The President: I would say
that we have a very, very unified party.
Mitch has been fantastic. Everybody in that room
was fantastic. There was no reason for me
even to be there. I knew that before we went. But the Republicans
want border security. They want national security. They want to have a steel
barrier or a wall of concrete. They don’t care.
But I’ll use any term they want. We need a barrier to stop
the human traffickers and the drug trade, and to stop all of
the big problems that come, including gangs. They don’t come through
your checkpoints; they come through areas where you have hundreds of miles
without walls and without barriers,
or without strong fences. So the Republican Party,
I can say — and I just left an hour meeting.
We had a great time, actually. There was no discussion about
anything other than solidarity. We want national security and
border security for our country. Senate Majority Leader
McConnell: Yeah, let me just add
before the President leaves. First of all,
thanks for coming out. And I think the President
accurately characterized the discussion (inaudible).
We’re all behind the President. We think this border
security issue is extremely important
for the country. And we appreciate
your leadership on it. The President: Thank you
very much. The Press: If this is
a security crisis, why not declare
a national emergency? If this is a security crisis — The President: Well,
I may do that at some point. If Chuck and Nancy —
who I’m meeting with, I believe in a little while —
if they don’t agree to the fact that our country
has really got problems with crime, with drugs,
with a lot of other things that come
through our southern border — so much of it comes
through the southern border. If you look at heroin, 90 percent
through the southern border. So much.
So many problems. And if they can’t
get that through, or if they feel
that, politically — I don’t know why
it’s good politically. You know,
I don’t care politically. I’m doing what’s right
for the country. But I’ll tell you,
it’s a very bad political issue for the Democrats.
That I can tell you. The Press: Did any Republicans
today, in that meeting,
tell you that they want you to pursue a different strategy; that they want you to reopen
the government? The President: We
talked about — a couple talked about — you know,
a couple talked about strategy. But they’re with us all the way.
They’re with us all the way. I mean, I just want — because, you know,
the fake give the fake news. And I just want to tell you
that the Republicans are totally unified. Now, if you would have asked the
same question to the Democrats — you let me know, in some of
those districts where I won or that are a little bit more
towards sanity — you want them to run; say
we don’t want border security? You got plenty of Democrats that do not
want to be in this battle. You have a lot of Democrats. The Republicans are unified.
We want border security. We want safety for our country. And, you know, for 25 years
they’ve been trying to do this. This has been passed.
Chuck Schumer has raised his hand
so many different times. I could give you 15 speeches
that he made, but I don’t think you’d really
enjoy them that much. But I could give you
15 speeches. He talked about border security,
no different than me. Border security. That’s all he
talked about is border security. The only reason
they’re against it is because I won the presidency,
and they think they can try and hurt us going
into the presidency. But that’s not going to happen.
And we don’t give up, because we’re doing — we’re doing the right thing
for our country. Okay? The Press: Mr. President, if illegal immigration
at the border has gone down, why is it a crisis now? The President: You know
why it’s gone down? Because of good management.
Because of me and my people. Because we’ve managed it well. The Press: But then why is it
a crisis? The President: But it
is brutal. We have more people coming up.
You have caravans. Nobody ever heard of a caravan.
It’s gone down. And we have kept it down
because we’re managing it well. But we can never do a great job unless we have a wall
or a barrier. And I mean a real barrier, not a little barrier
that doesn’t work. And if you don’t have that,
you can — but it’s only down because we do a great job
and we work very hard at it. And I have incredible people —
Border Patrol people, ICE. The military is helping.
I called out the military. We needed help.
And that’s why it’s gone down. Thank you, everybody.