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White House Daily Briefing. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired July 27, 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] THOMAS HOMAN, ACTING DIRECTOR, ICE: -- broad range of criminal activity, including murder, extortion, narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, human smuggling, and other crimes with a nexus of border security. Since the beginning of January of this year, ICE's Homeland Security investigation has already arrested 3,311 gang members across the country, a number of targeted operation. I'll speak just about two. Project New Dawn, a recent gang search led by ICE has netted 1,378 gang arrests. Operation Matador up in New York state since May 9, has netted over 100 gang members and affiliates, the vast majority of MS-13 members. Make no mistake, organized violent transnational gangs threaten the safety of our communities, not just in major metropolitan areas but in our suburbs like Suffolk County in New York where I'll be joining the president tomorrow to discuss this have issue.
Let me share just a couple of examples that demonstrate the violence of these criminals. Recently, two MS-13 members who were juveniles arrested as parted of Operation Matador have been implicated in the quadruple homicide of four young adults in New York. An additional MS-13 arrest admitted to being complicit in homicides of two juvenile females. Multiple other Operation Matador MS-13 arrests have led to admissions of narcotics trafficking, weapons smuggling, and intelligence and other unsolved crimes in the region. The proliferation of MS-13 remains an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere. Our efforts to eradicate gangs such as this are much more effective in areas where our partnership with local law enforcement is the strongest.
As I said, the last time I was here, I cannot stress enough our operations are more effective when there are strong local partnerships supporting them. Sanctuary cities' policies only make it more difficult if not impossible for ICE to remove known gang members and other criminal aliens who are in this country with all the additional opportunity to commit additional crimes. As I said when I was here a month ago, cooperation is critical. It is often state and local law enforcement, not ICE, that first come into contact with transnational gang members. Together, through partnership, we can keep our streets safe. Together, our gang is bigger than theirs. In addition to making our community safer, the intelligence gathered from operations targets MS-13 helps our agents and investigators continue their efforts to fully dismantle these global criminal enterprises. In the command-and-control structure in El Salvador to the street members walking our communities and everybody in between.
In closing, I'll say this. The progress we're making would not be possible without the brave and dedicated men and women of ICE. These are professionals, American patriots, who leave the safety of their homes and their families every day to help keep us safe, to keep people safe they'll never meet. And I am honored and proud to represent them here today.
With that, I'll take questions.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In Montgomery County, there have been MS-13 activity and when they have prosecuted them there, they have said that the members of MS-13, some of them are citizens, and to get help from the immigrant community where they are being -- where they're plaguing, the plague is on the immigrant community, they have not been successful because they're afraid of being taken out of the country, that you're going to deport them. So for those in the immigrant community who are being taken advantage of, do you guys -- are you going to offer any type of support for those who are not involved in MS-13 who come forward to assist law enforcement? Because local law enforcement says that's the largest problem they have in getting people to come forward. They think they're going to be deported.
HOMAN: Well, you all can help with that message, right? The mis- messaging that ICE is out there doing, neighborhood raids and roadblocks and things that we were being accused of doing. We got to get the message straight. ICE prioritizes our arrested based on criminal threats, national security, those who violate immigration laws. However, if they're a victim or witness, we're not looking for victims or witnesses. I believe that these, especially MS-13, they victimize the very communities in which they live, so if the immigrant community is being victimized, they don't want them in the community either. They should be safe to go to law enforcement, report the crime. We do not target victims of crime. As a matter of fact, there's actually benefits to victims of crimes through the immigration process, so they should be feel safe to go and report criminal activity and we're going to target the most violent criminals, not the witness, not the victims, to remove them and we need their help. We need the community's help and we need local law enforcement's help, especially county jails that will have an MS-13 booked in that jail. They get released back into the streets. We need cooperation from local law enforcement.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But you're saying point-blank you're not going to take advantage to have the immigrant communities who are victims, right?
HOMAN: Taking advantage of immigrants?
[14:35:05] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: If they're victims, they're not going to be deported.
