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First White House Briefing for Trump Administration. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 23, 2017 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:30:00] SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that's what he's going to talk about is supporting all of life, the born, the unborn, throughout life making sure that we have healthcare that can support the American people and the American families. That's -- that's what he's gonna fight for and that's what he's gonna be clear on.

QUESTION: I have two questions.

SPICER: OK.

QUESTION: (inaudible) first one, with the congressional meeting today and also at the retreat, you said talking about his legislative agenda. Besides healthcare, can you give us one, two or three legislative things that he wants to get through right away? So not the executive actions, legislation.

SPICER: Right. Immigration's obviously going to be high on that last. Tax reform, regulatory reform. That's three and four.

QUESTION: Immigration is not a overhaul, though, not...

SPICER: Well, I think he's gonna work with Congress to get the appropriations process going. But it's not -- it's not just building the wall. That's through the appropriations process. It's how do we enact policies to make sure that what we have now doesn't happen again. And so it's -- it is -- it is working with them.

It's a comprehensive look at how we're keeping people out of this country that shouldn't be here, that people who are coming to visit are leaving when they're supposed to, to make sure that we're tailoring immigration policies that make sure that we're not an open door for anyone to just walk in, that the people who are here to visit our country safely or to come here to bring jobs or to support our economy are coming in. But I think he have to do immigration smartly, and that's what he's looking at.

QUESTION: I had a second one.

SPICER: I'm sorry. You're right.

QUESTION: I haven't heard that you al -- you said or someone else has said specifically. Will the president -- has the president spoken to any of the intelligence agencies about the investigation into the Russian connections? And will he allow that to go on? SPICER: I don't believe he has spoken to anyone specifically about

that and I don't know that -- he has not made any indication that he would stop an investigation of any sort.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Clarification. You said you're willing to work with anybody to defeat the Islamic State (inaudible). Does that include Bashar al-Assad?

SPICER: Well, I think -- I think what it's gonna -- what we're doing -- we are going to smartly do this. I mean, let's be clear. Part of it is to make sure that they have America's interests in what they're doing and who they are. So we're not gonna get together with people under guise of defeating ISIS if that's not truly their guise or if they're not -- so let's -- let's not take that too far. Thank you.

Yeah?

QUESTION: Sean, will the president release documents showing that he has left his businesses?

SPICER: I believe we have.

(UNKNOWN): They're not public at this time.

SPICER: But yeah, he has -- he has resigned from the company, as he said he would, before he took office. Don and Eric are fully in charge of the company. He has taken extraordinary steps to ensure that that's happened.

Yeah?

QUESTION: (inaudible) political priorities. What would be the message for the Hispanic commune in the U.S. taking into consideration that one of the priorities has been the wall?

SPICER: What...

QUESTION: What would be the relation between this administration and the Hispanic community in the U.S.?

SPICER: Well, I think his relationship with the Hispanic community is going to be great. I think he's -- as I said, I think that whether it's jobs or education or healthcare, the president is committed to uniting all Americans and working towards a better, safer, more secure, more prosperous America that benefits everybody. And I think whether -- regardless of your background, that's something he is committed to.

Yeah?

QUESTION: (inaudible) Financial Times. Does Mr. Trump agree with Rex Tillerson that the U.S. should try and prevent China from accessing the islands in the South China Sea where it's building runways and other kinds of facilities? SPICER: I think areas in the South China Sea that are part of international waters and international activities I think the U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there. So it's a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yes, we're gonna make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country. Does that answer...

QUESTION: Would you prevent China from actually reaching...

SPICER: I'm not gonna -- look, I think I answered the question. I think as we develop further, we'll have more information on that.

John Gizzi?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Thank you, Sean. Thank you, Sean.

SPICER: Hold on, I'll get to you. I promise.

QUESTION: And welcome to your first day on the job.

SPICER: Thank you.

QUESTION: Very simply, there was an earlier question about Jerusalem and putting the U.S. embassy there and a lot of talk about executive orders. Is this something the president can accomplish by executive order?

