Transcript for Sean Spicer Briefs White House Press Corps
This is an ABC news special. George Stephanopoulos. And we're coming on the air because present from its Press Secretary Shaun spice about to hold his first press conference in the White House briefing room. Comes on the heels of that rocky Saturday. But when both in between the present the president when both Spicer and president trump are rated the press for Contra coverage of the inaugural. Then came under fire for falsely claiming that the inaugural is the most attendant history. Spicer did not take questions that he's gonna get them today. Likely also be gassed up president Trump's comments the CIA. Where he falsely accuse the president venting his feud in the intelligence community. Despite the president's own statements comparing the intelligence community to Nazi Germany. Already been a busy Monday for the White House earlier today president truck that would manufacturing executives signed three executive orders. Including a freeze on government hiring pulling US out of the trans Pacific partnership. Of course that is making good on a campaign promise John Prine or Shawn is about to come out any minute but the big question after that skirmish. On Saturday about defining political reality when we see a. I imagine what you see something of a reset from the white house Press Secretary here is. Channels why sir. Good afternoon everyone thanks for coming out to our first official briefing here in the Brady wrote. Gonna start of the recap inauguration I think we've covered that pretty well. By the way just as I get started I know this Josh Earnest was voted the most popular Press Secretary by the press corps so after reading check my Twitter feed. I shot Josh an email last night letting him know that he can rest easy this title is secure for at least the next few days. Let me begin by saying that the president has been closely monitor the severe weather in the southeast he spoke by phone with governor deal of Georgia yesterday. And offered his condolences and support. Today president trump is focused on to filling its pledge to pursue trade policies that put America first. The president began his day with a practice. With key US business leaders were the focus of the discussions on job creation and growing our manufacturing base. Business leaders who attended included Michael Dell the founder and CEO of Dell Jeff Fettig CEO whirlpool mark fields the CEO Ford. Alan Sikorski the CEO of Johnson & Johnson. Maryland Houston the CEO of Lockheed Martin class Klein field CEO of our Connick. Andrew Everest CEO of Dow Mario Monti the CEO of US steel Elon Musk a SpaceX and Tesla. Kevin plank of under armour Mark Sutton International Paper. Wendell Weeks a CEO of Corning. Chief of staff extremists. Chief strategist Steve fan and the vice president's chief of staff Josh they cut and senior advisor Stephen Miller. The breakfast was an opportunity for the president to hear directly from America's top business leaders about the challenges they're facing. And take some suggestions about what policies and action can be taken help them create jobs and grow our manufacturing base. The meeting included a really great exchange of ideas at the and the president has decided to reconvene the group in a month. And then have them meet on a quarterly basis. As you know the president's vision is to negotiate fair trade deals that create jobs increase American wages and reduce americans' trade deficit. He's appointed H rough tough and Smart number of trade experts who will fight on behalf of American workers. With that vision in mind the president has already taken several steps today. First he issued a presidential mammary memorandum withdrawing the United States from the trans Pacific partnership. TPP is a multi lateral agreement that includes United States and eleven other countries. As a president said many times this type of multinational agreement is not in our best interest and he's moving quickly to advance trade policies. That increase the competitiveness of the American worker and manufacturer. This executive action ushers in a new Arab US trade policy in which the trump administration will pursue bilateral trade opportunities with allies around the grow. This is a strong signal that the trop administration wants free and fair trade throughout the world. Additionally the president issued a memorandum reestablishing the Mexico City policy. Stating that the United States will and the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas along with coercive abortion and star elation sterilization practices. Finally the president issued a memorandum outlining executive van branch hiring. By this memorandum counters that dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years. In particular prevents filling vacant positions and creating new positions except when necessary to meet national or public security. Responsibilities it does not apply to personal Terry personnel and it insures that the American taxpayers get effective and efficient government. Earlier in the day the president spoke with Egyptian president Al CC. They discussed ways to deepen the bilateral relationship in support Egypt's fight against terrorists and bolster Egypt's home grown in historic economic reform program. President trump underscored the United States remains strongly committed to the bilateral relationship which is how both countries overcome challenges in