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White House Briefing; Republicans Continue Health Care Reform Efforts. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired July 17, 2017 - 15:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Just moments from now Sean Spicer returning to the podium for the White House briefing, and the president himself speaking live, as the White House launches a new theme week.

But, first, new developments in the Russia scandal that is enveloping the Trump White House and Trump campaign associates.

The Senate Judiciary Committee confirming to CNN it is now considering delaying a hearing this week where Senate leaders hoped President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort would testify.

And this, of course, comes after dramatic revelations about a secret meeting Manafort, the president's son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law- turned-top-adviser Jared Kushner had with the Russian lawyer and a Russian operative.

CNN senior congressional reporter Manu Raju is live on Capitol Hill for us.

Manu, why is the Judiciary Committee considering delaying this hearing?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in fact, those two leaders of the committee, the Republican chairman, Chuck Grassley, and the top on the committee, Dianne Feinstein, have reached out to the special counsel's office, Bob Mueller, to make sure if they heard testimony from Paul Manafort, make sure it was not conflict with whatever Bob Mueller is doing as part of his own investigation into Russian meddling and any collusion that may have occurred between Trump associates and Russian officials.

Now, in a statement from the spokesman for Chuck Grassley, the statement says that Bob Mueller's office actually has not responded to the questions raised by the committee leaders about whether or not it would conflict in any way by having Paul Manafort before the committees.

As a result, Pam, they're considering delaying a hearing that was going to be on a separate topic about the issue of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which, of course, is a statute that requires anyone who represents a foreign government to disclose that work.

Paul Manafort of course worked for the Ukrainian government. And they're considering delaying that Wednesday hearing to next week to work out a deal potentially with Bob Mueller's office to see if Paul Manafort could testify, but also, Pam, of interest to this committee is Donald Trump Jr., Chuck Grassley confirming to our colleague Suzanne Malveaux, Suzanne Malveaux, earlier today he may even subpoena for Donald Trump Jr.'s appearance if he doesn't agree to appear voluntarily before his committee.

So, those discussions happening as well, Pam.

BROWN: That would certainly be a dramatic development.

Manu, thank you very much.

A new theme week in Washington. At any moment, President Trump will kick off his Made in America Week, highlighting companies who create their products here in the United States. Now, the event will feature companies from all 50 states, but critics point out a bit of irony here.

The Trump Corporation relies heavily on a dozen other countries to produce its products.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN White House reporter, joins me now for more on this.

So, Kaitlan, this begs the question, will Made in America Week prompt the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump's companies, for that matter, to make more of their products in the United States?


The White House was asked that yesterday when they first debuted these next three weeks that will center around made in America, America heroes, and American dreams.

And when they were asked if that is a commitment for Donald Trump's organization and his daughter's clothing line to start making their products here in the United States, which is what they're asking other businesses to do, they were noncommittal. They said, we will get back to you on the .

And when Sean Spicer was asked about that just now in the press briefing, he said he couldn't comment on business matters, but said the president was a businessman who understood the challenges of being in business in America.

So we didn't really get an answer on whether or not that will spur that. We do know that Ivanka Trump will not attend the event on the South Lawn or in the White House today, where there's a fire truck, a yacht, Marine One and other products from the 50 states that are made in America, and the other staterooms of the White House.

And like you said, the irony of all of this is not lost on the president's critics. Many of their products are made overseas. And it's -- we are not sure if the White House will start -- if they will answer whether or not they will start making their products here.

BROWN: You have some reporting as well, if I'm not mistaken, about the president meeting with senators tonight, right?


As the White House focuses on these weeks, they're trying to distract from the Russian narrative and the Russian investigation and the big health care debate, which we know has been delayed because of Senator McCain's health.

And we found out today the president will host senators at the White House tonight. This is one of the few pushes that we've seen from him on this health care bill. He hasn't traveled or done any solo speeches or press conferences advocating for the health care bill, and he will hope to woo some senators tonight here at the White House

BROWN: Yes, it's interesting because he really has kept his distance.

Kaitlan Collins, thank you.

COLLINS: Thank you.

BROWN: Speaking of health care, another setback for the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. A potential vote on the controversial plan already in jeopardy has been delayed, as Senator John McCain recovers from surgery to his skull.

