors and mayors, to talk about infrastructure. And that'll be an opportunity for your governor to talk about the challenges that you guys face in -- in the Dakotas.
I know in North Dakota alone, there's several critical projects in both roads and bridges that need to get addressed, how the governor prioritizes them.
But one of the issues that has been discussed with respect to the president's infrastructure plan is creating different pools of projects that allow for innovation, allow for prioritization. And so that will be something that, again, is in partnership with localities, with states to figure out what their priorities are, what they can do to help raise the necessary funds and really do this in a business- like, innovative way.
So we've got a ways to go.
QUESTION: Sean, thank you.
In Saudi Arabia the president signed a lot of letters of intent (inaudible) the Saudis to buy American weapons. Have there been any actual contracts signed yet with Saudi Arabia? And if not, when will they?
SPICER: That's a great question. And I think the Department of Defense has the lead on that.
So, there were two sides. We've got $110 billion of defense procurement items that were military sales with Saudi Arabia initially that was totaled up to $350 billion over the next couple of years.
The immediate $110 million (sic) I believe were signed right then.
QUESTION: Actual contracts?
SPICER: I believe so. That's something that you should follow up with the Department of Defense.
The totality of that could lead to about $350 billion over the next few years. And then there's another almost -- over $350 million on the commercial side that the Department of Commerce can probably provide you a better list with the separate...
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) you're saying there are actual contracts right now (inaudible)?
SPICER: I don't -- there were -- there were agreements with the Department of Defense -- the Department of Defense took the lead on that. I don't know what was actually signed.
I know that there were two pieces of this (ph), as I mentioned, the defense side and the commercial side. You saw, at least through the pool -- the -- there was press in the room when the commercial side was done. I believe most of the defense stuff -- the initial $110 billion of the $310 (ph) I believe was upfront and done.
QUESTION: I wanted to ask about the president's tweets this morning on the Saudi-led isolation of Qatar. I had two questions.
The first was, the president seemed to be taking credit for the action, so I'm wondering if the White House actually encouraged, sort of, rupture among the Gulf states. And did the president or anyone in the administration speak to the Saudis before it happened about what was going to happen?
SPICER: This issue is not new. It's been -- there's been tension among Qatar's neighbors for quite some time. And the situation was notified through proper diplomatic channels.
The United States continues to be in close communication with all the parties to resolve the issues and restore cooperation which is so important to regional security there. I think there is note that his message of toughness on terror finance and extremism is being heeded by countries in the region.
But the U.S. still wants to see this issue deescalated and resolved immediately, keeping with the principles that the president laid out in terms of defeating terror financing and extremism.
QUESTION: There's a lot of concern from Qatar that the move, especially with (ph) support from the president, is aimed at removing the emir or his family from power. Considering the president believes the government there is financing terror groups, would regime change there be beneficial or detrimental...
SPICER: The president had a very, very constructive conversation with the emir during his visit in Riyadh. At that time, he was very heartened by the emir's commitment to formally joining the terrorist financing targeting center and showing their commitment to this -- to this issue.
QUESTION: Sean, the...
SPICER: Major, first.
QUESTION: So, you mentioned tax reform at the top. Marc Short had a little bit of trouble yesterday trying to resolve what the administration's position on revenue neutrality is. The reason I raise this is Mick Mulvaney last week was quoted as saying several folks in the White House have said they are interested in pushing a larger tax bill that would add to the deficit. That's Mick Mulvaney talking about the deliberations here, about what this ultimate package would look like.
Mark wasn't really sure yesterday about how to guide us through whether revenue neutrality is a key priority for the administration that's (inaudible) debate or not. Can you assist us?
SPICER: I think that -- that -- part of that is because there's a discussion ongoing with Congress. Director Mulvaney, Secretary Mnuchin and others; Gary Cohn are working with Congress to talk about the plan going forward. So that's a conversation, as I mentioned at the top, the president's going to have a conversation in the next several minutes with Senate -- House and Senate leadership, and that will sure be a topic that they'll discuss.
QUESTION: So deficit (inaudible) -- an increase in the deficit is something that the administration would find acceptable in tax reform?
SPICER: Well, I think -- I would put it more like this -- that there is a conversation that is going to go on with Congress about how to proceed and it's not -- at this time, I'm not going to get in front of that -- that discussion.
QUESTION: OK. Sarah said yesterday in response to a question about who it was that changed the president's NATO speech, taking out the Article 5 language, that she would check on that and get back to us. I know you didn't make that commitment, but she did. Can you give us an answer to that question?
SPICER: I don't -- I don't have that -- I don't know. So I'll ask Sarah to follow up with you.
QUESTION: Can you -- can you confirm that that in fact is what happened? That there was one speech and a different one that was prepared late in the process, and that speech did in fact take some of those who believed they were aware of the first speech by surprise?
SPICER: I think as we commented before, the president's speech at the top talked about Article 5. We were at a NATO Article 5 commemoration. The idea that we would recommit ourselves to something that we were clearly there to celebrate seems a bit silly, but I don't know about the contents of the speech.
But I think, frankly, it's a bit of a silly discussion because, as we addressed at the time, the president's presence at an Article 5 commemoration and his discussion about NATO invoking Article 5 for the first time ever after 9/11, pretty much speaks for itself in terms of our commitment to both NATO and all 13 articles that make up being part of that treaty.
QUESTION: Would it be a silly exercise to find out exactly what happened?
SPICER: Well, again, there's a lot of things that happened...
QUESTION: ... reporting that there was one version and another version was delivered. And that...