SPICER: It is, but I think as I noted, John, it's very early in this process. We are at the beginning stages of this decision-making process and his team's gonna continue to consult with stakeholders as we get there.

Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sean...

SPICER: Of course.

QUESTION: ... and welcome here.

SPICER: Thank you.

QUESTION: So I have a follow-up on the housekeeping question about NAFTA. Are we not to expect, then, an executive order today to renegotiate NAFTA or will he wait until he meets with President Pena Nieto next week?

[14:35:00]

And on the other -- the other question I had is, he didn't mention Latin America at all in his -- you know, in his inauguration speech. Does he plan to visit Latin America this year?

SPICER: So on the first part, I think we'll have further announcements on trade throughout the week. I don't...

QUESTION: It's not gonna happen today?

SPICER: I think we're done with executive orders for the day. But as I always say, stand by. But we do not have any intention to have additional executive orders today. But I believe there could be some additional ones throughout the week on trade. And we'll have further updates for you on there.

And then the second part?

QUESTION: If he plans to travel to Latin America, given that he left them out of his inauguration speech?

SPICER: Right. Well, I don't think -- I don't think he left them out. I think he was focused on this country, our -- our American workers. I don't think he got into detail on any countries that I am aware of or that I can recall.

But I also think we are here on the first working day. We're announcing Theresa May coming this Friday. We're excited to have the prime minister here. As I said, we already talking about setting up a meeting with Canada and Mexico. He's talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu about having him come over. And then as I mentioned, President el-Sisi.

So, we'll get there. We -- we got a lot of calls to return. There's a lot of excitement through the world. And a lot of people who are really excited, both to come here, and have the president visit them.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Sir, last week on LGBT rights. The long time Republicans (inaudible) group delivered a white paper to the Trump team, urging the president to maintain an executive order from President Obama, borrowing anti-LGBT worker discrimination among federal contractors.

President has said he gonna resin (ph) the executive orders from President Obama that are unconstitutional, but will he maintain this executive order of borrowing anti-LGBT...

SPICER: Yeah, I -- I don't know on that one. As I -- I'll have to get back to you on that one. I don't know that we've gotten that far on the list of executive orders, but I'll be glad to get back to you.

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER: What's that? Again, it's not -- I just don't know the answer. I'll try to get back to you on that one.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: On immigration, the chief of staff -- I think, it said over the weekend, seemed to suggest that an executive order shutting down the DACA program had been ruled out. Is that officially ruled out as you guys go forward? And does the -- does the president support action in Congress that would, essentially permanently establish those protections for those.

SPICER: Yeah, I think -- I don't have anything further on the executive action front. But what I -- I think I've asked and answered the -- the DACA piece to this, in terms of his priorities right now.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: (inaudible) the legislation?

SPICER: I -- I think that we'll have to -- we don't have anything in front of us right now to sign on. So give us a little bit of time, we'll see what Congress moves forward with, and then I'm sure we'll have a further read out on both, the executive order piece and on the legislation.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: (inaudible) resettlement program?

SPICER: I don't know. I'll -- I'll have to get back to you on that one right now. Or -- I think the best thing to do, would probably contact the Department of State.

Yes, sir in the back?

QUESTION: Regarding -- regarding access -- access for American companies to the national markets, will the president try to improve the access to the largest market and develop the European one? By taking (inaudible)

SPICER: Well, look, I don't -- I think, he's gonna increase market access wherever he can. He's in the process of reviewing all of our current trade agreements. And looking at potential bilateral options going forward, whether it's in the E.U., or in the Asia- Pacific arena, or in the Middle East.

He's gonna figure out where we can expand U.S. market access. And that's I think, what today's decision really starts to show. Is that it's not about multilateral agreements under a Trump administration. It's about bilateral agreements, where we can figure out country to country, how can we fight for the American worker, gain them access to another market that's gonna benefit our large and small businesses who want to sell additional goods and services.

