Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Live Event/Special
Sean Reyes: "President Donald Trump Is A Fierce Warrior Against Human Trafficking"; Patrick Lynch At 2020 RNC: "You Won't Be Safe In Joe Biden's America"; Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani Addresses 2020 Republican National Convention. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired August 27, 2020 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL'S SPEECH)
TEXT: TONIGHT WE HONOR THE AMERICAN ATHLETE.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So, all of these titans of American sport know that many of life's most valuable lessons are learned on the field of competition and the ability to overcome adversity.
LOU GEHRIG: That I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for.
(CROWD CHEERS & APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And your relentless will to win, win, win.
These qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a game cast in sports immortality.
TRUMP: And always striving for greatness. You stayed in the fight. You finished the fight. Often bumpy roads lead to beautiful places.
This great building is celebrating great people. And you're winners all.
(CROWD CHANTS "USA!")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you please rise for the playing of our national anthem?
TRUMP: It's our honor to be in the company of great, great champions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Team USA will indeed take home the gold.
TRUMP: We have to get our sports back.
We can't wait to see what's next.
Never give up. Never lose faith. Never, ever quit. Just keep forging ahead to give everything you've got. Victory is always within reach.
(CROWD CHANTS "USA!")
DANA WHITE, PRESIDENT, ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP: Hey everyone. I am Dana White, the President of the UFC.
Many of you know who I am, what I do, and that I am friends with the President. I spoke at this Convention four years ago, and I'm back because I believe we need President Trump's leadership now more than ever.
Before the pandemic, President Trump built the greatest economy in our nation's history, and created opportunities for all Americans like no one before him. Financial markets hit all-time highs. Unemployment was at an all-time low. And we weren't facing the lawless destruction that now is occurring in a few of our great cities.
It blows my mind how quickly some of the leadership in this country has forgotten the critical role first responders play in our society. Police departments and other law enforcement, even some fire departments have faced opposition from many in this country.
But they are always the people who are asked to step up when things are at their worst and put themselves at risk. That has certainly been the case during this ongoing pandemic.
Come on, America! Defunding these vital positions is not the answer. The first responders have always taken care of us. And now, more than ever, we need to take care of them.
Now, let's talk about COVID. And let's be very honest about it. No one person and no one place could have anticipated the challenges that COVID would bring.
But President Trump has faced all these obstacles head-on. He immediately put protective measures in place, and he reached out to the best and the brightest leading American businesses, across all industries, to discuss what he and his Administration could do to get the economy back up and running safely.
Let me give you more detail. In early April, President Trump organized a Task Force of business leaders across the country, and I was fortunate enough to serve on that Task Force.
Firsthand, I had the opportunity to witness how hard-working and determined President Trump was to solve unprecedented problems our country was facing. I, personally, observed his ability to listen and understand the issues impacting Americans of all backgrounds.
It was clear. His highest priority was always the health and safety of everyone in our country. Not just Republicans. Not just supporters. But every single American.
President Trump recognized that one of the small ways to instill a sense of normalcy in people's lives was to bring back entertainment options. The President went above and beyond to help all sports leagues involved, figure out a way to overcome the challenges of staging live, professional sporting events, in the middle of a pandemic.
And you know what? We did it. The UFC was the first to do it, and we are continuing to do it. Now, other sports have joined us. And some of the lessons learned are being used to help reopen other types of businesses and schools.
Make no mistake about it. We still have a long way to go. And that is why we need a leader with President Trump's unique attributes at this critical time.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. He is one of the most loyal human beings I have ever met. The man has unstoppable energy. No one and, I mean no one is going to outwork this guy. But, most importantly, he truly loves and believes in our country. He believes in the people of this country.
America is the place everyone wants a solid job. They want to take care of their family. They want to support the community, assist the less fortunate, and enjoy the freedom this country has provided to all of us.
While we have certainly experienced a ton of negativity in 2020, President Trump's mindset is to work tirelessly, to find solutions to problems and help restore America. He did it once and, I'm telling you, right now, he will do it again.
And remember, President Trump may be the only president in modern times who has actually done everything he said he would do during his campaign.
There is this quote that I love from Ronald Reagan, where he said, "There isn't any problem we can't solve if government will give us the facts, tell us what needs to be done, then get out of the way and let us have at it."