HOMAN: We need the immigrant community to assist us in identifying the most heinous criminals, and that's MS-13. It's a most violent gang out there. So again, I'll say this again. If there's a victim of crime, and they come forward, we're not looking to arrest the victim of crime. We're looking to arrest the bad guy, right? Now let me make this clear. My saying there's a population of illegal immigrants are off the table, I'm not saying that but victims of crime have certain protections and they need to take full advantage of those protections.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have an account for how many people who are actually part of the MS-13 in cities across the country and what has the reaction been from sanctuary cities to the new policy that was announced earlier this week by the attorney general, and if you could speak broadly about obviously the president's been very critical of the attorney general recently. He is overseeing everything that you're talking about. Has that criticism in any way impacted your ability, federal law enforcement's ability to do their jobs?
HOMAN: That's a lot of questions. I can tell you that thousands of MS-13 members in the country and that number changes every day depending on who we deport and who sticks in the country. As far as sanctuary cities, I don't know how they feel but I'll say it once again. Sanctuary cities are a criminal's biggest friend. If you're an alien smuggler, and you're smuggling people in this country for a living, that is one sales pitch. We can get you to a sanctuary city where that city will help shield you from immigration. So you know, I've said it every time I speak I say it. Sanctuary cities need to help us keep the communities safe. Sanctuary cities not only endanger public safety, they endanger my law enforcement officers because when we can't get a criminal alien, violent alien out of a county jail, it means one of our officers will knock on the door, which anybody in law enforcement knows that's one of the most dangerous things to do. So rather than arresting a violent criminal in the safety, security, and privacy of a county jail, we got to go knock on a door. We got to arrest them in a community. The community's put at risk, our officers are put at risk and the alien himself is put at risk. We've got to start thinking about public safety and the men and women of ICE, the men and women of the border patrol, who we've lost many over the years at the hands of violent criminal aliens. We've got to join forces with these cities. These cities have to work with us to keep the community safe.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Anything on the attorney general?
HOMAN: What was the question on the attorney general?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The fact that the president's been criticizing him recently, has that in any way impacted your ability, federal law enforcement's ability to do their job.
HOMAN: ICE is going to do our job. We're going to continue to enforce the law. The attorney general is a strong supporter of immigration enforcement and so is the president. Nothing's going to change the way we do our business. The men and women of ICE are professionals. We'll keep enforcing the law within the orders of the executive order.
Sir? UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The administration also told the country to prioritize criminal gangs. Are you telling the country now that it didn't? And if you're not, what is different about your approach as compared to the previous administration's approach with MS-13 and those gangs like it?
HOMAN: Well, I can tell you that the administration prioritizes national security threats, but the difference is, for those that criminal aliens get booked into county jail, on the prior administration, they needed a conviction before we could even put a detainer on them coming in our custody. That's not necessary anymore. If you've been arrested for a serious crime and you're in a county jail, we're going to drop a detainer and take the person into custody.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What does that mean, dropping a detainer?
HOMAN: We're asking the local jurisdiction to hang on to them until we can take custody of them when they're done with you.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Has that proven effective?
HOMAN: Yes. We got more jurisdictions coming to the table now. You know, the story is, we got sanctuary cities here and there, but more jurisdictions, more law enforcement are coming to the table now that 287 agreements. We already doubled those agreements under this administration. I expect to triple those agreements by tend of the year. Most law enforcement agrees with what I'm saying up here. The street cops want to identify the threats to the community and get them out of the community. These people are not welcome in the communities and local law enforcement are teaming up with us. The operation in New York City, we work with Nassau County, Suffolk County, NYPD, all these jurisdictions want to get the criminal element out of the neighborhoods. The immigrant communities themselves don't want these people in their communities. We all should be on the same page here. But again, you know, New York City, one of those places where we can't get into Ryker's Island and put our hands-on people. When it comes to gang members, gang members walk out of county jails of sanctuary cities every day across this country. That's what we need to change.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How are things -- how are suspected gang members being identified for ICE enforcement? Is it just through local law enforcement? Are there databases that you're using? Like how do you know how to find these gang members?