Yes?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Why did the president choose the British prime minister as the first foreign leader for him to meet? And can we take from that that he intends to make the relationship even closer?

SPICER: I think we've always had that special relationship with Britain. And -- and he's gonna -- and that reflects in -- in his first visits -- the prime minister's first visit here. He's had a great conversation with her and he looks forward to having her here. But we can always be closer.

Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: (inaudible) news, what kind of relationship is Trump looking for to build with China after he withdraw from TPP? And on Taiwan's issue, what kinds of stand he is going to make on (inaudible)

SPICER: What's the last part, please?

QUESTION: Taiwan (inaudible) relation.

SPICER: Well, I -- I think, on China, he understand what a big market that is for U.S. goods and services. When he met with the head of Alibaba a couple of weeks, that -- that was part of the point. There's huge market issue there. But in many cases, it's -- it's not a two- way street.

There are so many Chinese businesses and individuals frankly, who can have ease of access in the United States to sell their goods or services.

[14:40:00]

I think that whether or not you're talking about the financial services or the banking, you know, the other service industries, or our manufacturing goods and services, or some of the IP problems that we have with China, that it really is not a two way street. And so he understands the market that China has and our desire to further penetrate that market. But he also recognizes, there's a lot of concerns with how we are treated entering into China's market, and we need to review that.

Yes Ma'am? I think we're going to have further -- a lot further updates on that. Yes Ma'am?

QUESTION: Welcome. Question following on what she was asking about the TPP. You know, part of the thinking of TPP was to encircle China economically and I wonder if the President has thought a little bit about what kind of bilateral relationships in the region -- trade relationships would accomplish a similar goal, and secondly, I heard you talking about NAFTA and a trigger, but I didn't hear you say you had triggered the trigger.

SPICER: We have not triggered the trigger, hasn't happened. But again I think we have an existing relationships with many of the countries that were part of the 12 nation make up of TPP. And I think we're going to continue to explore how we can -- in some cases strengthen those relationships or look for bilateral agreements with nations that we didn't have one through TPP.

Yes Sir?

QUESTION: Sean, congratulations.

SPICER: Thank you. QUESTION: Social security and infrastructure. On social security, the President will be meeting tonight with congressional leaders. What's he going to do given his campaign promise on not touching social security when Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell send him a bill that declaims (ph) in a funding package various cuts in social security. And on infrastructure, has it fallen off the radar screen, or is it going to be -- stay a priority for the President? SPICER: So on social security, he's going to have to talk to them, I think he's been very clear with his priority is in terms of preserving and protecting this really important benefit to our seniors. He understands -- I mean, the -- Mr. Trump's employed so many people over the years, he understands the struggle that people have later in life to continue to make ends meet and I think that he is keenly aware of how important this program is to so many people in their later years. And so he's going to continue to fight to make sure that that's a program that is preserved and protected.

And then on the ...

QUESTION: Infrastructure.

SPICER: Infrastructure, of course, yes. That's definitely -- and he's continued to bring that up. He talked with the business executives today about how so many of our airports, that are so important to our commerce system, getting planes to land in and out, roads and their ability to truck things across the country, even our freight system. That if our infrastructure is not strong, it inhibits our ability to have free commerce, it inhibits -- it drives up the cost of goods and services, when someone's got to take a different route. Or is limited in the opportunities that they have because their runway might be closed or it can't be expanded or a rail line breaks down. Or highways just not -- the wear and tear it puts on trucks or shut down. So infrastructure continues to be huge priority for him. Yes Sir?

QUESTION: Two questions, the National Security Council -- sacking (ph) of the National Security Council, when do you expect to have that -- those positions filled?

SPICER: We've gotten many of them filled.

QUESTION: (Inaudible).

SPICER: I'd have to get back to you on the number but it's actually fairly robust right now. There are a lot of hold over's, but General Flynn has been working diligently with K.T. McFarland -- his deputy and others to make sure that that's filled out and ready to go. He's had countless meetings with counterparts and had several folks detailed over. But it's a very very robust efforts from day one.