And what that means to me is, as Americans, we work hard to overcome adversity, and we face the tough times head-on. Irrespective of your gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation, what unites us as a nation is freedom, equality, and opportunity. That's what it means to be an American.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's re-elect President Trump. Let's figure out what the problems are, and continue to find solutions to those problems. Then, let's get to work.
I'd like to close with this. While it's critically important to re- elect President Trump, this pandemic has also taught us to be very, very careful, who you select as your next governor, senator, congressperson, and mayor. It is so important to vote. And don't think that your vote doesn't
matter, because to be honest with you, it has never mattered more than it does right now.
Thank you and have a great evening, America.
SEAN REYES, (R) UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL: (FOREIGN LANGUAGE) and good evening.
I am Utah Attorney General, Sean Reyes. I'm a proud American and proud descendant of warrior ancestors, women and men alike, from my Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, and Spanish heritage.
My father demonstrated his warrior spirit, over 50 years ago, fighting a dictator in his homeland, the Philippines.
Barely escaping with his life, he started anew in America. He arrived with nothing but faith, determination, and a willingness to work hard. He lived the American Dream, building businesses, a family, and seeing me become Utah's first minority statewide elected official.
Today, I channel my warrior roots by battling human trafficking.
I've been able to lead some of the largest trafficking prosecutions in America, and travel to foreign countries, working with law enforcement and NGOs, to dismantle trafficking networks, and rescue people from the most brutal conditions imaginable, young girls and women sold into sex slavery. Young boys and men forced into labor servitude, illegal adoptions, organ harvesting, human life utterly debased.
President Donald Trump is a fierce warrior against human trafficking. How do I know? Early in 2017, I had occasion to visit with him about our rescues. He asked insightful questions, expressed deep concern for victims. Overwhelmed with compassion, he promised to attack this evil.
President Trump summoned Ivanka and leaders from his cabinet, directing resources and hundreds of millions of dollars for raising awareness, liberating victims, prosecuting predators, and empowering survivors.
Together, they've done more to combat human trafficking than any Administration in modern history. Now, that's a promise kept.
President Trump's taken similar aggressive action to break the chains of drug addiction and improve mental and behavioral health. He declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, and made available billions of dollars to confront this threat.
He also signed a bill, creating a phone number, like 911, but for mental health. When activated, 988 will be a lifeline for those struggling with thoughts of suicide, depression, addiction, self-harm, or even hurting others. It will save countless American lives.
A few months ago, my father, my warrior hero, lost his fight with cancer. When he passed, he had, by his bed side, his scriptures, family photos, and a pen President Trump gave me to give him.
Dad loved that pen. It represented freedom to him, the freedom that only exists when someone is willing to fight for it. To my father, President Trump is that ultimate warrior fighting for our freedom.
If you listen to Democrats, the media, and liberal elite, they will tell you that America's light doesn't shine as brightly around the world as it once did. That is simply not true. The same light that brought my father to America inspires the desperate and downtrodden equally today.
Believe me, I interact with some of the most marginalized victims on Earth, and they love America. They love President Trump because he is fighting for their freedom and America's freedom.
Thank you, President Trump. God bless you, and God bless America, this Land of Greatness.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER: President Trump's Convention speech is coming up soon. We'll have much more of our special coverage right after this quick break.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER: We are back with our coverage of the Republican National Convention. We are awaiting President Trump's speech, delivered unusually from the South Lawn of the White House.
And, Abby, one of the upcoming speakers is a woman named Ann Dorn. She's the widow of a retired Police Captain, who was killed in St. Louis, David Dorn. What else can you tell us about her and her late husband?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Ann Dorn is going to be one of these very emotional speakers. Her story or the story of her husband was something that really captured the imagination of conservatives during the George Floyd protests, earlier this summer.
But one of the things about having so many victims or the families of victims, speaking at this Convention, is that the victims themselves are obviously no longer here with us, to say how they would feel about it.
And two of David Dorn's children, apparently, Debra and Lisa have both said that her - their father was not a Trump supporter and that they do not think that he would have wanted his legacy to be used in a political fashion at a political convention in this way. But again, it's one of those things where he is not here, unfortunately, to speak for himself, and his children are not going to be here to speak with her.
But this is going to be a really kind of one of those key, core messages that's going to be tying together the law and order idea, and also this idea that protesters or rioters are ravaging American cities.
