Trump makes impromptu appearance at White House women's panel

“I wasn’t very far away,” the president said to laughter.

— -- President Donald Trump made a surprise appearance at a White House event for women on Tuesday, thanking the women for attending and making a brief but wide-ranging speech with points on the economy and DACA.

Aides didn't rule out the president's appearance at the event, though it wasn't on his schedule in advance.

“I wasn’t very far away,” the president said to laughter. “I said I’d love to do this, this is fun.”

“I’m honored to stand here with women across the administration,” he said, mentioning his daughter, Ivanka, and the women who were “front and center” on the tax bill, which he said has shown “incredible” success.

Trump focused almost entirely on the “tremendous amount of progress” his administration made over the last year during the approximately 8-minute speech. “We have a country that’s on the right track,” the president said.

“We’re working on immigration and immigration reform, and hopefully at some point we’ll be able to solve that problem. If the Democrats really wanted to they could but they really sometimes don't want to. But we’re working on it and we’ll get it done one way or another, I hope,” the president said.

There are four days until government funding runs out and currently no DACA deal in sight. Democrats are intent on tying action on DACA to any must-pass spending bill, while Republicans want DACA and spending negotiations to remain separate.

Trump made his impromptu appearance during the second panel which focused on the opioid crisis. On the stage at the time were Pam Bondi, the attorney general of Florida, Rebecca Kleefisch, lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, Kathryn Burgum, the first lady of North Dakota and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

“Had the other side gotten in, the market would have gone down 50 percent from where it was. Remember that,” the president said, honing in on the economic successes of his administration.

Cuts to regulations have made all the difference, Trump said, and while there’s still plenty of regulation from agencies across the U.S., “we’re cutting a lot of them, too,” he said to laughter.

He described a conversation he had with someone at a recent event who was unable to get loans because of regulations, despite a good relationship with the person’s bank. “We’re looking now to Dodd-Frank because we have to free up so the banks can loan money to great people because the banks haven’t been able to do that. They were restricted,” Trump said.

“The regulations had a lot to do with the success, don’t let anyone kid you,” the president said.