QUESTION: And follow up to Don Carls (ph) question. So are you retracting your claim on Saturday that it was the largest crowd in person for the inauguration?

SPICER: That's not what I said.

QUESTION: Well you said it -- this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. Both in person and around the globe.

SPICER: Right. To witness ...

QUESTION: Both in person and around the globe...

SPICER: ... And around the globe. Yes. In total audience it was.

QUESTION: In total audience, but not simply in person.

SPICER: But that's right, but again I didn't say in person. Both in person and around the globe, to witness it.

QUESTION: You're saying those together?

SPICER: No, that's actually what I said. It's not what -- I don't know how you can interpret it differently. That's literally what I said. To witness it in person and around the globe. Total audience yes.

QUESTION: But not for in person?

SPICER: Hold on. Hold on. Let me just ...

QUESTION: But -- but -- but not -- but you're saying here just to clarify, you're not saying and you weren't saying on Saturday that it was the largest inaugural crowd in person ...

SPICER: I am not. I am saying that it was the total largest audience witnessed in person and around the globe.

Yes sir?

QUESTION: (Inaudible) go back to one publisher (ph) (inaudible). Those with knowledge of who was in the room in the lobby of the CIA that senior leadership were not among those hooting and hollering and that were some 40 people who were in the first front rows who were brought in by Trump and Pence and Pompeo. I'd like to give you a chance to respond to that recording.

[14:45:00]

SPICER: I don't think that's accurate at all. In fact I think if you list to the audio of it, you can hear the excitement that exists there. There were some people that had to be off camera for obvious reasons, but I think when you look at the number of people that were there, the audio alone tells -- tell -- you know, speaks volumes to what had happened.

I don't -- I don't think that there's any question about that.

QUESTION: So the people in the -- the front who were seen on camera, those were CIA employees?

SPICER: Honestly, I don't have a seating chart. I think we had a very small footprint going over there. I don't know who exactly went over. But, I don't -- I don't know, maybe 10 people, at most. Sarah was there(ph).

(UNKNOWN): Yes.

SPICER: 10 were in our -- were in the travel going over. So, 10 out of 400, plus. QUESTION: But the people -- the people who(ph) were(ph) in the front row, so those were CIA employees?

(UNKNOWN): Some of them.

SPICER: Some.

QUESTION: Some of them were not?

SPICER: I'm sure we seated -- I don't -- I can't say -- I'm not really sure why this matters. I mean, 10 people didn't yell that loud.

QUESTION: Just admit(ph) -- you know, the senators(ph) were hooting and hollering --

SPICER: Yes, they were.

QUESTION: There's not this rift between the intelligence community and the president because senior authorities within the intelligence community are telling CBS News that they are uncomfortable with that portrayal. And then the notion that people within the CIA are --

SPICER: I -- I -- I -- all I can do is tell you to listen to the tape alone. I think you can hear a lot of that. Yes?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: A couple questions that I've(ph) been down here for awhile. Has the president formerly requested or received Pentagon advice on how he could change the campaign against the Islamic State?

SPICER: I think he has ordered it. He's going to -- as I mentioned, he'll be at the Department of Defense on Friday to swear in General Mattis as his next secretary -- well, to, you know, go through the ceremony of that. He is obviously the Secretary of Defense. And so, you know, at that time he will continue to have conversations about what he wants from -- from them and the Joint Chiefs. Shannon(ph)?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Just a follow up.

SPICER: Yes and then --

QUESTION: I don't -- I don't mean to beat a dead horse on the issue of the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

SPICER: Right.

QUESTION: But, can you -- at the end of the president's first four years, assume(ph) he's -- you know, at the end of the next four years, will the United States embassy be in Jerusalem?

SPICER: Well, I -- I think I've answered it twice now. I -- we are at the early stages in this decision making process.

