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Remarks in a Briefing With the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2028 and an Exchange With Reporters in Beverly Hills, California

February 18, 2020

The President. Well, thank you very much. It's a great pleasure to meet with the leaders of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Committee. And they've done a fantastic job in bringing the Olympics here. They called me when I was President-elect. Casey, that was quite a call.

Los Angeles 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman. Yes, sir.

The President. And they asked me if I could get involved because the other administration refused to call the Olympic Committee, which is the one in—the people that make the decision. So it was a little hard for them to make a decision.

And I did make the call, and it was a very long call. They were starving for love, and we gave them the love. And, Casey, you and everybody else have done a fantastic job. We got the Olympics to come to Los Angeles. And that was a big moment, and we knew it right away.

They really—they were fantastic people that I dealt with. But because of your dedication and hard work, the United States will once again proudly host the Olympic Games. How exciting is that?

I want to thank the CEO of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Sarah Hirshland. Thank you very much. Fantastic job.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Sarah Hirshland. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. As well as all the terrific leadership of the L.A. 2028, Executive Chairperson Casey Wasserman. And, Casey, really a fantastic job right from the beginning.

Mr. Wasserman. Thank you.

The President. You were there right at the beginning.

The chief operating officer, John Harper, and also Danny Koblin. Thank you very much, fellas. Great, great job. Appreciate it. And senior advisers Dean Christopher and Doug Arnot. We're grateful. Thank you, fellas, very much.

We're grateful to be joined by Secretary Mnuchin, Acting Secretary Wolf, Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been incredible in so many different ways. The job he's done is just outstanding. He'll soon be Speaker of the House, and we look forward to that. I'm quite sure about that. I don't know, the odds are probably about 35 to 40 percent. I would say 80 to 90 percent. Where is Kevin? Congratulations.

House Republican Leader Kevin O. McCarthy. Right here. Thank you, sir.

The President. Although, let me congratulate you after the fact. [Laughter]

And also a friend of mine and tremendous guy and a great Senator, somebody who loves our country dearly: Senator Lindsey Graham. Thank you, Lindsey, for coming.

Senator Lindsey O. Graham. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. I appreciate it. From the day I took office, I've done everything in my power to make sure that L.A. achieved the winning bid. Now, for the third time in history, the city of Los Angeles—the "City of Angels"—will once again raise up the Olympic torch and welcome the world's greatest competitors to the Summer Games. How exciting.

The United States has won more Olympic medals than any other nation. That's good. By far? By a lot? Or just by a little tiny bit?

Ms. Hirshland. By plenty, sir.

The President. By a lot. [Laughter] That's good. And let's keep it that way.

And we'll never stop our relentless pursuit of excellence. I'm confident that Team U.S.A. will build on the winning tradition in Tokyo later this year and in Paris in 2024 and then in Los Angeles in 2028. I hope you remember me in 2028. Okay? Do you promise, Casey? Or will you——

Mr. Wasserman. I promise, sir.

The President. At least give me a seat, okay?

Mr. Wasserman. Guaranteed.

The President. If you don't mind. [Laughter]

The President. These Games will also be a major economic victory. The 2028 Olympics will create 112,000 jobs and add $18 billion to our economy, at least, including $7 billion in wages for American workers.

The L.A. Olympic Committee is accomplishing all of this at no cost to the American taxpayer. They've raised a lot of money, and they're utilizing stadiums that are world class, that are already built. Something nice about not having to build a lot of things. But they're doing a fantastic job.

I'll now sign a document pledging the Federal Government's total support of L.A. in hosting the 2028 Olympics. And, soon as I sign, I'm going to ask Chad Wolf to say a few words. He's done a fantastic job as head of Homeland Security. So we're going to sign this right now.

And this is a big deal, isn't it? Huh?

Mr. Wasserman. Yes, sir.

The President. It's a big deal.

[At this point, the President signed a document.]

So because you were here right at the beginning when I made that very important call, I think you should get that, right? What do you think, Sarah? Don't you agree?

Mr. Wasserman. I appreciate it.

Ms. Hirshland. Wonderful.

The President. Good. Let's go. Let's get this out here. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

Mr. Wasserman. Thank you.