the region for decades. The president committed to working continued you with military assistance to Egypt and working with Egypt to ensure that assistance. Most effectively supports the Egyptian military's fight against terrorism. The president also commended president Al CC for his courageous steps to address Egypt's economic challenges. And offered to discuss ways United States could support Egypt's economic reform program. Finally two leaders just disgusted visits the United States in the future. The president and had lunch with the vice president where they recap this morning's meetings and discuss next steps they also had. Discuss plans to advance the president's legislative agenda to make America safer and more prosperous. Also today the president signed designations for acting heads of executive departments and agencies to maintain continuity in those critical positions. At 3 o'clock union leaders and. Front line workers will meet with the president to discuss his pro worker agenda and attendees include Tom Flynn. Of the united brotherhood of carpenters Sharma Garvey president of the North American building and construction trades department. Terry O'Sullivan general president of the laborers international union of America of North America. Mark McManus. The general president the united association. Donald Mullen esteemed figures united association local local six two. Frank Spencer united brotherhood of carpenters Doug McCarron general president united brotherhood of cart vendors mart Kohl's of iron workers local five. Joseph sellers junior the general president of the sheet metal workers union slapped Smart union. Thelma and Matta the heat and frost in Slater's and allied workers local 24. Mark your counts key united association local five. Stevens died the sheet metal workers union slash mark union. Gary and a scene out the sheet metal workers union Smart union. The president has been honored to receive tremendous she support from union working men and women. On Election Day in east dedicated to growing and deepening their support and he made it a priority to meet with these union workers. On our working day one here in the White House. The offshoring of American jobs and lack of economic growth in recent years has hit American workers particularly hard. And the president's top priorities to retain and attract American jobs. Which have already seen happening through his actions on carrier spraying General Motors and so many more. At 5 o'clock the president will host a bicameral bipartisan meeting with leaders here at the white house with that will include the vice president senate majority leader the senate majority whip. The Senate Minority Leader senate minority whip. House speaker house majority leader house democratic leader house democratic wet. The White House chief of staff chief strategist. Chief of staff the vice president and chiefs of staff from those respective offices. The purpose of the meeting is to get the president's agenda moving through congress. The American people are frustrated with the lack of progress here in Washington and the president wants no delay in addressing our most pressing issues he's taking every step opportunity. To forge strong bonds with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. One of the other subjects it's sure to come up is the status of his nominees during this meeting. It's important we note that at this point 2009. President Obama had spot seven of his nominees confirmed on day one. And five more in the first week as it stands today we have to you. Democrats even held up the confirmation of CIA director Mike Pompeo. Needless it leaving one of our most important national security agencies without its top leader on day one. It's time for senate Democrats a stop playing political games. With the core functions of government and to allow president tribes unquestionably qualified talent deep group of cabinet nominees to get to work on behalf the American people. Rounding out today's schedule after that left they reception that I mentioned he will have dinner with we have meeting with the house speaker Paul Ryan. They will discuss the Republican legislative agenda and strategy going forward. Early in the day the president nominated former New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson as an ex secretary of the air force. She grew up in key New Hampshire and make history as part of the third US air force academy class that included women. She earned her master's degree and doctoral degrees as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford in England. And then served as an air force officer in Europe during the Cold War and on the national security office under president George H. W. Bush. As you know we are all about big fewer ships and large audiences here. So I want to tell you about an effort there were undertaking here in the press briefing room to offer up more access to a group of journalists from around the country. Beginning later this week I'm excited to announce a we're gonna have for what we call Skype's sees life here in the briefing room. This will open up the briefing to journalists who lived beyond fifty miles of the Washington DC area and into organizations that don't currently have a hard pass. As always any organization is welcome to apply for a day pass. But we're excited to open up into the field. And fold here a diverse group of journalists from around the country who may not