SPICER: ... I understand, but I would argue that there's a lot of things that go on behind the scenes in terms of every speech, every meeting the president has in terms of preparation. And until the president gets a version that he feel is appropriate on any number of subjects, it's not appropriate for us to go out there and share.
But I will follow up with Sarah on that thing, but I think to the broader point is that the president remains entirely committed to NATO and to all of the articles, not just Article 5.
QUESTION: Last question, how would you describe the president's level of confidence in the attorney general, Jeff Sessions?
SPICER: I have not had a discussion with him about that.
QUESTION: Last time you said that, there was a development.
SPICER: I'm asking -- I'm answering a question, which is I have not had that discussion with him.
QUESTION: ... has confidence in his attorney general?
SPICER: I said I have not had a discussion with him on the question. I don't -- if I haven't had a discussion with him about a subject, I tend not to speak about it.
QUESTION: Sean, the Chinese government has rejected a call from the State Department to release three activists who are detained in the Chinese shoe company...
QUESTION: ... (inaudible) for Ivanka Trump and others. Did the White House have any specific comment on these detentions? Does the president, does Ivanka Trump want these people to leave (ph)?
SPICER: I think the State Department has made it very clear the U.S. position on that. We'll continue to exert the proper diplomatic pressure on that.
SPICER: It's a -- it's a State Department issue and I would suggest that you follow up with them.
QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.
SPICER: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Hold on. (inaudible).
QUESTION: Sean, London's mayor is saying that the president should no longer come on a state visit there. Are there any plans at this point? Has he been invited?
SPICER: He has. He's been...
QUESTION: Is he still intending to visit at some point?
SPICER: He appreciates Her Majesty's gracious invitation.
QUESTION: Thank you, Sean. Two on -- on Afghanistan.
Before the foreign trip -- the president's first foreign trip, senior officials were telling us that you guys would unveil the results of the Afghan review and the president's decision-making after the foreign trip. Do you have a -- a timeline for us? When can we expect this announcement?
SPICER: I think the president will continue to discuss that with Secretary Mattis, General McMaster and others. And when -- when he feels as though he's comfortable with a plan that -- that he wants to push forward, we'll let you know.
QUESTION: And what does victory look like in Afghanistan?
SPICER: I think a stable government, us free from threats. And that's -- again, I think we've commented on that before. We want to make sure that we root out all forms of terrorism and provide stability in the region.
QUESTION: Sean, yesterday there was a first case of a leaker (inaudible) administration being arrested (inaudible) the Justice Department announced (inaudible)? And it seems pretty clear from reading your social media posts that she is an opponent of the president and his policies.
First of all, was the president made aware, did he have a reaction to this arrest?
SPICER: I don't know. And as you guys know, with respect to all kind of ongoing investigations, we would never comment on an ongoing investigation.
That being said, I think that you've heard the president very clearly talk about the concern that he has about unauthorized disclosures of classified and sensitive information and the threat that they can pose to national security.
So while I don't want to comment on any specific case or allegation, I think it is important to note that any disclosure of classified or sensitive information can clearly threaten our national security.
QUESTION: Thanks so much, Sean.
You have said on many occasions on the podium that the president's tweet speaks for itself. Yesterday, in a series of tweets, the president faulted the Department of Justice for its defense of the president's executive order on immigration.
Given that he has faulted the DOJ, does he also fault the person who leads the DOJ, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions?
SPICER: I think I've answered that question...
QUESTION: But -- but...
QUESTION: Thank you -- thank you.
Despite what you -- what you have said today and...
SPICER: You stole John Gizzi's question.
QUESTION: Oh you said John? I'm sorry... (CROSSTALK)
QUESTION: Sorry, John.
Despite what you just said about the (inaudible) Persian Gulf, it's clear the president's taking sides in this. Why?
SPICER: In what way?
QUESTION: He -- he said today on Twitter, "All references pointing to Qatar, perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism."
SPICER: Well, I think as I -- I mean, I commented on this, he's noting the message on toughness on terror financing...
QUESTION: So you believe that Qatar is to blame (ph)?
SPICER: No, that's -- that's not what I said.
I -- I think he had a very productive discussion with the emir during his visit in Riyadh. He was very pleased that they joined with the other Gulf nations in their support of the Terror (ph) Financing Center, to (inaudible). And he's pleased with the movements taken.
But obviously he is very concerned about terror financing and stomping out ISIS and all forms of terrorism.
QUESTION: Thank you, Sean. (inaudible) questions.
First, is the president comfortable with Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor? And does he believe that a president has the right to replace the special prosecutor if he or she exceeds his mandate in that position?
SPICER: I literally have not had that kind of -- I have not discussed that with the president.
QUESTION: All right.
My other question is this. On Sunday, the president put out a very forceful commemoration of the Battle of Midway 70 years ago. He did not know anything about the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square in China, the uprising, the building of the Goddess of Liberty. Is there going to be any statement about the brave uprising in China of a quarter century ago?
SPICER: I'll look into that, John, for you.
With those guys, I know the (inaudible) and the House and Senate leadership are here, so thank you guys very much.
[14:59:33] CABRERA: I'm Ana Cabrera. You've been watching the White House press briefing as the president is scheduled to meet with top- ranking lawmakers any minute now about his agenda, an agenda his own aides admit are stalled, hampered by investigations on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.
A few headlines coming out of that briefing. Let's talk about them with CNN senior political analyst, Mark Preston.
I want to start with you.
Again, the question about whether the tweets from President Trump, are they official statements. Here is how Sean Spicer answered that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR TRUMP ADVISOR: This obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little as president --