Surgeons removed a blood clot above his left eye, this as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scrambles to get enough votes. He can't afford to lose more vote.


The senators have balked, some senators, two of them actually have balked at the current GOP bill, Senator Susan Collins and Rand Paul saying flat-out no, and Collins tells CNN that several of her colleagues remain "concerned" about the bill.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: There are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill, so at the end of the day, I don't know whether it will pass.


BROWN: The vote could hinge on how much time Senator John McCain spends recovering.

But there are Now, concerns about whether McCain's condition is more seriously than previously thought.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, joins me now.

The big question everyone is asking today, Sanjay, is how long could McCain spend recovering here? What can you tell us?


I think the initial reports, Pamela, were that he had this blood clot that was above his eye, and that was going to be removed. It was removed on Friday.

But to be clear, what he had done was a bit more aggressive than that. Let me just show you what I'm talking about. The incision was in his eyebrow. That's to sort of hide the incision, but you feel underneath your eyebrow, you have bone there.

And what I think people didn't realize initially was that that bone -- I'm showing you on the skull model -- was actually removed as well to try and get access inside the skull to the brain.

And this blood cot was within the brain, not just underneath the skin, which may have been what people thought reading those initial descriptions.

So it's definitely a more aggressive operation. It's a brain operation. It's general anesthesia. He's 80 years old. As far as how long it takes to recover, there's no hard and fast rules with this, Pamela. People recover at different rates.

He's 80 years old, but he's tough, we know that. But he's had a history of various medical problems. We don't know how this ties in exactly. We know he's up and about now, but just the swelling, just the pain, the recovery, typically a couple of weeks.

BROWN: Thanks so much, Sanjay Gupta.

Stand by. We want to go to Sean Spicer. He's back at the podium for a White House briefing off-camera. Let's listen.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And with that, I'm glad to take your questions.


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Question for you, two, one on Iran.

Will this administration certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal?

SPICER: The JCPOA authority was delegated to the State Department.

And the secretary of defense -- excuse me -- the secretary of state will have an announcement very shortly on that deal.

I think you all know that the president has made very clear that he thought this was a bad deal, a bad deal for the United States. And I will wait until the State Department makes further action before going any further.

QUESTION: And, secondly, your counterpart in Russia, Dmitry Peskov, who speaks for Vladimir Putin, said today that they expect their properties that were seized by the prior administration to be returned, and without any stipulations or attachments to that.

Was this discussed with the president? Does the president have a strong view? What is it that the president would like to see in return before handing this property back?

SPICER: I know that Secretary Tillerson, that falls under his purview. He's been having discussions. And I would refer you to the State Department.

QUESTION: This came from Vladimir Putin's office.

SPICER: I understand that, but in our country right now, the secretary of state is handling that portfolio. And so I would refer to you that.

QUESTION: Did the president bring this up at all in his conversations in Hamburg with Vladimir Putin?

SPICER: I don't know. I would be glad to find out on that. I don't believe it did, but I would glad to find out.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sean.

The president tweeted earlier today that most politicians would have gone into the meeting like the one Don Jr. attended in order to get info on opposition, that that is politics. His FBI director nominee said that anyone who was approached by a hostile government for opposition research should contact the FBI, rather than taking the meeting. Who is right? And what is the White House's position on whether or not it's OK to meet with a hostile government for opposition research?

SPICER: Well, you know I'm not going to get into the specifics of this.

But I will say that it is quite often for people who are given information during the heat of a campaign to ask what that is. That's what simply he did. The president has made it clear through his tweet and there was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act.

But I would refer you back to counsel on that one.


And I can ask about counsel, about Marc Kasowitz? Reportedly, he exchanged e-mails with a private citizen with a number of threats and a profanity-laced set of comments.

Does the White House and the president still have confidence in Mr. Kasowitz to speak for the administration on this Russia matter?

SPICER: Yes, he does.

And I know Mr. Kasowitz has issued an apology in that matter.


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) The president's tweet this morning regarding the Russia investigation, did Ty Cobb vet that? Can you talk a little bit about his role? Is his job here to manage the president's personal response to the Russia investigation?