have the convenience are finding to travel to Washington. I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to two voices they're not necessarily based here in the beltway. Looking ahead the president will have a breakfast. Tomorrow with the auto industry including heads of GM Chrysler and Ford. He looks forward to hearing their ideas and how we can work together to bring more jobs back to this industry in particular. And Wednesday the president will host a swearing in ceremony from England from income from new secretary of Homeland Security. General James and Kelly John Kelly. And then on Friday he will do the same for secretary Mattis at the Department of Defense. On Thursday he will travel to Philadelphia to attend the Republican House and senate we treat and on Friday he will welcome his first. Foreign head of state. British prime minister may. With that I look forward to taking your questions. Daniel Halpern your post. Well who left when we start. I think the president has noted that this was a serious priority of his throughout the campaign. He'd already started to work with congress on the on the appropriations avenue of that and so he's doing everything he can't address agencies and congress to commence with network as soon as possible. Here are forced. What's in the mandate. If there. I think it look the president has made it clear that he's gonna work with congress to you and part of the discussion that he's gonna have. Tonight. With with some of these leaders and then again with Paul Ryan is how we can work to implement the vote to repeal and replace aspects of this. Jennifer wishing. I'll see what messages sent years have seen me. Patient harm reduction of abortions as an American values and also Stuart heading pro life. Legislation. I think the president it's no secret has made himself made it very clear these are pro life president. He's wants to stand up for all Americans including the unborn. And I think the reinstatement of this policy. It's not just something that echoes that value but respects taxpayer funding is well and ensures that we're standing out not just for for life. For life of the unborn. But for also. Taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action is contrary to the values of this president. And and I think continue to further illustrate not just to folks here in this country but around the world of what a value we place on life. Jennifer Rodriguez. Jams. Congress today special something we don't know what it is an act of recipients and death when we expect that to happen also when do you think that White House. Spanish side to be back up and. Okay two questions let me start with they the latter first as you know. We we got the ground we hit the ground running on day one. There was a lot to do and we've done a lot of work on the web site to make sure. That we are prepared to get as much information office as fast as possible we are continuing to build out the website both in the airy the issue areas. And then that area but but we've got KIT folks working overtime right now. To continue get all of that up to speed and and trust me it's just get take a little bit more time or working piece by piece to get that done. On the dock a piece I think the president's been clear that he was going to prioritize. The areas dealing with the immigration system boat building the wall and making sure that we address people who are in this country illegally. First and foremost the president's been very very clear that we need to directing agencies to focus on those who are in this country illegally and have a record. That. A criminal record or pose a threat to the American people that's where the priorities going to be and then we'll continue to work through the entire. Number of folks are here legally on the right now it's clear focuses on that. Late Vernon Fox Business. President campaigned on the corporate tax cut rate of 50%. Examining a business leaders he. Imagine that tax rate would drop to somewhere between there's me point 8%. Is moving the ball goes there anyway my second question is on government spending there have been reports that. I'll let you look at ten trillion dollars of sports thing here is that accurate and would you be willing to wrap up I don't think death. Well I think first. While taking overs on on entitlements or on spending but I think you saw this with the hiring freeze. There's been frankly to some degree a lack of respect for taxpayer dollars in this town for a long time. I think what the president showing through hiring freeze first and foremost today is that we've got to respect the American taxpayer they're sending us a ton of money that working real hard. Some people working 23 jobs just to get by an easy money get wasted in Washington on a job it is duplicative. Is insulting to hard work that they didn't pay their taxes and I think that that comes in to your question. In overall spending as well we've got to look at how we're spending the American people's tax our tax when in so what. The work the landing teams have been doing is going into these agencies and departments. And talking about ways that we can create greater efficiencies. Eliminate duplicity. And find maximize the tax dollar so it's not it's more questions that are. Just cutting it's about how do we spend in respect the American taxpayer dollars more than anyone more we're going forward. If Orion. Our thoughts our luck you state that did the president's