The President. Congratulations, Casey.

Mr. Wasserman. Thank you, sir.

The President. Please, Chad. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf. Thank you. Well, thank you, Mr. President. It's an honor to join you before the committee as you pledge the Federal Government's support for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

To echo the words of the President in this year's State of the Union, "America's future is blazing bright." And thanks to the work of President Trump and this committee, America will be blazed especially bright in 2028 when the Olympic torch will be lit here again in the United States.

Planning and preparations are ready—are already underway to execute the event with flawless precision. But to be successful, the Olympics must be secured. So the Department of Homeland Security and our Federal partners stand ready to protect the 2028 Olympics.

The Department is no stranger to big events. DHS has helped secure every Super Bowl, every Presidential Inauguration, and every State of the Union since our Department's inception, as well as the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Time and time again, the Department leads the Federal response to large, complex, and challenging events. So rest assured that the Department will be engaged on every front to ensure that the homeland, our people, and the Olympic athletes and fans are secure.

And when I do say "every front," I really do mean that: from cybersecurity, to counterterrorism, to immigration, to protection of international and national leaders, economic security, aviation security, and much, much more. We'll provide the best expertise and resources that the Department has to offer to make the 2028 Olympics as safe as possible.

So, on behalf of the Department, we look forward to working with you in the week, months, and years to come, and of course, cheering on Team U.S.A. right here in Los Angeles.

So thank you to the committee. And thank you, Mr. President.

The President. Great job. Thank you very much, Chad. I appreciate it.

Casey, would you like to say a few words, please?

Mr. Wasserman. Sure, Mr. President.

Well, I want to thank you for formalizing the commitment of the Federal Government. Your leadership from the beginning has been instrumental in us achieving this goal of bringing the Games back to the United States. This is the third time for Los Angles, as you mentioned. And our goal is to create a safe, successful, and secure Olympic Games, and that's not possible without the support you and the Federal Government have provided us.

I promise you we'll remember you in 2028, to say the least, because it wouldn't have happened without you.

The President. Thank you.

Mr. Wasserman. And so we greatly appreciate it.

The President. Thank you.

Mr. Wasserman. And we want to give Team U.S.A. and our partners at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee the greatest home field advantage they've ever had.

The President. Yes.

Mr. Wasserman. And we intend to do that in Los Angles.

The President. Good. Thank you very much. Mr. Wasserman. Thank you.

The President. Sarah, please.

Ms. Hirshland. Wonderful. Thank you. Hello. And I'm here. We're excited to be here. We're grateful for your support. We will take a large delegation to Tokyo this summer as we continue our quest on behalf of Team U.S.A. and the support of the Federal Government. And the safety and security of our delegation in Tokyo this summer is also of utmost importance.

This administration and the Federal Government overall has been enormously helpful to us. We feel incredibly confident both in the performance of our team and that we'll make this country proud, but also in the safety and security of our delegation. And we thank you for that, sir.

The President. Well, thank you. And good luck in the upcoming event.

Ms. Hirshland. Thank you.

The President. That will be very exciting.

Lindsey, would you like to say a few words?

Sen. Graham. Well, the Olympics brings the world together, and I'm looking forward, God willing, to watching. [Laughter] And I don't think I'll be participating, but I'll be watching. But you never know.

The President. You never know. With Lindsey, you never know.

Sen. Graham. If I got my golf game better, I'll be——

The President. You never know. Thanks, Lindsey.

And, Kevin, you love this State a lot.

Leader McCarthy. I love this State a lot.

The President. And I think it's very important that you say something. Please.

Leader McCarthy. Well, I want to thank the whole committee, and I want to thank Casey. You guys have big shoes to fill. What Peter Ueberroth was able to pull off the last time the Olympics was in L.A., everybody was so proud.

I feel very honored that the President—he has a long history with the Olympics, even when I look in here and I see a picture of you carrying the torch.

The President. That's true, actually. Yes. [Laughter]

Leader McCarthy. So one thing I know is, we're going to be prepared, and once again, we'll have the best athletes and the best event. And I think it will be a tremendous experience for the whole world to see, why America has really come back.