SPICER: Mr. Cobb -- as you know, within the Counsel's Office, there are various attorneys that have different portfolios.

And while we have outside counsel, a lot of times, the requests that we get from this room require to us go to counsel and say, can we answer this question? What can we say or can't we say?

You do you do your best a lot of times to get us to make a case why this should be answered by the White House. And so we end up spending a lot of time talking to the counsel's office about what can and can't be referred to outside counsel, what still remains in our purview.

And so it was the decision of the White House to bring someone on board that, like in a lot of other areas that we have counsels dedicated to that, that there was significant interest in the subject to do that.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the president's tweet this morning (OFF-MIKE) went through Mr. Cobb?

SPICER: I don't believe so.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Made in America. You mentioned the (OFF-MIKE) helicopter on the (OFF-MIKE) South Lawn (OFF-MIKE) Marine One. Who paid for that to fly here from I guess probably Quantico? And also is it appropriate to use military resources for a political event?

SPICER: Well, it would be at Bowling (ph) is where I believe that's held.

But, you know, I think we're very proud. The idea is to showcase this week things that are made in America. And I know Sikorsky and the state of Connecticut are very proud of the fact that they contribute to our national security, that there are, I assume, hundreds, if not thousands of people whose job depends on that.

And I think, like most Americans, we're all proud of the helicopter and other military equipment that so many Americans work tirelessly to do. So, of course it is appropriate to highlight that.


QUESTION: Thank you, Sean.

I'm wondering whether you can tell us if Made in America week will include the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump brands committing to stop manufacturing wares abroad.

SPICER: Say that -- I'm sorry. If the...

QUESTION: As part of Made in America Week, if the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump's brands will make any kind of commitment to stop manufacturing gifts, clothes and other wares abroad?

SPICER: So, there's a couple of things that are interesting about that question.

First, I think what is really important is the president's agenda, regulatory relief and tax relief, our focus on trying to make sure that all companies can hire here, can expand here, can manufacture here. That's something that he wants for every company. And you have seen him talk about that extensively.

With respect to his own companies, obviously, it is inappropriate to discuss how anything would affect their own companies. But I can tell you that, in some cases, there are certain supply chains or scalability that may not be available in this country.

I'm not going to comment on specific products. But I will tell you that the overall arching goal, of course, though, is to grow manufacturing, to grow investment here in the United States and to grow U.S. workers here.

So, that remains the overall objective.

QUESTION: Obviously, it might be a sacrifice, given certain questions about going rates and stuff, but wouldn't it sort of be a way to show leadership...


SPICER: Again, it would be -- it's not appropriate for me to stand up here and comment about a business. I believe that's a little out of bounds.

But, again, I would go back to the president's broader goal, which is to create investment here, to bring back the manufacturing base.

And I think when you look at these indices that measure confidence, both in terms of CEOs, manufacturers, and -- that they're all-time highs. And I think part of that is, is there's a lot of confidence that the president's agenda is going to accomplish that.


QUESTION: Just a question about the DHS decision to allow 15,000 new temporary worker visas. How does that not conflict with the president's hire American message?

SPICER: Again, I will refer to DHS on this.

But I think one of the things that you're seeing through this is it's not just the number. It's a lot of the qualifications and a lot of the -- a lot that goes through there to ensure that we are hiring and bringing in the people.

As you know, the president has been supportive of the RAISE Act by Senators Cotton and Perdue, which seeks to really look at more of a merit-based immigration system. And that is something that he continues to push for and will continue to work with Senators Cotton and Perdue and others to help get that in a place that will focus more on merit-based and really provide the overall reform that he's been talking about for a long time.


QUESTION: Sean, thanks.

What is the White House reaction to the government of Iran announcing that the -- they have sentenced the Chinese-American student from Princeton to 10 years for espionage?

And, also, could you fill us in on any new sanctions on Iran?

SPICER: I'm not going to comment on any new sanctions, if there are some. At that point, Treasury would be the one to make that announcement when that is appropriate.

Obviously, we're disappointed in that. And with respect to that individual, he is someone that we're keeping an eye on.

QUESTION: Sean, with regard to -- I want to ask you about steel tariffs.