TAPPER: And so many African-American speakers this week, disproportionate to their membership in the Republican Party.
TAPPER: And certainly in the Trump Administration. So much of this seems geared towards trying to convince people that despite the fact that so many Americans think that President Trump is racist, to be frank, he's not.
We keep hearing people who are African-American, who know the President, and are saying, "I wish you could see the Trump that I see."
PHILLIP: Yes. And, as you've said, it's sort of asking people to not believe what they are experiencing, and it's a challenge, but there are also questions about whether this is really aimed at African- Americans--
PHILLIP: --so much as it might be aimed at White Americans, White women, who are concerned about seeming like they are contributing to racial strife by supporting President Trump.
So it is obviously, you can see it in all these different speakers, they've taken great care to find as many voices as they can to speak to this, people who know the President, people who don't.
And their stories are important and notable, but we should also say, as you said, it is not actually representative of the Republican Party or, for that matter, the President's own cabinet.
There are not many African-Americans serving in the President's cabinet or in senior levels of government, right now, and that's been the case since President Trump came into office.
TAPPER: Yes. I think I read a "New York Times" reporter saying so much of this seems aimed at insulating the President and the Republican Party from target - from accusations of racism, not necessarily trying to actually reach out to African-Americans themselves.
Let's rejoin the Convention now.
ANN DORN, WIDOW OF RETIRED POLICE CAPTAIN KILLED DURING PROTESTS: Hello. My name is Ann Dorn. I'd like to introduce you to my husband, David, father of five, brother of 12, grandfather of 10, friend to thousands.
He was a most kind, dedicated, loving life partner I could have hoped for. He had a big smile and a heart to match. He was blessed with a gift of gab, and that gift enabled him to touch souls and inspire people, especially young people.
Oh, how kids loved him, and they really loved him back!
Dave was all about service. He served 38 years in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and, six years as Chief of Police, as the Moline Acres Police Department. After 44 years, he retired from law enforcement, but he never retired from helping a friend in need.
Since he befriended every person he met, he was a very busy man. One example of that was his friendship with a young man named Lee.
David met him when Lee was just a kid, after members of his family were attacked and murdered. Dave took a special interest in the boy. They bonded, and their friendship grew and remained strong throughout the years.
Lee eventually opened a pawn shop. He trusted Dave implicitly, and asked Dave to help with security. David readily agreed. Whenever the shop's alarm would go off, the alarm company called Dave. He would investigate.
If he got a call after I went to bed, he would wake me up and tell me he was going to Lee's, just to make sure everything was all right. Most of the time, they were false alarms, triggered by a storm or animals. But I never rested easily until I heard Dave's key turn in the door, knowing he was home safe.
The alarm that went off the morning of June 2nd was for real. It was a violent night in St. Louis. Four officers were shot. Others were hit with rocks and fireworks. At least five businesses were damaged, looted, or set on fire.
As the Officer Wellness Coordinator and CIT Coordinator with the Police Department, I was keenly aware of the rioting, and I spent the evening, getting ready to mobilize support for officers who were impacted.
After I had gone to bed, David received a call from Lee's alarm company. The front door of the pawn shop had been breached. This time, he didn't wake me up to tell me. He probably knew I would have tried to stop him, or insist on going with him.
As I slept, looters were ransacking the shop. They shot and killed David in cold blood, and then live-streamed his execution, and his last moments on Earth. David's grandson was watching the video on Facebook in real-time, not realizing he was watching his own grandfather dying on the sidewalk. I learned of all this around 4:00 A.M. When our doorbell rang, the Chief of Police was standing outside. I wondered why Dave had not answered the door. It wasn't uncommon for him to be up watching TV at this time. I called out to him several times. There was no reply. He just wasn't there.
I let in the Chief and, fighting back tears, he uttered the words every officer's spouse dreads.
I relive that horror, in my mind, every single day. My hope is that having you relive it with me now will help shake this country from this nightmare we are witnessing in our cities and bring about positive, peaceful change.
How did we get to this point, where so many young people are callous and indifferent towards human life? This isn't a video game where you can commit mayhem, and then just hit reset, and bring all the characters back to life.
Dave is never, never coming back to me. He was murdered by people who didn't know and just didn't care. He would have done anything to help them.