QUESTION: But it's not whether, it's when and how?

SPICER: I -- I -- there's a reason you go through a decision making process. And that's what we're in the process of starting right now. So, I just don't want to get ahead of -- it would -- if it was already a decision, then we wouldn't be going through a process.

QUESTION: Yes, he did say that --

SPICER: OK, I just answered the -- thanks, Julie. Jim?

QUESTION: First of all, congratulations and thanks for taking my question. Getting back to Saturday at the CIA and your statement here at the podium. Why make this crowd side issue -- or crowd size issue something to talk about at all? I mean, why get into it? Did it bother the president that much that he felt that you needed to come out here and straighten that out for us? And why did he choose the CIA as the venue to talk about that?

SPICER: So, two things. One, I just got handed a note. All of the people -- no one in the front row was Trump. They were all CIA.

QUESTION: Front row?

SPICER: That's what you asked.

QUESTION: I said the first three rows.

SPICER: OK. I'll find out who the other two were.

(LAUGHTER)

I'm sorry, I just got you the front row, give me a second, I'll get the second and the third. Do you want to get to the fourth and fifth, or -- OK, let me see what I can do. Look, I think that one of the things that happened, Jim, was he kept hearing about this rift that existed.

He talked about it a couple of weeks ago at his briefing about how proud he is and how much he respects the intelligence community. And I think when he walked into that and he saw it, he wanted to make sure that people knew that what you're hearing on television or in reports about this rift -- I -- I have the utmost respect for you, I honor your service, I'm proud of what you're doing and the sacrifices that you're making.

And I think that he wanted them to know that you see and hear all of this stuff on T.V. about this rift that so-called exists and clearly it doesn't matter; like, don't believe what you're hearing, know that I -- I -- I have a tremendous amount of respect for you, I appreciate everything that you are doing. And I think that's why he wanted to do it is to make sure that they understand they heard first hand how much he respects them. How much he wanted to dispel the myth that there was a "rift."

QUESTION: But -- but in terms of the crowd size issue, why bring that up at the CIA? And why did you come out Saturday afternoon to talk about that? Did he tell you, Sean, I'm upset about this, I want you to come out and --

SPICER: No, I'm not going to get into conversations that I have with the president. But I will tell you that it's not -- it's not just about a crowd size. It's about this constant -- you know, he's not going to run. Then if he runs, he's going to drop out. Then if he runs, he can't win, there's no way he can win Pennsylvania, there's no way he can win Michigan.

Then, if won, it's oh, well he(ph) -- there is this constant theme to undercut the enormous support that he has. And I think that it's just unbelievably frustrating when you're continually told it's not big enough, it's not good enough, you can't win.

QUESTION: And -- and if I may --

[14:50:00]

SPICER: Hold on -- because I -- I think it's important. He's gone out there and defied the odds over and over and over again. And he keeps getting told what he can't do by this narrative that's out there. And he exceeds it every single time. And I think there's an overall frustration when you -- when you turn on the television over and over again and get told that there's this narrative that you didn't win. You weren't going to run. You can't pick up this state.

That's not -- you know, that's a fool's errand to go to Pennsylvania. Why is he in Michigan? How silly, they'll never vote for a him. A Republican hasn't won that state since '88. And then he goes and he does it and then what's the next narrative? Well, it must have been because of this. He didn't win that. And then people aren't attending anything or John Lewis is the first person to skip his inauguration. Not true.

And over and over again, the MLK bust. I think over and over again there's this constant attempt to undermine his credibility and the movement that he represents. And it's frustrating for not just him, but I think so many of us that are trying to work to get this message out. And so I mentioned this to John, part of this is a two- way street. We want to have a healthy dialogue, not just with you but the American people because he's fighting for jobs, he's fighting to make this country safer.

But when you're constantly getting told that can't be true, we doubt that you can do this, this won't happen, and that's the narrative when you turn on television every single day, it's a little frustrating.