[14:40:04] HOMAN: Local law enforcement, they're usually the ones that, you know, they have the most intelligence on gang members. As far as what we look for to find gang members, I would rather not discuss that because I certainly don't want to share that information with the gang members who may be watching and say, we'll just do this a little bit different. There's a myriad of factors. We don't arrest people for the way they look. I've seen media accounts about people with tattoos and clothing. That is one of many, many factors we look at. So it's are really quite law enforcement sensitive how we identify, target, and locate gang members so the men and women of ICE are well trained, other federal agencies, whether it's the bureau of Suffolk County, Nassau County, they do this for a living. They're professionals. They look at a lot of factors, including database checks but I'd rather not share the factors we all consider to look at that because I don't want to share that with the criminal element who may be watching this program.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: That you said victims of crimes who are immigrants will not be targeted. In February, your agency detained a woman in El Paso, physical examination in Texas, who was seeking a protective order against a domestic abuser. Can you say now that your agency will not be doing that again. And if it's been done in the past, why -- I mean, why should we believe you that it won't be done in the future?
HOMAN: That case you're talking about, you obviously don't know all the facts that I do. That is not the way -- there's much more to that story than you're presenting here today. I can tell you that was a solid arrest, and it's under litigation. I can't give you all the information I have. That was a good arrest. That was a public safety arrest. And I can't say anymore because it's in litigation.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You focused and the president's going to focus tomorrow on the most violent gangs, MS-13, and suggesting that that's what ICE is focused on. I'm reading a story here from just last month that said the biggest number that ICE arrests are up of illegal immigrants and the sharpest spike is seen for non-criminals. I think the other side of the issue would say that ICE and this administration really is going after non-criminals and just using these moments to sort of suggest otherwise. What do you say about that?
HOMAN: It's ridiculous. I mean, under prior administration, non- criminals were not a priority. So when you go from zero to 100, of course you're going to see the biggest rise in that. The executive orders are clear. Anybody who reads the executive orders, no population is off the table. So non-criminals, yeah, those that have a court order from a judge that refuse to leave, we're looking for them. Those that enter the country illegally, that's a crime and when they get their due process, at great taxpayer expense, billions of dollars spent on border security, immigration court, detention, so when they get their due process and a federal judge orders them removed, that order needs to mean something or the whole system has no integrity. Nowhere else in law enforcement has anybody asked law enforcement agencies to ignore a judge's order from a bench. They've had their due process. Our job is to enforce those orders and that's what we do.
And for the people that say that we concentrate too much on those that are not criminals beyond them committing a crime of entering the country illegally, they've not committed yet another crime, you should ignore them. They've been here, let them go. That message drives what happened in San Antonio. That message drives what happened in Victoria, Texas that I investigated back in 2003. If we send a message that you get into the country, by the Border Patrol, and don't get arrested, that is a magnet. That is a pull factor. We got to stop that messaging. We got to tell people it's not OK to violate the laws of this country. You can't want to be a part of this country and not respect its laws. You can't have it both ways.
So until we get that message clear that there is no safe haven here and if you're in sanctuary cities, that's where we send additional resources to look for you at home and place of employment, we're going to enforce the law. We got to stop sending the message that people that don't commit yet another crime should be forgotten, don't enforce the law.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You said you needed cooperation of local communities, you hear that a lot from law enforcement, and including American immigrants, families that are maybe have mixed situations. President Trump the other day called in a speech in Ohio twice referred to criminal gang members as animals. I think there are some who would say that's sort of another attempt to paint broader swaths of immigrants as criminal and violent. He wasn't that specific about who he was talking about, necessarily, and I'm wondering if you think that kind of rhetoric is appropriate or whether that could set back some of your efforts in trying to convince community members to work with your department.