Violence and destruction are not legitimate forms of protest. They do not safeguard Black lives. They only destroy them. President Trump understands this, has offered federal help to restore order in our communities.
In a time when police departments are short on resources and manpower, we need that help. We should accept that help. We must heal before we can effect change. But we cannot heal amid devastation and chaos.
President Trump knows we need more Davids in our communities, not fewer. We need to come together in peace, and remember that every life is precious.
(HUD SECRETARY DR. BEN CARSON'S SPEECH)
PATRICK LYNCH, NEW YORK POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION: I'm Pat Lynch, President of Police Benevolent Association, speaking to you on behalf of 50,000 active and retired New York City police officers.
We are the proud men and women who wear a shield on our chest and put ourselves in harm's way to protect our City. We are proud to endorse our President Donald J. Trump for re-election because the stakes have never been higher.
Like cops across the country, we are staring down the barrel of a public safety disaster. More than 1,000 people have been shot in New York City so far this year. Almost 300 have been killed. These are not just numbers. These are real people.
A father gunned down while holding his 7-year-old daughter's hand.
A beloved neighborhood peacemaker killed by a stray bullet.
A 17-year-old, who made all the right choices, who worked hard to go to college, and earned a sports scholarship, murdered before he can tell his mother the news.
A 1-year-old child shot dead in his stroller.
Innocent people, innocent lives lost. One tragedy is too many. But every day the number keeps growing. And every day, our communities are asking us, "Why is this happening?"
The answer is simple. The Democrats have walked away from us. They have walked away from police officers, and they've walked away from the innocent people we protect.
Democratic politicians have surrendered our streets and our institutions. The loudest voices have taken control, and our so-called leaders are scrambling to catch up with them.
In city after city, they've slashed police budgets. They have hijacked and dismantled the criminal justice system. They've passed laws that made it impossible for police officers to do our job effectively.
Here is the sad truth that every cop in this country knows. The violence and chaos we're seeing now isn't a side effect. It isn't an unintended consequence. It's actually the goal.
The Radical-Left doesn't really want better policing. They don't really care about making the justice system fairer. What they want is no policing. What they want is a justice system that just stops working all together.
In places where Democrats are in power, the Radical-Left is getting exactly what they want, and our country is suffering for it.
I've been a New York City police officer for 36 years. I've spent 21 of those years, protecting the cops who protect New Yorkers. I've never seen our streets go this bad so quickly. I've never heard from so many cops, from every corner of the country, who are saying the same thing, "Our hands are tied."
If we're going to turn the tide, and restore law and order, we cannot fall into the Left's trap. There is nobody who hates bad cops more than good cops. But that doesn't matter to the Radical-Left. To them, we're all just bad because we're all just blue.
Their anti-law enforcement campaign isn't about a single incident. It isn't the result of one bad law or one bad policy. It's about a message. The message is police officers are the enemy. The message is criminals have the right to resist arrest. The message is, if you commit a crime, if you victimize the most
vulnerable of people, the justice system will not hold you accountable. That's the message echoing through city halls and state houses across our country. It's playing on a loop in the media.
The criminals have heard that message, and they are taking full advantage. We must stop that message. We must expose the Left's lies about police officers and the job that we do. And we will do that because we have something that they don't.
We have a real leader. We have a powerful voice in the most powerful office in our country. We have President Donald J. Trump.
Unlike the Democrats, who are running in fear of the mob in the street, President Trump has never apologized for supporting police officers, and standing up for law and order.
Unlike the Democrats, who froze in the face of rioting and looting, President Trump matches his words with his actions. He gives law enforcement the support and the tools we need to go out there and put a stop to it. Period! End of story.
It has never been harder to be a police officer in this country, but there are two things that keep us going. We look at the victims, the vulnerable, the regular working people who count on us. We keep strapping on our duty belts and bullet resistant vests because we know we can't let them down.
And while we do that, we hear the words of our President, who says to police officers everywhere, "I will never let you down." We know that he hasn't and we know that he won't.
We've been fortunate to have him in office these past four years, and we know that we cannot afford to lose him. When it comes to your safety, your family's safety, and the safety of all Americans, there is no other choice.
You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. We can have four more years of President Trump, or you can have no safety, no justice, and no peace.
RUDY GIULIANI, (R) FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Good evening. My name is Rudy Giuliani, and I'm the former Mayor of New York City.
