Good morning. Pool gathered in the State Dining Room for the meeting with airline executives.
Meeting attendees include Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines;
Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines;
Gary C. Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines. Pool has asked the WH for a full list.
POTUS entered the room at 9:46 am and shook hands with executives.
Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn, economic advisor, had seats at the table as well.
"Good place for meetings. Good place for a lot of things." Trump said of holding meetings at the White House.
"I'm thrilled to welcome the leaders of the airline industry to the White House."
POTUS congratulated airlines at succeeding "despite the bad equipment that the airport gives you, in many cases"
"I have a pilot who's a real expert," POTUS said, noting that his pilot has said airlines are often provided with "the wrong stuff."
"Let's order the right equipment. Probably the wrong equipment cost more." POTUS said.
"We want the traveling public to have the greatest customer service and with an absolute minimum of delays."
"We spent six trillion dollars in the Middle East, we got nothing." POTUS continued.
"And we have an obsolete plane system, we have obsolete airports."
POTUS said his polices would soon start helping companies like airlines hire more people, including "rolling back burdensome regulations"
and "lowering the overall tax burden of American businesses"
"Over the next two or three weeks" POTUS says there would be an announcement that would be "phenomenal in terms of tax"
POTUS said before the airline meeting began that automakers had praised their meeting with the president afterwards : "They left, they said it was the best meeting they ever had"
Staff then attempted to remove the pool before POTUS instructed them to stop.
"Stay for a while." He called out to the pool.
He asked the executives to go a around the table and introduce themselves.
"Delta's doing well." POTUS quipped to Bastian when he introduced himself.
"We'll make it number one," POTUS joked to the head of LAX, who said her airport was the seventh largest airport in the world.
Upon being informed that the Atlanta airport is the largest, POTUS remarked that he loves the state of Georgia.
Southwest spoke first and said the top priority for helping airlines would be to "modernize the air traffic control system" noting that money spent on the system has not helped improve it in the past.
"I hear we're spending billions and billions of dollars, it's a system that's totally out of whack." POTUS said of the air traffic control system.
POTUS inquired as to why airline corporations had allowed the government to invest in a faulty system. Southwest informed POTUS that the airlines are not "in control" of those decisions.
POTUS said that the system could potentially work better if FAA was run by a pilot because it is not currently, as a meeting attendee confirmed for him.
Pool ushered out at 10:07 am. More TK