a very successful businessman a negotiator. He's gonna sit down and work with congress to get the best deal possible for American businesses to that they can hire more people and we can expand and we can grow the economy. So he's gonna work with congress on that rate. But he understands better than anybody how to negotiate a great deal and right now he's gonna negotiate the best deal on and on behalf. I the American were apparent on behalf the American businesses that are hiring them. That was a lot of the focus that went on tonight. Talking me these companies it was interesting that the meeting was only supposed to last an hour it overflowed another hour in the Oval Office. He kept asking them what ideas do you have to grow this economy what is preventing you from hiring people. What regulations are stopping you. From conducting more business what's what are the ways that we can give you more market access into. You know other other countries around the globe. And I think that's what his focus is gonna continue to be is how do we create a tax and regulatory environment. It grows the economy and benefits the American workers that is not just about creating more jobs and it's also about lifting up. Those jobs through higher wages and Bryant's. Well a lot of comedies. And we. Constant are confirmed dead. President Donald Trump talked to him for lunch about high price of prescription drugs what does this mean anything ahead. Plenty say we're coming up soon. Will the president Nickie read the full body of the congressional black boxes look Hispanic caucus on issues related to this week. Let's take want to time. I do not I'm not aware a conversation. I'm sure you've heard the president last couple weeks talk about the price of pharmaceutical drugs. And the need to get those prices down. And bring manufacturing back in the pharmaceutical industry to benefit the country so it's an issue that's gonna he's gonna continue work on. He understands as we reform health care as we move repeal and replace obamacare. The getting a hold of the cost of prescription drugs. To give more people access to them but also to allow greater access to health care greater plans healthcare that's going to be key part so he's gonna act I mean that's gonna happen. I think look you're seeing with respect to the other. Meetings it's day one working day one here. He's gonna start with the leadership he's gonna have a great conversation with them. But then I think you're gonna see a variety of meet the Congressional Black Caucus the Hispanic caucus small groups of of meter he is he. You know he's sort who really enjoys that kind of conversation I think you gonna see a lot of meetings occur like the ones you did today the business leaders coming in these union workers. And it's interesting. I'd we the president was asking these folks today how many of you better in the Oval Office three of them raised their hand. We talked to some of these union leaders we hear we get a lot of attention and here we aren't working day one. You've got the president reaching out to him some of America's best business leaders. And then some of the union workers in line workers and bring our men and saying I want to listen to what's going on in your life what can we be doing to help you. And I think that you're gonna see a lot more that a listening president who's engaged in trying to figure out what policies and actions. Think he can take that this government can take that he can work with congress. To make people's lives better to make their there's security better to make their economic security better we've got to see a lot of that. That's who we is that's what he did during the transition and I think that's what he's gonna do going forward he appreciates the ideas and opinions. They come they come through the Oval Office are small groups. What he gets to share. Their perspective their ideas and their opinions I think that's weakening continue you later this afternoon. I'm sorry April. I'm sorry I'm that's what general Vincent opening day. He says something about. And today date with the numbers fit and talked about him in the news from inauguration day the numbers Saturday. Do you believe that you have the mandate to be able to force through which you talked about replacing. People aren't here. Definitely subsidize the whole. Peace to help. Don't think I'm people. Well I think what we have is it is in handy cheat shouldn't make healthcare more accessible. And lower cost. That's what the American people were promised under obamacare. And I think it's not a question on a mandate and it's also not about forcing anything. It's about what's doing the right thing it's about providing people what they've been promised. Which is you've you go around this country new look market after marketed under one plan. That's not what the American people are promised not only that but in many cases you're seeing these the rates go up 1015203050%. That's how they're promised either. And so I think what the president's doing and it's not just I think he's gotten bipartisan support for this to work with congress and to take executive action where necessary. To implement a health care system that provides more people health care. Truly allows them to keep the doctor implant they're signing up for lowers cost creates more competition. So do I think he has a mandate sure. But it's not just it's not about it's not on this issue I think that all leaders