In 2013, my City elected a self-described, progressive Democrat as Mayor. New York City, once described as America's crime capital, had become, by the mid-1990s, America's safest large city.
Now today, my City is in shock. Murders, shootings, and violent crime are increasing at percentages unheard of in the past. We're seeing the return of rioting and looting.
During riots, this Democrat Mayor, like others, has often prevented the police from making arrests. And even when arrests are made, liberal, progressive D.A.s, release the rioters, so as not to disrupt the rioting.
New Yorkers wonder, "How did we get overwhelmed by crime so quickly and declined so fast?" Don't let Democrats do to America what they have done to New York.
Again, the Democrats are urging you to vote for an obviously defective candidate.
Biden has changed his principles so often he no longer has any principles. He is a Trojan Horse, with Bernie, AOC, Pelosi, Black Lives Matter, and his Party's entire Left-wing, just waiting to execute their pro-criminal, anti-police, socialist policies.
The whole unprecedented wave of lawlessness began with a truly just cause, the unforgiveable police-killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Peaceful protests began all over the land.
The condemnation of the killing was universal, from President Trump, to Democrat leaders.
It seemed for a few brief, shining moments, Democrat and Republican leaders would come together with a unified proposal to reduce police misconduct. This possibility was very dangerous to the Left. They had a President to beat and a country to destroy. And although an agreement on action against police brutality would be
very valuable for the country, it would also make President Trump appear to be an effective leader. They could have none of that.
So, Black Lives Matter and Antifa sprang into action and, in a flash, they hijacked a peaceful protest into vicious, brutal riots. Soon, protests turned into riots, in many other American cities, almost all Democrat.
Businesses were burned and crushed, people beaten, shot, and killed. Police officers routinely assaulted, badly beaten and occasionally murdered. And the police handcuffed by progressive, Democrat mayors from doing anything but observe the crimes and absorb the blows.
But the worst of it was the slaughter of innocent young people with their whole lives ahead of them.
The murder of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, in Kansas City, shocked a nation, but not Black Lives Matter or their many Democrat supporters.
17-year-old basketball star, Brandon Hendricks, was killed in the Bronx, just days after graduating high school, and on his way to St. John's to play basketball. He passed with only a brief mention.
1-year-old Davell Gardner Jr. was shot and killed in a stroller at a cookout in Brooklyn, and it caused no outrage. For President Trump and, for us, Republicans, all Black lives matter, and the lives of LeGend and Brandon and Davell matter to us. All lives matter to us.
These continuous riots in Democratic cities, gives you a good view of the future under Biden.
All five of the top cities for homicides, like the top cities for rioting and looting, are governed by progressive Democrats, using the progressive Democrat approach to crime, which is to do nothing substantive to reduce it, to release prisoners, as many and as soon as possible, and to go to war with the police, the only group with the capability to protect your citizens.
It is clear that a vote for Biden and the Democrats creates the risk that you will bring this lawlessness to your city, to your town, to your suburb. There is no question that this awesome job of restoring safety for our people cannot be done from your basement, Joe.
There's also no question that President Trump will fight with all his strength to preserve the American system of government and our way of life.
In critical times, in our history, America has always been blessed with the right person to handle the crisis. Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan were perfect for the challenges they faced, and brought our nation through gloriously.
President Trump with his boundless love of our country and all our people, his disciplined work ethic, his exceptional ability to inspire, and his deep understanding of our system of government and the strength of American values demand, we can trust to preserve and even improve our way of life.
Mr. President, make our nation safe again.
BLITZER: All right, Jake. Give us your reaction to what we just heard from Rudy Giuliani.
TAPPER: Well, I mean, this is on a national stage, Fox programming, which is why maybe some people's parents and grandparents seem really scared these days. The Democrats are to blame for everything.
He wants to criticize Mayor de Blasio of New York. That's fine. There are plenty of New Yorkers who would probably agree with Mayor Giuliani on that. But some of the things he said about Joe Biden are just not true.
He said that Joe Biden is getting rid of - disavowing his authorship of the '94 crime bill. It's not true. He's disavowed the support (ph) parts of it that he had to support to get passed, such as the mass incarceration, but he's still supporting other parts of it. He talked about whether or not the Democrats have condemned violence.
Joe Biden has condemned violence. He did it just yesterday.