[14:44:46] HOMAN: As a career law enforcement officer, I can tell you that criminal aliens are a threat, not only to public safety but to national security. We got to enforce the laws. The men and women of ICE do it in a professional manner. And I share with you the last time I was here why it's so important to let the folks know in central America and Mexico, let those that want to come to the United States, if they find themselves in a sanctuary city, why it's so important that they should not make that dangerous trek. In 33 years of doing this job, these are criminal organizations that transport these people into the country. The same organizations, the same illicit pathways that smuggle drugs and weapons and smuggle people that want to do harm to this country. And by continuing to ignore that segment of the illegal population, we are bankrolling these criminal organizations. Sanctuary cities, that's an alien smuggler's best friend. That's their best advertisement.
And I'm tell you, what I've seen in my career, I've seen people that were killed for not paying their smuggling fee. I've seen -- we've talked to women that have been raped, children that have been molested, people that have been killed. I shared with media yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona, during the hostage crisis several years ago, people couldn't pay their fees, the fees would double. We rescued one man who was duct taped from head to toe. He whole face and head were duct taped and there was hold poked in the mouth with a straw so he could breath for two days. When I was in Victoria, Texas, I found a tractor-trailer with a 5-year-old that suffered. What do you think the 5-year-old went through the last 30 minutes of his life? What do you think the father went through, knowing he couldn't help him because they're in the back of a tractor-trailer?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
HOMAN: I'm not calling anybody an animal. I'm saying there's those that break the law and those that don't. You have to respect the laws of this country. There's millions of people that are members of the society that entered this country the right way. And that's what we need to push. We need to push entering -- there's a legal way and an illegal way. We got to be pushing the legal message out there and stop sending this message that if you don't commit yet another crime, beyond the crime you committed when you came into this country that, it's OK to be here. It's not OK to be here illegally. It's not OK to violate the laws of this country.
We're going to enforce the law. That is why -- and with everything you're reading right now and all these horrific events, that's why we need more -- we need the 10,000 officers that President Trump has promised so we can go after these gangs even harder and the criminal alien population. We need the border wall. Border wall is one more tool in the toolbox that might prevent some things from happening. That is why what President Trump is asking us to do, that is why what he's proposing for border security makes sense to the law enforcement community, the 20,000 men and women that work at ICE, the 20,000 border patrol agents that wear the uniform and step on the front lines every day, we need this help. We need these executive orders to make sense of what we do every day.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thanks so much, Tom. We really appreciate it.
Thank you, Tom, Rob.
Just like the dedicated men and women of ICE and DOJ, who are unquestionably producing results every day, Senate Republicans now have an opportunity this evening to deliver on one of our biggest promises to the American people. On the Hill, the Senate is gearing up for a series of votes on the Republican plans to finally repeal and replace Obamacare and replace it with the freedom health care bill. Congressional Republicans have been telling the American people that given the chance, they would save them from this increasing damage of this disastrous law. After seven years of skyrocketing premiums and dwindling health care options, now is their chance to act. The president looks forward to seeing the Senate fulfill that promise later tonight when they finally repeal Obamacare and end the nightmares it has caused for American families and businesses.
I hate to start the Q&A off on a low note, but I want to get ahead of some of the personnel-related questions. And just to let you guys know ahead of time that, no, I cannot confirm whether or not Sean Spicer will be on "Dancing with the Stars" upon leaving the White House.
And with that, I will take your questions.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, does the president have confidence in his chief of staff?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, I think I've addressed this question when it comes to staffing and personnel many times that if the president doesn't, then he'll make that decision. We all serve at the pleasure of the president, and if it gets to a place where that isn't the case, he'll let you know.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you can't say right now if the president has full confidence in chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think I just answered that. Look, I think what we have, this is a White House that has a lot of different perspectives, because the president hires the very best people. They're not always going to agree. There are going to be a lot of different ideas, unlike previous administrations, this isn't group think. We all come and have a chance to voice those ideas, voice those perspectives and have a lot of healthy competition, and with that competition, you usually get the best results. The president likes that type of competition and encourages it. The people that are here are here because they love the president, they love this country, and they want to see the best things happen. And sometimes you're going to have different ideas come to the table. That's all we're talking about.