have a mandate from the American people to fix this system and make it better. Julie pace. There for that and generally it's the president. Action. And I think since I know it's still developing and out for you that's the Department of Defense I know that they're they're content currently monitoring this and I would refer you back to them on that. I think they did the president has been very clear that he's gonna work with any country that shares our interest. In defeating ice is not just on the national security front and on the economic front if we can work with Sony create greater market access and spur economic growth and allow. US small businesses and companies too. Military actions Russia Syria I think there's a way that we can combat crisis with any country whether it's rush or anyone else. And we had a shared national interest and Asher will take it. You see eye on Saturday he was talking. Warrants and if it could. I think what the president is very clear about inform policies too often the United States is going in. With a lot of money a lot of manpower and many cases losing both. Loss of life. And we want to make sure that our interest are protected and so for going in. To a country first for a cause I think he wants to make sure that America's getting something out of it for the commitment and sacrifice or make. I know I think he's keeping very clear from throughout the campaign. That he is committed to making sure that America. The American people the American taxpayer see some benefit in ensure that our interest overseas. Are not just create sending blank checks that we're doing something neither protects America or is our economic interest John Roberts. Later this week in. Does the president plan to take action to relay. Keystone XL and code access problems. Punching PP. John McCain says it was a serious mistake to do president did for America's. First strategic position in the engines it. Why it was TVP right. What went was a threat what you what was the right things didn't you do to repeal key. I think I said it any because I think the malt glass or when you. Entries these multinational agreements. You're allowing any country no matter the size anyone of those twelve including us to basically have the same stature as the United States in the agreement. Two are basically on par with some very small companies from getting access to an amazing market. With the United States and in return. Were negotiating at the lowest common denominator and I think that when you look at big multinational agreements. Multi lateral agreements they're not always in the best interest United States the beautiful thing about by a bilateral agreement. Is it if anyone of the two parties in the agreement. To size and any time. They want to get out of the agreement or they're not being treated fairly they can renegotiate much easier in a multinational agreement that's not the case in many cases all of the other. Countries have to agree to an action or to let somebody out. That's not putting the US interest first and question about keystone. I'm not gonna get in front of the president's executive actions but I will tell you that areas like Dakota and the Keystone Pipeline Ares it weekend. Increase jobs increase economic growth and tap into America's energy supply more. That's something that he's been very clear about I think he talked about it I don't and I can't payment around the Thanksgiving period he was talking about. That that being a big priority that's one of those ones where I think it. The energy sector in our natural resources are an area where I think the president is very very keen. And making sure that we maximize our use of natural resources to America's benefit it's good for economic growth it's good for jobs and is good for American energy. I think Carl. Being here first for it to you thank you. Important policy questions to question about the nature of your job. Is it your intention to always tell the truth from that podium. And we you pledge never knowingly. Say something that is. It's an honor to do this and yes I believe that we have to be honest with the American people I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts there are certain things that. We may miss it. We may not fully understand we come out but our intentions ever to lie to you Jonathan. Our jobs to make sure that sometimes me here in the same boat mean there are times when you guys tweet something out or write a story and you publish a correction. That doesn't mean that you were intentionally trying to deceive readers the American people does it. And I think we should be afforded the same opportunity there are times when we believe something to be true we get something from an agency. We act in haste because the information available wasn't complete but her desire to communicate with the American people make sure that you have the most complete story that time. And so we do it but again I think fit when you look. Net net. We will review our best every time we can't on it cannot guarantee the faxes I know and if we make a mistake we'll do our best to correct. But I I don't I think that they it's it's it's as annexing other day it is a two way street there are many mistakes the media makes all the time. They named this report something they don't report something they get a fact wrong I don't think that's always an into the you know two to turn around saint that you are intentionally line. I think we