But, I think, the biggest thing here is this conspiracy theory, not based in reality, where Giuliani is saying that everything was going wonderful, everybody was unifying after the death of George Floyd, and then there was all these liberals conspiring and they just couldn't have it because they can't have Donald Trump be seen as a unifier.
That's not what happened at all. In fact, Donald Trump, you know, he was spreading conspiracy theories and besmirching of George Floyd himself on Twitter.
So, it's just this bizarre conspiracy theory about how this happened in order to explain why it is that Trump should not be held responsible for what's going on in the Trump-era, Wolf.
BLITZER: And coming up, very soon, the President of the United States. Let's get back to the Convention.
(ARKANSAS GOP SENATOR TOM COTTON'S SPEECH)
MARSHA MUELLER, MOTHER OF ISIS VICTIM KAYLA MUELLER: My name is Marsha Mueller. This is my husband, Carl. Our daughter, Kayla was taken as a hostage and murdered by ISIS.
From a young age, Kayla was amazing. She taught herself languages, how to write music, how to play guitar. She worked with troubled youth, military veterans, and Native Americans.
Everywhere Kayla went, people smiled.
Kayla had a gift to be able to see the world through someone else's eyes. She became a humanitarian aid worker.
And when she was helping children at an orphanage in India, Kayla wrote "I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. If this is how you are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek you."
She went to Turkey to help Syrian refugees in 2012. In August, 2013, she was asked by another aid worker to cross the border into Syria, to help at a hospital. On August 4, 2013, ISIS terrorists stopped her vehicle and took her captive.
CARL MUELLER, FATHER OF ISIS VICTIM KAYLA MUELLER: Kayla was mostly held in a 12x12 cell in solitary confinement. It was cold and dirty. ISIS terrorists shined bright lights in her face. They shaved her head. They beat her and tortured her.
The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, raped her repeatedly. For 18 months, she endured. And we endured an agonizing back-and-forth between us, the Obama Administration, and ISIS. We put all our faith in the government. But the government let us
down. President Obama refused to meet with us until ISIS had already beheaded other Americans. To this day, we've never heard from Joe Biden.
Instead, the Obama Administration hid behind policy so much that we felt hopeless when they kept us from negotiating, to save Kayla's life. The Administration showed more concern for the terrorists in Guantanamo than the American hostages in Syria.
The military prepared a rescue mission, but the White House delayed it. By the time it went forward, Kayla had been moved to another location. After 18 months of brutal torture, we learned from ISIS that Kayla had been killed.
The Obama Administration kept telling us they were doing everything they could. But their version of "Everything" wasn't enough.
What a difference a president makes!
Under President Trump, U.S. Army special operators conducted a raid on al-Baghdadi's compound.
After we learned that al-Baghdadi was killed, we learned something else. The operators named themselves "Task Force 8-14" after August 14, Kayla's birthday. And the mission was named Operation Kayla Mueller. To those soldiers, thank you. Kayla was looking down on you.
The Trump team gave us empathy we never received from the Obama Administration. The Obama Administration said it was doing everything it could. The Trump Administration is.
Let me just say this. Kayla should be here. If Donald Trump had been President, when Kayla was captured, she would be here today.
When Kayla was a hostage, I'd go outside at night, and look at the moon. I'd look at the moon, and I'd promise her I'd do everything I could to get her home. Now, when I see the moon, I'm reminded of my promise to her I couldn't keep.
M. MUELLER: All Kayla wanted was to make it home. We are still working to find her and, God willing, we will bring her home. Kayla was born a miracle. We were told we would never have a second child. But God gave us Kayla. And she gave herself to the world.
Eight months into Kayla's captivity, another hostage was able to smuggle out a letter Kayla had written. As we read it, we could see that God was holding her in His arms. In her words, she "Felt tenderly cradled in freefall."
She also wrote "I have been shown in darkness, light and have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally at 25-years-old come to realize your place in my life. None of us could have known it would be this long, but know I am also
fighting from my side in the ways I am able and I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down, and I will not give in no matter how long it takes."
Kayla taught me so many things as her mom. She's still teaching us.
Carl and I support Donald Trump because of his commitment to make and keep America great, not with the power of the government, but with the passion of people like Kayla, Americans who, even in the darkest days, always have more fight left inside of them, Americans who don't just talk, they act.