The president told reporters on the plane last week that he was considering tariffs and quotas with regard to foreign steel.

SPICER: Right.

QUESTION: This being Made in America Week, can we expect him now -- has the president made up his mind on whether he is going to do tariffs, quotas or both?

SPICER: I think that the president's comments on Air Force One speak for themselves.

When he's ready to make an announcement on that, we will share that with you. But that's something that the team is still discussing with him.

John Decker.

QUESTION: Thanks a lot, Sean. Is the president resigned to the idea that it seems unlikely that the Senate will vote on any type of a repeal and replace bill any time in the immediate future?

SPICER: I know that Senator McConnell has made it clear that he would like Senator McCain back. We obviously wish him a speedy recovery.

And as soon as Senator McConnell -- as soon as Senator McConnell can travel back and Senator McConnell feels it is appropriate, he will schedule that vote. We feel very confident about where we are now and we look forward to getting that bill on the president's desk and getting it signed.

QUESTION: I just wanted to ask a real quick question. I realize you can't speak, as you said, specifically about the President Donald J. Trump Organization's companies.

But just wanted to get a view from you on what critics are saying about whether the president is the right vessel for this message. After all, he has shirts made in China and Bangladesh and India, other products made, like Trump Vodka, made in the Netherlands.

So, give me a sense, if you will, could, about whether the president is the right vessel for the message that he's going to deliver later today before the press.

SPICER: I actually look at it in a very different way, which is the president has been a very successful businessman on a number of fronts and a number of areas and industries.

And to understand very firsthand what the tax burden and what the regulatory burden do to a business that wants to grow or expand here or here or hire here, so I think he actually is in a very unique way understands the challenges that our regulatory system and our tax system put on businesses that want to hire here, that want to grow here, that need scalability and capacity here in a way that maybe isn't because of some of our arcane trade laws, our regulations, or our tax laws.

So, I actually think that he's in a very unique way able to talk about the challenges that so many of these companies face as they choose to expand and some of the tariffs and quotas that they face in other markets.

I know that some of the stuff you look at a company like Caterpillar who is out, and then you talk to them about some of the tariffs that they face going into other countries, when you're talking about an earth mover, you know, a D-11 or something else, where you're talking about a million-plus-dollar piece of equipment, a 20 percent tariff is $200,000.

So, if you're going into a country where our company, our countries, our companies are disadvantaged by a huge tariff, that's immediately putting them at a disadvantage. And the president understands what that means to a company that wants to grow and expand throughout the globe, and meet new markets and go into other places. So, I think he understands it probably very, very uniquely.

Brad. Brad. Fred.

QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.

SPICER: We will get to you Andrew. Don't worry.


Couple questions on the voter integrity commission meeting on Wednesday. Want to ask you, without full cooperation of all of the states, would the commission consider buying some of the registration information, sort of the way campaigns do, or using (OFF-MIKE) private organization like (OFF-MIKE) international?

SPICER: Most of this information is available.

I mean, all those companies are doing it is buying it from the states. So, I don't think there would be any reason to go to a private vendor. I think we should be able to do this utilizing official resources that exist within a state.

Again, I think there's been some miscommunication on what they're seeking. The commission has asked that each state provide that information that is public, that they share, and because that varies from state to state what they're willing to give out, the commission was illustrative in its letter in trying to describe what it was looking for.

But I think we're going to move forward very well.

Trey, yes.

QUESTION: I'm sorry. I do have another.

(OFF-MIKE) There was hacking into voter registration rolls. (OFF- MIKE) South Carolina, it was reported. Is that going to be something the commission will look into at all?

SPICER: I think the commission has got a very broad mandate to make sure that there's the greatest degree of integrity in our voting system and confidence in it.

And so I don't want to get ahead of their agenda. But I think all areas like that are going to probably get brought up. But the first meeting is Wednesday. We will see what comes of it.


QUESTION: Sean, two foreign policy questions for you.

First, what steps is President Trump taking to ensure that the Israelis are comfortable with the U.S.-brokered cease-fire in Syria?

SPICER: So, obviously, with respect -- you're talking about Prime Minister Netanyahu's comments.

