*From:* "Johnson, Jenna" <email@example.com>
*Date:* November 23, 2017 at 11:10:49 AM EST *Subject:* *Pool Report No. 7b*
Below is a rough transcript from the presidents visit to theCoast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet this morning. Again, big-league thanks to co-pooler Emily Cochrane of the New York Times for assistance with transcribing.
POTUS: It is an honor to be here, I have to tell you. You know, the Coast Guard, always respected, but if you were looking at it as a brand, theres no brand that went up more than the Coast Guard, with what happened in Texas.
And I would say in particular, Texas has been incredible. You saved 16,000 lives. Nobody knows that. 16,000 lives. In fact, when I first heard the number, I said you mean like, 600? 500? 16,000 lives in Texas. So, as bad as that hurricane was, and that was a bad one, that was a big water job, right. It kept coming in and going back again, couldnt get rid of it. Theyve never seen I guess its the biggest water dump theyve ever seen. But, when you get 16,000 (the president turned around to face the Coast Guard members standing behind, before facing the rest of the room again) good group of people (scattered laughter).
But when you do 16,000, thats really something. And then Florida hit, and you know that one very well. You did that one pretty well, right, the job you did in Florida. And then Puerto Rico.
And I really mean that. I think that there is no brand of any kind, Im not just talking about a military branch that has gone up more than the Coast Guard. Incredible people, youve done an incredible job, and I love coming in here and doing this for you today. I think its well, we have to keep you very well fed (scattered laughter)so this is good stuff. But its an honor.
And the First Lady, you know
FLOTUS: Happy Thanksgiving. (There was a murmured, collection of thank yous and Happy Thanksgivings in response)
POTUS: "We went, we went together to Texas, and we saw what you were doing. And you just followed that storm, right next to that storm, and you just, you saved so many people. I still havent figured out how people take their boats out into a hurricane (laughter from the Coast Guard members). Some day youll explain it Gene (spelling unknown at the moment) was just telling me that they actually do it to save their boat in many cases. But theyre not thinking about their life, theyre thinking about their boats. And, I dont know, I mean they go out in a boat and they think, I guess, theyre you know, theyve got a wonderful boat, theyve had it for years, it can weather anything and then they have 25-foot wavesand that would be the end of them. But, so you saved a lot of people. And I just want to thank you on behalf of the whole country and on behalf of us.
What a job youve done, and thank you all very much. And Ill also take questions if you have them.
Now, should we leave the media here to do the questions? (Laughter).you know what, its Thanksgiving, so lets let the media stay.
Anybody have any questions about the country, how were doing, or any of those things?
two seconds of silence, the Coast Guard members glanced around, the president looked around the room
I love it when you dont. (Laughter) See, that means youre doing great. I love that. Thats the greatest.
The press, I know, doesnt have any questions. If you do, we wont take them, but thats OK. (Laughter) The press has plenty of questions.
But the countrys doing really well. Stock market, all time high. This is all good stuff. I just spoke to a lot of your friends in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and we spoke to the USS Monteray, great ship, great missile ship. Spoke to a lot of different folks from the Air Force, the Army, just now, a little while ago at Mar-a-lago.
The telecommunications systems, what you can do now. You go live to Iraq, live to Afghanistan, and its really incredible. But I told them, our country is doing great. You folks are fighting so hard, and working so hard. And its nice that youre working for something thats really starting to work.
Weve cut back so much on regulation, and all the waste, and all the abuse. And the stock market on Friday hit an all-time high. The highest its ever been ever. (The president then pointed to a young boy, standing behind the table, and a few people chuckled). Your whole long life, the stock markets higher than its ever been (As he said this, the president, with his index finger, pointed at the boy,and moved it up and down, from his head to feet). And that means your 401(k)s, your all of the things that you have, whether its even if youre in the military, you have a country thats really starting to turn. We want to have a strong country. We want to have a country, where I can buy new Coast Guard cutters, and not have to worry about it, alright. And thats what were doing, were building up wealth, so that we can take care of our protection.
Were ordering tremendous amounts of new equipment were at 700 billion dollars for the military. And, you know, they were cutting back for years. They just kept cutting, cutting, cutting the military. And you got lean, to put it nicely it was depleted, was the word. And now its changing.
Trump then noted that the Navy is ordering new ships, the Air Force is ordering a lot of planes, including one thats almost like an invisible fighter. He said that he discussed this new plane with some Air Force guys and asked them how it will perform in a fight like the ones he sees in movies. They said, Well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it, even if its right next to it, it cant see it. The Coast Guard members laughed.
Nobody has the equipment that we have, Trump said, again saying that everything has changed since he became president.
He also said that in creating equipment to sell to American allies, he insists that equipment made for the US military should still be 10 percent better.
Even if theyre allies you never know about an ally, an ally can turn... I always say, Make ours a little bit better... Keep about 10 percent in the bag, Trump said.
Trump then continued: Were really proud of the Coast Guard. Trump said that when he arrived,commanding officer Gene Gibson told him that on the morning after Trump was elected, he posted the statement that Trump made on the glass of the stations front door. Trump said that it was the first thing that he noticed and that he remarked: Wow, look at that.
I said: Did you put that up just for me because I happened to be coming here today? And you did that the first day, and so that tells me something. That tells me something, Trump said.
He then gestured to the good and said: Lets go, fellas, come on, lets get up here.
Trump then passed out sandwiches, shook hands and marveled at the good shape many of the young men are in.
Can I beat him in an arm wrestling contest? Trump asked about one of the men. What are my chances of an arm wrestling contest? I think Id be in trouble. Trouble? I think Id be in trouble.
Seconds later, the president marveled: Such good shape, whats going on here? Huh?
The pool was then shuffled out of the room. Margaret Talev of Bloomberg shouted out: Mr. President, what are you thankful for? She was then reprimanded by a member of the communications staff.