And I think that for those people around him, his senior team especially, but so many of the other folks that are either here in the administration, that gave up their time during the transition, they left a job to work for three or four weeks because they are so committed to having his nominees get through, it's a little demoralizing to turn on the TV day after day and hear, can't do this, this guy's not going to get confirmed, not way they're going to go through.

QUESTION: But isn't that just part of the conversation that happens in Washington...

SPICER: No, it's not. I think...

QUESTION: ... in D.C., that comes from being president of the United States and working at the White House?

SPICER: No. No, look, I've been doing this a long time, you've been doing this too. I've never seen it like this, Jim, I've never -- and again, I'm not looking to go back and forth, but you're asking for an explanation.

And I think that it's important to understand, that whether it's the president himself, the vice president, the senior team, the volunteers or the people who are out there just in America that voted for him or walked the streets or put up a sign, that to constantly be told no, no, no and watch him go yes, yes, yes every time and to come up to the next hurdle and see someone put a block up gets a little frustrating.

And I think that we are -- and so, you see this historic thing. And he stands there at the Capitol and I was not that close but, you know, on the platform, and you look out and all your -- it's an amazing view. And it's just so many people who got in long lines, who had to go around all this different stuff to get in. And that was for the first time that we did have to go through fencing that far out.

And then to hear, "Well, look at this shot," and it's not -- "It wasn't that big." It's a little demoralizing because when you're sitting there and you're looking out and you're in awe of just how awesome that view is and how many people are there and you go back and you turn on the television and you see shots of comparing this and that. And then you look at the stuff that's happening.

The nominees to get put out (ph), the Democrats stopping -- there are two Cabinet officials, ladies and gentleman, that are taking their office today. He visited the CIA and a director that was considered a consensus candidate wasn't approved. Where's the story? And I think that -- so it...

QUESTION: Isn't it a fair criticism that you've got bigger fish to fry? Why worry about a couple of tweets about crowd size?

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER: Because it's not -- because that's what I'm saying, you're minimizing the point here, Jim. It's not about one Tweet. It's not about one picture. It's about a constant theme. It's about sitting here every time and being told no. "Well, we don't think he can do that, he'll never accomplish that, he can't win that, it won't be the biggest, it's not gonna be that good. The crowds aren't that big, he's not that successful."

The narrative -- and the default narrative is always negative and it's demoralizing. And I think that when you sit here and you realize the sacrifice the guy made, leaving a very, very successful business because he really cares about this country and he wants -- despite your partisan differences, he cares about making this country better for everybody. He wants to make it safer for everybody. And so when you wake up everyday and that's what you're seeing over and over again and you're not seeing stories about the Cabinet folks that he's appointing or the success that he's having trying to keep American jobs here. Yes, it is a little disappointing.

So, I just -- it's -- you know...

QUESTION: It's not always going to be positive.

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER: No, it's not, and sometimes we'll make mistakes. I promise you that. But it's not always got to be negative, Jim. Some days, we do do the right thing. Some days we are successful. So it's not -- part of us is saying, when we're right, say we're right. When we're wrong, say we're wrong. But it's not always wrong and negative. There are things -- there's a lot of things that he's done already, a lot of amazing people that he's appointed, a lot of success that he's having.

[14:55:00]

And it would be once -- nice once in a while for someone just to say -- report it straight up, he appointed this person, here's their background. Not why they're not gonna get nominated, not why it's not gonna happen.

QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.

SPICER: Hold on. One last thing. Hold on.

I can't -- I know we're getting really into like facts. So just to be clear, there were no Trump or White House folks sitting down. They were all CIA (inaudible). So not in rows one through anything, from what I'm told.

(CROSSTALK)

I appreciate Julie's effort, but I want to -- I've Hallie (ph). John, you got one. Give me a second.

QUESTION: So, Sean, a couple -- a couple of questions here, if you don't mind.