[14:50:19] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But this public humiliation of both the attorney general and now the chief of staff left a kind of wonder about their own fate and status within this administration.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don't know that the president's spoken about that particularly on Attorney General Sessions. Look, he's been clear that he was disappointed with his decision to recuse himself. But at the same time, as I've said, look, Attorney General Sessions knows better than anybody that the president and his campaign had nothing to do with Russia, and his decision to recuse himself was disappointing to the president. At the same time, the president wants him to do his job, do it properly, be tough on the intelligence leaks, and he wants him to move forward.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Lindsey Graham says there will be holy hell to pay if Attorney General Sessions is fired. What does the president say to that?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: You know what? I haven't asked him about Lindsey Graham's comments.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The Pentagon has announced that the president's statements via Twitter did not change the transgender policy in the military and that the White House actually has to issue a policy directive to the secretary of defense to make that change happen. So two questions. Does the president plan to do so? And if so, how will that affect transgender troops that are currently serving?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: As I said yesterday, the White House will work with the Department of Defense and all of the relevant parties to make sure that we fully implement this policy moving forward and do so in a lawful manner. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What is the policy and was the president aware
that he can't make policy changes via statements on Twitter? Because the Pentagon is saying --
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think he was making the announcement of the policy change.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So the policy hasn't yet been formulated?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Well, like I said, they are going to have to work out the details on how that all moves forward to lawfully implement that policy change from this point.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, thank you. Moving on to health care, you talked about how Senate Republicans have the chance tonight to really undo Obamacare, but it seems like the thing that's most likely to get through is this skinny repeal and that would maybe get rid of the mandate and some other things but it's not the massive overhaul that had been promised. So, would the White House support just a skinny repeal, that being signed into law?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: We certainly support progress moving forward and that's what we're seeing taking place in the Senate right now. And I think that that's the place with we've been since we started this, is we're looking for moving the ball forward down the field, repealing and replacing it with a better health care system, and this is one step within that process.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But does the White House believe that a skinny repeal on its own would be enough to address the issues of rising premiums and deductibles and things like that? Would the president sign just a skinny repeal?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Well, we've got to see what they get to tonight. We haven't seen a final piece of legislation. We're continuing to work with the Senate to make sure we get the best health care we can.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I want to ask two questions, one about the president's management style and one about immigration enforcement. On the president's management style, is the president aware that occasionally, days like yesterday when he had a big jobs announcement he wanted to roll out that his seemingly impulsive decisions to make an announcement on transgender troops steps on his own message? Is the president aware of that dynamic and is he interested in changing that?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think the president's aware that he can walk and chew gum at the same time. This is a White House that takes on a lot of different things every day, not just one, and we're going to continue to do that moving forward.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: On immigration, I had a question.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Sorry. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So, this week, when the president spoke in Ohio, he spoke about MS-13 and he gave a litany of the violence that they're capable of. And then he said, our guys are rougher than their guys. What was -- what did the president mean by that?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think the president means that our guys are going to do whatever it takes to protect Americans, protect American lives, protect our borders.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is that a license for the use of more force when it comes to making arrests against MS-13?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, the president wants people to do their jobs, not go beyond the scope of what they should do. But he wants to protect our country. He wants to protect American people. And he's asked the law enforcement agencies to step up and help be part of that process, as I think we would all expect for them to.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does he want law enforcement agencies to change the rules of the use of force when it comes to making arrests against MS-13?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I'm not aware of any specific changes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Anthony Scaramucci was on CNN today talking about Reince Priebus. He said, quote, "If he wants to prove he's not a leaker, let him do it." Does he think that Reince Priebus is a leaker or does the White House? Does the president think that Reince is leaking?
