POOL Report #2 – Roosevelt Room meeting with Small Business owners
Jan 30, 2017
[ POOL report after this one will describe the background briefing conducted by 2 senior administration officials with the POOL, conducted in Lower Press during the interim between the Roosevelt Room event and the Oval Office EO signing. Briefing was recorded by the stenos and there is hope a transcript will be available, but stay tuned for details in POOL Report #3, TK. POOL was told TEXT of the EO is coming soonish.]
President Trump met with 9 representatives of small business in the Roosevelt Room, entering the room at 9:16 a.m. Pool was ushered out at 9:30 a.m.
POTUS took no questions from POOL, although there were 2 press questions about Friday's refugee/visa actions. The president smiled indulgently, but did not respond.
POTUS held two typewritten white pieces of paper in the Roosevelt Room, which he consulted before speaking to the group and inviting them to watch his E.O. signing in the Oval Office, which occurred at 10:09 am. [The press office says a copy of the E.O. should be released to all soon.]
The president said he would announce his Supreme Court choice Tuesday at 8 PM, per his earlier tweet. He called his Court pick, a "big decision," for "a person who is extremely highly respected, and I think you will be very impressed with this person."
The president said, "We're moving things along fast. We actually had a very good day yesterday in terms of homeland security."
He discussed his previous presidential actions related to large businesses, and he referenced his meeting a week ago with labor leaders.
He was critical of Democrats, saying he would like to get his full Cabinet confirmed. He said Senate Democrats stalled confirmation of Justice-designee Sen. Jeff Sessions "for political reasons. Just politics."
The president was critical of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, who he said appeared in NY on Sunday with "fake tears. I'm going to ask him who was his acting coach, because I know him very well. I don't see him as a crier... There's about a 5 percent chance that it was real, but I think they were fake tears. "
POTUS said the stock market was up "enormously," which he attributed to investors' enthusiasm about his election and his policies, and he said the economy was "coming back fast." The president said jobs are being brought back into the United States by large manufacturers/employers "by big numbers, bigger numbers than people have seen." He mentioned Ford, GM, Fiat/Chrysler, Lockheed, and Boeing.
About $600 million has been trimmed from the F35 fighter jet price tag, the president said. "I think that was a great achievement," he said. "I appreciate Lockheed Martin for being so responsive." He said he appreciated Boeing.
The president reviewed his pipelines approvals last week, and his efforts to see that pipes are manufactured in the U.S.
He previewed his E.O. on regulatory relief to be signed this morning in general terms, saying, "We want to make the life easier for small businesses." He said the impact of his order would benefit large businesses, too. "There can't be any discrimination."
Trump repeated his goal to see "up to 75 percent" of federal regulations reduced/eliminated on his watch.
"The American dream is back.... This isn't a knock on President Obama; this is a knock on many president preceding me," he said referring to the burdens and federal treatment of small businesses.
"Regulation has been horrible for big business, but it's been worse for small business," he said, noting that small businesses cannot hire the talent and compliance personnel that larger businesses do.
"I've dealt with the small businesses and the big businesses, and I love you all the same."
The president reviewed statistics tied to small businesses, including 56 million small business employees; small biz being 48% of the private-sector workforce.
He mentioned the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, saying, "Dodd-Frank is a disaster. We're going to be doing a big number on Dodd Frank."
He referenced his goal of simplifying and lowering federal taxes.
List of Small Business participants:
Dennis Bradford, The Genesis Group (see NOTE)
Casey T. Patten, Taylor Gourmet
Irma Aquirre, Mexican Bistro Café (Las Vegas)
Chris Christou, Gold Crust Baking Co. Inc.
Jacqueline "Jackie" F. Krick, ECU Communications
Natalie M. Luis, Luis Asphalt Construction Co
Larry N. McKenney, Capitol Radiology
Joy A. Weatherup-Anthis, JWA Construction Management
Roger Campos, Minority Busienss Roundtable
[Oval Office EO signing NOTE: Dennis Bradford of the Genesis Group, a land development company with interests in Oklahoma and Florida, briefly commended the president's EO after Trump signed it. Mr. Bradford told the POOL. Mr. Bradford said his company does not build "anything taller than a curb." ]
WH staff seated at table with POTUS in the center included CoS Reince Priebus; George Sifakis, deputy director of public liaison; Jennifer Korn, deputy director of the office of public liaison; Jared Kushner; Stephen Miller.
POTUS praised SBA Administrator–designee Linda McMahon, who has not been confirmed by the Senate.
Seated on a chair behind the president were communications folks and Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council. Before the meeting began, the president kidded Cohn that he paid $200 million in federal taxes last year. "We appreciate what you've done... Big check you had to write."
At the rear of the Roosevelt Room, ample platters of sliced fruit, juices, sweet rolls were on a lamp table and the coffee table.