all go to. Try to do our best job in duel with a degree of integrity. That they're in our respective industries the only correction he would like to make her case what was your daughter with well ask away Jonathan. We express our game re litigate all if you would like to take one with the issue. Metro rider if you read a statement about get enough time the information that's provided by not a committee. Came from an outside agency that we reported on and I think. Knowing what we know now we can tell that will modest numbers are different. But we were trying to provide numbers that we had been provided. That was like we made them a questionnaire and use advice and those who have watched inaugural IP address shirk it was the most watched inaugural when you look at. Look you look at just did of one network alone got sixteen point nine million people online another couple of them that was there are tens of million people that watch that on line. Never mind that that the audience who was here 31 million people watched on television combine that with the tens of millions of people that watched it on line. And a device. There's it's unquestionable. I don't I don't and I don't see any numbers that didn't dispute that when you add up. In attendance viewership total audience included tablets phones. On television. And I'd love to see any information that proves it proves that otherwise. And then well Judy do you dispute that. Well I don't end numbers. I do I mean. I just say if you ask any question about my integrity I have a right to save you add up. That the network streaming numbers FaceBook YouTube all of the various live streaming sick that we had information and so far. I don't think there's any question who's that it was the largest watched inauguration ever. More than robberies. I'm pretty sure. That Reagan didn't have YouTube FaceBook. Or the Internet data 841 million people watched it. 41 million watched it's OK so let's just take it Nielsen ratings to 31 million and attitude CNN sixteen point nine million. That's a little higher. So I'm just say I'm not you ask me for numbers there's just two entities together and in any you can approach that you took on Saturday second. Thoughts on what I think what it. Johnson. I want this Tuesday hot. I cannot read a statement and I did it we're here today I'm a stay here as long as you want. So. I want to make sure there. I think I think you guys might want to leave before idea. But not what I want to make sure that we have a healthy relationship we saw the other day. That and I'm not trying to rehash history we are asking the questions and answer. You know we had a tweak aloud about Martin Luther King. Think about how racially charged that this. And selling rushes out and says to the entire press corps that the president of the United States has removed the bused from his office. You need to think about what this signal hold a graceful all no no he actually priced to quote Mike hot weeks. That's the exact quote. Okay that. Quote that report backed weeded out around. And to report where was the apology the president United States. Where's the proof the apology to millions of people who read that and thought how racially insensitive that lives. Where was that apology your. Okay I'm asking where without apology in so I'm just saying that when you when things like that happen. When John Lewis says that he's never approach never missed an inauguration. And we find out actually he get under each get George W Bush's. That there are points at which we have a right to make sure that we correct the record. Mean you're talking about integrity in your talking about telling the truth and facts. I don't know that it wasn't malicious at all and I'm not saying but there's a point at which we have a right to go out there and correct the record and I think that. Over and over again there is this. Attempt to. Go after this president say well that can't be true and that's not right and the numbers weren't there there's no rush to judgment every time. And it's a two way street we wanted to have a healthy and open dialogue with the press corps with the American people. About what he's doing to help this country to united but in a time when he's trying to unite this and he keeps talking about uniting this nation. Bringing people together and that we does that a pool report did play a few thousand people saying that you remove the bust of Martin Luther King. How do you think that goes over. And even invent the feud between the present themselves I'm not. I think that you've soften the response the other day he walked into the CIA. People were hooting and hollering to give a five minute standing ovation that doesn't look like a relationship that's going that's a that they would excitedly. Venture don't know the difference between having differences with intelligence leaders. And leaders of that community who had strong differences with. Then that people in the men and women who toil every single day in our intelligence community and it was reflected at the CIA. Mean they came there they were so excited it was a thousand people that apply for 300 plus seats. We ended up taking in 400 people that doesn't sound like a huge feud. They were excited they were clapping they were cheering when he walked in. And is she reports that made it sound like there was some heat you know fence mending that I need to happen that sure didn't look that way when you walked in on the