[14:55:12] HUCKABEE SANDERS: I'm not going to comment on Anthony's suggestion. I'll let him answer for himself. I think I made pretty clear where the president is, and I don't have anything to add beyond that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does the president believe that tax overhaul should increase the budget deficit or should it be revenue neutral?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Look, we're continuing to make announcements on the details of the tax reform plan, as I'm sure you all saw, there was a joint statement that came out earlier today, and we're making a lot of progress on this front as we get closer to ling out the final details, we'll certainly be putting those out in front of all of you. The big pieces are simplification and helping take off the relief for the middle class. Those are big places that we're really focused and we're going to continue to do that. The border adjustment tax was taken off the table and that's another big step forward in the process.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sarah, can I ask you quickly about Anthony Scaramucci, a little bit of housekeeping?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Only if you do it quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Fine.
Has he taken an oath of office?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I'm sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Has Anthony Scaramucci taken an oath of office?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Have his security clearances gone through yet?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: As always, we do not discuss clearances.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is he an official member of the White House staff?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: He is working at the White House. But on your other questions, I can't answer that.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: We're going to go with one-question Thursday because we're tight on time. The president's got an --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Let me ask you about the Boy Scouts, if I can.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I'm going to go to John. Sorry, Peter.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you, Sarah. I do have to ask you about the health care bill. Many who were in the Freedom Caucus say that they would oppose the skinny repeal that was referred to earlier, that if a measure came out with just, oh, ending the mandates and ending the tax on medical devices, that that would -- and not addressing anything else, they'd vote against it. Is the president aware of this? And is he making any calls for specific parts of the repeal effort?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, the administration's been working hand in hand on pushing repeal and replace of Obamacare. We actually like the term Freedom Bill a lot better because we think it addresses what this bill actually is. It removes a lot of those mandates that allow people to have the type of freedom, have states have the freedom that they want, and that was one of the big priorities for this administration. We're, you know, happy about that progress. And we're going to wait and see where this bill ends up later this evening.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thanks a lot, Sarah. Is the president, just to follow up on what John just asked you, I don't think you got do that particular part of the question. Is the president picking up the phone? Is he calling those seven or eight Republican Senators, making the case for them that this may be their last best hope for repealing and replacing Obamacare, and if he is, what's his message to those particular Senators?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: The same one he's been making all along, let's get the job done, let's replace a terrible health care system with a better one, and he's going to be engaged. And I'll keep you posted on any specifics and people that he talks to.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: All of those Republican Senators appeared at the White House last week, Sarah.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Sorry, guys, we're real tight on time. I'm going to keep you to one question. Let's be polite to your colleagues.
Go ahead, Peter.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Anthony Scaramucci said this morning that the president might veto the Russia sanctions bill, even though Senator Corker has now withdrawn his objection in the same version we've seen from the House is going to be up for the Senate vote. Is that, in fact, possible? Would he veto a bill that passed with just three negative votes in the House and two negative votes in the Senate?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: As I said yet yesterday, the president, the administration supports sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. We continue to support strong sanctions against those countries. And we'll wait and see what that final legislation looks like and make a decision at that point.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
HUCKABEE SANDERS: As soon as we have a final piece of legislation, we'll let you know.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In terms of working with the DOD on this new policy, how long is it going to be?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don't have a specific time line. But I believe they're going to start moving on it quickly. But we'll keep you posted as those details come out. Again, I don't have a specific time line on what that looks like. But I know that they're ready to start moving and work on that implementation. Major?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Several Senate Republicans have sent signals to this White House, one, don't make a recess because we're not going to allow it. Two, there's not going to be a confirmation hearing if there's a new attorney general nominated. There is a signal being sent, don't do what we fear you might be contemplating. Can you, for the betterment of the Senate Republicans, who are working with this White House on a lot of issues, put to rest once and for all the status of the attorney general. He's not going to be fired. There's not going to be any recess appointment. And this issue can be laid to rest for the country and for Senate Republicans, who appear, based on their public statements, to be anxious about this prospect.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I guess I'm not sure of how many times you lay an issue to --