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White House Pool Report #2a - Quotes from bill signing + full participant list
Hunter Walker • Yahoo News
June 2, 2017: 03:46 PM


As President Donald Trump walked into the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room for the bill signing, he said hello to the crowd inside.

"Hi everybody," Trump said,

Before sitting down, Trump shook hands and exchanged greetings with several of the law enforcement officers who were lined up behind the small table and chair set up for the ceremony.

"Thank you all. It's a great honor," Trump said as he sat down.

Trump went on to thank Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump for "being here."

"It's an honor," Ivanka said.

Trump went on to praise the crowd behind him as a "great group" including some who are "very good friends for a long time."

"We are here today to reaffirm our unbreakable support for the American heroes who keep our streets, our homes, and our citizens safe. And they've been doing an amazing job under very adverse conditions. We will always support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. I can speak very strongly for myself and for Mike Pence our vice president. We are behind you 100 percent," Trump said.

Trump said "law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders, and their families make tremendous sacrifices" every day.

"We know they are here to serve and to protect us all. They sacrifice every day to keep us safe. Many have paid the ultimate price laying down their lives to save others incredible people. They're true heroes and we will always be grateful so I want to thank you for us," Trump said, adding, "That is so true."

Trump continued by saying Americans have a "duty" to "honor their service and sacrifice and to protect those who protect us."

"Today I am proud to sign two laws to help fulfill that very, very sacred commitment. First, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Improvement Act will help disabled officers, and firefighters, and families of those who fall in the line of duty quickly receive all of the benefits they so justly deserve," said Trump.

He said various people have wanted this law "for a long time."

"For too long injured officers have suffered and the children of fallen officers have put their dreams of college on hold while bureaucracy delayed crucial benefits, made it impossible for their families. No longer. It's unacceptable and it's going to end today. In fact, it's going to end in about one minute," Trump said. "This bill speeds approval times by giving state and local enforcement greater role in determining eligibility and lets applicants track the progress of their claims online. So, a much, much faster situation."

Trump then turned back to the crowd behind him and asked, "You're all happy with that?" Many of them replied in the affirmative.

"Second, the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act allows the use of federal grants to help our military veterans transition to new careers in law enforcement. America's proud of our veterans and I think I can say a double proud or a triple proud. We love our veterans and they're serving overseas, they're in harms way, they are doing things that very few people would have the courage to do and we will be and always will be incredibly proud to have them with us. And they've been with us like nobody and we are going to be protecting them," said Trump.

Trump called "keeping Americans safe" his "highest duty" as president.

"And supporting law enforcement is my unwavering commitment," he added. "I am very proud to sign these two great bills today."

Trump then signed both bills. He described it as "something that I'm very happy to be doing" and then offered congratulations to the people behind him.

"That's a big one right?" Trump asked.

When he signed the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act, Trump had a question for the officers who stood behind him..

"You're all heroes aren't you?"

Trump handed out the pens he used to some of the people behind him.

"Who gets this pen?" he said.

A man and woman reached for one of the pens. The man deferred and Trump gave him an approving shoulder squeeze. When Trump was done, the group behind him applaued.

"Thank you very much everybody. This is slightly less controversial than yesterday," Trump said, provoking laughter from the crowd.

Trump then stood up and began to leave the room. He did not respond to a question about Geraldo Rivera saying his decision to pull out of the Paris agreement was "appalling" due to potential environmental consequences. Trump also ignored a question about whether he'd use executive privilege to block James Comey's testimony.

The full list of external participants in the event provided by the White House is below.

External Participants:

State Officials:
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Col. William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent, Maryland State Police

Police Organization Representatives:
Chuck Canterbury, Fraternal Order of Police National President
Jim Pasco, Fraternal Order of Police Senior Advisor
Greg Champagne, President National Sherriff's Association and St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Department (LA)
John Thompson, Executive Director National Sheriff's Association

Law Enforcement Officers:
Carolyn Welsh, Chester County Sheriff's Department (PA)

Vern Stanforth, Fayette County Sheriff's Department (OH)

Mark Wasylyshyn, Wood County Sheriff's Department (OH)

Craig Webre,?Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Department (LA)

Paul Laney, Cass County Sheriff's Department (ND)

Nick Harlow, Albemarle County Police Department (VA)

William Raddatz, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Department (MD)

John Telechea, Prince George's County Police Department (MD)

O'Brien Atkinson, Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department (MD)

Mark Gass, Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department (MD)

Michael Shier,?Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department (MD)

Joshua?Shapiro, Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department (MD)

Kiersten Thompson, Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department (MD)

Tracy Lieberman, Maryland Park Police (MD)

Clyde Boatwright, Baltimore City Police Department (MD)



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