move on. What if he has to keep in case it muted. It's and his ability to slip but also in the town with a fifty CC today was the speeches of the Muslim Brotherhood discussed. But I think the read out I just gave you the react on the call with presidencies do you think that that speaks for itself. What was discussed. And then once are the first part. What does the US strategic interest in moving in well I don't know as I've noted yesterday through several pressing cores we haven't there's no decisions where that very early stages. That decision making process. That BC that he would be discussed in. Since Friday all of the potential who premises of what faith you might not. Is there going to be a joint news conference these photos from gonna get a state visit back to the UK and Asia India left we're here working day one. We're excited that prime minister May's coming on Friday we look forward to it I'm sure that they'll be discussion of trade. Will come up to the the degree to which I don't know yet. And I'm sure we'll have an opportunity to brief few out I don't believe we have any plans right now for joint press conference but that's something that our team will be working out with prime minister may. And and we'll keep you updated on that. After the executive. Specific steps will present county to expand US trade opportunities abroad. Well again I'd I think when he talks to prime minister may he can have a great conversation about the potential for greater trade. With the UK he I mentioned earlier when he met with these manufacturers. This morning that was. You know went up there at the top of that list how can we get greater market access what are the specific challenges that. These manufacturers are facing getting market access in the countries around the globe and that's an important issues it's not. It's it's not just other countries but within existing. Trade deals we can figure out. Is there are trade dispute that can be settles WTO is early vision to one of the existing trade options trade treaties that we have now but there's a lot that can be time. There are things that congress can can update. To make sure that we're importing and exporting more to benefit American businesses. Thanks thanks John for your content news. As the president will the president having a chat with the informal chat with the prime minister before the fact she comes. There are no plans for that now it's always possible he's been having a tremendous number of calls I think the numbers well over eating out people that have. Talk to congratulate him prior to be elected he's had. We read activities met with both Canada and Mexico I think he's talked. Mr. Netanyahu yesterday president SEC today and he there's there's gonna continue BA robust number of world leaders there's you know a tremendous excitement I think. In that diplomatic corps and at the world leader level of people who are excited that president trump and this administration want to engage in. They there's a lot of times when he's talking these folks understand I have not heard from anyone in years and I think kids there is a genuine excitement to re engage the United States. Especially in the area of trade in other economic interest but also in the area of national security. And they want and it's the first. That needless to say this defeat one and it's the first threat. So why is this executive order anything more than symbolic win. Hot start to negotiate those bilateral deals with the eleven other. Take some time and that could be used on Wednesday giving China you know room to make any book. First I would argue that bilateral deals are what mostly with China's been engaging. And that's something that I just said that we're gonna engage you know the president's gonna look to countries to engagement. It. Welcome we have existing trade agreements with or a good chunk from the existing trade union is to get to begin with. This was an expansion of that and in some areas and aloud whether it's the service industry financial services. Additional market access. But I think that this is this is not a deal that was in our country passengers the president could have come into office a president could have come and office. And renegotiating. And send people back to the drawing board. Hadn't gone congress it because it wasn't finalized I think this president pulling out of the agreement. He's is not just about this one agreement but I think it's symbolic. Both here in America and around the world of a new era at trade policy. One that's gonna put American workers first and foremost. And one that assures the rest of the world that the way that we negotiate bilateral agreements is gonna ensure that we we hat we get something out of these deals. As I mentioned John and anything I mean that the the problem with multi lateral agreements is that often. We need it becomes the lowest common denominator with so many things in for the US already has low tariffs. In other service industry. Benefits for countries you know we've got to be able to make sure we're going out and fighting for the American worker Jennifer. It be clear we pulled up TVV. The existing. There will have further updates on trade issues later this week Jennifer. This quarter. I asked her what her. That's a great question I believe there's an action has to be taken under they the provision of NAFTA when he sent you send notice to the other countries the other two countries. The exact nature