First one on Russia. The administration was asked about multiple interactions between National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and a Russian ambassador. I believe you at the time -- the administration at that time said it's -- the calls were related to setting up a discussion later between President Trump and Vladimir Putin.

SPICER: That's right.

QUESTION: Were those conversations about anything else other than setting up that discussion? And why has that discussion not yet happened between the president and President Putin?

SPICER: So there's been one call. I talked to General Flynn about this again last night. One call, talked about four subjects. One was the loss of life that occurred in the plane crash that took their military choir, two was Christmas and holiday greetings, three was to -- to talk about a conference in Syria on ISIS and four was to set up a -- to talk about after the inauguration setting up a call between President Putin and President Trump.

That -- I don't believe that that has been set up yet because the call was to say -- they did follow up, I'm sorry, two days ago about how to facilitate that call once again. So there have been a total of two calls with the ambassador and General Flynn. And the second call came -- I think it's now three days ago -- that was to say once he gets into office, can we set up that call? It hasn't -- to my knowledge, has not occurred yet.

QUESTION: Any other conversations between General Flynn and Russian members of the government?

SPICER: Not that I'm aware of. And when I say that, what I'm saying is during the transition, I asked General Flynn that -- whether or not there were any other conversations beyond the ambassador and he said no.

QUESTION: And one more follow-up on Julie's questions from here...

SPICER: OK.

QUESTION: ... on a statement that the president made on Saturday. Can you -- and I just want to clarify your answer here.

SPICER: Yeah.

QUESTION: Can you unequivocally state that this administration will not send more troops into Iraq to, as the president has put it, take the oil?

SPICER: I'm not gonna talk about what we may or may not do. I think the president's been very clear that he doesn't telegraph forward what -- taking options off the table. That's not a good negotiation skill. That's not how he works. There's a reason he's been successful at negotiating, is because he does it in a way that doesn't telegraph to people what he's gonna take on or off the table.

Jeff Mason.

QUESTION: Where's the president's thinking now on the Supreme Court? (inaudible) naming some nominees? And in a follow-up to...

SPICER: You get two.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Narrowing down his nominees, I should say.

SPICER: OK.

QUESTION: And at the end of the Obama administration, the number of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay was reduced to about 40.

SPICER: Right.

QUESTION: What are the president's plans for that prison?

SPICER: So on the first, I -- I think that in the next week or so, we should have an update on a nominee for the Supreme Court.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SPICER: It does. I think we will have a nomination within the next couple weeks. He continues to make that a priority of his.

On Gitmo, I think you're gonna see further action. I don't want to get ahead of the president, but this is something that has been discussed and has -- it is in his current decision-making process how he wants to handle that.

QUESTION: And as a follow-up...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: If I could just ask one more. You said that the president disagreed with the characterization of a rift with the intelligence community?

SPICER: That's right.

QUESTION: Do you dispute, though, his tweet about comparing the intelligence community to Nazi Germany?

SPICER: I -- no. I think what he was talking about was the process, not the people, and that's a very different thing.

Shane.

QUESTION: (inaudible) three months ago then candidate Trump was in Gettysburg and he made a list of Day One promises. He called it a contract with the American voters. A bunch of them are not gonna get done today because you said he's done with making executive orders; labeling China a currency manipulator and posing congressional term limits (inaudible). I wanted to ask you why not pursue all those on day one, as he promised in a contract with the voters?

SPICER: Well, I think he is -- we're going to continue to sequence those out. I mean, part of it is to make sure that we don't spend our entire day signing executive orders and (inaudible). There's a way that we can do this to make sure that we're getting all of those things that he promised the American people done in short haste and doing it in a way that doesn't just jam them out in a fire hose.

And I think part of this is ensuring that we sequence these, that gives the American people the proper -- issue the proper attention that they deserve because part of it is that when -- and if we put them all out in one day, they get lose -- they get lost in the ether, I think, and I think he made these promises and pledges to the American people because they're important to him. So...

QUESTION: He still plans to (inaudible) that Day One list, though?

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