That was our daughter. That's President Trump. As long as we stay strong, like Kayla, as long as we refuse to break, we will be great.
TEXT: ALICE JOHNSON WAS SENTENCED TO SERVE LIFE IN PRISON FOR A NONVIOLENT DRUG OFFENSE.
THANKS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP, PEOPLE LIKE ALICE ARE GETTING A SECOND CHANCE.
ALICE JOHNSON, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM ADVOCATE, GRANTED CLEMENCY BY PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'm free to hug my family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
JOHNSON: I'm free to start over.
TEXT: POLITICIANS TALK ABOUT CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM.
PRESIDENT TRUMP GOT IT DONE.
THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES ARE BEING REUNITED.
JOHNSON: This is the greatest day of my life. My heart is just bursting with gratitude. I want to thank President Donald John Trump.
(CROWD CHEERS & APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Almost all people said that criminal justice reform would never pass. But we came together as a group, we worked across Party lines, and we got it done.
JOHNSON: I'm an example of a woman who has been given a second chance in life. God bless you and God bless America.
(CROWD CHEERS & APPLAUSE) (END VIDEOTAPE)
JOHNSON: Good evening. I'm Alice Marie Johnson.
I was once told that the only way I would ever be reunited with my family would be as a corpse.
But by the grace of God and the compassion of President Donald John Trump, I stand before you tonight, and I assure you, I'm not a ghost. I am alive. I am well. And most importantly, I am free.
In 1996, I began serving time in prison, life plus 25 years. I had never been in trouble. I was a first-time nonviolent offender.
What I did was wrong. I made decisions that I regret. Some say you do the crime, you do the time. However, that time should be fair and just. We've all made mistakes. None of us want to be defined forever based on our worst decision.
While in prison, I became a playwright, a mentor, a certified hospice volunteer, an ordained minister, and received the Special Olympics Event Coordinator of the Year award for my work with disabled women. Because the only thing worse than unjustly imprisoning my body is trying to imprison my mind.
My transformation was described as extraordinary. Truth is there are thousands of people, just like me, who deserve the opportunity to come home. I never stopped fighting for my freedom. My Christian faith, and the prayers of so many, kept hope alive.
When President Trump heard about me, about the injustice of my story, he saw me as a person. He had compassion and he acted. Free in body, thanks to President Trump, but free in mind, thanks to the almighty God.
I couldn't believe it. I always remembered that God knew my name, even in my darkest hour. But I never thought a President would.
When I was released on June 6th, 2018, I ran across that road and hugged my grandchildren for the first time. I'll never forget that feeling.
And then, I remembered the promise I had made to the men and women I left behind, that I would never stop fighting for them. And I haven't. I'm using my voice to tell their stories, and I pray that my face reminds you of those forgotten faces.
Six months after President Trump granted me a second chance, he signed the First Step Act into law. It was real justice reform. And it brought joy, hope and freedom to thousands of well-deserving people.
I hollered "Hallelujah". My faith in justice and in mercy was rewarded. Imagine getting to hug your loved ones again, and to think. This First Step meant so much, to so many, I can't wait because we're just getting started.
The nearly 22 years I spent in prison were not wasted. God had a purpose and a plan for my life. I was not delayed or denied. I was destined for such a time as this.
I pray that you will not just hear this message, but that you will be inspired by my story and your compassion will lead you to take action, for those who are forgotten.
That's what our President Donald Trump did for me. And for that I will be forever grateful. God bless you. God bless President Trump. And God bless America. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's one of the great American success stories, a builder who left his mark on skylines around the world, a businessman with an extraordinary ability to communicate directly with the American people. A leader who grew tired of politicians leading our country down a road to ruin.
He didn't do it for money or power or fame. He had all that. He did it because of his love for our great country.
TRUMP: And we will make America great again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald J. Trump beat the odds, smashed The Establishment, and won the presidency for the American people.
BLITZER: Donald Trump has defeated Hillary Clinton to become president-elect.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton has called Donald Trump to concede the race.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has been a stunning night. It has been a historic night.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Washington D.C., The Establishment is terrified, and they should be.
They were all, all of them wrong, making this one of the greatest upsets in American political history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immediately upon taking office, President Trump changed things, but change threatened The Establishment. And The Establishment fought back.