of how that's. Described I don't but it is there is a traitor within NAFTA. One of the sections allows the the president of the United States to notify them that we intend to do that. Well let's get North American trade block chords friend. Again I think part of it is that he's already spoken to both president of Mexico and prime minister Canada about his desire to. To renegotiate and I think as he meets with both of these individuals. Over the next thirty days or so that's going to be a topic now is they come in and an express a willingness. To do that you could negotiate with in the current parameters. An updated through. Through the existing structure. If they don't and he decides to him to pull out that we would have to go back to the drawing him on the future tomorrow. Or just triggered something Asian markets question the science and I. Questioned try to actually as a regional grateful that we. Comprehensive economic partnership about Japan and Australia two of our great allies are talking about going back. Just his defense and seeing national security. He's great deal and he's concerned have China or write rules for Asia Pacific. Well. I think he's been very very clear about. China's. Place in this image geo political landscape both economically and diplomat and and national security wise. So he understands the need that's part of the reason that trade is important bilateral trade. It provides a check on a lot of this but again I he's always going to be fighting for the interest of the country in American workers so. Where what how we engage with whom he's going to be decided on whether weren't we can get a deal that benefits our country economically and in terms of national security. That there are things that we can do accurate economic aren't economically to actually end up also benefiting us. From a national securities standpoint because of the economic relationship. That exists between the two countries. Clark gets a file life. Now you earned it. And really. Average national. What's the average. Overall and you talk about whether or not we include the full. I mean the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it out. I got a question would accept an and there are ways you can put up full employment. Right and I'm saying that fits in there's a reason that we put out several versions of that. One is hated it the illustrative nature of of how you count the unemployed whether or not their long term unemployed or whether or not they're still seeking a job. But there's a reason that you put out several these statistics it's a that economists can view them decide look at different landscapes and what I'm on. How did how to make economic policy. We're. Why did not Wear start but could it but. Begin part of it is his economic team is gonna look at a multitude of statistics and drive economic policies his goal is obviously to get as many Americans working together that's his ultimate goal. Is when he sees people that are hurting that haven't had wages up. And we are coming out of the press picking out shots faced his first official press briefing let us press briefing room taking questions today said he's gonna stay there. As long the press wants to ask questions later Martha Raddatz is in Washington and our Washington bureau right now John Carlson at the top expect to something of a reset we did see that. Although a little bit of combative news good when that when they went back over the details of Saturday but it did seem like a relatively normal white house press briefing. It really did Georgia mean that could have been anybody's briefing from any party he got a little combative there with Jon Karl but I'm sure any Press Secretary would get combative if they were challenged like Jon Karl challenged him. And he tried to clear up what happened on Saturday when he came out in that briefing in just be raided the press he said they have a different interpretation. Of the facts sometimes if she were call of course George they show he showed pictures. It that what they called us a briefing on Saturday but was really a statement and a trend pictures of the crash out. Any try to explain to how they got to that calculation of the best of the biggest inaugural viewership ever. Not a lot of news that performance although I was struck by those questions about possibly join Russian United States action in Syria and it appeared that did that mr. Spicer sort of double down on the president's earlier statements that perhaps he should it take an oil in Iraq earlier and perhaps you will the future. I would which I don't think he really could do. He he he did double down on that we'll have we'll have to see what's going on there but clearly the focus of this briefing in the focus the president right now is trade. It Spicer has a background in trade so he was very fluent on that today but we'll have to see all this of all charges you know. Yeah that's right talking about pulling out of international a trade multi lateral trade agreements like the trans Pacific partnership. Seeking more bilateral trade agreements of course he has the prime minister of Britain Theresa may coming. On Friday and they're gonna try to negotiate one as well that's all we have time for. Today he we're gonna go off the air right now but be sure to tune into world news tonight we came here tonight. Have a good afternoon. This. Has been especially. For me.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.