One, I would refer you to him to that. But there's a shared interest that we have with Israel making sure that Iran does not gain a foothold, military base-wise, in Southern Syria.


So while we're going to continue those talks, obviously, we want to have a productive cease-fire. But we also want to make sure that we're not -- one of our other objectives is obviously remains to make sure that Iran does not gain a foothold in Southern Syria.

So, we need to continue to have that discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu about his concerns. But I think there is a shared goal there.


QUESTION: Thanks, Sean.

With the health care bill in limbo, what is the administration's intention to move forward on tax reform? Can you do it without having moved on health care first?

SPICER: Well, obviously, the Senate is still on track to vote, which is great. And the president will sign it as soon as it's -- you know, as soon as it's possible.

We are going to continue to plan. We have had well into the hundreds if not close to 1,000 listening sessions with different entities. So, not -- the number of entities, not the number of meetings.

So, they will continue that outreach, continue to hear with folks. There has been a very robust discussion with House and Senate leadership and the committees of relevant jurisdiction.

And we're going to continue that. But we're going to keep moving that along. I expect there will be some activity in August, and then into September. But we're still on track to do that.

And we hope to have the health care bill completely locked up as soon as Senator McConnell deems it appropriate.

QUESTION: There is concern among those who support the health care bill that this extension is going to give the opponents of the bill more traction. What specifically is President Trump going to do to try to get this bill over the finish line? What (OFF-MIKE)

SPICER: Well, I mean, he's been very active on the phone. He is going to continue to meet with senators. I think he will another -- some senators over tonight.

He's been very active over the weekend. The vice president has been extremely engaged as well. We will continue those discussions.

So, you know, I think we're going to do what we did the last time, be very -- the president is going to be engaged. He's going to get this done. And then it's been said before, but there's no one better than Mitch McConnell when it comes to knowing how and when to make a bill successful in the Senate.

So, we have every confidence in the majority leader's ability to get this done and the president will do whatever he has to, to support those efforts.

QUESTION: And who is going over tonight? Is it just...


SPICER: I don't have a list for you right now.

QUESTION: And one quickly on Russia. President Trump has referred to the Russia investigation as a hoax, a witch-hunt.

Given the meeting that Donald Trump Jr. had, does he now acknowledge that special counsel has a legitimate investigation?

SPICER: I think Mr. Sekulow answered that question very extensively this weekend.


SPICER: Again, I think it's been asked and answered. I think we did...


QUESTION: Sean, can you tell me how these products were selected in each of the 50 states? And do you know if most of the owners are Trump supporters?

SPICER: I don't. You're free to ask them.

I think the pool will be out there. I think there are some folks, so feel free to talk to hem. This was an engagement where we asked for suggestions from governors and members of Congress to give us a list.

And then working within the different offices here, an ultimate selection was made. But we sought input from the governors and the congressional delegation.

Abby (ph).

QUESTION: Since Friday, the president has tweeted four times about health care, but he has also tweeted six times about U.S. (OFF-MIKE) private property that is owned by his company.

So, the question is, is it appropriate for him to essentially advertise his private business using his Twitter feed and his time, when comparatively less time is being spent on health care, an issue that, as you know, is the most important issue to Americans right now?

SPICER: Well, I respectfully disagree with that. In the sense that you -- sending off a tweet takes, what, five, 10 seconds. As I just mentioned to Kristen (ph), he's been extremely engaged throughout the weekend with making phone calls, talking to folks, meeting with his team, getting updates.

So, to compare a tweet with a meeting or a phone call of substance is probably a little...

QUESTION: But he did spend time a lot of his weekend (OFF-MIKE) U.S. Women's Open and seemed to be very engaged in it. Tweets perhaps are a second-long, but its seems to indicate what the president is spending his time on.

So, how do you assure the country that he actually is, in fact, engaged on health care?



SPICER: Right, because I would suggest to you, one, I just told you that he's been extremely engaged in talking to different senators. I know that some of them have mentioned that they had extensive discussions with him.

Number two, this is the same group -- we got a lot of that it will never get through the House. We worked, and continued to work hard, continued to be engaged then, and it came out.

We continue to do what we have to do and we will make it work. But we're going to get this done. We will go move on. We will do tax reform. We're going to do infrastructure. The president has got a very robust agenda.


