President Donald J. Trump meets with his almost full cabinet for the first time. Listen in to the remarks.
Here is a transcript:
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. I’m proud to welcome everyone to our first official Cabinet meeting.
I want to begin by updating the public on the severe weather situation. I’ve been receiving the latest information on the blizzard forecast, and I think we're in very good shape. We're prepared -- everybody in government is fully prepared and ready. And the entire Northeast, it seems, is under a very severe winter storm warning. So let’s hope it’s not going to be as bad as some people are predicting. Usually it isn’t.
Chancellor Merkel and I have just spoken, and she’s going to be postponing the trip until Friday. She’ll be coming on Friday, and we look forward to that. It will be a very good visit.
I’ve spoken with my Homeland Security Advisor. He’s spoken with the acting FEMA Administrator, instructed him to make certain that the federal government is ready to provide assistance to the states that need federal help. FEMA and the federal government are ready to assist. They are literally waiting by the phones and ready to go.
Everyone should listen to their state and local officials who will be providing regular storm updates. We take that advice very seriously.
This Cabinet is here to serve and protect the American people, and that's what we're doing -- even more so than anybody would understand. The folks in this room have done an amazing job, whether it’s security or anything else. I want to thank General Mattis, who is now Secretary Mattis. I want to thank General Kelly, who is now Secretary Kelly. They've done outstanding work. You see what’s happening. All you have to do is just watch. Big difference.
Unfortunately, not all of our Cabinet members could join us. We have four empty seats -- which is a terrible thing -- because the Senate Democrats are continuing to obstruct the confirmation of our nominees for the Department of Labor, the Department of Agriculture, the Director of National Intelligence, and the United States Trade Representative, somebody I want very badly. We're in the midst of getting going, Wilbur, and they won’t approve somebody who is highly qualified, and everybody understands that. The main victim of this very partisan obstruction is the American public.
Yet in spite of all of this, we've assembled a great team and already made historic progress in delivering results. We're rolling back job-crushing regulations at a faster clip than ever before by far; and we're seeing companies like Exxon, Walmart, Intel, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and so many others announcing that they will keep and create tens of thousands of jobs in the United States. Many, many companies are not moving now, which normally they would have been out of here a long time ago. They're not moving because they understand there are going to be consequences. If they move, that's fine, but there will be consequences. It’s not going to be so easy. They're not going to fire our people and move and think they're going to ship their jobs back here and we won’t be doing anything about it.
The first two job reports that have come out since my inauguration, we've already added nearly half a million new jobs. Right after this meeting, we’ll be signing a new executive order to begin the process of reorganizing the executive branch to make it less wasteful and more productive. We're also working closely with the House and Senate Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Obamacare, all of a sudden, the last couple of weeks is getting a false rep that maybe it’s okay. It’s not okay; it’s a disaster -- and people understand that. It’s failed and it’s imploding. And if we let it go for another year, it will totally implode. In fact, I’ve told the Republicans, why don't you just let it go for another year, that way everybody will really understand how bad it is. But it would be the wrong thing for us to do and for the Ame