The President. That's great. Fellas, would you like to say something? You've been very instrumental. We appreciate it. Would you like to say something?

Los Angeles 2028 Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer John Harper. Well, just on behalf of the organizing committee, we're so excited for this fascinating journey that we're on, and we can't wait to get to 2028. And thank you again for all the support.

The President. Good. It will be fantastic. It will be really fantastic.

Los Angeles 2028 Senior Adviser Doug Arnot. We are very grateful for the support, Mr. President.

The President. Thank you. Mr. Arnot. And I was really happy to hear the Secretary's comments about safety and security. That is our primary interest, and we look forward to working with you.

The President. Right. We're going to give it the A-plus effort, and we'll do a great job.


Los Angeles 2028 Properties Chief Operating Officer Danny Koblin. I'm a lifelong Angeleno. And to see the Games come back here for the third time——

The President. Exciting.

Mr. Koblin. ——is a dream come true. So thank you for the opportunity.

The President. Thank you very much.

Los Angeles 2028 Senior Adviser Dean Christopher. Looking forward to it in the next 8 years. It's going to be great.

The President. Thank you. Well, we're all going to do a great job. And we appreciate it, and we appreciate your work. Not easy. Right?

Mr. Wasserman. Not easy.

The President. Not easy at all. Thank you all very much. Very exciting.

Japan-U.S. Relations

Q. Mr. President, will you go to Tokyo this summer?

The President. I might. We were invited. I was invited by Prime Minister Abe, and we'll make that determination. We haven't made it yet, but we might. We're going to try, if we can. Thank you.

Homelessness in California

Q. How do we clean up L.A.'s homeless situation before these Games? And what do you see as the Federal Government's role in doing that?

The President. Well, we had no role, but we're really taking a role in it. We—I see it. I see what's happening to L.A. I see what's happening to San Francisco. I see what's happening to some great cities. And I've said to my people: Whether they like it not, we're going to have to do something.

So we're, right now, working in L.A. They're also contacting San Francisco. They have to clean it up. You have needles. You have things that we don't want to discuss all over the streets, flowing into the oceans. And you have beaches, and it shouldn't happen. And if they can't do it themselves, we're going to do it. The Federal Government is going to take it over; we're going to do it.

So we're working right now with L.A. in particular, I would say, and the others are also sort of wanting to work along with us. But it's not thinkable what they've allowed to happen to these cities. Incredible.

Immigration/Sanctuary Cities

Q. What's your message to those that are resisting in terms of immigration policy in this State, especially talking about security going forward towards the Games? The President. Well, I think it's terrible. I think sanctuary cities, as you know, are very dangerous. You just look at some of the horrific crimes that are committed. That wouldn't happen if you didn't have sanctuary for criminals.

And with L.A., San Francisco, and other places—but they have one thing in common: the leadership. There's no reason that this should have ever happened, our greatest cities. And number one, you look at the homeless and how horrible a situation that is. But also, look what it's doing to your cities. It's so disgraceful. These are cities that 10 years ago were the most beautiful cities, and now people walk away and leave, and they just say horrible things. Can't let that happen.

So if they don't get it cleaned up fast, we're going to come in and do it.

Olympic and Paralympic Games

Q. You're such a master at TV production. What would your advice be to these guys in terms of putting on a good show for the world, for America?

The President. Well, I think with Casey and with Sarah and all of the people, I think they're going to do a great show. And with Chad and—you know, Steve lives in this town. Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of Treasury, he lives here.

And everybody is going to be working on it very hard. We're going to—you know, we're starting working now. It's a long time; it's 8 years. But we're really starting right now. And it's going to be a fantastic show. It will be—I really believe it has a chance to be the best.

And the Olympic Committee really wanted to come here. They just wanted some support, and they were not getting it at all from the past administration. We're going to give them tremendous support. You need the support of the Federal Government to make it really work. And we have it. It's going to be a fantastic Olympics.

Okay? Thank you all very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:22 p.m. at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel. In his remarks, Leader McCarthy referred to Peter V. Ueberroth, former chairman, U.S. Olympic Committee. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on February 19.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks in a Briefing With the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2028 and an Exchange With Reporters in Beverly Hills, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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