And I think when you look at the amount of activity that he's been able to do and the results that he's getting, I think that speaks for itself.



SPICER: Yes, sure.

QUESTION: Ivanka Trump -- the head of Ivanka Trump's business said that there -- it is currently not possible to make her product here in the United States.

So, what is the White House or this administration's policy remedy for companies like who say there's just no way to do it? How do they make their products here in America?

SPICER: Well, I mean, I can't answer that question, in the sense that I'm not -- but I can tell you that it depends on the product. Right? There are certain things that, certain industries that we don't do as

much anymore, and there are certain things that we do do more. There's a certain thing that -- certain aspect of technology and labor.

But, as I mentioned before, in terms of scalability, there are certain things that we may not have the capacity to do here, in terms of having a plant or a factory that can do it.

The beautiful thing about a capitalistic society is that, if there's enough of a demand for it, it will happen. And I think that's what the president is trying to do, is, if you lower the tax rate, if you lower the regulatory burden, you know, you will hopefully grow businesses and hope grow manufacturing.

I have talked to several CEOs and business leaders in the past couple of weeks about tax reform. And it is amazing how many of them tell that you they pay the 35 percent rate and you say to them, what will you do if that rate drops? And the number one thing they talk about is they're going to invest and build more in their company.

And I think that is what we need to do. But some lines, some industries, some products may not have the scalability or the demand here in this country. But like so many on other things, that if that demand, if there's enough of a demand, then hopefully someone builds a factory and does it.

But we have seen that in your own industry, where you saw the decline of newspapers, for example, and you have seen a lot more online source -- online content and online publications. That's the evolution sometimes of some industries.

But I'm sure around the world, newspapers still get delivered every day in a much greater way than they do here.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) If there's (OFF-MIKE) handbags, shirts, purses, whatever, if there's no capacity, is it appropriate to make those things overseas?

SPICER: Well, think about all of the things that we buy every day. Of course there's a market, because we depend in this country for so many goods and services, some of which are made in America, some of which aren't.

Obviously, we want to create an environment in which more things are made here, more things exported from here. And that's what the president's agenda sets out to do.

So, I got to go to birthday girl, Kayla (ph).

Oh, I'm sorry, Sarah (ph).

QUESTION: Sarah. Oh, thanks.

It's not my birthday, but...


SPICER: No, I -- I don't even want to get into it. It's Kayla's birthday. She's not here. I saw Eamon. I thought CNBC. My apologies.

QUESTION: I will take a second question.

SPICER: No, you already -- and then I will go to you.


QUESTION: Back to the JCPOA, I really don't want to get ahead of the announcement about the recertification, but the administration has been reviewing it for some time now, even though the president has already made definitive statements about what he thinks should be done on the Iran deal.

So, did he make those statements without having sufficient information about the Iran deal, or is the review ongoing because he's open to changing his position on the Iran deal if new information came to light?

SPICER: Yes, I have got to say, I think the president, from throughout the campaign until now, has made very clear that he thinks it's a bad deal.

And, initially, he recertified it because he was -- had the luxury of having an entire team here both from State, national -- DOD, NSC to review it. That time is up. And State will make its announcement very shortly.

But I think he has been very consistent with the fact that he thought it was a bad deal.

So, Andrew?

QUESTION: Thank you, Sean.

Two questions and then a short follow-up. When the president took office, one of the things he ordered was 90-day cyber-security review. That deadline came and went. It's been several months.

Can you update us on where that report is? Has it been completed? And, if it hasn't been completed, why?

SPICER: I will get back to you on the report. He did sign an executive order on cyber, making sure that we have the resources necessary to protect our key, critical infrastructure.


And second question. Last week, there was a large online day of action on net neutrality organized and participated in by many of the largest companies in America, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, a lot of the technology economy that's driving the U.S. economy. Granted, the FCC is an independent agency, but does the president

believe that network neutrality is an important thing and an open Internet is important to the American economy?

SPICER: Well, again, I -- as you noted, the FCC is an independent agency. I would refer to you them with respect to...

QUESTION: I asked if the president believes...

SPICER: I don't -- I have not addressed net neutrality specifically.